Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 2004

With this epic installment of his History of Vintage series, Stephen recounts the decks, tales of glory, and mighty tournament contests that defined Vintage in 2004. This was the year that Type I was rebranded as “Vintage,” the 2nd Type I Championship at GenCon, and the emergence of the StarCityGames Power Nine Series. It was also a fascinating year in which cards like Gifts Ungiven, Trinisphere, and Forbidden Orchard were printed, and in which Doomsday was unrestricted, and once again broke out with a mind-bending combo. This chapter reveals all this, and much more!

A Guide to Playing Pitch Dredge in Vintage

The Pitch Dredge deck that I have been writing about and advocating for the past couple of years is performing well, and may well be considered the premier Vintage Dredge deck. This variant, which emphasizes counterspells, has out-placed the older variant featuring permanent destruction (or counter-hate_ in 5 out of the last 5 major events for which placement data is available. While Bazaar of Moxen’s October 2016 published results did not include any Dredge decks, the Vintage Championship at Eternal Weekend as well as the past four Power 9 Challenges on Magic Online all featured a finish by Pitch Dredge ahead of any other Dredge variant finish. I wish my congratulations to the various pilots – even with the best deck it takes skill and luck to perform well at a large event. Here’s a sample decklist from a recent event:

Old School 93-94 at Eternal Weekend 2016 – Decklists and Photo Report

The third annual Eternal Central Old School tournament at Eternal Weekend is in the books, with some familiar faces, and a lot of newcomers as well. Players traveled from New Zealand, Spain, Canada, and all over the USA to do battle in the ancient ways. With over 100+ players pre-registered, between last minute withdrawls and no-shows, we had 86 players come out to do battle, making this the largest (yet) Old School 93-94 event held anywhere to date.

The Return of the King: TMD Open 17 Winner’s Report

Before The Mana Drain Open 17 was announced, I secretly hoped that TMD Open 16 would be the last one, and that I would get to reign as champion unopposed, indefinitely. Upon the announcement of TMD Open 17, part of me was excited to venture back to Connecticut to defend my title, but another part of me was worried that I would not be able to live up to the expectations that my performance at TMD Open 16 had set. At that tournament I didn’t drop a match and was 14-2 in games on the day. All those wins came after the head judge asked me not to play with my newly altered Trinisphere (courtesy of Roland Chang), which prompted me to switch from Martello Shops to Terra Nova 10 minutes before the player meeting, as my Terra Nova list didn’t play Trinisphere.

NYSE4 Vintage Open – ALL Decklists and Metagame Breakdown

NYSE 4 was played a little while ago, and was another example of great tournament organizing, coupled with lots of community support. A (NYSE) record 157 players attended, with entrance fees of $100 pre-reg or $125 same day, and players traveled from all over the country. Nick Detwiler (aka Prospero) continues to do yeoman’s work promoting and supporting Vintage, even as the format’s recent changes have made him and others wary.

Grand Prix Los Angeles 2016 Old School 93-94 – Decklists and Photo Report

This past weekend during Grand Prix Los Angeles a 93-94 tournament was hosted by Channel-Fireball, using their own custom rules (Alpha through Fallen Empires, restricted Strip Mine, most other rules nearly the same as EC’s B&R List). 16 players showed up to battle 4 rounds of straight Swiss, including players from Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and California primarily.