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.
@Hrishi Oh definitely. Though I feel certain comparisons can definitely be made. Storm is one of the best examples in where it went from a mechanic that rendered the spell essentially, uncounterable - to having everything from Thalia, to Chalice, to Flusterstorm, to Mindbreak Trap now restricting it's innate power as a mechanic. With the others it's a similar story. Enchantment Removal has become a lot better, non-Basic land hate has become better. The cards while powerful, can most certainly be answered.
It feels like with a lot of the cards, they aren't that far off from what Black Vise was and then became. An absolutely insane card for it's time, but one which power-creep and permutations in the format rendered not just no longer 'broken' - but not even worthy of consideration in a deck!
I couldn't be more in agreement that it's time something other than Gush get's a fair shot being off the Restricted list!
@kistrand I know 11 people personally at my one LGS that have vintage online, but we cannot play dailies as we all work whilst dailies are firing (11am-1pm).
This is me with the added spice of working during the monthly events. I haven't played a match of online vintage in months now :/
I used to play a few Dailies a week at least. Partly I stopped because the changes to payouts and entry fees annoyed me, but mostly it has to do with the fact that as my son has gotten older he has needed my time even more than before. He used to go to bed earlier and it wasn't as exhausting because he was smaller.
By the time the one daily I could possibly play in occurs it's 10 pm my time and I'm dead tired from work/parenting/cleaning the hurricane-like damage he causes in the house, etc. The thought of playing magic at that point is just not appealing. Every time I end up playing I'm not even really liking it whether I'm winning or not.
Now if I could hop on and play a few league matches when I actually feel the desire to play I would be so much happier. I find the game enjoyable when I'm not half-asleep.
Keep in mind that the power nine challenge would still be happening each month so there would be a monthly big tournament. AND I bet if the people who love those dailies and challenges could prove they'd fill up more than one a month they'd add another one. What if there was a league going at all the time and a Friday or Saturday night tournament as well? Seems like that could be arraigned.
Playtest: A real magic card with writing on it to signify it is a different card.
I have a minor quibble!
As I mentioned in my post above, this is only one example of a playtest card. The article from Wizards suggests that a playtest card is any non-official card standing in for a real one that would not pass as real under a casual inspection. In other words, the following are playtest cards:
(1) Cards blanked in acetone and hand-drawn or printed on with something other than the official art.
(2) Blank World Championship Cards that you've doodled your card on (what I prefer, but they're getting scarcer)
(3) Cards in sleeves with printed inserts showing the card they are standing in for.
(4) A counterfeit with the words "PLAYTEST CARD ONLY" sharpied on it's face, probably?
And so on. If it obviously isn't real, then it's probably a playtest card.
I love you all. I am on the east side and organize the monthly events at RIW hobbies. I can be found on twitter as @librarianofleng and on facebook as Shaman Ben, and I try to get on here at least once a week. If you fine folk decide to organize anything formal I will do my best to get a car of people out. Next time I will try to spend a little time networking everyone a little better, I know most people in the scene and it would be great for all of us to be able to put faces to online personas.
While your personal journey to power is a classic vintage experience, it's kind of a tough thing for us to give you any advice on. What you're really asking isn't a magic question, it's a personal finance question. Nobody here can give you a good answer without knowing stuff like your income, your regular expenses, and your savings goals. If somebody gives you advice without that information, that advice is bad. Honestly, even if you were giving us that information, TMD might not be the best place to get personal finance advice. (There's a lot of really smart people on TMD, some of whom are pretty well off, but this isn't exactly our speciality, and we aren't exactly unbiased.)
If you want advice on how to save up money to buy cards, and whether or not you SHOULD save up money to buy cards, this is not a good place to get it.
If you're looking for deck options that are cheaper but still competitive, that's another story entirely, and there might be a lot of people here with good opinions on that. (With the collection you already have, I'd look into Gush decks that don't run full sets of power).