@moorebrother1 said in [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic:
@protoaddct I am not sure how long you have been playing but this debate happened several times for several cards in Vintage.
Fastbond, Black Vise, Hurkyl's Recall, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault and Gush have all gone through this very debate.
Most of those are now restricted. Of the 2 that are not, Hurkyl's is the only one with potential do so something crazy anymore, but I think we can argue that paradoxical replaced is as far as engines go. Realistically Vice is not nearly as powerful with as many cards as we have in the game now, but its power level is way down because of a deck like workshops not only emptying its hand but also having big representation in the top tourney ranks. Hurklys may actually be needed specifically because of workshop, much how FOW is needed to keep the format in check. Neither of them are on the power level of Workshops, which is much more akin to Lotus and Moxen or Fastbond because of its ramp potential. Fast mana is always suspect and has always been a criteria for restriction.
I played Vintage when Mishra's Workshop was restricted and I remember when it became legal. I see the point of the arguments for and against, but I want to ask the question a different way.
What does the Vintage meta-game look like with a restricted Workshop? Is it a better meta-game? Why or why not?
I don't think we can assume that if Workshops gets restricted it will be the only card either added or removed from the list, so it is tricky to judge. I have long contended that the deck would remain playable but downgraded, only losing 3 cards in total while retaining 1 shops, 1 lotus, and one academy for crazy openers, which is more than other decks in the format. I suspect at least one copy of shops would get replaced with Mox Opal, which many shops lists skip right now and is powerful in its own right.
I also suspect you would see Eldrazi move in to replace it in part. Eldrazi has its own powerful land in Eye of Ugin, one that has built in limitations of being legendary, and temple. Eldrazi would likely also play a singleton copy of shops to power out its artifacts, specifically things that can be played off 2 mana lands like Null rod and spheres so they an also be cast off sol lands. It does attack from different vectors however and would compliment the format.
Since blue is also stuck in the blue arms race as the article mentions, I'm not actually sure those decks would change at all, which is the argument for restricting misstep. They would still need answers to artifacts because of the nature of the format and therefore would still have answers to shops. FOW is not going anywhere, so I suspect the win rate against shops would be very comparable even with shops slightly powered down, and if MM were banned I suspect the rate against shops would actually go up because the decks would not be so rewarded to play a card that is dead against shops.
I think the metagame would be better, because a list like eldrazi would see play again, thus opening up the archetypes a bit. A format with a good eldrazi deck, one that can attack pieces from the hand with thoughtknot seer, has advantages against some decks that are not being seen right now. Perhaps even other tempo style decks that suffered under workshops like fish variants get more traction, though likely they need a new printing to really get there which could always happen.
I am a very strong advocate for a balanced meta-game and a small restricted list. I do not want to see Vintage look like Legacy.
Without Workshop is there a strong enough aggro deck in the format? If Workshop goes then why not Bazaar of Baghdad? It is just as broken.
Perhaps Bazaar would need to be looked at, I have said for a long time that it is a problematic card as well. It does not have cards on the restricted list because of it like shops does though, but it is the single reason that you can have a deck in the format that basically skips a whole core function of the game (mana.) There are many more viable answers in the format for graveyard based decks though, one of the core factors that keeps dredge in check even with its absurd power level.
My goal in speaking in this discussion is to say that when I play in unlimited proxy tournaments I do not see Workshop winning at the rate discussed in the article.
I do not know if that is a player pool thing or what. I look at the tournament results on this site and I do see Shop decks doing well, no argument there but are they doing far better than the other decks? I do not see it.
Shops is consistently 20% of the meta for years now, which in any other format would be probably the top representation you would see before it got flagged as a potential problem. Granted that vintage is a unique puzzle compared to those other formats and should have its own benchmarks. But even at 20% it puts up a disproportionate number of top 16 / top 8 results as opposed to other decks in the format.
There is also an availability issue, which I know typically does not get factored into restrictions but does account for issues of representation. No deck runs less than 4 if they run shops at all. I have no idea how many copies of it were printed in paper but estimates I have seen list antiquities at about 15 million, which is far less than ABU combined. Meaning there are more full sets of restricted power out in the wild than 4x playsets of shops, which combined with the fact that the shops deck needs 6 pieces of power, could also be a factor as to why it only constitutes a smaller fraction of the format. It is also legal in Commander, which while fractional also contributes to scarcity.
Arabian Nights had an even smaller run for Bazaar, but Dredge does not need any other power so financially is much easier to piece together, but still Bazaar may be a card that needs attention in the future if the format is ever to grow in paper.