- The cost is a deterrent. "but proxies eliminate this issues." the cost is a deterrent. "But proxies elimi..." the cost is a deterrent. Again, reality takes a back seat to perception here. I literally had this conversation with players of other formats at Deal Me In Games,
Me: "You should stop by this sunday and check out the vintage tournament."
player: "yeah, that would be neat to see, its such a fun format and all those old cards. But I could never afford it."
me: "That's the beauty of the vintage format. You can proxy cards and cut the cost. Plus if there is a deck you want to try, I can loan you most of it. Plenty of other players who will be there will be happy to loan you a deck. Proxies make it really accessible."
player: "Yeah, but its really expensive."
The thing is, fifteen proxies don't really make it that accessible. Just pulling up a Karn shops list as a quick reference, yes fifteen proxies is like thirty thousand dollars worth of cards but the rest of the deck is still $1,500. Most other decks are pretty similar apart from dredge. That's an awful lot to try to get someone to drop to try out a new format, and as generous as it is for people to loan decks out, many players are not going to be comfortable borrowing them.
In order to grow paper vintage it needs nothing more than advertising and backing from Wizards. Until that happens, its a dying format.
I think it takes both. Anything that gets Vintage wider exposure is great and essential for getting people to pick up the format (and the exposure the format gets through things like the VSL or just higher-profile players playing it from time to time are part of what gets people to pick it up on MTGO), but it doesn't matter how interested people are in it if they aren't able to actually play it even if they want to.