It's pretty surreal that the series is almost done. I literally have one chapter left to finish writing, and the other three are under various stages of editing.
That said, I'm still putting the call out there for players to:
share anecdotes or stories that might be used in the main body or in an endnote
identify big tournaments I missed
send photos or graphics we can include
These chapters are dirt cheap - just spare pocket change - so I really hope that folks can help crowd source these answers.
The chapters will need to be reformatted for the book, and so we'll be doing another edit through all of them for the book. But once that's done, and the book is published, it will be too late to add or correct anything. I'm hoping that this book will be a definitively history of the format to be enjoyed by all Magic players for years to come. So PLEASE be sure to help with the items above.
@ravager101 said in [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic:
UPDATE: another 3 leagues in the books with a solid 12-3 record. Highlight was going 4-1 in the last league with all wins 2-0 and my one loss 1-2 to our hero Maxtortion
Nice! And if it's any consolation, I 5-0'd that league.
2-0 5c Humans
2-0 Ravager Shops
2-1 Ravager Shops (you)
2-1 Ravager Shops (Montolio)
@womba It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, he drinks a Whiskey drink, he drinks a Vodka drink...
Edit: I'm pretty sure the discussion of player skill deserves its own section. Basically, I think players tend to have an unrealistic expectation of a format's skill level. It's not like GPs with hundreds of players don't have bad players that make common and at times mind-boggling mistakes. Even pros can make mistakes repeatedly on camera. Part of what makes Magic so great is its complexity but the tradeoff is that perfect play is a hypothetical aim to strive for but never attain. I don't think the presence of 'bad' players is unique to Vintage or that Vintage has a disproportionate number of them.
That said, Vintage leagues are definitely a step down on the competitive ladder. More popular formats like Modern and Standard have two different league types with different entry fees and prize structures. The friendly leagues are much better as entry points to a format and the competitive leagues are much better for established pilots. Without that delineation, you get a mixture of experience levels in Vintage leagues. It doesn't invalidate data - nothing besides outright fraud and shoddy methodology invalidates data in my opinion - but it is a grain of salt. Again, I think that the best approach is a far reaching one that takes data from as many sources as possible and breaks down their pros and cons.
I had a chance to finish the last part of this one earlier in the week and enjoyed it very much. I tested two of the new creatures in Oath, Azor and Zacama. I complemented Zacama with the Auriok Salvagers set up since he's quite the impressive infinite mana-sink. I also read recently that someone played Zacama in a local event and had some success.
Overall though, I would say he is win-more. He is able to seal the deal in positions where just about any other large creature would be able to do the same, but with few distinct strengths over the others and several weak spots, although when he does win big, it is fun and sensational. We don't always have the luxury of abundant developed board states that can activate him effectively, he's soft to Jace, can be overrun with creature armadas, and there's no way of determining the correct course of action with Oath of Druids on the stack. What I mean by that is that against Workshops, in certain situations for instance involving Tangle Wire, during my upkeep I would have to make a decision about whether to fetch a land, whether that should be a Tropical or Tundra, and then decide if, given limited resources, I should anticipate Auriok Salvagers appearing and produce white mana or Ancient Grudge going into the yard and produce green mana. Orchards and potential future life loss complicate the equation. With Zacama, you have no idea whether he'll actually appear and you can't predict whether you should tap the lands prior to Oathing and if so, which color(s) they should produce. If you don't tap one or two lands if that is all the mana available mana, you might not even be able to activate him once that turn cycle, which is abysmal.
The best thing he did for me was to destroy a Stony Silence before he got Plowshared; at that point I may as well have just Oathed up a Reclamation Sage. I used him once to destroy a Rest in Peace, but the Salvagers plan was superfluous at that point so it was again, win-more.
He was fun to have in play and scored style points, but Inferno Titan outclasses him in nearly every way. Even when I hardcast him on a very developed board and destroyed a Containment Priest and non-disruptive Thorn of Amethyst, it accomplished nothing substantial beyond what an Inferno Titan would do for 66% the price.
Azor on the other hand is surprisingly functional in combo metagames. There are several things that could have been done in design to make him stronger (these sets do have the whiff of "let's scale the power down") but his ability has kept me alive v. Combo decks during that critical post-Oath turn where few creatures other than the obscenely uncastable Griselbrand would. He wants a Tolarian Academy supporting build in order to use the Sphinx Rev ability but even without that he was not horrible. It bears noting that his Silence effect can be reactivated with a Jace bounce + replay, which is sometimes the correct move.
@smmenen I don't have Twitter so I hope it's OK to do this here: Nezahal, Primal Tide and Merfolk Mistbinder. I guess both were off the radar here on TMD.
Continuing about Star Wars, I find it very odd that people complained that the movie subverts their expectations. Do people really want to see trilogies and trilogies of movies where things are predictable everytime? Is that really what Star Wars fandom is all about? I'm not a SW hardcore fan, so I wouldn't know, but I find it oddly funny. I understood when people complained that EP VII was too much alike EP IV (although the original trilogy has a LOT of repeated plots between the three movies). But complaining that a movie did something different is so... weird to me.
Like, do people REALLY have a problem with Rey's parentage? That was such an awesome moment to me. Force Awakens set things up in a way where you were expected to think that she would be someone's lost daughter and kind of a "chosen one". It's so good that The Last Jedi broke this soap opera expectation and understood that the whole universe story can't be about 1 family feud.
I totally agree with Steve that the movie was coined in a way that we had absolutely no idea what would happen after Kylo and Rey killed Snoke and that's awesome. It even kinda bothered me that after that the movie shifted back to the usual Good vs Evil trope. They give hints that maybe in EP IX this manichaeism will be dismantled and I hope it does.
Also, it makes me roll my eyes when people complain about Luke. It seems fans wanted him to be a fully vanilla badass. When the movie presents a character that's a bit complex (come on, this is Star Wars, things aren't even that complex ever) people complain, even though he's the ultimate badass in the movie. The crowd in my theater was shouting and standing up to clap when he pulled his trick against Kylo. So yeah, I don't get any of the criticism, other than the movie being kinda badly written when you compare it to recent fantasy stuff like GoT - but that also makes me giggle because SW was always this naive, so I kinda thought people liked it exactly for that, or at least in spite of it.
Great article, you write very well.
Reminds me of my old T.S. teammates whom I haven't seen in over 4 years. There's almost 0 Vintage in the Iowa area, I've actually been reduced to driving up to MN for the occasional Legacy tourney.
@stsung I've got the cards now and boy are they beautiful. I continued through my collection and began getting the old frame versions of several other cards as well. I think even @The-Atog-Lord would approve of my correctly, and symmetrically, framed deck now ; )
That's not unreasonable. Some people are just interested in a specific year, and they should be free to get an article to see what this series is like.
I can't really predict when the book will be ready. Even once the chapters are done (and 2012-17 are not yet written), there is a lot of work to do before it will be ready for publication as a book.
When the book is available, there is a good chance we will take down the individual chapters. So if anyone is interested in a particular year, I'd encourage them to get that while they can.
2009 went live today: http://www.eternalcentral.com/schools-of-magic-history-of-vintage-2009/
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