How did you start playing Vintage?

I guess we all started somewhere and not all of us started with channel/fireball so I was wondering how did you start playing this format?
I can understand that those who play over 20 years (me) find it rather natural to play Vintage but that's probably not the case for all of the members here. So I wonder if there is even someone who came to Vintage from the other side ... via non-eternal formats.
So what is your story?

I'm one of those who started around 1994. I was buying Revised, Antiquities, and Legends boosters when I started playing, so Vintage comes naturally.

Could've bought more Unlimited, but it was like, twice as expensive as Revised. LOL SUCKERS

I originally started playing Magic around Tempest when some of the older kids in the neighborhood introuduced everyone to it. I got back in when a friend opened a game store. I got into Vintage at the first standard rotation I experienced, annoyed that I needed to replace all my cards.

The store owner was building a vintage deck, which was quite a feat compared to the waiter's wages I was making at the time. 10 proxy was still something that was viable for most people to build. When SCG still covered eternal on the free side, I saw 5 color Staxx (I looked and I can't find the article or list) and I loved it. I built the deck with proxied power and workshops and even pimped some of the deck out.

I started playing Magic by buying boosters of Revised back in 1994. There was only one shop in town that sold Magic, and I was in Middle School. My parents hated taking me anywhere, and I didn't have much money as a kid, so I didn't get out to buy much of it. Probably half of my revised packs came from friends and birthdays.

I remember I traded aggressively to get some of the original elder dragons and oddly I got in trouble for having money when I sold those dragons. My parents made some stupid comment like "You can get a Super Nintendo when you save up the money to buy it yourself." I went in my room, grabbed a wad of cash, came out and said "Ok, let's go". I didn't get a SNES that day... but I learned my parents don't always mean what they say.

I also know that I had several Unlimited cards before I even knew the difference between Unlimited and Revised, but the best one was a Stasis. I quit for a while after I opened a card with Phasing, but I came back. (Doesn't everyone?).

I still have fond memories of learning to play with cards like Kird Ape, Sol Ring and Wheel of Fortune, and I don't like formats that don't let me use the broken fair and balanced cards like Balance. Legacy is interesting but weird, EDH is ok, but 93/94 and Vintage are awesome.

I've only owned a couple pieces of power in paper, and I sold them to pay bills. I've also bought and sold dual lands at prices that would make modern players cry. I have a Chaos Orb though. 🙂

I've been playing on MTGO for about a year. The only reason I play is that it makes vintage more accessible. I've managed to collect the 5 moxes on magic online somehow without putting tons of money into it, but I have a long way to go. I still play this game for the fun of it, and because of that I often play bad decks, but I have a good time.

edit: This wasn't intended to be a reply to any specific person, yet I can't get rid of the @ sorry.

last edited by Gumgod

i started playing magic when rtr came out, but i never had the money to play competitivly so found cockatrice and played a little standard and then worked into playing modern, legacy, and finally vintage, and ive been playing vintage for about three tears but in the last year i got really deep into it and thats what i mainly play.

I started M:tG with Fallen Empires at a Christmas party when I was 8, playing it at summer camp every year up until I was 13. I eventually caught wind of competitive playing and spent a year reading EVERYTHING I could find on the game. I started drafting with Mirrodin and constructed with Fifth Dawn, hitting some GP success with Aluren in Extended (67th at 7-2 with no byes, missing day 2 on tiebreakers). I eventually fell in love with 5-color/250, leading me to buy a set of power and duals over the next few years to make my deck perfect. As Vintage players lamented the death of their format with Brainstorm's restriction (hi Lodestone!), I decided to put my power to greater use by entering my first Vintage tournament. I brewed the well-named Terrible Stax deck, a UB Stax variant that cut three of 5C Stax's colors and replaced them with hits like Mindlock Orb and the Leyline of the Void + Helm of Obedience combo. I won my first event in the Philly area, leaving me with 40 more duals and a love for the format. I've since traded all my cards in for a college education including room and board, but the local community is so strong that a "hey, I have a free weekend" Facebook post is often met with a flurry of people asking me what they can lend me.

In April of 1994 a friend of mine convinced me to try playing Magic (now called Vintage). I strongly resisted, insisting it must be terrible; haven't stopped playing since.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@mickey.nobilis ^^ Love stories like that!

Back in 2003 I was watching people at my LGS playing vintage, reveling over their power 9 cards ($200 for 1 card wow!!) and wanting to play the format myself. I learned about Apprentice and then MagicWorkStation where I learned to play the format and did most of my vintage play since I very rarely was able to make tournaments but enjoyed the format. I bought a pile of blue duals (Tundras and Trops sadly) for $240 for a huge lot (holy crap so much for lands!) and used them at my local store in college where no one owned power. I took a small break from 2009-2014 when I moved out to San Diego and had the fire rekindled and therefore started playing Vintage again. I played my first paper tournament in 8+ years and made T4 (!) so it is safe to say I am back in the thick of things! Also needed to know the format deeply for commentary doesn't hurt!

I've been a casual player since 1995, when locally you couldn't purchase Revised without several bundled packs of Fallen Empires. I've always thought the price of Power 9 was ridiculous and resolved to not buy in. In 2013 I realized I had the means to buy in and have had fun ever since playing paper Vintage.

One thing I did to help prepare was to compile a spiral-bound book of over 100 deck lists of Vintage archetypes since 2011.

last edited by ydl

My first online MTG purchase was a play set of Sarcomancy in 2001.

I started playing Magic in 2013 (Magic, not Vintage) after watching the coverage of Eternal Weekend that year. Soon after I found TMD and went to a few local events. I met a lot of friends and had a blast and I've been involved ever since.

I first found out about Magic in 1995 and since then I just wanted to play the game as much as I could but that wasn't quite possible since it was very expensive (like 3,5x more expensive than nowadays). But from the crappy cards I got I started trading with other kids around for cards that seemed to be good to me. Years later I found out that the cards I got this way were actually pretty expensive and that the trades I made weren't really fair. But who knew? There was nothing like price lists or game stores at that time. I simply recognized a good card when I saw one.
I played T1.5 till Legacy came to existence. Looking back at that time the decks were quite overpowered. I used to play mobo-blue control and usually faced staxx, dark ritual/necropotence or worldgorger combo. Goblins were popular as well. With the new format the players I knew and played with/against stopped playing Magic or some of them started to play Type 2. I did not understand what happened at that time but for me it meant that I either find a different format to play or also take a break. I started playing Extended because T2 did not seem interesting to me at all...I had no understanding for that format.
Few years later I moved to Czech Republic and started looking for some Extended/Legacy players but they were not present. Standard was the most played format so I joined the ranks of Standard players for some time, eventually taking a break because it was really boring. After that I really wanted a format in which I could play control again so I started playing all formats including highlander, EDH, Modern etc. I delved into Legacy but that was more and more creature based and more 'value' based as other formats. Extended was no more. Modern was a joke and I really wanted to go back to playing Mana Drain and that is how I slowly ended up playing Vintage. But it took me a very long time to realize that I should have done this very long time ago. People in my country don't accept me well though and they gave me a really hard time so I left paper Magic to some extent and started playing Magic Online.
When Wizards of the Coast made the announcement about Power Nine Challenges I decided to buy a Vintage deck and participate. After few months of grinding limited I got enough tix to buy a Vintage deck and my new adventure could begin. Joe Fiorini added me to a Vintage group on FB (I tried to register at TMD but my registration never went through) and then a whole new world opened up to me. You guys helped me realize how much I still love the game. I found players I'd like to call my friends. I got to play a format in which I actually feel like playing Magic again.
For the sake of Vintage I started participating in paper Vintage tournaments. I was afraid it would be as bad as in other formats but it wasn't.
Thank you for sharing your stories.

I started playing around 95 from Revised. My brother's classmate had started playing and my brother started talking about this game. Having seen the game in action, it didn't take long before I bought my starter and some boosters. And from that moment on I was completely hooked to magic. Unfortunately, power cards were not available anywhere in Finland, where I live, so I've never had any pieces, not that I really cared. Games among my friends were usually a battle between Serra Angels and Sengir Vampires and the occasional Shivan Dragon 🙂 before we started investing in dual lands and other more serious strategies. I played daily for several years but took a long hiatus between 1999 and 2015 and started playing MTGO standard first in August last year. Shifted entirely to Vintage on MTGO in January-February this year after having read a lot about it in Islandswamp's vintage 101 series and also watching a lot of videos on YouTube and becoming increasingly interested in trying. So now I can finally play with power cards against incredibly skilled players. Sure, I lose more than I win but still having tons of fun. Offline I've also started playing again with one of my friends from back in the good ol' days. Magic is just as fun as it always was although the level of complexity is far higher now than back in the 90's.

My parents bought me my first pack(s) from Ice Age when I was about the time they were just cards in a binder and nothing more. Most of them were sold at a garage sale a few years later and to this day I can't say if there was anything valuable in there. Fast forward to Oddessy Block I started playing Standard and Block (Psychatog, Maddness and Mirari's Wake mostly) Until I saved up $80 and bought the Mox Pearl sitting in the showcase for like 6 months at Tri County Flea Market on Long Island (it was marked at $110 but the owner knew me and knew he had been sitting on it for 6 months...). A couple of the locals played Type 1, and when Onslaught came out I dove in head first and bought dual lands, Force of wills, Mana Drains and as much power as I could afford. I played Psychatog first, then almost exclusively TPS. My dad was great enough to drive me all over creation (Waterbury, Richmond, Chicago, and Rochester for SCG P9 events) as well as the small and infrequent local events mostly run by Nick Detwiler. I sold my collection in 2006 (foolishly) before departing for College after I had grown bored of the local scene and lost the motivation to travel for events that only happened every so often. As is so often the case, I followed the format from afar for almost 10 years and then shortly after getting married I decided it was time to get back into it since the local Long Island scene was (and is) flourishing. I can enjoy 2-3 15-20 person events a month if I wish, not to mention a great crew that always seems to be around to play some games on the side.

I started playing Magic in 1994, but the move into Vintage came in 2003 or 2004 when they started rotating extended and I could no longer play dual lands in my decks. I did not have power, and amusingly enough the first thing I built was Nether Void Black, not using the duals that were so important to me that I changed formats. It took about a year to assemble my first set of power and eventually I fell so in love with Worldgorger Dragon that I stopped playing everything else.

I started playing Magic during Onslaught era. I was pretty casual kitchen table until I decided to take it seriously with Ravnica. At this time I was 15-16 and started to get into MTGO because I couldn't drive yet. When I got my drivers license (Dissension), I cashed out of modo for a real Type 2 deck and went off to FNM. Eventually I saw Allen Fulmer, Dan Herd, Dave Rietnaur, and a few others playing Vintage. Dan Herd was the one who showed me The Mana Drain. I just thought it was cool to see that Allen's only permanents in play were Smokestack, Bazaar of Baghdad, and 1 or 2 other things. His opponent was obviously struggling with some kitchen table deck. I started playing Sulivan Solution on MWS and in real life before switching to Meandeck Gifts. Allen and I played the Meandeck Gifts mirror all the time. Before you know it, Dan Herd insisted that I go to the next Blue Bell tournament (Montco). At the time I worked weekends for someone who wasn't willing to give me time off. So for the tournament, I just said fuck life and didn't show up for work. I audibled to another deck right before the tournament (with almost no practice): I played Brassman Gifts. My first match was against Allen, and I got smoked. The rest is history.

RIP Dan Herd

Bought my first mtg cards at a yard sale of our neighbors two houses down, around summer of 1998 They were all artifact, red and green cards from ice age, tempest, stronghold, weatherlight and a bunch of forests, mountains, ghost towns and and some anti shadow land of sorts. Woman said they belonged to her son but he was in collage and didn't want them anymore. She said she would look for more but her husband had already sold the rest by that that time.
Without a clue as to how to play, my brother and i pretty much played by what we assumed was the correct way. Quickly figured the Mana cost were paid by lands. Playing a land a turn, one card a turn, attacking only with one creature a turn. Only 40 card decks with one of any card except lands of any kind. Player with no creatures left on table and no library lost the game.
A year later I came across a comic book store that was closing out and once again, most of the mtg stuff was gone since the man was selling at 80% off! All he had, and recommended anyway, was Classic starter box and urza's saga decks.
From that point on I would walk 1hr to a store just to play free for all with six other guys there. They all had powered decks and never went easy on me. My first play was swamp into duress, taking my opponents duress. "there is hope for him after all" another guy said. Lol. Few turns later I suffered Palinchron, Morphling, Ernahm, Jackallope Herd, Lighting Dragon and Hyppie beats. What fun I had.
Fast forward and I'm still jamming duress, tinker, academy and necro into my decks. Could never get into type 2 or even extended, later on.
I still say type 1 when referring to vintage. sigh

@Ten-Ten That sounds pretty crazy. Glad you persevered.
Saying Type 1 is fine. I needed to learn to use Standard, Modern, Legacy, Vintage terms because players that came to my store were often confused when I said Type 2. I had to realize that many of those players play Magic for less than 5 years mostly. Among Vintage players though this will probably never be a problem. So far it seems that there's not so many new players playing Vintage (HrishiQQ only comes to mind from those that actually said something about how they started playing Magic)

Started in Nemesis, really started to get into the game in Invasion block (most fun standalone block of all time... though the flavor of Tempest and Urza blocks was pretty amazing).

Standard wasn't interesting so I moved up to Extended, then to Vintage when Extended stopped being a thing. Was here when Brainstorm/fetchland started dominating the format, rode through all the restrictions and changes over the years since.

Vintage remains the king of all formats and really just keeps betting better. But Standard these days is pretty bitchin'... I might never have gotten into Vintage if Standard hadn't been such a clown show 15 years ago.

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