@ChubbyRain said in SMIP Podcast # 69: Three Months Later AKA The Q2 Metagame:
Please, please, please, for the love of God, do not unrestrict Library...
How is this an actual thing?
Hahaha the same thing streaked across my brain as I listened to this over a coffee. The only plus is the colossal pile of Library activations in response to each other having to be represented somehow as massive stack battles begin.
As this cast points out, the Duality of the format is miserable and was unchanged by the restrictions. However I think you have it wrong, it's not Mentor and Thorn. It's Misstep and Thorns. On MTGO you have 31% of the field, 40% of top 8s as Shop Decks but Mental Misstep being played at north of 85% of its apex (about 3.2) in all not Thorn decks (with Dredge even giving the number a bump). If you lump in Pyroblast you are north of 90%.
In my opinion, and a look at the blue based builds pre-Khans backs this up, the format is Misstep and Thorn and has been since Delve ruined Magic forever. The confluence of Delve, Dack, Tokens mechanic has done such irreparable damage it's nearly impossible to untangle the impact and craft a solution. Mentor is miserable but it won't change anything as a 1 of, it'll still just be Thorns vs. Missteps. Those 3 spots will become a couple of Pyromancers and a random shitty creature or a Null Rod / Stony since you may cut moxes.
Misstep oppresses many cards that can tactically fight Thorns and Mentor. Those cards either aren't worth sinking mana into or you are sucked into the same endless vortex that got it banned everywhere else: Misstepping the Misstep that Misstepped the Misstep. Remember Goblin Welder? Thoughtseizing the Mentor or Thorn? Pithing Needle? Dread of Night? Illness in the Ranks in your board? Deathrite Shaman? Hate Delve ... RIP Dryad Militant! None of these cards are earth shattering but they litter the growing graveyard of interesting cards that get cattle bolted on the drawing board (or can't be played because you have no room after stuffing your deck full of the ubiquitous piece of crap Misstep). Nobody omits a card from a deck because it can be Force of Willed or Mana Drained or Spell Pierced or Spell Snared or even Flusterstormed. Mental Misstep alone wears that crown of shit.
Don't you hear your own discussions about unrestrictions and your set reviews? They are littered with sighs and qualifications about what a waste of time a 1 mana sorcery speed spell in the face of a hail of derpsteps? Imperial Seal in this cast is a prime example, you point out that it's never played because of the card.
If you believe that forcing a "blue player" to have spells with text against a deck that's a 1/3 of the field (which I'm not necessarily defending) then Misstep needs to go. It will also open up space (which may not be claimed because people don't like changing decks) for the natural thorn predators to re-emerge ... like BUG fish ... who can actually resolve a DRS without a Misstep war. Other creature based Null Rod decks.
Even if you restrict workshop you'll be left with Thorns and Missteps. White eldrazi prior to Ballista was arguably a better Thorn deck than shops. Are our memories that short?
The argument that some aggregate combo deck like Ritual storm will slaughter us all if we have only 1 misstep are unfounded. Thorn / thalia is the natural predator for these decks. In addition to Fluster and Trap there have also been 1/2 a dozen hate bears that completely stone storm.
To the point about Gush not being a problem for ~3 years ... it's true. Some new comers, especially MTGO only players might not even remember this era.
In the period before Khans in some of the largest events ever where Gush was legal (we're talking about massive ~250+ person events for their era like Bazaar of Moxen) Gush was barely a presence. The winning blue decks largely centered around Dark Confidant (both BUG Rod Fish, Bolas control). Gush was a bit player in these events circa Spring 2012, and 2013.
Delve / Dack / Tokens was the lever that when pulled opened the dam and made Gush dominant and made Mental Misstep and Probes usage skyrocket. When free was just free it was pretty good and people played Missteps. When free nets you a +1 mana for your delve spell and a Monastery Swiftspear free becomes too good. Once the use went up there is a 'stickyness' to Misstep because of its incestuous nature. But as others have pointed out you can't discuss solutions and ignore these printings.
It sucks. I remember flying to Europe in 2013 so excited to play Vintage. The floor was littered with tons of different decks.
Noble Fish, Stoneblade, BUG Fish, Bomberman, Gushbond Storm, Rod Shops, Metalworker Shops, Dredge (not really), Oath, Bolas Control, Welders, Standstill, Budget Junk and Merfolk decks.
2013 (294 players, 3 MUD, as the blue decks begin playing 3 MM + Fluster)
2012 (326 players, 2 MUD, Zero Gush, 4 other very different blue decks)
2011 (483 players ... just pre-Phyrexian Mana ... 1 shop deck out of 483)
Amazing how you can beat Thorn when you don't have half a dozen dead cards in your blue deck?