What Banned and Restricted Lists Tells Us about Design – September

Yes, today’s post was not yesterday, but I’ve been working on the first one of my series of the Color Pie Identity Project, and I was wait for the new Banned and Restricted list. For those of you who haven’t seen it, click here.

Personally, I don’t care about Online formats (sorry MTGO players) since I don’t play online. But the one big change for the B&R list this quarter was for the eternal formats with the banning of Shahrazad. What the DCI just said, it doesn’t like three things:

  • I creates too much space to keep having sub-games.
  • Sub-games create longer than normal games and in tournaments you run out of time.
  • DCI hates that Shahrazad/Fork combo as much as you do.

But what does that mean to us as designers? Sometimes, design space is meant to not explored. Things that create extremely longer games, unnecessary space on tables or extra clutter are all big no-nos. Having a game inside a game has been deemed excessive as the only other time a card has created another game has been in silver-bordered land. While this might shut down some of your design area, it just says be careful what you do.

Don’t design anything that’s too dumb and abusive if people don’t have fun playing against the card. While there are cards that do slow down the game, as long as it still can be played around they aren’t too bad. When you’re playtesting your cards (something we’ll talk about later), if your friends groan each time you play a certain card, maybe it’s then you have to do something about it.

Sunday, I should have the first of the series up. Which color will be up first?

By the way, goodbye Matt Cavotta and Aaron Forsythe.  I enjoyed reading both of your columns and I will miss both of your words.

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