Not sure if it's safe to get back into this thread again, but here goes:
Found this week's instalment of the VSL a little underwhelming - the novelty of week one was great, but it all felt a bit flat this evening. Just my two cents. The heralded return of Shops isn't really going that well (though I'm not sure Kai's deck was a great build by any means).
Also, although Randy has a show to promote, I was pretty concerned to hear him say that, "Mentor isn't crushing it". It just seems very myopic to be using the VSL as a yardstick for the format -- Mentor currently represents over 41% of the meta on MTGO.
The positives: Brian Kelly! I kind of came here hoping there might be a whole thread dedicated to him. Proving to be a fantastic strategist, deckbuilder, player and a fun, insightful commentator. I was very glad he was able to refute Randy a little - and that during Caleb versus Brassman, he highlighted some very unusual lines. If you can't learn from the reigning world Vintage champ, who can you learn from?
Also very happy that Nick Coss got a plumb spot at the start of the show to talk about Eternal Weekend. For all the tension that is made out to exist between the VSL and the Vintage community at large, this was a great example of how one can be very for the other. And I think we should be pretty grateful to the VSL for that.
Good luck to the TMD ringers still in with a shot at the regular season. Been a good show so far!
This thread feels like the death knell for the Mana Drain, certainly for any illusion of it existing as a "community". I cannot belive that people are being accused of clogging up a forum with, you know, threads. Or of wasting each others time. I know Brass man has valiantly tried to pull TMD from the flames but come on....if you can't identify what you do or do not want to spend time reading on this forum, the problem is the forum not the threads.
I would really like to think that Vintage is a place full of grown-up, interesting intelligent peers. And that if we were drinking in the pub this evening, we could say to each other, "Hey, did you see that card that got spoiled today? I'm excited by it. What so you think?" Without having playtested it. Without necessarily knowing if it's Vintage playable. But simply because I'm a Magic player viscerally excited by the game in its many forms, talking to other Magic players I assume are still capable of feeling something similar.
I mean, doesn't this clamour to talk about new cards tell you something about the state Vintage is in? Doesn't it suggest to any of you, that we've gone so far down our own little cul de sac that we're playing a format so stale it's dying? That it might in fact be missing on out on some of the interesting things happening in the wider game? And that an elitist attitude to Magic as a whole isn't going to help that? Heaven forbid they ever break the Reserved List and give prols access to the format, too. What then?!
I personally love spoiler season. And I often come to TMD after a cool card has been spoiled hoping to see it discussed. Not because it will be Vintage playable, but because I have previously enjoyed the way some members here talk about the game or comport themselves more generally. Because, of all the people in the Magic community, these are the people I want to chat to about anything. If TMD really thinks shooing that kind of chat elsewhere is going to be helpful, good luck. It's precisely the kind of discussion that has progressively moved over to social media and left fora like TMD struggling to survive. Decklists now appear on mtgo goldfish. Strategy gets taught via streams. If all TMD has left is vitriol and pomposity, I don't see much reason to stick around. And can't see many of the new players who have joined the game since it went online feeling encouraged to either.
Overall, sad times. All for the sake of some online cock waving.
@nedleeds I know I raised this on Twitter but the whole tone of the event reeked of afterthought and a put a lot of people off, myself included. I can do one event this month and I'm making it my first ever Standard GP in Warsaw instead.
Basically, Bazaar of Moxen (& Paris) were an uninspired choice. Bazaar sunk European Vintage when it dumped Annecy to have a crack at organising GPs. The scene fractured and you can't just get that back overnight - especially when it looks like the TO responsible has actually been rewarded for its part in the downfall of the scene!
To be honest, I think they were chosen because Wotc dont know much about the eternal scene and assumes they still have cache as organisers. I also suspect them being French made it easier for them to pitch to Helene Bergeot. And to be fair - it's perfect reasonable for her not to be up to date on what's happening in the Eternal scene and to go down the path of least resistance. But piss poor turnout is the result.
Essentially, if there was clamour amongst Europeans for an Eternal Weekend, it's because we could see the great job that Nick Coss had done with it over the past couple of years - which means what the European version needed was a TO with as much passion and drive to make it their own. Unfortunately, BoM are complete amateurs - which was fine back in Annecy, when you felt they cared, when you felt it was something special, being laid on for the Eternal scene. But ditching that event to TO GPs they really put that illusion to bed....and also produced events, where you weren't willing to accept their shambolic organisation anymore, because...they were supposed to be pros now.... I was ok with the village hall aesthetic, lousy coverage and sandwiches for catering, when they were the world's biggest Vintage event, done on a shoestring for the community, giving away insane prizes. But they did GPs with the same half-assed production values, whilst simultaneously leaving Vintage floundering. I cannot get excited about going to another BoM organised event, especially in Paris where they've used some lousy venues in the past, and sadly I know I'm not alone in that.
Since Annecy's heydey Magic events have changed a lot. That includes GPs and the quality of experience on offer, but also Eternal Weekend, which even from a distance looks great - with some great commentators, amazing community vibe, excellent food and drink options etc etc. That all needs to be part of a European Eternal Event if it's to inspire the community and reunite Vintage players in the way Annecy once did. But the TO is the worst possible choice for that, associated with an amateur and parochial approach and actually damaging not building the scene. We just need a fresh TO who's going to take the ball and run with it, not a tarnished TO that many people are at best indifferent about. I'm much more excited to go play a Channel Fireball event at the weekend in Warsaw, than I was about the prospect of this year's European EW. And given that I've not played Standard since Tempest, that's a sorry state of affairs.
I think BoM have even already been chosen as TO again next year - in fact, before they had even run this one and demonstrated they could do something good with it. Massively uninspiring. Friends I've been to Annecy with in the past have already suggested we skip it and go to GP Las Vegas in June instead. I'm inclined to agree.
So.... there's a lot to unpack with this announcement and I'm not sure I agree completely with you @Prospero
Firstly, I think you're greatly over-stating the importance of the title Vintage World Champion. Yes, it's certainly a nice title - but from a perspective outside the US, I can tell you, that for many years, it has felt very parochial. When Bazaar of Moxen was THE paper Vintage tournament worldwide, it certainly did not feel like a legitimate claim - and while that's changed in the few years since BoM imploded (more on that in a bit), it still remains a very US-centric take on things. All credit to Nick Coss for making his event latterly the focus of the Vintage world's attention - it's now the premier paper event in the world. But that wasn't always the case - and I'm sure in BoM's fat years, there were plenty of people who would rather have won a big pile of power than a painting. Not everyone sure, but I think it's good to have a slightly wider perspective on this.
Nonetheless, this change could certainly have been better handled - although Helene did mention it was coming months ago on Twitter. Personally, I think there a few alternatives that could have been considered.
To make the 'world' title more international - we could simply have rotated the hosting of the tournament between continents. Realistically, Europe and the US at first, with Japan at some point. And certainly, if Nick Coss is doing a great job with it (it appears he certainly is!), then have him work on it, wherever it goes.
If there must be two tournament, connect them in some way. I think what definitely sucks about this change is putting them right next to each other in the calendar, so they're competing rather than complementing each other. Why not do them six months apart, with a travel prize going to the winner, so they also compete in the 'other' continent's Eternal Weekend? Surely, that's precisely the kind of prize support that Wizards' backing should entail - and which could have helped elevate the status of both events.
Finally (assuming better scheduling), why not pay Nick Coss to be TO for BOTH Eternal Weekends. Because frankly, the announcement of BoM as TO is about as exciting as a wet fart. Their events in Paris (I'm thinking BoM Paris and the subsequent Legacy GP they did there) were lousy. The French capital is a bloody expensive place and decent venues seem impossible to come by. I have little faith it's going to be any better this time round. Besides, what Europe is clamouring for is not more of the same - rather, the Eternal Weekend we get to follow so feverishly each year - in an exciting location, with commentators we know from the PT, with amazing artists, a cast of big name players and so on. I really doubt BoM's ability to deliver this - and would have much rather Nick Coss' very exciting work on EW was exported to Europe, rather than us faffing around doing something half-arsed.
More broadly, giving it to BoM feels like a backwards step. Why is European Vintage on its arse right now? Well, because BoM canned its annual Annecy tournament and took away the focal point of the whole community, and chased TOing GPs instead. Yes, they faced a number of logistical challenges, including venue size in Annecy and the impossibility of offering the same prize pool once the price of power spiked to its current insanity. But their decision has totally decimated the European Vintage scene, leaving it in the fractured mess it is now. You can't just wave a wand and magic everyone back to an event, once you've scattered players to the winds. And so it feels very underwhelming to see them put in charge of what should have been an event on a whole different level.
So, to sum up. In theory, creating a European Eternal Weekend should have been awesome. It's been handled in what feels like a very cack-handed manner (lazy choice of TO, abysmmal choice of date, seemingly no over-arching vision, nor consultation with Nick Coss), and I honestly couldn't give a toss about going. One eye on Columbus instead... flights to Chicago seem affordable....
In late 2012, I started work on a book combining the history of Magic, with a memoir of my time playing it. I self-published it in late 2013 as 'So Do You Wear A Cape?' and many of you here went on to be my earliest and most supportive readers. First off - a huge thank you to you all! I know very few of you personally and still you took a huge leap of faith in me, for which I'm eternally grateful.
So, I thought I'd share my good news with you: In Spring next year, a print version of my book is being published by Rebellion (publishers of 2000AD amongst other things) and should be available in a book store near you.
Here's the press release more details:
What that means is, we finally get a mass-market book telling the story of the game we love and the community we're part of. I'm really excited about that and I hope that this reaches a whole bunch of new readers.
Please note, this is a much more polished and slightly amended version of So Do You Wear A Cape? I've had to trim some parts (alas, my chapter on the Eternal formats fell by the wayside - it was the most important to me, but too esoteric for a non-player) and others have been added to (primarily memoir to sustain the book's narrative). Basically, I don't want you guys to be confused by the new title (aimed at a wider audience) and feel cheated reading the same book. But, what I do hope is, that anyone who felt touched by the book, or felt it explained their passion in an accessible way, would be stoked to put the print edition on their shelf or in the hands of their friends and family.
I love Magic. I wish a much wider public understood it and played it themselves. And that's really what this book is all about; sharing some of the justifiable pride we should take in ourselves as a community. I hope you're excited about the book and I hope you'll lend me the same support you did when I was a bloke you'd never heard of, putting out his scrappy e-book.
Thanks once again to everyone who's read my work. Glad to be part of 'Generation Decks' with you all.
PS I just linked to the pic on publishers site and jeez, it's massive. If there's an easy way for me to resize that, please let me know!
Really enjoyable read Steve and I agree with most of your assertions. I'm not quite sure I agree with your almost final point though that Vintage should change slowly. I think many long-time Vintage players are certainly suffering from an almost moribund format becoming a living one again thanks to MTGO - but I'm not really sure, that's who should be catered to if the format is to grow. ie: Vintage's best hope to attract new players is via Magic Online, Online players notice formats getting stale far quicker due to the high turnover of play, so to keep those new players in the format we/the dci should be thinking about meeting their expectations. That might mean more regular changes in what constitutes the format.
That said, I would hope first and foremost for change via unrestrictions, new printings and perhaps better errata management (eg restoring something like Transmute Artefact which might boost an alternative blue strategy). I personally enjoy the fact that the format is less about the restricted cards than ever before - and also don't believe that less variance in the power level of cards leads to lower skill. I think many sub-optimal plays are rescued in Vintage by drawing into broken one-ofs; ripping Time Walk or Ancestral for the win for example. Try piloting control in Standard right now for an idea of how skill-testing a low-powered, homogeneous format can be....
If we are talking restrictions though then I do agree with the above posters, that there might at least be a sober discussion to be had about restricting Workshop whilst also unrestricting Chalice and/or Golem. I think Thalia decks have shown the viability of aggro-prison strategies in the format without the namesake from Shops decks, such that Workshop's holy cow status as 'keeping the format in check' no longer stands. I also wonder if fans of playing interesting, fun artefacts might not be better served by Workshop being restricted - for much the same reason Birthing Pod was in Modern. It simply puts too much of a brake on what R&D can print going forward.
Just a couple of thoughts anyway. Before the printing of Ballista, I might have said it was time for Mentor to go. But it's good to see the emergence of a new card that could perhaps reign in a card that has otherwise superceded all alternative win conditions for gush decks. I'm in favour of Gush sticking around - I think over all its impact on the format is favourable. But I would say the last six months has felt very stale in Vintage to me and that, as an online player, I've been seeking my kicks elsewhere. That's been a revelation to me personally - I'm playing Standard now for the first time since Tempest block and always draft the new sets, plus the various cubes - and I greatly enjoy being involved in Magic more broadly. But I do also think that this is emblematic of why Vintage needs to get to grips with being a living format, and one which lives mostly online, where there is plenty of competition for players' attention. Retreating into the lofty Vintage mindset of yore and spurning the many possible new players online would at this point be disastrous for the format. The only problem is, that I do not believe, that even if we as a Vintage player base are willing to move with the times, that Wizards is equipped to do so, too. They simply don't have the staff resources to keep a close eye on the format, to be nimble or rigorous with restrictions, to free cards from stifling errata etc....it is perhaps only because of this - because of the fear they'll cock up the format - that I am sometimes grateful Vintage is left to evolve slowly.....
Cheers for a thought-provoking read as always Stephen. Sorry you didn't make it into the VSL this season, at the very least to provide historical perspectives and reasoned arguments when the sometimes hysterical commentary flares up.
(Edited to correct the god awful predictive text function on my shite mobile phone)
I wanted to post a list I've been having fun with in the practice rooms (less so in the leagues, where I'm getting stomped), in part because I think there are a few similarly minded plucky underdogs on here who occassionally like to turn dorks sideways, and I suppose in part also as a lament for where fish decks are in the format these days. My goal is not present you with a format-breaking list with which to take down the next Vintage challenge, but to show you something I've been having completely subjective fun times with, in case you may have some wisdom to share on building decks like this in the format - however much of a folly that at times feels like.
So: I've barely played Magic over the last 9 months or so, let alone Vintage. I just can't really get excited about the game or the format at the moment. When I have played Vintage though, I've been playing a bit of RUG Cascade. In doing so, I discovered how much fun it was casting Bloodbraid Elf, a card Modern players are currently having a blast with, too. I decided to try and knock together a Vintage Jund deck, as best I could, to keep Bloodbraiding for fun and profit. After many thrashings, here's where I'm at.
As far as I can tell, the number one problem to try and solve when building decks like this is, how do you fight both decks that play on the stack and decks that flood the board. And frankly, it's almost bloody impossible. Trying to get enough disruption in, whilst being able to deploy threats is a real challenge and it's possible that these days, we don't have the card pool for it in Jund (I think White/Thalia based decks, especially with Caverns probably have a better chance). Still, I've tried to pack in discard and modal spells (Command) to do what I can. Why play black at all then? Well, given how hard it is to have a very linear disruptive strategy (for example, as per the Null Rod decks of yore), I think there's virtue to playing silver bullets plus black tutors. In this case, I have the singleton Null Rod, and a card I've found critical if you want to even attempt to hang with blue, Chains of Mephistopheles. I was trying to jam Leovold in here orginally, but he's just too slow. You need a chance at getting down a first turn Chains to slow down cantrip and Paradoxical decks enough to apply pressure.
I've including a pair of Spirit Guides to help cast 2-drops early (and get to 4 quicker for Bloodbraid) - ultimately, I decided a 2/2 body was mostly a better 'bad' cascade than an off-colour mox.
I'm always trying out Kitesail Freebooter - a card that feels a little underpowered, but does give you the kind of valuable 2-for-1 the deck desperately needs. The card I haven't tried in this slot is the classic Jund staple Hymn to Tourach. Whilst I'm playing, I do generally hate seeing the opponent has cards in hand... but I struggle to believe Hymn is actually good. If you have thoughts on that, I would love to know!
Three-drop-wise: There's certainly some questionable choices here. I've liked the one-of Liliana as an out to Oath/Tinker targets and a helpful tool against control. Scab-clan Berserker has also generally impressed me. I love having another haste creature, and I love the slightly disruptive side to the card. I've been toying with the idea of playing a second, but I suspect having double Command is just about better. One of those commands though could be something else... Tried Ramunap Excavator, but never really drew it, so that's a bit inconclusive. I've wondered if something like Collective Brutality might be worth a shot, but it feels a little weak. Possibly a Young Pyromancer? Peezy is a card I've not yet tried to jam in here - but may be the only way you stand a chance at keeping up with opposing token-makers (though as we have to pay for our spells, it's probably a lost cause). What do you guys think? Is cramming Pyromancer in here somehow the way forwad (perhaps with some number of Cabal Therapies?).
Regarding paying mana for spells: It turns out, that in this format, it's a pretty catastrophic thing to do. For that reason, I'm playing the full four Bloodbraids. I keep going back and forth on this, having previously tried a Chandra and a Tasigur in place of Elf #4 and Kologhan's Command #2. I really wanted Chandra to work out, but basically, on turn four against a blue opponent, you won't resolve it. So I tend to think you have to turn to Bloodbraid, so you at least get something out of the exchange. I just wish the body was better. Get swole little elf!
On Goyfs: I quite like where this card is at the moment, or where big-butted creatures are generally. I wish it cantripped or something... but you can't have everything. But since the peak Eldrazi menace days, there are fewer Swords out there in the world, and Tarmo is sometimes just the dumb beater you need. In lieu of a better disruptive beater, he stays for now.
Mostly self-explanatory I think. I like Trap against combo, but also on the draw against anything from Shops to Oath... anything that risks barfing something unstoppable out before you. Fire Convenant could possibly be a different sweeper - Slice and Dice, Deluge, maybe even Simoon? Crypt and Spellbomb frustrate me slightly - I often find against Storm/Paradoxical, I wouldn't mind having both a Spellbomb and a Null Rod in after side, which is of course nonbo territory.
Some General Remarks
Boy -is it a tough time to be a Fish deck. Overall, the one-time pillar of Vintage has never-recovered from the printing of Delver and co - the cards that allowed URx to be the best Aggro-Control deck in the format, which unlike previous Blue decks, did not struggle against Null Rod and could even play the card itself. Without a consistently disruptive crutch like Rod, it feels like Fish - certainly any non-blue attempt at such a deck - is kind of dead in the water. Something like Jund will need some radical printings to really catch up - or perhaps another Blue apocalypse...but, it can still be fun to jam in the practice room, if you like a change of pace, if you like come-from-behind wins etc. It's unforgiving, but I've enjoyed playing a lot of cards that simply give me pleasure - Bloodbraid and its inherent variance to me is one of those cards - it just makes for exciting in-game moments.
I suspect if there is a Vintage aggroey deck out there, it either plays blue (like RUG Cascade) or White for Thalia. Thalia though comes with a whole bunch of deck building constraints that I personally haven't really thought about yet - is Junk for example just straight up better than Jund? Oscar Rubi from the LCV seems to consistently do well with it. We've also seen how central Thalia was to White Eldrazi. And she's the glue (along with Caverns) that makes Vintage Human decks tick... she's probably aggro's best chance in Vintage - and I will certainly be jamming Humans next time I fancy a change...
Still, for now, I'd quite like to make this Jund pile as good as it can be and would welcome any thoughts to that end. I'd also just love to hear generally from anyone else who wishes there was a little more variety to Vintage and more competitive ways to beat down with non-artifact. non-blue, non-zombie duders. What do you think? Is Thalia plus Caverns the only real option out there? Will Dampening Sphere change anything (I can imagine it as a one of in a deck with tutors for example)? Are any of the non-Human tribes being overlooked at the moment, or any color-combinations - RG beats was once a thing etc.
Beatdown players of the world unite!
Completely agree with your take on Aaron's words and also share Kevin's pessimism or at least resignation towards the DCI. I'm also with Sam Black - the state of the format, or at least its management, is doing more damage than the effect of restricting a popular card. While I don't think it's a given that all pros want to play Vintage or have a healthy vision for the format, I do believe that they remain the most influential tastemakers in the game - and seeing them mostly and very vocally avoid the format these days is just bad PR for the format and hurting its prospects for growth. The hoops the VSL is jumping through this season to make the format more appealing I think is indicative of where we're at - and I don't think WOTC having ridiculous axioms like Aaron set out, is the way to improve that.
I did have some slim hope that the remit of the Play Design team might extend to the Eternal formats. Given their name, you'd expect they might be just the people to sculpt better play experiences throughout the game. But in effect, R&D have recruited a couple more developers for Standard and called it a day. I think that's very disappointing - but perhaps one area, we could lobby to see improvement in. I want to place my faith in WOTC, I want them to boasts the best expertise and have the necessary authority when it comes to managing constructed formats. And yet, it seems a folly to trust on anything but Limited, and perhaps Standard going forward. That's a sad state of affairs.
I kind of just wanted to pipe up and thought this thread might be the best place. After a couple of months of the new TMD, I'm generally finding myself using it much less than the old forum and feeling less engaged by it - and, a lot of that has to do with the way the information here is now presented. Hats off to Brassman for putting his time and energy into it, but I feel like far more of what is being posted is passing me by than on the previous site.
Readability remains a big issue - I mean, the colour difference you've mentioned above for read/unread thread's is all but indistinguishable and required trawling through various themes until I could find one where it was even noticeable. Then generally, it's so much harder to get an at-a-glance feel for what threads are active - because of the general lack of hierarchy on the site: both on the landing page (where before topics where broken down into easily visible sub-fora, bolded for new posts - now you only see activity from one thread, have no idea which thread or if its relevant to your interests), and within the forum categories themselves.
I think in a couple of forums it's particularly problematic: First, in the strategy forum - deck discussion mixed in with general strategy chat and card discussions means it's hard to parse the forum at a glance to find what you need. As a quick fix, maybe we need stickies for current "decks to beat", just so there's some sort of constancy, a snapshot at the top of the state of the metagame, where to talk about it and which decks within that are currently generating discussion. I feel this would aid readability some - even if graphically, the fora still desperately need more visual hierachy.
Secondly, I think the tournament forum also suffers quite badly from this. It took me a while to realise that the TO's reports were separate from individual tournament reports - and given lack of discussion on most individual tournament reports, I suspect I'm not the only one over looking them. Then within the official TO results forum, the same lack of visual hierarchy on other pages, means its generally hard to tell what the most recent tournament is - perhaps a new tournament result gets stickied/highlighted a different colour for a week?
Sorry to be a bit negative if you're reading Brassman - I'm sure you've put a lot of effort into the site, for which I am very grateful. It's just that after letting the change settle down for a couple of months, I'm really noticing that it's effecting how engaged I am with the site and that's regretful to me as I've always turned to TMD as my first port of call for Magic matters. Keep up the good work.
@Islandswamp I believe I faced this in the practice room yesterday - if so it was similar to Brian Kelly's VSL list, though I think it had more sphere effects in. Certainly, I saw at least two Resistors plus Trinisphere. But maybe if the pilot's on here, he can chip in more.
Thanks Matt and Ryan for this - and congrats on the win to boot Ryan!
I went 4-3 with a fairly low to the ground UWr Delver list. Two of my losses were to the accursed Eldrazi...going to have to figure out a better plan for that match up.
Anyway, well done to everyone who Top 8ed - enjoyed the event muchly. I feel like there's been a nice amount of activity recently in the Practice Room on MTGO, including many names who I didn't see in the actual P9 Challenge. Be great if we could convert some of those players somehow in participants for future events.
Have a good Sunday one and all. Off to waste the play points I won back on an EMA draft...
Thanks to all involved for doing this breakdown again - it always makes for fascinating reading. Sadly, having missed the last one due to a holiday, I couldn't really be arsed with this one - and it seems other Vintage players are voting with their feet, too. I'm not in love with the format right now and the inability to actually play with a relevant card pool pretty much sealed my disinterest in the P9 Challenge. Hopefully, mtgo will be up to speed for the next one - but I worry the event/format may have permanently shed players by then, bored by the choice of playing either Gush or a deck that feels hideously inconsistent in comparison. Hopefully, I'm wrong and EW will pique mtgo players' interest and we'll clamber back up to 100 players a month for these events.
In the meantime, congrats to all the top 8, really look forward to seeing some of the more unusual lists. And thanks to Ryan, Matt and Shawn for their heroic data mining. If only WOTC were such good custodians of the format.
@thecravenone While it's mostly more intutive, there's a few things I don't like about this:
- That there will be cards that read 'any target' that you can't actually point at any target (only PWs, creatures and players). I just find that confusing,
- It powers down an already weak colour in Red. Earthquake effects... Chandra Torch of Defiance... neither hit 'walkers any more which is a real shame. I'm sure we will see plenty of PW removal in the future, but for now, it's annoying to have fewer ways to interact with one of the game's most powerful card types.
- Flavour-wise, I liked that walkers were in a unique space between players and creatures - they felt like the powerful allies they seem designed to be. Now, they're basically 0 power creatures with defender and activated abilites. Meh.
Obviously, these are fairly minor complaints and I shall suck them up and get on with the game. But I don't know... was the change really necessary?
@gkraigher Honestly, while you may have an axe to grind regarding Lodestone's restriction, conflating it with this issue is utterly ridiculous. No, ending professional Magic as we know it, does not affect just 35 players. It destroys the trust of the game's most engaged players with Wizards; it chases its best players from the game; it gives them no hope of sustaining a lifestyle (which is by no means lucrative) of playing the game at its highest level and producing content for the community - and all of that undercuts Wizards' goal of selling packs, which we, the Vintage community, really need to happen if we still want to play our little corner of the game.
Yes, Magic faces strategic challenges in the age of e-sports. No, this was not the way to address them. Honestly, we should be worried about the player base having too little power, not enough, when Wizards handles so many issues so cack-handedly. If you look at Hasbro's 2015 report to shareholders, you'll see the game Magic has grown year-on-year for the past seven years - and yet very little of that profit trickles down to investment into thing the community is clamouring for: be it better remunerated premier play, better coverage or an MTGO fit for the 21st century. It was vital to say no to these cuts - and demand WotC pay more than lip service to the important of community.
Bottom line: Having an elite level of the game helps make us all better Magic players. The game and the business owes a debt of gratitude to players who have taken on the precarious situation of chasing the pro dream and exploring the deepest possibilities of Magic. Without them, Magic would have died in the 1990s, no question. And they continue to do more to sustain the game than a handful of Vintage players griping on TMD.
WotC's R&D dept needs better resources to manage all its formats. And they shouldn't have listened simply to VSL players on Lodestone. But this was a completely separate issue, with broad community support from informed players.
Was super fun to preview a card - and one that on a personal level I really wanted reprinted. Honestly, 20 tix a pop for the Nemesis version online was a joke! Glad I'll finally be able to get myself a set - and hopefully, plenty of other potential Legacy players will feel the same.
Think that for Online especially the set will do a lot of good and should help grow the burgeoning Vintage dailies scene. I also hope Daze shows there's going to be value to be had at common and uncommon in this set, which should make drafting it heavily a much better proposition.
Cheers to anyone who followed/RTed the Daze spoiler and thanks for posting it here @Ked
Congrats to Collector for the win and massive thanks to Matt and Ryan for the metagame breakdown.
Felt like I was on the right deck (white Eldrazi), but fell apart after a 3-0 start. Putting it down to variance and fatigue. Deck (or mtgo shuffler!) is capable of some horrendous draws, but overall is a lot of fun and a welcome change of pace. Felt hard to come from behind (usually on the draw) and perhaps Tangle Wire is missed there slightly. Look forward to seeing how it evolves.
I can't remember who it was, but one opponent in a mirror I played had Stoneforge for Batterskull/Bitte, which seemed a good way to get an edge there.
@wappla Hi Wappla, you pretty much summed up my feelings exactly - unfortunately, this is very much driven by the publishers. I think it's worth noting that my title didn't chime with everyone (for example Stephen and Kevin when they mentioned their book on the SMIP podcast) - so, although I prefer it for the reasons you've mentioned, I think it's also legitimate to wonder if a majority of the Magic community prefers being spoken to in another register. It's entirely possible that most Magic players aren't ready poke fun at themselves and would rather something straighter. Ultimately, I would like to reach those readers, too, so I've had to make a rather pragmatic decision on that fron.
Also agree with you @peterflugzeug on the cover. Again this is an area where contractually, the publisher has the final say. But I am pushing for something that looks less diffuse - and less like an astrology title...
Appreciate the feedback guys, thanks for all the help!
@deibler Conspiracy isn't released as such, but they've confirmed they'll be getting some of the cards from the set online in an other way - it could be by mixing them into another Vintage Masters-syle set (believe this happened with Dack) or by awarding prize packs for Cube again. Still, I fear these Eternal playables will end up pretty pricey if they see play across both Vintage and Legacy.