Hi Vintage lovers
For such a prominent part of the metagame, Gush is one of the most misunderstood and poorly played cards in the format. More often than not (and this is not hyperbole), Gush is played incorrectly, even on the VSL.
This is not surprising, from a simple mechanics perspective. Gush involves many simultaneous decisions: 1) what lands to return, 2) what colors of mana to float, 3) what turn to play Gush, 4) how to sequence Gush with other spells, and much more.
In case you hadn't seen it, I recently published the first edition of my "Gush book" in five and half years. It hasn't been updated since January/February 2011, and a helluva lot has happened in Vintage in that time.
Completely re-written and dramatically expanded (it's 350+ pages, 2nd edition was only 150 pages), the book is much more expansive in scope and coverage, not to mention virtually a complete re-write and reorganized.
It takes a short time to write a lousy book, and a long time to write a not-lousy book. As a labor of love, I spent an enormous amount making sure that all of my guidance here was more accurate, precise, and clear. I tackled gnarly concepts and hard theory with a clarity that was not present in the original versions. I hope that my precision here will withstand critical scrutiny as well as history.
For the non-Gush player, there is much here to learn from, including detailed explanations and usage tips for a range of tactics, from countermagic to tutors. In addition, there are dense specialty topics, like an entire Appendix devoted to Doomsday piles, and a "Gush Hall of Fame" - the best Gush decks of all time.
I hope you enjoy, but more importantly, learn as much as you can from this book. It's also organized in a way that you can take notes, with chapter summaries to jog your memory.
Anywhere, here's the EC blurb:
For the first time in over five years, Stephen Menendian’s expert guide and master class on Gush strategies in Vintage has been revised, updated, and expanded. At a time when Gush decks have never been more central to the Vintage metagame, this book is a timely and essential primer to one of the most sophisticated and challenging strategies in the Vintage format. Persistently misunderstood and generally misplayed, Gush requires many simultaneously decisions and precise timing. Maximizing all of the advantages offered by Gush demands deep understanding and strategic insight. This book presents a comprehensive theory of Gush, all of the advantages derivable from Gush, and a complete range of strategies and tactics.
With hundreds of pages of new content, Stephen has provided a dramatic and comprehensive re-write of this classic. As the Vintage metagame and card pool changes, so too does the understanding and prescriptive guidance of playing Gush strategies. Reorganized and expanded, this 350+ page book widens its scope, and has been carefully re-written from the ground up to provide better guidance, more precise analysis, and clearer explanations. No stone is left unturned, as every aspect of Gush play, design, and theory is covered, including a special appendix on Doomsday strategies, with more detailed descriptions of Doomsday piles than ever before, and an archive of the greatest Gush decks of all time. Beyond the specificity, detail, and practical guidance, this book delves deeper into the theory of Gush, with lessons for any Vintage player – whether they wish to learn Gush decks, learn how to defeat them, or simply to deepen their understanding of the format.