The Curious Case of Mishra's Workshop

@chronatog This is elitist and frankly wrong. The notion that Workshops is too strong comes from 3 years of metagame data...

@francois-f You do realize that how often a deck wins is the important...That there has never been a deck printed that has been unbeatable or "won all the tournaments". Seriously...

last edited by Guest

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

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

@jsakpc Vintage has mishra's workshop + ancient tomb, modern has neither. THis increases the rate at which shops can dump their hand. Vintage also uses ballista.
YOur opponent either has the card they need in the first 3 turns or they don't. Hurkyl's doesn't help much at all since shops can drop it's entire hand again the following turn due to foundry inspector being busted. It literally only buy's 1-2 turns.

With respect, I have to disagree. Modern affinity is a turn-4-clock deck while vintage ravager aggro is a turn-3. And modern is a format where force of will, wasteland, time walk etc are illegal but in vintage we can play moxen ourselves. There is nothing about the tempo. Vintage TPS can win in turn 1. It is not the case that shop doesnt allow interaction but simply some players rather play magic on stack thank deal with the board. The proposition of shop being too broken, imho, is just a disguise of their preference.

I will grant you at least this much: it is true that current blue decks are softer against Shops than they need to be. Strong answers like By Force, Shattering Spree, Steel Sabotage, and Ingot Chewer have been sidelined for weaker but more flexible answers like Abrade. Solemnity and Energy Flux are terrors to play against but show up in far fewer sideboards than I expect. Library of Alexandria could be a Plains, Mountain, or Ancient Tomb.

Blue players also seem to not always be aware of how to play the matchup correctly. I've seen many players snap-Gush in response to Wasteland, only to fall back several turns in mana development and lose to my creatures + slight Sphere pressure. I've seen players snap-keep hands with Library on the draw and nothing else. That may be great vs other blue decks but it's suicide vs shops.

@chubbyrain This is exactly what I was trying to say, how a Turn 3 aggro deck trouble vintage, particularly this is a format we can play turn-1 decks and cards like lotus, moxen, A-call, time walk and such?

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

@chubbyrain This is exactly what I was trying to say, how a Turn 3 aggro deck trouble vintage, particularly this is a format we can play turn-1 decks and cards like lotus, moxen, A-call, time walk and such?

Shops is not just an aggro deck. That may be true of classic Affinity but is a gross mischaracterization of the strategic position of the Vintage Ravager shops decks. Chaining restricted spells in the first two turns is not trivial when your opponent plays T1 sphere effect, T2 Wasteland+Revoker.

@evouga I am not sure whether or not it is a misnomer, but at least it is an aggro deck in a wider sense (I believe tempo is a kind of aggro, there is seldom a 'pure' aggro deck in vintage or even in any format). For example, Eldrazi is an aggro for me notwithstanding playing TKS, null rod, Chalice and wasteland. I digress.

I just don't see the rationale why the shop is too good given it is now having a hard time to stop the opponent playing anything. Modern affinity is just an analogy (admittedly not perfect) invites discussions. Modern is a much slower format with a much smaller and weaker card pool but it can deal with a T4 aggro deck.

My all-time favourite is Grixis pyromancer which is no longer playable after restriction of probe and gush. I admit I may be biased against any (further) restriction. But I don't want to see vintage to become a 60-card edh.

@dice_box

I think youโ€™re not giving Randy any sort of fair shake. If you watched his conversation with Rich Shay on the VSL, he was advocating for less change then Rich was.

https://youtu.be/uLQkR_1v15Y

I agree with most of this.

As a blue player (i enjoy just doing my own thing regardless of tiers, so i'm actually playing 4c ๐Ÿ˜• ) who flubbed at Eternal Weekend, i realized it was a mistake playing 3 Misstep, 1 Pyro, and 1 Fluster main deck. It was a regular grind against blue decks and kind of a tossup who wins; you know, down to who gets restricted draw spells first and makes a couple key outplays. I performed pretty well against shops i believe (although i played 1 in the main event and 1 in a side event only) because i picked a little extra removal main and my SB was kind of stacked against shops/outcome. But my g1's were still nightmares.

I think my choices could have been better maindeck. There is more decks with islands than there are with Shop, but picking an overly effective card like Pyro just costs you against shop. Probably even Spell Snare was better than that.

Aside from making better selections, which would bring shops win rate down, i still think Shops is right on the edge of possibly being too powerful. It could stand yet another restriction i think. I don't believe Shop itself should be restricted, because there are still cards the deck plays that no other deck does. Unlike restricting Thorn (which i feel medium about), there are cards in Shop that can be restricted without hitting another deck. Ravager or Ballista, for example, would not hurt another deck. This way, we can keep shop decks. I am not sure if 1 Shop makes an archetype, especially not necessarily without an unrestriction.

@sovarius The issue with Spell Snare is it doesn't always hit the key cards in the mirror. You are right that Xerox really comes down to a battle of attrition, and so the key cards are generally those that create a substantial amount of card advantage. Things like Ancestral, Dig, Cruise, and Planeswalkers. Misstep stops Ancestral and protects your key cards from Pyroblast. Pyroblast hits almost all of them (exception being Sylvan Library and nonblue walkers). Flusterstorm is great when played well and the dream scenario is Dig in response to your Dig, counter both your Dig and Counterspell with Flusterstorm. People wouldn't play these cards if they weren't great in this matchup. You gain more in the Blue matchups than the increase you get from running Snares and Pierce against Shops (and having them in against Blue). It's a matter of rational deck building.

To everyone, there is room for discussion here on what can be done or should be done against Shops. It doesn't necessarily require hitting Shops, now. The current discussion is more complaining about people complaining or making irrelevant arguments like "the deck plays 5 black lotuses" or "it doesn't draw cards and doesn't kill turn 1". Believe it or not, I'm undecided on what should be restricted or if it should be restricted - the data from the challenges this month paints a different picture, but it's unclear if this is an overreaction to Shops (again, every deck is beatable and give other Vintage player's credit - they know how to beat it) and as the focus shifts back to blue, the equilibrium point for Shops returns to an unbalanced win percentage. What I really hate and find frustrating is bad arguments made repeatedly.

@chubbyrain Oh, don't get me wrong, i'm not saying it was great. I'm just saying i realize i would be better off with less dead cards for Shops than i am more efficient mirror answers. I'm not saying Snare is playable, i am using it as an example of a not really playable card i would have been about as happy with, but not dead vs Shop.

@mdkubiak I have not even seen this season, I was talking about his grandstanding from few seasons back. I have long since stopped watching him but the fact that he would still be on about it does not shock me at all.

The one I am thinking off he was complaining about Tomb and how it had to be talked down, but fucked if I can find that now. But if hes still complaining, label me not surprised.

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

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

I have posted my views on this topic before here and little has changed in my view.

It's pretty funny that you linked to a post where I am quoted as saying "Shops are just much more powerful, flexible and adaptable than they have ever been."

Just noticed this, tried about 4 times to fix it. I know this is likely going to sound stupid but I could not get the page to always link to the right post. This site, as it is coded, I do not like it. I hope it is fixed now.

last edited by Dice_Box

@dice_box You're assuming again. He was not on about it. He was talking to Rich Shay about his #2 spot in Eternal Weekend and he was not complaining at all. If anything, he was defending Workshops.

Updated original post with Eternal Central link if usenet burns your eyes.

@nedleeds I prefer to keep my eyes. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

A 13 paragraph article, ostensibly about Mishra's Workshop, but Mental Misstep was mentioned 33 times in the body compared to just 15 mentions of Workshop. It was really an article about Misstep, despite the title.

The thesis of the article is that restricting Misstep will open up more strategic diversity. I have to say that I'm skeptical of that. It's true that Misstep is good against DRS and Dark Ritual, etc. But, empirically speaking, I doubt that restricting Misstep would compositionally change the Vintage metagame, in the short or long term, in any measurable way.

But if you could prove a compositional shift that results because of Misstep, I would be more inclined to your view. But that would take more work than you've put in here. I think that the metagame shifts have occurred for deeper structural reasons unrelated to Misstep.

The rhetorical reference to previous, more diverse Vintage metagames, such as the 2013 metagame, is not persuasive, and undermines the article's thesis. After all, Misstep was unrestricted in 2013, and, that demonstrates that metagames are a product of structural forces, not simply extant tactics.

last edited by Smmenen

Maybe I'm alone in my opinion though.

alt text

I'm not sure if that's responsive to me, Sean, but I never said or implied that you were the only person calling for Misstep's restriction.

Rather, I simply pointed out that the title of your article was misleading, as it was really about calling for the restriction of MIsstep, and, further, that your thesis is an empirical question, and your arguments don't really reach or address that question. Instead, there is alot of narrative or rhetoric that masks or obfuscates it.

I'm open to the argument that Misstep stifles or undermines format diversity, but I'm far from persuaded. The points you make in this article seem to lend more support to the converse - that Misstep is not directly shaping format diversity, for the reasons I mentioned above.

The Vintage format is a product of structural forces. The metagame continually expands and contracts. I'd point to 2006 and 2013 as periods of expansion and broad diversity. But Misstep does not appear to be a driving force behind metagame contraction.

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

A 13 paragraph article, ostensibly about Mishra's Workshop, but Mental Misstep was mentioned 33 times in the body compared to just 15 mentions of Workshop. It was really an article about Misstep, despite the title.

Well it's an opinion piece with a misleading title featuring Mishra's Workshop just to get the discussion going.

The thesis of the article is that restricting Misstep will open up more strategic diversity. I have to say that I'm skeptical of that. It's true that Misstep is good against DRS and Dark Ritual, etc. But, empirically speaking, I doubt that restricting Misstep would compositionally change the Vintage metagame, in the short or long term, in any measurable way.

I disagree. 1 Misstep will change the way people approach deck building fundamentally. The rate at which this happens is very much up for debate given peoples recalcitrance to change, and the dearth of deck builders.

But if you could prove a compositional shift that results because of Misstep, I would be more inclined to your view. But that would take more work than you've put in here. I think that the metagame shifts have occurred for deeper structural reasons unrelated to Misstep.

The rhetorical reference to previous, more diverse Vintage metagames, such as the 2013 metagame, is not persuasive, and undermines the article's thesis. After all, Misstep was unrestricted in 2013, and, that demonstrates that metagames are a product of structural forces, not simply extant tactics.

I don't have the time likely required needed to meet your burden of proof, I admit that much. But as for what makes a Vintage metagame, I think it's nearly impossible to untangle given imperfect actors, and the difference between paper and MTGO (technically, aesthetically and financially). It's also an imperfect comparison between now and 2011,12,13 simply because there was no MTGO Vintage (December 2013?). So why even try, I'm just pointing out some general trends and that cards in a vacuum don't create stagnation.

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

I'm not sure if that's responsive to me, Sean, but I never said or implied that you were the only person calling for Misstep's restriction.

No not at all, I literally just got a look at Card Titans updated coverage page. I should have linked it.

http://www.cardtitan.com/coverage

Congrats to all the competitors!

last edited by nedleeds

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

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

The thesis of the article is that restricting Misstep will open up more strategic diversity. I have to say that I'm skeptical of that. It's true that Misstep is good against DRS and Dark Ritual, etc. But, empirically speaking, I doubt that restricting Misstep would compositionally change the Vintage metagame, in the short or long term, in any measurable way.

I disagree. 1 Misstep will change the way people approach deck building fundamentally.

I agree with this, but it doesn't compel your conclusion. I think it will lead to some fundamental deck building changes. It makes Misdirection viable again, top deck tutors better, etc.

But, I didn't deny that restricting Misstep would change deck building, even fundamentally, whatever that might mean. What I expressed skepticism over is whether restricting Misstep would "compositionally change the Vintage metagame, in any measurable way."

By "compositionally," I refer to the % admixture of Shops, Xerox, Big Blue, Dark Ritual combo, Dredge, etc. in the metagame.

I simply don't believe that restricting Mental Misstep, for example, would reduce (or increase) the % of Shop decks in the field, no matter how many indirect or secondary effects you'd like to try to point toward.

My belief is that the current Vintage metagame is a product of structural forces, not tactical effects like Misstep.

The only way I would endorse a restriction like Misstep based upon an argument like that is provisionally. If Misstep were restricted, and none of the benefits that you hoped for accrued, then, logically, you'd have to agree with it's unrestriction.

All of the available metagame evidence accumulated since Misstep was printed does not seem to support your thesis, that restricting Misstep would diversify the metagame. Until, and unless, someone can actually make a good data-based argument for this, I will likely remain a skeptic.

EDIT:

Did banning Misstep diversity Legacy? If not, why not? There may be a lesson there.

last edited by Smmenen
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