Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop


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    Which B&R list do you think makes for a better format?

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    My restricted list would unrestrict Fastbond, Probe, and Windfall, and restrict Ravager, while unbanning Shahrazad.

    As best I could, I used Brian's statements in this forum to construct his B&R list. It has many more banned and restricted cards (including Grave-Troll, Serum Powder, Show and Tell, Preordain, Dack Fayden, etc), but might not even be complete, as he said he might be willing to restrict Dark Ritual, Key, Dark Depths, and Oath, if Misstep were restricted.

    Now, quite obviously, the list that makes the 'better' format depends on what you value most. If you are really looking for a very high ratio of games that aren't blow outs - and you are willing to privilege that over the diversity, composition and competitive balance of the format, than maybe Brian's B&R list is the best way to go.

    But in my view, that's wrong. Vintage is the last place where you can play with all of the cards, and the deepest value of the format is allowing players to do that to the maximum extent possible while maintaining the competitive balance of the format.

    The ideal format lies at the upper right quadrant of this graph:

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    But on these two axes, I would prefer point A to point B, and it seems quite apparent to me at least, that Brian would prefer point B, as between those two points.

    The fundamental problem I have with restrictions that aren't targeted at a dominant deck - or even the best deck - is that they have a tendency to reduce the diversity of the field.

    @wfain doesn't believe that. But it's just math:

    Suppose the Vintage metagame is composed as follows:

    40% Deck A
    20% Deck B
    20% Deck C
    10% Deck D
    5% Deck E
    5% Decks F, G, and H combined.

    If we restrict Deck A, does the metagame become more or less diverse? What about Deck D? It's obviously hard to know without understanding the underlying predator-prey relationships (like in a Rock-Paper-Scissors), but restricting deck A has an undeniable mathmatical effect, assuming it kills that deck.

    The metagame share enjoyed by Deck A can't disappear into the ether. It has to go somewhere. Unless Deck B or Deck C swallows up that entire share (extremely unlikely), restricting Deck A will diversify the format. But the same cannot be said for Deck D or Deck E. You restrict those decks, and most of their metagame share is more likely to be gobbled up by the decks above them than below them.

    This is math and it's also how magic metagames - and frankly sectorial economics - works. If Lyft were banned tomorrow, Uber would pick up a nontrival % of that market hare. Or, if AT&T were banned tomorrow, the other big 3 cell providers would pick up a good chunk of that that market share, not the companies below them in size.

    Sure, we can't know with perfect certainty, but the most probable outcome is the one I sketched. If you think about it and contemplate what I'm saying without trying to actually argue the point for a moment, and consider the analogy I just made to cell companies and ride share market share, I think you'd agree. It's just inductive mathmatical logic.

    Here are the metagame shares of Top 8s in Vintage Challenges for the first 6 months of 2018:

    23% Shops
    17% PO
    17% Jeskai Mentor & other Tx decks
    10% Oath
    13% Dredge
    8% BUG(r)
    2% Eldrazi
    2% DPS
    2% Landstill
    6% Other

    Would the restriction of Bazaar of Baghdad make this metagame more or less diverse? Since Dredge does not predominate, it would almost certainly reduce the strategic diversity in the metagame. This is why restrictions not based on predominance tend to reduce strategic diversity.

    @wfain said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    @vaughnbros said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    maintains the highest % of the metagame according to mtgtop8

    Sure. That doesn't actually make it best though, right? Isn't best inherently a nebulous and undefinable value judgement, especially in such an inbred format?

    Uh, no. It's not 'inherently nebulous.' There is a well defined consensus on this issue. I mean, have you seen the metagame reports over the years? The fact that you seem to have no insight into this issue - suggesting that 'best' is just a 'value judgment' shows how little you seem to be versed in the vernacular of these conversations. There are literally entire threads on this forum devoted to which metrics are the best performance metric.

    See e.g. http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/458/best-worst-performance-measures

    The current consensus is that "Win Percentage" is the best metric, but it's very labor intensive and difficult to calculate. The last event for which we have win % rates are the March Vintage Challenges, here: http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1850/vintage-challenges-march-2018

    After that, Top 8 penetration is the most widely accepted measure of performance. I maintain a large spreadsheet that tracks this. At the moment, Shops has by far the largest Top 8 penetration, and has all year.

    The DCI also endorses this approach. See: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/august-28-2017-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2017-08-28

    Here's what Ian Duke said on behalf of the DCI:

    alt text

    The fact that you are contesting whether Top 8 % is actually a good measure of best deck just shows you frankly ignorant you are about the terms of these debates, and why it is so insanely frustrating to try to talk to you about them. These conversations have been occurring literally over decades.

    See: http://themanadrain.com/topic/138/vintage-metagame-data-archive

    And see, for one example, this article from 2004: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/9769_April_Type_One_Metagame_Breakdown.html

    In summary, the Vintage Community and the DCI have been using Top 8 % for literally decades as the best readily available measure - albeit imperfect - of performance.

    Questions like the one you just asked aren't just annoying, they are so long-ago settled that it's impossible to actually address without derailing threads among people who share a set of assumptions and knowledge that you quite obviously lack.

    That doesn't mean that everyone here thinks that Shops is the best deck. PO isn't tremendously behind Shops in terms of Top 8 representation, depending on the month. And any of the decks in the top 3-4 of Top 8 representation may generally have a plausible argument to being the best, in the absence of win percentage data.

    But if you look at the data, it's quite obvious that Shops has been the best performing deck over the course of 2018. It's won the most Vintage Challenges (24% out of 33 so far), has the highest Top 8 % (23% in the first half of 2018, and 28% in July), has the highest (known) win percentage (55%), and has the most major tournament victories (so far).

    If there is a quantifiable metric by which Shops isn't the best deck, I'm not aware of it.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    In that regard, I view the DCI as essentially the Federal Trade Commission - an anti-trust and fair competition regulator.

    I find you an advocate [that restriction] should only be used under the most dire of circumstances in order to trust-bust a monoploy (or an over-powered, over-represented strategy) and open up the economy (or metagame) to competitors, while @brianpk80 would prefer to use regulation (restriction) before a monopoly takes root to maintain an open economy. So, I'll stick with my analogy, and I'll continue to not be confused by it, thanks.

    That's not even the issue. You don't even understand the terms of the debate in the most basic sense. Brian isn't trying to root out monopolies, proactively or after-the-fact. His concern is the quality of game play. There are certain tactics and strategies he finds fundamentally unacceptable in terms of how they play out on the battlefield. He doesn't view the DCI's management regime in terms of anti-trust at all. The anti-trust analogy is orthogonal to his concerns. The fact that you don't understand this, again, just shows how fundamentally don't really understand what we are talking about.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Would the restriction of Bazaar of Baghdad make this metagame more or less diverse? Since Dredge does not predominate, it would almost certainly reduce the strategic diversity in the metagame.

    This is exactly the sort of statement of opinion masquerading as fact that I'm talking about. You present your assumption with some numbers and thereby assume it is fact. It is not. You simply do not know what would happen if Bazaar were restricted (leaving alone the fact that Brian hasn't advocated such a move anyhow). Maybe you're right, nothing else would change aside from Dredge becoming virtually unplayble. But it is impossible to know for sure without the control group (in this case an identical alternate universe without restricting Bazaar). I'll even submit that you are very likely correct that restricting Bazaar would decrease diversity but truly logical thought doesn't present suppositions as facts. You don't allow that you might be wrong about all of this. That's where I have a problem. That's what I'm trying (apparently in vain) to point out.

    Your paragraph here is so problematic on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start the incision.

    I suppose I'll start here: one way of interpreting your paragraph is that we can't know anything about the future of Vintage. But if that were true, then we couldn't predict what the metagame is going to look like at a tournament next week or how a new card will perform. Yet, there is a long record of prediction on both counts, and I've been pretty successful at both. That's because we have reams and reams of data.

    Your training as a historian is not particularly helpful here. Vintage metagames aren't like elections or GDP figures, which can be very unpredictable. They are a function of the card pool, B&R policy, and past metagames. Human history veers in unexpected directions. Vintage metagames generally don't.

    Take a look at this year in the Vintage Challenge results. There a few outliers, but if you study the month over month results, the metagames and future results are pretty predictable.

    Vintage metagames very rarely undergo radical, unanticipated shifts. They are extremely slow moving creatures that oscillate well within predictable patterns, restrictions and new card printings being the major external precipitant of change.

    Again, look at the spreadsheet I just linked. If you look at the patterns, there are unpredictable oscillations within very predictable broad stroke patterns. It's not actually that difficult to predict what the Vintage metagame would look like if you changed any given component.

    For example, we know that PO is good against Shops, and Jeskai is one of PO's weakest matchups. (BTW, we know this because we can actually look at match-level results in analysis like this - PO in March had a 41% win percentage versus Xerox decks)). If we know these relationships, then when a restriction occurs, we can fairly accurately predict how that restriction will play out in the metagame.

    That's why when Gush was restricted, I made predictions, on this forum, exactly what % of Shops and Mentor would be in the Top 8, and I was correct within plus/minus 5%. It's not actually that hard.

    If you understand the relationships between the decks in the metagame, and know the underlying data, then you can get pretty close to an accurate prediction of how a restriction will or will not affect the metagame.

    Think about it for a moment: if we couldn't predict at all what a restriction would do, then the DCI wouldn't actually restrict cards to curb dominant decks. After all, if they weren't confident that a restriction would rein a deck in, then there would be no reason to restrict it! So, your entire rant here makes little sense.

    In more technical terms, it's called inductive logic. Inductive logic is probabilistic. In the scenario I presented, which was:

    Here are the metagame shares of Top 8s in Vintage Challenges for the first 6 months of 2018:

    23% Shops

    17% PO

    17% Jeskai Mentor & other Tx decks

    10% Oath

    13% Dredge

    8% BUG(r)

    2% Eldrazi

    2% DPS

    2% Landstill

    6% Other

    Would the restriction of Bazaar of Baghdad make this metagame more or less diverse?

    Anyone who has studied this format for even a little while can make a highly accurate guess as to what will happen. I'm asking you: what do you think would happen? Do you think that Bazaar's restriction would make the format more or less diverse?

    If you think it would make it less diverse, then you've proven my point, that restrictions that aren't targeting a dominant deck actually reduce the diversity of the format. But this was a statement that you loudly contested.

    It's not actually that controversial. It's just math and inductive logic. Sure, we can't know it with 100% certainty (but the uncertainty principle prevents us from knowing things with 100% certainty anyway). But within broad strokes, the effects of restrictions are predictable, especially within the first 6 months.

    Again, see my analogy to AT&T and cell companies or Lyft & Uber. Taking companies out of the market that aren't dominant tends to move their market share to the bigger rivals, not the smaller companies.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    I am super explicit about my values, starting premises and assumptions... But I am trying to demonstrate the costs of alternative preference sets.

    You just happen to be doing so without acknowledging that your presentation is supposition, not settled fact.

    If you understand what I was saying, then you'd realize that my premise isn't a fact, and I've never claimed that it's a fact. It's a value. Values aren't facts, and aren't amenable to truth or falsity analysis.

    I've been super clear about this. As I wrote in my article:

    In my view the goal of any policymaker should be to balance the goal of allowing players to play with as many cards and in maximal quantities as possible with the equally important goal of promoting and enhancing strategic diversity.

    Not everyone will shares those two goals. That's fine. As I said, Brian places a higher value on the quality of play, as he sees it.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    But it's my job as a format historian to point out the problems with such arguments

    Are you an historian, though?

    I wrote 800 pages on the history of Vintage (about 30 pages plus several pages of endnotes per chapter for 25 years). You are welcome to read them: http://www.eternalcentral.com/tag/history-of-vintage/

    I think it would greatly expand your knowledge of the format (or anyones, for that matter). In fact, I'd appreciate your feedback.

    And that's on top of the 350 or so strategy articles I've written on the format since 2002.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Your position is seductive, just like the siren call of nationalism we see around the world. I feel that my position and preference for a smaller restricted list and using restriction as a last resort was hard won, like democracy, but is now in danger of backsliding.

    Now who was telling whom not use flimsy and intentionally narrow political analogies? Here again, your approach denotes that you are on the objective/factual/moral side of a binary and Brian is on tfhe subjective/counterfactual/immoral side. Further, by attaching Brian's ideas to those of resurgent xenophobic nationalism in the western world you are not so subtly debasing everything he thinks/writes/claims as backwards, already litigated nonsense and positioning yourself as the vanguard defender of truth, justice, and the American way. C'mon. That's roguishly disingenuous.

    Apparently, my parody of your earlier analogy went over your head. Since I told Brian how annoying and problematic the pejorative analogy of being labeled "neo-liberal" was, I suspect Brian recognized my tongue-in-cheek simile here, which partly sought to illustrate that point.



  • I think I would enjoy playing Vintage more using the list you believe that Brian would recommend.



  • @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    if we couldn't predict at all what a restriction would do

    This isn't what I'm talking about. Its never been what I was talking about. Of course you can predict. You're very good at it. I'm aware of that. You can't know until after the fact. Predicting (even doing it well) and knowing are not the same thing. One is a guess, one is not. My problem is you don't even acknowledge that your guesses, good as they often are, remain guesses until events unfold. That doesn't mean you knew ahead of time, it means you predicted. When I rant, as you so callously put it, that you can't know what you're pretending to know, about what would've happened in the past, or what might yet happen in the future it's because... well... you can't. And yet, Brian's belief that things could've been different in the past if the positions you've advocated were followed is treated with derision instead of with curiosity. You appear to pretend to know fully both why he thinks differently and that his thinking is totally wrong instead of engaging with the thought-process in the first place.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    For example, we know that PO is good against Shops, and Jeskai is one of PO's weakest matchups. (BTW, we know this because we can actually look at match-level results in analysis like this - PO in March had a 41% win percentage versus Xerox decks)). If we know these relationships, then when a restriction occurs, we can fairly accurately predict how that restriction will play out in the metagame.

    This is a useful way of making a prediction and I'm sure why you're often correct when you do. I do not dispute that in the slightest. I dispute that you know what is correct before it happens. As I said, you may have a very well educated guess, but something different could occur and, more to my point- it is not possible to know what would've occurred had something else happened. You could guess, and well I'm sure, based on all of your knowledge and understanding, but the plausibility of some unknown sequence that could've dramatically altered the outcome remains. Maybe you're right that all those restrictions so many years ago stopped tons of people playing tons of decks, I'll even grant a deferentially high-degree of probability that you are, but the alternative is also possible. Had those restrictions not been made some butterfly could've flapped its little wings during a Chaos Orb flip and who knows what may have been? You don't even acknowledge that possibility, that line of thinking. You're just right and I'm just wrong. I suppose that's what makes you really good at your job and it is probably wishful thinking on my part to believe you could approach these as immersive conversations rather than binary debates.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Sure, we can't know with perfect certainty, but the most probable outcome is the one I sketched. If you think about it and contemplate what I'm saying without trying to actually argue the point for a moment, and consider the analogy I just made to cell companies and ride share market share, I think you'd agree. It's just inductive mathmatical logic.

    Yes, I agree. You're prediction is likely to be correct. That doesn't mean thinking through the alternative outcomes is invalid or irrelevant. That's what I'm interested in. That's where interesting information can be gained, new ideas formed. I'm asking you not to approach this as a logical debate you should win, but as a conversation. Perhaps I haven't been clear in that, perhaps I have and it's been missed, I'm not sure. Either way- that's all I'm trying to accomplish. A constructive recommendation not to approach these as debates but rather as a chance to think differently, even if that thinking is unlikely to produce a statistically probable outcome. I have a hard time believing people learn when they approach everything as right/wrong or win/lose binaries. In many cases, to quote my favorite grand master, "you must unlearn what you have learned." In composing your B&R chart in Brian's shoes you've already taken the first step, follow that trail and see where it leads without your preconceptions (no matter how well founded they are). You're likely to gain insight from so doing (as are we all because I'm sure you'll share!).

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    I wrote 800 pages on the history of Vintage (about 30 pages plus several pages of endnotes per chapter for 25 years). You are welcome to read them: http://www.eternalcentral.com/tag/history-of-vintage/
    I think it would greatly expand your knowledge of the format (or anyones, for that matter). In fact, I'd appreciate your feedback.

    I have read quite a lot of them, in point of fact, and I'm trying to give you my feedback for however many posts now, though it doesn't necessarily apply explicitly to what you've published. That feedback is- it seems to me you take your internal logic and suppositions as well-established factual or nearly factual principles from which to operate and of which to defend, when it might be beneficial to you, and indeed to all of us, to leave them out (or more likely just suspend certainty in your own approach occasionally) in order to explore a different set of suppositions and the internal logic of the same. If you're constantly comparing these different ideas to your own, well-established ones you're always going to find them lacking because, as Hobbes writes, "such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they see their own wit at hand and other men's at a distance."

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Apparently, my parody of your earlier analogy went over your head.

    Apparently my parody of your parody of my earlier analogy went over your head ๐Ÿ˜ .

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Since I told Brian how annoying and problematic the pejorative analogy of being labeled "neo-liberal" was, I suspect Brian recognized my tongue-in-cheek simile here, which partly sought to illustrate that point.

    I did not intend it as a pejorative. Just that it seemed to serve in this particular small case. I may not have chosen such an analogy if I knew you more personally and knew you'd take it that way. I apologize. As to the original analogy, I could've been more clear when I wrote "[Brian] would prefer to use regulation (restriction) before a monopoly takes root to maintain an open economy." Namely in parenthesizing next to monopoly, game-play experiences, since you and he differ initially on what requires regulation. For you monopoly appears more closely related to metagame-share + win %, while for Brian it is likely more related to common play experience + metagame-share. Perhaps not the precision you demand in an analogy, but I don't think it is outside the realm of worthwhile.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Anyone who has studied this format for even a little while can make a highly accurate guess as to what will happen. I'm asking you: what do you think would happen? Do you think that Bazaar's restriction would make the format more or less diverse?
    If you think it would make it less diverse, then you've proven my point, that restrictions that aren't targeting a dominant deck actually reduce the diversity of the format. But this was a statement that you loudly contested.

    I contest the statement as a point of fact. As a denial that other possibilities exist. I don't contest that it is probably accurate. I simply believe that since we cannot know for certain what will occur, but only what is likely to occur (which you're very good at), it is beneficial to approach the idea from other angles in addition to the most likely. That's what I hope people are willing to do, not simply to shout it down because it isn't what they expect to happen. You expect Brian's ideas to negatively impact the number of decks or schools of decks people can reasonably expect to play competitively. You may well be correct in that expectation. You have data to support your expectation. That's all fine and great. My question for you is did you consider the alternatives to your expectation? Did you attempt to follow those alternatives logically to their conclusions. What did you see? Did you see any possibility that after some initial stagnation the format may open up dramatically? Did you see any possibility that Vintage could move more towards the combat-step (and thus more closely align with the more popular formats [I freely admit accessibility likely plays a much more significant role in the popularity of Modern compared to Vintage]) and thereby increase its popularity which might breathe new life and new blood into the format, further increasing its diversity? If you did see any of those possibilities, how did you arrive at them? What steps did you follow? Do those steps align with those Brian advocates or would you have to diverge from that path significantly in order to arrive there? That's the kind of stuff you could do, and probably better than a lot of us. That's what I'm hoping for in lieu of "blah, blah, blah, Brian is wrong, numbers, numbers, numbers, why don't you people understand? Here's my thought-process, which is correct, as has been proven by my multitudinous correct predictions in the past and doubtless will be again in the future, and also you'd know all of this already if you read my eleventy-dozen-and-one strategy articles and complete, unabridged, and less assailable collections of the history of Magic." Maybe you just don't want to do that? I don't know. But that's what I've been on about anyhow.


  • TMD Supporter

    @wfain said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    if we couldn't predict at all what a restriction would do

    This isn't what I'm talking about. Its never been what I was talking about. Of course you can predict. You're very good at it. I'm aware of that. You can't know until after the fact. Predicting (even doing it well) and knowing are not the same thing.

    What do you think knowledge is?

    Suppose I pour a can of gasoline onto a stack of dry wood, and then hold a match above it. According to your logic, I can't know the result until I actually drop the match and see what happens.

    Or, if I aim an egg off a 10 story balcony without any tricks or aid, I can't "know" whether it will break until I actually do it.

    Or, if I give you a measles vaccine shot, I can't "know" that you won't get the measles.

    That is a ridiculous ontological position.

    It suffices to know the mechanisms in each case, chemistry, gravity, and immunology, even if the outcome is not 100% certain. That's because most knowledge is known only within degrees of certainty. Your position implies that knowledge only counts as such with 100% certainty - and with the benefit of hindsight.

    Science does not require that level of proof. That is why social science and statistics provides things like confidence intervals, p-values, etc. Scientific proof is far less than your standard for what constitutes knowledge.

    Even in law, there are different standards, such as: "beyond a reasonable doubt" compared to "preponderance of evidence," which is used in civil proceedings. Both, by the way, are far less than your standard.

    We "know" because we understand the relationships between things. Chemical reactions are known to a degree or certainty, but not with perfect certainty. That knowledge is then used to compute or predict outcomes in varying circumstances.

    You are redefining "knowledge" here in a narrower way than is used by almost any science than I am aware of, let alone law.

    My problem is you don't even acknowledge that your guesses, good as they often are, remain guesses until events unfold. That doesn't mean you knew ahead of time, it means you predicted.

    I have a jar with 999 red balls and 1 white ball. I pull a ball from the jar, predicting it will be red. According to you, that's just a "guess."

    In actuality is it both probability and inductive logic. And it counts as knowledge. Scientists actually use inductive logic all of the time.

    Your standard for knowledge is not reasonable or used in any scientific field. That's why scientific journals accept studies with results that are less than 100% perfect certainty, including the federal government like the FDA.

    More generally, the uncertainty principle limits our ability to even know all things anyway (the gedanken experiment with location/momentum, etc.), so your standard is unreasonable even for the most hard of sciences.

    This is all getting off topic and increasingly tangential. Let's return to the claim which you take so great issue with, which started this sub- debate:

    "Restrictions targeting non-predominant decks reduce metagame compositional diversity." (my actual phrasing was " [those restrictions takes] away deck options from players, unnecessarily, and reduces the strategic diversity of the format."

    I make this claim not as a claim of absolute, deductive logic, but rather as a general principle of inductive logic that has a tendency to be true. I'm sorry you misunderstood, or I wasn't clear enough. But I work in the real world, where statements are understood in those terms (inductively, not deductively).

    And, I've tried - through multiple analogies and examples - to illustrate it, but you've entirely brushed them off rather than appearing to read them and engage them.

    To reiterate: Take a look at the wireless phone service, which is dominated by four companies: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. If one of those companies were to go bankrupt or 'Banned," what happens to their market share? In the main, the larger companies would absorb more than upstarts below. That doesn't mean it's impossible for a small company to fill the breach, and take some or most of the market share left by the bankrupt company, but that's not the tendency.

    That's why restrictions that target top dogs are diversity enhancing in magic formats, whereas restrictions that don't tend to be diversity reducing.

    Of course it's not possible to know with perfect certainty, but inductive logic is still logic, and I'm sorry that you've misinterpreted my claims as deductive claims. Deductive logic is used almost no where in real world logic.

    When I rant, as you so callously put it, that you can't know what you're pretending to know about what would've happened in the past, or what might yet happen in the future it's because... well... you can't.

    See everything I've said above. You are repeating yourself incessantly, instead of making tight, well reasoned arguments, which is why I call it a "rant."

    And yet, Brian's belief that things could've been different in the past if the positions you've advocated were followed is treated with derision instead of with curiosity.

    Brian's belief about what things? And which Brian?

    You appear to pretend to know fully both why he thinks differently and that his thinking is totally wrong instead of engaging with the thought process in the first place.

    It's hard to know what you are saying here because your terms are vague, but if you are saying that I am not fully considering the implications of Brian's preference set, and thus dismissing them, again, I don't think you are really following the terms of this debate. You seem to have a superficial understanding, but your posts very rarely suggest you deeply understand our positions, despite my repeated attempts to explain them.

    Brian's position is simple: he does not believe that metagame predominance should be a driving criteria for restriction, but instead believes that it should be motivated by play patterns and interactive game play.

    My position is simple: I believe that restrictions should be a last resort, and should generally be reserved for strategies that predominate.

    I understand Brian's position VERY well. But you said that I am only "pretending" to know why he thinks what he thinks. If you read my posts more carefully, you'll see that he shares Brian Weissman's view in the Oscar Tan article I linked to earlier.

    It blows my mind that you can read this post, and claim I don't understand Brian's position. I understand it extremely well, and the thinking behind it. Even though I'm sympathetic to some parts of it, I believe that the two Brian's do not give enough weight to the compositional effects of their preference set.

    This is a useful way of making a prediction and I'm sure why you're often correct when you do. I do not dispute that in the slightest. I dispute that you know what is correct before it happens. As I said, you may have a very well educated guess, but something different could occur and, more to my point- it is not possible to know what would've occurred had something else happened. You could guess, and well I'm sure, based on all of your knowledge and understanding, but the plausibility of some unknown sequence that could've dramatically altered the outcome remains. Maybe you're right that all those restrictions so many years ago stopped tons of people playing tons of decks, I'll even grant you a deferentially high-degree of probability that you are, but the alternate is also possible. Had those restrictions not been made some butterfly could've flapped its little wings during a Chaos Orb flip and who knows what may have been? You don't even acknowledge that possibility, that line of thinking. You're just right and I'm just wrong. I suppose that's what makes you really good at your job and it is probably wishful thinking on my part to believe you could approach these as philosophical conversations rather than binary debates.

    A butterfly flapping its wings? What the hell? Again, I'm not talking in terms of deductive logic with 100% certainty. I'm talking about the real-world.

    I'm talking about a general, well-established tendency for restrictions that target non-dominant decks to reduce the diversity of the format, while those that target predominant decks to enhance or promote compositional diversity.

    There is virtually no case in the history of the Vintage format where a restriction classified as one or the other did not follow this general tendency.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Sure, we can't know with perfect certainty, but the most probable outcome is the one I sketched. If you think about it and contemplate what I'm saying without trying to actually argue the point for a moment, and consider the analogy I just made to cell companies and ride share market share, I think you'd agree. It's just inductive mathmatical logic.

    Yes, I agree. You're prediction is likely to be correct. That doesn't mean thinking through the alternative outcomes is invalid or irrelevant. That's what I'm interested in. That's where interesting information can be gained, new ideas formed. I'm asking you not to approach this conversation as a logical debate you should win, but as a conversation. Perhaps I haven't been clear in that, perhaps I have and its been missed, I'm not sure. Either way- that's all I'm trying to accomplish. A constructive recommendation not to approach these as debates but rather as a chance to think differently, even if that thinking is unlikely to produce a statistically probable outcome. I have a hard time believing people learn when they approach everything as right/wrong or win/lose binaries. In many cases, to quote my favorite grand master, you must unlearn what you have learned. In composing your B&R chart in Brian's shoes you've already taken the first step, follow that trail and see where it leads without your preconceptions (no matter how well founded they are). You're likely to gain insight from so doing (as are we all because I'm sure you'll share!).

    Well, that's a tonal shift. Maybe if you hadn't labeled me as a "neo liberal" in my restriction policy, and attacked my arguments without seeming to understanding them, we could have had a "conversation."

    But the truth is that this isn't a conversation. It's an argument about what the format should look like, with two very different starting premises. Our starting premises aren't going to change through conversation.

    All that I am trying to do is show the flaws in a policy that begins with Brian's starting premise: it's tendency to express bias in predictable ways accross strategic archetypes, and the harms it entails to compositional diversity, and the ways in which players are denied opportunities to develop innovative deck ideas as a result. I carefully developed those points here.

    Brian could absolutely do the same to me: he could try to show that my prioritizing metagame diversity ignores other important elements of the game, and leads to an overall worse experience, and perhaps malaise and disinterest from the community.

    Then, we could debate the merits of each of those sub-claims. But what you don't seem to understand is that Brian and I begin at very different origins points (premises), that we are each aware of those different premises, and aren't going to change our views on those premises no matter how much we put ourselves in the other player's 'shoes."

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:
    . For you monopoly appears more closely related to metagame-share + win %, while for Brian it is likely more related common play experience + metagame-share. Perhaps not the precision you demand in an analogy, but I don't think it is outside the realm of worthwhile.

    No, no, no, no. Brian doesn't care at all about metagame share in B&R discussions. That's why you continue to be confused. He would restrict cards that have 0% metagame share based upon play pattern alone.

    That's why I said before that the anti-trust approach is "orthogonal" to Brian's preferred system. It's a completely different paradigm (in the Kuhniansense).

    The fact that I keep having to say this, despite having said it before, just shows that you aren't carefully reading what I've been saying.

    After all, in post 126, I wrote:

    "That's not even the issue. You don't even understand the terms of the debate in the most basic sense. Brian isn't trying to root out monopolies, proactively or after-the-fact. His concern is the quality of game play. There are certain tactics and strategies he finds fundamentally unacceptable in terms of how they play out on the battlefield. He doesn't view the DCI's management regime in terms of anti-trust at all. The anti-trust analogy is orthogonal to his concerns. The fact that you don't understand this, again, just shows how fundamentally don't really understand what we are talking about."

    If you had read and comprehended that paragraph, then you never would have said that Brian's approach "is likely more related common play experience + metagame-share."

    I mean, did you see what he just said in his last post??

    He said: "It's been stated countless times that I don't subscribe to the metagame % dominant view of format regulation."

    At all. He supports restrictions, again, with 0% metagame share.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Anyone who has studied this format for even a little while can make a highly accurate guess as to what will happen. I'm asking you: what do you think would happen? Do you think that Bazaar's restriction would make the format more or less diverse?
    If you think it would make it less diverse, then you've proven my point, that restrictions that aren't targeting a dominant deck actually reduce the diversity of the format. But this was a statement that you loudly contested.

    I contest the statement as a point of fact. As a denial that other possibilities exist.

    I never said it was a "fact" in the sense that you mean. What I was saying is that it was the most likely result, and therefore supported my view that restrictions targeting non-dominant decks have a tendency to reduce compositional diversity, which, to me, is the most important measure of format health.



  • Could you guys just record a @wfain vs @Smmenen battle royale edition of SMIP so I can stop reading this?



  • @stuart We actually had a nice conversation just a little while ago. In the end, he and I largely agree on what should happen and why, vis a vis the B&R list. We disagree whether it is valuable to explore alternate possibilities that lay somewhere between his position and Mr. Kellyโ€™s (I think it is, btw).



  • @serracollector said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    This entire article makes me feel like I need a college degree to have any word, thought, or opinion on Vintage ๐Ÿ˜ž instead of the 24 years of playing under my belt.

    Don't ever believe that. If someone is trying to make you feel stupid, they may not have good intentions.

    There are a lot of brilliant minds who avoid higher education. And higher education is overflowing with wealthy well-educated mediocrities. There are some great people and minds there as well, but it's still just a fraction, very possibly the same % as you'd find in the general population.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    I love you too Brian, just as I adore Brian Weissman

    Likewise, there is a great deal of mutual respect in addition to disagreement.

    Vintage is the last place where you can play with all of the cards

    That isn't true. Not only are there many other places where one can use any card (kitchen table, gaming room) and even other formats (EDH, various homebrew and existing plus forthcoming experimental formats) but there are literally hundreds of Magic cards you cannot play in Vintage. I can't play Gleemox. I can't play Chaos Orb. I can't play Adriana's Valor. I can't play a Collector's Edition Birds of Paradise. There are so many asterisks on the predilection to not ban that the exceptions swallow any rule that might exist (which it does not).

    Increasing enjoyment of the experience of the game should clearly be a viable criterion for banning. It's always been on the table and the fact that Mind Twist and Channel no longer meet that criterion does not mean the criterion has been abandoned.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    just shows you frankly ignorant you are about the terms of these debates

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Your paragraph here is so problematic on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start the incision.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Questions like the one you just asked aren't just annoying, they are so long-ago settled that it's impossible to actually address without derailing threads among people who share a set of assumptions and knowledge that you quite obviously lack.

    This is so rude, Stephen! Even if you believe, objectively, that someone is ignorant on a topic, there are much less indulgently pejorative methods of communicating that.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Your position is seductive, just like the siren call of nationalism we see around the world. I feel that my position and preference for a smaller restricted list and using restriction as a last resort was hard won, like democracy, but is now in danger of backsliding.

    Hmm, in broad strokes I find myself more analogous to "Fun for everyone, not just the 1%" rather than "Make Vintage Great Again." Though certainly, despite the connotation, the latter slogan would fit since Type One was much more popular and heavily regulated than this cesspool of "lol Force ur Dredge hate" and "lol scoop up my board, replay it again."

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    He does not believe that metagame predominance should be a driving criteria for restriction, but instead believes that it should be motivated by play patterns and interactive game play. // No, no, no, no. Brian doesn't care at all about metagame share in B&R discussions.

    My position is mostly understood, yes. Props. Though to be clear, metagame data would not be prohibited from consideration; its role would simply not be paramount to the degree it currently is. Rather, it would be a single factor in a totality of circumstances.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    He would restrict cards that have 0% metagame share based upon play pattern alone.

    I would acknowledge the reasonableness were that done, yes. Though as a practical matter, with the amount of more urgent work needed to effectuate a Renaissance that carries the format into the next two decades, I certainly would not prioritize cards like Show and Tell.

    @stuart said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Could you guys just record a @wfain vs @Smmenen battle royale edition of SMIP so I can stop reading this?

    William is more telegenic so he automatically wins, even in audio.



  • @brianpk80 said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    William is more telegenic so he automatically wins, even in audio.

    ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚


  • TMD Supporter

    @brianpk80 said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    @serracollector said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:.

    @smmenen said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Vintage is the last place where you can play with all of the cards

    That isn't true. Not only are there many other places where one can use any card (kitchen table, gaming room) and even other formats (EDH, various homebrew and existing plus forthcoming experimental formats) but there are literally hundreds of Magic cards you cannot play in Vintage.

    Sanctioned place under the auspices of Wizards OP & DCI. I said that earlier, but was using short hand in the statement you quoted.

    This is so rude, Stephen!

    Being labeled a neo-liberal is a justifiable trigger ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @stuart said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:

    Could you guys just record a @wfain vs @Smmenen battle royale edition of SMIP so I can stop reading this?

    William is more telegenic so he automatically wins, even in audio.

    What?!?



  • Hey guys!

    Fist time post on the new site. I'm long time vintage player/enthusiast from back in the day. My name is John Longo, former TMD name was Oath of Happy. I stopped playing vintage several years ago because I no longer enjoyed the format, tournament sizes and frequencies declined, and also because my responsibilities in life became more and more demanding as I got older.

    The last tournament I played at was the 2017 TMD in Oakville. I'm originally from Waterbury CT so I couldn't pass on one of Ray's awesome events from back in the day. I was so disappointed in the format that I didn't even consider attending this year. Every game was decided by turn 2. Whether I won or lost it was basically, draw your opening hand, okay mine is better, I win, next game yours is better, you win. For those of you who play chess (I'm Bubbie25 on Chess.com) imagine if games were sealed by move 3? How boring and anticlimactic would that be. One of the advantages of these really quick games is that I didn't come close to any timeouts, but it's out of control. I really miss the old glory days of battling it out with mana drains and smokestacks. If anyone were to ever hold a classic event (Alpha to Scourge) that would be awesome, but I've found for year that the current format just plain sucks and isn't any fun anymore.

    Anyways, I'm on board with Brian's idea of toning it down a bit. I think that the speed of the current decks are pushing out all of the fringe cards. I also really hate all the super narrow silver bullet answers like Mental Misstep and Flusterstorm. Every match is dependent on having super narrow answers at the right time. You either have them at the right time and win because of it or lose but they're extremely narrow and suck playing with.

    To slow the format down I would restrict the following cards:

    Oath of Druids
    Foundry Inspector
    Serum Powder
    Bridge From Below
    Mental Misstep
    Paradoxical Outcome or Mox Opal
    Snapcaster Mage
    Preordain
    Fetchlands

    And un-restrict Fastbond.

    Now immediately I'm sure some people will argue that restricting cards like Oath of Druids will make blue decks even more linear and make shops much better but I strongly believe it's quite the opposite. Oath of Druids is a card that warps the metagame just by existing whether it's dominating or not. Just like dredge, you have to load up on answers to it or you just get run over. It makes no sense to me that we have a 4 of card that reliably pumps out a turn 2 Yawgmoth's Bargain that attacks for 7 in the air with lifelink. The card is in some ways more powerful than Tinker because Tinker costs 1 more mana and can be answered with a Hurkyl's Recall or a Swords to Plowshares. With Oath, you just plain lose whether they have removal or not because it tinkers up a new fatty every turn. 4X Oath suppresses all the tier 2 aggro decks and budget weenie decks from having a chance because they have to include ways of removing enchantments from the board rather then deploying their game plan. By hitting Oath of Druids, decks would have more space to deal with shops and not have to worry about stupid hands like Mox Orchard Oath GG, or even Mox Trop, Oath...great, can't play any cards now..

    Dredge is another deck that eats people's sideboards up whether it's dominating or not. I'd say restrict bazaar but you can't just go and axe cards that people may have just dumped $4K on to play with. In my opinion, Bridge from Below is the card that pushed dredge over the top. Bridge speeds up the deck so much that they game is pretty much over once they've gotten going because even if you nuke their yard, if you're too late in doing it they've got a massive army of zombies that you're too late to deal with after expending resources dealing with the yard. If you kill bridge then they're forced to play a slightly slower, more controlling game, or if they want the fast combo kill they have to go with the Sutured Ghoul kill. Hitting Serum Powder would also make the strategy of basing your entire strategy on one card less viable. I do think that Dredge is fun to play again but it's just way to damn fast. The decks just blasts you away if you don't stick a lock piece by turn 2, even turn 1 if you're on the draw, and the Hollow One's just add another angle of attack if you drew a GY hate-heavy hand.

    I'd really like to see Workshop get restricted because then Chalice of the Void, which budget decks really need, could be played again but unfortunately it's another card that I just don't think is fair to hit people for $4K who just invested in the format. Foundry inspector just helps the deck in too many ways. It's like a Darksteel Ingot/Coalition Relic except that it can be used for more than one card per turn and also beat for 3. A 3/2 for 3 is already a pretty good price for a beater, but to make it a one-sided Helm of Awakening is just stupid. It helps the deck too much by making Balista bigger, freeing up mana so that factories can attack earlier, making up for Ancient Tombs that can't be used anymore, and enabling players to sac moxes to ravager because they need less mana. MUD is just way too fast and Foundry Inspector makes everything they do fast and easier. It seems like the best place to start.

    Mental Misstep is a card that forces blue decks to cannibalize each other. It's too efficient to not play. If you're not playing it, you have a big disadvantage against other blue decks using it, but if you play it, you have a big disadvantage over everything else. Because of this, Storm decks really suffer because you have to pack an answer to their answer but you really can't afford to stuff that many answers in your deck and need the duress effects to remove cards like Flusterstorm. It just really jams up decks and it sucks to have to play. I miss playing with Mana Drain. Mana Drain was a pillar of the format and when Wizards declared Force of Will as the pillar of blue decks they really got it wrong. Bazaar, Workshop, Drain, Ritual, and Null Rod were the five pillars of the format and Force of Will is a card that can fit into more than one of those categories. Misstep is banned in every other format for a reason, restrict it here for the same reason it's banned elsewhere.

    To be honest, I don't really have much experience with PO. I would think that Opal is basically Mox Pearl #6-8 in MUD if Inspector were to go and am surprised to see it still available as a 3 of considering extra copies serve as Lotus Petal under the new legend rules.

    Snapcaster is on-color instant-speed Regrowth with a free 2/1 body built in that pitches to FOW. It exiles cards so it prevents loops but you generally only need to re-cast one card to put the game out of reach and with the restrictions I suggest above, Snappy would make blue decks too good. Preordain (like Ponder and Brainstorm) is a card that is nowhere near restriction-worthy compared to cards like Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad but at this point there are so many powerful blue cards that playing with 60 cards means trimming cards like this to keep blue decks from just running everything over.

    Fetchlands are another attempt at limiting blue decks from dominating. There really isn't much you can do to stop a deck with ancestral, demonic, scroll, cruse, dig, etc. but you just have to limit it as much as possible. In this way, blue decks kind of set the bar for how slow the format can actually be with a 60 card minimum deck size. Each fetch-land gives players access to seven different dual lands as well as two different basics while thinning decks, providing a shuffle effect for Ponder and Brainstorm, adding cards in the yard for Cruise and Dig, and making Yawg Will more powerful in the early game by letting you replay a land. Even as 1 of's, Brainstorm, Treasure Cruse, and Dig Through Time are too strong and fetchlands just help put them over the top even more. By restricted them all, you limit players to running less of them, 4-6 instead of 8, and also make them run one's that are slightly less optimal.

    I agree with Steve that Fastbond can be unrestrcited as it probably wouldn't lead to anything oppressive and might make Lands a tier 2 contender.

    I hope some of you enjoy my analysis. Again, my strategy is based on slowing the format down so that games are longer, more interactive, and some of the weaker decks have a shot at contending. Feel free to agree/disagree.


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