Author of Understanding Gush
Posts made by Smmenen
RE: N.Y.S.E. Open VI?
If Lotus is $70 per head, then removing Lotus from the prize pool makes a great deal of sense. Perhaps you could still find a way to award power nine to all or most of the top 8 if it was among the least expensive range of the power nine. That would be my preference.
Cash is too variable for people to encode it as a meaningful prize.
SCGCON P9 Coverage & Top 25 decklists
SCGCON top 25 decklists: http://www.starcitygames.com/decks/results/format/4/event_ID/17/start_date/08-06-2018/end_date/10-06-2018/w_perc/0/g_perc/0/r_perc/0/b_perc/0/u_perc/0/a_perc/0/order_1/finish/limit/25/start_num/0/
Full coverage page, Including in a video interview with me!
RE: [Premium Article] Schools of Magic: The History of Vintage 2017 & Conclusion
No idea, unfortunately.
Remember that the earlier chapters were written years ago. The editor and I have to go through the entire book with a fine tooth comb (I've already re-written and expanded the Introduction and Chapter 1 - but it hasn't been uploaded yet). Then we have to format it for a physical book, and work on the layout. There are a number of places I want to 'touch up' and update the book.
It's really up to you whether you want to wait or not, but my guess is September or October.
[Free Article] The Power Nine Series Returns!
Whoa, what the heck?
My first article on Starcitygames in nearly 8 years!
It's a brief history of the Power Nine series, and some metagame predictions and analysis for SCG Con.
Check it out, and please be sure to comment in the comment section, and vote it article of the day.
Don't adjust your monitors! It is 2018 and this is really Stephen Menendian! One of the pioneers of Magic content is back to talk Vintage as we approach SCG CON!
[Premium Article] Schools of Magic: The History of Vintage 2017 & Conclusion
At looooong last, the book is complete.
This final installment is the 2017 Chapter, and an 8 page conclusion to the entire book, which summarizes all of the schools of Magic and offers some commentary on the arc of the format over 25 years.
I'm quite proud of this work! Enjoy!
Years in the making, read the conclusion to Stephen Menendian’s epic History of Vintage. 2017 was an incredible year of Vintage experiences, long anticipated restrictions, and surprising unrestrictions. Stephen’s book closes with a special review of the great Schools of Vintage Magic, and reflections on 25 years of an incredible game.
SMIP # 79: The Battlebond & SCGCon Preview
Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian preview two Battlebond cards, as well as the upcoming return to Star City Games’ Power Nine Vintage tournament series at SCG Con. Thanks to Wizards of the Coast for sending us these preview cards to share!
Podcast (somanyinsaneplays): Download (Duration: 1:16:23 — 85.7MB)
0:01:00: Battlebond Previews
0:09:40: VSL Update
0:29:30: Tournament Results: TMD Open 19 and Eternal Weekend Europe
0:45:00: SCG Con Metagame Predictions
Total Runtime: 1:16:23
– TMD Open 19 Top 15 Decklists
– TMD Open 19 Organizer’s Report
– TMD Open 19 Winner’s Report
– Eternal Weekend Europe 2018 Top 32 Decklists
– Eternal Weekend Europe 2018 Metagame Breakdown
RE: [Free Article] Menendian's Suggested Banned and Restricted Lists (2018)
It depends on how you define "correct." My preference for restricting Power Artifact over Consult in Old School '96 is a perfect example of a counter-intuitive narrow tailoring approach.
As I said above
Narrow tailoring assumes that there are multiple ways to solve a problem (which is usually true when it comes to B&R policy), and that the means by which you accomplish that end should be that which has the least collateral harms. Therefore, narrow tailoring will often lead to restrictions that seem facially absurd, in the sense that the restriction target is a less seemingly 'powerful' or salient card.
Demonic Consultation is used by a number of Old School decks in Old School formats with Ice Age. It makes Reanimator more consistent in Old School '95, and MaskNaught more consistent in Old School '96, thereby diversifying both metagames. It boosts mono black decks and a number of other decks that tend to be homogeneous as well.
On the other hand, Demonic Consultation makes Power Artifact combo decks too good (and even better in Old School '96, when Force of Will is available). Restricting Consult instead of Power Artifact collaterally harms Reanimator, MaskNaught and other decks unnecessarily. The more narrowly tailored choice is restricting Power Artifact, which is the best thus-far-proven use of Consult in environments with Necro restricted, and which used to be restricted in Swedish Old School anyway.
It's possible that Consult is so good that other decks can become too good by abusing it. If it were proven true, then the calculus would shift, and I'd prefer to see Consult restricted instead. But I haven't seen that to be the case in Old School '95 of '96 tournaments. And, part of my methodology is evidence-based decision-making rather than theory crafting around the power of a super-efficient black tutor. I invite folks to try to abuse it, and make a deck that is too good. If they do, then I'd restrict Consult instead. But until then, I'll go with the choice that maximizes strategic diversity while minimizing the number of cards restricted.
RE: Why do you think we have a restricted list?
@smmenen Thank you, I changed it to the "DCI" in my initial post. I sorta knew that and had a brain fart.
Question: do you think their principles for restriction extend all the way back to cards like Ancestral and Time Walk? Was there ever a time when they would have said "these cards are not automatically restricted we have to evaluate the format?" What were the competitive balance reasons that any of the moxen should be restricted? What degenerate things did they enable that could not be enjoyed by many many different deck? I have my own theories as to why they got restricted in the first place, but I'd also like to hear from the community.
I preemptively answered these questions in my post you replied to:
"I ... found that the DCI's bases for restriction have evolved over the decades of Type I and Vintage play, and is not entirely consistent or internally coherent. They have evolved just as the game has."
It wasn't until 1995 that the concept of "card advantage" came into parlance. It makes sense that the regulatory body who manages Constructed Magic would also evolve their rationale and bases.
As I demonstrate in my History of Vintage, many of the restrictions that occurred in 1994 were done without the benefit of tournament data. Rather a handful of cards were immediately restricted after Antiquities and Legends were released. For example, 3 cards were immediately restricted after the release of Antiquities: Ivory Tower, Feldon's Cane, and Candleabra - but curiously - Workshop wasn't restricted until more than a month after that - suggesting that it was evidence, not just a preemptive design act, that precipitated it.
Similarly, Library of Alexandria was restricted more than 5 months after Arabian Nights was released, and well after other Arabian cards like Rukh Egg had been restricted. Again, this suggests that data or tournament experience/results played a role. And again, Mind Twist was restricted immediate after Bo Bell's victory at US Nationals. And, yet again, Balance and Fork were restricted after decks appeared abusing those cards in tournaments in early 1995.
After Legends, the DCI moved away from the idea of pre-emptive restrictions. The only card preemptively restricted - or restricted nearly immediately - after the release of a set, from 1995 until the present - is Mind's Desire. The soonest card's get restricted in that period is at least 2-3 months after set releases, compared to the virtually coterminous restrictions that occurred with the release of Antiquities and Legends.
If you follow the pattern of restriction from 1995 through April 1999, it's very clear that the DCI only restricted cards in Type I that were proven problematic, and was generally narrowly tailored in doing so. The main exception to narrow tailoring, of course, was the mass wave of October, 1999, when the DCI restricted 18 cards. But that occurred only after two prior attempts to deal with the problem proved futile.
Then, if you look at the restriction regime from late 1999 until roughly 2006 or so, it's clear that part of the rationale that the DCI uses for restricting cards is "function," like "fast mana" or tutors. Yet, it's very clear that by 2008 through the present, that rationale is jettisoned. And thus, cards like Chrome Mox, Mox Diamond, Grim Monolith, Burning Wish and Gifts Ungiven are unrestricted despite being "fast mana" or "tutors."
In short, the DCI's rationale has evolved over time as the game has evolved, in both our collective understanding and the emergence of better and more refined data sources and data sets. The MTGO era gives the DCI more and better data than ever before. And it's clear from a number of recent DCI announcements, written mostly by Ian Duke, that they are using that data.
Beth Moursand wrote an Duelist article that explained the rationale of every restricted card in Type I from 1994 through 1996. And the DCI has offered public explanations since roughly 1999, so we aren't entirely in the dark on what their rationale is. Your post seems to suggest we are completely in the dark. We aren't. That doesn't mean that their explanations are entirely comprehensive, but this isn't entirely guesswork either.
RE: Why do you think we have a restricted list?
I answered that question, from my perspective, here: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-suggested-banned-and-restricted-list-updates-2018/
The main purpose of the restricted list, in my view, exists to maintain and promote competitive balance. The DCI is basically analogous to the FTC or the Justice Department vis-a-vis the market. The Restricted List is the regulatory mechanism, and the DCI is the regulatory body that manages that mechanism.
The restricted list also exists to ensure that the format is sufficiently interactive (or even better, that there is sufficient "counter play."
It accomplishes both goals by 1) regulating dominant strategies, both monopolies and oligopolies, and 2) ensuring there is enough counterplay by regulating decks that win too quickly or shut out an opponent from doing anything, like Trinisphere or Flash.
The reason that Vintage has a restricted list instead of just a banned list is so that there is an official, sanctioned format where Magic players can play all of their cards (to the maximum extent possible).
Also, a corollary to that is: What do you think are the criteria R & D uses to decide what is on the restricted list?
The DCI manages the Vintage restricted list, not R&D. R&D is the team of staff that designs and develops new cards.
But assuming you mean the DCI, they provide public explanations, so you can parse their explanations for Vintage. I have done so as part of my History of Vintage Series, and found that the DCI's bases for restriction have evolved over the decades of Type I and Vintage player, and is not entirely consistent or internally coherent. They have evolved just as the game has.
But, by and large, the grounds they offer in their explanations for restriction and unrestriction generally match those I articulated above.