Best posts made by 13NoVa
posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

@the-atog-lord said in Congratulations Montolio!:

Huge congratulations to a very worthy winner. Andy displays tremendous sportsmanship, tenacity, and playskill. He will represent our format well.

Rich, I can't imagine the heartbreak of coming that close twice, only to fall short. I really need to learn a thing by your overall kindness and humbleness, and overall presence at any tournament I've been at with you since 2006.

Just know, while you don't have the title of "Vintage Champion 20##" (Yet) , anyone who pays any attention to Vintage knows you're a steward for our format, and the best vintage player to play the game, closely followed by @Montolio and @brianpk80.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Guys, the sky isn't falling. People were underprepared for Workshops. Yes, something probably needs to be restricted, but in the Article I'll be writing I will be writing a clear argument that it is NOT Mishra's Workshop.

Culprits: Phyrexian Revoker, Foundry Inspector, Walking Ballista, Arcbound Ravager.

Those will all be cards I talk about. Relax though, and have a good sideboard plan, and we'll get through the Shop Dominance.

Besides, let us take a look at the workshop players:
@Montolio has been the best performing workshop pilot, and player in general, for YEARS. He won NYSE in 2016, then Top 8ed Champs that year. He also won several of the Power 9 Challenges back when they were only monthly and much larger. He's the real fucking deal.

Rich Shay is fucking bomb dot com at this format. He's extremely analytical, incredibly intelligent of all aspects of this game (and Life!) and he plays a ton, and with #TheAcademy, which for those under a rock is a think tank of the best minds currently in vintage.

Brian Larken played very well, and is all around a great magic player who is relitively unknown in Vintage because he plays in the Shark Tank that is the East Coast. It was only a matter of time until he breaks out - he's friends with Nick Dijohn, so obviously he has some good coaching for playing Workshops.

Eric Vergo was unknown to me before this tournament, and snuck in his second bye by winning one of the Grinders on Thursday by going 5-0, to Join Sean O'Brien and I in the 'Two Bye Club'. He then played magic like a fucking pro all weekend, and had some insane record 8-2 and then 9-1-1 if I recall correctly, for a TOTAL Record of 22-3-1 on the weekend before he got beat in the top 8 of BOTH EVENTS as he was the only person to ever top 8 Legacy and Vintage Champs both in the same year (at least that I can recall). Look for special things from this kid.

The other guy (Sorry, I can't remember your name) I don't know much about, but he seems to be one of the Team Tusk guys, who all seem to be solid magic players from when I've played them or watched them play.

Basically, what I'm getting at is, sure, you need to be lucky to get to the top of these tournaments, but you also need to be a fucking great magic player. And all these shop players would have been pushing the top 64 or 32 anyway.

Hell, if you gave me @Montolio , @brianpk80 , and Rich Shay against the field, when the field had magic cards and the 3-team was armed with a Ham Sandwhich, a Deck of Yugioh cards, and a subscription to Club Pengiun, I'd probably bet on those 3 to at least go 50/50.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

The most important thing to come out of EW 2017 - Soly is actually posting relevant and useful things, instead of the usual worthless bullshit.

posted in Tournament Reports read more

*Disclaimer: This report has some colorful language - I am writing it and then posting it without much proofing, as I want you to hear it as if I were delivering it in a conversation. Also, because it's hilarious, I did copy the title from my EW report, and kept that format.

I was going to try and write a huge preamble and such, but I’ll get right to the point.
At EW2017 I played a very similar list and got 10th.
10th Place Sucks.

I was actually going to play an almost identical list (with Plains, Plowshares, and By Forces) but as I was hanging out with @montolio and @Diophan all night Thursday, they (mostly Ryan via discussions and some games against Andy) convinced me I was wrong on By Force, and Shattering Spree was gasoline. Because of Shattering Spree, I made a consession that I needed to play Wear/Tear in the main over disenchant, which I didn't really want to do because I didn't want to have misstep fights over my only answer to Oath of Druids game 1, but I wanted all my game 1 MUD cards to be one color so the mountain gained more value. This is the same reason I moved on to Lightning Bolt, as well.

This is the list I registered at SCGCon
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Monastery Mentor
1 Young Pyromancer
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
2 Pyroblast
2 Flusterstorm
1 Wear//Tear
2 Dack Fayden
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Search for Azcanta
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Gush
1 Gitaxian Probe
4 Preordain
3 Lightning Bolt
1 Time Walk
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria

Sideboard:
2 Wear//Tear
2 Pyroblast
1 Lightning Bolt
3 Shattering Spree
2 Containment Priest
2 Rest In Peace
1 Mountain
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Stony Silence

Round 1: Ryan McKinny - Jeskai Tempo
I know when Ryan isn't behind the booth he's usually playing Jeskai. I open with Library both games and it isn't much of a match as he doesn't have a Strip Mine.
Matches: 1 - 0
Games: 2 - 0

Round 2: Grag Kraigher - MonoRed 8 Moon
Greg told me at the Old School event at Blue 5 that he was playing this deck. Truthfully, I never believed him. I for SURE didn't believe him when he said "I beat the mirror round 1". Greg plays shops (and has a Championship top 8 to him) so I assumed Shops.
Game 1, I keep a hand that has game against shops: Island x2, Tundra, Young Pyromancer, Gitaxian Probe, Force of Will, Time Walk. Greg goes Ancient Tomb, Simian Spirit Guide, Magus of the Moon. Sidenote: Greg is an honest dude. I thank him in my head for making my hand better, and the game ends anticlimatically. Game 2 he turn 1 moons, but I find Pearl for Wear/Tear, Snapcaster+Bolt to kill a Chandra, Force of Will a Karn, and again, the Ambush Mages do work .
Matches: 2 - 0
Games: 4 - 0

Round 3: James 'JP' Kohler - Stax
I knew he played an Outcome list, but I've known JP for awhile and I know he's a logical guy, and most likely would be playing a Workshop deck, because it's much more consistant through the 90,000,000 rounds we had to play.
Game 1, I was able to beat Smokestack forcing me to sacrifice 1, then 2, then 2 again. I played to my singular Wear/Tear, and found it, and also was able to Dack a Karn which stablized my life at a very low number. I think (and he agrees) that if he upped the Smokestack to 3, I probably wouldn't have won. Game 2 was very unfair as if I recall accurately, Shattering Spree ruined his day.
Matches: 3 - 0
Games: 6 - 0

Round 4: Stephan Quinn - Esper Outcome
I think I took this to 3, playing game 2 bolting Kambals and stabalizing, but I recall in 3 I drew 14 cards without seeing a Pyroblast or Snapcaster mage and he ends my dreams of going 90 Million and Zero at this tournament with a lethal Tendrils of Agony.
Matches: 3 - 1
Games: 7 - 2

Round 5: ??? (Sorry, SCG doesn't have Round 5 Pairings up) - Metalworker MUD
Game 1 he opens with Mox Mox Time Vault and Inventors' Fair, which I wasn't expecting. I do have a Bolt and a Misstep, so when he draws academy and then fetches with the Fair, I have it covered if he gets Key OR Construct. He gets the latter, which eats a bolt in the 2nd main. Game 2 was uneventful as he keeps a 6 that's low on mana, and doesn't hit other lands. I am activating Jace and Dack and he still only has Ghost Quarter for lands.
Matches: 4 - 1
Games: 9 - 2

Round 6: Krasnozon, Jefferey - MUD
I don't honestly remember these games, except that I win 2 - 0 and I shattering Spree him in game 2 and end the game.
Matches: 5 - 1
Games: 11 - 2

Round 7: The REIGNING.... DEFENDING.....UNDESPUTED CHAMPION... @Montolio - MUD
WE get deck checked. I feel like I am going to get a game loss, as I am somewhat at the mercy of the cards Sam Krohlow lent e, and even though I checked with Abe prior to the event AND replaced the one warped foil card Ponder), I never know what the judges are going to do. I am getting mentally prepared to punch sam square in the dick for the game loss I am about to get.

FORTUNATELY... Sam's foils didn't get me a game loss.
UNFORTUNATELY... my dumb ass registered 8 force of wills and 0 preordains, so they fix my list in red pen like a fucking high school teacher and give me a game loss - robbing me of one of the best rounsd of magic I could possibly have at this tournament. I know I am climbing up a HUGE cliff, and it gets worse when I mulligan. I keep Lotus, Island, Snapcaster, Snapcaster, Search for Azcanta on the play, figuring it's better than going to 5, and if he doesn't come out incredibly fast I can play Search and then ambush viper a couple of his guys. Unfortunately, when I go Lotus, Land, Search, Go (I should have ran out a snapcaster), he goes Chalice for 1, go. I search down a Preordain and draw a land, and pass. He plays Overseer and I think Ravager(?) with a factory, and I know the game is just over. Search finds me nothing, and he deploys two more threats turn 3, pumps his team, and bashes.
Matches: 5 - 2
Games: 11 - 3

Round 8: Sean O'Brien @Needlees - Stax
Thankfully, I knew Sean was on Stax. I am a lock for day 2, but a 3rd loss is going to make top 8 incredibly difficult. Sean however, mulligans, and then the only mana sources he plays game 1 are ancient tomb (x3!) so he starts the game essentially at 10 life, and I come out somewhat strong and end the game. Dack and friends do what they do game 2, and I am a lock for day two at 6 and 2. Only eight hundred ninety two thousand matches left to go!
Matches: 6 - 2
Games: 13 - 3

We go to dinner with a rediculous group of magic players, which includes Paul Mastriano, Brian Demars, Montolio, Ryan Eberhart, Stephen Menendian, Kevin Chron, and a mullion others I am just forgetting so I'm sorry! After dinner, it's time for the most important part of this tournament (something that, while itself is not unique, the actual actions and accuracy of is unique to this event...)

DAY TWO PREPARATIONS
I cannot stress how important getting every single possible edge you can within the rules of tournament play is. I didn't get a great screen capture of the Day 2 Competitors (which was a cut off of everyone who was top 32, or anyone who tied the 32nd place record, meaning a record of 5 and 3 plays the next day).

Will MaGrann is nice enough to give me his screen capture. I immediately go to work and use Star City's pairings website, which shows a player's previous pairings, and individually chart out EVERY SINGLE PLAYER in day 2's decklist. If I didn't know what they were on, I knew someone who played against them, and through facebook, texts, and friends, I was able to peg out literally EVERY SINGLE deck. I distributed this to Steve Menendian, Montolio (and Ryan Everhart through Montolio), Will MaGrann (Thank you for the list), and of course one for myself. I only missed 3, which Ryan was able to fill in. This was HUGE as even though I played against 3 players where I knew exactly what they were doing, it did help me to know better mulligans.

Round 9: Dave Flieschmann-Rose - Combo Oath
These game's aren't impressive honestly, sorry to Dave for that. He hit 3 oaths but no oarchards, then I wear/tear the two that resolved thanks to Snapcaster Mage, and then grind in. Game 2 I am more afraid of his combo element, so I board in the Anti-Blue package, and he doesn't have much this game going.
Matches: 7 - 2
Games: 15 - 3

Round 10: Stephan Menendian - Jeskai
I kept a really solid hand, and he did not (as evident with my gitaxian probe). I pyroblast his turn 1 Preordain, then draw Library and turn it on 2 turns later and he conceeds when he plays dack, steels a mox, I snapcaster something and then kill the dack. Game 2 he resolves a few Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, but my lightning bolts made them blank magic cards.
Matches: 8 - 2
Games: 17 - 3

Round 11: Brian Demars - MUD
Unfortunately, Brian draws incredibly well. I even gitaxian probe him, so I know what he draws and it's literally just the best cards off the top: Ravagers x2 when he aleady has Ballista, and both games a 2nd wasteland when I could play around the first, but not the second. They weren't exciting games, as I was just a turn behind at every step after turn 1.
Matches: 8 - 3
Games: 17 - 5

I am feeling extremely down here, as I felt this was my tournament. But as more people are coming in at 8 - 3, they're talking that the cut should be at 9 - 3 - 1, meaning I was ideally a win away from Drawing In!

Round 12: Eric Marich - MUD
I am at 24, and he's at 30, so I ask if he'd like to conceed me into top 8, which he does not. Thought I'd try, but at his position I definitely wouldn't either.
Game 1 he smashes me. I keep a hand with brainstorm in it, and then draw Pyroblast and Misstep, Brainstorm them away, shuffle, then draw flusterstorm and Misstep. That's what Game 1 is like sometimes.
Game 2 and Game 3 were both grinds. In one of the games, I can't remember which, he has Chalice @ 2, Trinisphere, Ravager, Sphere of Resisstance, Mishra's Factory, and Steel Overseer. He attacks me, and I bolt the Mishra's Factory. The next turn I draw Shattering Spree, and I spree for 1RRR to get rid of the two remaining creatures and the Trinisphere. After the match, someone asks me why I bolted the factory. Sigh. Some people just don't understand "playing to your outs".
Matches: 9 - 3
Games: 19 - 6
I'm locked for top 8! This is sweet.

NOPE. Fuck. There's one 25 pointer, and I'm paired against him on Outcome.

Round 13: Jonathan Leone - Esper Outcome.
Game 1: I keep a hand that has ancestral, some other cards, and basically "if I don't get turn 1 or turn 2, I can win. He opens up Tundra go. He allows me to draw a card, and play a land. And then he fucking END STEPS ANSESTRAL RECALL. Seriously, I'm going to try and not be rude, but how can you be in contention still and not know the most basic way to play that card? I'm actually insulted that my opponent didn't respect me enough to play this card correctly. I recall in response, and don't find a misstep or force of will. Well, he gets to draw 3, but I can turn 2 dack. NOPE. He draws the nuts. Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mox Opal, Tezzeret (Fetch Time Vault). I untap, play a land, and play dack, and dude has Force of Will + Blue card. Sometimes it snows in June in Christmasland, where you can play cards terribly and still steal one. Whatever.
Game 2 I destroy him. I land a STony Silence, and he doesn't do anything. I actually don't even kill him when I could have, because I would rather ultimate Dack, Pyroblast his library, and have 2 libraries going. It's every bit as degenerate as you would think it is.

Game 3, I mulligan to 6, and see a hand that doesn't have a fucking land in it. Great. Literally a $1,000 mulligan. Fuck my life. My hand is Mox Ruby, Mox Jet, Ancestral REcall, Force of Will, Preordain, Snapcaster MAge. I figure this is better than 5. I have 16 blue mana sources in my deck of 54 cards left, but I also have 4 pyroblasts. So 20 of 54 cards are immediate acton, and I have a scrye and my draw step. If i draw a land, the game probably ends. If I don't draw a land, and open up with Mox Ruby, Go, my opponent HAS to respect Pyroblast + Force of Will. This should slow him down enough for me to get extra time to hit a land and take over the game. My opponent goes land go, and I draw a nonland/NonBlast (after scrying a nonland to the bottom).
Opponent draws, doesn't even shuffle the card into his deck, and goes "Gitaxian Probe". FUCKING GREAT. Sometimes you just want to play magic, and your opponent doesn't allow you to because vinfage has stupid never-should-have-been-printed-braindead cards like Gitaxian Probe. LIFE TILT. So now I can't bluff Pyroblast. He plays a Mentor that turn, and I don't even consider forcing it. He knows I have force, so it's obvious he does, and I NEED To hit a land to come back. I miss a land. He plays Kambal, and now I have to force. He has force, I brick on a land, and then he has two spells and I'm dead.
Matches: 9 - 4
Games: 20 - 8

I smash my Boogie Board in frustration at this point. Outcome is so fucking frustrating. A. The deck should NEVER have put two people in the top 8. The deck is the best deck on the fucking planet if you can draw a bunch of active artifacts, but the deck is DogShit AIDS when you don't draw artifacts. Also, the deck only plays 4 Force of Wills, and then 2 Flusterstorms Post-board. My deck is positioned to push their shit in with my 4 pyroblasts and my snapcasters. I keep Missteps in because most outcome players need to crutch incredibly hard on Sol Ring or Sensei's Top. I was near 75% in over 100 MATCHES against Outcome, but when I don't draw mana, or don't draw one of my 4 pyroblasts, 4 snapcasters, etc. I can't win. And that's what happened.

I don't fault my opponent for anything other than the ancestral play, and congrats to him on the top 8. I'm just really frustrated at myself for playing a fuckton of magic and missing top 8 by fucking TWO places TWICE this year in the two marquee events in the format. I'm really depressed to be so close yet so far to getting my name into the top 8 again. I feel I would have had a really great shot at the 7 decks in the top 8 had I beaten my last opponent. It's hard when you only get to play Vintage now when you jump on a plane, and then you do that and BARELY miss the eliminators.

This event was ridiculous though. It's a vintage GP. There's goods and bads of course to that. I would probably have played in the Dual for Duals Legacy event, but was robbed of that because day 1 of vintage was a qualifier for essentially a 2nd vintage tournament on day 2. Having the Pair Down was brutal, as well.

But look at the fucking MURDERERS ROW I had to play in this event. I've known @Nedlees for awhile, but I NEVER knew he was THE Sean O'Brian. As in, from the two schools of control: Weissman or O'Brien. Like Damn dude, never knew. I played Smmenen, Brian Demars, and Montolio. I played fucking FOUR of the top 8 players.

Some considerations:
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy: I hate this card. It’s supposedly good against shops, but I actually fear the games where they DON’T draw a sphere more, because that means I’m probably needing to deal with 3 to 5 creatures by turn 3. Snapcaster does that much better in my opinion as well as sometimes being an Ambush Viper that blocks a key Revoker, or a Foundry Inspector, or a Factory.
Strip Mine: I always dislike this one, because while it feels great to get a Library, the effect is actually just setting you back further against Workshops because they play Inspector. Getting a Bazaar with the Tempo deck playing only 1 Mentor isn’t enough to stall Dredge enough to steal game 1s
Balance: The effect of balance is great, obviously. However, I wanted all my plays to have Deterministic Lines, and Balance has variances that just make it not a good draw in certain circumstances. I also know that I am the type of player to intentionally put myself into bad situations, just to try and blow someone out with Balance.
Merchant Scroll: This card doesn’t find Time Walk, Bolt, or Treasure Cruise, so I would 100% play Mystical Tutor over it.
Search for Azcanta: card isn't great, but it's better than Scroll. However, it's going to be Dack #3 moving forward. Always more Dacks.

My thoughts on the Metagame:
Workshop is obviously above and beyond the best strategy to be on. However, for the first time I DON’T think Workshop needs restricting. I also don’t believe Sphere needs to be restricted. Here’s my thoughts:
Phyrexian Revoker: Like Chalice, this card just proactively OR retroactively shuts down whatever card the opponent is using to try and get back into the game, be that Dack Fayden, Sol Ring, even Lotus Petal.
Arcbound Ravager: If they really want to slow down the deck’s resilliancy, this guy fits the bill.
Foundry Inspector: This guy is the card that makes the deck tick currently. If you’re not playing this guy in Workshops, you’re wrong. He’s above the curve, to the point in my testing it was 100% Counter or destroy immediately, or lose.

Workshop is fine. This format deserves to have an affinity deck, which is what this is. As much as I have hated Workshop in the past, this is the first tournament in 12 years that has been won with a deck playing the card. I believe the current workshop decks are great, and something should happen, but Sphere shouldn’t be considered at all, and neither should workshop. Let affinity exist, it isn’t bad for the format, but make it so they can’t just randomly 20 people with Ballista, or at least make it so they can’t protect themselves easily from By Force or Shatter effects.

To finish: There ain’t no party like a Pete Hoefling party! Star City Con was amazing, and I already am excited for 2019. There’s too many people to thank – basically, if I talked to you or played against you, you’re a cool dude and make Vintage great.

Specifics:
Props to Montolio. That guy has to get an agricultural license now due to the number of Loti he's collecting. I wrote this on twitter basically too - this guy is like that one dude in high school you just knew was going to get a scholarship and then go pro in a sport, because he's just straight dunking on everyone and is playing at a different level.
Sam Krohow for lending me cards.
Diophan, montolio, Nick DiJohn, and anyone who went with us either day for dinner, you all are awesome dudes.

I would like to see this event have proxies - more because of the safety of peoples' real cards. I don't own cards, but I can obtain cards no problem - but it's a huge risk. Even owning the cards and bringing them is a risk. I would also like to see the ability to play in a Legacy event if they're giving away a bunch of duals. I want to rebuilt my collection, and top 8ing events like these would go a long way toward that.

A couple Petitions:

  1. Can we just NOT give away Black Loti anymore? Seriously. Lets do Beta Ancestral or something. We all know what happens whenever a Lotus is up for grabs. We all donate to Montolio's field of these fucking things.

  2. Can we cut to top 10? Seriously... for fuck's sakes. 😞

Notes on changes:

The main change to the list was Bolt instead of Plowshares and thus Shattering Spree instead of By Force. I never got to shattering Spree a Precursor, so the jury is out on that one. As for Plow Vs. Bolts, Plowshares FOR SURE gets rid of the creature, where Bolt sometimes doesn't when it comes to MUD Math or Mentor. Also, Gurmag Angler, White Elrazi creatures, etc. However, the Mountain is VERY important to the deck, where-as the Plains is only important if you stick with Plowshares. I did bolt a Precursor, and not giving my opponent 9 life to work with when they play Shocklands (tombs) can be important.

posted in Tournament Reports read more

I was going to try and write a huge preamble and such, but I’ll get right to the point.
At GP Minneapolis I went 4-0 with Jeskai Mentor to win 1 bye to Eternal Weekend.
At GP Indianapolis I went 4-0 with Grixis Paradox to win 1 bye to Eternal Weekend.

This is the list I registered at Eternal Weekend
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Monastery Mentor
2 Young Pyromancer
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
2 Pyroblast
2 Flusterstorm
1 Disenchant
2 Dack Fayden
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Gush
1 Gitaxian Probe
4 Preordain
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Time Walk
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Flooded Strand
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Library of Alexandria

Sideboard:
2 Pithing Needle
2 Wear//Tear
1 Abrade
1 Pyroblast
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 By Force
1 Containment Priest
2 Rest In Peace
2 Mindbreak Trap
1 Red Elemental Blast

Round 1: Bye

  • Matches: 1-0
  • Rounds: 2-0

Round 2: Bye

  • Matches: 2-0
  • Rounds: 4-0

Round 3: Kyle Teagan - UW Landstill

  • Matches: 3-0
  • Rounds: 6-0

Game 1: I use Jace to end this game – it was uneventful as Kyle had a Factory and an Island for most of the game as I made land drops, and blew his standstill out to start pressuring.

In: 2 Pithing Needle, 1 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Pyroblast, 1 Wear//Tear
Out: 4 Force of Will, 1 Sol Ring

I board in the needles to name Factory and Wasteland, and the Wear//Tear to destroy a Moat. I board out the Force of Wills because I want to be the proactive deck in this matchup, using my Snapcasters to draw cards or answer Standstill or Jace via a Pyroblast.

Game 2: I break Standstill when Kyle is at 7 cards and properly position myself by discarding Force of Will and just over-threatening him with Snapcasters to push the advantage. Eventually we blow each other’s hands out, with him having 1 card and me having 3 or 4, and I probe, seeing Emrakul the Aeon’s Torn and then play a Pyromancer and make some tokens, which are being held back by Factory. After he plays his second factory, I stick ‘em with a needle and start attacking to close the game.

Round 4: Feature Match - Sean O'Brien - Nono-Color Stax

  • Matches 4-0
  • Rounds 8-1

This match is on Camera, so I will only speak of key plays: I will say the Dack Fayden fuck up on numbering was NOT malicious – I’ve played this format for 13 years, and I knew that when we started that he was on Smokestack, and I felt I needed to play as quickly as possible as if he had Ensnaring Bridge or Tabernacle etc, I may need to play around some obscure gamestates that would require time to get through. A judge was around us the entire match, as well. I am 100% fine with being known for being a dick or whatever, but I have never in the 13 years I’ve played been a cheater, and I never will be.

Game 1: I use a disenchant for value and get punished for it by Steel Hellkite

In: 2 Pithing Needle, 1 Abrade, 2 Wear//Tear, 2 By Force, 1 Swords to Plowshares
Out: 2 Pyroblast, 3 Mental Misstep, 2 Flusterstorm, 1 Gifts Ungiven

Game 2: I mulliganed to 6 and kept a Preordain hand figu
ring I’d be able to get a 2nd land and at least stay somewhat afloat, but I hit Ancestral Recall but don’t hit a land. I feared Strip Mine, but instead he had Ghost Quarter, which he used in the Upkeep and it finds Mountain which turned on my Abrade. Next turn, he Ghost Quarters me again assuming I don’t have 3 basics, and I find the Plains that turned on my Plowshares. He did a really good job of keeping me off blue, and eventually I get to a really low life before stabilizing. At one point, I use Dack Fayden to steal a Precursor Golem token before I plowshares them, to take my life from 1 to 4.

Game 3: This game goes to time. He opens Lodestone, and I open Library, Lotus, Ruby. He hits for 5, and plays a Wire. End of Turn I blast the Golem with blow then Abrade the Tangle Wire. Eventually, he gets another wire and a Thorn with a Crucible, but no wasteland. He hits a smokestack. I recall at one point he has a Tangle Wire at 2, a Smokestack at 1, and a Thorn. I flash in Snapcaster with my two open mana, which gives me enough to sacrifice Snapcaster, tap 2, and drop Dack. I thought about being cute with taking Crucible but if I take crucible, smokestack can get to 2 and then to 3 before I can use dack again to swipe it, so I decide to just take the stack and get rid of it immediately. Time is ticking, and we get to a point where I can kill him through his Tabernacle, which I do.

Round 5: Tim Morrison - Dredge

  • Matches: 4-1
  • Rounds: 9-3

Game 1 I play turn 1 Jace, and feel great when he plays Sapphire, but then he follows it up with Bazaar. Unfortunately, he dredges perfect, and before he even has to Fatestitcher he has enough to Kill me.

In: 2 Pithing Needle, 1 Plowshares, 2 Rest in Peace, 1 Containment Priest
Out: 1 Mountain, 2 Pyroblast, 1 Gifts Ungiven, 1 Sol Ring

Game 2 I play turn 1 Pithing needle, and on his 3 turns he plays 3 bazaars. I play a Rest in Peace to lock it up by using Force of Will on his Serenity.

Game 3: This game haunts me. I have a hand of Black Lotus, Ruby, Force of Will, Mental Misstep, Dig through Time, Monastery Mentor, Containment Priest. I run the numbers, and I have 9 lands I can draw, I can draw Pearl, Sapphire, and that turns on Mentor, make a token, containment priest, with Force and Mistep backup… or I can draw one of my 4 pithing needle/Rest in peace, or I could even Draw one of my Dack Faydens to try and hit a white mana source and still have Priest up, and I can also try to chain a broken spell like Ancestral or Brainstorm or Ponder to dig further. I decide that my hand is strong enough to chance that. I don’t draw a land, and even though my opponent doesn’t actually dredge this game, he has Bloodghast, a couple therapies, a couple bridges, and eventually a Hollow One, and I lose.

Round 6: David Szatkowski - Doomsday

  • Matches: 5-1
  • Rounds: 11-4

Game 1 I Gitaxian Probe him and see Lotus, Doomsday, Vamp, Mystical, and Ponder. I know that if he ponders into anything I’m probably dead, and a few turns later, I’m dead. This guy has much bigger balls than me since I couldn’t find a Doomsday list I liked, but at the same time, I know Doomsday inside and out so I know exactly what I want to do.

In: 1 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Pyroblast, 2 Mindbreak Trap
Out: 1 Swords to Plowshares, 1 Disenchant, 1 Mountain, 1 Swamp

Game 2: I mulligan to 6, and keep Volcanic, Tundra, Lotus, Ruby, Snapcaster, Dack Fayden. I figure my tournament is over, but I keep it. I play Lotus, land, Dack (Avoiding the Mindbreak Trap he removed to Force of Will in game 1), and start looting. I assume I could find Ancestral or Trasure Cruise to gain back the Cards, but instead Dack Fayden keeps filering lands. I don’t put a 2nd land into play until roughly turn 9. To give you an idea of how long this goes, I use Dack’s -6, and STILL get him back to 14 loyalty. We blow each other’s hands out with our counter war which I won, and I finally Dig into a Mentor, and play a Mentor, then flusterstorm one of his spells to make a token. Because of how low my deck is, I knew there was a 100% chance of drawing Snapcaster between my Draw Step and Dack, which allows me to time walk. I then draw the pyroblast I stacked with my Dig, and get him for exact.

Game 3: This game isn’t really exciting. I play Ancestral, I snapcast Ancestral, I flusterstorm something of his, and eventually I let him resolve Doomsday, and then kill him with Dack Fayden after having his last card stuck in his deck.

Round 7: Travis Compton - Dredge

  • Matches: 6-1
  • Rounds: 13-4

Game 1 he Mulligans to 1, and gets no bazaar. I board similar to my other match, and hit a RIP off my draw step mid-game to basically luck out after he Abrupt Decays a needle and a RIP.

Round 8: Ruben Gonzalez - Grixis Nights Whisper Theives

  • Matches 6-2
  • Rounds: 13-6

These games weren’t close. I knew it was a bad matchup because the Mistep/Pyroblast deck can’t stop Nights Whisper. He just always had 5 cards. Ruben is an insanely good Spanish player who’s been playing the format longer than I have even, so I knew I was in for a battle. I wasn’t even upset losing this match even though it effectively knocked me out, as I opened Library, Volcanic, Pyrolast, Force of Will x2, Blue Card x2, and still just got RAN OVER. It wasn’t fair.

Round 9: Andrea Mengucci - Grixis Nights Whisper

  • Matches: 7-2
  • Rounds: 15-6

This was the exact opposite of Ruben’s game. I ran him over and he had no chance. I don’t remember much of this game except that Snapcaster Mages were MVP.

My sideboard was:
In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Swords to Plowshares, 2 Mindbreak Trap
Out: 4 Force of Will, 1 Plains

Round 10: Xin Sui - URW Silence Mentor

  • Matches: 8-2
  • Rounds: 17-6

Snapcasters again were MVP. Game 2, he taps out at 15 life to play a Snapcaster to plow my Mentor, and I make 4 Mentor Tokens. I then Plow his Snapcaster, responding by Plow his snapcaster, respond by Plow his Snapcaster. I then Snapcaster and Plow my Snapcaster, and hit him for 20 with my tokens.
I end up in 10th Place, which really stung. I thought for sure I had the ability to Top 8 – to fall that short was heartbreaking, but then as I was finally starting to get comfortable with it, Jimmy McCarthy (one of my best friends and a Groomsman in my wedding) comes up and says “man you played really well, how does 2nd last feel?” and now you know why I named my post that .

My sideboard was:
In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Swords to Plowshares, 2 Mindbreak Trap
Out: 4 Force of Will, 1 Sol Ring (He saw in game 1 I played it, so I thought maybe he'd think I'm on full power and keep in stony, which is dead otherwise)

Some considerations:
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy: I hate this card. It’s supposedly good against shops, but I actually fear the games where they DON’T draw a sphere more, because that means I’m probably needing to deal with 3 to 5 creatures by turn 3. Snapcaster does that much better in my opinion as well as sometimes being an Ambush Viper that blocks a key Revoker, or a Foundry Inspector, or a Factory. Snapcaster saved me in a game that Jace Vryn’s Prodigy would not have against Sean O’Brien, and Jace was much better against Landstill as well as against the Grixis decks.
Strip Mine: I always dislike this one, because while it feels great to get a Library, the effect is actually just setting you back further against Workshops because they play Inspector. Getting a Bazaar with the Tempo deck playing only 1 Mentor isn’t enough to stall Dredge enough to steal game 1s, and I wanted to place all 3 basics in my main so I could free up the Sideboard spot for Containment Priest (which originally was a Mountain, with the Maindeck Mountain replaced by Strip Mine)
Balance: The effect of balance is great, obviously. However, I wanted all my plays to have Deterministic Lines, and Balance has variances that just make it not a good draw in certain circumstances. I also know that I am the type of player to intentionally put myself into bad situations, just to try and blow someone out with Balance.
Merchant Scroll: This card doesn’t find Time Walk, Plowshares, or Treasure Cruise, so I would 100% play Mystical Tutor over it. However, I decided to play Gifts Ungiven over Mystical.
Gifts Ungiven: This spot was originally Pieces of the Puzzle and then later Fact or Fiction, but like Balance, sometimes you just don’t see enough cards that make those cards good. Value based Gifts Ungivens (Cruise, Dig, Ancestral, Snapcaster – etc) just puts games further out of reach for your opponents. Moving forward, this might become something else entirely, but I was okay with having it.

My thoughts on the Metagame:
Workshop is obviously above and beyond the best strategy to be on. However, for the first time I DON’T think Workshop needs restricting. I also don’t believe Sphere needs to be restricted. Here’s my thoughts:
Phyrexian Revoker: Like Chalice, this card just proactively OR retroactively shuts down whatever card the opponent is using to try and get back into the game, be that Dack Fayden, Sol Ring, even Lotus Petal.
Walking Ballista: Let us call a spade a spade: Rich freaking 20’d people with this card in the top 8 – this card is above the curve.
Arcbound Ravager: If they really want to slow down the deck’s resilliancy, this guy fits the bill.
Foundry Inspector: This guy is the card that makes the deck tick currently. If you’re not playing this guy in Workshops, you’re wrong. He’s above the curve, to the point in my testing it was 100% Counter or destroy immediately, or lose.

Workshop is fine. This format deserves to have an affinity deck, which is what this is. As much as I have hated Workshop in the past, this is the first tournament in 12 years that has been won with a deck playing the card. I believe the current workshop decks are great, and something should happen, but Sphere shouldn’t be considered at all, and neither should workshop. Let affinity exist, it isn’t bad for the format, but make it so they can’t just randomly 20 people with Ballista, or at least make it so they can’t protect themselves easily from By Force or Shatter effects.

To finish: There ain’t no party like a Nick Coss party! Eternal Weekend was amazing, and I already am excited for 2018. There’s too many people to thank – basically, if I talked to you or played against you, you’re a cool dude and make Vintage great.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

The key to Doomsday, in my opinion, is the same as it's always been: Kill your opponent the turn you cast Doomsday.

Unfortunately, an On-Board Ravager+Ballista makes that impossible. Also, I don't believe Doomsday is a Dark Ritual deck. If anything.

It's no secret that I love me some Doomsday, so I will share some tips with you; shout out goes to David Szatkowski, who I played at Eternal Weekend at 4-1, so at the time he was doing well and made me realize I really wanted to play the card again.

Key Questions
How do you replace 3 Gitaxian Probe and 3 Gush?
The key here is to play at least 2, and maybe 3 Sensei's Top. The card replaces the top card of your Library, so it can act as a Gush essentially, in that you stack your deck with the standard Gush kill with Gush as the top card, and it allows you to win easily. Sometimes setting up Preordain/Ponder/Brainstorm stacks are tough, so this is a big deal.
[TOP]
Gush
Ancestral Recall
Black Lotus
Laboratory Maniac
Gitaxian Probe
[BOTTOM]

Draw Gush. Stack is now
[TOP]
Sensei's Divining Top
Ancestral Recall
Black Lotus
Laboratory Maniac
Gitaxian Probe
[BOTTOM]

You Gush, then Ancestral, Etc.

Removing 6 cards from our deck via Restrictions, while the format is also changing from having a Prison Deck to having a hyper-fast Affinity deck does more than just make us say 'What 6 cards can I play in place of these cards?". We have to entirely redefine the path our deck is designed to take until it's critical turn, how our deck interacts with the current metagame, and we have to determine exactly what cards assist us in taking that path.

  • Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

This card is giving me headaches trying to figure out exactly what doomsday piles you can play with this card in play, because there is a vast difference in when it's not flipped versus when it is flipped.

  • Dack Fayden

Dack is really good, but I find myself wondering if a Red Splash is worth it. Red does give us some of the best spells in the format against Workshops, while black gives us great spells against Dredge, and Blue has great spells available against other blue decks. Overall, my question is, is Dack good enough with only 2 or 3 moxes, lotus, and Lotus Petal? Dack does assist our Doomsday Piles, which is always nice.

  • Jace, The Mind Sculptor

If Dack's mana cost was a concern, JTMS is a worse concern. However, this card undoubtably win's the game.

  • Meditate

I played this before, in 2010 when Gush was restricted the 2nd time around. That list can be referenced at the bottom of this post. However, there is no way I play Meditate in the current iteration of this deck, in the current iteration of this format.

  • Opt

I have considered playing this card as another cantrip - Either this or Peek. Peek is nice as it gives information that we can use on our opponent's end step in advance to setting up our Critical Turn. I just really like Opt's new art.

  • Chromatic Sphere

This card is a great one at it filters our mana to get to Doomsday, and more importantly, it is a mana source, and drawing the card is attached to that mana source, so if you resolve Laboratory Maniac with 1 mana open and 0 cards in your Library, you win the game regardless how many ways your opponent could otherwise remove the Maniac. I did this on stream to beat a Dismember the day Gush/Probe were restricted on MTGO, and it felt FREAKING FANTASTIC.

How do you keep up with the Workshop decks?
I was really a fan of Pithing Needle in my Snapcaster deck, to the point where I will be playing this card (Again) in Doomsday's Sideboard. In the past, we named Wasteland so we could use Ingot Chewers to extend through Spheres, but right now I worry more about them racing us or having Ravager+Ballista making losing half our life a really big deal. Pithing Needle on Ravager and/or Ballista is pretty good, and the card also does well vs Dredge.

What is the best way to beat the Dredge Decks?
I found Yixlid Jailer is really good, but getting to 1B when you're not playing full power is difficult. Another card I'm a HUGE fan of is Planar Void - It's one of those gems from back in the day that's really good, but it is still Misstepped. Note it's a trigger, not a replacement effect, so you/opponents can still do things like 'Ancestral,Trigger, respond Snapcaster Ancestral'. Pithing Needle is good here as well, and I might be tempted to even sideboard a Bojuka Bog.

Is Laboratory Maniac and Tendrils of Agony still the best win conditions?
I'm torn on Laboratory Maniac, but I think you need to keep it. Tendrils isn't actually a card I want to play - without Fastbond and Gushes you won't get the storm count + the Mana to successfully Tendrils someone. There are risks to not playing the Tendrils of Agony (if you don't replace it with a different win condition) - You cannot remove Laboratory Maniac to Force of Will otherwise you die immediately, Swords to Plowshares, Pyroblast, etc. all become a lot more risky for you, and you don't have a successful finisher after Yawgmoth's Will. These are all items I am working to rectify. Other options would be to go back to the Mind's Desire + Becon of Destruction Kill, which has it's own risks, or playing a Monastery Mentor, which I've done a lot of scenarios with to find a Doomsday stack that wins, or Tinker+Blightsteel which you can set up a Time Walk turn with Doomsday, but is mana intensive and requires you to play enough artifacts to support Tinker. Bottom line, there is a great win condition out there - we just need to find it.

Is Doomsday a combo or a control deck?
Doomsday is a control deck the same ways Gifts Ungiven was a control deck in the mid-2000's. You control the game until you cast your key spell and the game ends. As such, I recommend playing 1 Dark Ritual, because you can Mystical Tutor for it in a pinch. I also recommend playing a Merchant Scroll as it can find a counterspell or a Gush, and I recommend playing Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor. One card I don't like playing, because I am already playing 2 top-of-the-deck tutors I am not a huge fan of, is Imperial Seal.
On top of that, I also suggest playing 2 to 3 Doomsday, but also playing a Treasure Cruise and a Dig Through Time.
Your deck should be designed to go off on turn 3 or 4, and Cruise and Dig both fire at around that time on average, and more than likely can draw you into a Doomsday or a way to get Doomsday. Having 4 Doomsdays always felt like to much even in 4 Gush days, and in the 1 Gush/1 Probe really limits our ways to fire a Doomsday on Turn 3 without too much risk.

Hopefully this is enough of a post to get discussion going.

Sidenote: WTF Soly with a very good post. I'm losing my edge.

Soly Doomsday from 2010: http://www.eternalcentral.com/xtreme-games-08-15-2010-top-8-decklists-coverage/

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@hierarchnoble Speak of the Devil, and he shall appear.

So, you want to resolve a 4 mana do nothing, then cast 4 other spells, then make this into a land that copies a spell.

There is so many things I want to say here about (A) the playability of this card and (B) people who actually think this is playable, so I'll save @Brass-Man a ton of time.

This post has been Deleted!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

![Lavinia, Azorius Renegade](0_1545062055576_e8d0647d-f527-483b-872f-cf7e488701a7-image.png

I'm not normally one to be excited about new cards, but this card seems GREAT at hosing

  • Force of Will
  • Dig Through Time
  • Treasure Cruise
  • Misstep
  • Moxes/Mana Crypt/Lotus
  • Busted turn 1/turn 2 even turn 3 plays (Outcome, etc).

I'm not much into the Dude Decks, but others are.

posted in Vintage Community read more

London Hasn’t Fallen

The “London Mulligan” rule by now has been written about as well as talked about, whether in podcasts, livestreams, Youtube videos, or in your local game store, to the point there isn’t even a carcass of where the dead horse used to be. That said, little focus, outside small groups on Facebook, has been on how this rule would/does impact Vintage.

First, a recap of the rule: When a player is choosing to Mulligan, they will shuffle their hand into their library, and then draw a new hand – the difference being instead of drawing 7-X, where X is the number of times the player has chosen to mulligan previously in the game, that player will instead draw 7, and then determine whether or not to keep their hand. At this point, they will place X cards to the bottom of their Library, again where x is the number of times a mulligan has been chosen.

Immediately the implications are obvious. Others have already ran the math on how this impacts the percentage of Dredge opening a hand with Bazaar of Baghdad, and more so with Serum Powder in the mix – this number is greater than 99%. There have been questions on how this rule will impact MUD strategies, since opening with a Mishra’s Workshop is almost always better than opening without one.

The London Mulligan rule WILL Impact Vintage, and it WILL make the average opening hand much stronger. This rule will significantly alter mulligan decisions for players, and will significantly increase the odds of players opening with Bazaar of Baghdad, Mishra’s Workshop, a very fast Outcome start, or a very disruptive Xerox open. This rule drastically increases the average power level of opening hands post-mulligan, and will make decisions to mulligan original 7 card hands much less obvious.

This is not a bad thing, overall. Forced mulligans are exceptionally bad for Magic as a whole, and are bad for Vintage as well. This mulligan rule, if it becomes part of the game as a whole after Magic Fest London, will increase the number of times players mulligan decent 7 card hands in hopes of a more powerful 6 card hand, but there is an opportunity cost to that strategy.

For every Workshop player that mulligans to 6 in hopes of finding a Workshop, there will be a Xerox pilot in the same situation that gets to put their useless Game 1 Mental Missteps to the bottom. The blue player gets the same +1 card to their decision process the Workshop player does in this scenario, and in reality, the Xerox player has a large amount of ways to interact, be it keeping additional lands to beat Sphere effects, or keeping Force of Will + a Lightning Bolt/Swords to Plowshares, that the Xerox Player and Workshop Player both having to mulligan to 6, the odds might actually be better for the Xerox Player (of course, this depends on Play/Draw) in the game.

For every Dredge Player that mulligans to 6 or less to find bazaar, the opponent gets to mulligan to find 1 or more disruption effects. The Dredge Player in game 2 realistically has to have a Bazaar of Baghdad of which they only have 4, and either a colored mana source or a disruptive spell, while the opponent has greater odds of hitting one of their 6+ graveyard specific disruption elements, with a good chance at hitting 2, or hitting a hand that is fast while disruptive. Naturally, everyone is thinking right now “but their Game 1 percentage is greater than 99%!”, and to that the defense is where you really planning to win a game 1 against Dredge anyway?

Overall, regardless the Paris, Vancouver, or London mulligan rule, Magic: The Gathering will thrive both digitally and physically, and Vintage will follow suit. There are a lot of reasons for people to have an opinion either positive or negative about Vintage as a format, but the London mulligan rule, if (or when) it becomes official to the rules of Magic will not break, ruin, destroy, or even hinder Vintage as a format.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@winterstar

Then again, if I got to wear the DCI hat for the upcoming b/r list, I'd probably let gush, probe, and yawg's bargain off of the restricted list and hit ravager, ballista, thorn, mentor, and pyromancer with the restriction bat.

So you're okay with people having negative two mana draw spells and perfect information at every turn of the game, but you're afraid of a supercharged triskelion, AND young Pyromancer?

This is why we don't allow people like you to dictate the list.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I ended up in10th

Bye
Bye
UW Landstill 2-0
Stacks (on camera) 2-1 *this match was epic
Dredge 1-2
Dredge 2-0
Doomsday 2-1
Nights whisiper Grixis theives 0-2 *Ruben gonzales is an insanely good magic player
Grixis nontheives 2-0 *andrea Mengucci
jeskai Tokens 2-0

My deck felt right all day - I knew it was a dog against theives if they played nights whisper, and dredge just spmetimes is dredge and you dont get to play much magic.

Super bummed to miss top 8, but I proved most importantly to myself that I can still play at a high level.

posted in Tournament Reports read more

This weekend, 32 players converged at Geoff Moes' house to play an invitation only magic tournament. We imbibe (Way more than we should) and play vintage, then we watch the Ohio State/Wisconsin Big 10 Championship (Fuck Ohio State, BTW) and then swim in his pool and party.

Anyway, it was a blast. But the reason I'm writing this is because @sillysam71 (Sam Krohlow) and I have worked together on Doomsday decks several times in the past - He is not very well known because he started playing Vintage shortly before the Midwest Scene died, but trust when I say he is a master at playing Combo decks. I would say Joshua Butker, @Smmenen , Sam and I by far have the most experience with Doomsday in the Format.

Anyway, we designed and played the same 75, with me going 3-2, and him losing in top 4 after going 4-0-2.

Here's the list:

1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Flooded Strand
2 Island
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Black Lotus
1 Brainstorm
1 Chain of Vapor
2 Dark Petition
4 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dig Through Time
2 Doomsday
2 Duress
3 Flusterstorm
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Gush
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
3 Mental Misstep
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Necropotence
1 Ponder
4 Preordain
2 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Sol Ring
1 Tendrils of Agony
3 Thoughtseize
1 Timetwister
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will

Sideboard:
2 Fatal Push
2 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Island
1 Laboratory Maniac
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Extirpate
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Virulent Plague
1 Yixlid Jailer

I ended up beating Thing in The Ice RUG Tempo, Kelly Oath, and Jeskai Bomberman, losing to Lands(!) and 2 Card Monte.

In game 1 against lands, I used top, fetched, used top, fetched, and found all my duresses and flusterstorms and lands, and literal no business. Eventually dying to a 20/20. In game 3, I gitaxian probe his hand of all blanks, play necro, necro down to 3 (Which is only 8 cards here) and draw a hand that can kill him, but I don't draw a duress or flusterstorm, so I have to go blind. His 1 unknown card after he draws for turn happens to be Mindbreak Trap.

2 Card Monte was just rough. In game 1 I spin top with fetchlands 3 times to see 9 total new cards, and they're literally all my lands. In game 2, he just demolishes me with Trinisphere + REB, then he grindstones me for value with his two grindstones in play the turn before I can bounce the 3ball and win, and hits both Laboratory Maniac and Tendrils (With Leyline in play). The risk you take playing 2 wincons.

While most choices are pretty obvious, I wanted to talk about some of our choices.
Skeletal Scrying over Treasure Cruise, Merchant Scroll, Time Walk, and Mystical Tutor
Skeletal Scrying gives us another way to use Rituals, and also is instant and non-blue, dodging Pyroblast and giving us a way to refuel the turn before we want to go off. Also, in a pinch it can start your Doomsday Pile for 1B and 1 Life.
Merchant Scroll is a great card, but when you don't play a lot of colorless mana sources it gets pretty hard, and also we don't need gush to start our piles. Time Walk is an obvious cut in my opinion as I never really want to reset my Storm Count. Mystical I wanted, but with the format being Misstep Haven right now, it made sense not to play.

Laboratory Maniac is in the sideboard because Removal is ripe in every deck, and we feel with 4 rituals, we're really more of a storm deck - however, we wanted to bring in the Maniac to beat Graveyard Hate.

Changes I'd make to the maindeck would be:
-1 Flusterstorm
+1 Thoughtseize or Duress

As for the sideboard, it will change every time, but I feel it was pretty okay for the event. I think maybe you want xantid swarms, but I never felt bad against blue decks.

Sorry for the quickness of this - wanted to get the list public but I'm at work. Feel free to ask questions.

posted in Off-Topic read more

@shaman-ben

I agree. MTGO definitely (as everyone knows) does not work for me. I enjoy the human aspect more - and I tend to actually think of what I say with my mouth more than what I say with my keyboard, so that's a plus.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Battle for blue

1 - sapphire (3,000)
1 - ancestral. (2,800)
3 - time walk (2,500)
4 - library (1,600)
5 - 8: underground sea (3,200/ 800 each)

Based on SCG’s absurd NM prices this would be

13,100 dollars in prizes. This means 131 players at 125 a piece covers is the prizes with 3,275 left for judging etc.

Granted 9th through 16th should be something like a tundra (3,200/400 each) and 17th through 32nd is a force of will from ema (1,760/110 each) and youre getting up there, but still prizes that are absurdly good for todays market. Now, estimate using REAL market numbers, and not SCG inflated numbers, and you MAY have some room. Id be happy to play for the above pool.

Sidenote: DO NOT GIVE AWAY A FUCKIN’ LOTUS. WHENEVER ONE IS UP FOR GRABS @Montolio SHOWS UP AND WINS IT. OTHERS NEED A FAIR CHANCE!!!

posted in Vintage Community read more

Let me start off my long post here by stating that I have for a very long time felt that Old School killed Vintage, at least in my area. In 2015, we used to get 20 for Vintage at Extreme Games in Gurnee, IL - which is about an hour from Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI, and about an hour and a half from Madison, WI. And 20 was down from almost always hitting 30 or 40 back in 2009/2010. Unfortunately, @JACO is part of the Chicago Group, and during their weekly play sessions, they eventually realized they didn't want to drive an hour to play the same people in Vintage, and they just played at their Home Store. This eventually converted to just Old School. So, they killed vintage locally.

I'm wrong and I was an idiot to think that way. Old School caters to a significantly different segment of the population, that ties into what @nedleeds was saying about the player base. As we get married, have children, and have more intense careers, our free time is valued differently. I am skipping Eternal Weekend this year because I am going to be buying a house where I live in Madison, WI which is going to be a $250,000 commitment. I convinced my wife to allow me to go to one major travel-event this year, and that was SCG Con for me. However, while I enjoyed myself in that tournament, I find that I've started to really enjoy playing smaller magic events. Going to FNM and playing 4 rounds of modern, and then being home to my wife by 10:00 PM is great. Dedicating a full Saturday, or a full weekend even, to magic is not really feasible. IF I am going to dedicate that time, I want to make sure I enjoy the people I am with, and enjoy the game I am playing.

That's what Old School is. There's HUGE benefits to Old School, outside the nostalgia.

Pro's of Old School

  • Extremely chill environment. Everyone is imbibing, laughing, talking about bad beats, and just hanging out.
  • No pressure on 'winning'. You go into the event knowing you're not playing for EV.
  • Chaos Orb flips. Seriously, have you ever flipped this card?
  • Fun plays. Losing in Vintage on Turn 1 is like "seriously, what the fuck, nice "Mox Mox Mox Crypt Outcome Force Blue card hand, moron". Losing in Old School on Turn 1 is like "wow, that was sweet.". The most broken plays I encountered on Turn 1 are: Turn 1 Abyss. Turn 1 play a bunch of moxes and then Timetwister. Turn 1 Mind Twist for > 2. Turn 1 Serendib. And I have been turn 1 Fireball'ed for 20 ONCE in the times I've played.
  • Overall, the games feel much more balanced. You get to play old cards that are extremely powerful, but many of those cards aren't blowouts, so the game feels more like Magic.

Cons of Old School

  • There is no 'EV', so travelling to the event, you're not going to win money. (this is actually a pro, as you go with no expectations but to hang out and have a blast.)

And seriously, have you ever hung out with @Mith , @JACO , Ben Perry (The Librarian of Leng), @thepowernine , or any of the other guys at these events? Hell... the Chicago Lords of the Pit mostly HATE me, but they're a fucking blast for the most part. There's a dude I met from Tennessee that came to Madison in the winter for the Madison Offensive, and he was an awesome dude. There's a guy named Gus that moved to Madison recently, and is hugely interested in old school.

*** all this, and I haven't even mentioned the obvious that Vintage is somewhat a miserable format right now ***.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@serracollector said in [BBD] Arena Rector:

See Beyond is the Key card just like in Oath.

I facepalmed so hard and reminded myself why I read TMD so rarely. This ststement is blatently false - most top teams at the time tried See Beyond the first week it came out, realized it was stink-ass terrible, and cut it immediately. Saying its a key card in Oath is like saying the wings of a train are the key component.... they dont even exist!

Im pretty sure the bar for terrible deck design starts somewhere along “we have to play see beyond so we can shuffle our 18 dead cards back into our shitty deck”

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@mediumsteve This card is busted in Delver.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I got paired to go to dredge twice grixis twice, jeskai, shops (stax even, dodged mud aggro), and doomsday. And i was in 10th and the jeskai, doomsday, and grixis were all in the later half of my rounds, meaning they were all X-1 or X-2.

The top 8, even the top 16, doesnt define the meta properly.

Keep in mind, meta at splits into two categories. Overall health, and health of the top tables. Workshops are clearly best, but this is always been true in vintage in that on archetype out performs. For awhile this was time vAult dark confidant decks. Afger that it was mentor. Now itd workshops.

This isn't very scary to me. And I was one of the loudest complainers of workshops and dredge for the last four years. If anything needs to go from workshops, it is walking ballista, But I do feel better prepared decks can smash the current format wide open.

Workshops with only 11 diseuptive elements (4 ravagee, 4 sphere, 1 thorn/trini/chalice) and oh have terrible storm combo match ups, for example. With the right outcome deck, I felt favorable against workshop, and I always just ROFLstomped Oath with that deck.

Point being, the field is more diverse than people that werent there are giving it credit for, There is a top deck which is nothing new, and there are ways to fight it effectively.

People need to innovate or try ideas instead of sitting with a thumb up their ass waiting for someone else to prove a cardor strategy.

posted in Off-Topic read more

So, this weekend I was at a halloween party with my Wife. Parts of those in attendance were some legendary Vintage Players from the Midwest circa 2006-2008 - Jeremy Seroogy, Chris Nighbor, James King, @lhc , and Tommy Kolowith.

So of course, I had to have a troll costume.

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posted in Vintage Community read more

@aelien Switch to shops occasionally, and just laugh at him