I am a writer for Black Magic Gaming, color commentator for the Mana Drain Vintage League, and current Vintage MTGO streamer at https://www.twitch.tv/vaughnbros
Narcomoeba is part of Dredge’s “manabase”. The deck is non functional without free creatures. Free creatures is what they pay for spells with.
Yes, blue is broken.
Vintage manabases are broken. They break the rules under which every other format operates. Adding inconsistency the most broken manabases is the most we can do with only a restricted list.
What’s crazy is restricting Mystic Forge and expecting to have any lasting impact. You are band-aiding the real problem in that Vintage manabases are too consistently powerful.
Workshops can consistently drop a 4 CC spell on turn 1/2. Dredge can consistently mulligan to a single card and then hit creatures on its first dredge. Blue can consistently fix a 3 or 4 color manabase with basics. These break fundamental balancing rules that cards are printed with in mind now as none of these mechanics are returning.
What will be printed is another Mystic Forge.
I’ve written posts before, but my suggestions would be to hit the “manabases” of every major deck:
Restrict Island-Type Duals (potentially Island Fetch lands as well)
Restrict Ancient Tomb (potentially workshop as well)
Restrict Narcomoeba (potentially powder as well)
A number of cards could potentially be removed from the restricted list at that point if you go with the one in parathenses as well, like Gush and Lodestone.
This achieves both “minimalist” as in a short list and creates diversity by forcing all the top decks to re-imagine themselves to some degree.
Most time points, you were advocating for fewer restrictions than actually occurred and that usually seems to be your stance in debates here. I don’t think it really serves much to argue semantics though. I was simply using the phrases “minimalist” and “scorched earth” to emphasize the wide difference between our point of views.
Yes, that is my point. We’ve now seen the minimalist approach in practice on the Vintage meta for years now too, and the results have been pretty hit or miss. It was ok when we have had long gaps between strong sets. Those gaps are disappearing with a number of cards being printed directly into Eternal, and skipping standard.
Restricting every decent artifact that costs 4 or less, and restricting every decent blue draw spell that costs 2 or less is forming a very long, and now starting to be ineffective list.
The article is interesting in that it kind of provoked thoughts out how you think the B&R list should be managed. I’m just not sure that I agree.
The minimalist approach has a problem in that it’s really only band-aiding much larger wounds and then every set with decent printings, like Karn/Forge or TC/Dig, ends up with a few bad months of Vintage followed by a restriction. This ultimately completely defeats the purpose of having an eternal format. Not only can you not really play your deck from 5+ years ago, you often can’t really even play your deck from like 3 months ago (due to frequent printing/restrictions).
I think there is probably a middle ground between your minimalist and mine/Brian’s scorch earth that was elaborated on a couple months ago that would probably be best for the community. That might mean letting go of a couple of “pillars” to give the house some more space.
Due to the lack of moxen, I’d add Wastelands and more Null Rod effects. You are pretty light on mana without adding the Wastes and aren’t really turning your weakness (less power) into an advantage without more Rod effects.
Teferi is very different from Narset, not really comparable at all. If you cut Teferi’s it should be for something like Repeal, Swords, or a Disenchant. His main role is as a bounce spell. Narset is a draw engine (that is worse without power).