"One key to the continued health of Magic is diversity. It is vitally important to ensure that there are multiple competitive decks for the tournament player to choose from."
@aeonsovarius Wizards has made a concerted effort over the past ~decade to stamp out any possibility of "unfair" strategies existing in Standard. They're all fair decks.
They restricted Aetherworks Marvel because they thought casting a turn 4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger was unfair. They printed Saheeli - Feldar Guardian (accidentally) and Paradoxical Outcome - Sai (intentionally), which enabled combo decks in standard. I'd argue that Experimental Frenzy and Runaway Steamkin is a pretty unfair interaction in the current standard. I think they've definitely taken chances with potentially unfair strategies recently. Which is a positive for the game, IMO.
@vaughnbros If I remember correctly, it was a number of months. Adaptation included running more Pithing Needles, Wastelands, and leaving Swords in. Still, I would view opening up the Dredge archetype to more variants a positive. The new mulligan would certainly help the Dredge Shops deck with more consistent draws.
@vaughnbros Sure, but the vast majority of Dredge decks in the current metagame aren't running transformational sideboards. Transformational sideboards also have trouble persisting in metagames since they become less effective the more they are known and the larger share of the metagame they hold.
This is excellent, @evouga! This was exactly the type of analysis I was hoping to see. Thank you so much for doing this!
@fsecco and @Protoaddct I think that view is a bit myopic. The 5% failure rate was always more of a talking point than a significant detriment for dredge. So the deck lost 1 in 20 games or 1 game every 7 to 10 matches (or basically once an event on average)? Yeah, the London mulligan eliminates the number of non-games, but that was the stated point of the rules change. The important aspect of the above figure is that restricting Serum Powder would have a non-negligible effect on the starting hand size of the Dredge opener. From my experience with and against Dredge, the hardest games to win post board are the games in which Dredge keeps 7-6 cards, which allows it to navigate the hate, and restricting Powder would lower the likelihood of that by it looks like 10-15% or so (for 7 cards). That honestly might be worth considering if the deck proves too strong if the new rule is implemented.
Edit: A 90% chance of keeping a 6-7 card hand with Powder means I'm not cutting Powders from my dredge list. I think they are well worth the increase from 75% (which includes one Powder from the chart).
I really think its time Vintage went to a B&R&S list - Banned ( 0 copies) Restricted (2 copies max) and Singleton (1 copy max).
The only argument ever presented against this that I have seen is that it could be too confusing for new players. What new players?
There are plenty of new players on MTGO. The online format is thriving.
At what point do you start looking at creating a player run format instead of violating the core principles of Vintage? If you feel the only way to save Vintage is to ban cards based on power level, or if you feel the only way to save Vintage is to unrestrict almost every card, why can't you create those formats and try to gather interest there? If you feel 3 cards is a better maximum than 4, if you feel WotC is taking Magic in the wrong direction and want to limit the card pool, why not create that format. Old School has proven this approach can be effective and like @GrandpaBelcher is saying, there are people who like the format as is. Drastic change risks alienating the people who do play the format, with unpredictable returns. If you are the DCI, why would you do such a thing when you look at the hard data and you see the format is balanced, events are firing, and tournament attendance on MTGO is actually increasing?
@vaughnbros Yes, of course! Expressing your opinion is great and you should the same right to comment on your hobby as the rest of us. But don't you think it's a better result for all involved if the actual discussion of the list and the merits of a reset are brought up in a separate thread with maybe a link here? Brian spent a lot of time writing up his opinion so he could get feedback and reactions and I'm sure you would like feedback and reactions on a reset idea (I actually think it would be interesting as a player-run format to start/just not as a competitive or online format). This is an organizational critique, not an effort to silence anyone.
Jesus, Flash is too good because of Rector but Channel into any colorless spell is OK for the initial list. This is incredible...
@vaughnbros - I mean, if you literally read the second part of the title and then ignored the thousands of words that follow, you can make the conclusion that this thread is about alternate takes and not Brian's recommendations on the Banned/Restricted list. Otherwise, you are kind of just hijacking the thread and really should just create a new one.
Going to do a write up on the Jund archetype but in brief... I cut the Blue to make the mana better and I found Cindervines to be such a house against Xerox shells that you didn't need the Blue Power/Dack. You also don't need FoW as much as you used to as Lavinia punishes FoW and broken strategies. Tarmogoyf is also well positioned and Cindervines/DRS give you a way to beat Xerox Pyromancer, which was Tarmogoyf's greatest weakness. Andy didn't have the best of runs on the VSL but my experience has been positive. From my records:
This includes two variants: a Green Sun's Zenith variant that is more flexible and has things like main deck Scavenging Ooze against Survival and Dredge; and a Demonic Consultation variant that is more streamlined against Shops, Paradoxical, and Xerox in particular. Win rates were similar.