Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017



  • 51 players registered for yesterday's Vintage Challenge on MTGO. Congratulations to Egget winning the tournament without dropping a match!

    Top Finishes

    1. Egget - SFM Remora Mentor
    2. hrymfaxe - Precursor Ravager Shops (without wires)
    3. joseortiz - BUG Oath
    4. ecobaronen - Updated Mentor Silence
    5. freakflag - Paradoxical Drain Tendrils
    6. svengosagan - Jeskai Mentor
    7. uncle_rico - Merfolk
    8. ravidel85 - Esper Mentor

    Top 32 Decklists

    Metagame

    The spreadsheet can be found here.

    Quick observations
    We've seen three primary archetypes vying for the best deck in any given week--shops, mentor, and paradoxical outcome decks. After last week's paradoxical outcome performance, we see mentor come back to dominate the top8. Note that these mentor decks were all quite different, and in general the metagame is still changing rapidly.



  • First ... thanks for the write up. That being said, this format is just miserable, the restrictions have done nothing to crack the Misstep / Thorn dichotomy. In fact it's reached an apex with the dredge decks giving up and just playing their own Missteps to Misstep the Misstep that Misstepped their Therapy.

    The numbers are pretty gross.

    Of the available deck space (4) that a deck builder could use on either 4 thorns or 4 missteps (assuming nobody is playing both in the same deck) the top 32 decks used an absurd 91.9% on one or the other. That's depressing homogeneity. If you throw maindeck Pyroblast in as a surrogate for the deck builders who innovated by playing less than 4 Missteps it rises to 99.19%.

    Misstep should have been restricted instead of either Probe or Gush. Wake me up before champs if something has changed.



  • I can't wait for Steve to cite this challenge and not last week's.



  • Big ol' circle jerk of SHOP/MENTOR/OUTCOME. Sick life 😂



  • LoL it cracks me up that players actually think the meta is changed/changing/evolving.

    The same 3 "archetypes" pre restriction are still here post restriction.

    The "combo" deck is only "better" because the mentor player isn't as explosive ( but can still be as dominant)

    Shop decks haven't changed at all
    (guess WotC guessed wrong on that one)

    To me it all just stills feels the same...I'm not building decks to prepare for anything different from before



  • bottom line is we've finally reached the point where the restricted list needs to grow expontentially. Because lets face it, where do we go?

    Thorn gets restricted: Paradox and Mentor just win everything.
    Paradox gets restricted: Just 1 deck out of the format.
    Mentor gets restricted: Paradox is the go-to
    Mistep gets restricted: Mentor and Paradox are still the go-to, we just play other counterspells.
    Preordain gets restricted: We all just play Thirst for Knowledge again

    Thorn, Paradox, and Mentor get restricted: Storm has a field day.

    I believe we are living in a time where we CAN'T Fix the format with the restricted list, without added at least 6 cards to it.



  • Sigh, are we really going to have to do this every week Ryan and I put one of these out?

    @nedleeds - 69% of decklists on MTGGoldfish play 4 Brainstorm in Legacy. 64% of decks in Standard play 4 Attune the Aether. 62% of Vintage decks play 3.6 Mental Missteps. Force of Will actually sees more play that Mental Misstep @4.0 and 65% of the metagame. In any format, you are going to get cards that play pivotal roles in multiple archetypes as they simple do what they do better than alternatives in the format. Do you think that Force of Will should be restricted in Vintage? Do you think Brainstorm should be banned in Legacy? The question is, what effect does the card in question have on the two key metrics WotC cares about when evaluating format health: metagame diversity and interactivity? Try to construct an argument taking into account those factors rather than simply regurgitating statistics from a single event.

    @tattoocek If your answer to Mentor is to throw 4 Sudden Shocks and 4 Sulfur Elementals into a hatebears deck, you are going to keep getting your shit pushed in by competent pilots. Did you see that my deck only ran two Mentors that Daily? My 2 Mentors beat your 8 uncounterable hate cards, and neither game was close from my perspective. That approach didn't work with Gush unrestricted and it still doesn't work now. Do something more intelligent to attack the metagame, then we can talk about what a circle jerk the format is.

    @Fisken It cracks my up that people actually think a metagame as small as Vintage is settled a month and a half after a B&R announcement. What do you think should have been done last month? What do you think you should be done on Wednesday with the update? Is there something that you wanted to see in the metagame that would justify the previous restriction? I built the Drain Tendrils list mostly because Vito was whining about the lack of Drain and Thirst for Knowledge decks in the metagame. I'm ready for another challenge.

    Anyone else want to have a go?



  • @Fisken I played a new shops brew and freerolled into the next event placing 20th. Check out the list using the top 32 link. I call it Foundry-Nova Shops.



  • @MSolymossy How is thorn of amethyst an issue?



  • @HouseOfCards too many mana accelerants means if the thorn player wins the die roll its turn thorn, turn 2 wasteland, turn 3 threat of some kind, slow roll your opponent staying ahead of his ability to cast spells with revokers, thorns, spheres, thalias, wastes redundancy.



  • @Khahan And if we lose the die roll our resistors can work against us. It goes both ways. You take thorn away and shops has no chance against any blue deck/combo at all. We would be down to 4 spheres, 1 thorn, 1 chalice, 1 lodestone and a trinisphere. You can't consistently impact your opponent with only 7 resistors as you would be very lucky to have 2 stick each game. Its like blue-mages want to take all the lockpieces away and leave shops with no chance against combo or blue-based decks. The resistors that shops currently has are the only reason we have any shot at placing well. Otherwise we would be stuck playing a deck with 26 dudes hoping we can kill you by turn 4-5 without any interruptions. Also, restricting thorn would create extremely boring and mundane game play for both the shops player/opponent minimizing sequencing and decision making. It would no longer be a "song and dance". Are people trying to turn this format into modern/standard or something?



  • @ChubbyRain

    Well when I mulligan to 6 and 5 both games and never saw a Shock for mentor, yeah I'm going to lose. I guess the answer is, I should just build Outcome, Mentor, or Shops...I know they are the best decks. It doesn't mean they are fun. I've played mentor with infinite success in the past so you playing "only 2 mentor" in your blue deck with a billion draw spells, isn't interesting at all to me. Draw a billion cards, cast your unfair win con and counter relevant things...furthermore that hatebear deck was just an idea and it didn't work. Losing to turn 1-2 vault key or mentor while I don't draw hate happened too often. People were crying about mentor and still are...wel vault key is just as brainless haha. I've moved away from Hate Bears and Eldrazi because they're incredibly too inconsistent.



  • I'm not a huge fan of posting or replying due to the nature of people feeling singled out over understanding that there is a discussion that "could" be had, but how is it supposed to settle if it doesn't change ?

    The WotC link was up while/ before you ran the numbers ?
    I think it's great that you guys break down all the numbers for people but as much as it shows what's "changing" it's fuel for the lazy crowd that just wants to copy the FotW and not build or try anything new to be like "guess I gotta play this"

    Drain and tfk were already a thing?
    Painter is always a deck that sees play and can be just as dangerous as any other deck available ?

    What happened to Drain Nahiri Moat control??
    Mentor gets less explosive somehow that deck gets worse??

    I don't feel that retooling the decks of yesteryear is a challenge in any right.
    Which as you stated with a format as small as vintage is bound to happen.

    Hell I've.been.beating people with an unplayable
    1/1 trample for 2G for almost 2 years now in this supposeded mentor only era.

    The main issue we're always going to have is that they have never been able to safely transition mechanics to the older formats unless they've lowered the support card counts.

    Personally I thought the format was fine when 4 lodestone was a thing chalice was what put that deck over the top.
    It was fine when 4 Gush was a thing. It took almost 3 years after the unrestriction
    (read printing OP win-cons) before it even took off again and even still wasn't an issue until after they axed Tcruise and DTT.
    The meta is still fine now. My issue is that anyone whose played vintage extensively for the last 12-15 years can see that all the decks we've seen recently are still those same decks just retooled to whatever draw engine is legal and with new overly hyper efficient win-cons. The premises are still the same.

    Aggro
    Combo
    Control
    Combo/Control
    Shops

    There are always going to be decks that can be played to prey upon whatever is on top of the hill but to say that it's changing is just something I don't understand.
    People are always going to want to be able play X and not want to play against Y.

    In any event @ChubbyRain @diophan thanks for your time and hard work to break down the numbers

    More than likely I will not post in here again



  • @HouseOfCards said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    @Khahan And if we lose the die roll our resistors can work against us. It goes both ways. You take thorn away and shops has no chance against any blue deck/combo at all.

    Honestly if this is your perception there is no point in talking. The idea that 7 sphere effects is not enough - I dont even know what to say to that. Add in 5 strip effects, 4 revokers and oh yeah, 4x permanent black lotus to power out XX and 2 drops that win the game in 2-3 turns anybody making a claim that 7 resistor effects isn't enough just doesn't come across as convincing. Outside of shops though add in white hatebears, white eldrazi - basically anything else that runs thalia/thorn/waste/revoker.

    You claim you can't be consistent enough but you do realize that if every sphere effect were restricted you would still have trinisphere, sphere of reistance, thorn of amethyst, lodestone golem for 4 sphere effects to make things cost more mana and 1 strip mine and 4 wastelands, 1 chalice of the void and 4 revokers to chip away at the mana base. That's almost 25% of your deck that screws with mana in other decks.

    Now for the record, I didn't make the initial claim, nor did I randomly offer up the info. I answered a question you asked. I'm not the making the argument that we should or shouldn't restrict thorn. I wasn't looking to get into a debate/argument about thorn - just passing along info.

    But if you want to try to make the claim that shops can't be consistent by losing 3 of 17 mana taxing effects I'm going to need a LOT more than just your word to accept that premise.



  • When Gitaxian Probe gets restricted in Vintage, it should be obvious that what is broken in the format goes much deeper than whatever's on the restricted list.



  • @ChubbyRain said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    Sigh, are we really going to have to do this every week Ryan and I put one of these out?

    @nedleeds - 69% of decklists on MTGGoldfish play 4 Brainstorm in Legacy. 64% of decks in Standard play 4 Attune the Aether. 62% of Vintage decks play 3.6 Mental Missteps. Force of Will actually sees more play that Mental Misstep @4.0 and 65% of the metagame. In any format, you are going to get cards that play pivotal roles in multiple archetypes as they simple do what they do better than alternatives in the format. Do you think that Force of Will should be restricted in Vintage? Do you think Brainstorm should be banned in Legacy? The question is, what effect does the card in question have on the two key metrics WotC cares about when evaluating format health: metagame diversity and interactivity? Try to construct an argument taking into account those factors rather than simply regurgitating statistics from a single event.

    Anyone else want to have a go?

    Sure. Brainstorm should absolutely be banned in Legacy, it 32/32'ed a GP and has come close several times. Given the refuse on the banned list (Mind Twist, Earthcraft, Goblin Recruiter ...) I don't think anyone is debating the merits of banning Brainstorm, the counter argument is some combination of 'pillar of the format', 'format defining', 'skill intensives', 'everyone would quit' and 'go play modern'. If Legacy was played at the Pro Tour it'd have been banned long ago. It'd be like Bazaar 32/32'ing Vintage Champs (worm can opened).

    As for Force of Will vs. Misstep this is my opinion but Force of Will requires more deck building constraints at design time and a more difficult card to use at runtime. It has a far steeper opportunity cost than Misstep. I've never felt like other decks playing Force of Will has constrained my deck building experience like Derpstep does. Force of Will shouldn't be restricted.

    So my overarching point was that Vintage is Missteps and Thorns which speaks to the diversity argument. Again, my opinion ... one Misstep would diversify (clap) the blue deck builder (copiers) suite of counterspells similar to what we had 3-4 years ago and play one for ones that deal with Thorn (Pierce, Snare, SS). Thus hopefully muting Thorns impact and leaving some design space to resolve sorcery speed one mana spells without wanting to throw your deck across the room (or Misstep that Misstep).

    Maybe every deck becomes +3 Flusterstorm ... even that is fine with me. Flusterstorm comes with its own host of deficiencies. At least I could cast a one mana creature again in Vintage again without Cavern of Souls.

    But I'm probably in the minority. I thought Misstep and Probe should have gotten restricted and Gush should have stayed and then let's see what shakes out. Mentor would be much more killable. Substituting cards with text vs. Thorns would help push back against the natural predator. Other decks could pop up in between.



  • @nedleeds said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    @ChubbyRain said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    Sigh, are we really going to have to do this every week Ryan and I put one of these out?

    @nedleeds - 69% of decklists on MTGGoldfish play 4 Brainstorm in Legacy. 64% of decks in Standard play 4 Attune the Aether. 62% of Vintage decks play 3.6 Mental Missteps. Force of Will actually sees more play that Mental Misstep @4.0 and 65% of the metagame. In any format, you are going to get cards that play pivotal roles in multiple archetypes as they simple do what they do better than alternatives in the format. Do you think that Force of Will should be restricted in Vintage? Do you think Brainstorm should be banned in Legacy? The question is, what effect does the card in question have on the two key metrics WotC cares about when evaluating format health: metagame diversity and interactivity? Try to construct an argument taking into account those factors rather than simply regurgitating statistics from a single event.

    Anyone else want to have a go?

    Sure. Brainstorm should absolutely be banned in Legacy, it 32/32'ed a GP and has come close several times. Given the refuse on the banned list (Mind Twist, Earthcraft, Goblin Recruiter ...) I don't think anyone is debating the merits of banning Brainstorm, the counter argument is some combination of 'pillar of the format', 'format defining', 'skill intensives', 'everyone would quit' and 'go play modern'. If Legacy was played at the Pro Tour it'd have been banned long ago. It'd be like Bazaar 32/32'ing Vintage Champs (worm can opened).

    As for Force of Will vs. Misstep this is my opinion but Force of Will requires more deck building constraints at design time and a more difficult card to use at runtime. It has a far steeper opportunity cost than Misstep. I've never felt like other decks playing Force of Will has constrained my deck building experience like Derpstep does. Force of Will shouldn't be restricted.

    So my overarching point was that Vintage is Missteps and Thorns which speaks to the diversity argument. Again, my opinion ... one Misstep would diversify (clap) the blue deck builder (copiers) suite of counterspells similar to what we had 3-4 years ago and play one for ones that deal with Thorn (Pierce, Snare, SS). Thus hopefully muting Thorns impact and leaving some design space to resolve sorcery speed one mana spells without wanting to throw your deck across the room (or Misstep that Misstep).

    Maybe every deck becomes +3 Flusterstorm ... even that is fine with me. Flusterstorm comes with its own host of deficiencies. At least I could cast a one mana creature again in Vintage again without Cavern of Souls.

    But I'm probably in the minority. I thought Misstep and Probe should have gotten restricted and Gush should have stayed and then let's see what shakes out. Mentor would be much more killable. Substituting cards with text vs. Thorns would help push back against the natural predator. Other decks could pop up in between.

    I hate Misstep too but before it becomes restricted, there needs to be a better way to manage the 1 CMC design defect discard (Thoughtseize/Duress) and the Voltaic Key problem.



  • @nedleeds We disagree a ton, but I cannot like "Brainstorm should absolutely be banned in Legacy" enough. I've been saying this since 2008.



  • @brianpk80 said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    I hate Misstep too but before it becomes restricted, there needs to be a better way to manage the 1 CMC design defect discard (Thoughtseize/Duress) and the Voltaic Key problem.

    Yeah getting Keyed is frustrating, obviously turn 1 Ancestral becomes more swingy without Misstep everywhere but I accept death by restricted cards. We've never lived with Flusterstorm and 1 Misstep. Maybe Flusterstorm is enough to balance targeted discard. Honestly Defense Grid is probably more terrifying for a control deck to see turn 1 than a Duress. I feel like Misstep is too good vs. Thoughtseize because the opportunity cost of no mana vs. mana is so lopsided. But no free Derpstep certain exacerbates being on the draw vs. fast combo. There are beaucoup answers on the play, on the draw it's Force, Trap and sideboard solutions like Leyline.


  • TMD Supporter

    Isn't Misstep pretty poor right now? It isn't good vs. Outcome or Shops, half of the field. And it's not like it's impressive against Eldrazi or Saheeli Oath either. It's only functions are to counter Ancestral, defend against REBs or Plows, or to speed bump Rituals.



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