SMIP Podcast: Eternal Weekend Recap & Review

So Many Insane Plays Podcast Episode 59: Eternal Weekend 2016 Wrap-Up
by Kevin Cron
Featured, Podcast, Vintage
November 10, 2016

Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian wrap up Eternal Weekend 2016, including both European and North American Top 8s, the metagame, our Paradoxical Mentor deck, and the future of the Vintage format.

Podcast (somanyinsaneplays): Download (Duration: 2:10:39 β€” 94.4MB)

0:01: Announcements
0:11: Eternal Weekend Paris: Top 8
0:15: Eternal Weekend Columbus: Attendance
0:20: Eternal Weekend Columbus: The Event Structure
0:27: Eternal Weekend Columbus: The Overall Metagame
0:43: Eternal Weekend Columbus: Archetype Conversion to the Top 8
0:51: Eternal Weekend Columbus: Top 8
1:35: The future of the format
1:43: Our Paradoxical Mentor deck
Total runtime: 2:10:39

Show Notes

– Eternal Weekend 2016 Europe Top 8 Coverage
– Eternal Weekend 2016 North America Decks & Metagame Analysis

See the link for our decklists snapshots

last edited by Smmenen

A good listen while grading quizzes last night.

Matt and I are working on releasing more detailed information about Champs. I was glad to hear the discussion about classifying decks as Big Blue versus Combo, and that Steve agreed with me on classifying your guys' deck Big Blue. It is hard to tell where to draw the line though. Is it at X City Vault? Belcher?

I do somewhat disagree with your narrative about the results from Champs. Looking at the major tournaments since the Lodestone restriction, I think a more accurate description is that there is a cyclic nature in whether gush or shops are on top. EE5 was utterly dominated by gush. Before that Thorn did well at the TMD Open. Before that gush did well in a pair of Power 9s, which was preceeded by Shops/Eldrazi doing very well at NYSE.

I think the two big takeaways from this are that:

  1. Gush and thorn are still the most powerful general strategies.
  2. People tend to over-metagame against the archetypes which have been successful very recently.

As has been said many times before, you can build a non-gush, non-thorn deck that beats one of these strategies, but it is unlikely you can beat both. Gush or thorn themselves can be built to beat the other, but once one strategy becomes overly dominant they cannibalize themsevles by building too much for the mirror.

The gush deck I played at Champs has a solid thorn matchup but struggles against Grixis Therapy and some combo matchups. I expected neither of these decks but unfortunately was only paired against thorn once in nine rounds (I would have loved to switch opponenents with Steve.) Grixis Therapy dominates against any blue deck, but has a much tougher time against Shops and Eldrazi. I haven't played your PO Mentor deck, but I imagine its winrates somewhat resemble Grixis Therapy's.

Feedback unrelated to the content:
While listening there were multiple instances where the audio would make small skips for ~5 seconds. I don't think this was just my computer. Also a small correction: I believe you interchanged Brian Pallas and Joe Brennan's places in the top8; Joe beat Brian in the quarterfinals.

last edited by diophan

Hi Stephen & Kevin

I'm Jacob Kory, 2nd place finisher from the event.
As Kevin already alluded to in the podcast, my Stax's deck basis was indeed from Terra Nova. An earlier invocation of it consisted of all 8 creature lands. However, it struggled against Eldrazi of all stripes, as well as "Other" deck types like hatebears. Consequently, I reworked the mana base a bit, added some new flair from Kaladesh (Inventors' Fair), and reintroduced Karn to provide some sort of Wall of Stone against Eldrazi. Of course, he works to destroy Moxen reliant manabases as well.

I had considered Ensnaring Bridge as a sideboard card, but ultimately elected to triple down on Tabernacle as a more effective answer to attacking creature decks. For instance, I would not consider Ensnaring Bridge as a useful card against Oath decks even if they do win with creatures.

Interestingly enough, Rich Shay and I came to a nearly similar core of the deck independently, and during the week leading up to the event I borrowed his mana configuration by adding Inventors' Fair and Urborg to my deck.

Also, during Game 2 of the Finals was the first time in the entire event and also my first time having Inventors' Fair as a decision tree. My immediate threat to answer was Jace TMS, but in retrospect, there is good argument for taking Smokestack and following up with Phyrexian Revoker on Jace. It was a nuanced decision that was colored by my loss in the Swiss rounds to a Jace ultimate out of an Oath deck.



Story(?) - How about every article Wappla has written this year?

I've echoed this thought elsewhere but thought I might poke the thoughts again here. I'm not sure if Workshop is too good, or if it is a saturation of prison decks that is contributing to the "unfun factor." I'm also not sure how one would hit workshop without splash damage to the eldrazi decks. I'm not sure jacodrazi could lose something without becoming a lot worse, and I am personally of the opinion that jacodrazi is a very, very good thing for the format.

fortunately, I think the format has a lot of room to grow, especially after the new conspiracy cards enter magic online and more brewing happens.

I'm still finishing the episode as we speak, but I wanted to say that I have interacted with Hiro on MTGO and he was both an amazing player and super nice guy.

I remember playing with oath in a daily against his shops deck which is normally not a problem for me. He played flawlessly and had my draws been slightly less optimal I probably would have lost.

It's nice people like this that make me happy to be a part of this community. I really hope I can attend eternal weekend next year and meet some of you in person.

Thanks to @CHA1N5 and @Smmenen for continually producing this podcast. πŸ™‚

@Winterstar About the only thing I could think of is Thorn of Amethyst if you want to hit shops only. However, as has been argued many times "unfun" is very subjective. It can be unfun to get stuck against Landstill, Dredge, etc. It depends on the person and their feelings. Steve may have played Shops after shops, but I never saw it once during the tournament. Granted, I wasn't at the same tables as Steve, but it's also a matter of luck on that point.

I don't think hitting shops is a good answer, regardless. Sooner or later, if they keep on hitting the deck, especially certain pieces, you are just going to kill the deck. But I'm not here to hit that familiar argument over and over again.

Kevin and Steve. Small error in the podcast, if I recollect correctly. I believe there is only 6 Black Lotus in the top 8, not 7. The 2nd place Stax deck did not play Lotus either. πŸ™‚

@mdkubiak Thorn is a piece of many of the Eldrazi builds.

@Winterstar Sure, I won't disagree. Just not all of them is all I meant. Also a terrible thing to restrict, but that's another story for another day. πŸ™‚ Unless people want to go down that rabbit hole and if so, fun! πŸ˜„

last edited by mdkubiak

How come you guys didn't do a 6 hour podcast again?! It's absurd that you expect me to like this shallow and brief episode? Do you think you can just make a 2h10 episode and call it a day? I demand more or else... πŸ˜›

I seriously wanted more, as usual though. What am I going to listen to next week now that I finished this? Spotify has just so many songs, y'know? hahaha Anyway, thanks again for the content, it's great as usual.

I'd like to suggest TKS as best card, Oath of the Gatewatch as best set and Tribal Eldrazi as best deck, simply because I can't even remember when was the last time a set provided us with a whole new approach to the format before this. Maybe Future Sight with Bridge from Below? Also Eldrazi is a great budget alternative, much less prone to lucky-hate than Dredge. I still don't like calling the deck JacoDrazi though, since the deck is just an adaptation from its Modern and Legacy versions - so not really a Jaco creation, although I understand him defending and playing the deck was a boost to the deck's popularity in Vintage.

ps: for Story of the Year, I'd point out 2 candidates:

  1. First is the Lodestone Golem restriction and how the VSL and Pro-Players had a say in that. It was a heated subject that defined the whole year and Workshops being able to overcome that and have a finalist in the Vintage Champs (with old-tech like Smokestack!) is a huge turnaround.

  2. The second one is all the stuff people talked about this year about the RL. The buyouts and price spikes and the announcement of Masterpieces as a test for future-future-maybe-who-knows release of RL cards in that format, just like Special Rarity in Vintage Masters online.

I'd vote for story 1.

Looking back this year and cards that have been printed in the past few sets we have had unsually many planeswalkers that have seen a little play.

Chandra & Saheeli from Kaladesh, Tamiyo from Eldritch Moon and Nahiri from SOI. That is 4 fringe playable PW's during this calendar year. This must be somesort of a record?

Thanks for all the good work you guys do on the podcasting front. Already eagerly anticipating next episode.

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