AuthorSteve O'Connell

Steve O'Connell, the Owner and Administrator of TheManaDrain is a Vintage format veteran. He is 27, recently married, and works for a gaming company that manages the lottery for New England.

The Components of Multi-Colored Control

In this continuing deck primer on one of the oldest decks in Vintage, Steve takes a look at all of the components that make Multi-Colored Control successful, and includes a tournament report from a recent event where he put his updated build to the test and landed squarely in the finals.

Multi-Colored Control – An Introduction and Metagaming the Deck

I’ve been on the forefront of 4-color Control’s design for years now. Over those years, I had slipped into the habit of tweaking the deck to survive, popularizing it, letting it get invalidated (either by hate or a substantial environment shift), then again tweaking the deck to survive. That is, until I felt that the format was too broken for it to even consider. Thankfully I don’t think today’s environment is too broken, and I have a new build to show you that has tested very well.

The Anatomy of a Vintage Team

Until now, Teams in Vintage have simply just “been”. There has been no classification, code of conduct, or any real structure to how a team is formed. Teams tend to sprout up as if nothing went into its formation and rivalries are formed among people who don’t even know each other. In this article I plan to help end all that with clarifications of what really matters in the world of teams.

Predictions for Vintage in 2005

The man known as Zherbus takes a moment to look into his crystal ball and predict what a new year of Magic will bring to the Vintage format. What sort of controversial items are on the plate for this year and how much does this esteemed Vintage pundit agree with the vile Bleiweiss? You’ll have to read the article to find out.

The MidSize Vintage Metagame Report – November

The year is winding down, but Steve hasn’t stopped tallying decklists for the mid-sized Vintage tournaments and analyzing what they mean. Which decks sit at the top of the Type One metagame these days and which ones are in decline? Steve’s got all the answers inside.

Give Me Back My Format… Or Why You Should Listen To Ben Bleiweiss

As I sit here in my cluttered office writing this article, I risk the wrath of the Type One community I worked to nurture. With this in mind, I’m sure plenty of you will believe my point of view to be flawed, wrong, or off-base. However as I watch the forums around the net ignite, I feel someone should say this: Ben Bleiweiss isn’t as wrong as you’d like to think.

October Mid Range Type 1 Breakdown and Unsolicited Commentary

This fall/winter season is a time that’s typically more laid back. There is no Gencon or Origins on the horizon, Waterbury may happen all of once, and there’s no telling what StarCityGames.com will decide to do. While there will be far fewer large scale tournaments, there will be plenty of mid-sized tournaments, which is where I get to stick my tongue out at Philip Stanton and thump my own chest… that is, of course, assuming that you creeps give me Top 8 lists!

How Type One Became More Accessible And Evolved

As the “spark-plug” who got proxy tournaments started, let me provide some history. Most of you probably won’t remember this period in Vintage history, so let me set the stage. It was late 2000. The global metagame was very loosely defined. Europe had far fewer tournaments than it does today, and there was absolutely nothing in New England, save some sanctioned thing in the bowels of Massachusetts. The biggest Type One spots in the U.S. were the Richmond Comix and the Neutral Ground New York. The format has come a long way since then, and it’s important to understand why.

Type One Basics: Testing and Preparation

We all do it, or at least should. We think about what decks we’ll have to face, how we will defeat them, and how to shore up any weaknesses we might have against certain matchups. JP Meyer recently likened Type One to the PTQ scene. What does this mean to those of us who want to be playing next week’s deck? It means we have to do the usual preparation: test matchups, shore up weaknesses, and evaluate the environment. In addition to this, we also have to create the next “deck to beat”. Today I’m going to explain how I helped create an entirely new archetype out of an old Type One staple and turn it into one of the most powerful decks in the environment.

The MidSize Type One Metagame Report – September

That said, the biggest lesson I learned from the most recent Waterbury was really something I already knew, but somehow forgot. The larger the Vintage event, the more randomness you’ll encounter. It’s easy, for example, for me to keep tabs on Myriad’s 40-50 player metagame. You have some New Hampshire guys, usually half of the Hadley crowd, some Bostonians, and of course the Mighty-Mighty Maine-tones. You know the decks that people play will be pretty close to the last months, but with all the easy calculations of taking metagame trends into account. Big events like Waterbury are far more different.

The Vintage Mid-Size Tournament Metagame Breakdown – August

Steve catches up on all the summer tournaments and even gives a break down of not only what decks and cards you can expect to see at your next local Vintage tournament, but also details what decks are really ruling the Vintage metagame right now, as well as pointing out what he perceives to be future trends. This is a must-read for all Vintage players.

The Vintage Mid-Size Tournament Metagame Breakdown – July

Join the Mana Drain’s illustrious leader, as he steps forward and fills a gap in our current Vintage knowledge. Phil Stanton has been filling you in for months about the metagame at big tournaments, but what about more local tournies where you don’t get 100 players each week? If that describes what the type of tournament you play at, then you’ve come to the right place!

Thoughtful Dismissal in the Type 1 Metagame

Reflexive dismissal should never have existed. Reasoned or thoughtful dismissal is a far more useful thing. I’ll define and discuss”thoughtful dismissal” more at length in this article and tell you why players continue to dismiss certain metagames and why it’s a good thing.