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

@aaron-patten

I fully understand the purpose of what the restriction is for. That doesn't mean I have to agree with a restriction or not recognize that if it is restricted that the deck would still be good.

last edited by mdkubiak

Still listening to the cast so I have yet to take it all in, but I've believed that Workshops has needed a restriction for some time now. Just from a very base perspective, it is a reusable black lotus that the deck has 4 of. No other deck gets that.

I also think for the health of the format it needs to go. As opposed to some opinions on this thread, I think restricting workshop would not kill the archetype, but rather we would see more archetypes spawn because of it. Eldrazi would likely become the defacto prison list, which is perfectly ok because it's slightly more fair than workshops is now (which is why it sees little play), and I think workshops would spread out and do a few other things including something closer to affinity with blue in it (to splash for recall, Timewalk, Thoughtcast, maybe some other stuff), Maybe some sort of tezzerator list, and I suspect something similar to the current robots lists. Drazi would be very much be 2 drop based, or increments of 2, where as shops can still go big by being able to better utilize Sol Ring, Mana vault, Mox opal, and its singleton shop.

From a financial perspective, copies of shops would become more available, and while I don't think it necessarily opens up the format because the decks would still be very costly, it does make it slightly more open, plus if Eldrazi becomes the prison list of the format that suddenly lowers the barrier to format entry by a lot since tribal eldrazi is a rather cheap list (relatively.)

Shops continued representation in the format however really does seem to be a signal to me, and honestly I didn't need Eternal weekend to think that.

@protoaddct I'll say 2 things about that: first is that no, Mishra's Workshop is not a "reusable Black Lotus". People should really stop making that comparison. We discussed this in other threads so I won't hijack this one on a small thing like that.
Second, if Workshop is restricted, I think it's imperative to unrestrict stuff that can make Eldrazi actually take its place in holding fast decks from going off. I'd Say Lodestone is obvious, but it doesn't help Eldrazi. Trinisphere might be dangerous actually, so I'd go for Thorn and/or Chalice.

@fsecco I'm not 100% sure you need to unrestrict cards, because the format will rebalance into something else and may look very different. Workshops is a very warping presence. That being said I think you unrestrict things simply because they really would not belong on the list anymore and you want to clear it up. Lodestone would not be a problem at all anymore, and I suspect Thorn could come off as well, maybe with some testing first.

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

@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.

It is sad but true. Chalice kept a balance on Moxen for many years and made it possible to justify skimping on off colour moxen which was a really great time for Vintage not just because the cost of play is so much of an issue in paper but also because the Moxen are restricted for a reason and they are still played in full in the vast majority of decks. Chalice changed that for a time and made a lot more decks viable in the process. It also acts as a counterpoint for the issue of the race to the bottom for which Mental Misstep is the last remaining bastion. Mental Misstep doesn't do as good of a job on it's own as when Chalice played a role as well since people have to Mental Misstep harder in order to push through. With both in the format you had multiple ways to punish opponents for going under while you buy a turn to go over the top making a sort of Vintage mid range strategy set viable. It was a far better time in Vintage for strategic diversity. I think it's important to have checks against the restricted list, especially moxen, so that the format can have more variation. But I definitely agree that it's unlikely Wizards will recognize this.

Other formats don't have moxen and people still play them so having cards that are decent against the moxen is not actually damaging to Vintage. The moxen are still good in the format even with Chalice. The real issue with Chalice is drawing multiples such that you can lock out their entire deck starting with one drops and then placing the second copy on 2 etc. It's a rare case but probably more important than Chalice 0 case and could be a reason that people would still need to pack sufficient main deck artifact removal for certain strategies (Storm, Elves, etc.). In my opinion it's a good thing for decks aiming to win on turn one to have to deal with significant disruption because that kind of strategy is often sighted as a barrier to entry into the format by players who are less familiar with Vintage. Vintage has had the reputation of being a blisteringly fast format for a long time and I think it scares away some new players. it's difficult to say which is more scary for new players between having four Chalice of the Void available or having games end on turn one.

Edit: There's also a distinction to draw between cards that help the format because they are good Against the restricted cards and cards that don't help the format because they are at least as good With the restricted cards. I think Chalice falls into category one while Workshop falls under category two.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@protoaddct For me the most compelling reason to leave Workshops unrestricted is because it keeps fast decks in check and balances the format away from a blue speed-fest. Without it, I'd say we need tools to fight blue. There's a good case to unrestrict Golem and Thorn after Shops restriction and watch if the meta needs CotV. But I fear this approach will lead them to restrict more stuff (PO for example) rather than take CotV out of the list.
This is something I haven't said anywhere but it's been on my mind: I believe restricting Shops could lead to more restrictions in the future (stuff like Outcome comes to mind), so it's not as easy as Steve and Kevin say that it would make the list leaner.

@aaron-patten The nightmare scenario for a long time with Chalice was 2 in the opening hand with a land and a mox, which is why I suspect it's never going to be unrestricted.

It's not specifically the case any more but an opening turn of Land, Mox, Chalice on 0, Chalice on 1 is just mind numbing against some lists. The majority of Vintage decks are basically made up of 0, 1, and 2 drops, some of them almost exclusively.

But the issue gets compounded by how many versions of this opener there are and how many modals within. Workshop and Mox, Crypt, or Sol Ring with 2 Chalice can lock out 0 and 2 if needed. Land, Mox, Dark Ritual, Chalice, Demonic tutor. Brianstorm and other cantrips probabaly. I'm sure there are many, many more.

So really, the only way to prevent openers with 2 chalice, which goes from unfun to degenerate in many cases, is to prevent players from having more than 1. Period. Which is why i heavily doubt it will ever come off the list.

@fsecco Does it actually keep fast decks in check? In my mind it's equally as fast as any of the fast decks out there since you have some games which are effective wins on turn one/turn two, even if the game drags a few moments past that. If your opponent basically should have scooped turn 2 but didn't and the game drags for 5 turns, that feels like it should be counted. That plus I still see matches where Shops turn one has some opener with a lodestone and a chalice or something where it wins in 4 swings.

Dredge is still a fast deck, preboard shops really didn't do to much to contain it.

There are still lesser played decks like belcher that can just win turn 1 before you do anything as shops. Force of will keeps those in check, not shops.

2 mana spheres keep fast decks in check, workshops was just one of many ways to play them, and without workshops eldrazi still has them.

@protoaddct I'll add to that that fish decks (and eldrazi) also could run thorn, which stops storm/combo decks. Fish can't effectively run sphere however, so losing 3 shops and adding back 3 thorn just shifts the "storm nerfing" to fish and eldrazi instead of shops. I think just restricting workshop and taking nothing off the restricted list doesn't make much sense (as the whole purpose to restricting shops tools was to offset the degeneracy of workshop - which it didn't). I can see a release of golem and thorn with the restriction of Workshop being simultaneous. I hope it would be at least.

I, until now, never posted on TMD but I have been reading a lot for many years.

This topic really deserved a post: the analysis in this podcast regarding Mishra's Workshop is brilliant. I have nothing to add to your conclusion.

As a summary of my thoughts and obvisouly yours: less but better restrictions is the key to any good functionning system.

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

@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.

I'll take the unpopular position of being a devil's advocate here.

Firstly, if Chalice was really all of the things you describe, why was it permitted for 12 years, largely, without complaint for most of that time? When Chalice was first printed, there were serious debates about whether it should be restricted, but it was largely viewed, in the end, as a valuable balancing tool against "powered" players, and an anti-combo tactic. Examples of the latter include being used against 4 LED decks in late 2003 and, later, Ad Nauseam decks, that won a bunch of tournaments in late 2009 and early 2010. A good example is James Lee's Top 4 Waterbury deck here. The context for that peformance was that Ad Nauseam had just won the biggest European tournament of the year

You might argue that Chalice wasn't viewed as a problem because, until very recently, Vintage was primarily defined by paper magic, and not MTGO. This is relevant in two respects. First, you might argue that on MTGO, power is more common than in paper, where people resort more often to budget decks. So the need for a power-balancer, like Chalice, is reduced somewhat. Second, you might also argue, and not without some merit, that if Vintage were on MTGO from 2003 to 2015, that Chalice's problems would have manifested earlier.

Yet, I don't think that's really true. I played Vintage on MTGO as soon as Vintage became available, and my experiences of paper and MTGO, with respect to Chalice, are fairly mirrored.

I think it's pretty clear, and not really subject to legitimate debate, that Chalice was targeted, and ultimately restricted, not because of anything of the things you cite by themselves (miserable play, warping deck construction, or die roll), but because a consensus emerged that the Workshop deck was too good, and warranted a restriction. In other words, it wasn't some abstract concept of play pattern or game play that led to Chalice's restriction; it was the dominance or oppressiveness of the Workshop deck.

At the time of the restriction of Chalice, I felt it was a mistake. Not necessarily because I felt that Chalice was not restriction worthy, but because, as between the available options and problematic cards, I felt strongly that Lodestone Golem was the better target.

I'm in the processing of writing the 2010 Chapter of the History of Vintage, and it's pretty remarkable, in retrospect, how the Vintage community lived with Lodestone Golem for so long. In 2009, Workshop decks were fairly consistently under 10% of Top 8s. When Lodestone Golem was relased in Worldwake, which was officially legal on February 5th, Golem put up the following victories in 2010:

  1. Won the Doomsday 3 (nearly two hundred players) in March,
  2. Won the Bazaar of Moxen IV in May (340+ players), and Lodestone Shop decks were 50% of the top 8,
  3. Put up 3 of 8 decks in the 2010 Vintage Championship (3rd, 4th, and 5th place), losing only to the 1st and 2nd place deck that Owen/Bob played as an anti-Shop tactic
  4. Won the Waterbury in September in the hands of Joe Brown

In short, Golem either won every major tournament that year, or outperformed the competition. And, by mid-year, Lodestone Shops, in PAPER, was 25% of Top 8s, and by far the best performing deck.

Then, in 2011, Lodestone Shops were 50% of the Vintage Championship Top 8 decklists, altho Marc Lanigra won.

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems pretty clear that Lodestone should have been restricted years ago. I confess that I was on the fence on this topic through this time.

Given what we know now - the continued dominance of Shops after the restriction of Golem - it seems likely that Chalice would have eventually been restricted even if Golem had been restricted instead of Chalice in 2015. But that doesn't mean it was the right decision at the time.

Chalice and Golem are one of the most oppressive prison combos ever seen in the game. It's arguably as powerful as the tandem team of Trinsphere and Crucible were in 2004.

It seems evident in retrospect that Chalice and Golem should never have been allowed to co-exist together for very long. But, if you look historically at Shops from 2003 (when Chalice was printed) until 2010, and then compare the performance of Shops from Worldwake (when Golem was printed) until the present moment. I don't think there is really any serious doubts in the minds of players who played through those eras that the real problem card was Golem, and not Chalice.

If Chalice was as fundamentally problematic along any of the lines you suggest (miserable play, warping deconstruction, and making the die roll overly important), then Vintage players would have agititated for it's restriction. But scan through the hundreds of pages of ManaDrain.com archives over myriad B&R list debates in the 2000s or canvass the various debates in columns, and you will find scant effort to restrict Chalice. In fact, I think it's safe to say that, aside from a small agitation when Chalice was first printed, that the vast majority Vintage players regarded Chalice as a fair and even helpful part of the Vintage cardpool up until the printing of Golem.

To put Chalice's merits in greater relief, the fact that Chalice incentizes a greater distribution of casting costs, is, I believe, a positive good. Vintage decks have a tendency to cluster at the 0-2 casting cost because of the premium placed on efficiency. The fact that Chalice punished decks with too many 0cc or even 1cc (in the case of TX decks) spells was a reason that Chalice was a useful counterbalancer.

And, while this is underapprecated these days where so much Vintage action is on MTGO, the fact that Chalice is a tool that can be used in budget decks to fight powered decks is no small thing. Go back into the archives of morphling.de, and you will find many budget or Fish/Hatebears decks using Chalice to fight big mana control decks and combo decks - far more than today, of course, because paper Vintage isn't as big in Europe, for example, as it is today.

But it's an important point, and easily lost or forgotten in these debates.

Relatedly, Chalice punishes decks that play full Moxen, and, for the last two reasons mentioned, I consider that a good thing. Having more cards that can 'hate out' cards like Paradoxical Outcome can hardly be a bad thing. And, I also appreciated the way in which that both less hurt TX decks with fewer Moxen, but also hurt them worse when played at 1. I felt that having a tactic, like Chalice, that punished cantrip-heavy decks was a positive feature of the format.

I've made my position on what should happen to the B&R list in January known in this podcast, but, at the end of the day, if the Workshop deck can be brought in line, I think having a power9-balancing counter-tactic like Chalice in the format that could be used by powerless or underpowered decks like Eldrazi is ultimately worth it, as most Vintage players felt for more than a decade. Having tactics that hate out power makes Vintage a more competitive format, not less.

last edited by Smmenen

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

Relatedly, Chalice punishes decks that play full Moxen, and, for the last two reasons mentioned, I consider that a good thing. Having more cards that can 'hate out' cards like Paradoxical Outcome can hardly be a bad thing.

I'd add that it's probably way better for the format (in the future) to unrestrict Chalice of the Void than restrict Paradoxical Outcome (although Chalice is kind of a good card in PO too 😛 )

last edited by fsecco

@smmenen I agree with what you wrote here about chalice but when i am reading what wizard wrote when explaining chalice restriction i am not sure that they would agree with you.
Moreover, we have now a white chalice with legs and even if it does not see much play (that i am aware of) the possibility of a 8 chalice deck is quite a freak. I don't know if it could work but if it happen to be, it would be a fearsome prison deck, eventually stronger than prison deck based on sphere effects.
So to sum it all, i agree that unrestricting chalice has some real interest but i am quite sure it won't happen because Wizard has been very clear about what they think of prison decks ...

last edited by albarkhane

@smmenen We have a different recollection of this part of history. Granted, I jointed Vintage relatively late in Chalice's lifespan (after Return to Ravnica I believe), but I remember considerable complaining about Chalice nearly every Banned and Restricted announcement that it survived. So much so, I pm'd Nick Detwiler joking about it, since he was typically Chalice's staunchest defender. I know Brian Kelly strongly felt the card should be restricted (or to use his hyperbole, banned) for quite some time before it actually was hit.

None of what you said is really contrary to my points. A miserable play experience is subjective, but it certainly complicates mulligan decisions on the draw as you are basically locked into a coin flip on whether your Moxen will actually produce mana. This argument is not exclusive to Vintage - Rodrigo Togores called for its banning in Legacy, not because of Chalice's power level or format prevelence (its not dominating Legacy in any regard), but because it is really miserable to play against.

You actually make the argument that Chalice warps deck construction somewhat by framing it as a positive (i.e. Chalice incentivizing a greater distribution of casting costs). We can debate whether such a thing is positive or not, but I'm not actually sure your point is true. If you look at Champs prior to restriction, you still had Ryan Eberhart and Mike Herbig maxed out on Misstep and one-ofs. Chalice of the Void didn't really incentivize them to alter their mana curve. It however led to the ubiquity of Ingot Chewer as a sideboard option. Ignoring Brian's Oath deck, which obviously didn't want to run Chewer, the other four Blue decks ran a combined 15 Ingot Chewers. I don't think Chalice warps maindeck construction that much: players are still going to be driven towards efficiency, because that will win them the most amount of games in the long run. It does warp SB construction and color selection as Ingot Chewer is the most efficient answer to Chalice of the Void.

The final point was uncontested. It's pretty clear that Chalice is much better on the play than the draw, and so contributes to play-draw disparity. I acknowledge your point that unrestricting Chalice might increase format diversity (with the caveat of pushing players towards Red and Ingot Chewer). The problem is that it would do so at a huge cost of interactivity while really not affecting the balance of the format. It's not like PO decks are dominating the field, and given the success of Eldrazi (75%) and Xerox (74%) at Champs, it really does seem that Null Rod plus a quick clock and/or countermagic is sufficient. In any case, Wizards' statement that "while players can adapt by not playing Moxen, the point of the format is to provide a place to play those cards" seems to suggest that they don't value the type of diversity that Chalice would bring.

Thank you for the well-reasoned argument. I was getting frustrated with the back-and-forth of one-liners that really didn't add much.

last edited by ChubbyRain

If Chalice actually hated on some cards and CMCs like people thought it did, then the format would look much different than it does. The cards that get hated by cotv are still played in spades, and often in the same deck that runs cotv, where in it usually becomes a race to see who can play their copy first. Moxen are still everywhere and cotv never changed that because moxen also power cotv.

I don't think it's fair to say anything can come off the restricted list without testing. The game is so different now than it was even a year ago and banning workshop may actually make a card like cotv stronger as shops lists become lower to the ground as it were. Certainly I think you cannot remove multiple cards at once like some seem to believe, but rather if shops is banned I would perhaps like to see them unrestrict one card first, let the format play out and put the burden of proof fall on that card, then remove another. Lodestone would be my first candidate for unrestricted because it was the card most empowered by workshops. Chalice is perhaps the last card of all the lock pieces I would want off the list, rather I would sooner see trinisphere and thorn.

Just finished to listen and oh man it's a wonderful series. I love it. Thank you very much for producing these. But I'd like to listen the old episodes too. Where do I find a video library of those?

@zylvorak you mean audio library right? 😛
The show is on iTunes so you can probably listen to all or most of it there.

@fsecco yes >. <
And thanks. I will surely do

Matt,

Even if I were to concede that all complaints you have about Chalice were true, if it were not for the prevalance and dominance of Shops decks, I think even you would believe that Chalice would not have been restricted when it was.

Put another way, even if what you say is true, if Chalice were 0% of Top 8s, there is no way it would have been restricted when it was. The DCI is not in a habit of restricting cards that don't have substantial Top 8 representation. If Shops had been even under 10% of Top 8s, it's inconceivable that Chalice would have been restricted.

I assume you agree with that historical assessment given the pattern. If I'm right then, then it follows that Shops (and people complaining about it, especially on the VSL) were the proximate cause of Chalice's restriction, not abstract concerns such as those you articulated, (no matter how related or not those concerns might be to workshops performance). If true, then it follows that if the Taxing archetype is sufficiently weakened by the restriction of Shops, then Chalice could possibly be a candidate for unrestriction, despite the concerns you raise.

That is, if Shops performance were the proximate cause of Chalice's restriction; then a Shop restriction, logically, could present a valid opportunity to unrestrict Chalice. The concerns you raise would be reasons not to unrestrict it, but does it have to be counter balanced against the benefits the chalice would offer, as well as the imperative towards a shorter restricted list . It could then enhance non-dominant decks like Eldrazi, etc.

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

@smmenen We have a different recollection of this part of history. Granted, I jointed Vintage relatively late in Chalice's lifespan (after Return to Ravnica I believe), but I remember considerable complaining about Chalice nearly every Banned and Restricted announcement that it survived.

Hate to pick on you Matt, but according to your profile, your first post on TheManaDrain.com was in August, 2013, and you state that you started playing Magic again with Innistrad, and got into Vintage some time after that. At a minimum, that means that you were not playing Vintage for nearly 10 years into Chalice's existence.

I'd be very interested if you could find any documentary evidence of more than a handful of people either calling for Chalice's restriction before 2012 OR any threads about this issue.

The first thread that I can find that broached this subject in an open way was this: http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=46514.0

Tom Dixon, the first responder in the thread, even called it "unrestrictable."

My position, that the community, by and large, regarded Chalice as unworthy of restriction - represented by Tom's post - is hard to prove or falsify since the absence of complaints does not support feelings one way or the other, without a full contextualization. But, I suspect any posters who played from 2003-2012 actively would concur with this assessment.

So much so, I pm'd Nick Detwiler joking about it, since he was typically Chalice's staunchest defender. I know Brian Kelly strongly felt the card should be restricted (or to use his hyperbole, banned) for quite some time before it actually was hit.

Brian Kelly's views on the B&R list are well known to be radically outlier as far as Vintage players go 🙂

In 2014, he called for multiple restrictions, 3 bannings, and 3 errata neuterings.

Going back further, he lauded Brian Demars for calling for a bunch of restrictions here: http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=45308.msg625589#msg625589

In short, Brian Kelly has always taken the position that the DCI should take a more vigorous hand in terms of managing the format, and opposes the view that a shorter restricted list is better. As he said: " I don't buy into the myth that a small restricted list makes a better format."

Brian has always wanted many more cards restricted than most players. But in the Chalice thread linked above, he conceded that he regarded Lodestone as the more appropriate target until someone persuaded him otherwise.

Put this issue another way: If we could rewind history to 2015, if you could only restrict one card from Workshops to make the metagame as healthy as possible, knowing what we know now, what would it be?

I would squarely put my vote for Lodestone, not Chalice. I think the evidence has proven that Lodestone was far more oppressive than Chalice, in terms of helping Shops dominate Top 8s.

That doesn't mean Chalice would not have also been restricted. The pattern of restrictions since suggests as much. Rather, I simply think the historical record shows that the restriction of Chalice did almost nothing to slow Lodestone's Top 8 dominance.

None of what you said is really contrary to my points. A miserable play experience is subjective, but it certainly complicates mulligan decisions on the draw as you are basically locked into a coin flip on whether your Moxen will actually produce mana.

But part of what I'm saying is that not all decks run Moxen, and certainly not all decks that run Moxen run a full compement. In sanctioned, paper environments, the proportion of Moxenless decks is even higher.

This argument is not exclusive to Vintage - Rodrigo Togores called for its banning in Legacy, not because of Chalice's power level or format prevelence (its not dominating Legacy in any regard), but because it is really miserable to play against.

I think we are both empiricists, so restriction arguments based not on data are, to put it mildly, eccentric from my perspective. That's simply an outmoded argument - much like the arguments that cards should be restricted because they are "fast mana " or " tutors."

You actually make the argument that Chalice warps deck construction somewhat by framing it as a positive (i.e. Chalice incentivizing a greater distribution of casting costs). We can debate whether such a thing is positive or not, but I'm not actually sure your point is true. If you look at Champs prior to restriction, you still had Ryan Eberhart and Mike Herbig maxed out on Misstep and one-ofs. Chalice of the Void didn't really incentivize them to alter their mana curve. It however led to the ubiquity of Ingot Chewer as a sideboard option. Ignoring Brian's Oath deck, which obviously didn't want to run Chewer, the other four Blue decks ran a combined 15 Ingot Chewers. I don't think Chalice warps maindeck construction that much: players are still going to be driven towards efficiency, because that will win them the most amount of games in the long run. It does warp SB construction and color selection as Ingot Chewer is the most efficient answer to Chalice of the Void.

@Protoaddct makes the same argument above.

I agree with both of you that Chalice was not going to stop people from playing Moxen. The point of Chalice in Vintage wasn't to get people to move off Moxen. Rather, it was to punish people for making a decision we knew they'd make - to even the score a bit. Budget decks like James Lee's mono red hate deck did this well. That's why Chalice was an important card: It was a budget tool that punished "Mr. Suitcase." That's important in a format like Vintage, where dozens of players show up to play without power.

Regarding more mana cast diversity, the fact that 4 Chalice compelled people to play cards like Ingot Chewer and Wear/Tear is evidence that it's mere existence prompted mana cost diversification, at the margins. But no one denies that Chalice, by itself, could fundamentally dissuade people from building efficient decks.

In summary, the issue isn't whether Chalice's existence is enough to get people, beyond those adjustments, to wholesale re-evaluate their mana curve. Punishment without adjustment is enough.

The final point was uncontested. It's pretty clear that Chalice is much better on the play than the draw, and so contributes to play-draw disparity.

It's an uncontested point because it's a truism of every card in Magic I can think of. Everything is better on the play than the draw. Sphere is better on the play than the draw. Mystic Remora is better on the play than the draw. That might be true of Chalice and Remora and Sphere more than some other cards, but it's only a matter of degree, not kind.

I acknowledge your point that unrestricting Chalice might increase format diversity (with the caveat of pushing players towards Red and Ingot Chewer). The problem is that it would do so at a huge cost of interactivity while really not affecting the balance of the format.

But that's only because of the current composition of the format. I wouldn't advocate for a Chalice unrestriction unless and until Mishra's Workshop were restricted.

Thank you for the well-reasoned argument. I was getting frustrated with the back-and-forth of one-liners that really didn't add much.

Given that we care about data and logic, I think we agree on large issues more than we disagree, but this, like whether Gush needed to be restricted if Mentor was restricted, it appears, is an area of disagreement.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen God, that thread is a blast from the past. I think TMD in both its current and previous iterations selects for players that tend to be resistant to B&R changes. However, there are several players in favor of a Chalice restriction like Rich, and many others who thought powerful hate cards should be printed to circumvent Chalice. I wouldn't portray this thread as evidence that Chalice went by "largely without complaint". As for previous views on Chalice from 2003 to 2012, I don't think that's a great direction to take this conversation. I've said that I don't consider cards to have intrinsic power levels, that they should be judged on context within the current metagame. The audience for Vintage has shifted substantially from where it was in 2012 with the release on MTGO and the VSL. I think Wizards has a different goal for the format than they did in 2012.

And you are right, Steve. Un-interactivity is not sufficient grounds for restriction. Wizards said as much when they restricted Lodestone Golem: "If a format becomes very imbalanced, or too many games are not interactive, we examine the cause." This implies that un-interactive cards do have to be a significant proportion of the metagame. Would Chalice be an insignificant percentage of the theoretical post-Shops metagame? I don't think so - I think the remnants of aggro Shops would run it as a 4-of, along with white and colorless Eldrazi.

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

I agree with both of you that Chalice was not going to stop people from playing Moxen. The point of Chalice in Vintage wasn't to get people to move off Moxen. Rather, it was to punish people for making a decision we knew they'd make - to even the score a bit. Budget decks like James Lee's mono red hate deck did this well. That's why Chalice was an important card: It was a budget tool that punished "Mr. Suitcase." That's important in a format like Vintage, where dozens of players show up to play without power.

Regarding more mana cast diversity, the fact that 4 Chalice compelled people to play cards like Ingot Chewer and Wear/Tear is evidence that it's mere existence prompted mana cost diversification, at the margins. But no one denies that Chalice, by itself, could fundamentally dissuade people from building efficient decks.

In summary, the issue isn't whether Chalice's existence is enough to get people, beyond those adjustments, to wholesale re-evaluate their mana curve. Punishment without adjustment is enough.

Do you agree with the crowd that says Shops in its current and previous forms is punishment against the Blue decks running Misstep, Fluster, and Pyroblast? I find this argument similar. It's punishing players for decisions that we knew they'd make. Similar to Shops, I don't think Chalice and "budget decks" will reach a portion of the metagame where skewing your deck around it becomes a worthwhile goal. The only thing it really accomplishes is to increase the number of non-games. And I'm not sure I would count Chewer as "mana cost" diversity - it's a functional one drop that happens to be templated in a way so as to get around Chalice. Without Evoke (R), it would not see play.

As for draw/play disparity, yes, many cards that you've mentioned are better on the play than the draw. You are kind of dismissive, but the degree is the crux of the matter. Most Magic players want the game to be skill intensive (though not exclusively) which means mitigating some of the variance inherent in the game. Being on the play is a considerable advantage - that's why that player has to skip their first draw step. I don't think it's unreasonable to try and limit the cards that severely exacerbate this, like Chalice, Trinisphere, Lodestone Golem, and the Draw 7s. It is again a matter of degree. As Vintage players with the restricted list, we are certainly accepting more variance than most formats but every player will have their line in the sand.

last edited by ChubbyRain
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