@twaun007 I had a tidespout tyrant oath deck that ran 4x cunning wish to grab brainfreeze out of the sb after mox juggling (or sometimes a rebuild). The wishes also got echoing truth, trickbind vs storm, a counterspell or any "answer spell" in a pinch to allow me to go off. Cunning wish was the bomb.
Burning Wish/Cunning Wish also worked differently in 2003, in a way that was very relevant to the format. I can't believe I forgot to mention "Combo Keeper"/"The Shining"/"Your Mother" (regional decks had regional names), a Burning Wish based control list that I ADORED, but was rendered non-functional after the errata on Wishes. The modern rules-text makes those cards weaker, however, so there's no reason to consider bespoke-restricting them.
Really you don't need to replay Yawgmoth's Will. I'm playing The Shinning variant for an Old Frame and I'm currently 5-0 and didn't need a double Yawgmoth's Will in a game. The same for Tendrils. Right now we are better players than back in the day and we have learn how infinite recursion is rarely needed.
https://www.mtgoldframe.com/ crew are trying to free as many cards as posible and they take a masive unrestriction some weeks ago. (Black Vise,Braingeyser.,Crop Rotation,Doomsday,Dream Halls,Earthcraft,Entomb,Fork,Mind over Matter,Stroke of Genius)
They have hosted three monthly tournaments online, you can see decks on their facebook group.
I think even if Mana Drain weren’t allowed, Fact or Fiction has to be the best blue draw engine available. Stroke of Genius is probably next.
And of course Accumulated Knowledge.
I think it would be more fun if there was a different restriction list. Like for example, restrict Mana Drain. But I’m just a sucker for 4 Counterspell 1 Mana Drain decks.
I think one of the most dangerous and interesting unrestriction could be Gush. There isn’t a whole lot of great cantrips like Preordain and Quirion Dryad is your best threat. It would be a good deck but maybe not so good that nobody wants to play.
You could have almost any restriction list and most people interested in premodern vintage would not be deterred.
The format was slower, and it was better for it at that point in Magic. That is the format that actually got me into "Vintage".
As some people have brought up there are some weird problems with rule changes though that may cause the format to be substantially different, and the restricted list still had some lag effects from it being "Type I and Type II" with a combined list. So I think the restricted list would / should be dramatically different for such a format.
I think Anti-Fish, which was just UR fish with River Boas, was actually the best deck of that time, but Hulk Smash was very powerful and so was Drain into random big drops.
Just to elaborate a bit more on that format at the time from my persepctive, UR Fish could absolutely bury you in card advantage. They not only ran Standstill, but they had Curiosity (an enchant creature!), man-lands, Null Rods, Strip effects, Grim Lavamancer. Daze, Force of Will, and the Hatchling allowed the deck to tap out every turn so they just incrementally gain massive mana usage advantage over the course of the game too. You basically had to take a strict plan of kill their early creatures, AND hit your land drops to stand any chance against them.
I don't recall the combo decks being very good. Storm was somewhat of a boogie man, but it was bad against the best deck (Fish), the restricted list made them fairly inconsistent and you had the sideboard space to devote to them if you wanted to (no Dredge). The other combos did not consistently happen early in the game, and if they did you still had a suite of 8+ counterspell effects in any control list. Occasionally, someone would get the turn 1 Dragon Combo, but you need like a perfect 7 for that.
I thought Shops was also definitely a control deck back then, not much of an aggro deck, as they mostly relied on locking you out of the game. It was a very reliant on Urza's block, whereas now people can tap into about 50 different artifact sets.
I didn't get much traction the first time I posted it, but I still stand by the idea and think it could be fun to explore. The major issue is that Vintage is such a small portion of players. They seem to either want a fast metagame (MTGO) or a glacial one (Old School). There doesn't seem to be an in between.
I'd love to explore Magic's history again. Maybe someday I'll try again, year by year.