@brass-man Hey Andy. I agree with you that pure hate cards are quite boring and they don't tend to make the cut for even "hate" decks in the long run. The reason Containment Priest was a bit of an exception is that apparently a 2/2 Flash Bear is still good even when the ability isn't relevant in a given game state. Tactics and gameplay have to be considered when designing a card to have an impact on any format and Vintage is no exception. Does this mean that I think "hate" cards are patently the wrong way to go? No. I just think that they are often the only way R & D THINKS they can go when faced with the challenge of weakening archetypes that may be too powerful while boosting others. The most interesting "mechanic" I see that a poster suggested earlier is "For each artifact your opponents control do X." I think that could be a fascinating mechanic to introduce to Vintage, but the major issue with it is that it might ONLY have a universal impact on Vintage and thus would not be relevant to Standard or Modern.
The other design space I've been wanting them to mess with is the mulligan decisions. I think it would be very interesting to have cards that give you boosts during the mulligan decision process but only if you meet certain requirements of cards in hand. Like perhaps something along these lines:
Font of Premonition 1W
When Font of Premonition enters the battlefield you may exile target creature, instant, sorcery, or land.
Prescience - If this card is in your opening hand you may reveal your hand to all players. If you reveal a creature card create a Blaspheme Token. If you reveal a sorcery or instant card create a Potion Token. If you reveal a Land card create Harvest Token.
Sacrifice a Blaspheme Token: Pay X life where X is the number of turns you've taken this game. Exile target creature.
Sacrifice a Potion Token: Pay X mana where X is the number of instants/sorcery in your graveyard. Exile target instant or sorcery.
Sacrifice a Harvest Token: Exile target land. Play this ability only if an opponent produced 3 or more mana this turn.
Now obviously this card is somewhat in the vein of a "hate" card because it is utility removal, but I think it is along the lines of an interesting mechanic. Prescience could be an interesting wrench to throw into Vintage that wouldn't just be a total replication of Leylines. I hate to say it, but I think Leylines were lazy design on the part of R & D and that they could have done WAAAY better with the "pregame" mechanic idea. I think that is an uncharted realm that we could dive pretty deep into without breaking any format particularly. Now I haven't balanced my proposed card hardly at ALL in my head, but I think it's a more forward thinking utility type of card that would attract players. What do you all think? How could Prescience be reworked to maybe be a new mechanic? Thoughts?