The Great Big Compendium of Vintage Knowledge
As a big fan of Vintage, I like to think I know a little bit about the format. However, we all start somewhere and need a bit of a jump to get up to speed sometimes. Therefore I’ve decided to put together a list of as many resources as possible to help you get into the format, explore it a little more, and keep them all together in one handy place for your perusal.
This is the first in a mini-series of these I’ll be writing, with Legacy and Modern versions to follow in anticipation of the Eternal National Championships coming up in May. If you’re planning on taking part in these please do sign up now to guarantee your place asap!
First up we have probably the most essential piece of information available, the Banned and Restricted List. It’s not something that you’ll need to constantly refer back to, but as starting points go its a pretty good place to start.
One of the biggest sites for Vintage content is http://www.eternalcentral.com. This is the home of a plethora of fantastic writers and podcasts including amongst them Steve Menendian, author of many, many books on Vintage (that’s right, books. Not just articles. Actual physical books. They are a little bit heavy to read as they are very thorough and analytical, but are well worth it if you really want to go deep in vintage) and co-host of So Many Insane Plays Podcast with Kevin Cron. It also hosts the Serious Vintage Podcast with Nat Moes, Geoff Moes and Josh Chapple who are a little less analytical than Menendian and Cron and are a little bit more of a group of friends chatting in a pub.
Speaking of Nat Moes, he also writes a fortnightly column on LegitMTG.com, The Vintage Advantage. His articles are well worth a read through for the new arrival to vintage as he covers budget decks, a beginner’s guide and a pair of articles on the pillars of Vintage (Part 1, Part 2) as well as a guide to building a Vintage community in your area.
We also have a few forums which are great places to ask for help and inspire discussion on a topic. The most vintage-central of these is The Mana Drain which specialised in Vintage discussion, decklists, theorycrafting and news. The MTGSalvation forums are also a good source of Vintage information, though they can be a little slow as its not a dedicated Vintage site like The Mana Drain is.
If you’re just looking for good hard data, then morphling.de is the place to look. It has an extensive database of top 8 decks from tournaments throughout the world, as well as reports and information on upcoming tournaments. It also has information on Legacy decks too, and is a very useful tool to use once you know how to use it. mtgtop8.com also has similar information on top 8s, both are very useful and have a lot of information at their disposal, its really down to personal preference which one you use.
The Vintage Super League is a relatively new phenomenon, come about due to the release of Vintage Masters on MTGO and the resultant fact that power is now available online. Read through this list of players:
Just count the number of Pro Tour, GP and Vintage World Championship wins and Hall of Fame inductions amongst these guys, it really is quite incredible, and they’re all facing off against each other in the Super League!
The inaugral Super League ran for three months in late 2014 with all 10 members facing off in a round robin event. The Top 4 would face off in the postseason for the title of Season 1 champion with the runner up getting kicked out of the league (I won’t go into any details, ’cause SPOILERS!). In it we see a variety of decks such as Delver, Dredge, Shops, various control strategies and 9 copies of Dark Confidant in one match.
The League also showcased the evolution of the metagame and displayed how a specific metagame can evolve over a certain number of iterations. We also see the huge impact of the delve spells from Khans of Tarkir and how they affect how Vintage is played.
For season two Kai Budde has taken up the spare slot left after season one, and there has been innovation and experimentation with new deck ideas abound and an adaptation to the format post restriction/unrestriction of Treasure Cruise and Gifts Ungiven. Season two is certainly shaping up to be a good one.
There are also plenty of Facebook groups dedicated to the eternal formats, and Vintage in particuar. UK & Ireland Vintage MTG Community is one run by our very own mtgUK team, its a little quiet right now but will contain most UK Vintage events that are going on. There is also Magic the Gathering VINTAGE players which is an international group and regularly features discussions on decks, cards for sale and beautiful decks to look at.
Of course, I shouldn’t fail to mention this fine site you’re reading right now. Whilst there isn’t a lot available now, there will be more Vintage content going up on a more frequent basis, especially in the build up to the upcoming mtgUK National Vintage Championships in May. I know that I will be going over some of the decks I expect to see, ideas for budget decks and other Vintage related things that tickle my fancy.
There are a few writers for Star City Games who occasionally write about Vintage too. Brian DeMars and Carsten Kotter both write regularly on the Select side of SCG and often have thought provoking deck ideas and good metagame analyses.
Finally, I come to a writer who has been championing the eternal formats on the premium side of Star City Games for a while now, innovating new deck ideas and showcasing strategies in video series, and that is Drew Levin. Whilst the more recent content is behind the paywall for subscribers, once content has been up for over a month it becomes free to read. Drew’s articles are a favourite of mine due to the way he reasons his deck selection choices and teaches you how he builds a deck rather than just showing the deck off and how it works. His videos are a nice bonus too.
I’ll leave you with a list of all of the personalities I’ve mentioned here, as well as their respective Twitter tags as the majority are avid tweeters and will tweet regularly about their Vintage experiences.
Steve Menendian @SMenendian
Kevin Cron @kevincron
So Many Insane Plays Podcast @SoManyInsanePlays
Nat Moes @GrandpaBelcher
Geoff Moes @ThallidTosser
Josh Chapple @joshchapple
Randy Buehler @rbuehler
Luis Scott-Vargas @lsv
David Williams @dwpoker
Chris Pikula @meddlingmage
Eric Froehlich @efropoker
Tom Martell @tommartell
Josh Utter-Leyton @wrapter
Kai Budde @kaibudde
Brian DeMars @briandemars1
Drew Levin @drewlevin
And my good self @ChrisArrCooper
As always, thanks for reading. I hope you find this useful and informative. Now go out and spread the word!
Community Question: What websites and writers do you turn to for Vintage content?