Resources for a new player



  • Sorry if this is the wrong place for this, I'm new (obviously). Anyway, I'm interested in getting into vintage (on MTGO) since watching the last couple of VSLs - I've only been playing magic for about 6 months, and mostly play commander/draft otherwise. It looks like a really deep and subtle format compared to anything else. I would like to know if there are any good resources for players generally unaware of the vintage metagame and what really important interactions to be looking for when you're playing. The "Big Blue" or mentor decks from cardhoarder's archetype list look like my kind of style. What would be the best way for me to learn to play the format? It seems like almost everyone that plays vintage has been playing magic for years and years and knows everything inside and out, and most articles for vintage seem to assume the reader is that type of player, or alternatively is someone that just wants a cursory glance from the outside. Finally, is there a good place to practice on MTGO?



  • @Thermia Sweet. I love new players. In my personal experience. I would find another human who wants to learn to play with you and game them. I highly recommend building actual proxy decks using old magic cards, or even playing cards and a laser-jet printer.

    I understand that has nothing to do with MTGO. But before you invest, it's nice to test drive. Cockatrice is also a thing. (If you don't know, it's a MTGO like program that's essentially free.) To your question of how to learn the format. That's my suggestion, because it eliminates budget from being a limiting factor and allows you to just play whatever you like. Take 2 or 3 or 4 netdecks and assemble them and play.

    As for netdecking. I'm all for it if you're new. I recommend mtgtop8 dot com. Because it's focused entirely on tourney reports and shows you what's being played and what's winning, as well as providing used friendly data about what cards are being played at what rates in the format and where.

    Then when you're ready, buy in to MTGO when you know what you're doing.

    Any specific questions you have. I would be more than happy to field, and even help you find someone who actually knows what they're talking about. Hope that helps.



  • @Thermia I've been playing magic forever but only about 6months into vintage. I have 0 people to play with IRL, so i could not do something like @Topical_Island suggests. I dove in right away and built a Storm Deck, since i was the cheapest (650ish tix) of the archetypes that interested me. Dredge would have been way cheaper, but i had no clue how to pilot the damn thing. I also had very little insight on the metagame and most of the newer cards, so storm was easy to understand.

    To learn the format, i watch all the VSL episodes online, and i spend alot of time getting run over in the tournament practice room on MTGO. I read all the newest vintage articles published around the web everyweek. I also find alot of knowledge in watching vintage streamers like Rich Shay (@The Atog Lord) for example. These boards are also full of relevent info on the meta and what to consider when putting together your Sideboard.



  • @NinjaDazed Totally agree on watching all the Vintage you can. I really recommend Channel LSV. I think he does the best job explaining how he's thinking through things of any pilot I've watched.

    http://www.channelfireball.com/videos/channel-lsv-vintage-remora/

    Here he is piloting a sort of big blue as described.



  • @Thermia Welcome to Vintage and the Mana Drain! There are a lot of resources for people looking to get into Vintage. There are a few primers on here and in the archived Mana Drain. Rich Shay from the VSL streams Vintage regularly on his channel as does the owner of this website (who was also in the VSL playin) Andy Probasco here. Cockatrice is a free option but lacks rules enforcement so if your fundamentals aren't quite there, it might not be helpful. MTGGoldfish keeps track of decklists that have placed in MTGO events along with how much they cost to purchase. Joe Fiorino writes about Vintage from the perspective of a relatively new player in his series Vintage 101.

    And if you have any questions in particular, feel free to keep posting on here or shoot me a message in chat. I have had success Mentor if that is the direction you want to go.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain we have enough gush players, come to the dark side my friend and tap your lands for 3 colorless !

    Mishra's workshop welcomes you with open arms!



  • Thanks, I'll be sure to check those out. I've been watching Rich's vods the past week or so and the other vintage streams are also appreciated. I'm not particularly worried about buying into a deck since it appears most of the expensive pieces (besides shops?) are used in a lot of different decks and I have lots of items from trading dota items/league accounts/wow stuff to sell, so I'll probably just watch some more until I can decide on a deck and then go ahead and buy it, then get my ass kicked around like @NinjaDazed said. Not much is more helpful for improving than actual playing, after all.



  • Gush Mentor is a good recommendation for a beginning deck:

    1. It's the deck to beat at the moment, so clearly in Tier 1;
    2. While it's anyone's guess whether or not the DCI will eventually restrict key components like Gush or Monastery Mentor, the expensive cards in the deck (mana artifacts, Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, dual lands, Force of Will) are found in all kinds of Vintage decks and are not going anywhere any time soon.
    3. There is no Vintage deck that is particularly easy to master -- still, Gush Mentor has a relatively gentle learning curve, compared to decks like Storm that require a lot of practice to play at even a basic competent level.


  • This article is ten years old, but it's surprisingly applicable: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/ascending-vintage-learning-curve-introduction-vintage-magic-2006-11-20

    The decks are completely outdated, but the tactics described have many modern parallels. Good luck!



  • Hi @Thermia. Welcome to the forum. Like you I got hooked watching Vintage Super League. I realised that Vintage was far more nuanced than I'd previously thought and decided that this is the format I wanted to play most. This website is a great resource.

    There was a great "getting started" post in the archives

    http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=43327.0

    Eternal Central has the more recent articles too:

    http://www.eternalcentral.com

    Because I've played magic for a while just not Vintage I found the series of "Vintage Year in Review" articles by @Smmenen on the history of the game fascinating. They allowed me to see how the cards I was playing in standard and extended fitted into the format, and is also great for understanding why certain cards are on the restricted list. Beware there is a lot of reading here.

    2004:
    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/vintage-year-review-2005-01-04
    2005:
    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/11070_Another_Vintage_Year_in_Review.html
    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/11116_A_Vintage_Year_in_Review_Part_Two.html
    2006:
    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/13368_2006_Vintage_Year_in_Review_Part_1.html
    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/13428_2006_Vintage_Year_in_Review_Part_2.html
    2007:
    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/2007-vintage-year-review-2007-12-10
    2008:
    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/2008-vintage-year-review-2009-01-12
    2009:
    http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/18681_So_Many_Insane_Plays_The_2009_Vintage_Year_in_Review.html


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain said:

    @Thermia Welcome to Vintage and the Mana Drain! There are a lot of resources for people looking to get into Vintage. There are a few primers on here and in the archived Mana Drain. Rich Shay from the VSL streams Vintage regularly on his channel as does the owner of this website (who was also in the VSL playin) Andy Probasco here. Cockatrice is a free option but lacks rules enforcement so if your fundamentals aren't quite there, it might not be helpful. MTGGoldfish keeps track of decklists that have placed in MTGO events along with how much they cost to purchase. Joe Fiorino writes about Vintage from the perspective of a relatively new player in his series Vintage 101.

    And if you have any questions in particular, feel free to keep posting on here or shoot me a message in chat. I have had success Mentor if that is the direction you want to go.

    Who is Joe Fiorino? I'm Joe Fiorini, subtle difference. :) I'm just kidding of course, thanks for recommending my articles.
    I'm on my phone at the moment, but if the OP needs links to the first few articles I wrote I can provide those. They could be helpful.
    When I started playing Vintage I had a lot of experience in Magic already. I used to play competitively and even qualified for a pro tour. Even so, I found Vintage extremely challenging. My advice is to learn what you can and to not get discouraged. I think I lost every game for the first week I played. Eventually I got better, but there are still many folks in this forum far better than I.
    Good luck, and feel free to ask for any help you may need.



  • @Thermia vintage can be scary at first to get into, i still consider myself new to vintage, and my advice would be to find a deck and stick with it until you get more comfortable with the format. thats not to say play that deck and only that deck forever but once u get comfortable with the format, the interactions, etc., then branch out to different decks. As for the decks you said you looked like your style, im not sure which big blue decks you mean as there are many but since you are just starting out i recommend staying away from storm and steel city vault type decks, its hard to understand the format as it is and playing a deck like that will make it even harder, i would recomend mentor or a delver deck.



  • @Thermia A gift for you... or anyone really.

    Here's a basic instruction manual for playing the blue cards in Vintage. I am by no means claiming to be an expert, but what I've done here is just to try to elucidate the common plays that experienced players tend to make with the commonly played cards, especially as opposed to mistakes that I see new players make with those cards.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h5O_utwT3JCzOfPH695-v4-4ZLNl4gWbUVycnJKTdPc/edit?usp=sharing

    As per for the usually, I like to write many words and maybe I wrote too many. But hopefully some of them are useful to you. Good luck. May you always draw your Lotus.



  • @Topical_Island That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! I have thought of a lot of those scenarios in the few games I have played but laying stuff out and comparing them like that is great. @Islandswamp I have read pretty much all of your articles, they are awesome. Keep up the good work!



  • If I'm not misreading, I think step C under Ancestral recall isn't supposed to be there.



  • @Thermia Hey happy to help. Feel very free to let me know any feedback on stuff that's helpful, or confusing, or potentially bullcrap. And thanks so much for the kind words.


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