North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown

Coverage was great to watch. Noble + Mark + Buehler did a great job with commentary.

Props to those that compiled all this data and made all the calculations.

Props to all the players that played well and were rewarded for it.

Now onto the real concerns....

The metagame hasn't changed much. Vintage hasn't changed much. The top 32 is less diverse than last year. This year we only have bazaars, islands and workshops.

Workshops is still overpowered and the fact that shops made up 5 out of 8 top 8 spots is alarming, but no surprise since we all knew this would happen. The dominance that shops has showed this tournament matches the dominance that shops shows online. Something needs to be done via B&R adjustments.

When are we going to get real diversity in vintage? When is it going to be something other than islands, bazaar or workshop?

To those who think Eldrazi is an option. It's not. It's actually just a less attractive version of shops. It practically does the same thing. There is nothing unique or special about that.

One day I'd like to live in a vintage world where Mental misstep is restricted so we can see the likes of elves, crop rotation, enlightened tutor, dark ritual, welder and maybe even berserk be options. Misstep is cancerous. Something needs to be done via B&R adjustments.

Shops is still a problem. I used to be in denial but I admit it, I was wrong.

Whoever is in charge of this format or whoever that has the most influence over WOTC/DCI, You need to make changes. This format will taper off and die out if you don't. Vintage is the format with the largest pool of cards to choose from, yet it has the least amount of competitive options. When I think about that, i'm like wow, what incentive do people have to blow thousands of dollars on these cards if they are extremely limited in their options. Players are limited to islands, bazaars and workshops. This is not healthy for growth. By operating this way, the format is limited to how many people enjoy it. The price point of the cards is not the issue.
Maybe some people don't want to play with islands, workshops or bazaars. We need to have options available for this who want to spend thousands of dollars and play something they enjoy that will have a shot. Restrict misstep and you literally add 3-5 archetype options that aren't bazaar, island or workshop based.

Blue doesn't need 4 copies of mental misstep anymore. Make vintage great again.

I haven't played paper vintage since April 2017. My brewing options are limited even though I have the cards to brew with. I qualified for NYSE 2017 and skipped out. I skipped out of champs this year even though it was closer. I even prepaid for the local vintage 1k last month and then skipped out. Why? Because it's the same old shit. If I had known this is what vintage was, I would have never bought the cards. I currently resent this format that i'm so heavily invested in. Same old options, same old cards. I'm tired of seeing the same hotrods. It's time to make room for some new vintage hotrods. Get rid of mental misstep already and do whatever needs to be done to workshops so that it's not overpowered anymore.


last edited by Guest

@smmenen said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

@diophan said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

Shops had a winrate near 60%, but I believe there are reasons structural to Champs that contribute here: players expect less shops in a sanctioned tournament so they skimp on hate

Really? Didnt lliterally just about everyone think that shop would be the most played deck? I think I predicted about 23% shop and about 30% taxing overall in the podcast. Everyone I talk to about this thought shops would be the most represented single archetype. Going into this event shops and dredge were the two decks to beat.

The shops win percentage here matches it's win percentage in other metagame breakdowns you've done as well. This doesn't appear to be anomalous does it?

I can't speak to what cards people played or didn't play, but even my rudimentary opinions revolved around Ravager Shops being the "Deck to beat". I actually did an article on it, I just didn't post it here on on the Facebook group:

I had to work that day it came out, and by the time I could have posted it the event was underway so it felt silly. Plus other people had done similar things.

One thing I can speak to, as it is solely my opinion, is that I believe people often do not take the Workshop match up seriously enough. It's not even enough to just play the best hate cards. You have to really sculpt a cohesive plan of action to employ each and every time.

Thanks a ton for putting this together! It was great to play this weekend and enjoyed seeing old and new faces alike. Looking forward to the deck lists--let us know if there's anything we can help with.

How do you differentiate Blue Control from Big Blue, and how does cantrip decks differentiate? Is there an explanation somewhere?

Are we really surprised that the inbred blue decks with maindeck 4x misstep, multiple pyroblast and a smattering of other dead cards with no sideboard recourse are losing to shops? I mean let’s call a spade a spade.

@arcranedenial said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

Are we really surprised that the inbred blue decks with maindeck 4x misstep, multiple pyroblast and a smattering of other dead cards with no sideboard recourse are losing to shops? I mean let’s call a spade a spade.

Either you're correct and 419 magic players are stupid, OR you've completely missed the point and 5 out of 8 top eight contenders correctly identified that Mental Misstep is garbage along with every other non shops card in a format where you can play 5 black lotuses.
Which do you think is more likely?

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@aaron-patten Misstep is amazing in that it really makes it so you don't even have to play against dark ritual storm LOL

Thank you for putting this data together. This information is vital to showing R&D what's going on.

I agree with @BobbyVictory. I put in my top 8 player profile that Misstep needs to be restricted. It's super oppressive. Right now cards like Goblin Welder and DRS are laughable. If you were to somehow figure out a tier 1 deck that leaned on 1-drops, then everyone would just pack 4x Missteps and knock that deck back down to tier 2. A reason why Dredge and Workshops are so dominate is that they skip 1-drops better than anything else. The only reason blue can sometimes keep up is that they can slam a one-card win condition (Oath of Druids or Monastery Mentor).

I also think that Workshop needs a restriction. It's the Birthing Pod problem: Workshop only gets better with each set. And a restriction does not neuter the deck (unlike Bazaar in Dredge). You can definitely win plenty of games without Mishra's Workshop. If Workshop was restricted for this event, I would still play Ravager Shops. The creature suite is just that solid, and you can still skip 1-drops better than most decks. If Workshop and Misstep were restricted, then I think we actually have an interesting and diverse format again. I'd probably still jam robot beats, but that's just me.

If they decide to not make any of those changes then at least bring back Thorn and hit Sphere. Restricting Thorn really hurt a lot of the fringe Thalia decks. Sphere is only playable in Workshops.

@doomfinite Archetypes like dark ritual storm, enlightened tutor/enchantress, berserk/stompy/infect, welder, crop rotation are completely drowned out by misstep. Card is such cancer and not fun. I will continue to sit out of vintage events and convince others the format is shit and that they shouldn't play it, invest in it or attend events until something is done about it.

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@bobbyvictory I hear you. I've only played Dredge, Eldrazi, and Shops in Vintage because I think blue is kind of a joke. It's the archtype that is the most susceptible to getting ruined by Misstep. I'm not trying to turn on a Dredge player's free roll counterspells.

@doomfinite I don't quite understand what you mean. Could be because i'm tired lol

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@arcranedenial said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

Are we really surprised that the inbred blue decks with maindeck 4x misstep, multiple pyroblast and a smattering of other dead cards with no sideboard recourse are losing to shops? I mean let’s call a spade a spade.

If this point had any validity, then neither chalice, lodestone golem nor thorn would've been restricted. The exact same argument was raised & rejected in each case.

Very disappointing meta if you ask me...

I think most players have hit the nail pretty much on the head and diversity in the format boils down to two problem children.

Mishra's Workshop
Mental Misstep

I think the restricting of Mentor opened things up a bit and I approve of the thorn restriction, I think they got it right over sphere in terms of its effect on shops decks. But without the above mentioned problem children being restricted, then a lot of decks that might not otherwise have a shot, are simply relegated to inferior status.

I think we all can see the benefits with the restriction of workshop, but there are so additional benefits to Mental Misstep being restricted, such as Dredge gets weakened, they no longer get a free counter "Grafdigger's Cage". Heck they are either main decking and/or side boarding a full compliment of them, and it quite honestly brings back dark ritual which I think is a good thing for the format.

Perhaps i'm just living in the past, thinking back to the days where the metagame had a large contingent of viable decks all at once. Keeper / Dragon / Mask / TnT / Stax / Blue Control / Hulk / Gro / Fish / Mono-Black and a plethora of variants that flirted with the tier 1 mark.

@bobbyvictory @13NoVa I don't know what you guys did to blow up this thread but I'm going to re-iterate the thing I think is the most relevant from that convo for posterity which is that @13NoVa pointed out that Welder's decline was not due to Mental Misstep. Similarly many of the other decks you mentioned fell out of favor long before Mental Misstep was ever printed.

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@eksem If someone replied to this, I missed it and I apologize.

Classification is always a mess. What Ryan and I have been attempting is to convey as much information as possible to the community through how we present our data. With that in mind,

  • Big Blue refers to decks running the full artifact mana package, Tinker, and Yawgmoth's Will. Current versions of these decks include Grixis Thieves, various Gifts combo decks, etc. These are historically Mana Drain deck but Mana Drain plays a diminished role in the metagame so we didn't think that was a good category name.
  • Blue Control refers to decks like Landstill and Blue Moon, which are also Mana Drain decks but typically are winning the through "fair" cards like Jace, the Mindsculptor, Mishra's Factory, or Snapcaster Mage. We thought these decks were different enough from Big Blue decks to justify an additional category.
  • Xerox or the cantrip decks are the previous Gush decks and include Pyromancer, Delver, and Mentor based decks. With any restriction, it's relevant to look how the decks directly affected by that restriction persist in the metagame. This has been subject of much discussion in the Vintage community, but not the larger Magic community as a whole. Because of that, we created a Delver category and put the Mentor Control decks in Blue Control as we thought that was more appropriate for the wider audience checking Champs coverage.
  • Paradoxical decks can theoretically go into either Big Blue or Blue Control, depending on the build. Again, this was an effort to answer a specific concern of the community - Paradoxical Outcome has been in the discussion for a restriction and there was talk that the deck might dominate the Vintage metagame since Thorn and Mentor were restricted. I think we are getting to the point where our classification scheme needs to be revamped, but we still have this category.

Hopefully that answered your question. If it did not, or you have additional questions, feel free to ask!

last edited by Guest
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