@macdeath said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

@smmenen I am curious to hear you articulate why you think sphere is the right card to hit in shops instead of thorn, Walking ballista or another artifact creature like Ravager, Revoker or Foundry Inspector. I know you mentionned Eldrazi as a reason to deter restricting thorn, but I don't think that it is necessary valid since DPS was left out of the Probe decision and Doomsday/gush storm out of the gush decision.

Just because the DCI has left bad precedent isn't justification to repeat the error. The DCI has wrongly over-restricted many times in the past. The restriction of LED made the restriction of Burning Wish unnecessary, yet it was restricted anyway. Similarly, the wave restriction of 1999 restricted probably a dozen cards more than necessary, like Mind Over Matter, Grim Monolith, Dream Halls, etc.

Restrictions should be narrowly tailored to solve the problem, and reach no further. Narrow tailoring is an important concept that opposes overbreadth and sweeping more broadly than necessary. It also means, all things equal, in general, 1) I favor restrictions that hit the "problem" deck and leave other strategies unaffected when there is a legitimate choice of options, and 2) restrictions that have minimal impact compared to those that have a larger impact, while still "solving" the problem. Since (2) is paradoxical or hard to understand, I'll give a mathematical hypothetical that clearly illustrates this principle.

Suppose there is a dominant deck in the metagame. Let's call it DECK X. Suppose DECK X is 40% of Top 8s. Now, further suppose that the acceptable level of dominance is 30% for this deck. Finally, suppose we have two valid options: CARD A or CARD B used by DECK X.

Suppose we project that restricting CARD A will bring DECK X to 25%( +/- 5%) of Top 8s. And restricting CARD B will bring DECK X to 4%(+/-2%) of Top 8s. All things equal, I would prefer restricting Card A. As between those two options it has the least impact, while yet "solving" the problem.

At the same time, I also prefer a smaller restricted list to a longer/larger one, so those principles apply within that larger limit. Minimizing the restricted list is a prime directive for me. Nonetheless, I might be persuaded to restrict two cards to save one, if the case could be made strong enough (like restricting Mentor and/or Preordain to save Gush). But at this point, it's pretty clear that Workshop has caused alot of cards to be restricted, and will need to cause more. At some point, the balance of the number of cards needed to save "one card" outweighs the value of that card. 4 or 5 restrictions to save 1 is not an acceptable ratio IMO. I'm willing to allow one more restriction before a deeper cut is needed.

So, if you apply the alternative options you mentioned through the matrix of the principles I just announced, it should spit out Sphere as the most logical restriction, I believe. I don't think restricting any of the other cards you mentioned, alone, will be enough to "solve" the problem, or you'd have to restrict multiple of them to save one card. And that contravenes my prime directive. Restricting Thorn violates the narrow tailoring principle about hitting other decks/collateral damage/overbreadth. Thorn is important to Eldrazi and White Eldrazi and even some Hatebears decks.