I started playing Magic in the fall of 1995 with some friends that worked with at a bar. I took a quick liking to the game and soon wanted to be competitive. I purchase a Timetwister for $100 and I played at Gen Con in 1996 in both Type 2 and Type 1. I just remember loving the game and went all in at that point. I purchase all of the power cards with the exception of Black Lotus. I played mostly casually in college and when I got married I just play Friday night magic for a few years. About 6 years ago I decided that I only wanted to play Vintage seriously. It was the year before my son was born and I played some very intense magic. My son was born and now I am limited to about one tournament a week. I play with my brother every week to test out decks and talk shit. I still love the game and I will never sell my cards.
@fsecco A lot of Vintage has been defined by a relatively small number of "tier 1" decks since 2002. The main reason for this are the power cards in Vintage. As @nedleeds keeps pointing out Vintage is defined essentially by genres. The point of this tuhread is to examine the meta and analyze it, but also to get a pulse of how people feel about it.
I am past complaining and I just want to enjoy magic. This meta feels off to me, and I keep thinking about the comments from @The-Atog-Lord at Eternal Weekend 2018 and the article from hipstersofthecoast.com where they interviewed him about the VSL.
I am trying to understand from the community if this is the preferred meta-game for Vintage. It appears that some love it and some hate it. I am trying to find my way here. I was enjoying the meta and then RNA was released and my enjoyment dropped. I am studying the meta-game now and I want to be like @ChubbyRain, I want to have fun and enjoy it. My issue may not be the decks or the cards. I think for me the issue is understanding that Vintage has evolved into digital format and if you want to play competitively where with a large pool of players it is on MTGO. Otherwise, there are about 3 or 4 large-ish events that get over 100 people in the US and a few local events if you are lucky.
@winterstar Your points in this post really capture my feelings. Building and brewing in paper is more satisfying to me personally. I just do not get to play much paper.
In my local and a lot of people I play with are more likely to jam Old School than Vintage now. I play online and the meta is just different. I am not fortunate enough to play against people like @ChubbyRain so I see the same decks over and over. That’s why I asked this question in the first place.
To be fair, there are spicy decks online. But there is a set of players that just want to ladder the league. I got caught in that mindset and that’s why I had to take a break. It’s also why I enjoy paper over digital. I just tend to play for fun over trying to ladder a league and trophy.
And, if we are honest you need at least a 3-2 record in a league so you don't just need to keep spending money to play in the league.
@chubbyrain I do appreciate your feedback. In your opinion - Is Vintage primarily now a digital format now?
As I mentioned, several Legacy players say that the digital meta and the paper meta are very different. Mostly because of costs and who plays paper versus MTGO.
Decks get brewed in several ways and I understand players that play MTGO brew. My point of this thread was 2 fold. To ask the question about the meta-game as primarily existing on MTGO vs paper and to ask about a path forward to see more paper.
I get it, paper is expensive and people look at the meta and want to play good decks with awesome cards. I know MTGO is convenient and inexpensive compared to paper. I am not complaining about MTGO. When I played a bunch in December, I had fun. I have 6 decks on MTGO just FYI. I was able to figure out how to compete in the new meta, and I will probably start doing leagues again. I love Vintage and I want to play it the way I like it - on paper. I'll settle for MTGO if that's all I can get.
The vast majority of people playing Vintage are playing with decks that are appropriately powered. Shouldn't B&R policy address that reality?
We currently have that B&R list and I am ok with that. Looking at how paper is splitting from Legacy and to some extent Modern and even Standard I wonder if we view Vintage as more of MTGO format - how does that impact the game and the community.
I went hard into MTGO for December and backed off this month and I have been brewing hard in paper. I have some cool decks and cool ideas but I will not be playing these online. This kind of behavior causes splits in the meta game.
I have a few examples from last year of cool paper decks that broke through and we never see them on MTGO. Look at the Mardu Planeswalker deck from SCG Con. The Karn PO deck from Waterbury. The Sean O'Brien Teeg deck at EW and the super spicy Stax deck at EW. None of these decks ever show up on MTGO and they are all awesome.
I just want more of these spicy decks not the same crap I see over and over on MTGO.
@nedleeds I see myself playing Vintage on paper until I am too old to shuffle. I wrote this post because I think paper needs to evolve. Proxies offer a way to introduce players to the game as does MTGO.
If the game is going to evolve then players without power can reimagine the format and play every card in MTG on their terms. If we only measure Vintage using MTGO then that won't happen and the incentive to innovate is shutdown.
I have been listening to the Leaving a Legacy and several of the guests say that the paper meta and MTGO meta are very different. I have been looking at the Vintage tournament results and the number of paper events is very small and most have 20 or less in attendance. Is MTGO the Vintage meta-game?
This question is very interesting because to play in a non-proxy event you must own a very expensive deck and that limits your options. But, players like me with a huge collection can often play whatever they want. Does this change how the paper game is played versus the MTGO game at non-proxy events?
On the other hand, if there is a proxy event then players can play whatever they want. Do they pick the “best” deck or the most fun deck. I often see players who are not regulars in Vintage play either the most “busted” deck (fast, and fun) or what they think is the best deck (Shops, Xerox, PO, etc…).
I have a very difficult relationship with MTGO and I took a break from MTGO recently. There is a big part of me that only wants to play on MTGO in very small increments. There is another part of me that just loves the game and I want to play whenever I can. The split in the meta game is making it hard for me to decide what medium to play and how to play it for actual enjoyment.
I bought into MTGO but I hate buying new cards for it. I love buying paper cards, and I just bought more cards. This paradox is hard for me, because I want to play several decks with a mix of having fun and being competitive.
The other issue that is bothering me, is that I unable to play in the Vintage challenges. With scheduling and kids, I just cannot give up a Saturday to play. This bothers for 2 reasons. First off, if I could I would much rather play with friends or find a paper event somewhere even it was Modern or Legacy. I just do not enjoy playing on MTGO very much. Secondly, MTGO and the challenges is how the format is being evaluated. This is a problem because it is missing so many players like me. Players that are very committed to the game and own paper cards to actually play in paper events.
The interesting thing about all of this to me is that Legacy appears to be evolving in a way that maximizes the card pool. Players are playing less dual lands and more cards that not on the reserved list. While Vintage players often see the format as the restricted list, it is one of the biggest draws to play Vintage.
I think having a healthy paper meta is very important. Has Vintage lost it’s paper meta-game? The digital meta thrives on the assumption that everyone has all of the cards so the innovations are centered on restricted and/or expensive cards. Paper players in non-proxy formats innovate to either hunt the broken cards or play the broken cards. This split pushes innovation further in my opinion because it adds more playable decks into the Vintage meta.
Examples are the Humans decks and Eldrazi decks. These decks are played online but they all run power. At Eternal Weekend, you will see unpowered Eldrazi and unpowered Humans or Hatebear decks. These decks are not bad just not great. My point here is that when we measure the format from MTGO we get Thorn restricted over Sphere. I would argue that Chalice may need to come off the list to help unpowered decks but that goes down the B&R rabbit hole.
If Vintage is a MTGO or digital format then I guess this is all fine. Eventually, Black Lotus and moxes will cost so much that no one will shuffle them anymore. But, if Vintage is going to be a format beyond a computer screen then the innovations that will need to happen to keep it going need to happen in paper and we need a larger paper community.
Looking at the Challenge results from this weekend, there is only 1 deck with Lavinia in the top8. There are 3 Shops decks.
Is Lavinia making Shops better? There were no Jeskai decks in top 8. Is she cannibalizing the Jeskai decks? Where is BUG and Survival in the meta right now?