Vintage Challenge - 6/10/2017


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    I feel like I'm watching a dog chase his tail.



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

    When the DCI tries to make Mana Drain decks more viable or manipulates the format by listening to a vocal minority (especially Mana Drain pilots), they really screw up the format.

    Maybe this is what the DCI tried and maybe it isn't. I'd rather not get into that, but you seem to suggest here that there's some sort of secret cabal of Mana Drain players who meet in dark corners and conspire to lobby for cards to be restricted. I'm stretching the imagination here a bit, but there is an accusatory tone to your statements, which I feel is really unwarranted.

    What's more likely is that people speak out when they're not having fun, in their own subjective view, and offer suggestions on how to fix it. This is what happens in almost every game with rotating "balance". This is the sort of thing that happens on a daily basis in most game forums. Sometimes their solutions are correct and sometimes it isn't. It's up to the DCI to listen to such complaints but come to their own conclusions on how to solve the problem.

    It's easy to dismiss complaints as having no merit and become jaded. In fact, every complaint has merit, but the solution offered with the complaint might not be the optimal one.

    And if we really want to speak about lobbying to get cards restricted, might I point to the list of workshop cards that were lobbied for? I don't think that was for the benefit of Mana Drain.

    I also really dislike how weekly metagame reports devolve into B&R discussions. I'm the last person to say they don't belong on the website. Gone are the days when you can forbid such talk because it'll simply happen elsewhere. But perhaps we can have a sticky or something where all the grousing can go, similar to how The Source does it?


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

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

    When the DCI tries to make Mana Drain decks more viable or manipulates the format by listening to a vocal minority (especially Mana Drain pilots), they really screw up the format.

    Maybe this is what the DCI tried and maybe it isn't. I'd rather not get into that, but you seem to suggest here that there's some sort of secret cabal of Mana Drain players who meet in dark corners and conspire to lobby for cards to be restricted. I'm stretching the imagination here a bit, but there is an accusatory tone to your statements, which I feel is really unwarranted.

    No, what you said is unwarranted. It is your imagination as I never said (or implied) any of that.

    My tone is angry, not accusatory.

    Regardless of how good the format is or not right now, Vintage players have a right to be furious with DCI management of the format right now.

    I also really dislike how weekly metagame reports devolve into B&R discussions.

    The author of this report invite them by not keeping it to the facts, such as comments like this ("Note that these mentor decks were all quite different, and in general the metagame is still changing rapidly."), which clearly reflect a point of view (trying to put a more positive spin on the current state of the metagame). Stick to just the facts, ma'am.

    The players complaining about the format right now are 100% justified in their complaints and their anger. Complaining about people complaining is silly.



  • The entire B&R argument can be summed up as:

    "Paper's too OP we should restrict it; but Scissors are fine" ~ Rock.

    A B&R should not be used to cater to pet decks. I think the format is adapting fairly well, as we tend to see different decks on the weekly challenge top 8s. Who knows, maybe more blue decks top 8 because people like playing blue. May dredge doesn't top as much because people think it's boring.



  • @Smmenen This isn't about people complaining, it's about people overgeneralizing based on the results of a 50 person tournament. Seriously, there are Friday Night Magic events larger than these events and anyone with a basic knowledge statistics and variance should know better. Yet, people like you are jumping on these results, saying others have perpetuated a "fraud" against the Vintage community. People have a right to complain. People have a right to be angry with and/or disagree with the DCI's decisions. It would be hypocritical of me to think otherwise. I would prefer these people create their own threads detailing their frustrations rather than lobbing one-liners about "circle jerks" in the events that happen to fit their narrative.

    @wappla While fun might be arbitrary on an individual basis, it is not arbitrary on a collective basis. Many of Maro's points in his recent Metamorphasis 2.0 article discussed player reactions and feedback. He used the word "fun" three times, the word "enjoy" four times, and "(un)happy" three times. Insisting that Wizards not consider entertainment in their management, design, and policy concerning Magic in its many formats seems completely contrary to the goals of their company and ultimately unrealistic.


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

    @Smmenen This isn't about people complaining, it's about people overgeneralizing based on the results of a 50 person tournament. Seriously, there are Friday Night Magic events larger than these events and anyone with a basic knowledge statistics and variance should know better. Yet, people like you are jumping on these results, saying others have perpetuated a "fraud" against the Vintage community.

    It doesn't take that long to understand the impact of a restriction. You make it seem like it takes months to know.

    The only thing that sometimes takes a long time is for players to figure out how to abuse a new card (like Gifts Ungiven, which took a good 6 months before it really started seeing heavy play). The impact of a restriction is usually manifested very shortly. Restrictions aren't like new printings.

    My comments about the post-restriction metagame are based both on the underlying empirical data (which we now have 4 Challenges of data), and my understanding of the metagame and format, after having closely watched metagame cycles for more than 15 years now.

    You are on record agreeing with me that at least some of the DCI's predictions won't come true, and you did this before the results started rolling in. So, your opinion isn't entirely formed by underlying facts either, but an understanding of the metagame structure as well. Thus far, the facts fit the theory, and that's why players are upset. I am an empiricist, but I don't think we really need much more data to see the direction this metagame is headed.



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

    @Smmenen This isn't about people complaining, it's about people overgeneralizing based on the results of a 50 person tournament. Seriously, there are Friday Night Magic events larger than these events and anyone with a basic knowledge statistics and variance should know better. Yet, people like you are jumping on these results, saying others have perpetuated a "fraud" against the Vintage community. People have a right to complain. People have a right to be angry with and/or disagree with the DCI's decisions. It would be hypocritical of me to think otherwise. I would prefer these people create their own threads detailing their frustrations rather than lobbing one-liners about "circle jerks" in the events that happen to fit their narrative.

    @wappla While fun might be arbitrary on an individual basis, it is not arbitrary on a collective basis. Many of Maro's points in his recent Metamorphasis 2.0 article discussed player reactions and feedback. He used the word "fun" three times, the word "enjoy" four times, and "(un)happy" three times. Insisting that Wizards not consider entertainment in their management, design, and policy concerning Magic in its many formats seems completely contrary to the goals of their company and ultimately unrealistic.

    Great stuff, Matt. It is sad that the hard work you and Ryan do to perform this analysis is constantly push aside for this sort of argument. It really hides a lot of fantastic work.


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

    Great stuff, Matt. It is sad that the hard work you and Ryan do to perform this analysis is constantly push aside for this sort of argument. It really hides a lot of fantastic work.

    No one is "pushing aside" or "hiding" any work. The entire purpose of metagame breakdowns is to understand the format, which can be used to make strategic decisions within the format, but which also necessarily implicates B&R policy and using this data to understand the effect of the restrictions. To suggest that these discussions mask or hide the underlying work a false dichotomy. The data is the underlying layer for the metagame and B&R discussion. They are the same discussion at different levels.

    There have been 4 Challenges, and the April P9 Challenge. It's not too early to draw some initial conclusions about the state of the current metagame.

    Direct link to the table: http://imgur.com/6GBrtGJ

    It's notable that the MOST amount of Mentor in these challenges was after the restrictions, not before. In fact, the three tournaments with the most Mentor has been all post-restriction.

    The restrictions appear to have had no meaningful effect at reducing the % of Mentor in the metagame or reducing the number of Shops decks, which is what the DCI predicted would occur on both counts. If anything, the opposite has (as I predicted it would).

    Back to Brassman's point about the corrosiveness of these discussions, I think the lesson is that the DCI should only ever undertake restrictions if there is a broad consensus about the need to do it, and broad consensus on the specific card to hit. I don't recall anyone complaining about Thirst or Treasure Cruise getting restricted. Everyone knew that was going to happen, and there was no question why.

    Only when you have a broad consensus do restrictions clear the hurdle of not obviously favoring one group over another.


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    @Smmenen

    When Gush was last unrestricted, it took a long while before it started to become mainstream again. Initially people were continuing to play with Dark Confidant/Jace TMS/Time Vault decks while Gush would sporadically appear as Lotus Cobra brews. Why would you expect the metagame to mature so immediately now when it hasn't in the past?

    Gush was unrestricted September 2010 and it took almost a full year (Gen Con 2011) before it replaced Bob Jacevault as the best blue deck.



  • What implies a "broad consensus"? How does anyone formulate a "broad consensus"? These are challenges that are likely more difficult for WotC to obtain than their current method to determine when/if a restriction is necessary.



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

    What implies a "broad consensus"? How does anyone formulate a "broad consensus"? These are challenges that are likely more difficult for WotC to obtain than their current method to determine when/if a restriction is necessary.

    I don't disagree that its tough to define exactly what a broad consensus is when we have it. But its very easy to define when we do not have it. And in the case of the past few restrictions (even ones I agreed with) we did NOT have a broad consensus.



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

    "Paper's too OP we should restrict it; but Scissors are fine" ~ Rock.

    I'm so stealing this.



  • @desolutionist Some random idiot realized that Gush could be played in a tempo deck - the year after, they printed Cruise and Dig. That's what did it.



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

    @desolutionist Some random idiot realized that Gush could be played in a tempo deck - the year after, they printed Cruise and Dig. That's what did it.

    Its your fault Gush is restricted.



  • @ChubbyRain

    Thank you for quoting circle jerks 😂 I'm not sure who would use such terms to define a metagame


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    I rarely post, but I'm sufficiently dismayed by this thread, and all the other recent threads like it, that I felt unable to resist.

    We have a simple request from Matt and Ryan that folks please not post gripes, snide remarks, anger, insults, etc. in their metagame report threads. This isn't unreasonable. It's probably very disheartening to do all the work they do, share it with the community, and have the overall response be one of vitriol -- regardless of where that vitriol is directed.

    Let's be very clear. They aren't saying "don't post it anywhere", they're saying "please don't post this in direct response to my blood, sweat, and tears". I don't think that's much of an imposition, and it seems to me that honoring that request is the reasonable, empathetic thing to do.

    I'd also like to put out a general call for empathy in this forum. It's especially important when discussing B&R and the metagame, because Magic players often personally identify with their favorite strategies, and when discussing B&R it's easy to feel like the stakes are high.

    I think we'd all be a lot better off if we could collectively make an effort to be kinder to each other. Assume good faith and intelligence of others. Don't say things in a post that you wouldn't say to someone's face. Seek to find common ground instead of setting out to make caricatures of how you perceive the 'opposition'. Be patient with the metagame and with each other. And don't make posts that aren't how you'd like to be remembered as a human being.

    I doubt I'm alone in thinking that we have a severe degree of polarization, of entrenched viewpoints, and of the invective that comes with that. It's tiring! And it can easily become a downwards spiral that drives good contributions out of the community.

    Be well, folks.



  • @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. 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?

    Actually Houseofcards you do bring up an interesting point about shops and the die roll. I would love to see a breakdown of shops game 1 win % when they win the die roll vs when they lose it.


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    @nucleosynth When presenting metagame data, it's unreasonable to expect people to silence their concerns or critiques of the current metagame, especially when those concerns or critiques are based upon the data presented. Those two things are intertwined. As I said earlier : "To suggest that these discussions mask or hide the underlying work a false dichotomy. The data is the underlying layer for the metagame and B&R discussion. They are the same discussion at different levels."

    Moreover, I don't recall anyone being mean spirited or unkind in this thread, so that's a straw man. The issue here isn't a lack of empathy.

    It's justifiable anger at two restrictions that, thus far (and we have a 5 tournament sample size and a clear trend line) have had no discernible impact on the DCI's stated objectives or goals for those restrictions.

    Many, if not most, Vintage players play this format because it is the final place we get to play all of our cards. To have cards restricted or taken away unnecessarily (as it relates to the goals presented) is an affront to the foundation of the format, and it's insulting to ask those who are unhappy about the situation to be silent about it, when the data reveals the problem. It's all the more egregious when all of the prevailing evidence so far suggests that the majority of the Vintage community opposed those restrictions (support was especially small for restricting Probe).

    Before Gush was restricted, you could hardly silence the restriction proponents. Asking those who are now unhappy with the format is just as futile and wrong-headed. Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see any new level of invective or animosity that wasn't already directed at Gush by the pro-restriction crowd before it's restriction.



  • I can't believe I have to do this:

    (Hypothetical scenario for a future Vintage Challenge metagame report)*

    Wow, Shops really showed up this week. 4 decks in the top 8, best showing in a while. Looks like 3 of them have now adopted [insert name of artifact now being played] and it worked to fight all the Combo decks going around as they had a 70% win rate compared to previous decks not running that card when they had a 48% win rate. I wonder what Combo will do now to fight back? Will they play more of [insert artifact hate card]?


    Gee, that was really difficult!!



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

    Many, if not most, Vintage players play this format because it is the final place we get to play all of our cards.

    Well, we get to play Gush. Or Mana Drain. But they were nearly mutually exclusive. Yes, you can drag out a few counter-examples, but for the most part, Gush's restriction has been great for those of us who want to sleeve up Mana Drain. And if you want to sleeve up a Turbo Xerox Mentor deck like before, well, you can still do that.



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