Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017



  • @The-Gremlin-Lord said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    If WotC wasn't so ban-happy people wouldn't be so ban-talk happy.

    If WotC R&D didn't print Phyrexian Mana this could have all been avoided.



  • @Brass-Man 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?

    Yup.

    People can't help themselves.

    B&R threads are toxic and I'm 100% sure they've done more harm to format than unrestricted Lodestone, Gush, Brainstorm, or Trinisphere ever did. I'm also pretty sure they're completely unstoppable.

    Well. If 95% of the decks out of 32 had either 4 Thorn or 4 Thoughtseize, we'd probably talk about it. That seems like a dichotomous format and something worth talking about like adults. Hopefully people take it for what it is, just opinion with a little sprinkling of salt :)


  • Administrators

    @nedleeds I completely agree that would be worth talking about like adults. The first time I see a B&R thread online where people are talking like adults, I'll let you know :P


  • TMD Supporter

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

    @desolutionist Misstep has value against Paradox to the point of boarding my 3rd one in this weekend in Michigan, because Top, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, and if they play it, Key are extremely important. Paradox blows you out with Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, and Sol Ring to the point where it has better value than other cards in my deck most-often.

    If I start countering artifact mana, my Mox monkey will starve... I understand theirs ways to use Misstep against Outcome, but is that use strategically better than other options?


  • TMD Supporter

    @Brass-Man said in Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017:

    I just don't think there's any correlation between what wizards does, policy-wise, and how much vintage players complain about the B&R list.

    Because of the DCI's inability to set parameters or public metrics for what merits a restriction, these discussions will propagate forever. Because we don't have written "restriction rules," on some level EVERY opinion on the B&R list is at least arguable. Hence the toxicity.

    Maybe someday we'll get some hard and fast rules for what constitutes a restriction:

    • no 1st turn kill rate above 7%
    • if Champs attendance drops below 400, changes will be made.
    • if 75% representation in two major tournament top 16 for a certain card, it's looked at.

    Anything at all.... otherwise these arguments will go on forever (as they have since the mid-90s), and unfortunately, anyone's perspective is somewhat valid, the majority just might not agree with it. And then it becomes a contest of who can shout the loudest and furthest.


  • Administrators

    @joshuabrooks I'm confused why you think that a clear set of criteria would mean these discussions stop. Why wouldn't people argue over that criteria? Why wouldn't people argue over whether the criteria should change, or which decks meet that criteria, or which tournaments count as valid data for collecting those criteria?

    Even when WotC does make a clear set of criteria (e.g. the reserved list) people still argue about it forever.

    Beyond that, I have never felt like WotC has been unclear about these things. They are a business and they want people to play in tournaments and buy packs. Every decision (design, B&R, policy, errata) is made on a case-by-case basis to optimize for those two things. There are no guidelines or rules that supersede that, and player feedback is one of the biggest resources they have for predicting how changes will affect those two things. Every announcement I've ever read and every WotC employee I have ever talked to has seemed pretty unified in this. I'm sometimes honestly pretty confused why people don't think this is clear.

    This is absolutely a community issue, not a WotC issue. This is just what people are compelled to talk about. I wish that wasn't the case, but I'm not sure I'm in the majority, and I'm not sure any non-drastic decisions can change it.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Brass-Man I made a post earlier that pretty much agrees with everything you just said. I agree, it's a business, and happy customers are all that matter at the end of the day.

    Does the DCI make their decisions based on player feedback? Based on tournament results? Based on high quality MTGO analytics? Or just a few pro's opinions? Nobody knows. That's my issue.

    I personally don't mind B&R debates, though the modern internet has surely made them more toxic. My concern is that certain Vintage players are wielding a lot more influence, and their influence is certainly linked to personal preference. I think very few of us could extricate ourselves from our personal view of what Magic should be for the "greater good of Vintage."

    That said, I play as much in a month as some people play in a day. Maybe their opinion should matter more, but I'd prefer an unbiased agency. Or one that at the minimum playtests and understands the format. Maybe the DCI does, but they communicate otherwise.



  • Some people think Vintage should be the least restrictive Magic format, and other people think it's a format where Mana Drain is supposed to be good.

    Brian Demars, four years ago,

    There is a secret code in Vintage that everybody knows, which is that Mana Drain always needs to end up being the best and always does end up being the best. The Vintage community desires for, roots for, and does everything in its power to ensure that Mana Drain is the best card and best deck in Magic.
    Whenever Mana Drain isn't the best deck, it is because something else is degenerate, broken, or too good. If Mana Drain decks can't find a way to beat the other for an extended period of time, then begins the talk of restricting the threat. The joke is, of course, that if anything is actually better than Mana Drain, it probably does deserve restriction because in actuality Mana Drain is and always has been too good!
    So the DCI restricts the Flashes, Trinispheres, Lion's Eye Diamonds, and Gushes of the world to make the world safe for Mana Drainers once again, and when Mana Drain decks are unbeatable, they blame the flavor of the week card draw—Brainstorm, Gifts, or Thirst for Knowledge—so that Mana Drain decks are not so good that they win every tournament but are good enough to win a lot of them.
    The biggest mistake in my estimation is that the world is always made safe for the pillars rather than anybody ever questioning the pillars themselves. Nothing can ever be better than the best Mana Drain decks, and the Mana Drain decks can never be too much better than everything else. And, by everything else, I of course do not actually mean everything else but only mean Mishra's Workshop decks, Bazaar of Baghdad decks, and Storm decks.
    If some meta creature deck is viable for a minute, "hey bonus," but in general if it isn't one of these pillars, it really doesn't matter whether it lives or dies in the long term.



  • @wappla Some people think a game should be fun.



  • @vaughnbros actually everyone thinks that, but because people can't agree on what is fun, it's an idiotic way to make decisions.



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

    @vaughnbros actually everyone thinks that, but because people can't agree on what is fun, it's an idiotic way to make decisions.

    Agreed, and this thread is a great example of why no matter what changes WotC does or does not make regarding the Banned & Restricted List, people will continue to bitch and moan, and we have over 25 years of Magic (and multiple iterations of TMD) as evidence. Not everyone will agree on what's "fun," because it's entirely subjective.

    If you have data that you feel supports the scrutiny of a Banned & Restricted List change, present the data in a logical form with your argument. The endless droning on and on about "card X" is pushing other cards out of the format, or "card Y" is bad for the format are pretty useless, when they can be said about numerous cards in every historical format, and are simply a weak and generic proxy for good policymaking. We are dealing with the deepest card pool in Magic, and have many forgotten and overlooked answers to problems that exist. As more Magic sets are released each year new answers (and problems) will be printed.

    WotC doesn't have a hard and fast set of rules or statistical metrics that they publish when it comes to B&R policymaking, because that would pigeonhole them in an adapting game, and prevent them from learning and using feedback on the fly. Not doing so affords them latitude to grow as a company, and to (hopefully) make better decisions going forward as they learn from successes and failures (insert your own snark here about failure).

    Thank you to @ChubbyRain and @diophan (and associates) for their continued diligence in stockpiling and analyzing this data for us, such that we can continue to use it to have more intelligent discussions. It is much appreciated.



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

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

    @desolutionist Misstep has value against Paradox to the point of boarding my 3rd one in this weekend in Michigan, because Top, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, and if they play it, Key are extremely important. Paradox blows you out with Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, and Sol Ring to the point where it has better value than other cards in my deck most-often.

    If I start countering artifact mana, my Mox monkey will starve... I understand theirs ways to use Misstep against Outcome, but is that use strategically better than other options?

    Back up. How are you resolving Mox Monkey again? Cavern on Ape? :)



  • @Brass-Man Some sites similar to TMD in other formats have threads for ban list discussion. Can we just have that on TMD and then warn/block/suspend users on TMD that post ban list discussion in any thread other than that? Kind of tired of every thread always going into that discussion. Keeping it to a single thread people can dump complaints into, and maintain discussions that actually mean something in the rest of the threads would be great.



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

    @vaughnbros actually everyone thinks that, but because people can't agree on what is fun, it's an idiotic way to make decisions.

    Is it? Many people seem to argue for an "objective" method for DCI action focusing on creating a "balanced" format. People can't seem to agree what is objective, and what is balanced. I don't see anyone arguing for what is fun vs unfun.

    Idiotic is prioritizing things that aren't fun in a game.


  • Administrators

    @mourningpalace We've had policies like that in the past and it's never worked before. It could be worth trying again, but my hopes aren't high.


  • Administrators

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

    I don't see anyone arguing for what is fun vs unfun.

    I have seen a TON of those arguments. If you start a thread on TMD asking "what's fun in vintage?" you will very likely see another one.

    Easy examples: Are Workshop decks fun? How about combo decks? How about cards like counterspells that invalidate other strategies? How about cards like Cavern of Souls that invalidate counterspells? Which is more fun, a 2 deck metagame or a 10 deck metagame? Does Chalice of the Void make games less fun because it cuts off Moxes, or does it make the game more fun because it punishes people for playing unfun cards? Are Moxes fun or not? How much variance is fun?

    Ask a random magic player "Is Vintage fun?" and most of them will say "No." I understand fighting for a kind of format that you think is more fun, but there's no objectivity about this stuff.



  • @Brass-Man I'm not sure how much objectivity there is in any of this, and if objectivity from somewhat arbitrary baseline is what is best in the first place. I think taking a step back and evaluating things from a big picture view of what the goal of a game is helps to gain clarity. These arguements often get caught in the weeds discussing 1 or 2 cards, or very broad "archetypes" which only exist because of how the restricted list is currently formatted. If everything was unrestricted, cards like Gush, Workshop and Bazaar would be side notes to much more powerful cards.

    I think you could formulate a survey that could potentially determine the best parameters for a format. A single survey question would certainly not be sufficient. For instance questions like:
    "What is the ideal speed for the format?" (Wizards has explicitly stated turn 3/4 in modern for instance, and has done almost everything in their power to make the format adhere to that standard)
    "How important do you think strategy diversity is?"
    "How important do you think color diversity is?"
    "How important should deck building decisions be?"
    "More specifically, sideboard choices?"
    "How important should in game decisions be?"
    "More specifically, mulligan decisions?"
    ect.

    At that point, one could certainly objectively determine what is "fun" or at the very least desired according to the results of such a survey. And you simplify the problem to determining how to achieve those parameters.



  • @ChubbyRain

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

    God forbid we voice our opinions on the current metagame or B&R list!

    You are dealing with humans that have invested money into a game they are passionate about. Of course we are going to speak up on one of the largest public vintage forums available to us.

    NO ONE by any means should be deterring anyone from voicing their opinions about the B&R list or the metagame.



  • @HouseOfCards I don't disagree that we should have a platform to discuss such things, but doing it on the (now) weekly MTGO Vintage Challenge metagame report isn't really the place to have such a discussion. There should be (and already is) other threads on the matter.


  • Administrators

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

    I think you could formulate a survey that could potentially determine the best parameters for a format.

    but who do you give the survey to? :\



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