Why Mishra’s Workshop, Lodestone Golem, and the Status Quo in Vintage are Necessary



  • As titled, a holistic look at Vintage, and why nothing should be done about the Vintage Banned & Restricted List on April 4th.
    http://www.eternalcentral.com/why-mishras-workshop-lodestone-golem-and-the-status-quo-in-vintage-are-necessary/

    Your feedback here or on EC is most welcome and appreciated.



  • @JACO great article! I am not sure what is Tom Martell (TomM) trying to say in his tweet. He is complaining because he lost to Oath or he is trying to say that it was too easy for him to get in finals with LSG and Shops?



  • I can't believe they actually tweeted whiny stuff like this. Reminds me of the past Tezzeret Era when Shops (Golem) and Dredge (Bloodghast) became huge. Everyone cried, but I guess we had enough time to get over it? I often must remember when TFK was 40%ish in the Meta breakdown, and people wanted to have Mana Drains restrcited. Now the same on Bazaar and Shops sounds just ridiculous to me.



  • @matori He is saying that the deck is dumb, despite doing well with it. I played him in the top8 and he had 2 games of of completely busted 7 card draws: workshop, trinisphere, lodestone, plus more good stuff. He said something to the effect of "workshop sure makes vintage fun". Those hands are incredibly lucky though, so kind of silly.



  • @diophan Well, even I lost 1st round vs him and before that lots of games vs Shops, I cannot agree that deck is dumb even with lucky openers. His tweet is not ok and it is disrespectful to all pilots who spent time developing Shops all these years.



  • @matori Many 'dumb' things happen in Vintage compared to other formats. It's filled with the most busted mistakes in the history of the game.

    @DBatterskull @JACO thanks to both of you for taking time out of your lives to articulate the opposite position.

    My problem with all the bleeding over shops, and golem in particular is the % of having

    Shop -> Mox -> Golem is the same Orchard -> Mox -> Oath ... which from the perpective of the dude wanting to cast creatures or play magic might be 10x the blowout as a 5/3 sphere.

    I also have just as good a chance (assuming I'm powered) of going Mox -> Land -> STP/Bolt/Dismember/Porceline Legionnaire/Nature's Claim/Snuff Out.

    Of course you need to have those cards in your deck and not be staring at a hand of Misstep, Fluster, Pyroblast, Gush, Scalding Tarn, Dack, Preordain.

    It's like these guys feel like they have the right to beat everything game one? They are totally unwilling to play real removal or budge an inch against the blue on the stack circle jerk.

    2 Summers ago I was getting my groin struck by BUG decks whilst playing shops at Gencon. So much so I switched to Dega for the second event because the matchup was so abysmal.

    Mentor gets printed and the lemmings abandon ship and right click save deck for the new hotness. Is BUG 100% vs. everything? Certainly not but if playing vs. shops wounds your soul so deeply you'd think these guys would give it a try? Shops and storm are so overwhelming but not one person in VSL put a Thalia, Qasali Pridemage, Gaddock Teeg or an Ethersworn Canonist on the stack in SEVEN seasons. Let that sink in.

    "But I Lose to x, Y,Z!!!!!!!!" is a sign of having some choice and balance. This is what makes for a healthy format.



  • @JACO @DBatterskull Great articles from both of you!

    I've only really been playing for the last few months online, but it seems to easy to say X play is 'unfun' and therefore needs to be restricted doesn't really account for the complexity of the game or format.



  • Great article. Thanks for taking the time to write this. You raise some very important points.



  • As a mono-U Belcher player, I hate Shops. Still I think it is a necessary evil.



  • While you make a good argument in favor of leaving Shops and Bazaars in the format, isn't the real problem that blue is obscenely overpowered to the point where everyone is running 10ish cards main exclusively devoted to the matchup? We still see more Ingot Chewers than Lodestone Golems in Vintage top 8's, which I think is quite telling.

    Recent printings have pushed the colors red and white far beyond their historical representation, but we have a huge pile of restricted blue card drawing and filtering these days. Further restrictions probably won't solve the problem and it may be time to print an overpowered, Vintage-targeted blue hoser to lure blue mages into other colors.



  • @AmbivalentDuck said:

    While you make a good argument in favor of leaving Shops and Bazaars in the format, isn't the real problem that blue is obscenely overpowered to the point where everyone is running 10ish cards main exclusively devoted to the matchup? We still see more Ingot Chewers than Lodestone Golems in Vintage top 8's, which I think is quite telling.

    Recent printings have pushed the colors red and white far beyond their historical representation, but we have a huge pile of restricted blue card drawing and filtering these days. Further restrictions probably won't solve the problem and it may be time to print an overpowered, Vintage-targeted blue hoser to lure blue mages into other colors.

    I alluded to this very point in the article:
    "Vintage is home to the most efficient and broken spells ever printed, but more often than not those cards are instants and sorceries, and are most frequently blue. The other colors do their best to contribute what supporting appendages may ultimately serve the strategic goals of a deck, as well as mitigating the opponent’s actions and reactions. Because of the nature and imbalance that colors Magic’s card pool, many of these powerful cards are restricted to one copy per deck, but with the abundance of card draw, manipulation, and tutoring available to reduce variance, these cards are still easily found and cast with exacting precision and frequency."

    The point is that even though those cards are already restricted in large part, the Workshop and Bazaar decks are needed to balance the format holistically. Workshop and Bazaar decks need all the help they can get, not the other way around. There have already been a number of "blue hoser" cards printed, many of which I consider design mistakes (Storm, Split Second, etc.), so I don't think that's a great prescription. I think the best remedy is to allow people to play a more diverse set of cards that incentivize people to play something other than just BaseBlue.dec.



  • Great article. I fear that Randy is having a lot of influence on the situation and the Lodestone restriction is a done deal. I think they just need to have more invites from true Vintage players like Rich and not just HoFers. It's probably a good thing that Pikula is sitting out next season. He made the storm deck look terrible with the lines he chose on many occasions, and in some ways seemed like an embarrassment to the format.

    I'm by no means a great magic player, but I could tell that some of the play was either rusty or they just didn't really understand the ins and outs of their decks.



  • What if we just restrict the blue fetches along with the blue duals and the two Islands? That immediately gives blue a much worse mana base than any other color. We've joked about it for a long time, but maybe we should restrict Island. Entertainingly, one particular Island art still out-represents Mishra's Workshop. If that happens, the environment should at least be more varied.


  • TMD Supporter

    @The-Atog-Lord I agree.
    I'm glad that Jaco's article and Danny's blog post have been shared all over the web.
    I can't believe the tweets posted in Jaco's article, it upset me quite a bit. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I feel like some things were a but harsh and in poor taste.



  • @The-Atog-Lord I'm really glad to hear you say that. I know you to be a reasonable man who loves this format with every fiber of his being. I apologize if any comments I've made recently brought in to question in any way that I'm certain that you are a great ambassador for this format. I hope more influential folks in the vintage community will come forward and denounce this sort of hyperbolic whining that only serves to divide the community and force folks to choose sides which is not what anyone wants. Thanks!

    -Storm



  • Anyway to boost the signal on this and Danny's article to Wizards folk?



  • @Winterstar unlikely to have an effect for this BNR. The decision, whatever it is was made 3 weeks ago to have lead time for MTGO.



  • @nedleeds said:

    @Winterstar unlikely to have an effect for this BNR. The decision, whatever it is was made 3 weeks ago to have lead time for MTGO.

    It's great that in 2016 flagging a card as format-legal or not takes a month in the great program known as Magic: The Gathering Online.



  • Yeah, well MTGO is what it is. It's existance has some positives and negatives for vintage. It's not for me but I'm fortunate enough to have monthly Vintage FNM of 15+ and enough time to travel for vintage.

    Back on topic, even if a restriction were warrented (which most data doesn't indicate) I wish thay WotC would be a little slower and more cautious with Vintage. There are no GPs or Pro Tours to keep in line, I'd rather see the next 2 releases and Conspiracy play out and get one Champs under our collective belts before making changes.



  • I play exclusively on MTGO, I'm not knocking it for the most part. I just think that'd be silly to not take in all the data before making a decision just because the coding of your program is awful.



  • Nice article, JACO. This is my first post on the New Mana Drain. I believe that the popularity of the VSL has given rise to more reactionary stances than are necessary. The restriction of Chalice of the Void was satisfactory to temper the most egregious infractions of the Workshop archetype. Secondly, in doing so, Wizards made a philosophical declaration that the format would be welcoming to Moxen. Lodestone Golem promotes this goal in ways that Thorn of Amythest, Sphere of Resistance, Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, and Phyrexian Revoker do not. I've been able to dispense with Workshop decks very handily and consistently by respecting the match-up and building responsibly. That was not possible with 4x Chalices, but it is now. That doesn't mean I always win of course as this is a game of chance in addition to a game of skill, I don;t find an urgent need for any restriction. If I did, it would be unfair to say that Lodestone Golem should be restricted while giving a free pass to Oath of Druids, Cabal Therapy, Force of Will, Show and Tell, Monastery Mentor, Young Pyromancer, Gush, Dark Ritual, Mental Misstep, and Preordain. It isn't even the most oppresive card in the Workshop deck, as I believe Sphere or Resistance, Thorn of Amythest, Wasteland, and Phyrexian Revoker are all more oppressive than LSG.

    The idea that Mishra's Workshop itself should be restricted is nothing short of scandalous. We accepted the high power level of the card over a decade ago and that acceptance has been a cornerstone in the "real life" Vintage culture that has flourished since. It's easier to lobby for restricting the card when one only owns an ugly inexpensive .jpg of it. Doing so negates the years of work and investment in the format (including acquiring Workshops through prizes after achieving successive tournament success) that would qualify as a direct assault on the "in real life" Vintage community. This should not be blithely ignored.


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