Posts Tagged ‘Vintage’

This week in Magic: Feelings, Bannings, and PPTQS

treasure cruise

Welcome back to another “This week in Magic.” For our time together we’ll be covering several topics. To start things off let me share my experience at the first PPTQ held at the Abington store on January 11. On a Sunday, I felt we had a pretty good turn out. I can’t remember exactly how many people showed up, but I believe the attendance was somewhere around 50. I can definitely tell you there were six rounds of swiss with a cut to the Top 8.


Losing gracefully

The reason I want to share my experience at the PPTQ is because I was reminded about something important. As Magic players, I think it’s safe to say that we’re mostly competitive players by nature. By this I mean losing is not an option we take lightly. Winning is obviously preferred. If losing does happen, we’d rather not talk about it and, sometimes, we’d rather just move on.


However, at some point or another, we’re going to have to accept losing and take it with grace. In fact, it’s the only way, as players, we’re going to get better at the game. Let me pose a question to many of you out there. This question doesn’t just apply to those who play Magic. This question applies to anyone who plays any kind of game.


What tends to be your initial reaction when you lose? Do you rage and flip tables? Are you the type that suddenly becomes quiet and refuses to talk to even your closest friends? Well, whatever happens, I feel like keeping it in is the worst thing you can do.


I lost a close match at that PPTQ. Actually, I felt I should never have lost that match. I admit I went into thinking I was going to win, or at least, I should win. However, I also reminded myself of terrible past experiences where I lost matches to players who had only been playing for a couple of months.


When I lost that match, time stood still for me. I imagined flipping the table at screaming at the top of my lungs. Of course, in real life this didn’t happen. I kind of just stared off into the distance. All the while my opponent had continued to talk to me expressing how he thought he shouldn’t have won that game and how lucky he was to get such a “great opening hand.”


It’s time like that which are the most humbling. I may have been a little bit distant at the very end of that match. When it was all said and done, and my slip was passed in, my friends had come up to me and asked how my last match had gone. Obviously I had replayed some of the table flipping I imagined, but, in the end, I laughed and said, “I just got my butt whipped.”


Take your loss and move on. Why is losing so important? Losing makes you such a better player both in terms of play and sportsmanship.


Recent changes to banned/restricted list

In other news, Wizards of the Cost released their latest changes to the Banned/Restricted list for all formats. For those of you who may have missed the daily memo here is a breakdown of what happened:



Standard players typically need not worry about these kind of rulings. Rarely have they been affected. However, as you can see, if you play an older format, then you may want to pay attention whenever these announcements come out.


I believe for a while we all knew out of Jeskai Ascendancy, Treasure Cruise, and Dig Through Time, that one of those was going to be banned. Right before the announcement was made, many people had made up their mind that the enchantment was most likely to get the axe. As we all know by now, this was not the case and the news certainly shook things up a bit.


Treasure Cruise is not a surprise. Like I said, it was one of three to be banned. Dig Through Time may have been a tiny bit surprising. I can see the banning of one card or the other, but to ban both at the same time caught me off guard. I can see it though. If you aren’t playing with one, you’re going to use the other. Each card has almost the same effect in regards to getting a player tons of information for a potentially small amount of mana. Banning both cards at the same time was probably the right choice.


As far as Birthing Pod is concerned, why wasn’t this banned earlier? Some may have felt that the people at Wizards needed a little more convincing. Well that certainly came in the form of Siege Rhino.


In the end, I understand why the bannings took place. It will definitely shake things up in Modern. As far as Legacy goes, I feel it just removes UR Delver from the equation. Which isn’t much if you ask me.


Upcoming events

As a quick wrap up, I just wanted to remind you all that this Friday, January 23, is the Fate Reforged Fatpack Challenge. These have been a great hit and a wonderful reason to open up more packs. So, if you think you have what it takes to take on the challenge, click here for more information about the event.


fatpack hallenge

Finally, on January 25, there will be another PPTQ held at the Abington store. The format will be Standard. Doors open at 10 AM, Registration at 11 AM, and Round 1 Pairings at 12 PM. For more information on this event, click here.


PPTQ 1252015

About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!

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‘Magic the Gathering’ Banned & Restricted List Update



Wizards of the Coast announced today their quarterly update to the Magic the Gathering Banned & Restricted list; a list of cards deemed to be, typically, too powerful to be allowed in tournament play in an effort to keep the various formats fun, diverse and healthy.


Many speculated across social media that major updates were eminent. Today’s announcement certainly lives up to that speculation.


In it’s entirety, here is the Banned & Restricted Announcement:


Announcement Date: January 19, 2015

Effective Date: January 23, 2015

Magic Online Effective Date: January 28, 2015


Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, and Birthing Pod are banned.

Golgari Grave-Troll is no longer banned.


Treasure Cruise is banned.

Worldgorger Dragon is no longer banned.


Treasure Cruise is restricted.

Gifts Ungiven is no longer restricted.

The complete list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.

Next B&R Announcement: March 23, 2015


Explanation of Changes


Wizards of the Coast examines tournament results from each competitive Constructed format. When a format becomes imbalanced, we examine the cause. Sometimes, a card-drawing card can be too efficient. The decks that draw cards so efficiently push out many other decks, limiting the field to the strong decks that best use those card drawers and decks that don’t play in interactive games with those strong decks. In that case, the best option might be to ban the overly efficient card drawer.

Since Wizards looks to limit the number of cards banned, each format is evaluated on its own merits. The same card might be banned in some formats, and not others, in a way that might appear uneven. That happens because the card is banned in the formats where, in practice, it is problematic.

Here are our changes:


Decks playing the powerful card drawers have been winning a lot, and pushing a lot of other decks down in competitive play. Blue-Red Delver decks, playing efficient creatures, card drawers, burn, and some permission spells have been the most successful. Also, decks focused on more burn, or combination decks using Jeskai Ascendancy, have done well. However, as these decks have occupied a large portion of the competitive metagame, the overall variety of successful decks has been suppressed. It is imbalanced enough that Wizards of the Coast has decided to act. In Modern, these cards are easy replacements for one another—while a Delver deck might use Treasure Cruise overDig Through Time, banning one but not the other would do little to change the deck. Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise are banned.

Over the past year, Birthing Pod decks have won significantly more Grand Prix than any other Modern decks and compose the largest percentage of the field. Each year, new powerful options are printed, most recently Siege Rhino. Over time, this creates a growing gap between the strength of the Pod deck and other creature decks. Pod won five of the twelve Grand Prix over the past year, including winning the last two. The high percentage of the field playing Pod suppresses decks, especially other creature decks, that have an unfavorable matchup. In the interest of supporting a diverse format, Birthing Pod is banned.

When cards are banned from a format, Wizards investigates whether there is a banned card that, if not banned, might add new decks to competitive play. We look for cards that are unlikely to add power to existing top decks, but instead add new strategies or augment decks that are not currently as successful. Golgari Grave-Troll is very powerful in a deck based on getting a lot of cards into its graveyard. Replacing a card draw with dredge 6 is a terrific rate. However, that type of deck has not been as successful in Modern tournaments recently. While taking such a card off the banned list has some risks, this is a good time to see what happens. Golgari Grave-Troll is no longer banned.


Blue-Red Delver decks have been so successful at tournament play that they are hurting the diversity of the format. While other decks can have some success, the diversity is significantly less than it had been. Treasure Cruise is banned.

Worldgorger Dragon has a strange and powerful interaction with Animate Dead. This used to be too powerful for Legacy. It is not clear that this is more powerful than animating Griselbrand, and this interaction may add an interesting variant. Worldgorger Dragon is no longer banned.


Again, Blue-Red Delver decks have been so successful at tournament play that they are hurting the diversity of the format. Treasure Cruise is restricted.

Years ago, Gifts Ungiven was dominating Vintage tournament play. However, this has not been the case recently, and the card might invigorate some less-played Vintage decks. Gifts Ungiven is no longer restricted.


What do you think of these changes? Are you happy with them? Sound off in the comments below!








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