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.