@protoaddict FoV is bonkers. It totally should have been GG and a disenchant (maybe even 1GG and exile rather than destroy), not double disenchant.
I never really thought Lurrus was a problem either, but people think there's an issue. Whether their really is or not, reversing time to go back to when there certainly were issues (4x golem, 4x karn, 4x narset, 4x mentor, 4x trinisphere) does not help anything.
@desolutionist I appreciate the congenial discourse.
I think yawg will can be unrestricted too, but mainly because copies 2-4 are typically much worse after copy #1 has pillaged all the goodies. Also, the card is not so hot on turn 1. Tinker, on the other hand, can get some absurd things turn 1...and multiple juicy targets could make redundant copies not bad.
In a world where 8 pitch counters and FoV exist, maybe things aren't as bad as they once were. Not sure. I also think veil of summer enables some of the combo craziness, so there's that too. Could be interesting to say the least.
I'd love to try that 4x channel deck at some point - I'm KillerKarma on Cockatrice
@desolutionist I mean "degenerate" in that tinker is one of the most broken cards ever printed. It's certainly up there with DT, Yawg will. Being able to turn 1 bolas or vault/key consistently is absurd. We now have 8 keys and a TV with 4x tinker is going to be a turn 1 win a LOT.
Channel, flash, and tinker don't stop you from running Lurrus. Flash maybe only in that you need something like protean hulk to make it work. Channel can cast kaervek's torch just fine. No need for permanents.
The bulk of those cards (forge, karn, golem, trini, jar) would do nothing to impact Lurrus. They are all cards for workshop decks and unplayable as a 4x anywhere other than shops. I assume you mean to unrestrict those to make more people turn to a shops deck rather than Lurrus...but people have a hard-on for blue. You either already are a shops player or you're not. Most people don't go from a shops deck to a gush deck or vice versa. They have distinctly different feels, playstyles, and card investments that usually make a player gravitate and enjoy one or the other, but rarely both.
Narset, Necro, and Mentor would put us back to the 4x mentor deck days, which people cried about forever. 4x Narset is just a no-brainer in a world of 4x mentor. I think we'd change from a Lurrus meta to a 4x mentor/4x Narset meta in a heartbeat, and that would be equally unenjoyable. At least Lurrus is a grindy card and not just uber-busted. It was only his companion-consistency that made him truly problematic.
If you unrestrict ALL of these things, I think Lurrus dissapears, but then you fall into 4x trini/golem/karn/forge shops vs 4x mentor/narset/tinker/8-12 counterspells blue decks...and pretty much everything else wouldn't be able to compete.
@desolutionist The main issue I see with the unrestrictions of things like lodestone, karn, narset is that perhaps people start picking those back up as a 4x instead of running Lurrus. Now we're right back to the same meta with 4x karn/4x narset and what? We have the same problematic WAR meta we had a year ago, as if Lurrus didn't exist and 4x narset decks reign supreme again? Golem/Karn shops just rule again? That doesn't actually solve the current issue, it just backs the clock up a few years to another problematic time.
@hrishi I think the best way to create a B&R list would be to set up a list of finite rules for card inclusion. Cards would then be added or removed based on those criteria only. Some examples of rules:
- The card uses ante
- The card uses manual dexterity to determine an outcome
- The card is a non-permanent that causes you to net 2+ more cards than mana spent to cast it in the same turn (This hits ancestral, all wheel effects, and gush, but releases ponder, preordain, brainstorm, etc., and doesn't hit things like harmonize, necropotence, etc. - probably hits PO and ad nauseum)
- The card is a non-land card that costs 0 and taps to add mana to your pool, castable on turn 1. (this allows lotus bloom and tantalite to live, but hits chrome mox and opal)
- The card is a non-land card that costs 2 or less and allows you to take more than one turn in a row (hits walk and TV, but lets all the other walk spells and permanents live)
- The card is a spell that can tutor for a non-permanent spell with a CMC greater than the cost of playing this card. (hits DT, vamp, mystical, etc., but leaves off enlightened, worldly, etc.)
There are other rules you could add if absolutely necessary. I could think of a rule needed perhaps for strip mine...but maybe it's okay as a 4-of. This just provides a non-arbitrary framework for list maintenance. The rules themselves may seem arbitrary, but once adopted, they are unchanging and not up for interpretation. Either a card, no matter how broken or benign, falls under one of the rules or it doesn't. There's no more judgments of "format-warping, diversity-stifling, unfun, etc." It is a black-and-white restriction at that point.
@desolutionist 4x tinker would be degenerate as shit. Even if you did unrestrict it, Lurrus could just run vault/keys with Lurrus and 4x tinker. That wouldn't solve anything, but would strengthen Lurrus. The trouble with the restricted list, outside of mentor, is that almost all of it is spells or permanents that cost 2 or less. None of that helps. Permanents that cost 3+ tend to be checked by the fact that they cost 3+ to some extent.
I think maindeck Lurrus (maybe even restricted) would be fine. I could even see decks with 4x main Lurrus becoming a bit problematic, but not nearly as bad as with Companion. The cleanest fix, again, was to just make "outside of the game" as "Companion Zone" instead of sideboard and remove that zone from Vintage play. The fact that they didn't do that and decided to ban multiple companions in Legacy (and I believe Zirda won't be far behind in Vintage once people really start testing with it), tells me that they are planning on more sets of companions and don't want to throw out a whole planned set before it hits the printers. When the poll asked if people would want to see a mechanic shifted to a different plane, they surely were not talking about mutate!
@stuart Add your 2 cents on proxies, Stu. I think they are integral to any version of a "community-run format," as they are likely a starting point for the framework. The B&R list management would be one aspect, but community-run is by nature unsanctioned, so proxies naturally warrant discussion as well.
@brass-man I 100% agree. I've sold out of power multiple times and can thank sanctioned tourneys for gaining 5 pieces of it...but I always felt like I battled the same "well-off" folks while just curb-stomping people that played unpowered grizzly bears or some BS along the way. I've heard the argument that many games are elitest, but that doesn't mean they should be, nor is the competition actually better off for having a wallet barrier.
I've heard a counterargument that the wallet-barrier is actually good: that it stops random timmy from playing in sanctioned events, giving experienced matchups a virtual bye and skewing the real competition. The thinking is that only good and serious players invest in the cards and thus the sanctioned event is the cream of the crop every round.
I see the logic, but it falls flat to me, based on experience. Timmy still plays because daddy paid his entry fee and Timmy is now running a far inferior deck - because daddy doesn't likely have a second set of power to give Timmy. Even if it is a vastly better player than me who enters, hoping to run a lesser deck to win the power and better his deck - when we match up, that's like me playing a deck with Lurrus as companion where companions are banned only for him/her: it's just an unfair start. No matter how much better that player is than me, his opener of dual land, pass will never best my opener of library, lotus, ancestral, walk.
I think there needs to be a measure of quality in a proxy for readability and appropriateness, but proxies are certainly better for a competitive scene than just the good-ol'-boys club.
4 Land Grant
1 Bolas's Citadel
1 Tropical Island
4 karn, creator
1 Mana Vault
4 lotus petal
1 Lion's eye
4 Serum Powder
4 Veil of Summer
1 Time Vault
1 Manifold Key
1 Mycosinth Lattice
4 Leyline of Sanctity
I'd try out something like this
@blindtherapy I think they just have to try totally new mechanics to shake things up and get more cash. Going from "flying" to "horsemanship" is not going to drive sales. They need drastic changes on the fringes of the rules to keep things exciting. WotC could print a new set of cards with protection, replicate, revolt, and morph with cards more powerful than originals with those mechanics, and Vintage and Legacy players might find a few powerful gems to jam...but standard sales would likely be the worst of all time. Pack-crackers want new, exciting, DIFFERENT, mechanics, and you sometimes break an egg while making an awesome omelet.
@maximumcdawg I think the power creep here isn't as bad as perceived, though. Lurrus, for example, is not OP in standard. It's only OP in eternal formats because of all the already OP old stuff they have access to, like lotus. If none of the mana accelerants existed in Vintage, Lurrus would be much less powerful.
Power creep also isn't always obvious at first. Goyf was a vanilla beater, but an efficient 4/5 for 2 on avg. He got played fairly early and has remained the power-creep-flag-bearer for a long time. Death's shadow is a 7/7-12/12 for 1 mana, and I don't recall him being immediately trotted out as a beast until much more recently. He was sorta unplayable at first iirc. Lurrus is much more of a grindy, decently-costed 3/2 lifelinker in formats that pay WotC.
Another thing to consider is that WotC typically prints a balancer in the same standard block. Drannith Magistrate is cheaper (played faster) than all the companions and drop-kicks them in the fangs. A DM deck is going to punish companion decks. Unfortunately "being broken" is more fun than "stopping broken" and people usually run the flashy wins in far greater numbers than the slogging decks. See humans in vintage vs everything blue as an example. FAR more PO/mentor players than thalia players.
The key takeaway for me is it closes the book on any debate that WotC actively looks at vintage/legacy in R&D. They have a B&R list as more of a courtesy to its old clientele. Their paying customers are 100x more important to them. And since standard cycles sets, OP printings are easily handled, either by corrective printing in the next set, or....time. Bans can be used if they just made an oops, and people won't stop buying packs over an "Oko" ban.
I largely agree with you, but I have to say that there is a more than just a whiff of incompetence surrounding this whole Companion affair. WotC does not profit from Vintage, but it certainly does from Standard and Commander. Companions have massively warped the Standard format (and have overshadowed the intended marquee mechanic of the set, Mutate) and Lutri was preemptively emergency-banned in Commander.
Lutri may have been overlooked in commander in testing, but the rest seem fine. And if by "warped" standard, you mean a major mechanic of a new set is influencing all the standard decks...isn't that "Mission Accomplished" from a design standpoint? Mutate was a major mechanic, but not a very good one - more like a better bestow. Companion was just a more powerful mechanic, and on-theme with the "animal friends" plane. It seems likely that it would be the more played mechanic. And if the mechanic of the newest set is overshadowing older legal sets, I'd think that's a win for R&D.
For all the displeasure at the briefness and "incompleteness" of the rationale for banning - I think they said all they needed to perfectly. The card is busted in Vintage and legacy because of the cheap, OP stuff we have access to. The companions are working as planned in newer formats.
They print cards to sell. Newer formats are where they get 99% of their revenue. What do you all not understand about that? These weren't designed with Vintage/Legacy in mind. They saw the impact and banned it. Get over it. It's almost like people think WotC is testing newer cards for their interaction in Vintage and Legacy with any amount of effort. They are not. If they see something blatantly obvious - something like a 0cmc artifact that transmutes for 0 to get a 0cmc card, they'd likely say "wait, that's free black lotus/land tutor every game" and pump the brakes. But anything outside of THAT obvious, they're going to test how it plays in Standard and maybe Modern, and that's about it. They are a for-profit company, and they will always do what is best to maximize sales, not the grumblings of a small community that only buys old cards via Ebay. Get used to that reality and stop acting confused when WotC/Hasbro acts this way.
@serracollector I agree with this. I don't think it'll result in many, if any future bannings. It will be precedent in a way, but precedent is not needed for WotC to fix any future gaffs. It seems to me that since we've gone 25 years with bannings only to themes, vanguards, dexterity cards, ante cards, and lonely sharazad, that WotC is trying to avoid banning whenever possible. If they do end up with a ban here, I think we'd likely go many more years before we see something akin to it down the road. It's safe to say the testing they do is to try to avoid bannings, and if it's something that needs a ban in Vintage, it's likely reeeeally busted. In this case, the mechanic itself was disfunctional by being +1 card at almost no cost. I doubt that kind of mistake would happen in the near future.
@chubbyrain1 There's one thing missing from this analysis, which I think is very important. The "hand size" calculations consider 7 random cards vs 8 random. This is not accurate. It's 7 random cards vs 7 random cards + 1 specific card. That's very different. Consider pre-companion calculations of 6 random cards vs 7 random cards. That gives you a certain WR%. Now consider 6 random cards vs 6 random cards + 1 specific card where the one specific card is always ancestral recall (or something at least as strong as hyper-value-engine Lurrus). I bet the +1 deck has a considerably higher win % than just random 7 vs random 6.
@protoaddict All those cards would have a WAY more severe impact on the format were they NOT restricted. The way restriction mitigates their effect is by creating variance. You have to draw that 1-of-60 in your deck or do some other gymnastics to find it. To play Lurrus, you just need 3 mana of the right colors, and restriction won't do anything to mitigate that. Restriction doesn't make a card less busted, it just makes it less likely you'll draw it. Would restriction be an okay fix to lotus or ancestral if it always started the game as your 8th card?
You ask if restricting power mitigated their influence on Vintage? I dunno - try running 4 of each P9 and tell me the format is influenced exactly the same amount.
@vaughnbros I don't think it makes a bad precedent. It could just be an instance of "Oops, we're human and made a format-breaking design, so we're acting as if it never happened." Just because a card is printed doesn't mean it can't be erased and the format reset to normal. If they accidentally made a standard-intended card that said "U-Draw 7 cards, destroy all lands and creatures you control," Vintage with their mox mana would laugh at that drawback and do uber-busted things. Would we just have to say "Well, that's a massive error, but we have to allow it and play with it," or can we essentially flamethrower it at the printing press?