September 2016 Banned and Restricted List updates

@p3temangus yes indeed. I am not advocating for the unrestriction of channel, just for the record.

It seems like a lot of cards would be unrestrictable power level wise, but if they don't help to add more diversity in the metagame and just consolidate tier 1 decks there is no point
.
I think that when trying to estimate whether a card is unrestrictable, the most important things one should consider are:
Which decks benefit from the unrestriction?
How are those decks positioned in the metagame currently?
How said unrestriction would help make those decks more competitive against the general metagame?
How does having access to that card as a 4of impact different dynamics?

Like if you take Ponder, the card in itself is absolutely not restriction worthy based on power level( roughly equal to an unrestricted card aka Preordain). But what happens if you unrestrict it? It goes in an archetype that is arguably hurting diversity in the format already (Gush decks) and with preordain you now have a critical mass of good 1 mana cantrips in the format. Poses the threat of becoming an auto include in many decks.

Now look at Windfall which is a much powerful card abstractly. What happens if you unrestrict it? Storm combo decks already have a critical mass of threats and consistency with dark petition so they would not start playing it (they don't play it as a one of because of how bad it truly is). The most likely candidate is Belcher which looses to itself and the metagame way too often for it to ever be a viable competitive option (in the current conditions). But what does it add? more variance in opening hands and enables a critical mass of turn 1 forced mulligans if you are on the draw.
Card is swingy, doesn't introduce anything new and leads to more "Watch your opponent play"type of games (on one side or the other) which the format doesn't need more of.

Channel is in the same clan, super swingy and ultra narrow card that really doesn't do anything except threaten the health of the format.

and so on.

If I had to choose one card to unrestrict, Flash would be my choice pick because:

  • It puts a deck like Rector omni on the map (which it is so far from currently).
  • It doesn't warp the format seeing as it's inherent inconsistencies are kept in check by the restricted list.
  • Most decks already play 4 or more cards that hose graveyard interactions (which Flash relies on) in their sideboard.
  • x4 Flash Rector omni would still struggle against denial decks, gush decks and faster combo decks.
  • It does not just become auto include in every blue deck.
  • It doesn't make the format revolve around itself when legal in multiples (in comparison to cards like Chalice of the Void for instance).
  • It's better than oath of druids in that it's blue and can be cast at instant speed but it also requires more ressources and a lot more focus in the deck-building process.
last edited by Macdeath

Maybe I'm crazy, but I feel Vintage is a healthier format with fewer turn 1 kills, not more. Leave Flash, Channel, Lotus Petal, LED, etc on the restricted list where they belong.

What makes people say cards like Scroll, Lotus Petal and Channel should come off the restricted list? I mean, maybe in a vacuum the cards aren't completely bonkers, but don't people realize what happen when you put 4 of any of them in the same deck with access to the entire vintage arsenal?

Is Lotus Petal really that powerful compared to even Mox Opal? I have had discussions with others about this and most people I talked to said 4 Petal would more than likely only be in TPS or DPS (and thats a maybe) and in Belcher, which is a glass cannon already, and a tight list as is. I really dont think having 4 petal would hurt Vintage in any way, but it might lead to more innovative or more nonpowered lists.

@Serracollector said:

Is Lotus Petal really that powerful...

Questions such as this one can often be answered by asking another "what does this add to the depth of the format?".

Aside: While I recognize that this is mostly a mental exercise I have serious qualms with these types of discussions primarily because the majority of the Vintage player base lack coherent understanding of basic game principles such as mana efficiency. How much value really comes from this dialog; if this thread is a testament to said value my concerns seem justified.

@ChubbyRain said:

Maybe I'm crazy, but I feel Vintage is a healthier format with fewer turn 1 kills, not more. Leave Flash, Channel, Lotus Petal, LED, etc on the restricted list where they belong.

+1

last edited by Guest

Fast mana shouldn't be unrestricted. Ever. There's a reason why it's there.

Gush is disgusting. Merchant Scroll would make it significantly worse. Scroll stays where it is.

I, somehow, missed the Flash era. Given the horror stories that I've heard, I don't see how bringing that deck back adds anything to the metagame. Vintage should be less about coin-flips and more about skill. Flash is all about the coin-flips.

13 years ago there were many members on this site who freaked out when Berserk was unrestricted. "WELCOME TO AGGRO SUMMER" they said. Berserk was fine, mostly because of all the hoops you had to jump through in order to make it dangerous. Fast mana is different. Fast mana makes all sorts of awful things not just possible, but probable. And in a world without four Chalices, I would rather not see what the best four LED, four Lotus Petal, or four Channel deck is.

They unrestricted Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Grim Monolith, and other fast mana. Not saying I would unrestrict any more at this point tho.

@Prospero said:

Fast mana shouldn't be unrestricted. Ever. There's a reason why it's there.

Gush is disgusting. Merchant Scroll would make it significantly worse. Scroll stays where it is.

I, somehow, missed the Flash era. Given the horror stories that I've heard, I don't see how bringing that deck back adds anything to the metagame. Vintage should be less about coin-flips and more about skill. Flash is all about the coin-flips.

13 years ago there were many members on this site who freaked out when Berserk was unrestricted. "WELCOME TO AGGRO SUMMER" they said. Berserk was fine, mostly because of all the hoops you had to jump through in order to make it dangerous. Fast mana is different. Fast mana makes all sorts of awful things not just possible, but probable. And in a world without four Chalices, I would rather not see what the best four LED, four Lotus Petal, or four Channel deck is.

Flash would also be significantly worse now. Omniscience wasn't a card when Flash was FIRST restricted so now you can easily and consistently just go Flash --> Rector --> Omniscience WIN (and even through hate at that point). That would be truly degenerate.

-Storm

Flash - Protean Hulk - WIN is still a much more deterministic line than getting an Omniscience.

@desolutionist said:

Flash - Protean Hulk - WIN is still a much more deterministic line than getting an Omniscience.

That's correct, but Rector Omni deck does not rely on the graveyard nearly as much, and can just ignore it altogether even in the main deck with no sideboarding. It is a much different, and more potent and flexible beast than Hulk Flash ever was. I worked on the Rector Omni deck for a long time, and if Flash ever got unrestricted that is the only deck I would play going forward. It would be far and away the most powerful deck in the format. Most people have no exposure to it, which is why it's amusing to me when people think it would be a good idea for Flash to be unrestricted. It is so much harder to hate out than the old Flash decks, so its not really an apt comparison to say "we have access to so much more effective graveyard hate now," when the graveyard can often be completely ignored via Show and Tell and Tinker.

@JACO said:

@desolutionist said:

Flash - Protean Hulk - WIN is still a much more deterministic line than getting an Omniscience.

That's correct, but Rector Omni deck does not rely on the graveyard nearly as much, and can just ignore it altogether even in the main deck with no sideboarding. It is a much different, and more potent and flexible beast than Hulk Flash ever was. I worked on the Rector Omni deck for a long time, and if Flash ever got unrestricted that is the only deck I would play going forward. It would be far and away the most powerful deck in the format. Most people have no exposure to it, which is why it's amusing to me when people think it would be a good idea for Flash to be unrestricted. It is so much harder to hate out than the old Flash decks, so its not really an apt comparison to say "we have access to so much more effective graveyard hate now," when the graveyard can often be completely ignored via Show and Tell and Tinker.

Yeah but it requires more cards to win, doesn't it? You can Flash in Rector to get Omniscience, but you then literally do nothing without outside aid. I suppose you would get Form of the Dragon if you didn't have anything to go with Omniscience and it takes less card slots than Hulk combo, but Hulk is still the one that wins with just a 2-card combo, which is the most degenerate thing about the deck.

Where some players take the attitude that B&R changes should be made slowly, one card a time, with great care not to cause too much disruption to the metagame, I'm much more in the camp of, "shake the snowglobe, see what happens." Worst case, problem cards can be re-restricted after a few months:

Unrestrict:

Balance
Demonic Consultation
Imperial Seal
Library of Alexandria
Lotus Petal
Memory Jar
Ponder
Windfall
Yawgmoth's Bargain

Unerrata and Restrict:
Lotus Vale
Scorched Ruin
Zodiac Dragon

Chalice of the Void and Lodestone Golem would be on the list, except that I think there's no way WotC would ever unrestrict them so soon -- they would lose too much face.

Channel is unsafe to unrestrict even by my quite liberal standards. Like Flash, it is the backbone of a two-card two-mana combo that wins on the spot.

There is an argument to be made that Necropotence is now too slow(!) for Vintage and safe to unrestrict. I'm not convinced; a reliable turn 1 Necropotence on the play seems awfully hard to beat. Bargain on the other hand seems safe to me, especially since Griselbrand already gives access to the same effect and isn't all that much harder to get into play via Show and Tell etc.

I think that Merchant Scroll and Fastbond are both unsafe for as long as Gush remains unrestricted.

Trinisphere could come of in theory. But it's so miserable to play against on the draw that I don't feel too bad leaving it restricted.

I agree with Serracollector in that I think that Lotus Petal is ok to unrestrict; Mox Opal is in many cases superior and I don't think TPS or Belcher are boosted all that significantly by three more Petals. I do agree with Steve that Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and Lion's Eye Diamond absolutely cannot come off, though.

last edited by evouga

I don't understand how Flash can be too good to be unrestricted, but Oath of druids not restriction worthy (from a logic and reason based point of view).
To be honest Oath of druids is probably more competitive than Tinker right now, and it's been fine for years. So I don't buy into the Flash is too bonkers to be unrestricted argument at all.
Flash needs significantly more slots devoted to winning the game and is a lot easier to interact with, when most decks only have 4 fow to deal with oath but flusterstorm and Red blasts to deal with Flash.
They both get hated on by splash dredge hate post board, and they both have the option to dilute themselves to be resilient to that hate.
Also oath is a natural trump against creature decks and is extremely resilient to sphere effects where Flashing in an Omniscience/Bargain is not particularly good most of the time.

Granted Oath doesn't win on the spot and can be removed, but what about comparing Flash to Doomsday? Does anyone really think Flash is more consistent or game ending than Doomsday?

Flash requires A LOT of things to go your way since it's usually a 3 card combo (Flash + Rector> Bargain/Omni + follow up). It doesn't have any particular synergy with any of the popular draw engines in the format (which means it loses the blue battle fight against "dedicated" control decks), so it's basically just another Combo control deck that wins out of nowhere like countless others before it (Time vault, doomsday, oath, Mentor, Painter, et caetera).

From where we stand, I think it's safe to assume that Flash and it's inconsistencies loose to Gush decks and their superior card draw; has an extremely hard time executing it's game plan against Thorn decks; is not fast/consistent or controlling enough to be able to deal with Storm combo.

Oh but Flash has the potential to be an effective turn one kill? So does every other deck in the format... I mean Dark Petition Storm probably has the highest turn one kill potential we've seen in a very long time (Glass canons aside) and it's doesn't show any indications of being unhealthy or even warping the format.

last edited by Macdeath
This post is deleted!

@desolutionist said:

@JACO said:

@desolutionist said:

Flash - Protean Hulk - WIN is still a much more deterministic line than getting an Omniscience.

That's correct, but Rector Omni deck does not rely on the graveyard nearly as much, and can just ignore it altogether even in the main deck with no sideboarding. It is a much different, and more potent and flexible beast than Hulk Flash ever was. I worked on the Rector Omni deck for a long time, and if Flash ever got unrestricted that is the only deck I would play going forward. It would be far and away the most powerful deck in the format. Most people have no exposure to it, which is why it's amusing to me when people think it would be a good idea for Flash to be unrestricted. It is so much harder to hate out than the old Flash decks, so its not really an apt comparison to say "we have access to so much more effective graveyard hate now," when the graveyard can often be completely ignored via Show and Tell and Tinker.

Yeah but it requires more cards to win, doesn't it? You can Flash in Rector to get Omniscience, but you then literally do nothing without outside aid. I suppose you would get Form of the Dragon if you didn't have anything to go with Omniscience and it takes less card slots than Hulk combo, but Hulk is still the one that wins with just a 2-card combo, which is the most degenerate thing about the deck.

You either fetch Yawgmoth's Bargain or Omniscience with Rector in the main deck, and then after sideboard you can fetch up even more (Form of the Dragon, Leylines, Energy Flux, etc.). I think I have lost a grand total of two games in all of the tournament and playtest games I have played with Rector Omni once I was able to activate Rector to fetch up an enchantment (once with Omni where I resolved a Dig Through Time into cantrip cantrip into blanks and got Key-Vaulted the ensuing turn, and once with Bargain where I drew half my deck including every mana source and no business). If you are able to fetch up either of those it is almost always enough to win you the game shortly. And neither of them are dead in hand, because you can often just hard cast Bargain, or more often just Show and Tell them in and ignore the graveyard altogether. With the Hulk Flash decks of yesteryear you have far more dead cards you can draw in to your hand, and it is much easier to hate out via graveyard disruption (which is the obvious tradeoff for being such a linear combo).

I'm pretty sure they're not going to ever unrestrict Flash, but if anybody would like to playtest games for cash of my unrestricted Flash Rector deck vs. your Vintage Champs deck at Eternal Weekend, I'd probably be down for that if we can find the time. Would be a fun experiment.

last edited by JACO

IMO the most interesting part of Hulk Flash was that it could win in its own upkeep, enabling defensive Pact of Negation to be played

@JACO said:

I'm pretty sure they're not going to ever unrestrict Flash, but if anybody would like to playtest games for cash of my unrestricted Flash Rector deck vs. your Vintage Champs deck at Eternal Weekend, I'd probably be down for that if we can find the time. Would be a fun experiment.

I don't think anyone thinks Flash wouldn't be nutty. But there is so much good graveyard hate today - even more than when Flash was legal last time - that a 3-card combo against Leyline has little chance of dominating the format. Would there be lots of Turn 1 kills? Yes. But I doubt Flash would be more than like 10% of Top 8s. Last time, it was like 7% of Top 8s.

I find it really odd that people think Flash, Channel, and Merchant Scroll are ok, but that Lotus Petal is too good. Test it, is burning Wish Tendrils better than DPS with 3 more petals? I doubt it.

  • 191
    Posts
  • 124357
    Views