EDIT: For some reason I could see images in the preview and on my screen but no one else could! Trying a re-upload and thanks for everyone's patience
So, I'm hoping that Art and Collecting is the right place for this!
The recent announcement that the words "Mana Pool" will no longer be part of rules text is just yet another nail in the coffin for nostalgia-fiend Vorthos folk like myself, who still think the whole 8th edition border was a huge mistake.
So, a while ago I started to to try my hand at alternative (not altered) art proxies for cube. I thought that since my friends for the most part share my feelings about Magic design, that it would be fun to remake some staples in the style of cards from the nineties, with all of their ambiguous/extraneous wording and old school art that makes them so much fun to read and play with. I thought I'd post these here and invite people to try the same with their favorite cards! Please remember this is an exercise in flavor, attempting to capture the function of the card, occasionally with intended inaccuracies for nostalgic effect, so make of that what you will! Without further ado:
First off, Shaun Tan is such a fun illustrator that when I was looking for a good Golem, I thought of The Lost Thing as a great place to start, and I've used his art on several occasions for cube proxies. Wizards in the early days tended to overexplain things, so I thought it was a fun chance to do just that! I know that creatures could cover artifact creatures, but this felt like something where eratta would probably have eventually been written for it to prevent Gamma testing Time Walk "Target Player Loses Next Turn" effects
Ah Crucible, we shall never see your like again (Am I the only one still groaning about Waste Not?)...oh but wait, what's that you say? Now you're a snake guy?.... Anyhow, I love the silly reminder text that Wizards always added to early cards so wanted to take a stab at what this might have looked like.
I picked this one because I liked the thought experiment of how you might have described Phyrexian Mana in the 90's. The ambiguity around the words sacrifice and discard (as mentioned in the recent SMIP review of Arabian Nights) gives me warm fuzzy feelings for some reason. I also wanted to use the flavor of the original Clone here, as Upon Summoning makes you feel a lot more like a Wizard than ETB.
So this one shouldn't require much explanation except to say that modern oracle text, while I understand is important for clarification etc etc, loses a lot of the original flavor of the game, as does the reliance on incredible over-directed artwork. I liked this iconic art for Chalice, because early magic was ever so slightly Pythonesque in a way that current design simply ignores.
I miss the humor and occasionally cartoonish sensibilities of the early sets, it really gave the game such an element of fun that the modern game sacrifices (or discards?) and leaves me feeling frequently like I'm playing a giant game of Mountain Dew advertising.
Anyhow, I hope folks enjoyed these, and if not, thanks for tolerating them! I've done some other cube stuff that I'd be happy to share if there is any interest, but would love to see what others here would come up with for ways to make your favorite modern face cards more Old School Garfieldian.
So I thought I would share this particularly nerdly piece of nerd-dom with the good folks here at TMD. A while back my vintage pals hereabouts and I took it upon ourselves to cobble together some Vintage apparel based on our particular playstyles. We knocked a few out with the help of ye olde Silhouette vinyl cutting machine! Thought they'd at least provide a little chuckle:
Hi all! First pardon what might be a long and wanky post. Feel free to scroll down to see the cards! BUT. Since there was generally positive response to my last mtg related project, I thought I would share another! A set of alt art proxies to kickstart anyone down the long and winding rode of Vintage...
My friends and I were recently talking about how one of the barriers to getting new people into Vintage is that it doesn't feel very epic writing Black Lotus on a Plains. But if people have awesome art proxies, they might be more likely to give vintage a whirl! This is also true for those of us who enjoy playing Vintage, but who also may prefer to play with proxies to reduce wear on high dollar cards.
What follows are a set of playtest cards that I recently printed using an online company, after joking around with one of my playgroup about Vintage Masterpieces, made with ACTUAL masterpieces. I'd tried some similar public domain shenanigans before (and posted here in another thread), so I thought, why not! Some time on ye olde google, some time in photoshop and voila!
These are printed in foil (Cause hey! Why not!), and are a mix of "future shifted" title-and-cost-only, full art cards, along with some "past shifted" cards to have some fun with the old card frame and funny rules text, even if (obviously) we use the oracle text for all proxies. Anyway. On to the cards!
First. The Power Nine, with a little help from Alphonse Mucha's iconic Art Nouveau images. Though I did tweak his masterful Zodiac just a Little bit for a little more mtg flare on Black Lotus.
Also, threw in Opal. You know. For kicks.
The three blue spells are all from a Massive installation called The Slav Epic. As you'll see, this set of proxies has a very Eastern Euro vibe, which as a Russian speaker makes me quite happy!
I pulled in several other crucial pieces with the amazing art of William Blake. Good old mysticism.
Can't have a vintage set without some duals and fetches. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to add text, especially to fetches, but the stunning landscapes of Nicholas Roerich, who spent a lot of time in Central Asia, was just too good in most cases and I just enjoyed looking at it.
Then, the past shifted cards.
(That is actually a a portrait of Napoleon holding the Scepter of Charles V, which is one of the French crown jewels, but I was having a hard time finding classical paintings with sweet magical looking staves and scepters!)
(Okay. Not a classical masterpiece. But still. A masterpiece in its own right!)
These last are for a particular subset of white border lovers and haters. I know for many of us who came of age at the turn of Unlimited to Revised, the white border holds a special place in our hearts. Especially if you were in a small town where you might have opened some Unlimited and Revised, but product support for antiquities and Arabian Nights was not exactly plentiful. So I liked the idea of printing some of our format staples, imagining what they might have been like coming out of a pack of Revised. So for all you whippersnappers out there who think White Border is for suckers...well...get off my lawn!
I'm not exactly sure if that's a halo or if his staff is glowing, but that skull is amazing! I'm totally a Roerich fanboy now!
Gotta love some random 18th century Arabian Imagery. Guy with a Wheelbarrow, meet Guy with a Rug...I love the original Wall of Text, but I thought, surely in Revised, they'd have tried to fix it a little...
And last but not least...
Anyhow! Hope you all enjoyed these.
@John-Cox @fsecco Thanks for the kudos! I've really been having fun playing them in sleeves. The cut is ever so Slightly different than a normal magic card but the size and thickness sleeved are completely indistinguishable from other cards, and really a delight to draw and play.
@Stuart @revengeanceful feel the same way I do about the Revised lands. I have a surprising amount of nostalgia for the old Tap symbol for some reason (I still call the little arrow thing "The New Tap Symbol"), so I thought it was a lot of fun to see them this way.
@Nower1990 I posted a mockup of Jace a while back that others here helped me shop to get the silliest version of how a planeswalker might have been printed in Legends. I love the use of nonstandard language like "chips" in the old sets as well, and the old frame and more classic looking art just gives the eye a break from the more modern "kewl" cards and their emphasis on art-directed-to-a-fault continuity for the sake of world-building and story telling.
As for how I did it, without going into a lot of boring detail (too late!), I used Photoshop and a combination of a couple of different available online templates for the card frames. I work a lot in layout and a little googling got me the fonts. WotC has proprietary fonts but especially for old style cards it's easy to find an almost 1-1 approximation! Then it was doing some research to find art I could use at high enough resolutions, and plugging in each one.
Then, to print, I downloaded a template through a website that specializes in printing game cards of all kinds (there are a lot out there to choose from, I just have a couple that I've used for other game design projects in the past). I used the template to ensure the correct size and resolutions and when I printed I selected a foil option for the finish.
I will say, in bright light, they are gorgeous and as attractive as any other foil card. Like all foils, lower light means they are not quite as bright to the eye as a card where white is printed as white and not the foil silver. I have thought about trying a run in non-foil to see how the do and adjust, but I've been pretty happy so far.
If you all like them, I think I can poke around and make it possible for others to order as well, but only if @Brass-Man says it's cool. I mean. There might be a future-shifted full art Brass Man in the next run...just saying...
For what it's worth I also created a card back (pictured below, pardon the low res image) with some "vanity" branding, but if others are interested I might have to up my game
The deck itself currently contains:
1x All restricted list
2x: Fetches, Jace, Bayou
4x: All other duals , FoW, Bazaar, Workshop, Wasteland, Tomb, Ravager, Rod
There's often talk about attracting new players to Vintage and in that regard Outcome could be good to the format. It's powerful, relatively easy to play and a lot of fun.
Absolutely this! Outcome is a deck that rapidly makes sense to new vintage players who may be turned off by some of the more nuanced decks in the format. It has very specific paths to victory, and is insanely fun for players who have have heard about and want to feel the explosive power of Vintage. To me (danger, Vorthos warning), it also feels more, well, "magical," capturing a flavor of killing with spells instead of dorks.
Honestly, and maybe others will totally disagree, I feel like this is something we Don't discuss enough in the more rarefied environment here but Outcome - when you're going off - definitely gives...for lack of better words...a sense of "Wahooooo!" This is one of those things that is less tangible, but maybe important for the metagame in a different way
Just tossing this old wikipedia chestnut in here for reference if it helps at all in making operational definitions and discussing fair vs unfair and interactive vs non-interactive deck types. Seems like it still obtains but wiser minds than mine might have a better image or explanation:
Honestly, I really don't feel that much contempt for any particular deck because again, Vintage is presupposed by an interest in and in some cases a masochistic tolerance for playing in an environment where these strategies can blossom.
It's nice when a deck like Survival takes advantage of existing metagame conditions and a synergy of new printings to create a viable strategy. It seems like it's not contempt for a metagame, but ingenuity that preys on existing decks that don't have solved answers for the threats in a new deck.
"A deck/strategy that I like has difficulty winning against a certain battery of other decks/strategies" seems to be a fairly par for the course complaint in every format.
Do you think we could get an Around the World in 80 Days scenario going here where someone stakes "Their Entire Fortune!" on running this as a 4-of and then the rest of us can all scoff and bluster and toss around phrases like "He'll be ruined I say, Ruined!" ?
TMD Single-Card Discussion seems like a likely space for this to occur '-)
I think maybe it's also worth saying, that Vintage is a highly rarefied format where pleasure has to be in some part derived from the careful choice of saying: "Yes, yes, but what if I played SNOW COVERED Island? Eh? Eh?"
For me, loving vintage is, at its heart I think, about loving the considered nuance of correctly baiting a FoW, Choosing Inferno Titan over Emrakul, Metamorphing a Sphere when you might want to Metamorph Revoker, or knowing when to 3 for 1 yourself to keep a lock piece off of the board.
I absolutely second @JosefK in that enthusiasm for the format is critical. Being enthusiastic about vintage by and large means being enthusiastic about hairline deck building decisions and the exquisite specificity of the question "Okay, sure, but what do you cut to add [Pet Card] to this already excellent shell?" It's different than being enthusiastic about other formats. Vintage may have the splashiest effects, but sometimes being able to execute those means enjoying the (sometimes rather tedious) process of making profound decisions like: "Add Delta here? Or Strand? Hmmm."
As an aside to point of access. I think many here might agree that in many ways, because of proxies/playtest cards, Vintage is much more accessible than other formats.
As such, it makes me wonder if people are just turned off a format where they might lose to a deck with a Basic Plains Sharpie Lotus. It's as if players double down on the "You have to own the cards to play the game" mentality, and as such shut themselves out of some of the most fun magic gameplay there is!
@Brass-Man Heya - So feel free to lock or boot the thread. I had misheard Will instead of Bargain as I listened to SMIP in the car and figured if Stephen and Kevin were talking about unrestricting that I'd ask and see what folks actually thought could be conceivably unrestricted. Obviously it's pretty contentious! I just figured it might be a chance to focus on potentially positive unrestrictions Will seemed pretty out there to me, and it was - because I was not listening. So absolutely no combative intent taken, it was just my error.
BUT I do think it is interesting that even though, with or without historical context, that people are sort of Meh about will coming off of the list (even though they did in fact, say Bargain).
@ribby Clearly Vintage players hate each other. I mean. We are the sadists who want to play Griselbrand and Emrakul for free, Tendrils for One Zillion, Draw our whole decks, take infinite turns, use one card combos, and Sphere our opponents into a turn one hard lock. The only conclusion is we are the sociopaths of MtG '-)
I think that to me, the most tempting unrestrictions are the ones that open up options and new lines of play. I feel like Flash isn't perhaps as brutally dangerous thanks to restrictions, but its unrestriction would probably just open up one or two decks that would swoop out of the blue occasionally to generally piss off unsuspecting, eye rolling opponents.
Even Dredge has different iterations and the ability to turn into Dark Depths. As such, while I might be rolling my eyes game one as I get zombied to death, there is a sort of grim poetry to Dredge that tests an opponent's ability to answer a strong, rule bending line of play. A lot of folks seem to think Flash is just a little obvious and boring. Kinda like the way some folks look at Belcher.
Cards like Windfall, Jar, Bargain (heck and Will), Channel and Fastbond at least look like they would give you more Choice when playing, spiraling into novel combos, bolstering pillars and maybe even opening up room for others. Without breaking the format or making people ragequit vintage.
Do we have a recent "most unrestrictable" poll? Might be good to start there to develop a Top Four to pursue the "are these empirically broken?" Line of thinking.
While an absolute enthusiast level vintage player and a sideline, arm chair, ivory tower gawker of great and notably unstoried proportions, I have enjoyed this season for several reasons, despite the importance or noteworthiness of my opinion:
- Seeing some cool mirrors. While painful, all of the null rod mirror games have been very illustrative of how those matches actually work. It's been great to see some of the tech that's emerged (or reemerge, lookin' at you Trygon Predator!). Similarly, seeing Grixis Thieves come out swinging so nicely, run by some talented players, has been a lot of fun. Also, seeing that Rich Shay has played Aggro Shops now, one can only hope there will be a Control Shops mirror brewing in the weeks to come which brings me to...
- While indeed, the true Brew aspect of the challenge may have a hitch in its giddyup, it has been Great to demonstrate just exactly why fun, spicy brews have difficulties in the face of top tier decks, even when the spice is...er...sprinkled...by extremely strong, competent, competitive players. As an enthusiast, I try to spread the Vintage love to everyone I know who plays (especially paper) magic, and being able to show people - by way of an easy video link - why certain strategies or cards remain marginal is pretty key in helping them get why vintage archetypes are so normative. Still, dat' Dragon Stompy tho...
Plus variety! Maybe assigning certain players weeks that they Must bring a brew would help keep things interesting and relieve some of the competitive pressure from players in the league? Or better yet maybe make some guidelines for what Constitutes a "brew."
More importantly though, kudos to those players brave enough to try out new cards or bring some beloved gems (Go Landstill!) even with the knowledge that they could-most-likely-will just be Stormed, Dredged, Taxed or Tokened into oblivion. Who knows maybe there's shenanigans to come! Gifts? Thirst?? Noble Hierarch?!
I like the idea of brewer points, that's fun. I'd add a category for Grand Old Cards! Laud and fanfare for anyone who resolves The Abyss...
The revolving commentary really makes the show. Having players with varying levels of insight and experience makes for a good mix of technical and anecdotal fun. It gives you a sense that Timmy and Johnny are alive and well in Vintage even alongside fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. I've definitely watched matchups that I wouldn't normally care much about because of the lively chat, or in some cases the deadpan analytical "this line not that line" banter.
Finally, this has been the first season of VSL that I've managed to watch all the way through so far and enjoy. Not that it wasn't a great thing before, I just mostly would watch one here or there and check out deck lists. But. For more casual players like myself (and I dare to speak for others who may just love Vintage and not be connected to or invested in particular personalities or the depth of the current metagame), this is a lively season that I hope will boost shares, views and ultimately revenue for continued production.
So this weekend at GP Memphis, I did my best to talk to people about vintage as much as possible. As usual, most people blanch and back away until you start saying “Hey, you haven’t lived until you write Black Lotus on a Plains.” With the dollar signs out of the picture, folks seem much more interested in talking about the format.
That said, especially older payers almost immediately launched into stories about their favorite wacky deck tech from back in the day (whichever day that was), and it got me thinking, especially in light of the most recent vsl and several quality brewing posts here in the last few weeks.
There are a solid handful of decks that this community recognizes as outside of the current pillars, and then another subset of decks that frequently get labeled as Fringe decks. I would be interested in hearing discussion about:
Which decks will more than likely always be Fringe and why those particular lists (Lookin’ at you Belcher) will remain there despite popularity and ability to win, regarding their consistency, resilience, available hate etc?
What does it take to bring a Fringe deck (either generally or a specific list) closer to the mainstream? For instance, there are several Null Rod / Mono X Hate Bears lists that seem solid but don’t seem to get traction to become as viable as midrange decks like Team Leo and BUG variant pals.
Which decks right now do you consider right on the verge of tipping into good either for the first time or making a comeback, whether metagame shift or printings, restrictions etc? It seems here there are some decks where older vintage strategies or particular cards are constantly angling to be good again, or lists that would Like to become a new archetype but that just don’t quite have the gas against the current meta game (heh, or any metagame perhaps). Would love to see maybe some ranking of which are the most likely to hit that mark given the current conditions.
What most keeps decks from emerging and or making comebacks? It can’t all be misstep and Ravager...right? What is blocking off your favorite cards from being good right now?
@dr-j and @darkquarterer Thanks! I'll see if I can resize a couple more down. I said in another post a couple of days ago that the Legends era is easily my favorite just because art and flavor were so high, along with the utter weirdness of some design choices.
I ended up making this Metalworker, not because I don't think the original art is incredibly cool, but because I needed one for the cube and enjoyed the clunky text as a sort of a nod to the steampunk sensibility of the card.
I thought I'd post this one as well, I forgot I do have ONE planeswalker in the cube. Posted large here for obvious reasons
This was a toughie, but I think captures a key element of early magic: Ye Olde Wall of Text a la Chains of Mephistopheles! While it doesn't necessarily nail every nuance of planeswalkers, I like the vibe so much! Why aren't there old people in the (airquotes) Gatewatch??? Young people. And their "loyalty" counters. That's why.
In MY Day we had CHIPS and we LIKED 'em!
Hey @joshuabrooks @fsecco @Oestrus and @themonadnomad thanks for the props! If there's honestly interest we could probably work something out for a couple of tees. I'm actually out of town and away from my heat press at the moment but could probably swing a custom listing on etsy in a few days if interested? May take a moment longer to locate non-gildan tees in decent colors in small quantity.
Also the southern stickler in me wants to make sure to correct to Y'all.
Haha! Thanks everyone. I’m glad this made such a good impression with the players here on tmd who truly love the format. Since we’re talking a very small number, I’ll reach out to the folks who have responded here to ask for some size and color info. I’ll probably need to order the tees special (to avoid Gildan), and grab some vinyl, just to be transparent about the cost. Then when I have them stamped out we could do PayPal or something similar to get them to you (wherever you live!)
Sound decent? I’ll do some factfinding this week with you fine folks to make sure I have a fix on the numbers.