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Author Topic: Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other  (Read 98051 times)
zeus-online
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« Reply #540 on: March 03, 2010, 05:44:02 pm »

I'd love some dredge match-ups, preferably vs. blue drain control decks - Post SB obviously. Dredge is the deck everyone hates (atleast that is how it seems to me), so more insight on how to beat it seems interesting.
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« Reply #541 on: March 06, 2010, 11:11:29 pm »

tps vs. The new age stax decks would also be great.
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« Reply #542 on: March 07, 2010, 11:18:10 am »

tps vs. The new age stax decks would also be great.

Noble Fish Vs. Oath of Druids
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« Reply #543 on: March 07, 2010, 06:13:55 pm »

Dredge games are hard to write in a way that's appealing.

I would prefer at least one of the combatants be Oath, Fish, or Shops though.  TPS vs Tezz feels like its been done to death.  The decks have hardly changed.  Those other decks are in flux and would make for interesting reading.  Both provide lots of options for you, as a deckbuilder.  Oath and Shops are all currently broken into subtypes that have various supporters.  TPS vs one of those other decks might be interesting, if your primary aim is to write about TPS.
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« Reply #544 on: March 12, 2010, 10:45:28 pm »

i submitted the article yesterday; it was easily my favorite article to write this year.  I hope that the article generates discussion for Vintage. 
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« Reply #545 on: March 13, 2010, 09:18:17 am »

Can't wait to read it, Steve! Smile

Peace,

-Troy
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« Reply #546 on: March 15, 2010, 01:10:24 am »

It's up.

And, wow, great article by Gavin!

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/18980_Flow_of_Ideas_The_Myth_of_Power.html
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« Reply #547 on: March 17, 2010, 10:15:18 pm »

Steve, your dedication and talent has been here before me (not many can say that) in the days of BD and it's long lasted after me. You are truly a hero of the Eternal formats.
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« Reply #548 on: March 19, 2010, 06:16:33 pm »

Someone on the Source said this about Vintage:

Quote
On another note, about Vintage. If price were no issue, Vintage would gain slightly in popularity. If price were no issue, Legacy would explode like an atom bomb. That's because (from what I am told, I don't play Vintage), Vintage is a broken format with an extremely high skill threshold. Like playing Ichorid against ANT until you get good enough to win or quit (most people would quit). Legacy has a low skill threshold because many powerful decks are very easy to play and combo is kept largely in check. I think Wizards is using the price barrier to their advantage to slowly expand Legacy at a rate they are comfortable with, like any good business would. Unfortunately that doesn't suit your populist attitudes, so all I can say is, "sucks bro."

I thought that was an interesting comment, particularly comparing Vintage to playing Dredge v. Ad nauseam Tendrils until you get good enough to win or quit.


I had an interesting conversation with one of the folks at R&D about Lorwyn.   For reasons I couldn't fathom, Lorwyn was a poor performing set.  It seemed to me that it had all of the hallmarks of a successful set:

1) Beautiful, evocative art (one of the best, imo)
2) Tribal themes
3) Great across formats (Vintage got a ton of playables)
4) A well balanced power level -- VERY powerful, but not broken -- we got cards like Thorn and Sower
5) Well designed cards: cards that are simple in design, by have lots of interactions

His response was that Lorwyn did badly because it made people feel stupid.  I'm not sure I understood his point.  But I think what he was saying was that people would either miss an interaction because of the sheer quantity of interactions in the set, or they would make a play that they thought was correct, but ended up being counter-intuitively wrong.   

I thought about my favorite modern sets: Future Sight, Time Spiral and Lorwyn.   Evidently, these sets were all poor sellers.   He explained to me that I like complexity.   That's why I like Vintage and games like Go.   

Then I saw this quote.   Without trying to sound elitist here -- is Vintage too complex for most players?   And do I help promote that perception because that's largely what I like about it?   


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« Reply #549 on: March 19, 2010, 09:18:22 pm »

as someone else who likes complexity, yes and yes. This should not be a bad thing. <sigh>
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« Reply #550 on: March 20, 2010, 06:34:51 am »

I think the complexity you get in Vintage and the complexity in Lorwyn limited (and by extension, Lorwyn casual constructed) were two different beasts. Lorwyn limited, as I recall, tended to produce highly complex board states, with lots of different interacting parts. There was so much going on with all the tribal stuff and the changelings that it was quite easy to miss on-table tricks, and nothing makes you feel like an idiot like missing something that's right there in front of you.

eg.
A: 'Start of my upkeep, Waterspout Weavers reveals Faerie Harbinger, it gains flying because they are both wizards.'

B: 'Ok'

A: 'Draw, attack with the Weavers'

B: 'Block with my Boggart Sprite-Chaser.'

A: 'Whuh?'

B: 'It has flying because Skeletal Changeling is a Faerie'

A: 'Oh yeah. Your guy dies?'

B: 'No, because Mad Auntie gives all goblins +1/+1'.

A: '...crap.'


You don't get that kind of thing in Vintage. The complexity there comes from the fact that you're playing very broken almost-highlander decks, and there are a very large number of possibilities arising from any given play. You can mistakes, sure, but they tend to be easier to hide, like putting the wrong card on top with Brainstorm or whatever.
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« Reply #551 on: March 20, 2010, 08:53:55 am »

I'm not sure if vintage is any more complex then the other formats....It just plays out so different then the others that it SEEMS more complex.

Vintage has more decisions on a turn by turn basis, sure...But you get the same amount (maybe a little less) in smaller formats, just spread out (I'm sounding like a broken record, i know) I think a lot of people have a hard time doing just that, making a huge amount of decisions in just a few turns. Also, they have problems identifying which decision(s) lost them the game, and thus they believe they did it right and just got unlucky against a better draw from the opponent (Which is rarely what REALLY happened). I have honestly gotten so used to vintage decision trees that i'm having a harder time with standard decision trees.

I haven't really liked any sets since ravnica block (Okay, i like worldwake a bit) due to me disliking the art, most of the cards and most of all, the themes.

I have a hard time seeing how anyone could like lorwyn block art, but againt, art is purely subjective. My favorit block, art wise, is urza's block. I also tend to like blocks with high powerlevels, since they offer so much more for the larger formats.
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« Reply #552 on: March 21, 2010, 01:08:00 pm »

Heya Steve,

Then I saw this quote.   Without trying to sound elitist here -- is Vintage too complex for most players?   And do I help promote that perception because that's largely what I like about it?   

Thatís an interesting question.  Right now I find myself re-evaluating everything with Vintage, so bear that in mind as you read this post.  This isnít how I normally talk.

As youíve said many times, Stephen, the real battles in Vintage are played out on the Stack instead of the Battlefield.  Let me give a really striking example from a tournament I played in recently.  I was playing Christmas Beatings my opponent was playing Fish.

-Heís tapped out with two Trops, so I decide to tap out and cast Magus of the Moon. 

-In response, be bounces a Trop to play Daze.

-I pitch an ESG to pay for Daze.

-He pitches a Ponder to play FoW.

-I pitch an SSG to play Pyroblast.

-Magus resolves.

Thatís the interaction Vintage produces.  And that comes from two decks that could be considered ďcreatureĒ decks!  Does that look like anything creature decks in Limited, Standard, or Extended could do?  Hell no.  And in those three environments is where youíll find the majority of Magic players.  Explaining to them that sequence of play I described above would be completely foreign to them.  I played Standard during the Ravnica era.  It was awesome.  But I found that cards like Magus of the Moon and SSG were largely looked over and unused.  Same goes for Ponder, Thorn, Teeg, Shusher, Tez, and so on when they were legal in Standard.  Those cards just donít make sense to non-eternal players.  I think when they look at Vintage which utilizes a bunch of cards that arenít touched by Extended/Standard players but ignores cards that ARE used like Baneslayer, Jace2, Bloodbraid Elf, O-Ring, etc, they donít get it.

Add to that, the fact that in the history of Vintage weíve had decks like Landless Belcher and Manaless Ichorid.  Try explaining to the local FNM crowd that a deck without lands or a deck that doesnít use mana is viable in the format you love to play.  To them, thatís not even going to look like Magic.  To us, though, thatís cool and just an accepted method of deck design.

Also, consider this. In Limited and Standard and for the most part in Extended, oneís turn mainly consists of playing one mana source, drawing one card, and casting one spell.  Thatís it.  In Vintage, how many mana sources can you play in one turn?  How many cards can your draw?  How many spells can you cast?

Vintage takes five or six turns of Standard or Limited and compresses them into one or two turns.  Itís the same game, but it doesnít look like it.  And even when something like this does happen in Standard or Limited- as in the case with cascade decks- they get upset.  Itís not ďsportingĒ if you get to play extra spells for free. 

So all that to say this: You said you didnít want to sound elitist.  Iím beginning to wonder if the new reprint policy sticks (and we might have to wait a year or two to find out), then would portraying Vintage as elite is such a bad thing.  Thereís no need to be a snob or a braggart of course.  But Vintage looks and plays so differently from the other formats- including Legacy- that perhaps marketing it as an elite or historical version of Magic might not be a bad thing.  Itís a test of skill and decision making, not luck and net-decking.  You can net-deck all you want in Vintage.  It doesnít mean youíre going to win.  Vintage is what Magic used to look like, what the game was originally envisioned as by Dr. Garfield.  Surely that has an appeal all its own.

I donít know.  Like I said, Iím feeling kind of adrift at the moment.  This isnít how I normally talk about this format.  But the new reprint policy really has to make us take a hard look at our format.  Itís almost certain that itíll never get back to the 2006-2008 glory days when SCG was running P9 tournaments all across the country.  So where does that mean we go from here?

Peace,

-Troy




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« Reply #553 on: March 22, 2010, 02:01:18 am »

My theory is that Legacy and Vintage are 2 different games almost. To me, when playing Vintage I switch to a Vintage mode and that "mode" doesn't let me do well in Legacy. So I do not think that Vintage is more complex than any other format. It is just different and requires a different way of thinking and looking at the game.

Example of why I view it this way:

GP Yokohama 2010

All the Japanese regular Vintage players (all of them) did not reach top 8. Though I did get a total record of 9-4-1 on both days  Wink.

In any big Vintage event, most Japanese regular Legacy players fail to reach Vintage top 8 (getting beaten by the regular Vintage players)

In both events all players had very good deck builds and very good playing skill. It is just that the Vintage players go to the Legacy tournament with the Vintage mindset and that costs them the games.

Same thing goes when you sign up for a Vintage tournament and play with a Legacy mindset. You have to develop your "way of thinking" in both formats in order to be good. And that means practice in both formats.

All of this in my humble opinion.
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« Reply #554 on: March 22, 2010, 05:57:41 pm »

Quote
Those cards just donít make sense to non-eternal players.

What the does that even mean?
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« Reply #555 on: March 22, 2010, 08:27:36 pm »

Quote
Those cards just donít make sense to non-eternal players.

What the does that even mean?

For instance, after Thorn of Amethyst was printed and MUD caught up with GAT, I told my Standard buddies that Thorn of Amethyst is format defining in Vintage right now.  They didn't have any idea how that card would be useful to anybody.  It didn't make sense to them that a card so useless in their format would radically change another.  I found this to be true on WotC's boards and at MTGSalvation as well.  For Vintage players the card was amazing.  The others just saw it as a junk rare.
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« Reply #556 on: March 22, 2010, 08:57:07 pm »

Different cards are good in different formats.

Um, duh?

By the way, Magus of the Moon has been played at least somewhat significantly in every format except maybe block. And nobody likes block.
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« Reply #557 on: March 22, 2010, 09:46:07 pm »

Atleast it keeps the price down on great vintage cards, atleast those that are hardly "great" anywhere else.
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« Reply #558 on: March 22, 2010, 10:37:15 pm »

Then I saw this quote.   Without trying to sound elitist here -- is Vintage too complex for most players?   And do I help promote that perception because that's largely what I like about it?   
Although I think these are good questions to contemplate, I think that a more important factor for most players is that Vintage, relative to most other formats, is less about playing powerful monsters, killing creatures, and smashing the opponent in combat phase after combat phase and more about playing powerful spells and ignoring creatures and the combat phase while trying to go for the throat. I think a lot of players are less excited about all the possible decision trees and interactions than they are about commanding a horde of vampires and turning it sideways to do battle. It's a different kind of visceral thrill. Kind of like how a lot of players don't like getting their spells countered because their dude doesn't hit play. It's the same end result in terms of interactions, but it still feels kind of cheap.
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« Reply #559 on: March 23, 2010, 05:12:51 pm »

It's the same end result in terms of interactions, but some people still feels like its kind of cheap.

Corrected that for you.
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« Reply #560 on: March 29, 2010, 09:38:01 am »

Stephen,

I know your 1st quarter market report for Vintage will be coming up soon.  May I make a request?  It's rather large, but might be valuable over the long haul. 

Could you include the cost (financially) to build each deck you highlight along with its decklist?  I think this would be valuable because trends could be shown in pricing over the long term.  We all know that prices of Legacy staples are going up, up, up.  Consiquently, Vintage staples are too.  Over the long haul, I think this data could be valuable for discussing issues like the B/R list, barrier to entry, reprint policy, and budget decks in the future.  Honestly, it might be more valuable to do that for Legacy than Vintage, but there's my request anyway.  I think doing this would continue the motiff of a financial report and give players an idea of where they might be able to fit in or evolve into when it comes to Vintage.

Thanks Smile

-Troy
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« Reply #561 on: April 01, 2010, 12:46:56 am »

Troy, I would love to, but on top of everything else I have to do for this article, and how much time it takes, I don't think I can.   Sorry Sad
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« Reply #562 on: May 06, 2010, 08:54:27 pm »

Pending the much needed reorganization of the Mana Drain, this blog will be disappearing or be archived somewhere.  I just want to say that this has been a really amazing ride.   

Reading the first page of this blog is both a walk through memory lane and a reminder of how many of the issues that I talked about remain pressing today. 

Some highlights:

* I predict that there will be a GAT finals at the 2007 Waterbury (turns out to be GAT v. FLash, with Flash winning) :p

* Wizards nominated me for the Magic Invitational, and I used this blog to talk about it and canvass for votes and to post the community chosen top 5 Invitational Submissions.

* I complain about how Magic is marketed, and the lack of marketing to people over 20.    How apropos, given this poll

* It' also the first time where I articulate a new vision for marketing Magic, given changing demographics and the aging of the game.   This was in 2007! 

* I typed up every single one of the 2009 Waterbury decklists!

* On page 14, I wrote a manifesto on the goals of Vintage and how to revive it.  I still agree 100% with that essay.   It remains even more true today.

* On page 15, I suggest a radically revised tournament prize payout structure for Vintage

Overall, some really interesting discussions, debates and information.   Thanks everyone, for journeying with me here. 
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« Reply #563 on: May 12, 2010, 07:50:45 pm »

Your article this week was epic.  Kudos.
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« Reply #564 on: May 13, 2010, 05:01:31 pm »

Your article this week was epic.  Kudos.

Thanks Matt.   FYI, he's talking about the tally I did of SCG Madrid, the largest Constructed Magic tournament of all time: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/legacy/19314_So_Many_Insane_Plays_Grand_Prix_Madrid_Nearly_Killed_Me_and_I_Wasnt_Even_There.html
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« Reply #565 on: May 27, 2010, 11:52:16 am »

In light of this weekís article for SCG, please assess the validity of this statement:

 ďArticles like [the] Clash of the Titans article aren't even possible for Legacy.Ē
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« Reply #566 on: May 27, 2010, 01:30:18 pm »

In light of this weekís article for SCG, please assess the validity of this statement:

 ďArticles like [the] Clash of the Titans article aren't even possible for Legacy.Ē


Heh.

Clash of the Titans was written in a fantasy style; this week's article was also fiction, but Pro Tour fiction, not fantasy fiction.

That said, articles like Clash of the Titans are possible for Legacy -- and I plan on doing one like it, with ANT.   The difference is that I can't use as much hyperbole Smile
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« Reply #567 on: May 31, 2010, 03:36:56 pm »

For those who care about that sort of thing, that article was the most popular article on SCG this last week.   Strange.   
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« Reply #568 on: June 01, 2010, 06:10:50 pm »

Congrats.  Hopefully articles like this will draw some growth out of the larger player base.
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