B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020

@smmenen

It’s not a preemptive ban for either of them. Montolio plays MTGO (and got Top 8 this past weekend) and Brass Man was commentating an event with Ikoria legal.

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

@smmenen

It’s not a preemptive ban for either of them. Montolio plays MTGO (and got Top 8 this past weekend) and Brass Man was commentating an event with Ikoria legal.

That's not my point.

I'm arguing that banning a card in a 30 year format that has only ever banned a card for power level reasons 3 times before, and the last time in 1996, should take more than a month of experience, IMO, before such a momentous decision.

I was using the concept of a pre-emptive ban, or something akin to it, to underscore that point.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen: That’s not my point.

Also @Smmenen: That's actually my biggest concern here. For paper magic players, this is close to a pre-emptive ban. The card isn't even legal in paper yet in North America, Europe, etc.

Pick one.

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

@Smmenen: That’s not my point.

Also @Smmenen: That's actually my biggest concern here. For paper magic players, this is close to a pre-emptive ban. The card isn't even legal in paper yet in North America, Europe, etc.

Pick one.

You misread the post. The statement "That's actually my biggest concern here." was referring to the quoted statement that concluded with the sentence "This ignores how quickly cards and decks get iterated in between challenges during the leagues."

It wasn't referring to the sentence that followed it. The word "that" signals the text that immediate precedes it. Had I used the word "this," instead, it would have signaled what comes next.

So "my biggest concern here" was referring to the fact that a decision is being made based upon how 'quickly' the metagame evolves on MTGO as a basis for banning a card.

@smmenen

Ok. Then ignore that sentence and refute my meme instead of making this a matter of semantics.

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

@smmenen

Ok. Then ignore that sentence and refute my meme instead of making this a matter of semantics.

a) I don't know what meme you are referring to.

b) I'm not trying to refute any claim you made. I am clarifying my point that banning a card in Vintage after just a month is not enough time.

There are so many upsides to what Lurrus provides Vintage.

  1. It has broadened the card pool considerably. Cards like Dead Weight and Seal of Fire now actually see play.

  2. As Matt said in his original tweet shown above, Lurrus doesn't just come down and win immediately, it's a grindy card that takes a few turns of recursive advantage to dominate.

  3. I really wanted to see the PO v. TX Breach battle play out. Now that's cut short by a lame duck format.

  4. It's driven Dredge to the margins.

I have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Lurrus metagame. I recognize that others haven't, and the numbers certainly warrant a discussion on possible banning, but I think this is premature to pull the trigger.

First, the problem has not been fully analyzed to my satisfaction for such a momentous decision. As I said before, "Lurrus" isn't a strategy like PO or Oath. The two best Lurrus decks are incredibly different strategies. And they exist just fine without Lurrus existing at all, as they preexisted Lurrus, and will presumably exist as upper tier decks without Lurrus.

Unless we can disentangle exactly how much of a boost Lurrus provides to specific decks, then we can't know whether banning Lurrus is actually the right thing to do to address these deck's individual performance. Instead, perhaps restricting something else is better to address the problem of the dominance and win rates.

last edited by Smmenen

The one thing that no one is mentioning is that the problem of Lurrus may be resolved when more companions are printed. There is maybe only 1 other companion that is really even close to playable (funnily enough had people discussing banning in its spoiler thread).

If we take PWers as an example of another game changing card type, JtMS was really sculpted the Blue mirrors of the format for years basically until Dack Fayden was printed (about a 4 year period). Now Jace barely, if ever sees play (and may never again with Lurrus around). Of course it would be nice to not have to wait 4 years, but my understanding is that we should be getting more companions every set. Are we going to have the ban hammer ready for any decent ones that pop up?

@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.

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

The one thing that no one is mentioning is that the problem of Lurrus may be resolved when more companions are printed. There is maybe only 1 other companion that is really even close to playable (funnily enough had people discussing banning in its spoiler thread).

If we take PWers as an example of another game changing card type, JtMS was really sculpted the Blue mirrors of the format for years basically until Dack Fayden was printed (about a 4 year period). Now Jace barely, if ever sees play (and may never again with Lurrus around). Of course it would be nice to not have to wait 4 years, but my understanding is that we should be getting more companions every set. Are we going to have the ban hammer ready for any decent ones that pop up?

I have said this several times, in multiple threads now. We are judging a mechanic that opens up an entire new gamespace and deck building consideration based on 10 cards, 1 of which has shown it is playable. The real question we need to ask is would we be ok in a format where everyone has a companion, much like everyone has a sideboard.

@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.

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