SMIP # 65: Amokhet Vintage Set Review & B&R Fallout



  • @Brass-Man sorry, didn't mean to say that you specifically had the conclusion today as you did three weeks ago, I was trying to imply that your conclusion today was just as applicable 3 weeks ago in hindsight.

    Edit: the second paragraph I wrote is not valid. I can't read. Haha.


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    @enderfall oh I get it, no worries :D I think the "best deck" is genuinely different pre-and-post restriction, but I want to be clear that this is just one data point, and it's still very early days and nobody has a lot of data yet, least of all me.

    It's hard for me to differentiate between what my objective results are, and what's true after accounting for the biases of my testing, and what I want to be true for the health of the format, and what I want to be true so I can say "nyah nyah told you so". I think everyone has trouble with this, and I know I'm no exception.


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    @mediumsteve said in SMIP # 65: Amokhet Vintage Set Review & B&R Fallout:

    I know a lot of people who are likely out of Eternal Weekend because Pittsburgh is a far less compelling city (in their opinion) than Philly/Cbus and the traveling aspect is important to them.

    Sure, it sucks for them, but I'm sure it's true for the opposite. No matter where they go, it will cause someone not to be able to make it and someone able to make it.


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    @BazaarOfBaghdad said in SMIP # 65: Amokhet Vintage Set Review & B&R Fallout:

    I strongly disagree that there wasn't data. Plenty of data suggested that Gush Mentor was the best blue deck by a wide margin, and that the only likable deck that could handle it effectively was Shops. Results-data should be the primary data source, but anecdotal data is not devoid of value. Without a lot of resources, only anecdotal data can convey certain impressions, like, for example, how much more hate a deck has to dedicate to top decks X,Y, and Z compared to the top decks of yesteryear. Yes, Dredge could stand on its own too, but I've never heard of anyone wanting Dredge as some ideal part of a rock-paper-scissors metagame (and possibly more people say that about Shops players, though they have a much wider fan base).

    I have a problem with what they did as a result of their data (a Mentor restriction alone seemed much more sensible for now), but don't doubt that they used data to confirm the need for change.

    I'm not disagreeing there wasn't data for a restriction. Far from it. However, I'm basing my comment off WOTC's previous statement about the European championship and watching it closely. Nothing in that tournament screamed restriction.

    My statement itself was not meant to be taken as they shouldn't have restricted something (nor was it to be taken they should either). The outlier of my problem is WOTC's inability to properly explain themselves. I don't feel their explanation was good enough. I also feel their statement of making Mentor a less of a problem is inherently false (I realize that's not exactly what they said but you get the idea).

    Probably my fault on wording everything on my phone. There was evidence a restriction was in order, depending on how you define the problem. I was generally fine if there was no restriction, I was fine if Mentor was restricted, or whatever.

    In the end, I'm just wary of the way people acted (not that it's a new phenomenon nor will that change) and the way WOTC explained themselves.

    Where everything is right now, I would not be surprised if Mentor doesn't get hit in the future. I hope I'm wrong. I hope many new archetypes pop up that are both viable. I hope that we have about 4-8 tier 1 decks and a lot of tier 2 decks that can take down a tournament at a given moment. I hope things like Painter, Blue Angels, Control Slaver, Oath, Eldrazi, Shops, Mentor, Tezzeret, Humans, White Trash, Landstill, Dredge, Planeswalker Conteol, Storm, Paradoxical Outcome, Blue Moon, Zombies (just a personal love of Zombies as a tribe... very wishful thinking), and many other become all great strategies that can win and be feared.

    I'll say this, I'm very interested in seeing where vintage goes from here and I have been having fun. In the end, as long as we as the collective vintage community is having fun then that's what matters to me the most.


  • TMD Supporter

    @BazaarOfBaghdad said in SMIP # 65: Amokhet Vintage Set Review & B&R Fallout:

    I strongly disagree that there wasn't data.

    That's not a fair characterization of what he said. Mark didn't say that there was no data to support this restriction or that no reasonable presentation of the data could support a restriction.

    Mark said "The concern I have about is this restriction seems to be more about outcry of people than actual data."

    The difference may be a subtle, but it's significant: he's saying that data was not the trigger or primary motivating force for action here. Rather, player feedback (complaining) was.

    If Wizards only analyzed Vintage metagame data between their last announcement and this one, there probably would have been no action. If anything, the European Vintage Championship results show a lower level of both Gush and Mentor decks than had been seen in previous metagame cycles.

    Instead, it seems fairly evident to well-informed observers that the balance shifted towards these restrictions based upon "player feedback," and likely voices on the VSL complaining, especially the emergent consensus among Randy, Rich, and others. That was the triggering factor and likely the decisive factor. Not data.

    Plenty of data suggested that Gush Mentor was the best blue deck by a wide margin,

    There is always a best "blue deck," and often by a "wide margin." That's usually, by itself, not a trigger for action. Mentor decks were 20% of the metagame in the European Vintage Champs, and 0% of the Top 4. Not exactly evidence of a dominant deck.

    and that the only likable deck that could handle it effectively was Shops.

    What about the White Eldrazi deck that won the European Vintage Championship?

    I have a problem with what they did as a result of their data (a Mentor restriction alone seemed much more sensible for now), but don't doubt that they used data to confirm the need for change.

    Again, Mark didn't say they didn't use data. But even if they did use data, there is a larger question of how. Did they listen to player feedback, glance at some results, and say "yeah, that sounds reasonable"? Or, did they do a systematic analysis of paper and online results? Or something in between?

    It's not enough to say "they used data." What matters is how. Policymakers can make slapdash decisions based upon flimsy or anecdotal data. Based upon their explanation, it doesn't seem like they did rigorous data analysis.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Smmenen

    Thanks Steve.

    Again I do want to say that I'm not exactly against the restriction. I don't think it is without merit. However, what I'm actually against is the lack of good explanation from Wizards. I just don't see what they saw in the month or two between announcements that swayed them, besides a lot of complaints.



  • @mdkubiak Exactly!


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    @Topical_Island

    Yup! :)

    In my honest opinion, I see why it happened. I'm not fully against it but I'm not fully for it either. I was enjoying the format, but I've been really enjoying watching the shake out so far the last couple of weeks too. I like seeing the community seemingly more engaged lately, or at least, a particular few players.

    I try to avoid sharing my opinions anymore on b/r restrictions of the cards themselves, because all it seems to do is create a lot of arguments. I've been a part of those discussion in the past, it just seems to create drama. A lot of the time, I think there are good arguments for both directions in a lot of restriction announcements. It's not a black and white matter by any stretch. Chalice, Lodestone, Gush, Gitaxian Probe are all grey areas where there are decent arguments in both sides, in my opinion.

    This is why I tried to exam the process of the restriction process itself, trying to ignore the cards themselves in my point, which maybe I didn't explain myself well enough (I did type my original post fully on my phone right before I went to bed... maybe not the best time).

    My real problem is how I view it came about and even more importantly to me, Wizard's explanation.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Brass-Man said in SMIP # 65: Amokhet Vintage Set Review & B&R Fallout:

    I think what we're seeing in tournaments now is the result of a lot of players who are more interested in trying new cards out than they are in winning. This makes sense, trying new cards out is fun.

    Pretty much this. The day after the restriction, and in the first daily I could play in, I easily 4-0ed with a largely unreconstructed Jeskai Mentor deck, and then got 5th place in the P9 (and even 3-1ed the daily that same day with 1 Gush PO Mentor). At the same time, alot of other players were durdling around with bad decks and things like Thirst, Fact or Fiction, Gifts and As Fortold. You and I were among the few players to actually play the Dack-Delve draw engine (with restricted Gush) with Mentor and were rewarded with it. It's pretty much everything I said in this podcast and the previous two.



  • @Smmenen I concur. I took your 4-0 mentor deck and tweaked it due to the cards I had (-2 flip jaces, +1 big jace, +1 Snapcaster) and had my first 4-0. The paradoxical outcome decks were so easy to beat when you can now main deck artifact hate.


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