R&D is completely incompetent

Other playable cards:

Geist of archives - an 0/4 wall that scrys every turn seems perfect

Oath of jace- draw three cards and scry.

Standard actually has a lot of tools to feed this combo

@Protoaddct Fine... but to what extent is that just perception that is completely self fulfilling?

@Topical_Island said in R&D is completely incompetent:

to what extent is that just perception that is com

What does it matter if enough people have it? If enough people lose faith in Apple products because of a recall or a ban release (the Macbook Pro with the touch strip for instance) it will have issues on the bottom line, regardless if they are real or perceived.

There are enough people that cry foul anytime WOTC does anything at this point that actual mistakes in standard are a huge deal. People having the value of their Emrakuls tank is a big deal to them.

@Protoaddct said in R&D is completely incompetent:

Most of this thread boils down to this: Any mistake in standard, be it actual or perceived, will have a negative result on vintage.

Is this really true, though? The last standard banning was of Stoneforge and Jace. Did that have a negative impact on Vintage, really? Did skullclamp?

What about the largely reviled Standard formats dominated by Faeries, Jund, or Monon lack Devotion?

On the flip side, doesn't our format exist entirely because of Type 2 mistakes? I mean, it was born largely because the Power 9 existed in the first place...

@MaximumCDawg Well affinity and Kamigawa block afterwards nearly destroyed the player base of standard, which in turn almost killed the game itself. If the game dies so does vintage. That seems like a real effect.

Affinity -> Kamigawa block was a period of major vintage growth. Combo winter was dramatically worse than anything we're seeing now and didn't kill the game. Old School is a growing format which WotC does not design cards for or support in any way.

I don't think standard losing half of its players would kill Vintage or WotC - and I find it extremely unlikely that standard is about to lose half of its players, and I'm not convinced killing WotC would kill Vintage at this point.

I feel like people haven't been doing a good job in this thread explaining a causal relationship between their premise and their conclusions 😕

@Protoaddct Well, to more it's just perception... the more us complaining about it merely peddling a complaint about something that is merely perception. And now I have perfectly summarized my thoughts on threads like this.

(This is the thread where there have been active underlying assumptions which include things like, Combo = Bad, for example... does it though? Does it really?)

There is also the simple fact that the MtG IP is crazily valuable, and given the broad success and profitability of gaming today, even if WotC did manage to screw it up completely, someone will be there to pick it up and continue. Magic is not anywhere near unique in that regard, either. The incredible thing is really that the game has been as well run as it has, honestly, given the amount of content there has been made.

@Topical_Island Combo isn't bad, I like combo a lot, but in standard I think insta-win combo is a problem.

Standard has always had more leeway than other formats and encouraged on the board exchanges and the combat phase, incremental advantage, etc. A combo that early on in the game, requiring 2 pieces and an immediate answer, is a problem for that format. Even more so as others have pointed out, that can be a turn 6, all at once combo, and standard very often is a format where games go to turn 10-12. There are also decks that simply do not have reasonable answers in the format at all, because of the limited card pool.

There are other combos in the format that because of the speed of the format are somewhat reasonable. There is an infinite energy / infinite thopter combo that requires like 4 pieces that was alright enough, but that seems silly now because of this.

Hell even in modern, most combos are powerful but not win on the spot. I would consider living end and Pyromancer Ascension decks combo lists, but they very often do not win all at once unless the game goes long enough, and there are more plentiful answers in the format. Combos that set up a winning game state are cool, where as ones where you go "surprise, you lose" are not really in the spirit of those formats or what the target audience wants.

@Brass-Man This, wholeheartedly. Maybe this is to see if combo can exist in Standard, safely. Either way, Old School & Vintage aren't going away. We're existing in an area entirely unsupported by Wizards as it is, other than being thrown a bone or two in every set for Vintage.

@Lesbimagical said in R&D is completely incompetent:

@Brass-Man This, wholeheartedly. Maybe this is to see if combo can exist in Standard, safely. Either way, Old School & Vintage aren't going away. We're existing in an area entirely unsupported by Wizards as it is, other than being thrown a bone or two in every set for Vintage.

I disagree very much with the last statement. Vintage and new cards/standard are as entwined now as I can remember. The power level of current creatures alone is so high that Vintage has significantly shifted towards creatures as the main threat and base of most decks.

Mentor and Pyromancer created new archetypes, the former is arguably the deck to beat these days. Eldrazi is a strong deck in all metagames these day, and via Jaco even created a budget list that is tournament viable. TKS is a defining creature of most artifact decks. Paradoxical decks are on the rise. The Thalias have pushed a viable hatebear strategy, and are very important in white Eldrazi. Leovold just powered Rodrigo Togores into the VSL. These are cards from pretty much the last three years, and are constituting the majority of decks being played. A ton of other new cards are actually viable, or at least being seriously tested in vintage.
Back in the day there were very few threads on TMD about new cards simply because many sets didn't even have one serious candidate for inclusion in the metagame.

While I agree with Brassman, and disagree with the hyperbole of the OP and others, Vintage is very dependent on the new cards coming out these days, possibly more than even during Urza's block. Thus the health, and continued development, of the game, is crucial for Vintage and its evolving metagame.

last edited by skecr8r

@skecr8r said in R&D is completely incompetent:

While I agree with Brassman, and disagree with the hyperbole of the OP and others, Vintage is very dependent on the new cards coming out these days, possibly more than even during Urza's block. Thus the health, and continued development, of the game, is crucial for Vintage and its evolving metagame.

You are forgetting about Enemy fetch lands, Emrakul, blightsteel, Sun Titan, Cavern of souls, and just gobs of other cards, some of which are players and some which fundamentally shifted the whole format and kept it fresh. New card releases are the ONLY thing that makes magic, Magic, and without standard the drive to publish new sets drastically declines.

@Protoaddct I wasn't forgetting as much as not mentioning every single example 🙂

Point 🙂 I do think that, even if Wizards shuttered tomorrow, Vintage would still have a strong community and an evolving metagame (see: old school) but it is very true that new printings have had an increasingly high impact on the format.

Regarding the standard combo, from Sam's article today, they were at least aware of it at the time of bannings (if not before).

@Lesbimagical said in R&D is completely incompetent:

@Brass-Man This, wholeheartedly. Maybe this is to see if combo can exist in Standard, safely. Either way, Old School & Vintage aren't going away.

Magic has a huge player base currently, and a lot of fan fare, but so did games like Star Wars CCG. The problem with that game was that it had a finite universe to draw from, whereas Magic could continue to just make up new story lines out of thin air.

The point is, yes, at Gencon people still play Star Wars CCG there, but it doesn't have a growing gamer base. Its eternal format is slowly dying. And that's what could happened to Magic.

There would probably be a lot of holdout players who would continue to play Vintage even if Wizards stops producing new cards. But overtime that community will grow smaller and smaller.

Wizards will stop producing cards if costs of production are higher than the rate of return. That might seem like a long way off, but if they print multiple standard formats that no one likes then they can't afford the salaries of R&D, marketing (Pro Tour, Grand Prix, and Coverage Teams), and then their distribution chain gets destroyed (Local Gaming Stores closing down, big tournament organizers stop running tournaments) the game will die.

On the other hand, if you want to see more people picking up old school as a format, then you want Standard to be the healthiest it possibly can be. Because one day, many of these young standard players will have better or full time jobs (many are high school/college kids) and buy into eternal formats.

last edited by gkraigher

Sam's article today basically verifies everything we have been deducing:

Aether Revolt is a set I am personally excited about. We definitely attempted to make a format that delivered on the "inventor" promise of Kaladesh's setting by filling it with a lot of combo-rific cards. There is certainly some danger here, but also a lot of opportunity. If combo decks become the "thing" to do, we have cards and decks that should do a good job of preying on those decks. I can't say for sure that something won't get out of hand, but I think the format will be able to adjust if it does.

Most notably, we will be looking closely at the Copycat decks from the Pro Tour and seeing how they emerge and evolve over the next few weeks. I remember when Khans of Tarkir came out, there was a lot of concern that Jeskai Ascendancy combo would be the strongest deck in the format, but despite some early success, the deck remained pretty fringe. There are a lot of cards in the format that are good against Copycat, and we didn't feel like taking a preemptive swing at the deck with a banning was an appropriate action.

I'm also pleased to see that Wizards is adopting a "print aggressive and complicated cards and ban them if a problem" approach rather than "print boring and safe cards so we never have to ban." I'm very happy for them to use the banned and restricted list, not (just) development or the Oracle, to fix mistakes. Happy little mistakes.

last edited by MaximumCDawg

I WAS WRONG, the copy cat deck didn't do well.

Unfortunately, the top 8 at the pro tour included 6 "Mardu Vehicles" deck. So, in that sense, Research and Development still messed up standard. Hopefully this deck will be pushed aside in the meta. But this kind of non-diversity is very bad.

There was a rumor of a paradoxial outcome - aetherflux resevoir - Inspiring Statuary deck that people didn't play because they expected control decks with negate to be in the field. It played a bunch of 0 CC equipment with no targets to equip. If anyone had sleeved up that deck, they probably would have gone X-2 better in the standard portion and then outright win the top 8.

So there is hope.

last edited by gkraigher

@gkraigher said in R&D is completely incompetent:

I WAS WRONG, the copy cat deck didn't do well.

Unfortunately, the top 8 at the pro tour included 6 "Mardu Vehicles" deck. So, in that sense, Research and Development still messed up standard. Hopefully this deck will be pushed aside in the meta. But this kind of non-diversity is very bad.

In Columbus and Richmond, there was one Mardu Vehicles list in each of the top 8s. BG did very well, became targeted by the Saheeli decks, and then the rest of the metagame adapted to target Saheeli, letting Mardu overperform this weekend. My personal experience has been that the format has an incredible degree of complexity in deck design and an intricate balance between different archetypes. I actually enjoy it better than Vintage at the moment.

That said, it looks like you are right and that they completely missed the Copy Cat combo. Which is pretty f'ing embarrassing IMO. Still, I would rather R&D take risks and be willing to ban cards than produce a stale, underwhelming format like Theros Standard.

Turns out the sky wasn't falling - acceptable but not great conversion rate. Meta will adapt of course, but not the latest "end of magic"

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