Understanding Gush, 3rd Edition (a Post-Restriction Update)

EC Press is proud to present Stephen Menendian’s Understanding Gush: Strategies and Tactics (3rd Edition). For the first time in over five years, Stephen’s expert guide and master class on Gush strategies in Vintage has been revised, updated, and expanded.

On April 24, 2017, the DCI announced that Gush was re-restricted in Vintage. Despite this, Understanding Gush remains a relevant, timely, and invaluable resource for any Vintage player, beginner, or expert. Even restricted, Gush will continue to power a significant and high achieving part of the Vintage metagame, as Stephen demonstrated by Top 8’ing the April 2017 Magic Online Power Nine Challenge with Jeskai Mentor. As recent tournament results illustrate, Gush is prominently featured in a wide cross-section of archetypes in the current and foreseeable Vintage metagame. While the GushBond engine has suffered a fatal hit with the restriction of Gush, the Dack-Delve draw engine was already the preeminent draw engine in Gush decks after Khans of Tarkir, and even with Gush restricted, this draw engine remains one of the strongest draw engines in the format. The guidance provided here on how to design, play, metagame, operationalize, or combat Gush strategies remains vital to success in Vintage.

Understanding Gush was always more than about one card or one class of decks. Surveying a wide range of tactics and strategies within the Vintage format, this monumental work is a practical guide to understanding the Vintage landscape, the relationship between strategies and tactics, resource management, spell sequencing, and much more. With detailed charts and reference tables as well as many illustrated examples in each chapter, Understanding Gush remains a valuable resource and learning tool for any Vintage player. Understanding Gush remains one of the most impressive and critically acclaimed books ever written on Magic strategy, and is an essential and exquisite part of any Vintage player’s library.

Persistently misunderstood and generally misplayed, Gush requires many simultaneous decisions and precise timing. Maximizing all of the advantages offered by Gush demands deep understanding and strategic insight. This book presents a comprehensive theory of Gush, all of the advantages derivable from Gush, and a complete range of strategies and tactics.

With hundreds of pages of new content, Stephen has provided a dramatic and comprehensive re-write of this classic. As the Vintage metagame and card pool changes, so too does the understanding and prescriptive guidance of playing Gush strategies. Reorganized and expanded, this tome of knowledge widens its scope, and has been carefully re-written from the ground up to provide better guidance, more precise analysis, and clearer explanations. No stone is left unturned, as every aspect of Gush play, design, and theory is covered, including a special appendix on Doomsday strategies, with more detailed descriptions of Doomsday piles than ever before, and an archive of the greatest Gush decks of all time. Beyond the specificity, detail, and practical guidance, this book delves deeper into the theory of Gush, with lessons for any Vintage player – whether they wish to learn Gush decks, learn how to defeat them, or simply to deepen their understanding of the format.

Now available in Paperback, Hardcover, and Digital Download PDF (click for more info).

Here is a live look-in of a small sampling of pages from Understanding Gush: Strategy and Tactics (3rd Edition).
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Stephen Menendian

One of the most famous Eternal players in the world, Stephen is the 2007 Vintage World Champion, and the Vintage Super League Season 1 Champion. He is also the author of the Vintage books Understanding Gush: Strategy and Tactics, and Schools of Magic: History of Vintage. He is the longest tenured Vintage writer in the world. Stephen doesn't always play Magic, but when he does, he prefers Vintage.