The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop

@hyperborea The best cards in the format are blue and workshops (and bazaar) would be my argument to you. Many of the artifacts that are very powerful are so because of the existence of Workshops as a 4 of. This is long established.

I do agree that people who play the format tend to want to play linear decks that think about answers and hate as a secondary consideration, and people can be slow to adapt even though the adaptation is there, but ultimately I still believe that vintage is a format of pillar strategies, and those pillars are dwindling because of the strength of others.

I remember when I started playing again, back around M10, Rituals were considered one of the pillar strategies, and it is now an afterthought at best. In the time since then ritual/storm has gotten very few new cards to supplement or strengthen there strategy, and the one prominent one (Gitaxian probe) got restricted, where as:

Blue based decks got Treasure Cruise, DDT, Mental Misstep, Delver, Pyromancer, Mentor, multiple Jaces, and more
Workshops got Ballistia, hangarback, Mox Opal, Spyglass, Chief of the Foundry, Steel overseer, Metamorph, Other stuff that has come and gone
Dredge got Sun titan, Bloodghast, Prized Amalgamation, Dragonlord Kolaghan, Elish Norn, Hollow One, Gurmag Angler

Look at other eternal formats of magic, and you'll find at least 10 different decks that are all viable and all play very differently, whereas with our format you really have 3-4 main strategies and then derivatives of them. It is far closer to a binary than those formats.

@Protoaddct I agree that Big Blue has gotten more toys than Ritual based combo as of late, but I don't see how restricting Workshop (and unrestricting stuff like Trinisphere and Lodestone Golem) helps in any way. Isn't the problem stuff like Mental Misstep then?

If mishra’s workshop is not restricted then phyrexian metamorph and sphere of resistance should be estricted

last edited by caleb

@hyperborea said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

@Protoaddct I agree that Big Blue has gotten more toys than Ritual based combo as of late, but I don't see how restricting Workshop (and unrestricting stuff like Trinisphere and Lodestone Golem) helps in any way. Isn't the problem stuff like Mental Misstep then?

The argument is that making workshops less powerful allows other decks to have a chance of seeing play. Workshops alone may not be all that is needed, certainly MM has been in question and could merit it as well, but most people side with restricting the obvious offender first, seeing what happens, and then making more restrictions as needed instead of restricting multiple cards at once.

Restricting workshops could, for instance, make colorless eldrazi a much more attractive option in the format, since right now it does not see play since it is considered a mostly inferior version of what shops was doing. Colorless eldrazi just so happened to be a pretty decent check to decks that run Misstep, since most lists runs no 1 drops, and run Cavern of souls to make FOW much less powerful, and therefore also devaluing MM even further since you cant use it as convenient pitch fodder. So maybe restricting shops has a cascading effect that adjusts the meta so MM is not such a powerhouse.

@protoaddct

Have you been following results of late? Workshop decks are under control so restricting any piece from that deck is utter nonsense. Folks have adjusted, get over it.

@protoaddct said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

Restricting workshops could, for instance, make colorless eldrazi a much more attractive option in the format, since right now it does not see play since it is considered a mostly inferior version of what shops was doing. Colorless eldrazi just so happened to be a pretty decent check to decks that run Misstep, since most lists runs no 1 drops, and run Cavern of souls to make FOW much less powerful, and therefore also devaluing MM even further since you cant use it as convenient pitch fodder. So maybe restricting shops has a cascading effect that adjusts the meta so MM is not such a powerhouse.

Let me break it down into

  1. restricting Workshop making Eldrazi more playable
  2. more playable Eldrazi rendering MM restriction unnecessary.

Regarding 1, restriction of Workshop will not make Eldrazi more (or less) playable, at least I cannot see it how. If I have to make a stretch, it just suggests that the vacant where the Shop decks left will be occupied by inferior choices, be it 'Colorless Eldrazi' or any other decks, but not necessarily make any other deck more competitive or better position. In contrast, storm deck is better positioned if Shop decks are gone.

For point 2, if Shop occupied more 50% of the meta, MM will be irrelevant more often than not as well.

@stormanimagus said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

@protoaddct

Have you been following results of late? Workshop decks are under control so restricting any piece from that deck is utter nonsense. Folks have adjusted, get over it.

I have been following the results for the last 3 years or so. Shops tends to Ebb when there are not huge events and then is resurgent when it matters. People try other stuff in the off seasons, does not make the top 8 results of the major events any less prominent if you ask me.

When sphere and metamorph is restricted, you will still have 5 sphere effects: sphere, thorn, metamorph, lodestone, and trinisphere, not to mention revoker, spyglass, etc.

last edited by caleb

@caleb

The deck will be totally nerfed at that point so no that is not an option. Please stop suggesting ludacrous stuff.

without restricting metamorph and sphere, you’ll have 11 sphere effects. With 12 lock pieces eldrazi can 5-0 a league (montolio). Those lock pieces that montolio used, they are definitely much less effective than shops lock pieces. Plus, it is workshops verses eldrazi temples. That is why shops are decently right now (not counting Oath)

With 5 lock pieces and various other taxing effects, shops will still be very very strong. The state of the game will be much more interactive. Let me give an example. The shops guy plays a sphere, found another one and played it, and then metamorphed another sphere. The blue player’s brainstorm costs 4 and plays maybe 2 spells max before being beaten by artifact creatures. Even with only one sphere brainstorm costs 3. Hollow one and two anglers can win for dredge, 5 sphere effects can win for dredge.

last edited by caleb

@caleb eldrazi creatures are far above shop creatures (when taken individually, synergy is another thing). Artifact hate is far above eldrazi hate. You should also take that in account if you want to compare them both.

last edited by albarkhane

All I want for Christmas is a Misstep restriction. ♫

Yeah you're right. Restricting both metamorph and sphere is probably too much. Maybe restricting one of them, ending up with 8 total sphere effects can be ok.

@caleb

Why on earth is anyone suggesting a restriction of Phyrexian Metamorph? That card is so fair it isn't even funny. It's laughable to suggest that card before Mental Derpstep and represents a serious lack of understanding of relative power in the format.

@stormanimagus said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

@caleb

Why on earth is anyone suggesting a restriction of Phyrexian Metamorph? That card is so fair it isn't even funny. It's laughable to suggest that card before Mental Derpstep and represents a serious lack of understanding of relative power in the format.

Well, you could also restrict the thing that makes it better than it reads on paper, which is of course workshops once again. And there in lies the issue. There are at least 4 cards already on the restricted list which most people believe is because of it (Thorn, Trini, CotV, and lodestone.) Now we are recommending more restrictions in the same vein? Would lodestone even be a contender for the banned list without shops? I think not.

Also, keep in mind that workshops in many ways has 5 copies of the damn card, when you consider how the deck works and then look at Tolarian academy, and then several sol lands. Dredge does not have 5 bazaars, or rather 4 bazaars and a 5th one that is some times slightly worse and sometimes wayyyy better, and then 4 more cards that only loot for one or some silly thing. Shops also gets access to 1 strip and 4 wastelands, which most decks get but most decks are also hindered by colorless mana. It's the combination of things that puts shops as a card, over the top.

If brainstorm can be restricted, or probe, or Library of Alexandria, all because they are good in combination with the available cards in the format and also compound upon each other, then there is no reason workshops should be some sacred cow. The very fact that we are naming cards for restriction to fix workshops that do not even see play in every shops list should be proof enough they are not a problem.

@protoaddct

Although Dredge kinda has 52 Bazaars given the 94% of the time it ends up in a starting hand 🙂

last edited by Guest

@senor_bisquick Yea but at risk and cost. I'm not saying dredge is not powerful but there are hands where you have to serum powder away critical cards or actually regular mulligan it away because you cant risk removing the other cards from the game.

It's super powerful if you get bazaar early in the mulligan process, but can literally defeat itself if you don't. Everyone who plays dredge has the "I mulliganed down to 1 and never saw bazaar" story. Now think of what that deck would be like if it had even one more copy of a land, even one that was a strictly inferior bazaar but still functioned, and how much more often you would see it. Workshops literally is that scenario, plus X sol lands that also work the same way in many hands. Most workshops hands work with 1 land, or a land and a mox, or whatever.

@protoaddct said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

@stormanimagus said in The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop:

@caleb

Why on earth is anyone suggesting a restriction of Phyrexian Metamorph? That card is so fair it isn't even funny. It's laughable to suggest that card before Mental Derpstep and represents a serious lack of understanding of relative power in the format.

Well, you could also restrict the thing that makes it better than it reads on paper, which is of course workshops once again. And there in lies the issue. There are at least 4 cards already on the restricted list which most people believe is because of it (Thorn, Trini, CotV, and lodestone.) Now we are recommending more restrictions in the same vein? Would lodestone even be a contender for the banned list without shops? I think not.

Also, keep in mind that workshops in many ways has 5 copies of the damn card, when you consider how the deck works and then look at Tolarian academy, and then several sol lands. Dredge does not have 5 bazaars, or rather 4 bazaars and a 5th one that is some times slightly worse and sometimes wayyyy better, and then 4 more cards that only loot for one or some silly thing. Shops also gets access to 1 strip and 4 wastelands, which most decks get but most decks are also hindered by colorless mana. It's the combination of things that puts shops as a card, over the top.

If brainstorm can be restricted, or probe, or Library of Alexandria, all because they are good in combination with the available cards in the format and also compound upon each other, then there is no reason workshops should be some sacred cow. The very fact that we are naming cards for restriction to fix workshops that do not even see play in every shops list should be proof enough they are not a problem.

If Workshops is the card propping up the restriction of Chalice, Thorn, Golem and Trinisphere then Force of Will is card propping up the restriction of Brainstorm, Ponder, Gush, Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise at least (and likely more than that). Why not just restrict the problem card and let these other cards run free? I think you can see how preposterous that would be to most Vintage elites. Your argument is stupid because it assumes that the mono-brown archetype is expendable in the format. It reminds me of sexism. A group of elite white men think they are being fair to women when they are, in fact, stacking the deck against them because they don't like them having a place at the negotiating table. Shops as an archetype does degenerate things at the explicit expense of:

a) a draw engine.
b) every colored spell in the history of magic being available to them.

The deck has been sufficiently neutered at this point and there are really excellent answers to the "all-in" Overseer variants:

  1. Meltdown
  2. Stony Silence/Null Rod
  3. Seeds of Innocence
  4. Ancient Grudge
  5. Oath
  6. Tinker/Bot

To name a few. Stop this inane line of logic. I won't listen to stupid arguments like this that don't acknowledge the clear evidence to the contrary.

-Storm

@stormanimagus

To say that Force of Will is the card proping up the restrictions of Ponder, DDT, and Brainstorm is not at all like saying shops pays for Lodestone and trinisphere. Shops is the card paying, while Lodestone is they payee. It is literally the exact opposite of your example and the exact argument for restricting enablers. If anything 4 brainstorm was the enabler for keeper style control decks, and you can see that in a format like Legacy currently.

I do not think Mono brown is expendable, and if anything I suspect that restricting workshops would:

  • Not cause the deck to go away at all, just drop as a percentage of the field
  • Open up the format to new decks to add variety and format tension
  • Not hurt shops win rate considerably as new decks enter the now more open meta and it becomes re-balanced against that.

Really my contention, in it's simplest terms, is that restricting Workshops would cause the format to move from its currently idealized shape of being 3 pillars, with a few flavors of builds in each pillar and where each pillar hovers around 33% of the field, to either a format with 4 or more pillars or one with 3 pillars with much more variety within them.

Also, the cards you named as excellent answers to shops have had plenty of time to materialize as such. It is not as if Oath and Ancient Grudge do not see play, yet shops because of its consistency and raw power continues to put up high numbers and over populate top 8's.

@protoaddct

If you think shops could survive the restriction of workshop please take note of games where shops draws double tomb and no shop and see how many of those games the deck wins. I suspect it isn't many. And yes, I do think that Force of Will is the card propping up those others for the most part. Perhaps Brainstorm would be good in combo without FoW but generally the way that blue decks make use of drawing as many cards as they do is Force of Will. Gush wouldn't necessarily be a great trade (without fastbond of course) without something to DO with all the surplus of cards you get and lack of long-term mana. Dig and Cruise wouldn't have the food they need without the critical mass of graveyard filling that FoW facilitates and the time it buys you. Force of Will is a good card to have unrestricted int the format and I'd never restrict it, but I'm merely trying to point out how it props up other cards. If you want to throw and hand grenade into the format then, by all means, restrict shop, but you will piss off a ton of people and I find it equivalent to restricting Force of Will. It is THAT fundamental to design space in the format.

last edited by Stormanimagus
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