Serious Vintage Podcast Episode 6: On Interactivity, Wizards, and Holiday Imbibing

Here we go with the half-dozenth hour of #SeriousVintage, hosted by Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher on Twitter), Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser on Twitter), and Josh Chapple (@joshchapple on Twitter). In the holiday spirit we decided to give you some of our vast knowledge of Vintage; share with you some thoughts on one of our favorte decks, Wizards!; and then relax with some yuletide potent potables in a #SeriousVintage party.

Play

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:25 – How Magic Decks Work
07:02 – Wizards!
29:24 – Wishing You an Inebriated Holiday Season
37:55 – Outro

Total runtime: 38:28

Interactivity (or Not)

Our thoughts on interactivity aren’t anything new or unexpected, I don’t think, but they are something that players forget. People always talk about interacting with their opponent and how they want to force their opponent to interact etc. Really, that’s not true.

Magic decks want to force their opponent into a position where they can’t interact, to essentially setup a goldfishing scenario where their opponent might as well not exist. Whether this happens when you counter everything relevant your opponent plays, when you bury them under a pile of Spheres, or when you negate their deck by activating and triggering abilities in your graveyard is up to you, but don’t pretend you came here looking to interact with your opponent. You came here looking to ignore them completely.

Wizards!

One of the prime examples of this kind of faux interactivity is the Wizards! deck. We took our build from one presented by Omar Nieto in 2011:

Wizards! 2k11, by Omar Nieto

[Business] (42)
Dark Confidant
Meddling Mage
Qasali Pridemage
Voidmage Prodigy
Æther Vial
Chalice of the Void
Daze
Force of Will
Misdirection
Spell Pierce
Stifle
Swords to Plowshares

[Mana Sources] (19)
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Island
Plains
Tropical Island
Tundra
Underground Sea
[Sideboard] (15)
Balance
Engineered Explosives
Leyline of the Void
Path to Exile
Perish
Serenity
Trickbind

Omar played a revamped version of this deck, capitalizing on the power of Cavern of Souls, in a 47-person tournament in Spain. I said it was sanctioned in the podcast, but I see now that it allowed nine proxies. Anyway, he split first and second with a UWG Noble Fish player. Also, yes, Nieto’s lists have 61 cards in the maindeck:

Wizards! 2k12, by Omar Nieto

[Business] (40)
Dark Confidant
Grim Lavamancer
Magus of the Unseen
Meddling Mage
Qasali Pridemage
Sower of Temptation
Voidmage Prodigy
Aether Vial
Chalice of the Void
Ancestral Recall
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
Time Walk

[Mana Sources] (21)
Black Lotus
Mox Pearl
Mox Sapphire
Cavern of Souls
City of Brass
Flooded Strand
Tropical Island
Tundra
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Strip Mine
Wasteland
[Sideboard] (15)
Plains
Scrubland
Balance
Leyline of the Void
Rest in Peace
Serenity

Omar’s deck is filled with trump cards against Vintage’s most powerful archetypes and strategies, so if he finds the right trump and plays it uncounterably or for free, using Cavern or Aether Vial, he’s got a good chance of winning. Multiple trumps will just bury an opponent. Grim Lavamancer versus opposing creatures; Voidmage Prodigy and Magus of the Unseen versus blue decks using Yawgmoth’s Will and Tinker, and Qasali Pridemage and Magus of the Unseen versus Workshops are all gamebreaking effects.

The list we created has a more broadly based mana-denial attack to hamstring the opponent and prevent his being able to respond before hate bears take him down:

Serious Wizards, by Nat Moes, Geoff Moes, & Josh Chapple

[Business] (40)
Force of Will
Daze
Time Walk
Ancestral Recall
Dark Confidant
Leonin Relic Warder
Cursecatcher
Phyrexian Revoker
Meddling Mage
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Waterfront Bouncer
Voidmage Prodigy
Chalice of the Void
Aether Vial

[Mana Sources] (20)
Black Lotus
Mox Sapphire
Mox Pearl
Cavern of Souls
Flooded Strand
Island
Tundra
Underground Sea
Strip Mine
Wasteland
[Sideboard] (15)
Stoneforge Mystic
Batterskull
Umezawa’s Jitte
Voidmage Prodigy
True Believer
Ravenous Trap
Rest in Peace
Plains

This version is specifically metagamed for Ohio (USA), which has many Workshops and Creature decks. As we discussed in the audio, there are many different options for creatures and spells that can improve your matchup against any deck. We talked a little about some outliers like Bonds of Faith, but the big one we neglected was Baleful Strix, which is a good answer to flipped Delvers, Lodestone Golems, and Tarmogoyves.

We think this deck (and Nieto’s) are both a lot of fun, and frustrating to play against. You can set up many games where your opponent won’t be able to interact with you usefully at all.

Holiday Imbibing

Of course we had a lot to talk about here. Holiday gatherings are great opportunities to kick back, relax, and have a few drinks with friends. And when holiday shopping or office- and family-get-togethers get annoying, it’s a great opportunity to kick back, relax, and have a few drinks by yourself…while goldfishing Belcher, in your underwear.

Anyway here’s links to some of the recipes and beverages we talked about:
Mississipi Bourbon Punch
This was fruity and sweet and will give you the full effect of the word “punch.” Any sweet, grapey wine should work if you can’t find a muscato. As I said, we used a Lake Erie Catawba just fine.

Eggnog
We never got around to making the nog, but this is the one I would have gone with. Alton Brown is a go-to for new recipes for me.

Mulled Wine
I like that this recipe has peppercorns in it. Taste of Home is another good source for food advice since a lot of their recipes come from real people who have made the foods in real life rather than a test kitchen.

Leopold Bros. Fernet
If you’re interested in drinking the drinks without constructing them first, here’s a link to the distillery Josh mentioned as having delicious fernet. I’m interested in checking this out for sure!

Last but not least, the beers:
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Columbus Brewing Company Winter Warmer
Lagunitas Brown Shugga
Shiner Holiday Cheer
Anchor Christmas Ale

All of these come highly recommended, though I will mention again that the Shiner Holiday Cheer’s peaches and pecans are an odd flavor combination for this time of year. Let us know what you think on Twitter or in the comments with the #SeriousVintage tag!