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@desolutionist It seems to me that your beef with Vintage is more a change in your perspective in life overall. If you're looking forward to spending more of your free time on family and business and only occasionally playing magic, then the game as a whole is likely becoming a lower priority to things that matter more in the grand scheme.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Here's a list I've been tinkering with:

// V_1_Underworld breach

// 61 Maindeck
// 9 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire

// 5 Creature
1 Thassa's Oracle
4 Arclight Phoenix

// 4 Enchantment
4 Underworld Breach

// 20 Instant
1 Mental Misstep
1 Dig Through Time
3 Brain Freeze
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Force of Will
1 Force of Negation
2 Pact of Negation
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Gush
1 Brainstorm
3 Abrade

// 14 Land
4 Volcanic Island
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Island
1 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Tolarian Academy

// 9 Sorcery
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Time Walk
1 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Merchant Scroll

// 1 Planeswalker
1 Narset, Parter of Veils

// 15 Sideboard
// 2 Artifact
SB: 2 Soul-Guide Lantern

// 1 Creature
SB: 1 Inkwell Leviathan

// 4 Enchantment
SB: 4 Leyline of the Void

// 7 Instant
SB: 2 Flusterstorm
SB: 2 Trickbind
SB: 2 Chain of Vapor
SB: 1 Abrade

// 1 Sorcery
SB: 1 Tinker

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@smmenen That's a bit disingenuous. There are only a few cards different here, mainly replacing dreadhorde to get quick burst/combo value in place of long term "double all your 1cmc spells" value. That's like me taking Ravager shops, replacing 3 cards with stonecoil when it was printed and calling it a new deck.

Not dogging the deck. It still looks as powerful as, say, jeskai mentor, but with 3-4 cards changed to add a synergistic combo. I was just saying I was hoping to see a new archetype/deck come out of this card, not just a copy added to an established deck type. This deck is fine for what it is, it's just not what I was hoping this new card would breed - from a builder's pov.

posted in Off-Topic read more

@volrathxp Steve was just late to the party. Tune in next year when he reviews The Lord of the Rings Trilogy! 😛

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@moorebrother1 That list is a bit disappointing to me from a builder's perspective. Isn't that basically Jeskai mentor but replacing 2x dreadhordes with a miser copy of underworld breach and brainfreeze for "oops, combo" wins? Breach is likely red yawg-will here and the brainfreeze will just fuel it and delve spells and randomly steal a win off dredge. I'm sure the cards are great here - but doesn't jeskai mentor just win anyway, even if you never see these spells? I was hoping more for a breach list - not an established list just using breach as yawg will.

posted in Off-Topic read more

I actually think the game was more creature centric/permanent based in the beginning. CoP:color was the best defense. Nev disk was your "answer." Your win typically centered around white knight, serra angel, serendib efreet, or the bombastic Shivan Dragon. Even spells relied on permanents - you needed mana flare and lands or mana vaults and basalt monoliths for the awesome braingeyser/fireballs. Yes, there was always the occasional channel/fireball, but creature beats were the thing in the old days. Even "The Deck" relied on moat, tormod's crypt, feldon's cane, millstone, serra angel, the abyss, and other permanents. Even the spells were primarily to interact with permanents - like plow and disenchant.

But once we got into gush times, by then we had gush, FoW, misdirection, duress, mana drain, counterspell, and some forms of cantrips paving the way to the lands + 35 instant/sorcery spells + 2-4 kill cards decks. It was no longer about creatures or even more than a handful of permanents then. I think that is when the old Vintage we think of departed from old school (and OS is more the kind of format Pokemon, etc. copied.)

I think the current shift is getting back to it's OS roots, though not the spell-slinging vintage of 2000 and beyond that many of us remember. But I definitely agree that PWs are problematic to the flavor of the game and do take away from the core of "I AM THE PLANESWALKER" that made the feel awesome. Now we are more of a general for our creature soldiers and PW lieutenants and less the powerful wizard that drives all the action. I do miss that.

posted in Off-Topic read more

I think one reason for this is that WotC sees permanents as more ripe for interaction - my ouphe shuts down your mox, and you can bolt my ouphe - as opposed to the stack, where you basically get FoW or nothing. WotC has used "interaction" in just about every justification for restriction in the past 10 years and "deck variety" in every justification of unrestrictions. If they shift the game to permanents (PWs, creatures, colored artifacts, enchantments as we've seen in the past few years), then you run into less issues of denying interactivity. The outliers were pushed PWs like Oko, Karn, Narset (and the giant mistake that was trinisphere back in the day) because they were so cheap and strong and reeeeaally hard to kill. If they start printing more cards like Fry (a 4x of in my red deck SBs), magmatic sinkhole, or the elderspell, then they can keep pushing PWs. Right now there are just so few versatile , splashable, adequate PW answers, that PWs have had some problematic "I take over the game for 3-4 mana" issues.

posted in Off-Topic read more

I feel like the format has changed a lot with new printings and restrictions, but I think it is not necessarily bottlenecking in a critical mass as much as it is turning directions like a winding road.

Back in its heyday, it was gushatog, oath, and trinishops with an occassional fish deck (literally blue fish). That was 2002ish. Then planeswalkers came out and that card type got pushed to the limits with narset, oko, karn (consider that the OG "this is too busted" PW, Jace TMS, is now virtually unplayable!) But now we're seeing a new direction to the game - creature's matter/self mill. With Thassa and Jace o' mysteries and underworld breach to go along with arcanist, delve spells, etc., milling yourself has become a win condition.

Cards like DRS started the creature push, but now vengevine, hollow one, stonecoil, collector ouphe, and others have made the game slow down from the "chain my gushes" days of magic and made the attack phase as relevant as it was in old school times.

The only storm cards we really got any time recently was PO, and since then ouphe, karn, narset and such have just punished the "draw deck/drop jewelry" strategies. The game looks fundamentally different, but not in that there's only 1 viable deck from saturation. As a guy who always hated the shops/blue-draw/bazaar triangle of the vintage format, I'm very happy that we've finally broken that trifecta. Those are still powerful axis cards, but decks not even running or needing those engines are doing great things. BUG is a deck, oko oath is a deck, thassa+consult is a deck, hollow vine is a deck, fastbond is a deck, and to a lesser extent fringe decks (like my own welder deck) have become playable and respectable in the meta - hell, even freaking NINJAS...I repeat, NINJAS, have the ability to win. And of course dredge, PO/storm, shops, and xerox are still decks. That's more diversity in viable strategies than I've ever seen in vintage, honestly. Any of those decks can play well and win, whereas before only the three axis REALLY could win and fringe decks had barely a puncher's chance. I think Vintage is as good as ever, if not better.

Put it this way - I ONLY played vintage from 1994-2008 and then modern came out. Vintage got stale to me and Modern became my go to format. But in the past year or so, Vintage is now my fave format again. That says a lot about the meta to me.

posted in Vintage News read more

@maximumcdawg I started packing 4x trickbind in certain sb builds. Trickbind is highly underrated. Stopping a PW ultimate for no emblem is big, stopping a grisel draw 7 (if they are at 14 or less life), stopping thassa win, and of course tendrils storm. There are fringe cases where trickbind is excellent, but I find that there are so many fringe cases, it's actually playable. The fact that it can't be missteped or FoWed for just 1 extra mana is worth it over stifle to me.