Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017


  • TMD Supporter

    @Soly playable and good are two different things. I dont think the deck is so good that it can win EW or BOM. But its playable and can go 4-0 in a DE.



  • @Serracollector said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:

    Restrict Workshop, and Unrestrict Lodestone Golem and Trinisphere. Keep Chalice Restricted. Restrict Paradoxical Outcome and Gitaxian Probe. Watch the game completely change, for the better.

    I don't see there is any reason to restrict Paradoxical Outcome - it hasn't put up amazing results and the decks so far are very beatable?

    Workshop is weird in the way that if it didn't exist and was printed, I don't think anyone would argue a second that it shouldn't be restricted. It has just been available for so long that it is really hard to see that change.



  • The fact remains that there is no single dominant deck. This alone means that a restriction just isn't necessary.

    If you're tired of facing the same decks over and over again, that just means that you play Vintage on MTGO and get to play in 2-5 Daily Events every week.

    Since I started playing MTGO Vintage, I've played Saheeli Oath exclusively. I've managed to do pretty well in the face of Mishra's Workshop, Preordain, Gitaxian Probe, Gush and whatever else people are moaning about.

    If you hate Shops, play the thing that always beats it for awhile. If you hate Gush Mentor, do likewise.



  • Stop restricting stuff. This is Vintage. We want to play the best cards ever printed.



  • Why innovate when you can restrict whole pillars out of existence? Then we can just enjoy a blue circle jerk until the end of time.



  • If workshop is restricted, can someone find one good reason (i mean : competitive reason) to keep playing decks with about 44 artifacts inside ?

    That just means the end of MUD (that is not doom saying, just strategical fact) that would evolve to get colored and most probably still keep enough artifact to get some value from the last workshop. Let's say some kind of Tezz-like deck. So nothing really new.

    Here is what would be lost and i am curious to hear what could balance that enough to make it a good choice ...



  • If another variant were printed that only produced two mana it would be somewhat less overtly restriction worthy and still create enough incentive to play dedicated artifact based strategies.



  • If Workshop is restricted, I'll seriously consider stop playing magic. And I don't play shops myself.

    I'd much rather they start unrestricting stuff, or just print some anti-Shops cards. Leyline of Anti-Shops:
    If this is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield. Artifact spells cost 2 more to cast. Or whatever. Just stop restricting stuff.


  • TMD Supporter

    Not to derail another Pro/Con Workshop thread, but I think the article glossed over the impact of MTGO a little too thinly.

    @Smmenen Do you think an article is warranted in the future regarding the massive impact MTGO has had on vintage. I can't think of anything else in the last 20yrs that has the power to pull the format in two directions as successfully.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on some of the following issues:
    Fast moving Meta (we have new archtypes almost every other set)
    Much higher data frequency than ever before
    Elite vs casual
    "Solving" the format
    Vintage fatigue
    Can vintage survive the increased scrutiny of a fast moving format that isn't watched by Wizards.
    How paper prices vs. digital prices affect their respective format (ie: MTGO might deem Workshop over-powered, but paper wants to keep it viable). Or extrapolated into how a restricted list in MTGO could theoretically be different than one created for paper.
    ...and I think the most interesting issue, how Vintage will handle the paper vs. digital schism that is less prominent than for other formats.

    I know a lot of these issues are pretty familiar to other formats, but that hasn't been the case with Vintage. It's always functioned on the side by its own rules. I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but we have to admit that Vintage is steeped in a lot of tradition, and people play it for many more reasons than simply to win.

    I think MTGO was previously a nice way to jam in some extra Vintage practice now and then, but in the last year or so, (along with VSL) there are monthly tournaments and a much larger following. Some of these issues can't be ignored.



  • The Shops results on TC decks are pretty outstanding. The last time I like it was at 39, more than triple the next archetype. Major complaints from players in the past were normally geared at cards that have since been restricted. I can't really see restricting Mishra's Workshop when they could choose Sphere of Resistance or Tanglewire. One more lock piece restriction would certainly have some effect on the deck. Hopefully players can adjust to Shops in the near future. I think some of the results do come from the same people on MTGO, and it is possible that they might choose a different archetype for larger tournaments. I wouldn't place to much emphasis on tournaments with 12 participants.

    I have been playing Oath with good results. Today I think I am going to look into optimizing Paradoxical Storm. The deck is very explosive, but I think it is lacking in certain areas. Another goal is to test other cards in different decks such as Cabal Therapy.


  • TMD Supporter

    @joshuabrooks said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:

    I think the article glossed over the impact of MTGO a little too thinly. > @Smmenen Do you think an article is warranted in the future regarding the massive impact MTGO has had on vintage. I can't think of anything else in the last 20yrs that has the power to pull the format in two directions as successfully.

    That's interesting to me because a large bulk (perhaps even more than half) of this article was a description of how MTGO has shaped the Vintage experience. And not just that, but I felt as if I was offering novel or at least somewhat original observations about the impact of MTGO on vintage. For example, my entire discussion of the "three levels" or perspectives on change in Vintage in terms of different time scales specifically described how the third time scale or change scale is specifically a consequence of MTGO.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on some of the following issues:
    Fast moving Meta (we have new archtypes almost every other set)
    Much higher data frequency than ever before
    Elite vs casual
    "Solving" the format
    Vintage fatigue

    I think this article touches on nearly all of those. One of the fundamental tensions I highlight is the idea of Vintage as a format that is supposed to change slowly, and the imperatives of a dynamic (read: non-stagnant) MTGO player base.

    Can vintage survive the increased scrutiny of a fast moving format that isn't watched by Wizards.
    How paper prices vs. digital prices affect their respective format (ie: MTGO might deem Workshop over-powered, but paper wants to keep it viable). Or extrapolated into how a restricted list in MTGO could theoretically be different than one created for paper.
    ...and I think the most interesting issue, how Vintage will handle the paper vs. digital schism that is less prominent than for other formats.

    I know a lot of these issues are pretty familiar to other formats, but that hasn't been the case with Vintage. It's always functioned on the side by its own rules. I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but we have to admit that Vintage is steeped in a lot of tradition, and people play it for many more reasons than simply to win.

    I think MTGO was previously a nice way to jam in some extra Vintage practice now and then, but in the last year or so, (along with VSL) there are monthly tournaments and a much larger following. Some of these issues can't be ignored.

    Agreed. They can't be ignored. But I do think a shift in perspective can help serve as a valve to release some of the pressure that's been building in some player segments.

    If, for example, MTGO players can better appreciate the role that Vintage plays as an Eternal format that serves paper players who may only compete a few times a year, then some concerns they may have may seem less pressing or urgent. Similarly, if long-time player players can better appreciate the role that new printings have had in shaping the current metagame - not just B&R list policy - and how the rewards infrastructure of MTGO shapes the online metagame - then their concerns about the format might similarly be regarded as less urgent.



  • @Prospero said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:

    Why innovate when you can restrict whole pillars out of existence? Then we can just enjoy a blue circle jerk until the end of time.

    What a joke this is.



  • @Prospero Preach.



  • More random thoughts.

    Does ballista make Wrokshop variants "too good?" I've heard it said that ballista makes workshop the current best deck- but there will always be a best deck. Is this best deck more than what can be handled, or has the meta not had time to react?

    Again, I tend to be very conservative when it comes to restricting cards, if only because once a card is restricted it takes years for it to come off the list. I do think this year will be slightly less impactful on Vintage than last year, if only because of the lack of a product like conspiracy 2.

    Vintage players are creative. I'm curious to see how this shakes out.



  • @Winterstar Rather than VSL commentators complaining about cards/decks and whining for restrictions, it would be nice if they would lobby for answer cards instead. There have been some really great answer cards printed (such as Cage and Containment Priest) that see plenty of play in Vintage; I don't see why Wizard's couldn't print some things that would enable a player to reasonably interact with the shops decks without completely killing it.

    I agree that the shops decks are very powerful, but I disagree with those that assert that some form of blue-backed deck must always necessarily be the best deck in the format.



  • @themonadnomad Would be nice to have some cards that actually beat Mentor too. R&D is extremely unreliable for improving eternal formats though.

    I hear Serenity is pretty insane against Shops.



  • Honestly not buying into shops needing any restrictions. To be honest shops have been better positioned in the meta ever since golem was restricted and the reason is simple enough: before you had to play 7-8 anti shops hate in your sideboard if you even wanted to compete, and almost immediately after golem getting the hammer people drastically cut on sideboard hate. So basically people kept the same shops matchups except they could get away with running a lot less hate...
    When people start respecting the deck again and go back to real sideboard plans I doubt this will be an issue. Remember there is no insane golem tempo or cutting you off of efficient answers with chalice anymore, so the deck will no longer be able to maintain dtb status if it's being gunned for.



  • @vaughnbros said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:

    @themonadnomad Would be nice to have some cards that actually beat Mentor too. R&D is extremely unreliable for improving eternal formats though.

    I hear Serenity is pretty insane against Shops.

    Can you clarify what you mean by "beat[ing] Mentor?" There's tons of cards that handle the masses of tokens.

    • White: Wrath effects, Moat
    • Blue: Mass bounce eg Echoing Truth
    • Red: Direct damage the mentor, damage based sweepers like Pyroclasm and Elecktrickery
    • Black: */-x effects, both Permanent (eg Night of Soul's Betrayal) and stack-based (eg Toxic Deluge)
    • Green: Okay, I actually can't think of one here
    • Colorless: Tabernacle

    I've been playing Illness in the Ranks in my BUG deck with some success. It's primarily for Mentor and Pyromancer but it also splash-hates Oath and Dredge (especially if you can get two out!)

    Illness' primary weakness is that it gets hit by Mental Misstep, which Mentor and Pyromancer decks are likely to run 3+ of. To combat this, I upped my sideboard Illness count to 3, cutting a piece of Dredge hate since Illness splash-hates it.



  • @thecravenone

    the simple fact it that there are barely any cards capable of handling the mentor and his monks that are tempo efficient (IE where you dont spend more ressources answering the mentor than your opponent did deploying it).
    There basically only is Virtue's Ruin, a card so niche that people play Toxic deluge instead which has serious shortcomings against prowess.

    Illness in the ranks type effects are extremely unreliable against mentor, as wasting a card to make your opponents mentor into a Monastery swiftspear is not a winning strategy and will only buy you a turn or two if you dont have some other removal. (all the while getting hit by misstep and fragmentize).



  • @thecravenone

    Those are all extremely inefficient. When even the best answer costs more mana / resources than the threat itself there is an imbalance.

    Echoing Truth, Pyroclasm, ect. don't actually kill the Mentor just the tokens. That's not really an answer. You are playing a tailored specific hate piece, and all it does is reduce its power level.


 

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