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".
@bips Sure, but at that point you're putting Elvish Spirit Guide into your deck. Which is not to say it's an unplayable card or anything, but it does impose quite a few slots. Even then, turn 1 Land-ESG-Channel-Emrakul... doesn't actually kill the opponent, given that we have a deck which can legitimately generate 50+ Storm on turn 1 - I'm not sure that it's that broken. It's quite similar to Oath in that sense, except it requires you to have the huge creature in hand; which likely means you have to play more huge creatures.
It doesn't sound too bad, but it doesn't sound format shattering and like BoB said, it would introduce a new archetype. Likewise with Balance, though I feel unrestricted Balance may actually do something to the format in regards to the Monk spam.
I'm not saying that it is better than existing combo's. And it would in fact be a new archetype.
I was merely saying that it would be possible to make a(nother) very fast deck. One that could very well T1 Channel into Lich's Mirror or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.
15 damage by Emrakul or 7 new cards with 34 mana available (15 by Channel, trigger Mirror, add 19 more) on T1, or even T2 is BONKERS BROKEN in my book...
People tend to be very against cards that were once broken in their eyes. If my memory serves me correct, there were people on TMD that claimed the unrestriction of REGROWTH would kill Vintage. Unfortunately, there is so much exaggeration abound when it comes to unrestriction discussions that some concerns are just not legitimate any longer.
Honestly, my opinion is that at least 1/3rd of the restricted list is weaker than cards currently legal in the format. I'd love to see cards that will lead to new archetypes get unrestricted.
I mean to some degree it is understandable. People tend to remember broken things very well - and from the DCI's perspective, it's one thing to miss some broken interaction with a new card. It's a completely different matter to unban/restrict a formerly broken card and then if it breaks everything again, they end up looking like a putz.
Though I definitely agree. A lot of things on the list have been power-creeped over quite hard. Tinker, Necropotence, Bargain, Library, etc... It seems like a far more interesting way of shaking up the format than going down the dark road of banning even more 1-mana Blue cantrips. No matter how much I may detest Probe (and the entirety of Phyrexian Mana) - it's just not something that is ban worthy.
@VSarius Oh I'm not saying it to demean people. Quite the contrary, I wanted to bring to attention that it's hard to assess the power of previously broken cards in the current environment because people always remember the "horror" of when it was broken. In many ways, I think players who didn't play in that previous timeline have a better understanding of a previously broken card since they do not have the leftover bias!
As for unrestricting a formerly broken card and then having it break everything again, isn't that precisely what they've done with Gush? This is Gush's third try, and arguably it's not working once again. So if they're willing to try multiple times with Gush, they should be willing to try with more cards!
@Hrishi Oh definitely. Though I feel certain comparisons can definitely be made. Storm is one of the best examples in where it went from a mechanic that rendered the spell essentially, uncounterable - to having everything from Thalia, to Chalice, to Flusterstorm, to Mindbreak Trap now restricting it's innate power as a mechanic. With the others it's a similar story. Enchantment Removal has become a lot better, non-Basic land hate has become better. The cards while powerful, can most certainly be answered.
It feels like with a lot of the cards, they aren't that far off from what Black Vise was and then became. An absolutely insane card for it's time, but one which power-creep and permutations in the format rendered not just no longer 'broken' - but not even worthy of consideration in a deck!
I couldn't be more in agreement that it's time something other than Gush get's a fair shot being off the Restricted list!