The Legacy Laser – UBR Ad Nauseam Tendrils

Hello everyone and welcome to my first article on Eternal Central, where I’ll talk about the Legacy Laser aka UBR Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) that I used to win Grand Prix Ghent, and split the finals of the big Legacy tournament at Ovino 7. I usually don’t write articles, because I prefer the free train of thought style of blogging. This is not your average strategy article. You have been warned.

So Many Insane Plays – The Glorious Return of Burning Long!

Combo is coming! Long.dec is back! Dark Rituals are back! Stephen Menendian has been working tirelessly since the announcement unrestricting Burning Wish. He has been testing, tuning, and brewing Burning Tendrils. Stephen has uncovered some critical discoveries and made some incredible design leaps to unleash a deck that he firmly believes is well positioned to take its place in the top tier of the Vintage metagame. In this article, Stephen will take you through a meticulous design process, a careful primer on how to employ each tactic, and a detailed analysis of card selection and omission. Let Stephen guide you on an entertaining ride through new Vintage!

After the jump we’ll share a long excerpt from the review for FREE, so check it out!

So Many Insane Plays – A Time For Grixis Control and Other Thoughts on the Vintage Metagame

The night before the Vintage Championship I struggled to decide what I would play. As recounted in my GenCon Vintage Champs report, I had decided I would play Cobra Gush in the prelim tournament, based upon my conclusion that it was the best Gush option. Despite my strong performance, I still sensed – inchoately – that UBR Confidant/Jace Control might actually be a better option, especially in a Workshop heavy metagame. I had just such a list drawn up and ready for testing that night.

So Many Insane Plays – Return to Ravnica Eternal Set Review

(Editor’s Note: This former Downloadable Product has now been made free to all customers. Enjoy!)

Welcome to Ravnica. Welcome back, that is. This seems to be a motif of Magic: revisiting old haunts, often with new twists. If we look more deeply, Return to Ravnica is less of a return than a revolt from Ravnica. While superficially similar, the mechanics, themes, and ideas are a rejection of what we found in Ravnica. Yes, the Guilds exist. Yes, hybrid cards are here. Yes, dual lands and mana producing artifacts are here.

But what’s not here are the incredible mechanics, top tier creatures, and powerful bombs. Ravnica was a set of huge spells, potent engines, and broken mechanics. Ravnica was the home of Dark Confidant, Life from the Loam, Remand, Dredge, and Golgari-Grave Troll. It was the set of Darkblast, Seeds of the Past, Flame-Kin Zealot, Stinkweed Imp, and Muddle the Mixture.

This set is far more timid in terms of the splashy spell. Epic Experiment and Jace, Architect of Thought highlight and exemplify the limitations of the set. These are cards that want to be great, that could be great, but are just a hair away or a subtle limitation from reaching that aspiration. In contrast to the bold mechanics of the Golgari or Dimir from the original Ravnica (Dredge & Transmute), we have weak and anemic mechanics that are, admittedly, flavorful, but far less interesting in the older formats.

If there is a card from the original Ravnica era that reminds of this new Ravnica, it’s Dimir Cutpurse: a creature that is almost, but not quite good enough. This new Ravnica features plenty of near playables, aggressively costed gold cards that demand attention, but perhaps not a spot in your 75.

But perhaps most surprising of all, and certainly the most subversive to the original Ravnica, is the fact that the best Eternal cards from this set aren’t threats, but answers. Again and again, the cards that stand out for Eternal play aren’t huge bombs, flashy spells, or dangerous mechanics, but exactly the opposite: brutal hosers, stalwart answers, and utility tactics. Could that be more different than the original world of Ravnica?

Return to Ravnica Type 4 Set Review

While the newly released Return to Ravnica set looks to be very good for Standard and Modern constructed formats, it will be equally exciting for the greatest casual format of all time: Type 4. There are some really standout cards that will be ramp up the power of any Type 4 stack. Check out our review after the jump!

Soly Says: A Primer on RUG Delver in Vintage

A Brief History of RUG Delver

In April of 2012 I built a RUGB Gush deck for Vintage at my friend Travis Heipp’s apartment, testing for an upcoming Xtreme Games event. Originally it was a relatively standard Gush deck splashing red for a couple of Lightning Bolts and green for Fastbond, while also playing both colors to support Ancient Grudge. After getting thrashed by Travis’ version of the UR Landstill deck, I realized that Lightning Bolt was very strong right now, but while the rest of the deck seemed to include the “broken” plays of Vintage, lacked effective ways to really interact with the most popular current strategies in Vintage (Landstill and Workshops being everywhere at the time).

Soly at GenCon: Bolt to the Cranium!

Welcome to my first article for Eternal Central! I’ll share with you my experiences playing a deck I’ve developed and tuned in Vintage called RUG Delver, and also the awesome times I had at GenCon 2012 this past weekend.

My notes and reports won’t be as detailed as some, as this is just from memory and I will mainly just highlight the key plays that won or lost a particular game. So let’s do it!

So Many Insane Plays – 2012 Vintage Championship Report & Post-Mortem

So Many Insane Plays - 2012 Vintage Championsip Report & Post-Mortem

The Vintage Championship is the one of the few Vintage “majors,” tournaments of higher level competition and prestige. The most famous European major is the Bazaar of Moxen, renowned for its extraordinary prize payout. Although the Vintage Championship does not have the best prize payout of the Vintage majors, like the Italian OvinoGeddon or the American Waterbury, it does have a prize that is perhaps more coveted: a piece of original alternate artwork of one of the ‘Power Nine’ cards, framed as a trophy.

It’s a Dredgedy – The Vintage Takeover

Hello, and welcome back! In my last article I briefly introduced myself and described the genesis of my Legacy Dredge deck, and performance at the 2012 Bazaar of Moxen (BoM) Legacy events. While I was not able to repeat my Top 4 performance from the previous year in the Legacy portion, I was able to play Dredge in the Vintage main event at BoM and ended up winning the whole thing! Below I’ll describe how that happened, and talk a bit about Dredge in Vintage.

It’s a Dredgedy – The Legacy Takeover

Hello and welcome readers! Since this is my first article I thought I would take a brief moment to introduce myself. My name is Erik and I’m 23 years old. I was born in Germany where I’m still living, and I’ve been playing Magic since 2000. At first I played casually, but with the printing of Darksteel back in 2004 I dove into the Standard scene, playing mostly aggro-decks like White Weenie or Raffinity. In 2005 I quit playing for about two years, only to return in 2007. This time my format of choice was Legacy. After trying a few control decks I then discovered a deck called “Dredge,” which was still under heavy development at the time. With the printing of Bridge from Below and Narcomoeba in Future Sight this deck seemed quite strong to me. I played quite a bad version of it – with Lion’s Eye Diamond and Deep Analysis, as well as Homura, Human Ascendant – to a passable finish at my first tournament with this deck.

So Many Insane Plays – The Parameters of Land Tax in Legacy

Land Tax is finally legal in Legacy. Hallelujah!

Land Tax is a card that I have long argued is among the safest cards to unban from the Legacy banned list. In 2010, I asked my readers if they felt Land Tax was a safe unban, and an overwhelming 80% agreed at the time that it was.

It’s sometimes surprising how Wizards will unban or unrestrict a riskier card than cards that are obviously safer for Eternal play. A good example is unrestricting Gush before Fact or Fiction in Vintage. A good Legacy example is unbanning Entomb before practically every card they’ve unbanned since. Half of the cards argued for in my 2010 article are now legal, and Land Tax is arguably the safest of all.