Vintage Restricted List Discussion
The only arguments I've heard for not restricting Shops is that it hurts someone's feelings and they'll quit playing. It's been this way for years and it's only gotten worse with the advent of MTGO and the mass realization of the fact that Workshop is the best unrestricted card in the game by such a huge margin that it is better than almost any card on the restricted list and it is simply incorrect not to play it.
The primary argument I've usually heard for not restricting Workshop is that the pillar usually stands as one of the two prominent non-blue decks within the format. That argument comes down to one of deck diversity, which of course becomes problematic when the popularity of shops decks mean that it is threatening deck diversity. The shops pillar itself has experienced strange push and pulls by the metagame to the extent that previous builds have fallen by the wayside in favor of a very lean and potent aggro tempo deck. This push was the result of new printings and metagame forces (such as mentor) to the extent that now, something is going to have to be restricted from the deck.or a new printing leaves a big enough impression on the format that the metagame shifts significantly in unforseen directions.
As far as people that quit because gush and probe were restricted I have only anecdotal information and could only hazard a guess. I do think that the identification marker of "gush player" is a less-held identity than that of "Shops" player.
And to clarify my point using yours, I am not saying that "nothing should be restricted from Workshops" - it is rather I am against hitting engine cards. While I waffled on an overall opinion on Gush, I think restricting it wasn't the best option. Workshops is a very interesting card to play with and against, and is more than just the current aggro-tempo deck that is so prominent. I'm an old terra nova/stax pilot, and had a soft spot for martello. I'd rather see the pillar be forced to adapt and transform out of its current shell through restrictions than lose the heart of the manabase that fuels numerous decks, from the aforementioned Shop variants to two-card monte. Much like restricting gush crippled unrelated decks such as doomsday...I'd prefer not to see that happen again.
Lastly, you raise a very interesting point that I think sits at the heart of my unease with the current b/r directions (as inferred by the rationales they have given- this is at best an assumption and probably one of the biggest reasons everyone is griping about the b/r list): you commented that workshop is the most powerful of unrestricted cards. I'm not actually going to argue that point. My question is "in the most powerful format, is it too powerful?"
The larger concern of "I'd really prefer to not see the vintage b/r list turn into 'Well, workshop decks are gone, but dredge is stilll powerful and unfun. Let's restrict bazaar. And Oath is too much of a coin flip, let's restrict oath..."
In short, I'd rather not see deck archetypes taken out by b/r policy. Metagame shifts? Sure. New printings obsolescing strategies (like token generators making stax worse) are things that happen.
Part of this is that I don't think we know what Wizards vision for the format is. Much less the fact that we all do not agree on what we want the format to look like.
Shop is likely the best unrestricted card in Vintage. Bazaar probably at #2. But when you say something like that you ignore the fact that by playing it you forgo playing the best 10 or so restricted cards. It's a massive trade off. You play a Brassclaw Orc Warchief while you opponents are playing Ancestral, Tinker, Will, Demonic and freaking Time Walk. The deck is a pile of barely playable cards or completely unplayable cards that you might as well incinerate if shop is restricted. It's a heap of mediocre cards that preys on the 65% of the format that refuses to stop playing 13 lands or 4 x Misstep X x Pyro X x Flusterstorms. Watching the BUG excavator/rod decks knock the living shit out of aggro shops this past weekend at Gencon was refreshing.
I dont post often but if you want to "fix" vintage maintaining the current B&R list's trajectory, the following cards need to be restricted:
Preordain - having this level of card selection in conjunction w/ the cards available for use in the format make this card too good; it needs to join its brainstorm & ponder brothers on the restricted list. If players start playing serum visions or portent in the slots vacated by preordain, thats fine b/c neither card allows them to dig & choose the card they want immediately w/o additional help, i.e. ancestral, another cantrip, sensei's divining top, etc.
Monastery Mentor - its hard to believe a 3 drop white creature is in need of being restricted in a format full death stars & laser beam wielding T-Rex's but it does. a creature that triggers oath & can still win thru a 7/7 flying legendary life-linking demon is a problem. he needs to be benched just like his lodestone friend.
Sphere of Resistance - tournament attendance is down & there has been alot of ppl decrying the state of the format. when you have 2 obvious "best decks", that doesnt allow for a healthy environment. "taxing-effects", by forcing everything to go "lower to the ground" if you will, do not allow for the format to "open" up; they are stymieing innovation & creativity.
Thorn of Amethyst - see Sphere of Resistance above
Paradoxical Outcome - this card is objectively too powerful to not be restricted now & in a vacuum of less "sphere-effects" it would need to go as well. i'm sure that some of you will feel that this is a quite aggressive stance to take in regards to the B&R list, but i do not need anecdotal evidence or statistical data to read the words printed on a card to know that its good in a format w/ free artifact mana. so in this case, i prefer going "wide" w/ the proverbial restriction hammer rather than sitting through a period of months waiting for the the next B&R update to correct a problem we could already see coming a mile away when you cut back on the prison angle of the shop archetype.
Dark Petition - see Paradoxical Outcome above. agn this is another preemptive restriction in a format w/ less constraints on its mana.
While this may not be a popular view, we've come too far down this particular "rabbit hole" to stop now, i'd rather see these changes implemented, look @ the results, & see where we're @, versus the opposite view that some have suggested that we "open pandora's box" & restrict less things & let the chips fall where they may.
@d0rsal I am not trying to start a fight, but I haven't seen anything that makes me believe that in the past short or medium term attendance is down. What makes you think that is true?
@garbageaggro NA Champs seems to be the one event anyone points to as representative of attendance across all events for the format, even though everyone's local scene is different; If champs pulls 500 ppl, vintage is healthy...if it pulls 200ish, something is amiss.
Summer is always a weird time for Magic because folks just have other things going on on weekends, so attendance may take an "artificial" hit. I have personally noticed local attendance is down over the past 4-6 months, with premier events like NYSE and Waterbury pulling less than what some expected (or even what was needed to break even on prizes, in some cases). Less prestigious events, like monthly 1k's or FNV's have also appear to be less well attended, at least in my area (Long Island NY, for those wondering). That said, we are spoiled in my area with a plethora of events at multiple locations, while different parts of the country are psyched to pull 8 ppl for an event with 6 weeks notice....other areas have seen their vintage scene shrivel and die completely.
@garbageaggro just looking @ the last 4 paper vintage tournaments on mtgtop8, they fielded 36, 29, 72 & 132 players respectively, thats an avg of 67.25 players per event; some FNMs pull in more players than that on a weekly basis. my gut tells me thats a significant drop off from previous events. the NE part of the US has always been a hotbed of vintage magic & it just seems like interest/turnout has been in decline for awhile now.
Man I have been playing vintage for at least 5 years, and I have never been to a non EW tournament with attendance over 30, so those numbers seem big to me. Vintage has always felt like a small tournament format to me.
That aside, I would agree if we had a good set of historical tournamnets posted, and had all the vintage tournaments being played represented. There was an ohio tournamnet last week with 12 people, which wasn't included in your list, so I assume that list isn't exhaustive. I am willing to believe attendance might be going down, but I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed some hard evidence.
Even comparing different years EWs is tough because it keeps changing time and location, which makes it harder.
I don't know that there is a good way to measure, but it seems like largely this anecdotal evidence, and so shouldn't probably be used in a discussion like this as proof of the necessity of a fix. I am sure there are other valid reasons to want a change, I just don't think we can utilize "dropping attendance" as one of them.
Oh man, what an awful challenge for me today. I played Mentor, started 0-2 against 2 Shops decks (1 Aggro, 1 Prison) when I couldn't draw beans, and finished 1-2 vs. Mentor where I either crushed or got crushed - so draw dependent.
This format has got to change. Actually, I'll be blasphemous - if Shops gets restricted, I hope they ban Ancestral. That will at least make the blue mirrors less swingy.
Thorn of Amethyst is restricted.
Monastery Mentor is restricted.
Yawgmoth's Bargain is unrestricted.
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