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.


  • 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 😄



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

    @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.

    All fair points. I think hitting Ravager and Misstep would position blue stew zealots removal far better than now. Ravager makes removal significantly worse and adds to aggro shops reach by creating combat that offers no profitable blocks. It's synergy with Walker / Ballista is well documented. Spells are quite castable now, spot removal and even mass removal like By Force and Rack and Ruin can be blunted by the sac effect. Sphere likely makes the other player "feel" the worst, because if they keep a 1-2 lander with 2 missteps and a pyroblast they are likely never casting a spell. The spheres can also create a density effect in concert with Metamorph that can make coming back impossible, so I get some of the arguments for its restriction.

    There are probably a subset of players on the 10% edges who won't be satisfied until there's nothing resembling prison anymore and that everyone shows up with 23 restricted blue cards, LoAs and smoking jackets, then a 10% on the other side that are besides themselves that 3ball is restricted and think shop 3ball go is deep and fun. I do think the verbal feel bads from a good shop opener on the play echo louder than just losing to Oath, or Bazaar or one of the 6-8 completely idiotic blue spells. We get quotes like, "I didn't get to play Magic", "I never even cast my spells", "Wastelanded into oblivion". When somebody Tinker bots, or Orchard Mox Oaths it's some delicate fencing exercise.



  • @nedleeds People complain a lot about turn 1 Tinker and turn 1 Oath Orchard Mox. At one point, didn't they want to ban Tinker? The difference is that these decks are not equal to the metagame share of Shops, have no where near the level of consistency, are much easier to answer, and as a result these decks aren't winning at the same rate.

    Edit:
    The only way for removal to get better is for players to play more creatures susceptible to that removal, which is very unlikely to happen even with a Misstep restriction. I might even run less removal as I expect unfair decks like Rituals, Paradoxical Outcomes, even Belcher to be the major beneficiaries of a Misstep restriction.

    Edit:
    In any case, I've never once cut removal because of Mental Misstep. Seriously. They are going to Misstep either a cantrip, removal spell, counterspell, or whatever so why would I change specific ratios of that when I can't actually dodge their Missteps?



  • @macdeath Sure. Foundry Inspector, Walking Ballista, Arcbound Ravager, Mishra's Workshop, Sphere of Resistance: Pick any two.

    Do you want to go after the resilience, the reach, the explosiveness, the prison component? It's pretty subjective what to hit at this point. What's not subjective is that Ravager Shops is a really, really, really good deck that the metagame hasn't addressed despite several restrictions.



  • I would even go as far as,

    Restrict: Arcbound Ravager and Inspector

    Unrestrict: Lodestone Golem

    Gives MUD something for something, and Lodestone is much easier to handle imo.



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

    Edit:
    The only way for removal to get better is for players to play more creatures susceptible to that removal, which is very unlikely to happen even with a Misstep restriction. I might even run less removal as I expect unfair decks like Rituals, Paradoxical Outcomes, even Belcher to be the major beneficiaries of a Misstep restriction.

    Or creature decks that aren't shops could be decent again since they can actually resolve 1 drops without sacking cavern or diluting their deck with 3.8 missteps. They'd also not be holding a random number of Missteps to Skillstep your efficient 1 mana removal you do chose to include. It's hard to know now because I ran out of deck building space trying to defend my 1 drop creatures / sorcery speed because I had to play Misstep to Misstep your Misstep since nothing beats free. The 1 for 1 exchange isn't the issue, it's free vs. not free. If your deck has any intention of casting 1 mana sorcery speed speeds your either playing Missteps or Defense Grids.

    Edit:
    In any case, I've never once cut removal because of Mental Misstep. Seriously. They are going to Misstep either a cantrip, removal spell, counterspell, or whatever so why would I change specific ratios of that when I can't actually dodge their Missteps?

    Depends on whether you generally play 3.8 Missteps. The card is pretty much baked into the starting point of any blue list now. It's hard to untangle what you'd do. But I know what everyone does now, and that's just jam 4 missteps to defend their 1 mana removal against the hail of opposing missteps because nothing beats free. Which is completely justifiable given the percentage of blue stew misstep decks in the field (north of 60%).



  • @nedleeds I think you are conflating cause and effect. If you look at our data, Shops is 89.5% against Eldrazi (mostly white eldrazi) and 62% against various DRS fish decks. At Champs, these match ups were 80% (2/3 colorless) and 65%. What magical one drop is going to make up for 35% against Shops in Eldrazi? What magical human are you and @Stormanimagus going to pull out of Gatherer to beat Shops in Humans? You think these decks run Cavern of Souls because of Mental Misstep, which hits like 8 creatures in the deck, and not Force of Will? Mental Misstep isn't holding down Hatebears and restricting it will not bring those types of decks back. This is basically why do research - so I can point to numbers and say "try to come up with a better rationale for what you want to do".



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

    @nedleeds I think you are conflating cause and effect. If you look at our data, Shops is 89.5% against Eldrazi (mostly white eldrazi) and 62% against various DRS fish decks. At Champs, these match ups were 80% (2/3 colorless) and 65%. What magical one drop is going to make up for 35% against Shops in Eldrazi? What magical human are you and @Stormanimagus going to pull out of Gatherer to beat Shops in Humans? You think these decks run Cavern of Souls because of Mental Misstep, which hits like 8 creatures in the deck, and not Force of Will? Mental Misstep isn't holding down Hatebears and restricting it will not bring those types of decks back. This is basically why do research - so I can point to numbers and say "try to come up with a better rationale for what you want to do".

    I'm not concerned about some existing humans deck or any other existing deck. You could start from scratch and build decks without the shadow of Misstep informing your whole deck building and card evaluation process. You could play Noble Hierarch without Cavern or Misstep, and not get skill stepped. Again this is all because Misstep is unequal exchane of mana for no mana, nobody ever didn't play 2 drops for fear of spell snare.



  • @nedleeds So you have no basis for a Misstep restriction except if feels bad to have a 1 drop countered for zero mana. And you have no prognostication for a future metagame aside from vaguely pointing at various one drops and saying "this is a one drop that you can play without it getting Misstep." No actual deck ideas, no actual metagame shifts, no actual anti-shops tech. Great...


 

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