August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

I would expect that decks aiming to win on turn one are bolstered tremendously by the restriction of Mental Misstep. Isn't this what everyone said would happen?

@aaron-patten maybe, but the restriction also opens up a bunch of cheap counterplay and disruption strategies like Thoughtseize, Duress, Spell pierce...

The tools to fight turn 1 wins are still there with the addition of FoN, FoV and the possibly renewed playability of Misdirection. It's just a way more interesting decision to make as well in deck building as in game.

@aaron-patten said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I would expect that decks aiming to win on turn one are bolstered tremendously by the restriction of Mental Misstep. Isn't this what everyone said would happen?

I don't know how pronounced that effect is, really. The first challenge top eight was three PO, two shops, survival, dredge, and BUG, which seems kind of like a normal pre-WAR mix to me, other than the absence of RUG. PO did win but it's not like that would have been an unusual result with four Missteps either. The second challenge was really diverse actually: two URW Arcanist and one each of Belcher, PO, White Eldrazi, BUG, Survival, and Dredge.

I think it’s interesting that DPS hasn’t done anything. I haven’t tried the deck personally, but it would make sense that Rituals would be great without facing Missteps every round.

I’ve heard people say that it has a rough head to head with PO, but I can’t see why they couldn’t play some better cards for the matchup. Defense Grid for example seems like it’s obsolete without Missteps to stop and Dark Petition is probably pretty poor in a Lavinia meta. I wonder if we will ever see any evolution there or maybe it’s just not an attractive option.

@desolutionist I've toyed with DPS and Defense Grid is still an attractive option imo. Misstep just got "upgraded" into more versatile counters, so you're less likely to resolve a game endling bomb as opposed to just getting your rituals stepped. And the most common line of winning though a citadel is obliterated with FoV.
I'd hedge against both disruption angles and keep some numbers of Grids in the main and side. I'm not sure what number is correct though or if it's even really just replaceable with discard 5-7(?).
And Lavinia is not a good argument in PO's favor as it can't realistically win through an active Lavinia.

I haven't played against many PO decks since the restrictions, but I always felt DPS could keep up with PO easily.
For me it's more of a playstyle thing.
I think many people don't like storm decks and the archetype is therefore underrepresented across all formats. Those decks do very well in the right hands, therefore one could argue that there are less people playing traditional storm decks.
PO is probably an easier version of the storm archetype to pilot and also feels totally different to play to other storm decks, at least in my opinion as I despise playing PO but enjoy all kinds of storm decks.

I think DPS has a lot to offer for any given metagame that's not just outright hating it out. It's just the matter of putting work into that deck. And only a handful of players are doing it.

@moorebrother1 said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

My concern as a longtime Vintage player is that some of the voices about their preferences for the format will over shadow those that enjoy playing the format is a different way

I just thought that this part right here was worth repeating.

@khahan said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I just thought that this part right here was worth repeating.

Sadly the choice isn't between objective versus subjective. It's between the preferences of the DCI versus the preferences of the DCI combined with information from the peanut gallery.

Anyone that bemoans "the thing I like is gone/disappearing" should talk to a TnT/Oshawa Stompy player about how Survival didn't have any real metagame power for 15 years. Any format that receives new printings will cycle between what an individual player likes and what they don't like.

This isn’t exactly new. The DCI has asked Vintage players for input before, or so I’ve heard from several players. They don’t actively follow or test for the format to my knowledge and some of the statements have been odd as a result. The “change” should be viewed as a positive as it extends the invitation more broadly. If you are worried that your preferences are being overshadowed, then you have the ability to state your case and should do so. I’ve certainly tried to provide data from the challenges to aid in that.

And if it matters, I’m not one of the players who has been consulted in the past.

@mike-noble said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@khahan said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I just thought that this part right here was worth repeating.

Sadly the choice isn't between objective versus subjective. It's between the preferences of the DCI versus the preferences of the DCI combined with information from the peanut gallery.

Anyone that bemoans "the thing I like is gone/disappearing" should talk to a TnT/Oshawa Stompy player about how Survival didn't have any real metagame power for 15 years. Any format that receives new printings will cycle between what an individual player likes and what they don't like.

I dont bemoan, "the thing I like is disappearing" or even, "the thing I dont like is staying." I bemoan the people who use anecdotal evidence from personal experience only to stump for restrictions and changes. That is how I interpret that statement I quoted. Great, you dont like it. You dont like playing against it. Others dont mind playing against it and some other actually enjoy playing it. We should not have a format B&R list decision based on "I feel. . ."

@Khahan

I would love to hear a justification for Workshops and Bazaar remaining legal that doesn’t involve “feelings” because every objective measure seems rather clear...

I would also encourage you to look at qualitative research as you and many others don’t seem so understand that feelings and experiences have value in many professions and can be the basis for decisions.

@chubbyrain I gave you an explanation that said Workshop are tempo-wise important in the format. You just don't like that explanation. Bazaar I kinda agree, it's broken and generates a bunch of mana and CA with each activation. I don't think Bazaar and Shops are in the same place of restrictability. Bazaar plays a different Magic game. Shops just helps aggro/prison keep up tempo-wise with Ancestral and Time Walk and Tinker etc.

@chubbyrain said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@Khahan

I would love to hear a justification for Workshops and Bazaar remaining legal that doesn’t involve “feelings” because every objective measure seems rather clear...

Every objective measure? That can't possibly be true.

For starters, Bazaar has never put up the consistent Top 8 metrics or even win % metrics that would justify it's restriction. So, not only am I skeptical that "every" objective metric would support these restrictions, I'm having trouble thinking of a single such metric.

last edited by Smmenen

@chubbyrain said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@Khahan

I would love to hear a justification for Workshops and Bazaar remaining legal that doesn’t involve “feelings” because every objective measure seems rather clear...

I can think of a few thousand reasons. They're green and have pictures of dead folks on them.

I was tongue-in-cheek referencing Aaron Forsythe's tweet...

The actual point of my tweets from context have been that Wizards has been using qualitative measures for B&R policy likely forever. And for game design. And for other things. Arguing that there shouldn't be a subjective element in B&R or that this new approach is different is wrong. You would have a much better case to the DCI if you argued in favor of your own preferences than why they should take actions against their best interests as a for-profit game company.

@fsecco I don't think you are providing as compelling of an argument as you think you are by comparing Mishra's Workshop to a bunch of restricted cards then saying it shouldn't be unrestricted.

@Smmenen ...This was a riff on "Every saturation metric we could ever invent would point to it being banned".

@thecravenone Man, that would certainly create a lot of bad feelings. Which again, is not wrong. That is my whole point...

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

I was tongue-in-cheek referencing Aaron Forsythe's tweet...

The actual point of my tweets from context have been that Wizards has been using qualitative measures for B&R policy likely forever. And for game design. And for other things. Arguing that there shouldn't be a subjective element in B&R or that this new approach is different is wrong. You would have a much better case to the DCI if you argued in favor of your own preferences than why they should take actions against their best interests as a for-profit game company.

There is a difference between acknowledging that there is a subjective element to B&R management (which I have always done), and between saying that it's all subjective. I agree with the former, but disagree with the latter.

I have always acknowledged that there is a subjective element to B&R management. (I derive my framework from explicit statements by the DCI, and adopt that criteria, including subjective criteria.)

But what people have gotten tripped up over lately is thinking that presence of subjectivity renders all B&R management entirely subjective. They think it's all just infinite subjective regress. I'm not saying you are doing this, but I have read some recent statements online to this effect.

In doing that, people are confusing objectivism, in philosophical terms (or the idea of objective truth), with objective standards (contextual, pragmatic objectivity in Bernsteinian terms).

Even for matters that are seemingly entirely subjective, such as food criticism, there are widely used standards: cleaniness, quality of the ingredients, originality of the recipes, politeness of the staff, etc.

Similarly, for Magic, there are widely used objective standards that help define what makes a format a "good" or "healthy" format: breadth and range of competitive options, competitive balance, degree of counterplay, frequency of Turn 1 or 2 wins, etc.

Sure, there is subjectivity in the weighting and applying of these criteria to the facts, but that doesn't render any attempt to appraise one format as better or worse - or to making judgments about a format - as 'merely' subjective. Rather, the resort to standards creates space for pragmatic, contextual objectivity, which includes professional expertise and judgment.

What I find frustrating are comments that people make like "Well, that's just my subjective opinion," and "it's all just subjective anyway." Fine, but given that there are well worn standards, people can both hold their own opinions, and subjectively weight which criteria they feel are important, while still articulating, framing, and describing the bases for their opinion in terms that are familiar and relating to standards that are objective.

To extend the food critic analogy, it would be great if people could say: I don't like the food, but the recipes are original, the food staff polite, etc. Instead, people don't even bother to defend their opinions on grounds that we all agree on - and instead just say: "It's just my opinion." That's just intellectually lazy.

This is very common in law. For example, the standard for negligence in tort law is the 'reasonably prudent person standard.' It's an objective standard, but requires subjectivity in applying the facts. That makes subjectivity part of the formula, but doesn't render it all 'merely' subjective.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen I'm confused - are you arguing or agreeing with me? Because if you're arguing with me, you've basically restated my position back to me, just adding a bunch of unnecessary metaphors...

@chubbyrain said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@Khahan

I would love to hear a justification for Workshops and Bazaar remaining legal that doesn’t involve “feelings” because every objective measure seems rather clear...

I would also encourage you to look at qualitative research as you and many others don’t seem so understand that feelings and experiences have value in many professions and can be the basis for decisions.

Reading back I dont think I was as clear as I intended to be - it sounded good in my head but I think it didn't translate as well as I meant to (sorry, its difficult to think straight when your wife wont stop chattering to you as you type). Feelings should not be the only or even the main focus of reasons. It can be a part of the decision making process. Or more to the point it could be the trigger that starts a hard look at the decision making process. But too many times people come out and all they can do is say, "I dont like playing against this. Its unfun for me. "

Well that's great. But its a lot of fun for me and you want to take away my toy just because. My point is that the B&R list should NOT work like that. If enough people come out and say, "Its unfun," then its time to take a closer look at some hard data. There are other reasons to look at hard data as well.

Feelings are a personalized agenda and unfortunately for people who want to use feelings to stump for their B&R additions, the list is a community list, not a personal list.

@khahan I agree and am glad you took the time to elaborate.

Look at Grim Monolith. Would you restrict something that has 2 copies in an entire 68-person event? No, because even if players find such decks unfun they are unlikely to encounter them very frequently. And a restriction will have almost no effect. Similarly, LSV had a post about Narset, which set off Twitter, but if you look at the data, things become more concerning: Narset was in 50% of the top 32 decks last week, 56% of decks this week. It's the fourth most popular card in Vintage according to Goldfish (which has it's flaws, but such prevalence seems insane for a Planeswalker). And fundamentally there are issues with the card - one of the best ways to draw cards without drawing cards is Narset, which leads to the Misstep problem of playing Narset as an "answer" to Narset. Now, I must stress this, the format is still young and two events is a small sample size, but these two situations aren't really comparable because of the data involved. If you dislike playing against Narset, you are very likely to play against her, and that might ultimately drive players away from the format. I knew several players that wanted nothing to do with Vintage while Karn Forge was a thing.

As for the quality of arguments, I know. I've tried really hard to provide data to the community and I really want that data to be used. But I also think that players are entitled to their subjective opinions. I routinely try to run polls on twitter, as limited as that is, to gauge such opinions (like should mistep be restricted, do you like the recent restrictions, etc.). It's pretty clear though that arguments are more persuasive when they are supported by data and facts. If LSV had mentioned that he faced Narset in over half of his matches, rather than he simply disliked the card, would it have made more of an impact?

@chubbyrain said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@fsecco I don't think you are providing as compelling of an argument as you think you are by comparing Mishra's Workshop to a bunch of restricted cards then saying it shouldn't be unrestricted.

You're missing the point. A blue deck will play with a bunch of tempo-advantageous cards. The fact they're restricted is not the point. For example: if you play with Ancestral, Time Walk, Tinker and FoW, you already have 7 tempo boosting cards in your deck. Workshop just helps brown decks have that tempo consistency. Once you take that out, it becomes very difficult for anything that isn't blue to overcome that amount of tempo gain. That's why I think Shops are crucial for the format and not even comparable with Lotus or whatever.

As I said, Bazaar I think is something else. Although I agree with @Smmenen that it never had results to warrant restriction, I believe it's because you have to dedicate hate towards it. The CA Bazaar generates in unsurmountable in any aspect. Steven himself once theorised that one way to evaluate a card's power is to count how many zone changes it provides (for example, Ancestral Recall is 3 zone changes from library to hand, etc). Count what Bazaar does in 1 activation and you'll see how it's bizarrely broken. I wouldn't be against restricting it because I don't think it keeps anything in place. It's just a monster we're used to dealing with. I have no formed opinion on whether I personally would restrict or not, but I see merit in discussing it, while I don't see merit in doing that for Shops.

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

As I said, Bazaar I think is something else. Although I agree with @Smmenen that it never had results to warrant restriction, I believe it's because you have to dedicate hate towards it. The CA Bazaar generates in unsurmountable in any aspect. Steven himself once theorised that one way to evaluate a card's power is to count how many zone changes it provides (for example, Ancestral Recall is 3 zone changes from library to hand, etc). Count what Bazaar does in 1 activation and you'll see how it's bizarrely broken. I wouldn't be against restricting it because I don't think it keeps anything in place. It's just a monster we're used to dealing with. I have no formed opinion on whether I personally would restrict or not, but I see merit in discussing it, while I don't see merit in doing that for Shops.

OK so with GGT restricted Bazaar puts 2 Stinkweed Imp into your hand then back into your graveyard, and you discard a card which is favorable in the very early game but unfavorable as the game goes on. So the only clearly favorable zone change is that you mill 10 cards. Of those 10, you're looking at about 4 that actually do something meaningful from the graveyard (i.e. free creatures and spells). So Bazaar "draws" 4 useful cards per turn but you start with 0 useful cards in the graveyard and on average something like 3 useful cards in hand, and Bazaar doesn't advance your board state until the second activation, and even then there's some inconsistency in terms of hitting dredgers.

So by the end of Turn 2, you should have something like 3ish useful cards in hand (or played from hand) and 6ish useful cards from the graveyard. That puts you one card ahead of a deck with literally no ability to generate advantage, and most Vintage decks do not fall in that camp. By the end of Turn 3 you should have something like 15 useful cards in all zones, which is certainly good but on the other hand the countermeasures available to fight this whole deal are roughly a million times stronger than anything available to fight any other strategy. I think a Vintage deck getting a strong advantage by about Turn 3 if the opponent can't find any counterplay (when many strong options exist, including the simple Wasteland) is pretty fair by Vintage standards.

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