Saw a 2-minute clip of this, it was a blast watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt talk about Magic with the exact enthusiasm and mannerisms/language I've seen from Magic players for my whole life. Thanks for the link to the whole video.
Posts made by Brass Man
RE: Price of Progress
Price of Progress in a Delver deck isn't completely unheard of, but it's definitely not a staple.
I suspect that the damage numbers just don't end up being too impressive, because the games can be compressed and a lot of manabases have artifacts in them. For every game against workshops where they double-Ancient Tomb themselves and Price just wrecks them, there's another where they're sitting on a Workshop and a Wasteland, 3 moxes and 15 life. I think the card needs to deal fairly high damage on average to make up for the fact that it doesn't affect the board.
RE: Anti-metagame deck ideas
Consider that the broader/more diverse a field is, the worse a "metagamey" deck is going to do. (three decks are three times as hard to prepare for as one, of course). Unfortunately/Fortunately, in my opinion the format is at an all-time diversity peak at the top tiers, which means I'd wager to guess that a metagame-style deck has never been worse.
But not all is lost.
Fast Mana, Cantrips, artifact mana and heavy card draw
So I think this is only a fraction of the meta (this list ignores Dredge and doesn't particularly address the strengths of Workshops or Oath), but I think you can build a deck that attacks these things.
I think there are two natural places to look
BUG / Team Leovold which runs Null Rod and Leovold, Emissary of Tress]] to stop cantrips and draw directly.
Given your dislike of creatures, White Eldrazi is probably a bad fit. BUG lists can be creature heavy, but the deck is still very controlling and the creatures largely serve as utility, you might like it.
Some less mainstream ideas:
RE: [Free Article] The Evolving 2018 vintage metagame
makes local events even smaller since it is so hard to get notice for any innovation there.
I'm responding to moorebrother but there's a LOT of people this response is directed at.
Nobody ever notices innovation. This is true universally, about plenty of non-magic things, but I'll limit the scope to vintage.
Decks don't just get discovered because they're good. People have been making super interesting decks forever, before or after MTGO. I know they don't reach a large audience because tournament results are readily available and people constantly ask "where are the innovated decks?"
You don't hear about players (or their decks) when they win a lot of vintage matches.
You hear about them when they talk a lot.
I know this, because people know who I am.
The barrier is so low for vintage content, write a decent primer and people will ask you questions about the deck for years, whether or not you've ever won a match with the deck, or even played a game with it. People care about MTGO results because people like Stephen analyze it and people like Rich and Matt stream it. If someone wrote an compelling writeup of their small weekly event, people would care about that, too. The writing/content quality is more important than the strategy quality.
I may be biased.
RE: Question for fun: What card from Alpha-Dark could be restricted someday? (e.g. What ancient cards have an undiscovered power level.)
It's just too good. Nobody can stop it. Is this something you really want there to be two of?
RE: Is Old School killing paper Vintage?
I think it's pretty hard to reconcile the idea that vintage is dying with the huge tournament attendance at eternal weekend each year. Surely local metagames die off, mine did a few years back, but are we losing players overall? Saying that SCGCon had 120 players doesn't really mean much ... the last SCGCon ... didn't exist. There's nothing to compare it to. Last year there was no large sanctioned vintage SCG event, and this year they had one with 120 players, that sounds like growth to me? The overall size of the online vintage community feels massive to me now compared to even a few years ago, but I really don't know how to objectively measure this sort of thing.
It really looks to me like objectively, vintage is growing, while at the same time I'll admit that I'm personally very impacted by the aging playerbase, like nedleeds referenced.
For what it's worth, if Old School nabs some vintage players, I'm totally cool with that. I don't want more people to play vintage ... I want more people to have a good time playing magic in a community that enriches their life. If Old School does that better for some people, that benefits everyone involved. I've tried both and I'm still a Vintage player at heart.
RE: How do we bring prison decks back without breaking the format?
Pure prison may be hard to do, but I think that tempo/locky elements still have potential. Thalia is just on the edge of vintage quality, whether that's through an Eldrazi deck or something else.
BUG/leovold decks have always had a minor mana denial element to them, I wonder if Assassin's Trophy will have any impact on that plan.
RE: Question for fun: What card from Alpha-Dark could be restricted someday? (e.g. What ancient cards have an undiscovered power level.)
I'm confused about Transmute Artifact. The current oracle text feels like a reasonable interpretation of "Transmute Artifact fails and the card is discarded" to me. What are people proposing the errata look like, and what could you do with it that would make it relevant?
RE: Graveyard and the graveyard hate
Interestingly, maindeck graveyard hate used to be quite common, usually in the form of Tormod's Crypt. This would have been before Dredge was as threatening as it is today, it was used to combat Welders and YawgWills and Gifts, which were not more prolific than Delve and Snapcaster today. I don't recall exactly when it started to go out of style.
RE: Discard spells
Here's a cute data point, for what it's worth. I spent most of the day today testing some Battlebond tech @Aelien . We weren't explicitly trying to react to this thread, but our results are probably relevant to the discussion
The Mind Twist was very good for me, and the Duress effects were very good for Aelien. At no point were either of us sad to be running those cards. I think these cards are still quite good against Combo, reasonably good against Slow Control, fine against Tempo Control, and bad against Workshops and Dredge. I think what one does with a Duress is so different than what one does with a Mind Twist that you have very different requirements for wanting them, and I think what one does with Hymn to Tourach is just something no Vintage deck wants.
Ultimately I think if you're just looking at playing one of Ravager Shops/Jeskai Mentor/Esper Outcome/Inferno Oath/Dredge, in a field that consists mostly of Ravager Shops/Jeskai Mentor/Esper Outcome/Inferno Oath/Dredge, discard effects just aren't the best option over alternatives (with the exception of Cabal Therapy, possibly Unmask out of Dredge decks). That's going to include most players in most metagames ... but I do think there are reasonable decks outside that list, and reasonable metagames that diverge from that list, in which Duress/Thoughtseize/Mind Twist are good choices. Hymn to Tourach, I think, won't make the cut in anything reasonable, and I can't think of any other discard effects that are particularly notable.
RE: Terrible brew idea! DrainTwist!
I don't hate the idea of Mind Twist, but I wonder if you're too optimistic what the card can do without support. This deck looks very capable of winning a fight on the stack, but it might have some trouble dealing with cards that make it to the board.
3 Fatal Push being your only way to interact with the board feels very risky. For instance, if your opponent plays a turn one or two Young Pyromancer, before you have a Mana Drain wall up, even with a Fatal Push in hand you could be in real trouble. If they get even a small number of Elemental tokens in play, your deck can't really kill them, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor becomes quite bad. A single Monastery Mentor would be a real problem, or any Workshop hand where they play 2 or 3 creatures in the beginning of the game (and that's an extremely common opening for Workshops)
This doesn't mean that the deck is a dead end, but I do think you'd be rewarded for running either more removal, or more threats that match up better against the cards which are already good against your discard ... maybe Tinker+Blightsteel Colossus, maybe Tasigur, the Golden Fang, or even just planeswalkers that have more of an impact on the board ... maybe a Karn, Scion of Urza or Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, but both of those are better with more artifacts. If you're up for splashing a color, red and white planeswalkers are particularly good at closing out the game even if your opponent has threats in play, and of course Monastery Mentor fills this role admirably.
As an aside I'll say that it's very non-traditional for a Vintage deck this controlling to run Necropotence, but the same could be said for Timetwister which is a pet card of mine in Vintage control, so I don't know that I think Necro is necessarily wrong. If you want to keep it, it may be worth running more cards to be sure you don't get locked out with no draw step ... whether that's Tendrils of Agony or more planeswalkers or Paradoxical Outcome or something else entirely, I'm not sure.
RE: Discard spells
There was a similar conversation in the Thought Erasure thread. There I argued that I didn't think there was much of relationship between the playability of Duress and Mental Misstep. I stand by that, but I think this thread raises some other interesting topics.
I think I tend to take the opposite approach to running cards/building decks and I wonder if there wouldn't be some benefit to trying that here.
Basically, a question is posed in the form "Discard effects are bad. [conjecture as to why]. How can we make them good?" While I think we'll find that discard effects are still pretty reasonable, it's a problematic question to ask, because there might not be an answer. If you had asked "Vizzerdrix is bad because it's strictly worse than many other creatures. How can we make it good?" ... you sort of can't, short of changing the rules of the format so much to be unrecognizable. I think there are a few questions you could be asking instead, which may lead to more actionable answers.
What do I want [discard] to accomplish, and what is the best card or strategy for accomplishing that?
While Duress was classically a storm-deck staple for punching through combo-control decks, if you're specifically trying to beat a slower deck with Pyroblasts and Flusterstorms then Defense Grid just does that better. On the other hand if you're looking for action on turn one, in a deck that primarily cares about the stack, maybe the first Duress does that better than the 6th cantrip ... or maybe it doesn't, but at least you know what to measure now.
In what situations is [discard] already good, and what sorts of things make those situations more likely to happen?
There's a reason you're asking about discard in the first place, right? There must be some game state where you really like it ... a Thoughtseize can punish greedy keeps, or provide information on a critical turn, and it's a cheaper way to help your cards resolve than playing multiple threats ... so making Thoughtseize better could involve playing cards that make those things more common, or more important ... Decks with Wasteland are more likely to be able to capitalize on punishing a one Mox//one Land keep. A control deck with a weak combo matchup may benefit more than usual from the information advantage. Considering the broader metagame, if the decks that discard is good against just aren't being played, it's possible the only thing you can do is wait until they are.
What's the best possible deck I could run, if I accept running/building around [discard] as a handicap?
Recognize that when you see a card you like from a spoiler, or you have a pet card you've been shoving into every deck for years, this is the question you're really asking while deckbuilding. There's nothing wrong with doing this, I've done this many times myself, and sometimes it's the best way to discover something truly broken before anyone else ... but if you don't recognize this is what you're doing, you're sure to get a lot of "why haven't you cut Kess, Dissident Mage?" sort of advice from everyone you talk to your deck about. Many people don't want to believe they're running a particular card just because they enjoy it, but if they don't have a good answer to one of the other two questions, that's what's happening.
So ... why do you want to run more discard in vintage right now? Do you think it fills some useful role in an existing deck? Do you think it's undervalued in a particular matchup? Do you miss playing with discard spells and you want to maximize your chance of winning while getting to cast them?
RE: Gifts and Intuition Piles.
I can't believe I forgot to write the thing that made me post in the first place!
what about a Gifts pile for reanimation and fatties? Griselbrand, Unburial Rites, Shallow Grave, Faithless Looting??
Gifts is way better here than you thought. With Gifts Ungiven you don't have to find four cards. Because there's a condition (they have to be unique, and you could have a deck of 60 Relentless Rats) you have the option of "failing to find" on any number of of the cards you get. That means, instead of getting Fatty/Rites/Shallow Grave/Looting ... you can search for just Fatty+Unburial Rites. When you find two cards, both just go straight to the graveyard.
That means you can get whatever creature you wanted in play for a max of 4 mana post-Gifts, which in many cases with particular cards in particular matchups, should be the cheapest possible unassisted kill. (Griselbrand, Iona, Shield of Emeria, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Blazing Archon, that sort of stuff).
RE: Gifts and Intuition Piles.
I've put some work into Gifts a handful of times over the past few years. I never found a list that worked for me, but I'll throw out some of my thoughts on the card, which might be useful to you
a "Value Gifts" like you mentioned, is when you get multiple good cards which improve your position rather than going for a kill. It can be useful when you're too short on mana to win this turn, but is also a useful way of fighting through disruption. Traditional combo Gifts may lose to a single well placed counterspell or graveyard hate spell, and the "Value Gifts" serves as a hedge against that.
In particular you want a set of cards to get with Gifts if you suspect your opponent has specialized disruption. That is, most players will Force of Will, the initial Gifts Ungiven, but they can't Misstep it and they can't always Flusterstorm it, so a good Value Gifts is going to be able to punch through a hand that has Missteps and Flusterstorms, as some lethal Gifts piles completely fold to them (or to, say, a Ravenous Trap)
Cards that do something from the graveyard can really make a "Value Gifts" get out of hand - my old favorite is Deep Analysis, but cards with Flashback, Dredge, Retrace, Aftermath, and Jump-Start all work, if you can put 3 or 4 in a pile, you can generate some serious advantage.
The cheapest deterministic Gifts kill with no additional requirements is Time Vault/Voltaic Key/Argivian Find/Reconstruction which clocks in at 6 mana post-Gifts. I don't know if I'm into this because of how much worse it is to naturally draw Find/Reconstruction than the cards that other kills use.
Traditional Gifts decks used Tinker->Colossus and Tendrils of Agony to kill with primarily ... but traditional Gifts decks used Darksteel Colossus rather than Blightsteel Colossus, and had to set up turns where they could cast Time Walk twice. A Tinker kill requires significantly less Xwork today ... a Tinker, Time Walk, Recoup, Black Lotus pile will kill for 8 mana, but the cost drops dramatically if you naturally draw any one of those cards (or a Yawmoth's Will, etc.)
If you're casting Gifts at the end of your opponent's turn, which is fairly common, you can take advantage of your draw step and get topdeck tutors, which makes things cheaper. Vampiric Tutor+Mystical Tutor+Demonic Tutor+X is an old standby. X could be Voltaic Key in a deck that runs 2 Keys, or just a Black Lotus or Time Walk to set up a gigantic Yawgmoth's Will
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy was particularly interesting to me, with its mana-free recursion. With a JVP in play, you gifts for Dark Ritual+Cabal Ritual+Demonic Tutor+Dark Petition and kill for only 1 mana post-gifts, with no specific requirements about what cards you've drawn already besides having threshold for Cabal Rit, which isn't super hard to have after you've resolved Gifts and activated JVP. (it's a complicated kill, but it works)
People who didn't play Gifts years ago pretty universally look at old lists and replace the Recoup with something cheaper, like Noxious Revival. I think largely people are missing the benefit of the recursion spell itself having flashback. To find a specific card with Revival, your gifts needs to include that target card, and Revival, and a second recursion spell like Snapcaster Mage, leaving you one slot to play with. Because Recoup works from the yard, you only need to get the target card and Recoup, which frees up a second slot that could be used for anything. When you're setting up a Yawgmoth's Will turn, that extra card can be huge. Recoup costs 2 more mana than Snapcaster Mage, and 4 more than Noxious Revival, but if it lets you put a Black Lotus in the pile, you're getting 6 extra mana on your Will turn. All of that said, I still think it's reasonable for a Gifts deck built today to just run 4 Snapcasters maindeck and plan on drawing one naturally rather than putting them in a Gifts pile, and skip the Recoup entirely ... but I'm not personally a fan of Noxious Revival.
Ultimately I've found Gifts decks to just be too weak against modern tempo blue decks. Flusterstorm, in particular, is a real problem. I haven't seriously explored the archetype since the Thorn of Amethyst restriction though, which could possibly free up some space for addressing blue decks.
RE: Semi-restrictions (two-of limit to cards)
Personally I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the idea, but I'm not holding my breath that it'll happen. I'm not worried about the argument that it would make things more difficult for vintage players - there's already an absurd amount of information a vintage player needs to have memorized to play the game ... 25 years of one-off keyword abilities, rules changes, errata. How many cards in the average vintage deck have oracle text that matches their printed text, 30%? Deck construction rules are barely a drop in the bucket, especially considering a player can verify before the tournament starts (there's are plenty of tools that check legality for you), and never have to memorize or think of it ever again. I don't have any reason to think that a semi-restriction system would make the format worse (and for that matter, even though I know boerma was joking, a 3-of rule wouldn't bother me at all, either)
That said, there's an unspoken assumption here that Wizards is having difficulty achieving their desired outcomes through blunt restrictions, and that this would be a tool they could use to more precisely create the outcome they want. I think it's a mistake to assume that Wizards has very strong opinions on what the format should look like, or that they even think there's any consensus metagame target or problem that needs to be addressed.
I think that the amount of work this would take to put together, and more importantly, how it would look to people who DON'T play vintage, both dwarf any desire they have to make the format different than it is now.
(but as an amateur game designer, I'm all about it)
RE: [GOR] Goblin Cratermaker
The more I think about this, the more I dislike the card against Workshops specifically. I don't think anybody here was really claiming this card is a Workshops killer, but I feel like soapboxing a little.
You're spending three mana, which for you is 2 to 3 turns worth of mana development, to kill a single card which costs them 1 turn of mana development. If that card is an Arcbound Ravager or Walking Ballista or Hangarback Walker or Precursor Golem, they still get some value out of the card, so you're trading 1 of your cards for less-than-1 of theirs. This puts you behind on both tempo and cards. This is actively bad against Workshop, you are worse off when you play this card, the same way you'd be worse off running Stone Rain against Lands or Fade from Memory against Dredge.
Basically, the card is just "not dead". Since this is constructed and we have to handle multiple decks, sometimes (often, really) we have enough even worse cards like Flusterstorm that "not dead" is a better alternative. Still, large numbers of these sorts of cards are a kind of "deck smell" (in the way that programmers use the term "code smell" ... I suspect there's a better term for magic, but I think it's useful ... something that isn't necessarily bad in and of itself, but usually means there's some problem nearby). The more of these you have the WORSE your Workshops matchup is, a deck with 40 Goblin Cratermakers and 20 lands basically couldn't win a game unless the Workshops player had serious mana trouble.