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."

Burning Through Type One, Part 2: The Control Matchup

There are those who say that Burning Academy (also known as Long.dec) is completely stopped by a timely Duress or Force of Will. But Stephen goes to the wire against the best pre-Mirrodin control deck – Hulk Smash – to show you how to fight the first-turn disruption with the fastest deck in Magic!

Burning Through Type One With The Fastest Deck In Magic

The reason this deck performs so well versus control – and the reason it is relatively immune to hate – is because it can blitz past both hate and control answers, winning before the blue mage gets UU up. Playing Long is unlike anything before. In the ADD format that characterizes Vintage, like the events in Dragonball Z, you play a massively decompressed game where so much happens in the space of one turn. For Long.dec, turn 3 is not only a long game, it is the late game.

How Should We Restrict Cards In Vintage? An Analysis And A Suggestion

If Wizards doesn’t restrict Academy Rector, it will be adhering to the stricter rule that a card must first demonstrably distort the metagame to warrant banning. But perhaps Wizards just doesn’t want that kind of combo, or dislikes that players can fetch Bargain with such ease. That could stem from a distaste for combo. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t be sad to see Rector go – but my point is, does it need to be done? And if it doesn’t need to be done, but it is too objectively broken, what are the consequences of restricting it anyway? With that in mind, I suggest four ways that Wizards could weight cards to see when a card needs restricting.

That’s Gush, Boys! Why Gush Needed To Be Restricted

In between the 2003 Bluegrass Battle and the Origins tourneys exists the unrestriction of Berserk, the explosion of Gro-A-Tog onto the Type One metagame, and the subsequent announcement restricting Gush. This article is going to look at the archetype as it evolved and existed in its variant forms interwoven through three Origins tournament reports. Additionally, for those who aren’t into tournament reports, in the concluding sections of this article, I have some important meanderings on the decision to restrict Gush.

The Vintage World Championships Metagame, Part II

Never in a long-term metagame have so many combo decks competed. I suspect that only one or two will survive the culling that will inevitably ensue as combo players discover which deck is truly”best.” I think this is an inherently unstable mixture…. Or is it possible that there could be a balanced metagame with multiple combo decks vying for power and glory – thus bucking the trend of metagames of all times?

The Vintage World Championships Metagame, Part I

Perhaps the distinguishing feature of the Type One metagame since the restriction of Necropotence in 2000 has been the omnipresence of utterly domineering blue-based control decks. However, a combination of forces has conspired to wrest the upper tiers of the Type One metagame from Control’s exclusive, greedy clutches. Whereas the top tier was once defined as blue-based control decks, other decks began to seep in. Let me walk you through some of the most important decks in Vintage today, including Keeper, Forbiddian, Gro-A-Tog, TnT, MaskNaught, and Hulk Smash.

The Ten Principles Of Type One

This article will provide a much-needed introduction with the most important principles to understand about the Vintage Format as it currently exists. While it is addressed towards those who are interested in learning the format, I think many Vintage Adepts will find this article interesting as well… And it will serve as an excellent reminder for anyone who’s attending any Vintage tournaments at origins this weekend.