Lancaster, pa
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About me

I used to play blue. Back when Deadly Insect was a thing.

Recent Posts
posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Wow this thing is brutal to get off the table, especially when it’s churning out blockers.

Main deck pyroblast for all!!!

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vroman It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Vintage now versus then, after a 7yr lapse. It was fun to follow your innovations on the drain many years ago, looking forward to it again!

posted in Vintage Community read more



I made a post a year or two ago that attempted to discuss whether certain cards should become sacred cows or not (at the time saying, "should the printing of a new card like Hangarback, be able to precipitate the restriction of an iconic card like Workshop"). Like all posts during that period, it quickly devolved into an "I hate Workshop, I love Workshop" post and lost sight of the original intent.

One of my favorite things about Vintage is the ability to form long term relationships with certain cards.

I think this is why you, personally, can justify banning a card like Dig Through Time, but not Demonic Tutor or Force of Will. Our memories of Dig Through Time are short. Our memories of Demonic are infinite (just like Workshop vs. Foundry Inspector). I don't think too many people would bemoan the loss of a "newer" card in favor of preserving an old one.

I think this is why looking at B&R strictly through empirical data is difficult (as you seem to agree), as the presence of Sacred Cows dilutes much of that value. If we were being honest, half the B&R is probably being propped up by our affinity to certain cards.

This is why I agree with you that it is a "feel" thing. My only issue is arbitrating "feel." It is about as subjective as you can get. For instance I love Phyrexian Revoker, as it's one of the only tools Shops has anymore to deal with a blowout card. I would gladly trade the Arcbound decks of now for the Lodestone/Stax decks of yesterday. You on the other hand have hated the card for years.

I know in the past you have supported Sacred Cows. How do you recommend we do that and by what criteria? For many years, Bazaar was synonymous with Dredge. Nowadays, you could hit 2-3 varied archetypes.

How do you reconcile empirical data with "feel" data and what would be the best way to do that aside from committee? Right now, it just comes down to decibels (frequency and volume). Do you preserve cards or decks? And how?

posted in Vintage Community read more

Great article Brian. Thanks for taking the time to construct it.

I’m curious as to your thoughts on whether (apparent?) malaise with the format is a B&R problem or possibly also a MTGO problem (in other words: can Vintage as a format handle the scrutiny and frequency that 24/7 online gameplay bring?)

People often fondly reflect back on pre-Khans as a golden age, but I often wonder if that’s also a concurrent effect of Vintage transitioning from a weekly/monthly paper format to a hourly digital format as MTGO had a popularity spike.

Just a thought.

Great work! Well articulated. Hard to disagree with.

posted in Vintage News read more

@nedleeds said in [Free Article] Happy Birthday, Vintage! An Alternative History of the B&R List:

Great retrospective and some fair and balanced postulating! For old people like me it's a good memory refresher. An interesting follow up might be the 5 most important moments in Type I's history (assuming Type I starts from January 1994).

I think this is a really cool idea and remember a while back personally debating posting a thread trying to collect these big moments. I think for me personally the most mind-blowing Type 1 moments were (some of these might seem pretty pedestrian, but in my small meta they were big deals or changed our understanding of magic.).

Ali from Cairo- "I can't beat it?"
Jester's Cap- "You mean an opponent can look inside and touch my deck??." This was a big deal then.
Force of Will- Two blue lands untapped would never be an ironclad signal again.
Free Spells (Urza Block)- We know how this story ends.
1st Turn kills (Urza's Saga)- Type 1 had always had the rumors of quick kills, but they weren't as frequent as the reputation. Urza's Saga changed all that. Type 1 kills were now reliable and deadly.
Fetchlands- Previous to this, getting a shuffle effect from Demonic Tutor with a Sylvan Library in play was cool. Imagine getting ANY color and also getting a shuffle effect. Everyone knew how big this was, right away.
Mind's Desire- Pre-emptive restriction!!
Lodestone Golem- I know most people didn't think it was a big deal, but I think having the first creature restricted since Ali from Cairo was kind of a big deal.

Biggest Letdowns:
Colorless Mana- "Magic's sixth color!" One of the longest folklore rumors of all time, barely came and went with a whimper.

posted in Vintage News read more


This might be one of my favorite articles you have ever written @Smmenen , and I am not even 1/3 of the way through it. What an incredible retrospective and researched piece.

I think this one is most fascinating to me because I have the fondest memories of the early days of Magic. I used to treasure every Duelist or Inquest magazine and read them cover to cover. Even to this day I can still quote half of the Zak Dolan vs Bertrand Lestree match. I wasn't on usenet (or even the internet for that matter) back then, so our local meta moved at a much slower pace. You played the cards you had. You slowly realized that Library of Alexandria or Swords to Plowshares were good. Having the occasional article pop up that talked about deck construction of even [gasp] tournaments decks was a treat!

I love the amount of effort you put into researching why cards such as Sword of the Ages of Dingus Egg were restricted. Many of these I could guess at, but never knew for sure (for instance, in our meta Spectral Cloaked Ali from Cairo was a thing, not Jade Monolith) which led me to playing Wrath of God maindeck.

Regardless, I loved this article. Can't wait to finish it (I personally played through a lot of the early Urza Type 1 days, no need to relive that. Too soon!). Amazing achievement. I appreciate the effort.

Would also love to see some annotations for what casting costs some of these cards might have needed to be deemed broken in your eyes. Interesting thought exercise (e.g. What casting cost, if any, makes Sword of Ages restrictable).

Thank you for this effort!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I at least like the return to cool ultimates that aren’t necessarily game ending like: “gain 20 life, draw 10 cards, and gain control of 5 target permanents.”

posted in Vintage Community read more

While I think a chess clock is certainly cumbersome, I personally love the concept of a clock on players. Too many players use a disproportionate amount of clock time in paper matches.

While I think clicking the clock back and forth for every single interaction is tedious, it certainly would be a good technique to move along a slow player.

Positive scenario:
Active player casts a spell.
Other player hems and haws about whether to respond.
[Active player click the clock back to them]
They respond more quickly.

The less socially developed Magic players or aggressive angle shooter-types could easily use this type of clock management as a bullying technique or technical advantage. Might make the game technically better, but the gaming experience massively worse.

But definitely worth testing @Topical_Island . Looking forward to your thoughts!

posted in Art and Collecting read more

Your best course of action might be to partner with somebody in the states if you have anybody you trust.

Shipping from Mexico city will greatly reduce your potential buyer pool especially if your name is not known in the community, Plus I don’t know if you can sell on TCG internationally.

It might be worthwhile to test the waters with eBay as you can always put price as you’re comfortable with and come down from there. But the old school community is also good once you have a few successful transactions and can get a reputation.

In America many people get tax refunds from the government January through May so they have “extra” cash to spend. This tends to be a good time for collectible sellers.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I’m not saying that turn 1 Lavinia will be a thing. But a card that automatically turns off 8-12 of their cards, while not affecting you, is certainly something.