I know this isn’t exactly a hot thread but I think about this a lot.
I think most restricted cards are fine as restricted. Cards like Magnum Opus, Hunter Seeker or Levy are made more interesting as restricted. They are fun to build around and choosing among them is a fun element to deck design.
A card like Film Critic though isn’t just a card that it too powerful, it’s a hard counter to whole deck archetypes. There are a lot of examples but for the sake of discussion let me just use one to try to get my idea across. You can’t really be competitive as Harpsichord Studios in a meta where Film Critic exists. In fact, Worse than that, it’s not even really fun. If you ban that one card, you allow entire, rather elegant deck archetypes to be playable. So the idea of being more liberal with banning cards actually creates a more diverse and interesting game with more interesting possibilities and flavors.
I think that if a cards existence essentially forces a huge amount of otherwise interesting and balanced cards out of the game, that card is doing the game itself a disservice.
So many of the agendas in the new cycle have such interesting “when stolen” triggers, Ikawah Project, Viral Breeding Ground, SSL Contract, etc. But if most people are playing a card that negates those effects, what is the point of even playing them? There are such cool, interesting agendas and agenda-related effects in the game and so many games are completely robbed of that dynamic.
Obokata Project is such a cool, fun card but if Critic were ban, it would have to go too. I think that those two cards are the only cards actively hurting the game. Although if Museum of History disappeared, I don’t think anyone would really cry, ya know?