DCI Banned & Restricted List Announcement (20/09/10)

The folks at Wizards of the Coast have decided it was the right time for another Vintage shake. This time the news are good for those who love to play blue, and specially for those who like to play Combo and Combo/Control. Gush and Frantic Search are no longer restricted in Vintage.

This is official announcement made:

Announcement Date: September 20, 2010
Effective Date:
October 1, 2010

Frantic Search
is no longer banned.
Gush is no longer banned.

Zendikar Block Constructed, Standard, Extended, Legacy
No changes

Changes to Magic Online–only formats are now announced monthly in the Magic Online Community Group blog.

For the complete list of all banned and restricted cards by format, click here.

For an explanation of the B&R changes from R&D member Erik Lauer, click here.

And these are the reasons given by Erik Lauer regarding the changes:

“The DCI tries, among other goals, to maintain banned and restricted lists which keep a diversity of decks in competitive tournaments. One way to do this is to ban or restrict cards which are leading to overpowered decks. Another way is to unrestrict cards which may allow new competitive decks, and then hope that those won’t crowd out more decks. While the lists for Eternal formats do tend to grow over the long run, the DCI has been making a particular effort to make changes by taking cards off the list more than by adding cards.

For instance, in 2004 the Legacy banned list was separated from the Vintage banned & restricted lists, and that initial Legacy banned list had 63 cards. The current Legacy banned list has only 61 cards—the smallest Legacy banned list since before the separation of the Legacy and Vintage lists—and the results of the latest Grand Prix had eight unique deck types in the Top 8.

Modern Vintage dates back to a massive change October 1, 2000, after which the list had 59 cards. With Frantic Search and Gush unbanned, the current list drops to 57 cards. This makes it the shortest list in the modern Vintage period. While the current Vintage format is reasonably diverse, we are willing to take some risks to try and improve the format.

Both Gush and Frantic Search have been in overpowered decks in the past. However, it is not clear that either fits easily in the best performing decks of late, such as Jace, the Mind Sculptor control or various Mishra’s Workshop decks. Frantic Search has been restricted for 10 years, and the DCI thinks it is time to see what it can do as a 4-of. Gush was restricted a few years ago. Brainstorm and Merchant Scroll were restricted at the same time, however, and the DCI would like to revisit whether Gush decks can be a healthy addition to the diversity of the format if you can play 4 Gush, but not 4 of either of the other cards.

At worst, we suspect this is an experiment worth running again with other restricted cards.”

What do you guys think? Are these changes safe? Will Gush + Jace 2.0 be the new deck to beat?