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

(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)

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.

This set review marks a major change in my approach. In the past, I have selected for review only those cards that I perceived to be either clearly Vintage playable, borderline Vintage playable, or were otherwise mentioned or discussed by others in the Vintage context. In this article, I review every single card in the set. I do so for a number of reasons.

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…