Posts made by Smmenen
posted in Vintage Community read more

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

More generally, I don't think it's productive to try to question a person's intent (as you are doing here with me), as intent is difficult to discern let alone establish (as the body of civil rights law demonstrates). I would, however, look at the words people use and evaluate arguments as presented, and not try to read a hidden or obscure motive.

I'm not questioning your intent; I'm asserting it.

To assert that a person's intent is different from or contrary to one's averred reason is to question it, in the sense of "to doubt or dispute." There is really no need to assert or even question intent at all in this case. It can be clearly derived from the post in question - the statements made, the structure and organization, and the argument developed there. Take another look at my original post (31) in this thread:

http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/3156/b-r-announcement-may-18-2020/31

The main point I was making in the post was this: "I don't have an objection to Lurrus getting banned, but I am shocked and somewhat bothered by the speed at which they appear to be making this decision."

Immediately after that statement, I suggested that a player's preference for a swift intervention is related to grinding games on MTGO, and that I felt the consensus was building too fast.

Then just before juxtaposing Matt's tweets, I wrote: "I mean, check out the date stamps here:". Then, after the image, I wrote: "Within the space of 10 days, you went from saying they should wait a while, to saying they needed to ban it."

Both the prefatory sentence and the following sentence make quite clear that my intending purpose for posting an image of his tweets: to illustrate how fast an MTGO grinder can evolve their opinion of B&R policy.

If there were any doubt about that, the sentence immediately following dispels all doubt:

"I do think that Wizards should wait at least a few months before banning a card in Vintage, or at least until people get a chance to play it a few times in paper. And I don't care how much MTGO data has been accumulated in the interim, a thousand matches or a million. One month isn't nearly enough time to ban a card in a 30 year old format."

In short, my entire point, from start to finish, is that I don't think a month is enough time to ban a card in Vintage. I was showing how I believed MTGO grinders could come to a different conclusion, and trying to suggest that the announced-and-expected-Lurrus-Ban appeared to be catering to those preferences, rather than a census of the larger Vintage community.

There is really no mystery at all in the post. Nothing veiled, nothing intimated, and nothing ambiguous in the phrasing or structure.

There was no reason to reference Matt to make the banal self-evident point you were making, which does happen to be accurate. Frequent players adapt and change more rapidly.

Actually, there was. Several reasons in fact. Please go back and re-read the post in context.

First, I was writing directly to Matt. I wasn't just quoting Matt, and writing to a more general - let alone "casual" audience. Note the phrasing: "Within the space of 10 days, you went from saying they should wait a while, to saying they needed to ban it." (emphasis added)

Matt was the primarily audience for most post. I realize message boards aren't private messaging systems. But I was speaking directly to Matt, albeit in a public forum. Casual observers were a secondary audience.

Therefore, the first and most obvious reason for quoting Matt's tweets back to him was because I was speaking directly to him, showing him how fast the evolution of his opinion may appear to people who aren't similarly situated.

In addition to the fact that I was directly speaking to Matt, and using his own public statements to illustrate my concerns, I think that some players who aren't on twitter or aren't playing so frequently (which, I think more TMD readers fit that profile than twitter or Discord users) may not have appreciated the degree to which opinion of players like Matt evolved. It seems "banal" and obvious to you, because you are networked in that way. But I suspect that many 'casual' observers in my secondary audience for the post may not have known that.

The fact that you said there was "no reason" to reference Matt's tweets really goes to show that you weren't reading the post in context, or the reason would have been obvious. Or, perhaps, you lost sight of that in the multi-post back -and-forth. But there were several reasons to quote Matt. It wasn't so senseless as to leave the only conclusion that my purpose was to embarrass Matt.

Yes, because he was the only player who met two criteria:

  1. He is known for playing frequently on MTGO (and thus comprising part of that group)

Yes, and you lobbed a veiled insult there that MTGO players have some sort of luxury of time & circumstance which is a polite way of implying that they don't have a life.

Not at all actually. There are different kinds of lives, all of which I value. Some people are single, in their 20s, as you put it, and have great and wonderful lives. But some people also have families, children, and other responsibilities. I don't think it's particularly controversial to say that Vintage players with children probably have less bandwidth to grind leagues on MTGO than those without, especially during this pandemic, when children are cloistered up with families. I'm not valuing those lives any more than others. But it is a fact that some players have the time and space to play lots of leagues, and others don't. I'm not valuing the lives of those players any more or less than the others. And if it read that way, I sincerely apologize, because that was not at all my intent.

Rather, my point was that Wizards decision making should not be overly solicitous to the demands of those who are grinding the most on MTGO (nor the opposite). Rather, I was calling for a balanced approach that considers viewpoints of both MTGO and non-MTGO Vintage players, and MTGO players who play more frequently and those that play less. I think some of the MTGO players felt that I was saying that Wizards shouldn't listen to them. That's not the case either. Rather, I am really saying that I think the DCI should take a balanced approach.

Again, what did I "misrepresent," exactly?

You made it appear to a casual observer that Mr. Murray was volatile and contradicting himself. As I said above though, it's water under the bridge.

First of all, the image of Matt's tweets don't - and weren't intended to show - that Matt is volatile. His posts here do that amply enough. The tweets don't demonstrate anything more than a considered change of opinion after a non-trivial number of games under his belt. No real hint of volatility there. If I were presenting them to show how volatile Matt is, I chose poorly.

I do think that they show how quickly his opinion on the matter evolved, which was the point. That's not a "contradiction." After all, remember what I wrote immediately after the image: "Within the space of 10 days, you went from saying they should wait a while, to saying they needed to ban it."I explicitly showed that he was not contradicting himself.

So to say that I misrepresented Matt's position by suggesting that he was contradicting himself just doesn't hold up. It doesn't withstand even the slightest scrutiny. I specifically stated that he changed his views, before and after the image of his tweets.

Apply your legal skills: Is there a single fact (material or otherwise) relating to his posts that I misrepresented? And if so, what is it? I'd very much like to know.

If not - if you can't find any misrepresentation- then do me the courtesy of at least conceding the point. At most, you could talk with Matt and state your conclusion that I didn't actually misrepresent anything.

Oh, yes. Twin Peaks is one of my favorite shows of all time, a brilliant opus on the alienation and horror in the underbelly of suburban America. But I doubt that endorsement will help your cause here 🙂

I suspect you're familiar with the studies showing that the stronger the evidence presented that counters an opposing position, the more likely the "incorrect" party is to further entrench into an untrue belief, rather than seeing the light. He'll probably avoid the show now out of spite, for both of us.

I think your larger challenge will be to pry him away from MTGO 😛

Stay safe,

You as well.

  • Stephen
posted in Vintage Community read more

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I didn't juxtapose those two tweets to suggest that he was contradicting himself, or else I would have hidden the date stamp (which would have been misleading).

Rather, I juxtaposed those two tweets to illustrate how quickly he changed his mind. In that sense, it was "inconsistent," especially since he said we should "wait some time," but that wasn't why I presented them. I wasn't trying to portray him as inconsistent.

Quite the contrary. I presented the juxtaposed tweets to illustrate the speed with which someone could change their opinion on something like this, because of how much they were playing online and data was being generated, serving my larger point about the different segments of the Vintage player base and how they experience Vintage.

Oh my. To your credit, this is a clever retroactive whitewashing of intent, but a PR spin nonetheless.

I'm asking in good faith: what, exactly, was my "original intent" then, if it wasn't to show that the players who were playing MTGO frequently were forming opinions and calling for action more quickly, on average, other players? Because if there was another purpose, I am unaware of it.

If you think it was to show that Matt was contradicting himself, well that clearly doesn't make sense, because there was a 10 day gap between the tweets I presented. And, as I said, people can change their minds over time, as new data is developed (which was my larger point).

Moreover, I actually responded to the second tweet, with this:

"Okay, thanks for clarifying. I was trying to reconcile something you said recently with your post here (https://twitter.com/chubby_rain1/status/1251917535907319811?s=21) just 10 days ago that was far more sanguine about companions."

To which he responded, that he "ran through the countermeasures and decided it wasn't something I was much interested in playing." In other words, he seemed to be distinguishing between his personal opinion/experience and what he thought the DCI should do. So, obviously, the purpose in juxtaposing the tweets wasn't to illustrate a contradiction, but to illustrate the speed with which an opinion can change, at least tonally, if not in terms of the actions-hoped-for.

More generally, I don't think it's productive to try to question a person's intent (as you are doing here with me), as intent is difficult to discern let alone establish (as the body of civil rights law demonstrates). I would, however, look at the words people use and evaluate arguments as presented, and not try to read a hidden or obscure motive.

In any case, I'm unclear, exactly, on what you think my original intent was, if it wasn't what I averred in the quote at the top of your most recent post.

Any point about players changing their minds rapidly could have been made without reference to Matthew, but something compelled you to select him specifically.

Yes, because he was the only player who met two criteria:

  1. He is known for playing frequently on MTGO (and thus comprising part of that group)

  2. He posted clear public tweets that stood on their own that illustrated the speed with which one of MTGO players could evolve their opinions on this topic.

I couldn't find anyone else who fit those criteria, at all, let alone so nicely. There is a notable reticence among some players to speak out publicly about B&R preferences. Matt was one of the few who did, and whose views appeared to evolve most during that short period. After all, the original tweet had not-terrible things to say about Lurrus.

The misrepresentation was audacious considering how directly the truncated statements right beneath it contradicted the point your curation pretended he was making.

Again, what did I "misrepresent," exactly?

The tactic appears intended by desire to embarrass or provoke Mr. Murray and it clearly succeeded in the latter.

Wrong. That was not my intent, and it's frankly insulting to say that I intended to provoke or embarrass Matt, let alone anyone. I assure you that was not the case. My intent was to show to the readers an example of someone who changed their mind during a relatively short period of time, and was among the MTGO grinders who was calling for a relatively fast intervention.

Even in the case of people I find odious, like our current President, I never have an intent to provoke or embarrass. It may occasionally be a byproduct of a point I am developing or argument I am making, but if I had known that Matt would have reacted so angrily, I probably wouldn't have posted the screen shot of his tweets.

In retrospect, however, a better tweet would have been his 4/23 tweet, where he said: "Reached my breaking point with Lurrus + Lotus. It just happens too much to be a reasonable thing. I'm done until Lurrus inevitably gets neutered in the format." That would have illustrated a faster change of opinion, and done so more in a personal preference than explicitly in terms of B&R policy.

That does not excuse Matt's grizzling but it cannot be said to be unexplained, least of all by whatever errant psychological profile you are trying to imply. This is basic human behavior. A provokes B. B barks at A.

I don't even know why Matt was so angry, honestly. It's still not clear to me what he thought I was misrepresenting. It feels more like generalized and accumulating anger being poorly directed at me than anything I actually said.

Matt says that I was 'cherrypicking' his tweet by only presenting the top tweet, and not the same tweets in that thread. So, what was I supposed to to, post an image of every tweet in the thread? That's not reasonable. I didn't cherry pick - I selected the only cherry that was on the branch - that is, the only tweet which specifically and explicitly stated what he felt should occur on that date. His 4/23 posts clearly illustrates that he had a change of opinion.

And, in any event, I don't see why a change of opinion is problematic. People change their minds or form new opinions as data or experience dictates. I did not expect him to angrily lash out.

We all have our pet peeves. For some, it's hypocrisy. Mine is blithe arrogant malice (ie an emotional/physical abuser, Wall St. fraudster, etc.). You don't register in that category at all for me, so I'm rarely disturbed by any of our dialogue, regardless of how adversarial/debating it may seem to a detached observer. Matt values science and his pet peeve is knowledgeable people misleading others or crafting erudite but specious arguments, especially when they are too clever by half. This is as true in his politics as it is in his Magic interactions. The implicit compliment is that he wouldn't be bothered if he didn't believe you were capable of (what he considers) better.

A scientist is, in the ideal, supposed to be objective, neutral, dispassionate, etc. When it comes to B&R policy, these are not words I would associate with Matt.

I have observed a pattern where Matt, more than other players, is quick to call for restrictions and/or bannings. That tendency does not strike me the pattern of a scientist, but rather an advocate. His 4/23 post is on point: it's not a data-based opinion, but rather a personal dislike for a particular interaction.

I have no quarrel with any of that. In fact, people should present their views and exchange opinions. What I get tripped up on is that Matt has a tendency to be extremely emotional, reacting in a volatile way to the changing environment, expressing personal distaste, etc. but then claims that he's just a "data scientist," when he regularly conflates those roles.

The problem is that too often he uses his data scientist hat to advocate for his personal preferences, not as a scientist would, but as an advocate does. I don't think Matt does a good job of keeping his personal preferences distinct from his data analysis, but uses the latter to serve the former.
If he could keep those lanes clearer and more distinct, in this conversation and elsewhere, I think it would be to the overall good.

I responded directly since your explanation was addressed to me though as I said above, the recent turmoil is water under the bridge. My main problem with Matt is his reluctance to start watching Twin Peaks. Ryan and I have both vouched for it and yet, despite broadly respecting our acumen and recommendations, he has yet to follow through. Perhaps you could lend some weight to this. IIRC, you've seen and enjoyed the series.

Oh, yes. Twin Peaks is one of my favorite shows of all time, a brilliant opus on the alienation and horror in the underbelly of suburban America. But I doubt that endorsement will help your cause here 🙂

Best,

Stephen

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@chubbyrain1 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen Because, again, you blatantly misrepresented my post. Your argument was constructed on a lie. You could have made that argument without involving me but you did, so I feel obligated to push back and call out your deceit.

What lie? What did I misrepresent, exactly?

What do you think my argument was?

The only point I was trying to make was that players who were playing on MTGO most frequently were more likely than other players to prefer faster DCI intervention. That was my argument, and your posts nicely illustrated that.

You over-reacted. I don't think there is really any reasonable way anyone could read your posts and think otherwise, with the angry and venomous name-calling, etc.

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@chubbyrain1 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen What exactly did you think I meant by "give them some more time?" How long did you think I meant,

Short answer: More than 10 days, before determining that something would need to be done.

Long answer:

The first tweet I posted was 4/19, which was a Sunday. The second tweet was 4/29, a Weds. Only two Challenges over a single weekend had elapsed between those dates, this one, and this one.

I don't think anything you said in the original tweet was proven untrue in that short period.

especially based on my previous history which you are aware of as you are "psychoanalyzing"?

To be clear, I meant to say "not" psychoanalyzing, which was a mistake on my part, but I hope some folks may have inferred my intended meeting based upon the structure of the sentence (followed by a "but...").

Now a question for you:
Why did you get so emotionally vested in wanting to see cards restricted and/or banned? Why do you get so upset and unhappy with certain Vintage environments? Why do you feel it so deeply?

It's not that others don't care as much as you. But it doesn't seem so transparently emotional in other cases.

I didn't attack you. You made assumptions about my post, what I was trying to do, that were incorrect, and very angrily lashed out. Why?

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@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I appreciate the affirmation about my concerns, but on the point about Matt's tweets, I don't believe I misrepresented anything.

You're welcome. You portrayed him as inconsistent and contradictory by omitting sections where he specifically made allowances for the facts that he both reserved the right to evolve and predicted it would happen. It is water under the bridge though.

I didn't make any such portrayal, nor indicate that was my purpose.

In one of the tweets, he clearly stated that he felt they should be "given some time," no matter how many caveats he may have offered to that. And 10 days later, in another tweet, he said that he would like to see Lurrus banned.

I didn't juxtapose those two tweets to suggest that he was contradicting himself, or else I would have hidden the date stamp (which would have been misleading).

Rather, I juxtaposed those two tweets to illustrate how quickly he changed his mind. In that sense, it was "inconsistent," especially since he said we should "wait some time," but that wasn't why I presented them. I wasn't trying to portray him as inconsistent.

Quite the contrary. I presented the juxtaposed tweets to illustrate the speed with which someone could change their opinion on something like this, because of how much they were playing online and data was being generated, serving my larger point about the different segments of the Vintage player base and how they experience Vintage.

In fact, if I were being snarky, I would have posted the juxtaposed tweets with the phrase "Vintage comes at you fast. Nationwide is on your side."

I don't really see the big deal. People are allowed to change their mind when getting more or new data. So the fact that he was so defensive and angry and vitriolic about it was quite puzzling, and makes me wonder what was going on there.

It also suggests that people are hyper-sensitive about B&R discussions.

I said on one of the SMIP episodes that there is a huge continuum of players in Vintage in terms of their opinions about what should be done in Vintage, with you (Brian Kelly) at one end and Nat Moes at the other. And pretty much everyone falls somewhere in between.

In truth, such a continuum only illustrates one dimension of B&R policy: how many cards should be restricted and/or banned, with Nat wanting to unrestrict20 and with you wanting to ban and/or restrict more than probably anyone else I've read express a well-formed opinion on the matter.

But there is another dimension which that continuum does not map, or at least, does not map well: how insistently or strongly felt our opinions are, and how unhappy the current B&R list makes us, and how quickly we would like to see change.

While you, Brian, have consistently (going back more than a decade) expressed a desire to restrict and/or ban a greater quantity of cards than anyone else, you've always matched or counter-balanced that preference with a willingness to let things play out or settle more than others, such as Matt.

In other words, while you might be at the extreme end of the spectrum in terms of quantity of cards you'd like to see restricted and/or banned, you've always demonstrated a considerable degree of patience in seeing DCI policy reach your preferred policy goals.

Matt, on the other hand, has always been one of the first or earliest voices to suggest restriction and/or outright call for one. My purpose for saying this is not to psychoanalyze him (or you, or Nat), but I do think that psychological profile stands in for a subset of Vintage players, primarily MTGO grinders, who become more quickly disenchanted with the current state of affairs.

Which serves my larger point, and original point, that players who are playing a larger than normal amount of games on MTGO may have a greater than usual tendency to experience, and also express, dissatisfaction with dynamics in the format.

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@maximumcdawg said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I don't think the statement is too short, but I think a lot of Vintage players will be annoyed it didn't reference two things:

1. The Gravitas of the Moment.

It took Vintage about, what, 26 years to finally have to ban a card for power level reasons? It took awhile. Congratulations, WotC. you did it! Anyway, the fact that this is so unprecedented probably means players would have expected something in the banned and restricted announcement acknowledging this. It's kind of like if Grandma dies and you just a get a quick text messages saying "Oh also Nana died."

  1. When Will Cards Get Banned in the Future?

What exactly was the philosophy behind the Lurrus ban, and when will the rule be applied again? I feel like I know why Lurrus was banned because I observed the format with it, but I don't know exactly what the criteria will be for bannings in the future.

It truly is a historic day. But it really doesn't feel like it, does it?

Why is that?

I have to say that I was prepared to pounce on any flaw in the announcement, but I found it to be well-written and well-reasoned. I like the explanation provided, but I dislike that the historic nature of the banning wasn't mentioned.

It doesn't feel like this is an "open the floodgates" moment, for the simple reason that restriction was an ineffective tool to deal with this particular problem.

I went back and looked at the last banning, and it's interesting to note that Mind Twist was restricted for nearly two years before it was finally banned. And when they unbanned it, they simply said that Channel and Mind Twist would no longer be unbalancing.

All of that is readable here: https://www.eternalcentral.com/history-of-vintage-schools-of-magic-an-alternative-history-of-the-banned-and-restricted-list/ And the links to the official announcements are embedded herein.

A few other responses:

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

This is a good observation. In my two weeks playing the Lurrus format, what stood out to me most was how much it illuminated how degenerate Paradoxical Outcome and to a lesser extent Underworld Breach are.

I don't mind the grindy Lurrus decks so much. Often the most explosive (and seemingly problematic) plays are not the best ones, as rushing him out prematurely where this environment is so prepared to remove or neutralize him is a recipe for disaster. Testing is showing me that patience is rewarded.

Although I've been enjoying Vintage recently, this seems to be a minority view and the intensity of dislike fueling abandonment is severe. Banning Lurrus as a Companion seems to be the most narrowly tailored solution. I'd be happy with action on PO as well. It's never a bad time to clean up the few remaining blights that escaped the more urgently needed restrictions in the past year.

There is alot of nuance here, and I agree with much of it. But that underscores one of the reservations I have about this banning. It feels like the problems in the format right now aren't actually Lurrus caused or even Lurrus significant, but rather Lurrus is an ephiphenomenon, that is a symptom rather than the cause. We'll see what happens now, but if Breach and PO continue to perform at those levels, or near to it, then maybe Lurrus wasn't really a "problem" so much as those two decks were problematic.

It feels very much like the Gush v. Mentor debate. Granted, they were both dealt with in the end, but many people projected Mentor's problems onto Gush, mistakenly in the first instance.

That aside, the core of my reservation on this particular point (and aside from how swiftly this occured) is that Lurrus isn't really "dominant" in the sense that a key engine part of a dominant deck is dominant. Lurrus doesn't drive or really make PO or TX Breach combo the powerhouses they are. It's mostly just an add-on - the cherry on the top or the icing on the cake. So to say that because those decks are dominant, that so too is Lurrus is really, in my view, a mistake.

In short, in the case of Lurrus, prevalence is being conflated with dominance, and they aren't the same thing. Yet people like chubbyrain conflated them in his public comments.

Stephen raises a good point about the difference in relative adaptation velocity between more frequent players and players who enjoy Vintage as an occasional pastime. It was not necessary to truncate one of Matt's threads to misrepresent him as inconsistent, but the point remains valid.

I appreciate the affirmation about my concerns, but on the point about Matt's tweets, I don't believe I misrepresented anything. Matt says I misrepresented one of his tweets by not linking directly to the tweets, or by omitting the other parts of the tweets in that thread, but it's not really a misrepresentation of any material fact (or even immaterial one). All I was trying to do was show how quickly someone who plays alot of MTGO could change their mind about this, and nothing in either thread appears to contradict that. Matt may try to elide this, but he really did have a change of opinion within those 10 days (specifically, about what should be done and on what time frame). I don't see the problem with that, or why he got so upset when I juxtaposed those tweets. It's perfectly fine and normal for one to revise one's views as evidence accumulates. I can't explain why he lashed out for doing that, and became so angry, except that I've observed in conversations like this he gets very heated/emotional.

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@vaughnbros said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen

I don't think its comparable to the Dredge, or Storm mechanic simply because you have to design a deck specifically to play with that specific mechanic. You can't simply put a Dredge card, or a Storm card in any random deck and expect it to perform.

Flusterstorm and Darkblast would like to have a word with you.

I used Dredge, Storm and Delve as examples because they are the three most powerful mechanics in the last X number of years, and each have led to restrictions.

I don't think Companion is a fatally flawed concept.

What we need are more Tasigurs and less Treasure Cruises. Zirda is a probably closer in this analogy to Tasigur.

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@maximumcdawg said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@pilsburydohboy42 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I say this because companions and their +1 to starting hand size essentially invalidate any non-companion strategy. Card advantage is the name of the game and always has been. If they had to shuffle a card back to insert the companion into their hand I wouldn't care at all, and would then be excited for such design space.

I know that @Smmenen would agree with your sentiments on card advantage, but that's not really always 100% true. Would you play a card that let you start with a hand of 10 cards but you were unable to play any card with a casting cost less than seven? I think everyone in this thread all agrees that the Companion mechanic in theory is fine, it's just that the deck-building restrictions need to be very severe to counterbalance the cards.

I don't think that's true.

EITHER the deck building restrictions have to be severe OR the Companion needs to be less powerful.

Compare Temporal Fissure to Mind's Desire, or Hunting Pack and Tendrils of Agony. Not every storm card is broken. You can make them less powerful.

Companion is like Dredge, Storm, or Delve. It's a risky mechanic, and the key is making cards that less powerful. It's a tricky balance, but it is feasible.

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@vaughnbros said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@protoaddict

Yes, I think companions would be great for the game’s variance problem.

Lutri appears to be playable without being imbalanced

I don't think Companions are a fatally flawed concept any more than storm. It's the expressions that are potentially problematic.

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@protoaddict said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

snip

Do you think a banning of PO and Underworld Breach would be:

A) justified based on pre-Ikoria numbers those decks put up
B) would adequately open the field to allows us to properly see if Lurrus is truly that good.

I am of 2 minds about PO since I don't think I can point to a direct parallel, but Breach has had enough time at this point to show that it is basically a better Yawgs will which has precedent to be on the restricted list.

Personally I would also like to see Mox Opal on the list as well, but that may just be a want for consistency more so than power level.

Assuming you mean restriction, possibly yes to both, but I need to study the numbers more carefully before confirming.

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@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen

Ok. Then ignore that sentence and refute my meme instead of making this a matter of semantics.

a) I don't know what meme you are referring to.

b) I'm not trying to refute any claim you made. I am clarifying my point that banning a card in Vintage after just a month is not enough time.

There are so many upsides to what Lurrus provides Vintage.

  1. It has broadened the card pool considerably. Cards like Dead Weight and Seal of Fire now actually see play.

  2. As Matt said in his original tweet shown above, Lurrus doesn't just come down and win immediately, it's a grindy card that takes a few turns of recursive advantage to dominate.

  3. I really wanted to see the PO v. TX Breach battle play out. Now that's cut short by a lame duck format.

  4. It's driven Dredge to the margins.

I have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Lurrus metagame. I recognize that others haven't, and the numbers certainly warrant a discussion on possible banning, but I think this is premature to pull the trigger.

First, the problem has not been fully analyzed to my satisfaction for such a momentous decision. As I said before, "Lurrus" isn't a strategy like PO or Oath. The two best Lurrus decks are incredibly different strategies. And they exist just fine without Lurrus existing at all, as they preexisted Lurrus, and will presumably exist as upper tier decks without Lurrus.

Unless we can disentangle exactly how much of a boost Lurrus provides to specific decks, then we can't know whether banning Lurrus is actually the right thing to do to address these deck's individual performance. Instead, perhaps restricting something else is better to address the problem of the dominance and win rates.

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@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@Smmenen: That’s not my point.

Also @Smmenen: That's actually my biggest concern here. For paper magic players, this is close to a pre-emptive ban. The card isn't even legal in paper yet in North America, Europe, etc.

Pick one.

You misread the post. The statement "That's actually my biggest concern here." was referring to the quoted statement that concluded with the sentence "This ignores how quickly cards and decks get iterated in between challenges during the leagues."

It wasn't referring to the sentence that followed it. The word "that" signals the text that immediate precedes it. Had I used the word "this," instead, it would have signaled what comes next.

So "my biggest concern here" was referring to the fact that a decision is being made based upon how 'quickly' the metagame evolves on MTGO as a basis for banning a card.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen

It’s not a preemptive ban for either of them. Montolio plays MTGO (and got Top 8 this past weekend) and Brass Man was commentating an event with Ikoria legal.

That's not my point.

I'm arguing that banning a card in a 30 year format that has only ever banned a card for power level reasons 3 times before, and the last time in 1996, should take more than a month of experience, IMO, before such a momentous decision.

I was using the concept of a pre-emptive ban, or something akin to it, to underscore that point.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen

Then which paper players are you referring to? Just because players didn’t get to use real cards doesn’t not make it real paper play. That probably delegitimizes 99% of paper vintage due to its reliance on proxies, which makes your mysterious paper players have no voice in the matter.

I have been told by at least a half a dozen long time players that they feel that banning Lurrus right now is too soon, including Montolio (one person I'll name because he posted that in a public chat during the Team Serious invitational). But Brassman also said on the Team Serious Invitational broadcast he thought it was too soon (another public comment, so I can cite it here).

posted in Vintage Community read more

@chubbyrain1 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen You used my tweet out of context as I specifically described the issues and concerns I had in the rest of the thread, which were realized as the metagame adapted. You didn't even link to the original tweets. That is incredibly dishonest, and it's not worth engaging with you. Seriously, fuck off Steve. I'm not playing shady lawyer with you.

You are tripping, dude.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@Smmenen

It was a North American event.

Yes, I'm aware of the event you are referring to, and even helped promote it. Just because people have been playing it, doesn't mean it's technically legal yet. Because it's not until Sunday.

In any case, that's not even the main point: which is that banning a card in a 30 year format that has only ever banned a card for power level reasons 3 times before, and the last time in 1996, should take more than a month of experience, IMO, before such a momentous decision.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@mike-noble said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

I remade my account to let @Smmenen know that paper Vintage tournaments have been allowing Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths since its street release in Asia. I commentated one, the Vintage Quarantine Bonanza, where Lurrus Breach had a 100% MWP in non-mirrors. The “won’t someone think of the paper players” talking points make me sad because I’ve always considered Steve to be better connected to the Vintage community .

That's why I specifically said "North America, Europe, etc." I know alot of paper players who have the same reservations I just mentioned about this likely banning, for the reasons I just stated. Maybe they just don't want to be as public about sharing them.

Welcome back to both you and Matthew.

@chubbyrain1 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen You cherrypicked a 9-tweet post on the first one that basically was trying to give players time to adapt to them. It became clear that that adapting meant playing Lurrus and the only outcome was the dominance of one companion. In the span of 10 days, Lurrus rose from 40% to 60% of the metagame and it's win rate stayed at 60%. It swept an entire weekend of top 8's. With that said, the card is still being banned after 1 month of play. It wasn't banned immediately.

You are also acting like this wasn't a unique circumstance brought on by the COVID epidemic. This entire circumstance is incredibly usual and failing to point that out is very disingenuous.

I didn't cherry pick anything. I literally juxtaposed the only tweets in which you explicitly stated something should or should not be done about Lurrus that I could find.

And, again, I'm not saying there isn't data to support a banning. But you are misrepresenting the problem in many ways.

First, "lurrus" isn't a strategy like PO or Oath. The two best Lurrus decks are incredibly different strategies. And they exist just fine without Lurrus existing at all, as they preexisted Lurrus, and will presumably exist as upper tier decks without Lurrus.

So, the data you are deploying on Lurrus's "dominance" and "win rate" is massively misleading. That would be like if I conflated Oath and PO decks as a single archetype just because they shared Force of Will and Black Lotus.

PO and TX Breach appear to be dominant. And they appear to be given a boost by Lurrus, but unless you can disentangle exactly how much of a boost, then we can't know whether banning Lurrus is actually the right thing to do to address these deck's individual performance. Instead, perhaps restricting something else is better to address the problem of the dominance and win rates.

Your main complaint, so far as I could tell on twitter (not what you stated here), was the "monotonous" experience created by Lurrus. That's completely different than a complain that Lurrus' win rate is too great, or that it is strategically dominating. That's a concern that it creates tactical play patterns you find boring. Fine, that's a legitimate complaint, but it's quite different, and you are conflating them to serve your preferred outcome.

I don't have a problem with banning Lurrus, but a month is way too fast, IMO. Even if it were legal in paper before now, Wizards is allowing the MTGO grinder cycle to dictate B&R policy. And for something as momentous and far reaching as a banning, that's too fast too soon.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@chubbyrain1 said in [B&R Annou

Some cards just have interactions that after a few actual reps in the format are clearly problematic, and MTGO can generate considerable data very quickly. We already have 1387 matches from the weekend Challenges over the past 3 weeks and we missed one of the challenges. This ignores how quickly cards and decks get iterated in between challenges during the leagues.

That's actually my biggest concern here. For paper magic players, this is close to a pre-emptive ban. The card isn't even legal in paper yet in North America, Europe, etc.

There have only been three bannings for power level reasons in the history of the format. I don't have an objection to Lurrus getting banned, but I am shocked and somewhat bothered by the speed at which they appear to be making this decision.

If you played in 10+ leagues and 4+ challenges in the last month, I can see how this could get old quickly. But for those of us (the vast majority) who can't participate in the evolution of the Vintage metagame at that clip, I think this is disturbingly too fast.

I mean, check out the date stamps here:

alt text

Within the space of 10 days, you went from saying they should wait a while, to saying they needed to ban it.

I do think that Wizards should wait at least a few months before banning a card in Vintage, or at least until people get a chance to play it a few times in paper. And I don't care how much MTGO data has been accumulated in the interim, a thousand matches or a million. One month isn't nearly enough time to ban a card in a 30 year old format.

Doing that is catering to the needs of online players who have the luxury of time and life circumstance to begin attacking a format literally the day the cards become legal.

I think Vintage should be managed in a more balanced way, rather than one that is superficially neutral, but actually disenfranchises people who don't grind virtually every day, or are primarily paper players.

I would also add that Wizards can't hope to match the Hive Mind when it comes to testing. Play design is 9 members split across Standard, Draft, and Sealed? Who knows what other obligations they have as well. Even if other teams are responsible for testing, they are still having to ban cards in Standard, like Oko, Veil, Field, and Once upon a Time. These are cards that emerged pretty quickly as overpowered, the critical flaw in Oko being that the teams underestimated the power of Oko's +1 ability (Melissa DeTora metioned that on stream). Similarly, the Companion mechanic was a missed attempt to balance the deckbuilding restrictions with the benefit- you can comb Maro's tweets for that. It's hard to balance for three formats, let alone all formats, especially with the current approach to card design.

I completely agree with this. The idea that mistakes wouldn't happen if some sort of Vintage advisory board reviewed card design is silly, at best.

posted in Decks read more

What Brassman said.

But streaming has replaced articles as the Magic-content de jure. Articles were very good as primers, but now people can watch streams and learn how to play a deck.

posted in Vintage News read more

Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian discuss six Vintage scenarios.

https://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-podcast-episode-98-vintage-scenarios/

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Podcast (somanyinsaneplays): Download (Duration: 1:36:57 — 113.9MB)

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0:01:00: Announcements
0:11:20: Scenario 1: Find the Win: Doomsday vs. Dredge
0:30:20: Scenario 2: Sequencing Artifacts: Shops vs. Unknown
0:39:40: Scenario 3: What to Take?: Dredge vs. Stax
0:56:03: Scenario 4: Focus on What Matters: Dredge Mirror
1:05:28: Scenario 5: Speed to Market: Doomsday Mirror
1:24:00: Scenario 6: Doomsday’s Necropotence: Doomsday vs. UWx Control
Total runtime: 1:36:57
Contact us at @ManyInsanePlays on Twitter or e-mail us at SoManyInsanePlaysPodcast@gmail.com.