@desolutionist who are these “best Vintage players” that quit? This is not the first time I have seen that claim associated with Brainstorm. Coincidentally I often read that Brainstorm is skill testing. I don’t really agree.
Brainstorm was a huge piece that enabled the durdle-to-big-turn strategy in Vintage. It was poopy, and remains so.
How can you justify restricting a card on the basis of not liking a strategy that it enables? If by "durdle" you mean "carefully calculate a path to victory", then I would agree that is what Brainstorm enables. I liked that aspect of Vintage. Now it is so much more of just playing cards off the top.
It let players play without a curve, or appropriate mana, or actual interaction
That's bizarre. You might have to clarify those three things for me to see the point you're trying to make. I'm sure that you need all three of those things to win a game of magic.
I see the justification for “smoothing draws”, what’s that all about? Why is it so important to be enable a deck that’s all about finding Ancestral Recall first? Why is this held up as what Vintage “should be”???
It isn't about finding Ancestral Recall. It's about shuffling away excess lands, late game cards like Tendrils/Recoup, or Oath targets. It allows decks to play more combo specific and game state specific cards. It helps diversity since it enlarges the playable card pool.
And my goodness, in the mid-2000s the kills were always the same!!! No, the difference between Goblin Welder for Mindslaver and Tendrils for 10 isn’t relevant. It was all a drive to one big turn, the flashiness of taking all the turns or the subtlety of a sideboard Empty the Warrens isn’t relevant. I’m still dead without recourse.
I'm just not really sure of the point you're making since what you're saying about then is just the same as today. There's a handful of optimal win conditions and that's it.
Today you might actually have to defend yourself proactively, against creatures and other threats of various types, and consider your curve, and your mix of air and threats. You can sometimes attack and block (though not nearly enough). We’re getting closer to the day where maindeck sweepers and value 2-for-1s are acceptable choices.
That has nothing to do with Brainstorm dude. That has everything to do with printing cards like Leovold and DRS; Lodestone Golem. Creatures are better now than ever, its obvious by looking at any new set. 2 mana 3/3s with good abilities is pretty much a standard thing now. If they bring back Brainstorm, are people going to put away their Young Pyromancers, Kambals, and Phyrexian Revokers?
So, how does this relate to Shops? It doesn’t really. Other than Shops is a huge reason why durdlers actually need to play defence, and play with a curve. It’s a bit too efficient at the moment, as players we probably need to do a better job of digging through the archives and turning up efficient threats.
So the truth comes out. You're another anti-Blue Shops player. Honestly, messing around with +1/+1 and fading counters is just as durdly as casting Brainstorm. I kind of feel bad when my Shops opponent gleeful turns all their dice over, trying to find the right numbers, and then when they finally move to the end step, I cast Hurkyl's Recall.