Decisions - via

I looked at blue draw spells, decisions in Magic, and cognitive biases involved in Vintage players' perception of their format.

People like drawing cards. We get excited when we get to draw cards. We don’t get excited when we exile a creature. We don’t get excited when we counter a spell. Because we really like drawing cards, we form emotional attachments to draw spells that don’t necessarily exist with most other types of cards.
People love getting more options. And they should. More options correlate closely with winning the game.

last edited by wappla

@wappla great read - thank you for writing/posting

Thanks for this man. Great read. One of those great articles I wanna save and read from time to time. 🙂

last edited by fsecco

so thats why i like playing storm. the deck building process eats all of my decisions so i dont actually have to make any in the game. it all makes sense now

well articled wapp

last edited by Guest

Wappla, another great article. I really like the discussion of tradeoffs between choice in deck building and choice in in-game play.

That said, I have never used the term "playable" in a negative way. I only use "playable" to mean a card that might be reasonable to run in a deck.

100% agree with assessment of Gush vs other draw spells. The other thing I'd point out is how many free to cast 2 for 1's are there in magic? I don't think there is a single other one in existence.

There are cards that are conditionally free 2-for-1 or even better, such as Pyrokinesis and Chalice of the Void.

@evouga I mean conditionally Gush can be a lot more than 2-1. If you respond to a wasteland, or have a fastbond in play. Pyrokinesis also costs 2 cards to even play.

last edited by vaughnbros

I get excited when I counter a spell. Guess I'm weird. Haha.

@enderfall said:

I get excited when I counter a spell. Guess I'm weird. Haha.

Agreed. Countering spells is fun. That type of interaction is what makes magic so much better than a lot of other card games.

If I just wanted to draw a bunch of cards, I'd go play UNO.

why draw a meager 3 cards for 1 when you can draw 7 cards yourself and 7 cards for your opponent for a small 3 mana investment? honestly we card drawing fools share our wealth even with our enemies. afterall if i draw my whole deck and you draw your whole deck you cant say you didnt draw something. 🙂

last edited by Guest

One of the best articles I read this year, great job. A timeless piece - despite discussing Gush specifically.

The quotes were perfect by the way. Can't stand how cool Kai Budde answered that question back in the day. ^^

A good read.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, this is also why I favor a small restricted list. Yes, there are some cards so format warping that there should only be one of it in a deck, but there is also something interesting (consistent?) about not having singleton decks filled with format warping cards.

It's delightful to see these core concepts so well articulated.

I have thought several times in the past couple weeks about how long it's been since you've posted an article. Glad to see you wrote an extensive one.

The most powerful line for me was the following:

"There’s a weird thing about Vintage in that some people care a lot about which Divinations they play. As someone very new to the format, the yearning for specific Divinations over others makes very little sense to me."

Although this ignores the deckbuilding implications of which divination one runs, it does a great job of articulating a feeling I've had during most of this back and forth concerning the potential restriction of gush.

I have heard multiple players complain about how swingy the gush mirror can be, but as you mention the role of gush-stype decks in reducing the variance inherent in our format is an understated plus for their continued existence. It is certainly not the case that the gush players who do well in a given tournaments are selected using the uniform distribution.

To echo the sentiments of Rich, the connections you've drawn between good players seeking more options and the difference between deckbuilding options and in-game options is not something I've seen previously articulated. This article would be a great read to anyone who plays any format of Magic.

last edited by diophan

Great article, thanks @wappla . Articulated and expounded on something I was mulling over after reading @Smmenen Gush book. In Vintage even though you have the largest possible card pool to maximise your chance of winning you'll play with the most efficient spells so you'll generally see less diversity in decks.

And I got to thinking about the extent of diversity over time you aught to expect. My starting point is that it will be only rarely that Wotc will print a spell that is going to be efficient enough to see play in Vintage without warping Standard. But then there have been so many counter-examples in the relatively short time I've been playing Vintage I'm not so sure.

thanks for the feedback, all.

glad there is still an audience for Magic articles that don't end with decklists or sideboarding guides.

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