I don't believe that changing the rules or the cards is a great option, unless the rules changes are good enough on theor own and their effect on companions is incidental.
Another option to deal with the power level, if restriction doesn't work, is unrestriction of competitive options that do not work together with the companions, such as necropotence for Lurrus and Gush for the singleton companion (as examples, I don't want to start a b&r discussion here).
A thought on the challenge review. You seem to pick always the same decks more or less.
While it makes sense, when the tops don't differ from one another, it would be interesting to highlight the unusual among those, like the Painter deck this week, or the Breach Oath deck, when it first appeared.
I think these lists would be much more interesting to look at instead of the standardized lists that change one or two cards at most every week.
Anyway, thanks for managing a vintage column!
Actually, I really like seeing the top lists. As I actually play very little, it helps cement the ideas and choices that are succesful. In addition, someone who is new to vintage can just open the latest acticle and see the recent lists, instead of having to do more research themselves. I think there is value in having such a resource available and updated regularly.
Great show as always.
In your report card Steven asked for a similar card to stonecoil serpent for shops, and I was surprised that Endless One didn't come up. Although it is Eldrazi only, I think it is the most recent comparable card, utilizing the scaling ability for early and late deployment. It is also the baseline X/X for X that Steven asked for I believe.
About Underworld Breach, I really like the card, but I think you hyped up eachother too kuch. There us a lot of competition in the U-based Xerox variants for graveyard resources, and this uses up at least 6 if you want more than a regrowth. Between Snapcaster, Arcanist and the delve spells, I think there is too much competition for this resource to just slot in that easily.
Then again, I like the card, so maybe it diversifies this slot (or takes over). I am really curious about this card in the future and look forward to your nextvreport card to see the actual adoption rate.
Keep up the great work!
Great podcast as always! Thanks for continuing to put in all this work.
I learned something today! I always thought Shaman's Trance was the same as this card. Ultimately I think that cards that depend on your opponent's deck are too inconsistent for regular play.
The one scenario I missed in your analysis was against storm combo, where you can make mana from their graveyard much more easy and have more of an opportunity to chain these meaningfully. Then again, to get in such a situation probably means you win anyway.
I love that this card exists because it will create a few fun stories. Don't think it eill become a staple.
What I liked about it most was that it was much more a conversation or discussion, than an interview. This, to me, is the biggest improvement, as I prefer to listen to a back and forth between people and opinions.
One question I had is about when you talked about going through older cards to search for a specific effect. How do you do this? Do you keep a list somewhere with potentially interesting cards for vintage? Or from memory, or something else (like starting with Alpha and re-reading each card until Core19 ;))
I have yet to watch the videos, but i like the initiative and experiment. I believe someone did something similar for standard once. With faeries, jund and trix etc. It sounded really interesting then, and it also does in the context of vintage. Pitching decks that might have caused restrictions against eachother.
I don't know if you explained it in the introduction video already, and if you did I'm sorry for the stupid question, but do you have a gauntlet already?
Nice to see with this and the podcast that we get more new vintage media. Keep up the good work!
First of all, thank you for the insightful answers! I really like the small peek into how you come to certain unexpected results. The crux really seems to be trying something strange, unusual or even counterintuitive and then get some actual play experience with it. Kind of makes me sad that I get to play so little actual vintage. But it's good to see people like yourself coming to such fascinating conclusions and brews.
If this conversation takes it too far off topic, then my apologies.
I do have some questions about the snakestill deck for Brian. For a deck that wants a fast standstill in play, why was the 4th standstill cut?
That's a good question. The answer foremost is in empirical results, the versions with 3 outperform the versions with 4. I think omitting the 4th and instead playing Treasure Cruise (which was absent from the 4x Standstill VSL list due to the overlap rule) is correct. It's also a hedge against the fact that in a less frequent but real % of cases, Standstill will be a useless topdeck because the battlefield has been lost, so this prevents flooding on a situationally dead card. Snakestill exists to abuse Standstill without being beholden to it.
Since I have literally 0 experience playing with or against standstill, I had no real clue why you would play only 3. Especially when the comment was to play one as fast as possible. The answer seems reasonable, and another example why testing is so important, because this seems to be one of those things that you would figure out quite easily with enough practice games.
Is the conclusion to play 3 standstill specific to how this deck operates? Or do you also have this with more regular standstill decks? It seems to me that with classical standstill there would be more board positions (even when slightly behind) where you could play the standstill.
I like the inevitability aspect for a single champion of wits. However, the mishra's factory weakness was glossed over a little fast in my opinion. How does this deck fare against the workshop decks with factories? Do the standstills come out? Or do you assume the opponent plays as if you have all the factories?
Another very good question. The answer is that all of the Standstills stay in except the fourth one (if you are running it) which comes out only on the draw. I was initially hesitant to play a fast Standstill against Shops or Landstill because of the fear of opposing Factories. What I've learned is that you ignore it and play the Standstill turn 1 if possible. The reason for this is that you are able to use Standstill as an actual stall card. I would rather break my own Standstill at 6 life at EoT on Turn 10 with 6 lands and no Spheres in play than get bullrushed on their first turn. It's totally worth the 3 cards that they will discard and I will not draw from that particular Standstill. I lost only 1 game to low life from this approach (double factory, triple Wasteland) while winning over a dozen directly because of it.
What usually happens is you play something at EoT that often bounces or kills their Mishra, or you play Dig through Time, Ancestral, Brainstorm, or Snapcaster and then you untap unimpeded with a huge mana base and the usual array of blue options that tends to end up with players taking 3 turns in a row and passing back with some planeswalker, more creatures, and a Null Rod in play. This is so much better than keeping Standstill in hand and facing an Inspector, Overseer, Thorn, and 6 mana on the table "because I was scared of Mishra's Factory."
This is an eye opener! And a perfect example of what I meant with doing something counterintuitive (at least for me) and just trying it out. For me the question would be, how do you come to the idea to test out just playing the standstill.
In hindsight, this seems completely reasonable. It's a 4-for-1 for your opponent (disregarding the discarding) that buys you a lot of time. That is not a lot different from casting 2 force of wills to 4-for-2 yourself to buy some time in the early turns.
Does the equation change a lot between the different (workshop) archtypes? Terra Nova seems to be the most capable of deploying the manlands and waste effects. Then again, after reading your explanation, that might nog even seem that bad. You might need to break the standstill a turn earlier to preserve enough life, but that seems to be it. But then again, that is me theorycrafting without any real experience. So to you the question, how is that in practice?
Also, would a deck like merfolk pose a problem preboard? They have the manlands, in addition to playinng some permission to capitalize better on you breaking the standstill. They also play creatures to make the board unfavorable for a standstill really quickly. Not that it is a heavily played deck, but it is always on the fringes I guess.