Vintage Metagame Report - April to June



  • As part of the post-LSG restriction data dump, here is what we collected from Paper Tournaments (and MTGO Power 9s).

    But for that a few tidbits...

    • See the Daily Events thread for classification details

    • We established a minimum # of players for an event to be recorded at 17 (the cutoff for a 5 round event producing a top 8) and only included the top 8 (not the top 16 of larger events).

    • Tentatively, we included the results from the MTGO P9 series in these breakdowns. The idea behind this is that the tournament structure is virtually equivalent to paper events and the MTGO results affect Paper metagames (and vice versa). Client specific limitations are rather overstated...in 3 months of paper data, there were 4 "Bomberman" lists (3 Salvagers Oath and 1 AJ Grasso BomberMentor) and zero Dragon decks. Online players have also had a great deal of success in Paper tournaments when given the chance to play - the NYSE featured two MTGO regulars in @Montolio and @i_b_TRUE. In addition, WotC clearly considers these Power 9 events in their B&R decisions and I think so should we in attempting to paint a complete picture of the Vintage metagame. However, I am curious what others here think - please chime in below on whether or not you believe MTGO P9 Events should be included in these types of global tournament reports.

    • There are two options for weighting individual tournaments based on tournament size. The first is linearly (# of players/some constant (we used @CHA1N5's per 16 players)) which basically is a measure of the "difficulty of top 8'ing" - The chance of top 8'ing a 16 person event is 0.5; the chance of top 8'ing a 32 person event is 0.25; compared to one another, it is 2X more difficult to top 8 the 32 person event and a linear system reflects this by weighting the 32 person event at twice that of the 16 person event. The second method we considered was a logarithmic scale. Rounds roughly follow a log2 progression with 16 players being 4 rounds, 32 players 5 rounds. This would be a weighting system based on expected number of wins to top 8. The linear scale produces a much more dramatic difference between large events and small events and this is what we opted for - please let us know your thoughts on the matter.

    • The Delta Weighted column is the difference in the % of top 8's between the weighted and unweighted groups. A positive Delta Weighted means that an archetype or deck was more thoroughly represented in larger events and a negative Delta Weighted means the opposite.

    • We really need a more consistent method of tracking down tournament results...I used MTGTop8, TCDecks, TMD, Facebook, and Twitter to try and find Vintage results. If there is another reference I'm unaware of, please chime in as we really do strive to have as complete a dataset as possible.

    Without further ado:

    Overall:

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    By Month:

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    As always, thanks to Ryan Eberhart @diophan for his invaluable contributions.

    Tournaments within Range:
    TOGIT https://www.facebook.com/theonlygameintownnj/posts/1031748553572291
    4/9/2016
    Madness Comics http://www.tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=20092
    4/10/2016
    Hareuya http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=12255&f=VI
    4/16/2016
    Top Deck Games https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1203486913030068&id=205335206178582
    4/16/2016
    Knight Ware http://themanadrain.com/topic/208/04-17-2016-results-knight-ware-unsanctioned-vintage
    4/17/2016
    A Store of Fire and Dice No link (had friends in attendance and was streamed on Twitch)
    4/23/2016
    Ovinio http://www.tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=20208&iddeck=154063
    4/25/2016
    LCV http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/261/lcv-2016-april-edition-barcelona-04-30-39-players-top16-lists
    4/30/2016
    BMG http://www.blackmagicgaming.com/bmg-vintage-to-report-for-5-7-16nyse-4-and-ee4-qualifier-event/
    5/7/2016
    Bazaar of Moxen http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=12315&f=VI
    5/8/2016
    GP Tokyo http://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=12436&f=VI
    5/8/2016
    MKM Frankfurt http://series.magiccardmarket.eu/coverage-mkm-series-frankfurt-2016-vintage/#metagame-breakdown
    5/13/2016
    Deal Me In http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/293/deal-me-in-games-power-nine-series-results-24-players-5-14-2016
    5/14/2016
    Vacaville May Vintage http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/292/vacaville-may-vintage-19-players-results
    5/14/2016
    LCV http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/313/lcv-2016-may-edition-05-21-34-players-top16-lists
    5/21/2016
    TSO http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/316/5-22-berea-oh-team-serious-open-kidforce-collectibles-17-players-results
    5/22/2016
    NYSE http://themanadrain.com/topic/354/nyse-4-complete-metagame-report
    6/4/2016
    Eternal Masters #7 http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/374/eternal-masters-7-results
    6/12/2016
    Eternal Extravaganza 4 http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/386/eternal-extravaganza-4-complete-metagame-report
    6/19/2016
    LCV http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/413/lcv-2016-june-edition-06-25-31-players-top16-lists
    6/25/2016
    MTGOP9 http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/410/mtgo-june-2016-power-9-challenge
    6/25/2016
    MTGOP9 http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-premier-2016-05-01
    4/30/2016
    MTGOP9 http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-premier-2016-05-29
    5/28/2016
    TSO http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/170/4-9-sandusky-ohio-team-serious-open
    4/9/2017
    LMV http://www.tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=20639&iddeck=157673
    5/22/2016
    Eudemonia http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/437/6-25-berkley-ca-eudemonia-june-vintage
    6/25/2016


  • TMD Supporter

    Those numbers are disgusting for Mentor. Here's hoping for good restrictions!



  • @Soly said:

    Those numbers are disgusting for Mentor. Here's hoping for good restrictions!

    Just to be clear, the % in the overall chart is "% of archetype" so Mentor has been 64% of Gush lists (With fringe play in other lists like Standstill). Still, the 30% mark has historically been around the level that is considered unhealthy. We'll find out in a week.



  • @Soly said:

    Those numbers are disgusting for Mentor. Here's hoping for good restrictions!

    17.5% and 18.8% of Top 8s the last two months is far from disgusting.

    Gush at 31.3% of Top 8s (the last two months) is below the threshold of what we've seen blue engines get restricted in the past. When Thirst was restricted, Thirst decks were 45% of Top 8s.

    I don't think a 31% of the metagame engine can be described as a dominant engine, but we will find out what the DCI thinks in about 10 days.



  • @Smmenen Thirst was The Most Dominant Engine in Vintage History to use your own headline. It also achieved this with Gush, Gifts, and Fact or Fiction restricted - meaning there wasn't much in the way of competition from other Blue draw engines. I don't think it's really comparable...

    You also note in your article that the second time Gush was restricted, it was never above 30% of the metagame (though you mention that you felt this was a mistake given Thirst's rise). It does make your statement that "Gush...is below the threshold of what we've seen blue engines get restricted in the past" untrue based on your previous work.



  • I've loving this metagame, but I do think Gush would be a fair restriction. Though, Mentor will still be the best deck.



  • 7 decks with Gush in it this VSL trimester and nobody bat an eyelid. I feel like if there were 7 decks with Mishra's Workshop or something in it, there'd be something of an uproar right about now.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Smmenen I'm just looking at the numbers presented in comparison to each other. 47 Top's for Mentor, when the next highest is 'other shops' with 16. Look at the by month. In April, Mentor was 24 and the rest of the field was entirely in single digits; and while mentor is 14 in May, the trend holds for being the only deck not in single digits. Mentor hits single digits in June, but is still near-double the next performing deck.

    I just think this is showing stagnancy. I don't even look at Eldritch Moon and think "What does this do for Vintage?"; I think "What can I jam into my Mentor deck?".

    (Answer is Thalia, Niblis, and/or Docent).

    That shows how stale it's getting. Of course, that's my opinion.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Hrishi I've noticed; and I hate it.

    +R Gush, +R Gitaxian Probe, +R Preordain. Open up different avenues.



  • @Soly said:

    +R Gitaxian Probe

    Noble Fish getting hosed due to splash damage? What a time to be alive!



  • What're the 2 decks that fall into the "Other" category for April?



  • @Minkar UG Infect RG Goyf sligh



  • Is it just me or is this data strongly suggesting that Mentor is the reason for the prevalence of Gush? Mentor seems to dwarf all other variants and be the primary contributor to the abundance of the archetype.



  • @Aaron-Patten Maybe other people choose decks differently than I do, but in my mind that reasoning is backwards. I decide what archetype I want to play and then narrow down a specific such as whether I want to play mentor or grixis pyromancer, whether I want to play TKS in my shops deck, or if I should play white or colorless Eldrazi.

    I'm interested to hear what others do.



  • @diophan It just looks like the minimum percentage of Gush decks that play Mentor is around 70%.



  • @Aaron-Patten I am saying that I don't necessarily agree with you that "this data strongly suggesting that Mentor is the reason for the prevalence of Gush". Personally if I weren't playing mentor at a given tournament I would be playing a different gush deck. If this is true for many people, then causality isn't working that way. This would be a very useful piece of information to have, but realistically isn't something we are going to get.



  • Probe is unbelievably degenerate. It's important to note that not only does it saturate the Gush archetype in all of its flavors, but it's also 4x in all of the Storm decks.

    The community has been voicing objections to these Gush/token/cantrip decks for years now and insult was added to injury when Lodestone Golem was restricted but everything in Gush was given a carte blanche free pass. Based on all of the available objective and subjective data, it's entirely reasonable to call for a restriction or a combination thereof. If Gush is exempt, Mental Misstep, Gitaxian Probe, and Preordain should go. For the token makers, though I doubt many of us would miss their distasteful board cluttering, a better solution would be to print an answer in the upcoming Eternal Set (Conspiracy 2?) that could efficiently address the problem. Generating the token is not optional. That's very fertile design space for punishment.


  • TMD Supporter

    @brianpk80 said:

    Probe is unbelievably degenerate. It's important to note that not only does it saturate the Gush archetype in all of its flavors, but it's also 4x in all of the Storm decks.

    The community has been voicing objections to these Gush/token/cantrip decks for years now and insult was added to injury when Lodestone Golem was restricted but everything in Gush was given a carte blanche free pass. Based on all of the available objective and subjective data, it's entirely reasonable to call for a restriction or a combination thereof. If Gush is exempt, Mental Misstep, Gitaxian Probe, and Preordain should go. For the token makers, though I doubt many of us would miss their distasteful board cluttering, a better solution would be to print an answer in the upcoming Eternal Set (Conspiracy 2?) that could efficiently address the problem. Generating the token is not optional. That's very fertile design space for punishment.

    That gave me a lot to think about, thanks.

    I honestly would be sad to see Gitaxian Probe go, or preordain for that matter. Maybe it's just my play style or whatever, but I really love cantrips. One of the reasons I love Vintage (and Legacy) is that I'm allowed to play Brainstorm and all it's buddies. In my opinion Tutors and card-selection cantrip spells add a lot of skill to the game. If you're a good player, you'll know exactly what cards to be going for. A good player isn't going to leave a good card on top to draw with Preordain unless it's the right card to draw. I know that seems like a simple concept, but I'm sure that there are times where people don't bottom a card with preordain because they want it (like keeping an Ancestral that you've got no chance of resolving, instead of digging for an Oath).

    I really wonder if Preordain was restricted, would we all have to play Serum Visions? I HATE serum Visions... it's so close to good, but so bad.

    Mental Misstep is such a hated card that it made LSV's list of top eight cards that he wished were never printed. Even though it's so ubiquitous I really like having a good answer to Ancestral Recall on turn one. I don't consider Force a good answer to Ancestral.

    Gush is a card that does seem like it should go, but I'd honestly miss that one too. I really love the card, but I do think it;s hands down the best unrestricted draw spell in the format. I'd miss playing GushBond, but at least that's not the most popular deck right now.

    Whatever happens with Vintage, I'll keep enjoying it. I'm just a little hesitant to want cards restricted. It still is probably the right thing to do.



  • Too bad such hard work has to be buried by such an insurmountable pile of salt.

    Regardless, thank you for the continued mining - nothing is perfect but this helps.



  • Most people's problems with the format could be solved by their playing Modern or Standard on occasion.



  • @wappla said:

    Most people's problems with the format could be solved by their playing Modern or Standard on occasion.

    What do you mean, wappla?


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