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

Yeah I didn't watch VSL. I guess I'm glad I didn't now (particularly since Shops is my pet deck).

I "love" how everybody is equal to affect B&R policy. Everybody can put in results, everybody can put out a tweet.

It just seems that some people are more equal than others.

@MaximumCDawg said:

@JACO said:

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.

Totes McGotes, Jaco. I've been very happy to see them rolling out better hatebears over time, though we seem to be a bit of a lull on that score in the last few sets. I really want them to print more cards that are incompatible with but competitive against the existing archetypes, because that's how new decks get born.

The closest we had recently is Eldrazi, which was an attempt to make a new archetype by doing exactly what Shops does: give the player broken mana, but don't let them them spend it on Ancestral Recall. I doubted that this archetype had quite the raw power to break into Vintage, and so far, that seems to be true.

I think a creature-centric, hate-bear type deck is still bubbling just below the surface of playability. It just needs some more foundational cards like Cavern of Souls to really make it sing. Losing Chalice really hurt such a deck's ability to fight Storm and hate out moxen, but it's not the end of the world. I'm happy because I think this is going to happen, eventually. Slowly.

@Lysandros said:

Great article JACO. Those tweets are infuriating. I hoped for better out of Randy and Chris. I expect it out of the others. Disappointing.

Someone didn't watch the Vintage Super League, or this wouldn't be a surprise. People gots their opinions 😉

Not to veer the conversation off course here, but I never agreed with the idea that restricting chalice totally nuked hatebears out of the format. Thorn of Amethyst comes down at basically the same CMC as Chalice and has a similarly disruptive effect on Storm. Paired with a Thalia forget about it. Spirit of the Labyrinth is one of the most underplayed cards in the format and you get to play all sorts of other fun disruptive stuff. It has been stated elsewhere that token based strategies have made Hatebears hard to play, and I agree with that, but a well tuned list with flyers like aven mindcensor and cards like batterskull and Jitte help a lot in those match ups.

Back to the point however...I have no issue with shops as presently constituted. I (like many) played through 4 trinisphere shop decks, where wasteland, sphere of resistance, and tangle wire were still played and juggernaut hit you for the same 5 damage that lodestone does while you dig for your basics and pray to draw rebuild or hurkyls.

Gun to my head, if a card from shops HAS to be restricted...I am going with Tangle wire. Without instant speed artifact removal (or a start featuring multiple moxen) it takes that turn 1 or 2 Golem from "sort of" game over to "most likely" game over.

said:

Back to the point however...I have no issue with shops as presently constituted. I (like many) played through 4 trinisphere shop decks, where wasteland, sphere of resistance, and tangle wire were still played and juggernaut hit you for the same 5 damage that lodestone does while you dig for your basics and pray to draw rebuild or hurkyls.

I don't feel strongly either way about golem or workshops but I will say this. I don't think the pro players tweeting about this are specifically wrong in that lodestone is not a fun card. There is a big difference between fun and balanced however, and typically I don't think banning for something subjective like fun is acceptable.

I think you are about to see this in multiple formats however. Look at what happened in modern with Eldrazi. There is nothing so outlandish about that deck, and most people gave it maybe a month before they just decided the deck needed banning because they could not longer compete with there broken deck at Tier 1. Eldrazi was another deck that was not "fun" to play against because it played big mana early and tried to lock out your answers with Thought Knot seer.

The internet turned the complaints about the decks power level into an echo chamber, more and more people started playing it, and it started dominating events because it was such a huge percentage of the field. It was a good deck, no doubt about that, but really there were known decks that were just fringe that people didn't want to convert to that crushed eldrazi every time. Lead to Monday where they are likely banning one if not 2 cards from it.

Now unlike eldrazi, I think shops could survive a restriction. Restricting Workshop would likely be the most devastating move for the list, but when you consider that the deck would still have all the rest of its base of sol lands and academy, I think it would probably result in the deck having to look at more low cost options instead of lodestone. It would still be able to drop a sphere and a handful of moxen turn 1. Maybe shops at that point ups the number of Mox opals or something to compensate? Either way it survives.

As someone who has tried to play Shops without owning Mishra's Workshops, I assure you that it is not the same deck. You can't deploy Golem on turn 1 reliably, and that's a HUGE problem.

However, you can totally get by without Workshop if you're playing a Robots list (Skullclamp, Genesis Chamber, etc).

If the herpderp committee actually does ban Workshop, then let this be a lesson to those fame-seekers that have given their credibility to people who are non-experts on this non-pro format.

@MaximumCDawg Having one shop is very different than having no shops. But I also believe that if shops was restricted then it would likely be in tandem with something else that would power down the whole format. Likely Gush but I would not be shocked to see WOTC even go after bazaar knowing dredge becomes more powerful as other decks stop being powerful.

@Protoaddct Workshops getting restricted has a zero percent chance of happening. I wish people would stop talking about it.

@DeaTh-ShiNoBi said:

@Protoaddct Workshops getting restricted has a zero percent chance of happening. I wish people would stop talking about it.

reply

I'm just using as an example to show that even if you killed the decks core card, it could still survive. Lodestone is not even close to shops in the terms of how important it is, so restrict it and people will find a way.

@Protoaddct The deck would survive Lodestone restriction, but might not be top tier. I highly doubt it would be playable with only 1 Mishra's Woorkshop. I've been wrong before

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