Best posts made by albarkhane
posted in Vintage News read more

Vintage is close to dead in France but about 6 months ago we tried to set up a monthly tournament. The agreement with the shop that is hosting us is very simple :

  • unsanctionned event with a very low entrance fee and very little prizes (we don't care, our goal is to play and have fun)
  • playtests cards for several reasons : trying to get Legacy players into the format, we don"t want to carry 20k worth of cards and the shop does not want to have to worry about that too.
  • playtests can be as nicely done as people want but they must be easily recognized as playtest cards (that is : no fake cards around). By the way a friend of mine has a foil beta P9, just so beautiful !

So far, the results are quite promissing : we manage to play monthly, we are not a lot but people are slowly coming in, and we are having a lot of fun !

posted in Vintage Community read more

In the 1994 Pocket Players' Guide (so revised edition), the rules are quite clear and they namely explain the differences from the First edition. Here are some quotes from it :

In the chapter : MTG revised edition rules

Sacrificing (Page 58 and after)
If a card call for a sacrifice, you must choose an appropriate card in play and place it in your graveyard. This card is considered buried and thus may not be regenerated (see Destroyed, Buried, and Removed from the game). You can not sacrifice a card under another's player control or a card that is already leaving play.

[... here was an exemple ...]

A sacrifice is a cost that cannot be prevented. Any effect that would normally prevent a card from beeing destroyed or damaged do not protect the card from beeing sacrified. Also just as mana is spent as soon a spell is announced, a sacrifice is taken as soon the spell or effect requiring it is announced. If this spell or effect is countered in some way, the card beeing sacrified still get buried, just as mana spent on a countered spell is still spent.

[... here was an exemple ...]

Selene says : note that sacrificing something is not the same as destroying it. A card that says it can not be destroyed still can be sacrificed. (...). Sacrificing a card is a distinct action you take as a player to meet the requirements of another card; it is treated differently from destroying, burying and other effects that remove cards from play.

In the chapter : Differences between first edition and revised edition MTG

Sacrifice (Page 111)
Under revised rules a sacrifice is a cost that can not be prevented, and the card goes to the Graveyard immediately, at the speed of an Interrupt. If a fast effect involves sacrifying a creature, put the creature in the Graveyard as soon as the fast effect is announced, rather than waiting until all other fact effects are announced. (Any benefit or result from the sacrifice still waits until its proper place in the effect-resolution sequence). Even if a spell or effect is countered in some way, the card beeing sacrificed still gets buried, just as mana spent on a countered spell is still spent.

Card errata (Page 112)
Most of the First Edition cards can be played "as is" under the Revised rules. Some Revised cards have minor changes in what they do when compared to First Edition; when playing with mixed sets, play each card by wording on the card itself. However, just because one version of a card says something explicitely and another version doesn't, this does not mean they function differently. Some of the cards text contain reminders of things that are already part of the rules. The presence or lack of such text on one card versus another should not be interpreted as meaning that rule does not apply.

A few cards do need their wording changed, as follow :

These card say "discard" and should say "destroy" : Bottle of Suleiman, Balance, Black Lotus, Chaos Orb, City in a bottle, Conversion, Cyclone, Disenchant, Drop of honey, Jihad, Pestilence, Tranquility, Unsummon.


In the chapter : MTG FAQ (Page 216-217)

Q: Are the terms "kill" and "destroy" synonymous ?
A: Yes. In both cases, you may attempt to regenerate the creature beeing killed or destroyed.

Q: And "goes to the Graveyard" ?
A: This means that the card must be placed in the graveyeard. Once a creature is Sacrificed, it must go to the graveyeard, and can't be regenerated or other fancy stuff. Protection, Guardian Beast, Consecrate Land, and other protective effects cannot save cards that are sacrificed or "placed in the graveyard".

Q: what about "discarded"?
A: If it refers to a card in a player's hand, the card is simply placed in the graveyard and generate no effect. If it refers to a card in play, it is synonymous with "destroyed" and the card may be protected or regenerated.

Q: Are the terms "gone to the graveyard", "killed", "discarded" and "destroyed" synonymous?
A: These are all past tense. If a card actually goes into the discard pile, then it was killed/discarded/destroyed/sent to the graveyard.
The Revised rules have clearly defined "kill" and "destroy" as identical, and have replaced "destroyed without possibility of regeneration" with "buried". This saves space, and works for any type of card (instead of just creatures).

My 10 cents 😉

So, to sum it up, under Revised Rules :

  • Serendib Djinn wording was still "destroy" and as such the combo with consacred land or pyramid were still legal.

  • The rules allowed any card to be sacrificed, not only creatures (even if i fail to find any other card in those sets who would ask for it).

Edit :
I found the official errata in the Duelist number 7 (Page 99) so in 3rd quarter of 1995 and still under Revised rules :

Q: When i choose a land for my Serenbib Djinn to destroy during upkeep, can i prevent that destruction?
A: No, Serendib Djinn should be read as if the land were sacrificed.

(by the way, it was in the same errata that the Guardian Beast/Disk combo did not work any more as they also say : consecrate land, guardian beast and pyramid may no longer save permanents from themselves).

posted in Tournament Reports read more

As a long time shop player, i knew i would run such a deck at MKM series Paris. For many months Ravager shop has been objectively the best shop deck but i don't like it. Nothing special, it is just that i enjoy different kind of decks ... so when new Karn went out, i knew there was something there. The problem was the very short time before the tournament. I had a look around at what people had found and saw some interesting ideas but was not 100% convinced by them.

Namely, people want to get an early Karn and they use lots of mana artifacts to get those 4 non-shop mana. I agree that a turn 1 Karn is a blast but actually any competitive vintage deck can have broken opening hands so i usually judge decks by cheking how they behave when things are going not so well. So "what happens if i don"t have a Karn in my opening hand ?", or "what happens if my opponent plays an early stony silence/null rod ?". To make it short, is that explosive start worth the price ? MTGO results imply that it could be but i decided i would try another path and see where it leads.

I tried to forget everything i had seen and started from scratch. I checked each decks to find how they can be hated out. For example, Ravager shop has no answer to ensnaring bridge + null rod. I did that for a gauntlet of decks and found a core deck that could adress the expected meta : sphere, null rod, ensnaring bridge, revoker, Witchbane orb. Most cards are quite usual in shop decks but that quite tight package shows that a prison/stax direction is possible.

The plan was clear then : i would play a stax deck that happens to use Karn as a win condition. I don't want to use too many mana artifact so the plan is to play Karn in late game only. Getting the 4 non-shop mana could be a problem and i tried to find a balance there. I liked the inventor's fair that can tutor (for example crucible for recursion) and help with life point. The deck was ready very late so i could only do little testing. I knew the real problem was to play null rod but it was worth a try as it gives an edge in some difficult matchups (ravager shop, elrazi karn, PO). I was not exactly sure about the whole balance of the deck too. There was a trial the day before the main tournament so i decided to use it as a test. If it went really wrong, i could always switch back to a more classic list. However i was quite confident because it ends up not being very different from some lists i had seen in internet (credit to volrathxp for example).

Here is the list i used at the trial :

// 30 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
3 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Null Rod
2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Tangle Wire
2 Smokestack
1 Mox Opal
1 Mana Vault
1 Mana Crypt

// 9 Creature
1 Lodestone Golem
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Walking Ballista

// 18 Land
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Inventors' Fair
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
4 Wasteland
1 City of Traitors

// 3 Planeswalker
3 Karn, the Great Creator

SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 3 Witchbane Orb
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 1 Null Rod
SB: 3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

After getting some friends and a 5 hour drive, here we are for the trial :

  • Round 1 : win against URW Pyro/mentor (2-0)
    My opponent was playing more counterspells than usual. I had no real trouble winning those games.

  • Round 2 : loss against URW Xerox (0-2)
    The list looked quite standard. I had some trouble with my own null rod in first game. He had a great opening in second game and i could not deal with everything he played. I conceded to a timetwister with Narset on the field but actually i had already lost to Dack a few turns before.

  • Round 3 : win against Jund (2-0)
    A friend of mine so i know his list is budget but really solid actually. He is a great deckbuilder. Unfortunately for him, he had to mull to 4 on first game. Second game was more difficult for me and i went very low. I was really lucky with mana crypt die rolls and i managed to survive long enough to stabilize and finally lock him out of the game.

  • Round 4 : win against enchanteress (2-1)
    A very unexpected matchup ! I lost game one because of stony silence on a mana rock heavy opening hand for me. I quickly won game 2. Game 3 was quite funny : i was quite happy to play Karn, get Lattice and play it when my opponent show me the stony silence he had played some turns ago (i had totally forgot it lost with all those enchantments), he smiled and said 'i guess we are both locked'. Looking at my board i saw my stax and smiled back. A few turns later, he had nothing on board and he conceded ... Note for later : think twice before making hasty plays !

So i was 3-1 and left with one bye for the main event on saturday. Not so bad for a first tournament with that list. I tried to analyze that trial :

  • There was lots of blue decks and they were quite different, obviously people were trying new things. I was the only shop deck and
    some creature decks were there (goblin for example) but no eldrazi.
  • Every one there agreed that because of Karn and Narset (that saw lots of play too), there will be no Paradox deck tomorrow.
  • In each of the four games i sided out 2 null rod and 1 ensnaring bridge and i sided in 3 Tabernacle. Obviously i should consider again my choices there.

Finally, I removed the 2 null rods MD and put 1 expedition map and 1 tabernacle instead. I also switched 1 ensnaring bridge for 1 one more stax (that was very good in each game i played it). Map is great because it can catch utility lands but more important it can catch Tolarian Academy for non-shop mana.

The plan now is : play like a classic stax then use one of the two tutor pack (namely inventor's fair or Karn) to end the game. Before, probability to get either tutor were equal but now because of expedition map inventor's fair is slightly more probable (this is important for choosing what to side in or what to leave in side to be got by Karn). I also changed some cards in sideboard but to be honest i had not enough time to check deeply what was best so i am quite sure it can be still improved.

So the list for the main event was :

// Karn STAX

// 29 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Tangle Wire
3 Smokestack
1 Mox Opal
1 Mana Vault
1 Mana Crypt
1 Expedition Map

// 9 Creature
1 Lodestone Golem
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Walking Ballista

// 19 Land
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Inventors' Fair
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
4 Wasteland
1 City of Traitors
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

// 3 Planeswalker
3 Karn, the Great Creator

SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 1 Witchbane Orb
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 1 Ratchet Bomb
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 1 Duplicant
SB: 1 Phyrexian Metamorph
SB: 2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Main event

  • Round 1 : bye

  • Round 2 : loss against URW Xerox (1-2)
    My opponent was the one i met in round 2 the day before. In game 1, my deck worked much better against him and getting a main deck Tabernacle with map was really great. I still lost but it was a very close game. I quickly won game 2. I stupidly lost game 3 by keeping a hand that i should have mull.

  • Round 3 : win against Dredge (2-1)
    Game 1 my hand was slow but with a wasteland, unfortunately he had 2 bazaar and i quickly lost. I have many cards to side out against him and what i can bring in is decent. He had to mull some to get his bazaar but i quickly hated him in both game 2 and 3.

  • Round 4 : win against BUG (2-0)
    I had a strong hand in game 1 and there was not much he could do. Game 2 was longer but Stax + Tabernacle is really strong.

  • Round 5 : Id
    I know my opponent is on Storm. The matchup is for me but if i loose i am not sure to get into top8. I decided to do it safe when he offer to Id.

  • Top8 : win against storm (2-1)
    My opponent from Round 5. Game 1 is long but quite simple : 3 sphere then 10 turns to kill with a revoker ! I had to mull to 5 in game 2 and missplayed by playing chalice at 0 instead of 1. Lesson learnt : my next 3 draws were moxen and crypt ... Basically, i made many mistakes in that game (and my opponent made a big one too) so in the end sounds only fair that he won. I played more conservatively in game 3, locking him and tutoring for a witchbane orb.

  • Top4 : loss to Eldrazi (0-2)
    I knew before we started that it would be really difficult. My opening hand was not good enough (and should have been mull) in game 1 and i lost quite quickly. Game 2 was more balanced but the other Karn (scion of Urza) sealed the deal finally.

A friend of mine (playing survival) lost his Top4 too (to a Xerox deck) so we decided to battle for the honor of the 3rd place. We had played a lot together and the matchup is favorable but i guess he was less tired than me and he quickly won. In the meantime, Eldrazi crushed his opponent and won the tournament.

Top8 was :

  • 1st - Paul Ridoux (Karndrazi)
  • 2nd - Matej Turan (Four-Color Xerox)
  • 3rd - Damien Colomb (Survival Salad)
  • 4th - Laurent Rippert (Karn Stax)
  • 5th - 8th :
    Thomas Ribet (B/R Goblin Squad)
    Cedric Germain (Jeskai Xerox)
    Andreas Allikmets (U/R Agro)
    Niklas Holtmann (Dark Petition Storm)


  • The deck can be improved but it works.
  • Expedition map and Tabernacle main deck were a blast the whole day.
  • At the end of the day, i did not used the Karn + Lattice combo that often, most of the time i could win without Karn and when it hits the field i often used it to kill moxen or to get another utility artifact.
  • The meta is shifting because of those new planeswalkers and people are brewing !

I hope that reading was not boring and i will welcome any question or suggestion.

Edit : more info on Top8

posted in Vintage Community read more

My view on all this is very practical :

  • Vintage has always been my favorite format and i try to play at least one (usually very small and when i can bigger) paper tournament every month.
  • For the last two years power creep in the format has been quite obvious and even more recently. IMHO we are now at a point where a game is mostly decided by our opening hand so the only really important décision is keep or mulligan. i quited several competitive tournaments just because playing was just boring because of that. Not every games are like that but much too often. This was bound to happen sooner or later and that means really strong décisions (whatever) should be taken if Wizard wants a future for Vintage. I put it short so it might sound quite dark view but IMHO if we are not there we are very close to it : power level is much too high now.
  • I don't mind big changes in Vintage if it will allow it to stay a format that can be played.
  • As for compagnion, i don"t mind if in a few years there is one or two decks that uses such strategy (in the same way there is a dredge deck in the format) but if the goal is that every one is playing one compagnion then i will just stop playing Vintage and will find another format. If i wanted to play with a commander i would play Commander format, plain and simple.
  • If every one agree that Lurrus is broken then i see no reason to wait. Ban it as compagnion and do not let the few vintage players left in the world struggle with an biased meta.
    This is just my feeling about all this and still hope it will go for the best.
posted in Vintage Community read more

Pro and high level players choose their decks according to the meta and what they feel would be the best strategy. In theory this is the best way to do but in the real world they are just a very small % of vintage players. Most of us are just playing one kind of deck (or a very small number of them) because it is the kind of deck that suits our playing style and we have fun with it (another reason is card availability/price of course but that is not the point here).

From that point, the (theorically) best metagame would be the one where each 'playing style' can be incarnated by at least one deck (several would be best of course). As an example, i am just very bad at playing combo decks : whatever the deck or the format and how hard i try ... i always loose. It is just not my style. On the other hand, i know players that seem to be always playing combo decks whatever the incarnation or format (storm, belcher, elves, ....). I don't know what would be an adequate list of 'playing styles' but i presume you understand what i mean here.

I won't come back on what has been said on the classification of decks from a meta management point of view, but what i just said can put a different light on that problem. Note that i am advocating nothing nor judging here, i am only trying to put some light on the facts :

Let's have a look at the recent restrictions as an example : golem, chalice and thorns restrictions lead to the fact that prison shop does not exist any more and shop archetype is now only ravager builds. Let's see how people react to that :

  • For 'blue' players a shop deck is a shop deck and they don't care about the details. So they look at the numbers and see that shop archetype as a whole is still high so they scream "Nothing changed, we need more restriction and so on ..."
  • Aggro shop players are quite happy (i presume)
  • Control/prison shop players are frustrated. Unless they find another deck in the format that suits their style (and they can afford to play) they won"t have much fun. They could try ravager decks but it is a really different style (same difference as between 'Death & Taxes' and '4C control' deck in Legacy for example).

So basically the result of those restrictions is that the overall frustration of the vintage communauty has increased. Maybe they were a necessary evil, i don't know and i won't judge but this is a result that can explain some of those endless talks on that topic.

My conclusions are :

  • Some amount of categorization is necessary because it is not the same people who play decks that could look very similar from a quick glance. 'Playing style' could be a criteria (i don't know if that can be done practically or if it would lead to something different from the usual criterium).
  • Statistical are great but they are tools, the real stuff are people who are playing.
  • The 'perfect' metagame for me would be one where any new player who wants to try the format and looks at the available/competitive decks could always find one that will suit his playing style and have a reasonable chance of winning with it.
posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I was very curious about this deck so i test it a bit and bring it to a small paper tournament today. The list was the last one suggested by Vroman and running life from the loam (see a few posts above). The mail was slow so i missed a few cards and made some minor change to it.
Namely -1 balance / +1 needle for MD.
The side was : 4 dark depths, 4 thespian stage, 4 leyline of the void, 1 needle, 1 vengeful pharaoh and 1 ancient grudge.
The results were average but mostly because the pilot did not master enough the deck.

Here are a few thoughts :

  • i really missed 1 ichorid to trigger amalgam, i think i will put it in the balance/needle slot.
  • i agree with Zias about Darkmor Salvage. Rifstone portal and some slow dredging can let us get loam running and getting the lands but it is really slow. Not sure what to cut yet but i will definitively want 1 or 2.
  • i know that it is not exactly the plan but since i had 1 free slot in sideboard i tried ancient grudge. I found it quite neat to deal with cage, needle and time vault. Ray of revelation could be interesting too in sideboard but much less useful.
  • Maybe i played the deck really bad but i am not convinced by Hollow one. It is great when you get it in opening hand or if you happen to get it with bazar when drawing instead of dredging, but most of the time it just get away when dredging. I know people love it in dredge decks but this deck is not exactly a classical dredge deck so maybe it is different. I don't know and will test much more.
  • strip / loam lock is a thing.
  • Hardcasting a 16/16 troll is just a blast !

My 10 cents

posted in Off-Topic read more

Nice article.

On the same topic, a Reanimator performed quite well at the European EW in october. Here after the deck list (93-94, no Ice Age)

5/8 - Vincent Ruaut - Reanimator
4 Animate Dead
4 All Hallow's Eve
2 Nicol Bolas
4 Triskelion
4 Lord of the Pit
3 Demonic Hordes
4 Hypnotic Specter
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Regrowth
3 Concordant Crossroads
4 Dark Ritual
2 Sylvan Library
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Bayou
2 Underground Sea
2 Tropical Island
3 City of Brass
2 Swamp
1 Forest
1 Strip Mine

3 Eureka
2 Flash Counter
3 Counterspell
3 Boomerang
3 Underworld Dreams
1 Recall

posted in Vintage Community read more

@The-Atog-Lord said in Ichthyan Taxonomy:

Best of all, Naga are sometimes snakes and sometimes naga.

Please don't mess with snakes ... in french cards, 'snakes' and 'serpents' are both translated as 'serpent' and i saw so many (well at least one actually) people get desperate when they find out that their tribal serpent deck was just falling apart. 😉

posted in Vintage Community read more

Concerning workshop, 15 years ago i could have agreed that workshop should not be treated differently that any other card. But nowadays, some things make it quite different IMHO. Money is a thing but i am talking about something different here. To make it short :

  • I asked a very simple question : "what is the point to build a 40+ artifact deck to get a synergy with a restricted card ?" My answer is that it would be a deck building error and i read nowhere any different answer to that question. Under that asumption, restricting workshop would mean that shop archetype would not exist any more a few months after the restriction.

  • There are many high level vintage players posting here in TMD but one should not forget that most vintage players nowadays are just casual players that play for the sheer pleasure of it. Most of them are always playing the same archetype even if they may change their deck within their archetype. Why so ?

  • Because, it requires some time to master a deck (or an archetype) so when you don't play every week or so it just take longer. Because, in several places (such as Europe) almost all tournaments are sanctionned and they may not own (or afford) the cards required to try something different. Because, and it is my main point, each archetype is somehow a different "philosophy" about MTG and they don't feel like playing something different.

  • Next is obvious, some people would just be pissed off (for good or bad reasons, it is not important) and would leave vintage to other formats (or even not play any more). Every one here know that any people that is selling its vintage cards nowadays is some one that won't ever be able to play any sanctionned tornament any more, and he won"t get replaced by a new player for the same reason. As an exemple, vintage format is (nearly) dead in France where it is a big victory when a local tournament with more than 4 people can happen ... please don't kill it in many other countries.

I am not doomsaying but trying to show what is at stake if workshop becomes restricted. So if that path is to be followed, the benefits should overcome the risk. I read many interesting stuff here in that thread and thanks people for their very interesting contributions but i still fail to see how paper vintage as a living format could be better with workshop restricted.

So to sum up, workshop should be treated differently than card such as dig or so. I would say the same (and for the same reasons) if we were talking about bazaar or FoW, or any emblematic vintage card.

posted in Vintage Community read more

If you are looking for anti-shop card, having it uncounterable is not really necessary and would only make it more costy. You need it to be sphere-proof. Cycling is interesting as it could be added on about any kind of card. I would suggest to put it on a low cost card with a strong effect in a weak color to improve a deck currently under the radar.

Lands are also sphere-proof ....

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

When your plan is null rod, you must built differently your shop deck. I had tried snare thopter some time ago and it is a quite good creature.

Edit : as for the wasteland, there are only 56 cards in the deck list so i guess they are there.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@thewhitedragon69 Whatever is the card at stake, i always rather have more answer cards than restriction. Actually, Wizard sort of already did something to help shop hate cards being played ...
Some years ago, shop was playing 13 sphere effects (+ 4 chalice). I agree that then playing shop hate cards was very difficult. But now, there are only 7 sphere effects (+1 chalice), that density is not enough to prevent hate cards to be played. There are already quite a lot of artifact hate cards with cc1 or cc2 that can be played. Then, i am not sure another one is really necessary but if it could help to settle things, then why not ... like i said i rather have more answers than any restriction.
In some games, it might not be enough but well it is the high variance of Vintage. The quick tempo of nowadays shop decks can make it difficult too but that only means that you should have enough density of hate cards (or the tutors to get them) in your deck.
The best artifact hate cards are not blue ([joke] strangely enough i find that being a good news [/joke]) and what is needed are not 1 for 1 cards but some that can deal with several artifacts.

posted in Vintage News read more

@caleb eldrazi creatures are far above shop creatures (when taken individually, synergy is another thing). Artifact hate is far above eldrazi hate. You should also take that in account if you want to compare them both.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This card stops workshop, ancient tombs and academy. It is a MUD deck hoser much better for the format than any kind of restriction. Thank you, Wiz.

A well balanced card in my opinion with lots of potential.

posted in Workshops read more

From my personnal experience, people did not stop playing Goblin Welder because of Mental Misstep or Grafdigger's Cage :

  • It is easy to play 4 Cavern of Soul in any red shop deck so that covers Game 1. And if my opponent decides not the sideout his Mental Misstep, i will silently thank him because he could have bring in far worse (artifact hate). To be fair, Mental Misstep can be troublesome if your build rely too much on welder but if you build something more balanced it can be played around.

  • Cage can be troublesome but most welder decks are quite control and may cheat other stuff than creatures into play. I did not stop playing welder shop when Cage was printed, actually i put 4 cages in my sideboard ! Beside their obvious use (Dredge, Oath, ...) , welding opponent's artifact creatures is very fun when cage is online ... especially against MUD of course.

IMHO, the first problem came about 4-5 years ago when people started to play Lightning Bolt since they could hit Lodestone Golem and Goblin Welder with them. Nowadays people are more on Sword to Plowshare but that is the same problem.

Recently, i tried many red shop builds and my conclusion was : weaker than Ravager builds, too slow for the meta. I may have missed something and i would gladly hear if some nice idea apear in this thread but i am not very optimistic.

Splashing a color (which ever) in a shop deck is done at the expense of the mana base : the advantages must overcome the drawbacks.

posted in Vintage News read more

I post here not very often, first because english is not my mother tongue and it is not always easy to be crystal clear. But the main reason is that much too often people are reading half sentences, or understand what is written according to what they think and not to what is written, or just jump on one word usually not very important and very soon we are talking about anything but not what was the real point, play on words or whatever rhetoric tool so they don't need to answer embarrassing question or argument.
I am targetting and judging no-one here and i am probably included too but it is very frustrating and making me post even less. Maybe my english is so bad that people don't understand me but i am tired to spend my time explaining again and again what i wrote and that people missread, especially when it is about small details of really not much interest.

So to answer your post :

  • I have no idea if comparison is interesting or not and that's the only reason i was still following this talk. I had hoped i could learn something interesting that could help me to improve my play level. When i said in my last post that i agreed with you that this talk leads nowhere, i meant that in the i-don't-know-how-much posts that i read i did not see much and my bet for something interesting to come was very low.

  • I did not hijacked your exemple, i aknowledged it and went one step further in the analysis : one time mana has some interest in a shop deck of course but IMHO the real point is the next turn. My decision process for mulligan or keep takes that in account and if i want to be really on the safe side i usually consider one-time mana source as some kind of bonus rather than mana source. Of course, some times it is worth the risk to have your black lotus-ed inspector getting a FOW. Talking about one-time mana in shop deck is an interesting topic but i am not sure it really belongs to that thread so i did not elaborate much in my previous post.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

@Stuart He was true when saying that people were ready for the shop matchup. Some people were even paranoid about it : i met a BUG deck that was running (post side) : 4 trygon predator, 4 nature's claim and 3 energy flux. Obviously i lost ...
Shop is sort of similar to dredge : when you take it seriously, you win against it.

posted in Vintage Community read more

In Lyon (France) we are playing on a monthly basis since one year and an half. Attendance is very small so far but slowly increasing, we hope for 8-10 people for our next meeting.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I have been playing MTG since 1994 (with a break in between Vision till Lorwynn) and my favorite format has always been Vintage. What i can tell from France is (i am talking only about paper as i don't play MTGO or similar) :

  • There had been a slow but constant decrease of players in France till about 5 years ago. It is possible that explanation is the no-proxie policy in France because at the same time in USA numbers of players was quite constant or more slowly decreasing (as far as i remember).
  • About 5 years ago, when Old School started to be known there was a sudden rise in card prizes. To put it bluntly, it was more speculation/investments than players looking for cards. At that time Vintage entrance cost became really prohibitive so it is near impossible for new players to enter.
  • Many Vintage players are quite old and may quit for various reasons.
  • Cards availability is also a problem (i mean for the old stapples).

Basically what happened to Vintage is also happening to Legacy, or will happen soon for quite similar reasons. Wizards is supporting Modern as the official eternal format and they don"t care much for the other eternals formats. I am not saying they want them to die, those formats are the 'mythology' of MTG and as such are important for Wizard image but doing what could be really needed to make them alive again might not be worth the trouble.

I talked with many former vintage players and lots of them told me that they quited because at some time they did not like the meta/format. Many found Old school more attractive so they still have the cards but they don't play vintage any more. Also, some people don"t want to walk around with cards that are worth more than the car they are driving ...

With some friends we have been organising Vintage meeting once a month (we started about 2 years ago). We allow unlimited proxies so people may try any deck they may want. We could be doing that at home but we do it in a shop so people might see us. We have lots of fun and some people are coming but basically we never managed to be more than 10.

I can only agree with what had been said about MKM tournaments. There are some serious hints that BOM could happen again in Annecy next year ... so wait and see. However, there is a big Legacy event planned in France (Valence) at end of month and there is supposed to be Vintage too but i am really not sure it will fire.