JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL



  • I said earlier: Probe in Modern is different than Probe in Vintage.

    Dissect this a bit. Probe in Modern is played in Infect, Death's Shadow Zoo, etc. These are combat-based, weirdly interactive decks... that are nevertheless really not super-interesting or fun to play 100 times in a row. They have "lots" of lines of play but in the end they are just variations of the same theme - stick a creature that's a lot bigger than it should be and try to avoid combat.

    Additionally, it's actually kind of perverse that Probe's -2 life is an advantage in Zoo and a total non-factor against Infect.

    Probe in Vintage has some pretty crappy applications in the fringe DPS deck and the hopefully-soon-to-be-fringe Outcome decks... but that's a small slice of what it is. In the main, it has some pretty interesting implications in the grindier Gush decks in terms of fractionally modifying their curves, being more than one thing (not just with the tokens... but with applications like Cabal Therapy) and informing play sequencing. It's fun. And the life loss is starting to matter as things unfold with Delver and Eldrazi etc., so "opportunity cost doesn't matter" isn't necessarily true?



  • I will admit that there is something annoying about Gush Mentor decks (not to mention PO Mentor decks). But I can't pinpoint whether it is about any one spell. It just seems like it is the biggest part of the meta and that's a core component of my annoyance.

    95% of my Vintage play has been done with Oath, so to a certain extent that certainly impacts my opinion. And 95% of my Vintage play has been on MTGO, which has a heavy presence of both Mentor decks and Paradoxical Outcome decks (although, the fever seems to have broken on that card, I'm seeing it less).

    I could see Gitaxian Probe being restricted based on arguments about play experience (like Shahrazad), but I wouldn't really expect Wizards to do that.

    It kinds of feels like Misstep is not enough to discourage endless blue 1 CMC spells in the way that unrestricted Chalice forced people to diversify.



  • @enderfall

    It wasn't specifically directed at you (more at Steve), but this misconception that Gitaxian Probe favors inexperienced players is commonly repeated and ignores the ubiquity of Probe's play by players of various experience levels across formats.

    Again, I'm not advocating for restriction.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @Smmenen Gitaxian Probe is really not comparable to Street Wraith, or Preordain to do this shows a massive misunderstanding of why the card sees so much play and why its so good. Yes, it cycles and for 0 mana, but that is pretty much where the comparisons ends.

    That has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying.

    I realize you want to stand on a pedestal and explicate your views on Gitaxian Probe, which is great, but you are swinging at a straw man.

    Re-read what I said:

    I didn't say that Street Wraith is a better card than Probe. It clearly isn't. Just that Street Wraith is better for strictly thinning purposes, as it can't be countered/missteped, etc. If all you were trying to do was thin your deck, for whatever reason, and you didn't care at all about what your opponent was playing or hand in hand or seek to generate storm or tokens, etc then Street Wraith would be just as good. Obviously, those things matter or else Probe wouldn't see so much play.

    In other words, I specifically listed out the things that Probe does that Street Wraith doesn't:

    • It generates storm
    • It triggers token generators
    • It reveals your opponent's hand
      *and, if you want, it's blue.

    I also said: Street Wraith doesn't see any play, and Probe sees lots.

    Conclusion: the reason Probe sees play is not primarily because of it's cycling or thinning ability. That was the whole point of my post.

    I'm sorry you got hung up on the fact that I mentioned Probe and Street Wraith the same sentence, but I didn't do so for the purpose you seem to think I did.

    I think Preordain is a much better card in terms of shaping the structure of the Vintage format. Preordain can selection 1 of 3 cards for one mana. Probe is 1 card for 0 mana.

    There is a legitimate argument for restricting Preordain, but not, I think, for Probe.



  • @Smmenen said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @Smmenen Gitaxian Probe is really not comparable to Street Wraith, or Preordain to do this shows a massive misunderstanding of why the card sees so much play and why its so good. Yes, it cycles and for 0 mana, but that is pretty much where the comparisons ends.

    That has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying.

    I think Preordain is a much better card in terms of shaping the structure of the Vintage format. Preordain can selection 1 of 3 cards for one mana.

    Quoting not working right, but you again are comparing Preordain to Gitaxian Probe. But no, I am attacking a strawman.



  • @Smmenen Sure, if you isolate the question purely to deck-thinning then these cards are equally good at that one task... but practically speaking. Probe is blue, and a spell that synergizes with token makers, and can be cast from the yard with Snapcaster or Baby, Jace... so the one is, practically speaking, far far better than the other. Isolating the issue to deck-thinning, before leading into stating that Street Wraith doesn't see play... well, let's not get caught up in semantics.

    Probe is pretty clearly a tremendous card, synergizing directly and indirectly with almost every card in the standard issue Gush/Mentor deck.


  • TMD Supporter

    The entire point of your post was that Gitaxian Probe is much better than Street Wraith, which is something I admitted many, many posts up.

    Then, you began spouting off the differences between Probe and Street Wraith, repeating text I already made:

    You said:

    In addition:
    Compared to Street Wraith:
    Its also a blue card, which means the card can be pitched to Force of Will. Its also an instant/sorcery meaning that you can flash it back on a resolved Yawg Will, or with a Jace/Snapcaster, and that it also triggers your Mentor and adds to your storm. Unlike Street Wraith, its hit by spheres, it can be countered and can't be eaten by an Ichorid.

    But I already said:

    If all you were trying to do was thin your deck, for whatever reason, and you didn't care at all about what your opponent was playing or hand in hand or seek to generate storm or tokens, etc then Street Wraith would be just as good.

    In other words, I already made every point you made. Street Wraith sees no play, but Probe is heavily played. That's not in dispute.



  • @Smmenen Preordain =/= Probe. Different cards. Different roles. Re-read my post if you need to.



  • @Smmenen My mistake then. I see I misinterpreted you to associate them and say that Probe was only a little better than a card that sees no play. Also, you win the prize for quickest ever reply.



  • I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

    What are the play patterns that you think might make Probe part of the B/R discussion? Why are they problematic (or not) to a fun and healthy gaming experience (which includes such things as 'do I want to spend 6 continuous hours playing with this 75 card pile')?

    At least @Soly, for his bluster and extreme rudeness, is describing play patterns he doesn't like. I happen to think he's kind of whining a bit, but you know what, he's entitled to it. For him if it's not fun then it's not fun, I just happen to think (opinion) that most people prefer a different version of Vintage with different play patterns.



  • @ribby said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

    Ummm... its one of the cards that was actually banned, are we discussing the announcement or what you think should be banned?



  • @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @ribby said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

    Ummm... its one of the cards that was actually banned, are we discussing the announcement or what you think should be banned?

    This is explained in his post prior to the one you quoted. Everyone can read the card, context is why it was banned, not because of what it does. He ties this into more recent WotC B&R methodology.



  • @vaughnbros Sure! It was just banned. But what's the reason???

    They certainly didn't just say "yep - Infect is a problem - guess I better ban Gitaxian Probe!" with the very isolated, component-analysis arguments that you and @Smmenen are bandying about.

    Modern has some pretty glaringly obvious play patterns in these super-degenerate aggro-combo linears. Probe isn't like this super offender or whatever in those linears, but it is often the first link in a problematic play pattern, and the DCI appears to be making a calculated move in shifting that pattern up ... half a turn? A quarter of a turn? Whatever it is, it's a holistic move.

    That just isn't the same thing in Vintage. The curve-lowering is actually kind of a nice feature. The way the peek effect fits into the overall tactical menagerie of efficiently narrow answers is really nice and rewarding, and they've already restricted the bust-o Treasure Cruise so you don't really get to Delve profitably all the time with it.

    It's a huge problem for Outcome to be able to Probe though, but I'm hoping Outcome fades with enough metagame pressure. Otherwise I'll be back here arguing for restriction (of Outcome, not Probe) (unpopularly, probably).



  • @ribby Yes, and the PoV for a number of people is that Gush Mentor decks have become too powerful. So in the "holistic" view, people are bringing up a restriction of Gitaxian Probe. But it ignores the fact that Probe is played in other decks than just Gush Mentor, and how restricting it could actually hurt other decks more (highlighted by the component-analysis arguments).

    From day 1 they were extremely aggressive with the banned list in Modern, and they've kept up that philosophy of turning a non-rotating format into a rotating one. You are calling the move a holistic one, but you are really only focused on the one individual deck. A holistic PoV in terms of a banning would focus on the format as a whole and that formats success, not just how can we kill / cripple this deck? As far as I can tell the player base in Modern is a shell of what it once was, and it continues to trend in the wrong direction. The DCI is using anything but a holistic view in their actions for that format.



  • @vaughnbros I agree with you on several points. Probe's not the problem in Gush Mentor. I don't know about this "1x Probe hurst other decks more" business... I'm not smart enough to predict that. All I know is that the format would probably be better if the 3-mana creature viable in the flagship large-mana Gush deck wasn't a Tendrils/Tinker stand-in (the Tireless Tracker thread fondly comes to mind). So Probe doesn't even enter my mindspace there. I'm... glad you think so... too? 🙂

    I'm actually with you on Modern. IMO it was a bit of an ill-conceived format to begin with... it can be really fun but the unpredictable banhammer and effect on the financial side is a total drag.

    But with that context firmly in place (inexorably, like the Reserved List)... banning Probe makes all kinds of sense.



  • @ribby Modern could've been a good format if they used the old banned list from the extended format they were basically resurrecting, and just went from there. Instead they made their arbitrary no <4 turn kills and murdered the format over and over again. In each case doing a restriction in the "holistic" view as you've defined holistic, but ignoring the impact on the health of the format as a whole.

    Imho, they've done the same thing with Vintage. They didn't ban Workshop, but they restricted a couple of very important cards that have now made the next best deck, Mentor Gush, that much better and has opened the door for turn 1/2 combo decks to be somewhat viable again. We saw a massive dip in attendance right after these moves, and I'm not sure if we've really fully recovered (hard to tell considering the move of Champs). In the same way they used your definition of "holistic", but not the real definition of holistic in terms of what actually should matter for a restriction.



  • @vaughnbros hold up. I'm with you in the main, but what do you think goes into format health?

    I mean what I'm suggesting isn't really rocket science, it's just taking unfun and boring lines of play down a notch until they become fun and interesting. So that's my perspective, and obviously there are others (like reducing the financial impact on entrenched players) but it's not like I'm not considering one of the real key factors on what makes a game healthy.

    Maybe I've miscommunicated what I'm trying to say?



  • @ribby From a business standpoint a healthy format is one that people are playing.

    Instead of trying to use this as a barometer they seem to have set up some arbitrary rules and when a deck crosses them, they will specifically try to target that deck.



  • @vaughnbros OK. So it's the arbitrarily strict parameters on what should be a highly subjective decision (what is fun, what will get players to play) that you object to?

    I'm with you there. I don't think this latest spree of Modern bannings fits into that though. I am AOK with them.

    I'm not 100% sure that the Vintage Shop restrictions fit into that either. Recall I was against both restrictions mostly because I was deathly afraid of turn 1/2 combo (and a little bit because I liked the incentives forced upon deck construction by Chalice; I've since reversed my position on that). But, as it happens, right now other metagame pressures have kept them to heretofore-sub-dangerous levels, and I've been having more fun with 'fair' decks, and anecdotally observing others doing the same, so overall I've been pleasantly surprised.



  • @ribby Objective how would you measure fun in the overall population for a game though? Wouldn't attendance make the most sense? Or maybe they should measure it by how much money they get?

    Dailies not firing, well daily, means that there could obviously be some room for improvement. A player base too small for their leagues set up, also probably means there is room for improvement. A smaller World Championships was also not good.

    Here we are with no shake up though. Maybe they are content making very little off of Vintage.


 

WAF/WHF