So Many Insane Plays – Victory with Burning Tendrils *1st Place*


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Stephen Menendian has finally had the chance to play his latest Vintage creation in a marquis event, and ended up winning the tournament! Read play-by-play action of 8 rounds of tournament Magic, and learn how to employ Stephen’s latest sideboard and tournament refinements. Learn strategy, tips, tactics, and decision making in critical situations, all in this 25+ page in-depth accounting of tournament victory at the Team Serious Open with Burning Long.

[Begin Free Excerpt From So Many Insane Plays – Victory with Burning Tendrils *1st Place*]
Having immersed myself in Vintage history recently, working my way through the Schools of Magic: History of Magic ongoing research and book project, history is the lens through which I increasingly view this game. Every deck has a history in this great format. The inexorable but slow evolution of every archetype through the cumulative printings of years can be traced, and every lineage excavated. Similarly, every tournament report is like a marker, a notch in the tree ring of Vintage history. Both in style and structure, tournament reports like this recent one differ little from older ones like this, yet the gulf of time could hardly be greater for this game. With both this deck I have created and with this tournament report I now compose, I weave in my few modest additions to that tapestry.

Although skeptical that I could make it work, when Burning Wish was unrestricted I dutifully undertook the responsibility of creating the best possible Burning Wish deck in this hostile and unfamiliar era. The deck I tuned and popularized in 2002 was responsible for its original restriction, and was cited by the DCI as such. To my great surprise, I managed to once again create something viable, and perhaps much more. The elements critical to this project (aside from the unrestriction of Burning Wish) were 1) faith in my original Burning Long and Grim Long shells as a starting point, 2) the discovery and use of Mox Opal (and Chrome Mox) as mana accelerants, and 3) the employment of Griselbrand and Oath as a Bargain-like effect.

The first element was perhaps the most important. As Burning Wish was unrestricted, most Vintage enthusiasts attempting to build a Burning Wish deck started from scratch. I learned my lesson with Gush. When Gush was unrestricted in 2007, the general consensus was to start anew. Shells from 2003 seemed not simply ancient, but necessarily obsolete. Ultimately, the Grow list I ended up winning the 2007 Vintage Championship with was a direct descendent of the list I had played in 2003. Experience instructs me that this format evolves slowly and deliberately, an insight strengthened and held more firmly following my work on the aforementioned Schools of Magic: History of Magic project. The basic shell I had run in 2002 in original Long deck, and then later through 2005 in Grim Long, was a well-tuned and fully functional structure. Most of the ratios had been proven and tournament tested. I would start there, and deviate surprisingly little from my previous builds.

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