Stuff I agree with, and other opinions: That stream was awesome man. I was watching both sides, you and the fellow who kept drawing Library T1 against you every game. That was so enjoyable. And even though you didn't get the better of the matchup, I think your deck was better than the short run results, and it was great to watch play. Thanks for doing it.
In general, if for no other reason than that I am a quibbly and unpleasant bastard, I feel compelled to say this about card evaluation. I agree with you that pretty much every card is different (ie. not functionally equivalent). I think that's why comparison is used so much. That's why I use it. (Why is bolt "good" and chain lightning "bad"? Because the one is just a hair better than the other. And nobody needs 5 bolts.) An ecosystemic analysis is good. It produces good results in terms of describing why some things see play and other don't. (I personally have a terrible instinct for what cards are "good" and what aren't. I test a lot, and I look at a lot of decklists and data, because when it comes to just eyeballing cards, I basically have a learning disability.)
That said. I'm not so into Antiquities War. I won't go into the reasons. I'm sure you've heard them all by now. I am into Damping Sphere. That one makes me think of an agro deck right away. I'm looking forward to what you come up with there.
I'm glad you enjoyed the stream. I actually appreciate when people take the time to express and explain differing points of view as in the end it helps me to understand both the belief I hold and what others believe. Or maybe we ware both quibbly and unpleasant.
The example of Lighting Bolt vs. Chain Lightning is a good example of when comparisons between cards is warranted. I'm not saying all use of comparisons is bad, but I think people overuse and misuse it. Bolt and Chain Lightning do pretty much the same thing - they are functionally equivalent. Most cards that are spoiled do not have functional equivalents, at least not the interesting ones. They tend to do new things, and when you compare them to other cards, you tend to lose sight of the novelty and end up explaining why comparisons see or don't see play.
My preferred approach is to ignore comparisons most of the time. Instead I try to focus on what a card does and then try to imagine it in the ideal shell. For instance, TAW in this 26 artifact, PO deck. Often times, the deck you construct falls to pieces or doesn't have much of a shot in current the metagame, and you can move on - If the card at its best isn't good enough, why look at it when it's sub-optimal? That's my rationale at least and I find it conducive to brewing new decks and exploring different approaches. Though sometimes you end up down the rabbit hole and need a good disagreement to pull you out.
About The Antiquities War, you are not alone in your skepticism. I'd say most people are pessimistic about the card from the people I've talked to. I will say that you don't really need to be "in" to just one card and if you like Damping Sphere perhaps you should look to TAW in your brews. Aggro decks can use DS to buy time to close out the game, and that's kinda the same thing as TAW, where you need 2 turns and then get to attack for 20.
@chubbyrain Not to get off topic here, but thanks for the reply. And again keep up the good work.
As for damping sphere, am I just way off in seeing it in some sort of fishy agro deck? It makes me want to play mana dorks and nonsense like merfolk. And it strikes me that an exceedingly underreported aspect of the card is that multiples stack on the second ability. I imagine something with 4 caverns in it and 4 dampings... But I'm probably wrong since I usually am.
I think my issue with the Antiquities war is somewhere at the intersection of its CMC, it's speed, and its shared weakness to similar strategies.
You mentioned it is weak to REB, which is of course true and relevant, but it is also weak to Hurkyls recall, Shattering Spree, Ancient Grudge, etc. It does not help shore up any weakness that this type of strategy was not already weak against, which is the primary reason those other strategies do not see play very often.
I also think comparing it to Tezz is fair, but unlike your comparison I think Tezz is still better, and that he just does not see play because there are other strategies people find to be better/more powerul. They both do very similar things but with a few variations. Tezz can draw you 2 artifacts in a row over 2 turns just like this card, but Tezz can also win you the game 1 turn after he hits the table with his ultimate unlike this which is on a fixed timer. Tezz can also make 5/5s 2 turns in a row and conceivably give you 15 power worth of swings by his second turn in play, which depending on how your opponent has fetched/used fastbond/Misstepped you can actually be a turn faster clock with the same strategy.
That being said, part of me believes that Tezzeret is criminally underplayed. He can be powered out super early, like turn 2, and if you had a solid draw sometimes win you the game on turn 3. I played him in affinity in legacy with Forces back in the day, and that deck would regularly drop him turn 2 on the play with the help of springleaf drum and opal put you in a position to flat out win turn 3. That is a format that does not even have true moxen, lotus, Academy, Ancestral, Timewalk, Sol ring, or Crypt.
@hierarchnoble I think the version I gave him could have better used and protected TAW. Chalice of the Void on 1 is particularly effective at stopping Pyroblast and there is just something cathartic about attacking with a 5/5 Chalice.
That variant has moved more towards Karn and PO and away from Damping Sphere and TAW, but I plan on revisiting those cards later in a deck that is more "prisony".
Edit: This isn't unusual. I often try to build multiple synergies and strategies into decks, then adjust based on how games play out. Turns out, Karn making multiple Marit Lage tokens is pretty good...