Vintage Redux: A New Format for your Consideration
During every single Banned and Restricted discussion, the conversation eventually turns to “well, when do you think the format was last great?” At that point, each player thinks back to their favorite time in vintage, which is invariably when they last played frequently or had tournament success.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back to that time???
Vintage players have long been considered the more casual Magic player. Many would often show up to a tournament with no idea the current metagame, a deck with month’s old technology, and would still have a great time and often perform well. Then MTGO occurred and suddenly the “casual weekend Vintager” was quickly exposed. Vintage endured a schism and old school filled the need for this casual crowd. Conversely MTGO players, able to get in dozens of reps a day, became much better players and quickly thirsted for a fast-changing metagame. At this point it became very difficult for a casual player to show up to a tournament and do as well as they might have in the past. Playing in a tournament with a 2-month-old deck would often be death.
And if that isn’t a concern, take a moment to recognize the trajectory of modern-day Vintage. What used to be a glacial format is now being upended almost every other set. Who knows where it will be in a few years?
Despite this, Old School continues to enjoy its 3-4 year explosion in popularity and has cultivated a large and dedicated crowd. However, players will eventually create a schism in that community too. The players will divide into those that come to a magic night with a tech’ed out THE DECK and players who will try to make kobolds a thing for the night. This type of disconnect will eventually create demand for “a shakeup” or a new format. This is already being attempted with FE/IA formats, middle school, and fractured B&R lists. The more fractured these pools of players become, the less successful they will be.
Old School players like a slow-moving format. Modern Vintage players like to have a changing environment. There has to be a way to combine the two, right?
A few years ago, @Prospero tried to create a new format that featured “old borders.” I think he was trying to go back to circa 2000-2005 Magic, which many people have fond memories of (myself included). This got me to thinking...
Is there a solution to the following desires or issues?
1.) Possible Old School Malaise
2.) A desire to go back in time
3.) A chance to play your favorite cards again in a competitive deck
I think most players dream of having a Magic night featuring all the decks of a particular point in time. I personally would love to go back to the Necro-MirrorU-Zoo triumvirate for a weekend. I would love to test against mono-red fireblast again. I would love to play Cunning Wish Keeper or Zoo one last time. But when the logistics are considered, getting people to build a single-era deck for a single night just isn’t very realistic. The Old School Format works because most people understand it, the decks are consistent, and at worst you must swap out 3 Strip Mines if you change venues.
But wouldn’t it be cool if everyone got to play in their favorite era “one last time?”
Wouldn’t it be cooler if we could prolong the Vintage as we know it for another 20yrs?
Wouldn’t it be the coolest if you could apply your present-day knowledge to the cards of the past?
I introduce……..Vintage Redux
I’ve given this format a lot of thought for over a year or two, but have given the intricacies of it very little. This post is mainly to see if there are like-minded people, but even more so to see if there is someone who can pick up the gauntlet or help tighten this concept if it proves to be something people want.
Pretty simply put, I propose that Vintage Redux would be an “evolving Old School.” A new format that follows an old path. Essentially every year, we would tack on another three sets. This could be done tri-annually set by set or all at once. We would follow the old B&R list, and if there are active playgroups, they could update it as they see fit. Nobody wants to go through another Combo Winter. Vintage barely survived it back in 2000, and there is reason to worry about present day understandings of Magic with old cards.
How Redux could work:
2020- Add Ice Age and Alliances
2021- Add Mirage, Visions, Weatherlight
2022- Add Tempest, Stronghold, Exodus (I am already penciling in this year for my max play).
2023- Add Urza’s Saga, Legacy, Destiny
2024- Add Mercadian Masques…..anyway you get the idea.
That’s right. If you plan your next 6 years carefully, you can play Gro-Atog again. You can play TnT!
If this format becomes popular, I envision it could even lead to maybe two major American old school tournaments a year. The Old School tournament at Eternal Weekend is already giving the Vintage one a run for its money, why not have Vintage and Redux run at the same tournament? The crossover of players might be higher than we think.
This format is also a great way to bridge the increasing gap between Vintage and Old School, and possibly increase interest in both. We would be creating a whole new era of re-appreciation for Vintage.
Best of all, there is significant incentive for retailers to support it. Taking it a step further, they could even introduce a Type 2 Redux as well. Their inventories, long collecting dust, would immediately spike. When was the last time someone bought a Mangara’s Blessing, Ancane Denial, or Wildfire Emissary? Well now they would. I’m sure many retailers are sitting on a treasure trove of old Ice Age-through-Mercadian Masques playables. Even better, many of us have them collecting dust in our binders too. Just having this format be played by 200 people would bring a ton of attention to these long forgotten cards (Pro Tip: Buy your Juzams, Sinkholes, Mana Drains, Beta Bolts, Anvil of Bogardan, and Fireblasts now). And for the budget inclined, mono-red is cheap and would be tournament viable for at least 2-3 years. Talk about a legendary budget deck!
As you can see, my details are sparse, but the emotion and passion of this project is high. Maybe I am an overly-nostalgic person, but something tells me this could be a lot of fun. By keeping the timeline annual, it allows people to take the time to actually build a Redux deck and keep it with them. It doesn't have much cross-over with Old School or Vintage, and it's entirely plausible that people of both worlds might make a Redux deck. The only major issue is whether there are enough players to support an additional Vintage format.
Having a once-and-done tournament isn’t worth the effort. Having a year of being able to show up at Old School night and asking someone if they have a Redux deck, is.
I could see this format appealing to a lot of people:
- Pumps some innovation into the Old School crowd.
- Gives modern vintage players something to tinker with, without having to go full on old school.
- Bridges the gap between the two divided formats.
- As the sets progress, people who started in time periods other than 1993-1994 might become attracted to
it- fresh meat for the format.
People have been talking about the death of vintage for 20 years. With Redux, we can guarantee a fresh and varying format for at least 20 more.