AuthorBen Kowal

After finishing T8 at the Jan. '05 Star City P9 Richmond, Ben then went on to win the 154 player Apr. '05 Star City P9 Chicago.

SCG Daily – Previewing Power 9 Richmond

Welcome back. Today I’d like to go over what you should expect if you’re planning on playing Vintage in Richmond this weekend. My job today is pretty easy though, since anyone who’s been to Richmond before knows that the metagame is extremely predictable. What’s that? You don’t know what to expect? Well read on, then. Still need a decklist for the big event? I got your back on that one too.

SCG Daily – Vintage Pimpness

I get a lot of questions from players who love their foils as to how best to maximize the pimpness ratings of their Magical cards. In order to make this a little more clearly apparent (and to write a slightly more whimsical than usual article) I’ve decided to take up the challenge as an article. Read on to discover maximum pimposity.

SCG Daily – Blue Mana for Beginners Part 3: Mono-Blue Control

I originally had plans to unveil a decklist after a couple New England tournaments to test-drive it. I decided not to do that when I rediscovered my affection for Shortbus Severance Belcher, and ended up winning with that instead. However, I’ve received a lot of requests to release this decklist anyway, and who am I to say no

SCG Daily – Blue Mana for Beginners

Hello again lads and lasses. As you may have guessed, this is my week for Star City Daily. Today I’d like to cover some ground that should be pretty much common knowledge for the real competitors in Vintage already, but may just be something you’ve never actively thought about: the how, when, where, and why of drawing cards. Okay, this is a Ben Kowal daily… maybe we’ll just cover two of those to start.

Getting Super Pumped for Rochester

This is a super special version of the normal Power 9 Preview article, because we have an added element to accommodate for: the presence of the SCG Shooting Stars! This may seem like one of the most daunting tournaments in a very long time thanks to that presence, but you should treat it no differently than you treat your average high profile tournament. There will still be a dense concentration of people you can beat if you play properly, and that includes the guys wearing the t-shirts. The biggest weapon you can have against these competitors is familiarity with the format, so let’s get down to brass tacks.

Smallpox in the Midwest: My Star City P9 Chicago Report *1st*

I hadn’t planned on writing a report. I was worried that by doing so, I’d inadvertently make fun of the Midwest and devalue my win. Then I realized I played like an asshat all day and still won, so I don’t really feel like I earned it anyway. I’m still looking at this Black Lotus wondering why it’s here, because I don’t think I played optimally in any game all day…

Winter Restrictions

The restricted list is designed to keep the format as skill intensive as possible, by keeping mindless “I win” cards from polluting the format. Cards like Gush and Burning Wish could make your opponent’s entire game plan irrelevant, because you could win before they got a chance to make any decisions, or just simply overpower them, putting them in a position that no amount of correct decision making could make them succeed.
The hot topic right now in Vintage is the upcoming December restriction announcement. There’s blood boiling on both sides of the issues, and as players it’s our responsibility to tell the DCI exactly what the format needs to remove in order to make skill as important as possible.

The Reverse Metagame Trend

As some people may have noticed in recent weeks, Vintage Magic seems to be reverting to the way it looked this time last year. The top combo deck is a Long variant. The top aggro deck is Mishra’s Workshop/Goblin Welder based, but without things like Survival of the Fittest ruining the manabase. Why has the metagame done a sort of shift backwards? The blame for this trend lies at the feet of Control Slaver, and here’s why.

Gen Con Feature Match Coverage – The Swiss

Through the hard work of our newest Featured Writer Ben Kowal, StarCityGames.com brings you match coverage from the Type I World Championships held at GenCon last weekend. All the Swiss rounds will be posted today and then the top 8 matches will be posted on Monday. Catch all the vintage action, only at StarCityGames.com.