@moorebrother1 The deck looks neat. Using multicolor lands instead of basics could be advantageous since there's a lot of artifact mana. I like that there's a theme to the deck as well. I'm excited to try this out.
@rat3de There might be a cool Doomsday deck in those ideas.
I tried using PO with Doomsday (thanks to Gush restriction) but every iteration felt like regular PO storm with extra and unnecessary steps. Usually, by the time you could cast Doomsday, you could instead get a lot of storm and win. Using Doomsday also entails having cards in the main deck that don't synergize much with PO, like Dark Ritual. Four Mox Opals might be able to replace it though. One could even take the black splash further and add Mind Twist. I feel like Mind Twist could be amazing with both PO and Doomsday.
Perhaps using Burning Wish like the Legacy build to reduce clutter in the main deck could be good. A light red splash could be beneficial in other ways, like allowing access to the usual red cards, and maybe even Blood Moon (since PO relies so much on artifact mana).
Surgical is pretty good if you run a lot of them. When I was trying it out in my sideboard, I felt that I needed to draw it early on in the game, and consistently throughout the game in order to really control the game. It sucks when you draw Surgical after all of their Vengevines, Narcomoebas (if against Dredge), etc. are already in play. But you effectively take away one of their game plans (the one you dislike the most) if you have it in your opening hand or draw it turn 1 or 2.
The decks you're going to use Surgical against usually don't have as many Mental Missteps in hand as a blue deck would, even if they run 4. I tried including 4 Surgicals + 2 Extirpates in my sideboard (taking all other graveyard hate out) one day for shits and giggles, but they could completely destroy their graveyard, library and hand. Also, Surgicals aren't that bad against topdeck aggro decks like WEldrazi, as long as you have some removal.
@davidlemon I agree with you that Brainstorm can't be unrestricted with the rest of the B&R list staying the same. 4xPO and 4xBrainstorm would not be fun to play against. I guess part of what I'm trying to say to say is I'd prefer unrestricted Brainstorm and restricted PO than the other way around. Though I don't mind unrestricted PO.
@moorebrother1 Brainstorm and Ponder together is pretty painful, but I'm guessing with Ponder (arguably the more self-sufficient card) restricted, Brainstorm itself wouldn't restrict deck diversity as much as it did back then. We also have a lot more tools to deal with 1cmc spells than they did back in the late 2000's. Paradoxical Outcome would have to go if (big if) Brainstorm ever becomes unrestricted. I guess a lot of people wouldn't be ok with that.
Legacy is a pretty diverse format despite both Brainstorm and Ponder being legal. Granted, many of the more powerful cards available in Vintage are banned in Legacy, but without Ponder, the most effective number of Brainstorms in most decks may be less than 4. Obviously I've never played Vintage with 4 copies of Brainstorm, so I'm likely blatantly wrong.
What is the reasoning behind leaving PO unrestricted while Gush remains restricted? Gush only generates a good deal of mana with Fastbond. Without Fastbond, Gush is a draw 2 that can return two lands to your hand, and maybe generate 1 mana in addition to mana from tapping those lands. PO draws a lot of cards and makes a lot of mana. Sure, it needs artifacts in order to work at all, but usually none of the artifacts are dead draws on their own, and most combo decks want them regardless of whether they use PO or not.
I'm not advocating that PO be restricted, but it seems to me that the more interesting blue cards are restricted, at least in part, for the sake of PO staying unrestricted. I wish Gush were unrestricted for good. Restrict the problem cards like Monastery Mentor, not the related cards they happen to use, like Gush.
I'd personally like to see Brainstorm unrestricted. We have Mental Missteps, Mindbreak Traps, Pyroblasts, and many other popular 0-1 drop counterspells that would keep them in check, not to mention sphere effects in creature and artifact forms that can easily be cast T1.
I don't think Brainstorm would be an automatic 4-of in all blue decks; usually, there is a ceiling for how good Brainstorm can be in each turn. Unlike Ancestral, if you don't have a means to shuffle, Brainstorm is a very temporary solution to whatever bad hand you might have. Having multiples of Brainstorm often doesn't generate too much advantage for the same reasons. It's telling that Portent, a synergistic card also released in Ice Age, has you draw during the next turn, instead of the same turn it was cast, acting as a kind of check to Brainstorm. I doubt the interactions between Brainstorm and Portent were unintended by the creators. With Ponder restricted, I doubt Brainstorm would be at a power level worthy of restriction in Vintage.
Brainstorm is also one of the more nuanced cards in the game that would add strategic depth to the format as a whole without increasing the power level of certain decks too much. For example, having a way to consistently hide cards from your hand would lead to more decisions informed by more considerations for both players than not having a way to do so, while not giving an overly 'unfair' advantage (which I would loosely define as literal card advantage for little resource cost) to the player with Brainstorm.
I also personally would like to see more grindy control decks that do more than cast Preordains and a couple of tutors for library manipulation. Decks with draw engines are fun, but there are too few oppressive or sneaky blue decks that are more in the style of 'draw, go.' Almost every deck right now is just so busy to find its combo piece or lock piece. I believe unrestricting Brainstorm is one of the ways to help improve blue deck diversity.
There's a post gush restriction doomsday deck floating around on the internet (link) by a reddit user nihilaeternumest. LSV's recent Doomsday list is pretty good as well. These decks are good candidates for using Lab Man. You would want to go off with a bunch of counterspells to protect Lab Man so I don't think the 'dies to lightning bolt/pyroblast' point is very relevant, unless it's a joke. Doomsday is a pretty sneaky card so it works well with Lab Man.
This list looks really good. I've been working on a Tendrils combo deck with Mana Drain as well. One thing that I've had trouble with was taxing aggro decks, specifically White Eldrazi, with their Caverns, Wastelands, Thalias, Reality Smashers, and sometimes Spirit of the Labyrinth. Workshop Aggro is fine thanks to Mana Drain, and Hurkyl's post-board.
I found that spot removal like Swords and Fatal Push were underwhelming against White Eldrazi thanks to these decks having loads of creatures and annoying artifacts or enchantments. These decks are just creatures, hate and mana. Just relying on finding Tinker against them is too much of a gamble, and I feel that this goes against the core idea of the deck, which is to control and shape the game into a circumstance in which you can almost certainly win. Because these decks have few enchantment removal, and usually drop one to two creatures per turn, I think enchantment-based hate against these White Eldrazi decks is more useful, like Drop of Honey, the Abyss, or Moat.
Drop of Honey is the most skill intensive among these, but a well-timed Drop of Honey can often win you the game. Nature's Claim, Sylvan Library (a pet card of mine that I haven't found a good deck for) and even Carpet of Flowers are possible sideboard candidates if splashing green. I'm not sure splashing green is worth it, however, since it would make the mana base too weak.
The Abyss, although harder to get out than Drop of Honey, can be cast as fast as turn 2-3, even with Thalia in play, if you Mana Drain just one of their spells. They can't do anything about it after it's in play, other than cast Fragmentize and such, which can easily be countered. Moat is usually GG against White Eldrazi, but not as useful against other creature-centric decks like Survival or BUG variants.
Do you have any experience with this deck in a creature heavy meta? I think the Abyss is probably the best option out of the three I've listed, since you don't have to weaken your mana base for it. But I feel like there might be much more consistent permanent options that don't rely on landing a Mana Drain or using artifact mana.
Chains of Mephistopheles might be used to great effect with decks that mainly use "take the card into your hand" type of cards. Necropotence, black tutors and Dark Confidant are the big ones that come to mind. There are also blue cards like DTT, Fact or Fiction, and Gifts Ungiven that do this. There might be a new deck that might be able to use these ideas functionally, but I'm not sure if it can be well-rounded enough to handle Eldrazi or Shops lists as well, or not be suboptimal.