Vaulting Through Ohio – Vintage in Sandusky

Earlier this year the members of Team Serious, that is, my teammates, decided there wasn’t enough Vintage action going on in the great Ohio valley, so they decided to do something about it and organized a tournament at POP! in Sandusky, Ohio (USA) for July 2nd, 2011. Team Serious extraordinaire Nat Moes of Charbelcher fame traveled in from the DC area and took down the whole thing with Wizards.dec. Yep, seriously. You can find all the sick decklists from that tournament here, courtesy of Asian assassin and rap battlemaster Twaun007.

I couldn’t make it to that tournament, but was determined to make it to the next one to support the posse and to sling Vintage cardboard with the world’s finest. New Subaru Outback in tow (RIP Honda), on extremely short notice (like less than a week away) I convinced my teammates the Lord of AllCats aka Jimmy McCarthy to drive down from Wisconsin with Mike Solymossy aka The Salad aka Soly aka Mr. Pink aka “I can’t be tilted” and to carpool out with me across three states. I was determined to dominate both sandwiches and Vintage alchemists. Read on for more details of my road trip Vaulting Through Ohio, leaving a wake of tattered sandwiches and dreams crushed beneath my feet.

So Many Insane Plays – Understanding Confidant Gush

(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!)

Gush is the Vintage Magic equivalent of the Wonderlic test. How a player views Gush as a card is indicative and suggestive, although not determinative (by any means), of their Vintage IQ. If a player looks at Gush, and is either unimpressed or thinks it’s simply not that good, it is only a matter of time until they are proven wrong. If a player doesn’t know how to play Gush, and fumbles around with it in testing, it’s guaranteed that they will underestimate it. If a player casts Gush on turn two, and passes the turn without doing anything else meaningful, they are GushFailing.

In many respects Gush is a test of a true Vintage master. The best Vintage players know and have always known how powerful Gush truly is. They respect it and abuse it. This is more so now that so many parts of the old GushBond engine have been restricted. Gush is now only a menace in the hands of the most experienced players. It is a card that separates the wheat from the chaff.

With this reality now manifest, consider the fact that Gush has been unrestricted since October 2010. Yet, it took until the Vintage championship in August 2011, nearly a year later, for the Vintage community to awaken to its true power; for Rich Shay and others to demonstrate and remind players of Gush’s true place in the Vintage pantheon. How many players have wisely used that time to hone their Gush skills? How many have played Gush decks, or at least tried them, in the interim?

Gen Con 2011 Vintage Champs Top 8 Videos

For those who weren’t able to watch the live stream of the 2011 Vintage Champs Top 8, the archived videos are now available.

Top 8 Quarterfinals
Ryan Glackin (Cat Stax Fever) defeats Joe Brown (Painter) – no video
Paul Mastriano (Bob Gush) defeats Rich Shay (Gush Storm) 2-1 – no video
Stephen Menendian (Bob Gush) vs Joseph Bogaard (BUG Fish) – video below

Gen Con 2011 Eternal Event News

Welcome to Eternal Central’s coverage of GenCon 2011! Scroll down below for Vintage and Legacy results as they stream in. We will be updating this periodically throughout the weekend as news, results, and tidbits flow in from the Internet and our friends on site, so keep hitting the F5 to refresh all weekend and keep it locked to EC for your Eternal news!

So Many Insane Plays – 2011 Q2 Vintage Metagame Report

SMIP-Q2-Vintage-Metagame-Report

(Editor’s Note: This former Downloadable Product has now been made free to all customers. Enjoy!)

Ah Vintage, you are a stunning creature. Just 18 and a half years old, reaching maturity, you are in full bloom. It is my pleasure to help others appreciate your wonder. The Vintage metagame is a special creature, but it takes a seasoned hand to help illuminate this beauty. Every quarter, just as corporate America is compiling and releasing earnings reports for investors and regulators, I am doing the same, but for the Vintage format.

This is the most unusual metagame report I’ve ever composed. This is true for a number of reasons, but above all because of the sheer diversity in the Vintage metagame. This diversity manifests in a number of ways.

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.

Debates over the Restricted List generally follow the same narrative in two forms: a particular card is too dominant, and statistical evidence or player discontent is proffered in support; alternatively, a particular card can be safely unrestricted, because players want it and the unrestriction would have a modest statistical impact on the format given what we know about the metagame. Last week I co-wrote an article arguing that Fact or Fiction should be unrestricted along those lines. In both cases, the argument centers on whether a card would be statistically healthy for the format and the degree of player support for or against a particular change.

But what if we flipped the question? What if, instead of asking “what is the most unrestrictable card in Vintage?,” we flip the script, and ask “What is the LEAST unrestrictable card in Vintage?” Why ask this? If we can answer this question, we will be forced to conceptualize and formulate a clearer understanding of the Vintage Restricted list and the purposes it serves. We may uncover hidden or obscured criteria for restriction or unrestriction. And, this process may help answer the original question regarding what the most unrestrictable cards in Vintage may be. This is likely because, in most cases, a person answering this question will likely begin by working backward.

Why Fact or Fiction Should Be Unrestricted: An Open Letter to the DCI

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.

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!

Martin Lindstrom of Sweden won the Golden Mox Jet, awarded to the player with the highest finish in both the Vintage and Legacy main events. Cesar Fernandez of UAL is the hardest working man in coverage, and is responsible for typing up these decklists. We have slightly reformatted them and along with the Top 8 decklists we have brought you some BoM Vintage tournament reports from around the web, as well as some bonus decklists from other competitors who finished outside the Top 8. Check it all out after the jump!

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?

Scars of Mirrodin block has proved to be a surprisingly worthy sequel to the original Mirrodin invasion. Scars of Mirrodin has been as impactful as any set from the previous block, and Mirrodin Besieged brought with it more than a few serious playables. Before we delve into the final set in this important block, let’s recap Mirrodin Besieged.

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)!

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.

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!

After 4 rounds of Swiss there was a cut to Top 4, and the standings looked like this:
1 Ben Carp (playing MUD with 13 spheres)
2 Hans Knapp (playing Dredge with Crop Rotation)
3 Ryan Forsberg (playing Cobra Gush)
4 Jeff Levine (playing MUD with Sculpting Steel)