I started playing Magic in the fall of 1995 with some friends that worked with at a bar. I took a quick liking to the game and soon wanted to be competitive. I purchase a Timetwister for $100 and I played at Gen Con in 1996 in both Type 2 and Type 1. I just remember loving the game and went all in at that point. I purchase all of the power cards with the exception of Black Lotus. I played mostly casually in college and when I got married I just play Friday night magic for a few years. About 6 years ago I decided that I only wanted to play Vintage seriously. It was the year before my son was born and I played some very intense magic. My son was born and now I am limited to about one tournament a week. I play with my brother every week to test out decks and talk shit. I still love the game and I will never sell my cards.
@brianpk80 I really respect your analysis and points. I have danced around some of these points myself. There is a very big challenge here there you are not addressing and that is the player base itself.
I have written several posts over the past year or so trying to become a better player and understand the meta game. But, the most insight I gained was looking at the split between Old School and Vintage.
I have learned that Vintage probably has the most diverse group of players. It is not the largest group but a very diverse group. This causes all kinds of perception issues. I was primarily a paper player and since I have had my 3rd child late last year, I am now primarily a digital player. This has changed my view on all of these discussions.
There is a HUGE gulf between who plays paper, how they play it and why compared to the digital format. It is literally 2 different formats. There is also a very large split in the Vintage community basesd on age and income. I am a 40 something professional, and my view of what I want from the game is very different from a 20 something college kid or young professional.
With all of that said, I think your points are good but the conclusions are not quite what people are looking for in this format.
People play Vintage for many, many reasons. I myself switch from nostalgia to competitive to goofing around and some times just experimenting. I like your premise and I like several of your points but I do disagree with the recommended actions.
The primary reason that I disagree with your recommended actions is because I have found that most people like Vintage the way that it is. Some people leave and some people join, but most people actually like what Vintage is now and what it has been aside from a few periods of single cards that messed up the format.
The reason for this is that Vintage is the place where busted things happen. If you are playing a control style deck you have to expect that Shops will try to overpower you in the first 3 turns, and the dredge is just a bad math up for you game 1. If you are playing Dredge you know that you have to win game 1 and fight like hell to win one of the next 2 games.
I look at Legacy where they killed off Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe just to get the same format from 2014, and that is because they won't ever touch Brainstorm, Force of Will, Dark Ritual and Chalice of the Void. Those card define Legacy. Vintage is defined by the core restricted cards from Alpha/Beta, Mishra's Workshop, Bazaar of Baghdad and whatever budget option beats those things.
This is not a bad thing it's just what it is. Our meta-game is surprisingly small compared to Modern given our card pool because similar to Legacy it is about efficiency. I play many formats and each format gives me something different. I primarily play Vintage and I have not only accepted the meta-game but I have come around to enjoying it.
I have been wondering lately about the terms we use to describe decks and how these decks play. Some terms you hear often is fair deck or interactive deck.
I really dislike these terms. In my opinion, there are no fair decks in Vintage. The concept of interaction is really in the eye of the beholder. I do not find counterspells to be interactive.
The idea that a deck is fair because it’s plan for winning is to control the game and take over is not fair. The term fair should be reserved for Standard in my opinion.
Do you think having the concept of a fair deck helps Vintage? If we define every deck as broken does that hurt Vintage?
@msg67183 That card costs 4 to play. Chandra is better. The deck does not work well in the meta right now. Adding Goblin Cratermaker to sideboard helps. Maybe 1 or 2 explosion//expansion.
Honestly, I was going to try Sarkan to just have some fun with the deck. The deck is losing to dredge and survival so I have kind of shelved it right now. It is on my list to come back to.
@smmenen I like the way that you approached this. My feelings about the meta were more about polarization than Diversity and Balance. I have a difficult time linking interactivity to enjoyment of Magic.
I took my own advice and played something different and a little janky. I played Cindervines since @ChubbyRain had some much fun with it and I did not take it too seriously and I am having fun again.
@themonadnomad I have played through 2 changes to mulligans and the current one is ok. If it were up to me I would do away with the scry for 1.
Each time the rules changed there was some apprehension from the community. "Paris" mulligan as it used to be called was created by players and this one makes sense. Throw your hand away and get a new one minus a card.
This new one developed by Wizards is scary to me. There are already too many games and too much of culture that assumes turn FOW if you are on blue. Dredge has to have turn one Bazaar and Shops has to have turn one threat or lock.
This rule just makes all of this worse. As a Xerox player, I can now sculpt my hand into FOW, Misstep, and blue card which is already oppressive. And Shops will pretty much always have a Workshop. How is this better?
@vaughnbros this rule change makes it worse for eternal formats not better. Every good vintage deck will have certain hands that are almost unbeatable. That is vintage.
Magic is a card game. Variance is part of playing a card game. I lost to Oath while playing PO because I started with bad hands at SCG Con (mull to 5) but I had a turn one win against Shops and some crazy opens against other decks.
If we try to reduce variance in Vintage we are going to make the format all about hyper efficient mulligans not actually playing cards.
What I find irritating about this rule is that no one asked for it. When the Paris mulligan was created in the 1990’s it was created by players to solve a real problem.
The original mulligan rule was not good and in Type 1 it could be abused by no land decks or very heavy land decks by getting free mulligans.
This new mulligan rule looks like a solution without a problem. Card games have variance and sometimes you lose to variance.
@fsecco A lot of Vintage has been defined by a relatively small number of "tier 1" decks since 2002. The main reason for this are the power cards in Vintage. As @nedleeds keeps pointing out Vintage is defined essentially by genres. The point of this thread is to examine the meta and analyze it, but also to get a pulse of how people feel about it.
I am past complaining and I just want to enjoy magic. This meta feels off to me, and I keep thinking about the comments from @The-Atog-Lord at Eternal Weekend 2018 and the article from hipstersofthecoast.com where they interviewed him about the VSL.
I am trying to understand from the community if this is the preferred meta-game for Vintage. It appears that some love it and some hate it. I am trying to find my way here. I was enjoying the meta and then RNA was released and my enjoyment dropped. I am studying the meta-game now and I want to be like @ChubbyRain, I want to have fun and enjoy it. My issue may not be the decks or the cards. I think for me the issue is understanding that Vintage has evolved into digital format and if you want to play competitively where with a large pool of players it is on MTGO. Otherwise, there are about 3 or 4 large-ish events that get over 100 people in the US and a few local events if you are lucky.