So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review

I'm 100% with Stormanimagus here. Foundry Inspector is the most busted card in Shops (well, except for Workshop itself, of course).

The bottom line is are we willing to "have to have" random artifacts restricted every 12-18 months or just cut the problem off at the pass and restrict workshop. Wizards will continue to print artifacts with nary a sideways glance at vintage. When a compelling case case be made for the restriction of at least four different cards (Ballista, Inspector, Sphere, Ravager) perhaps a harder look needs to be given to what is enabling this.

I fear a sphere restriction. The games where workshop decks DONT have sphere are much harder, becUse you usually habe to kill 3 to 4 threats by turn 2.

@p3temangus said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

The bottom line is are we willing to "have to have" random artifacts restricted every 12-18 months or just cut the problem off at the pass and restrict workshop. Wizards will continue to print artifacts with nary a sideways glance at vintage. When a compelling case case be made for the restriction of at least four different cards (Ballista, Inspector, Sphere, Ravager) perhaps a harder look needs to be given to what is enabling this.

Before 2015 the last Workshop related-restriction was Trinisphere in 2005; the last restriction at all was Thirst in 2009. It was almost a decade only with unrestrictions. Then we got this huge wave of restrictions where a lot of people think some of them were made because of mistakes (like maybe Chalice wouldn't have gone if Golem went first; or Gush/Probe because of Mentor).
I don't think we're HAVE to restrict anything every 12-18 months. I think we're in a collective mindset right now that wants restrictions above anything else and I think this is a problem. We used to be a community that advocated for restrictions only as the last possible measure. What happened? Did MTGO change the format's pace that much?
I also don't think there's a compelling case to restrict anything right now. Good thing the next announcement is only in January - it gives time for dust to settle.

Haven't heard the podcast yet, but going to do that in the next few days.

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco I also agree that we don't have to have anything, hence the quotes in my original post. But the vocal social media crusading community feels differently. My larger point is that its only a matter of time before we get a "lodestone golem light" or a colorless root maze or something else printed with 0 regard for vintage that forces the DCI's hand after months of constant complaining.

@fsecco said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

@p3temangus said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

The bottom line is are we willing to "have to have" random artifacts restricted every 12-18 months or just cut the problem off at the pass and restrict workshop. Wizards will continue to print artifacts with nary a sideways glance at vintage. When a compelling case case be made for the restriction of at least four different cards (Ballista, Inspector, Sphere, Ravager) perhaps a harder look needs to be given to what is enabling this.

Before 2015 the last Workshop related-restriction was Trinisphere in 2005; the last restriction at all was Thirst in 2009. It was almost a decade only with unrestrictions. Then we got this huge wave of restrictions where a lot of people think some of them were made because of mistakes (like maybe Chalice wouldn't have gone if Golem went first; or Gush/Probe because of Mentor).
I don't think we're HAVE to restrict anything every 12-18h months. I think we're in a collective mindset right now that wants restrictions above anything else and I think this is a problem. We used to be a community that advocated for restrictions only as the last possible measure. What happened? Did MTGO change the format's pace that much?
I also don't think there's a compelling case to restrict anything right now. Good thing the next announcement is only in January - it gives time for dust to settle.

Haven't heard the podcast yet, but going to do that in the next few days.

MTGO is largely responsible. A good amount of the paper Vintage during the gap was proxy which WotC likely pays no attention to. Then in sanctioned paper there was a massive difference because of financial factors. I'd prefer a slower cycle for Vintage given that so little of it is actually played compared to Standard and Modern, which share it's cycle. Anyone care to take a guess? It has to be massive, the amount of reported Type II vs. Type I.

@nedleeds I think it was @hierarchnoble himself that said to me on Facebook that now Old School is probably the better format for people who liked the old Vintage pace. I mean, we have a clear schism between people who play only/mostly paper Vintage vs people who constantly play on MTGO. MTGO players demand a faster meta change and are probably experiencing in 6 months what paper players would take 2 years. Imo it creates 2 different audiences and 2 different experiences in the format - something that doesn't happen in any other format that way. It's weird.
That said, I still think the MTGO crowd should learn to hold their horses a bit longer. We had a bunch of restrictions the last years mainly because of MTGO/VSL constant complaining.

EDIT: also, I logged in TMD today specially because I thought "Well, if I know SMIP there should be an EW review podcast around now, right?". So glad I was right! 🙂

last edited by fsecco

I really enjoyed this podcast. The interview with Andy was a really nice addition and the Metagame analysis was as always a lot of fun.

I am very surprised that it took so long for most people to realize that Steel Overseer (Blitzkrieg) Shops is the best variant of Shops and has been for the last 6 months. Also, it’s a very minor point, but Steel Overseer was printed in 2011.

I know that at the end of the day what matters most is Top8ing and winning, but the difference in an event like this between Top8 and Top16 is razor thin. I don’t know what happened in the “win and in” matches, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the more “explosive” decks won those matchups as a whole. Fatigue is a factor which in my opinion seems to be consistently unsung in large events like this. The value of a deck which can get “free wins” cannot be overstated in an event of this size.

The tricky part with the B&R Decision is that it’s unlikely there will be any substantial sized paper Vintage tournaments between now and April 2018. This tournament demonstrated the potential differences in Metagame composition between paper and pixel Vintage.

last edited by Will

@will There weren't many true 'Win and In' situations. @Montolio had to play, but that was the mirror. There were many x-2s, but realistically Eric Vargo was leading that pack by ~3%.

I came in tenth, and I knew going into Round 10 that my chances were slim, even though I was also on top of the X-2s.

I agree though - in an event of 400+ players, the Top 8 alone doesn't paint the picture.

In order to paint what's doing well, I think we have to look at the top 16 or even the top 32 to get an image of the metagame.

There were 2 people on 22 points going in into round 10. They both got paired down and both lost, which allowed Eric to make top 8. I think 1 was on BUG fish and not sure what the other was on. So in theory had "win and ins" gone differently, another blue deck would have top 8ed instead of 1 of the shops lists, so wouldn't have changed much.

@vnayin said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

There were 2 people on 22 points going in into round 10. They both got paired down and both lost, which allowed Eric to make top 8. I think 1 was on BUG fish and not sure what the other was on. So in theory had "win and ins" gone differently, another blue deck would have top 8ed instead of 1 of the shops lists, so wouldn't have changed much.

I’m pretty sure John Grudzina was on a 4 color Deathrite Shaman fueled deck and Xui Shin said he was playing Turbo Xerox, I think UWR.

@will said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

I really enjoyed this podcast. The interview with Andy was a really nice addition and the Metagame analysis was as always a lot of fun.

You're just saying that because he name-dropped you.

I finally finished the podcast, and have a few takeaways:

  • Andy, I totally get what you're saying when it comes to not being able to recall the play-by-play of matches. You've had the benefit of MODO replays to review lines for years, and I feel like that might have a lot to do with your expertise with the deck. I'm finding I've been getting significantly better at piloting my current weapon of choice (I've gone from not winning a match to moneying with ease in a week) with MODO's replays. Paper events feel more like the performance to MODO's rehearsals with a lack of replays and regularity.
  • As much as this podcast set the tone for B&R in regards to "Brown Stew", it hit an interesting point with "Blue Stew" and the Onslaught/Zendikar fetchlands that I wanted to reiterate here. I don't have an established opinion since B&R speculation doesn't drive my gameplay or financial decisions.
  • It was nice meeting Kevin and catching up with Stephen at Eternal Weekend! I would have loved to reminisce about 5-Color with Kevin a bit more, especially since Old School feels like it scratches the same itch for many players. Give Chaos Orb its proper wording and I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Overall, this was an amazing episode and amazing interview with Andy. See everyone next year!

last edited by Guest

Really liking the idea of restricting workshop while simultaneously freeing thorn, chalice and golem. It seems that with the rise of the eldrazi we could create a meta where prison is still a major part, but you have several different styles with different strengths. The best example IMO is White Eldrazi as it plays similarly to shops but has positive matchups against some of shops weakest matchups (Oath and Dredge). The saddest part about the thorn restriction IMO was the weakening of Colorless and White Eldrazi which relied on the card but weren't abusive.

Still listening to the podcast, but just a quick note: Brian said he didn't have a Titan in that Dig - it was a Stormbreath. He said he'd snap keep the Titan if there was one. (Is that true @brianpk80 ?)

last edited by fsecco

@hierarchnoble

It was certainly nice to be recognized by Andy as someone who can recall almost every relevant detail from my matches at Champs. I would have much rather been name-dropped for helping him to prepare for the event.

My comment was mostly directed at how it was nice to get another perspective and point of view onto the podcast. I do not mean this as a sleight to Steve and Kevin, but sometimes I get tired of the discourse and stop listening part of the way through if the topic at hand doesn’t interest me. The length of the podcasts combined with the overall likemindedness between Steve and Kevin due to their friendship and teamwork has left me wishing that they had another person with a different perspective from time to time. Andy filled that role perfectly in this episode and his interview provided a lot of references for the rest of the episode.

@will I agree with you. I love the podcast and greatly respect Steve and Kevin's opinion and take on the format and have for years, but I feel they don't master Workshop nuances. I mean most of the wrong predictions in playable cards they had in the last few years were Shops cards (I remember Hangarback and now Spyglass, for example). I'm not an expert too, being also a blue player at heart, so it's great to see a Shops expert talk in the podcast.

I think that says a bit about their Workshop restriction discussion too so I'd like to add (and I'm not even defending restricting WS or not anymore) but here's the thing: Steve said that restricting Workshop might not get in the way of the current deck because it has a lot of 2-drops. I strongly disagree with that. For me, with WS restricted that deck is dead and the reason is that Eldrazi just becomes better. Even if you unrestrict CotV, Thorn, Golem and Trini, a manabase with 1 WS, 4 Tombs and a few City of Traitors is way less consistent than one with 4 Eldrazi Temple, 4 Eye, 4 Tomb and 4 City for example. Without Workshop, AggroShops loses the reliability Foundry Inpector gives it, and their 2-drops are way worse than TKS, Smasher (and maybe Displacer). I'm not saying that's bad. We've never seen 4 CotV Eldrazi being played in Vintage. It could be very strong - and I believe it would trump artifact aggro by a good measure because it can use more sol lands effectively.

@fsecco said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

@will I agree with you. I love the podcast and greatly respect Steve and Kevin's opinion and take on the format and have for years, but I feel they don't master Workshop nuances. I mean most of the wrong predictions in playable cards they had in the last few years were Shops cards (I remember Hangarback and now Spyglass, for example). I'm not an expert too, being also a blue player at heart, so it's great to see a Shops expert talk in the podcast.

I'm not sure how far off either one of us will be on Spyglass (and I was certainly not as enthusiastic as Kevin), but we were extremely accurate on Ballista (maybe even overshot the mark). Foundry Inspector was largely underestimated by everyone (I mean, here was the entire thread on TMD: http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/632/kld-foundry-inspector/12 ), so I don't think that's much of a sleight against us. Hangarback, I thought, was pretty widely covered, including by us.

I'm actually quite proud of our coverage of Workshop decks, especially in the preview show, since they generally get so little discussion.

I specifically went out of my way to talk about how the constellation of Inspector, Ravager, Ballista, Chief, etc. all work together, and I think we made a number of good observations. We talked about different ways to build Shops, etc.

The interview with Andy worked perfectly. He was great. And it was a seamless addition to the show. We've done lots of interviews in the past, including Ray Robillard, etc. And we can try to do more interviews in the future, but it's sometimes logistically challenging to find a time all three people can meet.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen Don't get me wrong, I loved the discussion and know you guys can be pretty thorough. But as far as thinking how the deck would evolve after restrictions, I really believe an experienced Shops player would have a greater insight on how things develop. I mean, we all thought Spyglass would be into Shops as a lock piece, but every Shops-expert was able to realize it wasn't what the deck was wanting to do. My point is, had an expert Shops player chimed in that discussion I guess that would change your predictions for Spyglass in Shops, right? It is not being used as a maindeck card too much like everyone thought if would.

I could say the same about predicting what would become of the archetype once Workshop is restricted. Even with a lot of good reasoning from you guys, it would be nice to see what a shops player would have to say.

For example, I agree with you that this version of Shops is historically the one that would suffer less if WS was restricted, because of its two drops and it's plan to have cheap threats to maximize Ancient Tombs and not depend on WS mana. So I can agree with that premise. But I don't think that getting WS restricted would make that deck still viable; I believe it would make people shift to a more efficient and redundant manabase - which would mean Eldrazi sol lands.

Now, I don't know who's right between us, and I'd love a Shops player take on that. 🙂

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco said in So Many Insane Plays – Episode 73 – Eternal Weekend in Review:

I mean, we all thought Spyglass would be into Shops as a lock piece, but every Shops-expert was able to realize it wasn't what the deck was wanting to do.

Did people really think this? Jeez, have me on for card evaluations, please...

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain You were on the Spyglass topic here on TMD, you know very well what everyone thought. It's way easier to be skeptical, but the card had/has potential and would probably be played in a more prison-oriented Shops. I think only shops players realized right away the aggro build was just better.

last edited by fsecco
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