Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor

@letseeker

Square is much worse because it triggers at the beginning of your upkeep. So if you dredge during your upkeep or draw steep, you'd have to wait a full turn to discard it. And it's not a dread return target.

@Prospero great opinion. Thank you for taking the time to voice it.

last edited by gkraigher

@Smmenen I think it's very reasonable to debate whether or not the restricted list has reached the limit of its utility, and what to do then. However, it is equivalent to proving a negative. How does one know that subsequent restrictions will not have an effect if, as Nick said, the outcome of restrictions is difficult or impossible to predict? One would have to try out those restrictions before throwing in the towel.

People have a nostalgia for before this recent arc of history, but you cannot roll back the clock and ignore the printings of Cruise, Dig, and Monastery Mentor. You cannot ignore the printings of Walking Ballista, Foundry Inspector, Fleetwheel Cruiser, and others. Focusing the blame on a "philosophy of restriction" is frankly wrong, and the major gripe I have concerning @Prospero's argument. I do not see a more balanced and diverse metagame with Treasure Cruise and Lodestone Golem unrestricted. It would certainly not lead to a more interactive and skill-intensive format. To think otherwise is a textbook example of recollection bias.

@p3temangus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Chronatog said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

So any prognostication about metagame changes should take into account all Magic-unrelated factors. Otherwise, such discussions will remain only theoretical discussion quite disconnected from the reality.

Except now, with MTGO, Players do have cheap access to all cards, and can react immediately to the changes. Hell, anyone trying to test hypothetical restrictions can EASILY do so on MTGO.

This is a good point, @p3temangus. Since I am not familiar with MTGO, and to avoid representativeness bias, perhaps you can help me here. Where I can find number of unique monthly MTGO player? And similar data but with unique players who play more than once per month? And unique players who play a few times per year. And then we can compare these numbers with number of players attending some big vintage paper events in the past and decide if MTGO stats are representative.

In general, I agree with you that with MTGO players have cheaper access to cards (though some cards are more expensive on-line, e.g. Wasteland and Rishadan Port), but I disagree that everyone can (and want to) react immediately.

Using my limited experience and some anecdotal evidence, I suspect that MTGO does not represent all players well enough to serve as a yardstick. At least for Vintage. And any decisions about restricting cards in Vintage should be made based on a variety complimentary data sources. And common sense, of course.

And I like the reasoning @THE ATOG LORD used in his article and hope that we will have more balanced and objective posts here, supported by relevant data.

@ChubbyRain said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Smmenen I think it's very reasonable to debate whether or not the restricted list has reached the limit of its utility, and what to do then. However, it is equivalent to proving a negative. How does one know that subsequent restrictions will not have an effect if, as Nick said, the outcome of restrictions is difficult or impossible to predict? One would have to try out those restrictions before throwing in the towel.

People have a nostalgia for before this recent arc of history, but you cannot roll back the clock and ignore the printings of Cruise, Dig, and Monastery Mentor. You cannot ignore the printings of Walking Ballista, Foundry Inspector, Fleetwheel Cruiser, and others. Focusing the blame on a "philosophy of restriction" is frankly wrong, and the major gripe I have concerning @Prospero's argument. I do not see a more balanced and diverse metagame with Treasure Cruise and Lodestone Golem unrestricted. It would certainly not lead to a more interactive and skill-intensive format. To think otherwise is a textbook example of recollection bias.

I think you are missing the forest for the trees here. Unless I'm misreading him, I don't think he's calling for the unrestriction of Treasure Cruise. I think he's saying that we are on a dangerous path, it's not working out, and we should try to figure out where this is going, to game plan and think carefully and strategically instead of treating restriction like a tactic, which is generally how it's been treated -- a knee-jerk response to an immediate problem. I think he's also saying, that as a general matter, we should be much more circumspect about restrictions, which I also agree with. So he's not saying we can never restrict, but that the path we are on isn't working out, and it's making things worse. So, I think maybe he's suggesting what i was suggesting in the other thread, that we should look at unrestrictions as a better way out rather than just focus on restrictions, without specifying what those might be. Personally, I think either Bargain and/or Windfall are serious candidates for unrestriction. Maybe that's a better path to start on.

last edited by Smmenen

The problem with this whole discussion is that T1 came to MTGO in the last years. Both the printing of absurd cards for TX strategies (first Pyromancer dominating the format, then Mentor) and Shops and the advent of total information and transparency lead to a homogenization of the format. I think this would have happened anyway, even if some cards wouldn't exist and even if some archetypes would be different, just because MTGO changed the whole approach to data we had before.

I can't really comment on the time before T1 came to MTGO but I would guess that it developed way slower and that previous tier 1 decks often needed longer to break through. With MTGO these kind of things become apparent within a small frame of maybe a few weeks.

The main problem is not MTGO, though. Wotc just printed a high number of degenerate cards in the last few years, and T1, with the unability to outright ban a card, became the most susceptible for power creep. Blue, always a good color, became so much more stronger and aggressive, while the other colors hardly got anything (Mentor is blue with the restriction of not going into Force). On the other hand, colorless, which wasn't even considered a color before, suddenly became a real force. And then another artifact block came along, which always means a few more toys for Shops. The development of their game design just shits on T1 and that is a big problem.

Actually I would even argue that Wotc kinda maneuvered the format into the worst possible dead end; not just with all the latest printings but also with the restrictions. They kinda forced a TX vs Shops Aggro format on us. Sadly, this is just another byproduct of T1 coming to MTGO and the hype that the VSL created.

What happened to the other archetypes though? Ok, so here is my point of view again: they are mostly flawed. Susceptible to variance. I mean yeah, Oath didn't get the same cool new tools as TX got. Oath, needing more specific cards to devote its gameplan to is essentially just a worse TX deck, no matter whether it plays Mentor or Pyro. Oath is of course still a great deck and can have bombastic openings, but if it only wins 55 of its 100 games while TX wins 62 out of 100 then it is just a matter of time until people switch to the archetype that grants them a higher win % over the long run.
The same is true for a deck like Dredge. I enjoy Dredge, it just crushes and operates on a different axis than any other deck. But if also produces nongames, where you just mulligan to oblivion, or get your Bazaar wasted, Dredge one or two more times just to get stack. It's not fun gameplay and it will lead to Dredge never becoming the best in the format again, unless we get another Serum Powder one day.
Other decks just generally suffer from a too high curve. Like, I think Consecrated Sphinx is a cool card, but does it really has a place in Vintage? Chances are that it just rots in your hand the whole game.

Is there a way back? I can't really tell. The way the format is structured right now is I don't really think so. Mentor gets restricted next, I think that is certainly a given, but what will happen to Shops? I doubt they are going to restrict the namesake card and pillar of the format. Restricting a Sphere seems really dull though.

Referring to Mental Misstep, I think it is just plain wrong to advocate its restriction. Misstep takes both variance and speed out of the format and that is a good thing.

I was moved by @Prospero post, but in a silent tears kind of way. It is always a tragedy for me whenever I hear someone is selling off their power. I've been hearing it for decades, but these days, there is a really, really high bar to buying back in. It's hard to drop $10,000 to want to play in Vintage champs.

I do think some of these posts are missing the mark. Everyone is complaining about B&R management policy, but we have some of the smartest minds in Magic, and yet many of them are diametrically opposed as to what the solution should be. Everyone longs for the "nostalgic Magic period" of the past (myself included), but back then, people were constantly complaning about "never getting any Vintage level cards." So then what happened:

Blue gets:
Monastery Mentor
Treasure Cruise
Dig Through Time
Dack Fayden
Jace Vrynn's Prodigy
Leovold
Fragmentize
Baral Chief
Stony Silence
Containment Priest
...to name a few. I mean, just look at that for a second. TIER 1 CARDS THAT QUICKLY HIT THE MAINDECK- some of which can make Ancestral seem like a weak topdeck. Think about that. Cards that might be be more powerful than an Alpha restricted card.

Shops gets:
Walking Ballista
Hangarback Walker
Foundry Inspector
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Relic of Progenitus.
...I don't think these are as "bombish," but they end up pushing Shops into a "perfected" version of the deck, and it's as tight of a deck as you can get.

This is probably the biggest quality infusion since Urza's Saga block (though spead out over more time).

Not only do these cards make the maindeck/sideboard, but many of them shore up the weaknesses each deck faced in the meta. Mentor and Shops became stronger, AND more resilient.

Anytime you drop 10-20 new cards, high power cards, into a format in a 2-3 year period, it's going to be chaos.

I don't think this is necessarily a B&R problem (though I certainly don't agree with their handling of it). I think it's an over-abundance of new powerful cards, unleashed on a semi-solved, high variance format. Vintage players moaned for decades about not getting enough toys. Well, we got them, and it shows how quickly Vintage can abuse a design mistake.

Sad to see you selling power @Prospero , I hope you find a way to someday justify buying them back. It's not easy to replace a dedicated paper Vintage player.

last edited by joshuabrooks

@Wintage i think you hit the nail on the head, in that power creep hits vintage hardest and at this point, in my opinion, there is no amount of restrictions that will mitigate this, only outright bannings or new card printings.

Perhaps an anti-metalcraft artifact like ( during each players upkeep, if they have metalcraft, that player must sacrifice artifacts until they dont)The excessive restrictions add too much chaotic variance, but what i will say, is that if mentor is banned, shops can lose its namesake to a restriction.

So then what do they do? Maybe 1 Shop - 3 Cities ? Maybe 1 shop + 2 cities and a Mana Vault or Grim Monolith? Are they legitimately going to be too hamstrung to compete, after a petal is plucked from their 'lotus' land?

I highly doubt it, but again, this seems to only be the case if mentor goes as well, because it has the same level of degeneracy but...maybe...

maybe...you kill mentor and errata Workshop to 'Legendary', similar to the time vault errata business of yesteryear.

Just some thoughts.

Well, if the B&R policy is really an issue (I honestly have no idea if it is, or isn't), at what point do we (paper players, at least) just decide to go the EDH route and come up with our own list?

Just what, besides one or two actually sanctioned events, are we stubbornly sticking to a (plausibly) flawed list? We aren't bound to Wizards in any real way. Most events aren't sanctioned already anyway, what would the harm be in trying?

At what point do we "put our money where our mouth is" and actually run real tournaments and gain real results to test our theories?

Of course, it's easy for me to say, because living in the middle of nowhere and with next to no free time I literally can't do anything. And with that, probably best to just set my status back to lurker...

It really seems like we are at a spot where nobody really "knows" what to do.

Many of us have ideas, I for example think that we should think about restriction of overly powerful hoser cards like containment priest and see if that boosts the prevalence of previously common strategies like oath or makes dredge more of a contender. I don't see a lot of other people on this line, but I think it would help.

But, and this is the key, I don't know it would help. The whole thing is so complex that I don't know if I'm even 50% confident a change would do what I think it would.

Zooming out from vintage and just thinking about how knowledge works, the right thing to do when you don't know what will happen is to some experiments.

We could try local events with different restricted lists. We could try coordinating local events with different lists, so NY, Texas, and St. Louis could all hold events back to back or the same weekend running the same experiment. We could petition Wizards to try a year of experiments and make major changes to the online restricted list every month for a year. Someone could hold weekly events in their living room. There is a lot of scope to test things. If MTGO supports player run events that's an avenue also.

What lists to try?
I'd say start with extreme changes to see what the boundary conditions are, then back of a little and test smaller changes.

  • everything is restricted
  • everything is restricted but Fow
  • everything post reserved list is unrestricted
  • everything legal in modern is unrestricted
    And then test specific theories from there. By this point we would have learned quite a bit so it makes sense to wait to have that knowledge before designing further tests.

This is a path that we as a community could really go down. We could run these tests and then at the end we could make a recommendation to wotc with some real facts behind it.

@Wintage said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

Referring to Mental Misstep, I think it is just plain wrong to advocate its restriction. Misstep takes both variance and speed out of the format and that is a good thing.

But it doesn't. The variance is simply displaced into who has more. Or the variance of your pairings I guess. As for speed, that's all from the eye of the beholder. People are myopic and think of Dark Rituals exploding all over. Rituals have a natural predator and have for decades, prison. Even discounting Derpstep U based control has more tools than ever to fight aggregate combo both on the stack (Fluster, Trap, Pierce, Surgical) and in play (Canonist, Aegis, Mage, Cage, Kambal). If you look at large events pre the Dack/Pyro/Delve mess that pushed decks into 14-16 free spells Storm wasn't even close to dominating.

If by variance you mean Go. Upkeep. Ancestral. Or just Ancestral. I mean I guess Misstep makes that less likely to resolve. But again we played for 15 years and accepted that resolving power 9 can result in getting 'Vintaged'. The same goes for Black Lotus and many other cards that if resolved early probably mean you lose.

Mental Misstep costing no mana, no opportunity cost short of trading a card slows the format down if you are counting it's complete obsoleting of mana dorks. DRS, Hierarch were key cards in keeping Thorn decks in check for years. Even 4 x Chalice, 4 x LG shops was a dog to BUG Fish decks with Shamans.

And again the reason it's banned everywhere else is because of it's incestuous impact on deck construction. There's also a reason nobody is talking about Spell Snare being miserable. Because it costs mana. No mana is always better than mana. If Misstep cost U, it would also be fine.

The argument that you can jump the curve with moxes is fine but again less mana is always better than more. I've played decks that dodge Misstep as best as possible but you are still just handicapping yourself by playing higher cost spells. That deck building paradigm catches up to you when you don't draw your moxes.

Barring a complete rehaul of the list which as many people have opined about here Misstep needs to go. If only so that we can stop saying 'it just gets Misstepped', 'if it weren't for Misstep', 'if you can Misstep their Misstep that Misstepped your Misstep'.

@H. said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

Well, if the B&R policy is really an issue (I honestly have no idea if it is, or isn't), at what point do we (paper players, at least) just decide to go the EDH route and come up with our own list?

Just what, besides one or two actually sanctioned events, are we stubbornly sticking to a (plausibly) flawed list? We aren't bound to Wizards in any real way. Most events aren't sanctioned already anyway, what would the harm be in trying?

At what point do we "put our money where our mouth is" and actually run real tournaments and gain real results to test our theories?

Of course, it's easy for me to say, because living in the middle of nowhere and with next to no free time I literally can't do anything. And with that, probably best to just set my status back to lurker...

I think this line of thinking discounts MTGO. On MTGO you have to play by WotCs rules. We are in the era where MTGO shapes B&R policy (probably?) more than paper.

@Chronatog I do not know if this data is available from wizards, but perhaps the Meta reports assembled by @diophan and @ChubbyRain have player names called out and you could try and aggregate it in that way using their data as your source.

The simple fact is that MTGO is the only place where Wizards can view results of sanctioned vintage events on a Daily and Weekly Basis. I do not think that this impact can be minimized in any way shape or form, whether you believe it to be "representative" or not. To me, the impact of non-sanctioned vintage on B&R policy has always been hazy. Wizards can't "support" Proxy vintage, so do they ignore results of non-sanctioned proxy events? The days of having to wait months to run your new deck out in a tournament are long gone. I can play 8 rounds of sanctioned FNM style Vintage over 2 days with whatever pile of crap I feel like running out. If I had the time and will power I could play 12 rounds (assuming 3 out of 5 evening daily's fire a week) in addition to 5+ rounds on any given Saturday afternoon. I do not know your history in the format, but do you know how many Months it used to take me to play that many rounds of Vintage? Months, or even a year, and that was with me making the effort to travel to Waterbury's, SCG P9's and the like, and even then all of those events were non-sanctioned 5 or 10 Proxy.

Updating my post with with something just posted in the Vintage FB Group by a Tom Ribet (not sure if hes on the drain or not to give props to!)

10 Vintage Challenges since the restriction of Gush and Probe (80 decks). Here are the results:
25% of the Top8s are made by 6 players
50% of the Top8s are made by 16 players
75% of the Top8s are made by 33 players
53 individuals made Top8
Average attendance is 50*
2403 members are following this FB page. So the people who made the last 80 top8s represent 2.2% of the Meta!
I'm one of these members who reads & thinks Vintage everyday but unfortunately I can never participate to the online challenges (due to absolute shitest timezone). I know that many others who post here regularly don't play MTGO or can't participate to the challenges either.

  • I'm missing total number of players for challenges 24/06 & 22/07 (I suspect 24/06 was much less than 50 due to NYSE tourney)*
last edited by p3temangus

@Ten-Ten said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

Mental misstep cannot be restricted, ever, simply because cantrips exist. It's a necessary evil as FoW is, in blue decks.

Cantrips existed for 15 years without Misstep. So did Dark Ritual. The necessary evil argument is about as compelling as Pillar of the Format and Skill Testing. Force of Will and Misstep aren't really comparable for many reasons, I give you that they counter spells and are Instants.

  1. Force of Will requires deck building constraints. At design time.
  2. Force of Will requires casting constraints. At run time. You have to actually have another blue card.
  3. Force of Wills cost is steep. Free in the case of FoW is not free and the decision to go down a card in exchange for countering a spell is often a hard decision. (though an easy one when you are chucking a derpstep against Thorns and ranting about how the matchup is so oppressive)
  4. Nobody ever evaluates a card during deck building (what little deck building is still done) and says, "This is a good card, but it just gets Force of Willed".

This is the total opposite of Mental Misstep, dozens of cards are just chucked on the scrapheap because Mana vs. Free is such a brutal exchange. The ones that survive are mostly point discard, because those strategies may likely take a Misstep anyway. Anyone wanting to advance their board and is dumb enough to invest 1 mainphase mana without defending it without their own flush of Derpsteps is in for a miserable experience.

The dichotomy of Thorn vs. Misstep is miserable and needs to go. Restricting Misstep is a good first step.

@p3temangus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Chronatog I do not know if this data is available from wizards, but perhaps the Meta reports assembled by @diophan and @ChubbyRain have player names called out and you could try and aggregate it in that way using their data as your source.

The simple fact is that MTGO is the only place where Wizards can view results of sanctioned vintage events on a Daily and Weekly Basis. I do not think that this impact can be minimized in any way shape or form, whether you believe it to be "representative" or not. To me, the impact of non-sanctioned vintage on B&R policy has always been hazy. Wizards can't "support" Proxy vintage, so do they ignore results of non-sanctioned proxy events? The days of having to wait months to run your new deck out in a tournament are long gone. I can play 8 rounds of sanctioned FNM style Vintage over 2 days with whatever pile of crap I feel like running out. If I had the time and will power I could play 12 rounds (assuming 3 out of 5 evening daily's fire a week) in addition to 5+ rounds on any given Saturday afternoon. I do not know your history in the format, but do you know how many Months it used to take me to play that many rounds of Vintage? Months, or even a year, and that was with me making the effort to travel to Waterbury's, SCG P9's and the like, and even then all of those events were non-sanctioned 5 or 10 Proxy.

Updating my post with with something just posted in the Vintage FB Group by a Tom Ribet (not sure if hes on the drain or not to give props to!)

10 Vintage Challenges since the restriction of Gush and Probe (80 decks). Here are the results:
25% of the Top8s are made by 6 players
50% of the Top8s are made by 16 players
75% of the Top8s are made by 33 players
53 individuals made Top8
Average attendance is 50*
2403 members are following this FB page. So the people who made the last 80 top8s represent 2.2% of the Meta!
I'm one of these members who reads & thinks Vintage everyday but unfortunately I can never participate to the online challenges (due to absolute shitest timezone). I know that many others who post here regularly don't play MTGO or can't participate to the challenges either.

  • I'm missing total number of players for challenges 24/06 & 22/07 (I suspect 24/06 was much less than 50 due to NYSE tourney)*

im curious as to how the 2400 ppl following the FB are active type1 players on MTGO, and thus an accurate represenation of the meta, while getting dailies to fire is an everyday slog

@nedleeds A fair point. Isn't that (possibly) all the more reason to just get away from Wizard's list in Paper though? That it simply does not serve nor reflect what is good for the Paper Game?

@H. said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@nedleeds A fair point. Isn't that (possibly) all the more reason to just get away from Wizard's list in Paper though? That it simply does not serve nor reflect what is good for the Paper Game?

Early on there was some discussion about two lists. I think @CHA1N5 and @Smmenen both discussed it at length on their pod when power was released on MTGO. Some of that centered around the differences in being able to repeat loops, some of it was the differences in card availability. I think a schism like that might break Vintages back though. If there were a clearly dominant paper deck like Dragon that was unplayable because of the constraints of MTGO there might be a stronger argument or more uproar.

@p3temangus said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Chronatog I do not know if this data is available from wizards, but perhaps the Meta reports assembled by @diophan and @ChubbyRain have player names called out and you could try and aggregate it in that way using their data as your source.

The simple fact is that MTGO is the only place where Wizards can view results of sanctioned vintage events on a Daily and Weekly Basis. I do not think that this impact can be minimized in any way shape or form, whether you believe it to be "representative" or not. To me, the impact of non-sanctioned vintage on B&R policy has always been hazy. Wizards can't "support" Proxy vintage, so do they ignore results of non-sanctioned proxy events? The days of having to wait months to run your new deck out in a tournament are long gone. I can play 8 rounds of sanctioned FNM style Vintage over 2 days with whatever pile of crap I feel like running out. If I had the time and will power I could play 12 rounds (assuming 3 out of 5 evening daily's fire a week) in addition to 5+ rounds on any given Saturday afternoon. I do not know your history in the format, but do you know how many Months it used to take me to play that many rounds of Vintage? Months, or even a year, and that was with me making the effort to travel to Waterbury's, SCG P9's and the like, and even then all of those events were non-sanctioned 5 or 10 Proxy.

Updating my post with with something just posted in the Vintage FB Group by a Tom Ribet (not sure if hes on the drain or not to give props to!)

10 Vintage Challenges since the restriction of Gush and Probe (80 decks). Here are the results:
25% of the Top8s are made by 6 players
50% of the Top8s are made by 16 players
75% of the Top8s are made by 33 players
53 individuals made Top8
Average attendance is 50*
2403 members are following this FB page. So the people who made the last 80 top8s represent 2.2% of the Meta!
I'm one of these members who reads & thinks Vintage everyday but unfortunately I can never participate to the online challenges (due to absolute shitest timezone). I know that many others who post here regularly don't play MTGO or can't participate to the challenges either.

  • I'm missing total number of players for challenges 24/06 & 22/07 (I suspect 24/06 was much less than 50 due to NYSE tourney)*

I hope I'm not the only one that's concerned about how disproportionately ~16 players in an imperfect environment incapable of supporting all strategies colors the perceptions of those responsible for maintaining the entirety of the format.

@cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

I hope I'm not the only one that's concerned about how disproportionately ~16 players in an imperfect environment incapable of supporting all strategies colors the perceptions of those responsible for maintaining the entirety of the format.

It was the nightmare when they revealed power was coming to MTGO. It's like the results from 2 large stores and their player base counting 100x more than all other stores. But what else are they going to go on? As a community we suck at reporting results. Proxies further muddy the issue as the bulk of paper events allow proxies but the highest profile paper event doesn't.

@famdoola Obviously it is a flawed comparison, but some sort of measuring stick is needed. That aside, it does not change the fact that a very very small number of people are driving MTGO results (and format "innovation"), a point that @ChubbyRain has made several times on this site.

My concern with this (as stated in my previous post) is that MTGO is the only place wizards can see Sanctioned Vintage Results, and are well within their rights to ignore non-sanctioned results. So representative or not (clearly not) I am not sure it matters, and that is certainly a problem.

It is s proven fact that people dislike change. Despite this change is often very healthy. I firmly believe that change is needed in the vintage card pool and fully welcome it. While there will not ever be community agreement on what change is necessary, leaving things as is would be a disappointment. I know people get disillusioned with change and sometimes even quit. Leaving a failing meta also can cause people to quit. I’m sad that they are not having a good time in this great game but I also firmly believe that this would be their loss in the end. The sky is not now nor has it ever been falling.

I shared my view on restriction is the other thread but I’ll reiterate my believe; in Vintage, restrictions are not the same as bans and should not be viewed the same way. The fact that people can still play with the cards in singleton is part of the appeal. I like the character. It’s great to draw the Ancestral Recall. The restriction makes it more meaningful in my mind. It also fosters deck diversity. If 4 Demonic Tutors were allowed, you would see very few vampirics, merchant scrolls, etc... I’m all for more restrictions to liven up the meta.

It is somewhat sad that some restrictions kill specific deck types though usually when this happens, it is due to that deck being out of balance. It also usually means that the deck has had its day in the sun. (A pretty good tell is if the deck contains the name of the restricted card) When this happens and there isn’t the “go to deck”, we often get great innovation. I’ve recently read Stephen’s History of Vintage First Ten Years. We have gone through some amazing periods of Magic with all kinds of fascinating decks we’ve played over the years. Some of these were born of new printing, some of restrictions, and some of crazy innovation. The fact that there is evolution and change is healthy. While I loved playing in each of these eras, I enjoyed the next one as well. I’m ready to move on to the decks of tomorrow.

What would the Workshop decks look like if they could not reliably count on locking their opponent out of mana? What would the Turbo Xerox decks referenced in this post look like if they had to put a threat into play that required meaningful interaction in order to forge a victory? What would match-ups look like if we didn’t have so much access to sideboard cards that swing the win percentage so violently? What would the game look like if we reduce the B&R list so much that there are 10 broken decks to choose from? While I wouldn’t be in favor of massive unrestrictions, it would change the face of a meta that is badly in need of a face lift. As it stands right now, I’m finding these discussions more interesting than the games I’m playing. While I do love to talk Magic, I want to get back to a world where discussing the game is secondary to playing it.

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