Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!



  • @brianpk80 I definitely preferred it when it wasn’t the same people playing each other. That first week with 3 BUG decks was so brutal (even for me who thinks BUG is the best) that I haven’t even watched since then. I will catch up soon but liked the format of a couple seasons ago better.


  • TMD Supporter

    @brianpk80 6 matches a week is too much for me. That stretches anywhere from 3-4 hours (if not longer), which is hard to want to stay focused. I love vintage, but I have a hard time watching magic for that long without a break.

    I never watch the whole VSL on Tuesday and end up catching up on it throughout the week. Usually I have 3-4 matches to watch throughout the weeks which ends up with hours to watch.

    I do understand scheduling issues and it’s obvious that’s why it went that way. I much prefer things not being in a pod. I would certainly prefer how things were before. The pods have not played out well from a viewer side of things for time consideration.



  • I think the Pod play would be a much better concept if the “brewing” part of the brewers challenge was being more widely embraced.
    As stated previously watching 3 BUG decks go at it was pretty brutal. This week though there was good diversity between the 4 decks, despite one of them being a mirror of a previous deck with one card changed out. This made for a more interesting stream in my opinion (except for Randy spending 5 Minutes not understanding that dredge is a replacement effect and losing his mind over a notion thief draw), however, the players that are trying to make the most of the “brewing” or at least get further from the beaten path seem to get punished. Randy went 0-3 with his storm, Paul went 0-3 with a new attempt at a version of miraclegro (unfortunately never got to see the mighty Talrand beats), and Erin’s Dragon Stompy deck was also outperformed.
    I understand that you have to weigh a balance between brewing and winning, but I think the stream would be more enjoyable if the cast as a whole was embracing the brewing more and brining things further outside the regular meta as a group, not just one person at a time. Otherwise, just call it VSL season 7. Then we can anticipate seeing the normal VSL decks.

    Having said that I have to concur with the previous sentiment that @Oestrus is a great addition to the cast. I am also increasingly impressed with Rodrigo. I think he shows an extremely high vintage IQ every time he is on the stream, always has pithy comments about the players and their decks, and has a huge range of decks that he can pilot well.



  • @poxeveryturn you gotta love Rodrigo... The way he sees the game is eye opening and mind blowing... Among all the vintage masters I think Rodrigo and Brian k have the most unique amazing fun and intriguing way to see the game. It's fascinating to look things the way they do.



  • @zylvorak I completely agree. They are both very forward thinking. Both of them see lines and aspects of the game that others miss or overlook.

    I really want Rodrigo to bust out storm in the VSL this season. He plays storm in such a masterful way I think he can really do some damage when he pilots that deck, and he has proven himself with it in big ways in the past with his GP win.



  • Not everyone has time to brew for Vintage. Imagine Efro having to brew a deck in the middle of a Worlds? I guess the way things are done (can't play the same deck twice; doesn't matter if you're 0-9) is probably the best they can do to incentivise people playing tier 2-3 decks or brews.

    I don't think it's working that well so far. I mean, not even Erin's 1st week deck was a brew - she could've swapped those Hazoret's for anything else that has been proven better since that deck Top 8'ed. I also don't think Randy's Storm was a brew - there was already a 4 Bargain/4 Outcome deck Top 8 before that.
    I mean, the only real brew I've seen so far is Paul's Gro - and it definitely showed why horizontal growth is better than vertical and why Quirion Dryad variants are not that good anymore.

    I really wish someone tried to play Eldrazi post-Thorn or create a good 5c Humans or maybe make that Survival/Hollow One deck work? And I mean, there are a lot of cards to test: why isn't anyone testing Chart a Course in Delver? Why did Rich play only 1 Spyglass in his MUD? Where's Unclaimed Territory/Cavern.dec? Come on guys, I know brewing new decks is hard, but shoving playable 4-ofs from recent sets and seeing what happens is fun.


  • TMD Supporter

    @fsecco said in Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!:

    I really wish someone tried to play Eldrazi post-Thorn or create a good 5c Humans or maybe make that Survival/Hollow One deck work?

    I volunteer as tribute.



  • @fsecco I’d really like to see someone try that survival/ hollow deck. Or even more bizarre the survival/nought deck with Varolz. Might not be great but it would be a lot of fun to watch instead of someone casting Mentor/pyro once again. Don’t get me wrong I still love watching good vintage. But I want to see something crazy here and there when you call it a brewers challenge.

    Furthermore, even if not a dedicated brew I was hoping to see some more off the wall stuff like maybe no land belcher or some sort of steel city vault variant.
    I know those decks already exist to some extent much like the storm deck. But I think it would be great if someone tried them here and figured this would be the season to try it. I’m still holding hope that the creativity spikes in weeks to come. But I’m also not overly optimistic of that, it’s natural to want to be competitive and hard to bring a deck that will possibly go 0-3. Style points have to count for something though.



  • I forgot to say good things about Erin and her Hollow Dredge. It's not a brew either, but I like that she brought it in since I've never seen the deck working and it was great fun. I count both Erin's deck so far as thumbs up in the "Brewer's Challenge" table - at least she's playing new cards and fringe decks :P

    I guess some rules about having to use new cards or even something like giving point to anyone who brews a new deck or uses a new card so the finalists of the season wouldn't be only the winners but also the more dedicated innovators. Like Top 4 with the best 2 winnings records AND the best 2 in the "Brewers Point Table". I'd love that.

    ps: something like Rich and Rachel would gain points for using their 1-of Spyglass and Hostage Taker, but Paul would gain even more for a 4-of new-Dryad-forgot-the-name.



  • @poxeveryturn said in Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!:

    @fsecco I’d really like to see someone try that survival/ hollow deck. Or even more bizarre the survival/nought deck with Varolz. Might not be great but it would be a lot of fun to watch instead of someone casting Mentor/pyro once again. Don’t get me wrong I still love watching good vintage. But I want to see something crazy here and there when you call it a brewers challenge.

    Furthermore, even if not a dedicated brew I was hoping to see some more off the wall stuff like maybe no land belcher or some sort of steel city vault variant.
    I know those decks already exist to some extent much like the storm deck. But I think it would be great if someone tried them here and figured this would be the season to try it. I’m still holding hope that the creativity spikes in weeks to come. But I’m also not overly optimistic of that, it’s natural to want to be competitive and hard to bring a deck that will possibly go 0-3. Style points have to count for something though.

    Mono-blue Belcher has seen some play in the VSL, not sure if any "X City" style decks have or not



  • Do keep in mind the timetable for deck submissions. Submitting a decklist 3 weeks before you play it in the day and age of faster vintage deck evolution means that likely nothing will look like a new brew.



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  • TMD Supporter

    @winterstar which is one reason why Paul Ritzel in this season. I consider him an actual brewer. It may be decks that aren’t remotely tier 1, but he is trying something he wants to play but something people typically wouldn’t come up with.



  • Regarding the 4 person round robins; i actually kind of like that in a way. Tiebreakers were fawful kinda, but i don't really mind seeing the same people play a few rounds each.

    Besides thinking it's a shame Brian was cut from this season of all seasons, it's also a shame that there has been a fair amount of 'not brews'.

    The UBG mirrors were a little bit samesy after a little while, but those decks were at least mostly different than other decks i would expect, as well as each other, and in my opinion each gets a few bonus points for not being a tier copypasta.

    @kingleovold said in Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!:

    (even for me who thinks BUG is the best)

    Username checks out.
    Unrelated, have a decklist to share to forum or link me?

    @winterstar said in Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!:

    Do keep in mind the timetable for deck submissions. Submitting a decklist 3 weeks before you play it in the day and age of faster vintage deck evolution means that likely nothing will look like a new brew.

    I can't precisely speak for others, only what i think they were putting out and what i think. But the decks that were not brews... Well, they were not brews 3 weeks ago either. I mean i definitely don't personally count a deck that could be titled "Mentor, but there's only 1" a brew. It's the same deck +/- 6 cards for a small amount of metagaming and 3 of those different slots are only because a card was restricted.



  • 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:

    1. 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...
    1. 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...

    1. 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.

    2. 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.



  • @bandswithothers said in Oh Boy I Can't Wait For VSL Season 7!:

    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.

    The great commentary is what makes the VSL so cool to watch!


  • TMD Supporter

    A while back, I said that you'd have to wait until midway through the season, or at least the last trimester, to judge whether the "brewer's challenge" format worked or not. My opinion is that the format is a success, and has resulted in some really neat brews. Personally, without the VSL challenge, I wouldn't have been motivated to put work into the Ad Nauseam deck I played in the 2nd trimester, which many people told me they've enjoyed playing. It was cool to see Sperling's hatebears deck played last week; and Kevin's Grixis Daretti deck is fun to watch.

    I'm really excited for Tuesday's epic conclusion to the regular season. I'm playing cards that have never seen play in the VSL before, and I have little doubt that Erin, David and Bob will have some wild and crazy ideas as well.



  • I've enjoyed this season a lot too, largely in part due to deck exploration. Last week was the worst though as there were so many lopsided games. The people who drew poorly drew really poorly.


  • TMD Supporter

    @smmenen The definately got better as it has moved further in. Erin/ @Oestrus has been a pleasant addition to the cast.

    I miss from a viewer point of view seeing every player play every week... though I understand why that’s not good for the players. However, that’s honestly a minor nitpick.


  • TMD Supporter

    I didn't get a chance to do this on the stream, so I wanted to take the opportunity here to acknowledge some folks who helped tremendous with my VSL brew this trimester. In particular, I want to recognize Tom Metelsky (@i_b_TRUE) and @JACO who also provided some information, including his latest list and a great primer he wrote on EC here.

    Tom was very generous with his time, talking over some of the tweaks I made to his list, which he used to win a Vintage Challenge a few months back, and hearing out my suggestions. In particular, I added Yawgmoth's Will and Peek to the maindeck, and Boseiju to the sideboard, among other changes. Tom also walked through some challenging testing matches I had, and gave me encouraging feedback.

    Here is what I played:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qoryj9QNtmL1Dr-zCb23u65mrK5jJm7mWCbrZINqQrk/edit#gid=0

    Stephen Menendian
    Flash Rector
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 Academy Rector
    1 Griselbrand
    1 Monastery Mentor
    3 Cabal Therapy
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Gitaxian Probe
    1 Merchant Scroll
    1 Ponder
    1 Preordain
    3 Show and Tell
    1 Time Walk
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Dig Through Time
    1 Flash
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Island
    1 Yawgmoth's Will
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Mental Misstep
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Ancient Tomb
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Omniscience
    1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
    1 Mana Crypt
    2 Flooded Strand
    1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    1 Library of Alexandria
    2 Misty Rainforest
    1 Peek
    2 Scalding Tarn
    2 Tundra
    3 Underground Sea
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Sensei's Divining Top
    4 Force of Will

    2 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Balance
    2 Containment Priest
    2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
    1 Karakas
    4 Leyline of the Void
    1 Tinker
    1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    1 Blightsteel Colossus

    The deck is really fun to play, and I cashed almost all of the leagues I played with it. I probably tested it in between 5-10 leagues, and did really well. Despite being extremely non-linear in appearance, it's actually remarkably consistent and resilient.

    Also, DW gave me a good ribbing tonight for durdling around in my 2nd match against Erin tonight. I probably durdled a bit too much, but I was trying to play around Flusterstorm. To explain: my main plan was to Show and Tell Ominiscience into play, and then use the Vamp to find Emrakul, and Bargain to draw it. The problem was that if I cast Show and Tell the turn earlier, Erin could have put the Demon into play, and use the Demonc to tutor up Flusterstorm to stop my Vamp. So I had to wait another turn. Also, if I had paid life for Probe, then I risked not being able to Force, and Vamp, and pay a life to draw the Emrakul. There may have a been a more direct route, but that's what was going on in my head. I wasn't trying to waste anyones time. In fact, I thought folks would have enjoyed seeing Emrakul hard cast! Despite seemingly overwhelming board state, I really didn't have much action in hand, so I just needed to be a bit careful.

    The deck is not really a combo deck. It's a combo-control deck. It doesn't have Tendrils, and it needs to actually win the long way - usually setting up Omniscience --> Emrakul.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!


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