January 21, 2019 Banned and Restricted List Announcement

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Oversoul, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

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  2. Melkor Well-Known Member

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  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Mind Twist did nothing wrong!
  4. Melkor Well-Known Member

    Mind Twist is the clearest example of dereliction of duty on the Legacy banned list. Vintage/Legacy as the true eternal formats have an obligation to attempt to let you play with as many cards as possible. Mind Twist is an easy unban, it doesn't enable anything, it's not too powerful an effect considering what Legacy does today, and it just doesn't seem like there are too many unknown unknowns about it. Maybe there's a ridiculous Earthcraft combo deck, maybe not, but there definitely isn't going to be a Mind Twist Deck after it is unbanned.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Generally, I agree. There are probably four or five banned cards in Legacy that could all be used as a showcase for the negligent and ignorant attitude of WotC toward the format, and each one has some nuance in the way it makes the point. The reason I chose Earthcraft a few years ago is that it's the one that seems to have been the most obviously silly for the longest time now. For however much that history even matters. Remember that Mind Twist was still restricted in Vintage back then and had previously been banned in all tournament formats. The minority who advocated for its unrestriction in Vintage seemed to get painted as an eccentric fringe at the time, but in hindsight it's obvious that they were right all along. For whatever reason, WotC displayed a pattern of behavior where they'd purge chaff from the Vintage RL, wait a while, then unban those same cards in Legacy if they happened to still be on the BL. And if they weren't purging chaff from the Vintage RL or if the decisions in Vintage didn't apply, they'd sometimes unban other old chaff in Legacy anyway. If that pattern had held, Mind Twist would have been set free back in 2010 or so, but that was also right around the time that they broke from that pattern and started neglecting Legacy. I think it's been widely understood in the Legacy community for a little over a decade that Mind Twist should be unbanned. In hindsight, it could have been unbanned for the format's whole history, but there was little advocacy for that position back in 2004. I know that when I did my article series with the retrospective look at the list over the years, I saw that I made a dismissive kind of comment about probably leaving it banned back in 2005 when I first commented on it. I wasn't very commital about it, but I did say to leave it banned, which I now firmly believe was the wrong call.

    One of the reasons I like to bring up Earthcraft when it comes to this topic is that it's a card the community, such as it was back when the format was brand new, have almost universally assessed as being a safe unban from the beginning. It was restricted in Vintage until Legacy was first formed, and players generally thought it ridiculous that the card would be considered a problem in a format like Legacy or Vintage just because of an awkward two-card combo needing an otherwise bad enchantment, a basic land, and the passage of a full turn to kill. No one in Legacy was scared of Earthcraft even back before we all learned better about Mind Twist. I actually didn't flat-out say to unban it in my 2005 analysis, but that was because back then I wanted the first round of unbans to be Mind Over Mattter, Replenish, Worldgorger Dragon, Hermit Druid, and Gush. I think that at the time I was rather naive, though. Other voices were more definitive on the subject of Earthcraft. It's placement on the BL in the first place was silly. And if WotC had corrected that back when they were correcting other silly bans like Replenish, I'd never have come up with the whole 700+ weeks thing and my criticism would be more focused on other potential unbans that aren't so obviously belated.

    There are other cards I'd like to see unbanned (Memory Jar, for instance). But Mind Twist and Earthcraft are probably the two most glaring failures on the part of WotC. I might have missed it, but I haven't even heard an explanation from them about why Earthcraft is still banned. They seem to be silent on the issue even though it's been raised a lot. I know that at some point they did address Mind Twist, although really that's not better. The response to someone asking why the card wasn't unbanned was something like, "It's an unfun card and no one wants to play against it." Seriously.

    Ultimately, I'm 100% comfortable with an unban on both of those two cards and 100% convinced that such an unban would not be deleterious for the format. There's been talk of Earthcraft potentially seeing play in Enchantress, but the deck would still be rather weak. Mind Twist could be used in Elves against certain matchups, but it wouldn't improve the deck much and would very probably not even make it in as a sideboard card.

    I think Goblin Recruiter is the weakest card on the list right now, but at least it gets the excuse that years ago Goblins was once the top deck and the card would have improved it. So I guess it wouldn't feel quite as belated as Mind Twist or Earthcraft.

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