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…

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 mtgthesource.com 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:

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!

X and Owen – On Workshops and Sucking

X and Owen

(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. (more after the jump!)

X and Owen – Winning Vintage Worlds 2010

Magic Vintage Championship 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 apperance 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, available after the jump.

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:

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 Speculation.com.

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.