This forums is for questions, answers, and discussion about First Edition rules, formats, and expansions.
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First Edition Balance Manager
By SirDan (Dan Hamman)
 - First Edition Balance Manager
Good morning and happy Friday!

I'm Dan, co-leader of the Balance Team, and I've got your Friday Question.

One of the mandates of the Balance Team is to get cards off the OTF Ban List. I can tell you that there are at least seven cards being actively discussed at the moment, with some discussions being more lively than others. This goal is to keep the original cardplay idea, if possible.

Today the OTF Ban list contains 40 cards, from just about all of First Edition's history. I'd like to see many of these cards back in the pool. But issuing errata to a banned card so that it may be played in OTF also effects the card in Open, which can be a tricky balance.

So today I'd like to get another pulse of the community. What should be the Balance Team's goal? A zero-card ban list? (That would include Raise the Stakes, which would probably get a full rewrite.) Is there an acceptable number of OTF banned cards, allowing for rules like The Big Picture, or do you want them remade, knowing it would lead to trouble in Open?

We are interested in your thoughts, so sound off. Happy Friday, and have a good weekend!
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 - The Center of the Galaxy
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Community Contributor
If an errata to the card makes it unrecognizable to the original, we should leave the banned card as-is and just make a new card.

So Raise should stay banned, because it's an ante card and errata'ing it to *not* be an ante card is just making a new card and slapping an old picture on it.

I've never understood the obsession that we should take perfectly good new ideas and saddle them with the stigma of being the "not as good as this broken card" errata, rather than letting them shine as their own card.
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By Enabran
 - Beta Quadrant
2E World Quarter-Finalist 2019
Raise the stakes was always banned in tournaments so let it be on the ban list.
All cards being included in the OTF rules should also stay on the list and not be touched because, like you said, there are more formats than OTF and we need that cards there.
 - Alpha Quadrant
I'm a little middle ground.

1. I think having a banned list is a good thing on some level. It sets a public statement of these cards are too strong.

2. In addition, I think having a format existing where all (or all but Raise the Stakes) are legal is a good thing, even if no one plays it.

3. I think my general feeling is, "if the card can be adjusted, then errata it. If it requires a rewrite, then leave it and create a new card."

4. Raise the stakes might be the exception to that, because there is no format where that can ever be legal as is.

5. If the banned card has links to non-banned cards, then it's important to either errata or remake a card that works with the link.

6. There are some important balancing concepts that are on the banned list that we don't currently have a balanced version of. (Looking at Anti-Time anomaly)
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By Smiley (Cristoffer Wiker)
 - Gamma Quadrant
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
I have no problem with a ban list or several of them even. Ther could be a ban list specifically geared towards a specific card pool. This would make the impact less of a problem of errata hitting different card pools and rules setups differently.

And errata could be done mostly for changes in rules and gameplay effect or misspellings and similar stuff.

And if we make unbalanced stuff and we have to ban it in all pools then we errata the cards as well.

Ante cards should stay banned. There's no really function unchanging it to something it never was. It was a design of its time and many other cards are as well. We just haven't gotten around to banning them.

The counterpoint to all this would be that if we should errata all cards we should also be forced to look into all the cards on the lower side of the power level and give them a push upwards to be in line with all the other cards. Not just focus on the too powerful/Broken cards and push them down to the córrect power level.
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Director of Organized Play
By LORE (Kris Sonsteby)
 - Director of Organized Play
Alpha Hunter
1E North American Continental Champion 2019
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2021
W.C.T. Chairman's Trophy winner 2014-2015
I feel like a list of a Dirty Dozen or so is fine. Cards that were simply not made for tournament play (e.g. Raise the Stakes) or that are so beyond broken (e.g. Horg'han) there is really no way to bring them back while preserving the design intent. :twocents:
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Executive Officer
By jadziadax8 (Maggie Geppert)
 - Executive Officer
Grand Nagus
2E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
For me, I'd like the list to be as small as possible. I envision a day where the only cards on the OTF ban list are the [Ref] cards that got made into OTF rules. I think the Balance Team should shoot for minimal tweaks to cards to get them where they need to be. I also acknowledge that some, like Raise the Stakes and Anti-Time Anomaly, won't make it off without a major overhaul and I'm ok with that.
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First Edition Creative Manager
By KazonPADD (Paddy Tye)
 - First Edition Creative Manager
1E European Continental Semi-Finalist 2019
1E American National Runner-Up 2020
1E British National Runner-Up 2020
Raise The Stakes is legal for Aberdeen Anarchy! And it’s damn fun!
By Davey1983
 - Beta Quadrant
I would rather keep the ban list as is and spend the time and effort of the errata team on making new cards.

I think the errata team should focus on 'minor' issues (i.e., the weird labeling of rank and names on PAQ era cards). Or, errata could focus on creating new cards to address those issues.

My understanding from what I have seen on this forum is that errata takes the same amount of design/testing/art effort as a new card (please correct me if I am wrong, I am not part of the CC or card design/errata/art). If that is true, then just create a new card.

If there is a concept or a card that we want back into the game, just create a new card that does something similar (but obviously correct the issue with the original card). If there are interactions to worry about (a card references the banned card), we already have the colon rule. For example, Banned card is named X. Community wants that card back into the pool. Design a similar card called X:the OTF version.

Additionally, this allows for banned cards to be potentially removed from the ban list if the game evolves/changes to where the concern with the card is no longer an issue.
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First Edition Art Manager
By jjh (Johnny Holeva)
 - First Edition Art Manager
Having a stagnant Ban List does not bother me, especially if there are Open Players who prefer for it to remain that way.
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 - Gamma Quadrant
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
I'd like it to eventually get to every card is off the list even if that means complete rewrites on a bunch of them. If they are toned down for otf then they are fine for open and since open is more of an old dinosaurs format that can get pretty wild I won't feel bad if something redonk gets a moderate to severe nerfing.

The only limitation to this is willingness and creativity.
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By Keiimaster (Mathew McCalpin)
 - Delta Quadrant
IMHO, the thing about Banned Lists, is there is always going to be some cards that are banned in some environment and not in others. Cards like Raise The Stakes is banned in Open and banned in OTF. I would also expect it would be banned in any PAQ only or [TNG] only environment as well.

There is no formal banned list for [TNG] only, but any card that does not have a The Next Generation or Generation property logo is on that invisible list, but technically it does exist. I believe we just need to accept that there will also be something banned in whatever card pool we choose to play in.

That said, there is the issue of trying to errata cards to remove them from one banned list but knowing it could effect another list or card pool; ie Open vs. OTF.

My thought is this... OTF is OTF - Official Tournament Format. This is IMHO what rules the roost. Open is subject to whatever OTF decides. So if we make a change to an OTF Banned card and it has negative effects to Open....Make It So! If you don't like how it effects Open, fine, play OTF. It is Official after all. Open should be just like any other Block type format, except it has the entire run as it's block. This is just like Vintage vs. Standard in MTG or Wild vs. Standard in Hearthstone, etc.

I know a lot of players prefer to play outside the tournament system, and that is perfectly fine. If you are relying on a rules structure to support you in Open, forget it. The rules are whatever you and your opponent agree on. If you have a disagreement, bummer. If you want someone outside the current game to decide for you, you want a judge. We have those, they are called Tournament Directors, so it you want one, you must compete...OTF is where competition happens. If not, play Open and have your house rules version; to me that is what Open is anyway.
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By Takket
 - Delta Quadrant
1E Qo'noS Regional Participant 2021
Raise the Stakes being banned is like a tradition for the game. leave it that way. i think unlike any other card Raise wears that as a badge of honor.

i see no point wasting time on trying to take cards that were banned because they are in the rules (Big Picture) and making whole new cards out of them. Just leave them be.

anything else i'd like to see off the ban list, doing everything within reason to maintain the flavor of the original.
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By nobthehobbit (Daniel Pareja)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
If it has an OTF rule equivalent, leave it be for Open.

If it's Raise the Stakes, leave it be as an example to the rest of the cards of what not to do.

Anything else, try to figure out some sort of fix.
By patrick (Patrick Weijers)
 - Beta Quadrant
I feel like there should be a difference in how errata to physical cards are treated compared to errata to virtual cards. Do whatever is necessary to a virtual cards, but errata to physical cards should remain true-ish to how the card was originally intended, so you can just say "actually, it plays slightly different now" if you encounter an opponent who is unaware. (So not like Q for example.)

For virtual cards this doesn't matter. Players can just reprint the card, no problems. Way fewer players will be nostalgic about how the card used to work.

(Of course this doesn't really apply to online only players.)

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