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

@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

@fsecco It's bad in prison decks, too... And I'm not a Shops player.

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain I don't know what that's supposed to mean about how players evaluated the card during spoiler season. A lot of people thought it could be something it probably isn't. Is that a problem? I don't get it.

Roland Chang & Scheffenecker are both Shop experts & played spyglass at champs. Didnt do well, but are both Shops experts who thought Spyglass had merit.

@fsecco The point is that people are really bad at predicting how cards interact in a theoretical metagame. Adding a random Shops expert might add variety and a contrasting viewpoint, but isn't really likely to improve accuracy. Schef and Roland are examples of this. Heck, they even had playtesting and tournament results and still decided to run the card...

@chubbyrain Hum, let me clarify though. I'm not at all saying Steve and Kevin should call a "shops expert" when they want to talk about shops. The show is great as it is and they're both very capable of talking about any deck in the format.

What I mean is that it's hard to understand where the deck would go with a Workshop restriction. Few people saw the power of Steel Overseer; few people gave Foundry Inspector much credit when it was spoiled, etc, etc. It's hard to see where the deck would land if Workshops gets the axe, that's my point.

If could be that Steve's right and the deck wouldn't suffer much because it's prepared to play with Tombs instead. But there's a great possibility that Shops as an archetype would die and prison-aggro would shift towards the more stable eldrazi manabase. I just wanted to explore that avenue, because I haven't thought of that. Maybe having CotV and Thorn back in an Eldrazi shell would create a prison deck good enough to still keep fast decks in check like Shops does today. That's an interesting thought that could mitigate an eventual WShop restricton.

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco Reasonable. One way to think about it is how many games are they winning now when they don't draw Shops. I've been trying to pay attention to it and it's definitely down a bit. They are less explosive without Shops and generally require restricted cards like Academy and/or Mana Crypt the insane draws. I'd put it in the 40% range.

@chubbyrain I may be completely off on this, since I don't play MTGO, but I really thought this deck was less reliant on Workshop. Workshop allows the crazy turn 1-2 plays, but it can be very fast even without it. Maybe old iterations felt like they didn't need it that much because they could drop lock pieces and have more time to draw it? I really don't know. At least in CMC this feels the cheapest Workshop deck ever. It's like Andy said in the interview: it's built to survive being Wastelanded, and can even survive through Crucible.

@stormanimagus
My thoughts as well. I mean, Lodestone Golem then amethyst took a hit because it was so one sided in Shops current mode. Inspector is the problem now. Maybe even Ballista as well.
Either way, I'd rather the format "fix" itself.

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

Either way, I'd rather the format "fix" itself.

I want to preface this I have a lot of respect for Kevin and Steve's opinion and always enjoy the podcast. I don't always agree with their assessments, but that's true for anybody really.

Whether I like it or not, I do think we are staring down the barrel of a Workshop restriction. I believe it is just a matter of time more than a matter of if. From an MTGO perspective, I think it makes a lot of sense. From a paper perspective, I'm a lot less keen on it.

Regardless, I really enjoyed the Andy interview. That made the podcast more interesting and fun to listen too. Good job on that.

@fsecco It is less reliant on Workshops. The older decks were more dependent on the mana boost from Workshops to negate the symmetry of Spheres. That said, the current deck's strength is its speed and going from 4 Workshops to 1 definitely would impact that. It's still explosive but less explosive, and that means some of the games where it has exactly enough pressure to get there, it ends up short.

Even though I'm against the restriction for reasons posted elsewhere, I don't think the deck would be dead. It may not be a great strategy anymore, but that doesn't mean it can't be good. It certainly will drop off in quality, there is no way around that.

@chubbyrain I totally agree. That why I'm hinting that's perfect possible that an eldrazi manabase would be just better. 🙂

@mdkubiak That would be the purpose of a restriction.

This new iteration of Workshops feels very similar to Ravager affinity in Mirrodin standard and present day modern. That deck was and is really good in both of those formats. This version in Vintage is playing a similar strategy with better disruption and access to the power nine and I think that is enough to be tier 1.2 in Vintage. If it's not I expect Lodestone Golem would be unrestricted and possibly (hopefully) chalice of the void as well. I don't think there is any question that Thorn of Amethyst would come off the list alongside a restriction of Mishra's Workshop.

Does anyone remember the deck titled "Worse Than Fish". It was essentially the blue green madness deck from Oddessey standard with the power nine and Umezawa's Jitte sewn into it. I feel like this iteration of Mishra's Workshop decks is just Ravager Affinity with the power nine and some newer printings sewn into it but then it has access to four additional Black Lotus lands on top of that. I expect it would still be top tier without all four of them, especially if Thorn and Lodestone, were unrestricted.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@aaron-patten I agree with the majority of this, but I doubt that Chalice will ever be unrestricted. It makes for a miserable play experience, warps deck construction, and increases the importance of the die roll even more than the Sphere effects. As long as the DCI has a vested interest in Vintage as a competitive format, it is unlikely to come off the list.

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