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1  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Epiphany at the Drownyard on: March 17, 2016, 12:13:11 am
I really think that if I'm spending 8 mana on this there should probably be better things for me to do, no? I dunno, Consecrated Sphinx come to mind.

But anyway, if you pay X, it means on the average scenario you'll draw (X+1)/2 cards, right? So paying 6 mana (5+U) will net you 3 cards average. Is that really that great? What makes this better than Jace's Ingenuity or Mystic Confluence?

I understand it's scalable, but if you're paying 2U for this it gets way worse, doesn't it?

I think you're dramatically underestimating the scalability. The problem with all the cards that you listed is that they're awful until you hit the mana to cast them, then they're amazing. This card is fine at 3 mana, and worst case cycles-ish at 2 mana. Whatever you're doing for 8 mana or whatever is gonna win the game no matter what it is. Keep in mind you're putting this in a deck that takes advantage of the graveyard. My initial thoughts are high numbers of Snapcasters and/or Baby Jace, but there's always other stuff like Welder, Regrowth, Yawg Will, Noxious Revival etc if you really wanna go down that path. Personally I think 3-4 Snapcasters goes a long way.
2  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: March 16, 2016, 11:19:38 pm
Agree with Josh, that's why I got off UW Landstill as well. It has a great game vs Shops and is one of the better blue decks vs. Combo, but if you want to beat Gush decks with any regularity you have to run junk like maindeck Verdict and/or Moat, 4 StP, Balance, etc. And then you can sorta beat Gush decks sometimes, but you just get crushed by the rest of the field. Problem is that there is just no good way to counter Gush, which Landstill uniquely needs to do but also simultaneously don't want to do. They just get so far ahead of you and the clunky nature of Landstill's mana draws matches up pretty poorly against the agility of Gush+cantrips+delve.

That said, it's a pretty solid choice if you expect to play Combo and Shops, aka VSL metagame. I don't expect Landstill to be a dominant deck nor will it be the default blue choice in the paper metagame.
3  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Epiphany at the Drownyard on: March 16, 2016, 11:12:55 pm
For 3 mana, instant speed, aren't you just better running the not-so-played-right-now Thirst for Knowledge?

And if you want to scale is seems to me it gets even worse. I mean, would you play this for 50 with infinite mana in Bomberman? I guess that's the only deck I could see using this, even then...

We actually tried it in a deck where we 1 for 1 replaced Thirst with it, and it performed fairly well. If you can't understand how casting this thing for 7,8,9 etc. cards is good, then I guess we won't agree. But it happened fairly regularly in a deck with Academy, Drains, etc. Not saying it's amazing, but give it a shot before dismissing it.
4  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Harness the Storm on: March 16, 2016, 07:17:15 pm
First I thought this card made mana, then I read the reminder text. I can't see this working too well except in something that casts Rituals and similar cards. It does somewhat make card advantage if you have the mana already. Don't really see it working, especially considering it compares pretty unfavorably to Pyromancer Ascension.
5  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Epiphany at the Drownyard on: March 16, 2016, 07:14:45 pm
Tested this a little today after it was spoiled, I'd suggest giving it a try before naysaying it. Yes, the Steam Augury-ness is kinda poop, but the scalability makes it's really nice. I'm not sure what kind of home it would have, since it's hard to make a deck around it. But the fact that you can cast it for decent value at 3 mana on turn 1-2 and later on cast it for a billion mana, especially with a drain, was way better than expected. Not sure if it'll see a ton of play I think it's worth a shot. Initial thoughts are that it's best in a deck with a minimal variance between card power level -think closer to Mentor/Pyro style lists with all the 4 ofs, not a Yawg will deck with a bunch of restricted stuff they can just deny you. In the decks that do just want massive amounts of cards, it might work. 
6  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Nahiri, the Harbinger on: March 14, 2016, 02:14:27 pm
The tapped clause is an unneeded kick in the nuts.

Came here to say exactly this. Same card without the tapped clause and we're talking a potential playable. Oh well.
7  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: March 10, 2016, 06:02:52 pm
I know that the 5-6 people that like Hatebears and think it's a good deck are gonna hate this post, but the fact is that deck is just subpar when card availability isn't an issue. And unlike other Vintage decks, it's not uniquely entertaining; it's no different from what you can play in Legacy, Modern, or Standard. I say this as someone who played "hatebears" for a few years (back when it we called it Fish and it had actual awful creatures). Lots of people want to watch Vintage-y games, not Gaddock Teeg beatdown. And it's about entertainment after all. VSL's purpose isn't to do anything for the format. It's just supposed be a fun and different way to maximize viewers on Twitch and Youtube.

Just like there are a few diehard fans of Shops and Dredge (and hatebears, I guess), there are a ton of people who specifically play Vintage because they love casting Mana Drain and Ancestral Recall. I'd say a sizable portion of Vintage players fit this. Lots of whom happen to be in the VSL. This is entertaining, both to that sizable portion of players and to unfamiliar viewers. It's entertainment first. We haven't seen a Time Vault deck in almost this entire season, but that's what a lot of people are tuning in to see. For the purpose of entertainment, not all decks are created equal.

Also, the term "Gentleman's Agreement" has nothing to do with the character/morality of Blue, Shops, or Dredge. The term just means that there is no rule in place other than their "reputation as a gentleman" holding together the agreement. No one ever said it's ungentlemanly to play Dredge or Shops.
8  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Thing In The Ice on: March 09, 2016, 11:52:56 pm
This card is obviouly unplayably bad in Vintage and shouldn't be getting any attention at all on this site.  Why is nobody else in this thread saying this yet?  Are people just getting caught up in the set's hype and forgettIng to be skeptical?  I find this discussion baffling.

I'm all for enjoying new sets, but very few new cards are good enough for the format, and I just don't see this making the cut.  "New Vintage cards" is a contradiction in terms, after all.  Do I really need to state the obvious?  This card is plainly too slow and not nearly as good as the other established creature options.


I'm inclined to agree that it's likely unplayable, but given that there's not much else to talk about, what's the harm in digging a little deeper?
9  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: March 09, 2016, 08:20:13 pm
The only thing that bothered me about it was that for some reason Efro decided that "gentleman's blue" means you can play a black deck. Spirit vs. word, etc.

I realize that sounds ridiculous, but VSL is just entertainment. It's a weekly TV show. Watching Dredge sucks, watching Shops is fun sometimes but it's getting pretty old. I can barely remember the last time someone played a Time Vault. It was a nice change of pace, and for the sake of entertainment, it's fine. A combination of awesome and a shame that LSV had the turn 1 Vault/Key, but whatever. (I'd have loved to see his Remora/Notion Thief deck absolutely wreck another blue control deck, that matchup would be insane).

There's a large segment of the Vintage population that likes to play blue decks that while historically dominant haven't been particularly good in a while. LSV is one of them, and he can do what he wants for entertainment's sake. VSL metagame isn't anything like real life, don't treat it as so. If your argument is that this type of thing is somehow bad for how outsiders/the community view the format, maybe you're right. I don't know. But chat seemed happy about it. I personally have absolutely no problem with/bias towards any particular deck, but, like it or not, watching Dredge, Shops, and Storm is not a good introduction or advertisement for our format. And since those decks have been pretty much all anyone's played lately, a little break during the playoffs for a match between two of most popular pros seems pretty harmless.

TL;DR: VSL is its own thing. It's a TV show based on Vintage. Its purpose is entertainment. The VSL metagame, experiences, decklists, commentary, etc., do not for the most part represent the Vintage we play or discuss here. I think WoTC is smart enough to know that when it comes to B/R changes.

10  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Rules updates on: March 07, 2016, 07:09:38 pm
This change irks me for two reasons (and a third, less legitimate one):

1) The mana cost of the card is now not visible if the card is transformed. That's just terrible logistics, not to mention being totally unintuitive. Why does this one case work differently than every other card/object in Magic that doesn't have a mana cost?

2) This actually has really annoying gameplay implications. Stuff shouldn't be getting harder to answer. Now we can't EE/Abrupt Decay/Repeal/Ratchet Bomb/Deed, etc. Things being answerable is a good thing. Those cards represent a significant portion of the answers in Vintage. Not only that, but this is very reminiscent of GP Flash, when like 3/4 of the field weren't even aware that Flash received errata because it was only posted in one tiny article on the WoTC site. I guarantee this will be a thing when someone tries to Repeal a Jace or something.

3) We're still doing cards with non-magic backs yet there's still no mention of Collector's Edition legalization. I've had no choice to accept that not only will DFCs exist, but they'll also be Vintage playable. Let's at least get something good to come from it.
11  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Reserve List Card Spike? on: March 04, 2016, 12:41:34 pm
I'm gonna disagree with the basic premise that large numbers of people playing worse decks because of card availability is a good thing. If all the cards were reasonably priced, a significant portion of people who are playing on a budget would upgrade. So the "format diversity" that is created is artificial. It's impure. It means that no one actually plays that format; instead they play a bastardization of that format based on what cards people have access to. If you think that blue is the best deck by miles, and that this leads to decreased format diversity, that means that there is something fundamentally wrong with the format. That something could potentially be fixed by B/R changes. But artificially "banning" cards from players because they cost too much and you don't mind the side effects is terrible. If people want to play Metalworker, or Elves, or whatever in Legacy, it should be because they want to do so and/or because that deck is a good choice. It shouldn't be because we want to keep the cost of the actual good cards high enough to essentially ban them from a significant portion of the player base.

Side note: I think a very significant amount of people play Legacy (and Vintage) because they want to play blue, with the old good cards including the Duals. I'd assume very few people are excited about playing Eldrazi in Legacy, except those who built a modern deck and now think they have a cheap option to compete.
12  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 02, 2016, 03:51:47 pm
By strict moderation I was referring to the different user groups, requiring the minimal exam for full access to the forum (is that real still?), etc. and not necessarily the acts of the moderators themselves. It's the fine balance of being properly "exclusionary" without being off-putting to new people. I'm not really qualified to answer how to handle that one. I'm also unaware of the issue with "pros" you're referring to, but I do get the overall sense that some of the mods/admins, especially the ones who are not particularly active, just come on to lock a thread every now and then. That definitely kills discussion and gives a disincentive to create more. It does create a slightly weird feeling where we want the vetting process to some extent, but also where messing up once removes you from the community and therefore invalidates all the work that had been previously done to establish oneself. Long story short, I think that the people who will join the site will do so in small enough numbers that we really shouldn't have to worry much about a quantity vs. quality issue for a very long time. Even if every person who played in Champs, the large European tournaments and MODO were to regularly post, we'd have a very tiny (relatively) community, with standards mostly reinforced by the fact that we see each other at in person at least once a month.

I know also that registration has been down so that could be part of the problem, but are there lots of FB groups that I'm just missing out on or something?
13  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 02, 2016, 02:06:50 pm
It seems less to do with separating ones self from the crowd (that's done best by solid posting) and more to do with creating a buy-in and ownership. While it seems like an irrelevant amount, from my personal experience individuals are far more inclined to follow through on something when they have a vested interest in doing so. I.E. less likely to deal with shitposting comparatively to an open site like MTGSalvation. The idea isn't to be exclusionary, if anything we want all the people but just the ones who care enough. 5$ one time fee for creating an account won't break banks and helps support the site, the opportunity cost is low with major potential gains from simple vetting.

I for the most part agree, just gonna play devil's advocate here:

From an outside perspective, both vintage and TMD are currently viewed as somewhat stodgy, pretentious, slow to evolve and, yes, exclusionary. While I think some of this is good and/or true (we keep a much higher community standard than any other Magic format I've been a part of). it might also contribute to a shortage of new blood in the community. The new blood that may not fully understand the format, may make some awful posts or ask some stupid questions eventually develops into the core community 5 years from now. But I think they're scared to join. It's similar to that argument from the reserve list thread: keep Vintage exclusionary because it's nice as it is, small and manageable with a quality community for the people who are already entrenched. That's awesome now, I guess. But what about 5 years from now? 10?

I don't have any stats to back this up, but it would seem that from all metrics Vintage is at an all time high (MODO, Vintage Super League both increasing awareness, record shattering attendance at champs, etc.), but has TMD itself seen any corresponding uptick? And it's not like there's some competitor site who does have all the high level vintage discussion. Maybe this is just an advertising thing, but maybe it does have to do with our (perceived or real) exclusionary nature. I personally would prefer a board with a 10-20% decrease in overall quality as long as it also brought about an increase in traffic. There is so little discussion on this site now that it pains me; I'll come every day to check it out and sometimes there are zero new posts. Even when something major, like last night's VSL playoffs happened.

Strict moderation has worked in the past as a vetting process. If the community were to grow and require more people to handle this task, I'm sure that many of us who care would be up to it.
14  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 02, 2016, 12:22:39 am
(2) At its apex, TMD was the place to have robust arguments about the format.  This seems to stem from equal parts community/site technics/moderation.  I think high-level discussion could be one of the "what" pieces for the next iteration, but changes are needed.  The only thing I've seen work online is paid membership.  Probably not a popular idea, but people behave better and invest their own quality when they're putting their money where their mouth is.

I agree with most of what you have to say, but how I don't see how TMD is not still the place for high level discussion. That's the only reason I'm here, it's the only thing TMD offers that other places don't. I don't see that changing. What would necessitate paid memberships? That thought terrifies me. I started coming to this site when I was 14 (if you couldn't tell by my sweet username), I kept pretty quiet knowing that I was young and stupid and didn't have that much to say on the appropriate level. But the existence of TMD is a large part of why I still play Vintage over a decade later. But if 14 year old me had to pay, or even 20 year old college student me had to pay, I'd have been long gone. I know there are tons of younger people now who are in that same position, and excluding them can't possibly be good for the format.

As far as functionality on the site, I love Nick's idea. I also think integrating with MODO/twitch somehow is pretty important. But in addition, there's all of the disparate decklist sites (that are individually incomplete): mtgtop8, tcdecks, mtggoldfish for online results, etc. Bringing all of those into one place would be a welcome addition, especially since TOs often post their lists here anyway. I know next to nothing about programming and such, but would it be possible to have the lists that TOs post in the results forum automatically enter into a database similar to TCDecks?
15  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: MTGO P9 Metagame Breakdown: February Edition on: February 29, 2016, 02:38:11 pm
I think the insane amounts of Shops in the Top 16 is more of a testament to the fact that it was a well positioned deck that day than anything else.
Which of course means that once you get deeper in the tournament, the ones that are better prepared for the mirror will triumph, hence the Porecelain/Coercive Portal build doing well. Interesting.

Thanks again guys for doing this analysis, awesome data to have. 
16  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Comic Book Depot - Sunday $10.00 Vinatge - 3/6/16 Credit Tournament on: February 29, 2016, 02:35:59 pm
Gonna try to make it to this one finally.
17  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: February 24, 2016, 04:11:29 pm
The community is small enough (and a lot of us know each other off the boards by now) that the rating thing seems really unnecessary. I don't really see much upside to it compared to the current system. As it stands now, we have a way of marking people who have made significant contributions, and who have caused significant problems. No need to go further than that. In addition to all the problems listed above, rep systems and up/downvoting create a very us vs. them mentality, which when combined with the outsider viewpoint seeing us as both elitist and pretentious  seem like it would have only negative effects on growing the community. 
18  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Comic Book Deopt 1k event - 2/21/16 on: February 23, 2016, 10:07:29 pm
Ha, yep, just saw "sphinx of the" and the last word starting with a W. One day I'll learn to read haha.

How was the sphinx? I was thinking of trying him out, seems pretty good against blue playing opponents.
19  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: February 23, 2016, 03:04:13 pm
As soon as Rich mentioned on stream that someone had bought the site, I was really excited. Doubly so when I found out it was Brassman. Looking at the patreon, there are lots of awesome things lined up to modernize the Drain experience.

Personally I think that Twitch streaming (I regularly watch Rich, Brassy and Steve) has done a ton for this format, my first suggestion offhand would be a sub forum for people to advertise/discuss their streams, schedules etc.

Looking forward to what this site can become!
20  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Comic Book Deopt 1k event - 2/21/16 on: February 23, 2016, 02:58:33 pm
Interesting, does Matthew Moss's deck really play Sphinx without Tinker or is that missing from the list?
21  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: MTGO P9 Metagame Breakdown: January Edition on: February 23, 2016, 02:57:01 pm
Awesome data, I know that must have been a pain to collect. Thanks guys!!!

Gush's win percentage is surprising given how relatively few people played it.
22  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Eternal Masters CONFIRMED on: February 17, 2016, 05:03:27 pm
I think clever designs, especially in the vein the Savannah that has both players Scry 1, wouldn't necessarily be inferior to an ABUR dual. It's situationally better and situationally worse, making it an interesting design for vintage. I'm not entirely sure that it's functionally different enough from Savannah for WotC's comfort though.
23  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The Comic Book Depot 1/31/16 $1,000 Vintage Credit Tournament! on: January 29, 2016, 06:26:56 pm
I think I'll finally be able to make it to one of these, looking forward to it!
24  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. XVI 6/11 Lotus Tournament YEA THAT'S A LOTUS!!! on: June 09, 2011, 06:59:35 pm
It's been quite a while but as I happen to be in New York this week, I'll definitely be there
25  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: N.Y.S.E. XII - Official Report on: October 25, 2010, 04:00:28 pm
Congratulations to Sean and Rob. You guys have been working real hard for a long time now, glad to hear you're both doing well.
26  Eternal Formats / Midwest U.S. / Re: Xtreme Games Monthly Vintage 8/15/2010 on: August 12, 2010, 01:06:55 pm
St. Louis will be there
27  Eternal Formats / Midwest U.S. / Re: Xtreme Games monthly Vintage 7-18-2010 on: July 17, 2010, 11:36:22 am
A few of us from St. Louis will be making it up to this one
28  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: MTGChicago // Stasch Kuras // SKuras // Scam on: June 06, 2010, 04:24:14 pm
This guy seems to be doing a booming business at every event I've been to lately (all the midwest PTQs, GP DC, etc.)
29  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Player Comfort vs Optimal Card Choices on: February 19, 2010, 02:30:19 am
You raise some very interesting points. I definitely agree, so long as the cards you are choosing between are relatively equivalent in function, like the 3 anti-artifact cards you provided. I certainly believe that it comes down to playstyle and personal preference in decisions like that, because in reality each of the cards serves the exact same function, and they work best when you use them "correctly." If you are more likely to utilize one card correctly than another (ex. Naturalize vs. Seal because of instant speed), then you should definitely play Naturalize even if Seal is better. However, if you know that there is a particular reason why one option is so much better than another (say you're expecting tons of Stax, Nature's Claim >>>>> Krosan Grip) then you should certainly play the better option. It's when it comes down to the choices where quite honestly it doesn't make more than 1% difference that I believe playstyle preference should decide card choices.

As a side note I am particularly attached to playing Mana Drain and I play it even when Spell Pierce or some mix of Pierce and Drains would be better, because I'm just more comfortable playing a deck with Drains. There is a certain way to play with Drain that doesn't work with Pierce, and vice versa. My playstyle preference is much more in line with Drains, even though quite honestly Pierces would likely be better.
30  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] Legacy Gold and Vintage Card Tricks on: February 18, 2010, 04:46:25 pm
Also add to that list Maze of Ith, I bet that card hits 20+ soon.
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