So the DCI blew up the world at midnight Eastern time on September 1st by splitting the Type One and Type 1.5 Banned and Restricted lists. Type One players have been clamoring for this ever since the perceived misdeed of the Earthcraft and Entomb restrictions (which has long been blamed on 1.5, though I’ve heard 1.5 players deny that it made any sense for them, either). If I recall correctly, some of the leading 1.5 players actually didn’t want a split for fear of list mismanagement, because their format is a small niche even compared to Type One. But let me explain to you here and now why this was an amazingly good decision for the DCI to make.
Happy Type One Players
Vintage players are historically about fifty times louder than their numbers because they are, historically, an average of several years older than most Magic formats’ bases. Type One has nuances and depths that attract people with a certain kind of brain (Tony Sculimbrene, Oscar Tan and Steve Menendian: lawyer, lawyer and law student; JP Meyer: effete intellectual film major; Philip Stanton: librarian-in-the-making), such that they won’t let very many grievances go over time.
We’ll accept that Wizards can’t endorse proxies when it’s said unambiguously and reasonably. We’ll even accept the Reserved List, grudgingly, until there’s so little real Power that sanctioned tournaments are a joke. But one format’s policy being determined by the exigencies of another is just plain crazy to us, so there’s no way we’d ever give up the debate. This finally settles it in the way every Type One player wanted.
Happy Disaffected Extended and Type One Players
This is the biggie. Old Extended with dual lands and Force of Will was really pretty cool. There was certainly a crowd that didn’t like the rotation, but understood its necessity. At the time, some switched to Type One, some left the game, some went casual, some stuck their duals away and stayed with the PTQ rotation. The new 1.5 is what those people wanted, whereas the old 1.5 had expensive cards added onto the dual lands, and had almost no followers to boot.
Type One elders have lamented for at least as long as I’ve been on The Mana Drain that Type 1.5 is what the majority of the format’s new players secretly wanted when they complained about broken combo decks and early wins. Every single suggestion for restriction (or banning) seems to be about the hatred average players have for losing games to broken draws. People hate Mishra’s Workshop–Trinisphere because it locks them out before they have a non-Force of Will say in it. People hate Tendrils of Agony and Goblin Charbelcher combo because it runs over most anything that isn’t packing Force or Trini/Sphere of Resistance. And so on.
Richard Mattiuzzo a.k.a. Shock Wave summed it up excellently at GenCon when he said that in Type One, good players will each get a free game based on amazing draws, and then they’ll fight over the third game. The new 1.5 caters to this drawback of Type One. Type One is for macho men who like to feel the power of Power flowing through their veins. The new 1.5 retains the strategic depth of the giant cardpool without the giant dose of lame delivered by every Mox. There is a large audience for this.
Happy Disaffected Standard/Block Players
My main man, Matt Katz, is a devoted PTQ-goer and drafter, and at least to some extent exemplifies the Spike-oriented attitude of that type of player. Affinity’s domination has caused him to fill my Gaim window with comments about how lame Block is, and how much Wizards needs Kamigawa to be less dumb. When we were talking about the new announcement minutes after it went up, his first response was”I have to organize a 1.5 tourney” followed by”this might be the greatest format ever”. This is the kind of response I expect many longtime players to have, because secretly, they all have a Johnny inside, and old cards are wicked cool.
Happy Budget Players and Collectors
Type One has another bizarre duality: two extremes of players represented by those who pimp out their decks to be worth thousands of extra dollars, and those who barely accept the need to buy dual lands and desire very liberal proxy policies to play expensive decks without investment in the $100+ cards. I suspect other formats have the same kind of issue, but with less glaringly giant differences between the two.
One of the things that I’ve noticed in the”pimpers” is that they like Type One due to the lack of rotations. Not the Power (because you can’t even foil it, let alone get Japanese miscut foils modified by the artist), but because when they get sexy versions, they are going to be able to use them for a long time. The new 1.5 accommodates this, the non-Power collector’s main desire, while being infinitely more compatible with budget players’ goals -“play Null Rod” has never resonated well with them when other decks are so obviously better. The DCI even had the foresight to ban Illusionary Mask, eliminating the chance of an extremely expensive deck being good. The rares for this are basically all”cheap” by the old Vintage standards, except maybe Berserk.
Happy 1.5 Players
They might not know it yet, but this is amazing for them. Right now, they have at least as good at opportunity as Type One players did before Oscar Tan started writing, and all the groundwork is done for them, because Wizards already has its eye on the”old-timer” formats more than ever before, and clearly will want this format to do well. The current experts on 1.5 have a strong edge in that they’ve thought about the tier of cards just under Type One quality more than anyone else. They have The Source set up to aggregate new people. They are the foundation, and should think seriously about how to welcome new players, because I think there’ll be plenty.
I can honestly say this format looks nearly ideal to me. I’m actually excited to build decks for it, which is a harder feeling to get in Type One, where restricted cards predetermine half of your list, or Extended where there’s no Force to keep combo in line, so they haven’t had a stable format for over a year (and when it rotates, the idea of the”slightly bigger Type Two” will be in full force, taking all the”old” flavor out of it). [They just rotated and then banned stuff a year ago, so your point about a”stable format” loses a bit of weight here. – Knut, who liked both recent iterations of Extended]
For anyone who runs tourneys for this format, here’s the data I’d want to do some good summation like I’ve been doing for Type One this year:
-If your event is 30-49 players, give me Top 4 decklists.
-If your event is 50+ players, give me Top 8 decklists.
-Location, event date, number of players
That’s it! You know you want to. Feed me data!*
philip.stanton at themanadrain.com
* – So I don’t get crazy emails, don’t worry, I’m not quitting Type One or articles about it. I expect it to be a while before data pours in for the new 1.5. When it does I’ll figure out how to deliver the numbers on both.