Emrakul is my backup plan

(Editor’s Note: A�I cast Black Lotus. A�I cast Elesh Norn.)

When’s the last time that you heard any of those previous statements in your game of Magic? A�If you are Mr. Joe Average Casual like me, then answer is “Never.” A�Until last night when I saw several Black Lotus plays and all three cards in at least one game. A�Intrigued? A�Let me explain.

The night started like any other. A�I watched Guardsmannbob, one of my favorite streamers until about 9:00 when he signed off for the night. A�There were no other enjoyable Hearthstone players, so I clicked on the only Magic stream that I currently follow. A�He, too, was in the process of signing off. A�As he did, though he mentioned the official Magic stream and something called the Vintage Super League.

With nothing else to watch because I was too lazy to move to the living room to watch Netflix, I followed his recommendation. Sure, I could have watched Netflix on my laptop, but I’m spoiled and only want to watch on the television. A�I know very little about Magic’s pro scene or the various formats, so I had no idea what to expect. A�Surprisingly, I recognized a couple of names of the players. A�That was the last recognizable thing on the stream. A�I saw decks that I never considered possible. A�They played cards and combos that existed only in my dreams until that point. A�Kai Budde, one of the names I knew got beat two in a row in very convincing fashion. A�The first match that I watched ended one game on turn 2 and the other on turn 3.

After that match, I got so excited that I went to Facebook to tell Chris about my discovery. A�He knew more about vintage than me. A�He asked about legality of cards and that sent me on a search. A�I learned that while there is a ban and restricted list, basically the whole of the history of Magic is available to the players to build a deck. A�That got me even more excited about the prospects of the stream. A�Suddenly, I started paying attention to the games instead of just having it on as background noise. A�Holy cow, did he just play a Black Lotus. A�What is that card in his hand? A�Emrakul? A�This is awesome.

Two players played a deck called Omnitell and the announcers kept talking about something called “Shops”. A�Shops did not interest me much, but I went on a search to find the Omnitell list and some strategy. A�I will most likely never be able to play the deck, but the blue control aspect spoke to me on a deep level. A�Then, I saw the full deck and it is right in my wheelhouse. A�The core deck has only one creature (the aforementioned Emrakul) and plenty of spells to make life miserable for the opponent.

I actually had a brainstorm while in the shower earlier (why is it always in the shower) that there might be a way that I’d get to play all of these cool vintage decks without having to drop tens of thousands of dollars on cardboard. A�I’m not entirely sure that it is exactly legal, but when has that ever stopped me? A�Because of the questionable legality, I’m not exactly going to advertise this method. A�However, I will verify that it worked and I put together an initial list that I found for the Omnitell deck. A� So far, I have only been able to test it against itself, but I hope to find some other decks to put together those lists and play around with them, too.

The stream had the added effect of renewing my interest in the game. A�I had been a bit lukewarm about magic since the release of Fate Reforged. A�I just wasn’t too impressed with a Fat Pack purchase that I made and put the cards away for a while. A�Watching this stream made me excited again about the prospects of Magic and I can’t wait to try some of the deck ideas that I’ve been considering. A�So, I say thanks to the Vintage Super League for my renewed interest and dedication to Magic and look forward to the next episode on Tuesday.

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