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posted in Off-Topic read more

@blindtherapy I understand what you're saying; I'm trying to respond to the idea in the original post. I'm not looking to play these cards, but rather suggesting design space that would be interesting for vintage. The OP even talked about making a card that would not impact Standard but would in Vintage.

I'm not sure you're understanding my post, or the goals/desires stated therein.

posted in Off-Topic read more

@blindtherapy True! But none of those effects puts that permanent onto the battlefield, and that possibility is one I find intriguing.

posted in Off-Topic read more

Sorry about the meta-like post without any card designs myself:
In reading this question, I wonder whether the prompt is talking about skill in deckbuilding, in in-game play, or both. I think it is challenging to create cards that will clearly do both, but it is a reasonable goal, and I would love to see how designers think their creations would address these considerations.

Personally, I think that bolstering enchantments as a permanent type could open up space in the metagame. This could come from a toolbox/opalescence planeswalker as well as additional printings. And by shifting the metagame (were such a strategy to become feasible), sideboard and deck construction would have to adapt, making in-game sequencing and permanent removal more of a consideration.

Unrelated, I would love to see a card that requires players have at least as many lands in play to cast a spell, for many of the same reasons as above.

Last, a mechanic that gave an effect/put a permanent directly into play without the stack (similar to forecast, without the resuability) would be interesting (if a slippery slope), since it would dodge both sphere effects and counters.

Just some thoughts. Thanks for the thread!

posted in Vintage Community read more

@Smmenen: I agree with you, but overall metagame percentages do matter for success. I was trying to highlight the tension that exists in maindecking mm/reb and thereby sacrificing slots for another matchup.

I never critiqued the idea that a deck that is 20% of the metagame could be a candidate for restriction. I gave my personal opinion about such a possible restriction, and the point was not based on that percentage at all. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@smmenen I understand your response, but I am not talking about top8 % when I talk about the metagame. I am also not making claims about the DCI's metric for evaluating restriction.

My personal opinions about restrictions are simply that.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I agree with @Winterstar here, on most points.

I personally prefer that the restricted list be as pruned as possible, and others may disagree with that alone. However, I still think Workshops does not need restriction currently. I think the larger tension is the notion that the perceived 'best deck' is only 20% or so of the metagame.

Whether this is due to a shortage of Workshops, people's personal preferences of what 'fun' is, or any other reason, it does not matter to me. 'Blue mages' are criticized for running multiple dead cards for their toughest matchup pre-board in the form of mental misstep, pyro/reb, etc. and then complaining that this boogeyman needs to be taken down a notch via restriction. The issue is that sacrificing those slots has negative consequences in the 70% of blue matchups. I understand that, and those two issues are in direct conflict.

I don't believe that this tension gets better from restriction, which is why I think restriction is not the right move at this point. As @Smmenen likes to model, thinking about the intended effect of a restriction is a helpful framing for why that restriction should or should not be made, and I think we can (as a community) be more thoughtful about that when discussing possible restrictions.

I'd love for there to be a simple solution in lieu of restriction, but if there were, I suspect it would have been discovered by now. Rather, I think the solution is hard, and maybe it should be. Players need to innovate, take risks, and be more cognizant of shortcomings or challenges in their deck/playstyle/ability and correct them. Cut these dead cards and find a way to shore up percentages in other ways; build something new; etc.

I don't mean to stand on a soapbox and preach, because I have neither the pedigree nor the desire to condescend to others; I am simply trying to express my thoughts about the current state of the game I love, as I believe it would be a shame to see Wizards change the game in a way I believe is not aligned with our collective desires and would not have the intended effect

posted in Vintage Community read more

I am not by any means an authority on anything Vintage, but am a student of the game of magic and the Vintage meta. I have not played magic in paper or online since the Waterbury. While some considerations in my life may be factors, there is another issue at play. Reading the content on the Mana Drain, I tried to think critically about why that is the case. Here are my 2 cents:

The format seems to have consolidated around two decks, with Mentor pushing out other blue strategies as the best win condition and Shops being a natural predator, but playing fewer lock pieces than ever. Some of this could be traced back to the restriction of Chalice (which allowed for 1-drops to become more worth running en masse, which may have contributed to blue preying on itself in the form of Mental Misstep, though Mentor really brought that to the fore) and LSG (making Shop decks want to close faster) and even the printing of Dack.

However, I want to focus on those restrictions from another vantage point. There has been more outcry from the community and more discussion about potential or actual restrictions in Vintage than in my past memory of the format (circa 2009, maybe). Additional attention from the VSL and MODO may be contributing factors to this, and many have claimed that the format evolves and stagnates faster than before due to Magic Online. The recent swath of B&R changes have not have the desired effect generally: Chalice and LSG restrictions made Shops perform better, Gush did not (yet) reduce the prevalence of Spheres, etc. Managing the B&R list is surely difficult, and there have surely been missteps recently (from where I stand).

For me, though, this is not the factor that has pushed me out of the game recently. Rather, I think it is the flurry of B&R activity in the form of restrictions that makes me less likely to want to play. Wizards wants to sell a product and wants to make the format as healthy and fun as possible; good on them. However, if the format will constantly be changing through (mismanaged) restrictions, I have less incentive to play. As @Smmenen mentioned in his post here (http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1360/turbo-xerox-and-monastery-mentor/113), time is important. This is a contributing factor to people's stated beliefs that if you want to win, you should play Mentor or Shops and how that portends seeing those decks at the top tables.

I have no problem with either deck, or any deck really. I personally think that Mentor is too efficient of a win condition and the Chalice restriction made decks full of one-drops (or effective one drops; i.e. TX) too homogenized. Wizards decision to give B&R updates more frequently isn't a problem on its own, but making changes that frequently is. As there is no certainty that any deck that rises to the top won't have its legs cut out from under it by B&R policy, there will be less investment and less innovation, at least among a proportion of the player base.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

@Loukayza I'm in Pittsburgh and might be up for that. Shoot me a message if you want to coordinate!

posted in Vintage Community read more

I think this is an important thread, even for those who don't stream and never has/will. There certainly are differences in paper and online magic, but that's not what we're talking about in this thread (if I understand the views correctly). Similarly, the enforceability of a rule is not what's at stake here. Rather, this topic should (in my opinion) focus on a discussion about ethical implications of streaming. To be upfront, I am undecided on this matter, though I find myself leaning on the side of it not being unethical - note that this is different from my saying that it is ethical. I do see both sides of the issue, and encourage those who only see it one way to attempt to find a framework that allows them to see the other view as well.

To begin, we need to separate rulings and potential enforcement from ethics. This will quickly get knotty, because people will reasonably point to the idea that something is not unethical if it is not against the stated rules: if it is allowed, it is not wrong to do. Those who rally against this idea are thinking about the way the rule should be, not at it currently is. This sense of how things should be will differ depending on ethical framework. The sense that 'everyone is doing it, and you could too' does not address and underlying ethical issue at stake for these people. So ask yourself, do I think something is right or wrong because the rules do or do not permit it?

Second, we need to disentangle consequentialism from virtue. Would your feelings about finding out an opponent was streaming change if you won or lost? Or would you feel slighted (ethically) either way? If the former, we need to unpack the advantages and disadvantages of streaming to measure the expected utils on both sides. In this case, the question will become one of which is on average better overall for people streaming and playing against streamers. However, in the later case, we need to acknowledge that the question of whether someone streams is a question of honor, as Islandswamp put it. If that is the case, the real why someone is streaming* will be of crucial importance. Ask yourself if it would matter that an opponent is streaming to incur tactical benefits or to bring more exposure to the format. There are those that would argue that streaming will incur those tactical benefits implicitly and unintentionally, so that is an important point to keep in mind.

Last, let's talk about realsits and logistics. There are benefits and disadvantages to streaming, but that is a more consequentialist consideration. Here, I want to talk more about the notion of 'If it's not enforceable, why even talk about it or try to regulate it?' The answer to this question: community. While that argument may render discussions moot in other contexts, the vintage community is an important one, and the hallmark of our format outside of the technicalities of what vintage is. I believe strongly that we should discuss this issue so that we try to approach (ideally) a consensus or (at least) mutual understanding of the issues that are at play here. So try to understand where people are coming from when they express their opinions, and try to think about your own underlying assumptions when giving your own views. Whether something is regulated or even if it can be, we can adopt our own practice surrounding this issue.

I hope we have some good conversations here! Also, if you have questions about the ethical terms used, feel free to ask, as I was trying to keep this somewhat concise.

  • Note: In all of the above, I am using steaming to mean broadcasting in real time that allows for strategic input from others, unless otherwise clarified.
posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@Smmenen said in Player Skill & Deck Quality:

[snipped segment about defining 'powerful'.]

I figured that would be the case; I simply wanted to allow for the possibility that you were using some specific heuristic. I'm with you on everything here.

No, I think there is actually a different explanation (and you've conflated cause for effect - the homogenization is a byproduct of de-emphasis of the restricted list, not a separate factor), but I'm not going to get into the whys and wherefores of what has brought upon this change at this time..

I agree that homogenization is a by-product, not a cause. I was bringing up the idea in deference to your mentioning it, not trying to say that it was a potential cause. I see that my writing was not entirely clear. Still, I'd love to hear this explanation of yours (not necessarily all the whys and wherefores). Obviously, you owe me nothing and it's entirely your prerogative, as I get a sense of hesitation from you and there may be something deeper is going on within this topic.

However, we are straying pretty far from the topic of the thread, so maybe this is best left to another means of communication.