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By: Joe Fiorini, Joseph G Fiorini
Jul 03 2015 12:00pm
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Last week, I wrote about a few options for prospective Vintage players. These were decks that were powerful, but much more affordable than the average tier-one deck. One of the decks I mentioned was Dredge. The truth is that Dredge is insane, and really only dedicated hate cards can stop it. I only managed to play in one Daily Event the weekend after that article was published. I took my latest build of Stoneforge Mentor out for a spin, and in the grandest cosmic irony, I was throttled in the first two rounds of the Sunday night tournament by back-to-back Dredge decks.

In both of my matches against Dredge, I lost game one, as game one is nearly unwinnable for my deck anyway. I won game two in both rounds because I drew ample sideboard cards and had some pressure. Both of the third games of those rounds started with me mulliganing several times and keeping hands that would make even Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard sad. That's just Dredge for you though. Sometimes, they can beat the hate, and their $200.00 pile of graveyard shenanigans will bury you in Zombie tokens. Other times, you land a turn-one Grafdigger's Cage and they sit there like a wet noodle while you beat face with Containment Priest. The trick is having both post-sideboard games end with the Dredge player locked out, but plenty of times it won't go that way.

You could buy the entire Dredge deck from last week's article for the cost of just two of the cards in the list I was playing, Misdirection ($110) and Black Lotus ($108). Do you still think you need the Power Nine to play Vintage on Magic Online? Dredge is a fantastic choice for someone without the means to purchase all of the expensive Vintage staples. As a matter of fact, Dredge won the recent 151-person N.Y.S.E. (New York Stax Exchange) Vintage tournament. That is no small feat, and it goes to show that Dredge is always a contender. Another great thing about the deck is that since it's winning percentage for game one is so high, even if you're not winning all three games you'll at least get the thrill of completely and utterly destroying people once a match.

A Priest and a Rabid Wombat walk into a bar...

(Sideboard Tech for the comically challenged.)

Containment Priest

The all-star of my Mentor deck's sideboard!

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Containment Priest is an incredible sideboard card. The best thing about Containment Priest is that now it's dropped in price! MTGOTraders had Containment Priest selling for just over twenty tickets last Friday (that's roughly half of what it was going for at its peak). I snatched one up to replace the one I had sold, and it was a sound investment. Besides being good at hosing the obvious Dredge and Oath decks, Containment Priest is a (Grizzly Bear) with flash. Its ability shuts down Kuldotha Forgemaster (provided that the Shops player isn't playing non-creature targets like Batterskull, so I've taken to siding them in against Martello Shops along with my more dedicate hate package. You really would rather have an extra creature or two as opposed to a drawing surplus of cantrips. Shops players usually hit me with a Chalice of the Void set to one early in a game which Negates all of my cantrips anyway.. Obviously I keep many of the draw-smoothing cantrips in, but I do like to shave a couple sometimes. Most Shops decks run four Thorn of Amethyst, which makes Priest even better. 

Tormod's Crypt Rest in peace Grafdigger's Cage

Compared to hate-bears like Containment Priest, the problem with non-creature hate cards like Grafdigger's Cage is that they don't win you the game. They merely stop your opponent from winning. Cage also is a fantastic target for the Dredge/Oath player's Mental Missteps or Ingot Chewers. If you're playing white, running at least two Containment Priests in your sideboard is a good idea. Provided you get it early, you can start your beat-down plan right away, and the opponent has to draw something like Firestorm, Chain of Vapor, or Murderous Cut to get rid of the Priest that's overstayed his welcome. I've even played a 3/3 split of Priests and Cages before and loved it.

One other piece of tech that I've been toying around with in my Mentor Stoneblade deck is Ghostly Prison. Ghostly Prison might seem like an odd card, and I for one especially have a distaste for that type of enchantment, but in practice it comes in very handy. There are a lot of strategies that the card is good against. For starters, there are a lot of decks that like to attack with creatures these days, and most of those decks try to flood the board with tokens as part of their game plan. No decks can afford to pay for more than a handful of attacking tokens, whether those are Elementals, Monks, or even Zombies. Beyond that, aside from Tolarian Academy, a Shops deck will have to pay the attacking tax with Ancient Tombs, Moxen, or Sol Ring/Mana Crypt. I don't consider Ghostly Prison to be in my sideboard for the Workshop match-up, but since there are often so many dead or nearly-useless cards when you're facing Shops, it never hurts to bring in a card that they can't easily kill and could slow them down. It won't often be easy to cast, but I'm not relying on it either.

Ghostly Prison Propaganda

Ghostly Prison is the white Propaganda, so why did I play the Prison instead of the blue card? Because of Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast - Those color hosers are the only thing that made me chose Ghostly Prison over its blue counterpart. Decks like Delver and Mentor have anywhere from very little to absolutely zero cards that can deal with a resolved Ghostly Prison, whereas both of those decks could dispatch a Propaganda with relative ease. When I weigh that fact against not being able to pitch a Prison to Force of Will, I side with the card that's harder to remove.

I'm going to keep testing Ghostly Prison as a one-of (or perhaps two if I find room) in my Mentor sideboards, because it's been great so far. In fact, in game three of round one, my Dredge opponent actually named Ghostly Prison with their Cabal Therapy. I had played one in game two, and I assume they must have not wanted to see one on my side of the table. This is at least a small indication that the card hampers their strategy enough to warrant consideration. 

You may have noticed that a common theme in sideboard cards that I choose for my decks is versatility. In a format like Vintage that has such powerful and linear strategies like Workshop decks, Dredge, and Oath, sideboard space comes at a premium. It's all but required to have several narrow-but-powerful pieces of hate in your sideboard, so this means each slot is that much more precious. Someone once said something to the effect of Dredge makes all Vintage sideboards have only seven cards. While that is clearly a hyperbolic statement, it sure feels accurate some of the time. 

I was once discussing a match with a player after the fact, and discussing sideboarding choices. I mentioned that I didn't really have much to bring in against them because practically my entire sideboard was devoted to hosing Shops and Dredge, with a few of the cards having crossover applications against Oath of Druids. This is the true reason I love cards like Containment Priest. There are a ton of situations in which its ability is relevant, and even when it isn't there may be times where you can end-step flash it in to ambush your opponent's planeswalker on your next turn. Priest isn't as good as Vendilion Clique at performing such a task, but it doesn't get countered by Red Elemental Blast either, which is a legitimate concern these days. 

So that was my little piece of tech for the week. Beyond learning that Ghostly Prison is pretty good sometimes, I've come to the decision that the skill I likely need the most work on is my mulliganing.

Mull it over...

I've thought about my losses in the past, and I think that I likely made the wrong choice when I kept or shipped hands in many of those games. Mulliganing is one of the hardest skills in Magic in my opinion. The reason that it's so hard to become a master at making decisions on which hands to keep is that we're not always punished for keeping loose hands! 

How often have you reluctantly kept a substandard hand, only to be rewarded with the perfect top-decks for the next few turns? I know that this scenario has happened to me quite often. It's easy to bask in the glory of victory to the point that our errors are completely overlooked. If we want to improve as Magic players all of us need to be critical of our game play starting with the first decision we make: keep it or ship it?

Looking back at my losses against Dredge the other night, I now feel that I should have kept one of the larger hands that I saw. The reason I chose to mulligan so aggressively was due to the fact that my larger hands didn't contain even one sideboard card. The trauma of past beatings by Dredge has made me value cards like Cage and Priest to the point of being detrimental. On one hand, if I don't draw any grave-hate, I'll likely lose. On the other hand, if my opener consists of one piece of hate, two lands, and one Force of Will with no cards to pitch, I'll probably lose that game as well. I've had losses to Dredge in the past where I had started with a hand of five (or less) cards and a turn-one Grafdigger's Cage, but I ended up losing very slowly to a hard-cast Narcomoeba and other Dredge creatures. Coincidentally, this further illustrates why I love Containment Priest so much. One of the weaknesses of bringing in half of your sideboard in a match-up is that it can dilute your game-plan to the point that it's considerably less potent. Containment Priest at least provides a body to start attacking with, and not that many popular sideboard cards can do that.

What criteria should someone use when deciding whether or not to keep a hand? Every deck has slightly different things that it needs to be able to do during the course of a game, so each deck should make mulligan decisions differently. The only common thread among all decks and whether or not they ship their opening hand is the need for mana sources.

In the dark, I try to evaluate my hand based on what plays I can make in the first two turns. If I have a hand that can hit the first two land-drops and contains some action there is a decent chance I'll keep it. When you draw your opening seven and it contains both lands and some early action, and you still feel the need to ship it, that's where things get difficult.

Keep it, or Ship it?

I've seen some articles both in the past and more recently that take a game state and ask the readers to "make the play". I find such interactive exercises to be interesting and entertaining, so today I'm going to do something similar. I'll provide a sample hand, and describe some information about a hypothetical match-up, and I'm going to leave it up to the reader to decide what decision to make. You can leave an answer in the comments or by sending me a Tweet @Josephfiorinijr.

In today's example, let's say you're playing Shops, and you're on the draw. You draw an opening hand that can make four mana, but you only have one Sphere of Resistance for a lock piece.

Kuldotha ForgemasterMishra's FactoryMishra's WorkshopSphere of ResistanceSundering TitanPhyrexian RevokerMox Emerald

You're on the draw, do you keep this hand?

A few things to mull over: If you don't know what deck you're facing yet, would you keep these seven cards or toss them back? On one hand, you've got two cards that you can play on your first turn, and one of them is a lock-piece. On the other hand, you've drawn a hand that has only six (or less) cards from a functional standpoint. Sundering Titan will be dead for enough turns that I don't really even consider it to be a card in hand at this juncture. Kuldotha Forgemaster is also dead for a few turns, even though it becomes deadly in a hurry.

I know that over half of all decks play Force of Will, so the chances that the opponent can counter the Sphere of Resistance is somewhat high. They're on the play, so they could have mana for Spell Pierce on your first turn as well. By keeping this hand, I say that you're essentially betting (or hoping) that the top card of your deck is another lock-piece. It's important to have more than one lock piece to play, in case one gets countered. Resolving at least two lock-pieces in the first few turns is critical to a Shops deck. There are ten or eleven lock effects at CMC 2 that the average Shops deck plays that could be the top card of the deck. I count that as approximately a 19% chance of a lock-piece being on top of the deck. Those are decent odds, but are they good enough?

1) You're on the draw, and you don't know what your opponent is playing. Do you keep the example hand or ship it for a new six?

2) What if you knew that your opponent was playing U/R/g Delver? Imagine that you're on the draw still, would you toss those cards back or keep the seven?

Feel free to comment or tweet me your answers, and please provide your reasoning for the decision you made. Next week, I'll tell you what I would have done, and I'll tell you the choice I made when I was once faced with a nearly identical mulligan decision.

 Tuesday's with Soly

In the relatively short time that I've been playing Vintage and Legacy, I've met some colorful characters. It takes a special kind of person to care so much about what is only a niche format compared to the behemoth marketing machine that is Wizards of the Coast's Pro Tour (Standard and Modern only, of course). In my digital travels, I've learned a lot about Eternal formats and the history behind them. A week or so ago, I came across a conversation on Facebook regarding the health of the Vintage metagame, and I found it quite intriguing. So much so, in fact, that I've asked the person who sparked that conversation to do an interview for The Eternal Spotlight. His name is Mike Solymossy, and Soly was nice enough to provide some thoughtful answers to my queries. 

I hope all of you reading this interview enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope that this encourages you to join in the dialogue regarding Vintage and the current state of the metagame. 

Enjoy!

JF: How long have you been playing Vintage, and what got you interested in Vintage in the first place?

SOLY: This is a really loaded question; realistically, I started playing Vintage the minute I picked up Magic (at 12 years old in 1998). The local store (Planet X in Grafton, Wisconsin) held “Type 1” tournaments, which was just so that we could play our pet decks - because we liked cards like Demonic Tutor and Yawgmoth’s Will. My favorites were 4x Gaea’s Cradle Elves, splashing 4 Tropical Island so I could play Tradewind Rider and Upheaval. Other favorites were my Dark Ritual + Trinisphere Land Destruction Deck and the Zombie Infestation/Squee/Solitary Confinement deck. Tommy Kolowith and Jamison Bryant both played at that store in this time-frame as well. Eventually in 2001 or so, most players started paying the $8.00 for Dual Lands and $4.00 for Force of Will’s so we could play better decks.

In 2003 I got into competitive Vintage by playing some random people on Apprentice that I found on the America On-Line Magic Chat room. (Wow, I really dated myself here!). I started by playing Workshops but quickly realized I loved Blue-Red Ophidian-Slaver (which was the precursor Rich Shay built to the traditional Control Slaver deck in 2004) , so I bought 4 English Mana Drains for roughly $70 Each. I found a Vintage tournament in Milwaukee, convinced several guys to go, and was hooked on competitive Vintage. The Star City Power 9 Series really helped though, as with 5 Proxies at the time, I could play anything by borrowing a couple pieces of power from Tommy.

JF: Do you play any Legacy, or any other Magic formats?

SOLY I will play Legacy or Modern whenever a Star City or TCG Player event comes through Milwaukee or Madison and I have nothing better to do. I have had some good successes with Legacy; I haven’t missed a Day 2 of a Legacy GP even though I’ve never had a Bye, and have at least landed cash in every Star City event I played but one. I tend to like unfair things in that format, so I have played ANT with Mystical Tutor back in 2009, and then High Tide and most recently 12-Post. My favorite deck in that format is definitely High Tide; you can watch me sadly lose my feature match from Madison on Star City Games Archives.

JF: Of all the decks you've ever played, which would you consider your favorite? 

SOLY: I really loved Control Slaver, but I couldn’t bring you to a specific list because I always played some weird versions. There are 3 decks I have to mention as favorites for different reasons. Drain Tendrils: I was struggling to find a deck to play, and Brian DeMars in the hotel beforehand (Vintage Champs 2008) told me something that I still hold on to… “Just play the cards you like to play”. Well, the cards I really liked to play were Ancestral Recall, Accumulated Knowledge, Mana Drain, and Tendrils of Agony. With that in mind, I built Drain Tendrils, and ended up going 6-1 and Top 8-ing the event, only to get absolutely brutalized by Tommy Kolowith. Given we grew up in Vintage together (and he was probably the best Vintage player on the planet at that time), I couldn’t even be upset. It was a blast.

 

Deck number two would be Confidant Tendrils.

 

I won a lot with that deck (Confidant Tendrils). I lost count at literally 15 pieces of power. There was a stretch in time where I won 6 tournaments in a row, but the last time I won anything was a Mox Ruby in 2009 with the deck for taking top 8 at Ben Carp’s ICBM Power 9 Open Tournament. Lodestone Golem’s dominance makes that deck very hard to play. *Spoiler alert: I will be playing that deck forever the MINUTE Lodestone Golem ever gets restricted!*

The third deck that I have a huge spot in my heart for is RUG Delver. You can find my Primer on it as well as my 2012 Tournament Report from the last Gencon-hosted Vintage Championship in 2012 at Eternal Central’s website. That deck was my baby for 8 months, and myself and Mike Hajduk basically had the worst-kept secret that year, Winning or splitting every event with it. I ended up winning the prelim with it, which in hindsight was awful because the two matches I lost that year were against decks that at the time weren’t in the format (Stoneforge/Confidant Control and Griselbrand Oath). I wonder if those two players would have picked those two decks if RUG Delver wasn’t on the radar. [Mike's RUG Delver lists can be found in his articles in the links found above, and I highly recommend that you check them out - JF]

Mana Drain Dark Ritual Bazaar of Baghdad Mishra's Workshop

JF: Of the following five cards, which card do you most identify with your play-style, and which card do you least identify with: Mana Drain, Dark Ritual, Null Rod, Bazaar of Baghdad, Mishra's Workshop?

SOLY: I would most identify with either Mana Drain or Dark Ritual because I always play Combo or Control, and least identify with Bazaar of Baghdad and (Mishra’s Workshop) because I have an IQ level higher than a banana. I’m kidding (mostly). I like having decision trees that are more defined by the cards in hand and the spells you can play, and I don’t feel Bazaar strategies since Dredge, and Workshop based strategies since Lodestone Golem facilitate that. I also feel that Ritual/Drain based strategies have a higher difficulty, and I really like that aspect of those decks.

JF: How do you feel about Wizards of the Coast level of support for eternal formats? Is there anything that you think they could do heighten the level of support?

SOLY: I think their support is dreadful; I wouldn’t even call it support. I think they could easily do something by making Vintage Masters have the same cash value as regular packs on MODO, and actually reprint things outside the Judge promotional items for paper Magic. I understand the many reasons for the reserved list, but I would cry tears of joy if they just said forget the investor/MTG Finance market since those guys are mostly clowns anyway, and reprint anything with a secondary value greater than $50.

JF: The Vintage format has come a long way since dropping the "Type One" moniker. How healthy do you feel the metagame is at this point?

SOLY: At this point, I think the metagame is awful and definitely not healthy. Dig Through Time, Gush, Chalice of the Void and Lodestone Golem are just not fun cards to play against, and although I enjoy playing both Dig and Gush, it’s time for both of those to go. I’d go as far as getting rid of Preordain even, although I could argue instead of restrictions some unrestrictions could really help the format.  Thirst for Knowledge is the first thing that comes to mind to open up the Blue Deck spectrum.

JF: Pretend for a moment that you've been given a job working for the DCI. What would be your first order of business?

SOLY: I would ban Brainstorm in Legacy and then bathe in the tears of every legacy player who thinks it’s the end of the world. Guys, it’s really not that big a deal; in every Brainstorm deck I’ve played that card might as well be Ancestral Recall in Legacy. We cried for months about its restriction in Vintage, but in hindsight it was definitely right. I would reinstate the power-level errata on Time Vault, because that card is NOT fun to lose to. The last order of business would be the restriction of Dig Through Time, Gush, Chalice of the Void, and Lodestone Golem.

JF: Will you be attending Eternal Weekend this year?

SOLY: I will be. I wasn’t going to unless Dig Through Time got restricted, but I have a business trip the week before in Baltimore, so I will be flying into Philly, taking a rental car down to Baltimore, handle my client, and then come up for Eternal Weekend. Right now I’m between the European deck “The Answer”, a Mystic Remora Deck, and Bomberman.

JF: What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?

SOLY: Well, I can tell you Tommy Kolowith and Jimmy McCarthy would absolutely HATE it, and would never live down that they’ve both taken 2nd at the event and I would have won it. But in all honesty, it would mean a lot. Anyone can win a random Tournament, and think about it this way: There’s 45+ Grand Prix champions in a year, there’s even 4 Pro Tour Champions, but there’s ONE Player of the Year. And for Vintage, being Vintage Champion is akin to being the Vintage Player of the Year.

JF: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring Vintage players?

SOLY: The one thing I recommend to anyone who asks me “How do I become a better Vintage Player”: Decide if you want to be a Vintage Player, a Legacy Player, or so forth. Focus on and practice the decided format. I skip Legacy Champs every year because the tournament is such a mental drain and I’d rather do better at Vintage. I will skip a 5k Modern Event to go to a 15 person vintage event where the grand prize is maybe $150 in store credit. Decide what you want to do, and focus on getting the cards for that, and focus on being the best at that. Beyond that, just talk to people. Vintage players may seem at events to be a somewhat exclusive club, but I know Menendian, DeMars, Shay, myself, Detweiler, Fenton, Nat Moes, and the Forinos, and actually any recognizable face in the format plays the game because we’re passionate about Vintage, and we LOVE to talk about it. I wouldn’t even bother going to any Vintage tournaments but the numerous people I consider friends from playing it makes it worth it.

[The opinions and views expressed by Mr. Solymossy are his own. I enjoy playing Workshops from time to time, and I assure you, I'm at least as smart as a watermelon!] 

Thanks again Soly, and good luck at Champs this year! 

Tasigur, the Golden Fang

The original Banana man.

Closing Thoughts...

On mulligans and scry-babies.

In 1997, Pro Tour Paris was won by the infamous Mike Long with his Pros-Bloom combo deck. That Pro Tour was played with an experimental rule known then as the "Paris Mulligan". This new and frightening way to mulligan involved being able to choose to take a mulligan for any reason whatsoever! Previously, Magic had one rule regarding mulligans. You were able to ship a hand only if it had either zero or all land, and you had to reveal that hand to your opponent before re-shuffling and re-drawing a new hand of seven cards.  You were also only allowed to mulligan once, as odd as that seems today.

 Squandered Resources Natural Balance Cadaverous Bloom

These three cards are the foundation of Pros-Bloom's engine.

For the first time ever during that weekend in Paris, a player could choose to mulligan a hand that had ample lands but zero copies of Squandered Resources or Cadaverous Bloom. I can only imagine that this rule likely pleased Mike Long quite a bit, as he was piloting the first combo deck to ever win a Pro Tour. 

I remember being unhappy with the new mulligan rule when it was officially implemented. The part I hated was the fact that you had to take a smaller hand each time that you mulliganed. Several times when I drew seven cards and found no lands, I wished that I could just take a mulligan and get to draw a fresh seven cards. After time went on, and the "Paris Mulligan" became known simply as a mulligan, I grew to accept it, and eventually I decided that I liked it better.

Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that at Pro Tour Origins there will be an updated mulligan rule being used. During that event, any player who has to take a mulligan may scry 1 after they decide to keep their hand. This experiment and corresponding rules change proposal have been causing a lot of conversations about the issue.

First of all, this rule may not be implemented if it doesn't end up lessening loses to mana-screw at Pro Tour Origins. So we're all protected if the proposal doesn't pan out. Secondly, the rule is likely to be a positive change for everyone. I personally support anything that reduces the effect that negative variance has on games of Magic.

I think that in the near-future people will embrace this change just like the Paris Mulligan became the law of the land. New rules are always scary at first, but that's not hard to overcome. 

One other thing I'd like to mention is that I've heard a lot of people talk about how certain archetypes will be significantly bolstered by this new rule. It's been mainly combo decks that people are talking about becoming better, but some people have alleged that this will make Delver of Secrets more powerful as well. When the modern mulligan rule was born that weekend in France, a combo deck won. Is competitive Magic composed of a disproportionate number of combo decks in the present time? I don't think so. In fact, in Vintage at least, the top dogs are Shops and Delver. 

I really don't think that the new mulligan rule will make any deck that much better than it is now, even combo decks or Delver decks. What I do think the new rule will do is this: One of the people who read this (at least) will play a game, mulligan to five cards and one land, scry one, see a non-land, and ship it to the bottom so they can hopefully hit a second land by turn two. Put in a simpler way, this rule will hopefully give some poor soul who had to mulligan a fighting chance at winning the game. 

Nothing is worse than feeling like you never had a chance in a game due to extreme negative variance. Wizards of the Coast doesn't want a Pro Tour title to go to someone who won because their opponent couldn't cast a spell, and I'd rather that scenario doesn't happen in any game of Magic anywhere else.

Serum Powder

 

Thanks for checking out another installment of The Eternal Spotlight. This article was made possible by MTGOTraders, Mike Solymossy, Joshua Claytor, Atomic Boosh, my wife and son, and all of you readers out there. All of you are responsible for my continued drive to create this content each week, even if you don't understand why. Throughout my life, Magic: the Gathering and its surrounding community have given me recreation, purpose, and a sense of belonging. When all is said and done, this series is my way of giving something back. I'm glad people seem to enjoy it, and I assure you, there will be many more articles to come!

Until next week, stay calm and Ponder the restricted list!

 

4 Comments

I really love your articles, by jay85 at Fri, 07/03/2015 - 17:46
jay85's picture
5

I really love your articles, especially the ones with interviews. I found it funny that the only reason Soly wants Brainstorm banned in Legacy is to make people angry. In fact, everything I've read where some one is in favor of that ban it's for the same reason. I've yet to see a legitimate reason why people think this. Am I missing something here? Can you tell me why Brainstorm should be banned?

In vintage, brainstorm and by Joe Fiorini at Fri, 07/03/2015 - 19:29
Joe Fiorini's picture

In vintage, brainstorm and ponder were really good at finding restricted cards, and at 4 copies a piece they were very consistent as well.

In legacy, Brainstorm gives decks with blue such a high level of consistency that other colors have a hard time competing. That isn't to say that other decks or colors can't do well, but look at the top legacy decks and tell me how many aren't blue based.

I love brainstorm though, and I don't want it banned. One of the things I love about legacy is the fact that I can play brainstorm.

Also, i'm sure you know about the interaction between brainstorm, ponder, and fetchlands. Although brainstorm isn't giving you extra cards, you're trading likely dead lands into fresh cards. Then shuffling them away.

Kudos!! by fow3 at Mon, 07/06/2015 - 11:27
fow3's picture
5

I really loved this article, both for your commentary on Vintage, (and just Magic in general to a greater extent) as well as your extremely entertaining interview with Mike Solymossy. Regarding your discussion on Containment Priest, I couldn't help but think about how it reminds me in a way of Ingot Chewer being in the sideboards of Vintage decks that play red, in particular URg Delver. As Containment Priest is in decks running white primarily because it is hate versus Dredge and Oath, yet secondarily can be used as hostility versus Martello Shops, Ingot Chewer can be seen as a reverse of that. It is primarily used as hate versus Shops, yet can be sideboarded in versus Dredge as well because it can exile the opposing player's Bridge from Below(s), which really are the true kill engine in the Dredge deck, especially when the Dredge player is running Ingot Chewers of their own to create Bridge tokens when there is a Grafdigger's Cage and/or Containment Priest on the battlefield. Back to the interview, it brings up some of the most controversial and important topics regarding the state and future of Vintage. I think the Reserved List MUST go away, as it is leading to the imminent death of at least paper eternal formats. I think there are many solutions to fixing the sort of "Catch-22" problem the Reserved List was inherently destined to have when first created. (I think sometime in the future I may make a post on the Mana Drain outlinging the different ideas I have for fixing the problem.) I also agree with Mike that the Vintage metagame needs altering in the format in the form of restriction(s)/unrestriction(s). I may not agree with all of the specific cards he identifies as targets, but I think they are definitely pointing in the right direction. (To be more specific I agree that cards like Dig Through Time and Chalice of the Void are unfun to play against [because they are too powerful] and Chalice just as a card is one of the worst designed in my opinion due also to its inherent method of interaction [or lack there of].) Joe, I hope you continue with these articles indefinitely :) because they are just what Vintage needs, excellent commentary/perspective on the format, as well as the raising of issues the format faces on its hopefully infinite journey. Up next for interview: Stephen Menendian maybe? :)

There are plenty of prominent by Joe Fiorini at Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:36
Joe Fiorini's picture

There are plenty of prominent members of the Eternal Format community who I'd interview, but many people are just really busy. I promise that there will be more in the future.

Stephen, Rich Shay, and many other people have an open invitation to give an interview. I wouldn't hold it against anyone for turning it down, people are busy, and sometimes people are just more reserved and private than you might expect.

I'm really glad you're into these, I'm working on upgrading my computer so that I can stream or at least make the occasional video.

See you all next week! There will be a follow up to the mulligan question. This one was too easy the more I thought about it :(