JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL

The entire point of your post was that Gitaxian Probe is much better than Street Wraith, which is something I admitted many, many posts up.

Then, you began spouting off the differences between Probe and Street Wraith, repeating text I already made:

You said:

In addition:
Compared to Street Wraith:
Its also a blue card, which means the card can be pitched to Force of Will. Its also an instant/sorcery meaning that you can flash it back on a resolved Yawg Will, or with a Jace/Snapcaster, and that it also triggers your Mentor and adds to your storm. Unlike Street Wraith, its hit by spheres, it can be countered and can't be eaten by an Ichorid.

But I already said:

If all you were trying to do was thin your deck, for whatever reason, and you didn't care at all about what your opponent was playing or hand in hand or seek to generate storm or tokens, etc then Street Wraith would be just as good.

In other words, I already made every point you made. Street Wraith sees no play, but Probe is heavily played. That's not in dispute.

@Smmenen Preordain =/= Probe. Different cards. Different roles. Re-read my post if you need to.

last edited by vaughnbros

@Smmenen My mistake then. I see I misinterpreted you to associate them and say that Probe was only a little better than a card that sees no play. Also, you win the prize for quickest ever reply.

I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

What are the play patterns that you think might make Probe part of the B/R discussion? Why are they problematic (or not) to a fun and healthy gaming experience (which includes such things as 'do I want to spend 6 continuous hours playing with this 75 card pile')?

At least @Soly, for his bluster and extreme rudeness, is describing play patterns he doesn't like. I happen to think he's kind of whining a bit, but you know what, he's entitled to it. For him if it's not fun then it's not fun, I just happen to think (opinion) that most people prefer a different version of Vintage with different play patterns.

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

I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

Ummm... its one of the cards that was actually banned, are we discussing the announcement or what you think should be banned?

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

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

I'm a little frustrated seeing you guys discuss this (Probe) academically and in this weird, semi-isolated and non-holistic fashion when that's really not what B/R policy has been about for a while.

Ummm... its one of the cards that was actually banned, are we discussing the announcement or what you think should be banned?

This is explained in his post prior to the one you quoted. Everyone can read the card, context is why it was banned, not because of what it does. He ties this into more recent WotC B&R methodology.

last edited by Guest

@vaughnbros Sure! It was just banned. But what's the reason???

They certainly didn't just say "yep - Infect is a problem - guess I better ban Gitaxian Probe!" with the very isolated, component-analysis arguments that you and @Smmenen are bandying about.

Modern has some pretty glaringly obvious play patterns in these super-degenerate aggro-combo linears. Probe isn't like this super offender or whatever in those linears, but it is often the first link in a problematic play pattern, and the DCI appears to be making a calculated move in shifting that pattern up ... half a turn? A quarter of a turn? Whatever it is, it's a holistic move.

That just isn't the same thing in Vintage. The curve-lowering is actually kind of a nice feature. The way the peek effect fits into the overall tactical menagerie of efficiently narrow answers is really nice and rewarding, and they've already restricted the bust-o Treasure Cruise so you don't really get to Delve profitably all the time with it.

It's a huge problem for Outcome to be able to Probe though, but I'm hoping Outcome fades with enough metagame pressure. Otherwise I'll be back here arguing for restriction (of Outcome, not Probe) (unpopularly, probably).

last edited by ribby

@ribby Yes, and the PoV for a number of people is that Gush Mentor decks have become too powerful. So in the "holistic" view, people are bringing up a restriction of Gitaxian Probe. But it ignores the fact that Probe is played in other decks than just Gush Mentor, and how restricting it could actually hurt other decks more (highlighted by the component-analysis arguments).

From day 1 they were extremely aggressive with the banned list in Modern, and they've kept up that philosophy of turning a non-rotating format into a rotating one. You are calling the move a holistic one, but you are really only focused on the one individual deck. A holistic PoV in terms of a banning would focus on the format as a whole and that formats success, not just how can we kill / cripple this deck? As far as I can tell the player base in Modern is a shell of what it once was, and it continues to trend in the wrong direction. The DCI is using anything but a holistic view in their actions for that format.

last edited by vaughnbros

@vaughnbros I agree with you on several points. Probe's not the problem in Gush Mentor. I don't know about this "1x Probe hurst other decks more" business... I'm not smart enough to predict that. All I know is that the format would probably be better if the 3-mana creature viable in the flagship large-mana Gush deck wasn't a Tendrils/Tinker stand-in (the Tireless Tracker thread fondly comes to mind). So Probe doesn't even enter my mindspace there. I'm... glad you think so... too? 🙂

I'm actually with you on Modern. IMO it was a bit of an ill-conceived format to begin with... it can be really fun but the unpredictable banhammer and effect on the financial side is a total drag.

But with that context firmly in place (inexorably, like the Reserved List)... banning Probe makes all kinds of sense.

@ribby Modern could've been a good format if they used the old banned list from the extended format they were basically resurrecting, and just went from there. Instead they made their arbitrary no <4 turn kills and murdered the format over and over again. In each case doing a restriction in the "holistic" view as you've defined holistic, but ignoring the impact on the health of the format as a whole.

Imho, they've done the same thing with Vintage. They didn't ban Workshop, but they restricted a couple of very important cards that have now made the next best deck, Mentor Gush, that much better and has opened the door for turn 1/2 combo decks to be somewhat viable again. We saw a massive dip in attendance right after these moves, and I'm not sure if we've really fully recovered (hard to tell considering the move of Champs). In the same way they used your definition of "holistic", but not the real definition of holistic in terms of what actually should matter for a restriction.

@vaughnbros hold up. I'm with you in the main, but what do you think goes into format health?

I mean what I'm suggesting isn't really rocket science, it's just taking unfun and boring lines of play down a notch until they become fun and interesting. So that's my perspective, and obviously there are others (like reducing the financial impact on entrenched players) but it's not like I'm not considering one of the real key factors on what makes a game healthy.

Maybe I've miscommunicated what I'm trying to say?

@ribby From a business standpoint a healthy format is one that people are playing.

Instead of trying to use this as a barometer they seem to have set up some arbitrary rules and when a deck crosses them, they will specifically try to target that deck.

last edited by vaughnbros

@vaughnbros OK. So it's the arbitrarily strict parameters on what should be a highly subjective decision (what is fun, what will get players to play) that you object to?

I'm with you there. I don't think this latest spree of Modern bannings fits into that though. I am AOK with them.

I'm not 100% sure that the Vintage Shop restrictions fit into that either. Recall I was against both restrictions mostly because I was deathly afraid of turn 1/2 combo (and a little bit because I liked the incentives forced upon deck construction by Chalice; I've since reversed my position on that). But, as it happens, right now other metagame pressures have kept them to heretofore-sub-dangerous levels, and I've been having more fun with 'fair' decks, and anecdotally observing others doing the same, so overall I've been pleasantly surprised.

last edited by ribby

@ribby Objective how would you measure fun in the overall population for a game though? Wouldn't attendance make the most sense? Or maybe they should measure it by how much money they get?

Dailies not firing, well daily, means that there could obviously be some room for improvement. A player base too small for their leagues set up, also probably means there is room for improvement. A smaller World Championships was also not good.

Here we are with no shake up though. Maybe they are content making very little off of Vintage.

@ribby

I think that's the misunderstanding - most people advocating a restriction of Probe (Soly and Josh?) are not doing so for holistic reasons. A restriction of the card is not aimed at curtailing Mentor, Outcome, Storm, or any of the decks that play Probes. I believe that they feel the card does something that should not be a component of the game, or it does what it does at too little of a cost. They aren't alone - I stumbled across a tweet by Tom Ross yesterday in which he says Probe is not a card that belongs in Magic. Given his success with the card, it's hard to consider such a post "whining". I can't say that this contingent is wrong - it's just a difference of opinion on what the mechanics the game should include. It is certainly unlikely to move the DCI though...

@vaughnbros It's a tough problem not unique to Magic. The bottom line is obviously the objective but like other business domains (e.g. consumer product development) the end goal isn't some variable you can optimize. You have to focus on the things in front of you like making great product (game), capturing mindshare, enticing your customers to pay what you want (which is highly subjective to move in a favorable direction but is pretty obvious when you're losing) - and then watch the dollars roll in?

So:

  • Making the game fun. This is key and I actually like the way the whole machine (R&D, DCI, organized play) is continuously trying to make the game the best it can be. And insofar as how this is measured... well I don't think it's measurable per se, it's a creative and intuitive process, and to fall back on a cliche "that's why they make the medium bucks"
  • Mindshare (plus ancillary 'non-game' customer experience): this is where I hate how MTGO is going. If Hearthstone didn't exist then I wouldn't really care about deficiencies in the experience is because it would be TOGIT, but Hearthstone is a thing and stealing users. And one could argue that they should have foreseen a decade ago that a Hearthstone was on the horizon.
  • Barrier to entry via pricing: yeah, I got nothing on this one.
last edited by ribby

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

@ribby Objective how would you measure fun in the overall population for a game though? Wouldn't attendance make the most sense? Or maybe they should measure it by how much money they get?

Dailies not firing, well daily, means that there could obviously be some room for improvement. A player base too small for their leagues set up, also probably means there is room for improvement. A smaller World Championships was also not good.

Here we are with no shake up though. Maybe they are content making very little off of Vintage.

Is Vintage really in bad shape?

The Championship is huge (350 players is the 3rd largest of all time, and after a massive multi-state move), there are monthly MTGO premier events and 3-4 or so dailies that fire every week, and plenty of regional and local tournaments all over the world.

I don't think there is any defensible objective measure by which Vintage is in a bad state, relative to it's historic baseline and norms.

People have always complained about the state of affairs and Vintage and always will. But isn't that to be expected?

Is there anyone who completely agrees with every card on the Restricted List? I don't. But isn't it mostly a matter of degree? There is a difference between someone like me, who would only change a few things, and others, that want to see multiple changes or more sweeping restrictions or unrestrictions.

Everyone being slightly displeased is a better state of affairs that some people very happy and others very unhappy. The former is a situation that suggests a balanced policy approach, and probably most fair.

I think people are forgetting that this is a non-rotating format, and MTGO has sped up expectations for the format and the game, and it's not a healthy thing. The format is fine. It's fair. It's balanced. It's fun. It's skill intensive. Is it perfect? No, but it's probably not perfectable. But does anything need restricting? I don't think so. That's an extreme measure used only as a last resort.

last edited by Smmenen

People say every deck uses probe? No. Only the decks that generally cheat on Mana and sometimes oath. Probe is the last card on the list of things I brew with unless I'm sleeving up a token generator. I'm fine with probe. If people want to fill their decks with peek, that's cool. I personally hate Misstep more than anything. It would make 1 cmc removal spells vs mentor relevant again, and people would actually have to think about a counter package and not auto start with 3 or 4 Misstep. It was a terrible card in Legacy and it's a terrible card to play with in vintage.

Oh and people will use the argument, restrict Misstep and combo gets too good...no we still have 4 Mindbreak 4 Flusterstorm and permanent based combo hate

@tattoocek I offer an alternative read: the problem is that Mentor avoids combat, so that's a rich method of interaction that is just gone. Not everyone is willing to race (that's fine) and Vintage players love their 3-of narrow SB answers that don't fit into an overall plan... so that's what most decks do, jam StP and expect victory.

But Mentor decks are good at defending against that... so now you have this not-so-interesting situation in which Misstep is not even remotely the first or second offender (that's a two-horse race between Mentor and Vintage player attitudes)

  • 173
    Posts
  • 91492
    Views