How do we bring prison decks back without breaking the format?

As I continue in my quest to understand the meta game, I look back at Vintage and see that this is the only format that has a viable prison deck with the exception of Old School.

A lot of players HATE prison. It is not very interactive and it sneaks up on you. The part of Vintage that is broken needs to have some variation of a viable prison deck.

The Shop decks that attempt this are OK, but not good enough to make it into tier 2 or tier 3. I do not want Trinisphere or Chalice or Lodestone back as 4 of's. If Thorn was unrestricted how much would that hurt the meta?

Damping Sphere was a flop but there has to be some incremental was to slow down the low to the ground Shop deck. If Shops added White or Red spells could we get a viable deck here?

Eldrazi plays some of this strategy but without Thorn it is not getting there. I am not a player who loves play prison or playing against it but I see that this school of magic is needed to open up the format a bit.

This type of deck forces people to play the format with some fear of being locked out.

I'm not sure prison is poor due to lack of card availability right now, more so that combo decks (PO) is too fast for prison to establish a lock.

I feel like Blood Moon is a heavily underplayed card in vintage. It's not quite as oppressive as in Legacy, more akin to Modern due to moxes. Maybe if Shops played Red for Blood Moon, I've played red prison in Modern a lot and it's incredibly strong and I feel like this could work in Vintage.

@tittliewinks22 PO is fast and it is also consistent. The issue I see is that the disruption deployed from a MUD deck is not good enough. I have been playing Blue Moon on MTGO and I am beating PO with disruption, with cards like Blood Moon and Energy Flux then applying pressure from Young Pyromancer.

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1 how does blue moon handle against other "top tier" matches, Jeskai, Shops, Dredge, Survival?

Do you got a decklist? This deck interests me a bit.

@tittliewinks22 I made play mistakes against Dredge and Shops, I will be trying another league tonight. It plays well against PO and Jeskai but some exchanges are very unforgiving.

2 Lightning Bolt
1 Mox Ruby
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Dig Through Time
2 Red Elemental Blast
4 Force of Will
1 Merchant Scroll
3 Mental Misstep
1 Gush
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Black Lotus
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Murmuring Mystic
4 Volcanic Island
3 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
2 Dack Fayden
5 Island
1 Time Walk
1 Ral, Izzet Viceroy
2 Blood Moon
1 Mission Briefing
2 Mana Drain
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 Niv-Mizzet, Parun
2 Young Pyromancer
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

2 Grafdigger's Cage
4 Tormod's Crypt
2 Shattering Spree
3 Hurkyl's Recall
2 Energy Flux
2 Flusterstorm

last edited by moorebrother1

Unrestrict Thorn or print Magus Of The Rod, and White Eldrazi will bring prison back.

@stuart If Thorn is unrestricted does that automatically put Sphere of Resistance on the list?

Pure prison may be hard to do, but I think that tempo/locky elements still have potential. Thalia is just on the edge of vintage quality, whether that's through an Eldrazi deck or something else.

BUG/leovold decks have always had a minor mana denial element to them, I wonder if Assassin's Trophy will have any impact on that plan.

I personally would love to see a "marinara" version of shops come back, but I think in the current environment, ravager shops is just so compact it pushes everything else out. Ravager Shop is so successful because almost every single card is playable and useful at all times. Playing Blood Moon with Workshops will often get you awkward hands (like below) and that just brings about too much inefficiency.

Sample Hand:
Mishra's Workshop
Ancient Tomb
Blood Moon
Sphere of Resistance
etc, etc.

To be honest the real thing keeping prison decks out of the meta is mainly Aggro shops, it's just way more efficient and consistent.
It's kind of like the comparison between landstill and jeskai, why try to completely control the game over many turns instead of just controlling the game long enough to win before your opponent has time to recover.

They would have to restrict some aggro pieces to make Workshop Prison a viable archetype again

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