One of my favorite fictional characters is Sherlock Holmes. Every now and then I hear the
phrase "No shit, Sherlock" as if something that was said was super obvious. Now it blows my mind that even after chalice got restricted, some players still aren't happy and are now calling for the restriction of lodestone golem. Others, go even further and want Mishra's Workshop itself restricted. Where does it end?
As a Vintage player the restriction of Mishra's Workshop (at the moment) isn't even on the table for discussion. My love of the format stems from actually being able to play the best of the best. Moreover, I want my opponents to try and beat me using the whole 23 year card pool. The format would have to get really absurd for me to even consider giving the axe to Mishra's Workshop itself. Of course I understand the logic, I'd just much rather point out the obvious, and at least consider alternative options before calling in the wrecking ball for the second time.
Which leads me to Gush. The card has been restricted and unrestricted twice previous. Since then we've had the printings of young pyromancer, Dack Fayden, Treasure cruise, Dig through time and our new walking tendrils of agony Monastery Mentor. Comparing the card Gush too it's 2011-2013 shell of it's former self is completely unfair and delusional at best. The argument holds about as much water as a lactose intolerant after drinking milk. Let's be clear, and give some recognition towards actual gush delver decks at the time. We all know the lists by heart, but i looked up what a "stock" list would look like after the restriction of just treasure cruise. The maindeck was comprised of 25 cards at 1 cmc. During this time there was outrage towards workshop decks and how they were undeniably the best deck. Egos were hurt from losing and the call for Chalice of the void to be restricted was parroted by more than I thought was justifiable.
In my mind it was very difficult for me to ignore the giant elephant in the room. People were trying to tell me that chalice of the void was a huge problem. Let me get this straight... we have players building decks with 41.67% of their deck at 1 cmc and they can't beat a chalice of the void and a sphere effect? No shit, Sherlock! Let's be honest. Your plan is to voluntarily pick up 2 of your 14 land lands up off the table and build your deck with over 40% of it's cards at the same converted mana cost of 1? It doesn't take the brightest bulb to a shine light and see where the problem stands. Yes, at the same time other non-gush decks had to adjust to fight on a competitive axis. Concessions in deck building had to be made to keep up with the hyper-modern gush format that was promoted by the delve spells. I understand how frustrating chalice of the void was when your hand is full of moxes and you can't cast a thing because you lost the coin toss. (We've all been there.)
My bullshit detector was going off when the justification was "we want moxes to be played." During that era I'd say 7 to 8 times out of 10 it was way more beneficial to be setting that chalice at 1 then at zero. Nevertheless, I'll concede to people being happy now that they can play moxes, but I don't agree with the whole way things went down. Which leads us to the present. If you want to talk about strategic diversity what happened to merfolk? bug fish? big blue? landstill? Bomberman? Gifts? Thirst decks? tezz decks that don't fold to null rod. Both Gifts and thirst came off the restricted list. Neither are remotely playable because of gush. People seem to be viewing the thought of the restriction of gush as a bane to blue decks. I think it's a boon. It would allow deckbuilders the ability to fight shops much better and we wouldn't have to hit shops with another bs restriction.
In closing, if I had a personal vote to help make decisions regarding the Banned and restricted list. I'd ideally, go back in time and instead of restricting chalice I would have restricted gush. What do we do now? I'd say restricting gush would open the format up and make it more than an over glorified game of rock, paper scissors. Then after the dust settles go back to unrestricting cards. A bit long winded of me and I apologize. if I missed out on relevant topics like people having 8-13 dead cards vs shops in the main deck it’s because we all know things get complicated. I have spent way more time writing this then I would have liked but I don’t want vintage as a format to turn into an edh playgroup governed by the VSL. (ie. a small group of very good players just having fun on a Tuesday)
It's not that I completely disagree with the restriction of chalice, I would have personally just
taken a different route and went after gush before considering chalice. More or less just a pecking order to resolve the dissonance. (either way, we've thus far ended up in the same place. Have we not? Just in reverse order) I just don't have the conviction that it was the correct call before the consideration of gush. I would have liked to have decks like bug fish back to prey on shops enough to change the way decks were constructed and induce soft spots.
We both know how to fight workshops. I don't need to write out things we both already know.
Anyway, it's only my opinion. Regardless what happens on Monday. I've stepped away from the game for a very long time. Here on out, I'm pretty much in it for life in some capacity or another.