Serious Vintage Episode 7: On Gatecrash, North Market, and Workshoppin’ with Twaun: Part Deux

Episode 7 of our #SeriousVintage podcast sees Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser) and me (@GrandpaBelcher) catch up with Anthony “Twaun” Michaels (@Twaun007) after his finals appearance with Twaunspresso Stax at the December 30 Team Serious Open in Columbus, Ohio. We also look at the early Gatecrash previews and review food options at the Columbus Convention Center, specifically North Market.

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment. If you’re avoiding spoilers, be sure to skip far enough forward to avoid our talking about new cards.
00:23 – The Return of Twaun P. Pwnertown
01:25 – Gatecrash and Burn
25:56 – Twaunspresso Stax Takes Two at the TSO
42:43 – Serious Eats at the North Market
52:18 – Outro
Total runtime: 52:54

Gatecrash and Burn

At the time of recording, there were 84 cards spoiled from the newest Magic the Gathering expansion Gatecrash, and we took a look at 11 of them that we felt had the most potential for Vintage. Unfortunately, the pickings were pretty slim. I feel a little bad that we were so harsh on the new set. Obviously the threshold for playability in Vintage is pretty high. New cards must compete with every card previously printed, so to make an appearance they either need to be better—more efficient, more powerful, more flexible—or do something unique, either by themselves or in combination with an earlier printing.

Obviously new cards make waves in Vintage all the time. Lodestone Golem is only three years old, for example, and completely overhauled the Workshop strategy (combining two previous Vintage playables, Juggernaut and Sphere of Resistance, probably didn’t hurt). Cards like Deathrite Shaman, Dryad Militant, and Izzet Charm from Return to Ravnica have seen successful play as well, so it’s reasonable to expect playables from any set. We just didn’t see much in the first third of Gatecrash that has been spoiled thus far.

Gatecrash has potential especially as the home of House Dimir, which combines Vintage’s two favorite colors, blue and black. Also in Gatecrash, the Simic Combine (blue and green) has produced powerful creatures and anchors the Noble Fish deck; the Orzhov Syndicate (black and white) and the Boros Legion (red and white) are largely untapped combinations in Vintage, except in conjunction with blue; and the Gruul Clans (red and green) combine the two colors best suited to hate on blue. Basically, if we’ve seen the worst of Gatecrash for Vintage, there could be a lot of good stuff coming!

Workshopppin’ With Twaun (again)

Twaun finally reset his top-eight counter, ticking since the Sunday of GenCon 2011, a total of one year, nine months, and four days. He did it in grand style too, taking his unique, Serum Powder-fueled Stax deck with an eight-Leyline sideboard to the finals against the Dark Lord of the Sith, Stephen Menendian.

Twaunspresso Stax, by Anthony Michaels

Business (35)
Lodestone Golem
Tangle Wire
Sphere of Resistance
Chalice of the Void
Thorn of Amethyst
Pithing Needle
Serum Powder
Crucible of Worlds
Karn, Silver Golem

Mana Sources (25)
Mishra’s Workshop
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Mishra’s Factory
Strip Mine
Tolarian Academy
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Sideboard (15)
Pithing Needle
Maze of Ith
Grafdigger’s Cage
Leyline of the Void
Leyline of Sanctity

Twaun covers a lot of his choices and plays throughout the tournament in the podcast, so I won’t recount them here. Usually the deck will lock out its opponents and grind away at them using Smokestack, Tangle Wire, and Crucible of Worlds, but it can be surprisingly aggressive with Lodestone and will win suddenly with Karn, Silver Golem. Remember that he built the deck for the Columbus, Ohio, event specifically, so remember to take your own metagame into account when building your own version.

Serious Eats at the North Market

Columbus’s North Market has been in existence since 1876 but opened in its current location in 1995. Today the 44,000 sq. ft. building houses 35 merchants, grocers, and restaurateurs. Visitors to the Columbus Convention Center, including Magic players at Grand Prix and Star City Games Opens, have the luxury of the market being a short walk across High St. with operating hours from 8 to 5 on Saturday and noon to 5 on Sunday.

In the podcast, we talk about food from:
– Omega Artisan Baking (Geoff’s Omega cake and my “rustic sweet roll”)
– Taste of Belgium (Geoff’s crepe and the smell of the waffles)
– Flavors of India (Twaun’s meal on Saturday)
– Bubbles, the Tea and Juice Company (several smoothies and bubble teas throughout the weekend)
– Lan Viet Market (my pho on Saturday)
– Sarefino’s Pizzeria and Italian Deli (Geoff’s calzone)
– Expressly Market Bakery and Bistro (my soup on Sunday)
– Destination Donuts (my doughnuts on Sunday)

If you ever have the opportunity to play at the Columbus Convention Center, be sure to scrub out early so you can get some awesome food at North Market. Check out their list of vendors and find the ones that interest you. And if you do actually scrub out early (and are of legal drinking age), they have a wine and beer store so you can drown your sorrows.

If you want more recommendations or just want to talk to us about food (or Vintage, I guess), hit us up on Twitter or reply in the forums. We’re Serious.

Special Notice

For listeners and readers in the Ohio area, there are Vintage tournaments coming up where you can hang out and game with the Serious Vintage crew. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even end up on the show!
February 9 (Saturday) – Sandusky Ohio
March 17 (Sunday) – Columbus