August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

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

By restricting cards that make effective turn ones less consistent, you leave the door open for more types
of decks and high level interaction to be at the forefront of the format.

I find this argument very frustrating. Everyone plays this game for different reasons and we all want something different from the it.

No one wants to just lose a game without doing anything, I get that, I really do. But it is very exciting to figure out the mechanics of a turn one or turn 2 win.

The other view is that I play a spell you counter it, I play another spell and you counter it then you play a Narset and somehow this is better because there was interaction. I disagree.

There needs to be a balance in what keeps the format fun.

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

Cards that should never be unrestricted because they are stupidly powerful one-card combos or because they’d break the format in 4x

Yawgmoth’s Will
Monastery Mentor
Mind’s Desire
Efficient Tutors (Demonic Tutor, Demonic Consultation, Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, Mystical Tutor, Merchant Scroll)
Library of Alexandria
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lodestone Golem
Fast mana acceleration cards
Tolarian Academy
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time
Efficient Draw 7

Cards that should be unrestricted to balance the format, keep some decks in check, and make new archetypes available

Karn, the Great Creator (Jace is more powerful, yet it’s unrestricted)
Mystic Forge (finally artifact decks have a draw engine, hurrah)
Chalice of the Void (the solution to make it playable is to print cards so that those decks that are affected have side strategies)

I can agree with you for most of your reasoning, except for the 3 unrestrictions Karn, Mystic and CotV.
These 3 cards unrestricted would make any other workshop deck inferior to the deck playing these 3 cards. Furthermore, I believe the power lvl of these 3 cards is to high even when you play only 1 of the 3 in a deck.
Karn was also not only played in Workshop (although mostly), but if you looked at the Tournament in Japan, it was played as a 4x in Ritual combo to be able to fetch TV+Key for the win. If a card is able to be placed in every deck regardless the strategy and be off an impact that wins you games after you have resolved him, it should not be unrestricted imho.

I do agree with the fact that Brainstorm and Ponder do not belong on the restricted list. If these would unrestricted, Mana Drain is able to be relevant again (Gifts, Slaver Style with Thirst and Welder).

But as much I love Gush, I don't know if this card could be unrestricted, at least not with 4 Fastbond available.

Necro is something which should be tried imo, but I could not forsee the impact of it.

Mental Misstep is format wrapping, when available as a 4 off, you need to play him to be able to fight him, this makes deck building more constrained then it already is because you have so many auto includes, furthermore, Dark Ritual can't be a Pillar if Mental Misstep is unrestricted.

Greetz Arjan

I'll take a crack at defending unrestricted Bazaar: it's a unique card that opens up a lot of deck design space. It has a powerful ability that comes at a steep cost. Dredge is the broken part of the interaction.

“Jace is more powerful than Karn, unrestrict Bargain” is a good way of saying “I haven’t played this format recently but here are my opinions.”

Just so you know, Jace is pretty weak in Vintage due to Narset and creatures. Bargain is already unrestricted and inferior to Bolas’s Citadel.

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

“Jace is more powerful than Karn, unrestrict Bargain” is a good way of saying “I haven’t played this format recently but here are my opinions.”

Just so you know, Jace is pretty weak in Vintage due to Narset and creatures. Bargain is already unrestricted and inferior to Bolas’s Citadel.

That doesn't mean a part of his reasoning is incorrect.
I have always felt that the restriction of Brainstorm and Ponder was an overkill at that point in time (As you probably know it was restricted together with Merchant Scroll and Gush at the same time).

I believe the following cards could be unrestricted to make the format better.
Windfall or Memory Jar

last edited by Zieby

Yeah, I've stayed away from actually playing the format for a while, so I wasn't informed about Bargain already being unrestricted. Good to know 🙂
That, though, does not completely invalidate my points, that are:

  • card availability is a factor to be considered: the more cards we are allowed to play, the better.
  • the more diverse the format, the better.
  • the more skill is required to play at high level, the better.
  • printing solutions is better than restricting powerful cards and staples of the format.
  • blue instant-speed deck should be made viable once again. Being stuck to play fat PW suck. Brainstorm and Ponder in 4x would help.
  • If some powerful decks of the past were available once again, some of the broken decks of nowadays would be kept in check. Karn was a powerful deck, but I'd be curious to see a 4-Gush deck vs Karn.
  • if Bazaar, Drain, Ritual or Workshop were to be restricted, the format would be completely, drastically different and probably less diverse. No Shops for example leads to even more PO. No Bazaar means no Dredge, but also no Survival, which I think is a fun deck. To restrict Workshop now would be like saying, back in the days: yeah, let's restrict Drain, so we can unrestrict the most powerful blue cards in Vintage.
  • The solution to avoid a Narset-dominated metagame is not to restrict it. It's to print useful cards that plays around the threat. For instance, when Darksteel Colossus was printed and started being played in place of Psychatog in T1T, many people believed it was unfair, as it is a one-card combo that lets you win in 2 turns. Many decks adapted, though, and now, with Dack Fayden and other cards, Colossus is not that big scary impossibly powerful monster like it was back then.

P.S. Jace is less powerful than Karn just because Narset and other you-dont-draw cards are being played so much, not because Karn is better regardless of the metagame.

last edited by Psychatog


Wizards rarely designs cards for Vintage play and when they do, it never demonstrates a significant knowledge of the format. Recently, Shenanigans was spoiled as a card for Vintage and it was almost a complete flop. Designers thought Symetrical schemings or whatever would be a splash in the format. Expecting answers from Wizards vastly overestimates the importance of Vintage in their eyes. Restrictions ARE the answer to broken printings as far as R&D is concerned. They have said as much.

And for the rest, do you really expect Narset to see less play if you unrestrict a bunch of draw spells? Do you expect aggro you see much play with combo rampant? Gifts as an answer to Gush? Gush decks typically dominate big blue. There is a book about this.

Jace saw a huge decline BEFORE Narset was printed because the format became more creature centric and pryoblasts and bolts became more common. It wasn’t worth playing only to die to elementals, monks, constructs, insects, or whatever.

Thank you for taking the time to write up your vision for the for format. I think there are a lot of issues with it though.

Edit: Also, I think I needs to be asked about your central premise. How fast do you think the KarnForge deck was? Because realistically it goldfished consistently on turn 1 and turn 2. “Speeding up” Vintage means literally making a turn 1 format.

last edited by Guest


I hear what you’re saying about complicated combo lines being exhilarating to pilot but there’s nothing complicated about the recent abominations of PO and KarnForge. It’s a very straight forward process of playing your unrestricted mana sources and your 4 mana bomb. The combo decks that actually reward skill are composed mostly of restricted cards - requires the pilot to navigate a plethora of situations rather than just go through the motions of a repetitive play pattern. A vintage deck of 60 singletons is still able to win on turn one, but it’s just not so easy as playing your three moxes and casting PO. Or Shop->Monolith->Key. That sequence is so boring that people just weren’t even playing the deck anymore.

last edited by Guest

It's too bad that combo decks that are a little more complex feel underpowered thanks to cards printed in the past few years. Decisions have become very streamlined with combo decks, often with very few lines of play, and variations of play that don't matter.

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