Sorry for the double post, but I'm just listening to this now :)
Just wanted to make a case for the Eldrazi Tribal as deck of the year. It has a great story. It was actually a Modern deck originally, that slowly migrated to Legacy and then was ported by Jaco to Vintage. It's VERY rare that a Modern deck becomes a new deck in Vintage. I mean, there are cards that are played, maybe interactions, but a whole deck? Modern lists are very very close to Vintage lists. Legacy Eldrazi lists are almost the same. When was the last time that happened?
Also, this was the first budget deck I remember in a good while that was able to make top results. It even makes Dredge seem powered since Bazaar of Baghdad spiked. It's just mind boggling.
Loved the podcast once again, just wanted to throw this here hehe. I know you guys actually talked about it briefly during the cast though.
Finished the podcast while organizing all the recycling for pickup. Goodbye, last renmants of refuse from the holiday season...
Anyway, I was struck by one big glaring hole in your analysis. Namely, that creature decks are perhaps at an all time high (certainly a local maximum) in the Vintage metagame. We have shops, eldrazi, white weenie, mentor, and various flavors of each. While Hope certainly shuts down Mentor pretty handily, it does not stop other creature decks from developing a creature-based game plan. In 2000, I'm sure that stopping your opponent from casting non-creature spells would be a Mindslaver or a Time Walk, but we're living in a world where your opponent can still drop a Thalia or TKS under the Hope.
That's not to say the effect is not still incredibly disruptive. Your opponent cannot back up their creature with countermagic, for example. I still think you're spot on that this card goes right into the toolbox. No doubt. But, if you're going to compare this guy to Time Walk or Mindslaver, it's really a big oversight to not bring up the creature exception. There will absolutely be matches where you have to sideboard Hope out.
@Smmenen I hope I haven't given you cause for offence - I'm not saying you're a bad player or anything along those lines. My view is quite the opposite on that point. My claim is much more modest than that.
I don't think the Doomsday/Standstill matchup is the most egregious in terms of play mistakes (although to be fair allowing Ancestral to resolve was pretty questionable, I think I would generally trade my 3rd Misstep for 3 turns)
My point was more "If Stephen targets his Force in a way I'm pretty sure all Vintage players should by now know to do automatically, he wins the game". You seem to agree on every part of that sentiment, so I'm just going to drop the in-between argument that has somehow sprung up.
As to the "play Gush" vs "sit on Gush" argument I think Lotus is actually a very interesting point of departure for analysis. I prefer to sit on Gush there, which if your opponent topdecks a simple 1-for-1 answer is equivalent to the "play Gush" line (because he has to act first, 1 answer will be stranded on the stack). So passive Gush is only at a disadvantage versus single topdecks that enable multiple answers - narrowing down the field of concern to things like Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall (or possibly multi-mana lands). One posture you might adopt is "sit on Gush, play it in response to Lotus or in response to answers" which is only worse than the aggressive Gush line if he has Black Lotus in hand and topdecks an answer (I think this is extremely unlikely); if he topdecks Ancestral Recall and simply casts it, you can Gush in response and are no worse off than the aggressive line. If he topdecks Ancestral and plays it in the middle of a stack, it becomes extremely contextual and difficult to analyse. If you can hit his Ancestral with a Flusterstorm that also sweeps up other cards (I think this is likely) then the topdeck is blank and waiting to make your opponent act first is +1 relevant card compared to the aggressive line. If he successfully resolves Ancestral on top of a stack and finds additional impactful cards then you're pretty well punished, but your opponent's mana restrictions become a major factor.
@ajfirecracker I don't think it's strange at all. You're citing to Rules in a loose way, but the actual text is not what you're suggesting.
705.3. A coin used in a flip must be a two-sided object with easily distinguished sides and equal
likelihood that either side lands face up. If the coin that’s being flipped doesn’t have an obvious
“heads” or “tails,” designate one side to be “heads,” and the other side to be “tails.” Other methods
of randomization may be substituted for flipping a coin as long as there are two possible outcomes
of equal likelihood and all players agree to the substitution. For example, the player may roll an
even-sided die and call “odds” or “evens,” or roll an even-sided die and designate that “odds”
means “heads” and “evens” means “tails.”
I bolded the relevant part. As you see, the substituted method technically must involve 1) two possible outcomes of equal likelihood AND 2) player agreement. Nothing in this Rule suggests you can simply accept one possible result, however well-justified, and then adopt it without actually resolving the random event.
You are saying that, to resolve 1,000,000 coin flips, the players simply take the standard variance and apply that in someone's favor. What is the variance, though? It's a statement about the expectation about how many more heads or tails you will usually get, on average.
In probability theory and statistics, variance is the expectation of the squared deviation of a random variable from its mean, and it informally measures how far a set of (random) numbers are spread out from their mean. The variance has a central role in statistics.
However, the actual result of flipping the entire sequence will virtually never actually equal this exactly. Variance or not, the chance of getting precisely X heads and Y tails on a million flips is vanishingly small for any particular choice if X and Y.
Now, of course, if no one calls a judge and no judge is watching... you can do whatever you want to. But, nothing in the Rules supports the procedure you suggest.
You are welcome! Please let me know what you think of this chapter. I am really happy with it from a narrative and aesthetic perspective. And I'm also glad to get this project rolling again. The challenge is writing something more cohesive than my "Year in Review" articles. I think you'll be happy with the result.
My experience with the land destruction effects in Delver decks is really really positive (combined with Null Rod in the side too), and I really like them more in Delver than in Mentor.
Despite LD strategy in this kind of decks seems totally natural (having some historic agro decks in mind) it seems it is not a common shared approach to Gush agro lately.
However, I am thinking of counting the Wastelands as spells, not lands, thus trying not to interfere with the blue land count. Wasteland is a great hoser vs. Dredge and MUD as you mention, so that's why I am thinking of bringing them in to fight both archetypes.
@Topical_Island MWS players shouldn't have much problems with Cockatrice since it's very similar. At least the keyboard shortcuts were. There are some that are different. I wrote something about it 5 years ago. Anyway if you need help you can contact me. I can play a game with you and walk you through it.
@yugular Cracking article - one possible thing to add may be a bit more depth on bording. Lot of people see a stock list and never bring gut shots in, despite them being needed to deal with Thalia, phyrexian evil crabs etc.