Posts made by Islandswamp
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

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Power Trip!
Beyond being a reference to my favorite Monster Magnet album, this article's title is referencing the trip many folks will be making to win some Power Nine cards this summer. If you haven't heard yet, Star City Games (SCG) is bringing back their old "Power Nine Series" for at least one big two-day event this June 8th through 10th at SCG Con.

The original SCG P9 Series went on during a time in which I was on hiatus from Magic altogether, so I don't have any firsthand information about them. However, I know from the fond reminiscing of many older players that the SCG tournaments were instrumental in keeping the Vintage format alive during that time. Just like SCG has its popular Standard/Modern writers/grinders working and writing today, in days of yore there were multiple people writing about Vintage for Star City and playing in the event series back then. These event are remembered longingly by veteran Vintage enthusiasts as folks were sad to see them end. The tournament series was popular and influential enough that Steve Menendian has chronicled the history of these events in a recent article.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

@nucleosynth I'm not even remotely thinking about attending. I don't like to travel far, it's tough to get time off, I don't want to take time off for myself and not include my wife and son, I don't have a set of power anyway, and so on. I'm glad they're trying the event though. I just hope it doesn't wind up getting very few attendees due to the lack of proxies, then have SCG use that as an excuse to say "see, Vintage can't draw a crowd!".

posted in Off-Topic read more

I've been pretty burned out lately. It's super hard to find the time and energy to play (sometimes when I have free time I'm so tired that I don't want to play). I used to play and write my articles during late nights and early mornings, but that is just too much for me now.

Once things get a bit better I will be back to my old self. I still think that the format and community is a great thing.

posted in Off-Topic read more

Posting here to remind myself to enter the discussion when I have more time

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Last year it seemed to me that we were getting a lot of good stuff given to us. Vintage players usually get the shaft with new sets because those new sets simply are not designed for us! However, despite that fact we got awesome stuff like Walking Ballista, Fleetwheel Cruiser, Paradoxical Outcome, and much, much more.

Today I was looking at the newest spoilers I could find and I just didn't see much of anything. Maybe I'm being blinded by my cynical views on things, but I just saw a lot of standard-only fare peppered with a ton of draft chaff.

So, I ask of you: What cards are you excited about? Is there something from Rivals that you think needs discussion? Let me know, because I'm not seeing it!

posted in Vintage News read more

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Spoiled Rivals
It's 2018! Welcome to the future, Vintage peeps! Spoilers for Rivals of Ixalan have been trickling out and the Magic community awaits each new nugget of precious information like an excited puppy waiting for its master. As always is the case with new Standard releases, Eternal format aficionados must carefully sort through each spoiler looking for diamonds in the rough. So far I'm not seeing much that appears to have potential, but the community has been discussing a few of the new spells. Let's take a look at the cards people are talking about!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@bazaarofbaghdad players are legally obligated to play with Baral. You could say that he has us all bent over a Baral.

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

Is there any chance you would upload this list to MTGGoldfish?

posted in Vintage News read more

Hopefully I will have time to listen someday soon. I've been crossing my fingers for three years that one day I'd be good enough to get something I did featured on this show. I've listened to it longer than I've played the format. One day, world, one day! Thanks for the content.

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

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It's plain to see that the old monthly Magic Online Power Nine Challenge was very successful. Now that there's a Vintage Challenge event on any given Saturday it's made a great thing even better! Each week these events seem to do very well, and the tournament format is a nice supplement to the ongoing Vintage leagues that are available. These Vintage Challenge events are even more important now that Wizards has decided to limit the amount of metagame data that they publish from leagues. READ MOAR

Happy seasons greeting cards everyone.

posted in Vintage News read more

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Vintage Remastered!

A long time ago, way back in 2014, Wizards of the Coast dropped a bombshell announcement regarding the Vintage format. For the first time ever, the announcement read, the most famous and powerful cards in Magic history would be reprinted: the Power Nine. Unfortunately for all of the paper-only Magic players out there, the Reserve List exists, and that made printing a physical copy of Black Lotus and its ilk quite impossible. The Power Nine would be "reprinted" in the digital space only, and they were to be contained in a new "Masters set" called (appropriately enough) Vintage Masters. CONTINUED

*** Thanks for your support folks. This was last week's article, I'm still not sure what this week's article will be about. Take care. If you're ever looking for additional measures of support you can make, try sharing the article on Reddit. Twitter, and Facebook. Thanks again! ***

posted in Vintage Community read more

@brass-man I absolutely won a ton more when I played as frequently as possible. AND I once went back and watched a replay of a bad beat, completely realized how I fucked it ALL up for myself. Stupid plays like crazy. This was a long time ago, and I was using a deck that I've never been great with, but still it showed me how my perception of the matches differed from what actually happened.

I'm not sure of the name of this phenomenon, I suspect it's just cognitive dissonance paired with the fallibility of memory. It's crazy how bad we delude ourselves though.

Don't beat your self up either though. Learn to give yourself credit where it is due.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@oestrus said in Dredge Sideboarding Tactics:

@brass-man said in Dredge Sideboarding Tactics:

I'm not sure it's clear cut to rank Dredge hate. There are a million answers to Containment Priest, but at Eternal Weekend and leading up to it, many Dredge players cut them, plenty having zero answers to the card. The Hollow One/Gurmag Angler package takes up space. Good Dredge players are constantly adapting their answers to line up with popular hate strategies, which means good players of all decks need to adjust accordingly.

The best hate card isn't Leyline of the Void, it's whatever's one step ahead this week.

I certainly can't speak for every Dredge player. But I can say that in my experience, learning to free yourself from the fear of GY hate has been crucial to becoming more proficient with the deck.

A newer, or less-experienced Dredge pilot is going to see 4 copies of Grafdigger's Cage, and 2 copies of Containment Priest in someone's SB, and think 'What am I gonna do?' That's going to hinder you, or give you pause, and that feeling is going to stick with you in your post-SB games.

But if you can form that hierarchy in your mind, and go, 'OK. I have 4 Gurmag Angler, and 4 Hollow One. I don't care about of any of those cards,' that frees you from the fear, and should effectively help you play better.

Likewise, I think that people who pack those cards count on us backing down, or feeling defeated at the sight of them. But I don't really flinch when I see a Tormod's Crypt, because I know on my hierarchy of things I care about, it's not too far up there. If you pop the Crypt, I can always rebuild. I'm not giving into that fear that you want me to have of that card.

Maybe this is why my record with Dredge is so abysmal. I don't get discouraged right away though, usually after the beats get progressively bad over a few turns.

posted in Oath read more

@ribby said in Oath:

I just am not feeling Preordain specifically in Oath. There's not an Oath curve that I see Preordain being a great fit in.

Oath is defined by its marquee two-drop and really appreciates off-color mana.

Preordain is really best utilized by decks with low curve that will often have a single spare on-color mana on some of the game's critical turns. Either to cast the Preordain, or more importantly to be able to cast the Swords or Pyroblast or second Preordain that you Preordain into.

In Oath I just see Preordain adding a lot of air. I can't see the upside to Preordaining with your Forbidden Orchard into X with a Mox Pearl open, and no second land in hand. You just waste an entire turn then I think?

I think any deck that isn't a Xerox variant or an Ancient Tomb variant (where it is easy to use up all your mana every turn) really needs to understand how it will curve out in both Mox and non-Mox situations. Given that the current best decks have fractional mana curves, I would really like to take Oath in a different direction so as to not just become a worse version of something else. Just jam threats, they don't have to be super expensive but they probably should cost more than half a mana.

I dunno. Maybe I'm crazy. I'm turning my attention to Oath soon and will think through this some more.

It's about finding the cards you need man. If that doesn't make sense in an Oath deck, where does it ever make sense? In particular the strength of Preordain over the oft-considered more-powerful Ponder expresses itself most coherently in this strategy. Just like Dig Through Time can put valuable cards on the bottom of your library, protecting them from being oath'ed away and giving you a crucial few turns after a nasty amount of self-milling, Preordain puts two cards on bottom quite often with it's scry ability. In contrast, Ponder may leave you needing to shuffle, which can be detrimental. I always play one Brainstorm, and either three or four Preordains, but sometimes one Ponder in place of a single preordain. The shuffling can be nice with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and that's the only real reason I would prefer it in an Oath deck.

posted in Vintage News read more

@ydl It's funny to think about now, but the reason I moved on to Legacy and then Vintage was initially because they banned birthing pod. I used to write a weekly article about Modern. I was slowly getting into legacy on mtgo but had kept some modern stuff. One day before the B&R announcement I decided that they'd probably be banning Pod next and sold off Kiki Pod (my last modern deck). From then on I just wanted to play the real eternal formats.

I like Vintage because for the most part you can't have your deck completely taken away. You still get one of your restricted cards to play with. I know people who were sitting on a Pod deck when pod was banned and they lost hundreds of dollars in an afternoon. That never sat well with me.

posted in Vintage News read more

Thank you all very much. I didn't realize that it had been that long until I got one of those Facebook memories popping up that said so.

Since I started my new job it's been harder to find time for these, which is evidenced by the fact that I missed a few weeks over the past seven months. I also haven't had as much time to work on each one, and I've worried that the depth of the content has suffered. @jaco 's article the other day is an example of the kind of content that I WANT to write. Still, I'm glad that people like what I'm doing.

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!

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