2003 to 2007. Mana Drains and Brainstorms vs Smokestacks and Welders. Dragon, Sui Black, Madness, Oshawa Stompy, Tog, Keeper, Long, Control Slaver, TNT, GAT, Masknought, Lockjaw, Duct tape. Real games that lasted more than 3 turns before someone's fate was sealed. 4 Brainstorms, no Orchards, no Pokemon decks. "In play" and "RFG" terminology, C-wishing Ancestral back to your hand after Skeletal Scrying it away, Mana Burn, floating mana through upkeep into draw phase after tapping down to wire. No planeswalkers, mirror effects (Shroud vs Hexproof), Wizards not dumbing down the game to make it easier for 12 year olds to understand. Old borders, less reprints, no mythical. I think I forgot to mention 4 Brainstorm. Mana Drains, Mana Drains, Mana Drains. Oh, and Brainstorm.
Posts made by CountDaBubba
RE: Myth of the Golden Age: In Defense of Vintage Today
RE: Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop
Fist time post on the new site. I'm long time vintage player/enthusiast from back in the day. My name is John Longo, former TMD name was Oath of Happy. I stopped playing vintage several years ago because I no longer enjoyed the format, tournament sizes and frequencies declined, and also because my responsibilities in life became more and more demanding as I got older.
The last tournament I played at was the 2017 TMD in Oakville. I'm originally from Waterbury CT so I couldn't pass on one of Ray's awesome events from back in the day. I was so disappointed in the format that I didn't even consider attending this year. Every game was decided by turn 2. Whether I won or lost it was basically, draw your opening hand, okay mine is better, I win, next game yours is better, you win. For those of you who play chess (I'm Bubbie25 on Chess.com) imagine if games were sealed by move 3? How boring and anticlimactic would that be. One of the advantages of these really quick games is that I didn't come close to any timeouts, but it's out of control. I really miss the old glory days of battling it out with mana drains and smokestacks. If anyone were to ever hold a classic event (Alpha to Scourge) that would be awesome, but I've found for year that the current format just plain sucks and isn't any fun anymore.
Anyways, I'm on board with Brian's idea of toning it down a bit. I think that the speed of the current decks are pushing out all of the fringe cards. I also really hate all the super narrow silver bullet answers like Mental Misstep and Flusterstorm. Every match is dependent on having super narrow answers at the right time. You either have them at the right time and win because of it or lose but they're extremely narrow and suck playing with.
To slow the format down I would restrict the following cards:
Oath of Druids
Bridge From Below
Paradoxical Outcome or Mox Opal
And un-restrict Fastbond.
Now immediately I'm sure some people will argue that restricting cards like Oath of Druids will make blue decks even more linear and make shops much better but I strongly believe it's quite the opposite. Oath of Druids is a card that warps the metagame just by existing whether it's dominating or not. Just like dredge, you have to load up on answers to it or you just get run over. It makes no sense to me that we have a 4 of card that reliably pumps out a turn 2 Yawgmoth's Bargain that attacks for 7 in the air with lifelink. The card is in some ways more powerful than Tinker because Tinker costs 1 more mana and can be answered with a Hurkyl's Recall or a Swords to Plowshares. With Oath, you just plain lose whether they have removal or not because it tinkers up a new fatty every turn. 4X Oath suppresses all the tier 2 aggro decks and budget weenie decks from having a chance because they have to include ways of removing enchantments from the board rather then deploying their game plan. By hitting Oath of Druids, decks would have more space to deal with shops and not have to worry about stupid hands like Mox Orchard Oath GG, or even Mox Trop, Oath...great, can't play any cards now..
Dredge is another deck that eats people's sideboards up whether it's dominating or not. I'd say restrict bazaar but you can't just go and axe cards that people may have just dumped $4K on to play with. In my opinion, Bridge from Below is the card that pushed dredge over the top. Bridge speeds up the deck so much that they game is pretty much over once they've gotten going because even if you nuke their yard, if you're too late in doing it they've got a massive army of zombies that you're too late to deal with after expending resources dealing with the yard. If you kill bridge then they're forced to play a slightly slower, more controlling game, or if they want the fast combo kill they have to go with the Sutured Ghoul kill. Hitting Serum Powder would also make the strategy of basing your entire strategy on one card less viable. I do think that Dredge is fun to play again but it's just way to damn fast. The decks just blasts you away if you don't stick a lock piece by turn 2, even turn 1 if you're on the draw, and the Hollow One's just add another angle of attack if you drew a GY hate-heavy hand.
I'd really like to see Workshop get restricted because then Chalice of the Void, which budget decks really need, could be played again but unfortunately it's another card that I just don't think is fair to hit people for $4K who just invested in the format. Foundry inspector just helps the deck in too many ways. It's like a Darksteel Ingot/Coalition Relic except that it can be used for more than one card per turn and also beat for 3. A 3/2 for 3 is already a pretty good price for a beater, but to make it a one-sided Helm of Awakening is just stupid. It helps the deck too much by making Balista bigger, freeing up mana so that factories can attack earlier, making up for Ancient Tombs that can't be used anymore, and enabling players to sac moxes to ravager because they need less mana. MUD is just way too fast and Foundry Inspector makes everything they do fast and easier. It seems like the best place to start.
Mental Misstep is a card that forces blue decks to cannibalize each other. It's too efficient to not play. If you're not playing it, you have a big disadvantage against other blue decks using it, but if you play it, you have a big disadvantage over everything else. Because of this, Storm decks really suffer because you have to pack an answer to their answer but you really can't afford to stuff that many answers in your deck and need the duress effects to remove cards like Flusterstorm. It just really jams up decks and it sucks to have to play. I miss playing with Mana Drain. Mana Drain was a pillar of the format and when Wizards declared Force of Will as the pillar of blue decks they really got it wrong. Bazaar, Workshop, Drain, Ritual, and Null Rod were the five pillars of the format and Force of Will is a card that can fit into more than one of those categories. Misstep is banned in every other format for a reason, restrict it here for the same reason it's banned elsewhere.
To be honest, I don't really have much experience with PO. I would think that Opal is basically Mox Pearl #6-8 in MUD if Inspector were to go and am surprised to see it still available as a 3 of considering extra copies serve as Lotus Petal under the new legend rules.
Snapcaster is on-color instant-speed Regrowth with a free 2/1 body built in that pitches to FOW. It exiles cards so it prevents loops but you generally only need to re-cast one card to put the game out of reach and with the restrictions I suggest above, Snappy would make blue decks too good. Preordain (like Ponder and Brainstorm) is a card that is nowhere near restriction-worthy compared to cards like Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad but at this point there are so many powerful blue cards that playing with 60 cards means trimming cards like this to keep blue decks from just running everything over.
Fetchlands are another attempt at limiting blue decks from dominating. There really isn't much you can do to stop a deck with ancestral, demonic, scroll, cruse, dig, etc. but you just have to limit it as much as possible. In this way, blue decks kind of set the bar for how slow the format can actually be with a 60 card minimum deck size. Each fetch-land gives players access to seven different dual lands as well as two different basics while thinning decks, providing a shuffle effect for Ponder and Brainstorm, adding cards in the yard for Cruise and Dig, and making Yawg Will more powerful in the early game by letting you replay a land. Even as 1 of's, Brainstorm, Treasure Cruse, and Dig Through Time are too strong and fetchlands just help put them over the top even more. By restricted them all, you limit players to running less of them, 4-6 instead of 8, and also make them run one's that are slightly less optimal.
I agree with Steve that Fastbond can be unrestrcited as it probably wouldn't lead to anything oppressive and might make Lands a tier 2 contender.
I hope some of you enjoy my analysis. Again, my strategy is based on slowing the format down so that games are longer, more interactive, and some of the weaker decks have a shot at contending. Feel free to agree/disagree.