Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor

Lets look at it this way - if shops has a turn 1 workshop what are they most likely playing?
Phyrexian Revoker - 2CC
Arcbound Ravager - 2CC
Sphere of resistance - 2CC
Thorn of Amethyst - 2 CC
Walking Ballista @1 - 2CC
Trinisphere - 3CC

That's 21 cards out of roughly 35 non-mana slots. 20 of those 21 cards can still be played with 2 mana instead of 3 mana. That 21st card, trinisphere, just needs a lotus, mox, sol ring or mana crypt and it can still be played turn 1.

So what exactly is it about the opening 2-3 turns of shops that would be hurt by having to rely on a sol land instead of a workshop more consistently?

@Khahan The issue isn't that tehy're dropping 1 thing - it's games like Glacking's where the go Workshop + Mox into Cheif + sphere, into turn 2 Sphere + waste into turn 3 sphere. OR games where they have multiple workshops and cast a bunch of threats turn 2 after making your turn 1 so you can only play 0 mana things due to a sphere.

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

Lets look at it this way - if shops has a turn 1 workshop what are they most likely playing?
Phyrexian Revoker - 2CC
Arcbound Ravager - 2CC
Sphere of resistance - 2CC
Thorn of Amethyst - 2 CC
Walking Ballista @1 - 2CC
Trinisphere - 3CC

That's 21 cards out of roughly 35 non-mana slots. 20 of those 21 cards can still be played with 2 mana instead of 3 mana. That 21st card, trinisphere, just needs a lotus, mox, sol ring or mana crypt and it can still be played turn 1.

So what exactly is it about the opening 2-3 turns of shops that would be hurt by having to rely on a sol land instead of a workshop more consistently?

Discounting the possible turn 2 plays, having 8 lands that makes these openings possible instead of 5 is a big deal, no?

last edited by Griselbrother

@Griselbrother I fundamentally disagree with restricting Workshop, but does City of Traitors not solve that to a degree? It's not like Shops would replace the 3 workshops with non-mana cards...you still have 8 lands plus jewelry to make this all happen.

@Griselbrother 8 Lands, Sol Ring, Crypt, Vault, Lotus, Moxes, and Academy with any combination of the cards I just listed outside the 8 lands. If you want to get froggy, you can even play City of Traitors too.

What's hilarious is workshop players ALL say "Soly Land. Legendary Land: Tap: add 2 mana of any combination of colors to your mana pool .Use this only for Sorceries, Instants, or Planeswalkers" would be WAY TOO BUSTED.

Yet 3 mana for artifacts isn't too busted.

@MSolymossy said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Griselbrother 8 Lands, Sol Ring, Crypt, Vault, Lotus, Moxes, and Academy with any combination of the cards I just listed outside the 8 lands. If you want to get froggy, you can even play City of Traitors too.

What's hilarious is workshop players ALL say "Soly Land. Legendary Land: Tap: add 2 mana of any combination of colors to your mana pool .Use this only for Sorceries, Instants, or Planeswalkers" would be WAY TOO BUSTED.

Yet 3 mana for artifacts isn't too busted.

This comment illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the way Wizards has printed cards for the past. . . well ever. Workshop decks have no way to filter cards the way blue does so the way the restricted list interacts with the Workshop archetype is extremely divergent from how it interacts with the blue force of will-based archetypes.

Workshop decks sit in a fair and equitable place in Vintage for a couple very important reasons. Instead of going on your own internal monologue about how much of a "Clown" I am, maybe read what I have to say and understand that I have indeed played a lot of Vintage (even in paper at my local store in Los Angeles to plenty of wins/top 4 finishes I might add), and that I'm saying these things from a place of experience.

Complaint about Workshops #1: Workshop decks, when they curve out, force little interaction and "sphere people out.

Rebuttal: Blue decks do the exact same thing on the back of Force of Will when they "curve out." Blue decks achieve Time Walks (and access to the card "Time Walk") and non-interactive games as well, they just do it in a different way. They do it through having cards like Preordain that find them one of the following: Ancestral, Brainstorm, Dig, Treasure Cruise, Time Walk, Gush and then other 3 and 4-ofs like Mentor or Force of Will. These cards are good across so many match-ups and so many game states that they might as well be as all encompassing as the card "Sphere of Resistance." Blue decks force game states where opponents don't really get a meaningful turn because they dominated early on card advantage and started chaining force of wills and other counters.

Assertion that Blue decks could get a conditional tap for 2 mana land:

I am not going to pass final judgement and say that would be ludicrous, but it probably would be. The way Workshop decks are FORCED to be designed is one where they have access to and aggressively utilize the 10 sphere effects they have. Why are they forced to do this? Well Ask Richard Garfield and the R & D team since the inception of the game why they thought it was appropriate to print:

Tolarian Academy
Black Lotus
Time Walk
Ancestral Recall
Dark Ritual
Moxen
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Yawg Will
Mind's Desire

There are a couple other major offenders but I think I get my point across. I point to cards that allow for extremely degenerate and almost deterministic avenues to victory ON TURN 1 OR 2. Without running spheres, a colorless deck like workshops would be a sitting duck to any deck wanting to do anything broken. So why do I say this in response to your proposed 2 mana land for blue? Because Workshop decks absolutely need to pump out over costed artifacts early to even have a shot vs. blue decks that do broken things and in order to continue curving out they need the card Workshop to do this. You said I was living in 2013 with my comment that Workshop threats cost 4, 5, and 6 mana? Well I would say that you missed a key implication of my comment. I am implying that you are casting spheres on turn 1 and possibly turn 2. Would you claim that Fleetwheel Cruiser DOESN'T cost 5 underneath a sphere? or 6 underneath 2 spheres? And, when folks were running Tangle Wire and Crucible (which wasn't that long ago mind you) would you argue that those cards wouldn't cost 4 or 5 under spheres? Read between the lines a bit on my comments. So if I can establish for you that Workshop decks NEED to play spheres to compete, and that they need to play those cards on turn 1-2 or risk losing outright to broken decks then is it fair to up the mana cost of many of their threats by 1 or even 2 (depending on whether it is taxed by Thorn or not)? And that isn't even including some of the threats that the deck STILL runs that are 5 or 6 mana (yes, I know it's less but it is still some). And if we agree on this point is it not safe to assume that Workshop is a major reason the deck is able to execute this game plan with any sort of regularity?

Blue decks do not need to be able to skip the curve on turn 1 like that because they already have a major leg up due to the filter and combo-rific cards that are set up for via Force of Will and other protection. It just so happens that the Workshop archetype is particularly well suited to beat up on the blue engine of choice right now, which I would boil down to a certain set of cards that players have not-so-lovingly called "the blue stew:"

3-4 Prerordain
1 Ponder
1 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral
1 Dig
1 Cruise
1 Time Walk
3-4 Misstep
4 Force of Will

Shops decks beat up naturally on this "stew" because it often has to fight itself in the face of sphere effects. Like, often the blue player is faced with the following conundrum vs. shops on turn 3, 4 or 5 after the bloodbath of the first 2 turns that usually involves a force or 2, and/or a removal spell: Do I tap out to cast my Preordain under that sphere or do I leave mana up for Force of Will knowing I'll be down another card and wishing I'd cast the Preordain anyway to set up getting some actual business cards? This is the struggle for the Mentor decks right now vs. Shops. I'd be willing to postulate that the dynamic would alter considerably if blue decks were allowed, through restrictions/unrestrictions or otherwise, to play a draw-go game vs. the field, because I think Workshops has a lot harder time dealing with that approach to tempo coming from a blue deck. If Mana Drain was a card with text again you better believe that Workshop decks would struggle to answer it more than they struggle to answer a card that usually reads "1U: Tap out to scry 2 and draw 1."

I am thinking of writing an article about game balance at some point in the future and how balancing a game is challenging, but that I think it has to be done from an informed unbiased place. I think the biggest problem Vintage faces going forward is vocal fans thinking they know how their game works and being utterly ignorant to the mechanics and inner tensions of the game itself. I would really hate a player base ignorant of what is best for them force action from R & D that kills Vintage. Wait where have I seen this before? I seem to recall a base of disgruntled voters voting for a candidate that they were sure "wasn't" part of the elites only to find out they were wrong and that he doesn't serve their interests at all on virtually every important issue. Please don't let Vintage go this route.

@Stormanimagus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

. . .Workshop threats cost 4, 5, and 6 mana? Well I would say that you missed a key implication of my comment. I am implying that you are casting spheres on turn 1 and possibly turn 2. Would you claim that Fleetwheel Cruiser DOESN'T cost 5 underneath a sphere? or 6 underneath 2 spheres?

Turn 1 - workshop, sol ring sphere, sphere. Turn 2 - any land into fleetwheel cruiser. It cost 6 mana sure, but its done on turn 2 with 2 land drops.

Meanwhile any other player is praying they can get 3 mana to play their 1 mana spell and to dig a little deeper before the inevitable strip effect or revoker comes down or another sphere effect is throw into play.

Anybody who says workshop shouldn't be restricted due to its power level is delusional. I accept that people have other reasons to not restrict it. I may not agree with those reasons but I accept that others have and believe those reasons.

last edited by Khahan

I deleted a few posts in this thread. I wanted to delete a lot more.

Protip: If you're starting a post with "I wasn't going to resort to personal attacks but .." or "I was going to be civil, but ...", it's not a good post

Protip: Succinct arguments are more persuasive and understandable.

Protip: Winning arguments on TMD is likely not an efficient path to policy change, especially compared to "talking with someone who actually has influence over policy"

I mostly deleted posts involving clear personal attacks, and those directly replying to them (which weren't necessarily bad posts, but would make no sense with the missing context).

Frankly this thread shouldn't have existed in the first place, as the conversation is exactly the same as the other two B&R threads, despite the fact that each thread has a distinct opening post - people can't seem to stop from discussing their pet policy issues in every thread where someone mentions any policy issue, no matter how related they are.

It's clear that there is another issue in these threads. Too much rhetoric, not enough dialectic. Too many people are trying to win arguments and not enough people are trying to figure things out.

Did you know that different people enjoy different games?

Did you know that different people use similar terms to mean the different things?

Have you noticed how rarely people make an effort to understand how their goals and preferences might differ before emphatically stating that their policy for the format is unimpeachably better?

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Stormanimagus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

. . .Workshop threats cost 4, 5, and 6 mana? Well I would say that you missed a key implication of my comment. I am implying that you are casting spheres on turn 1 and possibly turn 2. Would you claim that Fleetwheel Cruiser DOESN'T cost 5 underneath a sphere? or 6 underneath 2 spheres?

Turn 1 - workshop, sol ring sphere, sphere. Turn 2 - any land into fleetwheel cruiser. It cost 6 mana sure, but its done on turn 2 with 2 land drops.

Meanwhile any other player is praying they can get 3 mana to play their 1 mana spell and to dig a little deeper before the inevitable strip effect or revoker comes down or another sphere effect is throw into play.

Anybody who says workshop shouldn't be restricted due to its power level is delusional. I accept that people have other reasons to not restrict it. I may not agree with those reasons but I accept that others have and believe those reasons.

You lost me when Sol Ring resolved. What Vintage have you been playing?

@joshuabrooks

When I offered to host an event to test a hypothetical or experimental list I got exactly 1 serious response. I don't think real testing of proposals is happening.

@walking.dude I feel you man, I made a post asking why it was that people felt intrinsically bound to Wizards (possibly) flawed list and got only one person to respond.

If I lived in NY any more I'd be apt to try to work with you on it, but I am half the country away and with very little free time.

@walking.dude Might be easier to test on MTGO. I know I can do that, as I am way to far from NY to meet up. Free form MTGO can be a way to test

I used to think that Workshop was too powerful and needed to be restricted--in part based on the abstract principle of "a Black Lotus every turn for artifacts is wrong." I don't believe that anymore, even though I believe the Shops deck is pretty strong right now.

  1. I have come to learn (like many of you) that the power of a card isn't measured in isolation. Workshop was just a Tier-1.5 or 2 Vintage card for many years because there just weren't enough good artifacts to make it matter.

  2. Cards like Brainstorm, Gush, Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise only seem "obvious" to us because we've been around the game for awhile. On the surface, they don't look very good. Just think back to when you were a teenager who once fell in love with Scaled Wurm because it was huge (or some other janky card). It is only in the context of fetch lands and Dack Fayden that these cards begin to warp the format. I mean, if tomorrow all fetchlands were banned, how broken would Brainstorm and the Delve spells be? Not very.

The only reason Shops decks are a problem right now is because they can too easily lock players out of the game backed by a quick clock of Ravager/Ballista.

The moment Wizards prints artifact removal that circumvents tax effects, Shops becomes a manageable card (and by extension archetype) again. Cycling, Channel or a new keyword is all it takes. One new green or red card and we're fine again.

Just like people in Standard have been clamoring for the re-introduction of hate cards to keep broken cards in check, all Vintage needs is 3-4 new cards that nerf Shops and blue (or blue cantrips, depending on what you think the problem is).

A pyroblast with split second, or a cheap flash green creature that can't be countered, but itself counters a blue instant (or has a Notion Thief ability)... nothing would be weird about such cards (Magic history is full of them) and they would cut two dominant Vintage pillars down to size.

After all, Wizards went in a deeply draconian (and totally deliberate) direction when it created Grafdigger's Cage and Containment Priest. Seriously, we already lived in a world with Ravenous Trap, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus, and god knows what else I might be forgetting.

If I had a single directive to Wizards it would be this:

Print new cards that make it easy to unrestrict old cards because they become broken no longer.

@p3temangus I would have to disagree with this. Playing a land that is disynergistic with land drops is counterproductive to a strategy that relies on building up mana to play through its own sphere effects.

@walking.dude I live in NYC and if you ever want to grind out games to test these things out, you can PM me and see if we can get down. I would much rather draw conclusions from testing than random hypotheticals if the sample size is large enough.

@Smmenen

I beg to disagree. Zodiac Dragon's intent was to be able to return whenever it was discarded. I posted this earlier, but please read the prongs and tell me where my logic is wrong.

@gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

The fact that this card doesn't do what it says on the card is an outright tragedy.

  1. Portal 3 was meant as a stand alone set.
  2. There are 8 different cards in Portal 3 that have text about discarding cards.

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&set=+["Portal Three Kingdoms"]&text=+[Discard]

  1. In the release notes, Riding the Dilu horse was errated (to not end at end of turn) while Zodiac Dragon was left alone. (This is actually the greatest argument that the card doesn't do what the designers intended it to do)

https://www.wizards.com/magic/generic/cardlists/p3k_en_spoiler.txt

source is this page https://www.wizards.com/magic/p3k/p3k_edition.asp

  1. Serra Avatar from Urza's Saga has the closest text ability of shuffling it back into your library. "From anywhere" was errated to that card. That errata has since been removed because it is verbose.

  2. Abundance (also Urza's Saga) has an replacement "may" ability and hasn't been errated.

Zodiac Dragon should have a replacement ability, not this nonsensical triggered one it currently has.

Allowing the card in Vintage would help dredge out, and create survival of the fittest archetypes. Or you can just play wild mongrel. All of these seem fair compared to Time Vault Voltaic Key.

Please champion Zodiac Dragon in Vintage.

  1. Moreover, Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior exists and reads word for word the way you are reaching to interpret Zodiac Dragon to read:

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=10494

You're a guy who likes to argue reason. I've given you a six pronged argument for Zodiac Dragon's text. Feel free to attack any single prong or change your opinion.

FYI, taking examples like Lotus Vale and Scored Ruins is a strawman fallacy unrelated to Zodiac Dragon.

Zodiac Dragon is in a unique situation because it wasn't legal until October 20, 2005. There were no judge rulings on any portal cards up to that date, unlike the ones about Lotus Vale, Mox Diamond, and Scorched Ruins.

@Khahan what are your thoughts knowing my full argument?

To elaborate further on prong #1, Portal 3 was meant as a starter set to be played only with other portal 3 cards. Meaning, Zodiac Dragon was intended to be able to get discarded to Control of the Court and net card advantage, or to protect your hand from Cao, Cao Lord of Wei so you could cast it later at 8 mana while Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior was not intended to do that. It was never intended to interact with Survival of the Fittest. But that changed on October 20th.

last edited by gkraigher

@gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Smmenen

I beg to disagree. Zodiac Dragon's intent was to be able to return whenever it was discarded. I posted this earlier, but please read the prongs and tell me where my logic is wrong.

The dispositive issue in a case like this is how the card was ruled to function when it was released.

The Time Vault/ Power Level Errata debates happened a decade ago at this point, and I don't remember the specific findings as they relate to Zodiac Dragon. Perhaps @MaximumCDawg or someone else familiar with those debates might be able to shed light on this question without my having to do further research.

On the other hand, Aaron Forsythe said that Zodiac Dragon's design intent was that it was supposed to only return to hand from the graveyard if it left play: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14

Zodiac Dragon / Rukh Egg – Printed intent was that these cards only worked from play. “From play” is merely clarification. If it didn't say that, they would still only work from play since that's the default. The text was added because the cards are (obviously) a bit confusing without it, and this is the modern template for this clause.

The historical authority is regarded as Stephen D'Angelo's Crystal Keep, which sadly is no longer operated. However, I keep a bookmark to the archived version of his site, which you (or anyone else) can access here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040717064701/http://www.crystalkeep.com:80/magic/rules/search.html

This site contains all of the rulings that were published up until he ceased updating them. The search function doesn't work, but you can still find cards by index. In any case,
http://web.archive.org/web/20040823085206/http://www.crystalkeep.com:80/cgi-bin/magicsearch.cgi?cardName=Zodiac Dragon

He notes:

"When played under non-Portal rules, the text should be read as "When ~this~ goes to a graveyard from play, you may return ~this~ to its owner's hand." [D'Angelo 2000/06/05]"

I confess I don't fully understand what that means, as it suggests that there is something specific to the Portal Rules that explains this function. But I can't tell from his ruling along whether that's simply power level errata or what you claim.

If you can find actual evidence that it was ruled to work the way you say it does when Portal 3 Kingdoms was released in 1999 or shortly thereafter, I will join your crusade. But thus far, I am unaware of any evidence. And I can't even remember my position on the card 11 years ago, although I do remember having given it some thought.

  1. Moreover, Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior exists and reads word for word the way you are reaching to interpret Zodiac Dragon to read:

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=10494

This is your best argument, but it's not dispositive. The fact that Guan Yu specifically had the "from play" clause while Zodiac Dragon does not does certainly raise the inference that the fact that Zodiac Dragon does not was intentional or by design, but that inference is not a certainty. It could simply have been a mistake or inconsistency. And the presumption or benefit of the doubt is generally given to the rules team who ruled on the card's functionality when the card is released, as those rules managers will generally have access to the designers.

You make some good points, but I'm not entirely persuaded as of yet. I'd have to research and better understand the Portal rules, and/or find evidence that the card was actually ruled to work or played the way you suggest before I'd conclude that the current errata really is power level errata.

Further, I recommend starting a new thread before continuing a discussion under this topic any further.

last edited by Smmenen
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