Strongly suspect the pro-Flash posters and upvoters are actually all David Ho just trying to get the card unrestricted so he can sell the original art for $$$. Can't see any other logical reason anyone wants that card to be a 4-of.

The logic behind unrestricting Flash isn't that difficult to understand.

  • Doing so would create a new deck & increases diversity in metagame that is now mostly just Shops, Mentor, and a bit of PO/Oath/Dredge

The reasons not to unrestrict Flash are equally easy to understand:

  • Makes a deck that can potentially kill on Turn 1 with little set up or protection, making Vintage less fun or interactive.

I can understanding someone opposing the unrestriction of Gush on the latter grounds, but I can't understand how someone can't understand the former grounds. That doesn't mean we should unrestrict Flash, but it's not hard to understand "the logical reason."

last edited by Smmenen

@Aaron-Patten said in Cards to unrestrict:

@Brass-Man Yes, it was part of the original engine which was all restricted at once.

Quoting this article:
http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/shadowmoors-impact-standard-2008-06-06
"Merchant Scroll, Brainstorm and Ponder have all been added to the restricted list. Merchant Scroll tutors for the most powerful cards. Likewise the access power of Brainstorm and Ponder make finding the powerful restricted cards in a deck too easy."
Yet, Preordain and many other cantrips still exist unrestricted. I don't think it would have been restricted if it weren't for Gush. Same with Ponder.

If fetchlands didn't exist, Brainstorm wouldn't be restricted. Period.

If Flash is "OK" to unrestrict to make a new archetype that would be of equal power to Mud and Mentor, then why not Channel and Balance? Turn 1 these are all of "equal" power and would give the same results of new archetypes if your not worried about more turn 1 wins/blowouts @Smmenen ?

@Serracollector said in Cards to unrestrict:

If Flash is "OK" to unrestrict to make a new archetype that would be of equal power to Mud and Mentor, then why not Channel and Balance? Turn 1 these are all of "equal" power and would give the same results of new archetypes if your not worried about more turn 1 wins/blowouts @Smmenen ?

I've already said this, but it bears repeating, I don't think the Vintage format should have a deck that can consistently win on Turn 1. But I do think that the current format can bear a little bit of speeding up. I don't think having a deck that wins, undisrupted, a slightly higher percentage of the time on Turns 1-3 than current decks would be a bad thing, if it measurably improved the diversity in the metagame. Closer historical baselines for Vintage would be fine.

I also said that the two cards I'd start with unrestricting are Windfall and/or Bargain, and "seriously consider" Flash, behind those two. So, I'm not on the "let's unrestrict Flash now" camp. My position is more subtle than that.

Flash is a deck that is vulnerable to very specific forms of hate that are readily available to all decks. The two main Flash creatures, Protean Hulk and Rector, don't work if Leyline is in play. Channel is not similarly vulnerable. You can do a much wider range of things with Channel, like cast Emrakul or Charbelcher.

Also, I don't think a deck designed to Balance on Turn 1 just to wipe the opponent's hand would be that good. But I do think that Balance is sufficiently obnoxious that, while it probably woudn't dominate the format, there are real risks that it is too much of a wipeout effect for creature decks, and would therefore strategically narrow, not expand, the format.

Flash is a very narrow card that would essentially create a new deck without specifically knocking anything out, and has very specific weaknesses that every deck could exploit. It appears, for example, that Pithing Needle & Leyline stop most Flash combos. From the perspective of just trying to create a new deck and improve strategic diversity, Flash is a very obvious target. The problem is that it's also probably not very fun to face and/or play against.

last edited by Smmenen

@POXEVERYTURN
If I remember correctly that's Richard Garfield's favorite card as well. Not that it should really make a difference, but I do also happen to agree with you.

What would be the worst-case scenario for unrestricting Fastbond? My imagination tells me that at the very least we'd get a playable Vintage Lands deck, but I'm also not much of a Vintage brewer so there may be consequences I'm not seeing. Does an unrestricted Fastbond fall into that sweet spot Steve is talking about with regards to a deck that speeds up the format, but doesn't lead to a deck that can consistently win on Turn 1?

@jimmycolorado

Here's a first draft of an unpowered lands deck with fastbond that's built in the style of a mana lock deck. Use null rod and strip / waste recursion to lock people out. Then kill them once locked.

Engine (16)
4 fast bond
4 exploration
3 rampup excavator
4 crucible of world's
1 horn of greed (don't want to draw this until allready have green enchantment resolved)

Lock (6)
4 null rod
2 sphere of resistance

Misc (5)
4 misstep
1 probe

Land Destruction (6)
4 waste
1 strip
1 ghost quarters

Tutors and targets (10)
4 crop rotation
1 workshop
1 tabernacle
2 glacial chasm (a lot of decks as currently configured only have one strip, so chasm plus a crucible effect locks them out, also combo with fastbond and horizon canopy to draw whole deck)
1 depths
1 stage

Other lands (17)
4 horizon canopy
4 fetch lands
6 forests
3 ancient tombs

This is off the cuff, so there is room for improvement.

The other direction I think fastbond would be strong in is draw 7 style combo. That's a bit harder to rebuild without a lot of goldfish testing. That's the more scary angle to me.

The following gem that won a Black Lotus at a 54-man event in the gool ol' days would be my starting point for a 4 Fastbond deck. While we don't have access to 4 Brainstorm anymore, we do have access to a full set of Crop Rotation and Regrowth, let alone the fact that the card pool has probably doubled since this deck won.

last edited by Guest

I'm just wondering if there's any support for something like the following:

  1. Unrestrict Ponder

  2. Unrestrict Demonic Consultation

  3. Unrestrict Gush

  4. Unrestrict Chalice of the Void

  5. Unrestrict Necropotence

  6. Unrestrict Yawgmoth's Bargain

  7. Unrestrict Windfall

  8. Restrict Monastery Mentor

The card that I think would allow for those 7 to come off is likely Chalice of the Void. I think Chalice was wrong axed when it was really the combo of Chalice + Lodestone Golem that was too OP and if we had seen Lodestone get axed first I'm not convinced that Chalice would have had to go. I think Chalice existed in the format healthily for many years and it wasn't until Thorn's printing that it even started to be played in a "MUD deck" where it could realistically be cast @1 early. I think the play of Chalice @1 would force cantrip decks to expand from that design space or lose more often and I also think it would, in turn, force players to seriously consider cutting the 1-of Dig and the 1-of Treasure Cruise from their lists as fueling them would become far more difficult. I think Chalice allows cards like Consultation to be safe (for the record, I think Consultation is fine anyway as you need to contort your list to even reliably play it and the whole turn-1-tendrils deck is a product of a bygone era. That deck is never coming back while we now have access to 4 misstep. Sorry guys, it just isn't). What are people's thoughts on Chalice as a way to open up the restricted list and allow cards to come off? Thoughts?

-Storm

I'm not sure I'll ever understand the sentiment that unrestricted Lodestone Golem was somehow worse for the format than Chalice would have been. As a longtime shop pilot, I experienced WAY more blowouts from Chalice than from the Golem. Golem rewarded metagame preparation and deck construction whereas Chalice randomly derped opening hands so hard that Ingot Chewer became the most played creature in the format.

@cutlex said in Cards to unrestrict:

I'm not sure I'll ever understand the sentiment that unrestricted Lodestone Golem was somehow worse for the format than Chalice would have been. As a longtime shop pilot, I experienced WAY more blowouts from Chalice than from the Golem. Golem rewarded metagame preparation and deck construction whereas Chalice randomly derped opening hands so hard that Ingot Chewer became the most played creature in the format.

Because it's way easier to beat a Chalice when you have more than 4 turns to do so.

Golem is just a juggernaut in a world of Moxen. I never understood why it got restricted. Chalice straight up shut down decks and any avenue of winning sans Ingot Chewer. Keep Chalice restricted.

@desolutionist

Exactly. Vintage players got by just fine in a world before 4 Golem but with 4 Chalice. Chalice is the more powerful card overall, agreed, but it also goes into way more lists effectively than Golem, and would have a more stabilizing impact on the format.

One mana spells are allready punished by misstep from most blue decks. If the other half of the format was playing 4 challice, 1 mana spells would just be a big liability all around. I don't think that would be good for the format.

@walking.dude said in Cards to unrestrict:

One mana spells are allready punished by misstep from most blue decks. If the other half of the format was playing 4 challice, 1 mana spells would just be a big liability all around. I don't think that would be good for the format.

I disagree. Moxen are inherently what allow cheating 2-drops down on turn 1. Why not incentivize that more and take the Swords to Plowshares/Preordain Derp parade down a notch? I think the card pool would open wide up and folks would have to fine solutions to Chalice again if they want to play their precious 1-drops. I think containing Moxen not having every list start with a rainbow set as a matter of course is also a good thing. Deck design is about as brainless as I've ever known it to be at present and that is so utterly frustrating for me as a deck builder.

People forget that in a world with 0 Golemns and 4 Chalices, people were rarely playing more than 4 spheres/1 trinisphere. And there also wasn't Revoker to stop the moxes we were playing.

@MSolymossy said in Cards to unrestrict:

People forget that in a world with 0 Golemns and 4 Chalices, people were rarely playing more than 4 spheres/1 trinisphere. And there also wasn't Revoker to stop the moxes we were playing.

Revoker answers 1 mana source and does NOT have a cumulative effect the way spheres do. I think people largely overstate the power of Revoker. It is a good card that can sometimes be back breaking, but that can be said of a lot of the best Vintage cards. In a world with 4 Chalice you'd be less likely to run a deck with all 5 moxen (more likely folks would start moving to on color moxen and cutting Mana Crypt/Sol Ring except in the decks that REALLY want to abuse those cards) and more likely to run a deck with 17-19 lands. This would already make Revoker WAY worse vs. you as you'd more often have a hand with zero Revoker-able targets. I'm not saying that 4 Chalice with the current card pool would look like 4 Chalice with the card pool as it was during Mirrodin block but I am saying that I think it could be addressed just fine without 4 Golem to worry about. I think it would be at least worth trying because I don't see how things in this format could get much worse than they are now.

@Stormanimagus said in Cards to unrestrict:

  1. Unrestrict Ponder

This is a highly defensible position. This card was only ever restricted because it functioned as part of the Gush Bond engine. An archetype which hasn't been problematic since Gush was restricted in 2008. The card is not fundamentally broken by any stretch of the imagination. The only other collateral damage that unrestricting this would cause is to boost the power of the traditional Ritual Storm combo decks, the most recent of which was DPS, which haven't been performing at a detrimental capacity recently. Even in this case the boost is so marginal that it would be difficult to measure.

  1. Unrestrict Demonic Consultation

This I'm more weary of. There are several combo decks that can be constructed such as Two Card Monte or just plain old Painter Grindstone that would be immensely bolstered by this card. It's a one mana instant speed non-card-disadvantageous tutor for non-restricted cards. If this got unrestricted it's likely there would need to be several restrictions for it's targets and I'm in the camp of wanting the least possible number of restrictions.

  1. Unrestrict Gush

I would love this, personally. I've never understood people's irrational hatred of this card. It doesn't slot in with the other restricted cards in the format as well as many other restricted cards like fast artifact mana and draw7s do and so it creates another strategy that can keep up with those cards in many respects. It does cast a shadow on decks that are weak to tempo strategies but I suspect it is not intrinsically problematic in and of it's self were it not for Monastery Mentor. There should be a viable tempo/aggro-control strategy in Vintage and this card helps that to exist. Aside from the nominal card advantage it generates it is similar to a cantrip in that it is cheap and grinds through cards but it has a significant enough drawback that I don't think it is problematic without the Monk creating tremendous card advantage off of all cantrips; not just Gush. It is hard to evaluate since there is nothing else that does what it does but looking at the history of the Vintage metagame since it came off the list this card never saw significant enough play to warrant restriction until Monastery Mentor was printed.

  1. Unrestrict Chalice of the Void

I don't think this is entirely unfeasible since the card in and of it's self is symmetrical and requires deck building constraints to make it advantageous. I like the way the card enforces a diversity of mana costs because it is yet another force for creating strategic diversity. It's restriction is defensible because of how well it has performed in the past but that performance is strongly dependent on a certain land that taps for a black lotus worth of mana every turn and since, for reasons beyond my comprehension, this has been considered to be acceptable for over a decade. This card, like many others halfway decent artifacts, is most likely not safe to unrestricted while our favorite lotus land still roams free. Sad times for strategic diversity.

  1. Unrestrict Necropotence

Something that wasn't mentioned in my list next to this card which probably should have been is that Dark Ritual is unrestricted making this a very likely turn one or two play. On turn one or two most players have a high life total which they can sink almost entirely into this card giving them their choice of the best seven of the top nineteen to fifteen cards of their library from which point any competent player should be able to achieve a swift victory. There is almost nothing outside of a Force of Will that will stop that outcome from taking place so I don't personally think this card is safe to unrestrict for that reason. Maybe if Dark Ritual were restricted it would be more defensible to unrestrict Necropotence but I seriously doubt that would be enough to prevent this card from being the centerpiece around a nearly unbeatable and format dominating deck.

  1. Unrestrict Yawgmoth's Bargain

The only way a player is going to get yawgmoth's Bargain onto the table before turn 4 or 5 is by sinking almost their entire hand into fast mana at which point there are several ways to address this card outside of just Force of Will. This card requires a much more significant commitment of resources to enter the battlefield compared to Necropotence and as such seems like a much safer unrestriction. The only potential problem I can imagine this card would bring about is that, unlike Necropotence, it can have a tremendous impact on the game immediately without ever having to pass the turn as one would with Necro. Resolving Bargain means getting access to nineteen to fifteen cards immediately as opposed to seven of those same cards on the following turn. This is a much greater gain for a much greater cost; however, we already have a card that is similar to this but that doesn't present a significant problem and that card is Ad-Nauseam. This card has been around for quite some time and is capable of a very similar outcome for one less mana. Not to mention that for a mere five mana one can simply cast Dark Petition and put Necropotence directly into play. Based on that it seems like this card is not as much of a problem as it once was. This is likely due to the other decks and cards that have been developed since it's restriction.

  1. Unrestrict Windfall

As much as my sentimental self would love to see this card come off of the list I suspect that it is much less safe than quite a few other options; some of which are mentioned above. This is a draw7. It may not look like it but it is. There are 5 total restricted draw7s including this one which, if included in a single deck, make it very likely that not only will one be drawn in a player's opening hand but also that another will be drawn in the subsequent opening hand that they are about to draw into off of their initial draw7 leading to a sequence of plays that will result in a turn one win à la Tolarian Academy decks of Urza's Saga standard. There is enough fast mana available in already restricted cards that, with the correct deck building decisions, drawing 7 cards can be made to be very likely to result in the described chain of events even with Tolarian Academy and the other various fast mana cards restricted. There may be an argument for unrestricting this in order to create deck diversity but it is similar to arguments for unrestricting Flash in that it would carry the risk of making the format less "fun" for the same reason; turn one wins. I stand in the camp of minimizing turn one victories in Vintage simply because playing more than one turn allows for a much greater potential for strategic diversity in the format.

  1. Restrict Monastery Mentor

This is highly defensible since it is Monastery Mentor that caused nascent cantrip strategies to become problematic in the first place. Without Monastery Mentor there is no reason to restrict every blue cantrip but while it exists as a four of this card will continue to allow a strategy that generates unrivaled board presence at the lowest cost in the history of the game. When this card was first spoiled I didn't believe it was real because it was so overtly abuse-able. It struck me immediately that it is essentially a better Tinker->Blightsteel that has less risk and less overall cost. It invalidates a far larger grouping of strategies, such as anything which plays creatures the traditional way, and is far more effective at doing what Tinker->Blightsteel does which is close out games as quickly as possible. This card may not often lead to turn one wins but it is very easily responsible for turn three or four wins with a huge amount of backup since the cost to produce a lethal attack is so minimal both in deck design and in mana and card commitment in game. This card is truely unprecedented in the game of Magic: the Gathering and should be more seriously evaluated by the DCI.

The card that I think would allow for those 7 to come off is likely Chalice of the Void. I think Chalice was wrong axed when it was really the combo of Chalice + Lodestone Golem that was too OP and if we had seen Lodestone get axed first I'm not convinced that Chalice would have had to go. I think Chalice existed in the format healthily for many years and it wasn't until Thorn's printing that it even started to be played in a "MUD deck" where it could realistically be cast @1 early. I think the play of Chalice @1 would force cantrip decks to expand from that design space or lose more often and I also think it would, in turn, force players to seriously consider cutting the 1-of Dig and the 1-of Treasure Cruise from their lists as fueling them would become far more difficult.

I absolutely agree that Chalice would be a very effective tool against several strategies which are considered by some today to be egregious. Mainly it is good against cantrip strategies but it is also good against a large chunk of the restricted list and that fact gives it the potential to create strategic diversity in Vintage. If it weren't for Mishra's Workshop neither this nor Lodestone Golem would be on the restricted list. In my opinion, Mud would still be tier one if Lodestone Golem, Chalice of the Void, and Trinisphere were unrestricted while Mishra's Workshop were restricted. All three of those cards are restricted because of Mishra's Workshop. The riskiest of the three is Trinisphere and it might still be too good even without Mishra's Workshop when powered out on turn one off of several moxen; especially in conjunction with Paradoxical outcome for example. Lodestone Golem on the other hand is just a Juggernaut sphere which would most likely not be problematic were it not for Mishra's Workshop providing virtual card advantage as well as tremendous tempo advantage that transforms the golem into a lock that is likely unpicked before the game ends through golem beats. Considder that if a workshop player cast a golem on turn one without Mishra's Workshop they would be down at least one card, but on average more than one card, in order to achieve the same result since they would have to play an additional two moxen or another source of fast mana to make up for the loss of mana generated by Mishra's Workshop. That's potentially two lock pieces they won't be able to deploy without the Ancestral Recall worth of card advantage generated by Mishra's Workshop. The reason I think the card Mishra's Workshop has remained unrestricted for so long is that people don't seem to realize that it is also an Ancestral Recall as well as being tapped for a Black Lotus worth of mana every turn. By playing this card on turn one you have gained three lands for the price of one which is equivalent to drawing two additional cards except it's better because those cards are always the same cards just like as if you tutored for them and put them directly into play that turn at no additional cost. That's two built in explores worth of land drops in addition to an Ancestral Recall worth of card advantage to go with your Black Lotus worth of mana every subsequent turn. It's drawback was historically significant in that you could only cast artifacts but there have been so many artifacts printed since this card was originally unrestricted that it's drawback has steadily dwindled into obsolescence. You no longer need to play non-artifact spells to win games of Magic: the Gathering in eternal formats. There are affinity decks and Metalworker decks in Modern and Legacy respectively which are often times tier one without the help of Mishra's Workshop. Add to those two card pools the power nine and suddenly Workshop seems ludicrous. I know my opinion on this matter is unpopular but I have never heard any compelling argument which opposes it. I will say again as I have said in the past that I am not calling for the restriction of Mishra's Workshop. I love old school magic and this card is iconic to that era. I absolutely love that there is a format where it is still played and I would not want that to change but the reason I keep sharing this opinion is that it seems that most of the complaints about this format are, at their core, symptoms of this card being unrestricted and I just can't see how this format can ever progress to a state where it is welcoming to new players again while this card reigns supreme. People Complained endlessly about Gush and Probe but Gush and Probe were just restricted and the explanation is that the DCI wants to see Mishra's Workshop based strategies reduced in popularity. Since then there hasn't been the slightest hint at their being reduced in popularity. Quite the opposite. I don't see why they ever would have been. The idea of trying to reduce the effectiveness of one strategy by placing restrictions on it's rival is absurd. People say that the deck and thus the card are necessary to the format because it is so effective against storm, blue control, and the other turn one combo decks of the format but it is also effective against the decks that are marginalized by storm, blue control, and other turn one combo decks thus negating the very same justification toted as the primary reason for the necessity of its existence. I can't be the only one who sees this. Every time there is some restriction in the last nine years the cause can be traced back to the relationship between blue decks and Workshops and while blue cards get restricted without a second thought everyone is always tip-toeing around the issues of Mishra's Workshop based strategies as if it is sacrilege to even point out the overtly obvious truth that having a land that taps for a lotus worth of mana every turn is better than any mox ever could be. Yet we see restrictions like Lodestone Golem, Chalice of the Void, Gush, and Gitaxian Probe to try to accommodate Workshops' presence in the format. It's the same story being told over and over again just as it's been for years but when I read people complaining about the same issues they have with the format on this site year after year I just can't help but think... Are you trucking kidding me?

"Buck up! Enough already, Forsythe! Who cares about Workshop anyway? The pillar has only one deck, for Maro's sake! Car Shops? Ravager Shops? Le Tigra Shops? They're the same deck! Doesn't anybody notice this?"
alt text

I sincerely hope this post does not inform DCI decisions regarding the restricted list. I don't want that kind of responsibility. I'm grateful to Wizards of the Coast for all the effort they put into making this format as enjoyable as it is. Without their non-partisan authority dictating the restricted list I feel this format would not be as fun as it is today.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@Stormanimagus said in Cards to unrestrict:

@desolutionist

Exactly. Vintage players got by just fine in a world before 4 Golem but with 4 Chalice. Chalice is the more powerful card overall, agreed, but it also goes into way more lists effectively than Golem, and would have a more stabilizing impact on the format.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about this era. These are not your modern shop decks with Revoker, Metamorph, Forgemasters, Precursor Golems, Wurmcoil Engines, etc.: these lists had no teeth. You had your lock pieces (which worked pretty well) and you had your win conditions (which were all awful tempo sinks). The blue decks at the time ran an extensive manabase and could wait until you stopped playing lock pieces to run out your slow win condition, be it Smokestack, Karn, Juggernaut, whatever, then proceed to Hurkyl's you and win.

Lodestone Golem was the first lockpiece that was also able to finish your durdling opponent before they could stabilize and kill you using their one maindeck slot and 2-3 SB cards. It made the field respect the deck enough to devote actual main and sideboard space. But it didn't break the format, as this was in 2010 and calls for restriction didn't reach a crescendo for years.

However, post-restriction shop decks still have teeth. I like to imagine that unrestricting Chalice would allow Stax a resurgence. Unfortunately, I think the card would instead find itself alongside familiar hordes of robots and Eldrazi and again raise voices about a coinflip format.

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