I think that we have better data this time than any of the years before. We've had a couple of 40+ player tournaments along with a bunch of smaller ones in Sweden. We've also had a lot of tournaments outside of Scandinavia, some of them with different B&R-lists than the one recommended here, and we've gotten good info from players in other communities.
There are a couple of things important to consider regarding B&R updates. One is that everyone won't agree with everything. It's a nostalgic format, and as such players are passionate about being able to play their favorite decks to the greatest extent. There are players arguing for restrictions of cards like Moat, City in a Bottle, Lightning Bolt, Mishra's Factory, Transmute Artifact and Underworld Dreams, which of course would lead to a lot of disappointment in others. This can also been seen when discussing unrestrictions. A card like Fork might be fine in Erhrnam Burn'em or a BR trick deck, but it gets silly in a goodstuff deck and simply broken in a Fork Recursion deck. If you play burn, it can sometimes be hard to see the "splash damage" done by unrestricting it.
Another important thing is that this list is a recommendation. Local variations of the rules or legal cards are not uncommon, and not discouraged.
The meta during the last year have been healthy, and I would not say that it is dominated by a single, or even a few, strategies. Since the last update, the tournaments in Sweden with 8+ players have been won by UGR Tempo, Monoblue artifacts, WW, Atog Smash, Next level WW, The Deck, Lestree Zoo, Project M, Nether Void, UWB Skies, WW and The Deck, in that order. Monoblack, CandleFlare, Stasis, Erhnamgeddon, and a bunch of other strategies are also seen at the top tables.
Maybe we didn't have to make a change to the list this year. We still did though. These are a few of the cards that sparks debates, and how the arguments have gone.
|Snap keep, though a couple of things about this hand don't seem to be "in the spirit of the format" ;)|
|Four versions of Aq Strip Mine.|
Mana Vault: Not much to say here. Unrestricting the vault last year seems to have opened a number of new viable, but not dominant, archetypes. Decks like Atog, Monoblue Artifacts, and Nether Void have entered the stage in the wake of Mana Vaults unrestriction. Mana Vault stays unrestricted.
Mirror Universe: Mirror Universe is insanely powerful, but in most decks it has highly diminishing returns. It is usually bad to draw more than one Mirror in a game, and can't blow up in early game like e.g. Mindtwist or Balance. I'd probably play two in Project M, but most of the control decks in the format would stay on 0-1 copies of the card. On the other hand, it looks like it can make some crazy combo decks a little more viable. The Mirror combos very well with cards like Greed, Sylvan Library, Channel, and Book of Rass. And it is a very cool 2-card win with Lich. We'll see what will happen, and combo could use a boost in the format. Mirror Universe is unrestricted.
|Unlimited mana ;)|
|"Oh, lovely! Especially the part about the grime of daily living."|
The changes will take effect June 1st. Hope you like the updates, and happy brewing!