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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Maybe i missed some recent cards but that is quite surprising to see Phasing come back.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

If welder shops were still a thing it would be an obvious include. Less interesting in more classic builds but i like the card and will definitively get a playset.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@protoaddict said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

I do not think that is true anymore. There is so much synergy within the cards that they all feed into each other, outside of even the workshops powering them out.

  • Foundry Inspector makes the whole deck cheaper
  • Ravager can eat any non land in your deck including spheres you need off the table
  • Ballista and hangerback can use ravager tokens
  • Traxoses downside becomes an upside in the list
  • Mystic forge can play your deck
  • All your cards feed your academy
  • All your mana sources are rainbow sources for your own cards

There is a lot of reason to play mono brown artifacts in a world with just one workshop

Good point. That is were we disagree, i am not sure those synergies would really make it up but there is only one way to know at that point, namely doing some real tests.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Maybe i am wrong but it looks like we are not talking about the same thing : you are talking about influence of shop restriction in the actual meta whereas i am talking about influence of shop restriction in an hypothetical and mostly unknown meta related to a set of rules for B&R (opening post).

I have witnessed enough shops match ups to know that they often have superfluous mana and have plenty of games where they win on sol lands. Shops already did not come up as frequently as that deck wanted and it still dominated for years. The decks most critical drops have always been and are still are 0 and 2 drops, nothing changes there either.

When you witnessed shop matchup, did you see mulligan choices ? Because it is what is at stake here (later in the game you are right : shop has lot of useless mana). Most of the time, an opening hand with one ancient tomb and lock pieces is a mulligan. Of course, it depends on what you know about your opponent and the other cards in hands but most of the time it is the good choice.

I don't know if you ever played shop but if you did you must know that match up where opponent is running wastelands are very different to ones where he is not. There is a reason for that.

But to answer more directly to what you said (if i understood it well) : of course 1 workshop decks can be played (Legacy MUD decks do exist afterall). My point is not here, what i say is that something similar to nowadays shop builds would not be the best option for a shop deck.

I don't see why you need to throw the baby out with the bath water and redesign the deck from the ground up. We know through heuristics and our observational knowledge that the deck not only still works but is also still competent at doing what it does. We also know that the decks largest predator right now is not mana but rather a free green spell that does not care about your mana.

How good the deck is in the meta has not actually been about the card workshop for some time, it's about the hate that is played and if it can get in under that in the first place. Shops is not good because of 3 mana, it is good because you do not take damage/lose a card/etc to use it. If eldrazi were to become the better of the deck it is almost undoubtably because of other factors.

I agree with what you said but you should go further down that road. The real question is about which deck is stronger ?

  • Deck 1 : is running 40 artifacts and made some little adjustements to take in account there is only 1 shop. Basically, the usual shop deck.
  • Deck 2 : is running (let's say) 25 artifacts and 15 [add here what you prefer : Eldrazi / blue spoilers / one or several colors / whatever].

My point is that both decks can be played and would be competitive but the deck 1 would be suboptimal compared to deck 2. Reasons are simple : less artifacts mean less relying on singleton workshop, and also means that the nasty free green card will be less devastating. Basically, deck 2 is less sensitive to artifact hate and could potentially have access to blue power, cantrips, draw effects, ... (whatever) , in short strong new effects.

If we want to classify starting by strongest : nowadays mono brown 4 workshops decks > Deck 2 (singleton shop) > Deck 1 (singleton shop).

4 Workshop is the only reason that shop decks are playing that many artifacts, that is just statistic reasons. That is exactly why i would start from scratch to design Deck 2. The only exception would Eldrazi-Deck 2 that would be quite similar to what we have now, but any other would require a very different balance.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I am advocating nothing and just trying cold analysis. It is near impossible to foretell how a meta would evolve but there are still a few obvious things.


My point is that with only one shop (and no tutor) it is not optimal any more to play 40 artifacts. So what do you put in ?

  • I can only agree that Eldrazi creatures are so much better than artifact ones so this way is the most obvious and the easiest.
  • @Protoaddict about the first deck you suggested. That was my point : it could exist but it would not be worth it. Other options would be much better.

Starting with existing shop decks and trying adapt them is the wrong way to go. For that particular problem, reasoning should start "from scratch" as if shop decks never existed and brew starting with 1 shop and nothing else.

Or put it another way : if probabilities are very low that you naturally draw your single shop, you should design a deck that does not need it and when you get it, it is just added bonus.

Why would you want to play 2 drops or more when you can now play many 1 drops that will let you draw thousands of cards ? That is why i suggested colored shops but another way to see it is that the single shop would just become academy number 2 for any decks that rely on such a card.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@desolutionist said in Rules for Vintage B&R list:

A Shops deck with only 1 Workshop is still a Shops deck. Just like a Gush deck with only 1 Gush still embodies the spirit of a Gush deck. It would want to play Wastelands, City of Traitors, Crystal Vein, some fast artifact mana and just power out Spheres and Lodestone Golems. If you recall the mtgo classic format, all the best decks were just worse versions of all the current vintage decks. (Classic didn't have the entire Vintage cardpool such as power) No matter how you slice it -- Null Rod or Eldrazi or whatever, its still the Shops deck.

Technically, that is true but this won't happen. Reason is that you forget something in that analysis : shop deck are running about 40 artifacts because because 4 workshops make it worth it. Now if you have only 1 workshop and no (or few) way to tutor it would you still want to play that many artifacts ? Would not you want to add some color and get all nice effects that brown is missing ?

Ultimately, you will play a whatever-deck with a more than average number of artifacts to still get nice use of the singleton workshop (could be for exemple some kind of turbo-tezz or something like the 5C shop decks that used to be played). I am not sure if such decks would be still shop decks.

On the other hand, singleton Bazar does weaken Dredge decks but does not kill them : They are called dredge decks not bazar decks ... they loose their best tool but not their reason of being.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@smmenen said in Is it possible to have vintage be community run and maintained?:

But compared to what? I think it's important for people to pinpoint when they felt game play was so much better. Too often, however, it's just a generalized feeling rather than a specific period or instantiation of Vintage.

Of course, there can be many reasons behind such a feeling. The only thing i can tell is that at some point they disliked the experience so they quited to do something more pleasant in their eyes and they never came back. Many of them still have the cards but they just don't feel like coming back (often but not all play OS instead).

What i was trying to pinpoint with that exemple was just that people enjoy Vintage because of the high level of play and that tricky choices often decide who wins or loose. When choices are not important any more (whatever the reason : one deck too strong, too much variance, ....) , people loose interest for the format.

The whole point of my long text was just to say that sooner than we may want we might have to face a "playability" problem in vintage. If that happens, the only solution is drastic power decrease and that is something that most players don't like. So maybe some anticipation is best.

However this only "gut feeling" from a (very) long time Vintage player and i have no answer to that nor many objective arguments to back it up.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I read a bit earlier in the thread people trying to compare with old school (OS) management. I must react to that because old school is so much different from vintage on that point :

There are several B&R lists (and rules) for OS because of the 'Gathering' part of MTG. When OS was a brand new format, various people agreed to gather around something they enjoyed. They experienced and agreed about what they think is the best experience. This ended up in those different R&R and rules. And there is wisdom in having them still exist : OS cards are a bit less than 1000 so sooner or later the meta is solved (or close enough). Each different B&R produces a different meta which renews the game and make it a more interesting experience in the long run.
In a way, problem that Vintage has to adress is exactly the opposite.

Going back to the subjet of that thread.

I am not very fond of a player management of the format. IMHO the main reason is that it misses the real problem : vintage is not dying because of the B&R management. There are the obvious reasons (reserved list, ...) that every one knows of but i think the real problem is the overall power level in vintage nowadays. Of course, B&R can deal with that but up to some point where it fails. Let me try to elaborate.

In 2011, i went to a BOM tournament and when thinking about what i would play i quickly found out that the meta was basically : play turbo Tezz or play Kudoltha forgemaster (Dredge was there too of course). Historically, Vintage meta has always been quite small but it was the first time i found it that small.

In the following years, a change happened with what was called then the 'Legacy like' decks. It started with BUG and Delver and it never stoped since then. People may say vintage has became powered Legacy but fact is that meta broaden much because of that and that is a good thing in my mind.

But, why did that happen ? When i started Vintage, first thing i learned was 'it is a format where creature strategies are not strong enough'. Somehow, this became false suddenly. Balance between spells and creatures has been a problem since MTG very start (why bother summon a force of nature when opponent need only one mana to sword it ?). Creature power creep is obvious when looking at the various editions and at some point (about 2014) they became good enough for modern vintage. That is not a problem but a hint about something. Power creep in MTG can't be avoided but only slowed down.

In another thread, Brian linked an interesting article about the way Wizard R&D was dealing with it for standard format.

To make it short, they explain that they set the power level range that standard should have and that level is a bit higher than it was. They also design much more cards than before to try to make each standard format a great experience. Results of that is that more and more cards are leaking into Vintage format. I used to be buying playsets of every cards that looked promissing when a new set was published but i stopped : there are just too many of them now !

To sum up before going back to vintage, fact is we are going to see more and more new cards in Vintage.

Some of those cards are too strong in vintage context and the B&R list can deal with them. Still, one of them find a place in most Vintage decks. Some new cards don't deserve being restriced but they do improve existing decks. IMHO the real problem is the density of those cards. Decks are getting stronger and stronger and the pace at which this is happening is making it very problematic (if not out of controle). Out of experience, take a deck you were playing last year or the year before and try it in the current meta. Chance are that you will find the deck to be obselete ... not 'need to be updated' but most probably one turn too slow. That power creep is making the format much quicker than it was up to a point were the critical turn is much too often 'opening hand'.

What are MTG games that you remember or enjoyed ? The ones were you had to battle, where your choices were critical. Mulligan choices are important but there is not much satisfaction in games that end there : you play at your best and objectively make no mistake but you loose because opponent hand was just stronger. This has always happened in MTG games but when it happens much too often it is a real problem.

I am not saying that new cards in the format is a bad thing but saying that managing power level in the format is like walking on the very thin line.

I asked many former vintage players why they stopped. There were personnal reasons of course but the most common answer directly related to the game was : games were boring and not interesting.

Ultimately, the B&R can't deal with that problem unless a really big number of cards are banned and restricted (i am not advocating that but that is just the point : going to that would hint its failure). I don't know what is the good answer to that but i presume it would be a drastic change in the format.

To ends in a more positive way, there is an OS variant that i tried recently that has an interesting rule. Basically the format is no sideboard, exactly singleton 60 cards and 7 points. For example : lotus, LOA, trall and sol ring costs 4 points, moxen mindtwist and walk 3 points, and so on. What is interesting is that system balance card power in a deck but it also adress card availabily (if you don't have power you know that if your opponent has chosen to be playing moxen he won't be able to play other strong cards that you will be playing). I don't know if this would work for vintage (probably not because there are too many cards) but it is an example of alternate way to deal with power level in a format.

posted in Vintage Community read more

My view on all this is very practical :

  • Vintage has always been my favorite format and i try to play at least one (usually very small and when i can bigger) paper tournament every month.
  • For the last two years power creep in the format has been quite obvious and even more recently. IMHO we are now at a point where a game is mostly decided by our opening hand so the only really important décision is keep or mulligan. i quited several competitive tournaments just because playing was just boring because of that. Not every games are like that but much too often. This was bound to happen sooner or later and that means really strong décisions (whatever) should be taken if Wizard wants a future for Vintage. I put it short so it might sound quite dark view but IMHO if we are not there we are very close to it : power level is much too high now.
  • I don't mind big changes in Vintage if it will allow it to stay a format that can be played.
  • As for compagnion, i don"t mind if in a few years there is one or two decks that uses such strategy (in the same way there is a dredge deck in the format) but if the goal is that every one is playing one compagnion then i will just stop playing Vintage and will find another format. If i wanted to play with a commander i would play Commander format, plain and simple.
  • If every one agree that Lurrus is broken then i see no reason to wait. Ban it as compagnion and do not let the few vintage players left in the world struggle with an biased meta.
    This is just my feeling about all this and still hope it will go for the best.
posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I like that they produce cards that can adress planewalkers but this one looks far too weak to be of any real use in the format.