B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020

All I know is that if Lurrus gets the ban hammer, it will create a precedent with (possibly) many cards to follow. I personally care not either way, I'll still play when it fancies me. I've had many cards I've loved restricted and many I've hated get un-restricted. Just part of the game. If it's gotten to the point we need to ban, it just becomes part of the game.

last edited by Serracollector

@serracollector I agree with this. I don't think it'll result in many, if any future bannings. It will be precedent in a way, but precedent is not needed for WotC to fix any future gaffs. It seems to me that since we've gone 25 years with bannings only to themes, vanguards, dexterity cards, ante cards, and lonely sharazad, that WotC is trying to avoid banning whenever possible. If they do end up with a ban here, I think we'd likely go many more years before we see something akin to it down the road. It's safe to say the testing they do is to try to avoid bannings, and if it's something that needs a ban in Vintage, it's likely reeeeally busted. In this case, the mechanic itself was disfunctional by being +1 card at almost no cost. I doubt that kind of mistake would happen in the near future.

I find that precedent is an odd form of measurement, and in all metrics. The way that you feel today is not how you will feel tomorrow. If that is the case, I would challenge to you (in a non-threatening way) that if you feel the same tomorrow it is likely that you haven't learned enough today.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

No, SOME of them are restriction proof. Lurrus and Lutri are the 2 companions that have the distinction of restricting how many other copies you can play in your main deck, and just so happen to be the 2 that are most obviously vintage viable. All the others can be played in multiple and in the case of Gyruda it is actually pretty fundamental to the cards function. There is nothing about the companion rule that makes them immune to restriction.

This is a silly argument. The point isn’t that only self-restricting companions are a potential problem. It’s that restricting a companion has no effect on the percentage of games where you get to use your companion. Even if Lurrus allowed maindeck lurruses, restricting it wouldn’t change the percentage of games where you get a lurrus.

Hey I just wanted to say as someone who has been not interested in playing Vintage for the last 4 months (or however long its been), I got a chance to look at some Lurrus decks today and It actually looks like a huge improvement to what we've been seeing in the Vintage for the last 3 years.

Unfortunately I won't be able to play in the Challenge today because the semester is almost over and I have a lot of work to do. But I personally would be more likely to come back to MTG (and Vintage) if Lurrus remains a legal card.

Thanks!

@desolutionist just curious, is this because of companion or because of Lurrus?

@pilsburydohboy42

I think there a lot of interesting new cards being played such as Dead Weight, Seal of Cleansing, Soul Guide Lantern, and Urza’s Bauble. And I like the consistency of a companion such as Lurrus. It is reminiscent of times when Brainstorm was unrestricted because you have a good chance to enact your strategy every game rather than just be victim to the randomness of a highlander deck.

If deck diversity is the goal, then they should just print more companions. But it obviously just depends on how companions are working in standard since they don’t give a shit about Vintage.

Yes a lot of these cards they’re printing are very overpowered. But it’s leading to bans and restrictions way too fast in my opinion. (I.e Karn) Like I might not even get a chance to play with Lurrus before it’s banned. That sucks.

last edited by Guest

@desolutionist cool! I really like the design space and think there would be a ton of potential for innovation and diversity, I think its just a shame that they are +1 card.

@desolutionist said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Yes a lot of these cards they’re printing are very overpowered. But it’s leading to bans and restrictions way too fast in my opinion. (I.e Karn) Like I might not even get a chance to play with Lurrus before it’s banned. That sucks.

Karn was not restricted because he is too overpowered. By himself he's on the top end of the power level even as a 4 mana non-artifact in a format dominated by 0-1 cost cards.

Karn was restricted because of his interaction with Lattice just ending the game on the spot. Why was lattice not restricted? Because it is also "restriction proof", which further goes to show how flawed our current system of balance actually is. I suspect as time goes on you can expect to see even more cards printed that fit this bill.

I think the format needs to rethink the restricted list in full and in very short order. Altering the restricted list rules to only allow a given deck to have X restricted cards in total perhaps? That would at least take some pressure off the very top end spectrum of cards and maybe force players to ask long and hard deck building questions instead of starting every blue deck with the same 15 cards. It would also then let you restrict a card like Lurrus with effect.

The format NEEDS a restricted list and NEEDS to not have power level bans, because it is bluntly critical to the nature of the format, it just needs a better method and no matter what it's going to create a shake up to the format as we know it.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

The format NEEDS a restricted list and NEEDS to not have power level bans, because it is bluntly critical to the nature of the format, it just needs a better method and no matter what it's going to create a shake up to the format as we know it.

Is there a reason that you are so adamant about this?

I think Zirda is legitimately really good too, but it aggravates my carpal tunnel trying to play it on MTGO.

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

The format NEEDS a restricted list and NEEDS to not have power level bans, because it is bluntly critical to the nature of the format, it just needs a better method and no matter what it's going to create a shake up to the format as we know it.

Is there a reason that you are so adamant about this?

What is the draw to the format if not for the restricted cards and the small subset that are not restricted here but banned in legacy? Remove those from the equation and the format is very close to just being legacy. You can't not have a restricted list and still have lotus, moxen, ancestral, etc not be banned, and if you ban them here they are officially unplayable everywhere. The whole point of the format is to be able to play cards you cannot play elsewhere.

I mean, I'm not sure if WOTC has any sort of official mission statement about what the format is supposed to do and how it is supposed to be different from legacy written down anywhere, but up until this point that has been the whole reason for it. Once you start doing power level bans it puts the whole reason for the format into question.

Look at the legacy Banned list. The vast majority of cards on that list see heavy play in Vintage, most are staples. If Lurris is banned in Legacy and Vintage (likely going to be the case) we will have a card banned purely for power level that cannot be played in any eternal format. That sets really bad precedent.

But even furthermore to that, the Restricted list in its current form is an imperfect way to control the format while still enabling players to play every card in the game with the exception of the very few that are ante, etc. Lurris is a great example of that, as is Karn and Lattice. As they keep making cards that try to do something new we will no doubt see more and more cards fall into this category either because of their interactions with other cards or entirely of their own merit.

Even going back to day 1 of the format, I often use the moxen as an example as something that was resistant to restriction. Most cards when you restrict you can only have 1, but moxen overlap so much that every deck still has the option to have 5, maybe slightly worse for being off color, but still moxen. Fast forward a few years and now we get a new moxen every so many sets. Opal is very much a 6-9th moxen for many lists, and even if they restricted it you just change it to just the 6th and not the 9th. Restriction make them less powerful, but it has far less of an impact than it did on something like Mind's Desire. There was a time where realistically every deck could have 0-1 card that was U draw 3, but with the printing Treasure cruise the number of effects has doubled and there is no fixing that with just restriction.

@protoaddict said in [B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020]

What is the draw to the format if not for the restricted cards and the small subset that are not restricted here but banned in legacy? Remove those from the equation and the format is very close to just being legacy. You can't not have a restricted list and still have lotus, moxen, ancestral, etc not be banned, and if you ban them here they are officially unplayable everywhere. The whole point of the format is to be able to play cards you cannot play elsewhere.

You would still be able to play your power if they change the rules. If you are playing in paper, Vintage is about as sanctioned as Old School. Just do what you want, woo!

I feel like the best draw to a format would be a fun format, dunno how best to accomplish that, but I'm also not gonna expect Wizards to put a lot of effort into fixing a format they don't really think about. To say the rules can never change is very constraining to our common goal in having fun playing Magic, and it kinda surprises me that the Vintage B&R isn't community driven already. I feel like Wizards might embrace that change, they at least wouldn't have to hear us complain all day, and Vintage is moving further and further from their ability to contain without a mindful eye.

By the way, I'm not advocating to ban any cards, just suggesting to ban the companion mechanic. I almost love the design, and think they should try again with something similar but -1 card.

last edited by pilsburydohboy42

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

You would still be able to play your power if they change the rules. If you are playing in paper, Vintage is about as sanctioned as Old School. Just do what you want, woo!

If we don't have a discussions in the context of sanctioned play then what do any BR announcements matter at all? You can do whatever you want in kitchen table as it is

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

To say the rules can never change is very constraining to our common goal in having fun playing Magic, and it kinda surprises me that the Vintage B&R isn't community driven already.

No one is saying we can't change the rules. I'm advocating for drastic changes to the formats rules. What I'm saying is we should not compromise the formats whole raison d'etre, which is what the rules accommodate. If you don't stand for something then you stand for nothing, so what does the format stand for?

What’s the alternative? A “sudoku system” of restrictions where you can play card X or card Y but not both? Or where you can only run up to Z different moxen?

There’s a certain appeal to the flexibility of this system for reigning in specific synergies like Karn + Lattice. But asking players to run a SAT solver to decide if their deck is legal might be a bit much.

last edited by evouga

I just played my first four matches with Lurrus in a league and I enjoyed the Lurrus mirror matches quite a bit. One of my opponents, a WotC employee didn't have Lurrus, and I felt like I was in a better position than him because of it. (Though his deck was pretty janky to be honest)

Since Lurrus operates out of the graveyard and is a 3/2, it can be attacked from multiple angles. I really enjoyed that aspect of the games. It can be slightly frustrating if your opponent has a Lotus, since he automatically has a turn one play through Lurrus, but even more frustrating was facing a Paradoxical Outcome opponent. Seeing that deck makes me not want to play more than anything, so I hope they target that before Lurrus.

@desolutionist I don't know if you played the Underworld Breach combo deck, but I find it's even more explosive and consistent than PO. Either you resolve graveyard hate before they resolve Lurrus, or you lose.

@evouga

I actually was playing the Lurrus Breach deck myself. It was fun.

But aren’t you forgetting about dredge with your comment?

I’ve hated dredge in this format ever since meadbert figured out the Serum Powder build back in ‘05/‘06.

Lurrus Breach is far more desirable to me than PO or Dredge have ever been.

Breach combo has effectively pushed Dredge out of the metagame as the premier graveyard-based combo strategy (in the same way that Dredge displaced other, clunkier decks like Hermit Druid combo).

Playing against Lurrus Breach is slightly more interactive than playing against Dredge, so in some sense it’s an improvement, but I feel like it’s a bit sad we’ve lost so much metagame diversity. Lurrus Breach combo doesn’t feel as different from Lurrus PO or Lurrus Control as Dredge did.

I’ve also given up on playing Oath, since there’s no reason to jump through hoops to set up the Titan+Breach combo when could just remove all of the clunky Oath cards and just play Lurrus.

There's of lot of worthwhile discussion in this thread.

@desolutionist said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Since Lurrus operates out of the graveyard and is a 3/2, it can be attacked from multiple angles. I really enjoyed that aspect of the games. It can be slightly frustrating if your opponent has a Lotus, since he automatically has a turn one play through Lurrus, but even more frustrating was facing a Paradoxical Outcome opponent. Seeing that deck makes me not want to play more than anything, so I hope they target that before Lurrus.

This is a good observation. In my two weeks playing the Lurrus format, what stood out to me most was how much it illuminated how degenerate Paradoxical Outcome and to a lesser extent Underworld Breach are.

I don't mind the grindy Lurrus decks so much. Often the most explosive (and seemingly problematic) plays are not the best ones, as rushing him out prematurely where this environment is so prepared to remove or neutralize him is a recipe for disaster. Testing is showing me that patience is rewarded.

Although I've been enjoying Vintage recently, this seems to be a minority view and the intensity of dislike fueling abandonment is severe. Banning Lurrus as a Companion seems to be the most narrowly tailored solution. I'd be happy with action on PO as well. It's never a bad time to clean up the few remaining blights that escaped the more urgently needed restrictions in the past year.

Stephen raises a good point about the difference in relative adaptation velocity between more frequent players and players who enjoy Vintage as an occasional pastime. It was not necessary to truncate one of Matt's threads to misrepresent him as inconsistent, but the point remains valid. I've been listening to a lot of players who are primarily paper Magicians and recognize that contingent has legitimate concerns that deserve a voice. I'd propose we all recognize that the speed of format change isn't necessarily rooted in B&R but by the admitted power creep in design and saturated release schedule. The format is going to change rapidly irrespective of whether or not corrective measures are taken so constant change doesn't need to be an argument against corrective measures since there's little chance of achieving stability under this design philosophy anyway.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

The format NEEDS a restricted list and NEEDS to not have power level bans.

Is there a reason that you are so adamant about this?

What is the draw to the format if not for the restricted cards and the small subset that are not restricted here but banned in legacy? Remove those from the equation and the format is very close to just being legacy. You can't not have a restricted list and still have lotus, moxen, ancestral, etc not be banned, and if you ban them here they are officially unplayable everywhere. The whole point of the format is to be able to play cards you cannot play elsewhere.

It's an open question what constitutes the core identity of Vintage and ultimately, it means different things to different people. That means the "whole point of the format" for one person may be an afterthought for another or even a frustration. The best direct information from Wizards we have now is that its maintenance tenet is to keep the current player base happy. That doesn't tell us much, but it's something.

There's been a myth about "no power level bans" in Vintage for a long time that's been put to rest definitively by some recent tweets by Mark Rosewater. Yes, Vintage has a banned list and it's still available as corrective action for cards that warp gameplay. Channel and Mind Twist were unbanned because those cards no longer met the criteria for banning. It was not because Wizards decided to abolish the ban list itself. Though as time passed without any subsequent bans, that interpretation became prematurely ingrained and inadequately challenged, even while Time Vault itself was stealth banned via power-level errata until 2008. For history fans, the four other cards most frequently assessed for the full axe were Tinker, Yawgmoth's Will, Library of Alexandria, and Mirror Universe. Banning the Delve spells also had a brief window of open support in the mid 2010's.

On the bright side for more preservative views, that means if Lurrus or the Companions are banned or banned as Companions in Vintage it won't signify a grand rupture of the format's foundation. It's just an exercise of a reserved power that hasn't been used in many years. Starting the game with a functional +1 hand size is a very drastic change whose magnitude can justify a weighty response. Debating whether that benefit is 11% or 12% or 11.12% is an exercise in diminishing returns. It's a significant advantage and the 11% was reasonable for the purposes of analysis.

We'll find out soon enough.

last edited by brianpk80
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