November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement

@smmenen I also agree here. As someone who just started playing vintage again recently after a long hiatus the format seems great. I'm not sure I would have picked it back up if there were only 2 or 3 viable decks. To speak to the diversity, in 10 rounds at EW I played against 8 different decks and it was a blast!

@smmenen fully agree. I returned to vintage in the winter 2016 leading up to Lodestone Golem's restriction, and this if by far the best metagame during my period of playing modern vintage.

I was at first apprehensive as my friends had some complaints about Vintage being stale, but as a play I find the format more complex and diverse. Old School is like taking a break and it is fun but the true challenge is playing Vintage.

I have been playing at a higher level this year and I can see how complex the format is now, and I find it rewarding to play.

last edited by moorebrother1

Let me start by saying Mental Misstep:

  • Is not broken
  • Does not fit the guidelines for (vintage) restriction
  • Vintage is in a pretty good place

That said, Misstep is by far my least favorite unrestricted card. I am a brewer at heart and Misstep does impact my ability to brew a consistently competitive deck.

While there is a good variety of viable decks, there are really only two viable castable archetypes right now - counter spell based deck or lock based decks. The other decks either don't have to cast spells to win (Bazaar decks) or only need to land a single spell (Oath decks)

With Misstep so heavily played, any deck trying to fight outside these spaces need to give up their opportunity cost of using limited early mana to progress their board state with one drops while the Misstep deck can progress their board state without need to use that limited early mana.

This keeps out more than just the more common known decks like welder decks, crop rotation decks, or ritual decks. It also stops yet to be proven potential decks like infect, non-prison zoo, and skull clamp decks.

The good news is that with the benefit of the rise of Survival Salad, Misstep has even fewer good targets. If the meta shifts enough that Misstep is dead more often, the number of copies will shrink. It looks as if this is already happening.

The one thing I think we can agree on is that we won't all agree. I will forever desire for shifting metas. Others like as little change as possible. Neither is absolutely right. Unless WOTC decided to start banning Vintage the same way they do Modern, I'll have to settle with playing decks that I am less excited about. At the end of the day, these are still pretty fun games - even if I feel the deck is stale.

And legacy has basically been portrayed as Brainstorm vs Chalice of the Void.

Restricting Mental Misstep is not going to make Blue decks less counterspells dependent or other decks less "lock based" (though ravager shops is pretty damn fast for a lock-based deck).

It will allow combo decks to more effectively combo and provide for less interactive games of magic.

And I'm sorry, if your deck folds to Mental Misstep, it's probably not a very good deck to begin with.

@ChubbyRain to say "And I'm sorry, if your deck folds to Mental Misstep, it's probably not a very good deck to begin with." is a bit unfair. Single hate cards can foil otherwise good decks.

For example if you followed legacy around the time Mental Misstep was banned in legacy, the High Tide deck started being a real player for quite a bit of time. It would not be fair to call that deck bad - it just struggled to fight through one specific heavily played hate card.

I like constant reevaluation of meta games. We could swing the whole process the other way. Many of the great 1-drop cards on the restricted list were put there before the printing of Misstep. Maybe since this car exists, they unrestrict fastbond, mystical tutor, imperial seal, or demonic consultation.

Having the conversation is, in my opinion, healthy...

@ten-ten said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@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?

I'm not for restricting MM, just curious as to what your thoughts are on these points.

No card in particular makes Misstep important to the format, but I do think the format is healthier when players don't get to do everything they want to do, and Misstep serves that purpose.

I am sometimes sad that it's so weakened Duress effects and Dark Rituals, but then I like the fact that Misstep probably reduces the possibility of speed combo kills in the format overall. It keeps "Oops, No Lands," and Belcher type decks or just Storm 10 from winning on turn 1 alot of the time.

I also like the fact that Misstep counters pests like Deathrite Shaman, which would be so much more insanely powerful if Misstep were restricted. Same with Top, which is uber-time wasting and just an annoying card.

@trius The point I'm making is that people seem to think Mental Misstep is going to bring back decks like Control Slaver. It's not. The card, Goblin Welder, just isn't a good card in Vintage any more. Neither is Mana Drain. Imagine if Mental Misstep was legal in Legacy right now and you had a ton of people on the internet yelling "Unrestrict Mental Misstep so High Tide can be played again". It would be a bullcrap argument because we know that High Tide isn't good in the current Legacy with Mental Misstep banned.

As for unrestricting Fastbond, Mystical Tutor, Imperial Seal, Demonic Consultation, etc. Why? Would you unban them in Legacy? No, they would be degenerate cards that would lead to a miserable play experience. Legitimately the only reason to unrestrict them in Vintage is if you think they would see very little play, which, granted, is pretty likely with probably Imperial Seal. Still, it's hardly a pressing need and kind of misses a key point of the B&R list which is producing a format people want to play.

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

As an attorney, I love this idea. Well, the opposite.

Every card deserves the strongest, most vigorous advocacy. That’s the only way we know it really deserve to be restricted.

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@trius The point I'm making is that people seem to think Mental Misstep is going to bring back decks like Control Slaver. It's not. The card, Goblin Welder, just isn't a good card in Vintage any more. Neither is Mana Drain. Imagine if Mental Misstep was legal in Legacy right now and you had a ton of people on the internet yelling "Unrestrict Mental Misstep so High Tide can be played again". It would be a bullcrap argument because we know that High Tide isn't good in the current Legacy with Mental Misstep banned.

As for unrestricting Fastbond, Mystical Tutor, Imperial Seal, Demonic Consultation, etc. Why? Would you unban them in Legacy? No, they would be degenerate cards that would lead to a miserable play experience. Legitimately the only reason to unrestrict them in Vintage is if you think they would see very little play, which, granted, is pretty likely with probably Imperial Seal. Still, it's hardly a pressing need and kind of misses a key point of the B&R list which is producing a format people want to play.

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

Chubby, didn't you used to advocate restricting Mental Misstep? Sorry if I remember incorrectly. I agree with your assessment on Misstep now.

However, why wouldn't you want to unrestrict Fastbond and Imperial Seal (and perhaps Mystical Tutor as well. Demonic Consultation I don't think can be unrestricted)? Do you think they would be too degenerate, as you put it, in Vintage? I don't think comparing with Legacy has any merit.

last edited by Griselbrother

@aelien it's weird. Magicians spend mana to cast spells. Sometimes they resolve. As for Dark Ritual, it was around for 20 years before Misstep. Rituals still struggle vs. Spheres and the million hate permanents they've printed in the last 5. Thoughtseize resolving is also great, it can really help non Sphere non Blue decks soow down combo and even Shops (on the play at least).

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

And legacy has basically been portrayed as Brainstorm vs Chalice of the Void.

Restricting Mental Misstep is not going to make Blue decks less counterspells dependent or other decks less "lock based" (though ravager shops is pretty damn fast for a lock-based deck).

It will allow combo decks to more effectively combo and provide for less interactive games of magic.

And I'm sorry, if your deck folds to Mental Misstep, it's probably not a very good deck to begin with.

Yeah, besides you can just cram 4 Misstep in your deck that folds to Misstep. Problem solved.

The 1 mana cards you list aren't "good" cards only in comparison to Misstep because they cost mana. If Welder was Gutshot and Duress was 2 life they'd be playable.

last edited by nedleeds

@smmenen said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

As an attorney, I love this idea. Well, the opposite.

Every card deserves the strongest, most vigorous advocacy. That’s the only way we know it really deserve to be restricted.

Cards aren't people, Steve. There is no ethical imperative, no presumption of innocence.

FYI, I think this quotation was in reference to stoneforge mystic in Modern.

@griselbrother said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@trius The point I'm making is that people seem to think Mental Misstep is going to bring back decks like Control Slaver. It's not. The card, Goblin Welder, just isn't a good card in Vintage any more. Neither is Mana Drain. Imagine if Mental Misstep was legal in Legacy right now and you had a ton of people on the internet yelling "Unrestrict Mental Misstep so High Tide can be played again". It would be a bullcrap argument because we know that High Tide isn't good in the current Legacy with Mental Misstep banned.

As for unrestricting Fastbond, Mystical Tutor, Imperial Seal, Demonic Consultation, etc. Why? Would you unban them in Legacy? No, they would be degenerate cards that would lead to a miserable play experience. Legitimately the only reason to unrestrict them in Vintage is if you think they would see very little play, which, granted, is pretty likely with probably Imperial Seal. Still, it's hardly a pressing need and kind of misses a key point of the B&R list which is producing a format people want to play.

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

Chubby, didn't you used to advocate restricting Mental Misstep? Sorry if I remember incorrectly. I agree with your assessment on Misstep now.

However, why wouldn't you want to unrestrict Fastbond and Imperial Seal (and perhaps Mystical Tutor as well. Demonic Consultation I don't think can be unrestricted)? Do you think they would be too degenerate, as you put it, in Vintage? I don't think comparing with Legacy has any merit.

No. I have never, ever advocated for restricting Mental Misstep. I think it's a horrible idea and strongly feel that it creates more interactive game play in a format that is otherwise too dependent on the winner of the die roll.

@nedleeds said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

And legacy has basically been portrayed as Brainstorm vs Chalice of the Void.

Restricting Mental Misstep is not going to make Blue decks less counterspells dependent or other decks less "lock based" (though ravager shops is pretty damn fast for a lock-based deck).

It will allow combo decks to more effectively combo and provide for less interactive games of magic.

And I'm sorry, if your deck folds to Mental Misstep, it's probably not a very good deck to begin with.

Yeah, besides you can just cram 4 Misstep in your deck that folds to Misstep. Problem solved.

The 1 mana cards you list aren't "good" cards only in comparison to Misstep because they cost mana. If Welder was Gutshot and Duress was 2 life they'd be playable.

They aren't good in comparison to the rest of the format. Goblin Welder has lost efficacy against Shops with the printing of Revoker and Ballista. It has lost power with the decline of big artifact decks. It has lost resiliency with the rise of creature removal. It is too slow compared to the cantrip-delve engine. And graveyard removal has dramatically improved. Even duress has become a worse card because the format has become more creature centric.

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@smmenen said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

This point literally came up on the SCGTour in reference to Modern when I was watching it this past weekend:
"Not ever card on the banned list needs a defense attorney."

As an attorney, I love this idea. Well, the opposite.

Every card deserves the strongest, most vigorous advocacy. That’s the only way we know it really deserve to be restricted.

Cards aren't people, Steve. There is no ethical imperative, no presumption of innocence.

Presumption of innocence isn't a universal legal principle; it's a standard for criminal cases, and that isn't even true everywhere. Most legal cases in the United States are civil, and the usual standard in civil cases is prepronderance of the evidence.

I never said that there is an ethical imperative.

The point I was making is that a designated advocate, like an attorney, would make the best possible case for card, even against a mountain of opposition. That would help make sure that a card is deserving of restriction or banning, even if the grain of opinion is against it.

The point of zealous advocacy is to get to the truth, when contesting the weight of general opinion. General opinion, inflected by prejudice, is often wrong. Only a zealous advocate, like an attorney, can help make the best possible case and not risk social opprobrium, or go along to get along. Only when the best possible case is made, can a neutral body weight the merits.

The way that DCI has historically operated, like a committee, is not actually a good way to get to the truth. Juries get to truth, but only when presented with both sides of a case. The DCI committee-style approach is not a very good one for getting to truth. That's why academic journals use peer review, etc. There are actual standards for truth-seeking.

The point wasn't that the DCI hire attorneys as part of DCI debates. My point is that I like the idea that card's be given the strongest possible defense on their behalf, and that that is the only way we can be sure that a card truly merits that treatment, as opposed to meretricious treatment.

My broader point is that I like the sentiment, if not the operationalization, of the view that 'every card on the banned list needs a defense attorney,' or, to sharpen the analogy, a good appellate lawyer.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen But again, the truth isn't what matters. A fun, enjoyable format matters. Magic (and by extension, Vintage) is a game. And in my opinion, that is pretty dang close to what we have right now. Which is why I get pretty nervous when players start saying "unrestrict Channel" and "restrict Mental Misstep". They really don't seem to be considering the fact that Magic is a game and both players should be participants into the equation.

@chubbyrain said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

@smmenen But again, the truth isn't what matters. A fun, enjoyable format matters. Magic (and by extension, Vintage) is a game. And in my opinion, that is pretty dang close to what we have right now. Which is why I get pretty nervous when players start saying "unrestrict Channel" and "restrict Mental Misstep". They really don't seem to be considering the fact that Magic is a game and both players should be participants into the equation.

Oh, the old “magic is just a game” trope.

The NFL is just a game.

Major-league baseball is just a game.

The NBA is just a game.

The Olympics are just a game.

These are way more than just games. And so is magic. Magic is a hundred million dollar product for Hasbro.

This isn’t trivial pursuit or monopoly. This is a game the players invest heavy parts of their incomes & lives into. It’s a platform for community and identity.

The management of the formats matters. It makes a difference in peoples lives.

I happen to agree with you on mental misstep. But it’s galling to trivialize DCI policy by reducing it to “a game.”

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen Oh, for Pete's sake...I never even implied that crap.

Go into politics. Or Fox News commentary. The level of spin here is absurd.

Games matter. I never said they didn't and I wouldn't be on this board talking to you if they didn't.

Are you going to behave like an adult and have a conversation? Or are we done here?

It wasn’t implied; it was explicit. You trotted it out the “it’s a game” trope as a way of diminishing the gravity of what I was talking about.

And when I expressed my sympathies for the underlying idea, you spun that by saying “there’s no presumption of innocence.” Which isn’t even a universal legal standard, And frankly had nothing to do with what we were talking about.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen No, I wasn't. I was making my point. Allow me to be explicit.

"Fun should (and does) matter in banned and restriction decisions in vintage and in other formats. I wish vintage players would be more cognizant of that when they are discussing potential decisions."

The implication that games don't matter is false. The implication that rules shouldn't take into account fun is false. Running down your list:

  • The NFL has changed several rules over the past decade to favor the offense and favor higher scoring games.
  • Major league baseball implemented a pitch clock to speed up pace of game.
  • The NBA adjusted the shot clock after offensive rebound to 14 seconds this year.

These are changes made almost entirely for entertainment purposes.

Edit: But it was clear from context that wasn't the meaning of what I wrote....

last edited by Guest

I never said nor implied that B&R policymaking shouldn’t take account of “fun.” In fact, I said the opposite over and over again. So you’re arguing against the strawman.

Zealous advocacy on behalf of a card is not inconsistent with a case based on fun. One role for a hypothetical “restricted list appellate advocate” would be to show how such cards make games & formats more fun.

As I said:

Every card deserves the strongest, most vigorous advocacy. That’s the only way we know it really deserve to be restricted.

last edited by Smmenen
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