Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.

@chronatog Berserk and Show and Tell are not on the reserved list.

And while it is true that wizards doesnt manage the secondary market and are not generally responsible for the prices there, they could be liable for losses incurred through reprinting, because of the promise that they made.

@13nova said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

So you're okay with people having negative two mana draw spells and perfect information at every turn of the game, but you're afraid of a supercharged triskelion, AND young Pyromancer?

This is why we don't allow people like you to dictate the list.

There is a reason I wrote "it's probably not a good idea."

And "I'd be interested to see what happens" is exactly what it says on the tin. The crux of "what is broken in vintage" (for varying definitions of broken) seems to revolve around blue based token strategies (mentor) and the hyper aggressive aggro-tempo deck of workshops. It'd likely open the door wide to Paradoxical Outcome dominance, but I'd honestly like to see what happens since the question postulated was where I see vintage going...

It is possible that restricting mentor, after the restriction of gush and probe, won't lead to a dominant pyromancer build taking its place as the dack/delve/blue engine deck of choice. My relationship with Gush is complicated. I hate that Doomsday was collateral damage, I'm not sure if Gush will ever be safe to come off again. Probe is probably better off gone. I won't miss it, but I'd like to gather more information.

Which honestly s half the problem. Our sample sizes are just so small and have so many external influences that deriving useful (actionable information) is difficult.

Your feelings on Workshop are well documented, but I'd rather see the archetype continue though I will be the first to say that I'm not sure how that will look given the migration to the current threat dense version. It may be that the only way to pull back the current Workshop deck trend will likewise hit other forms of the deck. I'd like to see stax/martello and other builds repopulate the pillar, but I'm not certain that is a realistic goal.

And I'd never advocate that I or any player-entity being in charge of the b/r list. I like to experiment too much for that to be a good idea, and most players have a rather myopic view of the format for something like Rules Committee to be a good idea.

Realistically, I think the future of Vintage is going to center in alternative solutions, whether that be pair restrictions or what have you. I think that eventually, WotC is going to need to enumerate what their vision for the format looks like. That's my guess.

last edited by Winterstar

@chronatog said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

I think it strongly depends on who pays to that lawyer. Usually companies with deep pockets win because they have more resources. And as I mentioned above, what about Show and Tell and Berserk? These two reserved list cards were reprinted recently.

Echoing @ChubbyRain and @rikter on Berserk/Show and Tell. And as one of the corporate lawyers that companies with deep pockets would hire, I can promise you that (1) defending this lawsuit would cost a bunch of money and (2) WOTC would be extremely unlikely to recoup legal fees from the Plaintiffs. So even if Wizards wins, they might lose.

And this is what makes most of the B/R list discussions so silly. Some players want to use hard data, perhaps because it supports their view, others use more emotional arguments like "pillars" and "defining card". But both sides need to meet someone in between and realize that all arguments are valid and should be considered as a combination and not as mutually exclusive set.

Most B/R list discussions are also silly because people arguing on the internet are rarely effectual. It's more a way for people to pretend they have some agency in the B/R decision than to actually affect policy. The difference between Vintage and your local sports team is that the most prominent voices in the Vintage space do seem to have some input into the DCI's decision, as well as the "community" writ large (per the Wizards quote about going to the community first and then looking at data, if I recall correctly).
Either way, if people want their voices to reach the ears of the DCI, it seems more effective to focus on persuasion - either of the elites or of the masses - than knee-jerk reaction of others' positions. [Not a comment directed at you, btw. Or at anyone in particular. Just everyone simultaneously.]

last edited by Necrogeist

@winterstar said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

Your feelings on Workshop are well documented

Yes, but so is the fact that @Brass-Man and Myself are the only two individuals who think the MUD archetype will actually not die if workshop is restricted.

@chubbyrain, @rikter, and @necrogeist - thank you for the correction. Indeed, Show and Tell and Berserk are not on the reserved cards list. My mistake!

@Necrogeist said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

Most B/R list discussions are also silly because people arguing on the internet are rarely effectual. It's more a way for people to pretend they have some agency in the B/R decision than to actually affect policy. The difference between Vintage and your local sports team is that the most prominent voices in the Vintage space do seem to have some input into the DCI's decision, as well as the "community" writ large (per the Wizards quote about going to the community first and then looking at data, if I recall correctly).

Unfortunately the voices of a few can be so loud that nobody hears the quiet majority. I personally don't care about any affiliation or connections with WotC or the DCI some "the most prominent voices in Vintage" have as long as this minority is inclusive of all opinions and serves as ambassadors of the community. What I see just right now is that some people started a witch hunt on Mishra's Workshop and are marching with the torches and shouting that their way is the only way. And I don't like this.

Either way, if people want their voices to reach the ears of the DCI, it seems more effective to focus on persuasion - either of the elites or of the masses - than knee-jerk reaction of others' positions. [Not a comment directed at you, btw. Or at anyone in particular. Just everyone simultaneously.]

No offense taken. I make a lot of mistakes, but I am already old enough not to take most of the things personally.

@chronatog All data collected on the subject that I have been able to find in my extensive research regarding the restriciotn of Mishra's Workshop is that your opinion is representative of the minority and has been for a great many years. As far as I can tell the loudest voices are the fewest; so at least we can agree on that. Where you're mistaken is in believing that the loudest voices are for the restriction of Workshop when in fact the loud minority is for it's maintained un-restriction (as you would know if you did any reading at all on the subject). This loud minority as you called it has held up this pillar for roughly a decade now. What we're seeing is the flood gates of new opportunities to play Vintage since the power nine were brought to MTGO and with it the realization of the truth that Mishra's Workshop has been a problem all along and that the quiet majority was right to begin with.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@13nova I think it would survive too, but not at the expense of the players who would probably just pack it in all together without giving alternatives a chance.

Bo-hoo...I know.

@13nova I do not know. The bigger question would be "what sort of deck does it become." Does Eldrazi take over as the more consistent prison/aggro deck? Does it attempt to maintain the course of the aggro version or does the pillar variate back out?

The bigger question is that many people think mentor is going to go on the list as well, and there is no telling what the meta will look like in the wake of that restriction and the likely restriction of something from the shops deck.

I love two-card monte, which people barely consider a workshop deck, and I'm loathe to see it take the hit.

Time will tell.

@aaron-patten said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

@chronatog All data collected on the subject that I have been able to find in my extensive research regarding the restriciotn of Mishra's Workshop is that your opinion is representative of the minority and has been for a great many years.
As far as I can tell the loudest voices are the fewest; so at least we can agree on that. Where you're mistaken is in believing that the loudest voices are for the restriction of Workshop when in fact the loud minority is for it's maintained un-restriction (as you would know if you did any reading at all on the subject). This loud minority as you called it has held up this pillar for roughly a decade now. What we're seeing is the flood gates of new opportunities to play Vintage since the power nine were brought to MTGO and with it the realization of the truth that Mishra's Workshop has been a problem all along and that the quiet majority was right to begin with.

I'm vaguely curious as to why you've been researching this extensively...

But perhaps a better angle of conversation is to ask what arguments/articles/sources have you read that have given you these impressions?

Which is to say, that when you make statements like "I've researched this extensively" and "you would know this if you've bothered to do any reading on the subject" then perhaps it would be helpful to provide some sources/links to articles/thoughts that informed your view on the issue to see where your thoughts are coming from.

@joshuabrooks said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

I think you misunderstand me. I wasn't saying attendance was down, was stating that no matter how much data we analyze, or how much theorycrafting we do, tournament attendance is the final arbitrator.

That's fair. I wasn't trying to be accusatory (so I'm sorry if it came across that way), I genuinely don't know what's happening to tournament attendance. When I look at overseas tournaments they seem great. WotC is implementing Leagues for Vintage on MTGO, which is a tacit statement of growth – we didn't have enough players to support them before, and now we do.

When I combine this with my Venn Diagram comment, I wonder ... on TMD, on Facebook, amongst my friends, the most common chorus is that vintage is terrible and vintage is dying. But if people are saying this while Vintage is objectively growing, what's the implication? Is this small subsection of the community the only group that knows the truth? Or (which seems more likely) are we just becoming less and less informed, and less and less relevant, as we get further and further removed from the average vintage player?

last edited by Brass Man

@brass-man Very good questions Brassy. What does the average vintage player look like,? Especially when it comes to mtgo attendance.which is probably the only attendance metric they pay attention to other than champs...

@aaron-patten said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

@chronatog All data collected on the subject that I have been able to find in my extensive research regarding the restriciotn of Mishra's Workshop is that your opinion is representative of the minority and has been for a great many years.

I'm sorry to hear that I'm in minority because I believe that all voices should be head and all opinions should be considered in any discussion. Can't argue with you and wish you all the best in your life.

@brass-man said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

When I combine this with my Venn Diagram comment, I wonder ... on TMD, on Facebook, amongst my friends, the most common chorus is that vintage is terrible and vintage is dying. But if people are saying this while Vintage is objectively growing, what's the implication? Is this small subsection of the community the only group that knows the truth? Or (which seems more likely) are we just becoming less and less informed, and less and less relevant, as we get further and further removed from the average vintage player?

I'd say it began with the VSL. From all outward appearances, it appeared that the VSL/Pros had influence over the DCI (whether true or not). I think that made the average Vintage player feel like the DCI had been compromised, hence everyone feeling the need to raise their voice.

Players have been complaining about the B/R since the beginning of Magic. Whenever the DCI made a mistake, we assumed it was out of ignorance of the format. Nowadays, some people feel like policy could be directed by biases, if they were prominent enough.

It was easier when nobody thought their opinion mattered 🙂

I would also say I am sure there is a healthy dose of echo chamber at play. If all you hear is how bad Vintage is, people will begin to repeat it. I personally think it was better a few years ago, but that's because it was really, really good! Ebbs and Flows. Ebbs and Flows

But in all honesty, there has never been a better time to be a Vintage Player when you consider all the resources, opportunities, and tools. Not to mention ALL THE NEW CARDS!

last edited by joshuabrooks

@chronatog said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:
I take the game as it is. Like chess. You don't argue in chess that some specific piece is too strong and should be limited or banned. You just play the game. Why MtG should be any different?

This is because chess does not have rules updates, bans and restrictions, new pieces released, as widely shifting metagames, and customized setups for your pieces (decks). I get what you are trying to say (i think?) but they are hardly even related in that way.

Magic is a game where if something is degenerate and truly utter shit, it can be changed. Chess is a game that that would have just died and been forgotten if was plainly shit.

Also you might notice that the best pieces are limited in chess.....

@necrogeist said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

Given the presence of the B/R list and the public knowledge that any card may be banned or restricted in any format, there is no reasonable reliance interest in keeping certain cards from being restricted.

Yes there is, because deliberately printing cards you know you need to ban/restrict is poor game design, and pointless. If they believed in your poor game design and actually made purposely broken cards they knew were going to be banned in all formats and restricted in Vintage, they would just outright destroy Vintage. It's already quite heavy on variance and singletons.

In fact, given that there are constant new printings of cards, you couldn't maintain a cause of action if they printed Mishra's Double Workshop that taps for 6 - you know there are going to be new printings of new cards that may obsolete your reserved list cards.

But this card is dumb and will never happen. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? It's not like they are going to print moxes and duals that are just upgrades to original alpha design.

I'm not 100% sure, but i think that printing strictly better versions would actually qualify for 'functionally identical'. If it does exactly what the other cards does plus something. I mean they haven't made an upgraded version of Thunder Spirit even though they play with that space.

There are non-reserve cards that are better than reserve-cards, but they do not technically function the same (due to mana, mostly). Show and Tell is much much better than Eureka, for example, but is not a 'functional reprint' that breaks the reserve list policy. I think printing identically Eureka at 1G would be blatantly breaking the spirit of the reserve list.

@sovarius said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

@necrogeist said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

Given the presence of the B/R list and the public knowledge that any card may be banned or restricted in any format, there is no reasonable reliance interest in keeping certain cards from being restricted.

Yes there is, because deliberately printing cards you know you need to ban/restrict is poor game design, and pointless. If they believed in your poor game design and actually made purposely broken cards they knew were going to be banned in all formats and restricted in Vintage, they would just outright destroy Vintage. It's already quite heavy on variance and singletons.

This is a fine argument against printing such cards, but that's not a legally cognizable argument.

In fact, given that there are constant new printings of cards, you couldn't maintain a cause of action if they printed Mishra's Double Workshop that taps for 6 - you know there are going to be new printings of new cards that may obsolete your reserved list cards.

But this card is dumb and will never happen. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? It's not like they are going to print moxes and duals that are just upgrades to original alpha design.
I'm not 100% sure, but i think that printing strictly better versions would actually qualify for 'functionally identical'. If it does exactly what the other cards does plus something. I mean they haven't made an upgraded version of Thunder Spirit even though they play with that space.
There are non-reserve cards that are better than reserve-cards, but they do not technically function the same (due to mana, mostly). Show and Tell is much much better than Eureka, for example, but is not a 'functional reprint' that breaks the reserve list policy. I think printing identically Eureka at 1G would be blatantly breaking the spirit of the reserve list.

The point was that the reserve list is a discrete and limited promise - Wizards will not make functional reprints of cards on that list. That's all they promised, and that's all they could be held to.

@sovarius said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:

I'm not 100% sure, but i think that printing strictly better versions would actually qualify for 'functionally identical'. If it does exactly what the other cards does plus something. I mean they haven't made an upgraded version of Thunder Spirit even though they play with that space.

Wizards of the Coast was explicit in defining what "funcitonally identical" entails:

Reserved cards will never be printed again in a functionally identical form. A card is considered functionally identical to another card if it has the same card type, subtypes, abilities, mana cost, power, and toughness.

Edit: Harmless Offering is only different from Donate in its mana cost. I do not think that Wotc is adverse to tweaking variables to create functionally similar cards. If they thought a 2 mana Eureka was appropriate for Magic, then they would probably print it.

last edited by Guest

@brass-man said in Why I don't think Mishra's Workshop should be restricted.:
"on TMD, on Facebook, amongst my friends, the most common chorus is that vintage is terrible and vintage is dying."

When I started playing Magic at the end of the 90s "Vintage" or whatever is was called back then was already out of reach for most players. When I came back to the game 10 years ago, not much changed. Except for that the format had the reputation of turn 1 kills among non Vintage players. Nowadays? If I ask people about Vintage the stock responses still are "costs as much as a car" and "people dying on turn 1".
Most people don't know anything about the format. I'm sure there is a name for the psychological phenomenon where people just dismiss and badmouth something because they will never be able to afford it.

@chubbyrain
Everyone is aware, including me. But they have also said they would not do anything to exploit loopholes to circumvent the spirit of the policy.

Offering also technically only targets an opponent, though of course there's no point in targeting yourself with Donate in normal circumstances.

What they didn't do is print a 1U Donate, or 1R Donate. I don't think that is really coincidence that things have worked out this way. I think they are avoiding breaking the spirit of the law.

@winterstar Mostly polls I've seen and conversations I've had over the last ten years. I'm sure you've seen most, if not all, the same source material since you're here talking about the subject. There are a few articles here and there about why Mishra's Workshop should not be restricted but I have never been able to find more than a handful of people who believe that the card should be unrestricted while most of the people I've spoken to about getting into vintage stop dead in their tracks when they realize that a deck which has had most of the cards in it restricted just loses outright to decks with 4 Mishra's Workshops in them along with every other "real" deck in the format. (a card which is obviously better than most of the RL and yet somehow not restricted while cards like Ponder, Brainstorm, Lion's Eye Diamond, Chalice of the Void, Gush, Lodetone Golem, and Gitaxian Probe are regarded as better?.. wtf?). There's a real gap in logic that has been the linchpin of it's existence for a long time and that is that blue stew needs something to be able to beat it in order to have strategic diversity. The problem there is that shops is just outright better and has been for ages; not just against blue but against everything. I think it's provably correct to say that storm and blue decks based on the restricted list should have competition in vintage but shops just isn't healthy in that spot. It's way too far gone. adding a black lotus worth of mana every turn is not constrained enough by the fact you can only cast artifacts. Given any pile of cards there exists another pile of cards with 4 Shops in it that just crushes the first one every single time. Maybe the metagame shifts a bit and shops players need to take a few days/weeks/months to figure out what that pile is but it's out there and it's only a matter of time before it chokes everything else out. People talk about fun police but back when shops wasn't king there were mono black control decks, mono red burn/aggro decks, fish decks, rogue weird combo decks (the likes of which haven't been seen since) that all had a shot at taking first in large events. The card pool of vintage is so diverse that you can't be top dog and not get taken down unless you've got four shops in your deck because black lotus is a lesson the rest of the community has already learned. Getting a lotus in your opener will more often than not win you the game so playing against a deck that runs 5 (4 of which stick around) is a fools errand in a settled metagame. Especially when you consider that coming back from the first one they draw is only to be faced down by the second one they also likely draw since there are now 5 instead of 1. There's always a best deck but the idea that the best deck should be based on a unrestricted better version of the most important and effective restricted card in every other deck is not logical and doesn't work for creating diversity; instead it reduces it. Almost every other pillar of the format are based on restricted cards and all of them are eminently more beatable by the rest of the card pool. To have diversity we want strategies that are close in effectiveness as measured by tournament results and shops just isn't that and never will be. It's a pre-written outcome based on the illogic that one particular strategy has more of a right to exist than another in spite of being very obviously and provably damaging to strategic diversity. This backwards reasoning is held up by people claiming that restricting their favorite card victimizes them by dissalowing them to play which has never been the case. People identify with their cards to be sure but that doesn't mean that whomsoever declares themselves the victim is therefore right and should be protected by the actions of people they claim to be victimized by. It's a play on peoples good nature to want to help the people around them by making sacrifices for those who complain. It's a good thing but after a certain point you're not helping those people by allowing them to manipulate you in that way and instead you're just reinforcing their co-dependence issues. Gush was just as much a pillar of the format as Shops. Brainstorm was just as much a pillar of the format as Shops. Heck Necropotence used to be a pillar of the format but that doesn't mean it ever had more of a right to be so than any other card. The bottom line is that Wizards of the Coast needs to do what is best for the format because at the end of the day they actually do make money off of it and they actually do have a responsibility to the players who play it to provide a format that makes sense instead of one which doesn't (ie Shops is the only deck that matters but we can't do anything about it because someone's feelings will get hurt if we do the obviously right thing for everyone else). This is a good thing. We want them to provide a good product because we want to consume a good product.

last edited by Aaron Patten

I would disagree that Brainstorm could ever be a pillar in the same way that Workshop could. Workshop enables an archetype, Brainstorm enables draws and can be (is) replaced and supplemented by Ancestral, Ponder, and Preordain.

I could see an argument for 3 City of Traitors instead of 3 of the Shops if there a restriction, too, though, so i wouldn't say a restriction should be out of the question.

Restrict Workshop and make Mox Crystal legal....

I'm curious though, would people rather some unrestrictions of Shops pieces but restrict Workshop, or continually restrict Shop pieces but leave Workshop open? The problem with that is there are always new printings... Surely we will (or at least, i hope) revisit artifacts when we return to dear old Dominaria.

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