Why didn’t this tournament have decklists? I feel like any event with profile higher than an FNM should use decklists.
They take five minutes to fill out, and even in a friendly/trusted environment, there is value in eliminating even the perception of shenanigans by players.
@evouga are we even talking about similar decks when considering one or the other? This feels much more a control card than Citadel. Also, I disagree that Citadel is easier to cast than this. Citadel needs either Rituals or Tinker.
That's a fair question. I think the value Elsha provides is too marginal and the hoop too high to be attractive in a control shell... I'd worry you'll quite commonly hit a glut of lands or countermagic.
Also resolving Tinker is arguably easier than casting 2URW
Hrm I'm still more excited by Bolas's Citadel, I think.
Citadel is one mana more expensive, but in far less annoying colors, so you're probably looking to cheat Elsha into play. You have to pay mana for the spells you chain, which is a big minus compared to Citadel, and in return Elsha is a win condition on her(?) own (assuming you want to wait a turn to remove summoning sickness, which you probably do not) and the Flash ability gives you a bit of resilience to countermagic, since you can keep casting spells in response to any of the opponent's counterplay.
Apparently WotC thinks this card is Vintage-playable: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/play-design/m-files-core-set-2020-white-blue-black-2019-07-12
Interested to see what happens with this in Vintage. It will certainly get attention. Six-of VT is worth a build-around.
That's certainly a quaint take on the format
I think so? According to the comp. rules,
A card’s mana cost is indicated by mana symbols near the top of the card. (See rule 107.4.)
so I think costs involving Phyrexian mana, Snow mana, Hybrid mana, etc are all distinct from "ordinary" colored mana costs. I believe that X is also considered distinct from 0 or XX.
Creature -- Demon
Embodiment of Agonies enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each different mana cost (note: not converted mana cost) among nonland cards in your graveyard.
So to be clear, I don't think a straight beater is playable in Vintage anymore. And if I did, I'm not sure this guy is better than, say, Tombstalker. But the textbox here is so unusual I wanted to call attention to it.
Unlike Tarmogoyf, the power/toughness of Embodiment is locked in when you cast him; in the mid- to late-game, though, you get an awful lot of evasive body for three mana, even if you're not purposefully stocking the graveyard with Bazaar, dredging, etc.
Sure, this ability is busted. The real question is whether it is busted at 5BBB, compared to the opportunity cost of casting something else like Griselbrand or Bargain.
One notable interaction: you can mini-Tendrils yourself (no matter how much life you have) to draw an absurd number of cards without losing any life.
Stupid memes aside, the problem with Vilis isn't even so much the weaker card-drawing ability, as the lack of Lifelink, as @GutoCmtt rightly points out. This makes Vilis much worse at stabilizing the board state especially against creature-heavy decks like Dredge, Survival, Shops, etc. The targeted removal makes up for this deficiency slightly in a minority of situations: I'd rather have Vilis than Griselbrand vs Monastery Mentor.
Well every time you fetch a tapped Wasteland, you have to sacrifice one of your own lands. So he acts more like a Dust Bowl than a Demonic Hordes.
Sure, an argument can be made the Reclaimer is better than Crop Rotation in some Life from the Loam shell, etc. But again I'm not super excited.
This guy is a much better late-game topdeck than Expedition Map, and since Shops struggles most in the late game, I can't completely discount Golos being useful.
Still, I struggle to envision running Golos over some other five-mana finisher.
PS: I'm surprised nobody yet has suggested running a miser's Crystal Quarry to go with his activated ability.
It looks like a few days ago, the spambots went to town on the Vintage Community forum. They've been banned and their posts deleted, but the spam threads still show up in greyed-out form, making the forum hard to navigate. Any chance of purging the threads completely?
Yeah, you answered your own question by bringing up Imperial Seal. Tutoring effects at low mana cost are always powerful and worth consideration, but in order for Scheming Symmetry to see play when Imperial Seal does not, one of the following needs to be true:
a deck needs either 3-7 copies of the Vampiric Tutor effect, or none at all. This would be the case if Scheming Symmetry opened up a new archetype (Bolas's Citadel?) that wasn't viable before, for example.
the 2 life matters. It almost always doesn't, unless you're playing a deck with e.g. Lich or Worship effects;
the opponent tutoring benefits you in some way. For example with Ashiok, Dream Render on the battlefield, you can play games with your opponent where you entice them to tutor up garbage with Scheming Symmetry, and then decline to mill them that turn with Ashiok. Is this any good? No, almost surely not, beyond entertainment value in a casual match.
My philosophy towards proxies is: cui bono?
I am totally sympathetic with @Brass-Man's concerns about playtest card quality and can get behind rules restricting the quality of such cards. But I have not heard any arguments for why disallowing well-made proxies benefits either existing or potentially new Vintage players that I find personally compelling. A few points:
It's great that the hunt for power has driven some players to become invested in our community. But I don't see the existence of one path to joining the Vintage community as necessitating closing off all other paths.
"WotC will kill Vintage if it becomes a proxy format": this argument is odd to me for several reasons. First, (paper) Vintage is already de facto a proxy format, in that the vast majority of paper tournaments allow playtest cards in some form, and this fact has been acknowledged by WotC in their official communications. Second, WotC support for the format is infinitesimal. Other than a single tournament per year, (paper) Vintage is a community-run format.
We shouldn't reward counterfeiters or encourage players to give them business. This is a reason to allow playtest cards at Vintage tournaments, since counterfeits are already de facto allowed (are you really going to whip out a loupe and take your opponent's power out of its sleeve in the middle of a tournament, to police authenticity?)
Some people are concerned that allowing more playtest cards in tournaments would decrease the value of their investments in Vintage cards. While there is an undeniable link between card playability and value, all of the evidence I've seen points to very old cards holding value due mostly to (a) their collectibility and (b) their usefulness in other formats like Legacy and EDH, and only slightly due to their value as a Vintage game piece. Consider (1) the value of alpha and beta cards have skyrocketed, despite a stagnation in the number of (paper) Vintage players, and Vintage become de facto a proxy format; and (2) the high price of iconic cards like Shivan Dragon that see no Vintage play.
I think the main problem with Chandra is that she is nigh useless vs Shops, Dredge, Survival, Humans and of only marginal value vs combo. The same could be said for JvP though Jace does pull his weight shrinking an attacker or blocking with the "flip trick" every now and then.
In a control shell vs other control decks, is she better than JvP? She can flash back a spell right away (if you have the mana to pay for it) and can flash back two spells in a row, which does seem back-breaking especially in the case of Time Walk in particular. Is it worth the more awkward casting cost and loss of JvP's utility? I'm not convinced.
(She also synergizes with other red Planeswalkers, but IMO if you already have an uncontested Planeswalker in play, boosting them with Chandra is win-more).