MTGO December Power 9 Challenge



  • 41 players registered for some New Year's Eve vintage. Congratulations to Rich for taking down the tournament! Also a special thank you to @wappla and @stsung (both write vintage articles that you should check out) for watching replays because I was travelling for the holidays.

    Top8:
    The Atog Lord - UWR Mentor Silence
    Thermia - UWR Mentor
    wappla - White Eldrazi
    Boin - White Eldrazi
    Avignon - UW Mentor
    withmk2 - UW Standstill
    jcardshark - UWR Mentor
    OompaLoompa - UWR Mentor

    Top16 Decklists:
    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-premier-2017-01-01

    As we can see by the popularity of the phrase "UWR Mentor", Gush did well at this tournament. Both White Eldrazi pilots also made the Top 4. There were many Paradoxical Outcome decks (17.5% of the metagame), but they had a disappointing day. I will be interested to see the top decklists, but I would not be surprised if many of the Mentor decks were prepared for that matchup, running cards such as Stony Silence and Mindbreak Trap in the maindeck like Rich did.

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    (Note that I removed the null rod tag because it's difficult to determine without decklists whether someone is running a null rod effect in the maindeck.)

    Link to googledoc:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/152ZD9nBQ6aqU8xVpuFzZw6lmHEquAsSW9Ff5nwQKl_g/edit?usp=sharing

    [Nomenclature edits to placate the winner of the tournament.]



  • I did not play " Jeskai Mentor". I never have played "Jeskai" anything, except when I played actual Jeskai Ascendancy.

    Oh, and, thank you for taking a huge amount of time to compile all of this data. It is quite the community service :)



  • @diophan Ryan, Rich is correct. You'll need to adjust all of these to say UWR. I don't know what "jeskai" is



  • Aahah so true about the Jeskai stuff. The use of such terms should be banned & pinned in the TMD's forum rules as rule #1



  • Glad I was the one writing UWR^_^. Even though I dislike jeskai/sultai/abzan etc you should know what these mean. WotC started to like these.

    @diophan Thanks for the mention!

    I've seen a lot of Mindbreak Traps, JVPs, Wastelands and usually 3 Stony Silence/Null Rods. People were prepared.



  • @stsung We are being sarcastic on not knowing what "jeskai" means X)
    But the new names are disgusting so I stick with BUG, UWR, RUG, etc



  • White is the new Blue.



  • I was really looking forward to this tournament, but sadly got sick. I hope everyone had fun. Interesting to see the strong presence of White Eldrazi.



  • Thank you to all those involved for collecting and compiling these results.



  • I don't mean to resurrect that old sterile debate, but 5 Mentor gush in the top 8 and almost 40% of gush decks in the metagame... Maybe it's time to actually do something already? It's the same narrative we've had for almost a year now: Gush orgies vs Thorn decks and Fast combo. Isn't that the definition of a stale metagame?
    Hurray to those who said It's just a fluke let time to the meta to adapt... Cause the meta is pretty much warped around beating that deck, yet it still enjoys a win percentage of almost 60% against the field. Not even sure Delver Cruise was this dominant...



  • @Macdeath said in MTGO December Power 9 Challenge:

    I don't mean to resurrect that old sterile debate, but 5 Mentor gush in the top 8 and almost 40% of gush decks in the metagame... Maybe it's time to actually do something already? It's the same narrative we've had for almost a year now: Gush orgies vs Thorn decks and Fast combo. Isn't that the definition of a stale metagame?
    Hurray to those who said It's just a fluke let time to the meta to adapt... Cause the meta is pretty much warped around beating that deck, yet it still enjoys a win percentage of almost 60% against the field. Not even sure Delver Cruise was this dominant...

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  • @Macdeath said in MTGO December Power 9 Challenge:

    I don't mean to resurrect that old sterile debate, but 5 Mentor gush in the top 8 and almost 40% of gush decks in the metagame... Maybe it's time to actually do something already? It's the same narrative we've had for almost a year now: Gush orgies vs Thorn decks and Fast combo. Isn't that the definition of a stale metagame?
    Hurray to those who said It's just a fluke let time to the meta to adapt... Cause the meta is pretty much warped around beating that deck, yet it still enjoys a win percentage of almost 60% against the field. Not even sure Delver Cruise was this dominant...

    They are waiting to see if the VSL metagame will adapt...



  • @Macdeath said in MTGO December Power 9 Challenge:

    I don't mean to resurrect that old sterile debate, but 5 Mentor gush in the top 8 and almost 40% of gush decks in the metagame... Maybe it's time to actually do something already? It's the same narrative we've had for almost a year now: Gush orgies vs Thorn decks and Fast combo. Isn't that the definition of a stale metagame?
    Hurray to those who said It's just a fluke let time to the meta to adapt... Cause the meta is pretty much warped around beating that deck, yet it still enjoys a win percentage of almost 60% against the field. Not even sure Delver Cruise was this dominant...

    So, what about Eldrazi, which had an 85% win percentage?

    1. Because the DCI doesn't restrict cards based upon a single 41 player event.

    This event only had 2 Shop and 2 Eldrazi players, and look how well the latter did.

    1. The largest Vintage tournament of Q4, the North American Vintage championship, had a very different metagame breakdown and results: 1 Gush deck in the Top 8, and 5 Thorn decks.

    http://themanadrain.com/topic/744/vintage-championships-2016-decklists-and-metagame-analysis/1

    Applying your logic, shouldn't something in Thorn decks be restricted? After all, 350 players > 41..., and much more significant...

    Also, the metagame breakdown had 22.2% Gush decks.

    What would actually be most useful is a Q4 report, like this one: http://themanadrain.com/topic/476/vintage-metagame-report-april-to-june/90



  • The last time I went to a paper Vintage tournament (with more than 5 players) was back in 2008, so I know nothing about the paper meta to the extent it differs from MTGO (which it sounds like it does).

    That said, I am curious whether people think there is just a strong bias towards playing Gush Mentor on MTGO that 1) overtakes the reality that paper Vintage is more diverse (specifically with Shops & Dredge, I assume); and, 2) reflects the possibility that many people just want to play the "best" blue deck even if a White Eldrazi deck (or a Shops deck) would perform better.

    I'm really in speculation mode, but I just wonder if there's a psychological bias involved. Unlike some players, I don't dislike Dredge or Shops--I really enjoy their existence because it demonstrates the strategic depth of Magic and the various lines of attack that can win a game (by way of example, I play R/G Lands in Legacy). But I think some people will never play those decks even if one of them became the "best deck" in the meta.

    I'm not trying to argue that Gush or Mentor (or Probe for that matter) shouldn't be restricted. It's just that sometimes in any given meta, there is an assumption (like in some economic theories) that everyone is a rational actor--when it's pretty clear that not everyone is.



  • @Smmenen
    "based upon a single 41 player event" ?!? Are you being serious right now ? What about the last 6 + months of data ? Please don't play the denial card, it was maybe plausible in may/june last year, but nobody can buy into this fallacious argumentation anymore. Not to be rude or anything but I think it's safe to say that your bias in the matter has already been firmly established I believe.

    When Lodestone golem and chalice of the void got restricted, the proportion of shops in the metagame was well under 30% (around 25% at most if I recall correctly) and it's rise to "dominance" was arguably only due to gush decks doing so well against other blue decks that kept workshops in check (such as bug fish, grixis control or oath).

    It's funny that you mention Eldrazi, I don't see the problem with a deck that is less than 5% of the metagame performing outstandingly. Especially when no one is gunning for that deck but rather making themselves more vulnerable to it in an effort to be on par with gush. If gush decks weren't the primary driving force in the metagame i'm pretty sure White Eldrazi and workshops would decrease in number and success.

    Thank you for cherry picking the data to support the point/narrative you want, but how is "your" tournament result more evocative of what is happening in the metagame than the one (and many others before it ) that I am talking about?
    Especially since in that tournament, Gush is still the most played subdivision of decks at 22% of the metagame (very close to the % shops was showing when it got cards restricted) even on one of it's bad days (where it's two arch-nemesis Shops and Eldrazi make up for almost 1/3 of the field).

    Also please stop trying to shift the blame to thorn decks, they have already had 2 cards restricted because of Gush.

    You may be a good lawyer but in this situation the case against your "client" is simply to strong for you to be able to defend without resorting to fallacious argumentation. The numbers say a vastly different story and on a consistent basis.
    At this point it's more a question of which of Gush or Mentor gets restricted.

    As Chubbyrain said, let's wait to see how wizards reacts to what the "pros" and Randy have to say in the VSL, after all they haven't played on camera since lodestone got the hammer.



  • @Macdeath said in [MTGO December Power 9 Challenge]):

    Gush orgies vs Thorn decks and Fast combo. Isn't that the definition of a stale metagame?

    This is Vintage. This is a format where you literally can play Control Slaver or The Deck for like 4 years straight. Are you surprised that the metagame changes slowly? That's the point of the format.

    It is entirely normal for the most of the same decks to be good year over year. Stop whining about how slowly Vintage changes. That's the entire point of the format. That's a good thing.

    @Smmenen
    "based upon a single 41 player event" ?!? Are you being serious right now ?

    Absolutely. You used a single event in your post to suggest that something needs to be done, did you forget?
    You said: "I don't mean to resurrect that old sterile debate, but 5 Mentor gush in the top 8 and almost 40% of gush decks in the metagame... Maybe it's time to actually do something already?"

    Yes, you suggested something should be done because of a single tournament result.

    It's crazy that you would accuse me of "using just one event" or cherry picking when that is exactly what you did.

    Nowhere did you cite a broad data set or even present a single precise fact about the broader state of the metagame. You exaggerated, and rounded up even the basic facts presented in the OP.

    I realize that anyone with a keyboard and computer and post whatever they want, but just because you say something doesn't make it true. That's unfortunately the case here.

    What about the last 6 + months of data ?

    What about it? You didn't present any data from the last six months. I, on the other hand, actually have:

    Q3 Metagame data collected: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-56-conspiracy-2-and-the-evolving-vintage-metagame/
    Q4 data collected: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-60-2016-year-in-review/

    Please don't play the denial card, it was maybe plausible in may/june last year, but nobody can buy into this fallacious argumentation anymore. Not to be rude or anything but I think it's safe to say that your bias in the matter has already been firmly established I believe.

    There have been only a tiny number of Vintage tournaments of more than 33 players in the entire world since the North American Vintage championship, and literally none to my knowledge with more than 100 players.

    The fact that many of the best Vintage players in the world played in the Vintage Championship, and only 1 Gush deck made top 8 in a 350 player tournament is pretty compelling evidence in my opinion that - at the highest levels of competition and in broadest field, Gush is really not a problem.

    When Lodestone golem and chalice of the void got restricted, the proportion of shops in the metagame was well under 30% (around 25% at most if I recall correctly) and it's rise to "dominance" was arguably only due to gush decks doing so well against other blue decks that kept workshops in check (such as bug fish, grixis control or oath).

    Yeah, and again, Gush decks were only 22.2% at Vintage Champs, and only 1 in the Top 8.

    It's funny that you mention Eldrazi, I don't see the problem with a deck that is less than 5% of the metagame performing outstandingly.

    Neither do I. That wasn't my point. My point was how silly it was you pointing out that Gush decks had a "nearly 60% win percentage."

    Especially when no one is gunning for that deck but rather making themselves more vulnerable to it in an effort to be on par with gush. If gush decks weren't the primary driving force in the metagame i'm pretty sure White Eldrazi and workshops would decrease in number and success.

    I don't. Workshop decks were the best deck in the format when Gush was restricted, and won the 2005 Vintage Championship when Gush was restricted. What you are saying is more popular drivel with absolutely no support behind it.

    Thank you for cherry picking the data to support the point/narrative you want, but how is "your" tournament result more evocative of what is happening in the metagame than the one (and many others before it ) that I am talking about?

    I believe you mean "representative," not "evocative." But, as the only tournament in theQ4 period that is over 100 players, I'd say that's a pretty significant difference.

    You haven't even done the work to look at tournament results, but are probably just relying on the work of others, without actually knowing any of the underlying facts. Stop doing that. It doesn't withstand a tiny bit of scrutiny.

    Especially since in that tournament, Gush is still the most played subdivision of decks at 22% of the metagame (very close to the % shops was showing when it got cards restricted) even on one of it's bad days (where it's two arch-nemesis Shops and Eldrazi make up for almost 1/3 of the field).

    Also please stop trying to shift the blame to thorn decks, they have already had 2 cards restricted because of Gush.

    Wow, and you accuse me of bias?

    You may be a good lawyer but in this situation the case against your "client" is simply to strong for you to be able to defend without resorting to fallacious argumentation. The numbers say a vastly different story and on a consistent basis.

    No they dont.

    At this point it's more a question of which of Gush or Mentor gets restricted.

    If that were true, then they would have been restricted by now. The worst metagame period for Gush and Mentor in terms of both metagame representation and Top 8 penetration was in the three months following Lodestone's restriction.

    But the emergence of the Eldrazi, and the continued insane printings for Workshops proves just how easily Gush decks are actually kept in checked by these strategies.

    Not to mention, for a few months, Paradoxical Outcome was crushing Gush decks, which now have to run Null Rod/Stony Silence to not just get destroyed.

    I have little doubt that the next MTGO P9 event will have much more Shops/Eldrazi showing up this time, and things will appear less imbalanced.

    Stop whining and go play what is actually an interesting format.

    As Chubbyrain said, let's wait to see how wizards reacts to what the "pros" and Randy have to say in the VSL, after all they haven't played on camera since lodestone got the hammer.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. VSL S5 was last Summer, entirely after the restriction of Golem. Cite: https://vintagesuperleague.com/2016/04/27/vsl-return-pushed-to-may-3rd/

    You, literally, are just making up facts in your post. Arguing with you is like arguing with people who post fake news. Because you are just making things up. I'll let someone else debunk your nonsense next time.



  • @Smmenen

    While some people appreciate the effort it's entirely pointless trying to meet these individuals half way.

    They have no interest in reality.

    They have no interest in history.

    They have no interest in a healthy Vintage.

    They just want what they want for reasons that are their own. It's as simple as that.



  • @Smmenen
    Let me tell you that if Dredge, storm or Workshops just had one tourney with the same kinda results that gush has been putting up, everyone would be clamoring for emergency restrictions, let alone enduring almost a year of dominance.

    Yes you can say that at some short periods gush decks were lower but that's only because of some new tech introduced to beat them. But each time this happens, look at the results a few week later where as gush decks adapt they take hold of the format again.

    ONLY 22%? isn't that around the number where workshop got two cards axed?

    How can I be biased when I am fond of Gush and mentor yet pleading against it ? Furthermore how does me taking the defense of Thorn decks (which I personally don't like for the record) shows any bias?

    I did not present any specific data because I assumed most people reading me have been keeping up with Chubbyrains and diophans metagame breakdowns, my point being that it is ridiculous that almost a year after we're still seeing the same kind of ridiculous numbers from gush mentor.
    Advancing that I didn't point to specific data is kind of a hypocritical argument on your part by the way, because as I am sure you know (since you have seen the data) it shows gush being consistently between 30 and 40% of the metagame (with outliers in the 20s and up to 60).

    What facts did I make up? because I thought you said I wasn't using any facts, so which is it? You also didn't debunk me at all instead choosing to ignore what I was saying and attempting to push your own narrative backed by outliers in the available data, as you've done with other people previously like Chubbyrain.

    Point taken about the VSL I'll give you that.
    But please refrain from using condescending personal attacks such as " You have no idea what you're talking about" and "stop whining" or attacking the terminologies I use (English is not my first language FYI). I also wouldn't feel comfortable doing so in your position seeing as you are much easier to attack on the personal front than I.

    Please listen to what I said instead of jumping on your high horse and attacking every statement I make as If you were in a courtroom because you are not. It's also extremely "fluffy", since most people on these boards that are passionate and educated about vintage agree that gush is either a problem or ubiquitous.



  • Kill them before they can gush*

    *Offer subject to terms, conditions and availabilities


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