Serious Vintage Episode 17: The Human Condition

For episode 17, Geoff (@ThallidTosser on Twitter) and Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher) are joined by Steven Stierman, the 4C Humans player who rocked the GenCon 2013 Vintage events with his disarming personality and well-armed aggro deck. We talk about Humans and the GenCon Vintage experience and then go straight to breakfast with a section on pancakes.

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:21 – Humans at GenCon
12:26 – Getting into Vintage
37:14 – Pancakes!
49:40 – Outro
Total runtime – 50:16

Humans at GenCon 2013

Steven was a great guest and clearly had a ton of fun playing his Humans deck. We spend most of the episode going over the choices made putting the deck together and his experiences in different matchups at GenCon, so there’s not much to add. One thing to point out is that Steven had never played a sanctioned Vintage match before Friday’s 83-player event, where he took 10th. He had tested some games and knew some of the decks and matchups, but most of what he knew was simply from playing Legacy and EDH. Who says Vintage is an inaccessible format?

The decklist follows, and we’ll make sure we get answers for any questions you might have.

Humans 4C, 6th Place GenCon Vintage Saturday 12pm, by Steven Stierman

Business (36)
Deathrite Shaman
Noble Hierarch
Mayor of Avabruck
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Qasali Pridemage
Dark Confidant
Scavenging Ooze
Orzhov Pontiff
Imperial Recruiter
Huntmaster of the Fells
Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
Ingot Chewer
Demonic Tutor
Oath of Ghouls
Liliana of the Veil
Abrupt Decay
Swords to Plowshares

Mana Sources (24)
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Cavern of Souls
City of Brass
Verdant Catacombs
Strip Mine
Sideboard (15)
Surgical Extraction
Grafdigger’s Cage
Rest in Peace
Ingot Chewer
Qasali Pridemage
Ethersworn Canonist
Red Elemental Blast

Getting in to Vintage

We talk with Steven about how he got introduced to the format and what plans he has to continue playing Vintage after GenCon. Turns out, he and some friends are trying to get a community started in Iowa using proxied decks. Best of luck to them, since it would be great to add another group of players to the format!


We have a few great pancake recipes because everyone knows that when you’re preparing for a long day of gaming, you have to be fueled up. When you get to round four and just want to leave because you haven’t eaten enough, don’t blame us:

Buttermilk Pancakes
1-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c milk
1 1/2 eggs
2 tbsp and 2 tsp butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 c for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use 5 tsp vinegar or lemon juice and add enough milk to make the 1 1/2 c of liquid. Stir the two together and let sit for five minutes, then use them in the recipe.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 c milk
1 c full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 large egg whites

1. Lightly butter, oil, or spray griddle, if needed, and preheat it over medium heat.
2. Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together in a second bowl the milk, cottage cheese, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Beat the egg whites until peaks are stiff but not dry then fold them into the batter.
3. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until the top of each pancake is starting to dry around the edges then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned.

These cottage cheese pancakes are seriously the best, my absolute favorites.

Buckwheat Pancakes
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c buckwheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1 1/4 c milk
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted

Basic buckwheat pancakes. The buckwheat has a heartier, nuttier flavor than regular flour and the denser cakes will keep you filled longer.

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/3 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

We also mentioned a few good places for pancakes (and also crepes) in Ohio and Philadelphia, in case you’re going to Eternal Weekend.

Black River Café – Probably the best pancakes in Ohio. I’ve known several people, including myself, who will make any excuse to get some.

Clifton Mill Restaurant – Also excellent, and seriously huge, pancakes. One full order of these will feed a person for a few meals. (Also probably the best bacon I’ve ever had.)

Creperie Beau Monde – If you’re into haughtier French pancakes, you can get them for appetizer, main course, and dessert in Philly. Worth the trip away from the convention center.

Redding Terminal Market – There are actually two places with pancakes (Dutch Eating Place and Down Home Diner) and a creperie (Profi’s) right across the street from the convention center where Eternal Weekend will be. Even if it’s not breakfast time, make some time to go to the market and look around.


Thanks to Steven for joining us and to Geoff’s mom for the buttermilk pancake recipe. If you have any questions about the let us know on Twitter, or email