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Author Topic: Vintage Champs 2015 Decklists, Metagame Report, Video, Report Roundup  (Read 10557 times)
TheWhiteDragon
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« Reply #60 on: September 18, 2015, 11:47:17 pm »

I'll make a new post then.  Sorry if my discussion was out of place.  I just saw the Champs result as emphasizing my point of the Vintage triangle being dominant.  And nobody has really refuted it either...they all seem happy or comfortable with it. 

How about this?  Bazaar decks have blue cards, like Narcomoeba and Chain of Vapor - rendering your triangle an illogical classification scheme. 

It's revealing that you changed your characterization of the "dominant" triangle from being Force/Shop/Bazaar to U/Shop/Bazaar, and illustrates the flaw in your characterization of the format.  The error in your thinking is the assumption that color parity = strategic diversity.  That's simply not the case.  As I said before, grouping all blue decks puts decks as diverse as Merfolk and TPS into the same category - they they couldn't be more different.

Why would we group a UB combo deck in the same category as a UWG Aggro-Control deck, like Noble Fish?  Your classification scheme makes no sense.  It's fundamentally arbitrary and has no real world bearing on the experience of the format.

Quote
Doesn't make sense to me, when MORE diversity and making all 5 colors equally powerful is completely achievable.

It's neither achievable in Eternal formats, nor would it necessarily be desirable.  Why must there be an imperative to make all colors equally powerful?  Why does that matter at all?  After 22 years of accumulated printings, not all colors are equal, nor should they be forcibly made to be. 

The design of Magic is fundamentally flawed, if the goal was to make color parity.  If the game designers wanted all colors to show up in roughly equal proportions, they would have made the colors equally powerful, and they would have created more than just 5 colors, and they wouldn't have printed the Onslaught fetchlands, which makes it so easy to play 3+ color decks with no cost.  Building more colors into the game would have made it less likely, over time, that best color (whatever that would have been) would be so ubiquitous. 

Your quixotic interest in color parity obscures the ridiculously awesome strategic diversity in the format today. 


I did equate FoW and blue, mainly because most blue decks start with 4x FoW and go from there.  Agreed, blue is not the same as FoW.  U-control is not the same as merfolk.  Merfolk is fish, more akin to a GW humans, BUG  aggro, delver, etc.  Yes, there is some diversity.

But can you honestly say that Vintage is not at least 90% Shops builds, bazaar decks (mainly dredge), or U-control (draw cards, counter spells, play a finisher and some PWs)?  Fish and storm or belcher are maybe the other 10%.  Steve, you and I used to meet at the same house and play in the same tourneys when we were college aged.  Do you think it is good that decks have to start off with the same X cards, depending on archetype, to have a chance to compete?  Would it be terrible if decks like mill, poison, burn, RG aggro, etc were as powerful and good as any blue control, shop, or bazaar deck in a 100 man tourney?  I mean, there is a reason why people say "I need X cards in my main/sb to beat shops, X to beat dredge, and X to fight through opposing U-control....and maybe 1 tutorable, splashable board sweeper for fish."  These decks make up the majority of the scene.  And it's not that i don't understand why.  Obv those cards and strategies are the most powerful.  but do they have to be?  Can't new printings open up diversity further and even the color wheel?  If you could run a monowhite deck successfully, consistantly, there would be cards that are sitting in binders now that may become playable in new decks.  If you could run infect and win, it could make Modern and standard players join into vintage and would open things up - and make more unplayed cards playable.

I'm really not trying to bash Vintage.  I do love the format, if nothing else but for nostalgia But I dislike seeing that formats as wide open as Modern are not more of a model for Vintage, where a VAST variety of strategies AND colors are viable and competitive.  Yes, GW humans and the like exist...but my point isnt that the format is ALL U/shops/bazaar...it is just an overwhelming majority of it and the best options to have a chance to win consistently.  Any deck can wander in as a hate deck and steal a metagame.  But the top three have been the top three for a long time - and are far more powerful.  Just look at your sb if you disagree.  Why would growing the format be so bad by printing new, powerful, but univerally useful effects in non-artifact, non-blue colors be so bad?

And as I said, I made a new thread, but I feel the top 8 (and really top 64) hammers in my point that U-control, shops, bazaar give you the best chance to win as they have for a very long time.  I don't like that and I really don't get why everyone is so fine with it.  Does everyone just love draw/counter, artifact prison, zombie making so much?
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« Reply #61 on: September 18, 2015, 11:58:31 pm »

They can't print cards to "fix" the format because the focus is primarily on making Standard/type 2 cards.  I think the vast majority of people who buy packs of magic cards are people who are just dabbling in the game for the first time, so they aim to appeal to that crowd.  Wizards/whoever has an idea of what they think Magic should be and that's what it is.

Vintage will always be about finding the cards that slip through the cracks.  They'll never design cards with the vintage metagame in mind.  Garfield never planned Dredge, Shops, or Delver.  That's why Vintage is cool and standard is comparable to just playing with precons.
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« Reply #62 on: September 19, 2015, 12:34:04 am »

They can't print cards to "fix" the format because the focus is primarily on making Standard/type 2 cards.  I think the vast majority of people who buy packs of magic cards are people who are just dabbling in the game for the first time, so they aim to appeal to that crowd.  Wizards/whoever has an idea of what they think Magic should be and that's what it is.

Vintage will always be about finding the cards that slip through the cracks.  They'll never design cards with the vintage metagame in mind.  Garfield never planned Dredge, Shops, or Delver.  That's why Vintage is cool and standard is comparable to just playing with precons.

Yeah, I really dislike standard too - it tends to be "top decks" and the constant rotation is a hassle.

But things like containment priest, spirit of the lab, lodestone golem...those WERE made for vintage/legacy.  Commander sets, FTVs, Vintage Masters, etc are totally for eternal formats.  They don't need to make a whole set to fix it all in one shot, but a premier set with 5-10 cards like the ones I listed in previous posts would totally open things up.  Yes, there is some openness of diversity WITHIN blue, shops, bazaar...but I think a premier set with 10 cards such as those I suggested would make the format as wide open as Modern.  You could even make cards with clauses like some of the old islandwalker cards had, but in reverse (i.e. instead of "sacrifice X if you don't control an island" make it "sacrifice X if you control an island").  Things like "You can't cast X if you control an artifact".  How hard is that really?  And even if they were to make a standard set/new packs with card like the ones I mentioned earlier - those are just GOOD cards that are playable in all formats, not broken, but have impactful effects.  They'd be useful in all formats, too.  And if someone just getting into the game saw a 1R 3/1 first striker with a chewer effect...why would that not be something that would appeal to newbies?
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« Reply #63 on: September 19, 2015, 12:38:41 am »

But can you honestly say that Vintage is not at least 90% Shops builds, bazaar decks (mainly dredge), or U-control (draw cards, counter spells, play a finisher and some PWs) Fish and storm or belcher are maybe the other 10%.  Steve, you and I used to meet at the same house and play in the same tourneys when we were college aged.  Do you think it is good that decks have to start off with the same X cards, depending on archetype, to have a chance to compete?  

No more than the fact that TPS and Merfolk both play Islands, Mox Sapphire and Black Lotus bothers me.  

That many decks share tactics is totally irrelevant to the issue of whether Vintage is a healthy and diverse format.  There are only 5 basic lands in the game (not counting snow-covered lands).  There is, by design, going to be overlap in the cards that decks play.  The fact alot of tactics are shared in Vintage across strategies and archetypes doesn't bother me as long as there is a strong diversity of strategies.  

The format used to be alot worse in the days you talk about.  Back when we played on the SCG circuit, the format was essentially homogenized by whatever the legal, dominant blue draw engine was, and they were all Yawg Will decks.  Now we have a ton of diversity strategically that results in very different ways to attack the metagame.  The format is much better than it was back then.  

Quote

Would it be terrible if decks like mill, poison, burn, RG aggro, etc were as powerful and good as any blue control, shop, or bazaar deck in a 100 man tourney?


no of course not.  

But would it be terrible if every deck in a top 8 of a major tournament was mono blue, if they were totally different strategies?  that would be great too.  

For example, if the Vintage Champs Top 8 was:

1) Mono Blue Merfolk
2)  Mono Blue Belcher
3) Mono Blue "Almost Blue" (Gush Combo w/ Brain Freeze)
4) Mono Blue Landstill
5) Mono Blue "The Answer" (hard control with Chalice, Ancient Tomb, Sphinx)
6) Mono blue high tide combo
7) mono blue Mask Naught
8) mono blue Workshop prison

I would find that to be just as acceptable as the to 8 you described.  that's 8 totally different strategies (aggro control, speed combo, combo-control, hard control, hard control/prison, slow combo, combo-aggro, and prison).  That would be awesome.  

Quote

I mean, there is a reason why people say "I need X cards in my main/sb to beat shops, X to beat dredge, and X to fight through opposing U-control....and maybe 1 tutorable, splashable board sweeper for fish."  These decks make up the majority of the scene.  And it's not that i don't understand why.  Obv those cards and strategies are the most powerful.  but do they have to be?  Can't new printings open up diversity further and even the color wheel?


Of course new printings can generate more diversity, and they do!  But, again, color parity =/ strategic diversity.  That's the fundamental flaw in your analysis.  

There is an imperative for strategic diversity, but color parity is non-achievable, and likely not desirable.  It would mean printing cards of absurd power level.

Quote

 If you could run a monowhite deck successfully, consistantly, there would be cards that are sitting in binders now that may become playable in new decks.  If you could run infect and win, it could make Modern and standard players join into vintage and would open things up - and make more unplayed cards playable.

I'm really not trying to bash Vintage.  I do love the format, if nothing else but for nostalgia But I dislike seeing that formats as wide open as Modern are not more of a model for Vintage, where a VAST variety of strategies AND colors are viable and competitive.  Yes, GW humans and the like exist...but my point isnt that the format is ALL U/shops/bazaar...it is just an overwhelming majority of it and the best options to have a chance to win consistently.  Any deck can wander in as a hate deck and steal a metagame.  But the top three have been the top three for a long time - and are far more powerful.  Just look at your sb if you disagree.  Why would growing the format be so bad by printing new, powerful, but univerally useful effects in non-artifact, non-blue colors be so bad?


It wouldn't be.  But it wouldn't balance the colors nor make more non-blue decks.  

People play blue because it has good cards, and there is almost no cost to including at least some blue cards in any strategy.  

Quote
And as I said, I made a new thread, but I feel the top 8 (and really top 64) hammers in my point that U-control, shops, bazaar give you the best chance to win as they have for a very long time.  I don't like that and I really don't get why everyone is so fine with it.  Does everyone just love draw/counter, artifact prison, zombie making so much?

No.  What you don't understand is that people aren't fixated on blue.  People don't wake up and say "I've Got to play Blue today!"  Rather, it has to do with the deck building options available to them in this format.

The interaction of dual lands and fetchlands means that deck designers can basically include any of the best cards in the entire Vintage card pool in any deck they want to build.  It doesn't matter what the strategy is, you will likely be including at least a few blue cards if you are optimizing it.  

The reason Modern may be different is because there are probably greater costs to playing third or fourth colors, I would imagine, than there are in Vintage and Legacy, and cards like Ancestral Recall and Time Walk don't exist.  

If you really wanted a format that had color parity, the first thing you would do is make it very costly to play 3, 4 or 5 color decks, so that all strategies have to be mono color or two colored, and any additional color comes at great cost.  That's the opposite of the case of Vintage.  Not playing a 3rd or even a 4th color means you are irrationally denying yourself access to more of the card pool at almost no cost.  I really don't see how I can explain this to you any other way, but, your focus on color parity is completely misplaced because of the deck building and mana generation tools available to Vintage deck designers.  

It would be strange if blue saw less play, not more. 
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« Reply #64 on: September 19, 2015, 01:57:37 am »

For the sake of not derailing this thread more than I have, I posted my responses to the new thread.

But as far as "diversity", which I'm not saying doesn't exist in Vintage, outside of the kill cards, I don't see much difference in the top 8 decklists.  Dacks/Jaces, FoWs and missteps, probes and other card draw.  Do you not see a ton of similar cards in the oath, mentor, thieves, jeskai and delver lists?  Yes, they have 8ish cards dedicated to a kill that's unique (delver/pyro, sphinx/thief, oath/bomberman, narset, mentor) but the rest of the deck is really the same shell.  I mean, just do a card by card comparison (don't even count mana) and you'll see the cards that overlap > the cards that differ.  The workshop lists are basically identical (I assume they brewed together) and dredge is the same stock list you can find anywhere.  I mean, you say that there is a ton of diversity in the format where all the strategies can compete.  The top 8 has 6 or 7 different strategies, granted, but they run 50% of the same blue stuff or are shops or dredge. Why is that okay with everyone?  And I'm not saying Vintage isn't healthy, I'm just saying it could be a LOT better and more popular.  It's healthy in the sense that your average 30 year old Joe who works an office job and goes jogging on Sundays is healthy.  I want it to be JJ Watt healthy.  Are you guys all happy with the way it is?  No aspirations for greatly expanding the pool of players?

Please respond, if you plan on responding, in the other thread.
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« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2015, 06:03:11 am »

Everyone I've spoken with had many positive things to say about the event, and the little bit I was able to watch was highly entertaining.

I've been interested in Vintage since I first saw "Black Lotus" listed in InQuest magazine. The price tag was so high (comparatively) and the game text wasn't listed, so we all had wild speculations about what the card might do to be worth that much (we were WAY off  Very Happy).

Buying into Vintage on Magic Online was step one for me. Attending Eternal Weekend is on my list of things to do as soon as I can!

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« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2015, 01:20:12 am »

Everyone I've spoken with had many positive things to say about the event, and the little bit I was able to watch was highly entertaining.

I've been interested in Vintage since I first saw "Black Lotus" listed in InQuest magazine. The price tag was so high (comparatively) and the game text wasn't listed, so we all had wild speculations about what the card might do to be worth that much (we were WAY off  Very Happy).

Buying into Vintage on Magic Online was step one for me. Attending Eternal Weekend is on my list of things to do as soon as I can!



I think one thing that people are getting hung up on (as shown in the quote) is thinking that I'm saying CURRENT vintage players are unhappy with the U-control/shops/bazaar thing that dominates the format.  Obviously there's enough diversity within those three things to keep the current players happy (myself, apparently, the only exception).  What I'm saying is it is a hindrance to NEW players, because it is not an attractive thing to have 3 options from which to make a competitive deck.  Yes, you can make a ton of good decks within blue, but they all draw cards, counter spells, dig for bomb, win with a power spell of any splashable color.  The exception being merfolk.  If you dislike having the options of shops, dredge, or a blue counterspell/card draw deck, then an outsider would have very little incentive to play Vintage.  If you love those 3 options, you're in luck, because those 3 options will ALWAYS be viable.  If not, you are playing another format.  I'm not suggesting changing things because people that already play vintage are unhappy - obviously I'm the only one that dislikes this triangular box.  I'm saying it is a huge barrier to non-vintage players that could be brought in to the format.  Cost is a barrier, but not the ONLY barrier.  We can't just say cost and coin-flip stigma alone are the only barriers and keep beating our heads against the never-gonna-change wall that is the reserved list.  There is a way to dodge the price barrier and break the triangle through NEW printings.  

The only reasons I can think of for people not wanting to have this change are 1) people don't want new people to come in to the format (which I highly doubt is true), or 2) people are comfortable only having to metagame for big-U/shop/dredge decks and don't want a field where a 1000 strategies/color combinations could show up at any given tourney, even if it resulted in a net gain of format population.

If you enjoy those 3 sides of the triangle, there is nothing stopping you from playing those decks....new printings will NOT make ancestral, walk, tinker, etc. obsolete.  Those cards are here to stay.  Card drawing, counterspelling, sphering, and dredging will always be powerful and effective. But adding more options will only attract more players and give current players more strategies to explore.  That's not a bad thing.

Take a look at this top 8 from champs.  Is there strategic diversity?  Sure.  Are they all shops/dredge/U-counter, draw, dig, splashable bomb?  YES.  You can take shops and make 100 different variants that all share the same base 40 cards...same with dredge and blue.  A deck with 60 cards running 4x oath, 2x emrakul, 1x dragon breath is strategically different from a 60 card deck with 4x mentor, 3x pyromancer.  But if the other 53 cards are identical, does it really matter if they are strategically diverse?  And you can swap one blue draw engine for another, run mana drains instead of flusterstorms, etc....but they're all the same tactics. Draw spells, counter spells, find your bomb, win.  Most blue decks differ by more than the 7 cards as in my oath/mentor example....but they typically dedicate the same # of slots to drawing, countering, digging, win-con.  The fact that there are many draw spells - gush, preordain, brainstorm, thirst, etc. - doesn't mean a deck is really all that different because the card names are different either.  If they are just substituting card names for the same tactics, they are functionally the same.  Look at the blue-based decks in this top 8.  Diverse kill conditions, but otherwise VERY similar. And shops is basically lotus-on a stick + jewelry + spheres/chalice/tangle + beat you with lodestone, no matter if you run a forgemaster, metalworker, or wurmcoil - the majority of the deck is the same.  Dredge can dread return whatever it wants...it's still dredge.

Again, not saying CURRENT vintage players dislike this, because apparently everyone just loves this, but many non-vintage players see this as a reason to never get involved with the format.
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« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2015, 06:26:15 am »

Everyone I've spoken with had many positive things to say about the event, and the little bit I was able to watch was highly entertaining.

I've been interested in Vintage since I first saw "Black Lotus" listed in InQuest magazine. The price tag was so high (comparatively) and the game text wasn't listed, so we all had wild speculations about what the card might do to be worth that much (we were WAY off  Very Happy).

Buying into Vintage on Magic Online was step one for me. Attending Eternal Weekend is on my list of things to do as soon as I can!



I think one thing that people are getting hung up on (as shown in the quote) is thinking that I'm saying CURRENT vintage players are unhappy with the U-control/shops/bazaar thing that dominates the format.  Obviously there's enough diversity within those three things to keep the current players happy (myself, apparently, the only exception).  What I'm saying is it is a hindrance to NEW players, because it is not an attractive thing to have 3 options from which to make a competitive deck.  Yes, you can make a ton of good decks within blue, but they all draw cards, counter spells, dig for bomb, win with a power spell of any splashable color.  The exception being merfolk.  If you dislike having the options of shops, dredge, or a blue counterspell/card draw deck, then an outsider would have very little incentive to play Vintage.  If you love those 3 options, you're in luck, because those 3 options will ALWAYS be viable.  If not, you are playing another format.  I'm not suggesting changing things because people that already play vintage are unhappy - obviously I'm the only one that dislikes this triangular box.  I'm saying it is a huge barrier to non-vintage players that could be brought in to the format.  Cost is a barrier, but not the ONLY barrier.  We can't just say cost and coin-flip stigma alone are the only barriers and keep beating our heads against the never-gonna-change wall that is the reserved list.  There is a way to dodge the price barrier and break the triangle through NEW printings.  

The only reasons I can think of for people not wanting to have this change are 1) people don't want new people to come in to the format (which I highly doubt is true), or 2) people are comfortable only having to metagame for big-U/shop/dredge decks and don't want a field where a 1000 strategies/color combinations could show up at any given tourney, even if it resulted in a net gain of format population.

If you enjoy those 3 sides of the triangle, there is nothing stopping you from playing those decks....new printings will NOT make ancestral, walk, tinker, etc. obsolete.  Those cards are here to stay.  Card drawing, counterspelling, sphering, and dredging will always be powerful and effective. But adding more options will only attract more players and give current players more strategies to explore.  That's not a bad thing.

Take a look at this top 8 from champs.  Is there strategic diversity?  Sure.  Are they all shops/dredge/U-counter, draw, dig, splashable bomb?  YES.  You can take shops and make 100 different variants that all share the same base 40 cards...same with dredge and blue.  A deck with 60 cards running 4x oath, 2x emrakul, 1x dragon breath is strategically different from a 60 card deck with 4x mentor, 3x pyromancer.  But if the other 53 cards are identical, does it really matter if they are strategically diverse?  And you can swap one blue draw engine for another, run mana drains instead of flusterstorms, etc....but they're all the same tactics. Draw spells, counter spells, find your bomb, win.  Most blue decks differ by more than the 7 cards as in my oath/mentor example....but they typically dedicate the same # of slots to drawing, countering, digging, win-con.  The fact that there are many draw spells - gush, preordain, brainstorm, thirst, etc. - doesn't mean a deck is really all that different because the card names are different either.  If they are just substituting card names for the same tactics, they are functionally the same.  Look at the blue-based decks in this top 8.  Diverse kill conditions, but otherwise VERY similar. And shops is basically lotus-on a stick + jewelry + spheres/chalice/tangle + beat you with lodestone, no matter if you run a forgemaster, metalworker, or wurmcoil - the majority of the deck is the same.  Dredge can dread return whatever it wants...it's still dredge.

Again, not saying CURRENT vintage players dislike this, because apparently everyone just loves this, but many non-vintage players see this as a reason to never get involved with the format.

They had record breaking attendence please stop trolling and go back under your bridge.  Thank you.
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