I started playing MTG in late 1993 and I'm just starting to get back into it after a 20-year hiatus following my (rather epic) collection being stolen. Thankfully I have a decent career now. My oh my, how expensive this has all become. Oh, and I hosted the first online auction of "Summer 1994"/"Edgar" cards back in the day on IRC/Geocities in 1995. I remember being so thrilled to pull $20 on an Edgar Volcanic Island back then, alas. Hey, man, I was only 15. Wish I'd held onto all those blue Hurricanes. :)
This is all "just for fun," but then given the often vitriolic postings here (quite unfortunate and laborious to sift through, btw), why not add a bit of levity?
I'm curious with this wealth of Vintage expertise on TMD to see what cards you all might design/propose specifically with an aim towards opening up the metagame. My sense is that virtually everyone here is at least somewhat disappointed with the Mentor vs. Ravager Shops dominance, and much has been opined in terms of recent and future restrictions. I also know that most of us would favor new printings over restrictions/bannings in terms of regulating said metagame. Not that it probably "matters" in the grand scheme, but to at least inject a fun exercise here I wanted to ask what card/cards might you propose to diversify the format? You can consider the effects on Standard, Modern, etc. OR NOT, but what dynamic(s) would you find helpful in cultivating realistically competitive decks outside the more popular motifs? I'll throw out a couple of silly suggestions just to get the ball rolling:
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This mana may only be used to cast enchantment spells, and any spell cast with mana from this land cannot be countered.
Creature - Merfolk UU 2/1
While ___ is in play each opponent cannot cast more than one spell each turn.
As MTG experts I would assume there are some extremely creative minds on this site. What strategies/themes intrigue you, and specifically what new card designs might you propose to make them more viable in Vintage? Green Stompy? Infect? Merfolk? Elves? Death & Taxes? Mill? Infinite Turns? Land Destruction? Landstill? Etc.?
Land destruction used to be a dominant deck in the format circa 1994. I understand it's not the most fun thing to play against, but neither is it a first-turn kill strategy or impossible to defeat. Also, you can say that about virtually any dominant deck, and I do believe the point of this entire post is that stagnation itself in the format is a severe detriment to everyone's enjoyment level. If we're looking for a viable 3rd deck to shake things up more generally I actually do see some merit in unrestricting Strip Mine. Admittedly I haven't actively played competitive "Type 1" since 1995 so my feedback might be a little stranger than most people's here. That stated, and even with the newer printings allowing for infinite land recursion, I still don't see how this would necessarily be more powerful than TX Mentor or Shops. It might just necessitate the inclusion of newer L/D hate strategies in maindecks, so at least we have some variation there.
Fortunate enough to have started MTG during Beta, but then unfortunate in terms of having my ridiculously valuable collection stolen a few years later. It was definitely a different game back then. I remember everyone's excitement when Colossus of Sardia came out because 9/9 was suddenly the new 8/8. I also remember the release of Antiquities especially because I traded for all my friends' Moxen and Lotuses to create an Atog deck with all artifact mana. I think at one point I had 30 Moxes and 5 Lotuses. Again, quite a ridiculous collection. Of course, most of us were also playing "house rules" back then, and commonly this included drawing two cards per turn and playing as many lands as you like per turn. This obviously devalued things like Moxen, Lotus, Ancestral, and Library in our circle, so I'd pick up a couple Moxen on trades for something silly like a Lord of the Pit. Ah, the good old days.
I also know there has been some debate here recently insofar as speed vs. diversity, and I for one have no problem with adding a modicum of speed to encourage said diversity. I've been on both sides of a first-turn kill plenty of times, but that's just POWER VINTAGE to me and I love it. I expect I'm entirely on the fringe of this community here in many respects, but I'd advocate unrestricting/unbanning cards like Strip Mine and Chaos Orb (truly the most powerful card ever) to really shake things up in the format. In any event, I surely always enjoy TMD for these discussions.