Cards do not exist in a vacuum - they interact with each other in the context of a deck and metagame. The failure to grasp this is often one of the greatest hurdles in card evaluation and deck design and it's one of the reasons most players and not very good at both.

I would categorically object to rules-based approach like this.

Where does Gitaxin Probe fit here? I mean it's 0 mana for 1 card, AND insider info. Isn't that, mathematically, better than Ancestral?

@chubbyrain1 I get that, but I still think rules could work. You could have cards in mind when making the rule, but the rule would have to be blanket to cover the type of effect or interaction that is flawed, not just the specific card.

Without a rules approach, we basically have what we have now - a WotC-run list that nobody agrees on and the majority of which may disagree on any one card. It's also made with really vague criteria such as "unfun" and "interactivity".

I don't understand if we are supposed to be writing rules or heuristics here. Rules seem too heavy handed, and it's too easy for non issue cards to fall into that category. If I wrote a rule that said "RESTRICT: Any instant, sorcery, or artifact that can be cast for 1 or less mana that draws you 2 or more cards" then you would restrict Gush, DDT, Ancestral, TC, and the like but you also restrict non issue cards like Shared Discovery, Visions of Beyond, and thoughtcast. If I change the rule to 3 then suddenly I'm not restricting DDT or Gush, 2 cards that are pretty universally ok to be on the restricted list.

My point is that if we write rules to account for the current restricted list, as opposed to starting from a clean slate, we're still going to wind up with several rules that have unintentional splash back, or overly catered rules with a lot of pedantry.

I think as a heuristic, what happens is you can make a whole slate of rules as to what cards need to be watched and have a potentially shorter road to restriction, but it does not have to be hard and fast that the card is just removed outright.

@serracollector That'd be up to the community to decide. Maybe Git probe is fine unrestricted. Glasses of Urza is fine. Clairvoyance and Peek are fine. Opt is fine. Perhaps the insider info + card for 0 mana could equate a +2 benefit somehow. Rules can and should be tweaked before being ratified. I challenge all to improve upon/create rules that they think catches all the problems while allowing lesser offenders to be 4-ofs. Try it.

Instead of voting on the specifics of the restriction list we should take the United States model of democracy and vote for the person who determines the restriction list.

I vote for brass man

@protoaddict I'd think we want to start with a clean slate. My example rule of non-permanent with +2 cards netted than mana spent to cast accomodates thoughtcast (even spending just U). It hits Visions, but perhaps the rule could include wording that allows it.

@thewhitedragon69 The alternative is people fighting over the interpretation of the "rules", for instance, whether or not Dig counts as draw, or selection, or whatever. The legal profession exists because people don't agree on the execution of rules, especially in how they are implemented when their own interests are at state. This execution is worse than simply having people vote on whether or not to ban or restrict certain cards based on potential for unforeseen consequences of certain rules. One could easily try to get a rule passed that obliquely restricts Bazaar, Shops, or any hated card without obviously doing so as a de facto loophole. While I recognize that your intent is good, the practicality is tremendously flawed, in my opinion.

I have to agree with Chubbyrain on being wary of a rules based list for B&R. For one, every single time a rule is created you have:

  1. unintended consequences - things you didn't intend for the rule to cover that get covered.
  2. abuse - hedging the rules, bending the rules, circumventing the rules
  3. corner cases - things that just dont fit nicely into the rules but still need addressed.
  4. more rules - typically to deal with issues #1and #3. And of course when a new rule is made, we circle back to the top of the list.

@desolutionist Nothing against Brassman, but any type of voting process is going to be flawed and disenfranchise portions or players. This is an English speaking are you going to poll non-English speaking players who play MTGO? What defines Vintage players in general? Commander was literally created by the people on the council...Vintage has no such ownership outside of Wizards.

I would also not extol American representative democracy given our current situation...

@chubbyrain1 In the case of DTT, I think it's pretty clearly "Card selection." It's not draw as the card doesn't say "draw." It is also not a tutor as it doesn't say "search your X."

I understand rules may have problems of their own, but to go with your legal example - would you rather have laws that may require debate/interpretation (and can be clarified with court rulings) or a case-by-case system where every person's action could be determined legal/illegal based on feelings alone, regardless of equivelant offenses have been ruled in the opposite?

@chubbyrain1 Google translate is awesome. Facebook and Twitter also have translators. Every country has laws and a constitution/charter of some sort (as far as I'm aware). I'd definitely want it to be worldwide. How to fight bots/repeat voters/non-Vintage players, I dunno...but you're building the roof before the foundation here. We have the general polling plan, but the specifics could be ironed out when the time comes.

@desolutionist I know this was mainly in jest, but...

We don't vote for 1 person who makes rules. We vote for hundreds of people in multiple balancing bodies. Laws, and the constitution specifically, are under the control of Congress. Also, this would be worldwide, so you'd need a UN type setup for this.

@thewhitedragon69 said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

@desolutionist I know this was mainly in jest, but...

We don't vote for 1 person who makes rules. We vote for hundreds of people in multiple balancing bodies. Laws, and the constitution specifically, are under the control of Congress. Also, this would be worldwide, so you'd need a UN type setup for this.

whoa whoa whoa...

I don't like the US government. I'm not advocating for that system at all. I'm advocating for electing one person to represent his constituents in order to make decisions in a non-biased, efficient way.

What do you want to read Steve and Matt argue over sentence structure for two weeks? When you could just have someone super reasonable just set the list and thats the end of it.

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@desolutionist lol. Agreed on the Steve/Matt debate. PMs are a thing though...

I'd not be opposed to a UN-style body. I don't think a single leader would work.

I still think rules are better than an arbitrary list of exclusions made by an uninvested body, though. WotC makes no money off Vintage, thus only superficially cares. "Unfun" is such a subjective term, that you could fit any card you dislike on it (Wasteland, FoW, etc.)

I'm going to start by saying that i don't think rule-based b/r is likely to be effective, as simple checks for 'is this broken' by such metrics are easy to backfit to reach a certain goal but hard to make to catch future problem cards. if you made this thread 6 months ago there likely wouldn't have been a rule that hit lurrus. any attempt to make rules within a given cardpool is defacto an attempt to b/r a known set of cards, and as matt points out this means people wanting tailor-made rules. i will be responding with criticism of the rules in question in terms of what are likely unintended consequences:
@thewhitedragon69 said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

RESTRICT: Cards that are non-permanents that causes you to draw and net 2 or more cards than mana spent to cast, through any method of casting via the card itself, in the same turn.
doesn't hit things like harmonize, bazaar, necropotence, etc. - probably hits PO and ad nauseum

this hits stuff like cruel bargain which is far from format breaking. making netting more than one card more than mana spent be the line certainly seems wrong; while thoughtcast(for example) only nets one card, i think most people would say that unconditional U: draw 2 cards would deserve restriction. do we restrict shared discovery for netting 3 requiring non-mana hoops? I also don't see the point of the non-permanent distinction, unless it's you specifically wanting to let necropotence and memory jar be free.

@thewhitedragon69 said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

RESTRICT: The card is a non-land card that costs 1 or less, taps to add mana to your pool the turn it enters the battlefield, and is castable on turn 1.

i do not believe we need to restrict springleaf drum. i do believe that LED being restricted is probably for the best, but LED does not tap to activate so is not included here. (interestingly, if you remove the tap clause we end up restricting wild cantor.) I'm also going to be charitable here and act like this was worded such that adding mana doesn't include filtering mana, as that would mean restricting chromatic star, astrolabe, etc. this also hits Mox Amber, which i find unnecessary.

a rule that is needed for completion's sake: ban all cards with the Conspiracy type, because this isn't limited.

Yeah, there are several more rules needed - I just listed a few. Admittedly, they aren't perfect, but that was kind of the point of this thread - to see if we could get them perfect. It is very hard to predict the future, but I think we could see some things that are potentially catchable based on precedent. This is by no means a simple, 1-minute exercise.

As we talk through the individual cards impacted, it could just be that rules-based WON'T work. But then we just have to accept that an arbitrary list of "unfun" cards, run by a minorly-if-at-all-invested entity is the best we can get...and that seems pathetic.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

I’m sure if Wizards actually knew a good list for this, they would just implement it at the design phase and not have to auto restrict cards.

@vaughnbros said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

I’m sure if Wizards actually knew a good list for this, they would just implement it at the design phase and not have to auto restrict cards.

I'm not sure if that is true at all. WOTC design, on their good days, still has to contend with multiple formats where power level does not escalate on a linear scale. There are cards in Legacy and Modern that are good in only those formats because of the rest of the card pool. Lodestone golem is not restrictable in any format without workshops and a perfectly good addition to the meta in those formats. Seeing as WOTC cares about Commander, any card that ends the game with a "you win" clause is also suspect where it would likely be perfectly ok in every other format.


What rule would we need for Lodestone golem? Any 4 mana artifact that doesn't completely suck?

He wasn't playable in other format because they don't have Mishra's Workshop, which they certainly have rules against creating another Mishra's Workshop, although they came very close with the Eldrazi Lands.

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