[Free Podcast] So Many Insane Plays # 52: Shadows Over Innistrad Set Review & B&R Update



  • Went live today!

    On Eternal Central: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-52-shadows-over-innistrad-and-banned-restricted-list-updates/

    On MTGCast & Itunes:
    http://mtgcast.com/mtgcast-podcast-shows/active-podcast-shows/so-many-insane-plays/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-52-shadows-over-innistrad-and-banned-and-restricted-list-updates

    Menu/Table of Contents:

    Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian review Shadows Over Innistrad and analyze the April Banned and Restricted List updates for Vintage.

    Contact us at @ManyInsanePlays on Twitter or e-mail us at SoManyInsanePlaysPodcast@gmail.com.

    0:01:00: Banned and Restricted List Update
    0:58:00: Asia Vintage Championship
    1:03:00: Removal of MTGO Replays
    1:16:15: Oath of the Gatewatch Report Card
    1:26:45: Shadows Over Innistrad Mechanics
    1:43:50: The Gitrog Monster
    2:04:17: Sin Prodder
    2:07:19: Brain in a Jar
    2:21:12: Drownyard Temple
    2:27:50: Heir of Falkenrath
    2:34:54: Anguished Unmaking
    2:41:48: Declaration in Stone
    2:47:52: Sigarda, Heron’s Grace
    2:51:33: Prized Amalgam
    2:55:21: Archangel Avacyn
    3:02:39: Thing in the Ice

    If you are sick and tired of B&R discussion, please feel free to skip to the set review :)

    Oh, and Gitrog Monster is a TOAD, dammit!



  • @Smmenen Looking forward to it, Steve. I always enjoy the work you and Kevin do. I'll let you know what I think when I finish listening.



  • @Smmenen
    On the restriction debate: I think you guys failed to take a very important factor into account. You failed to talk about the stubbornness of blue pilots in running sufficient shop hate and effective shop hate. Instead of adapting (something blue decks had YEARS to do) blue decided to throw in a handful of ingot chewers from their sideboard and call it a day. Instead of adapting their main deck blue pilots insisted on running 4 missteps, 1-2 flusters, 1-2 pyroblasts and other semi-dead cards as well as mana bases consisting of 14-15 lands.

    I think shop results would have been significantly lower over the past 2-3 years if blue players had opted for more lands in their main decks as well as cards that swing the matchup in their favor like:

    Wasteland
    Ancient Grudge
    Snuff Out
    Hurky's Recall (x more than 1)
    Energy Flux
    Kataki + Null Rod or Stony
    Serenity
    Trygon Predator

    While some of these cards were tried, almost none were more than a 1x main deck and that basically means that game 1's vs. shops are often going to go to the shop player putting them on the play game 3. It's no surprise to me, then, that blue struggled with the matchup. This aspect of the warping of the metagame was not talked about at all. The elitism of many blue players who just expect to be able to devote 7 + slots to the mirror baffles me to no end. 7 cards main deck for the mirror is ok but running more than 2 cards for shops main deck is not? Seriously, wtf?

    -Storm



  • @Stormanimagus I don't want to start another discuss here, but I think that as long as blue sees 3 times more play than MUD &0%, 20%, 20% others), is totally understandable to play 3 times more hate for blue than for MUD. So playing 6 specific cards against blue and 2 cards for MUD seems reasonable. If a player plays 2 cards against blue and 6 against MUD, it's going to lose consistently against 60% of the field, which is worse than to lose against 20%.

    Also, MUD plays LOTS of cards maindeck against blue, but few for the mirror. Some players have to keep bad cards against other MUD players. Is it ok for MUD players to focus on blue hate, but it's not ok for blue players to focus on blue hate?



  • I'm still listening, and only halfway through, but this was great.

    I got a clearer understanding of Steve's position, and while I don't necessarily fully agree, I liked the teasing out that the podcast provided.

    Kevin is a treasure of the Vintage community.

    I still would have liked more time between the chalice restriction and lsg restriction, but que sera sera. In general, I prefer as few restricted cards as possible.



  • I appreciate that Kevin brought up the extreme variability in the data. Sometimes I feel that everyone is a bit too deterministic about the state of the metagame, when the truth is that we know much less than we would like to. Both Steve and Kevin agreed that Paper results and MTGO results have their flaws, but I don't think that the 'over-representation' of Workshops can really be distilled from the data we have. If anything, I think that any data-based arguments would simply point to a preference towards no action instead of restricting Lodestone Golem, so that we can see how the metagame plays out and get more information before taking action. In my view, the outspokenness against Workshops contributed more to Lodestone Golem's restriction than any data, and that's what I dislike about this whole incident.

    That said, I actually agree with Steve's view that Lodestone Golem was a generally problematic card that was doomed for restriction sooner or later. It probably should have been restricted years ago. I believe that Monastery Mentor shares this fate, and it's only a matter of time before it's restricted. It's interesting to me that Lodestone Golem's power contributed to a perhaps unnecessary restriction (Chalice of the Void). I think that Monastery Mentor might end up doing the same thing to Gush.



  • @DeaTh-ShiNoBi If anything, I think that the lsg restriction might point to gush not getting hit. Depending, of course, on where the meta evolves.



  • @xouman said:

    @Stormanimagus I don't want to start another discuss here, but I think that as long as blue sees 3 times more play than MUD &0%, 20%, 20% others), is totally understandable to play 3 times more hate for blue than for MUD. So playing 6 specific cards against blue and 2 cards for MUD seems reasonable. If a player plays 2 cards against blue and 6 against MUD, it's going to lose consistently against 60% of the field, which is worse than to lose against 20%.

    Also, MUD plays LOTS of cards maindeck against blue, but few for the mirror. Some players have to keep bad cards against other MUD players. Is it ok for MUD players to focus on blue hate, but it's not ok for blue players to focus on blue hate?

    Yeah, but you're also forgetting that some artifact hate could be splash hate for certain variants of blue (i.e the seat of the synod Tezz decks and Tezz decks in general). I'm also not sure where you're getting your numbers from. Aggregate decks running Force of Will? Cause I can tell you that 4 Mental Misstep isn't in the deck to beat Landstill decks and it isn't in there to beat Oath decks nor "The Answer decks." It might hit Ancestral out of those decks, but not a ton of other cards. Misstep is primarily used to fight the Gush mirror (preordain, recall, plows, bolts etc.) and TPS. At that point, we are really talking about 30-35% of the meta, not 60%. Against the other flavors of blue out there that run more artifacts, I'm pretty sure that a card like Ancient Grudge could serve double duty.

    Do not try to paint this cannibalism as some sort of "responsible" deck building. I have heard that exact same argument before and I know better. Run Stony Silence then to have splash hate for Time Vault. Run Grudge for the same! Run Predator main to have splash hate for Oath. Run Nature's Claim for the same. Run wastes to have more maindeck hate for dredge. Run wastes to have more maindeck hate for belcher and other problem lands like cavern of souls, library of alexandria and tolarian academy. There are so many options for blue players to modify their decks to beat shops more effectively while also maintaining enough juice for the mirror.

    Oh, and one could always run those narrow cards like flusterstorm or extra pyroblasts in their sideboard, but gasp no one wants to do THAT.



  • Generalization of an entire section of the playerbase is ignorance.

    The belief that individuals do not know how to tune Gush to beat Workshops is comical in 2016.

    The concept that Dredge and Workshops are the police of this format is equally comical and is a borderline falsehood. It's absolutely ripe pointing to the saturation of Force of Will and Mental Misstep as an issue that needs to be addressed. The usual fear mongering that follows a Workshop restriction is more likely to become a reality by hitting either of the aforementioned cards.


  • TMD Supporter

    @socialite said:

    Generalization of an entire section of the playerbase is ignorance.

    The belief that individuals do not know how to tune Gush to beat Workshops is comical in 2016.

    The concept that Dredge and Workshops are the police of this format is equally comical and is a borderline falsehood. It's absolutely ripe pointing to the saturation of Force of Will and Mental Misstep as an issue that needs to be addressed. The usual fear mongering that follows a Workshop restriction is more likely to become a reality by hitting either of the aforementioned cards.

    "Usual fear-mongering that follows a Workshop restriction?"

    Previous to the VSL/2015 Champs outcry, Workshops hadn't seen a restriction since 2005, so I am a little unclear on what you are trying to say?



  • Awesome as usual, guys. I really like the frequency that you've been releasing podcasts lately!

    As of listening up to the end of the JEYE-trog Monster (isn't it just GIT-rog?), I had a few comments.

    Toads ARE frogs, Steve. ;)

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toad
    @Wikipedia

    A toad is any of a number of species of amphibians in the order Anura (frogs) that are characterized by dry, leathery skin, short legs, and parotoid glands
    ....
    A distinction between frogs and toads is not made in scientific taxonomy, but is common in popular culture (folk taxonomy), in which toads are associated with drier skin and more terrestrial habitats than animals commonly called frogs.

    At the risk of reviving the horrible cluster that erupted from Danny's article just recently, I noticed that when you found a 30%-31% difference in metagame percentage for Shops decks between Top 8 and Top 4, you called the percentages "virtually identical" or something just like that. This seems to lay out that you believe a 1% difference is close enough to use a descriptor of equality. In response to Danny's article, you took issue with him saying that a 6% difference was close enough to do the same (I think he used the term "basically the same.")

    I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that; 1% is certainly much smaller than 6%. It was just interesting as an example that measures your tolerance for using imprecise language. Food for thought.



  • @joshuabrooks

    Please refrain from acting coy about this.

    Many parallels can be drawn between general attitude of the Chalice restriction and Trinisphere in March of 2005 which then rolled over to that of Lodestone.

    On another note, looking forward to this when I get home - the prior cast was great.


  • TMD Supporter

    @socialite said:

    @joshuabrooks

    Please refrain from acting coy about this.

    I wasn't trying to be coy, I genuinely was confused by your post and was interested in what you were trying to say. Fear-mongering from the Shops players (about the future of the format) or fear-mongering from the blue players (about what blue card is next)?

    I'm not trying to be witty or correct (got forbid a Magic player admits they might be wrong). I am genuinely curious.....



  • @joshuabrooks I think he's just expressing the general sentiment that anyone who complains about the restriction is doing so because they are afraid that their pet deck is now doomed Doomed DOOMED, and that (he contends) history shows this sentiment is not correct.



  • @joshuabrooks

    My apologies then, I assumed because these discussions have been so prevelant over the past few weeks that most could infer what I was alluding to.

    It essentially boils down to really disingenuous comments about the speed, health, and outside perspective of the format. For example the concept that aggro and mid range will disappear from the format because without Dredge and Workshops keeping people honest the format would devolve into a turn one variance fest. Said comments make a lot of really poor and baseless assumptions about the future of Workshops after restrictions.



  • Very interesting discussion. I must say, though, I agree with several of Kevin's points during the restriction data discussion and that I didn't feel Steven adequately addressed the issues raised.

    Steven's point that the Golem was a 'justified' restriction really demonstrates a weakness in the data analysis (not necessarily his own). Aggregate data is justified in some instances, but it is not necessary in this case. A good analysis of the variance would be a more reasonable approach, especially if, as Steven points out, there should be an aversion to any restriction. Kevin's point that the high variance should be questioned if it is being used to 'justify' a restriction is extremely valid. That Golem leads to non-interactivity is not really valid in my mind. There are two main reasons, #1) There are ultimately a lot of plays that can lead to non-interactivity in a Vintage game. #2) Golem is nowhere near the same level of non-interactivity that Trinisphere is/was. Again, if subjectivity like potential non-interactivity is part of the restriction equation, the list of cards which could 'justify' restriction increases.

    I think we need to be careful with the type of argument made between data and subjectivity. Data may justify a Golem restriction, but it really justifies a 'wait-and-see' more, unless you weight subjectivity. If you weight subjectivity, then Mentor or Gush must be analyzed. Not, obviously, because it lacks interactivity, but because both the data suggests it is the 'second' best deck and without #1, it has to go up...

    This plays out in the data both (a) prior to February and (b) after February. I'll post my reconstruction of the 2016 data under a separate title, but I think there are issues in accepting aggregate data as the best because 'it's what we've always done' and allowing any 'subjectivity' to 'justify' restrictions could lead to an unstable format. There is good data available which, if coupled with good analysis, can lead to good decisions.



  • Steve chooses his words very carefully. Saying something is "justified" doesn't mean he's saying it SHOULD be done, just that if it is, it's not without a basis.

    Anyway, we'll never get good data because the Vintage sample size is always going to be very small, comparatively speaking. It's always going to be subjective.



  • @MaximumCDawg said:

    Steve chooses his words very carefully. Saying something is "justified" doesn't mean he's saying it SHOULD be done, just that if it is, it's not without a basis.

    Yes, be very clear that Steve doesn't agree with the specific path that has been taken in terms of the restrictions of Chalice and Golem.

    Thanks, all, for listening and for your responses.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Stormanimagus "the stubbornness of blue pilots in running sufficient shop hate and effective shop hate, instead of adapting"... is a RIDICULOUSLY FLAWED argument. That has nothing to do with restrictions because there is no measurable metric. What you consider to be sufficient shop hate may not be what I consider sufficient. It's ALL based on opinion.

    @Smmenen is working on actual metrics.


  • TMD Supporter

    @socialite said:

    Generalization of an entire section of the playerbase is ignorance.
    The belief that individuals do not know how to tune Gush to beat Workshops is comical in 2016.

    I did it in 2012. I cannot agree more with your statement on Ignorance. It's downright infuriating that the Workshop Fans all just assume it's not a problem, but that we're just 'bad'.

    Sidenote: I never lost a match with RUG Delver against SHops in 2012.



  • I really appreciate the LSG discussion. I was hoping you'd elaborate a bit on your arguments though -- you centered almost entirely around data, when, as you said, there are more reasons than just data that go into deciding a restriction, Trinisphere being a salient example. What is your take on the other questions, principally those of interactivity and format/archetype diversity, that LSG raises? You touched on these but did not get into much detail.


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