@smmenen Well, people can definitely play what they want more often on MTGO than anywhere else (besides 100% proxy and cockatrice, but for sanctioned, competitive play it's MTGO).
The other thing is that card availability on MTGO is instantaneous. Let's say I play one of my terrible brews and get frustrated with the results. Then I see how Thiim's awesome MUDrazi deck has been crushing people. So I add my entire deck to my trade binder, get a few hundred tickets, and buy Thiim's deck card for card. That process is as quick as five minutes (if you want to scout the best deal it could take longer).
This makes the case for paying attention to MTGO results as a barometer of the health of Vintage stronger, not weaker. Less stickiness in deck selection implies a "truer" representation of metagame composition and health of the format. The fact that Shops are so expensive on paper suggests that their actual metagame representation is artificially suppressed, especially in paper environments, relative to non-Shops strategies. That MTGO has greater substitutability generally makes it all the more remarkable that Shops are dominating.
Great response and exactly what I was looking for. I know some players can get pretty micro on evaluation of a single tournament and when you are dealing with only 3-4 decks being able to skew percentages, I was wondering if you thought that significant. You and Ryan spend a ton of time on this and that's why I was curious if it was lining up with your personal experiences and perhaps biases. When you see the data in a total sum, I think it paints a clearer picture, and I would agree with every point you made. Thanks for taking the time to do that.
I am interested to see the number of anti-shops cards that the PO decks were running, and also to know whether or not the shops decks were running null rod. same for how many stonys the mentor decks were running.
I guess in the top 32 lists we have 2 null rods in the 1st and 11th place shops decks.
12th place mentor deck has 1 stony in the board, 20th place has 3(!) in the board, and 32nd has 1.
I'd say all of the top 32 PO decks are softer to shops than my list...
Thanks for the replies @ChubbyRain, @Brass-Man and @KingLeovold. Pre restriction, I would always play a 2 - 2 split of Flusterstorm and Pyroblast in Mentor decks but have found Flusterstorm to be less good since the restriction.
Last week I spent an evening trying out Scabs' Esper Mentor deck. His list played 3 Flusterstorm and I was interested to see how it would perform against Jeskai Mentor. We played for about 5 hours and it didn't go well for Esper. One of the things I missed most was Pyroblast, especially because my friend was playing 2 Jace, TMS which was often quite tough to deal with.
As Matt said, I have also found that Flusterstorm is quite strong in Thirst for Knowledge & Paradoxical Outcome decks.
Many, if not most, Vintage players play this format because it is the final place we get to play all of our cards.
Well, we get to play Gush. Or Mana Drain. But they were nearly mutually exclusive.
Which merely underscores the unjustified and unprincipled nature of these restrictions.
The foundational principle of the format is that players get to play with all of their Magic cards so far as can be reasonably accommodated. That doesn't mean you have a right to have any card be "good."
If Mana Drain wasn't playable because of Gush that doesn't justify restricting Gush. There are literally thousands of cards pushed out or marginalized by other cards in Eternal formats.
Arguing that the restriction of Gush is a "good thing" because it makes Mana Drain better is not only unjustifiable, but it is reminiscent of the darkest days of the format, where Keeper pilots or even Brian Weissman had a heavy hand in B&R policy.
It's completely illegitimate, factional, and unprincipled.
Mana Drain does not have a right to be good in this format. A right to play it, sure. But manipulating the B&R list to make Mana Drain good is completely unjustifiable.
@HouseOfCards I think combo was shut down hard by chalice which is part of the reason it went away. But instead of combo coming back, blue decks just started packing MD flusterstorm, mindbreak trap, etc to shut it down harder. More decks running MD null rod doesn't help either.
I love playing shops and I sort of like the blue meta because it allowed me to tinker with the right lock pieces for an expected meta. I don't think shops should ever be the "majority" because at its core, it's vintage's hatebear/prison deck.
It's similar IMO to how DnT always has game against the different delver variants in legacy, but will never be the most popular deck simply because the cards are individually shit and require a specific meta to shine. If everyone in vintage started playing 20 lands (or something else that makes a taxing effect less power i.e. landstill), shops would stop being as good.
I think we're only as good as the greedy blue meta is.
Which is to say that I don't think the DCI decision is going to be able to evaluated for a very, very long time.
Look at the Lodestone Golem restriction. There are many who felt that it was not warranted by the data. There are those who think it needed to happen.
Many who favored the Lodestone restriction pointed to the development of the Eldrazi deck as proof that it was good for the metagame. They pointed to the flourishing of blue decks and commented that shops had been weakened but was still good.
Six months later there were grumblings that the rise of a third form of prison deck was starting to make events less fun. Monastery mentor driven by a gush engine coalesced into a very powerful deck, and some felt it was perhaps broken. Many bemoaned the "oh look, another mentor mirror match" feel.
Some of the same people that said Lodestone golem needed to go for the sake of the metagame and felt that the DCI was absolutely "justified" in its decision to do so were also saying the the vintage metagame was in shambles and had grown stale.
Magic players love to complain.
I don't know if restricting gush and probe were good.
I think it is too early to tell.
I don't know if restricting Lodestone Golem was good.
The metagame that occurred afterward (in which many people felt something was off/unenjoyable) suggests it was probably hasty.
All I know is I dislike seeing cards restricted because it takes years for them to get unrestricted if it happens.
And I 'd rather see a metagame have time to work itself out rather than needing "course correction."
Apologies for the lack of vault key tags. The tags weren't filled in until I made quick guesses as to the correct tags. An oversight on my part for sure on the thieves lists, but note that it there's a lot of variability in decklists.
I appreciate everyone pointing out the mistags and I'll recheck through the posted decklists as soon as I can stop using a cell phone for internet later this week.
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