February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement



  • @winterstar thank you for taking the time to answer.

    I see restricting Workshop as not as killing the deck entirely, but making it the right kind of powerful, just as adding 1x Workshop to Legacy MUD decks would do. Add to this the P9 available in vintage, the deck seems like it would just make sense as opposed to being oppressive. You could unrestrict Thorn again probably, maybe even Lodestone (if i may be so bold)

    as for Ravager decks doing good without Shops, i have no doubt that the deck is still explosive and/or straight great but thats just because it is a well crafted, sound deck. However without access to 3 mana from a single land drop, which can be doubled up and tripled up over subsequent turns (not taking into account other fast mana), it doesnt seem busted and seems like another deck that Null Rod and Stony Silence and Energy Flux love to play against.

    I think the Workshop might just be the card, but fear of player/collector reaction might be holding them back.

    Has anyone tested or posted results of a mock world where Workshop is restricted?

    edit: I just saw one of the Dominaria spoilers: Damping Sphere. Is this the fix Wizards has decided on?



  • I'll give my 2 cents on why I haven't played nearly as often in the last couple years. We've had a 2 deck format basically since Worldwake was printed (and Gush was unrestricted). This was my first tournament in this new era, and to me it looks almost indistinguishable to a top 8 now (5 blue, 2 Shops, 1 Storm). The core of Blue and Shops has grown so large that restriction hasn't really had much of an effect. Certainly some variations of these blue and shops decks have come and gone, but they are still essentially the same decks (though I do have to admit that the current variations are much easier to play against as they are less oppressively powerful). The blue decks just want to draw cards endlessly and fight everything on the stack (what you actually win / draw cards with is almost irrelevant), and the shops decks want to turn everything into a war of permanents (again what you actually win / build permanent advantage with is almost irrelevant). Both these decks force you to play two extremely conflicting strategies, one stack-based and the other permanent-based.

    So as a result if your fringe deck is good against shops, its probably bad against blue and vice-versa. Eventually it just gets tiring constantly brewing decks just to come to that same conclusion every time, and I just find myself asking the question "Which one of Blue/Shops do I want to beat/lose to today?". Maybe that is a sign of a healthy format in some people's view, but I think it would be much more interesting if I could go into a tournament having to say prepare for Dredge, or Storm, or Oath as the most critical match up instead of just deciding on playing the same game vs Blue/Shops ad nauseam for the last 8 years.

    I find it interesting that some people would ever want to unrestrict any cards that could improve these existing shells, or that some other people still think the metagame has not yet "adjusted". I was there with the latter maybe for the first few years, but we've seen now that these decks have survived numerous restrictions and have remained dominant for 8 years!

    There have been eras of Vintage when this wasn't the case. I remember a time when Fish was at one point the best deck and when Storm was at one point the best deck. What happened to these days when a fringe deck could become the top dog for more than just 1 event? I know that printings have made it inherently creep towards what it is right now, but that's why we have a restricted list! In my opinion, its time we started to use it more aggressively.



  • @vaughnbros I'm in agreement with your position.

    I know that many vintage players live for the blue on blue interaction. I get and respect that but I get bored with it. I'm not sure what can be done at this point. It would require major changes that the general vintage community would hate.

    In my opinion, WOTC has done a good job crafting a healthy and interesting meta using the B&R in modern. In that format, you can realistically win a major event with no less than 5 completely different combo, aggro, or control builds. I love the variety of that format right now. I wish I could say the same about vintage.



  • To me, the most obvious solution is to require heavy drinking for all participants in all Vintage tournaments. That flattens the skill differential enough that new people and new decks can win.


  • TMD Supporter

    @mace1370 said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    I'm not sure how much good restricting another shops piece (say Foundry Inspector, for example) will do in the long run. As others have pointed out, WotC will print more artifacts and eventually something will get printed and run as 4x in the shops deck and we will be right back to the starting point. Long term, however, what happens when this cycle repeats itself over and over again and shops is full of 1x restricted bombs like Trinisphere? Is the only endgame solution to restrict Workshops itself?

    Here’s another way to look at it: how many cards had to be restricted, and will have to be restricted in the future, so that Workshop could/can remain unrestricted? How many cards could be unrestricted if they decided to restrict Workshop at the next opportunity?


    @winterstar said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    Many at this point want the deck to be weakened, but not destroyed. Especially if splash damage with other interesting Workshop decks can be avoided (two card monte, aperture science, perhaps throwbacks like Martello, terra nova).

    I would like that, personally. I think the deck has a place in the metagame, but I’m tired of it being so oppressive.

    I’ll grant that this is a far-fetched example, but it’s an example nonetheless: I played blue belcher at EW in 2015. One of my losses was to Shops. I was lucky enough to face it only once all day. I managed to win the first game, but I’m certain that’s because my opponent didn’t play a sphere effect in game 1 and didn’t know what I was playing until I dropped Belcher and killed him. I didn’t have a chance in games 2 and 3, because my opponent was playing at least 9 cards that all cost just 2 or 3 mana that literally spelled “game over” for me, because my deck was running 1 land—Academy.

    Yes, it’s a far-fetched case, because most decks run at least a few lands, but the fact is that this particular deck is so successfully stifled by the Shops deck, unless you’re on the play and can win on turn 1. The following year, Shops’ popularity had grown to the point where I knew I was liable to face it a lot more often, and there is literally no way for a Belcher deck to beat a resolved sphere effect, so I played a deck I didn’t like as much and didn’t do as well, of course.

    I would like to see the deck continue to have a role in Vintage, but it would be nice if it didn’t so easily dominate certain strategies into extinction. Its dominance is why I, personally, am not thinking a lot about Vintage lately.



  • @ironroot Would restricting Workshop even kill the deck if they were given back a bunch a bunch of their toys? It seems to me they do just fine with hands that don't have Workshop, and it would still be a singleton.

    Why not discuss restricting the Island-subtype while we are at it. Putting restrictions on peoples mana bases seems to clearest path instead of having to restrict every single decent artifact/draw spell ever printed.



  • @vaughnbros said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @ironroot Would restricting Workshop even kill the deck if they were given back a bunch a bunch of their toys? It seems to me they do just fine with hands that don't have Workshop, and it would still be a singleton.

    Why not discuss restricting the Island-subtype while we are at it. Putting restrictions on peoples mana bases seems to clearest path instead of having to restrict every single decent artifact/draw spell ever printed.

    If they had never printed the BFZ+ eldrazi maybe people would limp along with a gimped version of shops. But there's no compelling reason to fill a deck with more vulnerable stuff if Shop is gone. And certainly prison shops would be deader than it already is, as bulk rares like Smokestack, Coercive Portal and the 5+ mana artifacts are rendered useless (outside of Tinker ... )



  • @trius said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @vaughnbros I'm in agreement with your position.

    I know that many vintage players live for the blue on blue interaction. I get and respect that but I get bored with it. I'm not sure what can be done at this point. It would require major changes that the general vintage community would hate.

    In my opinion, WOTC has done a good job crafting a healthy and interesting meta using the B&R in modern. In that format, you can realistically win a major event with no less than 5 completely different combo, aggro, or control builds. I love the variety of that format right now. I wish I could say the same about vintage.

    The edges are harder in Legacy than in Modern and harder in Vintage than in Legacy. Meaning the best things you can do are so much better. Case in point, Through the Breach -> Show and Tell / Sneak Attack -> Oath / Tinker. Serum Visions -> Brainstorm / Ponder -> Blue Stew Delver Restricted. Eldrazi Temple -> Ancient Tomb -> Shop. Faithless Looting -> Breakthrough -> Bazaar. Spell Snare -> Force -> Misstep.

    If you want diversity in deck building to even get off the ground, for people to try either new or dormant cards WotC would have to IMO perform additional restrictions. This is barring a new absurd Commander printing that directly makes the current stalwarts worse. Starting with Misstep from Blue Stew, and then taking probably Ravager and/or Ballista. This would pave the way for tier B hate bear decks, dark depths based decks and maybe forms of non-Shop aggro ... these decks could begin the deck building exercise nearer to 60 cards instead of 50 cards.



  • @nedleeds

    I mean when we are at the point with Shops that we are considering restricting a slightly better than Triskelion, I think things have gotten pretty bad. The printings of creatures on Ballista/Hangarback level aren't going to stop anytime soon. You have to hit the mana base if you are going to hit anything. If not Workshop is off limits then Wasteland, or Ancient Tomb.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    I'll give my 2 cents on why I haven't played nearly as often in the last couple years. We've had a 2 deck format basically since Worldwake was printed (and Gush was unrestricted).

    This is just absolutely false.

    This graph shows Gush decks as a % of Top 8s since the unrestriction of Gush in 2010 until it's re-restriction early last year:

    ![alt text](0_1520982429017_a8378715-3786-417b-8108-c809a950bb92-image.png image url)

    To say that the format is the same since Worldwake is just false.

    For exactly four years (October, 2010-October, 2014), Gush averaged 13.55% of Top 8s, and just three times was above 20% of the Top 8 metagame in only 3 of 16 quarters. And never more than 23%.

    This was the quarter by quarter breakdown through most of that period:

    ![alt text](0_1520982629176_452888ef-807e-4c34-82af-79f7850dde13-image.png image url)

    In contrast to the pre-Khans period, Gush's AVERAGE from Q4, '14 until it's restriction was higher than the highest peak in the period before. So it's not even comparable.

    Gush performed better in the period Q4, 2014 through Q4 2016 than it had ever performed in it's history, including 2003 and 2007-8. So, this idea that Gush was dominant from the moment it was unrestriction is empirically false and a false narrative.

    My history of Vintage series shows this in other ways that are less quantative as well, by descibing the currents and trends. For example, BUG Aggro-Control with DRS and Abrupt Decay won BOTH Bazaar of Moxen events in 2013. Dredge had a period from late 2011 through mid-2012 where it won the biggest events in the format, including American and European. This idea that you are simplifying the format into a two deck horse race, with Gush and Shops dominating since 2010/11 is just historically false. The format has qualitatively changed during that period, with the biggest changes being the introduction of Dack, Cruise, Dig and Mentor within a 7 month period. The format before can't even be compared meaningfully to the period before. Totally different formats.



  • @smmenen

    I don't care about just Gush man. That wasn't what I was saying in the slightest. Please re-read the post.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @smmenen

    I don't care about just Gush man. That wasn't what I was saying in the slightest. Please re-read the post.

    You said:

    "We've had a 2 deck format basically since Worldwake was printed (and Gush was unrestricted)"

    That's just not true. Not even close.



  • @smmenen

    Yes as a moment in time. I also said

    what you actually win / draw cards with is almost irrelevant,

    But as usual you only read part of a person's post. The overall strategy of Shops and Blue decks has been the same for nearly 8 years, and those have been the best decks over the time period with exception to a tournament here and there.


  • TMD Supporter

    But "Blue" as a category includes so much strategic diversity it's a non-category.

    "Blue" includes Jeskai Delver, BUG Aggro-Control, 4c Control, Oath, Paradoxical decks, UW Landstill, and mono blue/brown Turbo Tezzeret. It includes countless decks and strategies. So saying that the format is Workshops and Blue is not even close to saying that the format is a two deck format.

    It's just not true. What you use to win and draw cards with is hugely relevant. That's how Brian Kelly has made brilliant innovations in this format by exploiting blind spots of other players, using counter-intuitive cards to exploit invisible niches. That includes cards like Dragonlord Dromoka, which he used in 2015 to win the Vintage Championship.

    alt text

    We saw how these cards, over the years, have made a difference. A huge one. Your description of the format as two decks for 8 years is just false.



  • @smmenen

    "Dredge", "Shops", "Fish", "Storm" are "diverse" decks too if you really want to see them that way. You can find a difference and similarity between anything if you look hard enough.

    "Blue" is in reference to a strategy that focuses on drawing a ton of cards, and playing counterspells. I'd hope that was easy to understand by the way my post was written. This is a singular strategy that nearly every blue deck has. That's literally all everyone of Brian's decks wants to do.

    The strategical diversity of the format is 2 main strategies, and a bunch of fringe ones. Its been like that since Shops emerged as strategy #2 to the blue decks that had been there for quite some time.



  • @vaughnbros said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @nedleeds

    I mean when we are at the point with Shops that we are considering restricting a slightly better than Triskelion, I think things have gotten pretty bad. The printings of creatures on Ballista/Hangarback level aren't going to stop anytime soon. You have to hit the mana base if you are going to hit anything. If not Workshop is off limits then Wasteland, or Ancient Tomb.

    I don't advocate hitting any of these creatures or shop, I would restrict Misstep. But that's just not how things are done in the hostage exchange era of B&R. Restricting shop would just reduce vintage to a circle jerk of blue stew mirrors with Skillstep stacks as long as my arm. Restricting Wasteland is absurd, and would make Bazaar and Library even more insane. It would also mean the end of anything not control or combo. Ancient Tomb fueled decks are generally eschewing the most broken colored spells in magics history, the trade off of mulling to nothing and playing bulk rares is more than fair.



  • @nedleeds

    I agree that Misstep is the "safest" route. The card being banned in every other format and fully legal is a pretty strong argument alone without even factoring in the whole effect on the meta.

    Just saying that if something in shops has to go, the creatures don't make any sense considering they are going to keep printing more. Everything degenerate that happens in Vintage is because of our mana bases: Fetches+Islands, Workshop+Strips, Bazaar, Orchard, ect. Each deck without their lands would be hurt much more than other cards.

    I don't think Wasteland should be considered untouchable. We still have Ghost Quarter, which has previously been playable in Vintage, and is still effectively a wasteland against Shops/Dredge/other greedy mana bases.



  • When is the next announcement?

    It seems like the lack of changes from this one has been going on for a while. I am ready for the next round of no changes already.



  • @chubbyrain said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    I would

    Restrict

    • Arcbound Ravager
    • Walking Ballista
    • Sphere of Resistance

    Unrestrict

    • Thorn of Amethyst

    While I agree that the Ravager ballista "engine" needs to be addressed, i don't think you necessarily need to restrict both.
    Ravager + Triskelion used to be pretty good but not quite as outrageous as ravager + ballista. Ravager also adds a lot of depth to the options available to the workshop player in terms of lines of play, so i would be in favor of going for the ballista first (a card that "oppresses" other creature based decks).

    However there is another card that is arguably equally responsible of shops current dominant position in the metagame: Foundry Inspector.
    So it would make more sense in my opinion to restrict either ballista or ravager alongside foundry inspector instead of restricting both ballista and ravager.

    I wouldn't touch thorn and sphere. Sphere is symmetric which forces the workshop player to plan their mana/ sequencing more carefully instead of dropping a no brainer thorn. I also have to admit that i am biased against giving access to more lock pieces to decks with thalia.

    Curious to hear your thoughts about a hypothetical Foundry Inspector + Walking ballista restriction.


  • TMD Supporter

    @shaman-ben said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    When is the next announcement?

    It seems like the lack of changes from this one has been going on for a while. I am ready for the next round of no changes already.

    Next B&R Announcement: April 16, 2018 for that announcement @Shaman-Ben 😄


 

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