Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor



  • @cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    The main issue I raise with this is that now you are literally negating the mana denial strategy. Why would an opponent care about anything you're doing if they are holding their "remove whatever threat I want at any point" cards and can proceed with their normal gameplan? I can appreciate the frustration of being locked out of a game of magic (because I spent years focusing entirely on that goal with Stax), but right now it seems like some of the stronger Mentor lists are already focusing on building mana and using 1for1 removal to deal with any real threats a Shop player can produce. Spheres are annoying, but they can't kill you. Channel-Shatter would upset this dynamic by offering incredible flexibility for almost no opportunity cost.

    Its not 'negating' a strategy. Its countering a strategy. Just like the mana denial strategy negates another strategy. Its something that's been able to be dealt with at acceptable levels until recently. But now with basically 1/3 of the shops deck being related to mana denial (10 sphere, 5 strip effects 4 revokers) and a more aggressive clock (ravager, fleetwheel, ballista) its gotten to the point that the opponent being denied mana needs better, more efficient answers to compete.



  • @Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    The main issue I raise with this is that now you are literally negating the mana denial strategy. Why would an opponent care about anything you're doing if they are holding their "remove whatever threat I want at any point" cards and can proceed with their normal gameplan? I can appreciate the frustration of being locked out of a game of magic (because I spent years focusing entirely on that goal with Stax), but right now it seems like some of the stronger Mentor lists are already focusing on building mana and using 1for1 removal to deal with any real threats a Shop player can produce. Spheres are annoying, but they can't kill you. Channel-Shatter would upset this dynamic by offering incredible flexibility for almost no opportunity cost.

    Its not 'negating' a strategy. Its countering a strategy. Just like the mana denial strategy negates another strategy. Its something that's been able to be dealt with at acceptable levels until recently. But now with basically 1/3 of the shops deck being related to mana denial (10 sphere, 5 strip effects 4 revokers) and a more aggressive clock (ravager, fleetwheel, ballista) its gotten to the point that the opponent being denied mana needs better, more efficient answers to compete.

    Thank you for making this point for me. If we can have Cage, Priest and Rest in Peace come out to counter Dredge/Oath, we can do the same for: 1) artifact tax effects, and 2) blue cantrips/card draw.

    You also raise a good point that I was being too narrow in describing the prison effect of Shops. I neglected Wasteland, Strip Mine, and Revoker.

    Here is what I believe:

    1. The current best build of Shops is Aggro-Prison, but it doesn't have much of a long game.
    2. It has gotten too powerful relative to the meta.
    3. An untaxable (but still Revokable) artifact-removal spell wouldn't destroy the archetype in the slightest. In fact, you can still Shop, Mox, Revoker (on the Cycling/Channel/Bloodrush ability), and Sphere on Turn 1.
    4. Such spell should be Green for color balance (or maybe Red, but that makes it easier for Jeskai Mentor to use, so I don't like that).
    5. Such a spell might encourage greater diversity of Shops builds.
    6. Such a spell might allow for one (or both) of Lodestone and Chalice to be unrestricted.
    7. Unrestricted Chalice would put a greater check on cantrip Blue and PO decks.

    More broadly, my personal desires for Vintage are as follows:

    1. Greater viability of a greater number of archetypes--particularly in Black, Red and Green-based archetypes. I care about color balance.
    2. No deck (or "Pillar") is more than 25% of the field, and it has a Tier-2 or higher deck that destroys it (i.e. Dredge for Shops before Ballista and Ravager made that harder).
    3. More thoughtful, polite discussion in Facebook groups, TMD and other social media and less personal attacks, so that we can manage to look slightly less ridiculous. Especially considering that most of us are (I assume) older than the average Magic player.


  • @Khahan No, cycling means you draw a card. This is why i said i could a card with Channel for 2 mana.



  • There are several ways to design anti artifact cards that work under Spheres. The hard part is balancing them right. Channel is probably easier than cycling as you don't get to draw a card in the process.

    Here are my takes for cards that we might see in future supplementary packs:

    Channcelor 2G

    Cip destroy target artifact.
    Channel G - Destroy target artifact.
    2/2

    Cycling Spree 3RR

    Sorcery
    Destroy all artifacts.

    Cycling RR
    Whenever you cycle, pay x. Destroy x target artifacts.



  • @jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Sovarius said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @jhport12
    Have to agree with cutlex here. What would be gained by a cycler? As awesome as that sounds, seriously, what would be the cost a nearly-uncounterable artifact-destruction cantrip? Most likely 4 mana, honestly.

    Uh, why on earth would it cost 4 mana? I assume you have also heard of the Channel keyword and the Bloodrush keyword? I'm not sure you understand the goal here.

    The goal is a cheap 1-2 (really 1) mana spell that can be cast through tax effects (including Trinisphere). Just like "can't be countered" or "split-second" is a thing, it wouldn't be hard for "can't be taxed" to be a thing. Although, I believe the use of Channel, Cycling or Bloodrush are far more artful methods.

    Implying i don't understand the point (when i clearly do) is not helping anything.

    Explain why this would ever be printed at like 2 mana? 2 mana instant speed 1-for-1 removal that cantrips? That's berserk... It affects other formats too.

    "Can't be taxed" makes no sense in any magic lexicon and isn't happening. It would be an activated ability or alternate casting cost. Cycling, Channel, Faerie Macabre style, Invigorate style... these all make sense. Except for it being a reasonably costed cycling effect.

    I agree with the rest of your points, very salient and digestible material. But

    A new card or two that negatively impact cantrip/card-draw decks might reduce the need to continue restricting cantrips. People have noted that Preordain is better than Ponder in some respects. I kind of see their argument, but either way WotC has printed a dozen+ blue cantrips over the years, so it's almost moot.

    Strictly curious and not trying to 'win' an argument; what exactly do you want? Mental Misstep was printed recently. Too bad it pitches to FoW and is actually berserk in TX decks anyway. Then came Spirit of the Labyrinth at a cool 2 mana and scary power. He's cool, but is also hit by Wear/Tear, Fragmentize, and Disenchant in addition to the standard Plow. Then came Leovold, and he's awesome, but Mentor is just a better creature, so barring Brainstorm/Jace, it doesn't necessarily matter you cast a blank U instant. Unfortunately i think right now, on average, you prefer to be playing Mentor and fight Leovold, than be playing Leovold and fight Mentor. Chains and Hymn have always existed but eh. (That said, i am playing Leovold at EW so whatever).

    Maybe 2cmc creature that might say at the end of each turn, each opponent who drew two or more cards must discard a card. But, sort of tired of 2cmc creatures than have nutter effects.



    1. New Cards

    It's easy to print cards that eschew taxing without much creative effort. It would be preferable if Wizards printed cards that were conscious of the taxing problem. The main issue with that right now is that this has been the best argument since 2010. No one has any faith left that this will happen or patience for that matter. This is doubly confounding because they now have a specific venue for printing Eternal legal cards that have no effect on Standard or Modern (Conspiracy, Commander). The fact they have refused to utilize this has been a repeated slap in the face for those of us that believed issues regarding Standard and Modern were the biggest practical barriers to effective printings.

    1. Workshop Itself

    It's an act of extreme generosity that Mishra's Workshop is unrestricted despite being so over the line in every objective metric. The corollary to keeping it around is that more of the toys end up having to be regulated. If there are complaints about a restricted list with Lodestone Golem, Thorn, Revoker, and Chalice, we should wonder "would we rather unrestrict two or three of those and restrict Mishra's Workshops?" I would hope the answer would be no.



  • Also, @Smmenen, I regret I was tied up with other obligations and didn't have an opportunity to address your last response. It seems we have a clear understanding of each others' positions.



  • @Sovarius

    If you understood the point, then I don't know why you were mentioned a 4-cast card. That's not intended as snark, it's just that mentioning 4cc didn't make much sense.

    I have already noted on TMD that Channel or Bloodrush are easy alternatives to the fact that Cycling creates a cantrip effect.

    Regarding "can't be taxed", I was making a point that pre-existing abilities can be used to address the taxing issue. I don't think Wizards would EVER used such a phrase (today). At best, they would use "Permanents that would affect the mana costs of [CARD] have no effect." That language is wonky and unclean--modern Magic cards would never use such language.

    I think that Wizards' attempt to make a bunch of creatures that hurt cantrips has been a dismal failure for the most part. Not because they are creatures, but because they don't work in a Blue Mentor Sword to Plowshares world. The only thing that has worked is tax effects, but those can get a little too powerful when there are too many of them. Maybe a tax effect in Green or Black that only increases the cost of instants and sorceries would have an impact.

    Or otherwise making a Green or Black card that really put it to the Blue engine would hurt Blue while not pumping up Shops, PO decks, or White Eldrazi. It's just a thought.

    Regarding Misstep, it annoys me to no end that the vast majority of design mistakes made by Wizards are so frequently in blue. And in Vintage you can just augment as needed for other colored spells because of dual lands.



  • @jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @Sovarius

    If you understood the point, then I don't know why you were mentioned a 4-cast card. That's not intended as snark, it's just that mentioning 4cc didn't make much sense.

    No, the only point of that was about Cycling and how we wouldn't get that effect for less than 4 mana (imo).



  • @nedleeds said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    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.

    Had to actually go read Serendib Djinn, and yeah I have no idea how they haven't fixed that. It's basically the same thing as The Abyss, and they never bothered to errata that to read sacrifice.

    I guess the fact that a 4 mana Mahamoti isn't playable, plus there being so few copies around means it slipped under the radar. There's not much argument that it's a radical departure from the power of the card as printed.



  • @sovarius

    I think I see what you are saying. I wouldn't disagree.


  • TMD Supporter

    @brianpk80 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    1. New Cards

    It's easy to print cards that eschew taxing without much creative effort. It would be preferable if Wizards printed cards that were conscious of the taxing problem. The main issue with that right now is that this has been the best argument since 2010. No one has any faith left that this will happen or patience for that matter. This is doubly confounding because they now have a specific venue for printing Eternal legal cards that have no effect on Standard or Modern (Conspiracy, Commander). The fact they have refused to utilize this has been a repeated slap in the face for those of us that believed issues regarding Standard and Modern were the biggest practical barriers to effective printings.

    1. Workshop Itself

    It's an act of extreme generosity that Mishra's Workshop is unrestricted despite being so over the line in every objective metric. The corollary to keeping it around is that more of the toys end up having to be regulated. If there are complaints about a restricted list with Lodestone Golem, Thorn, Revoker, and Chalice, we should wonder "would we rather unrestrict two or three of those and restrict Mishra's Workshops?" I would hope the answer would be no.

    When R&D is designing cards, their goal is "sell as many packs as possible". They absolutely do not have time or motivation to give two poops about Vintage. Maybe they give half a poop on a good day, because they have Grandpa Belcher in the office nowadays, but realistically Standard is their bread and butter, with also a little casual play (Commander, Conspiracy, Un Sets).

    If they were smart though, they would try to do these things. Like when Delve is a huge part of your block, make a delve Shatter. Make a Phyrexian mana Shatter. And so on.



  • @islandswamp said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @brianpk80 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    1. New Cards

    It's easy to print cards that eschew taxing without much creative effort. It would be preferable if Wizards printed cards that were conscious of the taxing problem. The main issue with that right now is that this has been the best argument since 2010. No one has any faith left that this will happen or patience for that matter. This is doubly confounding because they now have a specific venue for printing Eternal legal cards that have no effect on Standard or Modern (Conspiracy, Commander). The fact they have refused to utilize this has been a repeated slap in the face for those of us that believed issues regarding Standard and Modern were the biggest practical barriers to effective printings.

    1. Workshop Itself

    It's an act of extreme generosity that Mishra's Workshop is unrestricted despite being so over the line in every objective metric. The corollary to keeping it around is that more of the toys end up having to be regulated. If there are complaints about a restricted list with Lodestone Golem, Thorn, Revoker, and Chalice, we should wonder "would we rather unrestrict two or three of those and restrict Mishra's Workshops?" I would hope the answer would be no.

    When R&D is designing cards, their goal is "sell as many packs as possible". They absolutely do not have time or motivation to give two poops about Vintage. Maybe they give half a poop on a good day, because they have Grandpa Belcher in the office nowadays, but realistically Standard is their bread and butter, with also a little casual play (Commander, Conspiracy, Un Sets).

    If they were smart though, they would try to do these things. Like when Delve is a huge part of your block, make a delve Shatter. Make a Phyrexian mana Shatter. And so on.

    It's amazing that Green got Delve cards and we didn't get Delvenchant.



  • @cambriel said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    @nedleeds said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    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.

    Had to actually go read Serendib Djinn, and yeah I have no idea how they haven't fixed that. It's basically the same thing as The Abyss, and they never bothered to errata that to read sacrifice.

    I guess the fact that a 4 mana Mahamoti isn't playable, plus there being so few copies around means it slipped under the radar. There's not much argument that it's a radical departure from the power of the card as printed.

    alt text

    Again we are way afield, we probably need a 'Cards as Printed Rescue Thread'. Serendib Djinns wording doesn't use the word sacrifice, which is used in Arabian Nights. Notably on Diamond Valley. Additionally the Creator built a (bad) combo in the set with Pyramids. Serendib states "destroy" with respect to the land (twice).

    alt text

    For many years it was a tier D deck in conjunction with Consecrate Land. You got a slight discount on Fat Moti at the steep cost of potentially stone raining yourself every turn or having Armageddon simultaneously Terroring your Djinn.

    Antiquities further hammers this concept home with the many Sacrifice cards in that set. Djinn is clearly intended by the Creator to destroy the land. All hail the Creator.

    This is another case of MTGO programmers being lazy and thus altering the wording on a card when they cludged the various Masters Editions sets together (see Winter Orb).

    alt text



  • @nedleeds I think this is worth its own thread and would love if we could return to "cards as originally printed" instead of "newest version takes over". I want my Rukh Egg dredge deck.



  • @islandswamp said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    When R&D is designing cards, their goal is "sell as many packs as possible". They absolutely do not have time or motivation to give two poops about Vintage. Maybe they give half a poop on a good day, because they have Grandpa Belcher in the office nowadays, but realistically Standard is their bread and butter, with also a little casual play (Commander, Conspiracy, Un Sets).

    Wizards prints cards specifically for Vintage every now and then.
    Lodestone Golem was one example. They also print cards specific to Legacy + Vintage like Containment Priest, Flusterstorm, and Dack Fayden. Neither the primacy of Standard nor the desire to sell boosters are responsible for their failure to address taxing.



  • Thanks @The-Atog-Lord for a thought provoking piece.

    The thing that struck me most was what @chubbyrain said:

    I would also argue that Gush really isn't weakened relative to the field. It still has incredible synergy with Dack Fayden, JVP, the delve spells, JTMS, Mentor, Pyromancer, Managorger Hydra, Nahiri, etc... You still end up with virtually all Blue decks adopting the same Gush Engine, just with other ways of extracting value from the card rather than a tiny manabase.

    The current state of Vintage reminds of a variant my uncle and I used to play similar to today's Canadian Highlander where each card had a point value. Unlike Canadian Highlander you could play multiples - even Type 1 restricted cards - provided the overall number of points was within the limit.

    As time went and more cards were printed it became impossible to keep the power level of two card combos in check without assigning absurd point values to cards which in isolation did nothing (e.g. Illusions and/or Donate). This meant they couldn't be used in other decks either. The fix was to eventually assign points to two card combos, but it was the beginning of the end of what had been an enjoyable format until then, and I'm determined to give Canadian Highlander a try at some point.

    Now in Vintage there is no cap on the number of restricted cards you can have in your deck (as long as you only have one of each :) ). As long as Wizards continue to print cards that have synergy with the other cards in the Tier 1 decks particularly TX/Shops they will push the power level of these decks up.

    I believe @Smmenen when he says that gush was not a problem pre-Khans. But I think the genie is now out of the bottle. And while it would be nice to restrict pairs of cards (i.e. you can play with only one copy of A & B (X)OR 4 copies of A X(OR) 4 copies of B) that would be simply be a different format that isn't Vintage.

    Eventually synergy becomes "too good" (and I accept some people such as @brianpk80 describe this in a qualitative way and others want to see quantitative hard data based on tournament results to assess this). But if Wizard's agree something needs to be done the only tool which they have available is to restrict one of the cards that fuels the engine (or the win con).

    Unless Wizard's stop printing cards that fuel these engines it seems there is only one place Vintage will end up - an endless string of restrictions. Sadly I don't see this increasing diversity if a deck of singletons is still Tier 1. Though since you'll be playing quasi-highlander maybe gameplay will be a bit more diverse and people will complain less.



  • @smmenen said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

    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.

    Oh snap am I late?

    Here's the "article" i wrote about this. I included links to all the major discussions of errata policy I knew of. I think any links you want to find are probably quoted here.

    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/magic-fundamentals/magic-general/604177-oracle-text-and-errata-policy-the-qui-bono-school

    EDIT: I didn't cross post this little diatribe over here, but I could if people are interested.



  • @prospero The last time vintage was really balanced, was when Oath & Dredge were the boogeymen of the format. Its time for wotc to start moving the needle back in that direction.



  • Maybe we should just restrict Cage and Priest.


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