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



  • Just like Standard, Vintage is currently about winning with a horde of White creatures (Felidar Guardian/Monk tokens), Walking Ballista (Mardu Ballista/Ravager Shops), or getting very lucky with the blue control deck (Temur Tower/Standstill). Sometimes the graveyard deck takes a few percentage points, but rarely the win (BG Delirium/Dredge).


  • TMD Supporter

    @The-Gremlin-Lord said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

    Just like Standard, Vintage is currently about winning with a horde of White creatures (Felidar Guardian/Monk tokens), Walking Ballista (Mardu Ballista/Ravager Shops), or getting very lucky with the blue control deck (Temur Tower/Standstill). Sometimes the graveyard deck takes a few percentage points, but never the win (BG Delirium/Dredge).

    Dredge won the last MTGO P9 tournament, and Dredge has won the Vintage Championship in 2011 as well.

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

    I would say that it is very easy to fall into the trap of over-complicating and over-analyzing when it comes to discussions of the B&R. While I did enjoy that post by @Smmenen (and the podcast), I have to agree that I don't think looking at it as what exact meta-percentage the Engine-level archetype is encompassing is a good way of looking at it.

    I'm in the camp of first perhaps Unrestricting a few things, but with that removed off of the table AND without re-evaluating the criteria for the B&R as it relates to Vintage which would make Probe and Misstep reasonable restrictions. The only card that truly does make sense is Mentor. As a win-condition it is incredibly compact, rewards you for playing cards that you already want to be playing instead of enforcing deckbuilding clunk, is extremely difficult to answer, and is unbelievably powerful while hitting every other check mark.

    Perhaps I am just far more averse to restricting Engine cards in this format than I am in others since in stark comparison it often is the actual win-conditions of the decks that are the most problematic to deal with. The engines are all V12 monsters, but that's what makes Vintage well... Vintage.

    I sympathize with your overall point of view, and may be in accord with your conclusion, but I disagree with the point that we shouldn't be more deeply analyzing these issues. I've vacillated on this over the years - seeking to establish a more rigorous framework for B&R policy (as evidenced in my early SCG articles circa 2004), and then pulling back from that in more recent years, emphasizing flexibility and judgment.

    But, with more experience as an academic researcher under my belt, and having observed other rigorous thinkers and read and studied more real-world empirical work, I'm increasingly convinced that the DCI should have a much more empirically rigorous methodology. Just look at any of the NSF or Pew funded research work, like this academic work.

    There is nothing being done there that the DCI couldn't do. It's just rigorous survey research. The Federal Reserve has hundreds of staff economists and social scientists who run all kinds of survey research on the economy, with organizations like the BLS, Census, and other groups to collect additional data.

    The DCI doesn't need anything of that scale, but it could use alot more rigor. This problem is only going to be more intense over time.

    Years ago, I argued that Vintage and Legacy were going to be formats for "adults" with the average age of the player approaching 30. Looking ahead, I think I was grossly underestimating. I think we will see a time when the average age of the Vintage player is not far off from the average age of a Chess player. I think we are going to see middle aged adults regularly playing Vintage in 10-20 years.

    I never, ever see people under 18 in Vintage tournaments. I expect in 20 years that most of the Vintage players will be 30s, 40s and 50s.

    This is going to be a crowd that demands a much more rigorous form of policymaking and management than is probably currently practiced. For those who say "this is only a game," while that's true, people take their games very seriously. Just think about how the NCAA, the NFL or even FIDE or the OIC take their roles seriously.

    There are two threshold questions that need to be answered before undertaking a restriction analysis:

    1. Is there a problem? If the answer is No, then you end the inquiry.

    If there is consensus that there is a problem that may warrant B&R list intervention, then the next step is:

    1. Define the problem. This is important because unless you have a clear definition of the problem, you can't select the intervention that has the best means-end fit. That is, the intervention that is most narrowly tailored to solving the problem.

    This is where I think some people are getting tripped up. I've heard two separate descriptions of a problem. One is that the Gush Mentor deck is too good. Another is that Gush decks oppress other blue decks. Those are different goals with different means-end implications.

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.



  • @Smmenen I edited my original post to fix my quip, but you shouldn't use a 2011 example as a counter-argument to my comparison between Aether Revolt Standard and Aether Revolt Vintage.



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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Gush is the format's Splinter Twin. Its the formats Emrakul, the Promised End. It was controversial to hit these cards but if WotC is going to be consistent with their logic, there is no reason for Gush to make it through another Banned and Restricted cycle. Heck, it should have been gone along with the Delve spells.


  • TMD Supporter

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

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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Yes, diversity writ large - not subgroup diversity. Subgroup diversity is impossible to implement in a way that is congruent with maximal diversity.

    The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement. The DCI has never restricted a card because it is oppressive within a subgroup.

    Actually, I think I'm the one who defined "diversity" as a DCI objective before they ever did, in my writings... But I never meant for it to apply to sub-sectors of a metagame. That's absurdity. That would mean regulating Aggro decks that dominate aggro decks, workshop tactics that dominate workshop strategies, and so on.



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

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

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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Yes, diversity writ large - not subgroup diversity. Subgroup diversity is impossible to implement in a way that is congruent with maximal diversity.

    The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement. The DCI has never restricted a card because it is oppressive within a subgroup.

    Splinter Twin was almost exclusively due to "subgroup diversity". Your claim is empirically false...


  • TMD Supporter

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

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

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

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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Yes, diversity writ large - not subgroup diversity. Subgroup diversity is impossible to implement in a way that is congruent with maximal diversity.

    The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement. The DCI has never restricted a card because it is oppressive within a subgroup.

    Splinter Twin was almost exclusively due to "subgroup diversity". Your claim is empirically false...

    Actually, your facts are wrong. SplinterTwin was not a "restriction." It was a banning. I specifically said "the idea of restricting a card..."

    Moreover, Different formats; different goals and imperatives. Modern is a professional tournament format. Vintage is not so. It is a format for players to play with every card ever regardless of power level, and in maximum permissible quantities.

    No card has ever been restricted in Vintage with the specific objective of alleviating sub-group oppression. That would lead to all kinds of additional restrictions that don't exist in Vintage; thank god.



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

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

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

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

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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Yes, diversity writ large - not subgroup diversity. Subgroup diversity is impossible to implement in a way that is congruent with maximal diversity.

    The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement. The DCI has never restricted a card because it is oppressive within a subgroup.

    Splinter Twin was almost exclusively due to "subgroup diversity". Your claim is empirically false...

    Actually, your facts are wrong. SplinterTwin was not a "restriction." It was a banning. I was specifically said "the idea of restricting a card..."

    Moreover, Different formats; different goals and imperatives. Modern is a professional tournament format. Vintage is a format for players to play with every card ever regardless of power level, and in maximum permissible quantities.

    Semantics...Wizards has not officially expressed different goals of banning or restricting cards or that diversity means something different in "professional tournament" formats. Still, thank you for the reminder that engaging with you leads to the type of verbal gymnastics of which I have neither the aptitude or the tolerance in which to engage. Have a good day, Steve.


  • TMD Supporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I conducted the analysis of what estimated effect I thought restricting Mentor would have on Gush decks assuming that the goal was to deal with a borderline best deck, the Gush Mentor deck. I do not recognize the second objective sometimes articulated as either legitimate or as the 'problem' to be corrected.

    A stated goal of the banned and restricted list is diversity. It's literally the first sentence on WotC's "banned and restricted list" page. You might not recognize this objective, but thankfully you're not the DCI...

    Yes, diversity writ large - not subgroup diversity. Subgroup diversity is impossible to implement in a way that is congruent with maximal diversity.

    The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement. The DCI has never restricted a card because it is oppressive within a subgroup.

    Splinter Twin was almost exclusively due to "subgroup diversity". Your claim is empirically false...

    Actually, your facts are wrong. SplinterTwin was not a "restriction." It was a banning. I was specifically said "the idea of restricting a card..."

    Moreover, Different formats; different goals and imperatives. Modern is a professional tournament format. Vintage is a format for players to play with every card ever regardless of power level, and in maximum permissible quantities.

    Semantics...Wizards has not officially expressed different goals of banning or restricting cards or that diversity means something different in "professional tournament" formats. Still, thank you for the reminder that engaging with you leads to the type of verbal gymnastics of which I have neither the aptitude or the tolerance in which to engage. Have a good day, Steve.

    It's not semantics. Restriction and Banning are totally different tools. Just compare the Vintage Banned and Restricted lists. You'll see the difference. Cards aren't banned in Vintage because of diversity reasons at all. They are banned because of game play concerns (dexterity, logistics, ante) completely unrelated to metagame health.

    Moreover, that difference reveals a difference between Vintage and other formats. The underlying principle of Vintage is that players get to play with all of their cards in maximal quantities. That was announced when they unbanned Necropotence and Mind Twist. Vintage is the last home for those cards in constructed Magic. That's part of Vintage's raison d'être. Wizards has said as much.

    That means that the tolerance for restriction or banning is much less than other formats.

    It's not only a conceptual issue. Such a distinction would be impossible to maintain as a practical matter in Vintage. If oppressing a subgroup is a legitimate objective, then what is the diagnostic tool for discerning what to restrict and what not to? How do we define a subgropu, and why is "blue decks" a legitimate grouping? Should Ravager be restricted because it crowds out other Workshop creatures? Should Dread Return be restricted because it crowds out other Reanimation effects?

    If Gush were restricted because "it crowds out other blue engines," then it would lead to many more restrictions down the road. There is often going to be one blue draw engine that predominates among blue decks. Restricting Gush for that reason would lead to restricting more 'most popular' blue draw engines. It's not a legitimate objective in Vintage. It's an absurd one.



  • When a player says "ban a card" without reference to dexterity or ante and with reference to tournament balance, they clearly mean the normal DCI action that addresses balance concerns.

    We should try to adopt a principle of charity - interpreting the statements of those we disagree with as attempts to communicate the clearest and most thoughtful version of their argument.


  • TMD Supporter

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

    When a player says "ban a card" without reference to dexterity or ante and with reference to tournament balance, they clearly mean the normal DCI action that addresses balance concerns.

    We should try to adopt a principle of charity - interpreting the statements of those we disagree with as attempts to communicate the clearest and most thoughtful version of their argument.

    A principle of charity would be extended if it was reciprocal, and not preceded by snide comments like "Your claim is empirically false..." or "but thankfully you're not the DCI..."

    It's quite ironic that I was accused of advancing a false statement when it was the accuser who was wrong. If people want thier claims construed charitibly, it might behoove them to behave in kind. It's not smart or reasonable to attack or make digs and expect charity in verbal debate.

    In any case, this is a point of debate where the difference actually makes a difference. The fact that we don't ban cards for power in Vintage illuminates the purpose of the format, a formative context for such debates, that forms a budren of persuasion and bar of presumption that doesnt exist in other formats.



  • @Smmenen Steve, you argued that "The idea of restricting a card because it is oppressive within a sector of the metagame is not a legitimate policy objective, and impossible to consistently implement." How is a restriction functionally different from a banning in this context? How is a banning more of a legitimate policy objective for other formats or how is a banning less impossible to consistently implement? Restrictions in Vintage are the equivalents to bannings in other formats: They are the primary means by which the DCI regulates metagames aside from the printing of new cards. You are using the term "banning" outside of the context in which I meant it, which is by definition a semantic argument.

    Your position is that what the DCI has done in other formats is somehow irrelevant to Vintage. I disagree with this premise, and as the only source you've cited is your own article from 2010, I don't see any reason to assume that your position is equivalent to Wizards. Where did this concept of "maximal quantities" come from? If true, why are cards limited to 1 or 4? Why isn't there a pseudo-restricted list that allows 2 cards or a quasi-restricted list that allows 3 copies? Until you show me some official stance by Wizards relating to this, I'm going to have to assume that this is merely your opinion because it really doesn't make sense as a policy.

    And @ajfirecracker, I appreciate your calls for a "principle of charity". I think Steve and I have moved past that, so the charitable thing on my part is to disengage.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain

    I think I've already explained these issues, or they are implicit in assertions I've already made, but, let's take it from first principles, and try to elaborate more fully:

    1) Vintage is different from other formats, and should be treated differently than other formats according to those differences.

    This is not a controversial statement, and in fact it is self-evident from past practices and statements made by Wizards staff and members of the DCI.

    The main difference from Vintage and other formats is that Vintage is the last constructed format where cards are permitted that are banned in every other format. That means that, for at least some cards, Vintage is the final home. The principle was not embedded in the creation of the format as it was known as Type I or later Vintage. Rather, it was finally recognized in 2000, when in the September, 2000 B&R list update, the DCI announced that it was unbanning Mind Twist and Necropotence.

    The DCI used to both restrict AND ban cards in this format. Brian Weissman campaigned for Mind Twist's banning on the assumption that even as a restricted card, it was game and format unbalancing. The unbanning of these cards, and shifting them to the restricted list instead, was accompanied by public statements that Vintage is a format where we no longer ban for power level reasons, and statements that Vintage is a format where you are supposed to be able to play your cards.

    Because Vintage is a home for final cards, it is not - and was never expected - to abide by parameters set for other formats. That means that format dynamics such as speed, "unfun" strategies, and other metagame features that would be considered unacceptable in other formats are permitted in Vintage. For example, Wizards has explicitly provided format specific criteria for Modern (such as the number of turns they want a deck to have before it can win) that it would never use for Vintage. Vintage has a much higher tolerance for certain patterns of play than other formats.

    That's another key difference between Vintage and other formats:

    1. Vintage never rotates. Because Vintage never rotates like Extended or Standard, the DCI is willing to accept a level of metagame stagnation that might be unacceptable in other formats.

    It's not just that the DCI is comfortable with decks that much faster in Vintage than other formats, there are more deep fundamental differences. Members of the DCI have specifically told me in the past that Vintage shouldn't evolve or change at the speed or rate of other formats.

    Vintage is supposed to be the slowest changing format. Levels of stagnation that would be unacceptable for professional formats are considered acceptable for Vintage.

    This relates to another key difference between Vintage and other formats:

    1. Vintage player bases are connected to strategies in ways that don't exist in other formats, and make restrictions (no matter how necessary or well-intended) more harmful to the format than bannings in other formats.

    One of the key differences between Vintage and other formats is that player bases form around certain strategies or "schools of Vintage magic" as I put it that, such that player bases are organized into their experience and skill with these strategies or schools of play. That means that restrictions that target one school or player base segment have a different significance and set of meanings than in other formats, where metagames change more frequently.

    Because the Vintage player base and community is wedded to specific strategies in a way that is different from other formats - years if not decades of deep study and association - the DCI is recognizably more reticient about taking actions that disrupt or harm these player segments.

    I realize you haven't been playing Vintage for that long, but the longer you participate in the community, I think you will better appreciate how harmful restrictions are. The vitriolic anger and pain that was evidenced after the restriction of Lodestone Golem is a case in point. Restrictions are truly only a policy of last resort. The longer a card has existed in the format, the greater the risk of harm from restriction, in prompting at least some players to quit. Rich Shay claims that the 2008 restrictions caused lots of players to quit, and the DCI quite clearly took a significant lesson from that.

    These principles leads to a number of key inferences that constitute other key principles:

    4) Restrictions in Vintage are NOT equivalent to bannings in other formats.

    That's because the triggers for banning in other formats are thresholds or conditions for which cards would never be restricted in Vintage. For example, we would never accept a restriction on grounds used for bannings in Modern, such as "winning before Turn 4," and what not.

    When the Legacy Banned list was created, it was clear from both public statements from Wizards, and private conversations I had with wizards staff, that the level of regulation by the DCI for Legacy was going to be handled very differently than for Vintage. That is, the DCI's creation of Legacy from Type 1.5 was not just a name-change, it was a complete makeover. They completely redid the banned list, and included things on their that would probably be OK, but they banned regardless out of an abundance of caution.

    In other words, the presumption of what was "safe" was flipped. They wanted to make sure that Legacy could succeed as a more popular format, especially for Grand Prix (which Vintage would never exist for), and therefore they took a much heavier hand with bannings than was strictly necessary. The same is true of Modern. Both Legacy and Modern evidence a much more heavy hand in terms of policy, regulation and format-molding and crafting than is considered acceptable for Vintage. In Vintage, in contrast, the burden of proof for restriction is much higher than the burden of proof or thresholds for banning in other formats like Modern or Legacy. Again, the commentary about decks that win earlier than Turn 4 establishes this.

    But a comparison of the bannings in those formats with restrictions in Vintage also demonstrates that the standards used to ban in those formats are restrict in Vintage are far from coterminous. They are NOT the functionally the same.

    That is not to say that there aren't some areas of overlap, such as promoting format diversity, but there are also differences, both in terms of trigger thresholds, non-diversity criteria (what is considered "unfun", and the burden of proof.

    I agree that restrictions are the primary mechanism by which the DCI regulates the Vintage metagame, but it is not equivalent to bannings in other formats in that the trigger thresholds, burdens of proof, and non-diversity criteria are very different. This is evident both from the historical written record as well as the pattern of regulation of Vintage and other formats. That means:

    5) Bannings in other formats, or their rationales, are not directly comparable to restrictions in Vintage.

    This flows from what has already been said.

    You can, however, look at the historical record of restrictions in Vintage, and make arguments based upon that record. In legal parlance, they serve as precedent, where as bannings in other formats do not.

    In any case, the case you continue to cite to, Splinter Twin, is inapposite, and does not support your contention. In that case, the DCI asserted, in connection with Splinter Twin:
    "We also look for decks that hold a large enough percentage of the competitive field to reduce the diversity of the format."
    And:
    "Decks that are this strong can hurt diversity by pushing the decks that it defeats out of competition."

    In other words, the DCI felt that the Splinter Twin deck constituted an unacceptably large % of the Top 8 field. In that particular respect, as a general principle, that is no different from how the DCI manages Vintage. There may be a difference, however, in what is considered an acceptable % of top performing decks in Modern compared to Vintage, so I wouldn't use any specific %ages that aren't Vintage to guide Vintage B&R policy.

    Now, to address your remaining, unanswered questions:

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

    @Smmenen How is a banning more of a legitimate policy objective for other formats or how is a banning less impossible to consistently implement?

    In relation to the general goal of promoting general metagame diversity by restricting or banning a dominant or oppressive deck, it's not. What's more difficult to implement is the idea of banning or restricting a card or engine that dominates or oppresses a subset of strategies, as opposed to the general metagame.

    When restricting or banning a dominant deck, the process is simple: Question 1): does the deck constitute an unacceptably high % of the top performing decks (say, Top 8s)? 2) If the answer is yes, then you identify a card that has the best chance of reducing that number to an acceptable, minimum threshold, and sweeps no more broadly than necessary.

    If the goal is to target a deck or engine that dominates a specific sub-segment of the metagame, then the number of questions that have to be answered is manifestly more complicated:

    1. How do you define the subgroup of the metagame, and is that subgroup a legitimate and consistent subgrouping?

    Your answer is "blue decks," but that just reveals how flawed that grouping is. Blue decks includes Aggro Control (like Merfolk), Combo, Hard Control, and Combo-Control, among other decks.

    1. How do you define the unacceptable level of oppression within that subgroup in a way that can be consistently applied to other subgroups?

    Since we no longer can simply apply standard dominance or monopoly metrics, how do we define what is the unacceptable level of dominance within the subgroup? And how we are to know what's acceptable or not?

    What if that subgroup is very small? Like 10% of the overall metagame? The variance would be enormous, such as that actually pinning down the thresholds and applying them consistently is going to be almost impossible.

    As an aside, what if there is always a dominant or prevailing blue draw engine? It wasn't all that long ago that people were seriously talking about whether Jace, TMS would need restriction, as people were starting to play 3-4 regularly.

    1. If we decide to restrict a card based upon subgroup oppression, you then have to do another check to see whether that restriction (or banning) would have negative metagame effects beyond that subgroup.

    I don't think that, at least for Vintage, the idea of restricting a card because of "subgroup dominance" is a legitimate policy objective. That's because it's impossible to apply it consistently across subgroups, or to define the parameters or thresholds for acceptable and unacceptable play.

    Your position is that what the DCI has done in other formats is somehow irrelevant to Vintage. I disagree with this premise, and as the only source you've cited is your own article from 2010,

    First of all, I didn't cite my article for that proposition. I cited it for the proposition that I framed B&R list policy in terms of promoting diversity before the DCI officially did (although I have earlier articles that better support that). I have now developed other resources and reasoning to support this contention (that other formats B&R rationales are inapposite), in any case.

    Second, I already explained why DCI decisions for other formats is not persuasive precedent. The differences between the formats make a difference, and should not be cited as good "precedent," to borrow a legal analogy. That said, there are times where the principles overlap, but the differences between formats are so enormous that the only good and reliable precedent is actual Vintage historical bannings and restrictions.

    I don't see any reason to assume that your position is equivalent to Wizards. Where did this concept of "maximal quantities" come from?

    It's an inferential extrapolation of the fundamental principle of the format, and the other principles described above. I may have coined that particular phrasing, but it's generally accepted.

    If true, why are cards limited to 1 or 4? Why isn't there a pseudo-restricted list that allows 2 cards or a quasi-restricted list that allows 3 copies?

    History and administrative efficiency.

    First of all, because the DCI's first B&R list announcement set a standard for 4, 1 and 0 cards, and Wizards has decided to maintain that historical pattern. Second, although Wizards could implement the policy of restriction to the specific or precisely calibrated number (1, 2, or 3), the trade-off is a further complicating the format's administration and adjudication and player confusion.

    Real life is full of competing principles that result in compromises. The Federal Reserve has an implicit tension between it's twin mandates of full employment and tamping down inflation.

    Similarly here, although the Vintage format is constructed as the final home for magic cards, and the place where you can play all of your cards to the maximum extent needed to maintain a healthy environment, administrating a Restricted List policy with 2s and 3s permitted creates an administrative complexity that has been rejected for decades. It would no doubt have many players bringing illegal decks to tournaments as these numbers gradually shift over time. The current system of 1 v. 4 is much easier to administer, but still serves the broader goal.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Smmenen I was 16 when I won my first Black Lotus at a Power 9 Starcity Games event. Just saying. I've also played against some other younger players such as Jake Gans. You're 18 or older claim is wrong. If anything this fantasy card game is more appealing to teenagers than middle aged adults who have families and responsibilities.


  • TMD Supporter

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

    @Smmenen I was 16 when I won my first Black Lotus at a Power 9 Starcity Games event. Just saying. I've also played against some other younger players such as Jake Gans. You're 18 or older claim is wrong. If anything this fantasy card game is more appealing to teenagers than middle aged adults who have families and responsibilities.

    Shawn, you are proving my point. That was like 10 years ago.

    I'm not saying I've never seen anyone 18 or younger at a Vintage tournament, just not in a few years. Vintage is far too expensive these days.

    EDIT: Take a look at the ages of the Top 8 players of the European Vintage Championship: http://www.bazaar-of-moxen.com/en/index.html

    The Ages were:

    38
    36
    36
    36
    31
    33
    44
    37

    Average age: 36.375



  • @Smmenen if we can look at the history of the DCI's decisions regarding restrictions, why aren't we mentioning how quickly cruise and dig were restricted? Or the fact that Gush has been restricted twice already, and it's even better now than it was then? Forgive me if I missed you mentioning any of this in your thesis.


  • TMD Supporter

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

    @Smmenen if we can look at the history of the DCI's decisions regarding restrictions, why aren't we mentioning how quickly cruise and dig were restricted? Or the fact that Gush has been restricted twice already, and it's even better now than it was then?

    Of course you can. But then you have to deal with the reality that Gush has been legal as a 4-of for 7 years now.

    The DCI must have good reasons for letting it continue to exist as such. And, it must not have felt that way for Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time, restrictions that I agreed with.

    Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time were cards that were going to need to be restricted in Vintage whether Gush ever existed or not.



  • I would be much more interested to see Mental Misstep restricted than Preordain. I would love to see some discussion on what people think the effect of restricting Misstep might be on Shops decks.



  • @Topical_Island 3-4 misstep slots would (for relevant blue decks) would likely become extra Pyroblasts (if your meta has a lot of gush and outcome) and some combination of spell pierce and ceremonious rejection/steel sabotage. I do not see Drain coming back as the defacto replacement for misstep unless Gush gets the Ax too.

    I'd be more curious how many people would run the singleton miser misstep 🙂



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

    @Smmenen if we can look at the history of the DCI's decisions regarding restrictions, why aren't we mentioning how quickly cruise and dig were restricted? Or the fact that Gush has been restricted twice already, and it's even better now than it was then? Forgive me if I missed you mentioning any of this in your thesis.

    Gush (and Cruise and Dig) are "better now" because of the 'Blue Stew' that has infested Vintage. Blue decks are running 14-16 free spells. This is absurd, and pretty unparalleled in the history of the format. 3-4 Probe, 4 Misstep, 4 Force, 3-4 Gush. That's what completely broke the delve mechanic, it's what allows you to play few lands, tap out with impunity for anything provided you have enough Missteps to Misstep the Misstep that Misstepped your Misstep. The whole stew has hyper charged all the cards in the free suite. People are Cruising on the 3rd turn because 14-16 spells required no mana investment. JVP flips pretty much every time between fetches and a horde of no mana spells.

    Restricting Misstep and Probe hurts and helps the waning Dark Ritual decks, Probe is credible in combo and Misstep helps damper some combo decks. Restricting Misstep and Probe hurts the busted Delve cards and tempers JVP. Restricting Misstep and Probe helps the thorn match for all except the most stubborn dedicated Gush players. Restricting Probe would actually put some strategy into casting the Mentor instead of having perfect information for no cards and +1 mana. Restricting Misstep might force you to wait a turn to protect your Mentor (or go down a card) instead of being flush with the dumbest, lowest opportunity cost counterspell ever printed. Restricting Misstep might incent deck builders to put 1 mana sorcery speed spells in their decks, without also starting the deck building exercise at 56 card with their own 4 Derpsteps. Wow ... Deathrite Shaman! You resolved. Holy shit. Man remember when BUG was favored vs. 4 LSG / 4 Chalice shops?

    They are two awful banal cards, I'd just axe Phyrexian Mana period but I understand that's not happening. It's perhaps the worst thing ever in Magic next to the border change.

    Edit: and frankly I'd rather like to see Gush living in a world without the idiotic free spells and see if it's still busted, it certainly wasn't dominant for that first year or so. Fall 2010 it comes off and we get New Chimprexia in the spring, that starts the Stew on the pot. The nail was Khans in fall 2014 which just ruined everything for a year.


 

WAF/WHF