@vaughnbros So I start out completely agreeing with you, but we end up differing pretty fast.
everyone does have two goals in mind:
- They want to have fun playing Vintage.
- They want to see Vintage be successful.
Completely on board. I assume everyone here is is acting in good faith, and if there are a few bad actors? well? fuck'em. Most vintage players want other people to play vintage.
but then the very next line is
Most people in this particular discussion also seem to have a similar idea in mind for improving those goals:
- Making a change to the restricted list.
and that's where I'm lost.
Both decks being at the top for a quite a while ... I think we can all agree that this is the root cause of our frustration?
I'm not sure you realize how fundamentally people differ on this. I like Mentor mirrors. I think they're just great Magic. I think the gameplay decisions are deep and the deckbuilding decisions fascinate me. When Monastery Mentor got restricted and the deck got less popular, the average amount of fun I had per round of Magic went down. When I enjoy a matchup and the incidence of that matchup gets reduced because of a restriction, my frustration doesn't come from one deck being dominant for too long, it comes from other players campaigning for that restriction. I like narrow metagames, I can understand narrow metagames. A good deckbuilder is rewarded for making nuanced choices in narrow metagames. In a broad metagame they're subject to the DCI Reporter RNG. When those changes happen, I get frustrated and the game gets less fun for me, but I try to avoid talking about my personal preferences because I'm a good little spike and I feel that my job as a player is to win with the cards that are legal, not to change which cards are legal until I win.
I feel like campaigning for format changes as TMD admin is unfair, and my goal is to maximize fun for vintage as a whole, not for myself.
But what is Vintage as a whole? I get that some people don't like the format right now and I get that some of those people are in this thread. MOST people don't like vintage. MOST people don't like Magic at all. MOST people would rather play FreeCell. TMD is a niche within a niche within a niche. It's hard for me to reconcile the "everyone knows there's a problem" attitude in this thread with the fact that Leagues keep firing, and EW keeps trending upwards year after year. It's not lost on me that TMD is not growing at the same rate. The brand new archetypes popping up every few weeks on magic online? The people building those decks aren't posting them here. Here we just talk about how there's no room in the format for new archetypes.
So who decides what counts as Vintage being successful? I'm a dinosaur who thinks that vintage will never be as good as it was when shops was just okay and you could play 4 Brainstorm. If I'm having more fun, is that successful? If the MTGO pro who just dropped $3k on a set of Workshops gets to protect their investment, is that successful? If the FNM player who tried vintage and quit because he was steamrolled by Spheres give the format another chance after a Workshop restriction, is that successful? Who's spending more money? Who's hosting more tournaments? Who's writing more articles? Who's bringing more players into the format? Who's more fun to play games with? Who counts more and who counts less? It's an ugly question but everyone has an answer whether or not they're trying to.
I think if you ask the question "What's best for vintage" and it always just happens to be the thing that makes the game more fun for you, you might be missing some perspective.
The most clear example for me personally, I believe the following two things:
- For some Vintage players, the presence of Mental Misstep makes the average game of Vintage Magic better. It makes games more skill testing, makes it easier to metagame against blue decks, and creates interesting deckbuilding decisions.
- For some Vintage players, Mental Misstep is a genuinely frustrating card. Some people just really don't like playing against it, and they feel that it constricts their choices, and that makes Vintage less fun for them.
Where does that leave me? Who counts more? The % of the metagame made up of Blue decks as compared to White Eldrazi decks doesn't remotely matter. People who think Misstep is good for the game think it's good no matter how many people are running it. People who think it's bad for the game think it's bad no matter how many people are running it. I don't have a great idea of how many people who play Vintage even have an opinion on this.
At least we get a different, fresher format that people can start to enjoy again
At the expense, of course, of anyone who enjoys it now.