MTGO Vintage Metagame Report: May
@diophan we could re tag mentor as blue control and keep the archetypes. The current tag is a bit redundant.
@ChubbyRain I think we should also remove the "FOW" tag as it contains not just blue-based permission decks, but it also includes some of the outcome combo decks that are only packing 4 FOW as their only permission spells. Or just rename it to blue-based permission and remove the specific outcome builds and any other builds that only pack 4 forces as their only form of permission. I believe this would lead to more accurate perceptions of the data overall.
My thinking was that the FOW and Thorn tag served similar purposes. That is, they are very broad tags that have more granular tags breaking them up further. To be clear, my feeling is that having a "Thorn" archetype would be as problematic as having a "FOW" archetype. I may have misinterpreted your request as combining archetypes instead of altering the tags.
The reason we went with FOW as the tag is that it is easy to define and it represented to us the best delineation for what counts as a "blue deck". We wanted the tags to be fairly clear cut, although "Blue Control" and "Big Blue" vary from this philosophy. I'm personally not sure where I would draw the line if it's not there. Is it when you start running missteps, flusterstorm/pyroblast, or mana drain? I don't think there's an obvious answer.
I do think the discussion of winrates is important. Classifications don't exist in a vacuum and what you are trying to do with the data should dictate, or at least be considered when making, the classifications. To that point, I am interested in what people actually use data for. Personally before I make a deck for any large tournament I look at the data to either determine what archetype to play or how to tune the last few slots in a specific deck.
@diophan The latter part of your response seemed more geared at how to become a better magic player which had zero interconnectedness with how to properly analyze and classify data, hence my response. While classifications may not exist in a vacuum, what we are doing here is making classifications. It's all extremely relevant when it comes down to utilizing/analyzing the data, whether it be for a B&R decision or deck building/deck construction. I use the data personally to decide on whatever archetype to play before an event, or whatever sub-archetype as well as sideboard choices for whatever brew I choose to roll with.
It regards to where we draw the line, I believe it should be at X amount of permission spells(9/10 or more?). I think we can all agree here that a deck with only 4 FOW as their only form of permission is not a permission deck.
@ChubbyRain Heads up, I bought into vintage on MTGO last night. I can now help with data collection as per your request. Humblebrag-Cashed in 1st place of last nights daily too yay.
Personally I don't think Mentor is a permission deck, especially against non-blue decks. You are using your free or very cheap counterspells to buy yourself the time to filter with preordain and Dack to find a game ending spell. When I play Mentor I will almost always misstep a preordain.
Contrast that with the gameplay of a deck like Landstill. Although I don't understand landstill as well, I would say it operates in a mode where it tries to counter or remove almost all the relevant spells. Here you are less likely to misstep a preordain but save it for an ancestral or protect your mana drain/standstill from a pyroblast. This mode of playing is what I think of as "Blue Control".
Even though many of the cards are the same they are being used in different ways. When a deck like Grixis Thieves uses mana drain it's not necessarily for the same purpose as a true control deck. Other perspectives are reasonable.
@diophan It all comes down to which version of the build and cards used in it. There are some builds that have spells that are more useful in some or more situations than others. Mentor decks with mana drain are an example of this. Whether you are misstepping a preordain or a plow or a dark ritual or a solring/skull clamp/pyroblast or whatever, It is still yet another permission card in the deck. "You are using your free or very cheap counterspells to buy yourself the time to filter with preordain and Dack to find a game ending spell." This is the exact general principle of blue-permission. Use your free or cheap(or even luxury -drain) counterspells + removal to buy the time to either filter or draw enough cards to land a win-con. As for mentor based wincon permission decks and landstill grindy style permission decks, they are both operating on the same core principle. One just happens to get from point a to point b faster than the other, one happens to filter/draw cards differently and one has the ability to slow down your mana base but it is all still the same core concept. Grixis thieves is slightly different in the way it can attack decks because it has 2 combo packages built into the deck + tutors to land them faster as well as tinker-blightsteel, however, it still follows the same core principle of blue based permission style decks. You either go off right away with the nut draw or you hold control of the stack/board long enough to go off. I like to look at it as a blue-based permission deck that has two win-more packages(tinker-blightsteel and vault-key) and a combination of robust and straight forward lines of play compared to other blue-based permission decks.
I think what @HouseOfCards is getting at (correct me if i'm wrong) is the archtypes currently list mentor, big blue, and blue control as different decks were as shops is just one category. However, within shops, there is stax, TKS, ravager, percusor golems, etc.
Basically if we VERY broadly organize decks, we have
- Blue control
- Bazaar based
- Workshop based
If blue based control was broken down, you'd have mentor, big blue, etc. The issue is why are blue decks separated when shops aren't. I'd argue stax vs ravager MUD has just a big difference as standstill vs mentor.
@Naixin generally agree, but Mentor has inflitrated many blue strategies. See Joe Brennans recent results or standstill lists running 1 or 2 mentor. Almost need to go paradoxical mentor,drain mentor, the stock jeskai lists, ect...
@Naixin I agree with your point about the difference between stax and ravager. Personally it's a balancing act between granularity and the number of decks you put in each archetype. Landstill and mentor might not be fundamentally more different than stax and ravager, but there are usually many fewer shops decks than blue decks. Specifically, if we break out stax into an archetype it will usually have 0-2 representatives. If we start seeing stax played in larger numbers I think that's when it'd make sense to break it out as a separate archetype.
Hey y'all. This is a very useful and helpful report. Are you still planning to publish the June version?