This weekend was incredible. I cheered on as my teammate @Montolio took home a beautiful lotus painting and @The Atog Lord and @brianpk80 added to their already impressive resumes with top 8 appearances. I spent the weekend with my vintage friends who I frequently speak with but see in person not nearly often enough, and met many new players.
I would like to thank Nick Coss for organizing yet another incredible Eternal Weekend; the venue and the city of Pittsburgh did not disappoint. Tom Dixon secured the decklists necessary for this report, spent late hours on Friday night recording them with @chubbyrain and me, as well as correcting several of our sleep-deprived typos. Finally, thank you to @bpaf, @Log, and @PugSuperStar for recording the pairings and standings.
427 players showed up on Friday. Here is our metagame report. Thanks as always to @ChubbyRain for his help.
Top 8 Lists:
- Andy Markiton - Ravager Shops
- Rich Shay - Ravager Shops
- Patrick Fehling - Inferno Oath
- Michael Kiesel - Ravager Shops
- Ibrahim Alridge - Oath
- Brian Kelly - Inferno Oath
- Brian Durkin - Ravager Shops
- Eric Vergo - Ravger Shops
- Michael Holm - Dredge
- Mike Solymossy - Jeskai Mentor
- Nick DiJohn - Ravager Shops
- Kyle Teagan - Landstill
- Steve Walsh - Dredge
- Vasu Balakrishnan - UW SFM Control
- Russ Martin - Ravager Shops
- Shawn Chen - Blue Moon
- Zohar Bhagat - Delver
- Mateo Pina - Paradoxical
- Jose Ortiz - Ravager Shops
- Ryan Eberhart - Sylvan Mentor
- Rugved Karhade - Landstill
- Frank Lodovico - BUG Fish
- David Fleischmann-Rose - Paradoxical Oath
- John Grudzina - BUGr Fish
- Xin Sui - Delver
- Bryan Rockenbach - Mentor
- Dan Barkon - Ravager Shops
- Ruben Gonzalez - Grixis Thieves
- Akash Naidu - Grixis Night's Whisper Control
- Mark Arce - Landstill
- Tony Murata - Ravager Shops
- Charles Rolko - Ravager Shops
Although the top 8 implied a two deck format, looking deeper reveals a healthier situation, with multiple archetypes on the bubble of top 8 appearances.
EDIT: See http://www.themanadrain.com/post/24966 for an archetype explanation
EDIT #2: I used Jaco's scans to make a few classification corrections and add tags. The tag information is quite interesting, so I suggest taking a look at that. Remember that you can do some tag separation (e.g. how well did null rod decks that weren't budget do?) by saving a copy of the spreadsheet to your google drive and filling in tags into the Include/Exclude fields on the Tag Breakdown sheet.
We were fortunate to have an influx of players this month, with 69 players total.
Congratulations to thediabetical for taking the tournament down with Ravager TKS Shops.
thediabetical - Ravager TKS Shops
kingneckbeard - Pitch Dredge
Lux-Adrastos - DPS
ravidel85 - Tezz
littledarwin - UW Mentor
Lexor19 - WR Eldrazi
TKC55 - Doomsday
neo_altoid - Ravager TKS Shops
oddseidank - 2 Card Monte with Intuition
Garlan - Esper Mentor
pedroj - Ravager TKS Shops with Reality Smasher
Legion273 - Dredge
Atog_215 - Esper Mentor
diophan - Grixis Therapy
Thiim - UB Ratstill
Shops continued its streak from Waterbury with a strong performance. After a dryspell, Dredge came back to do well today. Part of this may be due to players skimping on dredge hate due to its slimming percentage of the metagame recently; I can personally attest to cutting dredge hate in my list in favor of more cards against thorn archetypes.
Let me know if anyone spots errors.
EDIT: There was an incorrect formula in about 8 of the matches in round 6. I corrected this and updated the charts above.
There has been some discussion on The Mana Drain and other places about some of the on and off camera behavior of the winner of Eternal Weekend, Joseph Bogaard. I have cataloged the evidence in what I hope is an objective way, although I suspect that my conclusion is evident. Where possible, I have provided a timestamped link to Twitch VODs with a short explanation of what I am documenting.
From the Swiss:
Kurt Crane versus Jospeh Bogaard in Round 7:
Playing 2 lands in one turn and not announcing mana drain trigger:
Playing 2 lands in one turn:
9 cards in hand after forgetting to discard (this one requires a couple minutes of watching):
I am not 100% sure what is going on in the last link, but that is 3-4 GRVs in a single game.
One of Joseph's opponents during the Swiss called a judge. The complaint was that Joseph's sleeves were marked in a manner not consistent with normal play wear. The judge did not notice anything, but Joseph's opponent was not confident that the judge knew what he/she was looking for when inspecting the sleeves. An appeal was not made (presumably because his opponent was not aware of the pattern of behavior).
From the Top 8:
I was a firsthand witness to the events which I am documenting from the top 8.
Randy and Bob talking about the "sketchy guy" on live mic:
(I will delete this link if Randy, Bob, or Nick Coss think it is inappropriate.)
As Randy and Bob mention, Andy and Joseph were deck checked after presenting. Most of the way through Joseph's shuffling procedure, he performed a very strange looking 5 card pile shuffle, in which he did not place cards in a loop, but each time around put cards into piles in a different order.
Confirmation of 25 minute deck check:
After an extensive conversion with the judges, Joseph received a warning for insufficient randomization.
Appearance of warped foil sol ring, crucible of worlds:
After game one I noticed while they were sideboarding that Bogaard appeared to have only 4 foils in his deck: FTV Strip Mine, Judge Sol Ring, Non-Judge Foil Crucible of Worlds, and Snapcaster Mage. The first 3 foils are notable for being the versions with the most foiling which causes them to warp. They are also notable for being the 3 cards available as a foil that you want against shops.
Moreover, from what I could tell he was playing a single sleeved deck, which would make foil bending more apparent. A fellow spectator relayed this to the head judge. From what I could tell, the judging staff made Joseph take out his foil sol ring and crucible of worlds, but they waited until after he won against Andy.
If this is true, there is a dangerous lack of logical consistency. If the cards were marked, Joseph should habe received a game loss/DQ (much like people who had marked delvers in Champs two years ago). If they were not marked, he should not have been required to switch out his cards.
Evidence of Sol Ring being switched out in his semifinal match:
Joseph's method of pile shuffling here is roughly what I was talking about from his quarterfinals match. If I recall during the quarterfinals presentation he changed his method of deciding which stack to put cards in more:
When Joseph stops riffle shuffling his deck, he is receiving verbal instructions from the judge to adjust his shuffle technique. As pointed out below, the same few cards may be floating at the bottom of the deck after several shuffles because he is not riffling cards into the bottom:
Shortly after this game started I stopped watching due to frustration.
Taken in isolation, no single one of these incidents would lead me to conclude someone cheated at Eternal Weekend. Taken together, one might be lead to a different conclusion.
Note: I have omitted naming anyone other than as necessary.
Final Note: It was difficult for me to post this. I have the utmost appreciation for Nick Coss because of the time and care he puts in running these tournaments. I do not wish to harm his future Eternal Weekends with this thread.
376 players showed up in Pittsburgh to play in Vintage's most prestigious event of the year. The tournament ended with the matchup most emblematic of the past few months: Paradoxical Outcome versus Ravager Shops. Congratulations to Brian Coval for becoming our new North American Vintage Champion!
- Brian Coval - Esper Paradoxical
- Nam Tran - Ravager Shops
- Kyle Dorgan - Esper Paradoxical
- Rich Shay - Ravager Shops
- Matt Sperling - RUG Pyromancer
- Eliot Burk - UW Landstill
- Marshall Arthur - Bant Survival
- Cosmo Kwok - Grixis Thieves
Although I have my complaints about the current state of vintage, that's quite the diverse top 8 after last year's!
Even though it didn't win the event, the story of the tournament for me was Survival solidifying itself as a real force. There are at least 3 builds (Bant, Bant+R, and BUG) all with their advantages. The winrate here likely overstates its power slightly: a small group of dedicated pilots came with it, and due to the price of the deck I imagine many skimped on hate and practice against such a small expected share of the metagame.
Classification notes: "Other" was mostly monored, but there weren't quite enough to warrant breaking it out as a separate archetype. If you have any objections to how we classified your deck, or spot an error, send us a PM.
Thanks as always to @ChubbyRain for his considerable help, and to @Jaco for scanning the decklists so soon after his Old School tournament concluded!
We had 55 people register for the April Power 9 Challenge. Congratulations to Jazza for winning with Foundry Inspector Shops! There were some innovative lists in the Top 8, including desolutionist's and KeeperX's.
- Jazza - Inspector Shops
- desolutionist - DPS with Mentor
- UnrestrictBrainstorm - Jeskai Mentor
- Hitogoroshi80 - White Eldrazi
- Smmenen - Jeskai Mentor
- Trakklo - Punishing Oath
- Lexor19 - Ravager Shops
- KeeperX - Monored Hate
Looking at the winrates, we see that well-tuned, successful decks from before the restrictions were able to do well (mentor, white eldrazi, and ravager shops). Whether these decks will remain on top of the post-restriction meta or if we will see more tuned versions of other decks emerge will be something to watch for moving forwards.
Link to the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iGnDSL8L9uvnKGqJWM8qRda_bGZ2itdqoZO7J44l89Q/edit?usp=sharing
Note that subarchetype data is inaccurate/depreciated. If anyone looks themselves up on the googledoc and notices inaccurate tags please let me know. I spent quite a bit longer watching replays because it was harder to tell the FOW decks apart from each other. Thanks to Matt for inputting the results and helping to decide on archetypes.
303 players showed up in Pittsburgh to play in the latest iteration of Vintage's most prestigious event of the year. Congratulations to Joe Brennan for being our deserving champion and taking home an amazing painting!
- Joe Brennan - A BUG's Life
- Boston Schatteman - Jeskai Arcanist
- Justin Franks - 4C PO
- Bryan Hockey - RUG PO
- Jeremy Pinter - RUG Sanctuary Walkers
- Jody Keith - Golos Stax
- Brian Coval - RUG PO
- Ryan Eberhart - RUG Sanctuary Walkers
This has been a year of cataclysmic shifts, with a slew of new printings, restrictions, and unrestrictions. Along with this came a shift in classification to attempt to better capture the current metagame. Lands contains Dark Depths (Dark Times) and both Fastbond archetypes (Crab Shack and Ziasbond). Big Blue and Blue Control have been combined into Other Blue due to their continued decline.
The pace that Magic Online innovation permeated Champs this year really amazed me. Matt Murray's Mystic Sanctuary RUG Walkers deck, which did not exist a week before Champs, made 25% of the top 8. The Oko Oath deck which won the Format Playoff a week prior was almost universally adopted by the 13% of the metagame represented by Oath.
My biggest takeaway is the omnipresense of Narset. Of the 165 non-dredge FOW decks, fully 150 ran Narset. Everyone who has played a blue mirror lately knows how frequently Narset is encountered, but that is truly staggering.
The second is that, for the first time since we've recorded this data, shops had a sub 50% winrate at an Eternal Weekend. Its two most notable predators, Oath and PO, were heavily present in the metagame. Equipped with Force of Vigor, Dredge was also able to do significantly better against Shops than in previous years.
If you have any objections to how we classified your deck, or spot an error, send me a PM.
This month's Challenge data is unfortunately smaller than September's. There were only 4 challenges, and Matt and I were at Eternal Weekend last Saturday so we missed collecting that data. Rather than doing a poor job inferring from the top 32 summary, we decided to omit that challenge from the calculations (I added the top 32 metagame for display only). If anyone recorded results, send Matt or me a message and we would love to add them in.
The performance of shops in this data stands in stark contrast to the success of that archetype at Eternal Weekend and last month in the vintage challenges. In particular, shops had a 58% winrate versus xerox at Eternal Weekend, but just 34% here. The fast pace of metagame changes on MTGO could very well be the cause of this; if anyone has time to look at the differences in decks that would be fascinating to see. Or perhaps we can just mumble something about small sample sizes!
Thanks to Matt for help with all of these reports.
After the inconvenient timing of the last couple months, I am glad that we had a full 56 players register for this month's Power 9 Challenge. Congratulations to Rich for winning his second P9 in a row!
- "The", The Atog Lord - Foundry Ravager Shops
- Jazza - Ravager Shops
- Thiim - Outcome Storm
- CrepeMyrte - Pitch Dredge
- oRS - UW Control with SFM, Spell Queller
- UnrestrictBrainstorm - Animation Module Ravager Shops
- diophan - Foundry Ravager Shops
- lllllll - Pitch Dredge
Top 16 Decklists:
As we can see, Shops did very well at this event. Combo (which was entirely Paradoxical Storm) also did well. I was personally quite surprised by the metagame percentages. Perhaps many people did not have the time or tickets to test ballista, but that card is the real deal and for only 21% of the metagame to be on shops is surprising. Furthermore, given the hype for shops, I was expecting more people to be on the natural counter, Oath of Druids.
62 players registered for this month's Power 9 Challenge. Congratulations to ravager101 for the win!
- ravager101 - Pitch Dredge
- wappla - Jeskai Mentor
- ZebraUnicorn - Jeskai Mentor
- ifarnung - Grixis Therapy
- HeyNongMan - White Eldrazi
- pedroj - Ravager Shops
- J.A.Eliso - Ravager Shops
- Kyle1022 - Sylvan Mentor
Note that dredge won the tournament, had the highest winrate, and was played by very few players. Dredge had 0 results in dailies for the past couple weeks, likely convincing some players to skimp on dredge hate. Thorn decks also had an improved showing from the last Power 9.
The Leovold/BUG decks were quite vexing to classify. The 4C Togores Gearhulk lists were placed under Blue Control, Beaver Gush Hydra and Brian Kelly's GSZ lists under gush, and all others under Other. Leovold has shown itself viable in many styles of decks. For this among other reasons, I recommend analyzing the metagame through the "Tag" lens.
First off I'd like to thanks Calvin, the judges, and Tales of Adventure for both running a great tournament and giving me access to the decklists and Event Reporter data to run the metagame analysis. Unfortunately Matt (@ChubbyRain ) was unable to attend, but I would nonetheless like to thank him for the joint backend work on P9s and the NYSE which made this report much quicker to generate.
VODs are available at https://www.twitch.tv/talesofadventure . I only watched a bit of the coverage, but it seems like Reuben Bresler, Christian Calcano, and later on Brian Kelly did a great job.
Congratulations to the top8:
- Ben Williams – White Eldrazi
- Mark Hornung – Eldrazi Tribal
- Nick Dijohn – TKS/Smasher Shops
- Joe Graff – UW Standstill
- Roland Chang – TKS Shops
- Jonathan Suarez – Jeskai Mentor
- Sam Castrucci – 5C Humans
- Kenan Diab – Ravager (Non-Eldrazi) Shops
Decklists are available at http://eemagic.com/Top8Vintage.html
Here are the stats for archetypes. Note that for this analysis I separated the disjointed Blue Control archetype into Big Blue (Vault/Key, Grixis Thieves) and Hard Control (Standstill, Blue Moon, Control-Heavy Bomberman). I also got rid of the null rod archetype since Eldrazi Tribal belongs with Eldrazi and put the very few non-Eldrazi null rod decks into Other.
Here are the same stats broken down into subarchetypes. Note that Other Gush includes Delver, Hydra, Doomsday, TITI, and DP Gushbond.
In my opinion the meta moved roughly as one would expect after the NYSE results. Shops picked up a larger share of the metagame, at what looks like the expense of Eldrazi. Gush dropped slightly after a disappointing performance.
In my opinion the biggest takeaway is the continued impressive winrate from the "thorn of amethyst" archetype. Eldrazi did perform much better against shops than in the NYSE. It wasn't just Eldrazi Tribal but also White Eldrazi which did well against TKS shops. I'm not sure what to attribute this to, since on paper it looks like Shops should beat White Eldrazi.
EDIT: numbers have changes slightly due to reclassifying two decks.
46 players participated in yesterday's Vintage Challenge on MTGO. Congratulations to Jazza on his win!
- Jazza - Ravager Shops (precursor over wire)
- Smmenen - Jeskai Mentor
- Pascal3000 - Jeskai Mentor
- Dan9IN - Ravager Shops (wire)
- espiatrianero - White Eldrazi
- whateverfor - Jeskai Mentor
- desolutionist - Gifts Drain Tendrils
- Ponagger - Ravager Shops (precursor over wire)
The spreadsheet can be found here.
Shops and mentor again made up the majority of the top 8, which I am sure everyone who posts on these threads will be thrilled with. Note that almost all the shops decks in the top32 omitted tangle wire; it will be interesting to see what the shops decks which do well at NYSE next week look like.
Thanks to @ChubbyRain for his help with these reports.
130 players made it out to Long Island last weekend. This was my first NYSE and I want to thank @Prospero for running a great tournament. You can read his report here, which contains the top8 decklists. I absolutely encourage everyone to make the trip out for the (hopefully occurring) next NYSE.
Congratulations to Ryan Glackin for taking home a lotus and amazing looking trophy!
The spreadsheet can be found here. Let Matt or me know if you spot any errors.
I unfortunately predict this will be a scary meta. Shops does less good of a job keeping storm in check without the clock provided by LSG. Not hitting gush and dark petition shows (to me) that the DCI does not really understand why the meta is how it is.
Magic Online is not paper Magic. I can read @Smmenen's Doomsday article while resolving a doomsday. There are no draws, intentional or otherwise. No one can miss a CotV or narcomoeba trigger. My opponent can time out while executing the Salvagers combo. I can consult mtggoldfish for a list of my opponent's recently played decks after the round has started, but I cannot watch others' matches after I have finished mine. I can accidentally misclick while resolving a flusterstorm or choosing the order triggers go on the stack. I can play from my apartment without putting on pants and microwave a burrito after F6'ing as my opponent goes off. My opponent can play a deck for 600 tix instead of $18,000.
Some of these things are "good" while others are "bad". I think it is misguided to put one particular paper rule on a pedestal.
EDIT: Also the beginning of combat step exists.
As a signifcant improvement over last month, we had 63 players register for this month's Power 9 Challenge. Congratulations to ecobaronen for taking down the tournament!
ecobaronen - Jeskai Mentor Silence
ReneRandrup - Jeskai Mentor
Call1Me1Dragon - Leovold BUG Fish w/ Painful Truths
Blululululu - Jeskai Mentor Silence
kleuter - Jeskai Mentor Silence
jacksad - Omni Oath
thehello32 - Grixis Tezz
Becks84 - Foundry Ravager Shops
Dishonorable 17th place mention: Myself
I think the most interesting dynamic of this tournament was the relative positioning of Ravager Shops, Outcome, and Mentor. Walking Ballista has given Ravager Shops a significant advantage over Mentor. However, if Shops pushes too hard in this direction they can fall prey to a traditionally strong matchup, combo. Shops may have spheres, but Outcome has an expansive manabase and Hurkyl's (which notably does not work against Stony Silence). Although we can always complain about sample sizes, this is supported by the archetype vs. archetype winrate percentages.
Note: Other includes 2 Leovold BUG Fish decks, 1 Null Rod Merfolk deck, and 1 goblins deck. The two BUG Fish players did fairly well at this P9. Big Blue was completely encompassed by Outcome (both Paradoxical Mentor and Paradoxical Storm). Paradoxical Oath was listed separately under Oath. If you want to play around with the data on various combinations of tags, save a copy of googledoc to your account and change the Include/Exclude tags fields (B24-B25).
EDIT: Updated a couple tags based on the published decklists. Will update screenshots when I get home.
41 players played in the post-restriction, pre-Labor Day Vintage Challenge. Congratulations to WinRyder for winning with an impressive 9-0 record piloting delver! Paradoxical decks made up the largest chunk of the field. The "next level" decks packing null rod effects did much better, however.
Thank you @brianpk80 for not having tech issues and being able to record the decks not in the top 32 for us.
Here is the meta breakdown for the March MTGO Power 9 Challenge, for which Matt Murray (chubbyrain) and I once again collected data. Decklists for the top16 (with navigation in what I believe is Spanish because WOTC is great at designing websites) are available here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-premier-2016-03-27
Congratulations to Montolio for winning the tournament.
Total Number of Players 74
Shops (ravager, aggro, tiny robots, dark depths, uba stax)
Number of Players 15
Win Percentage 52.6%
Gush (mentor, delver, grixis pyromancer)
Number of Players 18
Win Percentage 55.2%
"Blue Control" (landstill, grixis, painter, thoughtcast, etc.)
Number of Players 14
Win Percentage 40.9%
Dredge (traditional, pitch)
Number of Players 8
Win Percentage 50.9%
Oath (odd, omni)
Number of Players 3
Win Percentage 77.8%
Combo (DPS, doomsday, gush tendrils)
Number of Players 6
Win Percentage 48.6%
Other (white trash, BUG fish, miscellaneous singleton decks)
Number of Players 9
Win Percentage 38.6%
Number of Players 1
Here are the archetype vs. archetype winrates:
And the sample sizes:
Blue Control is a large, not very coherent grouping, but for the sake of not having too many categories we lumped all the large'ish and/or controlling blue decks together. A notable breakout from this category was UW Landstill, which had 3 pilots with a 50% win percentage.
The obvious big takeaway here is shops coming down to earth from the last month. I built my delver deck with shops in mind, and I suspect many others were gunning for this deck. Oath's win percentage was obviously very high, but given it only had 3 pilots, and one was the winner of the entire tournament, I think we can chalk this up to a small sample size and people being woefully underprepared for it.
Gush and shops appear to be a notch above the other archetypes. This does not surprise me, but note that the dominance of gush in January (58.2%) and shops in February (61.2%) were brought closer to 50%. It's quite possible next month we'll again see shops and gush swap positions as people move their crossairs.
There are a ton of interesting things to say about the archetype vs. archetype numbers. Rather than making a huge post, I will just point out what I think is the most interesting feature: how well gush did versus shops versus how well blue control did against shops. Note that calculating these took a long time, so I would not be surprised if those aren't going to happen every month.
EDIT: Numbers were adjusted slightly from last night since we had Deibler's (spicy) deck misclassified .
52 players registered for the P9 Challenge this month. Luckily I was able to take it down with a list similar to what I played last month, incorporating a couple changes Rich and I made to the deck for this trimester of VSL. Congratulations to the rest of the top 8!
- diophan - Grixis Pyromancer
- Becks84 - DPS
- Princess_Power - Esper Mentor
- i_b_TRUE - Grixis Thieves with Remora
- ChubbyRain - Jeskai Nahiri Gush
- ConradKolos - UW Landstill
- desolutionist - TKS Vault/Key Gifts
- Lexor19 - White Eldrazi
- wappla - Jeskai Delver
- thediabetical - Esper Landstill
- MRP900 - DPS
- nucleosynth - Grixis Pyromancer
- Call1Me1Dragon - White Eldrazi
- maciek1618033 - Thing in the Ice Storm
- Boin - White Eldrazi
- Egget - Jeskai Mentor
- oRS - Burning Omnioath
- evouga - Control Oath
A few things that immediately jump out at me. First, the top decklists were very diverse, with some truly innovative lists. Gush was a huge chunk of the metagame, but even after removing mirror matches had only a 50% winrate. The other big takeaway for me was the disappointing performance by shops, in particular versus gush. Matt noted that a larger percentage of the gush decks were lower to the ground with JVP, which assuredly contributed to this.
This time around we decided to post a link to the googledoc. The reason is twofold. First, if you see any errors please let us know (we removed all wins resulting from byes and no show opponents). Additionally, if anyone would like to play around with the data using different classifications than we did, you can do so by copying our read-only googledoc. If you want to and have questions on how the formulas work, shoot one of us a PM.
As usual, huge thanks to @ChubbyRain for working with me to compile the data.