I think the top 16 presents an very interesting set of information to the argument. For one, we have 4 more ravager shops added to the tally out of 8 additional decks. That would certainly lend credence to the 'shops is OP' crowd. But at the same time we also add 4 different decks which shows a diversity. Stoneblade, landstill, blue moon and dredge. When you hit the top 16 (and in a tournament this size, top 8 vs top 16 is tie breakers which is more about how your opponents did than about how you did) we suddenly go from a 2 deck format to a 6 deck format.
No, the sky is NOT falling. Yes, we have a clear tier 1 deck in ravager shops - 7/16 is clearly the deck to beat in the format. Whether its over-represented, under-represented as the top deck or exactly represented how you want a top deck to be is 100% your opinion. But its a fact that it put in 7/16 slots and no 2 other decks combined did that well.
After that we have 6 different kinds of other decks in the top 16. That is a fact, that can't be disputed. That means the top 16 decks were represented by 7 different archetypes!!! And it didn't even include a BUG deck which has been pretty popular lately so there's 8 decks. Can somebody look at these facts and tell me with a straight face that this is a wholly unhealthy meta? Keep in mind I have publicly stated my support for the restriction of workshop. But that is a wholly different issue and to be honest that discussion doesn't belong in this thread. I only bring it up to show that Im not a fanboy of shops trying to prop up my favorite archetype.
Now, having 1 deck be that dominant in and of itself is not a healthy aspect. However with so many decks being able to perform well, its hardly indicative of an unhealthy meta. The general meta is just fine. Its time we as players stopped doing a few things:
- Stop planning main deck for the blue vs blue match up so heavily that we ignore shops.
- When we lose round 1 to shops, stop blaming mental misstep. Its a card I also feel should be restricted. But its 2-4 slots in some decks. Its a symptom of the problem, not the whole problem. And constantly referring to MM means we'll never resolve the problem. Its like treating a fever by putting somebody in an ice bath and believing with all your heart that the ice bath will cure whatever ailment is causing the fever.
- Shops wins by doing 2 things - deploying annoying lock pieces alongside quick, hard-hitting threats. Non-shops players need to meet shops 1 of 2 ways: a) develop a strategy that ignore their lock pieces and can outrace their threats or b) Develop a strategy that can work within the confines of their lock pieces and destroy their threats.
- Stop whining and complaining for changes that are not supported by facts, especially here on these boards. I rarely post anymore because, to be perfectly honest, the boards are filled with that kind of rhetoric and its a real turn off.
The meta is as diverse as its been in a long time. In general, its healthy. There are parts that could be tweaked but in any given round of any given tournament you could face any number of decks. Compare this to 3 months ago when you went into a tournament and in any given round you were probably facing shops or mentor. We're in a good spot right now, folks.
I'm taking my 9 year old and 15 year old to the Innistrad pre-release on Saturday. Neither has ever played MtG before but both have gotten a crash course the past few days. They have no delusions of winning anything but think it would be a great blast. Since my wife and 12 year old will be out of town I can either take them with me or skip the tournament. Guess we all win.
At any rate, I'm planning on printing out the following cheat sheet for them to use. The purpose is to remind them of the basics. Not teach strategy. Just walk them thru a game well enough that they dont have a judge called over every 2 seconds. Just wondering if there is anything here others would take out or anything else they would add in:
Phases of a turn
- Untap – active player untaps all permanents in play. No other actions may be taken’
- Upkeep – Check all permanents in play to see if any have upkeep abilities
Both players get the opportunity to play instants or activate abilities
- Draw step – Active player draws a card. Both players get opportunity to play instants or activate abilities
- Main Phase 1 – Active player may put 1 land into play, play instants, sorceries, or play any permanent (creature, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker). Inactive player may play instants in response to active players actions
a) Declare attackers
b) Declare blockers
c) Deal damage
Both players may play instants or activate abilities in between each step.
- Main Phase 2 – See main phase 1. Note if a land was played in Main phase 1, another may not be played
- End phase – Check all permanents or delayed abilities for ‘end of turn’ triggers. Each player may play instants or activate abilities. When all else is done, discard down to 7 cards.
Playing spells/Activating abilities
- Must have priority – active player has priority. Inactive player only gets priority when active passes.
- Determine costs
- Pay costs
- Put spell/ability on stack. Ability does not leave stack and have its affect until both player pass priority
- Spell resolves meaning you do whatever the card text says.
- Discard – put a card from your hand into the graveyard.
- Sacrifice – put a permanent from the battlefield into your graveyard
- Permanent – An enchantment, creature, planeswalker or artifact that is in the battlefield.
- Spell – A card that is on the stack waiting for its affects to happen
- Card – any ‘card’ in the library, hand or graveyard zones
- Spell/ability cost – the resources needed to pay for a spell or ability. For a spell it is the symbols in the upper right hand corner. For an ability it is everything before a : in the card text
- LIFO – Last In, First Out – spells resolve from the stack in the opposite order they were placed there.
- Library – a face down stack of cards that you draw new cards from.
- Hand – cards that are visible only to you. These are the cards you have to play with at any given time
- Battlefield – Where cards become permanents for repeated or continual use
- Graveyard – Where cards when they are discarded, sacrificed or leave the stack
- Stack – Where a spell or ability is after its cast/activated, but before it resolves and has an effect on the game.
One of the key roles Abrupt Decay plays in Oath is to steal games from control players who are turtling behind a Grafdigger's Cage or Containment Priest, and who assume that their grip full of counterspells will save them. Losing uncounterability is thus a significant price to pay against the control matchup.
What you gain is the ability to kill Big Jace and other problematic planeswalkers. Vengevine and Hollow One are not as exciting as targets since Oath has a naturally strong matchup against aggro strategies (including Dredge and Survival) and existing tools for dealing with both creatures (e.g. Abrade).
I'm not convinced the tradeoff is worth it in Oath specifically, but certainly this is a powerful enough effect to be playable, in the abstract, in Vintage.
Being able to hit mishra's workshop or Bazaar of bagdhad is pretty strong.
It went great. My 9 year old got one of the sickest card pools for a sealed tournament that I've ever seen. It included thing in the ice, jace, westvale abbey, invocation of saint traft, liliana's indignation (absolute allstar in sealed) and her support cards were pretty solid, too. I basically had 50 mins to build 3 decks so I built mine and while doing that told the kids to figure out what colors they wanted to play by whatever criteria they wanted to use. Then I went and built their decks based on their color choices.
My 9 year old's card pool in the hands of even a semi-experienced player would have been a 4-0. But she went 0-4 (0-2 each round). I watched a few games out of the corner of my eye (arranged it so they sat on either side of me all day) and there were a few should definitely should have won but she just would miss plays constantly because well, she learned the game the night before. My 15 year old actually won a round. She was really psyched about that. Technically she went 1-2-1 on the day but her tie she conceded to her opponent since she was felt unlikely to get enough wins and the guy was a really good sport. Both girls' opponents all day long helped them with play, gave advice etc. A few even kind of played a few of their turns for them suggesting they take an action back and try a different action. None of them took advantage of their green opponents. It was a great experience and I offer huge props and thanks to all the players at Deal Me In Games.
@Khahan Sounds like such a change would be good against Shops, no? People advocating changing Gush into spells that cast mana are misunderstanding the effect Gush had on deck construction
Ok, what did we really do to the meta game should be the question. If the answer to how gush's restriction affects gush decks is that we have to put more mana sources (lands mostly) into the deck then what really changed? We are already talking about the 'new metagame' as if we are running mentor decks with more mana in them instead of more draw. So what changed?
The biggest thing that changed is that people who had a biased opinioned on the matter and kept classifying any and every deck that had a gush in it as a 'gush' deck will find out that they affected no real change in the metagame. We'll find out that Mentor is the oppressive beast in the room that kills other strategies and decks from being created.
Now, if the change to a restricted gush actually helps spawn new decks that rely on different win-cons and we see some true innovations then we'll find that the people who have been witch-hunting gush were right.
My prediction for the meta is the former rather than the latter.
I like the idea of the DCI being active in attempting to manage the Vintage format. I like the idea of restricting and unrestricting cards just for the purpose of shaking things up and shifting the format in addition to preventing it from getting unhealthy (this is something I feel they did with Gush's unrestriction, and I think that was successful at least for a while).
That said, it's also important for them to recognize what the key cards are that define the format beyond just the restricted list and be extremely reluctant to do anything to change those. They should also be sure to pay attention to the people who actually play and discuss Vintage the most, and not be overly swayed by small, ingrown metagames like the VSL.
To be honest, I do NOT want vintage to have a governing body actively trying to 'shake things up' or shape the meta. At that point its no longer vintage. People on these boards always talk about what vintage is in terms of decks being played. Vintage IS the 3 pillars. Vintage is gush. Vintage is the P9. I don't view vintage in terms of what the meta is. I view Vintage in terms of what it could be. And it could be anything because Vintage, at its heart, is the format that lets us play nearly any card ever printed. As soon as you artificially start to manipulate that with bans and restrictions to guide the format we are no longer playing Vintage.
Monitor it for brokenness. Monitor it for a healthy to semi-healthy metagame. But don't shape the metagame by any means other than the decks being played and the players imaginations. Otherwise its not Vintage.
In a lot of ways, this is the biggest concern to me is how people are treating bans/restrictions. Almost as if it's a tool to combat decks they don't enjoy. Which, sadly, starts to mask the true needs of ban/restrictions. B/r's, as I said, should only be used as a last resort. Now, with all the outcry, this picture is becoming muddier and muddier.
I just thought this was worth repeating.
I also want to add a personal plug for Jason at Deal Me In Games here. The prize support we post is based on attendance of 30 people. I just want to note that Jason has NEVER once scaled prize support down. Even when we had 12, he offered full prize support (the top 8 basically begged and insisted on lesser support).
When he offered the Bazaar of Baghdad at 30 and we hit 24 - he still gave out the bazaar. I suggested he up the entry fee to $35 to use the extra $5 to offset the prize for the top 8 at the end of the year and he refused. So while I'm the visible face who does all the advertising, Jason is the one who takes all the financial risk and puts himself on the line. He never fails to be a stand-up TO and shopkeeper when it comes to prizes. So a big thanks to Jason for all his support for the T1 community this year!!
@joshuabrooks everything is relative though, and even though the price of CE/IE power is super inflated, $2000 for 5 CE moxen is substantially more affordable than $2000 just for a Sapphire. If there ends up being a "correction" in both directions, then so be it. No one believes that legalizing CE will suddenly create 2000 person vintage GPs, but maybe it means EW pulling 500+ regularly. Maybe StarCity could reliably pull 220+ for vintage events. This could also allow more smaller TOs to host EW qualifiers, which by definition must be sanctioned. I just think its a no brainer move.
I totally agree, every bit helps, and if it does occur, it will put some upward price pressure on Arabian Nights/Antiquities/Legends cards unfortunately, but yeah, every bit helps, we're in agreement there, but I don't think it's a silver bullet.
If someone wouldn't buy a $600 mox a year ago, they probably won't buy a $600 CE one today (however, there is an argument that legalizing CE might make unlimited more affordable if people trade down/in).
While I agree that every little bit helps, I disagree that just making CE/IE legal would help. There would be a 'price correction' in ce/ie cards as their over inflated prices over inflates even more. There would be no downward trend in ABU prices. The same people who are priced out of playing vintage now would be priced out of playing vintage still if ce/ie suddenly became legal. Dribs and drabs of cards being added to the pool will do nothing but help investors and big stores who hoarded cards. The rest of us will still be paying an arm and a leg. Nothing short of a supply influx large enough to deflate the price of ABU will truly help anybody but those who already have the cards.
There are other card games that have trump cards for other cards, that is not magic.
Oh really? So, Circle of Protections, etc. are a novel element in Magic?
The very first Magic set was designed with a plethora of trumps for various strategies. Virtually every conceivable strategy was 'answered' in some way shape or form in the early game. Land destruction? Play Consecrate Land. Hand destruction? Here, play cards like Psychic Purge. Reanimation or recursion? Tormod's Crypt. And so on.
That's why Wizards typically designs an answer to almost any strategy in each set. That's why cards like City in a Bottle were created. They created fail-safes to ensure strategic balance.
Far from some external and nefarious force, the very essence of magic is strategy and trump/answer.
rather embarrassing fact that a card like Ponder is restricted in Vintage.
Ponder isn't just restricted because it's a spell count enabler. It's almost a 1 mana impulse. It's absurdly powerful. Imagine how good that is in 2-card combo decks like Oath, which just need to find Oath and Orchard.
From my perspective, what matters for design is cards that increase the number of playable cards in the card pool. (Which I argued here: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-designing-for-eternal/ ) I think Wizards has excelled recently in doing that. It's possible that right now we have a larger playable card pool than at any point in recent memory.
Smmenen - I often find myself agreeing with you, even when its you vs 10 other people. And I can't argue that we have a more diverse card pool now than any other time in Vintage. Especially if you simply count the number of playable cards.
But I have an issue with the quantity vs quality in this. And this is a more abstract concept than simple card pool diversity. As many have pointed out - vintage is about manipulating the stack, drawing extra cards, using individually powerful spells. Its about using cards or combinations that cheat the rules of magic.
Vintage has also always been a very slowly evolving metagame. Yet in the past year (year and a half) we've seen more restrictions than in some 5 year periods of Vintage history. We've seen more cards printed that are vintage playable but they are playable for different reasons in the past. When dredge came out those were vintage playable because they cheated regular magic rules and strategies. When mentor came out it was playable because it created a powerful effect. When oath came out it cheated normal rules. And in both cases players built decks and developed strategies to make those cards or effects work.
However lately with the restrictions and the mass printings of anti-vintage effects on creatures it seems like R&D is taking a VERY heavy hand in the shaping of the vintage metagame. I do not like that. Players are not developing strategies, watching them grow and prosper, learning to deal with them and then countering them. R&D is telling us, ''This is what your strategy will be now." And whether this is actually true or not it feels like R&D is saying, "Oh and you aren't allowed to use your old strategies anymore."
@Brass-Man I used to always say hello, good luck, etc, when starting a match. I now wait to see how my opponent reacts first because it otherwise can lead to bad times.
It also sucks that the chat window makes the battlefield smaller if you have it docked. I wish there was a better set up.
There is a better set up - its call cockatrice.
More salt than the Dead Sea, I commend you.
Less salt than an empty shaker. Soly has a reputation for vast salt flats. He's admitted it in posts. But when you talk to the guy in a real conversation he is just basic and straightforward. He likes to talk about the game of magic and despite his colorful and sometimes abusive language on this site, he DOES have more of a clue than most players.
He is not complaining about anything here (except gush, and that is hardly a salty comment). He's making some observations on some big issues that came from this year's champs - issues we should all be concerned with. I watched the video of Dobbin's misplay. My first reaction was, "wow, that was a stupid misplay.' Then I thought about it and figured he must be trying to cheat a card. Then I looked at the board state and cards involved and realized there's no way he'd cheat that situation. Play land, moat - coast to victory while your opponent sits twiddling his non-flying thumbs every round. Cheating just doesn't make sense.
As for the eventual winner, I've heard enough comments about it from people whom I know and respect to at least doubt this guy was on the up and up all done. Sure, any given game he may have been cheating or may have been clean. But on the whole on the day it just doesn't seem to add up that he's on a level playing field.
I like how everybody goes right for U and artifact.
mystical hate bear 1G
Creature - Bear
When this comes into play destroy target artifact or enchantment
Elf Lich GB
Creature - elf lich
Elves you control get +1/+1. All other creatures get -1/-1
If we are opening up the meta I'd like to see some other colors get better representation.
@bobbyvictory said in EW Meta and discussion.:
@khahan Islands/bazaar/shops - man so diverse. Its just a bunch of blue decks loaded up with counterspells + some board control + draw/tutors + wincons, 1 dredge deck and a bunch of shops decks. Not diverse at all.
Then don't play vintage. That is what vintage is. We have access to the most powerful cards ever printed. Therefore we will play the most powerful cards ever printed.
The meta IS FINE. In any given tournament you know at some point you'll see shops but in any given round you could see any one of 5-6 different established decks plus 2-4 different rogue decks. That is a good healthy meta.
Except for you who defines decks so broadly that you might as well complain that the only viable card games are magic, yugioh and pokemon or go home.
Seriously, how long does he get to keep clogging every discussion with his warped and ill-informed view on Vintage before he gets banned or even more people get tired of hearing the same drumbeat and just walk away?