I was talking only about delve answers and how they would be probably too slow.

About maindecking bolt, it would fail to answer spheres, crucible, tangle and some robots. Swords would be a bit more effective, but still some mud tools would be unattended. Maindecking smelt would be even more specific than maindecking missteps, flusterstorms or REB, which is a common critizism to blue players trying to be prepared for their metagame.

So what is the best approach? generic answers, that can fight anything but dredge (aka fow) or specific answers, more efficient but dead sometimes (fluster, smelt)? Fow is not enough, and while fluster is dead vs mud (25%?), smelt would be dead against blue (50%?). So trying to be in a good position against mud has to be a good deck design over specific cards, knowing that they might be not enough against some MUD openings.

Maindeck Bolt is actually amazing for some shells because it's actually part of a core strategy of winning 6 small 3-damage battles and controlling the opponent just enough to get there.

Similarly Nature's Claim maindeck in certain BUG shells is pretty ballin' because against pseudo mirrors your 1-for-1’s on e.g. Moxen are what get you into the Midgame where your Jaces own all.

What you can't ever afford to do is just jam removal without purpose.

@VintageFamiliar said:

@Aaron-Patten said:

Oath and Golem are distinct in that Golem is a threat and disruption while Oath is not. Golem requires a very specific and narrow set of answers while oath has a plethora of non Force of Will answers available in almost every colour and every strategy. Another issues is that you absolutely have to have a restricted card in your opening hand or you auto lose against Golem whereas with other threats you don't.

Yet if you look at most "blue" decks in the format you will see that most will run removal for golem in the main. Be this Lightning Bolt, Swords, TMS, or the rarer Disenchant/Hurkyls. Very few decks run enchantment removal main. So whilst you are correct that Golem requires more specialised removal, pilots are more prepared for Golem than oath in the main at least.

I think one of the major things to happen in this story that nobody is talking about is the loss of the spell-like creature. The rise of the delver deck (and its variants e.g. mentor) has really driven out many of the non-combat oriented creatures. Which would continue to have their effects under spheres etc. That has made workshop pilots lives a lot easier in terms of controlling the board.

Yes, that's it, exactly. People prepare for Golem because it's a far better first turn play. As a result it takes up a greater portion of every major meta and requires anyone wanting to take a meaningful first, second, third, and Xth turn of the game to have an answer, a mox, and the right colour of mana in their opening hand or scoop. Oath and similar first turn plays therefore command a lesser constraint on an opponent's deck design thus casting a much narrower shadow across the meta comparatively. Golem shop mox requires every opposing opener to be perfectly tailored to beat that strategy without the opportunity for any other form of retort. Every deck has to be designed to beat a turn one Golem off of shop+mox or it is simply invalid.

I completely agree about the way delver and mentor have invalidated other creature based strategies. Now instead of casting creature spells players just cast cantrips and get creatures attached to them. If there was a one blue mana 1/1 prowess that drew a card when it came into play that would be a pretty good card even without scry 2. This card doesn't exist but you can create a whole deck full of them by resolving one of four Mentors. No amount of restricting cantrips would affect this. I think even if blue were not a colour Mentor would still be putting up the same results or better with cantrips of other colours.

@Moy I agree with almost everything you've said in your posts except parts of this paragraph:
@Moy said:

My bullshit detector was going off when the justification was "we want moxes to be played." During that era I'd say 7 to 8 times out of 10 it was way more beneficial to be setting that chalice at 1 then at zero. Nevertheless, I'll concede to people being happy now that they can play moxes, but I don't agree with the whole way things went down. Which leads us to the present. If you want to talk about strategic diversity what happened to merfolk? bug fish? big blue? landstill? Bomberman? Gifts? Thirst decks? tezz decks that don't fold to null rod. Both Gifts and thirst came off the restricted list. Neither are remotely playable because of gush. People seem to be viewing the thought of the restriction of gush as a bane to blue decks. I think it's a boon. It would allow deckbuilders the ability to fight shops much better and we wouldn't have to hit shops with another bs restriction.

As far as I can tell Big Blue, Gifts, Thirst, and to a lesser extent Tezz seem invalidated by Shops moreso than Gush. The other decks all seem solid vs. Shops though. I think some of those others might actually be half decent against Gush. Gush does have a slightly greater share according to mtgtop8 though (4.6%).

@Moy said:

In closing, if I had a personal vote to help make decisions regarding the Banned and restricted list. I'd ideally, go back in time and instead of restricting chalice I would have restricted gush. What do we do now? I'd say restricting gush would open the format up and make it more than an over glorified game of rock, paper scissors. Then after the dust settles go back to unrestricting cards. A bit long winded of me and I apologize. if I missed out on relevant topics like people having 8-13 dead cards vs shops in the main deck it’s because we all know things get complicated. I have spent way more time writing this then I would have liked but I don’t want vintage as a format to turn into an edh playgroup governed by the VSL. (ie. a small group of very good players just having fun on a Tuesday)

I'd imagine that in this format the blue vs blue mirror woult largely subside to Shops vs Dredge and the remaining control decks would likely focus on beating those archetypes to a somehwat greater extent than they attemt to pray on eachother today. Maybe it would be enough to reduce the numbers of both of those decks but I think more likely it would bring Workshop strategies to a greater metagame share at which point it might get restricted.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@Aaron-Patten I think you're trying to warp reality a bit too much to fit your view that Shops are dominating. Saying Big Blue, Gifts, Thirst, and Tezz are all being pushed out more by Shops than Gush is a bit silly because all of those decks are generally considered to have strong or potentially strong matchups against Shops, but weak matchups against Gush.

Let's be clear here: restricting Gush wouldn't make a world where everyone is either Shops or Dredge. Workshops has a tough time maintaining dominance as "the best deck" because the better it gets, the more people hate it out. I know you remember all of those times where Lodestone Golem munches on your face while removal that you can't cast is sitting in your hand, but time has proven that Shops isn't unbeatable. According to Steve and Kevin's podcast (episode 51), recent results show that, despite all of the stigma and complaining, Shops are NOT dominating right now. They're the #2 deck in the metagame, behind Gush, and their current level of playability is merely comparable to any other time in recent history, no more.

It would be one thing if Shops were dominating like Thirst did in 2009 or Eldrazi are currently doing in Modern, but that clearly isn't the case. The only reason why the matter of restricting more Shops cards is even being seriously discussed is because of VSL members claiming it's the best deck and it needs to be taken down a notch. It's just that their words are untrue when looking at the bigger picture. Shops has an unfortunate tendency to make people remember bitter losses, and it makes the deck seem better than it really is due to the flawed way that human memory works. You might be close to 50/50 in your Shops matchup, but you're much more likely to remember those times where Sphere and Co. prevented you from casting a spell all game.

last edited by DeaTh-ShiNoBi

I'd be in favor of a shakeup...
Restrict...
Lodestone
Gush

Unrestrict...
Windfall

@DeaTh-ShiNoBi How do you expect to resolve big blue spells such as Gifts Ungiven, Thirst for Knowledge and Tezzeret against a deck full of spheres? I'm pretty sure they're weak to both. I suspect Delver has better game than any of those against the best deck.

What percentage of the paper magic community would you guess choose not to play shops because they don't own 4x Mishra's Workshpo?

The strategy has been the best for a long time and people are slowly moving over to it.

Each set of 60 maindeck cards has a certain set of strategies for which it's expected to defeat in game one. Shops is expected to defeat players casting spells so it's share of the metagame for which it should be expected to win game one is any deck planning to cast spells. That describes most decks. Add to that it's playing four copies of the single card which consistently provides the most mana and virtual card advantage of any card in the game. There will always be a best deck, no matter what. Shops is just not good at it. We can all build decks to beat shops but they would require enough slots in the main deck to ensure that every opening hand has a way to remove a turn 1 lodestone and play through multiple sphere effects. To do this without executing some kind of multi spell set up sequence to either dig for key cards or put more mana than the deck would other wise need on the table means playing a huge number of cards that are basically dead in all other circumstances such that the presence of this one deck is felt, even in games where it is not being played, in the form of flooding or an immense number of superflous draws. Has any other deck in the history of vintage imposed this kind of demand on deck-design as a requisite to play Vintage? There was a deck just like this long ago that I still remember. It played 4 Mishra's Workshop.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't want to see the archetype go. In spite of that I just can't find a way to logically justify the current state of vintage affairs surrounding the deck as it stands.

I like that the DCI are the ones to make these decisions. In my opinion it's essential for the governing body to remain nonpartisan. Without that, Personal bias would, unchecked, take over the decision making process and leave the format as potentially far less than what it could be.

If I want to win in Vintage today I'm either going to play Shops or I'm going to play to beat Shops. Right now the second option is getting pretty scarce on paper. Your best bet is to play force of will so that you can resolve your first spell which had better be relevant removal. I like what the deck used to do for the format. It was a key player and acted as a counterpoint for a lot of what I thought of as non-interactive and thus not very fun (my personal bias) strategies. Today it's grown beyond that. At it's best it's a non-reactive turn 1 or 2 lock deck and having that be the top deck in the face of some pretty obvious thought experiments pointing to some overt hypocrisy acts a big warning sign to me. I don't know if the DCI are going to restrict another card from the deck or what it will be at all but I'm confident that it's in the best interests of the format to have a restricted list that makes sense and is governed by a combination of not only what the majority of players want but also a set of logical rules.

Think of brown as a colour for a moment. If white had a land that taps for three white but can only be used to cast white spells do you think it would be restricted? What about Red? Blue perhaps? I think you know the answer.

Vintage is the only real format to me. Everything else is just a spin off. I'll play this format no matter what happens. I just can't find a logical and unbiased way to stand in defense of shops.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@Aaron-Patten Decks that resolve big mana spells are much better against Shops than Gush decks because they play a much higher mana count. A Sphere has the same effect on Tinker as it does on Preordain. Everyone knows that Shops is much less equipped to defeat Sol Ring and Mana Vault than it is to defeat Gush. "Shops is expected to defeat players casting spells?" Nonsense. Shops doesn't have the G1 win percentage of Dredge, not even remotely close, especially when it's on the draw. Does Shops have a higher average G1 win percentage than an average Blue deck? Probably. So? It still doesn't approach the level of dominance that you're attempting to paint it as.

None of what you say is backed up by any real data. You're falling victim to the anti-Shops propaganda that the pros are throwing around. A logical and unbiased way to stand in defense of Shops? How about checking out the results in the last quarter.

Edit: I'm sorry if my words seem aggressive, I really don't mean it that way. I'm just trying to illustrate that there's no reason to suggest that shops is overpowered right now, and it's only the propaganda that makes it seem so.

last edited by DeaTh-ShiNoBi

@DeaTh-ShiNoBi said:

@Aaron-Patten Decks that resolve big mana spells are much better against Shops than Gush decks because they play a much higher mana count. A Sphere has the same effect on Tinker as it does on Preordain. Everyone knows that Shops is much less equipped to defeat Sol Ring and Mana Vault than it is to defeat Gush. "Shops is expected to defeat players casting spells?" Nonsense. Shops doesn't have the G1 win percentage of Dredge, not even remotely close, especially when it's on the draw. Does Shops have a higher average G1 win percentage than an average Blue deck? Probably. So? It still doesn't approach the level of dominance that you're attempting to paint it as.

None of what you say is backed up by any real data. You're falling victim to the anti-Shops propaganda that the pros are throwing around. A logical and unbiased way to stand in defense of Shops? How about checking out the results in the last quarter.

Edit: I'm sorry if my words seem aggressive, I really don't mean it that way. I'm just trying to illustrate that there's no reason to suggest that shops is overpowered right now, and it's only the propaganda that makes it seem so.

Thank you. I had to delete my reply.

Check this TMD Vintage League week:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrGhZpaQ-xBV-OuBHnfrmXzppLYa4PA5B

2 mud variants played against shimian's mom and against salvagers oath. Guess the results.

@nedleeds I always run a few cards for the Shops match up in my oath deck even though the match up is usually fine, just because sometimes it isn't. And I have enough respect for the deck to not be stupid and ignore it.

Also I had this thought the other day: if people played more main-deck cards for the shops match up it would make more space in the sideboard, and they could play their Pyroblasts in the SB instead. Seems legit.

  • 213
    Posts
  • 167357
    Views