I feel like post quality and variety has been pretty great lately!
Posts made by Brass Man
RE: MTGO Decklist Publication
I think we might be overstating the impact of this change. We're not going from 100% visibility to 0% visibility. Two years ago we were getting 0 decklists each week from WotC, now we'll be getting maybe 3 to 6? Nowhere in the announcement did they mention anything about changing reporting for Vintage Challenges, where our most interesting data comes from anyway.
Note that the stated goal is that they show a wider variety, and higher number of decks. In standard they expect these changes to pretty dramatically increase the amount of decklists seen each week. If it turns out that these changes decrease the number of decks released in vintage, it's totally plausible that they could use different definitions for "distinct decklist" in different formats - the fact that they're releasing vintage on a different schedule than standard already implies their up to the possibility of tweaking numbers on a per-format basis. As they said in the article linked:
"We don't necessarily believe we've found the sweet spot just yet"
And while this change as stated will definitely reduce the variety of similar-but-strategically different blue archetypes we see, it will increase the visibility of decks just outside that 20-card difference limit, things like BUG Control and Ritual Combo, the Hate Bear decks we were seeing a few months back, and stuff like Saturn's Helm of Awakening deck he keeps spiking Challenges with.
There's also a non-zero chance that this change incentivizes people to run sufficiently different cards in order to increase their chances of getting published decklists. I think it's fair to interpret that as a good or a bad thing, but there's potential upside.
There's no doubt in my mind that this change will make the data we have less accurate, but it's clear that WotC has different priorities than accuracy, and those priorities aren't in and of themselves bad.
In the worst case scenario they fail to adjust the formula to meet vintage-specific requirements, and we end up going down to 4 or 5 published decks a week. 1-2 blue deck, 1 shops deck, 1 dredge deck, 1 other. Vintage was fine with 0 MTGO decklists a week, and it'll be fine with 5.
In the event that these changes result in genuinely important technology and/or decklists missing from the reported results, I highly suggest you just post those decklists here instead :)
RE: [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic
I upvoted this post immediately, because I'm happy to see anyone generating vintage content, but I'm just getting around to reading this now.
This was a great piece of magic writing and I sincerely hope we can get more like this in the future.
From the start, the core premise/subject matter is wonderful. There are a lot of articles and posts out there about hypothetical lists with minimal testing-sometimes no testing. These can still be great pieces, but it's rare and very valuable for someone to come into a piece with 100 documented matches under their belt. Besides the overt content of "here's the list and here are the card choices", there's this implicit message of your process. The note-taking, the discipline. Your approach and work ethic toward improving your vintage play is inspiring, and if you're not already a top vintage player, you could easily become one over time if you wanted to be. Even though it's not the focus of the piece, talking about your process (even in passing) gives it a mix of to-the-minute and timeless advice, which is exactly what players looking to improve their magic win rate should be looking for in an article.
Beyond that, the line-to-line writing is engaging. The subject matter of a pure-strategy article can be pretty dry (interesting, useful, but dry). I'm not going to say this has the raw entertainment value of a Ben Perry tournament report ... but for all the information you're packing in here, you manage to keep a conversational tone, and avoid falling into the "bad high school essay" trap. I know this is no small feat.
Thanks, again, for writing this, and I hope you decide to mix some more vintage content into your legacy work in the future.
RE: [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic
man, people talking about how easy it is to win tickets with workshops is really bad for my self esteem
RE: Powerless landstill: Preparing for scantioned vintage
I definitely don't think I'm a Landstill expert, but I feel like you're REALLY short on animating lands/cards that work under a Standstill.
Consider, a stock Workshop list runs 5 strip effects and 4 Mishra's Factory, where you're running 4 and 2. That means if you play Standstill into an empty board, most of the time, they're going to be able to put more pressure on you without playing spells than you can return. That means most of the time, they're going to draw cards off of your Standstill ... and that's only if they don't already have creatures in play, which they usually will. Basically this means that casting Standstill in this list is, on average, a bad play in that matchup.
I've seen Landstill lists running upwards of 7 animating lands maindeck in addition to the full 5 strip effects. I can't conjecture what the optimal number is, but if you're running fewer than your opponent, the card Standstill gets a lot worse for you.
RE: 4C Forceless Control
@nba84 I'd say the list already has a lot of the key bits that I found were important for making Kess work: the Demonic Tutor -> Time Walk chain, cheap good-on-your-turn disruption like Thoughtseize and Lightning Bolt, and maxed-out Mental Misstep for defending her from enemy Pyroblast and Swords to Plowshares.
The only open question I don't have any idea on is "can you cast it consistently." Deathrite Shaman should go a long way there, but a 4-color decklist with 3 colorless lands seems like it could be trouble. You'd have a much better idea than me as to how castable 1URB is in this deck.
RE: Grixis Drain Control
@poxeveryturn Can you tell me a little more about Dark Confidant? When is it good for you, when is it bad? It's a card I usually just really don't like, but I get the feeling that it fills a specific role in this list and I wouldn't want to change it without thinking.