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Author Topic: My point of criticism to the ban/unban watchlist changes TL;DR;    (Read 11122 times)
DarkLight
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« on: 01-10-2016, 10:33:14 PM »

After the last banlist change announcement and again no changes to the bans/unbans, I rewatched the bans/unbans and watchlist changes of the last 5 years. Because I had the feeling some of the watchlisted cards standing there for years now, without changes.
Here is the result ...



I highlighted the most frequent watchlisted cards
Oath of Druids: Watchlisted April 2013 - January 2014; Removed from Watchlist January 2014; Watchlisted April 2015 - October 2016 (Over a year now under permanent observance with no action)
Natural Order: Watchlisted October 2012 - October 2013; Banned October 2013; Watchlisted October 2014 - October 2015; Unbanned+Watchlisted October 2015 - April 2016: Banned+Watchlisted April 2016; removed from Watchlist July 2016
Stoneforge Mystic: Watchlisted October 2011 - April 2013 (over two years under observance with no action); Banned April 2013; Watchlisted October 2014 - October 2015;Removed from Watchlist October 2015 - April 2016; Watchlisted April 2016 - October 2016
Tolarian Academy: Watchlisted April 2013 - October 2013; Unban+Watchlisted October 2013 - October 2014; Removed from Watchlist October 2014; Watchlisted April 2015 - January 2016; Removed from Watchlist January 2016: Watchlisted April 2016 - October 2016
Mystical Tutor: Watchlisted October 2012 - April 2014 (Over a year under permanent observance); Unban+Watchlisted April 2014 - October 2014: Removed from Watchlist October 2014; Watchlisted October 2015 - October 2016 (One year under permanent obsevance with no action)
Fastbond: Watchlisted October 2014 - April 2015; Unban+Watchlisted April 2015 - October 2016 (Over a year now under permanent observance with no action)

It wasn't that bad as I thought at first, but still in my eyes the watchlist is becoming more and more a list of strong cards witout a serious consideration of ban/unban (maybe because non councilmembers have no insight at the votes and/or discussion).

In my opinion cards which were not affected by new released cards should be banned, unbanned or removed from the watchlist after a given time; for example one year and maybe rewatchlisted after another year, if necessary.
Few examples how new released cards affected older cards and leading to bans 'Natural Order' at first was affected by the release of 'Progenitus', 'Grindstone' was affected by 'Painter Servant', 'Flash' by 'Protean Hulk', ...


Another point of criticism is the pretty new card  'Eldritch Evolution' which is not on the watchlist yet but should be in my opinion. Because of the similarity to 'Natural Order' which is already on the banlist. Yes I know this card is very new but found some play in recent top tournament-decks.
Cards that have a strong similarity with cards which are already on the banlist should be watchlisted as soon as possible in my opinion, to ban them in the next banning announcement if necessary.
An example from the past in my opinion is the ban of 'Birthing Pod' which was not directly watchlisted but banned a year after release. The strong similarity to 'Survival of the Fittest', which proofed to be a broken card in the format, should have been a wake up call.


Next point and don't get me wrong, I think the idea of the council by itself is fine, but give the community a chance to VOTE for their bans/unbans.
Vazdru as councilmember is asking for feedback to the bans/unbans in forum threads or on Highlander-Cups now for years.

For example last feedback thread:



Unsure votes are counted as 0.

My question/suggestion is, why isn't it possible to count the feedback votes for ban/unban of cards together and count them as 1 or maybe 2 votes for the final result. To prevent abuse from multiple accounts maybe only verified users are able to vote ... for example verifying via DCI number PM'ed to a trustful councilmember.
I think the decision which card should be watchlisted is ok to be dicided by the councilmembers only, but the community should have a vote for the final ban/unban, too.
Maybe you would get much more and better feedback on the bans/unbans if the feedback has the chance to change something.

In addition it would be nice with the banning announcement the result of the votes would be posted too (without names of course), to see which cards being considered as strong or weak.
Furthermore for example a vote with +90% (or whatever %) of YES or NO votes could lead to be removed from the watchlist, too.


TL;DR:
I wish that the community has a bit more access to the ban/unban voting.
I would like to see if the council act more decesivly while watchlisting, banning and unbanning cards.


At the end of course I would like to thank all councilmembers for the work on this format.
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cedzoh
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« Reply #1 on: 05-10-2016, 10:10:19 AM »

i too think, that some cards are too long on the watchlist/banlist.
for example library of alexandria: i don`t think that it would be format defining as it may have been some years ago. the speed of the format is much faster than it was back then.
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Maqi
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« Reply #2 on: 05-10-2016, 06:30:45 PM »

There seem to be diverging notions of what exactly the watchlist means.

The watchlist is not just a list of cards, which - once banned/unbanned - are then never to be touched again. If a card like Mystical Tutor lingers on the list for years this means that the power level of this card is right at the threshold of what's allowable/unwanted. In so far, the watchlist should be viewed as the demarcation line of the HL format. For me, there is nothing wrong with a card staying on watch for a long time.

Also, there are cards which can become too good in the blink of an eye. It certainly is not harmful to continually watch those (Oath of Druids comes to mind).
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Vazdru
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« Reply #3 on: 05-10-2016, 07:10:48 PM »

There seem to be diverging notions of what exactly the watchlist means.

The watchlist is not just a list of cards, which - once banned/unbanned - are then never to be touched again. If a card like Mystical Tutor lingers on the list for years this means that the power level of this card is right at the threshold of what's allowable/unwanted. In so far, the watchlist should be viewed as the demarcation line of the HL format. For me, there is nothing wrong with a card staying on watch for a long time.

Also, there are cards which can become too good in the blink of an eye. It certainly is not harmful to continually watch those (Oath of Druids comes to mind).

+1
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DarkLight
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« Reply #4 on: 06-10-2016, 03:00:20 PM »

Ok, I see. Cards being on the watchlist for years, sometimes without visible actions, are a part of the councils policy and in some cases on purpose to show a guideline of their policy.

But when I'm looking especially at the example of 'Natural Order' which got banned (October 2013), unbanned (October 2015) and banned again (April 2016) which was a kinda lose handling with that card in my opinion.
I ask myself was the unban of 'Natural Order' (October 2015) a "mistake" which the council don't want to repeat necessarily or why don't handle more cards like this.
I took'Natural Order' here as comparision with the current situation of 'Stoneforge Mystic' which are both auto-includes in nearly all decks with these colors and both are pretty dominating cards if you cast them early in the game.


Another problem like cedzoh said of the Ban- / Watchlist is, that some cards are banned now for such a long time and no one really knows how they would perform in the meta today.
For example:
- 'Library of Alexandria' (banned since July 2010)
- 'Entomb' (banned since October 2010)
- 'Stripmine' (banned since ages)

In my eyes 'Stripmine' should be given a chance to be watchlisted, because the Highlander format is anyway all around non-Basiclands these days and many of the decks are playing 'Tectonic Edge' as weaker 2nd 'Wasteland'-effect.
For sure game situations in which one player has 'Wasteland' and 'Stripmine' pretty early in the game can get one-sided really fast, but in my eyes it is the same with the many of the banned and watchlisted cards in specific situations, especially early in the game.

I don't want to say for sure that cards like 'Library of Alexandria', 'Entomb' and 'Stripmine' should be unbanned, but the council should take a closer look at cards like this, too.
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ChristophO
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« Reply #5 on: 06-10-2016, 03:06:49 PM »

Feedback does not need votes to change things. My strongest tool as a council member is to convince my fellows with strong arguments of my position regarding a certain ban/unban. That is true both for fellow council members as well as with my local community and in the internet discussion or at bigger tournaments. In that regard the watch list is important and needed as a list of cards that are actually worth discussing about.

I actually feel the watch list is too small and has not been handled in this way in the past which has lead to some confusion. But cards like Mana drain and Demonic tutor absolutely require to be to be on the watch list for their power level even if you (like me) believe they are of benefit to the format.  

edith:
(Personal point of view incoming)
Natural Order unban was terrible and I as a council member am very thankful for the absence of jumping on my neck for the inconsiderate unban. Communities in MTG and elsewhere hate change. There should always be a very good reason to do changes and one should feel very safe that the change will not be reversed quickly because of backlash or power level concerns. Now what happens is that the most active members of the community often strive for changes because it makes things exciting again . As a council member I have to be very careful to not only listen to that drive for change (that I know well myself) but also to big groub of players that play the format less frequently and just get lost be ongoing bans/unbans. It is also very detrimental to the councils authority to frequently "make mistakes" by unbanning cards and then rebanning them half a year later. Still it would be worse of course to keep the mistake in the format to avoid acknowledging that an unban "has gone wrong". In retrospect the Natural order Unban was hasty and ill advised and not good for the format. Still we made the best of it and fixed it by rebanning the card. I wish we would not have made the unban in first place now.

« Last Edit: 06-10-2016, 03:20:52 PM by ChristophO » Logged
cedzoh
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« Reply #6 on: 06-10-2016, 04:52:38 PM »

i agree with christophO, that the watchlist needs to be bigger. this does not mean, that we should ban or unban more cards. but as has bean said: some cards just vanish out of sight and rot in the banned part.
i don't know if entomb will make reanimator too good. maybe. but other decks have very good cards too (tolarian academy in artifacts; mana drain in blue decks;...)
but libray of alexandria is safe to unban (or at least watch). the format moved from the grindy decks to mostly very fast, or goodstuff decks.
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pyyhttu
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« Reply #7 on: 22-12-2016, 11:55:52 PM »

The excel visualization in the parent post gave me an idea.

Next time when we have watch list changes, I'll include in the feed, on the watchlist portion the removed and added (New!) cards since their previous announcement.

People are then able to see the changes better, and form an understanding how a certain card has been watchlisted/unwatchlisted/banned/unbanned over a course of time.
« Last Edit: 23-12-2016, 12:10:02 AM by pyyhttu » Logged
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