Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R

@garbageaggro said in Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R:
The thing i have actually heard most in playing magic for 20+ years is "counterspells aren't fun"

This is the most common argument of new players, because they don't want their 19 mana Big Dumb Creature to be Cancelled.

BUT... in reality, People don't like NOT playing Magic. New players feel that getting their stuff countered is not allowing them to play Magic, but tournament players know that this isn't necessarily true. However, Workshops are designed to LITERALLY have a player not play Magic, which is why I feel most people historically have been frustrated with the archetype. And people have that feeling of Dredge as well, but this is mostly because the Game 1 is so much slanted in the favor of Braindead 2/2s.

@brianpk80 said in Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R:

It might still be a very popular and played card without Bazaar, but in all the cases I can think of, investing something (greater than {0}) to get Hollow One into play is fine; after all we can cheat all sorts of things into play at relatively low cost. Bazaar of Baghdad is the problem, and would be easily restrictable if not for its iconic status implied by the Forsythe tweet, it would be removable. Since it isn't, all we have left are mitigating measures.

I think that is a false metric. First of all you are investing psudeo-mana into Hollow one because Bazaar costs you your land drop. Every time you tap a bazaar it could have been a mana and. Likewise if you use hollow one it in a survival chain the return on investment is likely much greater than the bazaar activation because of all the things the chained creatures can do.

I'm not saying that burining inquiry will ever see play in vintage (mostly because of MM), but you can easily come up with match ups and situations where it becomes far more powerful an activation than Bazaar both because of what you can do off it as well as what your opponent can do off it, and well worth the 1 mana investment.

My point is that in the case of hollow one we don't know how powerful a card it truly may be without Bazaar because the format is so restrictive because of MM and shops/spheres. All we know is that Bazaar is one of the most powerful unrestricted cards in the format.

Mind you, I am 100% for the restriction of Bazaar.

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

Mind you, I am 100% for the restriction of Bazaar.

Are you predominantly an online player?

Not sure that matters but no, I only ever play physical cards for vintage. I have pretty much been in the camp that has wanted to see a restriction of Bazaar, Workshops, and Misstep for some time now. I want them restricted not only for power levels and as a remedy for stagnation, but in the case of the lands for availability levels to at least try and open up the format, either by lowering the bar of entry price wise or enabling new decks to grow in tier like Eldrazi.

I am totally ok with a radical change to the format, be it a bunch of restrictions, 3 of a kind over 4, whatever. My line in the sand is banning cards that do not break fundamental game rules. Bazaar/Workshops/MonMentor is not Ante, Physical interaction, or a draft format card, so I see no reason to ban them. The restricted list in my eyes is one of the formats defining features.

@protoaddct I find the argument that restrictions are needed to shake up the format to be a false choice. If you want different decks then build different decks.

I have been brewing like crazy lately and the format is much more open than you would believe. If you just play main deck Leyline of the Void or explore Cavern of Souls, you will see that there is room for innovation.

There is a fear for some reason in losing especially in large events. I see brave players like @nedleeds and @brianpk80 take risks.

If the only point of this is to open up the format then you have lost a lot of players. If the point is to change how the format is viewed and break certain play patterns then you have a wide audience.

@moorebrother1 said in Quality of Experience - An Alternate Take on B&R:

I have been brewing like crazy lately and the format is much more open than you would believe. If you just play main deck Leyline of the Void or explore Cavern of Souls, you will see that there is room for innovation.

So the format is wide open so long as you play along these narrow lines?

You want an open format look at Modern. Phoenix is in a bit of a high spot right now but look back at it pre-phoenix and that format literally has 10's if not 100's of viable builds that do not have overlapping cards. There are entire lists like living end that use cards that no other deck would even dream of, and virtually any known archetype has a viable list. These decks are not variations on a theme, its not Jund and then Jund splash blue, they are totally unique lists. The fact that the format is so open actually breeds more viable lists because you cannot fine tune your lists against the meta with specific cards like we do in vintage.

Vintage has the largest card pool in all of magic and one of the narrowest lists of viable decks available. Even decks that are considered spoiler/fun police lists in every other format (burn) are not even viable in this format because they cannot utilize the few most powerful cards in the game. I'm not saying that every deck has to be viable tier 1-2 lists but virtually any list that isn't established right now and cannot run some sort of power is barely fun tier and some are so non viable they are not fun for either player. Many decks get pushed out of being even remotely playable because of the splash hate for other lists.

Restrictions fix that, they have historically been used to fix that, and should be used. Right now there is a small oligopoly of tier one decks that push 99% of the viable decks and cards in the format right out of contention, and that is a problem.

Also, totally just speculation, but what If Wotc uses the Modern Horizion set or some other off standard set to print much worse legendary versions of workshops and bazaar and then restricts them in vintage. Would that soften the blow to people if they made a legendary workshop that only made 2 mana and a legendary Bazaar that was draw 1 discard 2?

Maybe not viable because of Modern but still.

@protoaddct I thought of something very similar, only with no legendary rule (could be used as a path to restrict Workshop and Bazaar without really busting up the deck. That way the entry for those decks would also be substantially more affordable). They could release "Vintage Horizons" and make something like:

Urza's Workshop:

Tap to add 2 colorless. Use this mana only to cast or activate artifact spells and abilities.


Yardsale of Yemen

Tap to add 1 colorless OR tap to draw a card and discard two cards

last edited by themonadnomad

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

Not sure that matters but no,

It does not matter in the least for validity of argument. These are of course all opinions and we all have our reasons for wanting certain restrictions or unrestrictions. The question was purely out of curiosity to see if there is any sharp divide in thought between the paper community and the online community.

@khahan from what I have gathered the paper community is similar to the Old School community. There is a blend of people who are spiky and spicy. I usually see more “original”deck building in paper. This is a vast generalization I know and someone will flame me out (like
I really care)

I see more people play tier 1 decks and the “best” decks online. There are of course exceptions and people have different difinitions of brew and original so this is all very subjective with nothing to back it up, so no one should care.

The reason for this split is the cost of entry and the number of events. If there were paper events like modern does it. Weekly, and large events pretty much every week or every other week you tend to see more decks. People get sick of losing to the same crap and playing against the same crap.

Online is different. There are so many reasons why but it is just different and in the leagues and challenges you are incentivized to get at least 3 wins to get back your entry. This, in my opinion, distorts the meta-game.

last edited by moorebrother1

You know, while I have some very different views on the restricted list than @brianpk80 and quite a few others, watching this conversation unfold (on both sides) is pretty painful and annoying to me so I decided to leave this here (written beautifully by the one and only @Smmenen):

The purpose of the Banned and Restricted List is clear: to promote the health of the format and keep Vintage fun. Since everyone has their own idea about what makes Magic (and Vintage) fun the DCI has a tough job.

As someone on themanadrain.com said:

I'm sure we all have opinions on the B/R list but it always boils down to opinion and is nearly as painful as discussing politics with in-laws.

He’s right. Everyone has a different opinion because different people have a different conception of fun. ‘Fun’ is inherently subjective. Vintage players universally enjoy playing with all of their cards including those older broken cards but there is little agreement beyond that. How can the DCI choose among different conceptions of fun in a principled way? That’s exactly why the standard for managing the restricted list should be objective rather than the varying and diverse opinions of players.

I suggested changing the per-deck-limit for Mishra's Workshop to 2 or 3, but it seems this suggestion is not really being taken seriously. I suspect the reason for this is the same reason that the DCI used for maintaining a single B/R list for both Type 1 and Type 1.5 in the past: fear of administrative complexity. I can understand that having a max-1-of list, a max-2-of list, and a max-3-of list, rather than just a single restricted list, seems scary.

As long as we are thinking outside the box, another solution to achieve a similar end is to change the parameters of the game for Vintage. @Smmenen has argued elsewhere that it's not unreasonable for different formats to have different mulligan rules. So why not change the 60-15-7 parameterization of the game for Vintage? (60 cards maindeck, 15 cards sideboard, 7 cards starting hand)

It would be an incredible coincidence if 60-15-7 turns out to be the parameterization that optimizes quality of experience for Vintage. The optimal parameterization is probably something else.

Maybe 80-25-7 would work better for the format. It would drop the Mishra's Workshop % to 4/80 = 5%, which matches what my max-3 proposal would achieve, which is why I say this would be another solution to achieve a similar end.

Rather than blue decks having something like 54 core cards with only room for innovation on the remaining 60-54=6, we might have room for innovation on 80-54=26 cards, leading to more diversity.

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.

@brianpk80 feels that 1/60 = 1.66...% is too high a density for Monastery Mentor in a deck, and thus suggests banning it. My suggestion would lower the maximum Monastery Mentor density to 1/80 = 1.25%, which is a meaningful decrease.

Philosophically, as long as the card pool keeps growing, I think an increase beyond 60 must be made at some point. Preordain, Ponder, Brainstorm...more cards like this will inevitable come, and at some point, years from now, even if every one mana cantrip is restricted, you'd be able to pack 30 of them in one deck if you really wanted. A format like Modern is always culling the card pool and so will never face the same kind of pressure to alter its game parameterization.

If you are changing the parameters of the format, you aren’t playing the format anymore. You are creating a new format.

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 😇 😇

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