Why are so many people advocating for the restriction of Mishra's workshop ? I find this very notion outrageous... The goal of Br policy is to regulate dominant decks and promote diversity not to eradicate a deck from the format completely.
If Workshop were to be restricted the metagame would devolve into a mostly blue cannibalistic slugfest where almost everyone is playing quad missteps and flusterstorms/ white eldrazi and dredge. I doubt it would be a lot more fun than the current two deck metagame.
I would rather advocate for the restriction of thorn or the ravager ballista combo (AND Monastery Mentor).
The reasoning behind restricting thorn is that it is much better than sphere at the moment due to being largely asymmetric given the creature focus of the current iterations of Workshops. At the moment shops are so fast that a single thorn can be enough for them to out-tempo the opponent especially since it doesn't slow down the shops player's development at all. Restricting thorn would also give combo decks more breathing room, allowing them to take metagame shares and thus increase diversity. Mentor is so good in part because it is the best win condition under thorn of amethyst and it fights workshop on their aggressive axis.
Restricting ballista and/or ravager alongside with mentor has the potential to increase diversity by making aggro control decks competitive again and diversifying the win conditions that blue decks use.
I don't think that outcome needs to be touched for now, as it is vulnerable to null rod effects and artifact destruction which means that if its metagame share starts to go up, it will be relatively easy for the metagame to adapt. And if/when it starts to dominate we can always restrict it down the road.
It seems like a lot of cards would be unrestrictable power level wise, but if they don't help to add more diversity in the metagame and just consolidate tier 1 decks there is no point
I think that when trying to estimate whether a card is unrestrictable, the most important things one should consider are:
Which decks benefit from the unrestriction?
How are those decks positioned in the metagame currently?
How said unrestriction would help make those decks more competitive against the general metagame?
How does having access to that card as a 4of impact different dynamics?
Like if you take Ponder, the card in itself is absolutely not restriction worthy based on power level( roughly equal to an unrestricted card aka Preordain). But what happens if you unrestrict it? It goes in an archetype that is arguably hurting diversity in the format already (Gush decks) and with preordain you now have a critical mass of good 1 mana cantrips in the format. Poses the threat of becoming an auto include in many decks.
Now look at Windfall which is a much powerful card abstractly. What happens if you unrestrict it? Storm combo decks already have a critical mass of threats and consistency with dark petition so they would not start playing it (they don't play it as a one of because of how bad it truly is). The most likely candidate is Belcher which looses to itself and the metagame way too often for it to ever be a viable competitive option (in the current conditions). But what does it add? more variance in opening hands and enables a critical mass of turn 1 forced mulligans if you are on the draw.
Card is swingy, doesn't introduce anything new and leads to more "Watch your opponent play"type of games (on one side or the other) which the format doesn't need more of.
Channel is in the same clan, super swingy and ultra narrow card that really doesn't do anything except threaten the health of the format.
and so on.
If I had to choose one card to unrestrict, Flash would be my choice pick because:
- It puts a deck like Rector omni on the map (which it is so far from currently).
- It doesn't warp the format seeing as it's inherent inconsistencies are kept in check by the restricted list.
- Most decks already play 4 or more cards that hose graveyard interactions (which Flash relies on) in their sideboard.
- x4 Flash Rector omni would still struggle against denial decks, gush decks and faster combo decks.
- It does not just become auto include in every blue deck.
- It doesn't make the format revolve around itself when legal in multiples (in comparison to cards like Chalice of the Void for instance).
- It's better than oath of druids in that it's blue and can be cast at instant speed but it also requires more ressources and a lot more focus in the deck-building process.
So after seeing so much polarizing opinions about fastbond, I decided to run a prison oriented fastbond list against a standard vintage gauntlet (ravager shops, White eldrazi, Outcome, rituals, oath, key vault, dredge, monogush mentor) and while the deck definitely had some strong elements, it was really inconsistent, very fragile to disruption and unable to comeback from behind. It was a really fun and refreshing experience even though the list I ran was probably not optimal nor tuned, it still managed to win a couple matches when it had solid draws.
For reference here is the list:
4 Crucible of Worlds
3 Horn of Greed (let's the deck go off like a combo deck)
2 Grazing Gladehart (only reasonnably priced zuran orb alternative that works under null rod)
2 Lotus Cobra (for chaining barbarian ring kills or canopy draws, without it you need to use two more landdrops for each chain with wasteland + other land)
3 Bazaar of Baghdad
2 Horizon Canopy
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Thorn of Amethyst
3 Null Rod
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Strip Mine
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Barbarian Ring (Removal and wincon all in one)
Non utility Mana:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Sol Ring
4 Mishra's Workshop
3 Windswept Heath
1 Tolarian Academy
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Barbarian Ring
3 Bojuka Bog
2 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Glacial Chasm
EDIT: Tweaked the list a little bit with the following changes:
-2 Grazing Gladehart (replaced with Glacial Chasm)
-2 Lotus Cobra (replaced with moxen for more turn one sphere consistency)
-1 Trinisphere (was only really good with workshop on turn one, it usually becomes dead pretty fast as you draw a considerable amount of cards compared to a standard workshop deck and usually have multiple of your spheres and thorns)
-1 Ensnaring bridge (Glacial chasm does same job)
+2 Smokestack (gives you something to maintain pressure in the long game and an answer to any problematic permanent)
+2 Glacial Chasm (zuran orb + moat all in one, uncounterable and unaffected by spheres/removal)
+2 off color moxen (solely to increase the odds of having a turn one sphere, it brings the total artifact number up to 6 but plays alongside null rod fine due to having bazaar and smokestack)
-1 Witchbane Orb
-2 Ensnaring bridge
+3 Nature's Claim
I don't mean to sound like a douchebag, but If you say gah to someone playing Library in storm, then you most likely have a lot to learn about the archetype and current metagame.
Blue decks, counterspells and card draw are at an all time high in the metagame and LOA is an uncounterable one card win condition against them. Drawing extra cards lets you sculpt a winning hand, while trading one for one with your opponent through hand disruption and bait spells until you can overwhelm their defenses and win. You are typically not going under 7 cards in hand until you are ready to win, so maintaining it isn't very hard.
It can also be very helpful against shops/ eldrazi (if they aren't able to wasteland it) by letting you hit your land-drops/find an answer.
I dont think letting your opponent play extra lands is a problem at all in most matchups, most of the time when you are loosing to shops you are struggling to even find one land drop a turn, this card doesnt make lands magically appear in your hand from a 15 lands deck which most vintage decks are. As far as gush is concerned, this card negates one of your spheres for one turn whenever your opponent gushes and that's about it in most cases.
Also if your opponent gets to 0 cards in hand when you are on shops, then things already went very wrong for you and this drawing them cards is the least of your worries (not to mention that you must have been playing pretty badly if you played this when there was any indication that they could dump their hand quickly or already had done so)
Considering the impact that the printing of Dark petition had on ritual storm, I would be cautious of unrestricting a card that had a similar mana cost, is far more powerful and is less susceptible to commonly played hate (dark petition is weak to flusterstorm and grave hate).
Some might say that bargain is not easy to cast right now, but that's because of how the current curve of the deck is. I'm pretty sure you can build your deck to reliably cast bargain on turn 2 and win on the spot.
Let's not forget that this could also make show and tell problematic.
EDIT: There is also no reason to unrestrict something this impactful for ritual storm. Regardless of the amount of play it is currently seeing it's still a pretty competitive deck, unrestricting one of the most broken cards in the deck could easily push it over the edge.
As a ritual enthousiast I think windfall and memory jar should be candidates for unrestriction long before bargain even enters your mind, because those wouldn't change much (if anything) to the existing deck.
I'm guessing that most of the people saying bargain is safe either don't have experience with the card or are trying to analyze it from a blue mana efficency perspective (if you cant get to 6 mana with your ritual deck you aren't going anywhere anyways). There is no card in storm combo that lets you win as easily as bargain, to put it in perspective Mind's desire (aka a lot of people's boogey man) doesn't come close in terms of consistency and requires a lot more investment than bargain does. Will needs set up, necro has it's own tensions, and draw7s are symmetric.
TPS should be a strong contender in a metagame of shops and mentor. It's naturally favored against blue decks as long as it can somewhat keep up on cards (the restriction of gush opens this). It's far more resilient to hate than Paradoxical outcome. It also has a much better shops matchup than traditional ritual storm due to having more lands and FoW.
I feel like the list from the OP is a little outdated however.
I was thinking something like this for the current meta:
3 Underground Sea
2 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig Through Time
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Dark Ritual
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Hurkyl's Recall
3 Mental Misstep
4 Force of Will
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Time Walk
3 Dark Petition
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mind's Desire
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Tendrils of Agony
SB: 1 Mindbreak Trap
SB: 1 Island
SB: 2 Mystic Remora
SB: 3 Pack Rat
SB: 1 Toxic Deluge
SB: 2 Hurkyl's Recall
SB: 2 Engineered Explosives
SB: 1 Surgical Extraction
SB: 2 Ravenous Trap
I feel like your best chance to beat a mentor deck would be to build another mentor deck with something to give you the edge on cards in the mirror like mystic remora.
Combo decks are okay vs mentor if they manage to overcome the counterwalls in the early game and go off. Defense grid is a strong trump to what gush decks are doing. But the inherent variance of combo decks vs the consistency of the gush draw engine makes up for the difference sometimes. Although I feel like a good combo pilot should be slightly favored in the matchup.
It also depends on the sideboard of the mentor deck, if they have access to aegis of the gods or something along those lines things could become very hard for the combo deck. Since the mentor deck only has to devote their counters to protect their hoser from the 1-2 answers the combo deck has between main and side.
The way I understand mentor decks is that they can be vulnerable to strong openers from broken decks in the early game, but past turn 3 they just start to bury you more and more. You can't both trump the mentor and keep the draw engine in check in the long run. You need to be doing something very proactive in the early game to win.
I don't think there is a single card that beats mentor, like you could have a moat in play they can still outdraw you long enough to win the game with JVP. You can put pressure on the draw engine, but then you still have to deal with the army of monks. The best defense is often offense and in mentor's case this is very true.
Have not tested but I have been thinking of Crush of Tentacles as a singleton in storm. Returns all non-land permanents to each players hands. Which include any jewelry used to power out CoT with surge along with problematic permanents your opponent may have out. Giving you an 8/8 Octopus, Mana, and clearing the field seems superior to Thing In The Ice except against thorn effects. Thoughts?
Also, is pack rat really that good? Seems like alot of Mana sinking into this even if its over several turns...
In my experience of the matchup, if you are able to cast a 6 mana sorcery or 5 mana + another spell you shouldn't be having any problems. Rushing River (or kolaghan's command as Desolutionist suggested )are usually enough in those games.
Pack rat is super mana efficient in the matchup, gets down for 2 mana through thorn and requires only 3 mana sources to activate each turn regardless of the number of spheres. If you have never experienced pack rat in combat, let me tell you the beast is quite savage. With turn 2 Rat on the draw I managed to beat a hand of t1 thorn, t2 thalia, t3 TKS, turn 4 smasher on the play. With 3 rats I was able to block the thalia and double block the smasher (going from 6 to 2 life) and from there it was over.
Not wanting to derail the thread further. But it's funny that out of all the randomness of vintage mana crypt flips is the thing people focus on. I find it a lot more amusing to loose to my own mana crypt than watching my opponent play magic because they got to resolve a turn one Ancestral recall or something. Magic is a game where variance is as important as skill and strategy...
Anyway I think we can all agree that no changes should be made to the Restricted list until at least after vintage's champs as the metagame is still adjusting and new printings have been introduced. Gush isn't even really dominating the format, it's just putting pressure on the metagame.
And as far as unrestrictions most cards would either have too little impact or too much. Or simply don't add anything or make the format more fun to play.
As far as mentor, I guess we can say goodbye to the turbo xerox fueled builds for good. The next step is probably going to be most big blue decks will be esper and have 2-3 mentors as a side wincon, thinking of decks like landstill, bomberman, Outcome, Key vault.
Gush was the wrong card to hit, mentor + probe would have been much better since it nerfs current gush decks and nerfs their direct replacement grixis therapy. Right now we just lost the entire gushbond engine, decks such as doomsday becomes truly unplayable (at least in their current form).
Gush was an entirely different archetype whereas mentor is just a better tinker and can be slotted in most decks without much deckbuilding accommodations.
Gush would probably have been fair without mentor, probe and delve spells. We would essentially go back to UR/Rug delver which wasn't dominant or format warping until Tcruise was printed, and new printings/unrestrictions can probably keep up with that deck + 2 restricted delve spells.
On the other hand Mentor will continue to be broken without gush and probably even more so, in a solomoxcrypt build you are much more likely to be able to cast it on turn one. The new mentor decks will be less consistent and less interactive but more explosive and "Oops I win". Mentor will likely continue to be the absolute trump against creature based strategies and push most of them out of the metagame.
Probe going is glorious though, it reduced deck space and in game decisions too much. Bluffing is a huge and fun part of the game. Now only Misstep to go and we will be rid of the cancer that phyrexian mana is.
@Topical_Island if you roll with Thirst and Academy, would you also play the artifact lands for extra value at the sake of more fragility?
Only if null rod/stony silence is absent from your metagame. But to be honest paradoxical outcome is probably much better with mentor than thirst is. Thirst fueled decks are probably weak against outcome decks as well and still vulnerable to null rod.
@desolutionist I actually think Ponder would be even more dangerous than Brainstorm because of Tendrils Decks. The shuffle feature is very good for stitching together that sort of kill.
But you are a lot better player than me, what do you think? I just remember pre-restriction watching decks Ponder then Shuffle then Ponder then Shuffle then Ponder and then... Oh hey! Found it! You're dead.
Ponder is fine in storm decks, slightly better than preordain at finding one specific thing, but preordain has more value on subsequent turns and is better in decks with redundancy. Neither of them are even remotely close to brainstorm.
If that effect was really that good in storm you would see more lists with preordain(s). The only decks that really pose a threat with ponder are(were) decks with gush (enabling a critical mass for gushbond decks and making gush aggro control decks slightly better than they were already).
Oath of druids on the other hand would really benefit if ponder was unrestricted as it is much better than preordain at finding one of your 4of combo pieces. It would run smoother which is something it desperately needs.
Fastbond could have been unrestricted when gush was still legal and it would likely not have been problematic, seeing as mentor gush was the superior strategy to combo gush because of how horrendous the thorn matchup is for combo gush, and having multiple fastbonds doesn't magically solve the thorn problem. So even with unrestricted fastbond the metagame would have likely still been centered around mentor gush and not the gushbond engine.
Without gush abusing fastbond simply isn't that interesting, 3 card combos aren't good enough for vintage. The power level barrier for combo decks is extremely high considering that you have to measure up to Oath of druids, time vault, tendrils and monastery mentor.
I would love to see a value deck with a combo finish based around fastbond and crucible/Life from the loam but I highly doubt such a deck would be competitive enough in vintage. The combo is to easy to shut off with either mental misstep or artifact removal/null rod, something like abrupt decay would annihilate it.
Since it's only really good when you cast it turn one on the play, Windfall pushes combo decks even further into the all or nothing glass canon philosophy. Consistency or speed has never been an issue for combo, the real challenge has always been resiliency.
Windfall hasn't been optimal for a very long time. We've had more than enough unrestricted Storm enablers for a long time now like Doomsday, Ad Nauseam, Burning wish, Oath of druids, Griselbrand, Gifts Ungiven, Dark Petition, Paradoxical Outcome. Windfall is arguably worse than any/most of those cards.
The only thing windfall does is look awesome and broken 10% of the time (when you were so far ahead already that any action card was game), but the rest of the time you draw it or in tight games you find yourself wishing it was anything else but windfall.
Just wanted to point out one thing, the only reason Gush was a fine card for a couple years is that the decks that could best utilize it (doomsday, gush storm) were heavy dogs to Workshops. While RUG delver made great usage of gush, it was playing tarmagoyfs and delvers in a see of Oath of druids and time vault decks.
Gush wasn't dominating because the decks that could play it were poorly positioned it's as simple as that. If the metagame hadn't been so warped around workshops, gush would have been a problem back then as well.
As soon as more credible and resilient threats were associated with Gush, it started occupying more and more of top 8's.
After the printing of young pyromancer, UR delver (popularised by Smmenen) quickly became one of the best blue decks in the format, dominating most blue decks except Oath of druids which was a natural trump to the creature based strategy. Dack fayden and then the delve spells pushed the deck into a dominant position due to enabling a critical mass of card advantage and quality.
Then when monastery mentor was printed the deck gained an oops I win combo finish that was also conveniently almost impossible to answer. Broken cards have always existed but were usually narrow and almost always susceptible to some form of efficient trump card.
Before Mentor, gush decks were somewhat balanced vs the metagame since although they had the better draw spells, they had less efficient win conditions. UR delver was clearly better than other blue decks at drawing cards and executing its game plan consistently, but it was a slow and grindy deck and one small variance slip after maintaining control for multiple turns could easily cost you the game. It was also a huge dog to Oath of druids and Slice and dice, where Mentor the card has virtually 0 weaknesses and wins out of nowhere.
So in essence, Gush mentor was the better control deck, and had the best (one card virtually unanswerable) combo in the format.
I find it hard to believe that Pyromancer Gush would be as good as non gush mentor is today, but the issue with gush is that as soon as another card that synergizes with it a little too much gets printed, gush would have to be restricted again.
Mentor is an outrageous card but so is Gush. Either leads to a consolidation of the blue portion of the metagame into one deck and leaves room only for workshops to thrive, since both cards are inherently weak to taxing effects and mana denial.
The metagame looks overall more healthy and certainly feels more open from a gameplay and deckbuilding perspective. Shops are still viable but feel less opressive. Aggro control/tempo decks like delver and bug fish are back in the metagame. Big Blue seems to be in a better place now that we can diversify wincons. Outcome has almost 30% of the field but it's win percentage doesn't translate, so it's likely that people chose outcome as a default deck in an "unknown" environment and with time the deck will go back to a more reasonable % of the meta. Even dredge gets some love in the top 8. Only notable absence is Dark rituals, which were expected to become more viable with the unrestriction of Yawg Bargain. As null rod becomes more prevalent to react to outcome, we might see a shift from outcome storm to ritual storm, or at least one can hope.
Great job on this one for the DCI, looks like we are steering back towards the "golden age" metagame that we had before Khans.
Gush was correct to hit as well, judging by URx delver's performance, if probe and gush were still unrestricted it is likely that delver would still be in a position to dominate.
@zedan The list I posted is a good starting point, although it definitely needs some tuning to adjust to your own playstyle. For instance I am comfortable playing the list without a tinker bot plan, some people will swear against not running it. Some people will like playing more copies of Gifts ungiven.
As for the sideboard, it's pretty stock. The plan vs denial decks is to bring in lands, counter hate pieces (EE, hurkyl's, toxic Deluge) and Pack rat is also an option as a secondary win condition to just ignore what they are doing or buy you a few turns so you can set up. The graveyard hate is for dredge, although surgical has some versatile applications in certain matchups. Against blue decks and combo, your plan is to leverage remora + counters and drawspells to win the control war. Remora is great because it punishes your opponent for trying to interact with you when you are going off or it slows down your storm/cantrip opponent.
Lands in the sideboard should always be basics, Ancient tomb is really not that good unless you have a 5c manabase in my experience and disruptive lands are really not where you want to be with this deck.
Toxic Deluge and pack rat were in the sideboard mainly because of White Eldrazi and how rough of a matchup it is due to them attacking you from multiple angles (creatures, artifacts and sometimes enchantments). Engineered explosives also looses some of its appeal with Thorn restricted.
Adjustments I would consider would be more Gifts ungiven, Monastery mentor or tinker Blightsteel as a side wincon, Gush and/or Treasure cruise to help the deck in the blue arms race. You can also customize the disruption package if you would like more duress effects for the perfect information it provides and Echoing truth if you feel like main deck stony silence is really a concern for you. Yawgmoth's bargain is difficult to integrate as it demands a heavy cabal ritual commitment.
Mox opal is really not a card you'd ever want in tps since it opens up vulnerability to stony silence. One of this deck's best strengths is that it has a very solid mana base with basic lands, only the best artifact mana and Rituals.
@listlik I've been playing off and on since the unrestriction... and it's fine. It's soft to Leovold and Null Rod and anything like those. My opinion is that Paradoxical Storm is faster and more reliable.
More like the other way around, Po is a lot softer to leovold and null rod. Ritual storm is faster, harder to hate on and more consistent at going off. Po is better vs shops due to having fow and more non storm win conditions and Po helps the deck compete on attrition with other blue decks. Rituals are a viable option when Blue decks plan is to fight combo with artifact hate. However the deck's real issue is that it struggles with shops since although shops have less prison elements the faster clock gives you less time to build up your resources to setup for a eot hurkyl's.
@aelien You need tinker bot maindeck to have a shot vs shops imo. Memory jar is garbage vs dack and null rod, you already have more than enough threats to be able to consistently go off. LED is mostly overkill and chrome mox is awful, I would change those for tinker bot. Also you need Library of Alexandria in the main deck, it's so good vs counterspell decks and occasionally great vs shops.