Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever

To focus on Lurrus again, mirror match formats are often high skill level. I suppose part of the reason I am trying to figure out how to "fix" vintage is because leaving it as the lurrus format is a pretty radical change. The other major concern for me is if Lurrus congegates on a single deck. This seems likely to me based on past experience with constructed metas. If multiple Lurrus shells exist then I'm less sure the card needs to be addressed. Adding a cheap legend to the list of cards you need for vintage isn't the end of the world.

@thewhitedragon69 said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

@protoaddict Why not just play EDH then? A singleton format already exists. Why play vintage and want the same changes?

Edh isn't a singleton format.

It is a singleton multiplayer format, with 100 card decks, and no sideboard, and the commander rule, and color identity restrictions, and missing a large chunk of the cards that make vintage what it is, played as a best of 1 format. It is not even close to vintage.

It's like telling a pro football player who wants some reform in the rules in order to prevent concussions from killing players and destroying the sport to go play ultimate frisbee in the park instead.

@BillCopes obviously they are unrestricting channel duh

@billcopes Unrestricting Trinisphere. Enjoy your cheap 3 mana permanents. We then make a gentleman's agreement to play neither Lurrus or Trinisphere as more than a 1 of maindeck.

I mean, I don't even want to jump to conclusions for vintage considering every single day there are different conversations about what can be on and off that list. We also have no idea if this is a ban, restriction, rules change, etc.

I'm actually suspect about this since legacy has no issues banning a card like Lurrus, but for Modern and Pioneer not to be mentioned is strange since companion is very prominent in those formats as well.

I don't think we've gotten to the bottom yet of whether people want Vintage to be a format where we have a few dozen Companions and every deck needs to have a Companion. We become kind of like EDH. It's different, for sure. Is it good? Bad?

@protoaddict said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

I'm actually suspect about this since legacy has no issues banning a card like Lurrus, but for Modern and Pioneer not to be mentioned is strange since companion is very prominent in those formats as well.

Mmm, well, there's a logic to banning it in older formats. The idea is that Lurrus (and maybe Zirda too) have restrictions that basically are not restrictions in old formats. The "cost" of playing with an eighth card in your hand is supposed to be a disruptive restriction on your deck. In Standard, probably Pioneer too, these restrictions are probably very real. In Legacy and Vintage they're really not.

@maximumcdawg said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

Mmm, well, there's a logic to banning it in older formats. The idea is that Lurrus (and maybe Zirda too) have restrictions that basically are not restrictions in old formats. The "cost" of playing with an eighth card in your hand is supposed to be a disruptive restriction on your deck. In Standard, probably Pioneer too, these restrictions are probably very real. In Legacy and Vintage they're really not.

I think that argument falls apart in Modern though. Zirda is sorta a non factor if only because Legacy and Vintage have the tools to go infinite with her and modern does not, but Lurrus is generically good in those formats as well and there are already lists that show the deck building cost can be overcome.

The longer modern is a format, the more and more true it becomes. I doubt that the format will ever be a Lurrus format in the long run, but I can easily imagine it being a companion format forever. I play a living end deck in modern and without having to do a single thing my deck was already good to run Zirda. And while her effect is minimal in the list, it is still a free 3/3 creature if I need it in a grindy match.

Likewise a lot of burn decks started running Obosh, the Preypiercer with minimal changes to their lists, Gyruda, Doom of Depths is very likely just going to be a deck on its own with spark double and the like just reanimating 10 drops, and my understanding is that Kaheera, the Orphanguard is something that a great many creature-less decks are running.

@protoaddict Could be! I think the older the format, the larger the card pool, the lower the cost of running a Companion becomes. It's pretty clear the cost is very low in Vintage and Legacy. It's also pretty clear that the cost is very high in Standard. Pioneer and Modern...? Somewhere in the middle, I'd guess, but I suspect the reason WotC isn't looking at those format specifically is the data doesn't support a move yet.

You make an interesting point, though. If they banned Companion generally in Legacy and Vintage, but kept printing more, you totally could have Modern become the "Companion Format." That might actually be a net positive. It would distinguish Modern from Legacy and Pioneer is a very high-profile way. I kind of like that line of thought.

@maximumcdawg said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

You make an interesting point, though. If they banned Companion generally in Legacy and Vintage, but kept printing more, you totally could have Modern become the "Companion Format." That might actually be a net positive. It would distinguish Modern from Legacy and Pioneer is a very high-profile way. I kind of like that line of thought.

I doubt this would ever happen, since it would start to turn Modern into something akin to Commander light. The formats should feel different, but they should still feel like the same game.

I think the other thing to consider though is the larger the card pool, the more viable other, and newly printed companions start looking next to lurris. I contend that part of the issue with Companion is not the mechanic itself, but the breadth of the cards. If a much larger selection of decks had access to a companion, and the companions were of similar power and disposition, It would just become a new facet of the game itself, no different than when sideboards were added, when mulligan rules were added, or when graveyard hate became a mandatory in basically every sideboard.

And even at that, I can still think of lists that would not run a companion. I would not compromise my Legacy burn deck to run Oobash ever, nor would anyone else with a brain. I'm not going to make my pioneer spiriots deck 8 cards to run yorion, and that deck is still just fine.

The situation we are in now would be akin to if the sideboard rule existed, but only blue decks could have one. Side-boarding is fine in and of itself, but only allowing a small subsection of the game to do it would break it in half.

last edited by Protoaddict

@maximumcdawg said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

It's also pretty clear that the cost is very high in Standard.

not that much? the biggest decks are taking the value deck and playing 80 cards, taking the RB cat oven deck and playing either lurrus or obosh, playing off color cyclers instead of uncastable on color 6 drops to run lurrus in WR cycling.

@protoaddict said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

I would not compromise my Legacy burn deck to run Oobash ever, nor would anyone else with a brain.

no, legacy burn relies way too much on access to fireblast/price/eidolon. modern burn plays lurrus, as it already has white for boros charm and doesn't have to worry about wastelands. only legacy spell in burn that would contradict lurrus would be sulfuric vortex, but the manabase would likely not be worth it.

@protoaddict said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

. I'm not going to make my pioneer spiriots deck 8[0] cards to run yorion, and that deck is still just fine.

it looks like spirits can run jegantha with no changes; a vanilla 5/5 for 5 that is available every game probably beats the 15th sideboard card.

if they print more companions, which they likely finalized the plans to before any of these cards were known to us, there will likely be enough options that every deck will have options for "vanilla creature that my existing deck can play" like jegantha, but I'm not sure how much this will be of similar power to the decks that get companions with useful abilities.

@blindtherapy said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

it looks like spirits can run jegantha with no changes; a vanilla 5/5 for 5 that is available every game probably beats the 15th sideboard card.
if they print more companions, which they likely finalized the plans to before any of these cards were known to us, there will likely be enough options that every deck will have options for "vanilla creature that my existing deck can play" like jegantha, but I'm not sure how much this will be of similar power to the decks that get companions with useful abilities.

I would be changing my Blue white spirits considerably to try to add red or green mana to support a vanilla 5/5. That does not beat the 15th sideboard card as far as I am concerned.

Companions are going to be just like any other card in the game. Some will stand out, most will be meh. If 100 companion cards get printed and 20 of them are viable across the non standard formats that is probably a win design wise. I mean when planeswalkers were first added to the game Tezz was by far and away the most viable vintage one and I don't know that anything else was close. It took multiple more printings for there be enough planeswalkers that were viable for it to not be Tezz and the rest of them, and even more printing for them to not all be blue. Now we are fortunate if we get a walker that is viable in a given set, with the exception of WAR because of how many were in there.

I really want to see them extend this mechanic, not kill it. I want companion creatures, or just cards that live in that same space that provide really deck building questions in exchange for real power. I would not play shock in my Mono red Burn deck, I might actually consider shock in the companion slot even if it's cost was harsh like "you may not have creatures in your deck". There is a lot of design space here that can be explored.

@protoaddict They manage Modern and Pioneer with more care. For Vintage and Legacy nowadays the banlist is just a response to internet outcry. They don't even try anymore, just gather what people are complaining about and act on it.

@protoaddict said in Vintage 101: Cat Scratch Fever:

I would be changing my Blue white spirits considerably to try to add red or green mana to support a vanilla 5/5. That does not beat the 15th sideboard card as far as I am concerned.

I looked up pioneer spirits and saw 85% running 10-11 green sources for collected company and sideboard cards in a deck that was otherwise UW. the ones since mid-april were playing jegantha, although that was admittedly only two reported lists.

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