Hey @JACO, will there be any updates to this book in the near future? With @Thiim's recent Eldrazi Shops finish taking off and the book's birthday recently passing by, I'm curious if this project is getting any sort of refresh.
Mike, I do have plans to update the book, once there is enough that has changed in Vintage to provide a necessary update for metagame context, Banned and Restricted movement, or playable printings. I don't feel that is the case quite yet.
Thiim's most recent build is just a variant of Workshop Eldrazi Aggro, which I covered in Chapter 8 of the book. It subs out Tangle Wire for Phyrexian Revoker (which I would have been on board with from the beginning), and Slash Panther for Precursor Golem (I think both are average to mediocre). The most important thing (again, which I would have done in my older builds anyway, based on metagame considerations then and now) is to utilize Null Rod, which just buries Ravager Workshop variants, as well as the current Outcome decks.
I have a general policy position that, as a matter of principle, cards/strategies need to prove their dominance over time to merit restriction. The reason is essentially implicit in your point here: that the metagame needs time to adapt, and to demonstrate that it is incapable of adapting, to warrant the extraordinary use of an external policy intervention to address it.
As a practical matter, that means I oppose knee-jerk restrictions when new problems crop up. We need time to see whether dominant decks are truly dominant in a sustainable way, or whether they will fall back the earth.
That framing should suggest why I don't believe 3+ months into this metagame is too little time to take another action. This isn't a "new" metagame in any meaningful sense. It's not like we entered a brave new world post April, and the problems we confront today are wholly novel.
The pre-4/24 and post-4/24 metagames are extremely similar based upon MTGO Challenge Top 8s, except that the post-4/24 metagame is simply the more concentrated version. Neither of the problems that the DCI identified in it's 4/24 policy announcement - the strength of Mentor or the oppression of Workshops - have diminished since the restriction.
Any new restriction would be a stronger prescription for the same ailment, not a Rx for a new one. If we were talking about a new problem, I'd agree with you here.
I was surprised that you found Tragic Lesson so interesting; it seems to be that it's a big dud. I listened to you discuss how it bounces lands so it actually loads your hand with 3 cards, and how it has similarities to Thirst for Knowledge and Gush, and all of that. At the end of the day, though, I think you missed the forest for the trees.
The forest is this: Tragic Lesson costs 3, and for that price, you get to replace the card and dig 2 deep into your deck. This is Divination territory in a format where we can draw 3 mana for U.
Yes, you can also bounce your lands to generate mana, save them from wasteland, or simply keep more cards in your hand if you need to do that. But, these are situation-dependent uses.
The only use case that is likely to come up reliably is generating mana. "Right," you say, "and that's a lot of the reason why Gush is so good." Kind of. Gush is also free to cast, so the act of tapping UU and Gushing to replay a land generates mana. With Tragic Lesson, you have to spend 3 to get the ball rolling, so all that a replay does is gives you the option to play it for 1U if you do so at sorcery speed (because it has to be your turn still to get the land drop). Is a card that is situationally a Predict good?
Spending 3 mana to counter a wasteland is generally not a workable solution, since there will be many situations where the mana denial strategy prevents you from ever getting there. I love me some Rack and Ruin, but it sees no play over 1 casting cost removal spells.
And then we come to the comparison to Thirst and Compulsive Research. Thirst at 3 mana digs 3 deep and puts them all in your hand; and then it lets you put an artifact halfway into play by binning it. That's a ton of reliable, non-situational value that is better than Tragic's best case scenario.
This smells more like Research. You trade sorcery speed and 3 cards with discard for instant speed and 2 cards plus shenanigans. And while, as you mention, people tinker with Research, it realistically sees no active play today.
All in all, I think you guys may have gone too deep into this card. It's not a very nice-looking forest.
If Chalice was actually the problem, then why was it allowed to exist for 12 years? It clearly was not the problem, to the extent that there was one, or it would not have been unrestricted all this time. Except the last 12 months and the first few months of its existence, there were few calls to restrict Chalice.
I suppose publishers will publish anything these days, but there are so many unsubstantiated and factually incorrect claims in this article, it's actually shocking.
Thank you both for recording this! I've been trying to find the reason why I am so unenthusiastic about the format lately. I thought it may have been about other reasons, such as my lack of budget to switch archetypes or my daily dose of Vintage being tainted by the vitrol of anonymous users on TMD and Facebook. The fact of the matter is, I don't want to play Mentor or against Mentor. Unfortunately it's the TOs, and not WotC, that count the dollar votes of an angry userbase due to the low percentage of new cards finding a spot in the metagame. While the post-restriction metagame was inspirational, it was solved rather quickly, and decks that I might have been able to play were easily showcased as simply not good enough. I hope the mismanagement of Vintage is just that, and not a WotC tactic to kill support and visibility of a format that most players are priced out of.
It's interesting that they considered reintroducing functional errata (a terrible idea, IMO).
I think you mean terrifying.
Functional errata happens all the time. What they were batting around clearly seems to be the old school Power Level Errata. Like, the sort of solution they came up with to "save" standard in Urza block.
When I said Kaladesh was the second coming of Urza, I didn't realize the analogy would go so deep.
@desolutionist I understand that Gifts is very good. I was just pointing out that in that blank Turn 1 scenario you pointed out (of 3 Moxen and Land) Outcome is better because it puts 3 cards in your hand + gives you 3 mana to work with.
Gifts will give you cards to work with next turn, which is way slower.
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