Just wanted to brag that I got married on September 29, 2017 to my beautiful bride, Huanhuan Wu. :) Score one for a vintage player. I feel like I married up. :)
For anyone interested, here is a YouTube video.
Just wanted to brag that I got married on September 29, 2017 to my beautiful bride, Huanhuan Wu. :) Score one for a vintage player. I feel like I married up. :)
For anyone interested, here is a YouTube video.
Forgive any typos. I'm doing this on my phone.
I'm basically a newborn in vintage. I've been around since sometime late November of 2015. Something like that, so I've only been around during the Gush era. Take that as you will, positively, negatively, or neutral. Obviously, we all have a right to share our opinion.
My concern with the banning, is not the banning itself. I think there was/are legitimate concerns about Gush and Probe (not to mention other cards). It could very well be the right move for a better format. However, I don't want to get into my exact feelings on whether I agree or disagree with the restrictions of the cards, but of bannings/restrictions itself.
The concern I have about is this restriction seems to be more about outcry of people than actual data. During the prior b/r announcement they explicitly said they wanted more data and feedback... and explicitity mentioned the European vintage championship. Unless I'm mistaken (please correct me if I'm wrong), there was no domination by Gush in that tournament. I'm not sure where they are getting that data.
Granted, I do understand that this is a multi layered on how you can view the meta and Gush's affect on it. I won't disagree with that. For example, you can make an argument for Shops dominance because of the the way blue decks are constructed. You're right, low land counts and free spells are awful against shops.
However, how can you possibly quantify exactly how much Shops dominance is because of Gush and how much is because Shops is just damn good (which it is)? Honestly please tell me if you can.
Shops will always be a strong deck against blue. Its purpose in itself is to take advantage of the things blue players crave - cheap spells. That's the nature of Shops. Outside of WOTC nuetering the deck completely, that's not going away.
I feel the same people (not all) who complained about the VSL having an affect on the meta are the same people cheering this on. That doesn't make sense to me. How can you rip into WOTC for listening to the VSL, but cheer WOTC on for this? If the VSL honestly influenced the DCI on multiple occasions for multiple restrictions, I argue that is not a good thing. Regardless if the restrictions are the right call. The VSL is entertainment, it's not supposed to be a snapshot of a true vintage meta game.
Another concern I have is a general concern about the Magic community that I've seen a lot of lately. There seems to be an overriding focus (and I'm not speaking just of vintage), the solution to any deck or archetype becoming number 1 is to ban/restrict a card. Banning/restrictions should only happen, in my opinion, as an absolute last resort.
Let's look at Modern as an example. They ban Eye of Ugin (a very legitimate format warping move). After a while, things start moving very fast. To curb some of the speed, people cried for a Become Immense/Probe/etc banning. Wizards then banned Gitaxian Probe. Now Death Shadow archetype is number 1 and people call for that banning.
Is that the solution magic players go to now? Instead of finding ways to attack the best deck, we call for a ban/restriction immediately? There will always be 1-2 (most of the time) best decks in the format. If you ban/restrict a key card, something else will move in to take its place.
The same thing is happening in Legacy. They ban sensei's divining top and people are now calling for a ban of Deathrite Shaman. Before any magic has been played, tested, and letting the dust settle, another ban outcry is happening. That to me, is a concern.
Mentor will keep on mentoring and will most likely still be the best blue deck. Shops will still be excellent. I don't know exactly what Mentor will look like, but it will be a mainstay. However, people are already talking about the next restrictions in vintage. Can't we take a step back for a moment, play some games, before getting into that discussion? Or are we going down a path of constant restrictions in vintage? Will we see Mentor, Mental Misstep, Thorn, Preordain, Workshop, Bazaar, Ancient Tomb, etc. get restricted in the future? I sure as hell hope not. The format needs powerful, unrestricted cards to be fun (for me). Obviously that statement is very subjective.
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.
When I first came into vintage, it was a new world with new (old) cards that I’ve never gotten to play. I got to play power! Cards I said I never said I would ever own, let alone play. I was excited, I was thrilled, trying out this new world. People were classy and nice to me – people like Joe Fiorini who helped me pick out my first deck. I got to know people, I got to make new friends, and I discovered a local tournament across state. I was enamored by what I perceived to be a group of mature, helpful people. There were some bad apples in the group, but what group of people doesn’t have that?
Things changed at some point. I can’t pinpoint the exact time, but I started to notice people weren’t as nice as I initially thought.
I’m guessing the rose tinted glass came off. People dogged my ideas, my decks, people that enjoy the VSL, and the didn't seem to have any interest in vintage’s growth. Hell, I’ve been told that I shouldn’t voice my opinion, because I don’t play as often as other people do. That my opinion meant nothing. Some people promote their Meta and group of players as the authority on the format. Kind of like an old school boys club.
For example, I’ve been told multiple times that I should not play Painter decks, because Painter is a bad card. I’ve always recognized Painter is not a tier 1 strategy (or tier 2 for that matter), but it’s where I have the most fun. That didn’t matter to these people. They had the attitude if you aren’t playing a tier 1 deck, you’re doing vintage wrong.
On a side note, I would argue Painter is a good card and Grindstone is a bad card. I just love how Painter interacts with the game at an angle no other card does, so I will continue to play the card because I have fun with it. I am certainly not a tier 1 skilled player and I'm under no delusion I will win a major tournament with this deck. I just want to play what I want to play. I'll admit, this does go against the part of me that wants to win and getting enjoyment only out of winning, so I do have internal conflict with myself on this, but that's another topic for another day.
B/R discussions are train wreck syndrome for me. They are broken, ugly, and dirty, but I can’t help but stare.
It’s why I rarely post anymore on the Facebook group or the Mana Drain at this point in time. I’ve been told by people to ignore it, to not let it bother me, but that’s just not the type of person I am. I’ve done the best I can by just turning off all notifications from the Vintage Facebook group unless I feel inclined to post on the site. I still support the Mana Drain, because I believe in the site and what it is. I just see myself viewing the site less and less over time. 95 percent of my viewing of this site anymore is it's still my homepage on my browser, so technically I visit it because of that. Heh.
I have honestly gotten to the point at times where I contemplated (though immediately not that seriously) about selling out. I don’t plan to do it, but it’s a thought that crossed my mind, which in the past it never did.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the format. It's still my favorite. If it wasn’t for the people like Andy Probasco ( @Brass-Man ), Ben Perry ( @Shaman-Ben ), Kevin Cron ( @CHA1N5 ), Aaron Katz, and many others, I may have walked away from the format. They make vintage what I envision vintage to be. A fun format where I get to sling the most powerful cards in the format's history.
I probably talk to Andy and Ben more about my personal life than anybody else in the vintage community (whether they like it or not haha), because they make me feel comfortable and welcoming.
The best times I’ve had in vintage have actually not been the games (though they have been awesome), but some of the dinners I had after a tournament where everybody has gotten together that played. We joked, we discuss our mistakes, the Meta, where we think things are going, and whatever else. There is no anger, there is no venom, no judging, just people being good people. Those moments have been a blast and put such a huge smile on my face. Those moments remind me why I love vintage.
Sometimes I do believe I love talking strategy, card selections, mana curves, side boarding, more than I actually do enjoy playing the game. I love playing the game, but I find it so much fun talking the game, which is why I think I get along so well with Andy (@Brass-Man).
Maybe part of these issues I have is my anxiety issues and OCD issues. Maybe I take things out of context sometimes (I’m sure I have) and have said some stupid things. I’m sure that’s part of my reasoning, but I think it would be foolish to put the whole stock on what I’ve felt to be because of that. At best it would be a small percentage.
I just think as a community we can do a better job of welcoming people to the format. Honestly, I’ve been at fault myself for making mistakes and getting into petty arguments and being part of the problem. This is not a call out to everybody else and not me, I’m not perfect myself. Maybe its wishful thinking that we could grow as a community, but it’s still something that should all strive for.
Does anyone know what this means that I need a 3+ reputation to post more then 3 posts in 120 seconds?
As a new user, you can only post once every 120 second(s) until you have earned 3 reputation - please wait before posting again"
@Smmenen I'm not sure if what you said was directed at me or not about anger. I'm going to respond as if it was, but my apologies if it wasn't.
I'm not saying people shouldn't be angry about the restrictions. I think that's a legitimate beef and worthy of discussion. It's the anger that basically adds up to grade school name calling I have an issue with. That's the line I'm referring too that has been crossed by some people. That has no place here.
On a side note, I voted no on Shawn's poll, as I'm not happy with the restrictions either. Only on the basis on Wizard's explanation did not add up. I don't know how you could argue that their explanation does.
However, I am still enjoying the format and will take a lot for me not to enjoy it. I've liked watching the changes that have happened, regardless of how I feel. I'm generally a huge proponent of less restrictions and would love to see some love given back to shops (as a non-shops player). Vintage is the place of broken spells, I want to play with broken spells.
I tend to agree with Rich Shay on this one. If vintage was a magic online only format and isn't the format that it is and was more in line of something like Modern or Standard, Shops should be restricted. It's clearly above and beyond better than a lot of restricted cards. It's not even close.
However, vintage is a very unique format. It's not a GP format. It's not a pro tour format. It's a fringe format that some of us are extremely passionate about. Typically, I would say we can't consider player's emotional attachments into b/r considerations. However, something like Mishra's Workshop, in my opinion, is different. You may feel different. You may look at it a lens without emotional decisions. I can't blame players for that one. However, I cannot to be honest.
It's the format where people spend 10,000+ dollars on a deck. I have a 2 Card Monte deck- probably the most expensive deck in the format. I own all of the P9 and 4 Mishra's Workshop. I currently own zero dual lands, no Force of Wills, and 1 single fetch land (wooded foothills). It would be extremely frustrating to have 2,000 dollars of that deck be invalidated. The deck could still be playable sure and, yes, I could sell those cards and get blue duals and be back in a blue deck (not the worse thing in the world). However, what about the players that don't own blue duals or the blue only p9 cards? It may not be feasible for them.
If it was restricted, I'm not sure I would continue playing paper vintage. There's a great chance I would, I'm just honestly not sure.
@Smmenen funny I never saw a single Shops list in my 9 rounds. Could be the losing bracket I was in, but I faced Eldrazi 3 times. Two Jaco and one White Eldrazi. The rest were one Dredge deck, Mentor decks, one landstill, and one dredge. I think it just depends on the luck of a draw a bit (no pun intended).
I don't see what's wrong with that. Not trying to be argumentative. I'm not surprised by the representative of Jaco Eldrazi because it's a cheap deck. A very, very good cheap deck.
I think that's important to the health of the format. It's needed. It brings people into the format and allows it to grow in ways never thought possible. If you hit Ancient Tomb you kill that deck. I don't think that's a good idea.
@smmenen Agreed. I hate Gitaxian Probe as a card and I also hate Mental Misstep as a card, but that doesn't mean a restriction is in order. My bias should not be taken into account.
I've been on record saying I believe both of those should have been restricted in the past, but I've moved away from that way of thinking. I'm generally under the mindset now cards should only be restricted unless absolutely necessary. If they restrict a card and it's proven it shouldn't be restricted, then it should get unrestricted. Now a case could be made not to do more than 1 unrestriction a b/r update, as to see how things play out.
For example, Wizard's specifically said they restricted Gitaxian Probe was restricted because they thought it would lessen Mentor's impact. That was proven false. If their claim was wrong, is there a need to still have it restricted?
My issue I see here sometimes is when people attack people almost personally because they thought a card was good when others do not. It's fine telling them they believe they are wrong for reason X, but not to call them an idiot for thinking Z. It's silly and creates feelings of resentment and people calling out elitist attitude.
I also believe something that creates some headache here is what people want out of vintage. Everyone wants to win, sure, but some people take vintage very seriously from a tournament aspect, while others are more looking at it from a social aspect. Neither are wrong, but people end up butting heads because of this. I do feel there is room for both, but people need to learn to communicate their feelings without resorting to attacking others.
I feel for Brassman, because it seems like he is caught between a rock and a hard place. He is trying to cater to everybody as best as possible, but it's not easy to come up with solutions.
I was a guest host on this popular Legacy Podcast to talk about vintage. I certainly have room for improvement, but for a first time podcaster, I thought I did rather well.
The purpose of the cast was to spread the word about vintage, to introduce it to people that may not have been interested otherwise.
I would love some feedback!
I posted this in the Facebook forum group (highly edited to be more in depth and easier to read), but since this was from the results of this tournament, I feel it's appropriate to put here.
I was on 2 Card Monte, a deck I have played a grand total of 4 or 5 rounds with before. With so little experience, card-for-card I used @Shaman-Ben's list.
Opponent: Jon Wilkerson
Opponent's Deck: Dredge
Result: Lost (0-1)
This one stung a bit as this is typically a good match-up for 2 Card Monte and I punted this away. Please don't misunderstand me, I take nothing away from my opponent and he won fair and square. Anyway, I learned a hugely valuable lesson when playing this deck. More on that in a bit.
Game 1 I crushed. Basically a nut draw with having a Leyline of the Void in my opening hand and the combo in my hand. Once I drew the 2 mana (ended up being a Ancient Tomb), I could activate the combo and win. I made a minor mistake and forgot to name a color with Painter's Servant (it would have changed nothing). I was about to call Ben over as the judge, but the opponent told me it didn't matter and I randomly named black (which I should have named blue regardless of the board state). Minor mistakes, but something I need to clean up as this will matter more in the future.
Game 2 I mulled to 5 and never got it together. Unfortunately never saw a Leyline of the Void. I seemed to have 1/2 of each of the combos and the opponent went off. Death by zombies.
Game 3 was interesting and a fun game. I would have made some NFL punters jealous with the punt I made, though. The game had some good play and was entertaining. In a later turn I got into a position where I had a winning line. needed to cast Demonic Consultation for Black Lotus to cast Leyline of the Void (or Helm of Obedience... I forget which... let's just assume Leyline) and activate it. I had a Containment Priest out. However, the next turn I would have enough mana to cast the Leyline and win. I felt safe behind the Containment Priest, so I incorrectly passed the turn. On my opponent's turn he managed to Cabal Pit my Containment Priest and Cabal Therapy me 3 times to strip away all my cards and proceeded to destroy my board with Ingot Chewers.
What this taught me is this deck is not like playing a control deck and I need to be a bit more aggressive. I have very little experience with Combo decks, so I am learning. I also need to pay a little more attention to the graveyard of the Dredge opponent. I got a little over zealous and cocky. In a lot of ways, this was a good loss, because while I was frustrated with myself, I learned something very valuable on how to play this deck. I confirmed my thinking of what I did wrong when I talked to both @Shaman-Ben and @CHA1N5 about the play as I wanted to confirm what I was thinking.
Opponent: Marcel Moore
Opponent's Deck: Eldrazi Shops
Result: Won (1-1)
I had nut hands 2 games in a row and he did not cast a Null Rod. Move on.
Oh, before I forget, I made @Shaman-Ben proud when I, this time, cast Demonic Consultation for Black Lotus for the win. He loves that play apparently as it speaks to him as a player (he posted about it on Twitter). :) Also, what I'm most proud of on that play is that showed player growth with this deck as it is hard evidence of me learning how to play the deck correctly.
Opponent: Michael Tabler
Opponent's Deck: Outcome/TPS
Result: Lost (1-2)
My opponent beat me in 2 games . Not much to say, my hands never really came together and he was able to string his combos together faster than me. I side-boarded a bit "incorrectly", because I was expecting since he was running Paradoxical that he would have Force of Will. I found out after the games he played no Forces in his deck. I do not count that as a mistake, just a bad call on my part. Nothing to be ashamed of there, as I playing to my past knowledge of the archetype.
Though, a slightly amusing note. When I died in game 2, the only cards in my graveyard were my 4 Red Elemental Blasts. If he didn't Duress me on his last turn, I would most likely have won the game, as I foolishly looked at my top card (it was Demonic Consultation). That would have been enough to win the game, as I just needed, I believe, Helm of Obedience.
Opponent: Kyle Lenox (@zodiacboyscout)
Opponent's Deck: JacoDrazi
Result: Lost (1-3)
Game 1 I had no chance. Null rod turn one, Thought-Knot Seer turn 2, Reality Smasher turn 3, game over.
Game 2 I punted. Kyle played extremely well, don't get me wrong there, but I made a costly mistake. To explain, on turn 0 he got out a Leyline of Sanctity. I had a Nature's Claim in hand and stupidly decided to slow roll it. At one point I drew another Nature's Claim and Demonic Tutor'd for an Ancient Grudge. For some reason, I Nature Claimed his Null Rod instead of the Leyline of Sanctity. After using Ancient Grudge on his Revoker, I had Grudge in the graveyard. In a later turn, I was about to win, or so I thought, as I went to Ancient Grudge his Leyline and quickly realized I couldn't do that (obviously it's an enchantment). If I hit Leyline immediately (as I should have) with Nature's Claim and used Ancient Grudge on Null Rod, I should have won that game, sending it to game 3.
Kyle is a good friend, so we talked all this through after the game and he made some suggestions on my sideboarding. He was on the mindset that I take out Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt instead of my 3 Red Elemental Blasts. I'm still on the fence whether to take out the Red Elemental Blast's or not, as they are dead without Painter's Servant, but really awesome when I have Painter's Servant. I will speak more on my side-boarding woes later.
Opponent's Deck: JacoDrazi
Result: Won (2-3)
This opponent never wins against anybody. Why does he/she ever bother showing up? It's like an automatic win or something.
Real Overall Results: (1-3)
In all seriousness, I don't like to include bye's from having a bad record into my record, so I don't include it here. If I got it round 1 when I showed up, I would, but that's a different story.
I went 1-3 (2-3 if you count the bye... I don't).
No way around it, not a good record. However, I'm a little more spirited then last month when I couldn't win a match with Mentor. This deck, simply put, is fucking awesome. I wanted to this post to talk about what I learned today to improve as a player. Not about my good plays, but my bad plays.
Thoughts On Misplays
Anyway, there is a common mistake I make that separates me from the better players. I rush thinking through things and don't take time to think proper sequencing in magic. I'm a decent/good player, I'm not bad at all in my opinion, but I play against some really good players and my bad habit creates enough space between me and my opponent that it to cause me to lose more often than not. Obviously variance has it's hand in it too, but if I can shore that mistake up, I will start stringing wins together. The gap will start to close.
Another issue I have is, plain and simple, experience with a deck. I have spent the past year trying out new decks almost every tournament to try to learn the various vintage archetypes and to better understand them. Since champs last year, this is only the second time I have played the same archetype more than once. This has caused record suffering, but I do believe it has made me a better player. I purposely did this to better understand the format.
Another huge part that causes me to suffer is the lack of knowledge of what is a keepable hand and how to sideboard correctly. This goes hand-in-hand with my last point of changing decks constantly. There is a lot that can be said on those two things that only come with experience with a deck, which I basically have none. I hope to pick @Shaman-Ben's brain as much as I can for this awesome deck.
@zodiacboyscout (Kyle Lenox) gets the reward for the best play of the evening. I hard casted Sphinx of the Steel Wind and he proceeded to Dismember it. I quietly reminded him that it was a 6/6, but he shrugged his shoulders and said he knows... which immediately made me realize what he was doing... fuck, I know what he is about to do. He proceeded to cast Warping Wail to exile it. So Kyle, bravo man. Bravo.
@Soly I understand going in this isn't as good as a Therapy Pyromancer deck. I'm not under any delusions that it's at that level.
I'm glad you consider those garbage cards, you're welcome to your opinion, but I do not consider this constructive help. Not trying to start a fight or an argument. You're right, this is not on the same level currently as a Young P. deck. However, if I wanted to play a Young Pyromancer deck, I would play a Young Pyromancer deck. It's not like I don't have the cards. I want to have fun and I consider this deck fun. If that means I don't top 8, so be it.
I do, however, think the deck is better then you're giving it credit for. But you are welcome to your opinion, surely.
I wrote up a report about my first foray into the vintage tournament scene at Vintage Champs. I would love constructive criticism on the article. If you feel I'm wrong, tell me! I would love to discuss.
I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was just joking around.
I agree from the standpoint that yes, if someone isn't having fun playing, they really shouldn't be playing. Nothing wrong with taking a break, trying a different format, or quitting altogether. A game should be fun. That much I agree with. However, I do want to see new blood in the format and the last thing I want to see is vintage become this insular group of players that don't welcome new players. That it should only be "their" vintage. Of course, I'm not saying you're saying that, just pointing out the obvious I guess.
You should never think your voice isn't important. As long as you voice it a respectful, thoughtful way, then it matters just as much as Steve's, Brian's, or anybody's. You completely were respectful, but I think that is obvious. :)
I'll give a few of my thoughts. I'm no expert on the format, ive been in it for a little over a year and I get to play about once a month (maybe twice) at local tournaments in Michigan. That doesn't mean my opinion doesn't matter, the exact opposite, but I wanted to give insight on what I see and how I see it.
I've been in the camp of restricting Gush for a while, but I'm not so sure anymore. The card is obviously powerful, no doubt there. I think people's problem, lies more in the archetype and maybe they get too focused on a single card. Low land count, lots of cheap (or free) cantrips, with the best finisher in vintage (in my opinion) - Mentor. This creates a see saw with Shops decks, as Shops prey on Mentor decks, because of deck design that Mentor loves.
There's nothing wrong with that in essence. I think each deck should have a natural predator in vintage. That creates balance when no deck has a gleaming weakness. the question I would have with Mentor is that Shops is a natural predator, that's only one archetype, so is there enough balance with other decks or is it too unfair against all other decks?
Mentor. I understand and agree with a lot of what people say, but I'm not a fan of restricting win conditions. However, this creature goes both wide and big, unlike any other creature in the format. That's not necessarily a good thing in vintage. The card in a vacuum, not the deck, has no really good predator.
On phrexian spells
I hate Mental Misstep as a card. Its my least favorite card in vintage. It's not fun to play against and is not fun to use. However, that in itself is not a valid reason for a restriction. Though, for argument, if you restrict this card and only this card, I think Mentor gets better and that's a scary thought. Say for example you replace this with 3-4 copies of Spell Pierce. You removed a glaring weakness to Shops and made it stronger against its natural predator. I'd worry about this restriction.
Gitaxian Probe is the more problematic card of the free spells. It gives perfect information, it's free, it replaces itself, etc. it removes the critical thinking part of magic when I know what someone has in their hand. You know what exactly to play around. Especially if you're a combo deck, this is incredibably important information. It results in a lot more turn one kills. Not to mention this is excellent for Mentor.
However, I question what a restriction for Gitaxian Probe would do to PO decks. Would that make PO unplayable? I'm not saying that's the case, but I think the decks may need to be redesigned a bit. It would certainly weaken them and they aren't in the best place in vintage right now as it is.
If I would had to make a decision at this moment, I say no restriction. I do enjoy the format as it is, as I have an absolute blast playing the format every time I do. However, that's possibly maybe because I don't play as often as others and maybe because I'm not afraid to play tier 2 or 3 decks. I'm planning to play Merfolk soon and I want to try or delver one day. I play for my own reasons and in my own way. Fishy!!!!
If they were going to restrict a card, I'd like to start with Gitaxian Probe and/or Misstep. That's just my two cents.
*edited note: forgive any grammatical errors. I typed this fully on my phone.
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