Best posts made by Islandswamp
posted in Vintage Community read more

There will not be any article from me this week, I apologize in advance. I have been very busy and I find myself no longer able to deal with the lack of sleep the way I used to. This has caused several severe complications in my daily life, and I need to take at least a short time off. This isn't why I'm writing this though, so let's keep moving...

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Since the addition of Vintage Leagues to Magic Online there has been a huge influx of new players. I know this because I went from the occasional join request for our Vintage Facebook group to getting five to ten each day (although I could be off about that figure, it does certainly seem like that much).

With all of these new people finding our favorite format it is our duty to be nice. Don't be a total shitbag just because you lost. I understand the frustration from losing, I really do. Hell, I lose all the goddamned time! The thing is that I've had to learn to try and take a step back when I feel that tilt coming on. After all, going all ape-rage on a victorious opponent will not help you feel better, and when you finally calm down and realize what you've done I'm sure you'll actually feel worse.

Try to imagine that you are a new player and your first encounter in a league involves winning a match (yay!) and then being told that you're a living cancer or some such nonsense. That's awful, and with the small community we have it's very dangerous for our well-being too. We can't afford to scare people away.

I am a nobody. I am not rich, I am not better than anyone, and there are surely a shit ton of better Magic players out there. But since I have been fortunate enough to write a few articles people tend to recognize me. Often times it feels like that means I have some reputation to uphold, and I shouldn't be losing, but in reality that's not the case. It's fine to lose. Losing doesn't make you a bad person or a loser. Losing like a sore loser DOES do those things though.

I speak on this topic from experience. While I've never really gone on a full rage against someone, I have made snide comments or sarcastic jabs before. Those things are also not OK. I've had to go back and message someone that I was sorry if I came off like a jerk, knowing full well that I did. Apologizing for negative behavior is a great start, because admitting you're wrong is tough for many people to do, but it isn't the end goal. We all need to make sure that we're stopping ourselves before we cross that line (even if it seems benign at the time).

Lately what I try to do is just to find solace in the fact that for some of these people beating me at Magic is awesome to them. They read my article, build one of the decks, then use it to crush my dreams on Magic Online. These things used to sting a little bit, but I've realized that making people happy is awesome. The fact that they are having a good time should make me happy too.

With all of that said, I'd like to thank the folks out there who act as kind ambassadors every single day. Rich, Brass Man, and many others too numerous to name are kindhearted competitors and we need people like that. Helping other people is great, and it can feel just as good as winning if you learn to place emphasis on teamwork.

Thanks for reading folks. I wrote this post quickly before work, so I may go back and edit it for clarity, grammar, or content later, but I wanted to get it out there. Things are going so well with these MTGO leagues right now and I don't want to see them derailed by any malfeasance.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This will probably be good in Legacy, but I don't see it replacing Steel Sabotage in Vintage or Commander. Two blue is hard to produce what with the lack of good mana bases in this format.

posted in Vintage News read more

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I love Diversity!

I have spent an inordinate amount of time scouring Vintage metagame results over the past two years. During that time I have noticed many different trends, but the major takeaway was that very few decks were dominating everything. The big decks from the past are still very good, but overall things seem much more varied than they used to be. Reading the results on the MTGGoldfish Vintage Metagame page used to feel like listening to a broken record, but now I find an interesting deck list or two every time the page is updated.

There's another occurrence that has been consistent since I started writing about this format and that is the fact that people always mention how expensive it is. Well, they're not wrong, but the situation isn't quite as dire as people like to think. Last year at Eternal Weekend one of the "budget decks" from the Vintage Championship actually made Top Eight in the event and that's truly impressive. The Tribal Eldrazi decks have not been as popular recently, but Eternal Weekend is coming up again so I expect to see people testing out some Eldrazi Stompy decks very soon!

You can continue this article on MTGGoldfish by clicking here.

Congrats to @Oestrus for taking the whole thing down and @oddseidank for kicking some butt in the event!

posted in Vintage Community read more

Hello all.

I'm posting this announcement to let you all know what's going on with me and my article series. At this point, I am done writing. This most likely is not a permanent change, and it's 100% my decision.

To put it bluntly, I'm burned out. I have been feeling more and more burned out over the past months, but recent events in my life have made things far worse. I don't feel like airing my dirty laundry and misfortune in a public post, but if you're really wondering you can always try to message me and see if I reply.

My hope is that these issues I'm having resolve quickly and that I'm able to return to writing soon. I've enjoyed the work, and it's a tough thing to walk away from.

Thanks for your support over the past two years.

P.S. I haven't had much time to be on TMD, so Facebook Messenger and Email ( ) are the best ways to contact me.

posted in Vintage News read more

"Islandswamp interviews Magic's original art director and designer of "The Dark," Jesper Myrfors!"

I'm hoping this will be of interest to Vintage and Old School players. Enjoy.

posted in Vintage News read more

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Hello folks! It occurred to me the other day that Vintage:101 is now two years old. It's been a fun and crazy two years for sure. Vintage has seen a lot of change over the past two years, and there has been a resurgence in Vintage content production as well. Anyways, this week's article will look at a few decks from the Vintage Leagues on Magic Online, but I'll also have a special "thank you" at the end. Enjoy!

P.S. Use this link to upvote the shit out of this on Reddit. Every little shill helping me goes a long way!

Article Linky:

posted in Vintage News read more

I'm at work, so I can't say much. Forgot to post this earlier. Enjoy!

posted in Vintage Community read more

I really feel that the greatest value to be found in a Magic card is in it's functionality as a piece in my favorite game of all time.

If less people end up playing eternal formats due to cost, then there are less tournaments that fire, and a big part of the perceived value of an Eternal staple diminishes. Wouldn't most of you that own power enjoy it more if all events were able to be sanctioned and as large as proxy events? I'd think that being able to use your pretty cards more would be a desirable thing.

When prices spike this badly it makes me sad to be honest. I'm always trying to convince people that it's Vintage is fun and that it's worth the money, but some of the price tags just turn people off. It's true that proxy events help a little bit, but I would assume most people would like to eventually replace their proxies with real cards (I know I do). I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to.

I'm glad that I own most of what I would want on Magic Online. And as much as I love the convenience of that platform I have grown somewhat tired of only experiencing Magic by myself, sitting in front of a computer. I like the feel of the cards in my hand.

posted in Vintage News read more

"Islandswamp talks about Gush, the Vintage restricted list, and prominent forces in the metagame"

Here's my latest article, I hope you enjoy it. I spent a good length of time reading older articles and browsing some recent threads on TMD looking for information. I tried to remain as neutral as possible, especially because the issue of Gush has caused some heated debates.

Thank you to all the people who have gathered metagame information, and to those who have made some excellent posts about the state of the format.

posted in Vintage News read more

Here's my article talking about a few of the decks from the LCV Vintage series, specifically highlighting decks with newer cards and tech.
Thanks to @PeAcH for posting the results and sharing my work!

posted in Vintage Community read more

@Juggernaut-GO said:

@Katzby he had exactly the right amount of cards, you just took his word on which order he drew them and didn't think logically on the order of events in the match. I've been playing competitive vintage since 2002 and never once called an opponent on cheating. That changed Friday and to not have rules enforced really shows what a joke judging in this game is. NO matter what, it's still a human deciding something with incomplete information.

Truth is buddy, you blew up my tournament chances in round 2 yet I still almost got there. To see that you blew so many calls revolving around the asterisked winner shows a pattern of ineptitude. I'd honestly be questioning my ability to be a head judge when so many people are doing the same thing.

I want to address Travis, John, and whoever the Judge is.

Travis, I like you a lot and I understand where your frustration comes from, but these judges do have to make the best call they can. People make mistakes and I know that nobody in the judge staff would intentionally hurt you.

@Socialite. I agree with your sentiment that these judges are important volunteers and deserve some respect but you really lose your moral standing when you engage in name-calling and trolling of your own.

@Katzby thank you for trying to do the best you could. I do not envy your position right now. I also completely understand why everyone is upset about the things that happened.

When I went to the TMD Open, I had not played paper magic in a tournament setting in literal years. In fact, the last time I had gone to an event that large would have been over a decade ago. I got zero game rule violations, no other problems, and I voluntarily showed my deck to the judges before the tournament so they could check my proxies and everything. I even replaced proxies because the judges were worried about them.

My ability to play without such errors doesn't automatically mean that other people won't have problems, but I really find it odd that anyone can be that "sloppy" in a beneficial way for so long. That is my two cents, but I WILL honor your ruling because the event staff deserves that show of respect.

To everyone:

I know that this is going to be an unpopular statement, but I feel like we should settle down about this soon and think about letting it go. I say this because there is nothing any of us can do to change what happened (or didn't happen).

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be more vigilant in the future though. You better believe that we all will make sure there is not a repeat of these events next time.

Please note that I am not trying to dismiss anyone's feelings about the event, I am just worried that this issue is tearing us apart and making us look bad! Plus, all the complaining in the world won't change the past...

posted in Vintage News read more

In my ongoing efforts to pretend like I'm a real writer, I've been blogging much more lately. Some of these entries will be directly Vintage-related, and some will just be stories about Magic (and possibly other stuff if I get a feeling that people want to actually read that).

This latest entry is about a few of my favorite articles I've written. I just linked to them and wrote about why I enjoyed writing the things. The cool thing about the blog is that I can be more candid and honest than I'm otherwise allowed to be. So enjoy it, share it if you're so inclined, and let me know if there's anything else you'd ever like to see in one of these entries.

I wrote a short thank you to the community at the end as well. I just want everyone to recognize that I am grateful for the support I've been given. I'm certainly not the best player in the world, and even though I played competitively at a young age I'm still learning. Vintage is the deepest format I've ever touched and I'm lucky to stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before me. Without the work of @Smmenen , @Brass-Man , and others I wouldn't be doing this.


posted in Vintage News read more

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Talking Shop
I think that one of the most difficult things for non-Vintage players to understand about the format is the subtlety of the way it changes. The tiny changes and evolutions actually have drastic effects on individual decks and the format itself. For instance, we hear about "Workshops" all the time, but what "Workshops" means today is very different from what it meant in the early 2000's. For years Workshops was a (multi)colored deck and it really only bears a superficial similarity to what we see being played today. Here's what "Workshops" meant in 2005... READ MORE

A huge, bigly, and tremendous shout-out to Niels Thiim for taking down this event. I met Niels on Facebook when I first started writing Vintage articles on PureMTGO and posting them to the mostly European group "Magic: the Gathering VINTAGE Players".

Niels reached out to me and we practiced on MTGO a lot. He crushed me with Workshops quite often, and if you've ever wondered why I like Oath so much, he is the reason! Oath was the first deck that I could beat him regularly with. I have always known that he was a great player and I'm glad to see that he did well here. He's also a really nice guy, and that's rare these days it seems.

GGs Thiim!!!!

posted in Vintage News read more

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Looking Back at 2017
A lot happened over the course of the last year, and with 2018 rolling in soon I figured now would be a great time to go over some of the highlights. Let's start off with the release of Aether Revolt in January 2017, which gave us Walking Ballista. Triskelion had been a mainstay of Vintage Workshop decks, and Walking Ballista represented a clear upgrade. Arcbound Ravager based Workshop Aggro cemented itself as the most dominant form of Workshop deck, and unsurprisingly Ballista became a four-of in the vast majority of successful Workshop decks. MORE

Thanks for a special year folks. The sky has still managed to avoid falling, and overall things seem to be trending in a positive direction. Have a happy newd year and rock out with your mox out.

posted in Vintage News read more

"Islandswamp takes a look at three decks from three continents!"

Hot off the press. Tell your friends. Enjoy!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This card is nucking futs and will go into all manner of Vintage decks. I'm kind of annoyed too. I'm glad non blue decks are getting a boost but this card is a little ridiculous.

posted in Vintage News read more

Islandswamp talks about Dredge, and discusses how crazy Paradoxical Outcome is!

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Which basic lands did the nonsense lists run? I'm looking for something in my price range and as long as they're not guru I think I can build those.

posted in Vintage News read more


Can Paradoxical Outcome make Combo decks good again? Islandswamp takes a closer look at Paradoxical Storm!

Thanks to @PeAcH and Feng Nai for letting me borrow the Opals.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I was wishing for a new bicycle and didn't get it. I fucking hate this game.