SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review

@fsecco

@FORCEOFNATURE This kind of generalization is the opposite of why a site like TMD matters. We're here to actually think through this kind of stuff.
Workshop is not Lotus because it takes a land drop; because it works in basically the only deck that can support it; AND because the kind of stuff it casts is WAY, WAY less agressively costed than the stuff Black Lotus casts. It you told me Workshop could cast 3 spells that had the power of Ancestral Recall, Time Walk or whatever per turn, THEN we could be talking about this. Not even Mana Vault and Dark Ritual are comparable, why would Workshop and Lotus. This may seem irrelevant to you, but it's a kind of thinking that leads to wrong B&R policy. Saying it's like Lotus, specially in a B&R context discussion, is counter-productive to understanding its actual place in the format.

I'm sorry, did you read anything I wrote?

I'm specifically talking about these quotes:

I was not directly comparing Lotus and Workshop, re-read my comment.
Again, I wasn't even directly comparing the two.

Moreover:

And @FORCEOFNATURE you should think fucking harder before calling other people stupid without even knowing them, thank you very much.

Can you please tell me where I called you, or anyone else, stupid? A quote would be nice. This is now the second time you have attempted to scold me for something I did not write.

This conversation has me pegging you at best confused about who is posting what, but to consistently write verbage like...

you should think fucking harder

If at best, you are trying to reply to @KingLeovold when he wrote "to say Black Lotus and Workshops couldn’t be more different is a laughably stupid comment", don't you think it's quite telling of some ironic projection? i.e. how can you tell someone to think harder when you can't post better? I would say replying to the correct person is a more basic task than understanding complex differences in the most played trading card game worldwide.

You're lecturing him about how he should never talk in a certain way, but no one can lecture you on how you talk, because when we take issue with:

they couldn't be more different.

your reply is "let's state the obvious: I clearly get why people compare the two cards, I'm not dense."

So apparently it's obvious that you meant something completely different than what you wrote. However, when @KingLeovold said that your argument was stupid... he meant you were stupid. Gotcha. I don't think calling your argument stupid and you stupid is the same thing. I've made stupid arguments before, but I'm not a stupid person. It's certainly not written as combative as you've made it.

I actually wrote earlier never mistake for malice what could be a misunderstanding, and I think you have both under the belt in spades here. Judge others by actions (real or imagined, in this case), and ourselves by intent much?

I think I am done replying to you. I have treated you with nothing but respect, and you have not afforded me the same luxury. You have literally completely ignored what I have written, put words in my mouth, and been downright vulgar and insulting.

I just wrote a post about how impressed I was with the community here on TMD, but if this is the average level of posting I should come to expect, I don't see a reason to continue using this forum.

EDIT: Added a paragraph about @KingLeovold

last edited by FORCEOFNATURE

Can you not report posts any more for moderation?

In any case, I think this conversation needs your attention @Brass-Man

(Not assigning fault or blame - just that this is getting intense in a deleterious way)

As I said I'm not engaging on this topic here anymore. If you guys want we can jump to the Aaron's tweet topic, no problem.

@FORCEOFNATURE You're totally right and deserve an apology. I was posting from my phone and probably clicked on the wrong "reply" button which generated the whole mess. It was directed at @KingLeovold. I don't care if you call the argument stupid or the person stupid: in my book it's flaming anyway and people should avoid it.
But I don't think you're giving my argument what it deserves, since I'm not even mentioning if Shops should or not be restricted, just discussing why you shouldn't compare it to Lotus in order to assess if it need to be or not. Anyway, if you want to keep this up I'll be glad to, but let's move topics.

EDIT: just discovered that topic is locked. We can talk privately inbox if any of you want, I'll be glad to talk more about this.

last edited by fsecco

@forceofnature Look, I thought about replying inbox to you but figured it would be nicer to write here to try and shine a brighter light on this issue. I was re-reading the whole thing and you're totally right. I'm sorry.

I guess I'm (was?) so used to people being obnoxious in this forum that I always assume a defensive position whenever I'm contested. I'm from a place where Vintage barely exists, but I've been playing solely Eternal formats since 2001 so I guess I get overly defensive when people think that because they don't know me I can't understand the simple logic of Shops/Lotus being compared.

The thing is that this forum here got WAY better in that sense in the last year or so. Things do get heated every once in a while but overall everyone seems more patient and willing to discuss things without flaming. Maybe that's why I'm so reactive to words like "stupid" and whatever, because they immediately trigger the "old TMD" response in me.

In this case I got a little bored of the old and tried argument of Shops being a reusable Lotus, which I think it's just unhelpful - but I should've been more patient with it like I know you "New TMD" folks are being. I'll try and be more receptive and change my perspective on this forum after being repeatedly bummed out by aggressiveness here (and in the old-old-TMD) for the last 10+ years. It's a mindset change that I guess Brass Man proposed here and mainly everyone got onboard and it's pretty healthy. So yeah, I can be more reasonable than that I guess.

@fsecco

Apology accepted, thank you for admitting wrong. I think it is one of the most difficult and respectable things you can do in life.

If I might interject my 2 pennies here are my thoughts:

  1. Mishra's Workshop isn't like a Black Lotus primarily because of the restriction on the type of spell it can assist in casting. Being able to use a Black Lotus for turn 1 Jaces, turn 1 Mentors, turn 1 Ancestral + Walk, Turn 1 Ancestral Snap Ancestral, Turn 1 Oath + Time Walk etc., etc., is on a whole other power level than the turn 1 Sphere or Turn 1 Ravager Sphere or even turn 1 Inspector + Mox + Sphere.

  2. The card pool for Workshops is far smaller as a result and thus the deck is restrictive in its design. Essentially this means that Workshop decks have access to 1/6th of the total card pool and have never really had access to a smooth draw engine to help fix draws. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on mulligans and early game sequences which blue players often forget to worry about because they have the draw-smoothing crutch known as preordain, not to mention the "blue stew" of everything else that preordain fuels. Let me put this another way. If magic was a game of poker and one player was always permitted to draw his/her aces after so many trade-ins would that player tend to win vs. the player that can't easily find his/her aces? Would it not then be a fair balancing mechanic to make the player with the handicap on finding aces have more consistency in finding other powerful hands like maybe a straight or a flush? So they wouldn't necessarily have 4 of a kind as often but their median hand power off the bat would perhaps be higher. Their upper limit on hand power would be lower in exchange for consistently better hands, but the first player, given enough draws would always find the 4 aces.

I realize that analogy is quite flawed, but I do think it illustrates my point a bit. What blue is capable of doing in Vintage is leagues above what other decks are capable of doing so there needs to be some sort of trade off for that. Shops needs the raw power of Mishra's Workshop or I fear it is just a lower tier deck that will lose to artifact hate every game (ie have zero resilience) and not be capable of many/any powerful openers. Don't get me wrong, Workshop decks could weather a restriction of the namesake card now better than they ever could have years ago, but that still doesn't mean they can. Anyone who has seen Workshop decks lose gloriously when drawing double Tomb openers can attest to this. The 2 damage from Tomb is highly relevant in almost every matchup and being able to only repeat tapping the same single Tomb over 2 of them and still dump your hand is often the difference between like 8 and 16 damage from Tombs alone over a relatively long game. If players understand that we start at 20 life in Vintage then it is pretty obvious why a scenario with double Tombs leads to a lot of game losses.

So those are some hypotheticals and anecdotal examples, which I realize are not data and statistics, but I think the data collection for Vintage is flawed anyway and that the paper meta really does NOT reflect in the online meta and vice versa. I hope this offers the forum an explanation of a perspective that I've held for quite some time now. Like, if folks would like I could do a thought experiment where we restrict workshop and still try to design the "best workshop deck" and then randomly generate hands and play some mock matches. I highly doubt the win rate will be good vs. the field. I can also show folks some damage totals from a typical double tomb opener.

-Storm

last edited by Stormanimagus

@stormanimagus

Hi! Thank you for long, well thought out reply.

I think now, however, is a good time to address something that I am seeing on this thread...

Is there something, anything at all, that I wrote that would indicate a comparision of Black Lotus to Mishra's Workshop?

I have had multiple posters respond to ME with regard to this argument.

I have, in fact, stated at least three times now that I never drew or intended to draw a comparison between the two cards, and in fact wrote multiple sentences and paragraphs explaining this point.

I was not directly comparing Lotus and Workshop, re-read my comment.
Again, I wasn't even directly comparing the two.

My initial comment, which was misread and sparked the discussion:

Mishra's Workshop is more like Lotus/Moxen than Bazaar/Misstep/Survival.

I went on to explain this sentence shortly after:

Dredge is an entirely different beast all together, in the sense that the deck so heavily relies on mulliganing to Bazaar. Shop decks, on the other hand, do not necessitate the card at all, just a combination of spells and mana sources, with which Workshop is just one of many tools the deck has access to. This is why I think Workshop is more similar to Lotus/Moxen than Bazaar/Survival/Misstep.

The primary reason I am writing this is because people are not interchangeable. I have made a completely different point than the Workshop vs. Lotus discussion this has turned into, so while your post is well reasoned, I am probably the last person you should be addressing.

I normally would think that it is my fault that this misunderstanding has occured, since if multiple people are all responding the same way, it is probably a problem with the initial statement. However, I have written many, many statements now that have seemingly gone ignored and I am not sure why my initial post is being responded to, yet none of my very many clarifications.

@forceofnature Hey, totally sorry, meant to hit reply and not "reply to you." My bad. And for clarity, what I'm responding to is actually the widely stated claim that Workshop is a "repeatable Black Lotus." This comes from my own personal experience and comments by the general Vintage elite. It actually has next to nothing to do you with your post. That just made me think of it is all.

last edited by Stormanimagus

@stormanimagus said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

If I might interject my 2 pennies here are my thoughts:

  1. Mishra's Workshop isn't like a Black Lotus primarily because of the restriction on the type of spell it can assist in casting. Being able to use a Black Lotus for turn 1 Jaces, turn 1 Mentors, turn 1 Ancestral + Walk, Turn 1 Ancestral Snap Ancestral, Turn 1 Oath + Time Walk etc., etc., is on a whole other power level than the turn 1 Sphere or Turn 1 Ravager Sphere or even turn 1 Inspector + Mox + Sphere.

  2. The card pool for Workshops is far smaller as a result and thus the deck is restrictive in its design. Essentially this means that Workshop decks have access to 1/6th of the total card pool and have never really had access to a smooth draw engine to help fix draws. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on mulligans and early game sequences which blue players often forget to worry about because they have the draw-smoothing crutch known as preordain, not to mention the "blue stew" of everything else that preordain fuels. Let me put this another way. If magic was a game of poker and one player was always permitted to draw his/her aces after so many trade-ins would that player tend to win vs. the player that can't easily find his/her aces? Would it not then be a fair balancing mechanic to make the player with the handicap on finding aces have more consistency in finding other powerful hands like maybe a straight or a flush? So they wouldn't necessarily have 4 of a kind as often but their median hand power off the bat would perhaps be higher. Their upper limit on hand power would be lower in exchange for consistently better hands, but the first player, given enough draws would always find the 4 aces.

Any analogy is going to be inherently flawed because if it was a 1:1 comparison it would not actually be an analogy.

It is still an apt comparison. Because blue can play a turn one Lotus into Jace with counter magic is not specifically less or more powerful than a turn one shops player dropping Workshop, Mox, Foundry Sphere because it is match up contingent. However what I will point out is that statistically shops has a much better chance of having plays like that off the opening hand than blue decks do because:

  • It has lotus and 4 workshops and to 5 (sometimes 6) moxen and academy and sol ring and crypt to actually make that happen where as blue decks need lotus or a specific moxen and a crypt (which really is the basis of the discussion in the first place right)
  • Shops not needing colored mana makes these cards more powerful, not less. Jace needing to be played off 2 blue does not make it more powerful than lodestone on the first turn, it is hugely debatable and really a function of who is on the play and the opening 7. The fact that lotus makes colored mana is only more powerful to a deck that can use it, where as a deck that does not need it is just fine with have cards that are less powerful in a void but substantially more powerful in context and unrestricted.

Shops is only a "repeatable lotus" in decks that use it, but why would you discuss a card outside of where it would be used? Dredge does not give a damn about either card but we still talk about how powerful lotus is right?

@protoaddct if you want the picture to be more whole, you must also take in account the fact that blue and shop decks have a very different average casting cost.
Statistics could be done about all this (mana available in opening hands, ...) It would be tedious computation and i am not really sure what is the point to this comparaison.

last edited by albarkhane

@albarkhane said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

@protoaddct if you want the picture to be more whole, you must also take in account the fact that blue and shop decks have a very different average casting cost.
Statistics could be done about all this (mana available in opening hands, ...) It would be tedious computation and i am not really sure what is the point to this comparaison.

I mean, in a sense that is exactly what we are arguing right? If Workshops merits being on the restricted list then there will be some level of statistical analysis and data to back up the decision right? At least that much is expected, as opposed to Aarons casual dismissal of metrics and generalization about the card being a pillar which cannot be touched.

That being said, this leads us down this path of some people demanding proof far beyond the burden we are equipped to give with our analytical tools or data access. We simply do not have the computational power to look at every possible opening hand, every mulligan, and every iteration of the deck and sideboard to determine if the deck mathematically hits some threshold of "better opening hands" than another list. So instead we rely on heuristics, such as things like how many multimana sources do we have, etc.

I also am not particularly fond of the heuristic of average CMC in these contexts. You are never paying "average mana" in the game, only full costs. Land counts being different affect this number, and it does not factor in color requirements, which once again shops does not suffer from at all (but other decks do). Mana reduction costs also need to factor in, be it from forces of will or mental misstep or foundry inspector, which then has interactions with spheres that you have to calculate as well. Paying for your cards is an all or nothing proposition in game (usually) so either you have it or you don't. I am not saying it is a useless metric, but it is a small factor.

What we do know is this. If there was a blue land that tapped for 3 blue mana that could only be spent on instants or sorceries we would not be having this conversation right? Even though that land is arguably more restricted in what it can pay for than even shops. If that land tapped for only 2 blue mana. Or 1 blue and 1 colorless, do we have any expectation that it would not have been restricted already? Hell if that land was 2 white mana that could only be spent on creatures it would be restricted. I think a strong case could even be made for a land that tapped for w1 that could only be spent on enchantments might actually be too much.

Edit: Typos, I should stop posting from the phone.

last edited by Protoaddict

@protoaddct if that land (generating WW or 1W) could only be used to cast white creatures, would it really be restricted? Or would we be glad we had another prisony archetype to compete with shops?
I mean, supose this "white Ancient Tomb" did exist. See what I did there? Just called it a white Ancient Tomb because it helps me categorize it. But is that useful to discussing the card? Because they cast vastly different cards. What this comparison gets wrong is it doesn't help me evaluate what that card can do to the meta or not. Or even what it can do to the format. It's WAY more restrictive than Tomb, but also probably way better than Tomb in the deck(s) that play it - or else they wouldn't play it. That's the thing about comparing cards in order to decide B&R policies. They aren't comparable ever because they are not alike.

Anyway, this subject fascinates me because I feel we have a lot of misconceptions when evaluating cards. Clearing those misconceptions out makes for better future B&R community discussions and DCI decisions too (since Aaron himself admitted they base themselves a lot in the eternal community).

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

@protoaddct if that land (generating WW or 1W) could only be used to cast white creatures would it really be restricted? Or would we be glad we had another prisony archetype to compete with shops?
I mean, supose this "white Ancient Tomb" did exist. See what I did there? Just called it a white Ancient Tomb because it helps me categorize it. But is that useful to discussing the card? Because they cast vastly different cards. What this comparison gets wrong is it doesn't help me evaluate what that card can do to the meta or not. Or even what it can do to the format. It's WAY more restrictive than Tomb, but also probably way better than Tomb in the deck(s) that play it - or else they wouldn't play it.

That the thing about comparing cards in order to decide B&R policies. They aren't comparable ever because they are not alike. Anyway this subject fascinates me because I feel we have a lot of misconcepts when evaluating cards and clearing them out makes for better future B&R community discussions and DCI decisions too (since Aaron himself admitted they base themselves a lot in the eternal community).

People would call it the "white sol land" though, and I doubt anyone would flinch, because we all inherently get it and it is more apt than saying it is 2 plains glued together. That all falls to the same fallacy you are proposing and is still not problematic as a heuristic or a linguistic shortcut. Every single card in the game is subject to relativity, and you only ever evaluate them based on what they can do in context, not what they could do if they were different. Every single true mox is technically different and enables a totally separate pool of cards, however we have to evaluate them together not only because of how they interact with each other (same with workshops and lotus for instance) but because we need that heuristic thinking because otherwise we may have seen every mox on the restricted list except pearl because white was not as strong as the other colors, which would be stupid.

Regardless of if people call it the lotus land or not, people are judging it based on results first and foremost, and then because it is the topic of conversation coming up with a similar thing to relate it to. Lotus is in this context a similar thing in that it produces 3 mana that can be used to cast the things in your deck.

All that being said:

Interesting thought experiment came up tonight in thinking about this opening hand permutation thing.

Now we all know redundancy leads to consistency, which is where the issue with Shops lies. And I think it is possible, however unlikely, to take a stock 60 card list from a shops deck and run permutations on it to determine what every possible opening hand is (1946482876800 is the number of 7 hand size combinations in a 60 card deck, assuming every card is unique. If you filter for cards at 4x and the true moxen as 5x you can get the number down substantially.). Shops is somewhat unique compared to other decks in the format since it does not have any manipulation it the list, so where as with a blue deck where having a brainstorm and 1 blue mana source in your opening hand can make an unkeepable hand keepable, meaning you have to reevaluate like 11% of the results, shops does not suffer this complexity.

So if you ran the permutations, then removed every instance where you had no mana sources, every instance where you had only mana sources, and every instance where you had 1 mana source and no cards that can be cast with it on the first turn (I think this is the defacto standard for unkeepable right) you may actually get to a point where you can see, at least generally how many hands fall into the range of keepable, because you can discount things that we know are unkeepable. There may even be more you can discount, it's to late for me to figure out.

Why do I mention any of this? 2 reasons:

1 - I'm starting to come around to believing it is mathematically possible to figure this out with a script of some kind. Would be a fun thing to do from someone who is better with coding and math than I am.
2 - No other card on the banned list has had to go through this absurd level of scrutiny to determine if it needed to be banned or not. Shop decks because they are so redundant lend themselves to the actual analysis we wish we could do on other decks. I literally think we can get to an answer here. The issue then becomes we have absolutely nothing to compare it to. if we actually knew shops had a 74% keepable opening 7 or something like that, how could we ever say it was better or worse than an oath hand where we can never run the actual numbers.

@protoaddct I know it would be called white sol land. My point isn't the nickname, but the widespread notion that Shops should be restricted because "it's a reusable Lotus". That why I said I understand calling it that (in a nickname kinda way), but also said we should stop doing that while evaluating the card's power, influence and restrictability. Gaea's Cradle is the green Academy, but calling it that doesn't helps us one bit in evaluating if Cradle should be restricted or not.

About the numbers experiment, I'm all for doing that, since I love decisions backed up by data. But I also think Big Data can't be taken for granted when making decisions. There are several things that should be considered in order to manage B&R lists and data should be just one of them. I kinda like Aaron saying "degenerate stuff needs a place to live".

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

@protoaddct I know it would be called white sol land. My point isn't the nickname, but the widespread notion that Shops should be restricted because "it's a reusable Lotus". That why I said I understand calling it that (in a nickname kinda way), but also said we should stop doing that while evaluating the card's power, influence and restrictability. Gaea's Cradle is the green Academy, but calling it that doesn't helps us one bit in evaluating if Cradle should be restricted or not.

So here is where I think your whole premise is false. This is a bit of a chicken and egg argument but I posit this statement:

People did not come to the conclusion that shops should be restricted because they compared it to lotus. They compared it to lotus because they thought it should be restricted.

Your whole argument is based on people having their option influenced because of lotus and therefor having a tainted opinion in that regard. I feel that could not be further from the case and that people are actively judging the card on its merits and then looking at the restricted list for comparable precedent for a restriction. If you were going to compare shops to any card on the restricted list, I think lotus is probably the most fair out of what is available.

And I have heard people call Gaea's Cradle the blue academy. I have heard people call cabal coffers the black cradle as well. None of those things really seem that off base when you understand that a comparison can be hyperbolic.

@protoaddct

About Aaron post, i am happy that Wizard decided something. I think a choice (which ever) is best that no choice here. On the other hand, i am not very happy about the way it was told and what was used to backup that choice.
About my post and your answer, maybe i should have said "mana curve" instead of "average casting cost". My point was, if we want to be fair we must also consider that fact that 3 mana in opening hand is not the same when most of your spells cost 1-2 mana or when most of them cost 2-3 mana. Basically i agreed with what you said, just adding something for fairness.
About the computation, that is more or less what i had in mind. I am not sure if it is really usefull to do that but the scientist in me is a bit curious about that now. I am far from being a statistical expert but i will have a look to see if i can compute something simple but significant enough.

last edited by albarkhane

(thanks for getting this conversation back on track without any mod intervention. It makes my old brass heart happy)

@brass-man

Is it cool if I, or someone with even greater powers than I, make a new thread about this and copy/paste all the stuff above there? I feel like this is off-topic, but really good discussion.

@forceofnature absolutely feel free to make a new thread of you think the topic is sufficiently different. I don't completely trust the built in "fork thread" functionality at the moment, so manually copying might be the best way to go

@protoaddct said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

@fsecco said in SMIP Podcast # 78: Dominaria Vintage Set Review:

@protoaddct I know it would be called white sol land. My point isn't the nickname, but the widespread notion that Shops should be restricted because "it's a reusable Lotus". That why I said I understand calling it that (in a nickname kinda way), but also said we should stop doing that while evaluating the card's power, influence and restrictability. Gaea's Cradle is the green Academy, but calling it that doesn't helps us one bit in evaluating if Cradle should be restricted or not.

So here is where I think your whole premise is false. This is a bit of a chicken and egg argument but I posit this statement:

People did not come to the conclusion that shops should be restricted because they compared it to lotus. They compared it to lotus because they thought it should be restricted.

Your whole argument is based on people having their option influenced because of lotus and therefor having a tainted opinion in that regard. I feel that could not be further from the case and that people are actively judging the card on its merits and then looking at the restricted list for comparable precedent for a restriction. If you were going to compare shops to any card on the restricted list, I think lotus is probably the most fair out of what is available.

And I have heard people call Gaea's Cradle the blue academy. I have heard people call cabal coffers the black cradle as well. None of those things really seem that off base when you understand that a comparison can be hyperbolic.

I think we just disagree then. I believe looking for comparison in the B&R list is a terrible way of judging how a card should be handled. You can look at the 1 mana tutors for that and see that a bunch of them don't deserve restriction while others do, for example.

And I also believe that reasonable people do think Shops restriction has merits, and maybe it does. But you hear around and in forums and Facebook and Twitter and whatever that people DO think of B&R lists by comparing cards and do use arguments like that. And I think that's unhealthy.

I agree with you though that's a chicken and egg situation and that's why I think it's important to stop using that argument whatsoever. I don't really know what came first, but my point is actually that it doesn't matter. Even if people compared it to Lotus after thinking it should be restricted, the argument does nothing to help realize it's place in the format/meta. It's a bad way of thinking about the card, that's just it imo.

last edited by fsecco
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