Serious Vintage Episode 9: Ohio Tourney Results, Being New in Vintage, and Tournament Eats

Episode 9 of #SeriousVintage, Vintage newcomer Eric Butler (@ButlersTweets) joins us to talk about some recent tournaments in Ohio and the “Ohio-style” decks that get played in them. Geoff (@ThallidTosser) and I (@GrandpaBelcher) also find out what it’s like coming from Standard and Modern into Vintage: the pros and cons of the format and what Vintage tournament organizers and aficionados can do to attract new players. Then we talk tournament snacks, including oatmeal creme pies and nut bars.

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:24 – Eric Butler, Vintage New Guy
01:07 – “Ohio Style” at the Team Serious Open
11:03 – “Ohio Style” at Fog of Dusk
22:25 – Breaking into Vintage
46:01 – Eating While You Game (Step 1: Be Careful)
53:58 – Outro
Total runtime: 54:48

Ohio Style Tournaments

Ohio-style, adj. describing decks that are pretty much only playable in Ohio, a magical land of Workshops, revamped second-tier strategies, and experimental decklists.

Ex. My Zur’s Weirding-Words of Worship combo deck was definitely Ohio-style, but I managed to get paired against non-blue aggro all day and made top eight. I made $20!

Vintage tournament attendance is recently the rise in the Buckeye State as the holidays have wound down. And since our player recruitment efforts are increasing, we’re looking forward to some good events this spring and summer. Playing in Ohio requires players to take this into account; there is a metagame, but it’s unlike the rock-paper-scissors balance that exists in New England and Europe.

The February 9 tournament in Sandusky, Ohio, for example had a top eight that consisted of the following: Forgemaster Aggro, Enchantress (really!), Espresso Stax, RUG Delver, Doomsday, Forgemaster Combo, Stoneforge Control, and Elves! Of those, there are probably four decks that would be found in another area’s top eight, but there’s a ton of novel ideas that merit consideration. We talk about some of the technology and our experiences in the podcast, and the lists and results are here.

A few weeks later, Eric and I played in a local Vintage eight-man tournament where Standard superstar Restoration Angel and the new Rogue Hermit list made the finals. Again, a little Ohio-style but, again, results worth looking at.

New Vintage Players

Growing the player base seems to be of foremost concern in Vintage, and since Eric is a relatively new addition to the Ohio Vintage scene, we thought it might be interesting to get his perspective on the format. Vintage has several things that make it attractive: spell-based interaction on the stack, decks like those based on Mishra’s Workshop and Gush that aren’t found elsewhere, and access to the largest card pool in Magic. However, as Eric points out, the Vintage player base is also generally older than that in other formats, so it’s generally more mature. Vintage players are still competitive but are often a bit more relaxed and realistic about the stakes.

Of course, Eric also pointed out that Vintage has a (somewhat rightly earned) reputation for being more swingy than other formats. Players who make broken early plays fueled by Ancestral Recall and Black Lotus can end up with an insurmountable lead, and even though that can happen from either side of the table – especially in a proxy environment – some players aren’t quite as excited by the insanity.

Speaking of proxies, they’re probably still a necessity to attract new players. Some players do enjoy playing a hate-deck strategy against Powered decks, but that’s not what Vintage is about. Attracting new players will often mean letting them experience the power of the format as well.

Tournament Snacking

Everyone has their favorite snacks while gaming. Apparently Eric has an obsession for Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Geoff likes Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut Bars, and I like Planters Big Nut Bars. This section is rife with innuendo.

Really though there are plenty of options for staying fed and watered at a tournament, and we talk about all of them. We even talk about the prospect of supplying Vintage tournaments with fresh baked goods. Who knows how to attract new Vintage players? We do!

Let us know your thoughts on Ohio-style strategies, how to grow the Vintage player base, and your favorite in-tourney snacks at our new email address,, or on Twitter: @ThallidTosser and @GrandpaBelcher.

Speaking of Ohio-style, and lest we forget, here’s that Diet Pepsi “Brown and Bubbly” commercial. #NeverForget

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? If you’re there, maybe you’ll even end up on the show!

Team Serious Open March 24 (Sunday) – Columbus (Ohio, USA)
Team Serious Open April 6 (Saturday) – Sandusky (Ohio, USA)