November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement

Legacy is diverse(ish), but the format still basically balances out to nearly half the format is comprised of decks playing 4 Brainstorm. You are very rarely seeing any deck that plays blue in some capacity that does not want to play 4 Brainstorm. If you had access to play 4 here, I think you would still always want to play 4. The card is just that good.

Unrestricted Brainstorm sounds abysmal - and I'm very liberal with regards to unrestricting stuff. I'm not sure how Brainstorm came up in this thread, I don't ever recall a discussion on that card before.

Ponder would be a much better unrestriction (if you're looking for a blue cantrip to unrestrict). In fact, I'm not sure why Ponder is restricted while Preordain isn't. Preordain is in my opinion a stronger card.

I think these cards are pretty safe to unrestrict:

Imperial Seal
Thorn of Amethyst

And I think these possible could come off as well:

Mystical Tutor
Flash (I didn't play in the Flash era, so I'm not sure about this one)


You can't have 8 Ponder/Preordain effects in a healthy format IMO. It's one or the other, and Ponder is considered better as it can dig a card deeper, so that's the route WOTC took.

Flash would be disastrous. Not even Protean Hulk anymore, but Academy Rector into Y. Bargain/Omniscience.

I am grateful nobody here is on the DCI.


last edited by ChubbyRain

Unrestrict Channel, restrict Fireball. Should be fine.

I might be missing something, but I don't see how unrestricted Channel would dominate or ruin the format, but I'm very interested in hearing why you think it would.

I could certainly see a UG Show and Tell/ Channel/Eureka deck with giant Eldrazi dudes being super annoying.

How quickly people forget that Charbelcher originated as a Green/Black/Blue 2 Land Deck. Channel was the best card in that deck, BAR NONE. If it resolved, you won the game 90% of the time.

Michael Simester
Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 7th, 2004
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
2 Cabal Ritual
4 Dark Ritual
1 Black Lotus
1 Chrome Mox
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Land Grant
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Channel
4 Tinder Wall
1 Bayou
1 Tropical Island
2 Barbed Sextant
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Goblin Charbelcher
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Ancestral Recall
2 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Timetwister
1 Tinker
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Memory Jar
2 Living Wish
2 Goblin Welder

This deck could easily be modified for (A) the metagame and new cards 14 years later, and (B) with 4 channel. Channel-Liches Mirror belcher? YES PLEASE!

4 Channel
4 Lichs Mirror
4 Pact of Negation
4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Manamorphose
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
1 Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn
4 Serum Powder
1 Memory Jar

Considering Channel + Litchs mirror is a draw 7 that gives you 34 colorless mana, I'm pretty sure you could easily win the game turn 1 a frightening amount of the time.

@13nova That actually looks pretty fun even with the one Channel.

@craw_advantage I played a similar deck in the Romancing the Stones 4 and 5 I think (may be fuzzy on which events I ran it). Biggest issue was counters and on color mana. Your opponent counters your draw 7, or if they don't, they get a counter in their new cards. 4 Channel would make that deck utterly nuts and you could liberally bait counters out on spells that didn't actually matter because you have 19 mana to work with.

Decks with unacceptably high turn 1-2 win rates often appear pretty fun...

You really don’t even need the inconsistency of belcher. Just run the preordain engine and combo on turn 2-3 with counter back up and win with stroke of genius.

You can also run this in fair decks. Forest, ESG, Channel, Reality Smasher, Metamorph, Sphere is fair right? It’s budget, it has to be fair.

@Griselbrother do you have mtgo? I am more than willing to test this.

Edit: In before someone says "Mono green Eldrazi deserves to be a deck" and another person says "Vintage needs more budget options". It's a turn 2 kill with a sphere effect with theoretically nothing but unrestricted cards... No, Vintage doesn't need that. Diversity be damned.

last edited by ChubbyRain

No one from my playgroup has any interest in traveling to vintage tournaments because of the state of the format, with Mental Misstep and PO being specifically cited. Misstep is tired and PO amounts to watching someone jerk off in front of you while you just sit there and beg them to hurry up and finish so you can get on with your life.

I am probably the one who is not bothered by playing against PO 😞

Although, a restriction would be fine by me, simply because of meta share.

@messplaypc said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

No one from my playgroup has any interest in traveling to vintage tournaments because of the state of the format, with Mental Misstep and PO being specifically cited. Misstep is tired and PO amounts to watching someone jerk off in front of you while you just sit there and beg them to hurry up and finish so you can get on with your life.

There was a similar problem firing Vintage in Atlanta. The TO restricted Misstep and it's fired a couple of times now. I do miss that skill intense Misstep subgame though. Turns out with 1 Misstep the 100 other counters that are good vs. outcome can actually resolve and people have room in their non-Thorn decks for them because every non combo blue deck doesn't have to start with 4 force, 4 skillstep.

@nedleeds how does discard like Duress, thoughtseize and therapy perform in that environment? How aboutDark Ritual?

@aelien Our Vintage events have fired, but still haven't been many people, let alone people actively exploring their options in a single Misstep world. I've tested the waters with Crop Rotation in Survival, and SkullclampShops.

Restricting counterspells in Vintage seems like a bad idea to me. Cards that keep other cards in check are a good thing, not a bad thing.

I don't really understand the complaints about Vintage right now.

Vintage has everything going for it right now that has ever made Vintage great:

  • Broad color and strategic diversity (Survival has really helped) - there are like 15 viable decks, and like 4-8 decks capable of winning any tournament (Survival, PO, Dredge, Oath, BUG(r), Xerox, Shops, WEldrazi).

  • Unprecedented on-board complexity - the operational complexity of Vintage right now has never been greater from Survival to Xerox to PO to Shops, these decks are EXTREMELY complicated to manipulate on board.

  • Deep branching lines of play - virtually every deck in the format is strategic, rather than just tactical, and requires strategic insight to optimize, not just flipping cards drawn. You have really understand matchups and know your role in almost every matchup, as well as what's important.

  • Deep interactivity - with Workshop finally de-throned, players get to actually play spells, and almost every match is highly interactive.

Take the top four decks: Shops, Xerox, PO, and Survival. That's 6 matchups (Shops v. Xerox, Shops v. PO, Shops v. Survival, Survival v. Xerox, Survival v. PO). The only match up of those six that isn't intensely interactive is Shops v. PO. The rest of the matchups are incredibly fascinating. Since Xerox can no longer just overpower it's opponents with Mentor, every Xerox matchup is super interactive as well.

  • Super Skill Intensive - where experience/knowledge matters.

Vintage is so complex right now, actually, that I think it may be beyond most players ability to actually play competently. It's actually laughable to compare, say 93/94, to contemporary Vintage. Playing 93/94 versus Vintage is like playing Checkers compared to Chess or even Go. You go land, creature go, or maybe play a spell or two. The sheer quantity of high stakes decisions every turn, combined with the number of logistical clicks or card shifts is insane. Just a single Dack activation entails 4 zone changes, which itself can require like 4-6 decisions, with branching decisions that ramify into insane complexity.

There have been times in the past where Vintage has had greater strategic complexity - like the Gifts/Grim Long/TPS era of 2006, but vintage has never had this level of on-board complexity and deep interactivity among the best decks.

I've been critical of many of the restrictions in recent years, but I have to say that they really did their job in promoting format diversity and making it much more interactive.

last edited by Smmenen

what do blue decks have to answer with mental misstep that we need 4 MM in the format, that blue decks couldn't handle with MM restricted?

What card must be kept in check with Mental Misstep that couldn't be kept in check before, besides A.Recall?

If I may, Chalice was restricted because it was viewed as keeping players from playing their cards in a format where you should be able to play your cards. Misstep is almost in the same boat, but worse, every blue deck runs it.
I'm not for restricting MM, just curious as to what your thoughts are on these points.

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