Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R

Power level bans and partial restrictions go away from the general concept that the format has been running on for the last 20+ years. These aren't really practical solutions. Mass restrictions, or unrestrictions do stay in line with format in a sense.

Restricting Bazaar, Workshop, Island-Subtype likely also won't happen. These are too important to what the format is currently, and would cause too much of a shake-up.

Printing cards won't happen, at least not to the benefit of the format. Most printings make parts of the format worse. The only major printings I can recall that were good for the format were Dack Fayden, and Dredge/Oath hate. The key here is that these are high level hate pieces that curtail certain strategies. They've kind of done away with really great anti-Blue hate (mostly just like 3 mana hate bears), but we could certainly use cards that fall under that umbrella. I highly doubt printing Mini-Bazaar that taps for mana, or Ugin's Temple Artifact Variety would be good for the format, even if they were printed.

All this said, Brian brings up a discussion on things that haven't been the current trajectory. Perhaps that is a "new format", but to him this is still Vintage. To many of us, dramatic changes could be made and the format would be still be Vintage. This current iteration of Vintage is certainly not the Vintage that I grew up playing, where I played my restricted Mind over Matter. In a few years, we will have yet another iteration of Vintage as new cards get printed and more restrictions probably do occur at some point.

@dshin said in Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R:

By having more room for sideboard, there is more opportunity for innovative transformation strategies, and more space to pack specific answers to threats. These things should ultimately leads to more skillful games.

Vintage is a doomed format if you draw the time line out long enough. Where as something like standard that rotates can reuse cards ad nasuem and create new, unique pools to pull from all the time, there will come a point in vintage where the restricted list will no longer work to balance the format because we will hit a critical mass of mistake cards.

It has been speculated that eventually most decks could be 75 unique restricted cards, because that is how good some of the cards will be. The printing of treasure cruise, DDT, and Monastery mentor have shown that WOTC makes mistakes / Does not power check against vintage, so we can expect more of them with some regularity.

Using TC as an example, there was a time where having 1 ancestral recall in the format was the standard. They are unique cards to be sure, with pros and cons for both, but the reality is you now have 2 physical copies of a draw 3 card for U and it fundamentally changed the format, even with a restriction. How long before we get another time walk variant that proves a bit too good, or an innocuous cantrip that suddenly interacts with something only vintage players use. Wotc is intent on printing Mox variants every few years, so it may not be long until we see another one that is on par with something like Opal.

So at some point in the future, and I do not know when that would be, the format will degenerate enough that just the restricted list will not cover it and you have to start taking radical actions. Banning is the simplest one, but that often just serves to preserve the status quo because they typically only ban the new cards. Increasing deck size or reducing max copies becomes another option just to force more variance into decks to reduce the occurrence of broken plays, which is the opposite of what the new mulligan rule is attempting to do.

@Protoaddct

Paper Vintage is a doomed format because of the Reserved List and the price of the cards. This establishes a barrier to both entry and exit with a resultant inertia in the player base. When the cards are accessible, you have an influx of players who enjoy the format and an efflux of players who don't enjoy the format. Even if the format hypothetically becomes several decks of 75 restricted cards, you will still have players that enjoy the format. It would be EDH (which isn't exactly a fringe format) with Power and I'm sure Brian Kelly and I would love to pit Dromoka vs. Silumgar in an epic sh0wdown. Thinking that a partial or completely Highlander format is unviable ignores reality.

@chubbyrain said in Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R:

@Protoaddct
Paper Vintage is a doomed format because of the Reserved List and the price of the cards. This establishes a barrier to both entry and exit with a resultant inertia in the player base. When the cards are accessible, you have an influx of players who enjoy the format and an efflux of players who don't enjoy the format. Even if the format hypothetically becomes several decks of 75 restricted cards, you will still have players that enjoy the format. It would be EDH (which isn't exactly a fringe format) with Power and I'm sure Brian Kelly and I would love to pit Dromoka vs. Silumgar in an epic sh0wdown. Thinking that a partial or completely Highlander format is unviable ignores reality.

I would 100% be an advocate of a singleton vintage format, don't get me wrong. I think it would inherently be far more balanced than what we have now quite frankly, but it would be a radically different format. That is my point though, that some variant of the second law of thermodynamics seems to apply here in that the format will forever trend towards a state of decay until it by design or by default is something unrecognizable to what it is now.

@protoaddct Change and decay aren't they same thing. The format has changed considerably and that's what this thread is about. I think a lot of people disagree on whether that entails a death spiral. I for one don't think that's the case - I just think the format is more aggro/combo/tempo focused and control/prison players dislike that. The format is now Modern with Power rather than the only place you could really play draw/go or prison style control decks. Part of me is sad to see that go, but most of me recognizes it as inevitable. That's how Wizards is designing cards now and unless you bar new cards from the format, you will get pressure towards that end of the spectrum.

To be honest, I've had a problem with this slippery slope argument for some time. I think it assumes that cards are restricted because of intrinsic properties and not metagame/deck/interactivity qualities. Do you think more restricted cards are being played now? Outside of PO, most decks aren't exactly filling out their decks with a ton of restricted cards. I remember it took years to get players to stop jamming Fastbond in every Gush deck that could cast it. Same with full Moxen, Will, Mystical/Vamp Tutor, etc. I've even been cutting Library recently for Wasteland in my Blue Tempo decks, because of this strategic orientation shift. I think there's a lot more that goes into restriction than just picking the best cards and restricting them, so this hypothetical state seems improbable to me.

I think that every restriction has its own wrinkle to it, and that some of them function as a psudeo ban and some of them are true restrictions. I also think that card use from the restricted list will likely ebb and flow with changes but overall trend upwards over time.

As for cards being restricted for intrinsic properties vs Metagame, I'm not sure you can say it is either or both. Gush has been on and off the list multiple times. Was that a meta game adjustment or is the card inherently just that damn good? Is chalice somehow more good now that it was before, or was it's restriction just an oversight/overdue?

WOTC is clearly reacting and adjusting to the state of things as they are with most restrictions, as opposed to trying to be predictive and cut off issues before they come up, so I believe the metagame metric is what they are most leaning on, but they have flat out said that this is not a purely data driven descision as they are trying to not affect the "pillars" as it were. I just happen to fundamentally disagree with the concept of a pillar being out of bounds for restriction, as a pillar can be restricted and still be viable, as dredge and shops are more the sum of their parts than any one card.

Singleton Is alwais the solution 😇 😇

I agree with most of the points that @ChubbyRain has made. The barrier of costs in the format is limiting the format. Either the power that is restricted will eventually banned due to availability. Or those cards will be reprinted.

The idea of a singleton format just rings hollow to me. There are fast Modern decks that can compete against those. Vintage decks should just beat all other formats.

last edited by moorebrother1

If they are not willing to restrict Workshops and Bazaar why would you think they would ever ban cards that are limiting to the format like Lotus of Moxen? And we know they will not reprint them for legal reasons.

You may not like the idea of 3 of or singleton, but it is at least an option at this point where are where as the 2 you have laid out have been long dismissed by WOTC.

I read though as much of the comments as I could in a reasonable amount of time. I think you did a great job articulating your position Brian.

My focus in this post is not to state my agreement or disagreement with anyone's position, but instead I would like to make some personal observations concerning the format's management and what I would like to see change.

As someone who has played Vintage off and on over a long period of time I have had the chance to see cards come and go. Some things that remained consistent over this time was widespread player complaints and the length of time before action was taken. The length of time before action is taken against certain well known strategies can last years. Myself and many others have quit multiple times for the same reason before action is finally taken.

After more than a decade of waiting for results that are slow to come I have started looking for goals or strategies in managing the format. My opinion is that cards are being printed for most archetypes that allow for an easy to obtain line of play that is very dominant. I believe the goal is to allow new players to cast spells and win easily more often in hopes of attracting more players. If that were the case the intention is good, but just as difficult to tolerate than not restricting cards that were a problem before these newer printings.

As a long term Vintage player I enjoy playing many archetypes. Although I play a certain archetype more often than others I wouldn't care if they restricted the main cards and made it unplayable. I would just play something else and be just as happy. I guess you could say that my goal would be to take action faster. I don't want to go into my personal preferences, but just that some action is taken to address an issue soon after it is identified. I don't even care if the wrong action is taken as long as actions are being taken to improve game play in a timely manner. A competitive game with constant new additions should naturally require constant attention.

Something else I have noticed in long lasting competitive games is the desire for both sides to have the same chance of winning. While this can't be achieved to perfection the paper, rock, scissors effect can be mitigated. I feel that sculpting the format so archetypes are rather evenly matched would create more fun, therefore attracting more players.

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