August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

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

The London mulligan also really hurt Ravager Shops, at least looking at the trial period. Shops doesn’t have the turn 0 interaction to interfere with more consistent combo decks.

Shops never had the t1 interactions yet they still thrived. The goal was always redundancy, disruption, and kill speed.

I'm not saying the deck wont adapt to the new format. The presence of Force of Vigor is going to force them into maxing out on spheres and perhaps adding 3 ball back into lists that cut it. but the deck has always faced null rod effects and putting it on a 2/2 body does not seem to the thing that is going to put it over the top. The deck still gets 1 copy of Forge and the matches where that comes on line are probably going to be matches the deck wins. It still arguably has the best ways to utilize Karn, including fetching a lattice.

Does it go as heavy on ravager/Hangerback/ballista as it did before, probably not, but I'll eat my hat if the deck is not still a format pillar and is not still in great shape.

I have no intention in arguing a point I never made. I was just providing additional information to the discussion and @cutlex’s point. The London mulligan is a significant factor as well as recent printings.

The changes I wanted were:

Restrict:

  • Mystic Forge
  • Misstep

Unrestrict:

  • Fastbond
  • Windfall

I got three out of five, so I am not entirely unhappy. And although I wish they had waited on Karn, I do think that restriction was reasonable.

The one change here that bothers me the most is the restriction of Gravetroll.

Dredge was under 10% of Top 8s in August Vintage Challenges.

Also, the stated purpose: of slowing Dredge down, really doesn't make much sense to someone who understands how Dredge works. Dredge's match win percentage is not primarily a function of how fast it is. Whether Dredge wins more on turn 2, turn 3 or turn 4 is mostly immaterial. Dredge doesn't win through speed as much as it does the fact that it's tactics are difficult to prevent in Game 1s because most players don't play graveyard hate. And it wins post-board games because it has more efficient answers to hate than opponent's have hate, and is more consistent in finding answers than opponent's are at protecting hate

Thus, the post-board game is not primarily a race, it's about fighting over hate. If the goal was to weaken dredge, the objective shouldn't have been to "slow dredge down." The objective should have been to "make it easier for Dredge opponent's to thwart Dredge's game plan." Certainly, slowing Dredge down can help do that, because you necessarily give opponent's more time to find and cast graveyard hate, but it's not the same thing. Clarity around objectives and goals is really important, and I think they conflated a subsidiary goal with a primary goal in their explanation.

Why might this matter? Because restricting Misstep will already have a major effect on Dredge's ability to stop counter-tactics and make it easier to accomplish the goal of helping Dredge opponent's thwart Dredge's game plan. Also, it matters because the objective of the restriction should be tailored to the goal. Sure, restricting Gravetroll serves that goal, but there were other candidates that might have served it as well. I just wish they had been clearer on that.

There are also a number of other oddities in the official explanation, such as the reference to Necropotence.

But I think what is most alarming is that they emphasize the roll of community feedback. I think it's great that Vintage players can communicate with the DCI, but format management is held by format managers for a reason. Otherwise, we could manage the B&R list with polls and votes instead of having experts do it.

I think majoritarianism is extremely dangerous in format management. Factions of players could organize to vote to weaken opposing strategies. Minority interests could easily be trampled. Obviously, the goal of making the community happy is important, but this can be taken too far.

last edited by Smmenen

I think the idea that the DCI has better Vintage experts than the actual Vintage players is pretty suspect

Of course not. But being a Vintage expert is not the same thing as being an expert in managing a format. Those are two largely different skill sets. As different as being a medical doctor and being an expert on your own body.

The DCI has vastly more experience than any Vintage player in managing formats, and understanding what makes them healthy.

If the DCI wanted Vintage players to manage the format, they could simply have it managed by poll and allow players to vote. They don't, and they shouldn't.

last edited by Smmenen

Narset should've been restricted. Not every deck can jam enough planeswalker removal to keep up with decks that use 3-4x Narset, especially with the miserable new Teferi. Narset is also just awful to play against, regardless of how 'easy' it is to remove it for some decks.

Speed in game 1 absolutely does matter for Dredge. Not sure why that wouldn’t be the case? For basically every matchup outside of maybe some blue control variants you are racing your opponents combos. I’m just not sure Troll being restricted changes the speed of the deck by any measure-able amount. There are quite a few more important cards in Dredge to the decks speed, like Dread Return, Narcomoeba and Serum Powder.

Restricting misstep as I’ve stated earlier is probably a positive for the deck, but to elaborate:

  1. The drop in power level for Dredge from Misstep to other blue cards, say Mindbreak Trap, Force of Negation or Gitaxian Probe, is minimal if any drop at all.
  2. 1CC hate is currently rare. It’s also not really any better than 0CC or 2CC hate options so opponents switching hate choices is largely irrelevant to the deck as a whole (it may hurt a specific build, but that is a different story).
  3. The restriction allows the deck itself to again play the most versatile antihate cards in Nature’s Claim, Fragmentize, and Chain of Vapor without having to play the Misstep subgames.
  4. Cabal Therapy gets much better again. Running it into missteps was made it occasionally bad, even in its best matchup against counter spell decks.
last edited by vaughnbros

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

I think the idea that the DCI has better Vintage experts than the actual Vintage players is pretty suspect

You can have the best players in history but if you aren't able to manage the format while holding a dispassionate and objective view of the long-reaching ramifications of your actions, being a good Vintage player means nothing. Management of a format takes more than simple player skill, as evidenced by some of the restrictions proposed by skilled players of the format on this very forum.

@hrishi

You are implying that objectivity is a good thing. In this case, managing the rules of a game, I’d argue someone that is physically, financially, and emotionally invested is a much better guide.

Look at any major sport and there is a players union fighting for/against rule changes. I don’t see why magic should be some great exception. No one is going to advocate for a change that they think will kill the game.

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

I think the idea that the DCI has better Vintage experts than the actual Vintage players is pretty suspect

Ian Duke has mentioned using all of the MTGO data to make decisions while we only get a curated list. They might not be better than us, but they have better data than us.

Then again, we had people saying the format was healthy because BUG was king. They're probably better than us.

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

Look at any major sport and there is a players union fighting for/against rule changes. I don’t see why magic should be some great exception. No one is going to advocate for a change that they think will kill the game.

I absolutely think objectivity is a good thing. Most players are unable to see what their proposed actions will accomplish beyond the immediate future. This is not a knock on people, it's just not a skill players of a game need to develop.

Of course nobody is going to advocate for a change they think is going to kill the game. But the problem is that a change players want might not necessarily give them the result they want. Someone emotionally and financially invested is not necessarily going to consider opposing points of view. Objectivity lets you do exactly that.

How can we have a players union? We’re lucky to get 100 players for a national tournament.

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

How can we have a players union? We’re lucky to get 100 players for a national tournament.

376 players played round 1 of Vintage at Eternal Weekend North America 2018.

last edited by Mike Noble

@mike-noble

Wow I didn’t know that! That’s a lot given the cost to play. So if we go on strike does it hurt DCI or just Nick Coss?

last edited by desolutionist

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

@mike-noble

Wow I didn’t know that! That’s a lot given the cost to play. So if we go on strike does it hurt DCI or just Nick Coss?

Not showing up to Nick's event will hurt Nick. TOs are the ones paying the costs, even if it's the largest North American Vintage event of the year.

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

But I think what is most alarming is that they emphasize the roll of community feedback. I think it's great that Vintage players can communicate with the DCI, but format management is held by format managers for a reason. Otherwise, we could manage the B&R list with polls and votes instead of having experts do it.
I think majoritarianism is extremely dangerous in format management.

This statement and many of the ones that follow it presume that everyone is going to have an equal voice and opportunity when reaching out to WOTC, and I think that is very much a false assumption. WOTC will certainly weigh a persons opinion based on influence and experience, and some they may just summarily dismiss based on criteria we are not privy to and will never know as the process of decision making will never be a public affair.

These decisions are not a one man, one vote democracy. At the best it is a donor class skewed plurality, and in all likelihood it is still a Monarchy.

@protoaddict

At best we have a benevolent dictator. At times we’ve had a negligent dictator.

In the sports model, we have a commissioner (DCI), owners (TOs), and plenty of players (equivalent roughly to the NBA). The owners and players have had very little input up to this point, and I don’t see why people are complaining about them providing it.

@vaughnbros I'm not sure that analogy holds up. The NBA is a product that is created collaboratively by the commissioner, the owners, and the players. Each have their own interests, and that's why they each have a voice in the process. But Magic is a product made by WotC for consumption by the players. We aren't the people playing in the NBA, we're the people watching it on TV. We have about that level of input; people who happen to have the ear of somebody can give their thoughts and see if they get listened to, but ultimately our feedback is the level at which we continue to engage with the product.

@craw_advantage

The players formed a union and forced them to listen. It wasn’t an altruistic move by the NBA to give the players power.

Yes, we are also fans, but fans have some sway in sports in terms of the bottom dollar. You can be sure many teams (TOs in this example) make decisions to appease fans. So that influences a different relationship between us and TOs directly, but can indirectly affect the decisions of the Commissioner (and should indirectly affect the DCI).

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