On July 20 2015, Wizards of the Coast announced a radical slate of changes to Magic Online, especially for non-Pro Tour formats. Vintage players quickly found that prizes of substantial monetary value were replaced with Play Points, and Daily Events would become 3 rounds of Swiss. In the three weeks between the announcement and the change taking effect, Wizards published six Daily Event results. The same rate held in the three-week period after implementation, and in the three weeks preceding the October 20 Magic Online announcements, by which point the Daily Events had been altered to a new 4-round structure. In contrast, the three weeks prior to the Play Points announcement had 16 published results. That period was unusually busy for Vintage online, but it demonstrates that Play Points and 3-round Dailies failed to build on any existing momentum. The Wizards announcement of the Power 9 Challenge was a thrilling about-face. Instead of smaller and less-rewarding tournaments, Wizards would offer real Vintage prizes and coordinate less-frequent but larger and more meaningful tournaments. Even so, the announcement expressed some doubts that the 33-player minimum would be met, and stressed that a 12-player minimum Daily Event would be available at around the same time.
(Editor’s Note: The following is a report and deck introduction from Nicholas Rausch, a player and tournament organizer in Ohio, USA.)
For the last 5 months, I have been tinkering in my workshop, trying to duplicate many things. Triskelions and Factories are the obvious but Juggernauts, Su-Chi, Tetravus, Mana Vaults, Moxen, Basalt Monoliths, Choas Orb, Howling Mines, Ankh of Mishra, Black Vise, Tomes of Jalum and Jayemdae, Ice Manipulator, Tawnos’ Coffin, Ivory Towers, and Time Vaults all have found their doppelgangers on the board. Even lesser constructs like Clockwork Avian, Weakstone, and Skull of Orm have been replicated.
It’s safe to say, Copy Artifact has consumed me.
It is new set release time, and with it comes a new Banned & Restricted List Update announcement. The last few announcements have brought few changes, but this month’s will possibly shake up the Eternal formats a bit.
For those who don’t know me, I’m a long time Vintage player and gamer. I don’t write very often, or post on the Internet, or even play Magic all that much anymore. As Jimmy McCarthy often says, we are now proud members of “Team Vintage Has Been.” I could probably sit here and tell you of the glory days, the SCG Power 9 days, the RIW tournaments, and splitting the same Mox Pearl at the Soldiery like 30 times so that we could all eat at Thurman’s. That would be fun for me, because if there is anything Vintage players have in common, it’s that they love talking about their moments in the sun. But I know you all, and if you’ve ever talked to me, you’ve probably already heard all my tired ass stories.
2015 Vintage Champs has come and gone, leaving behind a new conception of the metagame, and exciting technology with which to address it. Big congratulations should be given to Brian Kelly with his Oath of Bomberman victory, but let’s see what else Vintage enthusiasts were able to cook up.
The second annual Eternal Central Old School tournament at Eternal Weekend is over, and a huge thank you goes out to everyone who showed up to support Old School. Players traveled from all over the USA, France, Brazil, Germany, Norway, and New Zealand to battle with sweet brews, while drinking craft brews, and it seemed like everyone had a blast. Dozens of players commented things such as “this was the most fun I’ve had playing Magic in 10 years,” to “this was the most fun tournament I’ve ever played in!” This tournament was intentionally casual and old school in feeling, and that was great to hear. Next year will be even bigger and better, with some special surprises in store.
Held on Saturday afternoon/night, the Vintage Champs Prelim tournament drew 109 players, meaning 7 rounds of Swiss, followed by Top 8 playoffs, awarding 2 round byes to both first and second place finishers. Below you’ll find the Top 8 Playoff Bracket, followed by the Top 8 decklists.
Vintage Champs 2015 is in the books, and with record-breaking attendance, cannot be considered anything other than a smashing success. Huge props go out to Nick Coss, Card Titan, and all associated employess and consultants who organized and ran the largest Vintage event ever held (and who also graciously provided us access to all of the standings and decklists below). Vintage Champs attendance has been climbing steadily the past few years, with both renewed interest from older players, as well as slowly expanding the player base to newer/younger players.
483 were registered for Vintage Champs 2015, and although there were 20+ no-shows (mainly people who slept in or just registered to get the sweet Tolarian Academy playmat), that number combined with the byes from Legacy Champs Top 8 playoff the same morning, meant 10 rounds of Swiss, followed by a Top 8 playoff.
Below we have compiled the Top 128 decklists (with more appearing on this page as time allows), a full metagame report of all decks/archetypes played and in what quantities, as well as some statistics for analysis (we will add more as time permits, or as requests/suggestions roll in). Videos and a tournament report roundup (with links to players’ tournament reports from the event, as they surface) can be found at the bottom.
(Note: this page will be constantly updated as we add more decklists, round up more tournament reports, and as more videos are uploaded to YouTube by the tournament organizer. Last updated 10/4/2015)
If there’s one aspect of Vintage and Legacy that distinguishes them from other formats, it’s their access to cheap, powerful card selection. In Vintage, while most of the good tutors...
Grand Prix Lille will be here soon, and it’s time to find 75 cards that you are willing to take into battle. But how does one identify which deck to play, and more importantly, which cards to play in this very deck? There are a couple of things I’d like to talk about when it comes to testing, and how to choose a deck. I am well aware of the fact that they won’t cover everything, but they should give you a good impression of what I believe to be important for tournament deck choice, and should be giving you with an idea or two in order to help improve your own testing process. And with GP Lille on the horizon it can’t be of any harm, I suppose.
“Have the patience and you’ll be rewarded with an absolutely amazing experience from the tournament where you will never have to say I was unlucky.” — Tomáš Vlček on learning Miracles
When I heard this listening to Everyday Eternal’s Miracle Men podcast, I thought I was on the verge of such an experience. And then it happened on April 26, 2015 at the SCG Cleveland Legacy Premier IQ.
One thing I love about the Old School format is that it allows decks to be built around cards which are almost unplayable in other formats. While scanning the Old School card pool for the n-th time, I found three cards which seemed obviously strong to me but completely ignored in the current metagame. The cards were Land Equilibrium, Mana Vortex, and Copy Artifact.
For a format whose history stretches back towards the origins of the game, 2003 may well lay claim to being the most dynamic and pivotal year before or since in the history of Vintage. It was a year in which the format was rocked by dramatic restrictions, metagame convulsions, astounding printings and shocking new mechanics, quickened engagement and interest from the DCI and Wizards of the Coast, and the inauguration of a new annual Championship tournament. The investments of the player base in 2002 were bearing fruit, and the innovations and novel strategic developments were accelerating. New strategies were born, and old Schools of Vintage Magic were revived. In a sense, 2003 was a springboard for the evolution of the format since. It marks a transition from historical Type I to the format that would soon become known as Vintage.