I think your "schools" approach feels a bit... shoehorn-y at times (in that Rob Hahn might not translate that well to
Having said that, as a combo player combo decks by their very nature are very disparate in a way control and aggro really aren't. Decks like ProsBloom, Metalworker, Doomsday, Dredge, etc. function so differently it's hard to categorize them together. Speaking of which, was there a Type I combo deck before Type II ProsBloom hit the scene? If not, maybe that's a good place to start.
To be clear: that's not how I classify decks within the "Combo School." The combo decks that are included in the "Restricted List Combo School" follow a very specific play pattern that includes: lots of mana acceleration, a high density of restricted cards, and a number of tutors (often unrestricted), and either a big mana or storm finisher (e.g. Fireball, Kaeverk's Torch, Tendrils of Agony), or recursive elements (like Twister loops or a bigYawg Will). Thus, decks in this school include: Pre-DCI Lotus/Twister decks, 1997 Prosperity Vice, 1997/8 Doomsday (recursion deck with Timetwister), 1998-2002 Academy, 2002 Burning Long, 2003-2008 TPS, 2005-6 Grim Long, Burning Oath, Dark Petition Storm, etc.
These are decks that follow the basic play pattern of: 1) generate lots of mana -> 2) draw or otherwise see lots of cards -> 3) play a critical mass finisher. They feature as high density of mana, and very few finishers (a single Fireball or Tendrils often). And they very often use disruption to protect this plan, like Duress, Defense Grid, Abeyance, City of Solitude, Xantid Swarm, Force of Will, etc. But if you map 2002 Burning Long and 2015 DPS, it's basically the same scaffolding, just different cards in that slot. No different with other Schools, like comparing 1994 The Deck with 2002 Keeper, except that the win conditions change (i.e. Morphling over Serra Angel, etc.)
Combo decks that are focused on assembling two random cards don't fall into this school.
ProsBloom was never a tournament level Type I deck because you didn't need Cadaverous Bloom.
That being said- in your position, I'd focus on the decks. Tell us when new, interesting things happened that changed the way we think about and play Vintage (or even Magic as a whole). Tell us those stories. Weave together the fabric of the format by showing us the world as it was when it changed greatly. What was it like when Comer figured out how to Xerox? How did it change the landscape? Which darlings did it kill? Which did it foster? How does it influence what we're doing today? The same for Shops (the more control variants, the ones today are really just Zoo decks imo) and Dredge and Oath and Control (the Deck, of course, comes to mind!). The schools can be your invisible scaffolding, that which guides you in delivering the stories, but they need not be the exoskeleton that binds the body from the outside and is all that's visible to the onlooker.
In any case, I do all of these things, but the Aggro Shops decks are still very obviously Aggro O'Brien School decks, which played with 4 Juggernaut and 4 Juzam in some cases.
Thanks to everyone who replied: it affirmed my inclination, which is to take a hybrid approach rather than trying to insist upon a player name for each school.
I also realize this is an old thread, but since it's stickied I'm going to post here anyway.
My old username on TMD was JDawg13, and I was a fairly active member in the early-mid 2000s. I sold off my whole Magic collection in 2007. Most of my Magic playing these days is draft and cube, but I have recently started thinking about getting back into paper Vintage after dabbling a bit on MTGO. This new username is the same one I use everywhere online.
As a quick reference, there are currently 2 CE Underground Seas on TCGPlayer, both at roughly $450. As discussed above, making these legal probably won't do any good except for the people who already own them - not that that's a problem, but I just wouldn't expect it to save Vintage.
Personally I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the idea, but I'm not holding my breath that it'll happen. I'm not worried about the argument that it would make things more difficult for vintage players - there's already an absurd amount of information a vintage player needs to have memorized to play the game ... 25 years of one-off keyword abilities, rules changes, errata. How many cards in the average vintage deck have oracle text that matches their printed text, 30%? Deck construction rules are barely a drop in the bucket, especially considering a player can verify before the tournament starts (there's are plenty of tools that check legality for you), and never have to memorize or think of it ever again. I don't have any reason to think that a semi-restriction system would make the format worse (and for that matter, even though I know boerma was joking, a 3-of rule wouldn't bother me at all, either)
That said, there's an unspoken assumption here that Wizards is having difficulty achieving their desired outcomes through blunt restrictions, and that this would be a tool they could use to more precisely create the outcome they want. I think it's a mistake to assume that Wizards has very strong opinions on what the format should look like, or that they even think there's any consensus metagame target or problem that needs to be addressed.
I think that the amount of work this would take to put together, and more importantly, how it would look to people who DON'T play vintage, both dwarf any desire they have to make the format different than it is now.
(but as an amateur game designer, I'm all about it)
@p3temangus I think we all agree that using real cards is better and proxies increase the turnout, but I will not travel for a proxy event even with a large prize. The audience tends to be very different and I get very concerned about theft.
I appreciate that not everyone has 20K - 40K in cards but playing old school has shown me that if you want to be in the format you find a way.
That's just my opinion.
Me as well, I'm not traveling for vintage to see Scalding Tarn scrawled on a forest. It's just off putting. I said proxies suck in the sense that most
peoples proxies actually do suck. IE/CE or drawn proxies suck much less. Allowing power shop bazaar to be proxied is a decent compromise.
Landstill is a fine deck choice. At the end of the day, I'd suggest playing a deck that suits your play style. Landstill is a control deck that grinds out games. It works relatively well with little power. Given that Eudo allow 15 proxies, I'd suggest that you try to find a deck that you enjoy playing, and go from there. Nowadays, there are very few events that do not allow some number of proxies.
As an aside, Eudo's meta is quite skewed. It is not too unusual for there to be no shops decks, no dredge decks and a field where 50% of players are playing Landstill...
I live in Denmark. There are few vintage players already that I know of and I have reached out to some of the them. The problem is that we are spread across the country. I hope to get a local playgroup going, which requires that I new people to play the format.
Fist time post on the new site. I'm long time vintage player/enthusiast from back in the day. My name is John Longo, former TMD name was Oath of Happy. I stopped playing vintage several years ago because I no longer enjoyed the format, tournament sizes and frequencies declined, and also because my responsibilities in life became more and more demanding as I got older.
The last tournament I played at was the 2017 TMD in Oakville. I'm originally from Waterbury CT so I couldn't pass on one of Ray's awesome events from back in the day. I was so disappointed in the format that I didn't even consider attending this year. Every game was decided by turn 2. Whether I won or lost it was basically, draw your opening hand, okay mine is better, I win, next game yours is better, you win. For those of you who play chess (I'm Bubbie25 on Chess.com) imagine if games were sealed by move 3? How boring and anticlimactic would that be. One of the advantages of these really quick games is that I didn't come close to any timeouts, but it's out of control. I really miss the old glory days of battling it out with mana drains and smokestacks. If anyone were to ever hold a classic event (Alpha to Scourge) that would be awesome, but I've found for year that the current format just plain sucks and isn't any fun anymore.
Anyways, I'm on board with Brian's idea of toning it down a bit. I think that the speed of the current decks are pushing out all of the fringe cards. I also really hate all the super narrow silver bullet answers like Mental Misstep and Flusterstorm. Every match is dependent on having super narrow answers at the right time. You either have them at the right time and win because of it or lose but they're extremely narrow and suck playing with.
To slow the format down I would restrict the following cards:
Oath of Druids
Bridge From Below
Paradoxical Outcome or Mox Opal
And un-restrict Fastbond.
Now immediately I'm sure some people will argue that restricting cards like Oath of Druids will make blue decks even more linear and make shops much better but I strongly believe it's quite the opposite. Oath of Druids is a card that warps the metagame just by existing whether it's dominating or not. Just like dredge, you have to load up on answers to it or you just get run over. It makes no sense to me that we have a 4 of card that reliably pumps out a turn 2 Yawgmoth's Bargain that attacks for 7 in the air with lifelink. The card is in some ways more powerful than Tinker because Tinker costs 1 more mana and can be answered with a Hurkyl's Recall or a Swords to Plowshares. With Oath, you just plain lose whether they have removal or not because it tinkers up a new fatty every turn. 4X Oath suppresses all the tier 2 aggro decks and budget weenie decks from having a chance because they have to include ways of removing enchantments from the board rather then deploying their game plan. By hitting Oath of Druids, decks would have more space to deal with shops and not have to worry about stupid hands like Mox Orchard Oath GG, or even Mox Trop, Oath...great, can't play any cards now..
Dredge is another deck that eats people's sideboards up whether it's dominating or not. I'd say restrict bazaar but you can't just go and axe cards that people may have just dumped $4K on to play with. In my opinion, Bridge from Below is the card that pushed dredge over the top. Bridge speeds up the deck so much that they game is pretty much over once they've gotten going because even if you nuke their yard, if you're too late in doing it they've got a massive army of zombies that you're too late to deal with after expending resources dealing with the yard. If you kill bridge then they're forced to play a slightly slower, more controlling game, or if they want the fast combo kill they have to go with the Sutured Ghoul kill. Hitting Serum Powder would also make the strategy of basing your entire strategy on one card less viable. I do think that Dredge is fun to play again but it's just way to damn fast. The decks just blasts you away if you don't stick a lock piece by turn 2, even turn 1 if you're on the draw, and the Hollow One's just add another angle of attack if you drew a GY hate-heavy hand.
I'd really like to see Workshop get restricted because then Chalice of the Void, which budget decks really need, could be played again but unfortunately it's another card that I just don't think is fair to hit people for $4K who just invested in the format. Foundry inspector just helps the deck in too many ways. It's like a Darksteel Ingot/Coalition Relic except that it can be used for more than one card per turn and also beat for 3. A 3/2 for 3 is already a pretty good price for a beater, but to make it a one-sided Helm of Awakening is just stupid. It helps the deck too much by making Balista bigger, freeing up mana so that factories can attack earlier, making up for Ancient Tombs that can't be used anymore, and enabling players to sac moxes to ravager because they need less mana. MUD is just way too fast and Foundry Inspector makes everything they do fast and easier. It seems like the best place to start.
Mental Misstep is a card that forces blue decks to cannibalize each other. It's too efficient to not play. If you're not playing it, you have a big disadvantage against other blue decks using it, but if you play it, you have a big disadvantage over everything else. Because of this, Storm decks really suffer because you have to pack an answer to their answer but you really can't afford to stuff that many answers in your deck and need the duress effects to remove cards like Flusterstorm. It just really jams up decks and it sucks to have to play. I miss playing with Mana Drain. Mana Drain was a pillar of the format and when Wizards declared Force of Will as the pillar of blue decks they really got it wrong. Bazaar, Workshop, Drain, Ritual, and Null Rod were the five pillars of the format and Force of Will is a card that can fit into more than one of those categories. Misstep is banned in every other format for a reason, restrict it here for the same reason it's banned elsewhere.
To be honest, I don't really have much experience with PO. I would think that Opal is basically Mox Pearl #6-8 in MUD if Inspector were to go and am surprised to see it still available as a 3 of considering extra copies serve as Lotus Petal under the new legend rules.
Snapcaster is on-color instant-speed Regrowth with a free 2/1 body built in that pitches to FOW. It exiles cards so it prevents loops but you generally only need to re-cast one card to put the game out of reach and with the restrictions I suggest above, Snappy would make blue decks too good. Preordain (like Ponder and Brainstorm) is a card that is nowhere near restriction-worthy compared to cards like Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad but at this point there are so many powerful blue cards that playing with 60 cards means trimming cards like this to keep blue decks from just running everything over.
Fetchlands are another attempt at limiting blue decks from dominating. There really isn't much you can do to stop a deck with ancestral, demonic, scroll, cruse, dig, etc. but you just have to limit it as much as possible. In this way, blue decks kind of set the bar for how slow the format can actually be with a 60 card minimum deck size. Each fetch-land gives players access to seven different dual lands as well as two different basics while thinning decks, providing a shuffle effect for Ponder and Brainstorm, adding cards in the yard for Cruise and Dig, and making Yawg Will more powerful in the early game by letting you replay a land. Even as 1 of's, Brainstorm, Treasure Cruse, and Dig Through Time are too strong and fetchlands just help put them over the top even more. By restricted them all, you limit players to running less of them, 4-6 instead of 8, and also make them run one's that are slightly less optimal.
I agree with Steve that Fastbond can be unrestrcited as it probably wouldn't lead to anything oppressive and might make Lands a tier 2 contender.
I hope some of you enjoy my analysis. Again, my strategy is based on slowing the format down so that games are longer, more interactive, and some of the weaker decks have a shot at contending. Feel free to agree/disagree.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, Alternate Worlds has decided to postpone the double-vintage trials weekend and is now aiming for September 15th and 16th. Feel free to pencil those dates in your calendars.
Once the planning gets finalized, I'll post more information.
As usual I greatly enjoyed the VSL last tonight, and especially the first match of LSV vs Brian Kelly, though it's too bad the "home teams" won't be going to the finals.
LSV got very lucky during multiple matches, but his performance last night, and all season really, has been extremely impressive. It has cemented my opinion of him as a master of the game, independent of format. Is there anything we can learn from his play? Is he taking lines the "Vintage experts" don't?
I don’t think there’s any doubt that he took unique & prescient lines of play in the match up against my team.
Although, there is also no doubt that the deck he played was a completely rogue option, and which involved inherently unusual lines.