JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL

@themonadnomad Or destroy target creature and all tokens that share a color/creature type woth it.

Sorry guys, I really feel discussing possible printings to solve a problem is... well, an useless discussion. If you all recognize there aren't good cards that deal with Mentor in the format, then why are you so concerned if it gets restricted?

And don't fool yourselves: Mentor is quite strong in Legacy too - just not broken.

I don't feel like restricting Mentor will do much (even if it might ultimately become necessary). It isn't necessarily the power of Mentor which often kills you, it's how far ahead you get thanks to Gush. Even Oath decks are now playing Gush to keep up. They certainly don't need Mentor to finish the game.

@Hrishi said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

I don't feel like restricting Mentor will do much (even if it might ultimately become necessary).

I honestly don't know how you can think this. Mentor's power is totally unique. Even if restricting Mentor does little to diminish the presence of Gush in the metagame, the idea that restricting Mentor wouldn't do much to change the metagame is, in my opinion, clearly false. It would clearly change things.

It isn't necessarily the power of Mentor which often kills you, it's how far ahead you get thanks to Gush. Even Oath decks are now playing Gush to keep up. They certainly don't need Mentor to finish the game.

But here's the question: If Gush is restricted, does anyone really think Mentor will be any less good?

Because I don't. In fact, it might even get better or more abusive, as people shift to more Moxen heavy decks with more spell celerity and faster Mentors.

Just look at what happened when Dig was restricted. It did nothing to slow Mentor, and I don't think restricting Gush will either. The post-Gush Mentor deck will just run 1 Dig, 1 Cruise, 1 Gush, 2-4 JVP, 1 Mystical/Scroll, and the rest of the stuff and go nuts. Or it will be a big mana deck with all of those cards except Gush.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

@Hrishi said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

I don't feel like restricting Mentor will do much (even if it might ultimately become necessary).

I honestly don't know how you can think this. Mentor's power is totally unique. Even if restricting Mentor does little to diminish the presence of Gush in the metagame, the idea that restricting Mentor wouldn't do much to change the metagame is, in my opinion, clearly false. It would clearly change things.

I guess I should have clarified my stance (and worded it better). I believe restricting Mentor isn't going to do much to cut down on Gush's dominance. Clearly restricting Mentor will change the metagame, I'm sorry if I made it seem like it wouldn't.

I believe if Mentor is restricted, Gush decks simply change win conditions, but keep their engine. That doesn't change enough, in my opinion, to bring it's power down.

last edited by Hrishi

@Hrishi said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

@Smmenen said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

@Hrishi said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

I don't feel like restricting Mentor will do much (even if it might ultimately become necessary).

I honestly don't know how you can think this. Mentor's power is totally unique. Even if restricting Mentor does little to diminish the presence of Gush in the metagame, the idea that restricting Mentor wouldn't do much to change the metagame is, in my opinion, clearly false. It would clearly change things.

I guess I should have clarified my stance (and worded it better). I believe restricting Mentor isn't going to do much to cut down on Gush's dominance. Clearly restricting Mentor will change the metagame, I'm sorry if I made it seem like it wouldn't.

But what about the flip side? What effect would restricting Gush have on the prevalence of Mentor decks?

Because I don't.

As I said: In fact, it might even get better or more abusive, as people shift to more Moxen heavy decks with more spell celerity and faster Mentors. Just look at what happened when Dig was restricted. It did nothing to slow Mentor, and I don't think restricting Gush will either. The post-Gush Mentor deck will just run 1 Dig, 1 Cruise, 1 Gush, 2-4 JVP, 1 Mystical/Scroll, and the rest of the stuff and go nuts. Or it will be a big mana deck with all of those cards except Gush.

There is a case that Mentor is actually held back by Gush decks that don't run full artifact acceleration.

I predict that if Gush is restricted it's more likely that Mentor decks become a larger part of Vintage metagame than the probability that it becomes a smaller part.

In other words, 3-4 Mentor, anchored by 1 Dig and 1 Cruise is not going anywhere, and may actually get stronger, not held back by Gush shells, and can now go all in on big mana, and then things like Top.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen Gush and Mentor could both easily survive on their own. However, they both lose some power if the other is restricted. As the best way to play them is to play them together. If we are playing on the conservative side of restriction only one should go at a time.

I'm not sure that Mentor decks would automatically get larger with a Gush restriction. The faster Mentor combo decks exist to beat you before Gush is relevant. I think there is a distinct possibility that these decks slow down to beat Shops and Eldrazi again. Maybe the slow blue list is something like Mentor Standstill type, but I don't think that's a guarantee.

@vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

I'm not sure that Mentor decks would automatically get larger with a Gush restriction.

Just to be clear, I didn't say that either. I said: "I predict that if Gush is restricted it's more likely that Mentor decks become a larger part of Vintage metagame than the probability that it becomes a smaller part."

In other words, I think the probability that Mentor increases as a portion of the Vintage metagame is greater than the probability that restricting Gush will shrink it. I realize that's counterintuitive, but that's what I think.

Gush was restricted in grow-a-tog days. Now its been some years and maybe its time to restrict it back again. That or probe.

@Smmenen Steve, are you against restricting Mentor itself? What do you think about it? (I haven't heard your whole podcast about it, but since the notes don't mention Mentor...)

Yeah, we forgot to get to that one 😛

Because Mentor is so much better than the next best substitute (Pyromancer or whatever), restricting Mentor, I believe, would dent Gush's overall prevalence, but it's hard to know by how much. Could be as little as 5-10% or could be more on the order of 25-33, or even 40%. That's much harder for me to predict. But that's probably the range.

If Gush is restricted, I think Mentor will end up being restricted when it's discovered that restricting Gush had no suppressing effect on Mentor's prevalence.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

Yeah, we forgot to get to that one 😛

Because Mentor is so much better than the next best substitute (Pyromancer or whatever), restricting Mentor, I believe, would dent Gush's overall prevalence, but it's hard to know by how much. Could be as little as 5-10% or could be more on the order of 25-33, or even 40%. That's much harder for me to predict. But that's probably the range.

If Gush is restricted, I think Mentor will end up being restricted when it's discovered that restricting Gush had no suppressing effect on Mentor's prevalence.

When I built and tested Nahiri Control and Saheeli Oath (both decks built around the Gush draw engine), the worst matchup for me by far was Gush Mentor - they actually did very well against the rest of the metagame. You are right that if Gush is restricted Mentor will probably need to be restricted. The problem is that the converse is also true. If Mentor is restricted and not Gush, that doesn't make the other Blue draw spells better than a bunch of cantrips, Gushes, and Delve spells. That same section of the metagame moves to Walkers, Oath, Young Pyromancer, or even Managorger Hydra to close out games after drawing a million cards - win conditions that are arguably better against Shops and the rest of the field (certainly more diversified and harder to hate out with Walking Ballistas). They don't start playing other Blue decks because the gap between Gush and the other draw engines is as large or larger than the gap between Mentor and the other win conditions.

Where did this false dichotomy come from that either Mentor or Gush is the problem? That either Mentor or Gush need the be restricted? They are both huge constraints on the Vintage metagame and it is reasonable to restrict both of them.

@ChubbyRain said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

@Smmenen said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

Yeah, we forgot to get to that one 😛

Because Mentor is so much better than the next best substitute (Pyromancer or whatever), restricting Mentor, I believe, would dent Gush's overall prevalence, but it's hard to know by how much. Could be as little as 5-10% or could be more on the order of 25-33, or even 40%. That's much harder for me to predict. But that's probably the range.

If Gush is restricted, I think Mentor will end up being restricted when it's discovered that restricting Gush had no suppressing effect on Mentor's prevalence.

You are right that if Gush is restricted Mentor will probably need to be restricted. The problem is that the converse is also true.

You may be right, but that's much less clear than the converse. In other words, there is much more uncertainty about that.

It depends upon what the acceptable threshold is for the % of Gush decks in the metagame. Restricting Mentor is almost certainly going to reduce the % of Gush decks in the metagame by some amount. The only question is by how much. It could be very little, or it could be alot.

It's possible that restricting Mentor will bring Gush below that acceptable threshold. But, as you suggest and seem to believe, it might not. But, a little might actually be enough. It's hard to tell.

Where did this false dichotomy come from that either Mentor or Gush is the problem? That either Mentor or Gush need the be restricted? They are both huge constraints on the Vintage metagame and it is reasonable to restrict both of them.

First of all, I agree that's a false dichotomy. That's why I prefer the restriction of Preordain first, if the DCI believes action is needed.

Second, it's not unreasonable to hold the view that restricting one will ultimately lead to the other being restricted, but there is an asymmetry there. It's more likely that restricting Mentor will reduce the prevalence of Gush (by at least some measurable %) than restricting Gush would reduce the prevalence of Mentor.

Third, of course it's possible to restrict multiple cards. But restriction is a really dramatic and heavy-handed change to the format, and given that every restriction makes some players unhappy (as Golem did), there is a background imperative to try to minimize the damage by restricting as few cards as possible. Restricting two cards were only one is needed runs against the philosophy of the format, that we are permitted to play with all of our cards. It's better to restrict one card a time so that we can better understand the impact of each restriction to ensure that each is truly needed.

I wonder how the success rate of the Mentor decks would change if Gitaxian Probe were restricted. It seems there is so little for them to chance at the moment.

Really interesting discussion, with some pretty good points made on both sides.
One line of thought in regards to breaking up the somewhat monotonous state of the format in regards to Gush Mentor that I don't see discussed much however, is the question of Unbannings. Perhaps there is some consideration to be given to trimming down the Restricted List by a bit. While there are obviously cards which should remain there in perpetuity (Draw 7s, Power 9, Black Tutors, etc..) there look to be some cards that I can fathom being 4-ofs in the current climate that would not result in the format buckling under the shock.

Would 4x Library of Alexandria be too much? What about 4x Balance... or perhaps even Channel - given that there are arguably even better ways of generating nigh infinite colorless mana at this point in time. These are cards that don't instinctively slide into either Paradoxical, DPS, Gush Mentor, or Shops. Well, I suppose Mentor does run it's 1-of Library from time to time but I can't see it being able to support a 4-of Library manabase, and the Wastelands, and the Gush.

@VSarius I've often said that I prefer unrestrictions rather than restrictions to shake things up. But of late I am unsure if this will ever happen. Cards that are more than "safe" would need to be unrestricted to shake things up, in my opinion, and I'm not sure how much people want that.

The last few cards that were unrestricted didn't have a major impact as far as I know, but I could be mistaken. Regrowth, Gifts Ungiven and Thirst were all released and failed to make a major impact, in my opinion. All these cards were ones that people here said would "destroy vintage and take over the format".

last edited by Hrishi

@Hrishi

I think they could unrestrict Necropotence and Gush Mentor would still be a better deck.

Probe, Gush, Preordain, Misstep is very reminiscent of Brainstorm, Gush, Ponder, Merchant Scroll

I would love unrestrictions that would lead to new archetypes like Channel or Necro.

@BazaarOfBaghdad Channel would be a bad idea, imho. Lich's Mirror is still a card, so are Emrakul and Blightsteel...
Elvish Spirit Guide is also a legal 4-off.

last edited by bips

@bips You're telling me 4x Channel, 4x Lich's Tomb would be better than various other combos already around? Seems worse than Painter Stone easily. Channel Emrakul is super risky too, and at worst is a new archetype.

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