The best format in Vintage history ...

"GrowATog Arises" - This is when I really started to play in proxy tournaments so certainly got me hooked on Vintage. It was rare for someone to actually play any of the combo decks, or Workshops so we got to play a lot of blue mirrors. Mono Blue with Morphling and then restricted Mind over Matter+Arcanis the Omnipotent combo was fun to battle the GrowATog and Fish decks of that time.

"Lodestone & Jace Era begins" to "Delver Rising" - I know this is a long time period, but to me this was the era that I perhaps enjoyed the most. The "Lodestone" era was the only time in Vintage that I can recall, where you were truly required to play a fair deck. I recall the first question for a valid deck was "Can it beat turn 1 Lodestone?", and if your answer was no then the deck was basically unplayable. The slower format allowed me to tinker with a number of combos, and control decks that just wouldn't work in the faster iterations of the format. Landstill, and Dredge with transformed sideboards were personal favorites of mine. Nothing beats the joy of Cavern into Divining Witch into Laboratory Maniac and then answering their final removal spell with a Bazaar activation.

@vaughnbros said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

"GrowATog Arises" - This is when I really started to play in proxy tournaments so certainly got me hooked on Vintage. It was rare for someone to actually play any of the combo decks, or Workshops so we got to play a lot of blue mirrors. Mono Blue with Morphling and then restricted Mind over Matter+Arcanis the Omnipotent combo was fun to battle the GrowATog and Fish decks of that time.

"Lodestone & Jace Era begins" to "Delver Rising" - I know this is a long time period, but to me this was the era that I perhaps enjoyed the most. The "Lodestone" era was the only time in Vintage that I can recall, where you were truly required to play a fair deck. I recall the first question for a valid deck was "Can it beat turn 1 Lodestone?", and if your answer was no then the deck was basically unplayable. The slower format allowed me to tinker with a number of combos, and control decks that just wouldn't work in the faster iterations of the format. Landstill, and Dredge with transformed sideboards were personal favorites of mine. Nothing beats the joy of Cavern into Divining Witch into Laboratory Maniac and then answering their final removal spell with a Bazaar activation.

Per Andy's OP, you are referring to:

  • Period 47
  • Periods 80-99

I think it's perfectly fine to say group these periods into eras/epochs/whatever however you like.

Thanks for sharing. Keep them coming.

last edited by Smmenen

@revengeanceful said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

he was kind enough to sign my Memnarch after smashing me in the round 2 of that event that didn't count.

Oh my god, the phantom round two! What an insane event that was. I ran TPS and ended up in a t4 or t2 split. I won the advertised Black Lotus which it turned out was damaged heavily enough to be unplayable in a sleeve. I had a good time as well, but that will surely go down in history as one of the worst-run Vintage tournaments of all time. Perhaps second only to the Baldswinsville catastrophe. Someday I'll have to write that stuff down.

Ironically, my favorite time was ranked by Steve as one of the worst! My top 5 in order of best eras down.

  1. #50-56) Mirrodin block printed, up to Trinisphere’s Last Stand (Betrayers of Kamigawa – B&R Update; February 20 – March 19, 2005) [I thought the artifact-heavy theme was amazing and it was such a fun block. Crucible, Chalice, and trini made my shops/ill mask/dreadnaught decks super strong and fun (for me). Snagged some SCG P9 power during this glorious time!]

  2. #19-21) Mirage-Visions block printed [I loved playing with the topdeck tutors and one of my favorite creatures - phyrexian dreadnaught!]

  3. #11) November 2, 1994 - April 19, 1995 Fallen Empires - Balance & Fork Restricted Golden Age of Type 1 "Constructed deck" format rebranded as "Type 1" on January 10, 1995. Duelist Convocation Rules Update January 10, 1995 [This was my first entrance into magic. FE was a fun set, and I had a beastly thrull/breeding pit/lord of the pit deck!]

  4. #23-26) Tempest-Exodus block printed [I really liked wasteland (though I hate it now), because it was bomb in my stone rain/sinkhole deck. But this block was amazing mainly for one word - SLIVERS!]

  5. #127-128) WAR and MH1 printed. [While some broken additions were printed, I felt this was a sweet spot after mentor's restriction, but before Core 2020 where deck diversity blew wide open]

@brass-man said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@revengeanceful said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

he was kind enough to sign my Memnarch after smashing me in the round 2 of that event that didn't count.

Oh my god, the phantom round two! What an insane event that was. I ran TPS and ended up in a t4 or t2 split. I won the advertised Black Lotus which it turned out was damaged heavily enough to be unplayable in a sleeve. I had a good time as well, but that will surely go down in history as one of the worst-run Vintage tournaments of all time. Perhaps second only to the Baldswinsville catastrophe. Someday I'll have to write that stuff down.

lol, yeah that event was a total disaster, but I had a great time anyway. Now I'm curious about the Baldwinsville catastrophe.

@revengeanceful It was a tournament held during a snowstorm in an abandoned shopping mall in upstate New York. The advertised prize support was power nine to the top 8. The TO gave everyone IOUs and then left the country. It probably sounds like I made all of that up.

Ok, so instead of polishing up my final essays for the last week of school, I’m writing about Vintage. I’m a horrible person. Here are my three favorite Vintage metagames: (Where I had the most success)

66 – The Mean Deck Metagame

I think there are actually some errors with the timeline with regards to 66-67. Flash breaks out BEFORE Gifts Ungiven is restricted. I know this because I won the SCG Power 9 event around this time with Ritual Gifts. I tailored my deck specifically to combat Flash combo. I mean, I might have played Meandeck Gifts if it wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to be better against combo by using cards such as Duress and a faster combo on the back of Dark Ritual/LED. I only started playing Vintage a few months prior to this, immediately after the Time Vault re-errata. I believe this moment in Vintage history is one of the best because Brainstorm was unrestricted and there were many viable decks and archetypes. It's what drew me into Vintage after all.

68 – 2nd Gush Era Begins

This was the first Gush era for me. GAT was a fun deck. I liked playing against Shops. I liked the mirror. I made a Gush storm deck and lost in the top 16 break of Waterbury that year to Bomberman. (A deck I went 13-1 in testing against the night before) It was good times. I would love to go back to this moment. By the end of it, I was on a 3 Dryad, 3 Goyf, 1 Psychatog breakdown. I feel like that ended up being the most versatile configuration.

86 – East Coast Wins

Obviously I’m going to list this because I came up with that name. At that time there was friendly rivalry between the regions of the U.S. and I just named the deck East Coast Wins as a snarky nod toward that. I was returning to the game after a hiatus and I returned to find that Espresso Shops was the best deck and no one knew what to do about it. The blue decks of the time were Jace control decks, but wait a minute, Gush was unrestricted and nobody was playing it? That seemed to be a huge miscalculation, so I made a blue deck with Gushes, using all the other good cards in the Vintage cardpool (Jace, Time Vault, Tinker) and the rest is history. My friend and I split the finals with the same 75 in June and we went on to dominate the rest of the summer with the same deck. I actually started with Spell Pierces but swapped them for Mental Missteps because Joe Brown kept beating me with Mystic Remora. (No one was playing Misstep before this point) I fell short in the Vintage championship as the metagame evolved to something new exactly in August (enter Slash Panther, which seems to be forgotten from the timeline as well). Slash Panther had a huge impact on this championship. Because of Slash Panther, the Gush/Jace decks with Dark Confident performed the best.

128 – Karn Combo Moment

I really liked this meta. Despite all the Narsets, I had a lot of success with Doomsday against Karn decks. Then I discovered BUG and consequently had a very high win percentage against most of the field. It’s a shame they had to restrict Karn/Forge and take away all my fun so quickly.

@desolutionist said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

Ok, so instead of polishing up my final essays for the last week of school, I’m writing about Vintage. I’m a horrible person. Here are my three favorite Vintage metagames: (Where I had the most success)

That's awesome Shawn. Thanks for sharing. I hope you got a nice little break from school with this trip down memory lane.

66 – The Mean Deck Metagame

I think there are actually some errors with the timeline with regards to 66-67. Flash breaks out BEFORE Gifts Ungiven is restricted.

You are correct, but the timeline notes section (and explanatory notes a the bottom) explains this.

The notes section explains that Flash errata occurred on May 15th. (Flash is issued errata with the Oracle update for Future Sight (5/15/2007). )

Gifts was Restricted effective July 1st. So the "Flash Breaks Out" metagame from May 20-June 19th, is the metagame in which Flash was powered-up AND Gifts was unrestricted.

Sorry if the timeline is confusing on this. But when a restriction occurs, it is indicated in the notes section of the period preceding it, because it usually concludes and book-ends that period.

I hope that helps.

Best,

Stephen

Wait a minute. Was Mentor unrestricted for 2,5 years?

last edited by Griselbrother

@griselbrother Yep. And during a large part of that window, Git Probe and Gush were unrestricted too.

@evouga said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@griselbrother Yep. And during a large part of that window, Git Probe and Gush were unrestricted too.

I had completely forgotten that it was unrestricted for so long. It should have been restricted within a month and then perhaps we could still have Gush among us. Mentor is such a disaster of a card, though I did actually enjoy Menendian's and Cron's Outcome Mentor deck that they brought to the Worlds one year.

last edited by Griselbrother

@griselbrother said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@evouga said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@griselbrother Yep. And during a large part of that window, Git Probe and Gush were unrestricted too.

I had completely forgotten that it was unrestricted for so long. It should have been restricted within a month and then perhaps we could still have Gush among us. Mentor is such a disaster of a card, though I did actually enjoy Menendian's and Cron's Outcome Mentor deck that they brought to the Worlds one year.

That was the most insane deck I've ever played to go just 5-4 or whatever my final record was.

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@smmenen

That’s actually a well designed deck. Probably just a land or two too many. But also too vulnerable to Null Rod. Why didn’t you just play Gush at this event?

@desolutionist said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@smmenen

That’s actually a well designed deck. Probably just a land or two too many. But also too vulnerable to Null Rod. Why didn’t you just play Gush at this event?

I remember Steve and Kevin discussing the deck in depth in one their podcasts. Basically the idea behind the deck was to be the one who Mentored the hardest. I actually played the deck a lot because it was so much fun, and I also made a few other version sof it - one with Gush instead of Thoughtcast. I don't really recall which version was the best. I'm sure Steve can explain their reasoning behind not playing Gush.

The timeline has been updated FYI

https://www.eternalcentral.com/timeline-of-vintage/

A number of errors have been corrected and a lot of additional links have been added. I think that’s about it for now thank you so much for your interest in this!

I also updated some labels and a bunch of other tweaks.

To me, there will always be a breaking point between 1-71 and 72-present. The community as a whole felt like it fundamentally changed during that point, with big faces leaving a new big faces starting to get their footing in the format. Due to this I'll always look upon 71 fondly, even if it was inherently broken.

I'm surprised @Protoaddict hasn't ventured into this thread yet. I'm curious what their favorite era is.

I'm a fan of the format from around 2012-13. Thats more for personal reasons than anything else but the things i remember about the format at the time:

  • It still felt like you could brew and tinker with new creations, I Played Dredge a the time and remember having a zealot list, a sun titan list, and a griselbrand list and all felt like they had pros and cons. There were still variant shops decks including stax and forgemaster and decks using blue were a wide mix.
  • I think this is also right around when standard sets and new releases really started to have an impact on the format, so if you paid attention you could often find an edge before others.
  • The meta was wide open. There were blood moon decks, non ritual mono black decks (they had a name and I cannot remember it for the life of me), storm combos, all sorts of stuff.

That was also the year I finally reclaimed a lot of the cards I had lost when I went off to college. Got my lotus and my moxen back and traded in my bazaars for the rest of the power so I could play something new and not proxy.

@smmenen

Should Standstill be added as a "Notable Printing"?

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