B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020

I find that one paragraph addressing the new precedent is at the best lacking. To call this rare is in my opinion an understatement and when we inevitably have to go back to this discussion in 3 months when Zidra rises to prominence now that Lurrus is gone just feels like a little dutch boy sticking his finger in the dam.

Also, the fact that PO and Breach are still unrestricted is baffling to me. I can't help but feel that the noise and volume of discussion around Lurrus made it so they could not address the other items that needed to be addressed to hep balance out the format.

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

I find that one paragraph addressing the new precedent is at the best lacking. To call this rare is in my opinion an understatement and when we inevitably have to go back to this discussion in 3 months when Zidra rises to prominence now that Lurrus is gone just feels like a little dutch boy sticking his finger in the dam.

Also, the fact that PO and Breach are still unrestricted is baffling to me. I can't help but feel that the noise and volume of discussion around Lurrus made it so they could not address the other items that needed to be addressed to hep balance out the format.

Brass Man is smart to have removed the downvote button.

That statement is way too short. Also they absolutely never acknowleged a mistake designing the mechanic and instead chose to blame "the power level of the other cards in the format" instead.
Just banning Lurrus for power level reasons is also the worst way to handle this situation in my oppinion.
Either banning all companions since the mechanic is at fault here, or errataing the cards so they dont have the keyword anymore (banning as companion) would have been way better...but then they had to acknowledge that the mechanic is the problem.

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

That statement is way too short. Also they absolutely never acknowleged a mistake designing the mechanic and instead chose to blame "the power level of the other cards in the format" instead.
Just banning Lurrus for power level reasons is also the worst way to handle this situation in my oppinion.
Either banning all companions since the mechanic is at fault here, or errataing the cards so they dont have the keyword anymore (banning as companion) would have been way better...but then they had to acknowledge that the mechanic is the problem.

What were you expecting? Something like:

As Hasbro's most profitable franchise brand, we are under immense pressure to push out as many cards as possible to as many potential customers as possible. Our "Play Design" teams are incapable of keeping up, so we've basically just given up. Moreover, our concern about balance of the Vintage format, a bottom-barrel priority even in the best of circumstances, is almost non-existent now that we have to focus our very limited Development efforts on profit-driving formats such as Standard, Commander, and anything on Magic: Arena.
So we've reduced our Vintage Banned and Restricted List curation efforts to periodically correcting trends that are blatant even to us, from a cursory glance over MTGO data. Pray we don't reduce it further.

last edited by evouga

@evouga Where is this quote from?

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

@evouga Where is this quote from?

Ah sorry, it's not a quote, just satire (WotC would never say any of that!).

Ouch, swing and a miss in my eyes. I was looking forward to playing Lurrus without companion, really cool card.

I don't think the statement is too short, but I think a lot of Vintage players will be annoyed it didn't reference two things:

1. The Gravitas of the Moment.

It took Vintage about, what, 26 years to finally have to ban a card for power level reasons? It took awhile. Congratulations, WotC. you did it! Anyway, the fact that this is so unprecedented probably means players would have expected something in the banned and restricted announcement acknowledging this. It's kind of like if Grandma dies and you just a get a quick text messages saying "Oh also Nana died."

  1. When Will Cards Get Banned in the Future?

What exactly was the philosophy behind the Lurrus ban, and when will the rule be applied again? I feel like I know why Lurrus was banned because I observed the format with it, but I don't know exactly what the criteria will be for bannings in the future.

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

  1. When Will Cards Get Banned in the Future?

What exactly was the philosophy behind the Lurrus ban, and when will the rule be applied again? I feel like I know why Lurrus was banned because I observed the format with it, but I don't know exactly what the criteria will be for bannings in the future.

I guess the criteria was "we designed a card (mechanic) so sutpidly that restricting it does not adress the problem at all"

I would add:

  1. Some indication that more moderate action (such as banning Lurrus as a companion, rather than outright) was considered, and an explanation for why these were rejected in favor of a straight ban.

  2. Some indication that taking action against the most degenerate strategies that Lurrus enables (Paradoxical Outcome, Underworld Breach) was considered instead of banning Lurrus, and rationale for why such actions were rejected in favor of a ban of Lurrus.

B&R announcements in the (sadly, now very distant) past often had this greater level of detail and care.

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

I would add:

Some indication that more moderate action (such as banning Lurrus as a companion, rather than outright) was considered, and an explanation for why these were rejected in favor of a straight ban.

Some indication that taking action against the most degenerate strategies that Lurrus enables (Paradoxical Outcome, Underworld Breach) was considered instead of banning Lurrus, and rationale for why such actions were rejected in favor of a ban of Lurrus.

B&R announcements in the (sadly, now very distant) past often had this greater level of detail and care.

  1. Maybe also touch upon how a preemptive ban is also exceedingly rare and for most people this is exactly what that is, a ban of a card before the physical cards are in peoples hands.

Yesterday I reactivated my manatraders account to play with Lurrus and I had a blast in the league I played him in. I went to bed excited to brew and play with Lurrus. I woke up to find that Lurrus has been banned. I went straight to try building a new deck with Zirda or Yorion, but after about 10 minutes I lost all interest in the format once again and just put my manatraders account back into vacation mode. It was a good 18 hours, Vintage, you had a good run. See you guys in 5 months!

@desolutionist believe me, you would have gotten sick of seeing lurrus real quick. Bad timing though for sure

last edited by Aelien

I was hoping to see banned as a Companion instead of an outright ban like many others. In the long term, the simplicity of an outright ban makes the overall B&R list slightly cleaner, but I'm not sure that outweighs being able to brew with Lurrus as a maindeck option. He's strong enough to operate in various contexts, perhaps even more in a future context where the multiverse is much less hostile than Format Karakas.

I wrote a long response recently but it's already buried so I'll re-post the parts relevant to the gravity of the first explicit power level in some time.

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

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.

[snip]

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

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.

One way we can look at the B&R action is to consider that banning Lurrus is actually a much less drastic change than printing Lurrus was. The milk was spilled in April, not May.

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

One way we can look at the B&R action is to consider that banning Lurrus is actually a much less drastic change than printing Lurrus was. The milk was spilled in April, not May.

This is I think a very fair way to look at this, but it also feels like something we are going to be saying more and more set after set as the power creep and uncharted territory gets even more prominent. Prior to companions we had:

  • The printing of a 4x, arguably more powerful Yawgs will
  • some number of waves of the most powerful planeswalkers ever made
  • a 1 card I win combo that was restriction resistant (karn and lattice)
  • The best blue hate card maybe ever (veil of summer)
  • One of the most busted effect lands printed (mystic sanctuary)
  • A new pitch counter that at least exists in the same ballpark as FOW
  • A pitch artifact/enchantment hate card that may be the most powerful ever made

I mean, the list goes on and I believe that is only the last year.

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

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

One way we can look at the B&R action is to consider that banning Lurrus is actually a much less drastic change than printing Lurrus was. The milk was spilled in April, not May.

This is I think a very fair way to look at this, but it also feels like something we are going to be saying more and more set after set as the power creep and uncharted territory gets even more prominent. Prior to companions we had:

  • The printing of a 4x, arguably more powerful Yawgs will
  • some number of waves of the most powerful planeswalkers ever made
  • a 1 card I win combo that was restriction resistant (karn and lattice)
  • The best blue hate card maybe ever (veil of summer)
  • One of the most busted effect lands printed (mystic sanctuary)
  • A new pitch counter that at least exists in the same ballpark as FOW
  • A pitch artifact/enchantment hate card that may be the most powerful ever made

I mean, the list goes on and I believe that is only the last year.

All good examples. The power creep and release saturation is what's affecting the rate of change more than the B&R updates which haven't even adequately kept up with them despite 7 adjustments in the past year.

For all the displeasure at the briefness and "incompleteness" of the rationale for banning - I think they said all they needed to perfectly. The card is busted in Vintage and legacy because of the cheap, OP stuff we have access to. The companions are working as planned in newer formats.

They print cards to sell. Newer formats are where they get 99% of their revenue. What do you all not understand about that? These weren't designed with Vintage/Legacy in mind. They saw the impact and banned it. Get over it. It's almost like people think WotC is testing newer cards for their interaction in Vintage and Legacy with any amount of effort. They are not. If they see something blatantly obvious - something like a 0cmc artifact that transmutes for 0 to get a 0cmc card, they'd likely say "wait, that's free black lotus/land tutor every game" and pump the brakes. But anything outside of THAT obvious, they're going to test how it plays in Standard and maybe Modern, and that's about it. They are a for-profit company, and they will always do what is best to maximize sales, not the grumblings of a small community that only buys old cards via Ebay. Get used to that reality and stop acting confused when WotC/Hasbro acts this way.

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