Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade

I don't think anybody here is arguing that Lavinia, in a vacuum, is too powerful, too quick of a clock, or too hard to remove. Arguments about power/toughness or answers vs threats are a red herring here.

The charitable interpretation of people's complaints about Lavinia is that she is one instance in a pattern of WotC printing efficient hosers for traditionally-popular Vintage strategies and tactics. It is almost indisputable that such hosers, if printed in sufficient quantity and quality, would irreversible alter the texture of the Vintage metagame.

Reasonable people can disagree on (i) whether it is desirable to maintain the status quo in terms of viable Vintage archetypes, or better to shift Vintage in a new direction, and (ii) how close we currently are to a format-warping quantity and quality of hosers. But arguments along the lines of "why are you guys complaining about Lavinia? She's [so easy to remove|not that disruptive|not that fast of a clock]!" are missing the fact that people are complaining about the pattern of WotC printings and not about Lavinia per se.

@evouga If that's the question, then I'm 0% worried about that. WotC has been printing gradually better hate-bears for what, 15 years now? And how many of those have been used a lot in Vintage so far? 2, maybe 3?

And it's not like Vintage decks don't also get broken stuff here and there to counteract the slow creature power creep. I'm not worried about hate creatures making a big impact when the power-level is rising on all fronts.

last edited by Wagner

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@juice-mane said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

But if the game requires you to 'deal with' bad matchups despite optimal deckbuilding against a large portion of the field, it just means that the game is poorly balanced.

See, this means the opposite to me. You're not supposed to have a deck that is optimized against a larger portion of the field.

'Optimal deckbuilding against a large portion of the field' does not necessarily produce a deck that is 'optimized against a larger portion of the field.' 'Optimal deckbuilding against a large portion of the field' just means putting together about 75 cards that best support the fundamental ideas of a deck in the context of a metagame. This doesn't preclude a deck from having bad matchups.

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

You can either devote more slots to your bad matchups, or lose to them.

This just makes me think you didn't read the post you're responding to.

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

And this card is far from Dredge, it's a 2/2 with no evasion and an 8 turn clock.

Nothing in my post says that this one single card is dredge.

last edited by Guest

I hate this constant printing of humans whose names I can't remember that say "you cannot do X" where X is something I like to do in Vintage. So much fun!

The deck I hate playing against the most is hatebears because there is next to no decision making for me. Do I have the removal? Yes? Awesome, I will most likely win. Do I not have the removal? No? Cool, I'll lose while I get beaten down by shitty 2/2s that prevent Vintage decks from working, that being their only function.

You know, it wouldn't be so bad if Hatebears took up a larger metagame percentage because then I wouldn't feel bad for including a full-blown SB plan to deal with them. As it stands, it's irresponsible to include too many SB cards specific to Hatebears considering the tiny metagame percentage it usually occupies, which really makes it a coinflip as to whether I can draw removal or not.

last edited by Hrishi

@hrishi
I remember all of them and will use them to pilot myself into plenty of victories. I dislike the printing of PO and restriction of Chalice, giving blue decks so much more winning chances for no reason.

@hrishi Sounds like they need to print more and better Hatebears. Then they'll see more play and you can play your Lightning Bolts and your Swords and "not feel bad".

@chubbyrain said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@hrishi Sounds like they need to print more and better Hatebears. Then they'll see more play and you can play your Lightning Bolts and your Swords and "not feel bad".

No, the hatebears that need to be printed need to not be so binary in their function. I don't really consider bolting a hatebear whose only function is turning specific vintage cards off to be the epitome of interesting gameplay. More binary hatebears simply mean there'll be more such non-interesting decision making in games.

But perhaps this is simply my opinion.

last edited by Hrishi

Come on, are we really complaining about a non-existent problem? Hatebears is not a deck and if it ever is we'll do OK. You know, creature removal can still exist in a control/combo environment. Legacy does this just fine and they don't even have access to Balance.
Complaining about hate creatures is completely off for me. The most we'll ever have is a Death n Taxes equivalent in Vintage, which is totally fine.
Sounds like we can't have taxing decks in Vintage anymore. It's all "let me do my thing and let's see who does it faster". This 1 Lodestone, 1 CotV, 1 Thorn, 1 Trinisphere age is spoiling people hahahha
We're really getting into an age where Vintage players are sounding like beginners who hate "land destruction and counter decks" 😛

PS: I didn't even mention Oath of Druids.

last edited by fsecco

@hrishi said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

The deck I hate playing against the most is hatebears because there is next to no decision making for me. Do I have the removal? Yes? Awesome, I will most likely win. Do I not have the removal?

You can replace hatebears here by basically any threat control has. Oh Jace, I have no answer, I lose. Oh, a giant robot, no answer, I lose.
Is it really that difficult to be able to make a deck that can reliably find answers? Isn't that pretty much all blue decks have been doing forever?

last edited by Wagner

@fsecco said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Sounds like we can't have taxing decks in Vintage anymore. It's all "let me do my thing and let's see who does it faster".

Yeah, it's exactly my impression of what Vintage has been for a long time. When a new blue card gets printed, everyone is super happy to have a new toy, but when a new hate card gets printed, people throw a tantrum because they can't use their toys like they want. Seems the only type of interaction people are willing to accept is counterspells because it's somehow "fairer" to gets things countered instead of not being able to play them.

"Come on, are we really complaining about a non-existent problem?"

Seems like it, I can't remember a single hate-bear deck putting decent and steady results in tournaments. Seems like people are afraid to lose games against random rogues decks.

last edited by Wagner

@hrishi I agree—I think “soft” hate like Thalia, Kembal, or Kataki are much healthier than “hard” hate like Containment Priest or Leovold.

@fsecco To be fair, Tinker is one of the few cards that people seriously considered banning back when Tinker->Robot was a pervasive tactic. I wouldn’t hold up Tinker as an example of how high-variance tactics are considered acceptable only if they’re blue (see Flash for another non-example).

last edited by evouga

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@fsecco said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Sounds like we can't have taxing decks in Vintage anymore. It's all "let me do my thing and let's see who does it faster".

Yeah, it's exactly my impression of what Vintage has been for a long time. When a new blue card gets printed, everyone is super happy to have a new toy, but when a new hate card gets printed, people throw a tantrum because they can't use their toys like they want. Seems the only type of interaction people are willing to accept is counterspells because it's somehow "fairer" to gets things countered instead of not being able to play them.

"Come on, are we really complaining about a non-existent problem?"

Seems like it, I can't remember a single hate-bear deck putting decent and steady results in tournaments. Seems like people are afraid to lose games against random rogues decks.

QFT. I really wish blue players would stop bellyaching and understand that they are living in a bubble. The rest of us mortals only get to try and claw our way into things with smart deck-building and precision playing. Also, answering dude decks isn't just about running more spot removal as @Hrishi said. That is a demonstration of complete lack of understanding the matchup. It's about fundamentally answering WHAT the hatebear deck is trying to do rather than just randomly answering some hatebears. I would treat that comment akin to when I heard a pro player whine about dredge being too good because they lost to it frequently even though they run 8 hate cards in their sb. They never stopped to think that the hate they chose was wrong or that the fundamental build constraints of their deck were holding them back. Over time, players have finally caught on to Wasteland being an incredibly important soft hate card vs. dredge. If you are going to elect to NOT run Wasteland in your 75 then you better have the right hate vs. dredge (ie RIP and Leyline and not just Priest and Cage) or just win faster (i.e PO). If you do neither of those things then yea, your dredge win rate might not be great. Guess what, that is an f-ing meta!

Beating Humans/Hatebears isn't just a function of "let's run more bolts and plows." If that's what you think then you are just ignorant and don't deserve to beat my amazing archetype ;P. So either innovate and actually LEARN about the archetype you intend to beat or stop whining like right now.

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

When a new blue card gets printed, everyone is super happy to have a new toy, but when a new hate card gets printed, people throw a tantrum because they can't use their toys like they want.

If this is true, then why are you opposed to it? Everyone being super happy seems better than everyone not being happy.

My opinion: The problem with most hatebears is that they do not add anything interesting. When i started playing vintage it was purely because of the interesting control mirrors and the occasional combo matchup. To a really small degree other decks existed like sligh/suicide/stacker etc. But they were the uninteresting matchups that were handled by tutor for moat/balance mostly. This uniqueness of vintage was what made me start playing it over say standard and extended. That's why I'm not happy when new hatebears gets printed. I know this is subjective, but still it's how I feel.
I also know that hatebears are not really a viable strategy in today's vintage meta. But that don't stop people from playing it because hatebears are high variance decks and when they get lucky and draw the right hate they can win, and winning feels good so people think it could be viable. This results in a kind of 'landmine' feeling when I face someone in a tournament and they happened to have t1 thalia of cavern.

I do not play Hatebears since forever. I play 5C Humans and I am a control player using specific creatures to counter strategies that are being used in a certain meta. There is a big difference. Maybe Noah should explain this difference, he is better in English than myself.

http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=47609.0

Here is my article with tournament reports back in the day (from the old TMD archive).

I do not appreciate how some people are complaining about how boring new 'hatebears' prints are. Maybe go try 5C Humans and discover the possibilities. Lavinia is a pure control card for me. It is my Force of Will, Chalice of the Void, REB and probably even more .. all in 1 card. Playing this out and protecting it while further sculpting my hand and board for a decisive advantage is extremely fun.

Good Day
Guli

@josefk Everyone being happy is an exaggeration, but control-combo people are happy, which make the most of the vintage players clearly. Anyone wanting to play other strategies gets the short hand of the stick most of the time, and when they do get a decent printing, all the blue mages start complaining about how unfair it is.

"This results in a kind of 'landmine' feeling when I face someone in a tournament and they happened to have t1 thalia of cavern."

How is this different from t1 Tinker, or T1 Oath, or any of the degenerate stuff that combo decks do?

@wagner

Turn 1 tinker is counterable. The artifact can be plowed. Easily interacted with. SAme with Oath.

Turn 1 ANY of the 5 moxes/lotus/petal, any of the 4 Crypts, and any of the 4 thalias.

MUCH Different.

@13nova If "counterable" is your answer, then it seems you have more problem with caverns than this card. If plow is your answer, then this guy can be plowed too.

The real issue is blue mages are a bulk of vintage and when anyone gets a toy that disrupts blue, the backlash is enormous. Blue mages want to just blow their hands on a counterspell battle and win with 1 busted card (tinker, oath, mentor, whatever). Non-blue decks want to put things on the battlefield...blue mages only care about the stack.

I also wonder why "hatebears" is called hatebears. Bears, sure...but why hate? Because they don't allow the other player to execute their plan? You mean like golem, sphere, derpstep or FoW? Why don't we call blue decks "hate-spells" and shops decks "hate-bots" or something? I don't get why bears are labeled hate when they have an ability that hinders the opponent...yet any counterspell (even free ones!) and any mana-resistor sphere that also stop the opponent's plan is fine and dandy.

I'm guessing because Vintage players are a lot of old people who have workshops or P9 and want to use them - and they all happen to be artifacts and blue. Anyone who got into Vintage after reserved list cards went bonkers and wants affordable ways to fight in Vintage, well screw those whippersnappers, right?

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Seems the only type of interaction people are willing to accept is counterspells because it's somehow "fairer" to gets things countered instead of not being able to play them.

Counterspells take some thought to use. You have to keep up mana (or blue cards to pitch, or nothing at all in case of MM i guess...), you have to choose what is a thread that has to be countered, what is just a bait, what you can handle in a different way etc. You have to think about using your counterspell to discrupt your opponents plan or to protect your own, when to pick a counterwar, and when to just hold back. It is most of the time a 1for1 trade and can be played around by your opponent.

Permanents that say "opponent cant do X" are a very different beast. They are not reactionary, but instead preventetive. They are not a 1for1 but instead a Y for 1, while Y should be a high enough number to make is worth it. Because just hating a card you dont know your opponent even has in hand, is not nearly as powerful as handeling a specific card that they already drawn and payed mana for. So you basically you have to carpet bomb a bunch of their deck to get your hits.
You cant play around those kinds of cards in game, or at least not very often, but instead "playing around" those cards consists of deckbuilding choices instead of gameplay choices.
It doesnt take skill to play these cards and it doesnt take any skill to play against these cards. These cards basically just limit potential choices to be made by both players immensely. When a card says "You cant play your cards" there is literally no choice to be made. This is just bad game design, there is nothing interesting about it.

Hexproof, Cant be countered, protection and other mechanics in the "you cant interact with me" vain are guilty of that as are cards like Lavinia, CotV (which sometimes at least has a meaningful choice on what number to set it, but its 0 or 1 95% of the time) , Leyline of the Void, RIP, Cavern of Souls and many more.
I get that hate cards are needed, and while i personally dont like the gameplay of hatebears style decks (i dont believe lavinia is only playable in those kinds of decks btw.), i can appreciate well designed cards that hate specific strategies. Cards that say "if you want to do X, you can but Y will happen" instead of "you cant do X"
Scap clan berserker , Thalia or Mystic Remora are examples of hating spells while still giving your opponent a meaningful choice.
Dont print cards that say "Opponents cant draw more than 1 card each turn" instead print cards that say "whenever an opponent would draw a card other than the first one of their turn, they have to pay (1) for each card"
Dont print cards that say "Hexproof" instead print cards that say "whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls they have to discard a card"

Edit: more card ideas: "whenever an artifact enters the battlefield, it's controller discards a card"
"Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, this player loses 1 life"

TLDR: "X cant be done" cards are incredibly boring, dont take any play skill from both sides and are just very lazy and bad game design. The more cards like this see print, the worse MTG gets as a whole.

last edited by Aelien

@thewhitedragon69 sorry man, but "hate" is a word that's been into Magic's dictionary for way too long for you to question it now. There's a reason hate-cards are called that. Hatebears just got that nickname because it's a bunch of hate-creatures with other semi-hate and utility ones. It's a much better name than "Fish" which is what is was called back when it had blue.

last edited by fsecco

@aelien said

TLDR: "X cant be done" cards are incredibly boring, dont take any play skill from both sides and are just very lazy and bad game design. The more cards like this see print, the worse MTG gets as a whole.

This is almost exactly how I feel, specifically the part about lazy game design. Non-symmetrical cards require much less thought and timing than others, especially when backed by 4 cavern of souls.

I play this game because of its intricacy, decision making skills, and interactivity, and personally feel that cards that diminish these possibilities are lazy at best, detrimental at worst. If this card said "players" instead of "opponents", I would have roughly 0 things to say about it and would consider it a well designed and legitimate (highly playable) card, but as it is, it is removing most of the thought process away from both parties. For example, imagine Ensnaring Bridge stating "opponents creatures". Or similarly for Tangle Wire, Sphere, etc.

I've got no issues with people playing their extremely hateful decks when said decks have had a thought process behind them, but cards that lend themselves to less interactive game states do not sit well with me, and I feel that this is one of the more egregious examples in a long time.

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