SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019)

I really appreciate your commitment to good, consumable material and the community all these years. Thank you for these articles Smmenen.

Good stuff. I think the quality of games would improve further if we restrict Narset and Karn, in addition to the proposed changes. Narset is boring to play against. Karn is boring to play, and play against.

I remember seeing Sharazad in an old school list and wondering why it's still banned in vintage, when there are so many other cards in the format that require a long time to do their thing. Chaos Orb, using Eternal Central rules, would also be unbanned if it were up to me.

last edited by Horvath

There's a lot of discussion of Dredge here. What do you think is the metagame % that merits some sort of targeted B&R action? Is it a different level of play from other decks, like Xerox or Shops?

Why not flash unrestriction?

@ajfirecracker said in SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019):

There's a lot of discussion of Dredge here. What do you think is the metagame % that merits some sort of targeted B&R action? Is it a different level of play from other decks, like Xerox or Shops?

I would hold all decks to the same, uniform standard, vis-a-vis dominance, as described in this article.

Dredge's projected percent of Top 8s for August Vintage Challenges is just 12.5%. It's got one appearance per top 8 in the last three weeks.

@smmenen

Your analysis of Mystic Forge Seems catered to those who believe there is a problem with the glass cannon Karn deck.

I’m not convinced there is a problem with the deck (since it isn’t good), and so I don’t follow your argument that it should be restricted. Usually you back up your positions with evidence (data), but there just isn’t any to support the restriction of Mystic Forge. You say it’s too easy to cast and then reliably play out your deck, but in my experience playing with and against the deck, typically Mystic Forge nets a card or two and then is destroyed anyway. Of course you could have a broken hand with Defense Grid and cost reducers, but that’s Vintage and that guy playing all that stuff just isn’t winning the tournament. (instead he is complaining on Facebook about Karn mirrors and how Karn should be restricted)

last edited by desolutionist

The article is interesting in that it kind of provoked thoughts out how you think the B&R list should be managed. I’m just not sure that I agree.

The minimalist approach has a problem in that it’s really only band-aiding much larger wounds and then every set with decent printings, like Karn/Forge or TC/Dig, ends up with a few bad months of Vintage followed by a restriction. This ultimately completely defeats the purpose of having an eternal format. Not only can you not really play your deck from 5+ years ago, you often can’t really even play your deck from like 3 months ago (due to frequent printing/restrictions).

I think there is probably a middle ground between your minimalist and mine/Brian’s scorch earth that was elaborated on a couple months ago that would probably be best for the community. That might mean letting go of a couple of “pillars” to give the house some more space.

@babau Flash Unrestriction would make the format EVEN WORSE than it is now. I don't want to play against turn 1 Bargain into Omniscience every single game via Flash - Rector.

Flash is at least 3x as dangerous now as it was back in the Protean Hulk days.

Difference to play against pitch dredge?

@13nova said in SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019):

@babau Flash Unrestriction would make the format EVEN WORSE than it is now. I don't want to play against turn 1 Bargain into Omniscience every single game via Flash - Rector.

Flash is at least 3x as dangerous now as it was back in the Protean Hulk days.

Flash with London Mulligan sounds like Roshambo.

@vaughnbros said in SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019):

The article is interesting in that it kind of provoked thoughts out how you think the B&R list should be managed. I’m just not sure that I agree.

The minimalist approach has a problem in that it’s really only band-aiding much larger wounds and then every set with decent printings, like Karn/Forge or TC/Dig, ends up with a few bad months of Vintage followed by a restriction. This ultimately completely defeats the purpose of having an eternal format. Not only can you not really play your deck from 5+ years ago, you often can’t really even play your deck from like 3 months ago (due to frequent printing/restrictions).

I think there is probably a middle ground between your minimalist and mine/Brian’s scorch earth that was elaborated on a couple months ago that would probably be best for the community. That might mean letting go of a couple of “pillars” to give the house some more space.

The minimalist approach was never going to work if Magic just kept on living and producing 3-5 sets a year. It's the nature of a non-rotating format with a singleton list. Eventually Vintage will have infinite restricted cards given infinite new printings.

@nedleeds

Yes, that is my point. We’ve now seen the minimalist approach in practice on the Vintage meta for years now too, and the results have been pretty hit or miss. It was ok when we have had long gaps between strong sets. Those gaps are disappearing with a number of cards being printed directly into Eternal, and skipping standard.

Restricting every decent artifact that costs 4 or less, and restricting every decent blue draw spell that costs 2 or less is forming a very long, and now starting to be ineffective list.

@vaughnbros said in SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019):

The article is interesting in that it kind of provoked thoughts out how you think the B&R list should be managed. I’m just not sure that I agree.

The minimalist approach has a problem in that it’s really only band-aiding much larger wounds and then every set with decent printings, like Karn/Forge or TC/Dig, ends up with a few bad months of Vintage followed by a restriction. This ultimately completely defeats the purpose of having an eternal format. Not only can you not really play your deck from 5+ years ago, you often can’t really even play your deck from like 3 months ago (due to frequent printing/restrictions).

I think there is probably a middle ground between your minimalist and mine/Brian’s scorch earth that was elaborated on a couple months ago that would probably be best for the community. That might mean letting go of a couple of “pillars” to give the house some more space.

I don’t consider my approach “minimalist,” and not sure why you do either. Labels aren’t reality.

Here is my take on every restriction ever, and what should have happened. Pay close attention to 1999, as it illustrates my approach best by contrast to what happened: https://www.eternalcentral.com/history-of-vintage-schools-of-magic-an-alternative-history-of-the-banned-and-restricted-list/

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen

Most time points, you were advocating for fewer restrictions than actually occurred and that usually seems to be your stance in debates here. I don’t think it really serves much to argue semantics though. I was simply using the phrases “minimalist” and “scorched earth” to emphasize the wide difference between our point of views.

I don’t recall seeing your preferred restrictions so it’s hard to know exactly how much daylight there is between our views.

@smmenen

I’ve written posts before, but my suggestions would be to hit the “manabases” of every major deck:

Restrict Island-Type Duals (potentially Island Fetch lands as well)
Restrict Ancient Tomb (potentially workshop as well)
Restrict Narcomoeba (potentially powder as well)

A number of cards could potentially be removed from the restricted list at that point if you go with the one in parathenses as well, like Gush and Lodestone.

This achieves both “minimalist” as in a short list and creates diversity by forcing all the top decks to re-imagine themselves to some degree.

That's crazy town. Those suggestions are so far outside the mainstream paradigm that I'm not sure you can even have a common-basis conversation about B&R policy with most people. I don't even know what your goals or objectives are, and can't even guess.

@smmenen

What’s crazy is restricting Mystic Forge and expecting to have any lasting impact. You are band-aiding the real problem in that Vintage manabases are too consistently powerful.

Workshops can consistently drop a 4 CC spell on turn 1/2. Dredge can consistently mulligan to a single card and then hit creatures on its first dredge. Blue can consistently fix a 3 or 4 color manabase with basics. These break fundamental balancing rules that cards are printed with in mind now as none of these mechanics are returning.

What will be printed is another Mystic Forge.

@vaughnbros said in SMIP: My Suggested B&R List (2019):

@smmenen

What’s crazy is restricting Mystic Forge and expecting to have any lasting impact. You are band-aiding the real problem in that Vintage manabases are too consistently powerful.

Workshops can consistently drop a 4 CC spell on turn 1/2. Dredge can consistently mulligan to a single card and then hit creatures on its first dredge. Blue can consistently fix a 3 or 4 color manabase with basics. These break fundamental balancing rules that cards are printed with in mind now as none of these mechanics are returning.

What will be printed is another Mystic Forge.

While you’ve provided an explanation, your reasoning is going in so many directions I can’t even follow your logic.

1.) Why would you restrict Narcomoeba? Your primary argument is restricting mana bases.

2.) I am confused by “blue can consistently fix a 3 or 4 color mana base...” If I assume you mean decks that are built primarily using blue cards, I still don’t understand your explanation. Every deck can utilize mana fixing/fetching if needed. If you are specifically mentioning blue because of the powerful blue cards that have been printed, that’s why we have a restricted list. If your original argument is that the restricted list is a band-aid and the mana bases are the real problem, then would it be fine if WOTC printed another Ancestral Recall or Demonic Tutor with restricted dual lands?

3.) That last point bring me to my final area of confusion: to which fundamental balancing rules are you referring?

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