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  • So Many Insane Plays Podcast Episode 3: M12 Set Review for Vintage

    Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian review Magic 2012 for Vintage and discuss listener feedback on what makes Magic fun.
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  • So Many Insane Plays Podcast Episode 2: Vintage Metagame Overview 2011Q2

    Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian discuss listener feedback on the least unrestrictable card in Vintage, address the lack of Banned and Restricted List changes in Vintage on 6/20/11, and provide an overview of the Vintage metagame.
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  • So Many Insane Plays Podcast Episode 1: Inauguration

    Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian kick off the So Many Insane Plays podcast with a discussion of power level errata, Commander cards in Eternal, and the results of the recent Bazaar of Moxen Vintage tournament.
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  • So Many Insane Plays – What is the LEAST Unrestrictable Card in Vintage?

    This month may herald some exciting changes to the Vintage Restricted List. In recent years, the DCI has typically made adjustments to the Vintage Banned and Restricted List mid-year, perhaps with an eye towards the Vintage Championship at GenCon. For each of the last five years, changes to the Vintage Restricted list have been announced, and all of the announced changes to the Vintage occurred in June or September.
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  • Why Fact or Fiction Should Be Unrestricted: An Open Letter to the DCI

    (Editor’s Note: this article was co-authored by Stephen Menendian and William Winger

    Almost ten years on, the time has come to reconsider Fact or Fiction‘s restricted status. As difficult as it is for us Eternal enthusiasts to believe, Fact or Fiction has now inhabited the Vintage Restricted List for half of the game’s existence. Announced December 2001, and effective January 1st, 2002, the restriction of Fact or Fiction demarcates the midpoint in the life of the Vintage format and the game itself, the fulcrum between 1993 and 2011. This fact underscores the need to reconsider whether it still deserves to be restricted. We make the case not only that Fact or Fiction no longer deserves that status, and can join the ranks of cards like Gush and Frantic Search which have safely returned to the format unrestricted, but that its unrestriction would be a net positive, promoting the strategic diversity of the format and generating interest, enthusiasm, and good will throughout the format.
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  • Bazaar of Moxen 2011 Vintage Decklists, Reports, and Video Roundup

    Bazaar of Moxen 2011 Vintage Decklists, Reports, and Video Roundup

    This past weekend marked the fifth annual Bazaar of Moxen tournament in Annecy, France. An insane 383 players came out to battle in the Vintage main event for some incredible prizes, and Omar Rohner of Spain ended up conquering the field with TurboTezz, overcoming Italian powerhouse Lorenzo Fedeli (playing a different build of TurboTezz) in three action packed games!
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  • So Many Insane Plays – New Phyrexia 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 Phyrexians have arrived, and they seek to remake the orb of Mirrodin in their own image. Will they remake Vintage as well?
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  • New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4

    New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4

    Whenever a new set is released a handful of writers do a set review, and we’re throwing our hat into the ring now too. We’re not going to review every card in the set here, because that would be a waste of everyone’s time. What we will do is touch on the things that we think are remotely playable in the Eternal formats, and try to figure out a home for these cards in either new or existing decks. This will be a new feature here at Eternal Central, so buckle up your seat belts and join us for the ride as we review New Phyrexia in Legacy, Vintage, and Type 4 (bonus)! Continue Reading

  • Grand Prix Barcelona, here we go!

    In case you didn’t know (or you forgot), this weekend will take place in Barcelona (Spain) the next Grand Prix. The one who’s writting here happens to live in Barcelona, so you can expect some pictures and reports of the event as soon as the weekend passes by. A quick reference to the event site:

    Fira De Barcelona (Montjuic), Hall 8
    Avda. Reina Maria Cristina s/n
    08004 Barcelona

    Google Maps

    As I, personally, couldn’t care less about yugi’oh formats such as Standard or Extended (much respect for the pro’s and kids who play it though), my personal goal at the GP is to get my cards signed and to play the Legacy/Vintage side events. When the first news about the GP arised, I was surprised to see that Greg Staples was comming to sign cards (together with John Avon). Damn, seriously! Greg Staples? I almost jizzed in my pants when I read about it! Why? Because I happen to have a playset of Japanese Ill-Gotten Gains signed by the singer Iggy-Pop! (picture after the break). My wet dreams of getting that playset double signed were about to become true until… yesterday.

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  • Xtreme Games Vintage 02-20-2011 Results, Lists, and Pics

    Xtreme Games 02-21-2011 Results, Lists, and Pics

    Thanks to Eric and Shannon at Xtreme Games in Lindenhurst (IL, USA) for hosting another sweet monthly Vintage event. Unfortunately the weather in the Midwest was a drag and only 14 players came out to battle for the guaranteed Unlimited Mox Pearl for first place, and it seemed like all 14 had a good time. There were some fresh faces and some of the old guard in attendance. The farthest traveler that I know of (Evan Caufmann) came down from Michigan, so props to him!
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  • So Many Insane Plays – The 2010 Vintage Year in Review

    2009 was the Year of the Monster. 2009 witnessed the printing of many new colossi: Inkwell Leviathan, Sphinx of the Steel Wind, and Iona, Shield of Emeria, most prominently. 2010 marked the dawning of a brave new world for Vintage players, a world awakened. Continue Reading

  • So Many Insane Plays – The Mirrodin Besieged 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!)

    I. Introduction

    Welcome loyal reader! In this article I continue my long tradition of reviewing new sets for Vintage format (the greatest format!) applications. As always, I will also provide a checklist of cards from Mirrodin Besieged that you will want to acquire to complete your collection and enable you to play any deck in the format. This checklist will give you a heads up over the competition, and allow you to make better trades. I will tell you which cards you should pick up now, which cards you should wait to pick up (because I expect them to fall in price), and which cards will be the sleepers you can make a killing on.
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  • So Many Insane Plays – Decoding the DCI

    The DCI is a body composed of some of the smartest people in Magic. Unfortunately, intelligence does not entail the ability to communicate ideas or thoughts clearly or effectively. Tom LaPille was a notable addition to the staff of Wizards of the Coast, not simply because of his accomplishments in Magic, but because of his ability to communicate the groupthink of a nest of brainiacs to the outside world. With notable speed Tom became the voice of Wizards R&D as he took over the reins of the column titled Latest Developments. This is not to say that Erik Lauer, the individual responsible for explaining the most recent changes to the Banned and Restricted List, has not explained the changes clearly or effectively. However, further elaboration or insight would be helpful. The implications of the most recent B/R list announcement reach Vintage as well as Legacy. Permit me to attempt to decode the DCI…

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  • Survival of the Fittest Banned in Legacy, No Changes in Vintage

    It’s that time of year again, and the DCI has announced changes today to the Banned and Restricted Lists:
    Announcement Date: December 20, 2010
    Effective Date: January 1, 2011

    Scars of Mirrodin Block Constructed, Standard, Extended, Vintage
    No changes

    Survival of the Fittest is banned.
    Time Spiral is unbanned.
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  • Could Masters Edition 4 Change the Banned & Restricted Lists?

    Last week, Patrick Chapin wrote on Twitter:

    Library of Alexandria is not being placed on Online Classic Restricted List (when other ME4 cards are). Is this a hint as to next B/R list?

    That rumor was spread world wide and actually a lot of people started to think about how Library of Alexandria would impact Legacy and Vintage online. People on seem mixed about the possibility of LOA entering the Legacy format. Patrick Chapin’s rumor was actually true, as today we’ve seen the official changes to the MTGO Banned and Restricted lists, and Library is unrestricted in MTGO Classic. When it comes to changes to the B/R lists we always hope they come for good, so we’ll see if these little online hints then in turn have any bearing on the the paper formats. So far these are the new changes to the online lists:

    Classic MTGO: Fastbond, Mana Vault, Time Vault, Trinisphere and Wheel of Fortune are Restricted.

    Legacy MTGO: Fastbond, Library of Alexandria, Mana Vault, Mishra’s Workshop, Time Vault and Wheel of Fortune are Banned.

    (The ME4 release also affects other MTGO formats like 100 Card Singleton, Tribal, Prismatic, etc.)

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with Magic Online, you should know that the Masters Editions are sets that reprint old staples for the online formats Classic (Vintage) and Legacy.  You can find the full spoiler of the cards to be released with ME4 right after the break:

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  • Report – France Vintage Championship Top 8

    Thanks to Belcherized and Maitre Yoda (two French players), the 2010 France Vintage Championship was held this past weekend. I’d like to begin my report by thanking and congratulating them for the organization of the tournament and their support of Vintage. We had a great weekend, and even though it was a Sunday, 69 players came here to compete for the chance to be the new French Vintage Champion. Last year, I lost in the Finals against Camille Fenet in a Selkie mirror match. This year, as I didn’t want to play creatures anymore I decided to play the deck I played at Bazaar of Moxen 4 (BOM).

    Check out my decklist and the report after the break!

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  • X and Owen – On Workshops and Sucking

    (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.
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  • X and Owen – Winning Vintage Worlds 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 appearance 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.
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  • 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:

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  • Eternal Weekend 2010 (Madrid, 148 players) – Vintage Videos + Top8 Decklists

    Thanks to the excellent work done by César Fernández (Main Organizer) and the guys from Clandestino, we can now start enjoying the first videos from the Eternal Weekend 2010 Vintage main event. Right after the videos you’ll find the Top 8 decklists too!
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  • Stephen Menendian Goes from SCG to Quiet Speculation

    One of the few Vintage writers and also probably one of the best Eternal writers, Magic guru Stephen Menendian, and his column “So Many Insane Plays” are moving from the well known Star City Games website to the new and very interesting Quiet

    The good news is that to replace Menendian’s column StarCityGames are bringing in both Brian Demars and Andy Probasco, both excellent players and well respected for their Vintage and Legacy theory and results among the Eternal Magic community (especially on TMD).

    We encourage all of you to keep the track of these excellent writers at Quiet Speculation, as they promise really high-quality articles there. After the break there’s an excerpt and link to Steve’s first article on Quiet Speculation.

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  • Eternal Weekend 2010 (Madrid) – Vintage Coverage and News!

    Starting today and until Monday, the 2010’s Eternal Weekend is running in Madrid. 148 players gathered for today’s Vintage main event and fought through 8 rounds of swiss + Top8.


    1. Darío González – 22 – Jacerator
    2. Pedro Mula – 21 – MUD
    3. Guillem Ragull – 20 – Repeach Tendrils
    4. Alejandro escribano – 19 – MUD
    5. Rubén González – 19 – Storm City Bond
    6. Ricardo nieto – 19 – Dredge
    7. Carlos Moral – 19 – NLU
    8. Inazio Madariaga – 19 – TTS

    Darío vs Inazio – 2-1
    Carlos vs Pedro – 2-0
    Guillem vs Ricardo – 2-0
    Rubén vs Alejandro – 2-1


    • Guillem Ragull (Repeach Tendrils) VS Carlos Moral (GAT with goyfs instead of Dryads) – RESULT 2:0
    • Rubén González (Storm City Bond) VS Dario González (Jacerator) – RESULT 2:1 (Dario won Game 1 but Rubén make a comeback to win the match)

    I’m not 100% sure if the deck from Dario is running Gush (which I assume it does), so we can say there’s 4 out of 4 Gush decks in the semifinals! Hello DCI!

    So!!!!! Guillem Ragull and Rubén González (both players from Barcelona) reached the finals and split the prizes (5 Moxes + 1 Black Lotus). Congratulations to both of them!

    The official coverage from La Universidad de las Artes Lúdicas somehow stopped, so we’ll keep you informed of what’s going on and who’s on the finals and the winner!

    After the break you’ll find the standings after the 8th round:

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  • 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.
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  • How do you like the new Vintage?

    With the recent changes to the Vintage Banned and Restricted list, it seems like people is getting the enthusiasm back to play Vintage. Before the unrestrictions of Gush and Frantic Search the format became totally predictive due to the few archetypes that were competitive. The lack of draw turned the format into something too depending on the luck factor, whether it was to combine a Time Vault with a Voltaic Key or a Mishra’s Workshop with a Lodestone Golem. There were other options to play with, but they were all luck dependant to having broken cards in your opening hands, like Bazaar of Baghdad or Oath of Druids.

    The entrance to the format of these 2 blue drawers will arise new strategies. GAT (Grow-A-Tog) is willing to prove again it’s the best Vintage deck in the format. Will Quirion Dryad dominate over Fish or MUD? Time will tell, but they’ll definitely have a shot, like Stephen Menendian did last weekend by winning a 30+ people event in Ann Arbor. This is the list he played:

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