August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/august-26-2019-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2019-08-26?t

Vintage:

Karn, the Great Creator is restricted.
Mystic Forge is restricted.
Mental Misstep is restricted.
Golgari Grave-Troll is restricted.
Fastbond is unrestricted.

War of the Spark, Modern Horizons, and Core Set 2020 have been among the most impactful sets for Vintage in years. We've been watching and listening to the evolution of Vintage over the last several months as the metagame has begun to settle. Now that the London mulligan is official and we've had some time to review data and tournament results, we'd like to take action to resolve some problematic play patterns.

Though our data shows that Vintage is in a good state of balance from an objective standpoint, with nearly all the Top 10 decks having a 47–53% overall win rate, we've heard community concerns about an increase in turn-one/two effective wins and less interactive gameplay. We agree and would like to move the format back to a place the community is happy with, even taking multiple steps over time if needed.

Recently, Karn, the Great Creator and Mystic Forge have turbo-charged Shops decks by giving them more early-game lockout potential (through Karn's static ability), a tutorable win condition (through Karn's -2 loyalty ability fetching Time Vault and Voltaic Key or Manifold Key), and card advantage in prolonged games (especially through Mystic Forge). Relating to Karn's static ability, Vintage is the one format in Magic where players can enjoy playing with super powerful artifact mana like the Moxen, Sol Ring, and Black Lotus. We'd like to reduce the number of games that immediately come down to an early Karn preventing the opponent from casting spells.

Therefore, in order to make Shops decks more interactive in the early game and more attackable in a prolonged game, we are restricting Karn, the Great Creator and Mystic Forge. We considered the further step of restricting Sphere of Resistance, but prefer to take this smaller step first and reevaluate based on data and community feedback.

Dredge decks based around Bazaar of Baghdad have become more powerful with the London mulligan and some recent card additions, such as Force of Vigor as a means of fighting opposing graveyard hate. In order to slow these decks down and provide more time for interaction, we are restricting Golgari Grave-Troll.

Mental Misstep has been a controversial card among the Vintage community for years. While it does provide more opportunity for interaction, it is also at its strongest against the most interactive decks. Moreover, a large part of the reason for including Mental Misstep is to fight an opponent's Mental Missteps. This creates a situation where many decks are "taxed" deck slots they must devote to fighting each other at the expense of weakening themselves against Shops. In addition, Dredge decks often use Mental Misstep to protect their graveyard engine or disrupt opponents. We believe that restricting Mental Misstep will open up more deck-building diversity, strengthen interactive decks' matchups against Shops, and weaken Dredge.

Since our philosophy is that Vintage should be about playing with access to all of Magic, we periodically re-examine the restricted list for cards that can create new decks and play patterns, even if they come with some risk. Recently, many players have suggested Fastbond as a card they would enjoy building with four copies of. Since most Vintage decks rely heavily on artifact mana and play fewer lands, chances are that a deck built around Fastbond would look quite different from anything in the current metagame. Other cards we've discussed unrestricting in the future are Windfall and Necropotence.

We're very interested in what the Vintage community thinks of these changes and whether further steps are needed. There will be one more opportunity to change the B&R list before Eternal Weekend North America, and we are willing to do so, so please continue to make yourselves heard in the same ways you have been.

Next B&R Announcement: October 7, 2019

last edited by thecravenone

Wow, amazing. Not gonna weigh in on whether these are the right ones or not but I'm glad they're paying attention (and I like Fastbond).

@thecravenone said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

We considered the further step of restricting Sphere of Resistance, but prefer to take this smaller step first and reevaluate based on data and community feedback.

Anything to avoid restricting Workshop lol

I think it is funny that most of the decks playing karn and forge weren't playing sphere. Also, the second to last paragraph, they were talking about bring back necro 4x! I am excited.

Who wants to help me brew fastbond high tide?

Karn and Forge are expected and reasonable adjustments, but it’s the Misstep restriction that will shake Vintage to its core. Really interested to see how the metagame reacts.

The restriction swap of Fastbond and Mental Misstep has me excited for a competitive Lands build that is more RGx control-combo versus the recent crop of BGx combo-control. It was fringe in the past, but this exact configuration of changes (slowing down the format, adding tools, removing incidental hate) is precisely what the deck needs if it's going to make it.

Seeing 4x Necro being a consideration makes me so happy. I hope it follows soon, nothing would please me more.

last edited by Hrishi

@mike-noble LANDS LANDS LANDS LANDS LANDS LANDS LAAAAANNNNNDDDSS!!!!! LETS GO!!!!! 😬😬😬😬😬😬

Iam so incredibly hyped for this new format

Restricting MM makes me a really happy camper, I'm just not sure why yet.

What are the bigger winners and losers in this BR, deckwise? My thoughts:

Winners:
Shops - I think shops get a lot more mileage out of a format without Karn than the benefit it gained from it. It still gets to use 1 more Forge than it had 3 months ago, so overall I think that deck is still way too good.
Brewers - Fastbond is going to be a deck in and of its own for sure. Im just not sure what it will look like. My guess is some 5cc Crucible Lands infinte combo (hello zuran orb) but maybe high tide.
Blood Moon/Null rod/hate bears - I just think the field flattened out enough that these decks get better. Way less likely to get blown out turn 1 by a god hand in pitch dredge or shops, though if a really good fastbond brew comes up it could be trouble.

Losers:
Dredge and variants - Obviously
Paradoxical outcome - I get the feeling fastbond may take its vitual space up. Time will tell.

Shops pillar taking one in the nuggets. If PO comes back, doubly so as now it has no defenses against it.

Pessimistically, I am foreseeing the Shops pillar fall into tier 2 for the first time in a long time. I am hoping to be wrong but I am honestly expecting this to be a great time for blue (and green) mages.

@protoaddict not sure how big a loser PO is. Cast diving tops without fear of misstep, fastbond is a PO target and provides a ton of value if you hit gluts of land off that first PO. I've seen more than a few PO streamers fizzle when they could have gone on if extra land drops were available on a given turn.

@cutlex I just expect shops to go back to Aggro again. Maybe even with tech like Skullclamp

@cutlex said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

Shops pillar taking one in the nuggets. If PO comes back, doubly so as now it has no defenses against it.

Pessimistically, I am foreseeing the Shops pillar fall into tier 2 for the first time in a long time. I am hoping to be wrong but I am honestly expecting this to be a great time for blue (and green) mages.

Rewind your clock like 6 months and try to remember shops without those 2 cards. Basically the dominant force in the format. Shops was like tier 1 before it got those 2 cards and they put it firmly into tier 0.

@aelien @cutlex Yeah, pre-WAR Ravager Shops lost zero cards. The deck will probably look like 74/75 cards from those decklists with a +R Mystic Forge added for value.

I'm always happy to see changes in the format. Very excited about this. I wonder if restricting both Karn and Forge was the right call - I could see restricting Karn first and waiting for Forge - but whatever, that's cool.
Time to take those Fastbonds and Goblin Welders and Skullclamps out of the trade binder.

@fsecco said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I'm always happy to see changes in the format. Very excited about this. I wonder if restricting both Karn and Forge was the right call - I could see restricting Karn first and waiting for Forge - but whatever, that's cool.
Time to take those Fastbonds and Goblin Welders and Skullclamps out of the trade binder.

I think Forge was by far the more problematic of the 2 cards to be honest.

@protoaddict said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@fsecco said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I'm always happy to see changes in the format. Very excited about this. I wonder if restricting both Karn and Forge was the right call - I could see restricting Karn first and waiting for Forge - but whatever, that's cool.
Time to take those Fastbonds and Goblin Welders and Skullclamps out of the trade binder.

I think Forge was by far the more problematic of the 2 cards to be honest.

It probably was, but I'd like to see what a Forge deck looks like without Karn to seal things off. For me it was Karn that impeded most counterplay against the deck, while also being Time Vault #2 to #5.

last edited by fsecco

We have so many draw 7s now available to us, I wonder if a fastbond storm deck will come out of the woodwork. I'm excited to try something out. Also, having fastbond unrestricted, does this drive the final nail of gush ever getting back off the list? Interesting things to look forward too

@protoaddict @Mike-Noble And somehow this tier 0 deck became incapable of winning anything. Now remove those cards and keep the reasons the deck was doing badly. I hope to be wrong but I do not expect good things for the robots.

@Aelien I definitely agree with this. Lists will be time warped back six months, -2 worst cards +1 KGC +1 Forge. We will see how that gets treated in this new era of Vigors and Oofs.

last edited by cutlex
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