I have been playing MTG since 1994 (with a break in between Vision till Lorwynn) and my favorite format has always been Vintage. What i can tell from France is (i am talking only about paper as i don't play MTGO or similar) :
- There had been a slow but constant decrease of players in France till about 5 years ago. It is possible that explanation is the no-proxie policy in France because at the same time in USA numbers of players was quite constant or more slowly decreasing (as far as i remember).
- About 5 years ago, when Old School started to be known there was a sudden rise in card prizes. To put it bluntly, it was more speculation/investments than players looking for cards. At that time Vintage entrance cost became really prohibitive so it is near impossible for new players to enter.
- Many Vintage players are quite old and may quit for various reasons.
- Cards availability is also a problem (i mean for the old stapples).
Basically what happened to Vintage is also happening to Legacy, or will happen soon for quite similar reasons. Wizards is supporting Modern as the official eternal format and they don"t care much for the other eternals formats. I am not saying they want them to die, those formats are the 'mythology' of MTG and as such are important for Wizard image but doing what could be really needed to make them alive again might not be worth the trouble.
I talked with many former vintage players and lots of them told me that they quited because at some time they did not like the meta/format. Many found Old school more attractive so they still have the cards but they don't play vintage any more. Also, some people don"t want to walk around with cards that are worth more than the car they are driving ...
With some friends we have been organising Vintage meeting once a month (we started about 2 years ago). We allow unlimited proxies so people may try any deck they may want. We could be doing that at home but we do it in a shop so people might see us. We have lots of fun and some people are coming but basically we never managed to be more than 10.
I can only agree with what had been said about MKM tournaments. There are some serious hints that BOM could happen again in Annecy next year ... so wait and see. However, there is a big Legacy event planned in France (Valence) at end of month and there is supposed to be Vintage too but i am really not sure it will fire.
I did some quick testing and went to our monthly tournament yesterday with a similar list. It went pretty well (3-1), the only games i lost were to variance or stupid errors from me. However, i am not yet happy with the deck and will test it more. Decks i played or tested against so far are : jeskai xerox, hatebear, eldrazi, dredge, PO and mirror. I have not played enough games so here are just some feelings as food for thought :
- Engineer is pretty cool and most of the time i fetch crucible or bridge with it, the entomb effect makes us less bazaar dependant. I feel that 7 goblins might be too much but not sure yet (i might try a 3/3 split as a test).
- I was not happy of the lone Karn and almost never played it when i drew it. The only time i did, it was not very impactful. I will try a very small sideboard target package, namely either only one lattice or a vault/key. The rest of the sideboard will be built as if there was no Karn. If this strategy is working, Karn might ends up in sideboard too as this might be interesting only in some matchup. If it is still akward, i might remove it entirely from the 75.
- During testing (namely against Eldrazi) i found myself hiding behind a bridge and my opponent had 2 revokers online that targetted both goblins. The game was pretty stalled and it was difficult if not impossible to find an out. More generally, i am not satisfied with the plan after we get a bridge online. So i added in an expedition map and switched a mountain for a barbarian ring, and i added a tabernacle in sideboard. I might want the tabernacle main deck and/or a second map but i could not find space for that yet. This strategy gives us more lines of play if needed. I will need more test to decide if it is a good idea or not.
- dredge is a favorable matchup, game 1 is still difficult but not impossible to win. Post board, the plan is simple : mulligan agressively into cage and/or waste, put a bridge (or a cage if needed) online with a goblin, and find a way to kill.
- mirror match is pretty technical if both players are serious.
To sum it all, i like that such a deck has some potential again but there lots of work to do on it to have it really competitive. Now i know how i will spend my spare time before our next monthly event.
If i had a flying Goyf, i would want to attack with it every tunr not really use it for defense. Condition is pretty easy to get against dredge of course but i would probably want to side in other cards than it.
I like the card but not sure if it can fit somewhere in the present meta. Some people tried a blue shop deck some years ago, maybe it could fit in it.
True, because the COP was (or were) most probably in SB and it is very possible that that person only saw the main deck.
I don't know what is the truth behind all this but either ways it just makes me sad because of the person and because of the format. I was expecting better.
The card was sheer and utter madness. I don't know how long things worked this way. I'm guessing they changed the rules on this card before Arabian Nights was out, but I'm sure there were a lot of house rules surrounding the card. If anyone was around the competitive scene in the early early days I'd love to hear how it was handled. I've always been fascinated and terrified by the implications of the card before they added "status" to the game rules.
I had played a few tournaments back in those days. You are right the card was madness (similar to chaos orb in a way). It was not very easy then to get a full playset of it and there was not many competitive interactions with it so people were playing it mostly in casual decks. i remember i saw one being played in a tournament once but a disenchant flew on it immediately. If i remember well, Wizard produced quickly some errata and explanation in old Duellist mag. I still have them somewhere, i will check.
I tested this deck, not a lot yet but enough to feel how it runs. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and quite efficiently. If i were to compare it to another deck, it would be PO obviously. Now, shop has a true quick combo deck. Not running sphere effect is something : beside the obvious building reasons, it means that the deck is quick/solid enough not to fear blue brokenness (not sure if that word exists but you get the point i think). For an old timer shop player like me, it means a lot.
I am not exactly fond of such all-in combo decks and usually enjoy to have some kind of out if some sand suddenly breaks the machine. However it is just personnal taste and i have zero problem with such kind of deck in the meta.
What is worrying me is not this particular deck but the fact that we have more and more decks like that. I presume power creep is doing that and there is not much that can be done. I don't mind we have a quick combo deck in the meta but if several decks are just doing their stuff as fast as possible with little interaction, Vintage will get soon very boring.
I know that the meta will balance to take this new deck in account and soon that deck will evolve in something less all-in. We will see how things will be in a few months when the dust will come down but i am not very optimistic about future in the long run.
To finish on the bright side, it is nice to see the format is changing a lot and new decks are rising.