November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

Chains of Mephistopheles- you are on notice!

@joshuabrooks said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

First card in awhile (to my knowledge), that people weren’t playing four copies of when it was restricted?

Most decks seemed to be 2-3 copies.

There are a fair amount of cards on the list that if unrestricted I'm not sure would see play as a 4 of now, like imperial seal. I'm pretty sure Gitaxian Probe was not 4x when it was restricted either.

@protoaddict said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

More and more decks that are not Dredge or Shops are moving closer and closer to being highlander decks, the the point where I almost wish vintage was just a singleton format.

I've joked for a while that Vintage could move to singleton with the exception of Workshop, Bazaar, and Force of Will and it wouldn't be substantially different

If you restricted Shops and Bazaar along side all non basic lands I'm not sure you would be in a format that required FOW to keep it sane, plus there are quite a few other free counterspells that would become viable like Misdirection, Force of Negation, maybe even Foil or Disrupting Shoal.

I know FOW was long lauded as the formats gatekeeper but if the format was singleton it likely would be far more "fair" and not so in need of keeping.

I'm sure Narset was problematic enough to warrant a restriction, but all I can think of at this point is "what is the next card people are going to complain about for the next few months"? My bet is on Paradoxical Outcome.

These constant restrictions are tiring.

The really interesting question, which is bound to arise as Wizards keeps printing variants of existing effects: once an archetype is oppressive and all of its key components are already singletons, what now?

@evouga That has always been the issue of the restricted list. I remember talking about this when Treasure Cruise came out, because even with the restricted list suddenly every deck kinda had 2 recalls in their deck once that mistake was made. If they make a other similar mistake suddenly we have 3 in the format.

Personally I think restricting the mana bases is a good start. It does change the texture of the format but does protect it for potentially a longer time.

Narset failed to live for two reasons:

  1. It's a 3 mana dig through time with a fantastic static ability. Dig through time costs 8 and was restricted. I think that's what they mean by too much efficient card draw. Narset herself is hyperefficient card draw even without her static.
  2. She's blue. If Narset were any other color, she'd be a great tool vs blue decks and card draw for decks that rarely have any. By being blue, she just becomes a 1-sided CA wall the same way Karn was a 1-sided null rod, and Karn already got axed. Stopping CA was a great move, but adding it to the color that plays that CA was a major fail. If Narset were 1WW, She'd be an awesome and fair card. Other Narset incarnations were white...they just shifted her in the wrong direction for N,PoVs.

@protoaddict said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@evouga That has always been the issue of the restricted list. I remember talking about this when Treasure Cruise came out, because even with the restricted list suddenly every deck kinda had 2 recalls in their deck once that mistake was made. If they make a other similar mistake suddenly we have 3 in the format.

Personally I think restricting the mana bases is a good start. It does change the texture of the format but does protect it for potentially a longer time.

I mean, a lot of the Vintage mana base is already restricted, right? Sure, restricting Workshop, Ancient Tomb, Bazaar, and the various utility lands would hit the format hard, but I don't know that Xerox or other blue-based decks would be much phased, given that we already have access to 10 distinct fetchlands (five of which can get Islands), the original five duals and the Ravnica duals (many decks only run 1-2 copies of the original duals anyway), and in a pinch, new printings like Prismatic Vista.

@evouga I have to believe that any restrictions in the world of fetches and duals would be at the least a deck building hurdle for base blue decks. Yes they would have shocks if they needed, but they would be forced top spend life as well as use a wider variety of fetches that may not always be the one they need to fetch with.

People just said Narset was often a 2-3 of card and it needed to be restricted, same logic for lands.

@thewhitedragon69 said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

  1. She's blue. If Narset were any other color, she'd be a great tool vs blue decks and card draw for decks that rarely have any. By being blue, she just becomes a 1-sided CA wall the same way Karn was a 1-sided null rod, and Karn already got axed. Stopping CA was a great move, but adding it to the color that plays that CA was a major fail. If Narset were 1WW, She'd be an awesome and fair card. Other Narset incarnations were white...they just shifted her in the wrong direction for N,PoVs.

If she were 1WW instead she'd just end up as another piece to white Eldrazi decks or something, so, eventually would need restricting anyway.

Do people think that perhaps Pyroblast will have less representation now?

@stormanimagus Yes. Sorry to say, now xerox can and will run 4 Plows and 4 Paths mainboard.

last edited by Yugi Mutou

I disagree, Xerox won't play that much removal and especially not that much white creature removal. And imo Pyroblast will stay where it is. It is still the most efficient answer to PO, Oko, FoW and the whole restricted blue package.

@ten-ten If she were playable in white-heavy decks only, there's no way she gets restricted. More than likely though, blue just starts playing 4 tundras and Jeskai/Esper control becomes the big blue with Narset while other blue decks fade away. Blue will find a way thanks to dual lands.

If she was symmetrical she also doesn't get restricted. The issues with these insane 2019 walkers are the effects being so one-sided. Karn, probably had to go regardless. This restriction will return the Pyroblast mirror to being more light sabery and less bludgeony but it just adds another turnip to the blue stew. The 2 x narsets will get replaced with a Dack that was sidelined, or a Saheeli to churn tokens, or more Oko in the builds with Forests.

These restrictions aren't a sustainable solution in anyway. What I don't understand is that given how Vintage (and Legacy) are worth no money at all to WotC why they don't admit the obvious and just let the eternal formats use different constructed rules. They already basically do this with Vintage in that it's the only format with a restricted list. Vintage and perhaps Legacy should just use the original Legends deck construction rules for Planeswalkers and then when the inevitable next dozen planeswalkers need restricting it's already baked in. This rule got changed in 1995 I think with Ice Age (so you could play 4 x General Jarkeld).

Just say in these hallowed ancient wizard battles each player can only have 1 of each walker in their deck. I'd actually just make it by name, e.g. Jace / Chandra / OKO because I hate planeswalkers but I can see an argument for 1 of just Jace, the Mindsculptor. Not sure how the flip walkers would work, I'd just restrict those also, fuck it.

@nedleeds said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

Just say in these hallowed ancient wizard battles each player can only have 1 of each walker in their deck. I'd actually just make it by name, e.g. Jace / Chandra / OKO because I hate planeswalkers but I can see an argument for 1 of just Jace, the Mindsculptor. Not sure how the flip walkers would work, I'd just restrict those also, fuck it.

I mean, that does not prevent the fact that the format is trending towards a singularity. Inevitably there will be a point where restricting a new, overpowered card is not enough. Maybe it is the next 1 mana draw 3 mistake, or the next alternate casting cost free card, but it will happen, and it will become apparent that because of that mistake there is a definitive best deck, or at least best core.

Then what? Do we go to a singleton format in total and see if that weakens dominant strategies so that every deck becomes a reactive sorta "fair deck", do we start doing actual bans, or maybe we raise the minimum deck size to 75 to increase variance?

Personally, I think the Canadian highlander point system is starting to look better and better for the format, but I am probably on my own with that.

@protoaddict When the format filters down to a best core, they print hate for that strategy. See collector ouphe. If Narset were in the right color and symmetrical, she would have served that role (being blue was a huge error). Eventually, the hate will become potent and symmetrical enough (see deafening silence) that "fair" decks become the best strategy.

@thewhitedragon69 said in November 18, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@protoaddict When the format filters down to a best core, they print hate for that strategy. See collector ouphe. If Narset were in the right color and symmetrical, she would have served that role (being blue was a huge error). Eventually, the hate will become potent and symmetrical enough (see deafening silence) that "fair" decks become the best strategy.

A lot of these now restricted cards were themselves considered hate cards against prominent overreaching strategies.

Narset was Hate against decks with too much draw
Karn was Hate against shops and paradoxical
Misstep was hate against one turn kill strategies that relied heavily on 1 mana spells
Thorn was hate against creatureless or light decks
Trinisphere was hate against decks that had no top end

So when the hate cards that were designed to target the other already restricted dominant cards become restrictable do you print hate for the hate that now the original lists could run? Once again, slowly traveling towards a singularity here.

The last few posts here have gotten me thinking. At least to an outsider, it does sort of look like the format is circling around itself, eating its own tail maybe. But I think more precisely this is a back-and-forth between two or more separate factions.

I think, for the most part, there are players who want certain strategies hated out, and those are not the same players who want those hate cards restricted. (And for any given player, they probably lie in a different camp regarding each card/strategy etc). You have a rotating group of vocally angry players as the metagame moves month to month. Sometimes it's a near-consensus, and sometimes it's just a vocal minority, but at the scale of players we're talking about, to anyone outside the community (read: WotC) it just looks like Vintage players are always unhappy.

If Narset was bad specifically because it stops people from playing fun cards like Preordain, then you could restrict it. But if cards like Preordain are fun and you want to let people play more of them, you could also just unrestrict Brainstorm instead.

But of course, Brainstorm isn't a fun card. Neither is it an unfun card. Brainstorm is a card that some players enjoy and some players don't. There's no cohesive view of which sorts of cards and decks and play patterns are considered vintage-appropriate (in the way that Modern has a more clear vision), and therefore all B&R decisions end up being reactive, which can often make things self-contradictory.

Please don't read too much into this as an opinion on Narset specifically ... the same could be said about Chalice of the Void and Lotus Petal, Mental Misstep and Ancestral Recall, Gush and Thorn of Amethyst.

The completely reactive approach we have isn't necessarily the worst possible approach, it may even be the best approach available, given what WotC has to work with, but certainly isn't without its flaws.

last edited by Brass Man
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