@smmenen I listened to the VSL analysis (good stuff, tough breaks in the games as well) and the initial part of the London Mulligan on reducing variance. I think it will actually benefit Shops and PO. A 58% chance of hitting a single restricted card without Powder is very high and both Shops and PO have powerful cards that they can mulligan to if their opener is not a typical Shops or PO opener. PO has potential access to Timetwister, Tinker, Ancestral, Tutors, Mentor, Balance, Wheel, Windfall (which could get much better), any 1 of which could eliminate the disadvantage of mulliganing. Shops has access to Trinisphere, Chalice, and to a lesser degree Thorn, Sphere, Strip Mine, and Workshop as powerful cards that can enable degenerate openings and win games with fewer cards. Dredge and Survival both benefit as Bazaar decks, though for Survival finding Bazaar is neither necessary or sufficient to win and so the rule's change won't help as much. The decks that get hit the most are the control decks that generally don't operate well on few cards. The only card that really saves them on mulligans is Ancestral. BUG Fish and Blue Aggro-Control are both going to be impacted by the new rules change.
@protoaddct Change and decay aren't they same thing. The format has changed considerably and that's what this thread is about. I think a lot of people disagree on whether that entails a death spiral. I for one don't think that's the case - I just think the format is more aggro/combo/tempo focused and control/prison players dislike that. The format is now Modern with Power rather than the only place you could really play draw/go or prison style control decks. Part of me is sad to see that go, but most of me recognizes it as inevitable. That's how Wizards is designing cards now and unless you bar new cards from the format, you will get pressure towards that end of the spectrum.
To be honest, I've had a problem with this slippery slope argument for some time. I think it assumes that cards are restricted because of intrinsic properties and not metagame/deck/interactivity qualities. Do you think more restricted cards are being played now? Outside of PO, most decks aren't exactly filling out their decks with a ton of restricted cards. I remember it took years to get players to stop jamming Fastbond in every Gush deck that could cast it. Same with full Moxen, Will, Mystical/Vamp Tutor, etc. I've even been cutting Library recently for Wasteland in my Blue Tempo decks, because of this strategic orientation shift. I think there's a lot more that goes into restriction than just picking the best cards and restricting them, so this hypothetical state seems improbable to me.
Paper Vintage is a doomed format because of the Reserved List and the price of the cards. This establishes a barrier to both entry and exit with a resultant inertia in the player base. When the cards are accessible, you have an influx of players who enjoy the format and an efflux of players who don't enjoy the format. Even if the format hypothetically becomes several decks of 75 restricted cards, you will still have players that enjoy the format. It would be EDH (which isn't exactly a fringe format) with Power and I'm sure Brian Kelly and I would love to pit Dromoka vs. Silumgar in an epic sh0wdown. Thinking that a partial or completely Highlander format is unviable ignores reality.
Closest thing I can think of is the Feldar Guardian banning when they released a new set but didn’t ban Feldar Guardian with the initial B&R announcement despite public outcry. The addendum 2-3 days later cited MTGO league data. Hardly an intentional test, but it is an example of using Magic Online data for decisions like this.
Edit: I think the sample size is going to be much more robust for Legacy.
@aeonsovarius Wizards has made a concerted effort over the past ~decade to stamp out any possibility of "unfair" strategies existing in Standard. They're all fair decks.
They restricted Aetherworks Marvel because they thought casting a turn 4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger was unfair. They printed Saheeli - Feldar Guardian (accidentally) and Paradoxical Outcome - Sai (intentionally), which enabled combo decks in standard. I'd argue that Experimental Frenzy and Runaway Steamkin is a pretty unfair interaction in the current standard. I think they've definitely taken chances with potentially unfair strategies recently. Which is a positive for the game, IMO.
@vaughnbros If I remember correctly, it was a number of months. Adaptation included running more Pithing Needles, Wastelands, and leaving Swords in. Still, I would view opening up the Dredge archetype to more variants a positive. The new mulligan would certainly help the Dredge Shops deck with more consistent draws.
@vaughnbros Sure, but the vast majority of Dredge decks in the current metagame aren't running transformational sideboards. Transformational sideboards also have trouble persisting in metagames since they become less effective the more they are known and the larger share of the metagame they hold.
This is excellent, @evouga! This was exactly the type of analysis I was hoping to see. Thank you so much for doing this!
@fsecco and @Protoaddct I think that view is a bit myopic. The 5% failure rate was always more of a talking point than a significant detriment for dredge. So the deck lost 1 in 20 games or 1 game every 7 to 10 matches (or basically once an event on average)? Yeah, the London mulligan eliminates the number of non-games, but that was the stated point of the rules change. The important aspect of the above figure is that restricting Serum Powder would have a non-negligible effect on the starting hand size of the Dredge opener. From my experience with and against Dredge, the hardest games to win post board are the games in which Dredge keeps 7-6 cards, which allows it to navigate the hate, and restricting Powder would lower the likelihood of that by it looks like 10-15% or so (for 7 cards). That honestly might be worth considering if the deck proves too strong if the new rule is implemented.
Edit: A 90% chance of keeping a 6-7 card hand with Powder means I'm not cutting Powders from my dredge list. I think they are well worth the increase from 75% (which includes one Powder from the chart).
I really think its time Vintage went to a B&R&S list - Banned ( 0 copies) Restricted (2 copies max) and Singleton (1 copy max).
The only argument ever presented against this that I have seen is that it could be too confusing for new players. What new players?
There are plenty of new players on MTGO. The online format is thriving.
At what point do you start looking at creating a player run format instead of violating the core principles of Vintage? If you feel the only way to save Vintage is to ban cards based on power level, or if you feel the only way to save Vintage is to unrestrict almost every card, why can't you create those formats and try to gather interest there? If you feel 3 cards is a better maximum than 4, if you feel WotC is taking Magic in the wrong direction and want to limit the card pool, why not create that format. Old School has proven this approach can be effective and like @GrandpaBelcher is saying, there are people who like the format as is. Drastic change risks alienating the people who do play the format, with unpredictable returns. If you are the DCI, why would you do such a thing when you look at the hard data and you see the format is balanced, events are firing, and tournament attendance on MTGO is actually increasing?
@vaughnbros Yes, of course! Expressing your opinion is great and you should the same right to comment on your hobby as the rest of us. But don't you think it's a better result for all involved if the actual discussion of the list and the merits of a reset are brought up in a separate thread with maybe a link here? Brian spent a lot of time writing up his opinion so he could get feedback and reactions and I'm sure you would like feedback and reactions on a reset idea (I actually think it would be interesting as a player-run format to start/just not as a competitive or online format). This is an organizational critique, not an effort to silence anyone.
Jesus, Flash is too good because of Rector but Channel into any colorless spell is OK for the initial list. This is incredible...
@vaughnbros - I mean, if you literally read the second part of the title and then ignored the thousands of words that follow, you can make the conclusion that this thread is about alternate takes and not Brian's recommendations on the Banned/Restricted list. Otherwise, you are kind of just hijacking the thread and really should just create a new one.
Going to do a write up on the Jund archetype but in brief... I cut the Blue to make the mana better and I found Cindervines to be such a house against Xerox shells that you didn't need the Blue Power/Dack. You also don't need FoW as much as you used to as Lavinia punishes FoW and broken strategies. Tarmogoyf is also well positioned and Cindervines/DRS give you a way to beat Xerox Pyromancer, which was Tarmogoyf's greatest weakness. Andy didn't have the best of runs on the VSL but my experience has been positive. From my records:
This includes two variants: a Green Sun's Zenith variant that is more flexible and has things like main deck Scavenging Ooze against Survival and Dredge; and a Demonic Consultation variant that is more streamlined against Shops, Paradoxical, and Xerox in particular. Win rates were similar.
Only TMD is capable of a thread that starts with "we need sanity and we need to restrict/ban all these cards" to "Vintage: The Purge" in less than one page...
Vintage: The Purge is a terrible idea. The player base is nowhere near a sufficient enough size to support solving such a format in a timely manner. And there is no incentive for players to take it seriously...the reward for brewing a successful deck and solving a metagame is getting your deck restricted in 3 months. Any competitive player should just sit out because the format is going to be in a constant state of flux and learning a deck or the metagame is a risky proposition. Anyone who doesn't like a deck should just wait for it to get restricted rather than try to solve it. This type of approach didn't save 1v1 commander on MTGO and it would destroy competitive Vintage for no real benefit.
Can we please focus on Brian's actual content?
Need to find time to listen, but I'm really not sure that step 1 is "restrict Bazaar" as mentioned in Frank Karsten's article on the subject and from a lot of people on twitter (who probably don't even play the format). Dredge has a lot of space to attack before going after its core enabler - you could restrict Golgari Grave-Troll like in Modern, which would slow the deck down a bit, or Narcomoeba, which would slow the deck down a lot, or Cabal Therapy, which would limit interaction/disruption. If a deck becomes more consistent, then you can balance that out by making it less explosive or disruptive. I think any of these approaches would be preferable to nuking the archetype. Unless people do not feel that Dredge should be a part of Vintage, but that's a very different discussion and the London mulligan is a just an excuse to that end.
Looking forward to being able to listen to this.
Welcome to MTGO! Glad to have you.
- In most cases you want to leave the Traps in the SB against Xerox and just lean on the discard, Flusterstorms and Defense Grids. The problem with Traps is that you game plan is basically trying to limit the amount of interaction the opponent has access to during your turn between the discard and Defense Grids - your opponent can't cast multiple spells if you have a Grid in play and likely won't have multiple counters if you've been stripping their hand - so Trap is accomplishing the opposite of what you want it to do. Board it in against PO and the Mirror. I also like it against Shops because after you Hurkyl's them, they will generally play out their threats first and then let you trap whatever their prison piece is. That depends on the exact list and SB configuration though.
- If you really want the sweeper effect, Deluge is probably your best bet. However, SB space is limited. In general, the dealbreaker on Toxic Deluge is the lack of utility of the card. Karakas is an extra mana source against Shops and a discard spell against Control/Combo decks. Fatal Push also has some function as removal against Shops (hitting Revoker) though I've honestly cut it for another Brutality. The problem with Deluge is that it's only really good at dealing with these hatebear/eldrazi matchups and that in my opinion isn't enough to justify the SB slot. Now, your experience may vary. I'm a nerd so I keep track of my matchups and I see that over the past month I played against Eldrazi 4.5% of the time, "Fish" 6.3% of the time, and a couple Humans decks (like <2%). Conversely, Xerox + Survival has been ~35% of my matchups, with Shops another 10%. Having Karakas and Brutality are then more valuable because they do more in those matchups.