MTGO April 2016 Power 9 Challenge

Awesome work on this, and congrats to Rich. I kinda had a feeling it was Rich's day - especially when I knew I couldn't play all day 🙂 ).

It's a goal of mine to win one of these in the not too distant future. I enrolled, but had to drop with a 2-1 record after the third round (but before the fourth round started) when my GF summoned me to the beach with 80 degree weather in SF today.

That's a hazard of both living in California and playing tournaments online. My loss in the second round due to being clocked out because I was on the phone with my partner discussing the details of our day for the better part of the match. That said, I did lose to a game 2 Levitation on the crucial turn. That was sick.

I'm disappointed that the turnout was so low, but I'm going to more proactively advertise the next one, and maybe that can make a difference. Turn out seemed to be higher when tournament announcements for these were posted, etc.

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Do you guys have a breakdown for the P9 event immediately following the September B&R?

@socialite We only started doing these in January. The closest thing to what you're asking for is I believe Steve's November data:

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Glad we have 2 B&R announcements between now and champs, one more for another unneeded restriction and then the last hope for a correction only to be savagely disappointed.

The largest paper event this weekend (LCV) was 6 of 8 Gush decks. Don't think Sam Black played in either.

@diophan said:

@socialite We only started doing these in January. The closest thing to what you're asking for is I believe Steve's November data:

Thank you.

Unless I'm overlooking something there seems as though there are parallels that can be drawn between the two in regards to meta representation immediately following restriction. I guess we'll see how things flesh out going forward.

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@Smmenen Rich and I were wondering why the 2-1 drop. Hard to compete with a beach day! I think the low turnout was a combination of multiple GP's and PPTQ's this weekend. More advertising certainly wouldn't hurt though.

It could also maybe just be a bunch of people who only owned shops cards (and not things like FoW or blue power) and didn't want to bother. Or maybe people who quit when the deck they really liked was neutered. Probably a bunch of factors.

That final was really one of the best played, most exciting games of magic I've ever seen played.

@socialite said:

@diophan said:

@socialite We only started doing these in January. The closest thing to what you're asking for is I believe Steve's November data:

Thank you.

Unless I'm overlooking something there seems as though there are parallels that can be drawn between the two in regards to meta representation immediately following restriction. I guess we'll see how things flesh out going forward.

I think you are pretty spot on. The 100+ EE3 tournament right after the September announcement had <10% Shops as many of the Shops regulars didn't make the trip. The field also supposedly had a decent amount of Storm, Belcher, and TFK decks, but I don't think any of them made the top 8, and I slogged through a bunch of Gush mirrors and Landstill decks at the top tables.

The problem is, I don't really see a reemergence of Shops leading to diversification of Blue...the last time it happened, people switched to Delver and Dredge on Magic Online and the format remained pretty miserable in my opinion. Combo had a good run this time, but historically has not done well against Gush despite the prevailing opinion that it beats it.

I agree.

It's interesting that you mention the homogenization of blue. To quote myself from what I would consider to be a somewhat relevant topic:

@socialite said:

In addition I would assume it would be fair to make inferences as to the true effect of homogenization of the primary blue engine. For example, the addage that "big blue" by nature grants a superior foundation for the Workshop match up seems to not play out in actuality.

We've been told pretty adamantly that deck construction and meta relevance of card selection were primary facilitators of Workshops rise to dominance. I'd like to see this fallacy (if you want to coin it that) go away. It's disingenuous to conclude that a large percentage of the player base is unable to address Workshops after having many years of trial and error. I'd like to propose that the homogenization of blue based control has less to do with Gush being dominant and more to do with the the nature of the Gush - Workshop match up, in that Gush is and has been the best option to address Workshops within the context of the general meta.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this but I find it interesting that the argument of Workshops > Gush : Gush > Big Blue : Big Blue > Workshops is pretty much disproven by the data we've had up until this point. That Gush has had less to do with the shape of this current format than say recent printings such as Mental Misstep, Graffdigger's Cage, and Flusterstorm.

While prevelant there seems to be more diversity among Gush as an archetype as opposed to Workshops prior to restriction(s).

Ultimately my argument is that homogenization is something that needs to be looked at more deeply, it's less about the prelevance of X card and more about nunanced factors that contribute to its selection over other options and that homogenization isn't necessarily a bad thing.

It's been a long day and I'm having difficulty articulating my points so be patient with me.

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I totally agree that the dynamic many people seemed to believe in, "Gush > Big Blue > Workshops > Gush" was at best, oversimplified, and at worst, totally wrong.

Around the Onslaught era, people first adopted Sphere based Shops strategies specifically as a counter to Gush. When Gush was unrestricted the first time, that coincided with a quick uptick in Shops decks being played to beat them. Both of those statements are true, but incredibly misleading. I've met a lot of players who have heard that Shops was built to beat Gush, and use that argument to make metagame calls. What these players don't realize is that Shops was built to beat Gush ... but it didn't beat Gush. It was a BAD metagame deck, in the same way that a deck with 40 counters and no clock is "metagamed to beat DPS", but is terrible against DPS. Gush decks totally dismantled Shops decks the first two times it was unrestricted.

Of course the difference is less dramatic now. This time around Shops decks are better, and Gush decks have less raw power - but I still think it's an important historical context - many shops players I know are far more afraid of Delver than Tezzeret.

I don't think Gush itself is in any way a bad choice in a Shops metagame ... though I do think there were specific examples of players running builds of Gush decks that were very inadequate against the deck ... but isn't that true for every metagame, in every matchup?

I thought Gush was a fine choice in shops metagame because it could transform so well between a blue deck that won counter wars with FoW X4 MM X4 Fluster X2 MisD X2 that could then sideboard into Mountain plus 7 Red Artifact Destruction cards. The shops deck post Lodestone could still beat that deck in general until Treasure Cruise/DTT gave them a drawing answer to sphere effects, once those cards got restricted then Shops started to dominate to the point that the DCI felt Lodestone had to go. Now as we things evolve we'll see about the future of Gush. I think its hard to talk about Gush decks over the last two years or so because they have mainly been Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time Decks, and those tempo shells I think beat Big Blue without much stress especially the aggro Treasure Cruise decks. in some of those deck in particular Gush was run as a two of to round out TC and DTT engines. Hopefully the shops players will find a redesign that gives them some real space in this meta, if not maybe gush has to go. We'll see, but with Vintage I don't take anything seriously until six months post restriction as we tend to move slowly and don't have a huge player base.

Howdy everyone. I've only recently started picking up Vintage (last six months) but have been loving it online, playing in two-mans and a few dailies. I managed to sneak into 8th playing Academy with my list here: I look forward to building towards it in paper and playing in all the events with you guys.

@socialite I don't, at all, disagree with the statements you're making, but I want to point out that in this event Big Blue had a 5-0 record against Shops and Gush was 2-6 against Shops. Just something to think about.

Edit: was looking at the wrong cell; Big Blue only has a 1-0 record against Shops, which obviously doesn't tell anything. Though Gush still got crushed by Shops.

last edited by DeaTh-ShiNoBi

@Bayclown Awesome first showing! I'm looking forward to seeing you in the Dailes and the next P9Challenge! 😄

@DeaTh-ShiNoBi I don't think most of the gush decks were well constructed against Eldrazi shops. We'll see what happens next month.

@Brass-Man Were you unable to play in the event, Andy?

@diophan I agree.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of making conclusions out of small sample sizes. The fact that Gush was 2-6 against Shops is irrelevant, in my view, because there was only 8 matches. I was just pointing it out for interest, really. Oh and thank you for getting this data, by the way. Your tireless work is appreciated (along with @ChubbyRain)

last edited by DeaTh-ShiNoBi

@DeaTh-ShiNoBi Yeah, I had non-magic commitments, was awesome to see Rich take it down, though!

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