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Quantum Incursions is Banned in OTF

by Charlie Plaine, Acting Director of First Edition

11th February 2019

Quantum Incursions

Effectively immediately, the card Quantum Incursions is banned in all Official Tournament Format (OTF) play. This change does not effect Open or other formats; only OTF tournaments are prohibited from using this card. Normally, additions to the ban list are only made on the first Monday of each month. However, the recent discussions about this card and concerns about its effects on organized play led the First Edition staff to consider an emergency ban for the card. At our Department of First Edition staff meeting on Sunday, February 10th, it was decided to implement this ban.

Quantum Incursions (QI) was released in 2014 as part of the 20th Anniversary Collection, which featured a "lost" card for all previously released Decipher 1E products. These "lost" cards were designed so they would fit into their inspiring expansions; QI was designed to be the "lost" card for the Fajo Collection. It was meant to be a fun, goofy card with variable (and frequently changing) requirements. However, upon its release, it became apparent that this card was more powerful than intended and was very popular. This power and popularity, combined with difficulty in generating new requirements, caused us to abandon the plans to change the requirements.

Over time, the card began to warp the meta game. It's requirements caused top-level and many other players to abandon decks and affiliations that could not generate 2 Empathy and/or 2 [AU] personnel. In response, design began to create new personnel to fill those gaps. This led to a cycle of feedback that cards to address QI were needed, but then those cards were unpopular in testing, which lead to testing new requirements for QI, which compared unfavorably with the original, etc.

Ultimately, and given public discussion and feedback, two problems were identified with the card. First, there are a number of players that dislike the extreme randomness of the card. Some playgroups reported abandoning the card completely due to its unreliability, while others used it constantly because luck often kept opponents from passing. Secondly, the card's requirements promoted some affiliations (such as most [Fed] flavors) while strongly discouraging others (the [Dom] for example). A card that removes so many deck choices does damage to the game's health. For these reasons, it was decided that action must be taken.

Debate on how to handle the card has raged both among the staff of the Department of First Edition and the 1E players. Suggestions on how to change the requirements, the randomness, or other aspects of the card have been made, tested, and considered. Ultimately, there is no clear path of consensus nor a simple path to changing the card. For these reasons, the staff has voted to issue this emergency ban for the card. This will ensure it does not continue to warp deck and affiliation choice for another competitive season.

From this point on, the card will be in the care of the Errata Team under the leadership of Matthew Zinno (commdecker). His team will have ownership of this card and the process to bring it back, which will help focus efforts and minimize the "too many cooks in the kitchen" approach that has been an obstacle in the past. If you would like to help have a say in the process of bringing this card back, then consider volunteering as a playtester. Feedback is essential to both new card design and errata design, so the most direct route one can take to helping is by testing changes.

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