B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020

@protoaddict

Yes, I think companions would be great for the game’s variance problem.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

snip

Do you think a banning of PO and Underworld Breach would be:

A) justified based on pre-Ikoria numbers those decks put up
B) would adequately open the field to allows us to properly see if Lurrus is truly that good.

I am of 2 minds about PO since I don't think I can point to a direct parallel, but Breach has had enough time at this point to show that it is basically a better Yawgs will which has precedent to be on the restricted list.

Personally I would also like to see Mox Opal on the list as well, but that may just be a want for consistency more so than power level.

Assuming you mean restriction, possibly yes to both, but I need to study the numbers more carefully before confirming.

last edited by Smmenen

@vaughnbros said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@protoaddict

Yes, I think companions would be great for the game’s variance problem.

Lutri appears to be playable without being imbalanced

I don't think Companions are a fatally flawed concept any more than storm. It's the expressions that are potentially problematic.

@vaughnbros said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@protoaddict

Yes, I think companions would be great for the game’s variance problem.

There was a land card in the mystery booster playtest cards called RIFT that looked to try to solve this problem as well:

alt text

Obviously would never see play in vintage because of all the downsides but you can see that clearly this is something they have thought about. Also is one of these cards where a seemingly a restriction just would not work.

last edited by Protoaddict

Let's hope they:

Ban the companion mechanic
Restrict Bazaar of Baghdad and Mishra's Workshop
Unrestrict Mental Misstep, Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Thorn of Amethyst, Windfall, Golgari Grave-Troll, Imperial Seal and Lodestone Golem.

I'll also state for the record that I have reservations about the quick ban. I don't have as much time to play Vintage as I used to, and I've certainly not had the time to play with the companions yet. But honestly I never felt the need to once the conversations around Twitter turned into "ban them now" because what would be the point? They'll be irrelevant soon enough. The format changes too quickly for me now, with every new set creating a new set of cards for people to complain about publically, which invariably results in a complete loss of interest because I know the format's probably going to change before I get to play any measurable number of games.

I've not read the posts in great detail, but I figured this perspective might be useful. The fast-paced nature of the format certainly benefits those who play Vintage on MTGO regularly, and if that's the direction Wizards chooses to go, that's also fine. But know that it comes at the cost of another group of players.

FWIW, the card seems busted enough that a ban seems reasonable on the surface, but I'd certainly have liked a little more time given before taking such a massive decision such as a power level banning in Vintage. I shudder to think what future B&R discussions are going to look like now that seemingly bans have been brought back to the table.

last edited by Hrishi

I agree that it is too soon to ban Lurrus. I think 3 months is a good time to see how decks adapt. But that might be too long for some I guess.

But as it is, it seems quite soon and too abrupt. Vintage as a format has quite a bit of depth, so I will be quite surprise if Lurrus is really insurmountable once it is a known quantity.

last edited by arcane7828

Companions stifle creativity, not breed it. Just ban the mechanic, not the cards.

@chubbyrain1 Wow, I waited a day to check this thread and things went bonkers!

Your "Grandfather" theory is probably factually correct. That is, there are cards in Vintage and Legacy that would be banned or restricted if they were printed today, based only on the warping of the format around them. They don't get hit because of player feelings.

Is it the way things should be treated, though? That was more the thrust of my question. As far as I can see, there is no "Lurrus Deck" in Vintage or Legacy. It's like Force of Will or Brainstorm in that it becomes an extra tool available to many diverse and different decks. Should we be quick to fart all over a new card that reaches those levels? Maybe we should, but I feel like the logic has to be stronger than taking a "Grandfather clause" and turning it into "Get off my lawn you damn new kids"

@arcane7828 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I agree that it is too soon to ban Lurrus. I think 3 months is a good time to see how decks adapt. But that might be too long for some I guess.

I don't think the format review cycle for bannings can be longer than the release of new products into the format. Once new cards are released into the format it can (and often does) fundamentally alter the interactions of all the other cards in the format.

Banning Lurrus after 1 month may be too brash, but banning him after a new product with anti-companion effects in comes out 3 months later is basically useless.

Part of the issue is also the irregular release schedule the game has now. 4 main line sets, 2 novelty sets, 1 commander boxed set, 1 game night, etc, all in one year, all released at irregular intervals even when COVID is not an issue.

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Companions stifle creativity, not breed it. Just ban the mechanic, not the cards.

I fail to see how this is true. All the cards in your deck are arguably there for synergistic reasons, companions are no different. To say that a companion stifles you because it places restrictions on you is completely contrary to all the magic design principals that Maro has constantly talked about, where restrictions and limitations breed creativity.

Saying the companions stifle creativity is like saying Lord of Atlantis stifles creativity because he is only used in a prescribed list and is totally linear.

@maximumcdawg said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Is it the way things should be treated, though? That was more the thrust of my question. As far as I can see, there is no "Lurrus Deck" in Vintage or Legacy. It's like Force of Will or Brainstorm in that it becomes an extra tool available to many diverse and different decks. Should we be quick to fart all over a new card that reaches those levels? Maybe we should, but I feel like the logic has to be stronger than taking a "Grandfather clause" and turning it into "Get off my lawn you damn new kids"

Well, If the format truly had a restrict, not ban policy, it kinda wouldn't matter because you are never fully removing powerful cards, just limiting them. Banning Lurrus would change that.

I think we should be more receptive to cards that open up new strategies, specifically ones that do not require a ton of power and could potentially open the format up to new people. If a new printing spurned a deck that was truly viable in the format that very explicitly did not want, by design, Lotus, moxen, bazzar, workshop, blue power cards, I would support that card to the utmost extent even if it was an overpowered companion.

Companion is also the space where they can force something like this. Imagine a creature that said "this card is your companion if your deck has only green cards and land in it" but it was an absurdly viable creature? G for a 3/3 hexproof, can't be countered, draw an extra card every turn nonsense. I literally could not exist in other formats but it would actually probably be perfect to add new archetypes to vintage.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Companion is also the space where they can force something like this. Imagine a creature that said "this card is your companion if your deck has only green cards and land in it" but it was an absurdly viable creature? G for a 3/3 hexproof, can't be countered, draw an extra card every turn nonsense. I literally could not exist in other formats but it would actually probably be perfect to add new archetypes to vintage.

Me too, 100%. The best thing about Companion is the design space they opened up. They popped the cherry on cards that restrict the way you build the rest of your deck. That's the best way to print cards that compete with the old staples or can replace reserve list cards without supplementing them. It's not very elegant, but it does the job.

That said, none of these Companions really is doing anything like that, really.

@maximumcdawg said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

That said, none of these Companions really is doing anything like that, really.

Yet.

Personally I always wanted cards that were limited to less than 4 per deck. I think the increase in variance in that respect leads to interesting games and there is some inherent balance to it when limited.

A Lightning bolt that could not be countered for R may be too good, but if it was limit one per deck maybe what that does is give players pause for though about how far away they actually are from being burned out. It also lets you have a control valve for cards that interact negatively with additional copies of themselves, ala Minds desire.

I would far rather have the format have a few viable linear decks with a low bar to entry than one that is perpetually a rich kids club. I've long contended that it is a shame that Burn is just shy of being viable in vintage, because that deck is the viability police in every other format and gives people a rather cheap way to join the fun. In vintage arguably that deck would need a mox ruby for marginal value, lotus is probably not even necessary, and boom, your playing vintage. Won't happen unless a new printing ala companion enables it or WOTC restricts fetches and duals so players have to pay actual costs for mana, but still.

@Protoaddict mox ruby is free to proxy and costs $2 online. Similar for the rest of the power. Vintage in its current form is accessible for all but 1 or 2 tournaments a year.

@illig719 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@Protoaddict mox ruby is free to proxy and costs $2 online. Similar for the rest of the power. Vintage in its current form is accessible for all but 1 or 2 tournaments a year.

Sanctioned, we mean. For kitchen table I completely agree that a sharpie, blank card, or even a nice printed playtest card is totally fine.

That said, the last time I could play weekly sanctioned Vintage was 2012, so....

I'm not talking about kitchen table. I mean weekly/monthly tournaments that are still held which allow 15 proxies. There may be others but the only truly sanctioned events I'm aware of in the US where u cannot proxy are EW and SCG con. Also online most vintage decks are cheaper than modern.
Unless your goal is to play in those two tournaments the format is accessible. Driving interest to it is a different issue and one that I don't see being fixed by any different number/style of companion printings.

This entire discussion pertains to the B&R list, which is for sanctioned formats. If you want to play proxy or have your own banned lists that is your prerogative, but I do not see how you can decouple this discussion from sanctioned play.

It is my opinion that the lifeblood of this format is actually in-person sanctioned events, because they are impressive to watch and play in. The thing that got me into vintage magic was really seeing a few event VODs and reading reports from them in the early 2010s and realizing I had the means to work my way into the format. Once in to the format I gave up on standard and realized that for someone like me the time and money it takes to play standard is simply not something my lifestyle would accommodate, but Vintage, Modern, and legacy were something I could hang my hat on.

My point about Burn though was honestly that it does not even need ruby. The deck has enough speed and velocity off basic lands already and no draw to speak of, and cards like Fireblast prefer mountains anyway. If it was viable in the format because people had actual pressure on life totals (from being forced to use shocks or something) then it would be a budget deck without actually being a budget deck. Blood moon builds were close to this as well but still want and use lotus to real effect, plus Force of Vigor pushed them out of the meta for now.

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I fail to see how this is true. All the cards in your deck are arguably there for synergistic reasons, companions are no different. To say that a companion stifles you because it places restrictions on you is completely contrary to all the magic design principals that Maro has constantly talked about, where restrictions and limitations breed creativity.
Saying the companions stifle creativity is like saying Lord of Atlantis stifles creativity because he is only used in a prescribed list and is totally linear.

I say this because companions and their +1 to starting hand size essentially invalidate any non-companion strategy. Card advantage is the name of the game and always has been. If they had to shuffle a card back to insert the companion into their hand I wouldn't care at all, and would then be excited for such design space.

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I say this because companions and their +1 to starting hand size essentially invalidate any non-companion strategy. Card advantage is the name of the game and always has been. If they had to shuffle a card back to insert the companion into their hand I wouldn't care at all, and would then be excited for such design space.

I know that @Smmenen would agree with your sentiments on card advantage, but that's not really always 100% true. Would you play a card that let you start with a hand of 10 cards but you were unable to play any card with a casting cost less than seven? I think everyone in this thread all agrees that the Companion mechanic in theory is fine, it's just that the deck-building restrictions need to be very severe to counterbalance the cards.

Even based on the printed cards, it's hyperbolic to say that "companions and their +1 to starting hand size... invalidate[s] any non-companion strategy." No one in Vintage is running Obosh or the Macrosage. It's not the mechanic itself, it's the cost. And, come to think of it, that's basically true of almost all of WotC's biggest mistakes 😄

@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

This entire discussion pertains to the B&R list, which is for sanctioned formats. If you want to play proxy or have your own banned lists that is your prerogative, but I do not see how you can decouple this discussion from sanctioned play.

Literally every paper tournament I have played in that has allowed proxies/playtest cards has followed the current B&R list. I think it is a bit silly to limit the discussion solely to sanctioned events, of which there are roughly 1-2 per year as someone noted earlier. It may be your opinion that sanctioned is the lifeblood of the format, but that is an opinion, not a fact. I tend to hold the exact opposite opinion, for instance. I think paper Vintage would die completely if not for proxy events.

Girls, you're both pretty.

The question is, is Lurrus going to the prom next week or not?

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