Serious Vintage Episode 15: GenCon 2013 Preview

For episode 15 Geoff (@ThallidTosser on Twitter) and Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher) bring back Jerry Yang (@yangtrolls), epicurean and, as we learn, the actual worst Vintage player in the world, to talk about the upcoming GenCon extravaganza. We talk a bit about the Vintage metagame and the applications of Young Pyromancer, then we jump straight into the events and, more importantly, the food of GenCon. If you’re going to be in Indianapolis in a few weeks, you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:

0:00:19 – Vintage at GenCon
0:13:11 – Non-Magical Entertainment at GenCon
0:27:00 – Dining in Indianapolis
0:46:06 – Outro
Total runtime: 0:46:55

The Vintage Metagame

For a format with a lot of inertia, Vintage may have some exciting changes on the horizon as players try to figure out a good way to use Young Pyromancer (or not). We talked about the li’l wizard who could in our last episode too, and we talk a little bit more about its prospects in this one. Jerry points out that its color, efficient cost, and permanent making ability make Pyromancer a natural predator against Workshop decks and blue-based control decks alike.

We’ve seen a lot of ideas thrown around about regarding Pyromancer, a lot of decks excited to use it despite playing a ton of other creatures. I foresee a lot of disappointment with these decks since creatures don’t trigger Pyromancer’s ability. Creatures that would synergize with Pyromancer include Delver (which also wants lots of instants and sorceries) and Dark Confidant (which draws more spells to cast). Gush is almost a certain inclusion since it triggers Pyromancer while drawing more spells to cast.

You all knew that, though, right?

Non-Magic Fun at GenCon

Suffice to say there’s a lot more fun at GenCon that doesn’t involve playing Magic than fun that involves it. We highly recommend demoing a ton of games in the exhibition hall and going to the GenCon Dance (see below). We did not have a good time at True Dungeon, but if you’re into that sort of thing, definitely go for it.


Anyway, GenCon is a little like this: Josh Chapple is a beautiful butterfly.

Where to Eat in Indianapolis

One highlight for us at GenCon is getting a huge group of people to go out and eat dinner. Many GenCon attendees lack focus in this area and often find themselves patronizing the nearby Noodles & Co. or Steak ‘n’ Shake, where they stand in line for some mediocre food they can get just about anyway. Some people even rave about these places (especially Steak ‘n’ Shake, for whatever reason). Seriously, there are plenty of good, better, great options within walking distance. Here are some of them, listed in the order we talk about them on the show:

Indianapolis Food Trucks – there during the lunchtime hours every day of GenCon. Check these out for sure, but be careful in the sun, for real.

St. Elmo’s Steakhouse
127 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
If you go to St. Elmo’s, you have to try the shrimp cocktail. It’s world famous (and super zingy!). Also get a steak, don’t be (too) concerned with the price.

BARcelona Tapas
201 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
We brought several gamers together at BARcelona last year. The tapas were interesting and well done, and we shared many around the table. Its also not a bad price. I enjoyed this place a lot.

Punch Burger
137 E. Ohio St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Mo’s Steakhouse
7 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
No relation. This is where I recommend the creamed corn. I don’t even like creamed corn, but the ambrosia they serve here shows up frequently in my dreams.

High Velocity at J.W. Marriott
10 S. West St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Home of the best chicken fingers you’ll ever eat. Unless you’re Jerry, in which case you’ll complain about them regardless of how delicious they are.

659 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Acapulco Joe’s
365 N. Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Just to make sure it’s clear: nobody who ate here got food poisoning. The Mexican food is bountiful and delicious, and the salsa is seriously fantastic.

Ball and Biscuit
331 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

410 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Smoking Goose (a.k.a. Dorman Street Meatery)
407 N. Dorman St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Goose: the Market
2503 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205

339 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Café Patachou
4901 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Jerry’s recommended breakfast spot. Everyone who’s eaten here says it’s excellent.‎ If you call it Café Pikachu, people still know what you’re talking about.

Statehouse Market
402 Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Open Thursday, 10:30 to 1:30. Turns out the Indiana Farmers Market that Jerry also mentioned is open on Wednesdays, so probably won’t be available during GenCon.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
45 S. Illinois Street
Circle Centre Mall
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The information for the Ruth’s Chris GenCon deal is here. The price seems good, and they’ve been running the offer for a few years, so it should be good.


Recording this episode and writing up this list of restaurants got me even more psyched for GenCon, so I hope it does the same for you. If you have any questions about restaurant recommendations, or if you have any hidden gems of your own to share, hit us up on Twitter or send an email to the show at We’ll see you in a few weeks at GenCon!