• Schools of Magic: History of Vintage – 2009

    The restoration of Time Vault led to a reckoning in Vintage, with a major mid-year restriction in 2009. The correction produced a metagame that was visibly diverse and interesting all the while new strategies gradually emerged and improved themselves by assimilating new printings and tactics. Witness how Conflux and Alara Reborn nudged the great Schools of Magic forward, while Zendikar fundamentally transformed the possibilities and tactical dimensions of the format. Read about all of this and more in this installment of the History of Vintage!
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  • A Guide to Playing Pitch Dredge in Vintage

    The Pitch Dredge deck that I have been writing about and advocating for the past couple of years is performing well, and may well be considered the premier Vintage Dredge deck. This variant, which emphasizes counterspells, has out-placed the older variant featuring permanent destruction (or counter-hate_ in 5 out of the last 5 major events for which placement data is available. While Bazaar of Moxen’s October 2016 published results did not include any Dredge decks, the Vintage Championship at Eternal Weekend as well as the past four Power 9 Challenges on Magic Online all featured a finish by Pitch Dredge ahead of any other Dredge variant finish. I wish my congratulations to the various pilots – even with the best deck it takes skill and luck to perform well at a large event. Here’s a sample decklist from a recent event:
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  • Revenge of the Living Dead

    I placed second in the August 2016 Power 9 Challenge with a Vengeful Pharaoh variant of my Pitch Dredge deck. I was streaming the event live, and the video archive can be found in the embedded YouTube playlist at the bottom. But first, a few points of analysis.
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  • The Little Juggernaut That Couldn’t

    The April 2016 Banned and Restricted List announcement has arrived. It has affected only a single card in Vintage, but that card is arguably the most important card of the past six years.
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  • The MTGO Power 9 Challenge – Results & Analysis

    On July 20 2015, Wizards of the Coast announced a radical slate of changes to Magic Online, especially for non-Pro Tour formats. Vintage players quickly found that prizes of substantial monetary value were replaced with Play Points, and Daily Events would become 3 rounds of Swiss. In the three weeks between the announcement and the change taking effect, Wizards published six Daily Event results. The same rate held in the three-week period after implementation, and in the three weeks preceding the October 20 Magic Online announcements, by which point the Daily Events had been altered to a new 4-round structure. In contrast, the three weeks prior to the Play Points announcement had 16 published results. That period was unusually busy for Vintage online, but it demonstrates that Play Points and 3-round Dailies failed to build on any existing momentum. The Wizards announcement of the Power 9 Challenge was a thrilling about-face. Instead of smaller and less-rewarding tournaments, Wizards would offer real Vintage prizes and coordinate less-frequent but larger and more meaningful tournaments. Even so, the announcement expressed some doubts that the 33-player minimum would be met, and stressed that a 12-player minimum Daily Event would be available at around the same time.
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  • The Tech Must Flow – Spice from Vintage Champs 2015

    2015 Vintage Champs has come and gone, leaving behind a new conception of the metagame, and exciting technology with which to address it. Big congratulations should be given to Brian Kelly with his Oath of Bomberman victory, but let’s see what else Vintage enthusiasts were able to cook up.
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  • The Dredge of Glory – An Introduction to Manaless Dredge in Vintage

    Dredge is a historical powerhouse in Vintage. Graveyard mages fueled by the unholy alliance of Ichorid, Bazaar of Baghdad, and Golgari Grave-Troll have consistently put up results. The deck has fought Mishra’s Workshop decks for the title of ‘Premiere Colorless Deck’ and occasionally won – including a Vintage Championship. There have been many iterations of the deck, with the non-Dredge maindeck components being the key marker that set one apart from another. In some cases this has consisted of free disruption like Chalice of the Void and Unmask. In others acceleration like Breakthrough and Brainstorm is the norm. In the current environment, it most often consists of anti-hate cards like Nature’s Claim, Ingot Chewer, and Chain of Vapor. Of course, the graveyard portion of the deck is highly modular and virtually anything can be run in the remaining space, provided the mana costs and mana-production align.
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  • The Void in Vacaville: A Vintage Tournament Report With Dredge

    “The one great crusade worthy of an enlightened man is that directed against whatever impoverishes imagination, wonder, sensation, dramatic life, and the appreciation of beauty. Nothing else matters. And not even this really matters in the great void, but it is amusing to play a little in the sun before the blind universe dispassionately pulverizes us again into that primordial nothingness from whence it moulded us for a second’s sport.” – HP Lovecraft

    Vintage for Cash is a tournament series in Northern California organized by Blaine Christiansen and hosted by Olde World Games in Vacaville (CA, USA). So far there have been four events, and this tournament report describes the most recent on November 3rd 2012. I suspected there might be a small turnout for this one since it was only announced a few weeks ahead of time. Blaine wanted to get in one more Vintage event before the holidays. Little did I know there was also a PTQ to siphon away some of the non-Eternal specialists leaving us with only 11 people actually showing up (the previous 2 iterations had 18 and 16). Small does not mean uncompetitive, however. Blaine (Finalist at 2012 Vintage Champs) organized the event, and it was known that Stephen Menendian (former Vintage Champ and all around Vintage heavy-weight) and David Ochoa (returning to Vintage fresh off an amazing Pro Tour performance) would be in attendance, not to mention other good players from the area whose names Vintage enthusiasts across the country might not recognize. Realizing that outplaying my opponents was likely a losing proposition, I decided to play up other aspects of “the game,” namely deck selection and metagaming.
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  • It’s a Dredgedy – 37th out of 1,345 with Dredge at GP Ghent


    Hello and welcome back to my article cycle about Dredge. Today I’ll be writing a tournament report about the Legacy Grand Prix in Ghent. Of course I played Dredge (decklist here, for reference) because it’s the only deck I feel most confidant with while playing. And you need confidence at the Grand Prix.
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  • It’s a Dredgedy – The Vintage Takeover

    Hello, and welcome back! In my last article I briefly introduced myself and described the genesis of my Legacy Dredge deck, and performance at the 2012 Bazaar of Moxen (BoM) Legacy events. While I was not able to repeat my Top 4 performance from the previous year in the Legacy portion, I was able to play Dredge in the Vintage main event at BoM and ended up winning the whole thing! Below I’ll describe how that happened, and talk a bit about Dredge in Vintage. Continue Reading

  • It’s a Dredgedy – The Legacy Takeover

    Hello and welcome readers! Since this is my first article I thought I would take a brief moment to introduce myself. My name is Erik and I’m 23 years old. I was born in Germany where I’m still living, and I’ve been playing Magic since 2000. At first I played casually, but with the printing of Darksteel back in 2004 I dove into the Standard scene, playing mostly aggro-decks like White Weenie or Raffinity. In 2005 I quit playing for about two years, only to return in 2007. This time my format of choice was Legacy. After trying a few control decks I then discovered a deck called “Dredge,” which was still under heavy development at the time. With the printing of Bridge from Below and Narcomoeba in Future Sight this deck seemed quite strong to me. I played quite a bad version of it – with Lion’s Eye Diamond and Deep Analysis, as well as Homura, Human Ascendant – to a passable finish at my first tournament with this deck. Continue Reading

  • So Many Insane Plays – Is Vintage ‘Too Fast’ or in a Golden Era?

    Brian DeMars recently penned an article titled ‘Is Vintage Too Fast?‘ While the article is framed as a question, it doesn’t take a psychic to guess at the author’s answer. Brian forcefully argues that Vintage is too fast, and that the DCI should restrict Bazaar of Baghdad and Gush to slow it down.
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  • A New Take on Legacy Dredge!

    Legacy is a format that is constantly in flux. Tons of decks are viable and therefore it’s very hard to attack or defend the format from one specific angle. A lot of people dislike this characteristic of Legacy (and old Extended formats), but I think it’s great.

    Nowadays Vengevine Madness is slowly starting to dominate, and various decks and their sideboards are adapting to help fight the Vengevine menace, and are tailoring graveyard hate specifically for attacking this threat. This is great news for Dredge since people are now packing graveyard hate that is quite weak against Dredge. After the jump let’s take a look at the available options that are most often played.

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  • Matchup Analysis – Comprehensive guide to dredge sideboard

    Dredge has always been considered as a “really easy to play” deck. You find your Bazaar of Baghdad, you dredge a bunch of cards, you Dread Return your victory condition, and it’s all over. Well, if it’s not far from being totally true in game 1, where the only difficult thing is to name the good card on Cabal Therapy and correctly counting your Bridge from Below tokens, it’s really far from being that simple in post board games. And with dredge, you will have to play a lot more post board games, just because you have a really high game 1 win rate, and your opponent brings a lot of hate for game 2 and 3, lowering your win percentage to around 50-60% in games with sideboard.

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  • [Video]: MTG Barato (Vintage) – Guillem Ragull VS Guillermo Rodea Top4 G2

    Game 1 between Guillem Ragull and Guillermo Rodea (Repeal Tendrils VS Dredge) wasn’t that fascinating in the end. With Guillermo having a very strong hand plus a couple of nice dredges, he managed to win without many problems. What will Guillermo do against Guillem’s sideboard? Enjoy it right after the break.

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