How much does playing the game really even have an impact on the card’s costs anymore? The argument for the reserved list doesn’t really even hold much water. Alpha and Beta power will still be way more valuable. Wizards would make a lot of money just selling more cards.
The strength of Fetch and Dual is that they are most flexible. The strength of Workshop is it taps for the most mana (and is still more flexible than Eldrazi lands). The strength of Bazaar is you need no other lands.
Eldrazi lands, even in an Eldrazi deck, are clearly 2nd tier to Workshop in an artifact deck.
I’d say Cavern of Souls is the closest printing to making a new niche, but it’s limited by the lack of great complements. You usually end up back into fetches or picking from subpar lands (like Eldrazi).
Magic mana sources are simply stuck where they are. Perhaps forever since they decided to change the entire power level of the card type about 20 years ago.
Fetches and Duals are much more powerful than most seem to realize here:
They can easily fix a 4-color manabase in a non-waste environment, a 3-color one that is waste resistant, or a 2-color one that is completely waste immune. You can even sideboard in and out of those configurations so it can vary game to game.
There are lands, like Sanctuary and Dryad Arbor, that give benefits beyond just adding mana that can and usually are played with them.
The actually ability of sac shuffle effect and deck thinning is a legitimate factor in their power level when you consider synergy with other cards, like DRS, Crucible/Loam, Brainstorm, and even random less played cards like Hermit Druid.
Overcoming the power level of these 3 factors would take some ridiculously powerful lands. The kinds of lands they haven’t printed since like Urza’s block.
The format was slower, and it was better for it at that point in Magic. That is the format that actually got me into "Vintage".
As some people have brought up there are some weird problems with rule changes though that may cause the format to be substantially different, and the restricted list still had some lag effects from it being "Type I and Type II" with a combined list. So I think the restricted list would / should be dramatically different for such a format.
I think Anti-Fish, which was just UR fish with River Boas, was actually the best deck of that time, but Hulk Smash was very powerful and so was Drain into random big drops.
Just to elaborate a bit more on that format at the time from my persepctive, UR Fish could absolutely bury you in card advantage. They not only ran Standstill, but they had Curiosity (an enchant creature!), man-lands, Null Rods, Strip effects, Grim Lavamancer. Daze, Force of Will, and the Hatchling allowed the deck to tap out every turn so they just incrementally gain massive mana usage advantage over the course of the game too. You basically had to take a strict plan of kill their early creatures, AND hit your land drops to stand any chance against them.
I don't recall the combo decks being very good. Storm was somewhat of a boogie man, but it was bad against the best deck (Fish), the restricted list made them fairly inconsistent and you had the sideboard space to devote to them if you wanted to (no Dredge). The other combos did not consistently happen early in the game, and if they did you still had a suite of 8+ counterspell effects in any control list. Occasionally, someone would get the turn 1 Dragon Combo, but you need like a perfect 7 for that.
I thought Shops was also definitely a control deck back then, not much of an aggro deck, as they mostly relied on locking you out of the game. It was a very reliant on Urza's block, whereas now people can tap into about 50 different artifact sets.
If you want a Wheel with this, you are probably going to have to play this and wheel in the same deck.
Playing Wheel of Misfortune for 0 would be fun to force your opponent to discard their hand, while mana efficient for the effect, its not that broken though given Mind Twist is a card.
The format is very saturated with good 3+ drops in control at this point so I don't think it'll have a big impact, but it obviously synergies nicely with Dack Fayden and everything else that combo'ed with Notion Thief / Narset. So there is potential.
Your opponent can kill this immediately though without you being able to recoup value, unlike Narset.
Hell yes to Vintage Horizons. Give us a cycle of Lotuses. One for each color. Some 1/2 Mana artifact accelerators that are better than Grim Monolith. Go wild.
Give us some non-mana lands back too. Maybe like a red Bazaar of Baghdad, where you discard 3 first and then draw 1.
You can play unrestricted, and restricted versions of the format. Unrestricted allows 4 copies of everything. Restricted allows only 1 copy of anything. Simple.
As for the topic at hand, a limited usage Lotus, does have some room to change the format measurably. This is limited usage lotus just like Eldrazi were limited use Ancient Tombs. These limited usage mana accelerators are fair because they restrict your card pool significantly. No one is out here campaigning for Eldrazi lands to get hit with a restriction because of the drawback on the cards. In similar fashion, a limited use Lotus may also be fair.
I don't think LED should actually be restricted. I think it was great design. Earlier in the game it caused issues due to the lack of cards to interact on turn 0. We have numerous such effects now, and I think its fairly safe to come off the list. I'm not sure it even fits into a single decklist at this point without major revision.
So in terms of printings more LEDs, more Lotus Petals, more Moxen, better Duals. These would all be great for the game, and bring back to fun of playing some new cards instead of automatically putting the same 20 or so mana sources into every deck.
First off, Onslaught fetches are 18+ years old and Zendikar fetches are 11+ years old (the eldrazi lands are also 11 years old). These are not evidence on power creep just because of age alone.
I get that people like Onslaught Fetch lands, but that was not even the first printing of the mechanic. Mirage block had fetch lands. I don't recall Mirage fetches being played really at all. So, while the power level was obviously raised on the Onslaught fetches, they weren't some original or novel concept that was added to the game. Fetches by themselves, are pretty much inferior to dual lands since they damage you and without the existence of duals could only pick 1 color type. So they are not independently powerful, or original.
Shocks are almost a strictly inferior land to original Duals (except in case of some combos). There is no good reason that anyone would be running these over the original duals.
Outside of Horizon Canopy land cycle, I can't recall any dual land out there that is on the power level of original duals just being played without fetch lands. Canopy lands are barely even played despite nearly the entire cycle being printed.
So at best, we are talking about mana bases have not improved in 11 years and in reality we are talking about mana bases still mostly being reliant on the first few sets ever printed. That is problematic when we talk about the stagnation of the game in terms of diversity. We will always remain in the world of Island vs Workshop vs Bazaar. In my opinion, if they are never going to print a card on these power levels again, we need to restrict these cards.
In addition to impacting diversity over time, the lack of power creep for mana bases causes issues from a balancing perspective. Low and no mana cost cards will continue to dictate specific constructs within those decks. Every decent printing at 1 or less for Blue, 0 for Bazaar, and 4 or less for Workshops will instantly broken every time. Our restricted list has cards that aren't even playable in other formats because of this phenomenon.
We are still playing with mostly mana sources printed in the first set ever. Its the total opposite of a power creep. A decade ago event (that was really 2 decades ago) doesn't show any power creep.
Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple are bad versions of Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors. Like massively nerfed versions of those cards.