August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement

@desolutionist said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@craw_advantage said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@desolutionist said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

Restrict Mox Opal at the very least and get rid of this PO disturbance.

Can they not just get rid of PO itself? It's just such a miserable play experience to have as the fallback "default" combo option.

Sure, get rid of it all! But if they were to only restrict PO, there would still be Monolith+Opal+Manifold Key to power out whatever 4 mana card they print next.

Clearly that combination of artifact accelerants with the London mulligan is too powerful to remain okay for much longer.

Depends on what that four-mana thing is, I guess. If it's Belcher or Helm of Obedience I don't have a problem with that at all. Opal and Monolith do "feel" like restricted cards to me though, for whatever that's worth, but with shops off the table for restriction who knows what the rubric is for fast mana. I don't feel the same urgency to kick those though, whereas Outcome should be erased from the timeline retroactively if possible.

@craw_advantage said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@desolutionist said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@craw_advantage said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

@desolutionist said in August 26, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

Restrict Mox Opal at the very least and get rid of this PO disturbance.

Can they not just get rid of PO itself? It's just such a miserable play experience to have as the fallback "default" combo option.

Sure, get rid of it all! But if they were to only restrict PO, there would still be Monolith+Opal+Manifold Key to power out whatever 4 mana card they print next.

Clearly that combination of artifact accelerants with the London mulligan is too powerful to remain okay for much longer.

Depends on what that four-mana thing is, I guess. If it's Belcher or Helm of Obedience I don't have a problem with that at all. Opal and Monolith do "feel" like restricted cards to me though, for whatever that's worth, but with shops off the table for restriction who knows what the rubric is for fast mana. I don't feel the same urgency to kick those though, whereas Outcome should be erased from the timeline retroactively if possible.

During the time that people were making a huge stink over Karn, it seemed to me that Monolith/Opal was the underlying issue. Since, if you consider the time that it was spoiled it was never thought to be the center piece of a glass cannon combo deck. A 4 mana planeswalker should be a relatively fair but good midrange haymaker. The problem occurred because it was reliably a turn one play. I believe a turn one Karn should be possible but not likely. Turn one PO should also be possible but not likely.

Based on the only two challenges since the restriction, my hunch that Opal/Monolith should be restricted is kind of being confirmed. I must have played against PO 8/16 matches between the two tournaments; it is taking up quite a large portion of the metagame. I didn't mind it as much because I started playing 3-4 Collector Ouphes, but the reality of this horrible situation set in today when I lost to glass cannon Belcher in top 8. This is essentially the same deck as the dreaded Karn deck, where it's going to generate 6-7 mana and kill you on turn one reliably thanks to an overabundance of powerful artifact accelerants and mulligan rules. So even though I have 4 Collector Ouphes and they don't have any lands, the Belcher player is going to reliably win before I can deploy a counterstrategy. He won the tournament and I fully expect BelcherPO to be the new KarnForge of the meta. In terms of virtually winning the game on turn one, it is the same deck.

Mox, Mox, Monolith, Key, untap Monolith, etc. It's the same...

Remember that KarnForge didn't even have the results to warrant a restriction, but enough people complained because they wanted their games to advance beyond the first turn. That's a reasonable complaint. The DCI listened to the complaints, responded accordingly, and urged us to continue complaining. I just want my games to advance to turn 2/3. That's all I'm after. Any deck playing 4 Monolith and 4 Opal probably is trying to win on turn 1 and those cards make it pretty easy for them.

last edited by desolutionist

Is Belcher that consistent? Belcher has been around for a long time, and it sounds like the mana engine you're describing has been legal for a long time. Have people only just now figured out Grim Monolith?

@ajfirecracker

The London mulligan is what makes consistent. For a while PO had been battling with Mentor for the top spot in the meta. The London mulligan is what gave it the final push it needed to overcome Mentor.
We saw this during the London mulligan trial on MTGO. What prevented PO from dominating more recently is Karn. The restriction of Karn left the door wide open for PO. And then Belcher is just next level PO in my opinion. How do you win the PO mirror? You just win faster. It's the same sort of evolution that Karn decks took.

Is it consistent? Consistent enough to be the last man standing after 10 rounds of Vintage. We'll have to see next week. You can't deny the PO trend though. Where does it go from here?

last edited by desolutionist

Wait, can we go back to talking about things that weren't B&R related in thread? Like the perks of MTGO? I missed that...

Well, speaking of MTGO, you can watch replays of games if you played in the event, so I used those to take a look at this event. PO was 19% of the metagame and had a win rate of 51.4% (though I can't account for mirrors - well, I could but I'm not going to put in the huge amount of effort that takes). It had one deck in the top 8 and 4 decks in the top 32. Note: I don't actually count the winning Belcher deck as a PO deck because it runs one Paradoxical Outcomes. I also don't understand the rant about Grim Monolith. The deck runs zero copies. You should know this because Magic Online reveals the entire content of the deck to you when you are Belched. In fact, if you watched other games that the Belcher deck played, the turn 1 win rate didn't seem to be incredibly high. I was interested and so I went back and watched the matches. I would need to see a much larger sample size before I thought that this was a more significant issue. Seriously, I don't think a single deck in the entire challenge ran Grim Monolith.

The best deck in the event was probably Jeskai Arcanist at 16.2% metashare and a win rate of 60%. Dredge was 8.8% with a 63.2% win rate, so I'm not sure the restrictions actually hurt Dredge, especially with the emergence of the more vulnerable Jeskai builds. BUG was at 14.7% with a 45.6% MWP. Shops 8.8% and terrible at 31.0%. Survival 7.4% with 44.4%.

The metagame is going to shift two weeks into a shake up. At this point post War, Narset decks were still dominating and then Karn won the next 5 events in a row. B&R arguments based on metagame percentages that target decks should probably wait a bit.

Edit: Snipped the bit about Narset. Don't feel like arguing about it. The data will come in with time and player experiences will mount but I'm pretty fatigued with it so I'll enjoy the good parts of the format in the meantime, which outweigh the bad right now by a considerable margin IMO.

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain

I could have sworn it was Monolith. Perhaps it was Mana Vault. In either case the match was over in three turns.

@desolutionist Bah, I owe you an apology since I guess I missed them or they were sided out that game. In any case, there were only two in the deck and it doesn’t seem that this is a new or broken engine for PO. The list is on Twitter if you are interested and follow Nat Moes.

@chubbyrain

Oh well It's not a huge deal just so extremely frustrating to lose to that deck. Thanks for the data.

Hey, I was 9th. I feel ya.

You’ve been doing very well recently but you can’t will them all. Congrats on another top 8.

I think the meta right now is crazy with a trend to brokenness because new and old players are coming back wanting to play Vintage in it’s busted glory. We’ll see how it ends up but I’m not ready to hit the panic button yet.

Glass canon decks are a feature not a bug of Vintage. My concern as a longtime Vintage player is that some of the voices about their preferences for the format will over shadow those that enjoy playing the format is a different way. My preference for various styles of decks change over time and based on new printings I will experiment with combo or something else.

I admittedly am not a consistent MTGO player but the shifts on MTGO are somewhat dramatic when the meta shifts. I find that paper players take a bit more time to shift their decks.

I like playing very broken decks and I think it is a big feature of the Vintage format overall. People seem to get upset about turn one and turn 2 wins but I have lost to a control deck on turn one not just combo decks and it does not feel good. Their plays on turn one essentially made it so that it was better for me not to even play a card and just go to game 2. All of these experiences are anecdotal and @ChubbyRain is correct to take a more analytical view of what really is happening.

Personally, I have been playing around with PO and it is very difficult to play right now. You really need to be a master with the deck and know the meta to do well with it. Vintage is format where one card will tilt the entire game and it will shift quickly. This never feels good but it is a feature of the format, not a bug.

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1 I hear what you're saying, but I'm just not sure how a glass cannon deck gets through a 10 round tournament, including a deck with excessive hate in the form of 3 Collector Ouphe, 4 Force of Vigor, 1 Arcane Laboratory, 4 Force of Will, 1 Mental Misstep, 1 Ashiok Dream Render, 1 Chalice of the Void, 2 Grafdigger's Cage, and 1 Force of Negation. Not very glass cannony if he's getting through all that. In fact, I'd call it a resilient turn one combo deck that doesn't care what it is playing against.

I mean maybe next time his deck won’t work in round 1 and 2? I don’t know... seems pretty dumb to have things like that. Got the best deck for a tournament? Nope! Sorry the Belcher guy is running hot today. #funtimes

last edited by desolutionist

I'm happy to see Belcher in the mix. To me, someone entering the challenge with a one-off rogue brew and winning the whole thing is cause for excitement, not dread. We'll see how it holds up to hate as more people start playing it, but even if it does straight up take over PO's place in the meta that's a huge win in my book.

last edited by craw_advantage

I think it's great that Belcher can spike an event in the hands of a good pilot (and watching the matches, it was very well played). Same with Two Card Monte, DPS, random Fastbond brews, Rector Flash, or whatever. I don't think the goal of Vintage regulation should be to invalidate such decks but rather make it so the typical format experience feels diverse, interesting, and fun for participants, and that players have options in the strategies they can bring to an event and compete.

It’s great only in a Russian roulette kind of way. It’s the exact opposite of logic and strategy. It’s “fun”, spontaneous, wild and wacky like The Itchy and Scratchy Show.

I think there's a Catch-22 here. Belcher won an event. If it was a "good" deck (high expected match win %) the format is broken because Belcher is fast and it's undesirable for fast decks to be "good". If it was a "bad" deck (low expected match win%) the format is broken because this bad deck got lucky, and it's undesirable for players to be subjected to variance in which a bad deck might sometimes just get lucky. Is that an accurate summary of what's already been said?

@ajfirecracker What's been said is that people enjoy getting randomly blown out by Belcher. It's "fun".

Both scenarios you describe suck in my world. It just fits the negative stereotype that normal players associate with Vintage. The top 8 had 14 Null Rods and 10 Lavinias in addition to dozens of what should be effective counterstrategies but you know this is Vintage and we want counterstrategies to fail when they're needed most.

Is it really a glass cannon? Just a one time thing? After it dismantled that top 8, I don't think it is. If it's just a fluke and this kind of thing can happen in any given event, then what does that tell you about the data? Maybe it's just a silly, pointless game.

We shall see in the coming weeks!

last edited by desolutionist

I both applaud Charbelcher's win and despise being paired against it and similar Vintage decks (Informer/Spy combo, etc.). Having something unusual come out of the woodwork and find success feels similar to when a notoriously bad player does the same. It gives players hope and allows the format to grow instead of having the bottom echelon of players walk away from the format over time.

Wow, Belcher not only took down the thing but left such a lasting impression on player(s) post game?
Can't remember Belcher taking first place in vintage...(in a very loooong time)
Can we call it Goblin Salt-shaker from now on? 😂

I would expect that decks aiming to win on turn one are bolstered tremendously by the restriction of Mental Misstep. Isn't this what everyone said would happen?

@aaron-patten maybe, but the restriction also opens up a bunch of cheap counterplay and disruption strategies like Thoughtseize, Duress, Spell pierce...

The tools to fight turn 1 wins are still there with the addition of FoN, FoV and the possibly renewed playability of Misdirection. It's just a way more interesting decision to make as well in deck building as in game.

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