AuthorStephen Menendian

Stephen Menendian was the 2007 Vintage World Champion and the Season 1 Vintage Super League Champion. He's also the author of "Understanding Gush: Strategies and Tactics."

Meandeck’s Angels: A look at the new Oath of Druids Deck

Mean Deck Oath placed an astounding four players in the Top 8 of the most recent StarCityGames.com Power 9 tournament, and we know that you’re all dying to find out how the deck came about, what the strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can either win with it or beat it. Steve has included all this information in his complete primer on the hottest new deck in Type One, so what are you waiting for?

The Case for MeanDeath Part III – Sideboarding and Matchup Analysis

In Part One, I made the case for MeanDeath as a serious contender in the format. In Part Two, I walked through some of the important considerations that will guide your gameplay. In this article, I wrap up the discussion with an explanation of various sideboard decisions, suggestions on how to sideboard, and a give run-through of the important matchups. I’ll conclude with some final considerations that will tighten up your game.

The Case for MeanDeath, Part II – How the Heck Do I Play This Thing?

In this article, I’ll explain the game plan of the deck and then describe how to use the core cards properly, because every card has qualifications upon when you should play it that may not be immediately obvious. First I want to address the most important decision you will make in every game that you play with this deck: mulliganing.

The Case For MeanDeath

Why play a deck that just dies to Trinisphere and Null Rod? Why play a deck with land and consistency issues? Why play a deck that can randomly crap out on you? Why play a deck that is trying to compensate for having two cards restricted out from under it? I think I’ve got it figured out and the answer is nearly as impressive as its Long.dec cousin.

The Return Of Ophie, The One-Eyed, Card-Drawing Snake

Type One has a store of decks waiting in the wings to make their big return. Often they are waiting for that new card to bring the deck back into the limelight. More likely, they are waiting for a shift in the metagame or banning to weaken rivals. If both conditions are met, then the stage may be set for an encore performance. Mono-Blue Control is one such deck.

The Banned Plays Again: An Encore For Magic’s Greatest Decks

Have you ever wondered what the best Magic deck ever conceived might be? Like the debates over whether God exists or whether the Hulk is stronger than Superman, it seemed destined to remain unresolved. Not so. We decided to take six of the most powerful decks of all time and run them against each other in a mini-tournament to see which deck came out on top.

Tempo IS Interesting

Mike Flores speaking about tempo wrote “[m]uch as you would like, you can’t quite put your finger on it… but you sure know it when you see it.” Mike is more perceptive than he probably realizes. The difficulty in identifying tempo is that it has an effect that is different from what it is.

Running The Vintage Gauntlet: R-Z

In part one we looked at some of the combo decks of Vintage. In part two we looked at mostly Control and Aggro-Control decks. In this article, we look primarily at the various Mishra’s Workshop-based decks that Type One has spawned.

Matchup Analysis: Goblin Charbelcher vs. Psychatog

In this article, I throw Psychatog up against Belcher because, as the Type One control deck with the fastest goldfish and the most disruptive anti-combo elements, it will properly stress test Belcher’s weak spots at the same time the fast goldfish diminishes the chances of midgame recovery through topdecking. Another advantage of Tog is that we don’t have to resort to hosers like Null Rod, Damping Matrix, or even Trinisphere to see if Belcher can overcome them – we are testing a standard array of cards that many decks will have, including Force of Will.

Running the Vintage Gauntlet: G through M (Part I)

In part one, I reviewed decks A-F on the SCG gauntlet – tracing through each deck’s game plan, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and describing the relevant matchups. The purpose of this effort is to assist readers trying to figure out what they might want to play and how to shore up archetype weaknesses by describing the decks of Type One in a candid light – free (hopefully) from the distortions you might see from someone promoting their pet deck. In this article we look at decks that start with the letter G-M. We begin with what is undoubtedly one of the best decks in Type One and yet is the most confounding, irritating, and mystifying:

Tough Nuts – A Balanced Type One Metagame? Part I

In the past, Vintage was not a tough nut to crack. With a minimal amount of research you could either completely break the format by importing an Extended favorite, finding a deck the Germans were working on and perfect it, or stumble across it through greater experience. Not so anymore – at least for the foreseeable season. The DCI has done its job and restricted all of the egregious offenders leaving a remarkably balanced format. No less than seven new archetypes have emerged this year as real competitors, as well as revamped approaches to old favorites.