Is anyone enjoying this new meta?

"The internet as a whole" means more than just us idiots. Middle-aged women talking shit about Lifetime reality TV stars don't want to use bulletin boards, and they probably outnumber vintage players 1000:1.

I'd be interested to hear how many active users this place has. @Brass-Man ?

@baishuu I do not know what the number is, but in the past it was obviously enough for him to justify keeping TMD around. Now? I am not so sure.

@baishuu "active users" can mean a lot of different things. I can say that there were 549 posts in the past month. The numbers I have for "unique visitors" and "page views" are so high that I suspect my data doesn't properly differentiate between human lurkers and bots. I definitely can't provide user trend data because we just don't have historical data on this stuff for the site.

Anecdotally, I can say that I can never remember a time when people haven't been saying "TMD used to be more active", even 15 years ago when the site was brand new and people were saying "Beyond Dominia used to be more active."

I don't have hard data but I do have a working theory. It is extremely common to see people go through phases with this hobby (like any hobby, of course).

People start out excited and passionate and consume every bit of information they can find. At this point a player is fascinated just reading lists of archetypes and historical results. Maybe they feverishly hunt down fundamental general theory pieces like "Who's the Beatdown?" Maybe they buy a physical copy of "Playing to Win." Thinking about the game in a new way, each win is thrilling and motivates them to learn more, each loss is a challenge to find that piece of the puzzle they're missing.

At some point they find a set of strategies that work for them and they start specializing. They don't really need general information anymore, they get the fundamentals, they want to learn what successful players are doing and replicate that. These players hunt down tournament reports and sideboard guides and archetype megathreads.

Some players have a knack for the game or a lucky streak and start picking up wins and the minor notoriety that comes with it. Notoriety is fun (speaking from experience) and these players tend to get excited about putting their own mark on the metagame. They want to take a crack at writing their own primers and tournament reports. A player with a lot of hubris, like my younger self, might even try adding to the great canon of magic theory.

Whether they have tournament success or not, eventually a player hits a plateau in their results and their interest starts to wane. Maybe they still like talking about vintage, but at some point reading primers and sideboard guides stops making them any better. Maybe they think their own techniques are better, or maybe they just aren't getting results from what other people write. Either way isn't making them any better at the game, so motivation to read them is low. On the other hand, "vintage issues" topics like WotC announcements and restrictions don't suffer this problem (they were never supposed to make you better). Proportionately, more of their conversation will be about these subjects. Some may refocus their efforts on community building, maybe through TO'ing or Judging or facilitating content creators.

Interest waxes and wanes, and maybe not everyone hits all the notes in the same order, but I think most players do. Some of the excitement can't be recycled, either. New cards can be printed and new strategies learned, but you can only read "The Danger of Cool Things" for the first time once ... even though people keep writing it over and over again. When you ask someone about the historical health of the vintage community, it's probably not hard to listen to their answer and pinpoint exactly when they started playing.

I think "the downturn" in the hobby as a whole (which includes TMD but certainly Facebook and many other avenues as well), is a lot like an adult watching a child's cartoon and saying, "when I was a kid these were much more entertaining." The cartoons didn't change, you did.

last edited by Brass Man

@brass-man I appreciate your long and thoughtful response. I have had several moments while playing where I have taken a break or at the very least taken the format much less seriously.

I think that sometimes when you play with a certain group things can get a bit stale. Sometimes a herd mentality can change how the game is played or perceived. I think the meta-game is fine and the game itself is fine.

Your point about how we approach the game is extremely poignant. I realize that I get something from playing, brewing, and discussing magic that I cannot replace, at least not easily.

These discussions on this site help me keep perspective, I may feel or perceive something that is not really there or not really that bad. I appreciate the community here.

@moorebrother1

TPS (not Death long) was actually Trinistax's worse matchup, this is a well-known thing. Mainly due to the fact that Workshops at that time were way less consistent and really bad at closing games. Which gave you enough time to build up your lands to play through Trinisphere.
When you talk about shops in the lodestone golem era, that's a completely different story. Against those decks you only had a few turns before they killed you, meanwhile, they were able to consistently deprive you of a mana every turn.

You are dead wrong if you think you could resolve Hurkyl's EOT consistently when lodestone and chalice were unrestricted.
PO never had to face Chalice, the only reason PO has a good matchup vs shops today is because of its artifact mana, Chalice would totally change that dynamic.

The same arguments you applied to stony apply to Lavinia, instead of Fragmentize and/or Disenchant just replace them with Swords to Plowshares and/or Karakas.

The decks that run Lavinia are the same decks that ran/run stony silence with the same 12 counters, so once again this is not an argument.
FOW is probably your worst card in the matchup anyway, Lavinia or not. There are a lot of options that get around this part of Lavinia's ability such as Flusterstorm or Defense Grid.

@macdeath TPS was a better version of Death Long, Death Long was just more fun to play. I mostly agree with you but I played Noble Fish and StoneBlade during the LSG era. I did very well, coming in top 8 at most of the events at my local game store.

The approach of Karakas and Swords to Plowshares is good but the Xerox decks have too many answers right now. That was the point of this thread. I am finding the Xerox decks to be down right oppressive and "unfun".

I know PO and Shops are hated decks but Vintage has turned into a format of hated decks not feared decks. People downright hate the arch-types in the format right now. I was very apprehensive about Rich Shay's comments on the format in the article at hipstersofthecoast.com but I am seeing it now.

As I said above, I am not about negativity but health of the format. I am at a point where I just need to brew and play jank, maybe stop playing leagues for a bit and just get back into paper and have fun.

last edited by moorebrother1

If Xerox has you down, Survival is for you! (It also happens to be solid against Shops and can be set up to not be a total dog to PO).

I want to come back to this discussion. I took a break from MTGO and I have been brewing on paper. It looks like Xerox has gotten better and PO is harder to play in the meta. Shops is still really good but looks like it is played less. Is this meta still enjoyable?

Still yes.

Edit: I'm hesitant to talk about this too much as I don't want to appear mean or uncaring. I get the frustration where we aren't having fun playing something that is supposed to be fun. I do want to make my opinion known as I don't think the picture that the format is universally despised is an accurate one. It's certainly not in my case.

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain Sometimes when a part of the game is not fun it is better to focus on a different part that you enjoy.

I am focusing my attention on deck building right now, so I am enjoying the game. With that said, I am looking the at meta-game in a different way and I want to play different decks.

I think MTGO does offer a lot but for me sometimes going back to paper is just more fun.

Interestingly enough, I did change my PO deck to play in the new meta and it plays very well. I just need a break from MTGO for a while.

last edited by moorebrother1

Looking at the Challenge results from this weekend, there is only 1 deck with Lavinia in the top8. There are 3 Shops decks.

Is Lavinia making Shops better? There were no Jeskai decks in top 8. Is she cannibalizing the Jeskai decks? Where is BUG and Survival in the meta right now?

@moorebrother1 said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta?:

Looking at the Challenge results from this weekend, there is only 1 deck with Lavinia in the top8. There are 3 Shops decks.

Is Lavinia making Shops better? There were no Jeskai decks in top 8. Is she cannibalizing the Jeskai decks? Where is BUG and Survival in the meta right now?

Because there are 3 decks.

4 Sphere
4 Misstep
4 Outcome

That's why this format is miserable. Even the 'best' Dredge deck is now universally on 4 Misstep.

That's it. 3 decks. Missteps, Spheres and Outcome. This Vintage challenge has like 2 decks in the top 32 that deviate.

There's the occasional person who puts a Glyph Keeper, a Kaya or some other random 1 or 2 of in his Misstep deck and waves the innovator flag but it's the same play pattern. The Glyph Keeper could have been a Phantom Monster in 95% of games. Same for Shops, somebody plays a Triskelion again and acts like he's invented nuclear fission.

Until Misstep goes expect the same, there's just no room left to build a deck after you've added the Blue Stew (tm), 4 Missteps to Misstep the other Blue guys Missteps. Same with the best core Shop cards, Ravager x 4, etc..

@moorebrother1 Isn't jeskai a Lavinia deck by itself now?

Survival is pretty cool, lavinia is good against it, but decks that play lavinia are good matchups for bug survival in general.

@nedleeds

You mean there are two decks: Force of Will decks and Sphere decks.

Edit:
Did the count: 31 out of 32 decks have 4 Forces or 4 Spheres. This is a more complete taxonomy but you don’t use it. Why not? Restricting Force would reduce the deck building burden of including 20+ Blue cards, which is a more significant constraint for “Blue stew”than 3 missteps. I guess you understand that limiting interaction in a broken format is a bad idea. War tournaments aren’t exactly popular.

Instead of railing against the card, you should look at ways of using it to break from the Bazaar, Shops, Force triumvirate that has dominated vintage. Or don’t. Keep arguing that my cindervines jund list is the same as pitch dredge and rug pyromancer because they run 4 missteps. I’m sure the DCI will get a good chuckle at that.

last edited by ChubbyRain

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

@nedleeds

You mean there are two decks: Force of Will decks and Sphere decks.

Edit:
Did the count: 31 out of 32 decks have 4 Forces or 4 Spheres. This is a more complete taxonomy but you don’t use it. Why not? Restricting Force would reduce the deck building burden of including 20+ Blue cards, which is a more significant constraint for “Blue stew”than 3 missteps. I guess you understand that limiting interaction in a broken format is a bad idea. War tournaments aren’t exactly popular.

Instead of railing against the card, you should look at ways of using it to break from the Bazaar, Shops, Force triumvirate that has dominated vintage. Or don’t. Keep arguing that my cindervines jund list is the same as pitch dredge and rug pyromancer because they run 4 missteps. I’m sure the DCI will get a good chuckle at that.

Lol, build a fucking Jund deck without Mental Misstep then we'll talk.

Edit: and I don't include Force of Will because nobody ever discards a card from inclusion in a deck during deck building because it gets countered by Force of Will. The scrap heap of decks could have been is littered with shit that gets Misstepped because the deck had no more room after cramming 3.8 of the stupid POS in every non-sphere, non-PO (defense grid) deck in the format.

I've said that a million times. In my opinion Mental Missteps misery starts in the deck building process and continues in the play pattern of whoops I had more.

last edited by nedleeds

I will chime in and say that I've not played enough lately to fully know what I think of it, but its been fun.

I really don't know how to make a format people will stop complaining about. It's tiresome to spend years walking in circles on this Misstep debate 🙄

I mean, is there even a way that people will stop complaining?Misstep gets restricted and I bet players just migrate to complain about another "aberration".

Seriously, what would be a good Vintage? Blue x Blue shenannigans? Everything Midrange? Rock-papers-scissors Modern? I really don't get it.
Please tell me ONE Vintage format you actually enjoyed and how it had 8 tier 1 decks like people seem to think we ever had.

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
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