Best posts made by mdkubiak
posted in Off-Topic read more

Just wanted to brag that I got married on September 29, 2017 to my beautiful bride, Huanhuan Wu. 🙂 Score one for a vintage player. I feel like I married up. 🙂

For anyone interested, here is a YouTube video.

posted in Vintage News read more

Forgive any typos. I'm doing this on my phone.

I'm basically a newborn in vintage. I've been around since sometime late November of 2015. Something like that, so I've only been around during the Gush era. Take that as you will, positively, negatively, or neutral. Obviously, we all have a right to share our opinion.

My concern with the banning, is not the banning itself. I think there was/are legitimate concerns about Gush and Probe (not to mention other cards). It could very well be the right move for a better format. However, I don't want to get into my exact feelings on whether I agree or disagree with the restrictions of the cards, but of bannings/restrictions itself.

The concern I have about is this restriction seems to be more about outcry of people than actual data. During the prior b/r announcement they explicitly said they wanted more data and feedback... and explicitity mentioned the European vintage championship. Unless I'm mistaken (please correct me if I'm wrong), there was no domination by Gush in that tournament. I'm not sure where they are getting that data.

Granted, I do understand that this is a multi layered on how you can view the meta and Gush's affect on it. I won't disagree with that. For example, you can make an argument for Shops dominance because of the the way blue decks are constructed. You're right, low land counts and free spells are awful against shops.

However, how can you possibly quantify exactly how much Shops dominance is because of Gush and how much is because Shops is just damn good (which it is)? Honestly please tell me if you can.

Shops will always be a strong deck against blue. Its purpose in itself is to take advantage of the things blue players crave - cheap spells. That's the nature of Shops. Outside of WOTC nuetering the deck completely, that's not going away.

I feel the same people (not all) who complained about the VSL having an affect on the meta are the same people cheering this on. That doesn't make sense to me. How can you rip into WOTC for listening to the VSL, but cheer WOTC on for this? If the VSL honestly influenced the DCI on multiple occasions for multiple restrictions, I argue that is not a good thing. Regardless if the restrictions are the right call. The VSL is entertainment, it's not supposed to be a snapshot of a true vintage meta game.

Another concern I have is a general concern about the Magic community that I've seen a lot of lately. There seems to be an overriding focus (and I'm not speaking just of vintage), the solution to any deck or archetype becoming number 1 is to ban/restrict a card. Banning/restrictions should only happen, in my opinion, as an absolute last resort.

Let's look at Modern as an example. They ban Eye of Ugin (a very legitimate format warping move). After a while, things start moving very fast. To curb some of the speed, people cried for a Become Immense/Probe/etc banning. Wizards then banned Gitaxian Probe. Now Death Shadow archetype is number 1 and people call for that banning.

Is that the solution magic players go to now? Instead of finding ways to attack the best deck, we call for a ban/restriction immediately? There will always be 1-2 (most of the time) best decks in the format. If you ban/restrict a key card, something else will move in to take its place.

The same thing is happening in Legacy. They ban sensei's divining top and people are now calling for a ban of Deathrite Shaman. Before any magic has been played, tested, and letting the dust settle, another ban outcry is happening. That to me, is a concern.

Mentor will keep on mentoring and will most likely still be the best blue deck. Shops will still be excellent. I don't know exactly what Mentor will look like, but it will be a mainstay. However, people are already talking about the next restrictions in vintage. Can't we take a step back for a moment, play some games, before getting into that discussion? Or are we going down a path of constant restrictions in vintage? Will we see Mentor, Mental Misstep, Thorn, Preordain, Workshop, Bazaar, Ancient Tomb, etc. get restricted in the future? I sure as hell hope not. The format needs powerful, unrestricted cards to be fun (for me). Obviously that statement is very subjective.

In a lot of ways, this is the biggest concern to me is how people are treating bans/restrictions. Almost as if it's a tool to combat decks they don't enjoy. Which, sadly, starts to mask the true needs of ban/restrictions. B/r's, as I said, should only be used as a last resort. Now, with all the outcry, this picture is becoming muddier and muddier.

posted in Decks read more

Finally have a completed version of @Shaman-Ben's list. I'm hoping to one day upgrade Mana Vault, Wheel of Fortune, and Balance one day, but not necessary anytime soon.



posted in Vintage News read more

I tend to agree with Rich Shay on this one. If vintage was a magic online only format and isn't the format that it is and was more in line of something like Modern or Standard, Shops should be restricted. It's clearly above and beyond better than a lot of restricted cards. It's not even close.

However, vintage is a very unique format. It's not a GP format. It's not a pro tour format. It's a fringe format that some of us are extremely passionate about. Typically, I would say we can't consider player's emotional attachments into b/r considerations. However, something like Mishra's Workshop, in my opinion, is different. You may feel different. You may look at it a lens without emotional decisions. I can't blame players for that one. However, I cannot to be honest.

It's the format where people spend 10,000+ dollars on a deck. I have a 2 Card Monte deck- probably the most expensive deck in the format. I own all of the P9 and 4 Mishra's Workshop. I currently own zero dual lands, no Force of Wills, and 1 single fetch land (wooded foothills). It would be extremely frustrating to have 2,000 dollars of that deck be invalidated. The deck could still be playable sure and, yes, I could sell those cards and get blue duals and be back in a blue deck (not the worse thing in the world). However, what about the players that don't own blue duals or the blue only p9 cards? It may not be feasible for them.

If it was restricted, I'm not sure I would continue playing paper vintage. There's a great chance I would, I'm just honestly not sure.

posted in Off-Topic read more

When I first came into vintage, it was a new world with new (old) cards that I’ve never gotten to play. I got to play power! Cards I said I never said I would ever own, let alone play. I was excited, I was thrilled, trying out this new world. People were classy and nice to me – people like Joe Fiorini who helped me pick out my first deck. I got to know people, I got to make new friends, and I discovered a local tournament across state. I was enamored by what I perceived to be a group of mature, helpful people. There were some bad apples in the group, but what group of people doesn’t have that?

Things changed at some point. I can’t pinpoint the exact time, but I started to notice people weren’t as nice as I initially thought.

I’m guessing the rose tinted glass came off. People dogged my ideas, my decks, people that enjoy the VSL, and the didn't seem to have any interest in vintage’s growth. Hell, I’ve been told that I shouldn’t voice my opinion, because I don’t play as often as other people do. That my opinion meant nothing. Some people promote their Meta and group of players as the authority on the format. Kind of like an old school boys club.

For example, I’ve been told multiple times that I should not play Painter decks, because Painter is a bad card. I’ve always recognized Painter is not a tier 1 strategy (or tier 2 for that matter), but it’s where I have the most fun. That didn’t matter to these people. They had the attitude if you aren’t playing a tier 1 deck, you’re doing vintage wrong.

On a side note, I would argue Painter is a good card and Grindstone is a bad card. I just love how Painter interacts with the game at an angle no other card does, so I will continue to play the card because I have fun with it. I am certainly not a tier 1 skilled player and I'm under no delusion I will win a major tournament with this deck. I just want to play what I want to play. I'll admit, this does go against the part of me that wants to win and getting enjoyment only out of winning, so I do have internal conflict with myself on this, but that's another topic for another day.

B/R discussions are train wreck syndrome for me. They are broken, ugly, and dirty, but I can’t help but stare.

It’s why I rarely post anymore on the Facebook group or the Mana Drain at this point in time. I’ve been told by people to ignore it, to not let it bother me, but that’s just not the type of person I am. I’ve done the best I can by just turning off all notifications from the Vintage Facebook group unless I feel inclined to post on the site. I still support the Mana Drain, because I believe in the site and what it is. I just see myself viewing the site less and less over time. 95 percent of my viewing of this site anymore is it's still my homepage on my browser, so technically I visit it because of that. Heh.

I have honestly gotten to the point at times where I contemplated (though immediately not that seriously) about selling out. I don’t plan to do it, but it’s a thought that crossed my mind, which in the past it never did.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the format. It's still my favorite. If it wasn’t for the people like Andy Probasco ( @Brass-Man ), Ben Perry ( @Shaman-Ben ), Kevin Cron ( @CHA1N5 ), Aaron Katz, and many others, I may have walked away from the format. They make vintage what I envision vintage to be. A fun format where I get to sling the most powerful cards in the format's history.

I probably talk to Andy and Ben more about my personal life than anybody else in the vintage community (whether they like it or not haha), because they make me feel comfortable and welcoming.

The best times I’ve had in vintage have actually not been the games (though they have been awesome), but some of the dinners I had after a tournament where everybody has gotten together that played. We joked, we discuss our mistakes, the Meta, where we think things are going, and whatever else. There is no anger, there is no venom, no judging, just people being good people. Those moments have been a blast and put such a huge smile on my face. Those moments remind me why I love vintage.

Sometimes I do believe I love talking strategy, card selections, mana curves, side boarding, more than I actually do enjoy playing the game. I love playing the game, but I find it so much fun talking the game, which is why I think I get along so well with Andy (@Brass-Man).

Maybe part of these issues I have is my anxiety issues and OCD issues. Maybe I take things out of context sometimes (I’m sure I have) and have said some stupid things. I’m sure that’s part of my reasoning, but I think it would be foolish to put the whole stock on what I’ve felt to be because of that. At best it would be a small percentage.

I just think as a community we can do a better job of welcoming people to the format. Honestly, I’ve been at fault myself for making mistakes and getting into petty arguments and being part of the problem. This is not a call out to everybody else and not me, I’m not perfect myself. Maybe its wishful thinking that we could grow as a community, but it’s still something that should all strive for.

posted in TheManaDrain Metadiscussion read more

Does anyone know what this means that I need a 3+ reputation to post more then 3 posts in 120 seconds?


As a new user, you can only post once every 120 second(s) until you have earned 3 reputation - please wait before posting again"

posted in Vintage Community read more

@Smmenen funny I never saw a single Shops list in my 9 rounds. Could be the losing bracket I was in, but I faced Eldrazi 3 times. Two Jaco and one White Eldrazi. The rest were one Dredge deck, Mentor decks, one landstill, and one dredge. I think it just depends on the luck of a draw a bit (no pun intended).

I don't see what's wrong with that. Not trying to be argumentative. I'm not surprised by the representative of Jaco Eldrazi because it's a cheap deck. A very, very good cheap deck.

I think that's important to the health of the format. It's needed. It brings people into the format and allows it to grow in ways never thought possible. If you hit Ancient Tomb you kill that deck. I don't think that's a good idea.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

@Smmenen I'm not sure if what you said was directed at me or not about anger. I'm going to respond as if it was, but my apologies if it wasn't.

I'm not saying people shouldn't be angry about the restrictions. I think that's a legitimate beef and worthy of discussion. It's the anger that basically adds up to grade school name calling I have an issue with. That's the line I'm referring too that has been crossed by some people. That has no place here.

On a side note, I voted no on Shawn's poll, as I'm not happy with the restrictions either. Only on the basis on Wizard's explanation did not add up. I don't know how you could argue that their explanation does.

However, I am still enjoying the format and will take a lot for me not to enjoy it. I've liked watching the changes that have happened, regardless of how I feel. I'm generally a huge proponent of less restrictions and would love to see some love given back to shops (as a non-shops player). Vintage is the place of broken spells, I want to play with broken spells.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@smmenen Agreed. I hate Gitaxian Probe as a card and I also hate Mental Misstep as a card, but that doesn't mean a restriction is in order. My bias should not be taken into account.

I've been on record saying I believe both of those should have been restricted in the past, but I've moved away from that way of thinking. I'm generally under the mindset now cards should only be restricted unless absolutely necessary. If they restrict a card and it's proven it shouldn't be restricted, then it should get unrestricted. Now a case could be made not to do more than 1 unrestriction a b/r update, as to see how things play out.

For example, Wizard's specifically said they restricted Gitaxian Probe was restricted because they thought it would lessen Mentor's impact. That was proven false. If their claim was wrong, is there a need to still have it restricted?

posted in Vintage News read more

I was a guest host on this popular Legacy Podcast to talk about vintage. I certainly have room for improvement, but for a first time podcaster, I thought I did rather well.

The purpose of the cast was to spread the word about vintage, to introduce it to people that may not have been interested otherwise.

I would love some feedback!

posted in Off-Topic read more

@mediumsteve I do not need Wizard's to sanction my fun. 🙂

posted in Rules QnA read more

@oestrus I feel so much love between the two of you. 🙂

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@Soly I understand going in this isn't as good as a Therapy Pyromancer deck. I'm not under any delusions that it's at that level.

I'm glad you consider those garbage cards, you're welcome to your opinion, but I do not consider this constructive help. Not trying to start a fight or an argument. You're right, this is not on the same level currently as a Young P. deck. However, if I wanted to play a Young Pyromancer deck, I would play a Young Pyromancer deck. It's not like I don't have the cards. I want to have fun and I consider this deck fun. If that means I don't top 8, so be it.

I do, however, think the deck is better then you're giving it credit for. But you are welcome to your opinion, surely.

posted in Vintage News read more

I wrote up a report about my first foray into the vintage tournament scene at Vintage Champs. I would love constructive criticism on the article. If you feel I'm wrong, tell me! I would love to discuss.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

My issue I see here sometimes is when people attack people almost personally because they thought a card was good when others do not. It's fine telling them they believe they are wrong for reason X, but not to call them an idiot for thinking Z. It's silly and creates feelings of resentment and people calling out elitist attitude.

I also believe something that creates some headache here is what people want out of vintage. Everyone wants to win, sure, but some people take vintage very seriously from a tournament aspect, while others are more looking at it from a social aspect. Neither are wrong, but people end up butting heads because of this. I do feel there is room for both, but people need to learn to communicate their feelings without resorting to attacking others.

I feel for Brassman, because it seems like he is caught between a rock and a hard place. He is trying to cater to everybody as best as possible, but it's not easy to come up with solutions.

posted in Vintage News read more


I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was just joking around.

I agree from the standpoint that yes, if someone isn't having fun playing, they really shouldn't be playing. Nothing wrong with taking a break, trying a different format, or quitting altogether. A game should be fun. That much I agree with. However, I do want to see new blood in the format and the last thing I want to see is vintage become this insular group of players that don't welcome new players. That it should only be "their" vintage. Of course, I'm not saying you're saying that, just pointing out the obvious I guess.

posted in Vintage News read more


You should never think your voice isn't important. As long as you voice it a respectful, thoughtful way, then it matters just as much as Steve's, Brian's, or anybody's. You completely were respectful, but I think that is obvious. 🙂

I'll give a few of my thoughts. I'm no expert on the format, ive been in it for a little over a year and I get to play about once a month (maybe twice) at local tournaments in Michigan. That doesn't mean my opinion doesn't matter, the exact opposite, but I wanted to give insight on what I see and how I see it.

I've been in the camp of restricting Gush for a while, but I'm not so sure anymore. The card is obviously powerful, no doubt there. I think people's problem, lies more in the archetype and maybe they get too focused on a single card. Low land count, lots of cheap (or free) cantrips, with the best finisher in vintage (in my opinion) - Mentor. This creates a see saw with Shops decks, as Shops prey on Mentor decks, because of deck design that Mentor loves.

There's nothing wrong with that in essence. I think each deck should have a natural predator in vintage. That creates balance when no deck has a gleaming weakness. the question I would have with Mentor is that Shops is a natural predator, that's only one archetype, so is there enough balance with other decks or is it too unfair against all other decks?

Mentor. I understand and agree with a lot of what people say, but I'm not a fan of restricting win conditions. However, this creature goes both wide and big, unlike any other creature in the format. That's not necessarily a good thing in vintage. The card in a vacuum, not the deck, has no really good predator.

On phrexian spells
I hate Mental Misstep as a card. Its my least favorite card in vintage. It's not fun to play against and is not fun to use. However, that in itself is not a valid reason for a restriction. Though, for argument, if you restrict this card and only this card, I think Mentor gets better and that's a scary thought. Say for example you replace this with 3-4 copies of Spell Pierce. You removed a glaring weakness to Shops and made it stronger against its natural predator. I'd worry about this restriction.

Gitaxian Probe is the more problematic card of the free spells. It gives perfect information, it's free, it replaces itself, etc. it removes the critical thinking part of magic when I know what someone has in their hand. You know what exactly to play around. Especially if you're a combo deck, this is incredibably important information. It results in a lot more turn one kills. Not to mention this is excellent for Mentor.

However, I question what a restriction for Gitaxian Probe would do to PO decks. Would that make PO unplayable? I'm not saying that's the case, but I think the decks may need to be redesigned a bit. It would certainly weaken them and they aren't in the best place in vintage right now as it is.

If I would had to make a decision at this moment, I say no restriction. I do enjoy the format as it is, as I have an absolute blast playing the format every time I do. However, that's possibly maybe because I don't play as often as others and maybe because I'm not afraid to play tier 2 or 3 decks. I'm planning to play Merfolk soon and I want to try or delver one day. I play for my own reasons and in my own way. Fishy!!!!

If they were going to restrict a card, I'd like to start with Gitaxian Probe and/or Misstep. That's just my two cents.

*edited note: forgive any grammatical errors. I typed this fully on my phone.

posted in Vintage News read more


Thanks Steve.

Again I do want to say that I'm not exactly against the restriction. I don't think it is without merit. However, what I'm actually against is the lack of good explanation from Wizards. I just don't see what they saw in the month or two between announcements that swayed them, besides a lot of complaints.