Best posts made by wiley
posted in Vintage News read more

I enjoyed the article, and I always like seeing updates to blasts from the past, especially when it turns into a history lesson for people 🙂

A good resource for ancient decks is the encyclopedia I put together years ago:

It took a lot of time to make and maintain and I kind of dropped it after a while, but there is an awful lot of information there.

Concerning the list in the article, it seems like reanimate would serve better than animate dead since you aren't trying to go infinite with dragon, and your most likely early target will be a welder. I would also turn at least 1 of the inkwell or myr into a wurcoil.

Another thing to note is that CA predates revoker, so It might be in your best interest play some answers to it in the main if you want to use your welders vs shops. (Granite Shards ftw)

posted in Vintage Community read more

@Smmenen said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

I was simply highlighting the incongruity of a post that frames the issue in terms of Turbo-Xerox (TX), asserts that TX is dominant in the format, and then opposes the restriction of Preordain.

If TX is dominant, you attack the cantrips, which is why Ponder and Brainstorm are restricted, not win conditions. Because if it's TX that is dominant, and not the win condition, then restricting Mentor should have no bearing on the dominance of TX, according to the logic Rich set out. The analysis as presented and conclusions of the OP are logically inconsistent.

That assumes the entirety of the problem is with the engine. The way I view @The-Atog-Lord 's argument is that the engine has been sufficiently hurt, but the end game is still too strong, and insulates itself too well from interaction.

I tend to agree that the best answer to mentor is mentor, and the second best answer to mentor is to hope you can prevent it from entering play. The third best way, going over the top, is only feasibly done by oath at the moment, and as has been said; all the hyper efficient hate pieces to over the top strategies have been printed in the same color as mentor.

I have said since it's printing that mentor is at the same power level as tinker, though in a shell designed around it that should probably be amended to more powerful than tinker. I am firmly in the camp of restricting mentor.

As far as gush getting an unfair axe, I'm very doubtful. Gush happens to be the best draw spell for control decks, and the best draw spell for tempo (or TX) decks, and allows for far too much flexibility to switch roles seamlessly in the middle of a game for no real cost (in terms of game play or deck construction).

It isn't a good thing when two control decks can whittle themselves down to a topdeck war and then one flips a gush and chains off ending their turn with win conditions in play and protection in hand. Without gush you get win conditions or protection during the topdeck war, with gush you get both.

In terms of misstep, I believe it is overall unhealthy for the format. While it does keep the 1 mana tutor and vault key decks in check, there are other cards that do that too. Unfortunately it also knocks out a variety of excellent answer cards.

I run 4 of them in salvagers oath because in addition to disrupting the opponent's normal game plan it is also better than force of will in protecting my own plan. Countering that swords to plowshares after I oath and before I draw has won me lots of games and made lots of salt. Being able to counter those grafdigger's cages, even against workshops, is a huge boon. And still I will be one of the first to say it is a dumb, no cost, no skill counter that needs to go.

This already feels like too much of a wall of text so I'll leave out my thoughts on workshops.


posted in TheManaDrain Metadiscussion read more

I suggested this at the end of the previous site and will do so again here. I would like a world map where users can pin their location and locations of their LGS's. This would go a long way towards shrinking the sometimes all too large world that separates Vintage enthusiasts.

It would also be nice to have a filter to show upcoming tournaments within a certain time frame. For instance, if I had travel scheduled to California in August I could center on the part of California I am going to and set the time range to August to see if there is a tournament I can hit while I am in town.

This would require a large amount of effort from the community side to populate, but I believe that if the tools are there they will be used.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@JACO said:

@Evoclipse said:

Will someone stream the next daily? i would love to watch some vintage tonight

Sure, here you go:
alt text

Burn vs. Big Blue, classic matchup

posted in Oath read more

@Khahan said in Where is Oath right now?:

In any given tournament you can get the unbeatable nutz draw or the "where is my other combo piece?" draw and be left hanging. In years past this was Ok because the format was different. Oath held up better in the long game while it dug for answers. Today if it stalls there are too many decks that are just too fast for it. Even creature decks like mentor and ravager shops can beat it.

To be fair, there were a lot of games that I won just because I was a bomberman deck as well as an oath deck. One standout game was against shops where they landed double t1 grafdigers cages and a foundry inspector. I went t1 land, lotus, salvagers. His t2 saw tangle wire and another creature. I played land go, his t3 saw no sphere effects so I recurred lotus in my upkeep, made infinite mana in my main, hard cast griselbrand and over half of my deck until the rest of the combo was assembled. I also won at least 2 games against mentor just with salvagers recurring ee and pyrite spellbomb with no lotus.

Bomberman is a vintage worthy deck, and running it alongside oath does a couple of trade offs:

  1. You have a really shitty mana base. No helping this, oath decks almost universally require running risky mana bases.
  2. Your tutor for salvagers also often gives you access to the other combo pieces. It also costs less than other tutors normally run by bomberman.
  3. Your yawgmoth's bargain gains you life and deals 7 by itself.
  4. Since you only have to run the one salvagers and none of the other creature tutors you can have a higher density of countermagic in the deck. And awkward or not they still make a huge difference in the current meta.
  5. Since you are already in white, you have great answer cards for anything you might face so long as you can anticipate it in your sideboard plans.
  6. EE is just plain awesome, especially in oath and bomberman.
posted in Vintage Community read more

I was looking through some of my old vintage files and came across this, seemed too good to not repost:

The Epic Tale of Vintage
~ Screen Play by @Harlequin


The Mob: Holy Crap I hate Card-X, Heres a Huge list of reasons why!
Top-8: Relax it's not that bad
The Mob: you just wait and see, they will restrict card-x and we will all laugh at you. You just wait until the 1st... Ahhh hahahaha

The DCI: ..... no changes
The Mob: /cry
Top-8: /tiny-violin

~ Repeat ActI like 2-5 times


The Hopefuls: This time... this time they will change!
The Mob: The DCI doesn't care, won't care, and never has cared. Besides were comfortable the way the format is now. This truely is the golden age of vintage in perfect harmony of balance of and luck

The DCI: SURPRIZE!! /slap

The Hopefuls: Hahaha Great, now I can play my pet-deck again! I support these changes.
The Mob: OMG-STFU-KTHXBBQ. Its the end of the world, Don't you see!? Here's a list of 1000 reasons why the DCI is stupid....
The Mob: ... In summary the format is much more about luck now than skill. So We Quit, I'm taking my cards and going home to play world of warcraft.
The people who actually did quit from the last R/B Update: Oh damn! This looks new and interesting, I'm going to start playing again!
Crazy Eyes: Following this logic let's just ban every card other than Swamp and Relentless Rats!

The Mob: Wait! I have an idea, lets make our own B/R list that ignore these changes.
TMD: That will NEVER work. Not in a million years.
The Mob: who cares, some of us - lets break off and agrue about -that- for a while, and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will never work in a million years.
TMD: You have fun with that. And don't worry about making a mess we've got our bold-red ink and lock buttons ready.
The Mob: The rest of us, lets start a petition ~
"Dear DCI,
Colectively, we Hate you. We hope that you get attacked by bees, and anyone who comes to sees you and trys to help is also attacked by bees. You are stupid and smell bad. Here is a list of 1000 reasons why we think you are stupid.
~The Mob
PS - you won't get another dime outa me until you make a change... not that I every buy anything from you anyway"

The Mob: There that'll show them... wait nm we quit anyway no one cares anymore anyway.
Top-8: Later! Hrmmm.. now I have to come up with a deck to play. I can't play X, Y or Z... so I guess I just go back to card-W. Good ol' W...
~next week~
The Mob: Damnit! WOW sucks I want to play magic again!
Top-8: Cool with me, lets see if you can beat D0u3le_Yuu.Dec
The Mob: F*ck Card-W, that's way overrated. Besides we have all this new design space now!
~they play~
Top-8: Beat you again! That makes the score X-0-2. I'm in Top-8 again!
The Mob: Yeah well, its only because W is so stupidly O.P. and broken, and easy to win with, and requires no skill. It should be banned. You just wait and see, the next B/R list comes out on the 1st and I can't immagine they won't ban W. You just wait and see!!


~ Repeat from the begining until the rapture...

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Is this the return of Sex.dec?! Is this just master bait?!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I like this. It feels like it would slot into a shell similar to drain tendrils, where you can get incremental advantage as you control the game. Definitely an improvement over aetherflux reservoir, but not a snowbally as sphinx-bone wand (which can't see play because of casting cost).

There seems to a bunch of stuff in this set that at least has potential, but isn't immediately broken.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Top 8 list locations from the pdf in alphabetical order:

Brennen, Joe - p.24
Coval, Brian - p.57
Eberhart, Ryan - p.77
Franks, Justin - p.96
Hockey, Brian - p.134
Kieth, Jody - p.148
Pinter, Jeremy - p.219
Schatteman, Boston - p.241

Huge thanks to Jaco and team for getting these put up like this. Already saw a lot of neat and interesting decks rolling through this, and I liked the artwork on brassman's sheet

EDIT: 1st place unpowered list (Humfleet, Patrick) is on p.137

posted in Vintage News read more

The last time I played in OH, I tried the thurman's challenge. I got through 3/4 of the burger and didn't feel hungry for the next 3 days. I highly recommend the experience to anyone willing to try it.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@gkraigher I believe the commonly accepted practice when facing shops was to board out the majority of the wgd combo and board in a bunch of verdant forces. This basically turned it into a regular reanimator deck with creatures tailored to fighting smokestack, tangle wire and non trampling fatties.

I would keep that in mind when making shop sideboards. Recurrable tormod's crypts backed by spheres seems like the best mono brown shops plan.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more


The Basics:
Cerebral Assasin is a fairly obscure deck, and never became that popular as a competitive, tourney-winning deck. On paper, it looks like it's great-but it falls short of completing it's many goals.

The concept of Cerebral Assassin is, essentially, win. There are a number of win conditions built in to this deck, from Triskelion+WGD+Animate Dead to the number of tricks you can pull off with Welder. The problem with the deck is that it tries to use so many combos that you end up drawing the wrong things at the wrong time quite often. Though this deck is still quite good, it's not very viable for a powerful Vintage metagame. The object here is to do what you can to get either Welder fodder in the grave or Animate Dead Worldgorger Dragon with a Triskelion in play to create an infinite damage loop (you can also use Titan with this to some effect).

Cerebral Assassin (Old version)

LANDS (16):
1 Riftstone Portal
4 City of Brass
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Shivan Reef
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Seat of the Synod

1 Triskelion
2 Sundering Titan
1 Eternal Witness
1 Worldgorger Dragon
4 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Platinum Angel
4 Goblin Welder

1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Force of Will
1 Possessed Portal
3 Thirst For Knowledge
1 Entomb
3 Intuition
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Animate Dead
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Necromancy

posted in Vintage News read more

@diophan said:

Steve does get a little carried away with scenarios at times, but I think in a set review it's natural to build a little hype for cards, especially in a format where so few end up making the cut.

Personally I enjoy that about these podcasts. It adds entertainment value to take some of these things past the realm of normal and consistent plays. Also, there is the non-zero chance that those kinds of discussion sparks a new idea from a deck builder and we get to see another angle from new or old cards.

I view these set review/speculation podcasts in the same light that I view ESPN pre-season football casting. The sportscasters are well informed, often former professionals, and full of hype. It is good for generating interest and getting people to think about the subject. Assuming that you are going to hear a strict facts only, no fluff piece on who and what will be the best performer takes away from the experience.

All that said, Daretti is nuts amazing. The only drawback is not being blue, which isn't always a drawback. I believe there is a high chance you both low balled this guy. The biggest question, and one I think you did a decent job brushing upon, is whether or not it can come into play in time against the eldrazi menace.

One card I would liked to have heard discuss (and if it was and I missed it let me know) was Illusion of Choice. A cantrip for U doesn't seem terrible, and it could have a large impact for the already played removal spell Council's Judgement. Probably not imminently playable, but it is another card that dances on the threshold of that perfect blue draw spell of 1U Draw 2 cards.

posted in Vintage Community read more

First and foremost I would like to thank Abe, not only for choosing to engage in discourse with the vintage community, knowing full well what he was opening himself up to, but also for performing admirably at all Eternal Weekends to date. I have had a few quick discussions with him at past events when I felt a judge made a poor call or something seemed off during a very complicated game state and he has always shown a very high level of knowledge and professionalism during our exchanges.

I would also like to state my opinion that after having watched the twitch footage both live and on replay that I do not believe Mr. Bogaard intentionally tried to cheat. I do believe, however, that his play on camera was exceptionally poor, and that I am of the opinion that if he played this way on camera he likely played this way off camera as well.

There should be no dispute that playing extra lands per turn and failing to discard down to maximum hand size are significant advantages, after all there is a tier 1 strategy in vintage to limit the amount of mana a deck is capable of producing. However, I would very much like to point out that magic is a two player game, which requires interaction. During your opponent's turn it is in fact on you as well as them to keep track of how many cards in hand your opponent ends their turn with, just as much as it is on you to know whether your opponent has already played a land this turn when they go to play a new land. This is as much to protect yourself from intentional cheaters as it is to simply fulfill your obligation to maintain the board state. While it might not be the same level of onus on Joseph's earlier round opponents as on the man himself, if Joseph was in fact playing so poorly during the earlier rounds, part of the fault is on them for not informing the judge staff.

I have seen calls in this thread to have judge staff choose random games throughout the tournament and referee them. I would ask the people who want this to look up a few times during the first through third round of the next 300+ person event they play in and take a mental note of how many judges they see just standing around doing nothing. In my experience the number is usually zero. So in order to comply with the wish for referees the judging staff would need to be drastically increased. This means either less prize support, higher entry fees or both. I highly doubt that would be tenable, but proving it would require input from the majority of people attending the tournaments.

@Katzby said:

Friday- GRV 1 for failing to discard.
GRV2 for attempting to play a second land.
I did not hear about the second instance of playing two lands until after the match was over. In that case, the judge in the area considered the issue to be rooted in the missed Mana Drain trigger that we also handled, and didn't issue a further penalty.

The second instance of playing a second land, and how it was handled, interests me. I would like to here the reasoning behind determining that the action was rooted in the missed Mana Drain trigger. Does this mean that it happened at the same time? In which case would not the GRV take precedence over the missed trigger? Or was it that the table judge believed the action was a direct result of Joseph becoming flustered during the time it took to sort out the missed trigger?

Admittedly I can understand forgetting that you had already played a land this turn when you had to take a 5 minute break from the game for a judge ruling, and so believe it was an honest mistake. However, is it normal (and I do understand that none of this may occur often enough for it to be normal) for the table judge to correct the error without penalty?

Also, I fully understand that you were not called in at the time of the second extra land infraction, but I would like to ask about when you were presented the information after the game. Did it cross your mind to enforce the GRV after the fact? Were you shown the stream footage or simply told what happened? If told, do you think seeing the footage would have changed your decision?

I fully understand backing up your staff member's decision and believe that both doing so as well as reversing her decision and enforcing the GRV are both defense-able courses of action. I would simply like a glimpse into the mind of a head judge put into such a position.

@ajfirecracker said:

One point I think deserves making is that as far as I can tell, when Joseph made a mistake on camera he tried to correct it or deflect without involving a judge. That's not how you play with integrity. I've called a judge on myself before, and I think any player who would never call a judge on his own mistake is flatly cheating. The rules of Magic are quite clear that trying to hide a mistake is evidence of intent to cheat, @katzby's personal conversation with the player notwithstanding.

This more likely comes far more from playing in FNM style regular REL tournaments and lax play testing, where such things like take backs are common place. Not saying that it should be tolerated, simply pointing out that it is not necessarily cheating. Personally I have called more judges on myself than my opponents.

Apologies for the giant post,
Garrett Wiley

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Does this really buy any turns against a vintage aggro deck? For instance, if you are going up against a mentor army aren't they attack for something like 5-7, then 15-20, then 17-25? Even if you go back to 20 life they might still have enough power on board to one shot.

Similar for something like eldrazi, who swings out with reality smashers and tks for 9-14 a turn, and since you pseudo time walk yourself by hampering your land based mana (and them presumably attacking your artifact mana) they get to do it twice before you reap any real benefits.

On the other hand, this has potential of being a combo enabler with yawgmoth's bargain/griselbrand/necropotence. But for that the only thing going for it is as a burning wish target, since we have had children of korlis for years.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Hmm, seems more like a fit for a Legacy Shallow Grave reanimator deck

posted in TheManaDrain Metadiscussion read more

@chubbyrain Floral Spuzzem, obviously. Card is too stronk.