Old School Magic: Banning and Restricting



  • Alot of historical Type 1/Vintage content here, so I'm sharing it here instead of the Old School forum.

    Let me know what you think: http://www.vintagemagic.com/blog/old-school-magic-chapter-6-banning-and-restricting-in-old-school/

    Best,

    Stephen



  • As usual, an exhaustive approach combined with an easy read. Nice work.



  • Good read. It really makes me believe that 4 strip mines is a net positive for the format because of the interaction with other overpowered lands.

    Article should have mentioned that Mishra's Factory is much stronger under sixth edition rules, as it can eat Kird Apes by blocking, tap targeting itself and still dealing combat damage.



  • I saw a post on the reddit old school thread that was advocating for an errata change.

    Mishra’s Factory
    Land
    Mishra’s Factory doesn’t assign damage if tapped as a blocker.
    {T}: Add {C} to your mana pool.
    {1}: Mishra’s Factory becomes a 2/2 Assembly-Worker artifact creature until end of turn. It’s still a land.
    {T}: Target Assembly-Worker creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

    https://timewalking.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/the-mishras-factory-case/

    I'm much more in favor of this than wasting time restricting such an innocent card under the old rules.



  • said:

    Mishra’s Factory doesn’t assign damage if tapped as a blocker.

    Isn't the "as a blocker too much?" If you managed give it vigilance and attack it could still pump itself.



  • Personally I think the answer to curating the format is something along the lines of "decks must contain 10 creatures", which I think would dilute The Deck enough to balance things out.



  • @benjamin_berry it needs to be able to deal damage when attacking...



  • @spook said:

    Good read. It really makes me believe that 4 strip mines is a net positive for the format because of the interaction with other overpowered lands.

    Article should have mentioned that Mishra's Factory is much stronger under sixth edition rules, as it can eat Kird Apes by blocking, tap targeting itself and still dealing combat damage.

    This is a good point. I edited the article and added a bit more on this point.

    Thank you for sharing that link to the word press article. I think that guy has alot of good things on point, and i hadn't seen it.

    In fact, I discuss alot of these trends in this article. Like the move away from Moat and towards 3-4 Book and 0-1 Scepter. I should note that I originally drafted this article a year ago - and had to updated it recently.

    I strongly oppose unrestricting Strip Mine. As I said, it's not that Strip Mine is over powered. It's it renders a non trivial number of games stupid. It's Trinisphere. It's just unfun.

    I believe that the Euro groups should unrestrict Black Vise, and legalize Fallen Empires if they are seriously concerned about The Deck. That gives weenie decks more tools and Hymn to Tourach as an anti-control tactic.

    If you really want to attack The Deck, legalize Ice Age, with Cap and Necro :)



  • Very nice article, thanks for sharing!

    Interestingly, you spoke of Maze of Ith at great length and explained that you liked including it in your version of "The Deck". I actually agree with this viewpoint and have always included a singleton Maze in all my Weissman-style decklists. In fact, Maze has been responsible for more than a few victories.

    I originally didn't think I'd be alright with an environment of unrestricted Strip Mine. However, all the last few old school events I've played it was played under Eternal Central rules, and I've found that Strip Mine is a positive card in the format, keeping a number of overpowered lands under control.

    Just as a non trivial number of games are decided by Strip Mine, I'd argue that a non trivial number of games are decided by Library of Alexandria as well. Strip Mine is a tool to fight Library, one of the strongest cards in the format. It also keeps Mishra's Factory under control to some level, because Factory works as a super blocker against a number of creatures in the format. Indeed, you can deal with Maze of Ith as well, which some decks find impossible to deal with.

    If you can get over the few games that you are Strip Mine'd out of the game, I feel it's an overall positive addition to the format. However, this is just my opinion.



  • My EC2015 tournament report goes up next month, but in it, there were a number of games that were outright won because I had double Strip Mine and/or Chaos Orb and/or Recall on Chaos Orb to deny my opponent either 1) any mana at all or 2) a specific color. And I stupidly only played 3 Strip Mine. I won't make that mistake this year :)

    Seriously though. I played in Type I back in the day, when Strip Mine was unrestricted and it was dumb. And I've played countless games of Old School with unrestricted Strip Mine, and with pretty regular frequency it leads to games where one player is blown out by 2+ Strip effects.

    This happens far more regularly than a singleton Library lands on Turn 1 and takes over. At our monthly East Bay Old School Meet up in Berkeley, I won at multiple games this way, just a few weeks ago. Those games would have been far more interesting had that not been permitted. My opponent may have even won them.

    Strip Mine isn't dominant. It doesn't distort the metagame. It isn't a nasty draw engine. But it destroys fun, and creates blow outs that are the opposite of interactive.

    Sure, it's fine for amusement a few times. But it gets old fast, and the format is so much better when that doesn't happen. Why would we permit bad games to happen when we can have good ones instead?

    The list of cards that should be unrestricted before Strip Mine is long.

    For a casual "fun" format, unrestricting Strip Mine is a terrible idea.

    The only reason it's even being discussed is because of the problem of The Deck in Europe. Well, no wonder The Deck is dominant in Europe. Black Vise is restricted, and Fallen Empires isn't legal.

    But unrestricting Strip Mine to deal with The Deck is like stabbing someone to help with a gun shot wound. It's not going to solve the problem, and it's only going to make things worse.



  • Fond memories.

    My first serious deck was shortly after Fallen Empires was printed because Hymn to Tourach was such a "build around" card. And thus I was guilty of dark ritualing out multiple black vises on my first turn.

    Why black vise? Because nothing makes you opponent try to hemmorage his hand faster than two black vises.



  • @Smmenen said

    Seriously though. I played in Type I back in the day, when Strip Mine was unrestricted and it was dumb. And I've played countless games of Old School with unrestricted Strip Mine, and with pretty regular frequency it leads to games where one player is blown out by 2+ Strip effects. ... But it destroys fun, and creates blow outs that are the opposite of interactive.

    I can relate to this. I played in the unofficial old school at the MKM London with a deck that was competitive back in the day (but ran 4 strip mines then). I lost count of the games I lost to this deck, many of them to the double strip. But in today's (UK) old school meta with restricted strip and 6th edition rules mishra just shuts agro/wennie down. Tournament report and some more musing about the power of the factory posted in the UK old school Facebook group.

    Edit: direct link
    https://m.facebook.com/notes/uk-oldschool-magic-9394/mkm-london-2016-unofficial-9394-tournament-report/554056094795777/



  • Nice article, like the whole serie. Thanks for sharing.

    IMHO, unrestrict strip mine would be an error. I was playing a land destruction deck back in those days, it was my first tournament deck and i won quite often then because of the sheer stupidity of the plays it could do. There are enough other land destruction cards to be able to deal with Library if needed. There are no fetches in the format so it is not the same as with wasteland nowdays, color stability is more difficult to obtain.

    I would advocate for Mishra's factory restriction because with nowdays rules it can efficiently block many "small" creatures in the format. As a side effect, it would hinder The Deck but the point IMHO is that more agro strategies would work better.

    I am playing in France where the rules are black vise restricted but Fallen Empire allowed. Playing 4 hymn to Tourach is not enough to win The Deck most of the time (even if coupled with hypnotic specter and disrupting scepter). The Deck is polyvalent, drawing and recursing his cards too much. Black vise could be an answer but energy flux and underworld dreams look like quite good at fighting it.


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