SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?"



  • Linky: http://mtgcast.com/mtgcast-podcast-shows/active-podcast-shows/so-many-insane-plays/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-63-where-do-we-go-from-here

    Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian look at the Banned and Restricted list update, the Q1 Metagame and what they mean for the future of the format.

    Contact us at @ManyInsanePlays on Twitter or e-mail us at SoManyInsanePlaysPodcast@gmail.com.

    0:00:00: Announcements
    0:00:00: March 2017 Banned and Restricted List Update
    0:54:40: Gitaxian Probe
    1:07:00: Mental Misstep
    1:25:15: Paradoxical Outcome and Gush
    1:37:00: Preordain
    1:52:00: Metagame Updates

    Links:
    ā€“ March 13, 2017 Banned and Restricted Announcement
    ā€“ Eternal Weekend Paris 3/31-4/2



  • Thanks for the podcast Stephen and Kevin. I have only listened to the general section so far.

    Perhaps this question went unasked because it has been previously covered, but the announcement made me wonder if WOTC cares about the results from unsanctioned vintage tournaments. Specifically, do they care about results more than secondarily through any negative "feedback from the community" that they might generate?

    What prompted this question is the sentence from the B&R announcement "However, we have a large data set [tournament, not data set] coming with the European Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship at the beginning of April." My immediate reaction was that Eternal Extravaganzas are roughly the size of EW: Europe last year. Does WOTC care about what happened yesterday in Baltimore?

    Personally, I found "[f]or Vintage, data is often difficult to gather" a bit laughable since there is very detailed data being handed to them on a platter. Do they know it exists? It seems a sad potential state of affairs if the top eights of two Eternal Weekends a year are going to determine what cards are restricted or unrestricted. Note that last year @stsung and @Thiim asked Bazaar of Moxen for access to every decklists to make a metagame report but their request was denied.



  • The sound quality for Kevin's voice is much better in this one. Maybe just a little less reverb next time and it would be perfect. Steve's voice still sounds like he's coming in over the telephone šŸ˜…

    Later in the podcast, it becomes really choppy, (especially for Steve) like a bad compressor effect setting. I definitely can appreciate the effort toward better sound quality though.



  • @desolutionist I believe they do the podcast over Skype and record on Kevin's end, so that's why Steve's voice is always a little bit worse. Is that so @Smmenen ?



  • What do you all think about the Preordain restriction idea? I think it's one of the silliest proposals made thus far as most Mentor decks would just run 1 Preordain, 1 Ponder, 1 Ancestral, 1 Brainstorm, 2-4 Git Probe, and 2-3 Serum Visions and not break a sweat. That's my opinion and not backed by data as yet, but please think carefully about what you think limiting decks to 1 Preordain would really accomplish.



  • @Stormanimagus I agree. I think that it's difficult to justify the continued restriction of Ponder in lieu of Preordain being unrestricted and I think that's especially true now that Mental Misstep has been printed. It may even be true of Brainstorm but I don't care to argue that position at this time.
    If people are frustrated by the dominance of Mentor then Monastery Mentor is the only card that can be restricted that would address the issue. There is too much redundancy in the form of other available draw spells for anything else to be effective. There are so many card filtering cantrips that have been printed that their restriction is no longer an effective way to address the problem strategies that rely on them. I'm not even confident that they are problematic in and of themselves without the additional card advantage created by Monastery Mentor and to a lesser degree Pyromancer. It seems that creating a 1/1 with prowess is almost as good as just drawing an additional card. It is arguably better than drawing a card in a number of situations. If Monastery Mentor drew a card instead of creating a token I think it's restriction would have already taken place (or rather that it would never pass development and be printed to begin with) but perhaps what it does in Vintage is too close to that alternate reality. In Standard, the format for which it was developed, there were no ways for it to be used to generate the amount of card advantage that it does in Vintage.
    Alternately, if cantrip based strategies were still the major issue after a mentor restriction then it could be argued that all card filtering cantrips that cost one mana (or less) should be restricted since they would have to be considered unilaterally problematic. This would mean restricting Preordain at the very least but likely quite a few other analogues.



  • I found myself hanging out to hear thoughts and opinions on a mentor restriction. It was alluded several times, but not explicitly discussed.



  • I think that Preordain is instrumental in combatting Workshop decks especially for tempo strategies. I do think that Mentor needs to be restricted because it is probably more efficient than Yawg Will and Tendrils combined. Not only is it just as powerful as both cards, it can be played on one turn, and then it can be used on the next turn with more mana further increasing its effectiveness. Restricting Mentor would not end the token strategy because Young Pyromancer can be used in combination with Mentor. I also think Gitaxian Probe should be restricted because it undermines a fundamental element of the game that enables various strategies to be implemented by: the ability to view the opponent's hand, draw a card, pay 0 mana, and then obtain the information to potentially carry out one's own strategy without flaw. This too much to be done more than one time without the help of another card such as Snapcaster Mage or Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. The combination of Mentor and Gitaxian Probe go against any strategic rationalization that a format should stand for. Playing a 56 card deck with the most efficient win condition in the game is further taken advantage of by Mentor's ability to gain from anything except creature spells and land. This requires no planning once the card is in play.

    Paradoxical Outcome is a card that when it is nearly at its worst amounts to an Ancestral Recall with additional mana open. Although I cannot justify calling for its restriction I think it is more worthy of being restricted than Dig Through Time.



  • Great episode as usual. Thank you for doing this.

    One piece that struck me as odd was the insistence that Workshop decks don't run 1-mana spells because the right one hasn't come along. There's definitely some truth to that, but there are design and balance reasons as well. Unless the spell costs ā™¦, any deck can run it. The place where Workshops gains a distinct advantage is when the spell costs 2+ mana, all of which is generic and/or colorless. Spells that any deck can play, like Pithing Needle and Grafdigger's Cage, do little to distinguish the Workshop deck from other decks in the format. I can attest that Mental Misstep is a powerful tool against Workshops - you just need to be in the Dredge matchup first.



  • @desolutionist said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    The sound quality for Kevin's voice is much better in this one. Maybe just a little less reverb next time and it would be perfect. Steve's voice still sounds like he's coming in over the telephone šŸ˜…

    Later in the podcast, it becomes really choppy, (especially for Steve) like a bad compressor effect setting. I definitely can appreciate the effort toward better sound quality though.

    I listened to the first half of the podcast, and not long into the announcements my audio became really poor. Roughly every 7th word was dropped or silent/lost.

    That's very frustrating to listen to, so I'm sorry about that. I'm not sure why. I've got a new router, headset, and I record directly into a local recording program, and send it to Kevin, where he mixes both audio. I don't think Kevin even realized how bad it was. There were a couple of places in the audio where I wish he had, during editing, just cut out what I was saying and conveyed the idea anyway, like reading the DCI announcement...

    @Stormanimagus said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    What do you all think about the Preordain restriction idea? I think it's one of the silliest proposals made thus far as most Mentor decks would just run 1 Preordain, 1 Ponder, 1 Ancestral, 1 Brainstorm, 2-4 Git Probe, and 2-3 Serum Visions and not break a sweat. That's my opinion and not backed by data as yet, but please think carefully about what you think limiting decks to 1 Preordain would really accomplish.

    This is a topic that needs to be debated more fully at a future point, but here are a few things to say.

    First of all, going from 4 Preordain to 1 Preordain and 2-3 Serum Vision or Sleight of Hand is a massive downgrade. So much so that I think most Mentor decks and perhaps Gush decks generally would simply give up the Turbo-Xerox design approach and just increase lands commensurately. In fact, this has already been happening.

    To some extent, Gush decks today aren't even playing the Turbo Xerox game plan, although Rich talks it up quite a bit. Playing a 16-17 lands and 4 Moxen and Lotus, with more lands in the board, isn't really "Turbo Xerox" anymore. Turbo Xerox is playing 13-14 lands and a few Moxen.

    Second, consider that pretty much all of the Paradoxical Mentor decks run 3-4 Preordain. That's because Preordain is fundamentally insane by itself with Mentor. I posit in this podcast that if Gush were restricted, the Mentor deck would pretty much exist as it is now, except with 1 Gush, 1 Dig, 1 Cruise, 4 Preordain, 2-4 JVP, and be barely slowed. Alternatively, people would just play Paradoxical Mentor with 3-4 Preordain, and the rest of the same cards (1 Dig, 1 Cruise, etc.).

    In other words, any Mentor deck you can design will likely play 3-4 Preordain with or without Gush. One of the most abusive things you can do with Mentor in play is cast Preordain. It's sometimes just better than Gush because you are pretty sure to find a good spell to play, and can chain deeper.

    So, what I'm saying is that, at the end of the day, Preordain is the best card to simultaneously weaken Gush AND Mentor. It undermines the ability to build decks that efficiently maximize all of Gush's advantages while also slow Mentor.

    Finally, Preordain is already often better than Ponder in Gush decks, and Ponder is already restricted. There is a fundamental incongruence of having Ponder restricted and Preordain not. Restricting both (or unrestricting both) would correct that incongruence.



  • @Smmenen said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    @desolutionist said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    The sound quality for Kevin's voice is much better in this one. Maybe just a little less reverb next time and it would be perfect. Steve's voice still sounds like he's coming in over the telephone šŸ˜…

    Later in the podcast, it becomes really choppy, (especially for Steve) like a bad compressor effect setting. I definitely can appreciate the effort toward better sound quality though.

    I listened to the first half of the podcast, and not long into the announcements my audio became really poor. Roughly every 7th word was dropped or silent/lost.

    That's very frustrating to listen to, so I'm sorry about that. I'm not sure why. I've got a new router, headset, and I record directly into a local recording program, and send it to Kevin, where he mixes both audio. I don't think Kevin even realized how bad it was. There were a couple of places in the audio where I wish he had, during editing, just cut out what I was saying and conveyed the idea anyway, like reading the DCI announcement...

    @Stormanimagus said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    What do you all think about the Preordain restriction idea? I think it's one of the silliest proposals made thus far as most Mentor decks would just run 1 Preordain, 1 Ponder, 1 Ancestral, 1 Brainstorm, 2-4 Git Probe, and 2-3 Serum Visions and not break a sweat. That's my opinion and not backed by data as yet, but please think carefully about what you think limiting decks to 1 Preordain would really accomplish.

    This is a topic that needs to be debated more fully at a future point, but here are a few things to say.

    First of all, going from 4 Preordain to 1 Preordain and 2-3 Serum Vision or Sleight of Hand is a massive downgrade. So much so that I think most Mentor decks and perhaps Gush decks generally would simply give up the Turbo-Xerox design approach and just increase lands commensurately. In fact, this has already been happening.

    To some extent, Gush decks today aren't even playing the Turbo Xerox game plan, although Rich talks it up quite a bit. Playing a 16-17 lands and 4 Moxen and Lotus, with more lands in the board, isn't really "Turbo Xerox" anymore. Turbo Xerox is playing 13-14 lands and a few Moxen.

    Second, consider that pretty much all of the Paradoxical Mentor decks run 3-4 Preordain. That's because Preordain is fundamentally insane by itself with Mentor. I posit in this podcast that if Gush were restricted, the Mentor deck would pretty much exist as it is now, except with 1 Gush, 1 Dig, 1 Cruise, 4 Preordain, 2-4 JVP, and be barely slowed. Alternatively, people would just play Paradoxical Mentor with 3-4 Preordain, and the rest of the same cards (1 Dig, 1 Cruise, etc.).

    In other words, any Mentor deck you can design will likely play 3-4 Preordain with or without Gush. One of the most abusive things you can do with Mentor in play is cast Preordain. It's sometimes just better than Gush because you are pretty sure to find a good spell to play, and can chain deeper.

    So, what I'm saying is that, at the end of the day, Preordain is the best card to simultaneously weaken Gush AND Mentor. It undermines the ability to build decks that efficiently maximize all of Gush's advantages while also slow Mentor.

    Finally, Preordain is already often better than Ponder in Gush decks, and Ponder is already restricted. There is a fundamental incongruence of having Ponder restricted and Preordain not. Restricting both (or unrestricting both) would correct that incongruence.

    Stephen, the only point you made that makes virtually any sense at all is the incongruence point. This UW Paradoxical Mentor concoction of yours is just YOUR pet deck. Show me results with it and I'll eat my words. Paraodoxcial decks don't tend to run a full playset of preordains cause they don't have room. Look at Reid Duke's list or any "hybrid" PO Mentor list. Many of them are running 1-2 Preordains. Stephen, you are flat wrong if you think that Preordain is the problem. Preordain doesn't functionally make mana while drawing cards and doesn't create an unbeatable card advantage with Dack Fayden. You are desperately trying to move the bull's eye away from your pet card (that you wrote a book about) for self-serving reasons that don't follow for the rest of the community. Almost no one has suggested that Preordain is the issue and there's a reason for this. A card like Serum Visions does a perfectly acceptable job of imitating preordain early game in finding lands. and you can just run 2 copies to allow for not getting flooded with them late game when the card would be undesirable. So I contend that turbo-xerox would be still totally possible with something like 2 Serum Visions, 1 Preordain, 1 Ponder, 1 Brainstorm, 3-4 Git Probe. Sure, you might run 1 additional land, but you would still essentially be erring more on the side of turbo-xeron and Gush would still be inexusably broken. So, get off your soap box and start listening to reason. Gush is a uniquely powerful card the likes of which Vintage will probably never see again. It does things that no other card is capabale of and, sadly, Mentor was the card that put it over the top. I think we need to either restrict Gush or Mentor, but I'd tend to prefer restricting Gush and I think it would more unequivocally solve the issue of the Gush Mentor Deck. If players just move to Paradoxical after that, GREAT! That deck is more of a glass cannon and, therefore much easier to hate out.


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