Best posts made by walking.dude
posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Please don't respond to this thread!

This is meant to serve as a useful reference rather than a discussion, more like a thesaurus than a blackboard.

Basicly I'm going to post each day a link to the results of the vintage league for that day. I'll give a quick summary of what the 5 selected decks were (note that this is not reliably a metagame snapshot based on how the selection process works). If one of the decks is really weird or interesting I may post the list.

posted in Vintage Community read more


I'm responding to the original post directly because I think point two raises a very important idea that is lost in the subsequent comments.

Strategies that go "over the top" rely on one mana spells to bridge the gap. Land acceleration decks need fast bond or crop rotation. Creature + null rod decks need birds and elves instead of moxen. Urzas tron decks (or probably cloud post) need expedition map.

In another post I mentioned how combo decks need one mana discard spells to set up for going for the next turn.

Misstep really chokes off a lot of angles for innovation. And is, in my opinion, the number one candidate for restriction. Not that I'd mind mentor.

posted in Vintage Community read more


I think you are not fully giving credit to the size of the type one community compared to other formats.

There have probably been more hours put into testing standard in the past 24 hours than have gone into vintage in the past 5 months. The vintage community is really small, maybe 10,000 players tops, probably much fewer and it tends to be older players with jobs and other commitments. Standard or modern are played by millions of people and many of them are kids or college students who can easily test 4 plus hours a day. Some of them are literally professional gamers who can test 12 hours a day leading up to big events.

To compound the huge gap in hours spent, vintage is also a much harder problem; so many more cards, so many more possible decks. The fact that we as a community haven't found a deck building solution to the current meta is only very weak evidence that it doesn't exist.

Note that I don't think that means people should do nothing and wait for a new deck to be found. At some point looking at a puzzle you have to acknowledge that if you haven't solved it yet you're probably not going to. But I also wouldn't be totally shocked if someone built something that beat current builds of mentor and shops forcing those decks to change somewhat.

posted in Decks read more


A long time ago I saw a player who was unfamiliar with this interaction die by casting Will against a player with active helm. I don't think it was helm combo, just a fun of winconn in a control deck.

The keeper player was way ahead and had resolved recall and other big effects but had gotten one morphing countered early and had pitched the other to force of will. So he tutored for yawg will to set up a big turn that would have featured lotus, ancestral, timewalk and morphling out of the yard. Then when he cast will his opponent activated helm and the game was over. It was the first time I ever saw that interaction, pretty hilarious.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Just to give everyone a quick update, this thread is not abandoned, but I'm on vacation and traveling with limited access to internet. (Cell phone companies really get you on overseas data so I'm trying to keep it available for emergencies and limiting internet to when I'm somewhere with free wifi. )

The thread is not abandoned, but it's going to get updated in burst as my vacation allows. Rest assured everything will eventually make it here.

Oct 7th

Standstill w search for azcanta
Pitch dredge

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Alright I'm at lunch typing this up from memory since I'm not at a computer, I'll probably follow up with exact numbers later.

This time instead of a simple goal seek I used as evolutionary approach.

I calculated win percentages by aggregating the matches from the last 3 vintage challenges and then recalculated win percentages as if all 3 were a single large event. I excluded decks that didn't get 6 instances across three events, so that meant no delver eldrazi or non outcome combo. I left big blue and blue control as separate decks rather than combining them into a drain pillar (may do that tonight).

I started with each deck shops, dredge, outcome, oath, mentor, big blue, blue control, and other having equal share of the meta. Then based on the win percentages and meta share I calculated each deck's win percentage against the field. For each deck with a below 50% win percentage, I assumed 10% of the people playing that deck would move to a deck that had a >50% chance against the field with the shares being proportional to how much the new deck was beating the field.

I then repeated this 2000 times to see if a stable meta emerged with a balance of decks that all won about 50% against the final field.

That's didn't happen, instead the meta settled into an oscillating patter that repeated every 150 iterations or so.

In this repeating pattern oath and outcome are unplayed. They get forced out of the meta pretty quickly (less than 50 iterations) and never come back.

The two main pillars are shops and big blue. Shops goes from about 20% to about 57% and back. Big blue goes from around 25% to around 60% and back. These two decks together are never less than 70% of the meta and sometimes make up as much as 80%.

The mix of the remaining 20%-25% drives where the main two decks are in the cycle and which of them are waxing or waning.

Of these, other goes from 0% to 5%, blue control goes from around 5% to 15%, and mentor also is in the 5% to 15% range.

Obviously all this analysis depends on the win percentages being accurate, and we don't actually have the sample size to derive accurate percentage information. So don't take this too seriously. But it gives an interesting picture of how things play out if what we are seeing is actually accurate.

Also more people need to be playing mana drain.

posted in Vintage News read more

thats pretty big. I suppose this makes Bloodmoon depths at least theoretically viable.

Some kind of mono red disruption deck with blood moon and magus of the moon. Then you play depths and if they can deal with the moon effect all of a sudden you have a 20/20.

Probably not actualy good. But interesting.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more


They cards you suggested are all able to get missteped. That would mean if they have misstep you can't find bazaar. The serum powders always can be used and can't be interacted with or disrupted.

posted in Vintage Community read more


Here's a first draft of an unpowered lands deck with fastbond that's built in the style of a mana lock deck. Use null rod and strip / waste recursion to lock people out. Then kill them once locked.

Engine (16)
4 fast bond
4 exploration
3 rampup excavator
4 crucible of world's
1 horn of greed (don't want to draw this until allready have green enchantment resolved)

Lock (6)
4 null rod
2 sphere of resistance

Misc (5)
4 misstep
1 probe

Land Destruction (6)
4 waste
1 strip
1 ghost quarters

Tutors and targets (10)
4 crop rotation
1 workshop
1 tabernacle
2 glacial chasm (a lot of decks as currently configured only have one strip, so chasm plus a crucible effect locks them out, also combo with fastbond and horizon canopy to draw whole deck)
1 depths
1 stage

Other lands (17)
4 horizon canopy
4 fetch lands
6 forests
3 ancient tombs

This is off the cuff, so there is room for improvement.

The other direction I think fastbond would be strong in is draw 7 style combo. That's a bit harder to rebuild without a lot of goldfish testing. That's the more scary angle to me.

posted in Vintage Community read more


So I'd need to run the number to be sure, but the field of economics actualy has an objective metric to measure the concentration of various industries called the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index which I imagine could be applied to meta game concentration profitability. You could condense the two meta games tot hat index and compare to see which is actualy more diverse.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more


It was originally to support siding into a bomberman kill to dodge some hate, most notably priest and cage.

After testing, that SB plan turned out to be clunky and not very effective since it still gets caught by void, crypt and many other kinds of hate. As of now, I am using the depths SB plan that pitch dredge uses but with the bauble and street wraiths in the main instead of counters to speed up the goldfish and make finding depths a bit more reliable post board.

I'm not sure this is better than either of the "mainstream" dredge builds, but I'm not yet convinced it's definitely worse either.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

For amusement, I calculated the Nash equilibrium metagame assuming all these win percentages are exactly correct. Obviously due to sample size that's not the case, but maybe it's interesting. I did this with excel solver instead of doing the linear algebra by hand, so there will be some noise in here compared to the true exact values.

All values are percentages
At equilibrium, shops is 4.8 with 59% win rate
Eldrazi is 7.8 with 50
Dredge is 9.7 with 50
Combo is 11.7 with 50
Oath is 3.5 with 31
Outcome is unplayed
Mentor is 18.9 with 50
Delver is 14.0 with 48
Big blue is 24.8 with 51
Blue control is 4.6 with 52.5
And other is 0.2 with 44

So based on the data we have people should be playing a lot more slow blue control.

Shops is the only deck that has a much better than 50% win rate at equilibrium. Not entirely sure how that persists.

posted in Vintage News read more

Glad I finally took the plunge and bought in two months ago.

I am very excited about this. I'm am one of the probably many players that can't play in most dailys but would be up for a round or two after getting home from work.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Overall this is a pretty great announcement.

I feel like the DCI really engaged with the topic, put thought into its choices and clearly explained them.

Although I had advocated sphere over thorn, their logic that the problematic play pattern is lock piece plus quick threat and thorn is more enabling of this pattern is defendable.

From a personal perspective, I was very much hoping for misstep. As someone who spends a lot of time in casual brewer / deckbuilder mode, misstep kills more ideas and drafts than any other card. I thought that opening up discard and one drop acceleration like birds / drs and fastbond / exploration would have been two new deck building angles that would have been fun to explore.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Yeah Facebook is a terrible institution. It fosters all sorts of bad habits and algorithmically manipulates people to both spend more time on Facebook and to engage in behaviors that get others to engage with facebook (rants, drama etc).

Correlational studies have found a wide variety of negative links on every thing from life satisfaction, to income.

It's basically just awful.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Yeah. I used face book back when it was newish in the early 2000. But as time past it became more and more terrible. So then I stopped.

I think smoking is a better example than the internet. In the 1920s everyone did it. Then as time passed evidence accumulated that it was aweful for you. So then anyone with access to good health information quit.

The people quitting Facebook don't resemble old people they resemble health nuts who are cutting out unhealthy stuff before everyone else.

Although now that I've made the analogy, I don't really like comparing myself to health nuts cause they are kind of annoying. 😞

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Oct 21

Paradox mentor w tendrils, vault key tinker bot
Pitch dredge
Pyro delver w/o null rull and some techy cards like misdiretion
Merfolk with 1 MD crucible
Jeskai control w 4 walkers 1 mentor 1 pyro and 3 snaps

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

THanks. I'll try to catch up. May take a bit though. I appreciate the kind words

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

What creature mix do people like in dredge right now?

The list I'm using has a mix like this

List A

dredge creatures, narcomeba, ichorids, some reanimate targets. This one also has a few chancellors for early disruption which I don't run (I have E Norn, a haste granter, and a misers vengeful pharaoh), but it's pretty normalish for a pitch dredge list.

List B

This one adds 4 bloodghasts and cuts all but one reanimation target. It also adds a lot of lands. I haven't tested it, but I'm very skeptical to start. Bloodghast needs you to hit land drops to be good, and ideally it wants a fetch land base so you can bring stuff back and then bring stuff back again eot by cracking the fetch. In modern dredge (which I play) this is a key play. This list doesn't have fetch lands. Also, after your opening hand I would expect to be dredgeing and not drawing any more lands. So I'm surprised this list works. Has anyone played dredge in vintage with ghast?

List C

This last list is very different. It looks more like powered up modern dredge rather than traditional vintage dredge. It doesn't run ichorid or bridge and runs bloodghasts and prized amalgam. It has a big spell count and 4 loams so it can play the modern game of loam every turn make a land drop every turn and bring back each ghast and each amalgam every turn. That's a lot of grind power.

It also has a few quick win reanimate targets.

The deck seems interesting, although based on its record, it might not actually be good.

List D

I didn't actually find any examples of lists with ichorid and amalgam. It seems like a decent idea, ichorid comes back each turn which brings back amalgam. That gives you a lot of sacrifice fodder for therapy or dread returns (if you raised the count) and also gives a lot of slow grind power. Still the fact I couldn't find any example may mean it's bad.

So what do you guys like for creatures now? And have you tested anything and found it to be not good enough?