Andy, I understand your desire to keep The Mana Drain held to a certain standard of quality. It makes sense to winnow out posts that peddle misinformation, trolling, incoherence, and so on. It's a good idea to try to elevate the discourse. But, for whatever it's worth, I would be above any kind of bright line rule about what cards are or are not worthy of a thread.
I've got a few reasons for this:
1. Playing a test game with a card is work
It's not much work, sure, but it is some work. Anytime you increase the cost to get something, you will lower the amount of it you get. I know that I usually check The Mana Drain when I'm on breaks at the office. I do not have an opportunity to playtest a card spoiled that day. When I finally get home, I may or may not have the energy left after work to proxy something up and mess around with it. I cannot imagine this is a unique situation. As a practical matter, a rule like you propose would lower the number of threads and contributors to threads.
2. Ongoing discussion between members of The Drain has value.
...even where the discussion is over a bad card. I know we're not primarily a social website, and some of us (like me!) are totally unknown to the core group personally. Even so, the fact that we have a bunch of 30+ Vintage players chatting online in a forum about something that interests us has social value and contributes to all of us staying in the format.
On top of that, analysis of why a card is bad is a good thing to have around, too. Just because we have threads for the 6cc Anjani and Tezzeret does not mean that the level of discourse in those threads was all worthless. With respect, the least worthwhile posts in those thread were probably those where people took personal offense at the fact that the thread was made or the fact that other people were so offended.
3. Theorycrafting is fun.
This is the biggest reason to avoid hard and fast rules, I think. We're here on the Drain because we enjoy being here. We contribute because we want to hear others' thoughts. This isn't Team Meandeck / Serious / whatever's Testing Forum, where only the lean and mean proven decks and new tech can be discussed. It's a place for us to interact and enjoy ourselves.
@Brass-Man said in [AER] Whir of Invention:
If no one on this website is willing to play a single game of vintage, maybe the website shouldn't be active.
As to this... let's be real, opportunities to play real Vintage are rare unless you've invested in MTGO. I used to have access to weekly sanctioned Vintage, then it went away. I've tried to revive it, and no one cares. I can play casual and EDH and cube with my kids, but I do not trust my Vintage collection with The Sticky at this point. So, no, I actually don't get to play much Vintage at all. I regret that.
Even then, I do enjoy WATCHING and TALKING about it. It's nerd football. E-Sports. There's nothing wrong with that.
P.S. Good luck in the play-in tournament tonight!