The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop

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

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


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.



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.


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

Restricting shops does not open up the format to as many degenerate combo plays as restricting FOW, which is honestly why it gets a pass. I actually wish FOW was not the defacto fixer card for the format, I wish it was a less versatile spell, but that is the consequence of it being an eternal format. Brown decks can still cast 2 and 3 mana spheres all day without 4xShops.

All cards have a symbiotic relationship with others, that is the nature of the game. FOW props up all blue cards and vice versa, Bazaar props up all dredge cards and vice versa. The difference is how one sided the relationship Workshops has with Every 2 and 3 mana artifact in the game. Workshops really contributes way more to its side of the equation than the other pairings.

The restricted list is full of fast mana cards that had to be restricted because the makers of the game and the players recognize that fast mana, especially reusable fast mana, really is the most degenerate enabler in the game. Of the 46 restricted cards in the format, 14 are fast mana cards, so it is not as if there is not precedent for restricting these cards. I will not accept the argument that those cards are some how worse offenders than Shops when Mana Vault is on the list.

@brass-man Has your claim actually been proven, or is this just theory?

@topical_island I disagree with you, poo-poo head.

Happy Holidays! 🙂

@topical_island You forgot the insult. Remember Brassman's law of internet etiquette.

@chubbyrain ppffft... law? I'd put it way more in the theory category... along with Climate Change, Gravity, and the Existence of the Moon.

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