Is anyone enjoying this new meta?

The year before Khans when Champs was won by Joel Lim on Merfolk and the Top 8 was 2 RUG Delver, Esper Big Blue, 4c Keeper, Dredge, Blue Angels, and Oath. Shops was there, but didn't crack the top 8.

But I really like this format. Control was much better then, aggressive/linear strategies are much more powerful now. Despite getting the reputation for a durdler, I much more prefer having a diversity of archetypes and the ability to explore space in the metagame, which exists despite oversimplifications as a "3 deck format".

@chubbyrain that year was cool. But weren't those time also perceived as a 3 deck era of Shops, Big Blue and Delver?

EDIT: my point being, what were the Tier 1 decks? I remember Merfolk being a surprise since it was a tier 1.5 / 2 deck

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco A lot of Vintage has been defined by a relatively small number of "tier 1" decks since 2002. The main reason for this are the power cards in Vintage. As @nedleeds keeps pointing out Vintage is defined essentially by genres. The point of this thread is to examine the meta and analyze it, but also to get a pulse of how people feel about it.

I am past complaining and I just want to enjoy magic. This meta feels off to me, and I keep thinking about the comments from @The-Atog-Lord at Eternal Weekend 2018 and the article from where they interviewed him about the VSL.

I am trying to understand from the community if this is the preferred meta-game for Vintage. It appears that some love it and some hate it. I am trying to find my way here. I was enjoying the meta and then RNA was released and my enjoyment dropped. I am studying the meta-game now and I want to be like @ChubbyRain, I want to have fun and enjoy it. My issue may not be the decks or the cards. I think for me the issue is understanding that Vintage has evolved into digital format and if you want to play competitively where with a large pool of players it is on MTGO. Otherwise, there are about 3 or 4 large-ish events that get over 100 people in the US and a few local events if you are lucky.

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1 my point is that there's always people complaining, no matter how the format is. Players feel entitled to a format "they spent to play in". It's everywhere in Magic and in the gaming community. People complain about the game, about transgender Alesha, about black Teferi, women pirates, Misstep, etc. It's all in a similar scope for me. Complaining about something out of your control to unleash frustration about... I have no idea.

Magic has always been like this. Vintage too. Tier 1 dominating decks and tier 1.5/2 decks attacking the meta. Problem is MTGO got the collective mob mentality to Vintage (which was always free from it due to its small size).

Anyway, For me I just want to stop giving a stage to this bull***t. Just enjoy the game and let people be bitter about "Misstep ruining the format" by themselves. Also look for a scenario topic here on TMD that demonstrates clearly how Misstep makes the format way more interactive, slow paced and strategic.

I think Lavinia will prove to be a net negative for the format.

My problem is that it's incredibly polarizing. Not in the sense that it divides opinion or bifurcates the metagame, but in the sense that it makes individual matchups less close with more blow-outs, and thereby polarizes particular matchups.

last edited by Smmenen

@smmenen My early impressions of Lavinia are similar. In time I believe it will be compared to Chalice of the Void in terms of how it impacts the game, and the "unfunness" of games where it hangs around for extended periods. Playing alternating rounds of Shops, PO (w/Lavinia), Jeskai Xerox (w/Lavinia), and Dredge can lead to some pretty unfun 5-7 round events depending on draws/mulligans.

I think the format is pretty good from a balance standpoint in terms of deck diversity and construction, but man is it boring to actually play out the games. Seems very rare to have a game, where actual skill, and not just die rolls, opening hands and top decks decide the match.

I could also do without watching outcome players take 10 minutes to play one turn, while I hope the MODO clock burns out on them because they can get away playing 1 win con (Mentor) in their entire 60 card deck.


Time to restrict Force of Will. How long must we sit under the oppression of this card? Too long have we had to live in constant fear that no matter what my opponent is playing they can suddenly announce Force + Blue card to deny anyone of my spells.

@vaughnbros said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta?:


Time to restrict Force of Will. How long must we sit under the oppression of this card? Too long have we had to live in constant fear that no matter what my opponent is playing they can suddenly announce Force + Blue card to deny anyone of my spells.

Let me know when you choose not to include a card in a new deck (without your own 3.8 Missteps) because it gets countered by Force of Will. Or when you hear a set review riddled with a constant drone of "well this is an interesting card but it does get Force of Willed".

@nedleeds FWIW I have a lot of turn one kill decks I can't play because they auto loose to Force of will.


I primarily play Dredge because I hate losing to Force of Will so much.

I also put my own Force of Wills in the deck to counter my opponents Force of Wills.

last edited by vaughnbros

I can't resist chiming in when I see people disparagingly refer to this metagame as a "three deck format". For over a decade of the 15+ years I've been at this nonsense, people who didn't like the metagame were praying that we could have a two deck format.

I think people got spoiled by how open the format was (in terms of blue decks) during the pre-khans meta.
It seems that what people are really complaining about right now is that blue decks are mostly consolidated into either the Xerox shell or the Outcome shell.

I've actually become bored with this format as it stands now. I've moved on to Modern, which I said I wouldn't do, lol
It's not a solved format and am enjoying it much more so than Legacy or Vintage. I'll sleeve up and play a commander deck before I play Vintage, in the current "meta".
Locally, for vintage anyway, I'm more likely to face Legacy ported decks or all Burn decks irl, anyway, lol

@nedleeds said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta

Let me know when you choose not to include a card in a new deck (without your own 3.8 Missteps) because it gets countered by Force of Will.

I think this effect has been somewhat overstated. Most decklists I see still tend to favor 1cmc spells over 2cmc alternatives, even when the latter exists as a stronger version of the effect.

last edited by craw_advantage

@brass-man my argument was that this reductionism of the format is absurd, not that Force should get restricted.

And for what it’s worth, since losing my first two matches with the deck (and wanting to tear daretti into pieces), I’ve gone 15-1 with Cindervines Jund in Vintage leagues. Maybe the issue isn’t with the format but how people evaluate cards and build decks right now. Or with the style of decks players feel locked into playing.

I think I was mis-tagged on this one, I haven't read enough of this thread to know how Force of Will factors into the conversation 🙂

@brass-man Eh, I pointed out that if you say it's a two deck metagame and every deck is either a 4 Force or 4 Sphere deck, you actually cover one more deck in the top 32 of that week's challenge. So might as well argue for the restriction of Force. Didn't actually mean for that to happen...Probably wise not to read the rest of the thread.

Anyways, I'm getting tired of arguing about the health of the format. I think the death of paper Vintage is happening now because of the inertia that the high price of cards creates. Players end up heavily invested in the format, Wizards prints cards and the format changes, and those players are stuck playing a format they don't enjoy. At the same time, the high cost of entry keeps players who would enjoy the format from buying in.

Vintage has changed in the 6 years I've played. Instead of prison decks being the dominant Shops strategy, you have Ravager Shops. Instead of Mana Drain control decks, you have the Delve spells powering Blue tempo strategies. The format right now is skewed heavily towards aggro, tempo, and combo, leaving control/prison players wanting to essentially nuke the format with restrictions to every archetype. But it's only going to get worse because cards are restricted and not banned and Wizards currently designs cards that Vintage players consider to be "un-Vintage-y". I mean, it feels like most of this recent spoiler season was spent bitching about Lavinia and how hate is designed. No one except for me (and @fsecco) even thought Cindervines was good. They just wanted to complain because it was asymmetrical.

From what I can tell, it's taken its toll on paper Vintage. I used to go to local tournaments that were 32+ people and now I hear those tournaments are less than 16. Some of that is Old School and that makes sense - Old School is a format that allows players to play the decks they used to enjoy. At the same time, MTGO Vintage is going strong, despite the uncertainty of Arena. The challenge last week was 7 rounds, the league consistently stabilizes at over 100 players. I see interest in Vintage streams and hear about new players buying in because the prices are so low. It's two different environments, and that's the root of the problem.

last edited by Guest

Ah, it looks like I made the common (for me) mistake of being too glib and undercommunicating.

To clarify:

For most of my experience playing Vintage, there has been one dominant deck. In those metagames, most players are hoping things move from their one-deck metagame to a two deck metagame. To these players, the idea of a 3-deck metagame is mind-bogglingly diverse. Coming from that perspective, I thought it was funny to read people use the term "3-deck metagame" in a derogatory way. "3-deck metagame" still translates to "woah! so diverse!" in my old-vintage-player brain.

@chubbyrain said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta?:

No one except for me even thought Cindervines was good.

Hey! I want that sweet Cindervines cred too, c'mon hahahha

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