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posted in Vintage Community read more

@john-cox that's the gist of it, but consider that you can be logged into MTGO with two different accounts on the same computer, and that the match doesn't start until both players see that a pair happened and click "join". It's trivially easy to do this by yourself with almost zero chance of being paired against a real human by accident.

posted in Vintage Community read more

You don't play a plausible deck because you need several accounts to make it work (6 if you want to do it quickly), and you don't want to spend 100s of tickets on decks when you could spend 2.

It should be trivial for WotC to catch people doing this by looking at their match history, regardless of what decks they're running. Someone running this scam is going to be paired with a cyclical group of players over and over again, which would be impossible for a regular player.

If it makes people feel any better, this doesn't affect league results or prizes for any legitimate player. It's effectively like someone telling WotC they ran an FNM to keep the WotC-provided foils.

Vintage players should just keep it in mind when they make decisions based on published decklists

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

The coverage will start at 10am EST, and be up on my channel, www.twitch.tv/tmdbrassman . If you can't attend the event, we hope to see you watching 🙂

posted in Vintage Community read more

Your life is short.

Too short to spend it doing something that brings you suffering.

There are many games and many hobbies and many communities.

People use Magic cards to play many different formats. Some people create their own formats. Many people prefer other formats to Vintage, or have no interest in Magic at all.

Playing Vintage is optional. Participating in the Vintage community is optional. Posting on TMD is optional.

You can disagree with someone without making fun of them. Or antagonizing them. Or invalidating their subjective experience.

You can make a good faith effort to understand why someone may not come to the same conclusions as you, and you can decide to engage them on those terms or decide not to engage them at all.

There are places on the internet where you can talk to people who are actually involved in the vintage banned and restricted process.

There are places on the internet where your well thought-out arguments and clever retorts won't get deleted.

Please try and have a nice day. You only get so many of them.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@serracollector I'm totally on board, I think that Wrenn and Six fits very nicely in with some traditional budget-style strategies, and think it could be real hot some hypothetical low-power R/G Survival, R/G Eldrazi, R/G tempo lists.

But it's $80 😛 I honestly have no idea what counts for budget or not anymore.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@iamactuallylvl1 I agree that's traditionally an issue, but I think that may be LESS true now specifically because of Force of Vigor. In Survival decks I've been wanting to run fewer and fewer moxes. Maybe there's a different approach to a budget deck that better gets around the 2-drop hatebear problem? There's plenty of turn 1 interaction when you look outside of hate bears, particularly in black (discard) and blue (counters).

Budget questions are difficult because everyone has a different definition for what counts as a budget deck. Some people consider Dredge a budget deck, others want their collection to cost less than a single Bazaar. Can you run Dual Lands? Force of Wills? Survival of the Fittest? Wastelands? Do you already happen to own some expensive card that changes the calculus? I can brainstorm ideas for days but I have no idea what's actually feasible for any particular person to own.

Here are some half-baked budget ideas that I'm curious about, which I haven't seen anyone put work into:

UG(x) Delver - heavy on free and one-drop threats and disruption to get around the mox problem. Maybe this would look like old Legacy Threshold decks. Obviously this deck would WANT Time Walk and Ancestral, but I've always felt Delver's consistency/redundancy make it less power-reliant than other blue decks.

BG(x) Death's Shadow - Love me some Death's Shadow. All of the cards you want are 0s and 1s anyway which make moxes worse (Thoughtseize, Mental Misstep, Street Wraith), and you get to cut your Dual lands for Shocklands.

(there's probably a U/G/B Shadowfish deck that combines both of these, but I bet it stretches the budget requirements)

Elves! - Modern/Legacy Elf combo, if you can actually figure out how to play it, is already pretty consistent. Force of Vigor gives it a level of interaction it never had access to in Vintage before. I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes but I'd love to know.

Bazaarless Survival - This has to be a thing. I'd have to spend some time to figure out exactly what the implications are (there could be many). Cutting Bazaar makes Hollow One worse but it makes your mana more consistent and frees up a lot of space. Maybe this deck is G/U or G/R for looting effects and some additional one-drops. You know you want to play G/R Bazaarless Faithless Survival. Admit it.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

There has to be a budget deck that capitalizes on Collector Ouphe and Force of Vigor. G/W Hatebears with Thalia(s)? R/G Beats?, something built off of @ChubbyRain's Jund decks? Green Eldrazi? I bet any budget deck that used to run green is boosted up a whole deck tier by adding 4 of each.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

@engwar I haven't looked at the deck much since this tournament, but know that @The-Atog-Lord recently played it to a strong finish in the MTGO Vintage Playoff here. I believe the only changes were:

-1 Elvish Spirit Guide
-1 Collector Ouphe
+1 Fetchland
+1 Mental Misstep

Which seems fine to me, though I probably still like Ouphe over Misstep. I built the list without any particular plan for Oath decks, and I believe @The-Atog-Lord lost to an Oath deck, so there could be some concern there, maybe an additional Abrupt Decay in the sideboard could help? I haven't thought about it too much.

Survival is a good deck for a general field I think. It's linear, but the Death's Shadows make it hard to hate out with any one card. It had a weakness to fast combo decks which are less common now, and has been improved a lot by Collector Ouphe. It has a naturally weak Dredge matchup, but I think you can overcome it by dedicating lots of sideboard space, which Survival can afford to do by having so many generally-applicable cards in the maindeck.

I personally find that Squee, Goblin Nabob is a bit slow for Vintage Survival. You're so constricted on green mana that getting a Squee almost always means getting one less Vengevine in play. In situations where Vengevine is bad, Squee is usually also bad (e.g. against graveyard hate). I do know some very good Survival players disagree with me on this point, so feel free to differ. If you had your heart set on cutting a Basking Rootwalla or a Deathrite Shaman to run it, I think I would cut the Rootwalla.

In the short time since this event, it looks like BUG Midrange decks and Dreadhorde Arcanist decks have gotten a bit more popular, which could make an additional Dismember or Abrupt Decay nice, but I wouldn't go overboard on that kind of thing, you're not going to out-long-game the blue decks, so cutting threats for removal spells will eventually bite you. Your local meta will of course be defined by the preferences of the people in your area, and might not end up lining up with MtGGoldfish at all!

I hope you enjoy the deck, and I hope you do well with it! Make sure you let us know how you perform, and welcome to TheManaDrain!

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@blindtherapy you're totally right that JVP can mostly get around it by activating on your opponent's turn. I just wanted to call attention to the fact that it hoses "loot" effects worse than "draw" effects. Dack Fayden or Brainstorm would have been better examples.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

MtGGoldfish is going to give you a great picture of the metagame, and the top tier decks, but you shouldn't limit yourself to just playing those decks if you have a preference for another deck. Vintage is a smaller field than other formats and that means there are always good strategies out there that people just haven't figured out yet. I think you should feel free to build your own list from the ground up (it's good practice!) but there are some thieves lists from around April on mtgtop8. (I always use mtggoldfish for a first pass, but mtgtop8 usually has decklists from paper vintage tournaments that aren't posted on mtggoldfish). I might personally start with Ruben's list, just because I know he's played a lot of decks in the past that are my style.

Those lists all showed up before War of the Spark shook up the format, so I would consider the following things:

  • Tinker -> Blightsteel Colossus itself seems like it isn't any worse, Swords to Plowshares and Outcome decks have a smaller market share than they had before. Dredge and Survival have a bigger market share and Tinker is one of the better game one options there.

  • But Karn, the Great Creator and Collector Ouphe mean that Null Rod-style effects are everywhere. That means the artifact mana you use to support Tinker is a little worse. I don't think that's a death sentence, but I might not want to go all-in with things like Mana Vault and Lotus Petal. Alternatively you can keep the accelerants as long as you have plenty of removal or you're feeling lucky about being on the play.

  • Narset, Parter of Veils has cast her shadow over the Blue matchup. Expect every Blue deck to have some. That means cards like Preordain are worse, cards like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy are MUCH worse. Cards like Gifts Ungiven and Sleight of Hand are better, but it's debatable whether they're correct to run. Good news for you, however, Narset, Parter of Veils fits nicely in with the Thieves strategy, and has a Notion Thief-like effect when combined with Dack Fayden, or even more specialist enablers like Geier Reach Sanitarium

  • Force of Vigor is great, so don't rely too heavily on a key Artifact or Enchantment. Grixis Thieves don't tend to do this so you're probably fine.

  • I think, and this is more fuzzy, the format right now is more about interacting on the board rather than on the stack. You need to be able to impact the board early and often. Karn and Survival decks are fast and mostly play their hands out. Blue decks are mostly generating advantage through permanents rather than draw spells. You either need to be able to play that game as well as them, or you need to generate an overwhelming advantage before they get repeat use out of those cards.

You could probably also start with a U/R Dreadhorde Arcanist deck and add the Grixis cards you like, rather than starting with an older Grixis deck at all. That might be the surest approach of all.

That said, I think perhaps M20 will bring us another shift in the format, and any or all of this could change very soon. Vintage is moving very very quickly right now, so I wouldn't wait for someone else to give you permission to beat people up with your favorite deck. Blink and you might miss it 🙂