I know you’ve all missed us, so here we are once again. For episode 18, Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser on Twitter), Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher), and Josh Chapple (@joshchapple) reconvene to talk about the January Team Serious Open, the impact of counterfeits on Vintage, and the great taste of Melt Bar & Grilled.
Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:28 – The Combotastic Team Serious Open
20:08 – Fits and Counterfeits
30:28 – Melt Bar and Grilled
36:00 – Outro
Total runtime – 36:33
Combo, Combo Everywhere
I had to do some research on this, and as far as I can tell, the January 2014 Team Serious Open ties the record for largest Vintage tournament in Ohio in at least two years. Thirty-four players showed up from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, and Pennsylvania for some hot Vintage action, and it was great. If you want to schedule Vintage in a city that Star City Games visits with their Open series, I highly recommend hosting an event over the Standard portion. We got lots of participation off of that, including a couple of players who came to play after 0-2-dropping.
The podcast covers some of the details, but the important thing is that there was a ton of combo and blue decks—more than 30 total. One dredge deck and two Workshops filled out the field. It was an interesting metagame, to be sure, and more evidence that Ohio is no longer Workshop central, as it once was.
The top eight decklists and metagame breakdown are available on The Mana Drain. We went over a couple of decklists in the podcast, detailed here for your convenience:
Keeper 2014, by Rick Gideon
Rick Gideon’s Keeper list harkens back to the old days of Vintage, including a toolbox of things like Moat, Mind Twist, and The Abyss, and a suite of tutors (including Enlightened Tutor) to help find them. One thing to take note of is the unusually high number of mana sources he’s running: 26, almost half the list (which is 63 cards) and as many as some Workshop builds. Many Vintage decks running blue will start cutting mana to play more draw spells like Preordain or Gush. Aside from Ancestral and Brainstorm, though, Rick’s deck attempts to make its land-drops naturally, then tops out at four mana for Jaces and a Fact or Fiction.
Minus Six, by Daniel Buzzie
Daniel Buzzie was a great opponent, and I was surprised by the flexibility of his deck, even beyond the transformational sideboard. This build of Dragon, initially designed by Chris Browne and popularized by Nick Coss, anticipates its opponents overboarding the graveyard hate they have for Dredge and switches to a Tezzeret Control deck post-board. Daniel, however, seemed to stick mostly with the main deck plan and pulled off some surprising wins (and draws) with its multiple ways to find and reanimate Worldgorger Dragon. We don’t see this deck much in Ohio, but I’m glad he made it out and had success.
Also, Counterfeits Everywhere
Counterfeit Magic cards have been a hot topic around the Internet recently, as the seeming influx of reportedly hard-to-discover fakes has people worried about the value of their cards; the potential for unscrupulous players, traders, and sellers to take advantage of people; and the future of the game in general. We talk about our feelings on the subject, but the gist of it is that there really isn’t anything to worry about yet. If you’re smart and have been playing Magic the Gathering for a while, you know what a Magic card should be — how it should look and feel. And if you’re a Vintage player buying an expensive Mox, Jace, dual land, or even a Thoughtseize or Tolarian Academy, you should know to check to make sure you’re getting the real deal. As with any trades or purchases you make online, be careful.
We talk about some techniques for identifying counterfeit Magic cards that pass the initial tests. Cesar Fernandez also writes about some methods for looking at the current crop of Chinese cards here (you’ll have to use Google translate or another service if you don’t speak Spanish). Other sources include Apathy House, which is very thorough, and Wizards of the Coast themselves from the last time this happened.
Don’t panic. Just be vigilant and careful.
Cheese on Everything
We wrap up this episode with a review of Melt Bar and Grilled, an Ohio institution that now has five locations: Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, Mentor, Independence, and Columbus. They specialize in insane grilled-cheese sandwiches and have a great selection of on-tap and bottled beers. What could possibly go wrong?
Answer: not a thing. Melt is delicious.
Thanks for listening! We’ll look forward to any questions or comments here or on Twitter. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.