WotC Suspends Guillaume Matignon & Guillaume Wafo-Tapo for New Phyrexia Leak

WotC Suspends Guillaume Matignon & Guillaume Wafo-Tapo for New Phyrexia Leak

The investigation was quick, and the response was swift. Wizards of the Coast has already sniffed out the people responsible for the New Phyrexia leaks, and has dropped the banhammer. 2010 Player of the Year runner-up and Level 8 Pro player Guillaume Matignon was given a 3 year ban by the DCI, and Level 8 Pro player Guillaume Wafo-Tapo, Martial Moreau, and David Gauthier were each handed 18 month suspensions. Wizards’ explanation and all the juicy details can be found after the jump!

New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4

New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4

Whenever a new set is released a handful of writers do a set review, and we’re throwing our hat into the ring now too. We’re not going to review every card in the set here, because that would be a waste of everyone’s time. What we will do is touch on the things that we think are remotely playable in the Eternal formats, and try to figure out a home for these cards in either new or existing decks. This will be a new feature here at Eternal Central, so buckle up your seat belts and join us for the ride as we review New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4 (bonus)!

A Real Look at Legacy Deck Costs 2011Q2

A Real Look at Legacy Deck Costs 2011Q2

Are you looking to get into Legacy, or are you looking to build up your Legacy collection or expand it a bit? If you’re just jumping in or seeking those last few staples for the decks you might want to play, you’ll no doubt find that prices are rapidly rising.

There has been an influx of new Legacy players across the globe as places like SCG and Wizards of the Coast and other large European tournament organizers have started really supporting Legacy by organizing what have turned into regular or semi-regular huge tournaments with attractive prizes. This has driven up demand, and along with it prices across the board for most things that rotated out of old Standard and Extended formats and have become staples of the surging Legacy landscape. Among the gnashing of teeth and speculation of the future of Legacy, a lot of people have been wondering, debating, and generally astonished at what it costs now to build a Legacy deck. So join Eternal Central as we dive in to analyzing the real costs of building a Legacy deck in 2011Q2.

Xtreme Games Vintage 02-20-2011 Results, Lists, and Pics

Xtreme Games 02-21-2011 Results, Lists, and Pics

Thanks to Eric and Shannon at Xtreme Games in Lindenhurst (IL, USA) for hosting another sweet monthly Vintage event. Unfortunately the weather in the Midwest was a drag and only 14 players came out to battle for the guaranteed Unlimited Mox Pearl for first place, and it seemed like all 14 had a good time. There were some fresh faces and some of the old guard in attendance. The farthest traveler that I know of (Evan Caufmann) came down from Michigan, so props to him!

After 4 rounds of Swiss there was a cut to Top 4, and the standings looked like this:
1 Ben Carp (playing MUD with 13 spheres)
2 Hans Knapp (playing Dredge with Crop Rotation)
3 Ryan Forsberg (playing Cobra Gush)
4 Jeff Levine (playing MUD with Sculpting Steel)

Instant Analysis – SCG Indianapolis Legacy Open 2011


Another frigid weekend in the Midwest, another awesome SCG Open. This time the traveling road show made its way to Indianapolis, Indiana. With Snowpocalypse 2011 only a few days prior, weather conditions were tricky but 266 competitors slogged their way to Indy for some rabblerousing and gamesmanship.

After nine rounds of Swiss and three more rounds of single elimination, SCG regular Ben Wienburg stood triumphantly with his UGWR CounterTop deck, modeled after Gerry Thompson’s build from a few weeks ago, but featuring Grim Lavamancer and a small Trinket Mage package. Besides Ben’s deck there were plenty of other cool new decks making their breakout appearance, as well as some old standbys like Goblins and Merfolk. Check out the technology after the jump!

Instant Analysis – SCG Kansas City & San Jose Legacy Opens

In the wake of the December 20 2010 announcement by the DCI banning Survival of the Fittest, the metagame clock in Legacy was set to be turned back in time about six months before the breakout performance of Caleb Durward’s Vengevine Survival at Grand Prix Columbus in June. While there were other Survival variants and Vengevine decks floating around and performing admirably over the past few years, no Survival deck had quite captivated players’ attention like this since RecSur circa 1998. From the Blue-Green Madness variant with Wild Mongrels that Caleb piloted a number of other intriguing variants spawned over the next five plus months, including WG Vengevine Survival that Jessie Butler won with at SCG Nashville, Rion Marmulstein’s Necrotic Ooze laced BUG Vengevine Survival deck from the same event (SCG Nashville), the Hatfield’s mono-Green Lion’s Eye Diamond-fueled turbo Vengevine Survival* from SCG Baltimore, Nick Spagnolo’s Trinket Mage infused UG Survival Vengevine at SCG Charlotte, and Gerry Thompson’s BWG Fauna Shaman-Necrotic Ooze-Vengevine-Survival mashup from SCG Boston, a polished variant of many others that had come before it. The rapid mutation and proliferation of Survival as a percentage of the metagame and repeated success led to the DCI wielding the axe, probably prematurely, late in 2010.

With the fallen beast slain by the DCI and Survival’s tombstone written, what decks and strategies would players turn to in order to trump a metagame rewound about half a year? In this week’s Instant Analysis follow along as we review what players busted out for the first two major post-Survival metagame tournaments of the New Year, at SCG KC and SCG San Jose. That’s right, two mini-articles for the price of none!

Tomoharu Saito Suspended 18 Months by DCI

Tomoharu Saito Suspended 18 Months by DCI
As we brought you the news of Tomoharu Saito’s disqualification for Stalling at Grand Prix Florence 2010 earlier this week, we also bring you the news that Tomoharu Saito has been suspended by the DCI for 18 months. After what appears to be an extremely quick investigation and decision on the DCI’s part the following appeared sometime late Tuesday night on the DCI’s Suspended Memberships page:
Tomoharu Saito Banned for 18 Months

Tomoharu Saito has been banned from sanctioned play as of 11-30-2010 through 05-30-2012. Check out our full analysis after the jump!

Saito Busted at GP Florence and What It Means

Saito Busted at GP Florence at What it Means
Pro Tour regular and Japanese Magic player extraordinaire Tomoharu Saito has been disqualified without prize from Grand Prix Florence 2010 this weekend for Cheating (Stalling). According to GP Coverage writer David Sutcliffe we have this gem from Saturday November 27:

We are never pleased to have to pass on bad news, so we are sad that we have to announce that Japan’s Tomoharu Saitou has been disqualified without prize from Grand Prix Florence following his sixth round match.

Head Judge, Level-4 Nick Sephton, explained why the disqualification occurred:
“We disqualified this player for Stalling, after it was observed that his play speed seemed to change based on his observation of the clock. It was observed by a high-level judge that twice in the round he appeared to change his play speed based on considerations that were outside the game. Consulting among the senior judges we decided that, on the basis of what we had observed, we had no choice but to disqualify the player.”

Nick [the Head Judge] continued with advice for players wanting to avoid falling foul of this rule themselves:
“Players should be able to play at a reasonable pace throughout a round. Judges recognize that a player’s speed of play can change during a game – Magic is a complicated game and produces difficult situations for players – but it’s important that players are still able to play at a speed that allows games to be completed. It’s a valid play skill to be able to make difficult decisions quickly.”

So what does this all mean? Well for one it means that the legendary Saito may be looking at a suspension and may see his pending Magic Hall of Fame induction take a hit. We break it all down after the jump!

In the Lab – Brainstorming Legacy Affinity

In the Lab - Brainstorming Legacy Affinity

Since the printing of Mirrodin and Darksteel enterprising mages have been brainstorming the best ways to break the Affinity mechanic. Effects that multiply anything (see: Berserk, Fork, the Storm mechanic) have traditionally been very powerful, and the DCI has treaded very carefully with those effects. The Affinity strategy proved sound enough to thoroughly dominate Standard and get all of the good cards banned in Extended, but hasn’t had the kind of strength or staying power in Legacy to keep it in Tier 1 or Tier 2 status.

The recent printings of more powerful and useful artifacts in Shards of Alara, M11, and Scars of Mirrodin have given the Affinity archetype even more toys, and with the remaining portion of the new Mirrodin block on the horizon there are potentially even more goodies that can be added to the pool of playable options. So let’s jump in and take a long hard look at most of the relevant cards to Affinity and Legacy as it stands in 20104Q, in our latest In the Lab article. (check it out after the jump!)

Instant Analysis – SCG Charlotte $5K Legacy

Instant Analysis Charlotte

As the leaves turn warm shades of yellow, orange, and red, and the temperature cools this early fall, the Legacy scene continues to burn brightly. The StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K tournament was held this weekend, and 147 competitors with decks in hands traveled to Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) to compete for $5,000 in prizes and to earn more SCG Open Series points towards the huge tournament later this year.

Relative SCG circuit newcomer Nicholas Spagnolo fought through 8 rounds of Swiss and then an action packed Top 8 to win the title of SCG Charlotte champion. He did it by piloting an innovative UG Vengevine Survival deck, tricked-out with 4 Trinket Mage and a small package of utility cards that the Mage could fetch. While we are seeing Survival decks continue to mutate and blossom, what else did we learn from this tournament that we can apply in the next couple of months? Find out after the jump!

StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K – Top 16 Decklists

StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K Top 8

The StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K event has come and gone this weekend, and Nicholas Spagnolo is your SCG Charlotte champion! 147 players came out to compete in the Legacy portion, and in a field packed with Survival of the Fittest another 5 players made Top 8 with the enchantment, and 7 out of the Top 16 were Survival-based decks. These included UG Survival, WG Survival, and Necrotic Ooze Survival. Check out the entire Top 16 decklists after the jump!

Focus on Legacy – Combating Survival

Combating Survival of the Fittest

During the recent coverage of StarCityGames Nashville Legacy $5K event SCG writer called for the banning of Survival of the Fittest. OOOOOOH GOD, a deck has taken the SCG circuit by storm! We had better take immediate corrective action and ban something! Now I think we can all recognize that Survival is a fantastic card, but is it really ban-worthy? Let’s take a look at this, and various ways to combat Survival after the jump.

Instant Analysis – SCG Denver & Minneapolis $5K Legacy

The past two weekends have brought some of the biggest crowds for Legacy in the USA this summer, with 170 players in the SCG Minneapolis $5K Legacy this past weekend, and 125 players in the SCG Denver $5K Legacy tournament the weekend prior. As the post-Mystical Tutor world of Legacy develops we have seen Reanimator and Ad Nauseam combo neutered, but not completely dead, and plenty of other decks have sprung up to take their places in recent tournaments.