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Reconsidering the Restricted List

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#1 Runix



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:40 AM

It seems likely we are to get a new FAQ at some point, and since there is nothing more likely to provoke bitter disagreement than the restricted list, I thought, why not start the festivities early!

What may be more interesting than the usual what-should-be-banned debate, however, would be to revisit what's currently on the list, and see if any are candidates for coming off.

Itinerant Scholar:  I have no idea why this is even on the list.  Basically doubling use of a domain - at the cost of a cost 2 character and the use of a lesser domain - does not strike me as game-changing, particularly given that other factions have very similar domain refresh abilities.  I would consider this a candidate for removal from the list, and Miskatonic could certainly use the help.

Things in the Ground:  I am under the vague impression that this is a critical card in some exotic Yog combo; maybe in a milling deck in combination with Curse of the Stone?  It is hard for me to see how it's game-breaking, particularly given that it has the same effect on all players.  The main argument I can see for keeping it restricted is that the milling it provides is too cheap - but I don't find that to be a compelling argument, given how few tournaments have been won by milling decks.  As such, I think this is also a candidate for consideration for removal from the restricted list.

Diseased Sewer Rats:  The argument made against this card is that it provides wounding too cheaply and too early in the game - and I agree.  Say, I wonder if any other cards meet that criteria . . . also, it's neutral, which makes it especially problematic, as it's easy to include in any deck.  Keeping it restricted makes sense to me.

Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris:  The main issue I see with it is that there are (currently) no ways to remove Conspiracy cards, and it requires a very specialized card (Foiled!) to counter, so it's very difficult to deal with.  Cards that create serious problems for a wide range of strategies and that are difficult to counter directly are prime candidates for restriction, so I would argue keeping this card where it is.

Descendant of Eibon:  I don't find this to be as compelling of a card, but a lot of people here whose opinions I respect do.  It can, under some circumstances, be a very cheap character to get into play or to return to the hand, so I think keeping it restricted is a reasonable choice.

Nyarlathotep:  I can see this card causing considerable headaches for multi-faction decks and for decks that rely on fine-tuned combinations of cards . . . and I think that's a good thing.  Perhaps it does that too well, so I can see both sides of the argument for keeping it restricted or removing it from the list, although I lean toward removing it from the list.

Guardian Pillar:  I don't see this as game-changing as much as I see it as too cheap for what it does - an amazing, hard-to-remove blocker - and too easy to include in a deck given that it's neutral, so leaving it restricted makes sense.

Doppelganger:  I do not see what the issue with this card is, particularly given that there are cards that take direct control of a character, which is arguably much more powerful than simply making a copy of an existing character (while the opponent keeps control of the original).  Cost is not an issue, as it simply reflects the cost of the copied character.  And it's limited to non-unique characters.  It does bounce back into the hand, but only if the copied character is destroyed.  I can see removing this from the restricted list unless there's something I'm missing.

Khopesh of the Abyss:  Speaking of too-cheap wounding, this is it right here.  I will set aside the debate over restricting it versus banning it, other than to say that the fact that there's a debate says something about the power of the card.  I've actually found it possible to deal with, as long as I know in advance that it's out there and can make an appearance, but still, an enormously powerful card that that has changed deck-building, and as such is a prime candidate for remaining in the restricted list.

Initiate of Huang Hun:  I'm not sure this card is as powerful as it's been made out to be.  It is a solid card for Silver Twilight, but not game-changing in my view.  It's restricted to the Operations phase, and basically gives you an untargeted bounce for a cost of 2.  Good, but nothing to write home about.  Lord Jeffery Farrington is much better in my view, as he's targeted and has better icons, even if he costs 3 - and he can be recursed with only a little bit more effort than the Initiate.  I suppose I could see leaving him on the restricted list, but it may make sense taking him off - particularly if another core Silver Twilight character gets added (say, I wonder who that could be? hmm . . . )

#2 dboeren



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:46 AM

Great idea for a topic.  At a minimum, it will help people understand what some of these cards do that is particularly powerful.

Itinerant Scholar - One thing you're missing here is that you can move the drain token to ANY other domain, it doesn't have to be one of your own.  Sometimes you want to double-use your own big domain, other times you want to drain your opponent's big domain.  Is that enough to be Restricted?  I don't really know.  He has to be sacrificed to do it so it's not like you can keep your opponent's domain tied up.  If you had multiple copies you can block it for 3 turns - basically trading your 2-domain (to play Itinerant Scholar) plus a card for their bigger domain.  It's a good deal potentially, but I'm not sure it's strong enough that it needs to be restricted.  I'd like to hear from some old-timers who were around when he got put on the list and what people were doing with him back then.

Things in the Ground - I think the other thing here is that you can get very powerful characters into play without paying their cost, and they can be of any faction.  So, load your deck with your choice of favorite Ancient Ones, etc… and maybe some insanity curing cards if you like.  You benefit more than your opponent because his deck isn't stuffed to the gills with big guys.

Diseased Sewer Rats - I pretty much agree.  Cheap, Neutral, and you pick the target.  I'm of the opinion that Neutral cards need to be held to a tighter standard because anyone can take them, and this card probably justifies the restriction.

Negotium Parambulans in Tenebris - I almost spelled that all correctly without looking :)  Agreed.  Lack of counters and a strong effect (plus being Neutral again) seems to justify it.

Descendant of Eibon - Even without his ability, he's got 4 icons for cost 3 w/ Willpower, Fast, and is Neutral.  That's already ahead of the curve and like I said earlier, Neutrals should be held to a tighter standard or else they'll show up too often in all decks.  His ability doesn't seem strong at first glance because you're looking at the cost - a success token is big isn't it? Well, only if you don't get it back.  And with Descendant, you often will - in which case he's free.  Throw him into any story which doesn't have Investigation already and you're done.  Get use of his other icons or skill and you're ahead of the game.  Point being, most of the time it will not be hard to regain it or cost the opponent a token which is similar.  Personally I think he's well above the curve and deserves to be on the list.

Nyarlathotep - I haven't seen him played, but he sounds pretty annoying.  No vote.

Guardian Pillar - Agree w/ leaving this on the list.  We've been (IMHO) opinion having trouble lately with effectively colorless blockers that can keep coming back and he seems to be better than most.

Doppleganger - well, mainly I think it is that he can let you have more than 3x of the same character which is one of the assumptions the game is balanced around.  He also has great flexibility in being able to copy nearly anyone and he's not Unique like the take-control cards typically are.

Khopesh - Been covered to death.

Initiate of Huang Hun - He's not just an untargeted bounce for a cost of 2.  He's an extremely repeatable untargeted bounce for a cost of 2.  If it was an event or a come into play effect (like Jeffrey) that's one thing, but you can play him over and over and over.  I've seen a number of games where a turn was basically "I play Huang Hun 3 times".  Clear the way to stories, apply characters already in play, wash-rinse-repeat.  if you can get a character lead on someone this is a simple and annoying tactic that can produce wins.  The other thing is that there is almost nothing you can do about him.  He isn't in play long enough to kill or whatever  - if he was it would feel more fair.  I am worried about Silver Twilight if Master of the Myths hits the Restricted list too though, they are so short on options compared to the other factions and I hate to see their key characters put on restriction.  Separate topic - but I really hope FFG puts some effort into fleshing them out more in the first couple boxed expansions to help them catch up with the other factions.

Overall, I prefer errata to Restriction.  I realize it's harder because you end up with a card that has incorrect text on it, but maybe they could start including updated cards in the boxed expansions or something when major changes need to be made?

#3 Hellfury



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

Runix said:

It seems likely we are to get a new FAQ at some point, and since there is nothing more likely to provoke bitter disagreement than the restricted list, I thought, why not start the festivities early!


I like the cut of your jib.


Itinerant Scholar: I say keep it there. This messenger is pretty key in a couple VERY nasty combos. It was in the CCG days too, from what I gather.

Things in the Ground: I beleive there was a rather nasty combo with this last year, but have to research old threads to find it. IIRC, it had something to do with Large Man and… damn I cannot recall the engine cogs.. Maybe someone else can help.

Diseased Sewer Rats: I am ambivalent on whether this one stays or goes. Good card, but restriction worthy? Well, in combination with other restricted cards I can see it. Still, not sure.

Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris: This one needs to stay on the list as well. Combining this with cards like khopesh is just simply unfun.

Descendant of Eibon:  The poster child for restriction. Keep it there.

Nyarlathotep: There is also a very nasty combo with this card as well, very early in the game. I emphatically agree that it stays in the list. Otherwise I agree it is annoying, but otherwise it is rather innocuous.

Initiate of Huang Hun  I am not convinced of its place in the list as the answer is available to everyone and consists of two words. Rich. Widow.

Yog/Host decks at tourneys just crumble in the face of that hag. Don't go to a tourney without her.


I think 90% of the cards are on the list only because they are a key piece of a combo that needs to be broken up to avoid aberrant mechanical behavior.

I cannot really think of any cards to add to the list. I wonder if Damon will take his anger out on a Single Glimpse as he had nothing but unkind words to say about that card and he wished it was loyal. It would be hilarious if he did at least make errata for it.


I also want to go on record stating that I beleive the restricted list should remain to break combos that can potentially be a bit detrimental to the game. This is why I do not think Master of the Myths should be entered into the category. It is a good card that anyone can use, granted, but it is not a key element in aberrant combos that I am aware of.

#4 .Zephyr.



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:11 AM

Scholar with some sort of recursion, like Corrupted Midwife can keep your opponents best domain drained the whole game long and allow your best domain to be reused. So there is a good reason for this restriction, the problem is: does this really help, as it doesn't really need other restricted cards… i guess you cant add rats or eibon to the deck.

Things are so random i'm not sure they're viable option in a competitive deck, but they boost milling, combo great with Stalking Hound, can bring you really strong characters turn 1. The problem is its double edged. I think having them restricted makes it even less viable, so less opportunity to build flip the coin to see who wins decks stacked full of OP characters and praying things get them.

Rats/Negotium/Eibon/Pillar - good enough, choose one

Rats make already hard to protect lo skill characters even less viable… why?

Eibon is errated to require 2 sucesses and is still insanely powerful: Willpower, fast, great icon composition, recycling and transcient… 

About negatum i would discuss more as it is double edged and i really like its anti-cheap characters meta effect. The probelm is it shuts down cheap decks way too much. I'd prefere it errated to require 5-7 successes and restriction removed.

Nyrlatotep - i find this cards idea stupid enough to keep him here, why increase random element in this way, makes 3+ colored decks even less viable; i'm not shure is it really strong, nice icons but the cost not that great

Pillar would be less good if there ware more Dreamlands supports, without this drawback card is too good to go unresticted; maybe if more support destruction is available to all fractions…

Doppleganger - hmm also wonder why hes here, restriction to nonunique characters and he goes back to hand when cloned char leaves play… but maybe some combinations ware too strong, like with Many angled thing or sth… idk

Khopesh - id prefer some errata to get rid of its board clearing ability of hi toughness characters, then restriction would not be that important; now i guess no good neutrals for Khopesh deck, but i don't see how it helps if it appearently doesn't dominate tournaments but destroys casual play…

Initiate also really nice and free on cards, havent played against reasonable bounce deck so idk how strong it is; with mass destruction bouncing would be better so i guess not mixing this guy with rats ans Khopesh makes some sense


I would like sth done to general purpose good cards like YGollonac, Master of the myths (such pay X should at least require resource match), Apeirophobia, Carl Stanford etc, so their less of a no brainer but i'm not sure what, restriction would be definetely too much and more experienced forum users say those cards are not the problem for them…

Glimpse could use some errata banishing it from the game after play :) I wonder if lodges Hidden Agenda cant be used for similar combo repearing your refresh over and over with some recursion and milling, but it would be much more tricky with this one.

#5 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:22 AM


I broke the internet.

#6 AUCodeMonkey



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:27 AM

The restricted list is perfectly fine, in all honesty. As Hellfury pointed out, the cards in question are there to make obnoxious combos much less viable. That being said, I disagree with him and say that the Initiate definitely belongs on the list. There are a few factions ST synergizes well with, and they can easily remove Rich Widow, Dreamlands Fanatic… Stalking Hound is a different story…

#7 AUCodeMonkey



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

Magnus Arcanis said:

Also… I want to see the Magah Birds back!!! Erratta to "put into your hand" and call it a day. :)

^^^^ Very much this!

#8 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:33 AM


Broke internet did I.

#9 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

Note. I'm not official. The reasons and notes below are pure conjecture and/or guesses and likely based off of my own opinions.

Itinerant Scholar:  - A suprise to many when this poor guy was put on the list. He is capable of some really unfair game states by draining an opponent's domain while undraining yours at opportune times. Combine with some other cards, this can be taken some extremes. That being said, he doesn't seem worth the effort anymore. However, with some new toys coming in the MU box he could see more play.

Things in the Ground:  I still forsee this card being banned one day still. Being able to plop down Ancient Ones while you're opponent is ploping down cultists is huge. Combine with a few combo cards and oppenents tended to weep. It's just to cheap and to easy to reuse and abuse. Add in that it's also not a Location means it was a little harder to get rid of. A powerful engine might be an understatement.

Diseased Sewer Rats:  I'm still sad to see this card on the list. He's an effecient 2 for 1 that both aided and distruped rush decks. A solid card in my opinion. The only reason I think this card is on the list is because it is neutral and will aid most strategies.. thus it showed up in a lot of lists and cards that are that popular are apperently grounds for restriction to allow for more open play.

Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris:  Ny-answerless and forces every deck pass what I call the Negotium test. It created the situation where you can either deal with it or you basically auto lose. Ultimately I think it narrows what type of decks were playable especially when combine some other cards.

Descendant of Eibon:  In the beginning this was THE 3 cost character to play. 2 nerfs later we're down to just the guy with quite possibly the best stats for 3 cost that can self recurr. A beast of the card, but as the game evolves this has become a less dominant option these days. Hopefully, one day we'll see him off the list.. but that would likely mean the game has evovled the point where either icons are super plentiful or we don't care about story struggles. So.. he'll likely be a restricted list staple for a good while.

Nyarlathotep:  Another top end stat'd card for it's time with a gruesome effect that could find it's way into nearly any non-heroic deck that was willing to pay 4. However, I think game has evovled to the point where he is no longer nearly as threatening as he used to be… and I can't remember a time when showed up a competitive list.

Guardian Pillar:  The one card that could keep pace with Descendant of Eibon. At the time, support destruction combine with it's aweful wording and half-baked rulings made it a source of woe for many a player. However, like Nyarly… I believe this card no longer deserves a spot. The rulings are still sketchy, but it is much more easily dealth with and struggles to find a home outside of Hatusr.

Doppelganger: Somehow, if all it did was just copy a character this card would likely be the beast that it is. However, I think the effect that was likely meant to keep it in check by returning it to the hand gave it more power than intended. Reusing come-into-play effects, boucning and doing it again can really net some benefits. Especially in the mid to late game after you've built up a second domain or two. That and it's a constant source of confusion so I don't mind it being there. :)

Khopesh of the Abyss:  On it own, not terrible. Unbiased wounding made it strong. However, esepcially on a casual level, players were using this to alienate many loved options simply because they didn't have toughness. When used properly this card carries the potential to create some pretty unfair game situations which kinda obsoleted a whole class of cards.

Initiate of Huang Hun:  Like the Khopesh and Negotium, it made lesser cards even lesser by a large margin and it's "stops" force players to have certain cards in their deck or they suffered it's wrath. The previous combination plus it's ability be a combo engine put's it above Lorf Jeffery in my opinion.  Fortuneatly for us, the impact of building domains to 2/2/2 and using it to control board has been blunted a little. However, it remains a potent control and combo card with some side benefits to rush.

Also… I want to see the Magah Birds back!!! Erratta to "put into your hand" and call it a day. :)

Ultimately though, the list is fine as is. I would like to see a few come off, but they all deserve it or deserved it at one point.

#10 Konx



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:44 AM


I think you can divide the cards in the restricted list in 3 main categories:

1- Cards that enable (or might enable) powerful combo: I would put here Itinerant Scholar, Things in the ground.

2- Cards that are over the edge by itself: I would put here the Descendant (you clearly haven't played with the first non-errated version of the card, otherwise you wouldn't be surprised to see him here! :D). Rats probably can go here as well, being a very cheap, usable by everyone 2 for 1 card. The Conspiracy too.

3- Cards that are in the restricted list because of other cards of the restricted list (doppleganger, guardian pillar, khopesh, initiate). The idea is that if those cards are available together, you basically can auto-build a tier 1 deck (I mean, 2 years ago I won Stahleck thanks to Descendant + Doppleganger…most broken play you could at the time, and today it would probably still be very strong). Dopple+rats, Khopesh + toughness + doppleganger…endless strong interactions.

Then there are some cards that might end up in the list because of the people screaming "ban" or "restricted" but I don't want to start a flame about that :P (read: Nyarla…wtf are you doing in here?)


Summary: the list looks ok to me, and the meta is healthy enough right now that we don't need ban or sban.





#11 jhaelen



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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:48 PM

Konx said:

I think you can divide the cards in the restricted list in 3 main categories:


Then there are some cards that might end up in the list because of the people screaming "ban" or "restricted" but I don't want to start a flame about that :P (read: Nyarla…wtf are you doing in here?)

I don't have much to add - Konx pretty much nailed it.

Nyarlathotep is probably on the list because of the annoyingness of its effect, but then again this means that 'Torch the Joint!' should probably also be added; particularly because it's such a nasty addition to a deck utiilizing Nyarlathotep to wreck an opponent's domain-building.

Since I'm a big fan of 3+ faction decks, I also have a personal dislike for Nyarlathotep. Encouraging Mono-decks is not something I approve of.

I've also been wondering if Itinerant Scholar still has to be on the restricted list (considering there are several cards with similar effects), but you really do have to be wary because of its potential to be abused in combos.

But really, I think the current restricted list is pretty much spot on - note, though that I haven't closely studied the cards of the curernt AP yet. It's quite possible it contains one or more cards that also deserve the restricted status.

#12 B_P



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Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:12 PM

As I said in an another topic, the main problem with nyarla is things in the ground that put into play nyarla turn 1. Low probability but 100% win.

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