November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement

Unrestrict Channel, restrict Fireball. Should be fine.

I might be missing something, but I don't see how unrestricted Channel would dominate or ruin the format, but I'm very interested in hearing why you think it would.

I could certainly see a UG Show and Tell/ Channel/Eureka deck with giant Eldrazi dudes being super annoying.

How quickly people forget that Charbelcher originated as a Green/Black/Blue 2 Land Deck. Channel was the best card in that deck, BAR NONE. If it resolved, you won the game 90% of the time.

Michael Simester
Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 7th, 2004
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
2 Cabal Ritual
4 Dark Ritual
1 Black Lotus
1 Chrome Mox
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Land Grant
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Channel
4 Tinder Wall
1 Bayou
1 Tropical Island
2 Barbed Sextant
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Goblin Charbelcher
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Ancestral Recall
2 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Timetwister
1 Tinker
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Memory Jar
2 Living Wish
2 Goblin Welder

This deck could easily be modified for (A) the metagame and new cards 14 years later, and (B) with 4 channel. Channel-Liches Mirror belcher? YES PLEASE!

4 Channel
4 Lichs Mirror
4 Pact of Negation
4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Manamorphose
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
1 Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn
4 Serum Powder
1 Memory Jar

Considering Channel + Litchs mirror is a draw 7 that gives you 34 colorless mana, I'm pretty sure you could easily win the game turn 1 a frightening amount of the time.

@13nova That actually looks pretty fun even with the one Channel.

@craw_advantage I played a similar deck in the Romancing the Stones 4 and 5 I think (may be fuzzy on which events I ran it). Biggest issue was counters and on color mana. Your opponent counters your draw 7, or if they don't, they get a counter in their new cards. 4 Channel would make that deck utterly nuts and you could liberally bait counters out on spells that didn't actually matter because you have 19 mana to work with.

Decks with unacceptably high turn 1-2 win rates often appear pretty fun...

You really don’t even need the inconsistency of belcher. Just run the preordain engine and combo on turn 2-3 with counter back up and win with stroke of genius.

You can also run this in fair decks. Forest, ESG, Channel, Reality Smasher, Metamorph, Sphere is fair right? It’s budget, it has to be fair.

@Griselbrother do you have mtgo? I am more than willing to test this.

Edit: In before someone says "Mono green Eldrazi deserves to be a deck" and another person says "Vintage needs more budget options". It's a turn 2 kill with a sphere effect with theoretically nothing but unrestricted cards... No, Vintage doesn't need that. Diversity be damned.

last edited by Guest

No one from my playgroup has any interest in traveling to vintage tournaments because of the state of the format, with Mental Misstep and PO being specifically cited. Misstep is tired and PO amounts to watching someone jerk off in front of you while you just sit there and beg them to hurry up and finish so you can get on with your life.

I am probably the one who is not bothered by playing against PO 😞

Although, a restriction would be fine by me, simply because of meta share.

@messplaypc said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

No one from my playgroup has any interest in traveling to vintage tournaments because of the state of the format, with Mental Misstep and PO being specifically cited. Misstep is tired and PO amounts to watching someone jerk off in front of you while you just sit there and beg them to hurry up and finish so you can get on with your life.

There was a similar problem firing Vintage in Atlanta. The TO restricted Misstep and it's fired a couple of times now. I do miss that skill intense Misstep subgame though. Turns out with 1 Misstep the 100 other counters that are good vs. outcome can actually resolve and people have room in their non-Thorn decks for them because every non combo blue deck doesn't have to start with 4 force, 4 skillstep.

@nedleeds how does discard like Duress, thoughtseize and therapy perform in that environment? How aboutDark Ritual?

@aelien Our Vintage events have fired, but still haven't been many people, let alone people actively exploring their options in a single Misstep world. I've tested the waters with Crop Rotation in Survival, and SkullclampShops.

Restricting counterspells in Vintage seems like a bad idea to me. Cards that keep other cards in check are a good thing, not a bad thing.

I don't really understand the complaints about Vintage right now.

Vintage has everything going for it right now that has ever made Vintage great:

  • Broad color and strategic diversity (Survival has really helped) - there are like 15 viable decks, and like 4-8 decks capable of winning any tournament (Survival, PO, Dredge, Oath, BUG(r), Xerox, Shops, WEldrazi).

  • Unprecedented on-board complexity - the operational complexity of Vintage right now has never been greater from Survival to Xerox to PO to Shops, these decks are EXTREMELY complicated to manipulate on board.

  • Deep branching lines of play - virtually every deck in the format is strategic, rather than just tactical, and requires strategic insight to optimize, not just flipping cards drawn. You have really understand matchups and know your role in almost every matchup, as well as what's important.

  • Deep interactivity - with Workshop finally de-throned, players get to actually play spells, and almost every match is highly interactive.

Take the top four decks: Shops, Xerox, PO, and Survival. That's 6 matchups (Shops v. Xerox, Shops v. PO, Shops v. Survival, Survival v. Xerox, Survival v. PO). The only match up of those six that isn't intensely interactive is Shops v. PO. The rest of the matchups are incredibly fascinating. Since Xerox can no longer just overpower it's opponents with Mentor, every Xerox matchup is super interactive as well.

  • Super Skill Intensive - where experience/knowledge matters.

Vintage is so complex right now, actually, that I think it may be beyond most players ability to actually play competently. It's actually laughable to compare, say 93/94, to contemporary Vintage. Playing 93/94 versus Vintage is like playing Checkers compared to Chess or even Go. You go land, creature go, or maybe play a spell or two. The sheer quantity of high stakes decisions every turn, combined with the number of logistical clicks or card shifts is insane. Just a single Dack activation entails 4 zone changes, which itself can require like 4-6 decisions, with branching decisions that ramify into insane complexity.

There have been times in the past where Vintage has had greater strategic complexity - like the Gifts/Grim Long/TPS era of 2006, but vintage has never had this level of on-board complexity and deep interactivity among the best decks.

I've been critical of many of the restrictions in recent years, but I have to say that they really did their job in promoting format diversity and making it much more interactive.

last edited by Smmenen

what do blue decks have to answer with mental misstep that we need 4 MM in the format, that blue decks couldn't handle with MM restricted?

What card must be kept in check with Mental Misstep that couldn't be kept in check before, besides A.Recall?

If I may, Chalice was restricted because it was viewed as keeping players from playing their cards in a format where you should be able to play your cards. Misstep is almost in the same boat, but worse, every blue deck runs it.
I'm not for restricting MM, just curious as to what your thoughts are on these points.

I completely agree with Menendian here. Vintage is in a great place right now, better than it has been for a long time.

I've stated earlier why I don't want Mental Misstep restricted: It's certainly not a very powerful card but a situational one for one. In addition it slows down the format and reduces variance.

The comparison of Mental Misstep to Chalice of the Void doesn't make much sense. Chalice isn't a one for one and it's much less situational than Misstep.

However, I aknowledge that Misstep does hamper some strategies like Dark Ritual based decks and makes some cards, that some might want to play, much worse like Goblin Welder, Crop Rotation etc. That said, I don't mind that strategies that rely too much on a single card get punished for that.

Edit: Also I think there's some double standard to this discussion (perhaps not by the same players though, I don't know). Some complain that Vintage is non-interactive, yet some want Misstep, which actually interacts with the opponent, restricted.

last edited by Griselbrother

@smmenen said in November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement:

... and like 4-8 decks capable of winning any tournament (Survival, PO, Dredge, Oath, BUG(r), Xerox, Shops, WEldrazi).

I agree with smmenen too, alone the quoted diversity of deck types is something we didn't have for a long time, without dominance of one of them and with a broad strategic diversity.

Maybe we can develop the meta a bit further by unrestrictions to establish additional deck types. Fastbond comes to my mind, which could boost Lands/Depth/Loam style decks, but there might be other possibilities.

@smmenen I also agree here. As someone who just started playing vintage again recently after a long hiatus the format seems great. I'm not sure I would have picked it back up if there were only 2 or 3 viable decks. To speak to the diversity, in 10 rounds at EW I played against 8 different decks and it was a blast!

@smmenen fully agree. I returned to vintage in the winter 2016 leading up to Lodestone Golem's restriction, and this if by far the best metagame during my period of playing modern vintage.

I was at first apprehensive as my friends had some complaints about Vintage being stale, but as a play I find the format more complex and diverse. Old School is like taking a break and it is fun but the true challenge is playing Vintage.

I have been playing at a higher level this year and I can see how complex the format is now, and I find it rewarding to play.

last edited by moorebrother1

Let me start by saying Mental Misstep:

  • Is not broken
  • Does not fit the guidelines for (vintage) restriction
  • Vintage is in a pretty good place

That said, Misstep is by far my least favorite unrestricted card. I am a brewer at heart and Misstep does impact my ability to brew a consistently competitive deck.

While there is a good variety of viable decks, there are really only two viable castable archetypes right now - counter spell based deck or lock based decks. The other decks either don't have to cast spells to win (Bazaar decks) or only need to land a single spell (Oath decks)

With Misstep so heavily played, any deck trying to fight outside these spaces need to give up their opportunity cost of using limited early mana to progress their board state with one drops while the Misstep deck can progress their board state without need to use that limited early mana.

This keeps out more than just the more common known decks like welder decks, crop rotation decks, or ritual decks. It also stops yet to be proven potential decks like infect, non-prison zoo, and skull clamp decks.

The good news is that with the benefit of the rise of Survival Salad, Misstep has even fewer good targets. If the meta shifts enough that Misstep is dead more often, the number of copies will shrink. It looks as if this is already happening.

The one thing I think we can agree on is that we won't all agree. I will forever desire for shifting metas. Others like as little change as possible. Neither is absolutely right. Unless WOTC decided to start banning Vintage the same way they do Modern, I'll have to settle with playing decks that I am less excited about. At the end of the day, these are still pretty fun games - even if I feel the deck is stale.

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