I'm not sure if this is something you've been playing for a while, but I'm interested in your approach. (Specifically the Sylvan Caryatid)
How was the Caryatid? Could you envision a Vintage deck that plays more than one? Or is it just only viable as a singleton with GSZ?
I've been testing GSZ for about a month and a half. The list I played on the VSL had no general meta applicability as it was tuned for what I expected in the Pod.
The Caryatid is great. I like the extra acceleration to pump out Jace, GSZ, Leo, and the Titan and to have a residual board position after Gushing. I prefer that mana sources simply do their job and had no patience anymore for the hassle of Deathrite Shaman, where you have no idea whether it will generate mana due to the ubiquity of Misstep, Plow, Decay, surprise Dig Through Times, and opposing Shamans as well as the awkwardness that results when there are no lands in the graveyard.
If there is any deck that would run more than 1 Caryatid, it would be a Superfriends list with 4 CMC sweepers/Moat where you really benefit from the color fixing and significantly from the untargetable 0/3 blocker while setting up or defending walkers. I would definitely play a Sylvan Caryatid and Sylvan Library in Nahiri if I ran it again.
@enderfall Honestly, I thought the field now wasnt nearly as good as last time I played the P9C. Even at 4-0 some opponents played very suboptimal. For example, in my previous P9C I just got owned by Diophan and ended up in 9th. So I'm not too sure how much this data even tells you about the various matchups.
I've missed the last two Power 9 Challenges, sadly. I need to plan my schedule better. If I had made it, Oath would have performed better.
I'm generally happy for Saheeli Oath to continue to be underrated. If I sideboard correctly and play patiently, I can beat other Gush decks reasonably well.
Meanwhile, Shops is a good matchup if I can counter the first disruption spell (Thorn, Sphere, Revoker, etc.) and either lay down an Oath or get a Dack on the board. White Eldrazi, however, is a real problem: the new Thalia is even more painful than the old Thalia.
If I were to say anything about the results of this challenge, it would be that the MTGO meta is really swingy. People really move back and forth across the archetypes. There are some of us who play one archetype exclusively, or at least 90%+ of the time, but more people seem to really react strongly to the last big tournament.
@spook My pleasure. I really do love doing it, and props to these fellas one for doing the real work and making this possible.
As for Missteps, I'm not really sure what it says about how to play or build around Misstep yourself in the micro level. On the macro level, it certainly shows that Misstep makes for this odd prisoner's dilemma, since the more an opponent plays Misstep, the more valuable additional Missteps are for you as well. (Assuming there are any other CMC1 spells in either deck to begin with.)
I think on the micro, level you want to decide what you think your specific Missteps are trying to (mostly) do in your specific deck, amid this play environment where you know opposing Missteps are everywhere. I'm seeing a lot of these decks that are blue and run few or no Missteps (Brian Kelly for example isn't on the no-Misstep list, but he only ran 2) and they tend to be these super aggressive combo style things, ala Reid Duke.
For more defensive hard control deck, I would guess that more Missteps might be better?
A side thought I had is, if people really did want to restrict a card that would balance out Shops decks, I really think the card to restrict would be Misstep. It would make blue decks automatically spend fewer card slots fighting each other, and make the field of non-taxing effect decks have far fewer dead cards game one against Shops/Eldrazi/Hatebears type things. Plus you would see expanded use of things like Dark Ritual/Deathrite Shaman/and Crop Rotation which are pretty good cards yet almost unplayable right now because of Misstep saturation. I feel like, in total, the deck that would be most hurt by restricting Misstep, ironically, would be Shops.
Full disclosure, I'm not saying that all should happen, only that if Misstep was restricted that I'm pretty confident those would be the effects.
I'm torn. Out of principle I don't think that Misstep should be restricted (because it's clearly not overpowered), but on the other hand I think that it would be very good for Vintage if it was.
I also don't entirely agree with your assessment. From a theoretical point of view, the shorter the games go, the better Misstep is. Reid Duke's deck doesn't care too much about opposing Missteps, so that's why it's not needed in his build.
I ran into that when I was listing the deck archetypes for each player. And at first I wanted to list it as Gush because it plays Gush and operates with the Gush "rules" and that's the easiest way to classify it quickly. But I agree the mindset of playing the deck is more like Combo. But I believe the main archetype and the sub archetype are sort of interchangeable for this deck. You could call it Gush Combo or call it Combo Gush. The metagame breakdown takes into account the first word.
Having all of the decklists from this available is a cool way to see exactly how 157 Vintage players approached one of the biggest and most prestigious events of the year, by seeing exactly how they each built their decks. Thanks again to Matt and Ryan for all of their hard work on this. Enjoy!
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