Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor


  • Administrators

    I deleted a few posts in this thread. I wanted to delete a lot more.

    Protip: If you're starting a post with "I wasn't going to resort to personal attacks but .." or "I was going to be civil, but ...", it's not a good post

    Protip: Succinct arguments are more persuasive and understandable.

    Protip: Winning arguments on TMD is likely not an efficient path to policy change, especially compared to "talking with someone who actually has influence over policy"

    I mostly deleted posts involving clear personal attacks, and those directly replying to them (which weren't necessarily bad posts, but would make no sense with the missing context).

    Frankly this thread shouldn't have existed in the first place, as the conversation is exactly the same as the other two B&R threads, despite the fact that each thread has a distinct opening post - people can't seem to stop from discussing their pet policy issues in every thread where someone mentions any policy issue, no matter how related they are.

    It's clear that there is another issue in these threads. Too much rhetoric, not enough dialectic. Too many people are trying to win arguments and not enough people are trying to figure things out.

    Did you know that different people enjoy different games?

    Did you know that different people use similar terms to mean the different things?

    Have you noticed how rarely people make an effort to understand how their goals and preferences might differ before emphatically stating that their policy for the format is unimpeachably better?



  • @Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Stormanimagus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    . . .Workshop threats cost 4, 5, and 6 mana? Well I would say that you missed a key implication of my comment. I am implying that you are casting spheres on turn 1 and possibly turn 2. Would you claim that Fleetwheel Cruiser DOESN'T cost 5 underneath a sphere? or 6 underneath 2 spheres?

    Turn 1 - workshop, sol ring sphere, sphere. Turn 2 - any land into fleetwheel cruiser. It cost 6 mana sure, but its done on turn 2 with 2 land drops.

    Meanwhile any other player is praying they can get 3 mana to play their 1 mana spell and to dig a little deeper before the inevitable strip effect or revoker comes down or another sphere effect is throw into play.

    Anybody who says workshop shouldn't be restricted due to its power level is delusional. I accept that people have other reasons to not restrict it. I may not agree with those reasons but I accept that others have and believe those reasons.

    You lost me when Sol Ring resolved. What Vintage have you been playing?



  • @joshuabrooks

    When I offered to host an event to test a hypothetical or experimental list I got exactly 1 serious response. I don't think real testing of proposals is happening.



  • @walking.dude I feel you man, I made a post asking why it was that people felt intrinsically bound to Wizards (possibly) flawed list and got only one person to respond.

    If I lived in NY any more I'd be apt to try to work with you on it, but I am half the country away and with very little free time.



  • @walking.dude Might be easier to test on MTGO. I know I can do that, as I am way to far from NY to meet up. Free form MTGO can be a way to test



  • I used to think that Workshop was too powerful and needed to be restricted--in part based on the abstract principle of "a Black Lotus every turn for artifacts is wrong." I don't believe that anymore, even though I believe the Shops deck is pretty strong right now.

    1. I have come to learn (like many of you) that the power of a card isn't measured in isolation. Workshop was just a Tier-1.5 or 2 Vintage card for many years because there just weren't enough good artifacts to make it matter.

    2. Cards like Brainstorm, Gush, Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise only seem "obvious" to us because we've been around the game for awhile. On the surface, they don't look very good. Just think back to when you were a teenager who once fell in love with Scaled Wurm because it was huge (or some other janky card). It is only in the context of fetch lands and Dack Fayden that these cards begin to warp the format. I mean, if tomorrow all fetchlands were banned, how broken would Brainstorm and the Delve spells be? Not very.

    The only reason Shops decks are a problem right now is because they can too easily lock players out of the game backed by a quick clock of Ravager/Ballista.

    The moment Wizards prints artifact removal that circumvents tax effects, Shops becomes a manageable card (and by extension archetype) again. Cycling, Channel or a new keyword is all it takes. One new green or red card and we're fine again.

    Just like people in Standard have been clamoring for the re-introduction of hate cards to keep broken cards in check, all Vintage needs is 3-4 new cards that nerf Shops and blue (or blue cantrips, depending on what you think the problem is).

    A pyroblast with split second, or a cheap flash green creature that can't be countered, but itself counters a blue instant (or has a Notion Thief ability)... nothing would be weird about such cards (Magic history is full of them) and they would cut two dominant Vintage pillars down to size.

    After all, Wizards went in a deeply draconian (and totally deliberate) direction when it created Grafdigger's Cage and Containment Priest. Seriously, we already lived in a world with Ravenous Trap, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus, and god knows what else I might be forgetting.

    If I had a single directive to Wizards it would be this:

    Print new cards that make it easy to unrestrict old cards because they become broken no longer.



  • @p3temangus I would have to disagree with this. Playing a land that is disynergistic with land drops is counterproductive to a strategy that relies on building up mana to play through its own sphere effects.



  • @walking.dude I live in NYC and if you ever want to grind out games to test these things out, you can PM me and see if we can get down. I would much rather draw conclusions from testing than random hypotheticals if the sample size is large enough.



  • @Smmenen

    I beg to disagree. Zodiac Dragon's intent was to be able to return whenever it was discarded. I posted this earlier, but please read the prongs and tell me where my logic is wrong.

    @gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    The fact that this card doesn't do what it says on the card is an outright tragedy.

    1. Portal 3 was meant as a stand alone set.
    2. There are 8 different cards in Portal 3 that have text about discarding cards.

    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&set=+["Portal Three Kingdoms"]&text=+[Discard]

    1. In the release notes, Riding the Dilu horse was errated (to not end at end of turn) while Zodiac Dragon was left alone. (This is actually the greatest argument that the card doesn't do what the designers intended it to do)

    https://www.wizards.com/magic/generic/cardlists/p3k_en_spoiler.txt

    source is this page https://www.wizards.com/magic/p3k/p3k_edition.asp

    1. Serra Avatar from Urza's Saga has the closest text ability of shuffling it back into your library. "From anywhere" was errated to that card. That errata has since been removed because it is verbose.

    2. Abundance (also Urza's Saga) has an replacement "may" ability and hasn't been errated.

    Zodiac Dragon should have a replacement ability, not this nonsensical triggered one it currently has.

    Allowing the card in Vintage would help dredge out, and create survival of the fittest archetypes. Or you can just play wild mongrel. All of these seem fair compared to Time Vault Voltaic Key.

    Please champion Zodiac Dragon in Vintage.

    1. Moreover, Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior exists and reads word for word the way you are reaching to interpret Zodiac Dragon to read:

    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=10494

    You're a guy who likes to argue reason. I've given you a six pronged argument for Zodiac Dragon's text. Feel free to attack any single prong or change your opinion.

    FYI, taking examples like Lotus Vale and Scored Ruins is a strawman fallacy unrelated to Zodiac Dragon.

    Zodiac Dragon is in a unique situation because it wasn't legal until October 20, 2005. There were no judge rulings on any portal cards up to that date, unlike the ones about Lotus Vale, Mox Diamond, and Scorched Ruins.

    @Khahan what are your thoughts knowing my full argument?

    To elaborate further on prong #1, Portal 3 was meant as a starter set to be played only with other portal 3 cards. Meaning, Zodiac Dragon was intended to be able to get discarded to Control of the Court and net card advantage, or to protect your hand from Cao, Cao Lord of Wei so you could cast it later at 8 mana while Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior was not intended to do that. It was never intended to interact with Survival of the Fittest. But that changed on October 20th.


  • TMD Supporter

    @gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Smmenen

    I beg to disagree. Zodiac Dragon's intent was to be able to return whenever it was discarded. I posted this earlier, but please read the prongs and tell me where my logic is wrong.

    The dispositive issue in a case like this is how the card was ruled to function when it was released.

    The Time Vault/ Power Level Errata debates happened a decade ago at this point, and I don't remember the specific findings as they relate to Zodiac Dragon. Perhaps @MaximumCDawg or someone else familiar with those debates might be able to shed light on this question without my having to do further research.

    On the other hand, Aaron Forsythe said that Zodiac Dragon's design intent was that it was supposed to only return to hand from the graveyard if it left play: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/power-level-errata-b-gone-2006-07-14

    Zodiac Dragon / Rukh Egg – Printed intent was that these cards only worked from play. “From play” is merely clarification. If it didn't say that, they would still only work from play since that's the default. The text was added because the cards are (obviously) a bit confusing without it, and this is the modern template for this clause.

    The historical authority is regarded as Stephen D'Angelo's Crystal Keep, which sadly is no longer operated. However, I keep a bookmark to the archived version of his site, which you (or anyone else) can access here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040717064701/http://www.crystalkeep.com:80/magic/rules/search.html

    This site contains all of the rulings that were published up until he ceased updating them. The search function doesn't work, but you can still find cards by index. In any case,
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040823085206/http://www.crystalkeep.com:80/cgi-bin/magicsearch.cgi?cardName=Zodiac Dragon

    He notes:

    "When played under non-Portal rules, the text should be read as "When ~this~ goes to a graveyard from play, you may return ~this~ to its owner's hand." [D'Angelo 2000/06/05]"

    I confess I don't fully understand what that means, as it suggests that there is something specific to the Portal Rules that explains this function. But I can't tell from his ruling along whether that's simply power level errata or what you claim.

    If you can find actual evidence that it was ruled to work the way you say it does when Portal 3 Kingdoms was released in 1999 or shortly thereafter, I will join your crusade. But thus far, I am unaware of any evidence. And I can't even remember my position on the card 11 years ago, although I do remember having given it some thought.

    1. Moreover, Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior exists and reads word for word the way you are reaching to interpret Zodiac Dragon to read:

    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=10494

    This is your best argument, but it's not dispositive. The fact that Guan Yu specifically had the "from play" clause while Zodiac Dragon does not does certainly raise the inference that the fact that Zodiac Dragon does not was intentional or by design, but that inference is not a certainty. It could simply have been a mistake or inconsistency. And the presumption or benefit of the doubt is generally given to the rules team who ruled on the card's functionality when the card is released, as those rules managers will generally have access to the designers.

    You make some good points, but I'm not entirely persuaded as of yet. I'd have to research and better understand the Portal rules, and/or find evidence that the card was actually ruled to work or played the way you suggest before I'd conclude that the current errata really is power level errata.

    Further, I recommend starting a new thread before continuing a discussion under this topic any further.


  • TMD Supporter

    @jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    The moment Wizards prints artifact removal that circumvents tax effects, Shops becomes a manageable card (and by extension archetype) again. Cycling, Channel or a new keyword is all it takes. One new green or red card and we're fine again.

    These cards already exist. Steel sabotage is a card. So is Ancient Grudge. Spell Pierce Hurkyl's Recall By Force etc. etc. This is without getting into the hosers that you can play if you run an actual manabase instead of a greedy pile. You can beat "the strongest deck in the metagame" by changing your maindeck to battle it. Add some maindeck hate. Add more mana. Perhaps throw in more than one basic land. Lose a few percentage points in the blue mirror. Right now, all the blue decks I've been seeing in top8s represent a PERFECT metagame to be playing Mishra.

    There's a cost to balance a matchup. Why does it seem like no one is willing to pay it? Is the solution really to complain until wizards hamstrings Scissors until Paper can beat it with 2-3 sideboard cards and spend the rest of the time circle jerking itself?



  • @cutlex I feel this view on Shops is outdated. The deck has become much more aggressive and resilient. Instead of operating as a prison deck, it's become perhaps the most power aggro-tempo deck of all time. Running more mana sources doesn't necessarily overcome the Tempo generated by Thorns and Wastelands. Running singleton removal doesn't matter if you are locked into removing one threat a turn while they've dumped their hand on turn 2. The best deck I've found against Shops has been Drain Tendrils and I'm literally playing Chrome Mox because I felt I needed the extra Mox to overcome the tempo swing. Oh, and I don't bother with the one-for-one strategy. Just Tinker them or chain Hurkyl's into PO. Steel Sabotage is more to bounce their Metamorph on my Blightsteel than it is an effective hate card in the matchup.



  • @gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Khahan what are your thoughts knowing my full argument?

    To elaborate further on prong #1, Portal 3 was meant as a starter set to be played only with other portal 3 cards. Meaning, Zodiac Dragon was intended to be able to get discarded to Control of the Court and net card advantage, or to protect your hand from Cao, Cao Lord of Wei so you could cast it later at 8 mana while Guan Yu, Sainted Warrior was not intended to do that. It was never intended to interact with Survival of the Fittest. But that changed on October 20th.

    I would say your statement that ZD was printed with an intent to to get discarded is an assumption, not a verifiable fact.

    From the mtg wiki on Portal (https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Portal):

    In an effort to facilitate learning Magic, Portal was markedly aesthetic and mechanically differently from previous non-starter-level sets. To simplify game play, Portal featured no instants, enchantments, or artifacts and, subsequently, had a simpler set of rules. Some sorceries could be played outside the normal timing rules for sorceries, and these cards received errata as appropriate.[3] Creature cards printed in Portal featured no creature types, and their type line read "Summon Creature". These cards also received errata.

    Portal also featured different terminology from that established in previous sets. These terms included "intercepting" for blocking, "deck" for library, "discard pile" for graveyard, "offense" for power, and "defense" for toughness. Although these new terms were intended to simplify learning Magic, particularly as a stepping stone for more complex sets, they were a source of distress for players if and when they started to use advanced-level and/or expert-level cards, which do not use this terminology. Cards featuring these terms also received errata but are otherwise functionally the same

    There can be no doubt that Portal had different templating, different terminology and therefore explained the same functionality in different ways. Since there is nothing specifically about the template on this card I'll admit it is also an assumption on my part that those differences easily explain the usage of this card. However its a lot smaller of a leap in logic. When I get home tonight I'll have to see if I still have any Portal instruction booklets that came with the bigger packs tucked away in my closet somewhere. That may have more specific information on rules and differences between portal and 'regular' mtg.

    I also have to admit on the second tab in the link I provided they reference mystic denial. Portal had no instants or interrupts. They only had sorceries and if the timing differed, rules text on the card made it so. When they converted Portal cards over to magic cards, all sorceries with rules text that granted them 'instant speed' timing got errata to make them instants. Suddenly mystical denial - which could be used in a counter war to counter another mystic denial under Portal Rules - couldn't do everything it used to do. It could no longer counter itself. It lost functionality and did not receive errata to restore its original functionality. Of course it could be argued it was only ever intended to counter sorceries and had instants been printed, it may still have been 'sorcery' only.

    So online information really just muddies the water a little further, though I do feel its a bit more supportive of the position that ZD was never intended to function the way you claim.



  • @gkraigher

    One last thought on this:

    ZD is a permanent with a static effect. The best proof I can find that the functionality of ZD today is not a power level errata is the comprehensive rules. If ZD oracle text was exactly as it is on the card it would function the way it does today, not the way you would like it to.
    The card text, "If Zodiac Dragon is put into your graveyard, you may return Zodiac Dragon to your hand" is a static ability that creates a replacement effect. From the comprehensive rules:

    604.2. Static abilities create continuous effects, some of which are prevention effects or replacement
    effects. These effects are active as long as the permanent with the ability remains on the battlefield
    and has the ability, or as long as the object with the ability remains in the appropriate zone, as
    described in rule 112.6. (emphasis added is mine)

    112.6. Abilities of an instant or sorcery spell usually function only while that object is on the stack.
    Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is on the battlefield. The
    exceptions are as follows: 112.6b An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.

    Basically regardless of why the card was errata'd or what its original intended ability was, this is not a power level errata. This is simply how the rules of the game work. The card doesn't say it functions in any particular zone so the exception listed as 112.6b does not apply. This leaves us with the default of 604.2

    You could still argue that you want a functional errata to restore original functionality - but you have yet to prove original functionality. But I don't think there is any argument that can made that it was changed because of power level.

    Believe me, I would love to have fun abusing ZD if it were changed. I just don't think the basis for the change you want exists. :(


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @cutlex I feel this view on Shops is outdated. The deck has become much more aggressive and resilient. Instead of operating as a prison deck, it's become perhaps the most power aggro-tempo deck of all time. Running more mana sources doesn't necessarily overcome the Tempo generated by Thorns and Wastelands. Running singleton removal doesn't matter if you are locked into removing one threat a turn while they've dumped their hand on turn 2. The best deck I've found against Shops has been Drain Tendrils and I'm literally playing Chrome Mox because I felt I needed the extra Mox to overcome the tempo swing. Oh, and I don't bother with the one-for-one strategy. Just Tinker them or chain Hurkyl's into PO. Steel Sabotage is more to bounce their Metamorph on my Blightsteel than it is an effective hate card in the matchup.

    This is an interesting perspective. I've been thinking about opening up a thread on the topic, but I've been worried about how healthy it would end up.



  • @cutlex I would be very interesting in discussing and I think the strategy element would be beneficial to the community as a whole. As for how healthy it ends up, can it really get any worse? Maybe if you include a paragraph asking people not to discuss possible restrictions, it might stay on track? I don't know, but I feel if we get to the point where people don't make threads on interesting topics of discussion because of fear that those threads will derail into a B&R flame war, that's the end of The Mana Drain.



  • @gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Smmenen

    "For more than two years, we fought to get this corrected. Although the letter that Rich and I wrote pleading to remove power-level errata ultimately changed policy, Wizards failed to correct the power level errata that was left intact on Time Vault. When I spoke with Richard Garfield at 2008 Nationals, I was able to get the evidence needed to correct this, told Wizards, and the mistake was corrected in short order."

    This is the article that years ago sparked my desire to crusade and champion Zodiac Dragons reversion back to its original intent. The card doesn't do today what it was intended to do in design.

    Join me Steven. You also have a lot of influence on these things!

    Bring Zodiac Dragon to Vintage!

    VintageGreg, I love you like the intoxicated brother who lives in Detroit I never knew but I can't understand why Zodiac Dragon is the trench you want to die in. Unless you have like 1,000 in your secret stash. I am all for cards to be used as the creator intended, I would have gone to war for Winter Orb for days on end. I think there are just other older cards ahead in the line, most notably Serendib Djinn. How the xerox turned B&R death battle turned power level errata left turn in this thread happened is confusing, maybe we need a "Card that you feel should be restored: Make your case" thread.



  • This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.

    The flavor text on Mishra's Workshop is timeless: "Though he eventually came to despise Tocasia, Mishra listened well to her lessons on clarity of purpose. Unlike his brother, he focused his mind on a single goal."


  • TMD Supporter

    @Chronatog said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.

    So how does Turbo Xerox have the characteristics of a Swiss Army knife?



  • @desolutionist said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Chronatog said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.
    So how does Turbo Xerox have the characteristics of a Swiss Army knife?

    There are only a few situational cards - Monastery Mentor to win, By Force to clean up, Swords to Plowshares to remove creatures, Force of Will to counter etc. The rest are either tutors - Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Snapcaster Mage, fetch lands, etc or deck manipulation spells - Ancestral Recall, Brainstorm, Preordain, Ponder, Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, Merchant Scroll, Dack Fayden, etc. So the goal of the deck is to adjust on the fly to the current match and use only tools necessary in each situation. The same is with a Swiss army knife - it has many blades and tools, but you use each of them based on a specific situation and need. Hope I answered your question.


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