In case you haven’t been paying attention, the DCI decided to restrict Lodestone Golem this week. Let’s all observe a moment of silence for Lodestone Golem- I’ll wait, go ahead…
I’m a sad panda
While we may not agree that it was the right time to restrict Lodestone Golem, I don’t think we can disagree on the fact that it’s a very powerful Magic card. The metagame in Vintage looked pretty healthy with a nice diversity of blue decks, Workshops, Oath and Dredge – so it hardly merited any changes – but in a vacuum Lodestone Golem is pretty insane, and has been the card that really took Workshops decks to a power level they hadn’t enjoyed since the restriction of Trinisphere. Back in ancient times, Workshops decks were slow prisons that had to grind you out over a million turns – typically winning with some asinine afterthought of a win condition like a recurring Barbarian Ring with Crucible of Worlds in play.
Lodestone Golem changed all of that. He gave Workshop players a fast kill condition that doubled as a prison lock piece. I remember being blown away by Lodestone when I saw it on the spoiler list for Worldwake. I was so in awe that I completely missed Jace, the Mindsculptor.
I’ve played through many, many years of Vintage and I’ve often been on the bad end of a big restriction. Here are my top 4 pieces of advice for adjusting to the new metagame:
(1) Let it die: If you’re a serious Workshop player, you might be well served to try out a different deck while you secretly work on a new build with of your beloved artifacts. If Workshops drop off the map in the next few months, people will notice. If everyone plays a blue deck, the metagame will adjust to be more hostile towards blue decks. Manabases will get more greedy, and sideboards will pay less attention to artifacts. Then when the time is right…
(2) Figure out the new Shop deck: Workshop was a good deck before Lodestone Golem so I’m sure it still works. The question is what fills in the gap. Forgemaster seems like a good option, or maybe Smokestack. Without Lodestone, you might want to try a version that maximizes Ensnaring Bridge, like Uba Stax:
Time to crush some blue card drawing
Here you have the Uba Mask + Bazaar of Baghdad combo which allows you to effectively draw 3 cards per turn while maintaining no cards in hand to make Ensnaring Bridge a huge threat. As a bonus, Blue draw spells are awful against Uba Mask, and you won’t allow them a chance to build up a hand of threats against you while they look for a way out of the prison.
Eventually you can land a Forgemaster to reach into your deep tool box and pull out a huge monster like Steel Hellkite or Sundering Titan to seal the deal. Use the Forgemaster to sacrifice the Ensnaring Bridge when it’s time to get your attack on.
(3) Try something totally new: Oath of the Gatewatch had some decent cards in it that nobody really played. Vintage fans in general were unimpressed with the new Eldrazi that prompted a banning in Modern. The general opinion is that these cards would be much better in Vintage if they were artifacts so you can play them with a Mishra’s Workshop.
I agree they would be better if they were artifacts, but that does ignore the advantages they have by not being artifacts. If your opponent Hurkyl’s Recalls you, the Eldrazi stay. Nature’s Claim and Ingot Chewer don’t kill them either. While I’m not sure a full Eldrazi deck would be very good, I want to call out Thought-Knot Seer as a potential Lodestone replacement.
I’m in your hand, stealing your Hurkyl’s Recall
Here we have a card that costs 4, is disruptive, and hits pretty hard as a 4/4. It may not be castable from a Mishra’s Workshop, but it can certainly be cast fairly early in a Workshop deck. In any case, it could be worth a try.
(4) Wear it as a badge of pride: If you were a Workshop player that had been putting up good performances then it’s partially your fault that Lodestone got restricted. It’s time to take some credit for that – you did something that affected change in Vintage, which is the format that’s hardest to affect change in. It’s not every day the DCI notices your achievements!
So good job, Workshop players… but let’s not try too hard for awhile- it would nice to not have any more great artifacts restricted any time soon!
Until next time,
mark trogdon says:
I think that all shop players should play the same blue deck till we get the cards restricted…first combo……then oath…then tez…then gush…then bomberman….shop players being 20% to 25% of the field we can get every card restricted that we want ….shops could be 70% of the field and still loose to the blue decks at 25% of the field….lodestone and chalice have never been a tier 1 deck
Your email address will not be published.