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Elementals are ideas given form. This one is the idea of "smashitude."

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posted in Vintage News read more

@Smmenen said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

Just envision a post-Gush environment, and it's not hard to see how Mentor decks will continue unabated

But, as I said before, it could still need a restriction after Gush. I just don't see a reason to give an entire deck the middle finger all at once.

But that's exactly what you want to do to Gush. Don't you see the contradiction?

Steve, I sure do see a contradiction...

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My reference to elves and goblins wasn't meant to be literal in the sense that I'd expect them to magically return. Just the idea that other non-Gush, non-Thorn decks would be viable. I won't even begin to discuss why I think bringing up the EU humans deck (or the EW standstill deck for that matter) is silly, but let's just say I have my reservations on both counts, albeit for different reasons.

I don't know why you think restricting Mentor suppresses Gush more than restricting Gush suppresses Mentor. Having fewer ways to trigger Mentor in one turn means a LOT. Having fewer ways to get more cards into your hand without paying mana means a LOT. That's less mana available for counters, less "free" counters drawn, etc. It's a lot easier to fight the Mentor when their engine is slower and requires more mana. If the plan is to power out mentors much faster, you're more susceptible to artifact hate, like Null Rod. This isn't a particularly reliable strategy when other decks, such as PO, may rise in numbers, leading to more hate for them as well.

But, as I said before, it could still need a restriction after Gush. I just don't see a reason to give an entire deck the middle finger all at once. However, glossing over the success of a deck like Grixis Therapy in the same time period seems absurd. Not to mention, Brian Kelly and I played Esper Mentor in a 60-some person event (iirc) with only 2 mentors in the deck. I went undefeated in games against blue decks that day, only losing to Will Dayton on TKS shops in the semis, while Brian made it to the finals, only losing in the Swiss to Dredge. So, with all of that being said, I just don't see how Mentor is the worse offender.

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@Smmenen Gush isn't "good against other blue decks," it's good against every deck without Spheres. Remember when people played elves, goblins, humans [sic], etc? I do. It pushes ALL of those decks out of the format. You wrote a book on the card, you know this, even if you can't admit it. This is like L. Ron Hubbard saying "eh Scientology is okay I guess." J.K. Rowling thinks wizards are like, sorta alright when they're behaving themselves. Aristotle once said philosophy is "pretty rad, but don't overthink it."

If I thought Mentor would still be the powerhouse it is without Gush, I'd want to see something else go first. I wouldn't even be having this discussion. I think it will still be good, and may need another restriction in the future depending on how things shake out, but I'm not on the "restrict all of it" train. One at a time is okay by me. But it's the strongest unrestricted card in the deck that's been dominant for a long time. The vintage world needs a breather.

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@ChubbyRain said in SMIP Podcast #63: "Where Do We Go From Here?":

@Smmenen I tend to be rather far ahead of the curve when it comes to the Vintage metagame. Maybe I should write a book about it.

I can attest to this, as can quite a few prominent vintage players.

My issue is that the DCI, and many others, aren't capable of seeing the underlying issue. Gush is what makes other blue decks worse (as well as making shops better). The other free spells are an annoyance, but Gush allows the deck to play with less mana compared to nearly any other blue strategy. It ramps, it's a combat trick, it creates creatures at virtually no cost, it helps Dack filter to more broken card draw even when the deck draws "too many" lands.

I love Gush. I'm a big fan of Fastbond. I adore Doomsday. I've even cast quite a few Mentors. I just don't see a world where only restricting Mentor helps. Because, while Mentor often wins with monks, that's largely a byproduct of the deck having more available answers than the opponent has threats. If you restrict Mentor, Grixis Gush decks step in and dominate the other blue decks. Or maybe Beaver's favorite Hydra does the job. But I guarantee we'll be stuck having this same conversation.

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@Smmenen what's your timeframe for restricting a card then? I'm just not following, because you recently posted a deck on Twitter which you won with at Eudo, which led me to their Twitter account, where their last tweet was from two years ago where you also won with Mentor. Look, I'm not for restricting things constantly. But I think your arguments for not restricting Gush are very weak, and honestly I'm wondering how much it has to do with your book. Nobody else is fighting this hard for Gush. At least two years of the same deck being top dog is enough, no? Despite several cards being printed that should be able to fight the mentor decks, it just doesn't work, because the draw engine is so lean and efficient that it just finds the answers (and the answers for your answers). And once something finds a way to win, Mentor just adjusts the sideboard and keeps on winning. I'm not trying to attack you, though I'm sure it seems like it... I would just like to play Magic again.

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@Smmenen if we can look at the history of the DCI's decisions regarding restrictions, why aren't we mentioning how quickly cruise and dig were restricted? Or the fact that Gush has been restricted twice already, and it's even better now than it was then? Forgive me if I missed you mentioning any of this in your thesis.

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@JACO Believe it or not, I do understand what you're saying. But to me, the way you do it is just a more blatant version of the same thing. Not a "if you did it right, this is fine" situation. It's almost like you just want to show off some randomization knowledge at any chance you get (which by all means, go for it, I'll still call a judge).

posted in Vintage Community read more

@Khahan this is extremely naive. I'm not targeting him specifically, I don't know him personally but I do know of him. But to just flat out trust everyone is ridiculous. My position on the matter comes from having seen cheaters cheat. You never know who it's going to be. I've had a person I would consider a friend attempt to cheat. I just won't let it happen to me if at all possible. Nobody should be doing anything that could be conceived as cheating, even if it's completely on the up and up. I'm just making the argument that this could EASILY be seen as cheating, so it shouldn't be done, nor should it be allowed.

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@JACO I mentioned potentially seeing their cards already, yesterday. You speak as though you would tell your opponent to shuffle in a different manner, but you fail to realize that if you don't tell them that, how are they to know whether or not you saw something once you've chosen to randomize their deck in a suspicious manner? If you did not say anything to me, I'm going to assume you're doing it that way for a reason, and probably one I should be calling a judge for. None of your arguments make sense to me. You continue to defend this method based on the deck already being sufficiently randomized, but there are a lot of factors involved outside of the mathematical ones that make this seem EXTREMELY shady. I don't think there's any world where you're going to convince me this is perfectly okay.

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I just don't understand how you translate "your opponent's deck" to mean "however many cards from your opponent's deck you feel like picking up that day." But I guess we all interpret things differently.