In the Lab – Legacy Transformers

In the history of Magic: The Gathering, milling your opponent has been always a fun (but not always great) way to win the games. WotC keeps printing cards that throw cards from top of the deck to the graveyard, but generally all those cards suck. Even though we know how bad of a strategy milling is we keep trying it.

The following In the Lab article talks about my latest (monster) creation: Transformers. You can keep reading about it after the break.

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!

X and Owen – On Workshops and Sucking

X and Owen

(Editor’s Note: this is Owen’s follow up to his Vintgage Champs 2010 report, and may or may not have appeared elsewhere but has been reprinted with permission of the author Owen Turtenwald to serve as a companion work with his other Vintage writing.)

Originally I was going to title this article “Why Lodestone Golem is the Worst Card in Vintage.” Ok, ok, hyperbole aside Lodestone Golem is not the actual worst card in Vintage, but I do believe that it is insanely overrated. For one thing, Lodestone says non-artifact which for some reason most people don’t consider a serious drawback. But when every deck you play against has about 10 artifacts, most of which provide mana and make his ability worse, it’s much less attractive. I can hear the forum responses now. “IT DOESN’T AFFECT MY SMOKESTACK!11!!1!” But you already have at least 4 mana for the Golem, which means you are playing Mishra’s Workshop so your deck has about 35 or roughly a million mana in it, so it’s not much of a bonus that he doesn’t affect your cards. The fact that you’re trying to restrict the mana that your opponent is playing is what is most important, because that makes all of your other Spheres that much better. (more after the jump!)

X and Owen – Winning Vintage Worlds 2010

Magic Vintage Championship 2010
For my latest article I’m excited to write about how I recently won the Vintage World Championship at GenCon Indy 2010. I’ve played in the event the past 3 years now, with a Top 8 apperance the first time, and some poor play leading to a loss while playing for Top 8 last year which was pretty disheartening, to the point where I didn’t even want to play in the tournament this year. But thanks to David Ochoa for providing me the decklist and to my amazing friends for lending me the cards. Without further adieu here is the decklist that I (along with Bob Maher and David Williams) ended up playing, available 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.

Vintage Primer – The Riddler

The story starts with the unrestriction of Gush/Frantic Search (20th of September 2010), the DCI granted the vintage community a gift that could not be overlooked. This was actually right on time since 3 weeks later it was the Eternal Weekend. For those who don’ t know what it is, I leave you a link here of the coverage done by the EC staff. All this meant that we had to squeeze our brains as much as possible in order to find the correct sinergy for the event. Some days later, Scars of Mirrodin was released with lots of interesting stuff for the King of the formats. After reading it carefully, I found a little jewel, so I started thinking about what it could provide to the vintage format, since its potential is more than obvious:

A New Take on Legacy Dredge!

Legacy is a format that is constantly in flux. Tons of decks are viable and therefore it’s very hard to attack or defend the format from one specific angle. A lot of people dislike this characteristic of Legacy (and old Extended formats), but I think it’s great.

Nowadays Vengevine Madness is slowly starting to dominate, and various decks and their sideboards are adapting to help fight the Vengevine menace, and are tailoring graveyard hate specifically for attacking this threat. This is great news for Dredge since people are now packing graveyard hate that is quite weak against Dredge. After the jump let’s take a look at the available options that are most often played.

So Many Insane Plays – Scars of Mirrodin Vintage Set Review

(Editor’s Note: This content was formerly published on Quiet Speculation, and the former Downloadable Product has since been made available free here with the permission of the author and QS. Enjoy!)

The suns that orbit Mirrodin dim, their color fading. The Myr have scattered. But the dread and the evil are not done with it yet. They have returned to scavenge the remains of this dying world for malevolent and selfish ends. We are among them.

Our return to Mirrodin is neither coincidental nor mere happenstance. We have come full circle, on a trajectory of exploration and pursuit of power. We arrived on Mirrodin just as Gush had left the format, in the Fall of 2003. Upon our return, Gush greets us.

In the Lab – Vintage Polymorph

Due to the current Vintage metagame, that bores me to oblivion, I’m currently testing new stuff in order to find a balance between the fun and the win rate. If I’d play for winning I’d probably play Dredge. If I wouldn’t care about the fun then I’d probably play MUD. But since I’m somewhere in between those 2, I feel the need to do something!

You’ve seen me trying to design new stuff such as the Jacerator deck. A deck that, despite the fact that it isn’t played a lot, has achieved excellent results at mid/large tournaments around Europe. Jacerator is good because of the current metagame. Playing 4 Tarmogoyf maindeck plus a bunch of Nature’s Claim, Jace, the Mind Sculptor or  Trygon Predator makes this deck a true “metagame deck”. Current Vintage metagame is so stuck that everywhere you go you’ll find the exact same decks. That’s what makes Jacerator good! Anyways, I’m not here to speak about Jacerator!

So, today I’m going to try to explain why Polymorph might be good in Vintage.

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.

Matchup Analysis – Comprehensive guide to dredge sideboard

Dredge has always been considered as a “really easy to play” deck. You find your Bazaar of Baghdad, you dredge a bunch of cards, you Dread Return your victory condition, and it’s all over. Well, if it’s not far from being totally true in game 1, where the only difficult thing is to name the good card on Cabal Therapy and correctly counting your Bridge from Below tokens, it’s really far from being that simple in post board games. And with dredge, you will have to play a lot more post board games, just because you have a really high game 1 win rate, and your opponent brings a lot of hate for game 2 and 3, lowering your win percentage to around 50-60% in games with sideboard.

Focus on Legacy – Constructing UBG Landstill

Are you one of the types of people who likes to see your opponent squirm in their chair as you destroy everything they play, or counter anything else? Are you one of the types of people that seeks to demoralize an opponent and chuckle inside as you stare at their board state, barren of all relevant non-land permanents? If so, you may just be the type of person who likes playing a deck like Landstill.

Instant Analysis – SCG St. Louis Legacy $5K

With temperatures in the 90’s and brutal humidity down near St. Louis this weekend, the weather was scorching but interest in Legacy was cool and somewhat reserved. While 192 people attended the StarCityGames Legacy $5K this Sunday, interest appeared slightly down, as this was essentially a lame-duck tournament, with the recent changes to the Banned-Restricted List that take effect next week. This weekend was the last chance for players to pilot Mystical Tutor-themed decks, so a lot more interest and buzz seemed to be in testing the format that the upcoming Grand Prix Columbus will be (no Mystical, but with Grim Monolith), as the rewards are much greater at a Grand Prix in terms of cash and Pro points.

What the June 2010 BR List Update Means for Legacy

It’s that time of the year again, when Magic players and pundits alike have been waiting by their computers for the clock to strike midnight, in eager anticipation of news on the Banned/Restricted List. Extended got a rude awakening when their format was turned upside down, shrinking the card pool from about seven years worth of sets down to four years, and then also banning Sword of the Meek and Hypergenesis for good measure.

But Eternal Central is about Magic for the big boys, and we focus on Vintage and Legacy. While there’s been a handful of calls to shake up Vintage a little bit, nothing happened on that front. I would definitely like to see a handful of cards (Ponder, Burning Wish, Frantic Search, and Thirst For Knowledge for starters) come off the Restricted list for Vintage, but that’s another article for another day.