I sympathize with your frustration. I can't imagine what it would be like to work on a single pillar almost exclusively for virtually a decade, and to have the DCI systematically attack with with a succession of restrictions, especially when I don't believe those restrictions are warranted. On the other hand, I am very familiar with what it's like to have the DCI take away my favorite toys. It's happened all too often.
I also realize that there can be a good faith disagreement as to whether the DCI should or should not have restricted either Chalice of the Void or Lodestone Golem. I think there are good arguments on both sides of that debate, and, personally, I've never fully resolved how I feel about the restriction of Golem - that is, whether it was truly necessary, or whether it was a good thing or not, etc.
That said, as much as empathize with your pain, and respect the presentation of your views, the lone paragraph about Gush just struck the wrong note. It was a discordant sound. In an otherwise well presented, and cogent post, the paragraph about Gush not only didn't make sense, but it was fairly out of place.
In an eleven paragraph post, one of your main points was that you don't want to have to play a format, where, as you put it you need, "duals, fetches, Flusterstorms, etc.) in order to keep playing Vintage."
Not only do I think that is an excellent point, and a valid concern, but I agree entirely. Yet, that's exactly what I found so discordant and jarring about your Gush paragraph. In an otherwise very linear and well presented critique of current DCI policy, there is an out of place attack on Gush that in no way makes sense relative to the main point I just re-articulated.
What does restricting or not restricting Gush have to do with whether Vintage is a format where you need duals, fetches, flusterstorms, etc. in order to compete?
Your 1-paragraph critique of Gush does not mesh at all with your overall vision of the format.
- If the goal is to not require people to play blue decks, then restricting Gush would have the exact opposite effect, if Gush's critics are to be believed. The main argument advanced by Gush's most vociferous critics is that "Gush is suppressing other blue decks," that it is crowding out other blue strategies.
If that argument is to be credited, then the predictable effect of restricting Gush is not to strengthen the Workshop pillar or create space for non-blue decks; but exactly the opposite. They argue that Gush's restriction would bring back slower/bigger mana blue decks (which are stronger against Shops), and strengthen other blue decks.
- If slower big blue decks come back, that would actually weaken Workshops, and make non-blue decks a smaller part of the metagame.
If there is one thing we've learned over more than a decade of data observation in this format, it's that Gush decks always boost Workshop decks. Workshop decks are always at peak representation in top performing decks in Gush environments, because they prey on Gush decks. Restricting Gush would not only make blue decks better in general, but also diminish the presence of non-blue decks in the format, including Workshop decks.
The Q2 metagame report reinforces this finding. http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/476/vintage-metagame-report-april-to-june/61
The June metagame was roughly:
23% Shops and Eldrazi
20% Other Blue Decks (Oath, Blue Control, Big Blue)
In other words, non-Flusterstorm/Dual/Fetch decks were about 50% of the metagame. Restricting Gush would not incraase non-blue decks % of Top performing decks in the metagame.
Just as a matter of logic, restricting Gush does not seem to have any relationship whatsoever with either the goal of 1) increasing the % of non-blue decks in the format or 2) boosting the fortunes of Shops.
Logically, one proposal that would help move in that direction would be advocating the unrestriction of Chalice, but that's not something you even recommended. That would be a proposal well tailored to advancing your vision.
I think that, because of the restriction of Golem, a strong case could be made about unrestricting Chalice - that the subsequent restriction helped rebalance the metagame, and made the prior restriction less necessary. I think others could get behind that as well. I certainly would.
A similar critique of another stray sentence could be leveled here:
The argument can be made that the only pillars that are strong right now are Null Rod and Force of Will. That's bullshit.
I don't think Force of Will is a place to stake your case.
Force of Will decks have historically hovered between 60-66% of the Vintage metagame, at least when I used to conduct metagame reports. That was true in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2012, and it's probably true today. I don't think that Force of Will is the or has ever been "the problem" or "a problem," or else it would have been restricted years ago.
Moreover, Force of Will really isn't a pillar. Merfolk decks play it, but so do combo decks, like Belcher, and control decks, like Landstill.
In any case, while I not only empathized with and enjoyed your overall post, the comment about Gush was fairly out of place, and, I think, undermined the strength of your vision. It wouldn't do anything you want to see happen, as you've articulated it. It wasn't tailored to your aspirations for the format.
If the goal is to make Shops and other non-blue decks better, then restricting Gush would likely have the opposite effect.
The only explanation I might fairly impute for why you spent a few sentences on it was that it is a symbol of anger and repository for resentment. I can understand how you might feel the inequity of restricting Shop cards but leaving Gush alone. Yet, Gush decks did get multiple restriction (Treasure Cruise and Dig). And, Gush decks weren't the reason that Golem was restricted.
Restriction isn't a leveling scythe. It's not something you take to a mixed crop, cutting down everything in the field, wheat and grass alike. It's a trimming snip that targets one plant, and leaves the others alone.
If restricting Golem was a wrong, as you believe, then restricting Gush or any other card multiples or compounds the inequity. It would be like giving someone a pay cut, out of fairness, because other people were hired at a lesser rate into the same position. That's not fair. That makes the situation worse.
This is the format where people should be allowed to play with all of their cards. More unnecessary restrictions does not help us achieve that vision for the format. It takes us further away from it.
@socialite Two months ago, Workshops won a tournament. The blue decks adjusted, and Shop decks are no longer winning because they are hyper-linear and predictable. They have no backup plan. Where's Martello/Espresso/Terra Nova now?
No, Workshops won two tournaments. It won the MTGO P9 challenge, and your tournament.
Why wasn't that heralded at the time as proof that Workshops could compete? Was it because you were pessimistic about Workshops chances? Did you just feel that that was a flash in the pan performance? If so, doesn't that mean that you are viewing the experience of Workshops, post-Golem restriction, through jade-colored glasses?
Personally, I don't feel that it was a flash in the pan. I think Montolio has to be a near odds-on favorite piloting Workshops at any event in the near future. Brian S. believed, at the NYSE, that Workshops were still the best deck in the format. Is Roland Chang any less well positioned today than two months ago?
Personally, I wouldn't be surprised one bit of Montolio won the Vintage Championship this year. Workshops performed outstandingly well in the Vintage Championship last year, but it wasn't the traditional Workshop pilots, for the most part, that dominated with it. It was Shay, Mastriano, Demars,and others who made Top 9. And, now, it's Montolio leading the charge.
Workshops aren't dead; and they certainly aren't unplayable. If Montolio could win back to back major tournaments just 50 days ago, I think he's more than capable of doing it again. These things go in cycles, and I have no doubt that Shops will be back.