October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement



  • @chubbyrain I didn't mean it because of champs. The last Top 8s in the format feel pretty ok to me.



  • Edit: OP was harsh, so I removed it. I am frustrated though...this seems to come up repeatedly every time a potential Shops or Shops-related restriction comes up.

    @garbageaggro The issue was never beating Shops. The book has changed with Shops in recent years, but it's still beatable. It's always been beatable. And of course it gets more beatable the more hate you add. The problem is that this is normally bad metagaming to do so. There simply isn't enough Shops decks to justify the inclusion of massive amounts of hate. Sure, you could win the metagame lottery and play against Shops every round with a hate deck. You are more likely to end up like me at Champs, beating up on your one Shops opponent with your 3 Grudges, while getting knocked out of contention by Merfolk and Colorless Eldrazi.

    The truth is people aren't trying to beat Shops. They are trying to win tournaments. What most people should be doing is playing Ravager Shops themselves, but because of card availability and player preference they are not. And so it's not worth the deck and SB slots. That leaves an unbalanced format where Shops consistently has a win rate considerably higher than other decks. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe people are building their decks wrong and Shops is addressable given the metagame constraints. That's why Ryan and I continue to invest tons of time in collecting data from every available source we can get our hands on.

    What I do know is that the "Shops is beatable" and "People aren't trying to beat it" arguments need to die. They are flawed and frankly insulting - it assumes that players are not rational deck builders (or net deckers) and instead idiots ramming their heads into Mishra's Bigly Wall repeatedly until they end up with CTE.



  • I wonder how much budget prizes goes into to shifting the meta as well for champs. Champs is a pretty unique tournament as it is the largest sanctioned paper event each year. How many budget decks were in the room, maybe 15% of the event? And how many were playing null rod, most? This was part of the reason why I played shops at champs. With less spheres we can't really lock out decks that play the full set of moxen and other artifact mana, so all of the big blue/PO decks will likely be able to hurkyls into a win. Those matchups are actually pretty scary for the aggressive creature deck. Shops lists online often are playing 2-4 null rods because they are likely to face against PO. But when I know at champs there will naturally be more null rods, I can hedge and ignore PO and assume that if I make it to 3-0 without playing against it, that I've likely dodged a bad matchup for the day. With more null rods in the room, by the middle of the tournament the top tables shift to be more fair decks, or oath that isn't as reliant on fast mana. This is exactly what you want to see as a shops player (minus the oath) and is what you see when you look at the top 16, a lot of fair blue decks.

    I'm not saying here that shops isn't the best deck. It clearly is based on mtgo results. I'm just suggesting that the unique meta of champs naturally having more null rod might have contributed to shops dominant performance rather than it just having a good performance. Shops is both the best deck in the format and was the best deck for the meta of champs, these two things combined always leads to dominance of the event, but not necessarily long term dominance.



  • @chubbyrain said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    @garbageaggro The issue was never beating Shops. The book has changed with Shops in recent years, but it's still beatable. It's always been beatable. And of course it gets more beatable the more hate you add. The problem is that this is normally bad metagaming to do so. There simply isn't enough Shops decks to justify the inclusion of massive amounts of hate. Sure, you could win the metagame lottery and play against Shops every round with a hate deck. You are more likely to end up like me at Champs, beating up on your one Shops opponent with your 3 Grudges, while getting knocked out of contention by Merfolk and Colorless Eldrazi.

    I feel this is contradictory with a few other comments I've been hearing. Bobby and other people have being saying for pages that the meta is "too narrow and only 3 decks are viable" and now you say Shops is hard to battle because there are a bunch of other decks that aren't Shops in the meta...
    Losing because you overprepared for 1 matchup is normal for every format. Sometimes you pick a deck that has a bad matchup and get lucky not to get it for the whole tournament and win. I had a few of those back when Eldrazi was a bomb in Legacy but I couldn't beat Shardless BUG never ever. So I won the couple of tournaments I never saw BUG in front of me. That's just how it goes, and I don't anything wrong with your record in EW - you prepared to face Tier 1 decks and got beat by "rogue" decks. It happens in every good family.



  • @fsecco Bobby is lumping all blue decks together. Shops is 20% of most metagames. This isn't contradictory.

    And, sigh... Yes, decks have good and bad matchups. Yes, sometimes players get unlucky or lucky pairings. This is the reason we collect metagame data. The important part of balancing a metagame is understanding the totality of good and bad matchups. It's about looking at the collective, not waving your hands in the air saying, "it happens". Of course it happens. How often does it happen? That is the crux of the matter.



  • @chubbyrain No need to bold anything, I understand how data works and that what matters are win%. I was just stating that you being knocked out on EW by two non-shops decks is... worthless as data.
    I think Shops has had this kind of 20-25% presence (in top 8s) for ages now. Ages. What we have to decide is if that's part of the format or if that's weird and shouldn't be there. I for one think that, with Shops gone, the format won't open up. It will shrink in diversity and in average turns per game. So I prefer having 25% Shops than restricting Shops and restricting PO or whatever other stuff right after it.



  • @fsecco It wasn't presented as data - it was an anecdote. You want data? We've collected enough of it...



  • My thing is: it has been only 2 months since the last restriction. I'm used to a format where we have time to adapt and test things. We are not being given that kind of time, mostly because I believe R&D screwed up twice (CotV before Golem; Gush before Mentor). Let's just give ourselves some time to brew, come on. It's the first time ever Shops wins and it has a normal and expected presence in the meta. I have no idea why the panic mode has been turned on here - other than the very atypical top 8 we just got. If that Top 8 becomes the norm, then yes we should do something. It has not though.



  • @chubbyrain said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    @fsecco It wasn't presented as data - it was an anecdote. You want data? We've collected enough of it...

    I look at the data, and I love the work you guys put in this stuff. It's very important for the format and although you probably already know it it's never too much to say. But look, it's right there in the post:
    @diophan said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    Although the top 8 implied a two deck format, looking deeper reveals a healthier situation, with multiple archetypes on the bubble of top 8 appearances.

    EDIT: If a couple of results in the last round were different, the Top 8 could have 3 shops, 2 Oath 2 Blue, 1 Dredge or whatever and we wouldn't have been discussing this, would we? That's why we can't be passionate about 1 result.


  • TMD Supporter

    @chubbyrain said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    hey are trying to win tournaments. What most people should be doing is playing Ravager Shops themselves, but because of card availability and player preference they are not. And so it's not worth the deck and SB slots. That leaves an unbalanced format where Shops consistently has a win rate considerably higher than other decks. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe people are building their decks wrong and Shops is addressable given the metagame constraints. That's why Ryan and I continue to invest tons of time in collecting data from every available source we can get our hands on.

    So is it up to the B&R list to handle the fact that people are (by preference) not playing shops enough given its matchup win percentage? If you think so, i feel like we can have a different conversation, but to me the time for intervention is when something sees a ton of play, has a huge % of the meta, and people still can't beat it. (Affinity in standard way back when)

    Edit:
    I guess what I am saying is if the rational thing is to play shops right now, because until a certain % of the meta game is shops you will get reward because people won't play the hate needed to beat you. People don't do that, except for folks like Rich, who as it turned out made the right call and top 2d the event. I don't know, the current state of vintage feels to me like it is rewarding the people who make the right meta calls, and punishing the people that try to make something else work instead. If enough people make the right meta call it is super easy to beat the deck.

    This actually feels exactly like Survival getting banned in legacy because people weren't playing the decks that beat it enough (combo). That probably weakens my point, because I think I am in the minority about survival, but I want the B&R lists to be based on what happens when people react correctly to the meta.



  • @fsecco That's what the restricted list is for. Axe Misstep and a card from shops already. Tired of the same circle jerk of decks from the last 3 years. Format needs diversity. Islands/bazaar/shops is a joke and things need to change.



  • @fsecco said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    EDIT: If a couple of results in the last round were different, the Top 8 could have 3 shops, 2 Oath 2 Blue, 1 Dredge or whatever and we wouldn't have been discussing this, would we? That's why we can't be passionate about 1 result.

    And if my aunt had a package she’d be my uncle, what’s your point?



  • @mcdonalds She could have both right? How do you know she doesn't have one? lol.



  • Forget restrictions. Give other decks a chance to shine once again. Unrestrict things! Not because they're safe - even though some are safe - but in order to shake things up and give people a choice besides Xerox, Oath, Mishra, and Bazaar.

    The unrestriction of Fastbond, Imperial Seal, Gush, Memory Jar, Mind's Desire, and Windfall would either be harmless vis-a-vis the current top decks or expand the format in interesting directions.


  • TMD Supporter

    @bazaarofbaghdad said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    The unrestriction of ... Mind's Desire

    My table just tilted.



  • @bobbyvictory said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    @fsecco That's what the restricted list is for. Axe Misstep and a card from shops already. Tired of the same circle jerk of decks from the last 3 years. Format needs diversity. Islands/bazaar/shops is a joke and things need to change.

    I'll say this just one last time and quit discussing in circles: I believe restricting Misstep or Shops will NOT bring the diversity you claim. That's my whole point.

    @mcdonalds said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    @fsecco said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    EDIT: If a couple of results in the last round were different, the Top 8 could have 3 shops, 2 Oath 2 Blue, 1 Dredge or whatever and we wouldn't have been discussing this, would we? That's why we can't be passionate about 1 result.

    And if my aunt had a package she’d be my uncle, what’s your point?

    I don't think you really understood what I'm saying so I'll explain: we shouldn't think a dominance in ONE Top 8 is an actual dominance. That Top 8 could've been very different because of a few matches. So that 5 Shops in the Top8 tell us NOTHING about the current meta, only about the EW Meta.



  • @fsecco Restricting misstep definitely would bring diversity. Shops definitely needs a nerf. The deck is ridiculous. Format is the worst it's been in years and continues to trend in that direction.



  • @bobbyvictory I... disagree. And I'm not alone. So no, it's not "definitely".



  • @garbageaggro said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    @chubbyrain said in October 17, 2017 Banned & Restricted announcement:

    hey are trying to win tournaments. What most people should be doing is playing Ravager Shops themselves, but because of card availability and player preference they are not. And so it's not worth the deck and SB slots. That leaves an unbalanced format where Shops consistently has a win rate considerably higher than other decks. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe people are building their decks wrong and Shops is addressable given the metagame constraints. That's why Ryan and I continue to invest tons of time in collecting data from every available source we can get our hands on.

    So is it up to the B&R list to handle the fact that people are (by preference) not playing shops enough given its matchup win percentage? If you think so, i feel like we can have a different conversation, but to me the time for intervention is when something sees a ton of play, has a huge % of the meta, and people still can't beat it. (Affinity in standard way back when)

    Edit:
    I guess what I am saying is if the rational thing is to play shops right now, because until a certain % of the meta game is shops you will get reward because people won't play the hate needed to beat you. People don't do that, except for folks like Rich, who as it turned out made the right call and top 2d the event. I don't know, the current state of vintage feels to me like it is rewarding the people who make the right meta calls, and punishing the people that try to make something else work instead. If enough people make the right meta call it is super easy to beat the deck.

    This actually feels exactly like Survival getting banned in legacy because people weren't playing the decks that beat it enough (combo). That probably weakens my point, because I think I am in the minority about survival, but I want the B&R lists to be based on what happens when people react correctly to the meta.

    Shops can't exceed a third of the meta in paper because not enough shops were printed to do that. The number of rares in each set were decided to roughly equate to the number of rares in the other sets back then so that each payer could have equal opportunity to collect a set. Now that MTGO exists people are no longer constrained by the availability of Mishra's Workshop which is why it peaked to almost twice the amount possible in paper. Mishra's Workshop has been in need of restriction for over ten years now and the same debunked arguments keep getting repeated to try to preserve the card in the face of glaringly obviously logic. It's been going on for so long that the people who have been playing that whole time have become completely acclimatized to it. Enter MTGO and all of a sudden a huge number of new players have access to Vintage and are seeing that there is this blaring problem that no one has dealt with for reasons that they can't understand. Political reasons like "Don't restrict my favorite card or I'll quit". I'm completely certain every Shops player already knows this and are just continuing the same old routine of play dumb that's worked for almost two decades but of course that's really none of my business because "people are stupid" and "data is meaningless" etc. etc. etc... Same drivel different decade.



  • @aaron-patten There were 31 thousand copies of workshops printed. Champs had 427 competitors. If all 427 players wanted to play workshops, they could. 427 X 4 = 1,708. That is only 1,708 copies out of the 31,000 printed. There is more than enough to go around even if the vintage player base grew 10 times the size it is now. All of them could play it.


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