Discussing Gush Mentor (beating it, restriction discussion, anything)

@enderfall Well, if everyone plays Gush, I would just play the deck that has the best chance to beat Gush, but you make your own meta call.

I really don't disagree with much of what you're saying, other than the larger picture. More cards will always see more play when other stuff gets the ax. That's just the nature of restriction. But that's not really diversity, it's just going to make a different best deck. That format is Modern... This is Vintage... the environment where you are allowed to play with stuff. Or at least I am arguing that should be the general idea.

Again, these spikes in play, I believe, are actually caused by the rolling restrictions we are seeing. Delver gets good, so Cruise and Dig get restricted (those I think are fine restrictions by the way)... So then the numbers spike in Shops and everyone freaks out about Shops... so Shops gets Chalice and Lodestone restricted... Then Gush explodes again, because everyone rushes to the other side of the boat to look at the next shiny object... and everyone freaks out about it. We just neutered the best predator against Gush decks... guess what people, Gush is going to see a spike. How are we possibly surprised by this?

The problem isn't the cards... it's us. We need to pump the breaks on the seemingly endless chorus to restrict things. Just let people play with the cards, and let the format sort itself out. Whatever the best deck is, should be decided at the table, not on the spreadsheet by one campaign or another to get one thing or another excised from play.

If Gush is so overpopulated, build and test a deck to beat it. If you can't make the top 8 with such a deck, then Gush isn't that overpopulated. That's where players should dedicated their time.

@Smmenen said:

Every single time in the history of Vintage, prior 2015, that the DCI restricted more than one card, it's unrestricted at least one of those cards, except for Consult and Necro. I think it's fair to say that history & reason supports the contention that multiple restrictions are likely to be overbroad. That doesn't mean it's always wrong, just that it's led to many, many unnecessary restrictions (see 1999 for the best examples of this). The track record of multiple restrictions is poor as judged by history.

That assumes restriction was a mistake if it is later unrestricted - I don't think you can assume that. Fact or Fiction, Gifts Ungiven, and Thirst for Knowledge were incredibly powerful cards at certain points in Vintage's history, but adding a thousand or so cards each year means the relative power level changes with time. Currently, FoF and Gifts are almost nonexistent in the Vintage metagame, and Thirst is arguably Tier 2. Regarding multiple restrictions, if you can make a compelling argument based on data AND theory, why not restrict both? The Personal Tutor and Chrome Mox restrictions were poor because the reasoning behind them was lazy, not because there were other cards restricted at the same time.

@AmbivalentDuck I really don't want to start anything again... but "has anyone tested the Grixis goblins" comment is absolutely ridiculous. Goblins hasn't been, and isn't a viable deck in anyone's opinion but yours since 2004 Food Chains.

Restricting Gush, the namesake of an archetype, bears a striking resemblance to restricting Mishra's Workshop. Shops isn't putting up the numbers in this event but it has and didn't get restricted. To me that seems to indicate that Wizards of the Coast takes special consideration surrounding cards that people appear emotionally attached to. With the June 2008 restriction announcement it seemed like there was a mass exodus of players from the Vintage community. At the time I thought that flash would be restricted but the rest were a surprise and the aftermath seemed like it was going to be the death of the format. I'll play Vintage no matter what. If Wizards of the Coast wants to try to stabilize the format without causing a mass exodus it might be a good idea to test the waters by un-restricting Chalice of the Void first.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@Topical_Island Here's the rub, you try and meta game a deck to beat Mentor, then you play Shops R1 and Dredge R2 losing both and your tournament is over. That is the worst feeling in the world. The reason people play Gush/Mentor is that the strategy is categorily better than nearly every deck you could face. DPS could be better, but it's not impossible for Mentor to beat it. Dredge is a crapshoot like it always is no matter what deck you play.

Right now, there is no natural predator to Gush that has decent game against the rest of the field. Could such a deck emerge? Maybe, but I'm a terrible deck builder and have very limited time to test either way. I hope that someone far smarter than me can come along and create the perfect foil, but Gush attacks from an angle that allows it to draw out of nearly every situation.

I'm not advocating Gush restriction simply because it is "the best deck". I was against LSG restriction for the record and I don't own Workshops. I'm advocating Gush restriction because it is stifling the meta far worse than Shops was. We had a decent Rock-Paper-Scissors format and now the Rock was smashed allowing Scissors to run rampant.

@enderfall Well... I agree there's no natural predator to an extent. There's Shops, which just got axed twice for... and I'm basically just quoting the restriction statement here... overpopulation. Which so far as I understand what that is... just means there were too many Shops in the ecosystem (by some arbitrary measure)... so here we are with Gush. (How'd that Chalice restriction go guys?)

In your hypothetical, you were apparently playing some more complex form of paper-rock-scissors, where you instant win against Gush and instant lose to anything else (btw if you have that deck I would love to see and study it because there is likely a lot to learn there.) It sounds like whatever deck that was you were playing, should be fine though, so long as it has any other game against either Dredge or Shops. Heck, if whatever crazy deck it was can whip Gush/Mentor in the main board, then it should be pretty easy to put 9 Dredge hate cards in the board and beat that too... honestly though, I'd go the other way. I'd try to hate on both Gush and Shops, since they are both popular... a deck that can do that can do really well can go far... and now we are actually playing magic and not just complaining about the state of things.

How good is Landstill against Gush?, cause its pretty good against Shops, and can support a reasonable Dredge plan out of the sideboard. Is there a version that works against Gush?

How about some deck that runs Bloodmoon and Chains of Meph? That sounds crazy... but those are known very good cards against Gush, are they also good against other things? Why... yes... yes they are. They're good against DPS, and Bloodmoon can be good against Shops too, though we'd need to be able to cast it... but wait, red is the color everyone already splashes for Shops hate and its already a main part of our deck...

Now those might not be the answers, but golly I wish this was the type of discussion we were having. Can we play the game already an put aside the unending restriction chorus? We have at least 2 more months to reel Gush in anyway, lets just get down to it and get it done.

@diophan said:

On the topic of gush vs. mentor, I have a hard time believing that a 4 gush 4 YP deck wouldn't mop the floor with a 4 mentor 1 gush deck, and any other non 3-4 gush blue deck. If there is only 1 gush, you have to warp your deck at least a little bit around mentor.

I wasn't suggesting a world where you can play a 4 Gush Pyromancer deck and a 4 Mentor, 1 Gush deck. That doesn't make sense 😛 If Gush were restricted, there wouldn't be a 4 Gush Pyromancer deck.

You made the argument that if Mentor were restricted, then eventually Managorder Hydra and Pyromancer would need to be restricted. I think that's pretty far fetched. There's no chance that Hydra would ever be restricted, let alone Pyromancer, IMO.

Not only do I think that's very unlikely, but my point was that basic argument you developed applies with greater force to the restriction of Gush. If Gush were restricted, I think it's more likely that Mentor would continue to be a problem than if Mentor were restricted that Pyromancer would be a problem.

So, I was asking which is more likely: 1) that a 4 Mentor deck would dominate the format followed the restriction of Gush OR 2) that a Pyromancer deck would dominate the format following the restriction of Mentor?

I think the former is more plausible, and not the latter.

I think one of the problems with the idea of restricting Gush to neuter Mentor decks is that, at this point, so many cards have been restricted from the Gush deck (Dig, Treasure Cruise, Ponder, Brainstorm, Scroll, etc.) that I don't think restricting Gush can actually do much good in keeping Mentor down, if Mentor proves to be a problem.

After all, restriction of Gush in most of those lists is probably just:

-2-3 Gush

  • 1 land/Probe
  • 1 Scroll
  • 1 Mystical Tutor

If Mentor dominates Vintage over the next few months, I don't think restricting Gush is going to change that much at all. Because Mentor is the problem.

It's simply the best creature ever printed. The fact that it can far more reliably race an Oath or a Blightsteel Colossus puts it in a completely different class than Pyromancer.

I would remind folks that just a month or so after it's printing, people on the old TMD were asking just these questions. Is it the best creature ever? Is it inevitable it will need restriction? The fact that people even asked these questions shows how powerful the card is.

@ChubbyRain said:

@Smmenen said:

Every single time in the history of Vintage, prior 2015, that the DCI restricted more than one card, it's unrestricted at least one of those cards, except for Consult and Necro. I think it's fair to say that history & reason supports the contention that multiple restrictions are likely to be overbroad. That doesn't mean it's always wrong, just that it's led to many, many unnecessary restrictions (see 1999 for the best examples of this). The track record of multiple restrictions is poor as judged by history.

That assumes restriction was a mistake if it is later unrestricted - I don't think you can assume that. Fact or Fiction, Gifts Ungiven, and Thirst for Knowledge were incredibly powerful cards at certain points in Vintage's history, but adding a thousand or so cards each year means the relative power level changes with time. Currently, FoF and Gifts are almost nonexistent in the Vintage metagame, and Thirst is arguably Tier 2. Regarding multiple restrictions, if you can make a compelling argument based on data AND theory, why not restrict both? The Personal Tutor and Chrome Mox restrictions were poor because the reasoning behind them was lazy, not because there were other cards restricted at the same time.

No, I completely agree with the point that subsequent unrestrictions doesn't mean that the restriction was unnecessary. That's not inconsistent with what I said. The main sentence in the paragraph above is:

I think it's fair to say that history & reason supports the contention that multiple restrictions are likely to be overbroad.

I think that's just an inescapable truth. When you restrict two or more cards aiming at the same problem, it's logically necessary that the second restriction becomes less important to solving the problem. Doesn't mean it isn't necessary - a deck could still be a problem with just a single restriction - but any given restriction will weaken the deck that is the target, making the second restriction less important.

Also, having been playing and heavily involved in Vintage during all of those times, we all knew that those restrictions were a bit overbroad at the time. People didn't agree with them - to your point about lazy reasoning.

@enderfall said:

Is Mentor a good card? Yes, and better with Gush.

Is Pyromancer a good card? Yes, and better with Gush.

Is Managorger Hydra a good card? Yes, and better with Gush.

So, that if Mentor is restricted, Young Pyromancer and Hydra are next?

Yeah, I don't think it's at all realistic.

Problem solved. Gush is the problem. Always has been, always will be.

That's definitely not true.

Gush has been unrestricted since October, 2010. You think it's been dominating ever since? It's been terrible for many months/years in that period. Guess how many Gush decks were in the 2012 Vintage Championship Top 8? Zero. Always been a problem? Not hardly.

Those kinds of superficial and far too easily made generalities are dangerously misleading.

last edited by Smmenen

To my understanding, Delver rose to prominence with the printing of Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. Young Pyromancer helped in this, but the delve spells were such boons that really pushed the deck.

Is Pyromancer/delver ridiculously overpowered with Gush? If mentor did go away, is it the next logical deck? It's not seeing as much play right now because of mentor, meaning that it is likely behind the power level. Is that behind power level then dominant in a world without Mentor, or does it fall into "good, but acceptably vintage good?"

Bonus question: is oath stronger in a delver pyromancer world than it is in a mentor world? What of workshops (in whatever state workshop decks end up) Is storm then the next best deck?

As deck builders, what are we missing (besides dredge doing its own thing off in the corner, stealing wins when you don't expect it.)

Random thoughts.

@Winterstar Those are really good questions. One thing I am absolutely sure of is that if Mentor were restricted, we would immediately see decks running the Sylvan Mentor shell now with 1 Mentor and 2 or three Pyromancers and perhaps one or two other card changes... How would that deck do in the new meta? I'm not sure that can be known. Presumably it would be less good than the current build since it could be run like that right now and people generally choose not to. But I'm willing to go on the record and say that it would still be pretty strong.

As an Oath player... without a doubt Oath is much better in a Delver world. Mentor is a much faster clock, and it means the opponent has much more white mana to spend, and the worst hate card by far to be playing against is Priest. Before people played white mana so much, it was so much simpler to put Oath on the stack.

last edited by Topical_Island

@Winterstar said:

To my understanding, Delver rose to prominence with the printing of Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. Young Pyromancer helped in this, but the delve spells were such boons that really pushed the deck.

Define "prominence". The deck put two pilots into the Top 8 of Champs 2013 and AJ Grasso into the Finals along with several other top performances.

Is Pyromancer/delver ridiculously overpowered with Gush? If mentor did go away, is it the next logical deck? It's not seeing as much play right now because of mentor, meaning that it is likely behind the power level. Is that behind power level then dominant in a world without Mentor, or does it fall into "good, but acceptably vintage good?"

Mentor is merely the easiest way to win with Gush...Young Pyromancer isn't far behind and you can throw random Dragonlords in if you are Brian Kelly or Rich Shay. After that, you have Jace, the Mindsculptor, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Snapcaster Mage, Time Vault/Voltaic Key, Tendrils, Managorger Hydra, etc...When you are outdrawing your Gushless opponent by 10-20 cards each game, the win condition is just a formality.

Bonus question: is oath stronger in a delver pyromancer world than it is in a mentor world? What of workshops (in whatever state workshop decks end up) Is storm then the next best deck?

It's stronger but still unfavorable for Oath (Oath is 30-70 against Gush the archetype and Mentor himself is only a couple of percentage points - the main offenders are Containment Priest, Wear/Tear, and the card advantage engine). Mentor the card actually isn't great against Gush, but Gush Mentor decks have favorable combo matchups given the effectiveness of the card draw engine. Workshops is the best shot at beating Gush Mentor but there are ways to combat it with deck construction and Workshops itself has a strong matchup against most Blue decks.

As deck builders, what are we missing (besides dredge doing its own thing off in the corner, stealing wins when you don't expect it.)

I've been trying to beat Gush as a Blue pilot since Khans...I've given up and joined the dark side, winning a Lotus and a Pearl in the process.

@ChubbyRain said:

Mentor is merely the easiest way to win with Gush...Young Pyromancer isn't far behind and you can throw random Dragonlords in if you are Brian Kelly or Rich Shay. After that, you have Jace, the Mindsculptor, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Snapcaster Mage, Time Vault/Voltaic Key, Tendrils, Managorger Hydra, etc...When you are outdrawing your Gushless opponent by 10-20 cards each game, the win condition is just a formality.

And with perfect timing - Gush Grixis Thieves.

Looking at MTG Goldfish is hilarious.

http://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/vintage#online

Mentor - 40.18% of metagame
(combines three different mentor-fueled lists)
Shops - 16.07% of metagame
(combines Ravager, Eldrazi, 5-color)

And the rest is... everything else.

If we ask which decks are using gush, we add Delver, Cobra Gush, and a few others, which is another 7.15%. So, Gush decks are making up 47.33% of the current metagame.

SEEMS HEALTHY!

Here's my hypothesis: Gush is so broken that I heard someone wrote a book about it. (I'm shocked there has been no link to that book in the thread so far. C'mon, Steve, step up your marketing game 😉 ). Gush was restricted for a reason. It was only safe to unrestricted in the age where a reliable and strong Workshop control deck could keep it in check. If Workshop cannot come back from its recent restrictions to pose a bigger challenge to Gush decks, then Gush is probably no longer a safe unrestricted card.

Which is really sad, because Gush is super fun, too.

EDIT: I think a better solution is for Wizards to print something that actually makes us choose between vertical and horizontal growth. Thing in the Ice was EXACTLY this kind of card, but it looks like it's just not quite strong enough to really make an impact. At least, not that we've seen yet. What if they printed this:

Vertical Growth is Good Again
1G, Creature - Human Nerd
Whenever a player casts a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on this.
Creature tokens get -1/-1 for each +1/+1 counter on this.

You print that, and we have a reason to play something other than Mentor. Of course, we'd still play Gush, so maybe the card has to be:

Vertical Growth is Good Again (and Gush stinks)
1G, Creature - Human Nerd
Whenever a player casts a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on this.
Whenever an opponent casts a spell with a converted mana cost of 5 or greater, you may search your card for a blue instant and cast it without paying its mana cost.
Creature tokens get -1/-1 for each +1/+1 counter on this.

last edited by MaximumCDawg

^ MTGGoldFish's metrics aren't exactly known for their accuracy, just like to point that out.

last edited by Guest

@MaximumCDawg said:

http://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/vintage#online

I actually think the numbers you added are misleadingly low. Maybe some archetypes were misclassified? They have another set of data where they don't try to classify decks (which, as socialite said, they often get wrong), and they just tell you how many decks used each card:

http://www.mtggoldfish.com/format-staples/vintage

According to those numbers, 55% of 3-1-and-better decks run Gush, and Workshops are present in 14.29% (some of those lists are Eldrazi decks which run <4 Shops)

Of course, to socialite's point, it's not a perfect sample, we don't know about the Dailies they don't publish, and we don't know what the field is like, just the winners.

last edited by Brass Man

Here are the results of one more tournament, so not a trend of course but just one piece of factual information to add to the analysis :
LCV of April : 39 players, 6 of Top8 decks were running Gush, winner is running Gush

For the experts, more details here :
LCV April 2016

last edited by albarkhane

@Smmenen said:

@ChubbyRain said:

That assumes restriction was a mistake if it is later unrestricted - I don't think you can assume that. Fact or Fiction, Gifts Ungiven, and Thirst for Knowledge were incredibly powerful cards at certain points in Vintage's history, but adding a thousand or so cards each year means the relative power level changes with time. Currently, FoF and Gifts are almost nonexistent in the Vintage metagame, and Thirst is arguably Tier 2. Regarding multiple restrictions, if you can make a compelling argument based on data AND theory, why not restrict both? The Personal Tutor and Chrome Mox restrictions were poor because the reasoning behind them was lazy, not because there were other cards restricted at the same time.

No, I completely agree with the point that subsequent unrestrictions doesn't mean that the restriction was unnecessary. That's not inconsistent with what I said. The main sentence in the paragraph above is:

I think it's fair to say that history & reason supports the contention that multiple restrictions are likely to be overbroad.

I think that's just an inescapable truth. When you restrict two or more cards aiming at the same problem, it's logically necessary that the second restriction becomes less important to solving the problem. Doesn't mean it isn't necessary - a deck could still be a problem with just a single restriction - but any given restriction will weaken the deck that is the target, making the second restriction less important.

This is a fair statement but I think it also highlights our fundamental disagreement - we aren't necessarily addressing the same problem here. One problem is that Gush and the draw engine associated with it (Dig, Cruise, Preordain, Dack, etc.) has pushed out other Blue draw engines, like Thirst, Gifts, JTMS, FoF, etc. Another separate problem is that Monastery Mentor has obviated multiple other creature archetypes like BUG fish, hatebears, Merfolk, Trinket Mage control decks, etc. Gush Mentor happens to employ both strategies and subsequently has emerged as the current "best deck" in Vintage. You mentioned, and rightly so, that Mentor decks could substitute in a couple cards to replace Gush and continue to perform at a high level. Alternatively, you can jam Mentor in with some other card advantage engine like Thoughtcast/TFK or Humanstorm with cantrips and Draw-7s (or 14's and mind twist your opponent), and continue to beat other creature strategies by having this busted 3-mana creature as a 3-4 of. At the same time, you can substitute Mentor with YP, Managorger Hydra, and/or Vault/Key (see the recent LCV), and continue to beat other Blue strategies by virtue of virtual card advantage and actual card advantage. This is why I think both cards need to be restricted - they are both hurting the diversity of the format in different ways.

Gush has been unrestricted since October, 2010. You think it's been dominating ever since? It's been terrible for many months/years in that period. Guess how many Gush decks were in the 2012 Vintage Championship Top 8? Zero. Always been a problem? Not hardly.

That's true - Gush has gotten better with subsequent printings. Since 2012, Delver was printed (or more accurately adapted in Vintage) and put two decks into the top 8 of Vintage Champs 2013. Since 2013, Pyromancer, Dack, and Cruise were printed, putting four decks into the Top 8 of Vintage Champs 2014. Since 2014 and losing Treasure Cruise, they replaced it with Dig and Mark Herbig added Mentor (while Ryan stayed with Delver/YP), again putting two decks in the Top 8 of Vintage Champs. And now they have JVP and no longer have to contend with Chalice of the Void and Lodestone Golem (No, I absolutely do not advocate unrestricting these cards as they do not lead to interactive gameplay). Always a problem? Of course not... Currently and in recent history a problem? I would argue yes. I think we have reached a critical point where restricting other cards like Brainstorm, Merchant Scroll, Treasure Cruise, Dig through Time, and potentially Monastery Mentor are no longer sufficient to balance Gush.

last edited by Guest

​BUg Fish was well on it's way out of the meta before Monastery Mentor was printed, from my observation this was due 100% to its inability to deal with the card Lightning Bolt. Merfolk has never been able to present both a clock and disruption, it's a major flaw that forms a ceiling to it's viability in a format as spry as ours. It can't be argued that Gush is the preferred weapon of choice for a large percentage of "blue" players but as I stated before the viability of cards like Gifts Ungiven and Thrist for Knowledge, to me, have much less to do with the presence of Gush and more to do with the evolution of Vintage over the past 6 years. Graffdigger's Cage, Mental Misstep, and Flusterstorm have done more to shape the landscape of Vintage than Gush ever will and I find it hard to reconcile big mana draw engines in the presence of such elegant disruption and a format that has revolved around the ability to interact through Workshops.

As far as limiting other archetypes, some Vintage players have this long standing tradition of belief that because Vintage is the original eternal format that cards will continue to be viable for an excessive amount of time. This is true to an extent but we are not immune to power creep and bad cards are always going to be bad no matter how individuals want to try and shape the format to fit their preferred narrative.

Again, I don't view homogenization with such negative connotation as I find it is much more nuanced and less black and white as those who use it as a prop for argumentative purposes. Lodestone was an evolutionary step for Workshops that homogenized the archetype to an extreme; yet I did not hear many complaints. We're seeing much the same with Monastery Mentor and like many cards in Vintage it sets a baseline of what is and is not viable. Is this a bad thing, I suppose so, but only if you really care about playing with outmoded cards from bygone eras.

It's important to note a positive; Gush does set a reasonable fundamental turn, something that has never really existed (in a healthy state) in Vintage. If you assume casting Gush is the entry level for the format that means the fundamental turn is three, by turn three you should be doing something of relevance and drawing two cards and netting one mana is a very low bar for the Vintage card pool. If individuals thought about it from this perspective I think they'd be surprised how much design space is actually available.

Graffdigger's Cage, Mental Misstep, and Flusterstorm have both elongated and condensed Vintage game states. This is healthy, the onus is on interaction but no longer do we have a plethora of game states that end early solely based on power level. They have created a much needed Vintage dialog that has ultimately resulted in what I would consider to be a more inviting and healthy format. Prior to these developments "blue" mirrors were excruciatingly awful, the best analogy I can give is two people playing individual and separate games of Magic that rendezvoused only to joust over a single turn with the ultimate victor of the game being the same whom was able to posture long enough to win the ensuing counter war.

It is what it is and I suppose we will see how things flesh out going forward but I'm not convinced returning to an age of Gifts, Slaver, Tezzeret, or Blue Angels is really any more healthy than what we currently have, if anything it feels like a major step backwards. Regardless of how I feel WotC will proceed how it sees fit and while the current trend looks bad for our friend Gush, lest we not forget that unlike the card Lodestone Golem - Gush is fun, something that seems to be increasingly devoid in Vintage due to the grievances of the few.

last edited by Guest

I haven't been playing vintage for years, but dont people use engineered explosives anymore? Bye bye tokens. Wouldnt bomberman be a good deck vs. mentor decks?

@socialite said:

​BUg Fish was well on it's way out of the meta before Monastery Mentor was printed, from my observation this was due 100% to its inability to deal with the card Lightning Bolt. Merfolk has never been able to present both a clock and disruption, it's a major flaw that forms a ceiling to it's viability in a format as spry as ours. It can't be argued that Gush is the preferred weapon of choice for a large percentage of "blue" players but as I stated before the viability of cards like Gifts Ungiven and Thrist for Knowledge, to me, have much less to do with the presence of Gush and more to do with the evolution of Vintage over the past 6 years. Graffdigger's Cage, Mental Misstep, and Flusterstorm have done more to shape the landscape of Vintage than Gush ever will and I find it hard to reconcile big mana draw engines in the presence of such elegant disruption and a format that has revolved around the ability to interact through Workshops.

BUG Fish was on the way out due to Delver of Secrets and Lightning Bolt making Dark Confidant a risky play, Gush embarrassing the Wasteland component of the deck, and Young Pyromancer growing laterally. The Delve spells and Monaster Mentor were the death knell as a single Monk token was generally bigger than every creature in their deck. (I disagree with your view that lightning bolt was singly responsible. Merfolk again is another deck in which multiple creatures are outclassed by a single Mentor. I cannot deny that many powerful disruptive cards have been printed recently and shaped the format - at the same point, MM and Flusterstorm have made Gush much better (as cheap but powerful counters that can be cast off 1 Island) while Gush itself is relatively immune to their effects.

As far as limiting other archetypes, some Vintage players have this long standing tradition of belief that because Vintage is the original eternal format that cards will continue to be viable for an excessive amount of time. This is true to an extent but we are not immune to power creep and bad cards are always going to be bad no matter how individuals want to try and shape the format to fit their preferred narrative.

As a relative newcomer, I cannot speak to Vintage's long standing traditions - this seems like little more than condescension though. Power creep is inevitable, but that doesn't mean we have to play in a format with four Treasure Cruises and four Dig through Times. And "bad cards always being bad" is intellectually lazy hogwash. The power of cards is a product of their interactions with others and therefore subject to change as new cards are printed. Dark Depths is the quintessential example of a bulk rare turned into a format-defining staple through the printing of a couple of cards.

Again, I don't view homogenization with such negative connotation as I find it is much more nuanced and less black and white as those who use it as a prop for argumentative purposes. Lodestone was an evolutionary step for Workshops that homogenized the archetype to an extreme; yet I did not hear many complaints. We're seeing much the same with Monastery Mentor and like many cards in Vintage it sets a baseline of what is and is not viable. Is this a bad thing, I suppose so, but only if you really care about playing with outmoded cards from bygone eras.

"One key to the continued health of Magic is diversity. It is vitally important to ensure that there are multiple competitive decks for the tournament player to choose from. Why? If there were only a single viable deck to play, tournaments would quickly stagnate as players were forced to either play that deck or a deck built specifically to beat it. In addition, different players enjoy playing different types of decks. If there are plenty of viable options to play, there will be more players at more tournaments." - From Wizards Website

Homogenization is the opposite of diversity and while I agree the forces driving it are often nuanced and never black and white, the people who create and maintain the game cite is as a specific harm to the continued health of Magic. They take a much less elitist view than apparently you do on what people should play...

Graffdigger's Cage, Mental Misstep, and Flusterstorm have both elongated and condensed Vintage game states. This is healthy, the onus is on interaction but no longer do we have a plethora of game states that end early solely based on power level. They have created a much needed Vintage dialog that has ultimately resulted in what I would consider to be a more inviting and healthy format. Prior to these developments "blue" mirrors were excruciatingly awful, the best analogy I can give is two people playing individual and separate games of Magic that rendezvoused only to joust over a single turn with the ultimate victor of the game being the same whom was able to posture long enough to win the ensuing counter war.

And I do not think anyone is arguing seriously for the restriction of Cage or Flusterstorm. While Mental Misstep has been mentioned, I think it would be horrid for magic. You have also had a very different experience with Blue mirrors than you have had...they've been relatively similar to Control mirrors in other formats and that was part of the reason I had almost immediate success when I was brought into Vintage.

It is what it is and I suppose we will see how things flesh out going forward but I'm not convinced returning to an age of Gifts, Slaver, Tezzeret, or Blue Angels is really any more healthy than what we currently have, if anything it feels like a major step backwards. Regardless of how I feel WotC will proceed how it sees fit and while the current trend looks bad for our friend Gush, lest we not forget that unlike the card Lodestone Golem - Gush is fun, something that seems to be increasingly devoid in Vintage due to the grievances of the few.

Gush may be fun to some (I don't like it despite my success with it), however so is being able to play other competitive strategies aside from Gush, Dredge, Storm, and Shops...

last edited by Guest

@Ishmokin said:

I haven't been playing vintage for years, but dont people use engineered explosives anymore? Bye bye tokens. Wouldnt bomberman be a good deck vs. mentor decks?

Does nothing to address Monastery Mentor and is often little more than a fog effect that also wipes out your artifact manan. Bomberman in its various forms is not competitive against Gush Mentor as they have removal for Salvagers, a superior card draw engine, and Mentor is adept at pressuring your planeswalkers. The closest I could get the deck was incorporating Counterbalance Top into the maindeck.

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