North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown



  • This weekend was incredible. I cheered on as my teammate @Montolio took home a beautiful lotus painting and @The Atog Lord and @brianpk80 added to their already impressive resumes with top 8 appearances. I spent the weekend with my vintage friends who I frequently speak with but see in person not nearly often enough, and met many new players.

    I would like to thank Nick Coss for organizing yet another incredible Eternal Weekend; the venue and the city of Pittsburgh did not disappoint. Tom Dixon secured the decklists necessary for this report, spent late hours on Friday night recording them with @chubbyrain and me, as well as correcting several of our sleep-deprived typos. Finally, thank you to @bpaf, @Log, and @PugSuperStar for recording the pairings and standings.

    427 players showed up on Friday. Here is our metagame report. Thanks as always to @ChubbyRain for his help.

    Top 8 Lists:
    http://www.cardtitan.com/coverage

    Scanned Decklists:
    http://www.eternalcentral.com/vintagechamps2017/

    Top 32:

    1. Andy Markiton - Ravager Shops
    2. Rich Shay - Ravager Shops
    3. Patrick Fehling - Inferno Oath
    4. Michael Kiesel - Ravager Shops
    5. Ibrahim Alridge - Oath
    6. Brian Kelly - Inferno Oath
    7. Brian Durkin - Ravager Shops
    8. Eric Vergo - Ravger Shops
    9. Michael Holm - Dredge
    10. Mike Solymossy - Jeskai Mentor
    11. Nick DiJohn - Ravager Shops
    12. Kyle Teagan - Landstill
    13. Steve Walsh - Dredge
    14. Vasu Balakrishnan - UW SFM Control
    15. Russ Martin - Ravager Shops
    16. Shawn Chen - Blue Moon
    17. Zohar Bhagat - Delver
    18. Mateo Pina - Paradoxical
    19. Jose Ortiz - Ravager Shops
    20. Ryan Eberhart - Sylvan Mentor
    21. Rugved Karhade - Landstill
    22. Frank Lodovico - BUG Fish
    23. David Fleischmann-Rose - Paradoxical Oath
    24. John Grudzina - BUGr Fish
    25. Xin Sui - Delver
    26. Bryan Rockenbach - Mentor
    27. Dan Barkon - Ravager Shops
    28. Ruben Gonzalez - Grixis Thieves
    29. Akash Naidu - Grixis Night's Whisper Control
    30. Mark Arce - Landstill
    31. Tony Murata - Ravager Shops
    32. Charles Rolko - Ravager Shops

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    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: See http://www.themanadrain.com/post/24966 for an archetype explanation

    EDIT #2: I used Jaco's scans to make a few classification corrections and add tags. The tag information is quite interesting, so I suggest taking a look at that. Remember that you can do some tag separation (e.g. how well did null rod decks that weren't budget do?) by saving a copy of the spreadsheet to your google drive and filling in tags into the Include/Exclude fields on the Tag Breakdown sheet.

    Spreadsheet:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k0s0JFr7ogyD-NDrl4S6xYHOHOxbF3BBNWsX_9CjG_o/edit?usp=sharing



  • I was the top placing actual blue deck! Woot.



  • @diophan I agree that this Shops domination is not to be alarmed and that's probably something out of the curve. But I disagree that this results are healthy.
    I believe the Top 8 with 2 decks is an aberration, but even then Shops had 34,38% of the Top 32 (11 decks)! The next best performing decks are Landstill and Oath with 9,38% (3 decks each). It's a huge dominance.



  • I'm just so stoked I made top 32 with a deck I'd been really practicing hardcore with, even if it was just for a month or so. I've never stuck with a single deck for multiple tournaments, but it seems to have paid off. I really hope I can make it next year.


  • TMD Supporter

    @diophan said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    Shops had a winrate near 60%, but I believe there are reasons structural to Champs that contribute here: players expect less shops in a sanctioned tournament so they skimp on hate

    Really? Didnt lliterally just about everyone think that shop would be the most played deck? I think I predicted about 23% shop and about 30% taxing overall in the podcast. Everyone I talk to about this thought shops would be the most represented single archetype. Going into this event shops and dredge were the two decks to beat.

    The shops win percentage here matches it's win percentage in other metagame breakdowns you've done as well. This doesn't appear to be anomalous does it?



  • @smmenen @fsecco I said healthier, as in relative to complaining since the event. After the top8 results I expected much more skewed winrates than actually occurred. Shops was the best choice for the weekend, clearly, but many archetypes not featured in the top8 had solid winrates with multiple on the bubble players.


  • TMD Supporter

    @diophan said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    @smmenen @fsecco I said healthier, as in relative to complaining I noticed during my limited interaction with the stream and Facebook since the event. After the top8 results I expected much more skewed winrates than actually occurred. Shops was the best choice for the weekend, clearly, but many archetypes not features in the top8 had solid winrates with multiple on the bubble players.

    I wasn't commenting on your thoughts on the state or health of the format. I was questioning your statement that players were expecting less shops then in non-sanctioned events like, say, the NYSE, and therefore your point that players weren't as prepared for shops or skimped on hate. Everyone I talked to thought Shops would be the the most played deck despite card availability.



  • @diophan There's an exercise I'd love to do if I can find the pairings for the last Swiss Round: change the winners of each match and see how that Top 8 would end up, just to see if it'd be any different.
    Even better would be to use winrate %s on those games to calculate the percentage of the Top being what it actually was.



  • For reference, these are the percentages from last year.

    0_1508817618791_f047f94b-22b5-4e6c-9bd6-ce52ee37ad69-image.png

    I agree with @Smmenen. Shops winrate matches that of data from previous metagames. Even extending it out to the top 32, 11 Shops decks improves upon last year's 9 Shops decks. While I don't think top 8 finishes from only one event should justify any type of action, it's hard to see this as "healthier" than the previous metagame. I also don't buy that structural factors unique to Vintage Champs contribute to the increased win rate. In most cases, players netdeck from and test in metagames like MTGO or proxy paper. These decks are built based on those metagames and not the Champs metagame.



  • Coverage was great to watch. Noble + Mark + Buehler did a great job with commentary.

    Props to those that compiled all this data and made all the calculations.

    Props to all the players that played well and were rewarded for it.

    Now onto the real concerns....

    The metagame hasn't changed much. Vintage hasn't changed much. The top 32 is less diverse than last year. This year we only have bazaars, islands and workshops.

    Workshops is still overpowered and the fact that shops made up 5 out of 8 top 8 spots is alarming, but no surprise since we all knew this would happen. The dominance that shops has showed this tournament matches the dominance that shops shows online. Something needs to be done via B&R adjustments.

    When are we going to get real diversity in vintage? When is it going to be something other than islands, bazaar or workshop?

    To those who think Eldrazi is an option. It's not. It's actually just a less attractive version of shops. It practically does the same thing. There is nothing unique or special about that.

    One day I'd like to live in a vintage world where Mental misstep is restricted so we can see the likes of elves, crop rotation, enlightened tutor, dark ritual, welder and maybe even berserk be options. Misstep is cancerous. Something needs to be done via B&R adjustments.

    Shops is still a problem. I used to be in denial but I admit it, I was wrong.

    Whoever is in charge of this format or whoever that has the most influence over WOTC/DCI, You need to make changes. This format will taper off and die out if you don't. Vintage is the format with the largest pool of cards to choose from, yet it has the least amount of competitive options. When I think about that, i'm like wow, what incentive do people have to blow thousands of dollars on these cards if they are extremely limited in their options. Players are limited to islands, bazaars and workshops. This is not healthy for growth. By operating this way, the format is limited to how many people enjoy it. The price point of the cards is not the issue.
    Maybe some people don't want to play with islands, workshops or bazaars. We need to have options available for this who want to spend thousands of dollars and play something they enjoy that will have a shot. Restrict misstep and you literally add 3-5 archetype options that aren't bazaar, island or workshop based.

    Blue doesn't need 4 copies of mental misstep anymore. Make vintage great again.

    I haven't played paper vintage since April 2017. My brewing options are limited even though I have the cards to brew with. I qualified for NYSE 2017 and skipped out. I skipped out of champs this year even though it was closer. I even prepaid for the local vintage 1k last month and then skipped out. Why? Because it's the same old shit. If I had known this is what vintage was, I would have never bought the cards. I currently resent this format that i'm so heavily invested in. Same old options, same old cards. I'm tired of seeing the same hotrods. It's time to make room for some new vintage hotrods. Get rid of mental misstep already and do whatever needs to be done to workshops so that it's not overpowered anymore.

    -Bobby


  • TMD Supporter

    @smmenen said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    @diophan said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    Shops had a winrate near 60%, but I believe there are reasons structural to Champs that contribute here: players expect less shops in a sanctioned tournament so they skimp on hate

    Really? Didnt lliterally just about everyone think that shop would be the most played deck? I think I predicted about 23% shop and about 30% taxing overall in the podcast. Everyone I talk to about this thought shops would be the most represented single archetype. Going into this event shops and dredge were the two decks to beat.

    The shops win percentage here matches it's win percentage in other metagame breakdowns you've done as well. This doesn't appear to be anomalous does it?

    I can't speak to what cards people played or didn't play, but even my rudimentary opinions revolved around Ravager Shops being the "Deck to beat". I actually did an article on it, I just didn't post it here on on the Facebook group: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/vintage-101-everybody-s-working-for-the-eternal-weekend

    I had to work that day it came out, and by the time I could have posted it the event was underway so it felt silly. Plus other people had done similar things.

    One thing I can speak to, as it is solely my opinion, is that I believe people often do not take the Workshop match up seriously enough. It's not even enough to just play the best hate cards. You have to really sculpt a cohesive plan of action to employ each and every time.



  • Thanks a ton for putting this together! It was great to play this weekend and enjoyed seeing old and new faces alike. Looking forward to the deck lists--let us know if there's anything we can help with.



  • How do you differentiate Blue Control from Big Blue, and how does cantrip decks differentiate? Is there an explanation somewhere?



  • Are we really surprised that the inbred blue decks with maindeck 4x misstep, multiple pyroblast and a smattering of other dead cards with no sideboard recourse are losing to shops? I mean let’s call a spade a spade.



  • @arcranedenial said in North American Eternal Weekend 2017 Metagame Breakdown:

    Are we really surprised that the inbred blue decks with maindeck 4x misstep, multiple pyroblast and a smattering of other dead cards with no sideboard recourse are losing to shops? I mean let’s call a spade a spade.

    Either you're correct and 419 magic players are stupid, OR you've completely missed the point and 5 out of 8 top eight contenders correctly identified that Mental Misstep is garbage along with every other non shops card in a format where you can play 5 black lotuses.
    Which do you think is more likely?



  • @aaron-patten Misstep is amazing in that it really makes it so you don't even have to play against dark ritual storm LOL



  • Thank you for putting this data together. This information is vital to showing R&D what's going on.

    I agree with @BobbyVictory. I put in my top 8 player profile that Misstep needs to be restricted. It's super oppressive. Right now cards like Goblin Welder and DRS are laughable. If you were to somehow figure out a tier 1 deck that leaned on 1-drops, then everyone would just pack 4x Missteps and knock that deck back down to tier 2. A reason why Dredge and Workshops are so dominate is that they skip 1-drops better than anything else. The only reason blue can sometimes keep up is that they can slam a one-card win condition (Oath of Druids or Monastery Mentor).

    I also think that Workshop needs a restriction. It's the Birthing Pod problem: Workshop only gets better with each set. And a restriction does not neuter the deck (unlike Bazaar in Dredge). You can definitely win plenty of games without Mishra's Workshop. If Workshop was restricted for this event, I would still play Ravager Shops. The creature suite is just that solid, and you can still skip 1-drops better than most decks. If Workshop and Misstep were restricted, then I think we actually have an interesting and diverse format again. I'd probably still jam robot beats, but that's just me.

    If they decide to not make any of those changes then at least bring back Thorn and hit Sphere. Restricting Thorn really hurt a lot of the fringe Thalia decks. Sphere is only playable in Workshops.



  • @doomfinite Archetypes like dark ritual storm, enlightened tutor/enchantress, berserk/stompy/infect, welder, crop rotation are completely drowned out by misstep. Card is such cancer and not fun. I will continue to sit out of vintage events and convince others the format is shit and that they shouldn't play it, invest in it or attend events until something is done about it.



  • @bobbyvictory I hear you. I've only played Dredge, Eldrazi, and Shops in Vintage because I think blue is kind of a joke. It's the archtype that is the most susceptible to getting ruined by Misstep. I'm not trying to turn on a Dredge player's free roll counterspells.



  • @doomfinite I don't quite understand what you mean. Could be because i'm tired lol


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