Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017



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  • TMD Supporter

    I know people may not want to waste the mental energy on doing this. We can talk all day about what Workshops does or does not do, but has anybody ever tried having a tournament restricting say Workshops or Gush (or other cards for that matter) to see how it would go? Or at least build the deck and try it out on mtgo?

    I know this would be incredibly difficult to pull off and people probably wouldn't want to do it, but I would be interested in seeing what the results would be like. I know one tournament wouldn't be able to tell a whole story, not close, but it may give more credence to an argument one way or another.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Hrishi said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:
    but I am personally having less fun in Vintage than I ever have before.

    I always find it useful to know why someone feels like this. We've all heard it (or said it) from time to time over years- I like to know why. As I mentioned earlier, Vintage is an emotional format that is played for a lot of different reasons, and when having these discussions I think it valid to know a person's reasons for dissatisfaction (preferably without it devolving into Workshops vs Gush). When someone says they don't like Vintage, let us know why!!

    Comments I've heard:
    Meta moves too quick now.
    Elite and casual gap has widened.
    VSL put a spotlight (correctly or incorrectly) on Vintage's format issues.
    Mentor feels like a control deck, but plays like a combo deck= format fatigue.
    Shops is unfun/too popular
    My pet deck isn't viable anymore
    DCI making the wrong decisions.
    Not enough deck variety


  • TMD Supporter

    @joshuabrooks

    One thing I would like to know is what percentage of people are actually upset. Is it just the vocal few or a huge percentage? If it's just, say, 10 percent of people are unsatisfied, then I'm not sure much should be done (regardless if I would agree with that).



  • I am new to vintage, and, as expected, I started with the broken decks with all the restricted cards. The most exciting thing for me is to combo out and generate storm in the hundreds to kill on turn 1. To get these high moments, I also accepted that there will be games where I literally cast 0 spells and die with no land in play. Recently, I have acquired my workshops and started to learn how to play shop decks on MTGO. It requires an almost completely new way to think about the format and the value of cards in opponents' deck. I really enjoy this learning process and would be sad if the format changes so rapidly that a match up became obsolete before I even completely understood it. I moved away from standard to eternal formats because the stability, the format is a long way from stale to me. I endorse Steve's idea that the DCI should use data-based criteria with regard to restrictions and not favor vocal players' complains on VSL. As long as the criteria for a card to be restricted is clearly stated and enforced, I would not complain even if my newly acquired workshops are restricted and lost significant value.



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

    @joshuabrooks

    One thing I would like to know is what percentage of people are actually upset. Is it just the vocal few or a huge percentage? If it's just, say, 10 percent of people are unsatisfied, then I'm not sure much should be done (regardless if I would agree with that).

    If upset means not willing to play and not having fun I would think the numbers are pretty small. I may disagree or be disappointed with a printing but it hasn't kept me from getting out an playing Vintage, promoting Vintage and complaining about losing in Vintage. There are probably a few who may have been upset enough to "quit" but anecdotally I don't know of any.



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

    @Hrishi said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:
    but I am personally having less fun in Vintage than I ever have before.

    I always find it useful to know why someone feels like this. We've all heard it (or said it) from time to time over years- I like to know why. As I mentioned earlier, Vintage is an emotional format that is played for a lot of different reasons, and when having these discussions I think it valid to know a person's reasons for dissatisfaction (preferably without it devolving into Workshops vs Gush). When someone says they don't like Vintage, let us know why!!

    Comments I've heard:
    Meta moves too quick now.
    Elite and casual gap has widened.
    VSL put a spotlight (correctly or incorrectly) on Vintage's format issues.
    Mentor feels like a control deck, but plays like a combo deck= format fatigue.
    Shops is unfun/too popular
    My pet deck isn't viable anymore
    DCI making the wrong decisions.
    Not enough deck variety

    I might add that there are mechanical and game rules differences in MTGO and paper Vintage yet they share a B&R list. I'm exclusively a paper player, a concern of mine is that these result in B&R decisions would ever be impacted by this. I don't necessarily think it's happened yet but it could, and this would be maddening. I anticipate that the inverse is true for online only players.



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

    I know people may not want to waste the mental energy on doing this. We can talk all day about what Workshops does or does not do, but has anybody ever tried having a tournament restricting say Workshops or Gush (or other cards for that matter) to see how it would go? Or at least build the deck and try it out on mtgo?

    I know this would be incredibly difficult to pull off and people probably wouldn't want to do it, but I would be interested in seeing what the results would be like. I know one tournament wouldn't be able to tell a whole story, not close, but it may give more credence to an argument one way or another.

    Having 1 tournament with a different banlist than the original won't help notice the impact of a restriction. People don't adapt that quickly and it takes a while to perfect strategies. One single tournament means nothing, and that's why nobody does it. For you to spend 3 months of your meta playing with a different banlist than the official one is just waste of time.


  • TMD Supporter

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

    @Hrishi said in Notes on the State of Vintage, Jan 2017:
    but I am personally having less fun in Vintage than I ever have before.

    I always find it useful to know why someone feels like this. We've all heard it (or said it) from time to time over years- I like to know why. As I mentioned earlier, Vintage is an emotional format that is played for a lot of different reasons, and when having these discussions I think it valid to know a person's reasons for dissatisfaction (preferably without it devolving into Workshops vs Gush). When someone says they don't like Vintage, let us know why!!

    Comments I've heard:
    Meta moves too quick now.
    Elite and casual gap has widened.
    VSL put a spotlight (correctly or incorrectly) on Vintage's format issues.
    Mentor feels like a control deck, but plays like a combo deck= format fatigue.
    Shops is unfun/too popular
    My pet deck isn't viable anymore
    DCI making the wrong decisions.
    Not enough deck variety

    This is really one of my points, right?

    As I wrote in this article:

    *Most Vintage players, myself included, have strong ideas about what should – and should not – be placed on the Restricted List. Some players have preferences that veer dramatically from the current list, and others would prefer just a few tweaks. Some want a bunch of cards restricted, and others would like to see a bunch unrestricted.

    But considering all of those various preferences in aggregate, there is no way to manage Banned & Restricted List policy in a way that leaves everyone happy. For everyone person who wants Oath of Druids restricted, there is probably someone that would like Windfall unrestricted. To take a concrete example, with almost 300 people voting, 20% of people in a December poll felt that restricting Lodestone Golem was a mistake, with more than 20% unsure. That means that only 59% of respondents were confident that restricting Golem was the right move, and that was eight months after the fact.*

    I should have included this in the article, but consider another Poll someone started last month: http://themanadrain.com/topic/928/january-9-2017-banned-and-restricted-announcement-poll

    The question was, basically, do you think the DCI should have made a B&R list change?

    60% of the respondents thought not, and were glad the DCI didn't change anything.

    Only 40% of the voters felt that something should have been changed. Yet, it is almost impossible to imagine what consensus among that player segment would look like on what they believe should be changed, if anything.

    I'm pretty happy with the current B&R list, but there is at least 1-2 cards I would unrestrict, if I were the DCI. But that puts me in very different company than JimTosetti, who a few posts up, said he would restrict 5 cards.

    Not only is there a lack of consensus that anything should happen (in fact, there is a clear consensus against anything), but there is absolutely no way to parse the various preference sets. When people say they want to see X, Y, and Z restricted, does that mean they also would not like to see L, M, N or P restricted? Or is it simply they don't care enough to express a preference, or that they are more focused on X, Y, or Z?

    Preference sets with respect to the B&R list are extremely complex. There is the inherent complexity of ranking preferences, like ranked voting. But there is also the inherent interrelationship of the elements. A single change can change the perception of other cards, like Eric Miller, saying we could unrestrict Trinisphere if we restricted Workshop. A single restriction can change the underlying context under consideration.

    I wrote this article to try to illuminate a broader spectrum of perspectives, to illustrate how different forms of engagement with the format (platforms as well as history) generate different experiences and perspectives, and that recognizing that and appreciating and respecting those differences may be able to help bridge some of the divides in this format.


  • TMD Supporter

    @fsecco I fully agree, I realized that before writing my question. Of course the lists wouldn't be tuned or anything like that. It was just more meant to be like, if you really want to know what the impact is (instead of everyone arguing) that is a possible solution to figuring out.

    Is it worth anyone's time? Probably not. I doubt I would be willing to do it.



  • I can also attest to playing fewer vintage games in the past year or so.

    For years I ran or took part in nearly every single vintage event in Australasia. I have the decklists for every non-league Vintage event in Australia since september 2010 .

    There have been other factors such as long hospital stays and basically being homebound for two years but Vintage has lost some of its lustre for me.

    I have lent my power out and played the rare tourney but most of the time my cards sit in my cube where they see more play.

    Part of this is the homogenized nature of the format at the moment, partly the low power level, and partly the erosion of the old decks that can't compete. I recognise that the last point particularly is nostalgia speaking but the other points remain true.

    The biggest issue we have here (Australia) is the proxy scare of late 15, early 16. Since then Vintage as a whole just died here. Suddenly no store was willing to run proxy/playtest events. Literally none. We had 2.5 stores that would run monthly/quarterly vintage and they all instantly stopped holding these events.

    Some stores ran other events with playtest cards but wizards hit them all before the event fired and with a couple of weeks legacy in Melbourne and Vintage in Australia as a whole was dead. There has been a little revival lately but for the 12 or so months we had a (singular) GP side event and two annual events which were both smaller than previous years.

    I really fear all my work from 2010-14 will have been for nothing if it doesn't change is direction soon.

    This format needs to give is players a reason to play it again and the stale homogenous system is not doing that for many players.



  • @joshuabrooks I talked about why I've been enjoying Vintage a lot less in another thread somewhere, and I think my reply is still relevant. So I'll just quote it here!

    @Hrishi said in Thoughts on restrictions:

    @ribby said:

    2.) Since something like 2005 Tinker in Vintage hasn't been used for much of anything but the endgame to card-draw/Force/Drain etc. 11 years!!!

    Which is kinda sad because it's exactly that sort of gameplay that drew me to Vintage, and indeed, Magic. I had no interest in Magic until I watched a Storm deck battle a Big Blue deck and was hooked. I find the combat phase not so interesting because other games do that fairly well too. I don't think any other game comes close to the stack-based interaction that the deck you just described does(did?).

    While I understand that you have your own point of view, in my mind, removing decks like Storm and "Big Blue" take away what was special to Vintage. Every format is chock full of midrange battles, and I wasn't interested in getting into it here. Sadly, it appears that this is not the direction we're heading towards.

    I'll repeat, this is most certainly a very subjective view to take. However, subjective or not, I care more about my own personal fun and less about overall format health. This isn't to say that I don't think format health is important, it's just that I value my own fun more. We can have the most balanced format there is, but if people aren't having fun playing it, the balance is meaningless.



  • A few random thoughts:

    The chalice restriction came at the same time as a delve spell restriction- which is why i think there was less dissatisfaction with the chalice restriction.

    Tin-foil hat time: I've started to think that lodestone was both a reactive restriction to the metgame at the time, but also perhaps a preventative measure when they realized that an artifact heavy block was coming in the next year. Maybe that is giving the DCI too much credit, or flies in the face of their more usual "we'll acti only if we think the ship has sailed and we are going to have to" management style of the B&R list...but I can't help but feel that perhaps lodestone got the axe wih an additiinal thought of "we'll see how the deck looks in a year" in the background.

    I don't think restricting Workshop necessarily does anything positive for the health of the format at the cost of its many negatives. I'm not sure the health of the format needs anything right this moment- I think it is still shaking itself out after the swath of impactful printings from last year and this year.



  • @jhport12 Yeah those are some good examples of things that I would like to see as well. There is so much design space available to make cards that would be great for vintage - it really feels like a missed opportunity.



  • @Hrishi exactly my thoughts on this, these restrictions is whats killing the format, it always feels like my deck is a standard deck which is bound to rotate out of the format. People play vintage because they have "Fun", its the only thing that the format has to offer and nothing more.



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

    @jhport12 Yeah those are some good examples of things that I would like to see as well. There is so much design space available to make cards that would be great for vintage - it really feels like a missed opportunity.

    I also don't think it is hard to find ways to make up for the terrible imbalance between the colors initially created by deciding to give literally just ONE color meaningful card advantage. And they only further compounded that idiocy by giving Blue the best one-drop creature ever (Delver) and the best two-drop creature ever (Tarmogoyf).



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

    @jhport12

    This feels true to me. That said, MTG Goldfish does have Shops at 20%+ and Mentor at 11%+ of the metagame.

    This is kind of off topic and I'm not trying to be a jerk (for once). I'd just like to point out that using MTGoldfish for anything other than just carousing lists is like getting your election news from The Daily Mail.

    Is this a consensus opinion? I know that people complain that they never name Vintage decks correctly. What is wrong with their website relative to other decklist aggregation websites?

    Or are you specifically critiquing the quality of their articles?

    I mean, The Dojo has been gone for years, so I just live with what's left.



  • @jhport12

    It's disorganized, the classification system is wonky and not accurate.

    I can't really speak for the articles.


 

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