So Many Insane Plays – The “So Do You Wear a Cape?” Book Review

Enthusiast Titus Chalk has authored a brilliant, page-turning history of Magic: The Gathering sprinkled with entertaining anecdotes, remarkably deep insights, and journalistic treasures. Chalk’s brisk narrative, brimming with behind-the-scenes stories that reflect painstaking investigatory work, traces the broad arc of Magic’s 20+ year history. Chalk sketches the development of the game, its unbridled growth, and the myriad debates and issues surrounding it, from the complaints of fundamentalist parents over the ‘demonic’ elements of the game, to the emergence of the Pro Tour (with its heroes and villains), the business of the game, from its initial financing to its sale to Hasbro (with Richard Garfield pocketing a cool $100 million, no less), to the growth of the secondary market, to the wrangling over the Reserved List. It’s all covered.

Doomsday: The Puzzling – The Dream Halls Dilemma

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Your opponent is on a very strong combo deck in OmniTell, but you are not deterred. You are also on a combo deck, but one which features more countermagic and disruption. This will be a game of inches, but one that you should win if you plan properly. You took the first game of the match, and your opponent is not about to go down without a fight. You brought in a pair of Dark Confidants and Cabal Therapies for some extra draw and disruption.

So Many Insane Plays – A Short History of Dual Lands

So Many Insane Plays - A Short History of Dual Lands

Mana is the foundation of Magic. Although it is possible to design and build decks without mana production, it is extremely difficult. More importantly, the possibilities for mana production define the range of strategic possibilities in Magic. This is why Zvi Mowshowitz once claimed that he began analyzing a format by examining the possibilities inherent in that format’s mana production capacity.

Lands are the building blocks of mana production. While there are many forms of mana production, and while it is possible to build decks without mana producing lands (or even lands at all), mana producing lands are the most basic building block in the game of Magic. They shape and constrain the strategic possibilities in the game.

Doomsday: The Puzzling – The Double Deathrite Conundrum

Doomsday: The Puzzling - The Double Deathrite Conundrum

The moment you feared has finally arrived. After stomping two Show and Tell decks, overcoming a UW Control deck with dominating countermagic, and narrowly defeating a RUG Delver deck, you are faced with your most difficult matchup yet: Shardless BUG. It’s the fifth round of a seven round Legacy tournament, and a trip to the Top 8 is on the line. Win here, and you can draw into the elimination rounds, where guaranteed prizes await. Lose here, and you might fall out of contention completely.

Your opponent, Jimmy the Cat Warrior, is a well known area player, and a skilled opponent. Escaping with a win here will require precision and exact planning. Fortunately, you are focused and determined.

Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 15: GenCon 2013 Preview

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For episode 15 Geoff (@ThallidTosser on Twitter) and Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher) bring back Jerry Yang (@yangtrolls), epicurean and, as we learn, the actual worst Vintage player in the world, to talk about the upcoming GenCon extravaganza. We talk a bit about the Vintage metagame and the applications of Young Pyromancer, then we jump straight into the events and, more importantly, the food of GenCon. If you’re going to be in Indianapolis in a few weeks, you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.

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Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 14: Vintage BUG and Josh’s Vegas Wrapup

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Josh Chapple (@joshchapple on Twitter) makes his triumphant return from GP Vegas to regale us with tales of woe and whoa in Episode 14. Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher) goes over the results of the recent Team Serious Open in Sandusky, including the propagation of BUG decks with Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay. And Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser) keeps us all in line.

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Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 10: Rockin’ White in Vintage

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In Episode 10 of our #SeriousVintage Magic the Gathering podcast we welcome Josh Chapple (@joshchapple on Twitter) back from his Internet-free hiatus, when he convinced Wizards of the Coast to sponsor a new You Make the Card event. Then he, Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser), and I (@GrandpaBelcher) discuss the prospects of playing white in Vintage. Finally, we get right back to the gin.

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Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 1998

Schools of Magic History of Vintage 1998

Continuing in the Schools of Magic: History of Vintage series, author Stephen Menendian retraces the history of 1998, an unforgettable year in the history of Type I. Follow the important changes to the Restricted List, the rise of recursion strategies and new combo decks, and the lasting impact of Urza’s Saga on the format. Read about the birth Oath and Workshop Aggro decks in the format, and about the continuing evolution of The Deck, Necropotence, Prosperity, and Zoo strategies.

Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 9: Ohio Tourney Results, Being New in Vintage, and Tournament Eats

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Episode 9 of #SeriousVintage, Vintage newcomer Eric Butler (@ButlersTweets) joins us to talk about some recent tournaments in Ohio and the “Ohio-style” decks that get played in them. Geoff (@ThallidTosser) and I (@GrandpaBelcher) also find out what it’s like coming from Standard and Modern into Vintage: the pros and cons of the format and what Vintage tournament organizers and aficionados can do to attract new players. Then we talk tournament snacks, including oatmeal creme pies and nut bars.

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Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 1997

Schools of Magic History of Vintage 1997

Building on the previous chapters of the Schools of Magic: History of Vintage series, author Stephen Menendian has uncovered a treasure trove of lost decklists and forgotten history as he explores the trends, experiences, and metagame of Type I in 1997, the fifth year of Magic. Whether you are a student of the history of the game, a fan of the early years of Magic, or simply curious about the early years of Vintage, this article is not to be missed. With fifteen tournament winning and high-performing decklists and in-depth analysis, this article is perfect for those who want to relive 1997, as the first age of Type I Magic draws to a close.

Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 8: January B&R Update, Non-Blue Aggro-Control, Team Serious Open, and Cocktails

Serious Vintage Episode 8

In Episode 8 of the #SeriousVintage podcast we invite Jake Hilty (@TuringTested) to join us and talk a little about non-blue aggro-control in Vintage. Jake is an aggro aficionado, and recently wrote an article for Mana Deprived on the transfer of Jund to Legacy, along with the banning of Bloodbraid Elf in Modern. Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser) and I (@GrandpaBelcher) will be tossing out questions about non-blue dudesweats. We’ll also talk about the January Banned and Restricted List update, the upcoming Team Serious Open, and cocktails!

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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:

Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 7: On Gatecrash, North Market, and Workshoppin’ with Twaun: Part Deux

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Episode 7 of our #SeriousVintage podcast sees Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser) and me (@GrandpaBelcher) catch up with Anthony “Twaun” Michaels (@Twaun007) after his finals appearance with Twaunspresso Stax at the December 30 Team Serious Open in Columbus, Ohio. We also look at the early Gatecrash previews and review food options at the Columbus Convention Center, specifically North Market.

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