April 24th, 2017 Banned and Restricted update: GUSH AND PROBE/TOP in Legacy

o no @MSolymossy said I don't understand phyrexian mana, what's my life going to be now?

I think we should all calm down and play Portent, the unrestricted Ponder.

Disappointed. I'm relatively new to the format, so maybe it's just my lack of experience, but it certainly seemed to me like Mentor was the problem, if there was one, in the Mentor deck. Restricting Gush and Probe changes the engine, but I'm not sure how convinced I am that it'll meaningfully change the metagame from "Monastery Mentor decks facing down their main predator, Workshop decks" into something else.

In general I haven't been a fan of the anti-Phyrexian mana arguments I've seen presented, but I don't have an emotional attachment to Probe either. A restriction seemed unnecessary, but I can't exactly get riled up about it.

As for Legacy...I'm not a fan of hitting Top, but if you're hitting a card from Miracles then hitting the card that causes time problems is probably the way to go, I guess. I used to really enjoy Miracles before I switched off to BUG a few years ago, and I'm sad to see it go, but I'm probably pretty lonely in that regard.

Overall I find myself lacking enthusiasm or anger toward this update, just a mildly disappointed malaise.

@MSolymossy Peek is instant. Boom.

@fsecco Portent looks surprisingly not terrible, huh.

Maybe gifts ungiven back?

Do we know when these changes will go into effect on mtgo?

@desolutionist They went into effect this morning.

@fsecco Portent is a fine card in a controlling deck that plans to pass the turn.

In regards to Death Shadow's huge representation in Modern:

"...but technology like Condemn is starting to emerge"

Without a doubt the best line from any B&R announcement ever. By "best" what I really mean is cluelessly hilarious.

We combed through 10K plus decklists, you guys need to play more condemns in modern LOL!

Seriously what a joke. Gitaxian Probe is training wheels. Free perfect information, as well as a monk and a crusade and a card draw, okay that's pretty busted, but not the problem. It's replaceable.

Gush is a pillar of vintage, at least it was, it's a shame to see it go.

If you restrict mentor, you can replace some copies with pyromancer. Deck still exists and is still good. Mentor is the problem, not the enablers.

Next up on the chopping block: mental misstep and mishra's workshop.

I hope everyone will understand that if they ever restrict workshop, I will quit Magic forever that day.

last edited by gkraigher

Someone read Steve's book, got a little freaked out, and pushed the big red restrict hammer button.

Don't worry, if the past is a guide, give them five years and they'll unrestrict Gush again. 😉

In the meantime it rides off into the sunset, tipping its hat and promising it'll be back one day, when we need it.

Is it distinctly possible that decks like that BUG deck with Bob from euro eternal could get more legs now? Even if mentor does get bigger the restrictions might be enough to get some midrange strategies back? Landstill anyone? Proliferation of null rod strategies?

Or is it just doom doom doom worse mentor is coming for us all?

Honestly, looking at a lot of sideboards these days, I'm surprised we don't see an antibiotic resistant strain of Dredge to come and opportunistically infect a slower blue meta.

The move doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It encourages people to play more Moxen and fewer creatures that attack and block for small chunks, which is the opposite direction this format needs to go. I'm hoping I'm not the only one to whom that is so baldly obvious.

Plus doing this suggests that whining is rewarded over logic/reason, which I guess I shouldn't be surprised by when Chalice/Lodestone caved, but it still rankles.

Nevertheless. First-turn-kill combo didn't get appreciably better. They didn't do a ban. They didn't restrict any of the really critical stuff like Force of Will. They didn't unrestrict any of of the real critical stuff like Lotus Petal. I suppose we should chalk it up as a small victory that the format isn't smouldering in ashes right now.

Having had some time to get over my shock (I really thought it would be Mentor and maybe Probe). I actually think this is pretty ok. I'm at least curious to see how this will go. I called my wife while we were both at work today, to tell her the bad news. She's a pretty dedicated Gush player. (I once tried to get her to play Eldrazi. After two matches, she said simply... I can't play any deck that doesn't have Force of Will.)

When we got home we started taking apart her deck (A personally tuned version of Joe Brennan's build for Champs), only to realize that we only had to change three cards. The deck was already only running 3 Gush and 2 Probe. So... whatever right? I can't believe that change will kill the deck. We might eventually have to move in some other blue tempo direction. But it seems like this is actually more of a course correction than the hammer that it looked like at first glance. Good job DCI? (Am I really saying this?)

lol try explaining to someone that Gitaxian Probe is restricted in Vintage.


"The catalyst for B&R changes to ANY format is player feedback (then we go to data, design theory, & testing). So thank you for all feedback!"

If you're a Vintage player who has no interest in advancing the format and would rather play Control Slaver mirrors for a decade, congrats! You have a 'voice'.

@wappla It's banned in Modern and bound to be more used in Legacy. It will be easier for people to understand than you think.

doomsday was a gush deck that was not even considered a contender in the meta prior to this restriction and yet it gets hit heavily. Its not even on the same level with mentor-gush when it comes to resiliency and closing out games and yet it gets hit heavily. I can accept probe, but gush??? they could have at least restricted mentor first and monitored if gush is still problematic. For WoTC to neglect support for vintage but afford to be so bold to impose restrictions like this leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

last edited by vanquish

They didn't hit Mental Misstep. Im still done playing til then. Have fun with the "new" format guys. Nothing has changed.

Personally, I think that one of two things should have been done:

  1. Restrict Monastery Mentor
  2. Restrict Gitaxian Probe and Mental Misstep

I think Gush as a strategy isn't overpowered. It's good but it has its weaknesses as well (specifically against taxing decks).

Monastery Mentor is the problematic card. It's simply way too good. Young Pyromancer was good but also "fair" to a much higher extend than Mentor. From a power point of view, Mentor should have gotten the axe.

Gitaxian Probe and Mental Misstep are problematic in another way. They aren't overpowered as Mentor but they are simply unfun cards.

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