If you really tried? If dedicated yourself to anti-Shops anti-MentorCantrips?
So i don't totally know what i am doing, but i was brewing around (on paper) and came up with something like this. This is an excercise and thought experiment but i'm not not serious about making a real valid attempt at making this as viable as possible. It may be garbage, and if so, it may be unsalvageable, but we don't build decks for no reason so there should always be something to learn.
Hand Disruption: (10)
The goal here is to get ahead in mana with the set of 4x Deathrite Shaman and 1x Dryad Arbor, which is fetchable with 2x Green Sun's Zenith.
Dark Confidant provides card advantage that dodges Chains, and while i have 34 cards at 0-1 mana, i have a lot of 3-mana spells. He dodges damage with support provided by the filtering Grim Flayer can provide, who can attain Delirium by himself, but i have a fair amount of various spells and sac-lands to get him there.
Flayer also pitches lands for Ramunap Excavator so i can draw actionable spells when i want and play from my 'second hand' for lands. Ramunap provides further support against Shop's Spheres and Wastelands, and i hope also provides me a Crucible to win those attrition wars since it seems Shops is not on Crucible.
There's some Sulfur Elemental for White Weenies and some awful temple-dwelling spiritualist that makes terrible 1/1s. The elemental is not totally terrible vs non-white decks, as he still is an uncounterable 3 power flash dude and knocks Jace flat.
Teeg and Manglehorn are extra flex for Green Sun. I'm not sure about Manglehorn on the whole. He sure does come down and poop on a Shops piece, but i also thought it stops some Fleetweel or if get the drop on Paradoxical he can stuff them up. Teeg works against Paradoxical, the spell, as well Force and Jace. Stops me from Casting Snuff out and of course Green Sun but that is acceptable.
The one-for-one 1cmc hand disruption is really sad against Mental Misstep, no doubt. Which is still marginally useful as it's easier to cast some Deathrites later perhaps. It is, however, generally perfectly acceptable against forms of combo still.
Chains is in there because of cantrips/JaceDack galore and variants of Paradoxical and maybe sometimes Griselbrand out of Oath, with some splash against metalcrafting Thoughtcast types.
Liliana is not the threat she is in Legacy, but she is still too good to not be an autoinclude if you are playing BRG grind. She may not be as scary as mentor and she does not destroy mentor, but Liliana lets you pitch lands for later use with Ramunap (you don't play your land drop from hand) and activate Flayer much easier, and if you get to grind for 2-3 turns against a blue deck, that feels just swell. She is very reasonable vs Oath if she can resolve, but that is not especially likely i feel, and doubly doubtful if they are on Griselbrand. She's garbage against shops because of their threat density/Precursor, Revoker, Ballista, and Hangarback.
The removal suite is built clearly around Monastery and artifacts. I tried to diversify very well against other decks.
2x Abrupt and 2x Sudden Shock give serious edge vs Mentor, although with Abrupt they may possibly get tokens instead of 1. I mean they can even 'counter' targeting Abrupt. Abrupt is also just regular amounts of powerful vs many things as a catchall. Dack, JVP, Oath, most creatures out of Shops even if not ideal, Paradoxical stuff.
Sudden Shock seems like such a Mentor card of course, but also can lay some serious damage against Shops. It may not seem like much with the two damage, but not only does it kill Revoker, it can destroy Ravager or Ballista before any activations or in response to an activation maybe targeting Factory. It can be played around, but maybe you poop on someone's day for a minute when they don't think you are playing such a thing.
Abrade is some serious flex i think. Mentor may dodge it if they are holding two spells, and it can be countered as normal. But it will kill it sometimes, so it's not totally dead, even though it shines a little more against shops, and of course has a splash against Paradoxical stuff and the few fair decks like Maybe a Leovold.
Grudge and Nature's Claim are just more diversification. Grudge is very specific and narrow but can be cast twice, which i value, and has bonus points for pitching cleanly to Lili or Flayer.
Snuff out is just fine as yet another removal vs normies, but 'free' casting against resisters in Shops makes this flexible there, and it also kills Eldrazi as well as dodge their Sphere a little.
Demonic and Vampiric just help along the way of a little card selection with the silver bullets, or helping ensure drawing Ramunap or the correct removal.
Green Sun's has more than enough targets to be fine to draw later in the game. It's got 2 silver bullet types but the standard engine-guys of Ramunap, Deathrite, and Flayer are there.
Mana is some standard restricted artifacts, regular duals and fetches, but also a set of Wastelands for grinding and taking out Shop, Bazaar, Academy, Library. I didn't set on any basic lands or go over 5 colored mana producing lands, and i do not know if that is correct. I want some number of fetches, but they are not great with Ramunap after you have pulled out your 'real' lands. It may be more correct to drop a fetch and something else for a couple extra 'real' lands, but it is also possibly very incorrect to do since Deathrite wants some lands to eat. Without a lot of practice, i cannot say right now that Deathrites are going to get there on the mana. They can Misstep, Plowed, or Revokered and absolutely none of that garbage is what we want.
I believe the sideboard includes a couple Sudden Shock and Ingot Chewers to replace each other when you find out which deck you are playing. There is the rest of the typical stuff, and some things like Tormod's Crypt are also sweet for a boost to Flayer.
Hey all, here at Eternal Weekend.
I unfortunately did not get to play in Vintage Trials today, but i wandered around both and took a look at everything.
I saw a handful of Shops and a lot of URW Pyromancers (not specifically sure if all were new Mentor decks or if there was some unknown cards). Something a little surprising to me was how much UBG Leovold decks there were! It made me think i might want one more creature removal spell in my deck (which might be easy, since usps had delays and i did not get my Sapphire).
Surely there were some Dredge and Paradoxical but i didn't notice at all any today, so so far seems possibly a little bit light. Saw an Oath and a white eldrazi.
Anyone here and want to share any info they noticed, what they are expecting, what they are playing, some general notes about sideboards?
I had difficulty selecting dredge hate because of transformative sideboards, so i have 2 cages, 3 board wipes varia ts, and an extra spot removal for large creatures (Hollow/Angler). Feel a little bit uncomfortable but so indecisive.
I build what i am passionate about and enjoy, so i am frequently casting pet cards and some random singletons. As a rule, there are a few cards in here i would probably be suggested to cut, but that i won't. That doesn't mean i am not looking for any help, insight, suggestions to add/cut because i still want to walk the middle of "some pet cards" and "some actual viability".
I haven't tested this, i hope that it is not faux pas to be posting here like this. I play 4 color control in legacy, although this is quite different (not just because of the moxes).
There is a lot more action in here than gas (no Preordain, for example), and i went with a little hard draw with Sphinx and 2 Painful Truths, rather than cantrip, to stay up in cards.
The standard plan is to battlecruise to victory. Deathrites, Leovold, Kess, Tasigur and Sphinx are the main attackers. A little Drain action for the Sphinx, but otherwise content to sit with DRS, a planeswalker, open mana, and patience as long as you can counter a critical spell and clear some Golems from the board.
Restricted Mana (6)
Card Draw/Selection (7)
Good Stuff (2)
For one, i am not sure if the lands are correct the way that they are. I play the Badlands/Bayou for flexibility, but i might be more correct cutting them for another Trop and Volc? This is close to what i play in Legacy (3 sea, 2 Trop, 2 Volc, 1 Bads, 1 Bayou) and i have moxes here, but i didn't cut too far down so i can remain flexible on lands drops/fetches. That said, there are 3 Dacks, too, though. However, no Gush. Also really unsure of reliability in number of lands. Should i actually be adding 3 more lands maybe?
I believe the creatures are correct as is. I could be talked out of Tasigur i think, although he seems really strong for a cheap beater that lets you spend well the mana you leave up for counters. I guess i don't need to explain what he does, i'm just saying it seems to be where i want to be at, but also seems like i may not be activating his ability. I may not have 4 mana, or i may not have 4 mana when i have to attempt to counter a spell.
Is the removal count somewhat reasonable? I included maindeck Grudge since i will probably be able to cast it twice any game i draw it in and have targets, although of course mileage varies different decks. With uptick in Outcome and shops doing fine, might be where i want to sit. Abrupt Decay just seems ridiculous, great catchall. Does not hit Jace TMS, Precursor, or Eldrazi (which is also not huge portion of meta, though). Explosives seems incredible all the time, poop on tokens, moxes, Spheres/Hatebears/Revokers.
Is Krosan Grip okay right now with some Bargain uptick? Once an opponent knows you have it, you may be out of luck since they can activate any number of times with priority. But there is generally no reason to resolve Bargain and just say "10 cards", right? Instead activating it for 1 to see what you get? 3 mana is obviously a stretch just for that surprise though. But, possibly not totally dead against Shops, since you can kill Ballista or Ravager without any response.
Is the Drain + Sphinx okay? It seems good. Doesn't seem like a broken tier 1 strategy but doesn't seem embarrassing.
I also thought about Tinker + Blightsteel, but not sure if i have space, should make space, or be the same deck as Drain Sphinx. Could foresee a couple situations i hardcast Blightsteel with Drain, but eh.
Trying to assess how the counter suite should be modified, i do not feel it is optimal necessarily. I want extra game against Paradoxical, but i am also a fan of Drain. Because of adding Drains, i am at 3 Misstep and 0 MBT/0 REB.
I am a less soft to Misstep and Chalice than other decks, which is cool even though Chalice is restricted, but i also kind of put weight on DRS for mana and draining life.
I don't really know what the sideboard will exactly be.
Is just a random start. I mean i think there must be some number of Ingot Chewer and Cage for example.
Other cards i have been looking at:
Tinker + Blightsteel; I enjoy this, although i have 7 artifacts. With DT and card drawing, i should be able to assemble it. However, i cut it for now.
Preordain: Just playing more action spells than card filtering. Having 3 Dack and multiple rebuys of restricted cantrips helps. This is kind of just my style.
Kolaghan's Command: More a mainstay of the 4 color control in Legacy. With Thorn restricted, probably much more likely to cast this, and 3 of the modes seem just fine against artifacts. I don't mind the plan of grinding out shops until they have little board or cards in hand, and this can shoot down 2 creatures, but not all of them. Just have to watch for timing on Factory, but can force movement on Ballista and pop a Revoker.
Sudden Shock: Was much more interested in this with 4x Mentor decks. With the restriction, should i even play it at all? It does pop Ravager and Ballista but not really sure there's where i want to be with this spell.
Tutors: Vampiric and Merchant Scroll. I'm not really trying to peel through my deck for just 1 one of a small few game ending threats. So, not really trying either of these.
True Name Nemesis: I don't know, seems like a great threat. Vintage is not a format of Marsh Casualties and Toxic Deluge. Strongly considering it.
Yawgmoth's Will: I had this, and felt it was mostly just goodstuff. I didn't have a combo i needed to rebuy or assemble, and i didn't want to pay 3 to buyback on one spell.
Scavenging Ooze, Manglehorn, Ramunap Excavator, Trygon Predator: I like these, but i felt like playing more spell-based control and my creature selection fits that better. I could see leaning this way a little.
Just add an extra effect that's mostly irrelevant like. If ~ entered the battlefield from you hand gain 1 life.
Not mostly irrelevant, many decks will still play enough of these they gain a couple life. Strictly better duals seem ridiculous, since they are already bonkers anyway.
Tap, Sacrifice [this]: Choose one
Add three mana of any color to your mana pool
Add <><><> to your mana pool
I don't see any point in deliberately printing awful cards like this though. It's really, really poor game design and just spits in people's faces imo. I don't see any way in which WOTC on purpose prints a card they know ahead of time needs to be banned/restricted, that is explicitly just better than the single best card in the game.
And it doesn't solve the price barrier problem, because now people will play 2 lotuses. I am fine owning a lotus and presuming everyone has 1 copy of this high variance bs power level card in their deck, but having 2 when your opponent has one is just so much worse than 1 to 0.
The above scenario is exactly the kind of thing i would not consider a 'new lotus' to solve. Players who want to play paper but give up because they cannot afford a lotus (lotus is not really the only barrier here, anyway) are not suddenly playing a $50 'new lotus' and competing just fine, when others have 2 in the deck now.
Both really violate the spirit of the reserve list, too, i feel. Mark has said as much regarding "strictly better versions" and that they have no intention of doing so.
Yeah, it faces some practical problems; do you want every game to start with a deck check?
Well, you don't deck check your opponents at the start of every match to make sure they aren't playing 2 Black Lotus. I could probably play a lot of games against someone with two Lotuses in my deck, without them noticing. Am i mistaken in thinking this is actually not different?
Memory of the Lotus 0 Artifact
When this enters the battlefield, choose an opponent. That opponent searches your library for a card named "Black Lotus." If the opponent can find the card, then you lose the game. Shuffle your library afterwards.
T: Sac for three $$$
Besides being broken and probably unprintable for poor game design, this also doesn't make you lose if you have the Black Lotus in your hand. You could tweak the idea to include that, the graveyard, exile, and 'on the battlefield'/'owns a Black Lotus on the battlefield'. It makes it a really bad black lotus, but that is still beyond overpowered. Like it seems 100% playable if you can't afford a Black Lotus.
I think certain power is going nowhere. Not the format we want bans in, i think 'strictly better' or 'strictly kind of different sort of' variants are really poor game design, i think combo bans are really bad.
Wotc should looks towards printing cards that don't obsolete power or replace power for those who can't afford it, but rather more cards that make it easier to play decks that don't contain power. A little extra creature action to pressure the planeswalkers and low Swords counts, a decently castable okay creature that has the awesome ability of Channel 1G: Discard ~this, destroy target artifact or enchantment/G for less than 3cmc.
I think Nimble Obstructionist is a great card, it may not be Vintage playable, but it sure is an incredible design imo. There could be more of those styles in the future, but unfortunately the others are not so great.
Abolish is great design, but doesn't work for the format because everyone is greedy and is allowed to play moxes and Dack Fayden and skip lands in favor of having 10 draw spells. Maybe something like that design works better instead of paying the mana cost it has the ability that you exile it and artifact you control to exile target artifact.
Some stuff to play with along those lines.
I don't exactly like the trend of printing good hate cards onto creatures at a low cost, but perhaps instead of a Null Rod creature (which would be just berserk, right?) you get some 1W 2/1 that allows players to only activate one artifact ability per turn.
There's just so many hate cards that crap on people's best cards already, they just don't necessarily play well when you want to cast your own power cards. So maybe hoping for more of the same is not going to help. You'd rather play Ancestral than Spirit, you know?
I don't think a concession should be acceptable in this case (and most others where it affects other persons in such a way).
Speaking from a more rules-oriented position, I do not think that concessions exist to match fix and screw players like this. However, you cannot be forced to play a match, and no one could truly enforce such a rule anyway. This has always lead me to believe that using concessions for any reasons such as this example, or IDs, is simply an abuse of a system that can never truly enforce what i would consider 'fair play'.
Whether it is allowed in the rules or not, this does not change the fact that someone lost a top 8 spot they would have otherwise earned. After reading this whole thread, i still cannot see how someone can justify that outside of "the rules allow it".
The short of it is that the rules do not exist for people to scoop when they have nothing to lose, just to give their friend (or a stranger) a favor into the top 8. They cannot be 'fixed' to do so, but it is not my belief that WOTC structures their rules under any belief that "you should be able to ID/concede and propel someone into top8 who has technically done a little worse than someone else who had to play for their match". So i would consider someone in this position to be abusing rules, unethical, and not playing honestly.
By comparison, our own Mentor lost what Shay repeatedly called a broken draw spell and didn't budge in metagame share. If Gush was so broken, why is it so little missed by Mentor?
Mentor was already very powerful before Gush was unrestricted again.
and then recommends restricting a three mana creature and a narrow counterspell whose best job is stopping cantrips, all the while leaving the best unrestricted cantrip alone
Because it doesn't only stop cantrips, it stops mana dorks and the good lands spells and hand disruption. Cantrips are only this great in a deck where you can play 4x Mentor.
@MSolymossy said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:
If Thorn of Amethyst (a strong candidate for Restriction) does get restricted, I feel that 4 Spheres, 1 Trinisphere, and 1 Chalice of the Void, and the Corner Case Phyrexian Revoker naming the correct card will make storm a much more viable option. Then what's next? Dark Petition gets restricted?
This slippery slope is a logical fallacy. Storm being more viable than it is now is a far cry from "~35% metagame". Spell based Storm has also been taken over by it's permanent-based cousin, Paradoxical, which can also be combated from the Shops deck with Null Rods as long as they move towards the more aggressive Precursor Golem style of play.
Storm has a long, long way to go to be a huge metagame portion like Shops or Mentor, so claiming there would be a slippery slope that results in Petition being restricted seems more than just alarmist.
Then we're sitting on a ton of Mentor, and a lot of people will probably move to Oath as a result. Then Oath gets restricted, then what? It's a slipper slope at this point.
I don't know about all this. Shops seems totally playable if it lost a Sphere (and probably Sphere, not Thorn). Even if Mentor didn't get hit with a restriction, i don't know that Storm will pop up in any significant and format-warping manner, but to then suppose people move to Oath? I think Mentor can beat Oath, or there would be a lot more Oath, since it can be pretty favorable against the Shops decks.
Is there really a problem with Shops and Mentor being the best two decks in the format? People argue about diversity, then later argue about what is the consensus best deck. we are finally at the point where we can define the best deck as one of two options! Is this really a problem?
Yes. There can be a best deck in a diverse metagame. We can have both. Imagine a world where there's a handful of 12% meta share decks, one top deck at like 20%, and then another 20% some homebrew and hybrids and such. Sounds amazing to me, provided it isn't "Here are 6 decks that win on T1, and you can't win if you are on the draw. Pick one".
It's really a problem. 7 out of 10 people are playing 1 of 2 decks. It might be toelrable if they played on the same axis, but cards great vs Mentor are awful vs Shops and vice versa.
If the format was as neglected as you suggest, then there should have been many restrictions in that period.
This might not be entirely true? I would think it's possible that instead of sloppily restricting cards in such a period, that they would perhaps avoid changes altogether.
Why isn't this card a solid beater in a control deck? It seems to be simply because of Monastery Mentor, but i am not really sure if it was played before Mentor was printed.
It dodges basically all removal ever, pitches to force, 3 power, great with equips, kills/dodges Jace.
Mentor still fills similar roles, in regards to effective evasion to removal and power.
So it is ever worth playing? Worth playing if you aren't playing white?
Have to agree with cutlex here. What would be gained by a cycler? As awesome as that sounds, seriously, what would be the cost a nearly-uncounterable artifact-destruction cantrip? Most likely 4 mana, honestly.
Uh, why on earth would it cost 4 mana? I assume you have also heard of the Channel keyword and the Bloodrush keyword? I'm not sure you understand the goal here.
The goal is a cheap 1-2 (really 1) mana spell that can be cast through tax effects (including Trinisphere). Just like "can't be countered" or "split-second" is a thing, it wouldn't be hard for "can't be taxed" to be a thing. Although, I believe the use of Channel, Cycling or Bloodrush are far more artful methods.
Implying i don't understand the point (when i clearly do) is not helping anything.
Explain why this would ever be printed at like 2 mana? 2 mana instant speed 1-for-1 removal that cantrips? That's berserk... It affects other formats too.
"Can't be taxed" makes no sense in any magic lexicon and isn't happening. It would be an activated ability or alternate casting cost. Cycling, Channel, Faerie Macabre style, Invigorate style... these all make sense. Except for it being a reasonably costed cycling effect.
I agree with the rest of your points, very salient and digestible material. But
A new card or two that negatively impact cantrip/card-draw decks might reduce the need to continue restricting cantrips. People have noted that Preordain is better than Ponder in some respects. I kind of see their argument, but either way WotC has printed a dozen+ blue cantrips over the years, so it's almost moot.
Strictly curious and not trying to 'win' an argument; what exactly do you want? Mental Misstep was printed recently. Too bad it pitches to FoW and is actually berserk in TX decks anyway. Then came Spirit of the Labyrinth at a cool 2 mana and scary power. He's cool, but is also hit by Wear/Tear, Fragmentize, and Disenchant in addition to the standard Plow. Then came Leovold, and he's awesome, but Mentor is just a better creature, so barring Brainstorm/Jace, it doesn't necessarily matter you cast a blank U instant. Unfortunately i think right now, on average, you prefer to be playing Mentor and fight Leovold, than be playing Leovold and fight Mentor. Chains and Hymn have always existed but eh. (That said, i am playing Leovold at EW so whatever).
Maybe 2cmc creature that might say at the end of each turn, each opponent who drew two or more cards must discard a card. But, sort of tired of 2cmc creatures than have nutter effects.
Turn 1 - workshop, sol ring sphere, sphere. Turn 2 - any land into fleetwheel cruiser. It cost 6 mana sure, but its done on turn 2 with 2 land drops.
You can't cast two spheres with just Workshop and Sol Ring.
Workshop, tap +3
Cast Sol Ring -1 = 2
Tap Sol Ring +2 = 4
Cast Sphere/Thorn -2 = 2
Cast Thor- no it costs 3 now.
If you are going Shop, Mox, Sol Ring, Sphere, Sphere, Cruiser - what threats does that leave you with when the automobile is uncrewed? And if they have Misstep, Force, or MBT?
What you are describing is also possible with a few decks, not just with Spheres, even if less consistently. I mean i don't disagree, the deck is powerful, but you can't have Sol Ring or Crypt every opener.
The moment Wizards prints artifact removal that circumvents tax effects, Shops becomes a manageable card (and by extension archetype) again. Cycling, Channel or a new keyword is all it takes. One new green or red card and we're fine again.
These cards already exist. Steel sabotage is a card. So is Ancient Grudge. Spell Pierce Hurkyl's Recall By Force etc. etc. This is without getting into the hosers that you can play if you run an actual manabase instead of a greedy pile.
Have to agree with cutlex here. What would be gained by a cycler? As awesome as that sounds, seriously, what would be the cost a nearly-uncounterable artifact-destruction cantrip? Most likely 4 mana, honestly. You've got Slice in Twain and even though it's an uncommon, printing a better version that has some kind of primary effect with this as backup but with nearly uncounterable? I don't see this happening. And 4 mana is not where you want to be. If it were 3 mana, how does that compare to casting Grudge at 3-4 mana, or Ingot Chewer which still costs 3 when there are 2 Spheres (not Thorns) down? @ChubbyRain is also right though, that 1-for-1 removal is not really where you want to be either, but some of us are not playing Tinker and Colossus.
I like, i'm not 'a bunch of creatures' plan so i have more removals and less creatures. Similar axis.
I don't think you really want Demonic Tutor? You have so many 4-ofs that Nissa's is functioning very similarly a portion of the time?
And yea, i believe you for sure want Teeg. Maybe you don't need Demonic as much as Teeg, but i could see shaving 1 Ramunap. We do not need his ability in multiples, barring tons of 1-for-1 removal, but you just have so many threats that Swords is surely going to be needed to be pressed on other guys you can bait with.
I would disagree that Brainstorm could ever be a pillar in the same way that Workshop could. Workshop enables an archetype, Brainstorm enables draws and can be (is) replaced and supplemented by Ancestral, Ponder, and Preordain.
I could see an argument for 3 City of Traitors instead of 3 of the Shops if there a restriction, too, though, so i wouldn't say a restriction should be out of the question.
Restrict Workshop and make Mox Crystal legal....
I'm curious though, would people rather some unrestrictions of Shops pieces but restrict Workshop, or continually restrict Shop pieces but leave Workshop open? The problem with that is there are always new printings... Surely we will (or at least, i hope) revisit artifacts when we return to dear old Dominaria.
Mark already specified at least 3 times in the last 2 days they aren't going to. Technically it can't mean never since the game may be around for 10 more years, but it's kind of unrealistic to think of as possible design space.
Plus, PWs are characters and are special/unique. There's not really any reason to make non-legend walkers. It's as likely as making a legendary creature that's not supposed to be a 1-of and nameless.
edit: "It won't happen until maybe it does happen" - this doesn't seem to mean anything? That's true of everything if we are getting really technical. I can't begin to see how that's even a reason to believe that it will happen, much less makes it 'likely'.
I like this Cdawg. I always think about this kind of thing.
How on earth are you missing Brainstorm for Ancestral Though?
Also, i very much and sincerely doubt Angus has anything to do with Forcefield. They are only similar in that they can save you some life, and a million cards do that.
If you were right they'd have never printed Prairie Stream. Or do you count the drawback as an ability?
Also, Snow Duals are obviously too close. But Legendary Duals are not IMO.
Legend is also a supertype, also does not work. And like Cdawg describes, yes the other text on Stream makes it very different (functionally) than Tundra.
@hierarchnoble said in The Reserve List - The Reddest Red Herring:
@fsecco It would, and Wizards showed with Amonkhet that they're more willing to add basic land types to new dual lands. However, with Kaladesh containing the Seachrome Coast enemy cycle and Ixalan having the Glacial Fortress cycle reprint, it's not happening any time soon.
Duals that great wouldn't be in a standard set anyway. They'd be in a Conspiracy-type more likely.
I'd really like to see the quotation that you were talking about where someone from WotC said that printing cards "as powerful" as Reserve List cards is somehow prohibited. I don't remember seeing that, and it would be helpful to see.
fsecco didn't say that, i did. And the links are above. One of the specific examples is "But Mark, would WOTC make a card that says "U, Instant, You draw 3 cards" since it doesn't target and the response is "That's breaking the spirit of the reserve list and we don't do that anymore".
While Helldozer might be older, many other cards that are essentially just upgrades to RL cards are not:
Portent is a colorshifted and dramatically improved Natural Selection.
Farmstead has been improved upon several times, most closely by Ghost-Lit Redeemer and Fountain of Youth.
Sedge Troll got colorshifted to Hedge Troll and got a better creature type in Sedge Sliver (as someone pointed out).
These seem to me like they are so far, far different that you think they are.
To specifically reply to a few if you want,
Portent was created a very very long time ago. Like so long ago, this example literally predates the Reserve List. Natural Selection was not RL by the time Portent was created/printed because it didn't exist yet. But even so, "colorshifting" does not break the RL, as is the case with Donate//Harmless Offering. I have agreed before, the literal interpretation of the RL means you can print a White Lotus or "Primal Recall, G, Instant, Target Player Draws 3 Cards". But is that how you apply it, print Primal Recall and make it less necessary to have Ancestral? Or do people just play both?
Farmstead is a garbage card for example. Magic would be an awful game if we could never improve on cards in new similar, but different, design space.
But they are fundamentally different. So yes we can print the Ghost. And it's probably better every single time, like 100% of the time, even in a weird enchanter deck (where neither card would see play anyway). But how would that be applied to the very most powerful cards in the game?
A Black Lotus Kobolds of Kher Keep? That's actually worse, unlike Ghost compared to Farmstead and Portent compared to Natural Selection.
I pointed out Sedge Sliver, but WOTC considers it and the Juzam Sliver to be very different since they interact with other creatures.
You wouldn't, for example, play multiple Plague Slivers if you wanted multiple copies of Juzam in a Legacy deck (pretending we live in a world where Juzam is a good creature today lol).
And, there are also examples of cards that are at least AS good as RL cards:
Cryptoplasm is a Vesuvan Doppleganger for 2 less mana that does not ETB as the target.
Veteran Bodyguard has been replaced by many cards that are at least as good for what you might use him for, including Palisade Giant, Protector of the Crown, etc.
Roc of Kher Ridges has so many 3/3 fliers for 4 with more upside in Red than you can imagine.
Bolding key point here. These examples are all different, even if better. But the cards they are better than are mostly actually kind of shit cards anyway. Trying to improve or outdo Lotus, Ancestral, Timetwister, Time Vault, Library, Workshop, duals, Cradle, Candelabra, etc is just gamebreaking.
Vesuvan and Cryptoplasm are so different it's not close. Vesuvan, in it's day, wasn't surrounded by a ton of awesome ETB effects. Today, Cryptoplasm is. I would agree 20 years Crypto would be better, but today Vesuvan is much better in any format you play it in, because any format that either of those are actually playable is in a format full of juicy ETBs. But they are just different. The manner they are different means you could print a Candelabra that costs 2 mana to cast with X activation cost but is a poly artifact instead. It's better, but it's also already really absurdly powerful.
Cost is hugely key to differences. Sometimes paying 1 more mana is totally worth it 100% of the time, the way Hooting Mandrills sees less play in green decks than Gurmag Angler sees play in black decks, or how about the way that Gurmag is often better than Tasigur, who has an an incredible ability and cheaper to cast but simply has 1 less power.
As they continue to print new and better and better effects onto cheaper and cheaper and creatures, underpowered RL cards will become unplayable. Not all are similar though. Why play Thunder Spirit when you can play Monastery Mentor or Delver? So i think that we will just get different cards.
Maybe a an enchantment for G or U that provides 1 mana for each artifact and opponent controls.
And, yet, this is no barrier to printing Rakdos Pit Dragon, a far superior creature with a slightly changed casting cost and MORE abilities.
But they are so, so different. Rhoc is unplayable, sure (although not due to the dragon, really), but when you want 3 power in the air for 4 and not have to keep investing every turn after that, you don't play Pit Dragon.
They are in no position to be sued over Pit Dragon, they are not the same and WOTC never promised they wouldn't print a creature that is "almost always better, but it's different".
I would consider printing a 2R 3/3 flyer a violation*, i would consider printing 3R 4/4 flyer a violation*, i would consider priting a 3R 3/3 flyer doublestrike a violation*. But Pit Dragon isn't even remotely close and you are making a huuuuuge stretch to see that.
*I don't know if Wotc actually considers those violations.
I had a blast even though i did terribly.
I ran into mentor, shops, shops, uw landstill, uw landstill, ubrg value pile, some wild artifact brew that i loved but was kinda bad, (op dropped on me r8), and paradoxical mentor.
I saw so much Leovold but didnt play against UBG.
I made the mistake of playing legacy today, i didnt realize there were cool vintage sides that could take up a day.
Will be playing both events if able for vintage tomorrow.