Vintage Metagame Report - April to June

@snowydude Mana drain is not played in gush decks.

Sudden shock is not a good card. If LSV would have played properly and held priority to gush in response to his mox pearl to generate a second token, Efro would have lost the game despite having his "perfect" answer to mentor. If you know or suspect your opponent to have sudden shock it's incredibly easy to play around and isn't much different from a 2 mana shock. Playing 2 mana shock against an archetype that can draw more cards than any other is not a winning line. Also having your removal be 2 mana shocks against thorn decks loses you huge percentage points in those matchups.

Dack isn't particularly good in a blue mirror without gush. Dack is insane when you are short on cards but can gush excess lands into your hand and discard those. Without gush, JTMS is hard to cast, and even harder to resolve or protect because you aren't up a bunch of cards on your opponent. Mentor is a stupid card that isn't fun to lose to, but that doesn't make it better than pyromancer. I think you are conflating a card being the one that wins the game too much with being the card that makes the deck work.

last edited by diophan

@diophan said:

@snowydude Mana drain is not played in gush decks.

Sudden shock is not a good card. If LSV would have played properly and held priority to gush in response to his mox pearl to generate a second token, Efro would have lost the game despite having his "perfect" answer to mentor. If you know or suspect your opponent to have sudden shock it's incredibly easy to play around and isn't much different from a 2 mana shock. Playing 2 mana shock against an archetype that can draw more cards than any other is not a winning line. Also having your removal be 2 mana shocks against thorn decks loses you huge percentage points in those matchups.

Dack isn't particularly good in a blue mirror without gush. Dack is insane when you are short on cards but can gush excess lands into your hand and discard those. Without gush, JTMS is hard to cast, and even harder to resolve or protect because you aren't up a bunch of cards on your opponent. Mentor is a stupid card that isn't fun to lose to, but that doesn't make it better than pyromancer. I think you are conflating a card being the one that wins the game too much with being the card that makes the deck work.

playing around sudden shock leaves you with an extra token yes but the mentor itself is still dead. 1/1s with prowess are usually easier to clean up when there aren't 4 more getting made. and if your playing gush your already unfavored vs shops you accepted that when you put gush in your deck. claiming its bad vs a matchup your already losing shouldn't dissuade you from gettting the upper hand in the mirror when the format is primarily gush decks.

soo your argument is that planswalkers arent good in the mirror and mentor isnt better then pyromancer? gush making the deck work is great and all but if the cards your casting to win the game don't win you the game because they got removed or you can't cast them it doesnt really matter if the deck is working properly. silly question but can a gush deck beat a moat? sure it can wear/tear it but it is actually possible to win the game while moat is in play? because if its not then gush can make the deck work all it wants and you will still lose.

everyone is saying gush is OP and needs to get restricted. and sure gush giving ridiculous card advantage is powerful all its really doing is letting you draw the real cards in the deck. the force of wills the mentors and 2 more lands. as we all know gush into 2 lands is the staple gush.

maybe its because i am bad at vintage but i feel like everyone has forgotten the lessons of drafting where you have to decide what the important spells are in your opponents deck and use your limited resources to deal with them efficiently. spending cards battling the gush decks draw power is never going to get you anywhere because the deck is designed to draw all of the cards. part of the reason i dont like library vs gush decks. you have to battle the weakness of the deck in this case its the wincons, or in some cases the manabase if they discard to many lands via dak/tiny jace. if you can beat 4 mentors and the 2ish tiny jace's they play the gush deck will simply not have a way to kill you no matter how many gushes it gets to cast.

@diophan i dont understand this sentence. also yea drain was a bad example.
I think you are conflating a card being the one that wins the game too much with being the card that makes the deck work.

@snowydude Trading a card and 2 mana for your opponent's 3 mana spent on a mentor and them getting 1-2 1/1 prowess tokens out of the exchange is not a winning proposition. Moreover, to make sure they only get 1-2 tokens you need to constantly leave the 2 mana up for sudden shock. That's really bad if you're also playing a gush-style deck because you want to spend your mana more efficiently. If you're playing a non-gush blue deck your opponent is simply going to outdraw you while you have more removal sitting in your hand, which eventually you're going to have to use on the tokens.

My argument is that the efficacy of the planeswalkers would be significantly diminished without gush, not that playing planeswalkers in a gush deck is a bad idea.

Yes gush can win through a moat. I have won over 75% of my games where an opponent has resolved a Moat, Illness in the ranks, or Dread of Night. Sometimes you win by attacking 12 times with a baleful strix, or by ultimating JTMS, or by ultimating JVP. There are usually 8 cards in the deck that are capable of eventually winning the game by themselves. If you play a moat you shut down 4-6 of them, but when your gush opponent is ahead by enough cards you can't stop their other, slower wincons from eventually defeating you.

I'm not arguing that gush should be restricted. I just think you misunderstand how the deck matches up against other blue decks. Comparing vintage to draft seems like a bad idea, since draft decks are almost always various flavors of midrange battling against each other. A gush deck and say for instance a landstill deck are fundamentally constructed very differently from each other.

last edited by diophan

theres a strix in your list? sweet. I am pretty sure the gush mirror is in fact a midrange battle which was why i said draft in my post. the game goes several turns where both players try to get the advantage on the board. if your playing a gush mirror and i have 1 card in hand with any of mentor pyromancer jace on the table im very favored to win that game regaurdless of whether you have 2 cards or 7 cards in hand simply because the gush decks aren't playing enough answers. the point im trying to make is that people are concerned about gush's hand when they should be concerned about gush's board.

also i agree with this, cant outcard a gush deck. imo
If you're playing a non-gush blue deck your opponent is simply going to outdraw you while you have more removal sitting in your hand, which eventually you're going to have to use on the tokens

@diophan Trading a card and 2 mana for your opponent's 3 mana spent on a mentor and them getting 1-2 1/1 prowess tokens out of the exchange is not a winning proposition. Moreover, to make sure they only get 1-2 tokens you need to constantly leave the 2 mana up for sudden shock. That's really bad if you're also playing a gush-style deck because you want to spend your mana more efficiently.

why are so many people unwilling to simply pass the turn back when they only have 2 lands in play? everyone wants to gush to pick up their lands and replay 1 of them. maybe im wrong about this but gush decks feel like they want to have 4 or 5 mana right? then how come on 2 lands people just cast gush. also i haven't been considering the non gush blue matchups. i have only been talking about the gush mirrors. sorry if it seemed like i was talking about big blue or w/e other deck.

@snowydude said:

theres a strix in your list? sweet. I am pretty sure the gush mirror is in fact a midrange battle which was why i said draft in my post. the game goes several turns where both players try to get the advantage on the board. if your playing a gush mirror and i have 1 card in hand with any of mentor pyromancer jace on the table im very favored to win that game regaurdless of whether you have 2 cards or 7 cards in hand simply because the gush decks aren't playing enough answers. the point im trying to make is that people are concerned about gush's hand when they should be concerned about gush's board.

In my experience, the Gush mirror runs the spectrum from Aggro Control to Midrange to Control and back again, similar to LSV vs Efro in the VSL. While an early Mentor or Pyromancer can be decisive, the sheer power of the draw engine enables the deck to come back from very unfavorable board states. In the situation you listed, I would definitely take the full grip (provided I have mana in play) over you having an onboard Mentor and 1 card in hand...the reason being that I have the resources to keep you from chaining spells together and when I land a Mentor/Pyromancer, I have the resources to go over the top of your token generator.

why are so many people unwilling to simply pass the turn back when they only have 2 lands in play? everyone wants to gush to pick up their lands and replay 1 of them. maybe im wrong about this but gush decks feel like they want to have 4 or 5 mana right? then how come on 2 lands people just cast gush. also i haven't been considering the non gush blue matchups. i have only been talking about the gush mirrors. sorry if it seemed like i was talking about big blue or w/e other deck.

There are a lot of bad Gush players... That said, the turn you want to be Gushing is highly dependent on how your deck is built and the role you've adopting in the game.

This was an excellent and invaluable q2 report. I asked yesterday, but my post was lost in the data outage: are you planning a q3 report?

@Smmenen Thank you, Steve. Ryan and I are not planning on doing a Q3 report - with Champs so close and the influx of several relevant Vintage cards into the metagame, we felt it best if we focused on a complete metagame breakdown of EE5 (tomorrow). If the Q3 metagame is something you and Kevin would like to cover in your podcasts, we would be happy to share our data with you.

last edited by Guest

@ChubbyRain Wait, I thought you always Gush either on turn two or during your opponent's end step..

@Islandswamp Your own end step before discard is the optimal time.

I prefer the "End of Combat" step personally. Really throws your opponent a curveball.

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