One thing that I always note about @Smmenen is that I've never heard him take off his lawyer goggles for any discussion. It makes these discussions really engaging because of the commitment to being right and the technical nature of the arguments.
I need to just start taking notes while listening so that I can rebut what I want to in a style that he would appreciate - often I see arguments occur where @Smmenen wins just through technical debate tactics and word count, even if the other party had a good point. And he does an excellent job of coming to any discussion armed with concrete examples to pull from rather than heuristics and experience based statements without dates, times, and third party verified sources.
All that to say, I really appreciate Kevin the more SMIP episodes that I listen to because he provides some of the stuff I want to say, but maybe isn't as forceful as I'd like him to be.
I think that focusing only on the Top 8 metagame %s is a good example of this. I think it's fallacious to only think on that metagame experience when we all have had experiences where the Top 8 did not bear out the larger tournament metagame. Kevin did a good job bringing up part of that and saying that the formula needed to account for tournament metagame and Top 8 metagame shares.
Oh, and on the framing of the problem, I thought that "Mentor was restricting the ability to play other creatures" was higher than you guys said, but that's just my opinion so maybe no one shares it. It creates the opposite pole to Shops decks and restricts the ability to compete for most of the vertical creatures or innovative "whole greater than sum of parts" style strategies like a White Trash and it's descendants strategies.
There were other spots but like I said, I didn't take notes to properly interact (high levels of engagement, great stuff) and comment here on specifics.
One other thing I would note, which I mentioned on twitter and want to expand on here, is that SMIP took a pretty congratulatory view of the Vintage community demographics. It's refreshing to hear someone view it positively and is definitely a new take, but I think it's still wrong.
The comparison to chess was made, which seems both incorrect and like the wrong goal to hold up. Chess has been dying out and plateaued as a game, but it's still got wide currency as a technical, intelligent, and skill based game from it's previous position in the world. Vintage, and Magic, doesn't - it was never that widespread and Vintage is far too expensive for people to experience and recognize "oh this is hard, you must be smart" and stop like they do in chess. But more importantly, and worse, is the high engagement but low playerbase and low new player rate of chess - it is leading itself toward a "dead game" failure point.
Along with that, the discussion kind of highlighted that the players who play Vintage are mostly people who started with that format. If that's true, then there is another big problem - the games aren't compelling to the rest of the Magic audience and the format love is broadly based on (a) already having bought in before the prices climbed and (b) nostalgia of playing T1 rather than (c) the highly strategic nature of the game. I think that (c) reveals itself, but it doesn't seem to be a draw - no one, by the SMIP discussion, says "wow, Legacy/Modern/Standard/Limited/etc have a lot going on, but it's not enough, I want to go to Vintage for the real strategy"
So if the format is predicated on the people who played MTG and T1 in the early days when T1 was called T1 and wasn't a rarity, and now it faces a huge financial barrier, and the strategic complexity doesn't compel new converts, then why wouldn't we expect Vintage to die when the Vintage community dies (30-60 years, a long time but certainly not the ageless game it was being compared to)? And why should we celebrate that?
I'm not interested in saying that everyone should be able to and WotC needs to provide easy access for everyone to Vintage, but it seems like the lack of an on-ramp to get people over to Vintage and keep them engaged is detrimental to the format.
Finally, SMIP talked about the uptick in attendance in OH and CA. That's great, but here in GA, a Vintage scene was started and it's limping along (held together by mostly 1 person and that person's collection), last I checked (I have had to take an extended break, so I might be wrong, but last I heard it has not grown like it was hoped for). So I think that paper Vintage is still region locked to areas of the country where they've historically had Vintage events because MTG players want to play above all things.
Now, with all that in mind, I turn to the discussion on the digital/paper split. And I think in a small community, breaking it apart into smaller subsections is not great. Especially when we're dealing with complex systems that need a lot of analysis of the strategy involved. So I think that being cavalier about the digital/paper split is the wrong attitude to take and while there are some technical impossibilities (e.g. Salvagers), we should try to think on the two expressions of Vintage as the same as much as possible.
thanks for the podcast, lots of fun stuff to kick around in it!