Thank you both for recording this! I've been trying to find the reason why I am so unenthusiastic about the format lately. I thought it may have been about other reasons, such as my lack of budget to switch archetypes or my daily dose of Vintage being tainted by the vitrol of anonymous users on TMD and Facebook. The fact of the matter is, I don't want to play Mentor or against Mentor. Unfortunately it's the TOs, and not WotC, that count the dollar votes of an angry userbase due to the low percentage of new cards finding a spot in the metagame. While the post-restriction metagame was inspirational, it was solved rather quickly, and decks that I might have been able to play were easily showcased as simply not good enough. I hope the mismanagement of Vintage is just that, and not a WotC tactic to kill support and visibility of a format that most players are priced out of.
@Smmenen perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "Vintage Community" - it seems like the term has some built-in baggage. Honestly I'm not too concerned with the semantics of it. Whatever you want to call them, there are different groups of humans with an interest in what happens in Vintage/on TMD, and they don't all meet the three criteria you stated. Whether they're "part of the Vintage community" or not, they have opinions, and my concern is about how to weigh them.
In the BDominia era, there were few non-playing "Vintage Fans" (because there wasn't much to follow). Also most people who played vintage had SOME contact with the BDominia/Early TMD community, because you just couldn't find out about Vintage tournaments any other way. Those things have become less true over time, but in the past few years (because of MTGO), they have become a LOT less true.
Recently, MTGO vintage has become a bit of a spectator sport. The VSL Patreon has 186 paying supporters - larger than the attendance of most "very large" vintage tournaments. Eternal Weekend has viewer number in the thousands each year. I wouldn't be surprised if more people have watched Eternal Weekend coverage than have ever played vintage in the entire history of the game. Every Friday on twitch I get over 100 viewers – many of whom have never played vintage or posted on TMD – asking me questions about the format, often with some context they picked up from Twitter or Reddit.
And of course, there's another large group of players who would love to play vintage, but simply can't for logistical reasons. The price of entry is so much steeper than it was when I started, and most of the world doesn't have a local vintage community that a lone, interested player can join. There are a lot of people out there who want to play vintage, who love vintage content, and enjoy talking about vintage. These players might have very strong opinions about the format despite having never played it.
When I said I was struggling to answer the question "what is the Vintage Community?", what I really meant was "how do I prioritize the values of these different groups?"
WotC, as a business, has a clear goal and responsibility to be profitable. If there are policy decisions to be made that favor one group over another, they have to consider the relative size of those groups, and how valuable those people are as customers. I don't have the data that WotC does, but I suspect the average vintage player is a worse customer than the average VSL Patreon supporter, or even the average EW viewer (yes there is likely overlap between these groups). It should almost go without saying that the average MTGO-exclusive Vintage Player is a better customer than the average paper-exclusive Vintage Player. Most vintage-exclusive-paper-exclusive players I know haven't given money to WotC in years. Of course Wizards wants every format to be healthy and every customer to be happy, but when it comes to making decisions that affect vintage, I'm not sure interest/play/communication are on the top of their list.
When it comes to TMD, I'm not profit-obligated, and I have a smaller set of stakeholders to worry about. I'm very glad I'm not responsible for B&R decisions, but I still make decisions that help one group at the expense of another. I pretty frequently need to make a policy or moderation decision, or decide how to spend limited time or resources building things for the site, or generating content for the vintage-interested community outside of TMD.
My instinct says that everyone should count, and everyone should have a voice, but things can get bad for everyone when you serve too many masters. Should TMD have a subforum dedicated to Old School? How about art collection? Should B&R discussion be banned entirely? Should users be banned for posting low-quality decks? Should users be banned for telling other players that their ideas are low quality? Should there be gated subforums requiring written tests to enter? A lot of people use TMD for a lot of very different reasons, and far more people are interested in vintage, but don't use TMD because it doesn't provide some key resource/dynamic/interaction that they need. A lot of those key dynamics directly conflict with each other.
TMD is not a business in the way that WotC is, and I don't want it to be. That doesn't mean that some users aren't more "valuable" to me than others. There is the Patreon of course, but there are also users that create more or less content, and users that give more more or less headaches. So far I haven't really let that drive my decision making, but it's impossible not to consider it. I don't expect to get a clear answer because this isn't really a correct/incorrect sort of problem. This is more of a "this is where my head is" sort of thing than a "looking for a definitive answer" thing
@Smmenen the reason why you cannot find any historical lists with basalt monolith and power artifact is because basalt monolith recieved power level erratta that said mana from basalt monolith could not be used to untap basalt monolith.
It was designed to stop combo decks that were using goblin rocket launcher if I am remembering my 23 year old combo decks correctly. They were blue black decks being used right before legends was released.
@Smmenen I concur. I took your 4-0 mentor deck and tweaked it due to the cards I had (-2 flip jaces, +1 big jace, +1 Snapcaster) and had my first 4-0. The paradoxical outcome decks were so easy to beat when you can now main deck artifact hate.
Nice podcast as usual. I think you guys missed the synergy between scrap trawler and ballista having CMC 0 when discussing if scrap trawler will see play. I don't think scrap trawler will see a ton of play, but Nick DiJohn already played one in a deck a week or so ago. Also although I unfortunately think ballista puts grixis pyromancer in a very difficult position, fatal push not costing life for that deck is key when you want to flash back your removal.
Do you plan to have a non set review/preview card podcast in the near future? It feels like it has been a while.
Thank you, everyone. This deck is a great entry point for Dredge players into Old School, as it is probably the closest analogue, especially the Deep Spawn "dredge engine." So I can see why @Lesbimagical enjoyed this :)
Mind Bomb is a legitimate consideration, but suffers the same problem as Breakthrough in Vintage Dredge. You need a steady and iterative engine to go big with Ashen Ghouls. In many matchups, all you are trying to do is get 3-4 Ashen Ghouls into play, uncounterable.
Demonic Consultation is a really good card, but it was unrestricted until 2000. If you restrict Consult, it would certainly make this deck less consistent, but I still think it could be viable. I think the jury is out on whether Consult would need to be restricted in 95 Old School.
Technincally I missed the after-ending wrap up thing. I saw the epic battle and time loop. I missed the resolution and my wife said there was a scene that was a sequel teaser. I want to buy the film and watch it again soon.
I also don't think minislaver will be a thing, but there are a lot of little disruptive applications Hope has that no other card can duplicate. You can attack, sac this and play a threat like Mentor knowing your opponent won't be able to try and deal with it before you untap. That's just huge. You can over-extend with Mentor knowing for sure your opponent won't Supreme Verdict you. You may even tap out for that and don't care.
This is way different than Silence. Silence can help you combo, or pseudo-Time Walk, but this can make you play stuff after the effect knowing for sure they won't be dealt with before you untap. No need to leave Flusterstorm or Drain mana up,
You can also sac this and just pass the turn, knowing you'll win all counter wars and that you'll resolve that Dig uncontested eot.
I think it has a lot of applications. We normally fail to understand novel effects because it's hard to get the nuances without actually playing the card. Hope is not Silence, not at all. Granted, it suffers in a Misstep/StP/Bolt/Null Rod meta, so maybe it's not that splashy (which is a good thing). But dismissing it's effect by saying it's worse than Silence is like saying Dack was just a worse Faithless Looting and that card disadvantage was bad. Remember? A LOT of people dismissed Dack - we actually had long discussions on CA vs card quality and filtering.
You are welcome! Please let me know what you think of this chapter. I am really happy with it from a narrative and aesthetic perspective. And I'm also glad to get this project rolling again. The challenge is writing something more cohesive than my "Year in Review" articles. I think you'll be happy with the result.
Just listened to this the other day and I agree with @CHA1N5 on him not being sure if Emrakul is actually correct in landstill. I find it to be insanely slow, boarded out in more matchups than I'd like, and honestly ONLY good in a late game grind vs blue. But at that point there are other better options that came down a bunch of turns earlier that already started winning me the game. I'll go on the record and say I only think he's OK in landstill. Feels wrong more often than not 🤘