The online meta and paper metas are still 30-40% Gush (depending on your source and time frame), and every major tournament since the Lodestone restriction has been around 40% Gush.
"Depending on your time frame" is a pretty big caveat.
Gush was 60% of the MTGO dailies in April, 40% in May, and looks to be under 30% in June.
That's a huge downward trend.
One of the main criticisms of restricting Golem was that it was premature, and that trend data showed that it was being addressed. It makes no sense to restrict cards that decline every month.
The case for restriction pretty much collapsed with this data set: restricting a card that fuels a deck that has 4 bad matchups is pretty much the textbook case for an unnecessary restriction.
You can't claim to be a "dominant deck" when you lose to Eldrazi, Workshops, Dredge, and Storm. You can't be a dominant deck when you have a sub 50% win percentage.
Also, you can't claim to be a dominant deck when you haven't won the last three most important tournaments.
The meta itself, understandably, has begun to warp itself even more so around this card as its play Gush or a deck specifically designed to beat it. Does this remind anyone of anything in Vintage recently?
It should because these are the exact reasons for Lodestones restriction.
Uhh... no it wasn't.
You are confusing and conflating metagame presence with tournament performance.
A deck can be 50% of a metagame, and 0% of a Top 8. Hell a deck could be 80% of the metagame, but 0% of the Top 8. No one would think a deck like that should be restricted. We care about performance, not presence.
How did Gush do at the NYSE?
By match win percentage alone it was the 5th best performing archetype.
The best performing archetypes were this order:
- Shops, with a 68.3% win percentage
- Eldrazi, with a 59% win percentage (11% of the field)
- Dredge, with a 51.3% win percentage (7% of the field)
- Oath, with a 50.7% win percentage (7% of the field)
- Gush, with a 46.5% win percentage (32.5% of the field)
Yeah, we should definitely restrict 5th best performing achetypes. (eye roll)
The case for restricted Gush began to collapse with the last MTGO p9 event, when Gush was the most played archetype, but only had one deck in the Top 8, and got crushed by Eldrazi and Dredge, the NYSE just completed the circle:
Gush was literally 38.5% of the field. Yet, here was how well decks did by presence and performance:
- Dredge was 3% of the metagame, but had a 70% win percentage
- Eldrazi was 14% of the metagame, but had a 64% win percentage
- Shops were 3% of the metagame, but had a 62% win percentage
- Gush was 38.5% of the metagame (less if you take out Doomsday, etc.), but only had a 51.6% win percentage.
Dominant decks don't get crushed by other matchups, let alone multiple matchups. Gush's win % against Shops - despite multiple restrictions - was 29% in the NYSE, and 28% against Eldrazi in the MTGO P9 event.
In contrast, Lodestone Golem was actually a borderline dominant deck. Unfortunately, despite two restrictions in 6 months, Shops appear still to be the best deck.
The only empirical argument for restricting Gush is that there are too many Gush decks in the metagame, but they are getting crushed by Shops, Eldrazi, Dredge, and are soft to Storm and Humans. And the trend lines are all downward. No wonder. Who wants to play a deck that has a 29% win percentage against Shops and Eldrazi? Even if those numbers can be improved, it's clear that the metagame is undergoing massive upheaval, and restricting a card in the midst of massive change would be premature, to say the least.