@thewhitedragon69 Three things to think about in response to that.
First, power creep in general is not a great thing for the game. It's a short-term boost in sales, sure, but it's long-term detrimental because you either have to fall back and print a Masques or Kamigawa and deal with disapointed players and disappointing sales or you keep on creeping and things get more and more unbalanced. They've tried to balance this in the past with power creeping different aspects to different sets at different rates, but that seems to have been thrown out the window recently. It's very legitimate for people to worry about what sustained power creep means for long term health of the game.
Second, perhaps by accident, WotC's recent power creep may have come at the exact perfect time to actually be the right call. With Covid shutting down paper magic hard, Arena is probably picking up steam. All the recent power-creep sets are on Arena, and having splashy, powerful cards on that platform is good for that game. I don't play Standard typically, and I like the meta on Arena right now in standard. It's powerful and flashy. Feels more like eternal, complete with combo decks, than it has in a long time. If you were going to choose a period of time to mortgage paper magic's future in exchange for a boost online, now seems like exactly the time to do it.
Third, overall, I think this power creep + ban trend is good for eternal because it means they're finally shaking off the chains restraining them from printing cards as powerful as the old hard-to-obtain cards. I've been a big advocate for helping people get into eternal by printing cards that compete with the old reserved list staples, and they're doing that. I don't think they've gone far enough into making the new cards MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE with Vintage staples yet, but they're certainly making sure that the Vintage metagame is chock full of new and relatively cheap cards at competitive levels. That's a good thing! But, of course, since Vintage is the Whos-Who list of Magic's Greatest Mistakes, when you print cards to compete at that level you are absolutely going to have to police the format against breaking.
Its funny that you wrote this (and I have always agreed with this as it actually empowers newer players to engage in older formats). There was a recent poll on twitter by Mark Rosewater and it split the length of Magic's existence into 4 portions, my favourite was the oldest and the newest
The format NEEDS a restricted list and NEEDS to not have power level bans, because it is bluntly critical to the nature of the format, it just needs a better method and no matter what it's going to create a shake up to the format as we know it.
Is there a reason that you are so adamant about this?
What is the draw to the format if not for the restricted cards and the small subset that are not restricted here but banned in legacy? Remove those from the equation and the format is very close to just being legacy. You can't not have a restricted list and still have lotus, moxen, ancestral, etc not be banned, and if you ban them here they are officially unplayable everywhere. The whole point of the format is to be able to play cards you cannot play elsewhere.
I mean, I'm not sure if WOTC has any sort of official mission statement about what the format is supposed to do and how it is supposed to be different from legacy written down anywhere, but up until this point that has been the whole reason for it. Once you start doing power level bans it puts the whole reason for the format into question.
Look at the legacy Banned list. The vast majority of cards on that list see heavy play in Vintage, most are staples. If Lurris is banned in Legacy and Vintage (likely going to be the case) we will have a card banned purely for power level that cannot be played in any eternal format. That sets really bad precedent.
But even furthermore to that, the Restricted list in its current form is an imperfect way to control the format while still enabling players to play every card in the game with the exception of the very few that are ante, etc. Lurris is a great example of that, as is Karn and Lattice. As they keep making cards that try to do something new we will no doubt see more and more cards fall into this category either because of their interactions with other cards or entirely of their own merit.
Even going back to day 1 of the format, I often use the moxen as an example as something that was resistant to restriction. Most cards when you restrict you can only have 1, but moxen overlap so much that every deck still has the option to have 5, maybe slightly worse for being off color, but still moxen. Fast forward a few years and now we get a new moxen every so many sets. Opal is very much a 6-9th moxen for many lists, and even if they restricted it you just change it to just the 6th and not the 9th. Restriction make them less powerful, but it has far less of an impact than it did on something like Mind's Desire. There was a time where realistically every deck could have 0-1 card that was U draw 3, but with the printing Treasure cruise the number of effects has doubled and there is no fixing that with just restriction.
I actually think the idea of modifying the definition of the restricted list is interesting way to balance power level and yet allow maximum play range of the cards available.
So for example one of the new rules is that you can only play up to 5 cards from the restricted list. That would challenge most of the decks in vintage at the moment, and more than that it is a lever to force players to only play a certain number of "broken" cards.
I agree that the restricted list as is, loses its potency with time due to essentially redundent effects, treasure cruise + ancestral = you can play 2 draw 3 for instance. So I like the idea of modifications to how the restricted list is used/interpreted to balance power levels
What’s the alternative? A “sudoku system” of restrictions where you can play card X or card Y but not both? Or where you can only run up to Z different moxen?
There’s a certain appeal to the flexibility of this system for reigning in specific synergies like Karn + Lattice. But asking players to run a SAT solver to decide if their deck is legal might be a bit much.
I do think this will solve alot of problems with "broken" but interesting cards
I agree that it is too soon to ban Lurrus. I think 3 months is a good time to see how decks adapt. But that might be too long for some I guess.
But as it is, it seems quite soon and too abrupt. Vintage as a format has quite a bit of depth, so I will be quite surprise if Lurrus is really insurmountable once it is a known quantity.