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posted in Tournament Reports read more

Nice list. It looks very flexible and fun. I haven't been playing hardly at all, but I was testing a similar style list for a bit that seemed like it had a lot of potential. Basically, I was a little more all-in on the speed with a less flexibility.

I ended up there, because Top, while good, was still a bit awkward sometimes and a mana sink when what I really wanted was business. So, I went with more DD and more Dark Petition and no tops, relying on the Petitions to get Gush (or DD if I already had Gush in hand) to get into the pile. It worked quite well, usually winning by turn 3 or 4 after a duress or 2. Also, the additional moxen allowed for a more liberal use of Defense Grid.

It fared well against the field, even against Shops pre-thorn restriction (I haven't played since the restriction, so I don't know how much that changed things, but I assume the matchup is easier now). it had a good matchup against Oath due its speed. There's probably a great list somewhere in the middle of your list and this one, but I didn't have a lot of the cards to work with, because I had to proxy a bunch of stuff, including some of the lands.

As for the 4x Drits. IMO, DD can be either a control or combo deck. The Drit count depends on which you're playing. Soly and Steve tended to the more controlling versions for a long time, and with good results, which is why they advocated toward fewer Drits. I'm not nearly as good of a control player as they are and didn't have the same level of success, so I went with the combo version and, thus, 4 Drits, but it really comes down to personal preference and meta. As soly said, the meta right now seems better suited to the combo version than the control version. Additionally, the loss of gush as 4-of makes it harder for the control version to double-dip on Gush as both a combo piece and a draw engine.

Good luck with the list.

posted in Vintage Community read more

A couple of people have brought up the idea that Wizards won't risk altering the RL list because there isn't enough incentive, because these players are such a minority. But I don't exactly agree with that. They already have way to completely remove the barrier to entry without intervening with the RL policy at all, which is to simply ban all RL cards in all formats. This in no way violates the policy, but it would have the same effect, financially, people would quit magic outright and stopping buying packs and cards altogether. Also, if such a majority of the money (players, collectors, investors) were from people that want to abolish the RL, then WOTC would, because they would make more money than they would lose from the litigation and the loss of faith, but there's clearly enough money from people that want to maintain the RL.

This is also what I meant by the litigation isn't the most pressing issue, if it were, then the above solution would be fine, but it's not. If WOTC abolished the RL, there would be litigation, but what I'm suggesting by the loss of faith is that even if the lawsuit couldn't happen (like with banning all RL cards, rather than reprinting them) or if the lawsuit happened and WOTC won, the consequences would still be pretty much the same. People would quit, investors would leave, and WOTC would lose a lot of money. I'm saying the market is a bigger factor in addition to the litigation.

As for the stock split, I agree that some people would hoard their old lotuses, but people do sell them regularly, albeit at a very high price tag. So, while some people would hoard them, others wouldn't. It's not about charity, it's about making money without losing the ability to play Lotus in an sanctioned tournament, which is the obvious demand for it. If it weren't, even though there are only 2 sanctioned tournaments a year, the price tag wouldn't be so high.

Furthermore, if they did the stock split, a lot of people just want to the lotus as a way of entering the format, so they could buy an old lotus for $3k, then immediately trade it in, keep one, and sell the rest, which is exactly what I would do. People wouldn't suddenly stop selling lotuses, because there's a trade-in for them, and if no one traded them in, then there would be no change at all. Again, this is something that happens all the time in the stock market, worth a lot more money. Why does it work there, but not here? Old shares are worth X times more than new shares. Any fluctuation in that exchange rate, causes arbitrage, which is then naturally corrected by the market.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I think you hit the nail on the head with that last example. Even if the letter of the law was broken, no one cared, because no one lost money. I really don't think the letter of the law or even the spirit of the policy is the issue. I'm pretty sure it's just money. If people aren't losing money, then they don't care.

For example, if wizards came out tomorrow and banned all RL cards from all formats, which would also solve the barrier to entry problem incidentally, I think that would cause much more of an issue than the breaking the letter of the law of the RL policy you highlighted in your example. Why? Because everyone lost a ton of money, and money is what matters.

Even though banning these cards has absolutely nothing to do with the RL policy, I highly doubt WOTC would ever do this because even though there would be no legal issues, a huge percentage of their consumers would quit.

I don't think the legality is an issue, nor do I think the letter/spirit of the law is really the issue. It's all just a means of protecting the one thing that actually matters, money.

posted in Vintage Community read more


  1. It's not just collectors and investors, it's also players. My point was simply that legal action is not necessary to enforce the Reserve List policy, because normal market fluctuations resulting from a loss of faith would have the same effect. This leads me to believe that any approach involving legally sidestepping the RL policy is irrelevant, because it won't solve this natural market issue.
  2. The stock example is just real-world example of something similar. You can't just arbitrarily change the value of a share, because it change the value of the stock as a whole. But if you simply split individual shares, the overall value remains the same. If this kind of thing can be done for a system vastly more complicated and worth vastly more money, why can't it be done here.
  3. The reason the value can be pinned to exactly 1/10th is because the only way to get the new lotuses would be to trade in an old lotus for 10 new ones. This means that everyone would be able to get any lotus and make it 10 new ones. If this is the only way to get new lotuses, then the market would naturally hold the price at 1/10th.
    Example: I have an old lotus, I know I can at any time trade it in for 10 new ones. So, it's always worth 10 times the price of a new one. Similarly, if I 10 new lotuses, I know they can be traded for an old lotus, because that old lotus can be traded for 10 new ones. Any fluctuations in these to relative prices would be arbitrage, and it would immediately be corrected by the market, just like in the stock market.
  4. While I agree that some people would hoard the old lotuses and the market would take a while to flood with new lotuses, it would still be much better than it is today. If this approach is taken, that every person that doesn't hoard their lotus, can trade it in, keep a lotus and get $4,500 back for trading out the other nine. For every one person that doesn't this, there are 9 new black lotuses available for other players.

This whole idea is the only way, to my knowledge, to "reprint" (not really reprint, mind you, which is the entire point of this weird approach) the RL cards without getting in the way of or abolishing the RL policy, which I don't think will happen due to the first bullet above.

Any new printings of comparable cards, like the Ancestral Visions, Treasure Cruise, Shocklands, etc. can, should, and do still happen, but as some people have already pointed out, doing anything like that for the P9 is nearly impossible without still being utterly broken.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@maximumcdawg I think you're still missing the point very slightly. All of the previous attempts to do special reprintings involved increase the overall supply relative to the value thereby reducing the total value held by any one individual. If there's $100K worth of Black Lotuses in the world right now, adding one would reduce the value of each individual ones slightly.

What I'm suggesting is add 10 new black lotuses worth exactly 1/10th (which is possible because you can't these anywhere except for WOTC, and they'll always trade 10 new for 1 old) of a normal black lotus and remove 1 black lotus (via the trade directly with WOTC and only with WOTC).

It's basically a stock split, which is used in the stock market quite often to reduce the value of individual shares without reducing the overall value of the stock as a whole, which is basically the goal here as well. The collectors don't want to lose any value (overall value of all RL cards in circulation), but the players want the cost of individual shares (cards) to be reduced.

Without the above, everything you said makes absolute perfect sense. However, I believe that the RL policy is nothing more than a promise not to do X, which would result in devaluing the collectors' collections and that the devaluing of collectors' collections is the real promise. But this solution should have no impact on any one collector's value, which would maintain the intent of the RL.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@maximumcdawg Not the ONLY solution, just A solution, which could be done in conjunction with new cards, like you've been discussing.

The big difference with my proposed solution, and other proposed solutions that I've seen, is that it's not a true reprinting. This method should allow the overall value to be retained (which is the entire purpose of the RL) while simultaneously increasing card availability and reducing the bottleneck of entering into eternal formats.

Additional new printings would further help that, but this is the only why I see that the card availability, specifically for the RL cards could be increased without abolishing the RL, which as you've said, WOTC is not going to do, and I agree with that.

Lastly, even if this solution did work, I still think they should continue to look into new printings, like your suggesting, and I believe they have been (which is where things like Treasure Cruise, Spirit of the Labyrinth, the Maguses, the new transforming lands, etc. have all come from), but it's just really hard to do, because make it too good, and it breaks stuff or makes other cards obsolete, but make it not good enough, and it doesn't see play. The best example of this difficulty, that I can think of, is Ancrestral Recall v Ancestral Visions v Treasure Cruise.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Switching topics a bit, back to specifically the Reserve List, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but I just never bothered to write it down or anything.

First, I want to comment on the legality issue, which I believe is actually a non-issue, but not because I think there are ways around it. I think it’s a non-issue, because even if there were guaranteed ways around it, it wouldn’t matter.

Basically, the reserved list (RL) represents a promise to not devalue specific cards via re-printing them. Collectors and investors rely on this promise. If WOTC were to just reprint the RL, even if there were absolutely no legal ramifications, the collectors and investors could pull all of their money and boycott WOTC, which would cause massive damages to WOTC. So, regardless of the legalities of reprinting the RL or violating the spirit of the promise, if they get too close to the line, the result will be the same.

So, I’m assuming that the RL is here to stay. Fortunately, I think the issue of card availability is separate from the issue of maintain the RL. The collectors and investors care about the value of the cards, not the cards themselves, which is the key. They simply don’t want to lose a bunch of money.

I believe both issues can be handled via something akin to a stock split, which increase the card availability without actually reducing the value of the cards still available.

Basically, WOTC reprints* RL cards, like Black Lotus, but they don’t sell or distribute the reprints normally. Then, they make a standing offer trade. Anyone who sends in an original RL card that can be validated for legitimacy will be sent 10 new versions of the same RL card.

By not distributing the new cards any other way and making this offer to anyone, the value of the new cards will always be exactly 1/10th of the old cards, and the total value of all the cards in circulation will always remain what it is. As one fluctuates up or down, the other will as well.

So, if a Black Lotus costs $5K, I can sell it for that, or trade it for 10 New Black Lotuses that are all valued at $500 each. Selling all of them would still get me the same $5k in value.

In fact, this method is likely to actually increase the overall value of RL cards from a collector’s standpoint. More people are likely to buy these RL cards, because they are more affordable, increasing the overall demand, which would increase the price of both new and old versions (because they are actually pinned to one another). Furthermore, as the new ones get bought up, the old ones will start becoming rarer, and some people would still prefer the old version, increasing the demand for only that version, but because the two are pinned, the value of the new version would increase as well.

Furthermore, because the total value is a net 0, you can actually customize the exchange rate for specific cards. For example, maybe the P9 and a select few other cards are exchanged at a rate of 10 for 1, but the duals are exchanged at a rate of only 5 for 1, depending on what the ideal exchange rate is.

So, the collector’s and investors can stand to actually make more money, while the players can get significantly cheaper versions of the cards to actually play with.

Am I missing anything, or could this actually work?

posted in Tournament Reports read more

It was me, Josh B. The list is basically Dark Petition Doomsday, but mostly black with thoughtseizes and defense grids. Unfortunately, I was so out of practice and have never actually played with Dark Petition (I messed up spell master once and the math another time) that I didn't do the list justice. I made two major mistakes that cost me a game both times, and I'm sure I made a bunch of other errors, too.

Overall, I like the list, but it's nothing compared to what it once was. I think it's definitely got potential if piloted well, but it's also definitely clunkier.

In any case, the tournament was fun, it was great to see some of the guys again, and really well run. So, thanks go out to Jay and the shop.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Yeah. I don't post hardly ever, obviously, and I haven't even been playing much recently, unfortunately.

But I think you're right. The environment just isn't as DD friendly as it used to be.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Just to be clear, the only reason that Mike and I advocated for 4 Rituals was because we were running a much more combo-centric version of the deck. But I agree with Soly that in a more controlling version, like Soly and Steve and many others run, 4 Rituals is not the best; 1, maybe 2, would be the way to go.

Right now, with Thorn being so prevalent, the combo version probably isn't as good as the control version.

That being said, even in the combo version with 4 Rituals, Mike and I very rarely included Necro in the list.