Type 4 Introduction and Eternal Central Stack Update February 2013

Type 4 Introduction

It’s been a long time coming, but we have finally released our updated #TYPE4 stack for public consumption! The link below is a GoogleDoc that is free for everyone to access, and is downloadable. It is fully sortable with built-in filters at the top of each column, so you can narrow down the view by different card types (removal, counters, etc.), set, color, and more.

So Many Insane Plays – Rogue Hermit: The Fastest Deck in Vintage

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A long time ago, Wizards of the Coast printed Hermit Druid.

Hermit DruidThis little critter may look harmless enough, but he soon got into trouble – big trouble for such a little guy. Once players figured out that they could build decks without basic lands, they realized that they could activate this guy to empty their entire library into their graveyard. For years, players had tried to prevent their opponent’s from doing just that. But the printing of so many new cards that could be played or used from the graveyard changed all that.

So Many Insane Plays – 1st Place in Vacaville: Two Burning Tendrils Tournament Reports

So Many Insane Plays - 1st in Vacaville

Hot off his Team Serious Open victory in December, Stephen Menendian took his Burning Tendrils creation to another 1st place finish in Vacaville this past month. Read this epic 29 page double tournament report to see what the latest changes are that Stephen has made to combat the ever-evolving metagame. Complete with play-by-play game coverage and Stephen’s characteristic detailed analysis, trace both the lows and learning experiences of an underwhelming tournament performance, to lessons learned translating into the highs of another tournament victory at the most recent Vacaville vintage tournament. Follow Stephen’s thought process in each situation as you learn how to become a better combo pilot by learning from the best in the format.

Gatecrash Type 4 Set Review

Gatecrash Type 4 Set Review

With the newly released Gatecrash hitting retailer’s shelves this week, it’s time to take a look at what impact this will have on the greatest casual format of all time: Type 4. While not quite as exciting as Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash still offers a number of flavorful additions you’ll want to track down to add to your stack.

1st Place at Action Comics Vintage Vegas January, With Burning Long

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We had another great Vintage tournament at Action Games and Comics on Saturday, January 19. The turnout was a bit better than last time, but not enough for 5 rounds and a cut to top 8. Baby steps. At least there is Vintage being played!

I chose to play the same deck that I played last time, Burning Long. The deck has some very absurd draws and can attack from many angles. Whether you are storming your opponent out with Tendrils of Agony or abusing Oath of Druids in any number of manners, you can dodge specific hate that your opponents are packing for more linear decks and fight back with great success.

Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 1995 & 1996

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Building on the foundation of Schools of Magic: History of Vintage1993 & 1994, author Stephen Menendian dives deep into the history of the Type I/Vintage format in this historical look at 1995 & 1996, the most formative years in the format’s grand history. Do not miss the story of The Deck, perhaps the most famous archetype in the format’s history. Culled from long forgotten archival materials, historical records, new exclusive interviews with key players of the era, and much much more, you will see decks published in these pages for the first time ever and read about:

So Many Insane Plays – Victory with Burning Tendrils *1st Place*

Stephen Menendian has finally had the chance to play his latest Vintage creation in a marquis event, and ended up winning the tournament! Read play-by-play action of 8 rounds of tournament Magic, and learn how to employ Stephen’s latest sideboard and tournament refinements. Learn strategy, tips, tactics, and decision making in critical situations, all in this 25+ page in-depth accounting of tournament victory at the Team Serious Open with Burning Long.

Rocking Junk – Why You Do Not Need to Play Blue to Win in Legacy

Over the past couple of years in Legacy, there has been a bit of backlash against Blue for being very good. Blue is able to counter spells, draw more cards, and manipulate other cards. No other color has access to the array and variability of these techniques like blue, but, fear not. You don’t need to be playing Brainstorm, Force of Will, or Jace to be winning in Legacy. As we can see by recent results, many tournament top eight’s are filled with many different decks, including those that do not run any blue cards. This goes to show you the amazing diversity in the Legacy format and how much innovation is there, or opportunities just waiting to be exploited. Many have recently stated that Maverick, RUG Delver, and Miracles were the end-all be-all, but the results beg to differ.

So Many Insane Plays – Matchup Analysis: Burning Long on the Draw vs. MUD

Stephen Menendian runs his new Burning Long deck up against Workshops for some intensive matchup analysis. Each game is with Burning Long on the draw for maximum difficulty, and greater challenge. This detailed, play-by-play article, taken from a long set of post-board games, illustrates the dangers and key principles of play for the Long pilot. This is a must-read for anybody interested in learning about the nuances of modern Vintage combo versus Workshops, especially for the aspiring combo players.

The Void in Vacaville: A Vintage Tournament Report With Dredge

“The one great crusade worthy of an enlightened man is that directed against whatever impoverishes imagination, wonder, sensation, dramatic life, and the appreciation of beauty. Nothing else matters. And not even this really matters in the great void, but it is amusing to play a little in the sun before the blind universe dispassionately pulverizes us again into that primordial nothingness from whence it moulded us for a second’s sport.” – HP Lovecraft

Vintage for Cash is a tournament series in Northern California organized by Blaine Christiansen and hosted by Olde World Games in Vacaville (CA, USA). So far there have been four events, and this tournament report describes the most recent on November 3rd 2012. I suspected there might be a small turnout for this one since it was only announced a few weeks ahead of time. Blaine wanted to get in one more Vintage event before the holidays. Little did I know there was also a PTQ to siphon away some of the non-Eternal specialists leaving us with only 11 people actually showing up (the previous 2 iterations had 18 and 16). Small does not mean uncompetitive, however. Blaine (Finalist at 2012 Vintage Champs) organized the event, and it was known that Stephen Menendian (former Vintage Champ and all around Vintage heavy-weight) and David Ochoa (returning to Vintage fresh off an amazing Pro Tour performance) would be in attendance, not to mention other good players from the area whose names Vintage enthusiasts across the country might not recognize. Realizing that outplaying my opponents was likely a losing proposition, I decided to play up other aspects of “the game,” namely deck selection and metagaming.

Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 1993 & 1994

Several years in the making, Schools of Magic: History of Vintage is a brand new series tracing the rich and exciting history of what has become Vintage. Stephen Menendian has been researching the obscure and often forgotten history of Magic’s oldest and most interesting format. For the first time, you can now read the history of Vintage/Type 1 Magic from 1993 to the present. Each chapter will cover a year in the history of the game, highlighting major new printings, innovations and the emergent new decks that resulted. The ultimate payoff for the reader is a profound appreciation for the strategic evolution of the game, and a keen recognition of the ways in which the strategies that emerged in the format that began in 1993-1994 continue unabated today in the Vintage format, from the Weissman school to the O’Brien School. While this series is intended for Eternal fans, and Vintage players in particular, anyone and everyone who enjoys Magic, from the wily Pro Tour veteran to the kitchen table casual player, will enjoy this story.

2nd Place at Action Comics Vegas Vintage, With Burning Long

Vintage, my favorite format by far, has eluded me for the most part for the last few years. Once upon a time, thanks to the innovation of proxy tournaments, Vintage saw a surge in popularity and tournament play thanks to SCG and their P9 series. Now, no thanks to the innovation of proxy tournaments, Vintage has seen a decline in play and popularity marking it as barely discussed and almost completely irrelevant save for a few tournaments a year. I believe without card ownership (too many proxies), gamers have no ownership in the format, thus dooming it to failure.

But this isn’t an article about why Vintage, for the most part, has failed. This is a tournament report and for the Vegas Vintage tournament this past weekend, and a reminder that while Vintage is waning, it is still a great format full of endless possibilities and tremendous fun!

Modern Masters Announced – Tarmogoyf (and more) Reprints on the Way!

During the coverage of Pro Tour Return to Ravnica this weekend, Mark Rosewater and company dropped a bomb on the audience. A brand new 229 card set scheduled for June 7, 2013 titled Modern Masters will be released, featuring reprints of Modern legal cards only, as a way to jump start interest in Modern and increase card availability. Tarmogoyf was the first card previewed for reprint, and you can expect a slew of other big name cards as well. The set will not be Standard legal, but will obviously be legal in any formats the cards are normally legal in (ala Coldsnap).

Check out the video and more details after the jump!

So Many Insane Plays – Doomsday: The Puzzling – Five Puzzles to Blow Your Mind!

Stephen Menendian returns to (finally!) publish an update to his inspired Legacy Doomsday that many of you have been clamoring for! More importantly, he’s here to test your skills, challenge your knowledge of the format, and expand your mind as he takes you to your wit’s limit with five brilliant and progressively difficult puzzles.

Modeled after Mark Rosewater’s famous column, the “Puzzling,” these brain teasers will provide hours of entertainment as you examine the complex, intricate, mind-boggling possibilities with Doomsday! Each puzzle is based on game situations that might actually arise in Legacy tournaments. You’ll find yourself coming back to these puzzles over and over again for insight and fun! The beautifully rendered layouts and easy to follow narrative make this an article you cannot miss!

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