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1  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Comic Book Deopt 1k event - 2/21/16 on: February 23, 2016, 09:31:14 am
11 Players made it out on this weekend jam packed with legacy and vintage events, so there was a cut to top 4.  Those players were

Mason Hoffman
Matthew Moss
Nick Detwiler
Scott Conway

Here are the lists (I didn't attend this event, but got most of the top 4 lists)

Mason Hoffman - 4C Mentor

4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Volcanic Island
2 Tundra
1 Tropical Island
1 Island
4 Monastery Mentor
4 Force of Will
2 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
3 Gush
3 Gitaxian Probe
3 Mental Misstep
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Sol Ring
1 Fastbond
1 Repeal
1 Sylvan Library
1 Brainstorm
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Black Lotus
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Pyroblast
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Dig through time
1 Spell Pierce

Sideboard
3 Rest in Peace
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Containment Priest
1 Dack Fayden
1 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Trygon Predator
1 Hurkyll's Recall
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Stifle


Matthew Moss - Oath

1 Tolarian Academy
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
1 Island
4 Forbidden Orchard
4 Oath of Druids
1 Gristelbrand
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sphinx of the Final Word
1 Void Winnower
4 Force of Will
2 Mana Drain
2 Flusterstorm
3 Mental Misstep
2 Show and Tell
4 Abrupt Decay
1 Ponder
1 Time Walk
1 Gaea's Blessing
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Treasure cruise
1 Dig Through Time
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
2 Jace, the mind Sculptor
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Crupt
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring

Sideboard
2 Hurkyll's Recall
4 Nature's Claim
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Mindbreak Trap
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Nihil Spellbiomb


Scott Conway - Oath

4 Oath of Druids
1 Pernicioous Deed
1 Dack Fayden
2 Jace, The Mind Sculptor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Time Walk
2 Thoughtseize
1 Ponder
3 Gitaxian Probe
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Dig Through Time
1 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Ancient Grudge
4 Force of Will
1 Flusterstorm
1 Mindbreak Trap
3 Mental Misstep
1 Griselbrand
1 Inferno titan
1 Void Winnower
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
2 Flooded Strand
4 Forbidden Orchard
1 Island
3 Mana Confluence
2 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 tropical Island

Sideboard
2 Mindbreak trap
2 Ancient Grudge
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Steel Sabotage
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Nature's Claim
2 Nihil Spellbomb


Nick Detwiler - list witheld
2  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The Geekery HQ (Astoria, NY)-Friday Night Vintage - 02/12 Unsanctioned Proxy on: February 12, 2016, 04:11:51 pm
I'm swamped at work and won't be able to make it.  Wish I could be there.
3  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Comic Book Depot 1K - 1/31/16 results on: February 03, 2016, 08:47:59 pm
Hey everyone,

The Comic Book Depot event was originally scheduled  for 1/24/16 but due to the snowstorm, was rescheduled for 1/31/16.  We had a good showing, with 27 people participating in the tournament.  The top 8 were:

Bryan Hardenberger
Zohar Bhagat
Stan Zylinski
Mike Sorrento
John Grudzina
Greg Fenton
Brian Ritter
Travis Compton

With the help of a few people I am able to bring you seven of those eight decklists (we are missing Mike Sorrento's list). Here they are, in no particular order.


Greg Fenton - Oath of Druids

Maindeck (60)
4 Oath of Druids
3 Show and Tell
1 Griselbrand
1 Dragonlord Ojutai
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
2 Mana Drain
2 Flusterstorm
3 Preordain
1 Ponder
1 Dig Through Time
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Time Walk
1 Echoing Truth
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Moat
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Forbidden Orchard
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Polluted Delta
1 Tropical Island
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring

Sideboard (15)

2 Hurkyl's Recall
3 Steel Sabotage
2 Swords to Plowshares
3 Pithing Needle
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Rest In Peace



Stan Zylinski - Mono Black

Maindeck (60)
4 thoughtseize
3 duress
1 chains of mephistopholes
4 vampire hexmage
4 dark confidant
4 leyline of the void
4 dark rituals
1 demonic tutor
1 demonic consultation
1 vampric tutor
1 imperial seal
1 pithing needle
1 null rod
1 crucible of worlds
1 helm of obedience
2 dismember
1 Engineered plague
1 liliana of the veil
1 Black lotus
1 mox jet
1 necropotence
1 yawgmoths will

2 dark depths
1 thespian stage
2 urborg, tomb of yawgmoth
4 wasteland
1 strip mine
10 swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 pithing needle
1 the tabernacle at pendrall vale
1 illness in the ranks
1 virulent plague
1 engineered plague
1 toxic deluge
3 null rod
2 yxilid jailer
1 trinisphere
1 chalice of the void
1 chains of mephistopholes
1 karakas



Brian Ritter - OathStill

Maindeck (60)
3 Underground Sea
2 Tropical Island
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
1 Forest
4 Forbidden Orchard
4 Mishra's Factory
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus
4 Standstill
4 Oath of Druids
2 Griselbrand
2 Jace the Mind Sculptor
1 Gaea's Blessing
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Dig Through Time
1 Brainstorm
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Force of Will
2 Mana Drain
2 Flusterstorm
3 Mental Misstep

Sideboard (15+
4 Nature's Claim
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Mindbreak Trap



Travis Compton - Dredge

Maindeck (60)
4 bazaar of Baghdad
4 undiscovered Paradise
4 mana confluence
3 petrified fireld
1 dakmor salvage
4 bridge from below
4 serum Powder
4 leyline of the void
4 Golgari grave troll
4 stinkweed imp
3 Golgari thug
4 bloodghast
4 narcomoeba
3 ichorid
1 ashen rider
1 elesh norn grand cenobite
1 flame-kin Zealot
3 dread return
4 Cabal therapy

Sideboard (15)
4 serenity
4 Ingot chewer
4 barbarian
3 wispmare



Zohar Bhagat - Dark Petition Storm

Maindeck (60)
4 Duress
2 Cabal Therapy
4 Dark Petition
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind's Desire
1 Ponder
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Dark Ritual
2 Cabal Ritual
1 Defense Grid
1 Black Lotus
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta
1 Badlands
1 Swamp
4 Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
2 Hurkyl's Recall  
3 Defense Grid
1 Swamp  
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Island  
1 Rebuild
1 Tinker
1 Sadistic Sacrament
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Blightsteel colossus



John Grudzina - Mentor Control

Maindeck (60)

3 Monastery Mentor
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Dragonlord Ojutai  
3 Mental Misstep
4 Force of Will
2 Flusterstorm
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig through Time
4 Gush
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Repeal  
2 Gitaxian Probe
3 Preordain
1 Ponder
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Time Walk  
1 Jace, the Mind Sculpter
1 Dack Faydon  
2 Sylvan Library
1 Fastbond  
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
2 Tropical Island
2 Volcanic Island
2 Tundra
3 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine  

Sideboard (15)
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Nature's Claim
1 Steel Sabotage
2 Containment Priest
2 Rest in Peace
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Aegis of the Gods
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Supreme Verdict



Bryan Hardenberger - Burning Tendrils (draw 7 variant)

Maindeck (60)
4 Force of Will
3 Misdirection
1 Mental Misstep
1 Spell Pierce
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Timetwister
3 Day's Undoing
1 Preordain
1 Ponder
1 Brainstorm
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Burning Wish
1 Hurkyl's Recall
3 Leyline of Anticipation
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Voltaic Key
1 Time Vault
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Time Walk
1 Mox Opal
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Notion Thief
3 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Underground Sea
1 Island
2 Volcanic Island
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy

Sideboard (15)
3 Leyline of the Void
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Upheaval
1 Time Spiral
1 Overmaster
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Tendrils of Agony
2 Shattering Spree
4 Dark Confidant

Moving forward, CBD will be requiring decklists in order to be able to put the results up here on TMD.  If I get  Mike Sorrento's list, I'll edit the post to put it up.

Congrats to our top 8, and thank you Alan Paperin for hosting a great event and venue for Vintage every month.
4  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Is Your Current Vintage Deck Proxy Free? on: January 14, 2016, 04:58:05 pm
I voted yes, because I can play shops completely proxy free.  I have almost 2 playsets of moxes, but am missing an Ancestral and Time Walk, due to them having my deck stolen at Neutral Ground in 2006 (I was trying to finish out my power at that time and was just missing lotus, sapphire and twister.

I usually play workshops and have been doing really well with storm, but if we had a sanctioned tournament tomorrow, I could only play powered shops or dredge
5  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open IV - Power Eight, Workshops & Drains Tournament - 6/4/16 on: January 12, 2016, 05:10:13 pm
I'm looking forward to making it this year.
6  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: TPS players on: December 07, 2015, 05:50:03 pm
I'm not going to make any absolute statements like "no force in storm ever" but I will say I have tested it quite a bit and my experience has been:

1) It weakens your blue matchup significantly -- to the point that it honestly might not even be a positive matchup anymore. You are not going to Force your threats through against decks packed with pyroblasts, missteps, etc. Hopefully I don't need to explain that any further.

2) It doesn't help the shops matchup as much as you might think. Ok, they had a t1 golem and you forced it pitching one of the other non-mana cards in your hand. Now what? Sure, sometimes you can win with the remaining 5 or draw into a win but I don't think "nut draw my opponent" really counts as a valid anti-shops plan

3) It requires you to run enough blue cards to support force, some of which may not be totally optimal in terms of advancing your primary gameplan. If you're running quad laser preordain, missteps, etc...maybe try cutting the rituals for gushes and the tendrils/bargain/necro for mentors and see if that doesn't work out a bit better.

I could go on but I have to run to work and I think the point should be clear enough. You are playing ritual storm. You WILL get blown out by a good shops draw a lot of the time. There's no real fixing that. Luckily, shops doesn't always draw the nuts and not everyone plays shops. Think about how you're winning *those* games and I think you'll see why Force might not be good here.



There's to much blue vs blue in the format for TPS to want to fight on the same axis.  My experiences are similar when it comes to counters vs discard.  If my discard spell gets countered -Oh well"  that's one less spell aimed at my bomb.  If it resolves, the free information is critical and you set them back.  Either way, you're kinda winning those small battles.  I also have to say, although it's not that difficult to do, the discard spells turn on spell mastry a lot more easily and efficiently, and in a more timely fashion than force if you're playing with DP.
7  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Monastery Mentor in storm combo on: November 24, 2015, 08:24:37 am
On Sunday I ran my DPS list and cut the tinker package for a singleton mentor.  I did not wind up needing to cast it, but there were decks in the room where I would have wanted it in my 60.  I cut the tinker package for it and a few other cards, and did not miss it all day.  I'm traditionally a shop pilot, and from the shop perspective, Mentor is a much better tinker the tinker.  Metamorph doesn't give you as much game when you copy it, it can't be contained by tangle wire, duplicate doesn't solve it because it grows wide, and even though lodestone will usually still attack profitably (it and tokens dont grow as large  on opponent's turn as with gush decks) you can still chumps and the crack back is a lot more painful.  It is easier to cast through spheres, as the lack of chalice means Shops are playing more Thorn, and in a time where Null Rod is seeing increased play, Hurkyll's gets better, which makes playing mentor better alongside it.  I ran one Mentor and a single Tundra main and it didn't affect the consistency of my storming out at all.  In fact, because it allowed me to cut the tinker package, I didn't have dead draws with Jar of Colossus, which sometimes can be stranded in hand if your mix of spells don't fit.

There was only twenty something people there, but being how I haven't played Storm since at least 09 and possibly even 07, my results were.surprisingly good.
8  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: TPS players on: November 24, 2015, 08:07:27 am
I just played Storm this past weekend at the Comic Book Depot's Monthly 1k event, to test it in a shop heavy meta.  I played my decklist on the fly because testing with defense grids was not getting me the results I wanted.  I played 2/2 split of Thoughtseize and duress and 3 cabal therapy and they were golden all day.  They were much better than force because the card disadvantage didn't rack up, and quit honestly, seeing their hand is more important than countering their spell.

In sideboarding, I had 4 extirpate in the board, but only brought 3 in (4 diluted the deck too much), swapping git probe for them.  These, in tandem with the discard were just golden, giving me two play options:

With Hands that were slow, I could cast a bait spell,  let it get countered and sit back knowing I could just strip out that counterspell anytime I want and get free info when I'm ready to go off because of split second while their sculpting their hand to deal with me...

Or

I could play and aggressive hand, use my discard to strip out counters then and there and play extirpate before a draw 7 to up the storm count and just limit the number of options they'll draw into that can interact with me.

Either way, it gets around misstep, is a great answer to fluster with the draw 7s and discard, can be used to pull Win cons out of decks if you hit lucky and need the time (pyromancer/ mentor, I'm looking at you), gives you free information, can be used proactive to neuter the efficiency of gushes, and can shut down library for a number of turns while you result your hand if you couldn't go off.
9  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Eternal Extravaganza 3 TO Report and Results on: November 17, 2015, 08:31:03 pm
Do we know how many people attended?
10  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: The actual effect of Restricting Chalice on: October 19, 2015, 05:31:35 pm

If Chalice was actually the problem, then why was it allowed to exist for 12 years?  It clearly was not the problem, to the extent that there was one, or it would not have been unrestricted all this time.  Except the last 12 months and the first few months of its existence, there were few calls to restrict Chalice.    

I would certainly hope that Wizards used online data mining and found that Chalice on the play turn 1 for 0 led to some extraordinarly high win percentage (i.e., greater than 85%), and decided that was the reason to axe it in particular.  Online Vintage has to yield them some numbers to work with.  

If not, then the DCI really does look like this:



The same can be said for playing a Turn 1 Jace or Dack, (especially against shops) but I don't see shop pilots clamoring for Jace or Dack's restriction.  

From this shop player's perspective, Chalice forced players to change their "answers" to artifacts to be able to play around it.  It just so happens players don't like being pigeon-holed into playing around Chalice, as it makes their deck-building and in-game decisions much more impactful and high-risk/high reward.  

While I respect your opinion Vaughnbros, Chalice was never a problem when Thorn of Amethyst was printed.  Blue decks still dominated tournaments.  Thorn made shops competitive, which is a big difference.  With the extra sphere effect, you couldn't just sit back and play draw go with a greedy manabase until you hit your Hurkyll's Recall, you actually had to try to fight through the spheres.  With each additional sphere printed, blue decks had to increasingly make harder and harder decisions with regard to what hate they play and how they play it.  No longer could a shop player pay  {4} or {5} to commit another non lethal 2 drop to the board, often at the cost of 2 or 4 life,  just for an instant speed 1 mana spell or a pitch counter to clear it off the table.  Chalice made you have to pay just as much in resources and tempo: 3 mana and 2 mountains, 2 cards, 1 life and 3 mana, etc.  In my opinion, chalice made it a fair game.  I've heard a lot of people complain that chalice locks players out from being able to compete, but it did the same to shop decks.  For how many years did shop players correctly play chalice at 0 just to lose all that tempo when they draw three straight moxes off the top.  We call it variance.  The critics call it unfair.  Just because we pay a format where we can play all the broken artifacts and cheap spells doesn't automatically give us the right to have those spells resolve.

I'm glad that a change gave ritual based lists life, I really am, as I used to play rituals many years ago and have a love for the archetype.  but I've seen some amazing decks thrive solely because a card like chalice gave those decks a chance to compete.  Stormanimagus played his Humans list at Worlds and was 6-1-1 entering round 9.  That kind of innovation would not be possible without the leverage Chalice offers fair decks to interact with broken ones.  With that said, we have worked so hard to grow the community and dispel the myths that Vintage is a 1st turn kill format.  With the restriction of chalice, it might be just that.  People keep saying that Force of Will is the glue that keeps vintage together.  I feel that Vintage is going to experience a combo winter, and after it's all said and done, Chalice will have earned the same title as Force.  
11  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Podcast] So Many Insane Plays Podcast Episode 47: Champs Review on: September 23, 2015, 05:17:01 pm
This was one of the better podcasts for the SMIP series.  I know it went longer than usual, but the amount of information newer players and vintage enthusiasts can pull from wasa extensive and very helpful in helping those who dont frequently play vintage gain a better understanding of what happened at Worlds.

There was a section where you all mentioned judge calls.  I agree that some of the judges blew calls that should have been made.  I want to specifically talk about the Roland judge call issue.  I sat immediately to his right when I was playing my opponent, Lenny,  in round 8 (who was sitting to the left of Roland's opponent).  Roland's opponent actually interrupted our game as well when it happened.

Lenny and I were playing out our second turns when we heard Roland's opponent get loud and try to tap down immediately after Roland played his tangle wire, and saw Roland get confused / frustrated / cautious in explaining how it works.  His opponent says something to the effect of "these don't tap down on your turn" and Roland saying something to the effect of "exactly, they tap down on YOUR turn", at which point, Lenny and I look at each other, as tension started to set in on that match.  I looked over to see that on roland's opponent's side, he had a Lodestone, a tapped mox, a tapped workshop, and a chalice with no dice counters on them, thus deducing that Roland's opponent played Workshop, mox, lodestone, chalice on 0, and passed. 

Roland had a workshop and a tangle wire with 4 counters on it, the same tangle wire the opponent was clamoring about a few seconds earlier. 

At this point, it's still my turn in my game when I hear Roland stop him.  Lenny and I both look over and see that he rushed into his draw step, and then Roland's opponent called the judge on himself.  Roland explained that he proceeded to draw and skipped his upkeep, and he said that Roland didn't remind him of the trigger (which he did, from the previous turn's back and forth).  The floor judge made the right call, and he appealed saying "where I'm from, that's a missed trigger, and we handle it differently".  The head judge  overrulled it.  At which point Roland was furious, and his opponent got to smash in with Lodestone and drop either another lodestone or a lock piece.  Roland got legally cheated.

I remember Lenny's name, because after the head judge walked away, Lenny leaned over to Roland's opponent and said, "not for nothing, but that was a dick-move".  I felt bad about the play.  I wanted to dat something, but a few years ago, I reported a similar issue where a player had misrepresented facts to a judge and I pulled the judge aside after he walked away from the table but before he made a ruling, and got a warning for it because as an active participant of the tournament, any imput I give could affect the ruling, and thus the match, and I'm not supposed to get involved as matches could have a direct or indirect affect of my placement on the standings (it was described afterwards that my approaching the judge could be interpreted as a form of cheating).  Spectators have no benefit from these judge calls, and are thus able to call these things out.  That was a few years ago, but I didn;t want to get thrown out for trying to do the right thing.  It really sucks.

Regardless, I don't like how it went down, and can personally attest that, had both judges known about all the back and forth when Roland played the tangle wire, the call may have gone against Roland's opponent as cheating. Roland did point out the triggers, about 15 seconds before.  His opponent was just desperate to win a match against a former world champ.
12  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: Stone Cold Humans: The Best Kept Vintage Secret on: September 01, 2015, 04:07:14 pm
I just wanted to let everyone know that the deck went on a 6-0-1 run through the first 7 rounds of Vintage Worlds.  I was really proud of Noah and this deck's performance. 
13  Eternal Formats / Workshop-Based Prison / Re: Serum Powder in Espresso on: March 29, 2015, 08:37:35 pm
I have to agree with Twaun007 here.  I have been a shop pilot for about a decade, and co-created the Bazaar Stax deck that ran Bazaar without Uba Mask that did well from 2007-2010.  I took a 5 year leave to attend to family, get married, becaome a stepfather to 3, and have a beautiful little girl of my own.  At last month's $1k at Top Deck games, I made it to the top 8 (in a 34 player tournament) piloting Serum Powders.  Contrary to popular belief, my testing had suggested that tangle+sphere was stong enough to slow down Monastery Mentor and Pyromancer for Smokestack to beat it, and I was right.  Had I not drawn 9 straight blanks In game 3 of my Top 8 oath match against Greg Fentonfter locking him out for 7 turns, I'm pretty sure the deck could have taken the whole thing.

During this tounament, I only mulled using powder once, drawing one almost every game I didnt mulligan.  Even in starting with a Virtual 6 card hand, the stregnth of those hands as a whole are head and shoulders much better than a typical shop hand.  Even when playing against all my shop mirrors on the draw, Serum Powder has uses in allowing you better mana so Wastelands dont cripple you, and allow you to save life by bypassing Ancient Tombs.

In the current metagame, Leylines are just ridiculous right now, and many decks just dont have many meaningful ways to interact with them.  In the two Oath matches I faced, Chalice of the Void at 1 completely cut off Oath's ability to deal with Leyline of Sanctity.  Many decks just have no outs to it, and as long as Martello Shops remains the popular shop list, opponents will not plan for it.

Powders are the real deal, and as Wizards continues to print useful artifacts for Vintage, I expect their strength and in-game value to continue to rise.

Good job at the Top Deck, it seems like you made quite the return!

My takeaway from your post is that the Espresso core is still very strong, just as Prospero stated. Only using Serum Powder once for mulliganning and mostly just using it as a three mana Mox leads me to believe that you would be better off running more mana sources in general rather than Powder itself. I did not watch your match against Greg and thus do not know what the "9 straight blanks in game 3" were, but if one of them was Serum Powder then it is possible that it being a "blank" in the late game cost you the match. Had Serum Powder been a utility land such as Buried Ruin or a threat the outcome may have been different.

Just an aside, but Chalice of the Void at one counter does not cut off Oath's ability to deal with Leyline of Sanctity because Chalice can be Abrupt Decayed. Oath decks also play Show and Tell which completely bypasses Leyline of Sanctity.

The exact senario was that I opened up on Double Leyline of Sanctity, Chalice, Sphere, Wasteland, Ancient Tomb, Cage, on the draw.  I drew another sphere,  got the first sphere countered, and then piled on spheres until about turn 4, where I drew nothing but a leyline, a serum powder, Moxes, and non-factory lands for 9 straight turns.  A smokestack, Crucible, early factory, lodestone:  anything wouldve put that game away.   Even a late tangle wire would've bought a few more turns. He drew land heavy for a few turns as well and eventually got to show and tell mana through the spheres, dropping Gristlebrand while I dropped leyline #3, and the game was over 3 turns later.  The powder was hardcast early to help me avoid taking tomb damage.

As for chewer, I don't think its that big a deal.  It will never get hardcast for 5 if you know what you're doing, making it a 1 for 1 at best.  Chewer is also at its best when there are lots of thorns running around, a card expresso really shys away from for the stronger effect in sphere.  Chewer will beat a sphere, but due to its sorcery speed nature, if you overlap it with another lock piece, it often can't get evoked.  That was the same senario with Chalice at 1 protecting my game 3 leylines: yes it can get Decayed, but its another shield for leyline, making claim useless until it is dealt with, which is oftentimes good enough.  Much like Ray stated in "The Rebuild Effect" piece a few years ago, it buys you time so the threats can bury the opponent.
14  Eternal Formats / Workshop-Based Prison / Re: Serum Powder in Espresso on: March 25, 2015, 01:47:44 pm
I have to agree with Twaun007 here.  I have been a shop pilot for about a decade, and co-created the Bazaar Stax deck that ran Bazaar without Uba Mask that did well from 2007-2010.  I took a 5 year leave to attend to family, get married, becaome a stepfather to 3, and have a beautiful little girl of my own.  At my first tournament back (last month's $1k at Top Deck games), I made it to the top 8 (in a 34 player tournament) piloting Serum Powders.  Contrary to popular belief, my testing had suggested that tangle+sphere was stong enough to slow down Monastery Mentor and Pyromancer for Smokestack to beat it, and I was right.  Had I not drawn 9 straight blanks In game 3 of my Top 8 oath match against Greg Fentonfter locking him out for 7 turns, I'm pretty sure the deck could have taken the whole thing.

During this tounament, I only mulled using powder once, drawing one almost every game I didnt mulligan.  Even in starting with a Virtual 6 card hand, the stregnth of those hands as a whole are head and shoulders much better than a typical shop hand.  Even when playing against all my shop mirrors on the draw, Serum Powder has uses in allowing you better mana so Wastelands dont cripple you, and allow you to save life by bypassing Ancient Tombs.

In the current metagame, Leylines are just ridiculous right now, and many decks just dont have many meaningful ways to interact with them.  In the two Oath matches I faced, Chalice of the Void at 1 completely cut off Oath's ability to deal with Leyline of Sanctity.  Many decks just have no outs to it, and as long as Martello Shops remains the popular shop list, opponents will not plan for it.  Powders are the real deal, and as Wizards continues to print useful artifacts for Vintage, I expect their strength and in-game value to continue to rise.

With that said, it took me about 100 matches to become knowledgeable of the nuiances and play fluidly and confidently with them.  Playing with them does alter deck design, and the play value of the other 56 cards will change, both individually and in unision with one another, when using Powders
15  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: [Top Deck Games] February Vintage $1000 Event - 2/28 on: March 07, 2015, 09:30:00 am
Will we get a TO report on this?  I want to find out what happened after I lost in the first round of the top 8.
16  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: Stone Cold Humans: The Best Kept Vintage Secret on: March 06, 2015, 06:02:46 pm
This Primer is very well written and thought out.  I definately feel that the fish archetype is underplayed as a whole, as it is powerful and comes at vintage from a radically different angle, much like dredge, shops, and tps come at the opponent from vastly different angles.  In testing, a lot of what you've revealed holds merit, but I feel it'll start to catch once a few top 8's start turning heads.

I look forward to hearing about your results in future torunaments.  Good luck buddy.
17  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Commemorative Dice for the N.Y.S.E. Open III on: March 02, 2015, 01:45:34 pm
Every shop player should buy a few of these, if for nothing more than to tick wires in style.
18  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Mishra's Workshop Vintage Tournament at The Comic Book Depot Dec 20th on: December 12, 2014, 06:01:57 pm
I might be bringing a new vintage player with me to this event.  Can someone post a link to the rules on accepable proxies.  Now that I am freshly married, moved into a new neighborhood in NYC, am now a landlord, and things have settled with the kids, I looking forward to more Vintage.
19  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Comic Book Depot - Friday Night Vintage - 1/2/15 on: December 12, 2014, 05:58:32 pm
I've been out of the tourament scene for a few years, but still have kept up with everything.  I'm looking forward to a regularly held vnenue to get back into the swing of things.
20  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Eternal Magic League @ 20 Sided Store - Vintage 4/19, 5/31, 6/28 (Brooklyn, NY) on: May 23, 2014, 09:33:17 pm
Just saw this post... I will definately be there and bring some people with me.
21  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Karn the Released on: April 06, 2011, 05:48:44 pm
If anything make this card unplayable, it's the additional mana cost jump from 6 mana to 7.  I believe this Karn can function as a niche card that can be extremely broken in Shop shells that utilize both Metalworker and Serum Powder; possibly some iteration of 2 card Monte or Shop combo.  In addition to what's been stated, I say thit for the following reasons:

1) The -3 can be used on yourself and not just your opponent.  If you remove a Leyline from your hand to then restart the game, it starts in play.  This is extremely useful for Mud Shells that cannot hard-cast LoTV, or 2 Card Monte games where the shop player can't closeout the game.

2) The ultimate ability allows for Serum powders in those builds to be useful after the original start of game mulligan.  This becomes even more broken after game one strategically.  The comp rules state (in section 103.2)"...In a match of several games, the loser of the previos game chooses who takes the first turn."  If Karn triggers in games 2 or 3 and you begun that game, not only do you begin the game with the removed cards, but you are guaranteed to go first again.  You have gotten to see the sideboard and are able to mulligan again, using serum powder as another free draw 7 to fix your hand, knowing what will be in play on turn 0.  Even removing something as insignificant as a mid-game chalice becomes backbreaking when you can restart the game and mull straight to a golem.  Replace that theoretical chalice with  a leyline or grindstone, and you can see where I'm going with this.

3)  Being an out to BSC - good
     Handles enchantments - better
     One more way to deal with a Basic Island - Priceless

I cannot say that it is playable.  Seven mana is usually way beyond the pricetag of what's reasonable.  However, if this card does find a niche, I have a very strong feeling it will be a monster.
22  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. X - 7/31 Ancestral Recall Tournament on: July 28, 2010, 07:38:13 pm
I'm glad to say I am finally coming down and will he bringing 4 people with me, including Ici, Noah, and David Jasie.  I'll see you there
23  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / 10 Proxy Tournament in NYC this weekend on: January 07, 2010, 03:12:42 am
I Know this is pretty last minute for many of you, but Alex of Kings Games just notified me he will be hosting a Mox tournament this weekend.  The Specs are below


What:  MTG Vintage 10-Proxy Mox Tournament
Where:  Kings Games
            1685 East 15th Street
            Brooklyn, NY 11229

When:  Saturday January 9th, 2010
Registration:  10:00 am - 10:50 am
Start Time:  11:00 am SHARP (this will be strictly enforced)
Entry Fee:  $25 USD
Proxies:  10 Proxy Limit

1st Place = Unlimited FR Mox Pearl
2nd Place = Mana Crypt
Top 4 = Beta Regrowth

There will be 5 rounds of Swiss for 32 or fewer players, and 6 rounds of swiss if we break 32
The prizes are guaranteed at 20 people and will scale up with more players

Directions to the store can be found at http://kingsgames.com/directions.php

Hope that some of us locals can make it out and show our support
24  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / Dammit!!!! Can't make it. on: December 30, 2009, 08:58:28 pm
I have to work the weekend.  But I'm extremely interested o. Seeing how good a turnout you get, especially for the sanctioned vintage event.  Definately keep us posted.
25  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / Re: Finally, a Vintage Tournament for Power in NYC! 11/7/09 on: November 03, 2009, 06:44:11 pm
This isn't trash talking so much as a personal statement.  I have something to prove... To my team, to the community, and most importantly to myself.  It's been a while since a top 8, or any tournament for that matter, and I've been dealing with a lot of personal shit, so I'm going to play hard and play angry, and prove that I still got it.
26  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / Re: Finally, a Vintage Tournament for Power in NYC! 11/7/09 on: October 25, 2009, 12:47:43 am
There indeed will be a 10 proxy limit enforced at this tournament.  I will amend the original post accordingly.
27  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: N.Y.S.E. Challenge III - Official Report on: October 21, 2009, 08:36:10 am
That mono red stax deck is the truth.  Many people have picked it up, and quickly put it back down.  It is one of the more dfficult stax builds to pilot properly, and within time.  Only two people have played this deck.  If you look at the match win percentages and tournament history of the deck, the results speak for themselves.  And if my understanding is correct, the Oath deck he lost to in the top 8 is the same deck he beat in the swiss.  Congrats Ici on another strong finish. 
28  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / I wish I could make this... on: October 15, 2009, 12:11:17 am
But October has been a certified b*tch for me as far as events go.  I had put and gotten in a day off request with the city for Traviscon over a month in advance and it go repealed by my comissioner/ chiefs at the job.  As it stands, I need to give 4 weeks notice to get a day off with the city, so I've been screwed out of some serious events.  With that said, I know Ici and Stormanimagus are going to represent.  Prospero, I really wish I could make it.  I hope you take lots pf pics, and hopefully, when this new job happens, it'll make my Vintage life all that much easier.  I look forward to reading the tournament report.

Viva los Shops!
29  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / Re: Finally, a Vintage Tournament for Power in NYC! 11/7/09 on: October 15, 2009, 12:02:39 am
If they need directions, or if they are not too far out, let me know.  I have a car.
30  Archives / Tournament Announcement Forum / Finally, a Vintage Tournament for Power in NYC! 11/7/09 on: October 05, 2009, 10:12:56 pm
It's taken a while, but I am finally glad to announce the first Vintage tournament in N.Y,C. for power since Neutral Ground.  I want to thank Alex Schvartzman for putting this event together.  A lot of players have been asking for an event like this, and I really hope you all come out to support this event, one which I hope will be the first of many.

Now for the details

Where:  Kings Games
            1685 East 15th Street
            Brooklyn, NY 11229

When:  Saturday November 7th, 2009
Registration:  10:00 am - 10:50 am
Start Time:  11:00 am SHARP (this will be strictly enforced)
Entry Fee:  $25 USD
Proxies:  10 Proxy Limit


There will be 5 rounds of Swiss for 32 or fewer players, and 6 rounds of swiss if we break 32

The prizes are guaranteed at the following tiers of attendance:

20 - 29 players
1st Place = Unlimited Mox Jet
2nd Place = Mana Crypt
3rd/4th place = Force of Will

30 -  39 players

1st Place = Unlimited Mox Jet
2nd = Library of Alexandria
3rd/4th Place = Mana Crypt

40 + players

1st Place = Alpha Ancestral Recall
2nd Place= Library of Alexandria
3rd/4th Place = Mana Crypt
5th - 8th Place = Force of Will

In addition to the Main Event, we will be hosting a side event if we have a minimum of 8 participants

SIDE EVENT

Entry Fee:  $10
Start Time:  At the start of the Top 8, after swiss rounds
Deck Registration Sheets will have to be provided if using a different deck list than the one used for the main event.
First place will win a sealed "From the Vault: Exiled" set

There are many parking garages in the area, but if you grant yourself and extra 15 minutes, you can find street parking in the area

Directions to the store can be found at http://kingsgames.com/directions.php

I hope to see you all there.  I'm taking this day off so even Bloomberg can't keep me from this.  If anyone wants to hitch a ride in, if you can get to Queens, let me know and I'll carpool us in.
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