Rather than wait until Tom LaPille's column on Friday to offer an explanation of the banned & restricted list changes, we've given Erik Lauer a platform to explain them right away.
For the Banned & Restricted Announcement, click here.
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, 1999, after which the banned & restricted list had 59 cards. With Frantic Search and Gush unrestricted, 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.