The 'restricted' banlist

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Post by schweinefett » 6 months ago


We've been toying around with a nutty idea of something that we'd just called the 'restricted' banlist. It basically goes as this:

The normal banlist applies.
However, if you're willing to, for each 10 life lower you start the game with, you're allowed to have in 1 banned card in your deck as part of the 99/the general.

So for example, i have a griselbrand deck with contract from below in it. I tell the other peeps im playing with that this is the case, and we start the game. I start on 20 life, one other guy starts on 30 since he's playing with channel. And that's that.

It's pretty good fun, and it speeds up our games like you wouldn't believe. My first deck i made with this rule was a revised rakdos the defiler suicide aggro deck that ran black lotus, yawgmoths bargain and mox jet. It actually made the deck worse (since starting the game at 10 life was ridiculously tough. And its not like a tempo boost like that in a multiplayer game helps THAT much).

If your group isn't ultra competitive and are up for some good hearted for funsies cardboard wizards battling it out, i'd recommend giving it a shot.

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Post by tempoEDH » 6 months ago

I feel as though having banned cards in your deck for life is interesting, but if your banking on drawing them to have an effect, regardless of power, 10 life seems like too much, only 3 max and it cripples you greatly. I might try it with 8 life each, though
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Post by FetalTadpole » 6 months ago

Marchesa, the Black Rose would love to start the game at a lower life total.

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Post by ChazA4 » 6 months ago

I know it was just an example, but using 'ante cards' was probably one of the worst examples. While Contract from Below essentially becomes another tutor no matter what is done with ante, cards like Tempest Efreet and Timmerian Fiends becomes close to...well, Blatant Thievery IRL. lol

10 life does sound like a steep price, and announcement of such may prompt more people to play cards like Jester's Cap, Gonti, Lord of Luxury and the like in order to see what the opponent is playing, and try to get it for themselves. At which point, the opponent is in a win/win situation(they got to use the card without paying the penalty). I'd think only the legendary creatures would be able to get around that(via being the commanders), but that brings its own set of problems(namely, being target number 1).

Definitely an interesting thought exercise, but too much downside for many people to really go for, I think.

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Post by schweinefett » 6 months ago

Really? I wouldn't have thought that 10 life was too extreme. I mean we're talking about a 1 mana draw 7 in black with no real downsides, for example.

Either way, it's more a way for those of us who have power/wanna use some cards that don't jibe well with the EDH format. I don't think i've seen cards like primeval titan as a banned card yet. But that could be 'cuz our group is more casual, but also tend to build decks that are more narrow and less 'for value-town' focused.

I feel like it's one of those ideas that works well for groups who don't worry too much about winning, are generally more casual in their playstyle, and are sitting on older collections.

Has anyone else tried this sort of 'restricted banlist' style of deckbuilding?

I guess it's even possible to extend the rules to something like:

for each card in the deck that exists on the EDH banlist, the player may choose the following (and may choose each one more than once):
- start the game with 10 less life
- start the game with 3 fewer cards in the opening hand
- Exile the top 20 cards randomly from the top of your library, face-down.
- Each opponent gains 7 commander damage against you

So for those super greedy players, you could start the game with 10 life, 1 card in hand, a 18 card deck, and with 14 commander damage against in a 4 player pod to be able to play with 15 banned cards in the deck. It's probably a bit much, but it could be quite the quick game!

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Post by schweinefett » 2 months ago

So I was chatting with my local playgroup recently, and we came about with a new 'tweak' on this idea as a banlist.

(based loosely upon warhammer 'points' system).

So it goes like this. Each card has a certain number of points attributed to it, and your decks can scale up/down depending on what your meta looks like. For example,

10 Ancestral Recall
9 Balance
8 Bazaar of Baghdad
10 Black Lotus
2 Buried Alive
2 Burning Wish
7 Channel
2 Crucible of Worlds
2 Cunning Wish
5 Demonic Consultation
7 Demonic Tutor
1 Detritivore
2 Diabolic Intent
3 Dust Bowl
6 Earthcraft
2 Eladamri's Call
1 Enlightened Tutor
2 Entomb
2 Eternal Witness
2 Fabricate
4 Fastbond
6 Flash
1 Frantic Search
2 Gifts Ungiven
2 Glittering Wish
4 Grim Tutor
8 Griselbrand
1 Gush
3 Hermit Druid
2 Idyllic Tutor
6 Imperial Seal
4 Insidious Dreams
4 Intuition
1 leovold
8 Library of Alexandria
2 Life from the Loam
2 Living Wish
5 Mana Crypt
2 Mana Drain
5 Mana Vault
4 Memory Jar
2 Merchant Scroll
2 Mind Twist
2 Mind's Desire
7 Mishra's Workshop
10 Mox Emerald
10 Mox Jet
10 Mox Pearl
10 Mox Ruby
10 Mox Sapphire
2 Mystical Teachings
2 Mystical Tutor
4 Necropotence
5 Oath of Druids
2 Personal Tutor
1 Regrowth
2 Rishadan Port
4 Skullclamp
6 Sol Ring
2 Steelshaper's Gift
1 Sterling Grove
1 Strip Mine
2 Summoner's Pact
3 Sundering Titan
3 Survival of the Fittest
2 Sylvan Scrying
9 Time Vault
10 Time Walk
6 Timetwister
2 Tinker
1 Tolaria West
8 Tolarian Academy
1 Transmute Artifact
1 Treasure Cruise
2 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Vampiric Tutor
4 Wheel of Fortune
9 Yawgmoth's Bargain
7 Yawgmoth's Will
(just so you know, i'm making this up as i go, so i've no idea how "balanced" this list is)

So your group might set a 'points limit' of say 30. Then, you'd be able to have Griselbrand as your general, plus another 22 points to spend (maybe yawgmoth's bargain, will, necropotence), and then you're set.

This way, it's much easier to scale your decks to the meta. people playing 'ultra casual' will be able to have their "5 or less points" decks, and the seriously-gonna-cream-face metas can go for a 50 point meta (where all hell breaks loose, i assume).

Could be interesting, but the biggest drawback i saw from this was having to swap cards in-and-out if you need to play within a certain point-range. Not super complex if you make a 110 carddeck, say, and then swap the extra 10 in or out to fit the point total.

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