@Aaron-Patten said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:
The goal is not to prevent a Chalice on turn one. If you read my post more thoroughly you'd see that the goal is quite the opposite. Chalice on turn one is not problematic unless it is accompanied by a sufficient number of the rest of the lock pieces which are all powered out by Mishra's Workshop and to a lesser degree Ancient Tomb as you pointed out. Ancient tomb is far less effective than Mishra's Workshop for multiple reasons. It obviously makes less mana and costs life but it also prevents the user from achieving the same total amaount of mana that Mishra's Workshop does which means they'd need to invest one more card into their mana base. The means one less threat and/or one less lock piece. The archetype will still exist it just won't be 50%+ of top8s.
I had missed your point, thank you for explaining it with more details. Your reasoning is interesting and could be true if IMHO it did not miss one fundamental point : what is the point to build a deck running about 40 artifacts only to get a synergy with a restricted card ? Let me elaborate. I agree that mishra's workshop is the strongest unrestricted card and actually it is so strong (as four of) that playing only artifacts in a deck is worth it. It is similar to bazaar in dredge (and some shop decks used to play serum powder ...) even if a bit less critical but any shop player knows that (almost) any opening hand without shop is just bad. The third mana makes all the difference compared to sol lands and the first skill any shop player need to learn is when to mulligan ... As four of, there 39.9% to have one in opening hand (and 60.1% at turn 5) while as one of there is 11.7% (and 20% at turn 5). Playing a artifact-only deck when shop is restricted is just not worth it and would be a deck building error. And since no colored shop did any result for many years my guess is that shop archetype would just dissolve and soon workshop would be some kind of alternate academy played in the few decks that play enough artifact to make it interesting (tezzeret or so). You can unrestrid any possible artifact and it will change nothing. People who would want to play similar strategy would play Eldrazi instead for example. We could talk on how people would react to that but i will restrict my writing only to deck building consideration.
Shops plays sphere effects as its primary tool for disruption because so few other effective preventative measures exist in the form of artifacts. Sphere effects are the best at what they do in an artifact based strategy which is also very effective against everything else in the game, i.e. casting spells. The best defense Mishra has is to prevent all of its opposition's spells from being cast because there is an artifact destruction spell in almost every card type and/or colour. The only way the archetype does well in it's current iteration is if no opposing strategy is able to resolve a spell.
Actually my question was not really one and i 100% agree with you here, that's why i compared sphere effects to counterspells.
That may be your whole point but it is also a big part of my point and we do not disagree except where you say that sphere effects will evaporate if people stop doing "broken" things. That scenario has already played out in the form of the most recent set of restrictions and they have had the exact opposite effect to what you've predicted. This is the same fallacy that has been repeated throughout this thread. Restricting the opposition to one strategy does not reduce the effectiveness of that strategy; quite the opposite. People who share your mentality are overlooking the fact that sphere effects are broken things. Preventing your opponent from ever having any chance at casting any spells is just as "broken" as any other strategy. You seem to be missing they key point that if you can't cast spells you lose just the same as if you got hit with Blightsteel Colossus before being able to cast a spell. In both scenarios you never got a chance to play your spells. The illusion of a continued game is created by that extended period of time between being deterministically locked out and actually technically losing the game. The problem is not intrinsic to sphere effects however since they would be largely symmetrical if it weren't for Mishra's Workshop. The Shop is what makes them "broken" because it allows the shops player to play through them thus making them asymmetrical instead of symmetrical.
Actually you missread what i meant but after reading it again i see i forgot to explain my starting point and what i was aiming at. I will try to make it more clear now.
Firstly, i am not talking/advocating about restricting cards, i am again talking only about deck building and metagame. I am talking about balance and what could be the goal, i am not talking about the mean to achieve it (restriction or whatever) because i am not expert enough and i have honestly no idea about what is the good solution.
Secondly, i never said that 'sphere effects will evaporate if people stop doing "broken" things'. I said there was a link/balance between the level of overall brokeness in the format and the number of sphere effects shop decks are running (the keyword is : 'number'). Of course, shop decks will always run some sphere effects as long it is their best strategy (ie. until a brown counterspell is published). But they adjust the number of sphere effects according to the metagame in the same way blue decks are adjusting their counterspells.
Thirdly, i agree that a golem turn 1 is about as broken as a blightsteel turn 1. An early Golem + tangle is a killing combo that end the game even if the oponent will die only a few turns later. I was not saying that some effects are more broken or whatever just that vintage is a world where broken does happen and players use whatever tools they have to take it in account (ie. not die before they can play their plan).
You were namely talking about sphere and i would agree with you if we were talking about STAX decks not MUD decks. STAX are real prison decks (similar as heavy control blue deck such as standstill) where as MUD is not trying to get a full lock but only to earn some time. We both know that STAX is (nearly) dead in the current meta and (nearly) all current shop decks are MUD. So yes, in some games MUD will just pile sphere effects and you won't play a spell (and that is broken) but in other games MUD won't draw a single sphere and will try to win as he can. I don't need to remind you that MUD has no drawing/tutoring/filtering effects. I remember playing many games where about all my spells were countered, shall i complain about it ? No, for me it is just Vintage.
Actually you said in a post that with so many sphere effect being played, people had to play only low curve decks and that reduce the number of playable spells. I agree with you on that and that's why i was trying to dig on that problem. My reasoning is that there is some kind of vicious circle here : when it is easy to die early because of combo or chaining spells, shop is playing more sphere which in return makes blue deck lower their curve and so make Xerox deck better, so shop play even more sphere and lower its own curve too. In the end you get two dominant decks that have no common third predator.
So, to sum it all, i think that the problem comes from the fact that the "overall level of brokeness" is at a critical level and more especially the speed of the format. That is an overall problem so in my mind it is useless to restrict one card or another from one deck (which ever) but we need a more global solution that would affect them all. I may be wrong (and actually hope to be) but i am just brainstorming some ideas here.