last edited by vaughnbros
The format was slower, and it was better for it at that point in Magic. That is the format that actually got me into "Vintage".
As some people have brought up there are some weird problems with rule changes though that may cause the format to be substantially different, and the restricted list still had some lag effects from it being "Type I and Type II" with a combined list. So I think the restricted list would / should be dramatically different for such a format.
I think Anti-Fish, which was just UR fish with River Boas, was actually the best deck of that time, but Hulk Smash was very powerful and so was Drain into random big drops.
Just to elaborate a bit more on that format at the time from my persepctive, UR Fish could absolutely bury you in card advantage. They not only ran Standstill, but they had Curiosity (an enchant creature!), man-lands, Null Rods, Strip effects, Grim Lavamancer. Daze, Force of Will, and the Hatchling allowed the deck to tap out every turn so they just incrementally gain massive mana usage advantage over the course of the game too. You basically had to take a strict plan of kill their early creatures, AND hit your land drops to stand any chance against them.
I don't recall the combo decks being very good. Storm was somewhat of a boogie man, but it was bad against the best deck (Fish), the restricted list made them fairly inconsistent and you had the sideboard space to devote to them if you wanted to (no Dredge). The other combos did not consistently happen early in the game, and if they did you still had a suite of 8+ counterspell effects in any control list. Occasionally, someone would get the turn 1 Dragon Combo, but you need like a perfect 7 for that.
I thought Shops was also definitely a control deck back then, not much of an aggro deck, as they mostly relied on locking you out of the game. It was a very reliant on Urza's block, whereas now people can tap into about 50 different artifact sets.