August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

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

@fsecco I don't think you are providing as compelling of an argument as you think you are by comparing Mishra's Workshop to a bunch of restricted cards then saying it shouldn't be unrestricted.

You're missing the point. A blue deck will play with a bunch of tempo-advantageous cards. The fact they're restricted is not the point. For example: if you play with Ancestral, Time Walk, Tinker and FoW, you already have 7 tempo boosting cards in your deck. Workshop just helps brown decks have that tempo consistency. Once you take that out, it becomes very difficult for anything that isn't blue to overcome that amount of tempo gain. That's why I think Shops are crucial for the format and not even comparable with Lotus or whatever.

As I said, Bazaar I think is something else. Although I agree with @Smmenen that it never had results to warrant restriction, I believe it's because you have to dedicate hate towards it. The CA Bazaar generates in unsurmountable in any aspect. Steven himself once theorised that one way to evaluate a card's power is to count how many zone changes it provides (for example, Ancestral Recall is 3 zone changes from library to hand, etc). Count what Bazaar does in 1 activation and you'll see how it's bizarrely broken. I wouldn't be against restricting it because I don't think it keeps anything in place. It's just a monster we're used to dealing with. I have no formed opinion on whether I personally would restrict or not, but I see merit in discussing it, while I don't see merit in doing that for Shops.

last edited by fsecco

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

As I said, Bazaar I think is something else. Although I agree with @Smmenen that it never had results to warrant restriction, I believe it's because you have to dedicate hate towards it. The CA Bazaar generates in unsurmountable in any aspect. Steven himself once theorised that one way to evaluate a card's power is to count how many zone changes it provides (for example, Ancestral Recall is 3 zone changes from library to hand, etc). Count what Bazaar does in 1 activation and you'll see how it's bizarrely broken. I wouldn't be against restricting it because I don't think it keeps anything in place. It's just a monster we're used to dealing with. I have no formed opinion on whether I personally would restrict or not, but I see merit in discussing it, while I don't see merit in doing that for Shops.

OK so with GGT restricted Bazaar puts 2 Stinkweed Imp into your hand then back into your graveyard, and you discard a card which is favorable in the very early game but unfavorable as the game goes on. So the only clearly favorable zone change is that you mill 10 cards. Of those 10, you're looking at about 4 that actually do something meaningful from the graveyard (i.e. free creatures and spells). So Bazaar "draws" 4 useful cards per turn but you start with 0 useful cards in the graveyard and on average something like 3 useful cards in hand, and Bazaar doesn't advance your board state until the second activation, and even then there's some inconsistency in terms of hitting dredgers.

So by the end of Turn 2, you should have something like 3ish useful cards in hand (or played from hand) and 6ish useful cards from the graveyard. That puts you one card ahead of a deck with literally no ability to generate advantage, and most Vintage decks do not fall in that camp. By the end of Turn 3 you should have something like 15 useful cards in all zones, which is certainly good but on the other hand the countermeasures available to fight this whole deal are roughly a million times stronger than anything available to fight any other strategy. I think a Vintage deck getting a strong advantage by about Turn 3 if the opponent can't find any counterplay (when many strong options exist, including the simple Wasteland) is pretty fair by Vintage standards.

I’m into Magic since T1T and IMHO the format right now is boring and too slow. I believe these restrictions are not great, since they will make it even slower. In general, restrictions are not the best way to go. I’d much rather give alternatives to the other decks. For instance, Karn decks pre-restrictions were very powerful, but why? Because there are not so many powerful decks to keep Karn in check. Since Gush was restricted there has been no real blue based instant-speed combo control deck. Sure, there are many PW decks, but they’re not EOT instant-speed decks built around the ordinary blue strategy of counterspells, baits, and forcing the opponent to make difficult decisions (Gifts anyone?). The fact that this game plan is not viable anymore is really sad, IMHO - probably the worst thing in Vintage right now. Also, the progressive disappearance of black storm decks is also very sad. Of course, I’m very happy that right now a few aggro decks are viable, but I’m not enthusiast when that happens because others are dead or on their way to the grave. Many people say Mishra's Workshop is the real problem, but I disagree. Let’s take a look at the pillars of the format.

Mishra’s Worskhop
Mana Drain
Dark Ritual
Bazaar of Bagdad

It’s been this way since at least T1T. IMHO restricting one of these cards is equal to changing Vintage forever. It's like a house of cards: if you remove Shops, suddenly blue becomes insane. An alternative solution to restrictions is unrestrictions.
These are my considerations:

Cards that should never be unrestricted because they are stupidly powerful one-card combos or because they’d break the format in 4x

P9
Channel
Balance
Yawgmoth’s Will
Tinker
Monastery Mentor
Mind’s Desire
Stripmine
Efficient Tutors (Demonic Tutor, Demonic Consultation, Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, Mystical Tutor, Merchant Scroll)
Library of Alexandria
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lodestone Golem
Fast mana acceleration cards
Tolarian Academy
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time
Efficient Draw 7
Trinisphere

Cards that should be unrestricted to balance the format, keep some decks in check, and make new archetypes available

Windfall (why not? It would not dominate the format.)
Karn, the Great Creator (Jace is more powerful, yet it’s unrestricted)
Mystic Forge (finally artifact decks have a draw engine, hurrah)
Chalice of the Void (the solution to make it playable is to print cards so that those decks that are affected have side strategies)
Brainstorm (it makes the game more skill-oriented and helps blue combo decks)
Ponder (preordain is already more powerful)
Gush (keeps Karn in check, a fun deck to play, it would make Gush a new pillar of the format. Probably, though, it’s Gush or Fastbond, not both of them)
Necropotence (an unsafe unrestriction, I know, but it’d make the black storm decks great again)
Yawgmoth’s Bargain (not played very much, it would help black storm decks to become a great alternative to Gush decks )
Golgari Grave Troll (the problem is not that Dredge is too fast, it’s that it’s not interactive; restricting Golgari doesn’t really help)
Mental Misstep (keeps Brainstorm, Ponder, Fastbond, and Dark Ritual in check)

Cards to be printed

Useful gy hate (by useful I mean such as Eidolon against Storm or Collector Ouphe against powered decks. Something that could be played in your main and not just as sideboard hate)
Useful fastbond hate (such as Ankh of Mishra but better. Also, there should be more cards like that to keep Fastbond decks in check)
Mana-expensive blue draw cards (Drain decks should get an alternative game plan to slow, boring PWs)
Broken aggro cards (to survive in a metagame of Gush, Karn, and Storm, aggro cards should be exponentially more powerful than the new cards printed nowadays)
Broken artifact aggro cards (to make Ravager shops a viable alternative to Karn)
Broken burn cards (it would be fun to play Burn again, I can’t see why it should be such a shame. Aggro must be a thing. Also, knowing when to burn and when to blast creatures/PW requires skill)
Much much more red cards for card advantage such as Light up the Stage (right now, there is an insane color imbalance in Vintage and Red has the short end of the stick)

Aims

Make Karn viable again
Make Gush viable again to keep Karn in check
Make non-Gush instant-speed drain-based combo control decks a-la Gifts viable again to keep Karn and Gush in check
Make Ritual decks great again
Increase the presence of aggro decks in the format (with new, efficient, and powerful cards that impose the aggro game on the opponent)
Make Burn viable again

In summary, these are the decks that IMHO should be viable in the format

Karn
Ravager Shops
Control Slaver
Gush
Drain-based non-Gush decks
Black Storm
Fastbond decks abusing land recursion
Dredge
Oath
Aggro
Burn
Eldrazi
Bears
PW

TL;DR: The solution to fight against powerful artifact decks and Dredge is not to restrict stuff, but to make available a few alternative decks to keep them in check, such as Gush, Gifts, Storm etc. Also, aggro decks should not be feared because they’re full of hate, but because they impose their game on the opponent. Aggro decks lacks a staple card to make them a pillar of the format, such as a Mishra’s Workshop for creatures alone. Plus, aggro lacks powerful cards. Let me make myself clear: by powerful I don’t mean powerful hate cards, which nonetheless are necessary for aggro; I mean cards such as Oath, cards that, in other words, make your opponent play faster as you’ve just gained the upper hand. Aggro will never be a thing if we rely on hate cards alone. After all, no hate deck has ever been a consistent winner in the format - other than, of course, LSG decks and Trinisphere decks back in the days, but those cards ended up restricted, and not for nothing.

@ajfirecracker first activation Bazaar changes 5 cards from zones. 2 draws, 3 discards. From there it not only generates card advantage by putting cards in the graveyard where you use, but also mana and board presence in the form of Ichorids and Narcomoebas, which then generate more playble cards, etc. I'm not saying the decks is broken, since the numbers clearly say it's not. I'm saying the card Bazaar of Baghdad is, more than anything unrestricted currently. And look, I'm not even saying it should be restricted.

So One With Nothing is also very powerful, right? It moves 6 cards into a different zone on the first turn

@ajfirecracker Hahahahaah you guys are taking this too seriously. It's not foolproof and just a way to look at it. Bazaar generates a lot of "mana" and "ca", that's for sure 😉

@John-Cox I don't think exile counts 😛

I think Monolith/Opal should be restricted for being the primary enablers of KarnForge, PO, and future decks to come. The recent Belcher deck is just an example of the type of product deck that these cards enable. The types of decks that benefit from Opal/Monolith cause uninteresting gameplay by (effectively) winning the game on turn one. By restricting cards that make effective turn ones less consistent, you leave the door open for more types
of decks and high level interaction to be at the forefront of the format.

last edited by desolutionist

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

By restricting cards that make effective turn ones less consistent, you leave the door open for more types
of decks and high level interaction to be at the forefront of the format.

I find this argument very frustrating. Everyone plays this game for different reasons and we all want something different from the it.

No one wants to just lose a game without doing anything, I get that, I really do. But it is very exciting to figure out the mechanics of a turn one or turn 2 win.

The other view is that I play a spell you counter it, I play another spell and you counter it then you play a Narset and somehow this is better because there was interaction. I disagree.

There needs to be a balance in what keeps the format fun.

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

Cards that should never be unrestricted because they are stupidly powerful one-card combos or because they’d break the format in 4x

P9
Channel
Balance
Yawgmoth’s Will
Tinker
Monastery Mentor
Mind’s Desire
Stripmine
Efficient Tutors (Demonic Tutor, Demonic Consultation, Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, Mystical Tutor, Merchant Scroll)
Library of Alexandria
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lodestone Golem
Fast mana acceleration cards
Tolarian Academy
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time
Efficient Draw 7
Trinisphere

Cards that should be unrestricted to balance the format, keep some decks in check, and make new archetypes available

Karn, the Great Creator (Jace is more powerful, yet it’s unrestricted)
Mystic Forge (finally artifact decks have a draw engine, hurrah)
Chalice of the Void (the solution to make it playable is to print cards so that those decks that are affected have side strategies)

@Psychatog;
I can agree with you for most of your reasoning, except for the 3 unrestrictions Karn, Mystic and CotV.
These 3 cards unrestricted would make any other workshop deck inferior to the deck playing these 3 cards. Furthermore, I believe the power lvl of these 3 cards is to high even when you play only 1 of the 3 in a deck.
Karn was also not only played in Workshop (although mostly), but if you looked at the Tournament in Japan, it was played as a 4x in Ritual combo to be able to fetch TV+Key for the win. If a card is able to be placed in every deck regardless the strategy and be off an impact that wins you games after you have resolved him, it should not be unrestricted imho.

I do agree with the fact that Brainstorm and Ponder do not belong on the restricted list. If these would unrestricted, Mana Drain is able to be relevant again (Gifts, Slaver Style with Thirst and Welder).

But as much I love Gush, I don't know if this card could be unrestricted, at least not with 4 Fastbond available.

Necro is something which should be tried imo, but I could not forsee the impact of it.

Mental Misstep is format wrapping, when available as a 4 off, you need to play him to be able to fight him, this makes deck building more constrained then it already is because you have so many auto includes, furthermore, Dark Ritual can't be a Pillar if Mental Misstep is unrestricted.

Greetz Arjan

I'll take a crack at defending unrestricted Bazaar: it's a unique card that opens up a lot of deck design space. It has a powerful ability that comes at a steep cost. Dredge is the broken part of the interaction.

“Jace is more powerful than Karn, unrestrict Bargain” is a good way of saying “I haven’t played this format recently but here are my opinions.”

Just so you know, Jace is pretty weak in Vintage due to Narset and creatures. Bargain is already unrestricted and inferior to Bolas’s Citadel.

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

“Jace is more powerful than Karn, unrestrict Bargain” is a good way of saying “I haven’t played this format recently but here are my opinions.”

Just so you know, Jace is pretty weak in Vintage due to Narset and creatures. Bargain is already unrestricted and inferior to Bolas’s Citadel.

That doesn't mean a part of his reasoning is incorrect.
I have always felt that the restriction of Brainstorm and Ponder was an overkill at that point in time (As you probably know it was restricted together with Merchant Scroll and Gush at the same time).

I believe the following cards could be unrestricted to make the format better.
Brainstorm
Ponder
Windfall or Memory Jar

last edited by Zieby

Yeah, I've stayed away from actually playing the format for a while, so I wasn't informed about Bargain already being unrestricted. Good to know 🙂
That, though, does not completely invalidate my points, that are:

  • card availability is a factor to be considered: the more cards we are allowed to play, the better.
  • the more diverse the format, the better.
  • the more skill is required to play at high level, the better.
  • printing solutions is better than restricting powerful cards and staples of the format.
  • blue instant-speed deck should be made viable once again. Being stuck to play fat PW suck. Brainstorm and Ponder in 4x would help.
  • If some powerful decks of the past were available once again, some of the broken decks of nowadays would be kept in check. Karn was a powerful deck, but I'd be curious to see a 4-Gush deck vs Karn.
  • if Bazaar, Drain, Ritual or Workshop were to be restricted, the format would be completely, drastically different and probably less diverse. No Shops for example leads to even more PO. No Bazaar means no Dredge, but also no Survival, which I think is a fun deck. To restrict Workshop now would be like saying, back in the days: yeah, let's restrict Drain, so we can unrestrict the most powerful blue cards in Vintage.
  • The solution to avoid a Narset-dominated metagame is not to restrict it. It's to print useful cards that plays around the threat. For instance, when Darksteel Colossus was printed and started being played in place of Psychatog in T1T, many people believed it was unfair, as it is a one-card combo that lets you win in 2 turns. Many decks adapted, though, and now, with Dack Fayden and other cards, Colossus is not that big scary impossibly powerful monster like it was back then.

P.S. Jace is less powerful than Karn just because Narset and other you-dont-draw cards are being played so much, not because Karn is better regardless of the metagame.

last edited by Psychatog

@psychatog

Wizards rarely designs cards for Vintage play and when they do, it never demonstrates a significant knowledge of the format. Recently, Shenanigans was spoiled as a card for Vintage and it was almost a complete flop. Designers thought Symetrical schemings or whatever would be a splash in the format. Expecting answers from Wizards vastly overestimates the importance of Vintage in their eyes. Restrictions ARE the answer to broken printings as far as R&D is concerned. They have said as much.

And for the rest, do you really expect Narset to see less play if you unrestrict a bunch of draw spells? Do you expect aggro you see much play with combo rampant? Gifts as an answer to Gush? Gush decks typically dominate big blue. There is a book about this.

Jace saw a huge decline BEFORE Narset was printed because the format became more creature centric and pryoblasts and bolts became more common. It wasn’t worth playing only to die to elementals, monks, constructs, insects, or whatever.

Thank you for taking the time to write up your vision for the for format. I think there are a lot of issues with it though.

Edit: Also, I think I needs to be asked about your central premise. How fast do you think the KarnForge deck was? Because realistically it goldfished consistently on turn 1 and turn 2. “Speeding up” Vintage means literally making a turn 1 format.

last edited by Guest

@moorebrother1

I hear what you’re saying about complicated combo lines being exhilarating to pilot but there’s nothing complicated about the recent abominations of PO and KarnForge. It’s a very straight forward process of playing your unrestricted mana sources and your 4 mana bomb. The combo decks that actually reward skill are composed mostly of restricted cards - requires the pilot to navigate a plethora of situations rather than just go through the motions of a repetitive play pattern. A vintage deck of 60 singletons is still able to win on turn one, but it’s just not so easy as playing your three moxes and casting PO. Or Shop->Monolith->Key. That sequence is so boring that people just weren’t even playing the deck anymore.

last edited by desolutionist

It's too bad that combo decks that are a little more complex feel underpowered thanks to cards printed in the past few years. Decisions have become very streamlined with combo decks, often with very few lines of play, and variations of play that don't matter.

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