Papal Bull: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There’s a lot of contention regarding what should and shouldn’t be on the Vintage restricted list. Wizards took five cards off the restricted list in Vintage during 2004: Fork, Braingeyser, Stroke of Genius, Doomsday, and Earthcraft. To pretty much everyone, these cards were considered undegenerate and could be unrestricted with a reasonable amount of safety. While there are occasional tweaks when a new B&R list comes out, usually nothing is changed. Still, every quarter there is usually a firestorm of debate regarding changes to the list. Since it’s going to be March soon, it seemed like a good time stoke the fires of Vintage debate once more with an article…

There’s a lot of contention regarding what should and shouldn’t be on the Vintage restricted list*. Wizards took five cards off the restricted list in Vintage during 2004: Fork, Braingeyser, Stroke of Genius, Doomsday, and Earthcraft. To pretty much everyone, these cards were considered not degenerate and could be unrestricted with a reasonable amount of safety, with the worst offender being Doomsday which turned out to still be a perfectly fair combo card. While there are occasional tweaks when a new B&R list comes out, usually nothing is changed. Still, every quarter there is usually a firestorm of debate regarding changes to the list. Since it’s going to be March soon, it seemed like a good time to look at the restricted list.

* Which is a nice way of saying “Watch out! Flame bait!”

There are a few different reasons why cards are restricted. I’m not going to go into nebulous terms like whether or not the cards created “an unrecoverable early game swing” and that the decks “demonstrated distortion” and thus needed to be taken down a peg, but instead focus more on the mechanics on the restricted cards themselves. I’m talking about what the cards do, and in general, I noticed that there are only a few classes of cards that appear to get restricted.

Ancestral Recall: These are the kind of cards that offer an effect at far too low a price. These effects on the whole are still “fair.” Using Ancestral as the example again, while it’s been proven that U is way too cheap for three cards, particularly at instant speed. Concentrate has shown that 2UU is fair, and not only that, but that cards like Opportunity that can draw even more than three cards is not on its own a broken. Time Walk, Time Warp, and Time Stretch all work the same way.

Balance: These are the cards that you can’t properly cost. The effects on these cards are so powerful that the card can only be broken or too expensive to ever be cast because if they hit, they will probably win the game right there.

Black Lotus: These are the mana producers that produce more mana than they cost to bring out. These are restricted because like the Ancestrals, they produce an effect at too low of a cost. As another comparison, Black Lotus is restricted because it produces more mana than it costs, yet Gilded Lotus is unrestricted (but still played in Vintage.) The amount of mana usually isn’t as important as the amount of mana you have to spend up front (which is why say, Metalworker is not restricted.)

Black Vise: These are the cards that are punishing in multiples. While most of the cards on the restricted list would be better in multiples, the important part to realize here is that these cards are improved by running more of them or by being able to have a greater chance to draw them earlier.

Demonic Tutor: These are cheap tutors. Outside of Vintage, there usually isn’t a problem with even highly efficient tutors like Vampiric Tutor. The reason that the cheap tutors need to be restricted in Vintage is because otherwise they would make a mockery of the restricted list.

Dream Halls: These are the combo engines. Most of these are safe and are being slowly unrestricted, such as our friends Doomsday and Earthcraft, as modern deckbuilding theory is showing that the traditional “engine” combos are almost always weaker than simple one- or two-card combos.

Onto the list!

Ancestral Recall

Category: Ancestral Recall (derf)

As stated above, Ancestral Recall is broken because it costs less mana than its effect should cost. If Ancestral were unrestricted, I would expect a significant speed boost to the format for some control decks and a resiliency boost to combo and aggro decks. In decks like Tog or Control Slaver, the extra Ancestrals would let them draw cards faster and thus find more draw or more artifacts, respectively, speeding up their kills. While it doesn’t seem like it would make kill faster, it would allow them to constantly have gas so that they could have more threats to try to force through against a control player. As for combo, Meandeck Tendrils has demonstrated how a combo deck can function with only needing one card for one mana. The presence of four Ancestrals would probably cause that deck to ruin the format.


Category: Balance

First off, there are two things to get straight about Balance: 1) regardless of what specialized Balance decks would be developed, the fact that a two-mana Wrath of God would exist would probably be enough on its own to totally kill what little aggro still exists in Vintage, and 2) the Maysonnet Rack/Balance deck is not the way to go. The reason that Balance cannot be properly costed is probably because of the fact that both players need to equalize their lands. If the card were made expensive, it would be unplayable in a losing position and pointless in a winning position. In terms of decks, the big winners here would actually probably be Mishra’s Workshop decks. With their large number of artifacts, small number of creatures and land, and their ability to drop their entire hand onto the table in a very short amount of time, it would take almost no effort for them to be able to consistently cast punishing Balances over and over. Workshop decks would be even less interactive with starts like turn 1 Mishra’s Workshop, Sol Ring, Sphere of Resistance, turn 2 Gemstone Mine, Balance.

Black Lotus and the rest of the artifact mana producer all-stars

Category: Black Lotus

I personally think that the cards that make Vintage Vintage are not the Mana Drains and Yawgmoth’s Wills, but the mana accelerants. The mana accelerants are what gives combo its oomph, control its resiliency, and aggro its false dreams of relevance. Vintage would be unrecognizable if these were unrestricted. Since these ignore the one land per turn rule of mana development, it’s pretty likely that you could have whatever quantity of mana that you wanted on turn 1. At that point, there simply would be no reason not to run some type of draw-7 or storm combo deck, since you could easily cast just about every spell that you would draw. Even if just about every possible combo card were taken out of the mix, there would still be easy turn 1 kills from aggro decks like Affinity and possibly Food Chain Goblins.

Black Vise

Category: Black Vise

Black Vise has a couple of problems associated with it. Everyone knows and hates the double Vise opening hands, which simply are impossible to get when you can’t run multiples. There’s also the problem that a format full of decks running four copies of Black Vise basically forces every deck to either win in the first few turns, be entirely proactive, or have a mana curve that tops off at about one mana. The less-commonly cited reason is that there a bunch of combo-y draws with Black Vise. Black Vise comboes really well with draw-7’s (by drawing you into more Black Vises and ensuring that your opponent will probably take the full three damage per Vise next turn,) and both of those cards are powerful enough on their own that the added synergy adds another level of power that neither of them really should have.

Burning Wish

Category: Demonic Tutor

Burning Wish is a pretty situational tutor. It can only get cards from your sideboard and it can only get sorceries. The thing is, sorceries are usually given the most powerful effects. If you look at the restricted list, there are many more sorceries than instants on it and in general, the sorceries are much more powerful. We recently came off of a period of unrestricted Burning Wish, and it was pretty obvious how powerful this card was both in combo and control. Combo had a cheap tutor for Yawgmoth’s Will, while control could put some of its powerful (but extremely situational) cards like Balance in the sideboard. One aspect that wasn’t explored very much with Burning Wish though was the possibility of casting Yawgmoth’s Will multiple times in one game. In Vintage, the general opinion was that you only need to cast Will once, because of how powerful the effect is. However, decks in Standard often cast Will multiple times in a game because their Wills were much less ambitious. They might simply Will for Dark Ritual, a land, a removal spell, and a Vampiric Tutor for another Will. It would be interesting to see a Vintage control deck using this approach, reusing just say, Fire / Ice, Mystical Tutor for Burning Wish, and Time Walk.


Category: Black Lotus

There aren’t many cards on the restricted list that can add more mana than Channel. That alone is a pretty safe reason to keep it restricted. Despite that, for the longest time I had trouble coming up with potential combos for Channel. The closest that I came was to an Egg deck which would let you draw a large portion of your deck before killing with Tendrils of Agony. Now, there’s a pretty obvious place for it: One-Land Belcher. Between Land Grant, Chromatic Sphere, and Elvish Spirit Guide, it would be pretty easy for that deck to cast Channel for the seven mana necessary for that deck to kill with. Personally, the fact that a deck exists that only needs to run one land is scary enough to me that I don’t want to give it even more choices among mana producers.

Crop Rotation

Category: Demonic Tutor

Crop Rotation is here for a single card: Tolarian Academy. Despite the fact that most combo decks in Vintage have drifted away from Academy abuse and more towards Storm combo, Academy is still one of the most useful cards in the deck, and it only gets better mid-combo. The ability to “chain” Crop Rotations with Timetwister (turn a land into Academy, then turn the Academy into a different land, then after you Timetwister you can get the Academy again, untapped) is another unwanted interaction that could result from having Crop Rotation unrestricted.

Demonic Consultation

Category: Demonic Tutor

There is a big difference separating Demonic Consultation from the other restricted tutors: it can’t (reliably) search for restricted cards. However, Consult is the best tutor in the game for unrestricted cards. There’s also another big danger with an unrestricted Demonic Consultation in newly-developed combo decks. Any time that a new combo deck is developed that uses its main cards as 3-ofs or 4-ofs (such as Necropotence in Trix or Burning Wish in Long.dec,) Demonic Consultation instantly becomes the tutor of choice.

Also, while I said that it can’t reliably search for restricted cards, you can still do it, and especially with Meandeck Tendrils I’ve seen plenty of times when a wily combo player notices that say, they’ll fizzle out without Black Lotus or could win the game instantly with a Yawgmoth’s Will, so they Consult for it. And usually win right there. While it isn’t a good idea to just randomly Consult for Ancestral Recall, for a 50 card deck there is only about a one in nine chance of decking from a Consultation for a restricted card.

Demonic Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Vampiric Tutor

Category: Demonic Tutor

I’m listing these all together, but I’ll cover the subtle differences. As I explained above, limiting a card to one per copy is pointless if you can run many cards that can do the same thing as the restricted card. Anything that I say about Mystical Tutor and Enlightened Tutor will also apply to Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor since they can fetch any cards. Mystical Tutor is dangerous in its ability to easily fetch Ancestral Recall and Balance early and often. The loss of a card is even a benefit with Balance, which is a combination that Four Color Control decks circa 1998 went for all the time. With Enlightened Tutor, nobody is afraid of Deck Parfait suddenly getting a tutor. The real fear is Necropotence, which would facilitate plenty of turn 3 kills with Force of Will protection.

Dream Halls

Category: Dream Halls

Dream Halls can produce a lot of mana. Back during Combo Winter, Dream Halls was actually probably the scariest combo deck out there – it was probably even better than Academy. The deck almost immediately won following casting Dream Halls since it didn’t need to worry about mana costs on its many draw spells. Personally, I’m on the fence with this one in Vintage. A lot of people think it can be unrestricted, since it does cost five mana (which is a lot), but there are enough Blue draw-7s or cards like Accumulated Knowledge that it doesn’t take much to break this. You can even kill with Tendrils of Agony or Brain Freeze rather than the bulky Mind over Matter/Mana Vault kill. I’d be interested in seeing a prototype list for an unrestricted Dream Halls deck in Vintage.

Dream Halls is also important to note because more than any other card on the restricted list, it embodies the “restriction=ban” sense that many cards get when they get added to the restricted list. Dream Halls requires you to build your deck around it, unlike many of the restricted cards that you can just throw into your deck, like Ancestral Recall or Strip Mine. Because of this, it becomes too unreliable to try to work on looking for and casting this one specific spell on top of the deckbuilding constraints since you could after all, just get say, Yawgmoth’s Bargain or another similarly overpowered card that is more powerful than Dream Halls.


Category: Demonic Tutor

Entomb is an odd one. It technically is a cheap, instant speed tutor. Entomb was most commonly used to “tutor” for Worldgorger Dragon, but there are also other, more creative uses. I have seen it once or twice used solely to combo with Goblin Welder and Yawgmoth’s Will, and once in while Rector Trix decks as a way to tutor for Cabal Therapy. Entomb is the sort of card which appears very restrictive on the surface, but with a little bit of thought, becomes quite easy to break when combined with all of the graveyard recursion available in Vintage.

Fact or Fiction

Category: Ancestral Recall

FoF isn’t Ancestral Recall-level broken, and in fact is often casually considered as a possible candidate for unrestriction. It’s only slightly undercosted (compare this to Concentrate.) It’s just that single Blue mana and instant speed that push it over the edge. Nonetheless, it’s probably still worth keeping restricted. One of the hidden advantages that this has over Skeletal Scrying is that Fact or Fiction can potentially be cast a few turns earlier because you don’t need to deal with the cards in graveyard restriction. An unrestricted FoF would really just give control even more of a boost than it needs right now. Since FoF was printed, the best deck in Vintage has generally been considered to be a Blue-based control deck (mono-Blue, followed by 4 Color Control, followed by Tog, followed by Control Slaver) and FoF’s (relatively) expensive casting cost would prevent it from being utilized well by anything else. And let’s not forget the synergy that FoF has with Control Slaver and Tog.


Category: Dream Halls

Fastbond has fueled all sorts of combos in Vintage, most of them not very good. It as serves as a random one-of in Storm combo decks. However, now that everyone has Crucible of Worlds on the brain, it’s pretty clear how strong Fastbond can be in the right deck. Even without a combo kill (such as with Zuran Orb) on the table, Fastbond/Crucible is still deadly just with Wasteland.

Frantic Search

Category: Black Lotus

Frantic Search is card disadvantage, making it more appropriate to look at it as a mana producer rather than a card drawer. The obvious card that people have comboed it with is Tolarian Academy, but rather than giving the “Academy decks suck so this doesn’t need to be restricted” argument, it’s also important to look at the fact that this card was also banned in Extended. It was paired with Serra’s Sanctum or Gaea’s Cradle there and was still strong enough to ban. Furthermore, it is also important to note that for purposes of Storm, it’s practically a free way to increase your Storm count.


Category: Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Dream Halls

Gush is deceptively powerful. It does a lot of little things very well. They seem pretty innocuous, but when you start to look at how many other cards on the restricted list perform similar functions, Gush’s power becomes more apparent. You can generate a mana with it, just like Lotus Petal and the Moxes. You get to draw cards for a very small cost, like Ancestral. Lastly, you’ve got added combo potential because you can turn the cost of returning the lands to your hand into a benefit with Fastbond. As we saw when it was unrestricted, all of those abilities make Gush strong in all kinds of decks, from aggro-control to combo. I can imagine an unrestricted Gush allowing for a Turboland/GroAtog Frankenstein’s Monster of a deck, maybe even with Crucible of Worlds tossed in.

Library of Alexandria

Category: Ancestral Recall

Like I just talked about above with Gush, free cards are powerful, and LoA allows for a free card every turn. That said, the idea of an unrestricted LoA intrigues me a lot, because I don’t think that running it as a 4-of is as automatic as it seems. For instance, right now there are tons of Wastelands floating around in Workshop decks. This isn’t to say that this would keep LoA in check. Instead, it creates a dilemma for deckbuilders**. Everyone knows that Library isn’t the greatest against aggro and is very weak against combo, but there is a much stickier point to deal with. You need your Wastelands to fight opposing Libraries, and you’re already in all likelihood playing with off-color Moxes, so how many spots can you afford in your own deck for your own Libraries without crippling your manabase with too many colorless sources?


Here’s a sample mana base for a 4 Color Control deck:

4 Polluted Delta

4 City of Brass

4 Wasteland

3 Tundra

3 Underground Sea

2 Volcanic Island

1 Strip Mine

1 Library of Alexandria

4 Moxes

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

What do you cut at this point for your Libraries? If you cut duals, you’re dropping down to only nine lands that produce colored mana in your deck. With that little colored mana, I could easily see someone cutting off all your mana permanently with a Sundering Titan or a few Wastelands. The only other possibility might be to run a setup that the Intuition versions of Control Slaver run where you would rely on Crucible of Worlds and a single Strip Mine to keep their Libraries under control.

Lion’s Eye Diamond

Category: Black Lotus

Since this one was restricted recently, everyone saw just how powerful this card was with Yawgmoth’s Will during the reign of Long.dec. Furthermore, preliminary Legacy decklists have shown how good this card can be in Goblin Charbelcher combo decks. Since I haven’t seen anything in 5th Dawn or Kamigawa block that would further break this card (it might be useful in a Gifts Ungiven deck, but you probably would not need more than one because of Gifts Ungiven itself), I figure that I can stop now.

Memory Jar, Windfall, Wheel of Fortune, and Timetwister

Category: Ancestral Recall

Until the printing of Storm cards, these were all the most important cards for fueling most combo decks in Vintage, as their low costs made it easy enough to draw enough mana producers to make the spell pay for itself, if not net mana. Historically, control and aggro often made use of these, but time has since shown us that since those decks are not as well equipped as combo decks to dump their hands after casting their draw-7, the opponent often was given the first shot at their seven new cards which could often lead to the card totally backfiring. Because of this, any unrestrictions here would almost solely fuel combo at the expense of everyone else.

Mind over Matter

Category: Dream Halls

Like Dream Halls, this card has the potential to produce more mana than just about any other card. However, this comes at the very steep cost of 2UUUU. While the “Academy isn’t even good” argument is probably a good enough one as to why this card is harmless, the Seething Song argument probably also applies here. After all, 6 mana is practically enough to cast a draw-7 and Tendrils of Agony, which has a much greater chance of winning the game right there.

Mind’s Desire

Category: Black Vise, Balance, Dream Halls

Within a few days of the release of the Scourge spoiler, I think I saw three different Mind’s Desire decks. The fastest was the Long.dec-style one with Burning Wish and Lion’s Eye Diamond that had the potential for degenerate Mind’s Desire draws in addition to its typical Yawgmoth’s Will/Lion’s Eye Diamond draws. Slightly slower, but also slightly more resilient were the ones that ran plenty of copies of Hurkyl’s Recall or Rebuild and looked like ancestors of our current TPS decks. The last ones were kind of like the old High Tide deck. They were the slowest (goldfishing on “only” turn 3,) but they were able to run plenty of counters and thus match the control decks counter for counter. That gives you a pretty good idea of how crazy Mind’s Desire is in Vintage. There also really is no way to properly cost Mind’s Desire. It’s like Rude Awakening in this way. If you make Rude Awakening cost more, you’ll do even more damage when you attack. Similarly, if Mind’s Desire were more expensive, you could simply cast more mana accelerants while casting Mind’s Desire, making your initial one even bigger and even more likely to win you the game right there.

Also, when I first started writing this, I was tempted to call the “Black Vise” cards “Mind’s Desire” cards because of how powerful Mind’s Desire becomes when you have the potential of being able to chain them together. [I actually think the storm mechanic is probably the most powerful single mechanic Wizards designed, especially considering that R&D tried to underpower and overcost every card in the cycle and many of them see play regardless. – Knut, not referring to Dragonstorm]

Necropotence and Yawgmoth’s Bargain

Category: Balance

Back in the day, everyone complained about the restriction of Necro. Nobody disagreed that Bargain was ridiculously powerful and was an obvious restriction, but a lot of people did not think that Necro needed a restriction. Rather, it would’ve been better to restrict say, Illusions of Grandeur. Eventually, people started to think about Necro differently. Bargain was purely a combo card because of the fact that it costs 4BB, making it nearly uncastable anywhere else. Since Necro was merely BBB -which is conveniently provided by Dark Ritual – it was playable outside of combo. It was just much, much better in combo. Phyrexian Arena has shown that three mana upfront and one life for each card is fair, but when you lack the built-in moderation that Arena has, you simply are able to draw too many cards at once.

One of other big factors in getting the turnaround in opinion were the Illusionary Mask decks. At this point, people started to notice that whenever a one or two-card combo exists, you can potentially use Necropotence to draw into it. It probably wouldn’t take much effort to make a really strong Dragon build based around 4 Necros. Or a strong Belcher. Or a strong Tendrils.


Category: Demonic Tutor

Regrowth is restricted because it gets around the fact that you can only run one copy of your restricted cards. There are also potential problems with being able to recur Time Walk over and over again. Personally, I think that the card is safe to unrestrict if we’re just considering randomly reusing restricted cards, but there are two cards which can and probably do break it in Intuition and Gifts Ungiven. These make it pretty easy to guarantee that you get the card that you want, by either casting Intuition for the card and two Regrowths or by casting Gifts Ungiven for say, Regrowth, Will, and some tutors or another graveyard recursion spell like Relearn or Recoup, with the added possibility of casting Regrowth on your Gifts Ungiven to stock the graveyard some more.

Strip Mine

Category: Black Vise

Strip Mine was restricted immediately after Wasteland was printed. The sets and restriction dates weren’t synchronized like they are now however, so there was a month or two when you could legally play with 4 Strip Mines and 4 Wastelands. This was not fun. You basically could not play any spells in your deck that cost more than one mana or were in any way reactive, much like when Black Vise was unrestricted. I guess you could say that this “helped budget players” or something, but remember that your opponent could just Strip your basics and then Waste your Wastes. Even without taking into account land destruction decks, the combination with Crucible of Worlds is also degenerate, since you can’t even sandbag basics to protect yourself.

Time Spiral

Category: Dream Halls

For its cost, Time Spiral is actually kind of close to being balanced. Since most Vintage combo decks like to go off with around two land, that brings the cost on this card down to four colorless mana rather than making it actually free. That on its own is pretty balanced, since Diminishing Returns isn’t even played and it also costs four mana. However, as we do know from Extended, free spells are a great way to abuse lands that produce more than one mana. We’re looking at you here, High Tide. Like with Dream Halls, I wouldn’t look at High Tide as a “bad” combo deck. I would look at it more like a Tog or mono-Blue control deck that can kill on turn 3.

Time Walk

Category: Ancestral Recall, Black Vise

Steve Menendian thinks that Time Walk is the most powerful card in Vintage. I disagree (I think that it’s probably Tinker), but it’s clear that Time Walk is strong. Taking an extra turn isn’t totally broken (Time Warp and Time Stretch have shown this), but at two mana this lets you gain a lot of tempo early in the game when the effect of an extra turn is most pronounced. This also makes it Black Vise-like, as it would drastically increase your chances of jumping even further ahead tempo-wise in the early game. It’s also important to note that Time Walk’s cheap cost allows a lot of decks like Control Slaver and Tog to use it as a way to “combo” out, often in combination with Yawgmoth’s Will. The ability to Intuition for Time Walk, Time Walk, Tinker if you have Yawgmoth’s Will can also give you enough turns to be able to kill with a Darksteel Colossus before your opponent can get a turn, so there’s even a bit of combo potential there.


Category: Balance, Demonic Tutor, Black Lotus

Ladies and gentlemen, I present what I consider the most broken card in Vintage. Tinker requires two cards (the Tinker and the artifact being sacrificed), but a better way to look at it is that the Tinker is the tutor half while the artifact is the acceleration half (Force of Will also works the same way – if you’re willing to play Black Lotus in your deck, why wouldn’t you want to play a card that adds five mana to your mana pool?) making the “card disadvantage” seem almost completely a non-issue. Pro Tour: New Orleans showed just how powerful Tinker is in a format with the overpowered artifacts of Mirrodin block, so there isn’t much of a need here to go over all of the different ways that Tinker is really, really broken. Also, the reason that it’s almost pointless to make Tinker cost more mana is because you will get to the point where it would simply be easier to cast the artifact in question, using a cheap tutor if necessary to find it.

Tolarian Academy

Category: Black Lotus, Black Vise

My classification of Academy as a Black Lotus is obvious, but it is also important to consider it as a Black Vise as well. With four Academies available to you (as well a copy of Crop Rotation,) you can reasonably assume while building your deck that you will have it in your opening hand or that you will be able to find it very easily during your first turn. Therefore, you can also assume that you can cast any spell in your deck with relative ease during the first few turns.

Voltaic Key

Category: Black Lotus

Technically yes, Voltaic Key is a mana producer. Interestingly, unlike cards like Regrowth or Demonic Tutor, the restricted artifacts are the worst cards to combine Voltaic Key with. Black Vise doesn’t tap, Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Memory Jar are sacrificed for their effects, and the Moxes only produce one mana. You can produce one mana with Key if you combo it with Sol Ring or Mana Crypt (strong!) and a massive two mana with Mana Vault or Grim Monolith. Or, you could use it with the very unrestricted Gilded Lotus for three colored mana, Metalworker for a large, odd number, or Candelabra of Tawnos for a potentially even larger number. If Candelabra or Metalworker were restricted, I could understand this one but as it is, this is not much of a mana producer. Compare this to say, Ancient Tomb.

Yawgmoth’s Will

Category: Balance

While we all know that Will is possibly the most broken card ever, I do think that it is worth the time to realize just how many ways Yawgmoth’s Will is capable of causing problems. The most common usage of Will is usually to “replay” the entire game up until the point when it is cast. The next most common use is the ability to double Storm. This is actually somewhat more intricate than it appears. This has less to do with “replaying” the game and more to do with the interaction because Will and cards that sacrifice for an effect, most notably the mana accelerants. Lastly, the final strength of Will is the potential to use your graveyard as an additional hand by stocking it by means of cards like Gifts Ungiven or Intuition.

The Will is impossible to properly cost for the same reason that Mind’s Desire is and for the same reason that Tinker is. If the spell is too expensive, you will never be able to replay any of the cards that are in your graveyard, making you better off just using a card like Regrowth instead. The other possibility is that the player will simply use cards like Black Lotus or Cabal Ritual to generate the necessary mana and then replay them as normal.

For next week, I’ll focus on cards that are unrestricted that people commonly bring up as targets for restriction and look at how they relate to the categories that I brought up. I’ll try to avoid making any sorts of recommendations either way, since I tend to be more in favor of restricted cards based on their mechanics rather than on their application and how their restriction could affect the format. Also, I’d like to hear about which topics you’d like to see more articles on, since now that you’re paying for content, I’d like to try to make Premium worth your money.

JP Meyer

jpmeyer at gmail dot com