Serious Vintage Episode 5: On Modern Masters, Power on MTGO, Vintage Judging, and #ManyInsanePies

Welcome to the fifth installment of the Serious Vintage Podcast, hosted by Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher on Twitter), Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser on Twitter), and Josh Chapple (@joshchapple on Twitter). This week we are joined by Abe “Katzby” Corson (@AbeCorson on Twitter). We discussed the physical reprints coming in Modern Masters next June, and the digital reprints coming to Magic Online (MTGO) in the form of Power 9 in the Online Cube. Then we talked to Abe about judging in Vintage, and learned a little about the history of the format in the process. Finally we wrapped everything up in a flaky crust and talked about #ManyInsanePies for the holiday season.

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:27 – Everyone’s Excited for Modern Masters
12:38 – Powering up MTGO
15:22 – A Life of Vintage and Judging
47:36 – Serious Eating: #ManyInsanePies
57:01 – Outro
Total runtime: 57:34

There’s not too much to add to the first part of the show. The prospect of these reprintings — Tarmogoyf; maybe things like Dark Confidant, Vendilion Clique, and Arcbound Ravager; and online Power and Mana Drain — is sexy and alluring for Magic players of all kinds. We’re all exited for the potential benefits to Vintage from both Modern Masters and online Power, but it’s tough to predict the ultimate results. Anything that might add to the interest and player-base of Vintage is a good thing for everyone involved in the format, for sure. Either way it should be a lot of fun, right?

A Life of Vintage and Judging

I’ve known Abe Corson since 2008 when he facilitated my move to Virginia by giving me a ride to a Star City Games Power 9 event in Richmond, where I rendezvoused with the Team Serious Ohio contingent and got a ride back to the Buckeye State to pick up the moving truck, after playing in the Power 9 tournament, of course (such are the benefits of the Vintage community). You may know him from his extensive judging participation up and down the East Coast. He has been around Vintage for a long time, always has interesting Magic: the Gathering stories and factoids to share, and will gladly explain Magic rules and policies in detail.

If you’re interested, he has a few ten-year-old Keeper tournament reports available online:

You can get some insight on how to play decks like this one from February 2002.

Keeper, by Abe Corson

Business (32)
Mana Drain
Force of Will
Ancestral Recall
Time Walk
Stroke of Genius
Fact or Fiction
Mystical Tutor
Merchant Scroll
Mind Twist
Yawgmoth’s Will
Demonic Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
The Abyss
Diabolic Edict
Dismantling Blow
Sylvan Library
Gorilla Shaman
Zuran Orb

Mana Sources (28)
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
City of Brass
Undiscovered Paradise
Strip Mine
Library of Alexandria
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Emerald
Sol Ring
Black Lotus
Sideboard (15)
Red Elemental Blast
Blue Elemental Blast
Ivory Mask
Circle of Protection: Red
Hurkyl’s Recall
Scrying Glass
Aura Fracture

It’s great fun especially for those who have an interest in Vintage history. If you enjoyed Stephen Menendian’s latest History of Vintage series, you’ll enjoy these retrospective pieces as well.

Serious Eating

Finally, pies. Glorious pies. All you need to know about baking for the holidays. Here are the pie crust recipes that Geoff and I use.

Butter crust ingredients (other versions could be found online as pâte brisée):
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. ice water
(makes one 9-inch crust)

Shortening crust ingredients (props to Irma Rombauer and the Joy of Cooking):
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. powdered sugar (or 1 tsp. white sugar)
1 tsp. salt
1 c. solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. ice water
(makes two 9-inch crusts)

For both recipes, the process is largely the same. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar). Then cut in the fat (either butter or shortening) until the mix makes pea-sized balls and smaller. You can use a pastry blender for this or two knives cutting crosswise, though that takes a while. Then drizzle the water over everything and cut it in with the blade of a spatula.

Once all of that’s done, form the dough into round flats (one for the butter recipe; two for the shortening), wrap in plastic or wax paper, and chill for at least a half hour, preferably a few hours. After chilling you can flatten using a rolling pin and flour until you have the crust roughly circular and about 1/8 in. thick. Transfer the crust to the pan, trim it, shape it, and bake or fill it according to the rest of the pie recipe.

Tips in either case would be to not add too much water during the mixing or too much flour during the rolling. Also work with cold ingredients throughout the process; don’t mix or roll out the dough next to a warm oven, for example. These will make working with the dough easier and will produce the tender, flaky effect you’re going for.

For more suggestions on baking and filling your pie crust, be sure to check out #ManyInsanePies on Twitter. Plus, feel free to share your own suggestions, recipes, and pie stories. Josh would also like to recommend The Humble Pie Store to listeners in the Denver area.

Thanks again for listening, and we’ll catch you next time with more Serious Vintage.