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Thread: Best formats in the history of MTG

  1. #1

    Best formats in the history of MTG

    I was thinking recently about how both Yugioh and Pokemon have thriving scenes for older formats but that's virtually unheard of in MTG. Almost certainly because we still have a variety of formats to play older cards in. But I was thinking about how awesome it would be to have a proxied up gauntlet from an bygone era for MTG and wanted to know what people's favorite format of all time was. It could be standard, legacy, extended, vintage. It could be one year ago or 20 years ago.

  2. #2
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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    I wanna play Legacy from right after Survival was banned again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    You don't get to play the most powerful cards in the format and then bitch when someone finally says no. You also don't get to bitch that it's not fun when someone finally tells you no instead of voyeuristicly watching you masturbate with Cantrips.

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    I have fond memories of the Kamigawa - Ravnica - Time Spiral era.
    Maybe it was one of the worst formats by some (or many) definitions, but I really enjoyed playing Magic during that time.
    "Want all, lose all."

  4. #4

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Purely for nostalgia, but urzas block. That was great.. best of 3 match done in 15-20 mins!

    But for seriousies, I guess legacy isn’t all too bad right now, though I am kinda sick of seeing oko everywhere.

    Maybe legacy when deathrite got banned? That was pretty nice too!
    Legacy decks: mono U painter, strawberry shortcake, imperial painter, solidarity, burn
    EDH decks: zedruu voltron, rakdos the defiler, persistent petitioners, blind seer

  5. #5

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    I want to play in a magical time when snapcaster and mental misstep were legal. [this was never the case simultaneously]

    But as for an actual historical time for me was Bazaar of Moxen 3 in Annecy. i played the most epic games of vintage Oath, and my brother played sharuum-sharuum timevault fatestitcher dredge, which was a powered dredge deck running Time Vault, Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire and Ancestral Recall.

    My brother played around 9 balls (spheres + trini) by tapping down 3sphere with Fatestitcher and hardcasting stuff through other spheres with a Black Lotus. All around crazy magic. I believe this tournament was won by a control deck with Bazaar of Baghdad running Basking Rootwalla as its only win condition.

    That, and 1994 Predator & Prey Magic with 14 people sitting on one really long table, playing the game with all 14 people simultaneously.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Lorwyn/Morningtide-era Standard was when I started getting seriously into magic, that format was lit. Doran is still one of my favorite cards of all time. It was also around that time that Extended was incredibly fast with LSV doing his undefeated run with Elves Combo. If that sort of dominance happened now it would be whined about ad nauseam, but at the time it was just fun to see a super-broken deck. Legacy for a brief minute after the Top ban was super fun, before DRS became obnoxious.
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  7. #7

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Legacy when zoo was tier 1 deck, so basically legacy before Innistrad block.

  8. #8

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Also loved when Elfball was in standard.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    1.5 brings me back. Mask, Workshop, Drain, Bazaar, Survival, Psychatog - everything around 2001-2003. It was a truly great time.

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Quote Originally Posted by bruizar View Post
    I want to play in a magical time when snapcaster and mental misstep were legal. [this was never the case simultaneously]
    I wonder if this was one of the (unwritten) reasons for Mental Misstep's ban. Snapcaster was coming out in the next set. Though it wasn't spoiled to the public, the design team knew it was coming down the line, and Snap-Misstep would have been even more degenerate than the Mental Misstep mirrors that were already happening. What even is Legacy if players can't resolve their Brainstorms in peace?

    I really enjoyed 1999 Combo Winter with Urza block degeneracy. "Fair" decks in Standard were trying to cast Deranged Hermit on turn 2 or 5/5s on turn 1, and they genuinely seemed fair compared to what the combo decks were doing. Yet they thought Lightning Bolt was too powerful to be legal.

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    mirage + tempest blocks standard was really nice.
    time spiral + lorywn standard was also really fun.
    -rob

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    I really enjoy the Old School variants, as they encompass what MtG is in my opinion.
    For those interested in the latest Ancient decks (and the format in general) visit: http://ancientmtgdecks.blogspot.ca/

  13. #13

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    We sort of already have this with Old School (at least for Vintage).

    btw what [slayer]chaos is talking about is something like YGO's GOAT format. It's less about "what was fun back then" and more about rediscovering an old meta with knowledge we have now.

    Remember that Legacy did not really start until 2004 and took a few years before most players started taking it seriously.

    I think these are the interesting break points for Legacy:

    2005: New Era Legacy
    Base set up to 8th Edition
    Expansions up to (and including) Kamigawa block
    - This is basically the format at close to the starting point

    2010: Mature Era Legacy
    Base set up to 11th Edition
    Expansions up to Zendikar block
    - This is when Legacy really became legitimate. As for the cardpool, now you finally have the enemy-color Zendikar fetches, completing the cycle. This is also before Commander products started adding wacky commander cards like Flusterstorm to the cardpool, and before Scars block added Infect and Phrexian mana and Innistrad block added Griselbrand, Lily, SCM and Cavern of Souls.

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    I loved the extended era right before the Duals rotated out. I would have loved to see what it could have looked like if they had waited till Mirrodin block instead of Onslaught block to do the rotation. I look back at the ban list and always wonder how Vampiric Tutor stayed legal for so long though.

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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Quote Originally Posted by jiazhouhuaqiao View Post
    2010: Mature Era Legacy
    Base set up to 11th Edition
    Expansions up to Zendikar block
    - This is when Legacy really became legitimate. As for the cardpool, now you finally have the enemy-color Zendikar fetches, completing the cycle. This is also before Commander products started adding wacky commander cards like Flusterstorm to the cardpool, and before Scars block added Infect and Phrexian mana and Innistrad block added Griselbrand, Lily, SCM and Cavern of Souls.
    This was my favorite period of Legacy. The format seemed wide open, with anything from Zoo, Belcher, Merfolk, ANT, Threshold, UB Reanimator, Dreadstill or Stax viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier of Fortune View Post
    I loved the extended era right before the Duals rotated out. I would have loved to see what it could have looked like if they had waited till Mirrodin block instead of Onslaught block to do the rotation. I look back at the ban list and always wonder how Vampiric Tutor stayed legal for so long though.
    Before Onslaught block's Storm, there were few viable win conditions for Vampiric Tutor. Combo enablers were balanced by the fact that actually winning the game without the combat step was very hard. Try to Donate Illusions of Grandeur only to get Disenchanted and lose? Sure. Vamp Tutor for a 3-card combo to fling Ornithopter at the opponent 100 times? Sure.

    Storm made winning too easy. Before Storm, tutors were fair.

    There was a Standard format where the following cards were legal as 4-ofs:
    Vampiric Tutor
    Mystical Tutor
    Mox Diamond
    Lotus Petal
    Dark Ritual
    Mana Vault
    Lion's Eye Diamond
    Brainstorm
    Ancient Tomb
    City of Traitors

    Then LED and Mana Vault rotated out, but with Urza block and tutors reprinted in 6th you gained:
    Yawgmoth's Bargain
    Yawgmoth's Will
    Grim Monolith
    Windfall
    Time Spiral


    4-ofs in Standard. How many of those are restricted in Vintage today?

  16. #16
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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Time Spiral/Lorwyn block Standard will forever be the platonic form of a Standard format to me. Besides that, though ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jiazhouhuaqiao View Post

    2010: Mature Era Legacy
    Base set up to 11th Edition
    Expansions up to Zendikar block
    - This is when Legacy really became legitimate. As for the cardpool, now you finally have the enemy-color Zendikar fetches, completing the cycle. This is also before Commander products started adding wacky commander cards like Flusterstorm to the cardpool, and before Scars block added Infect and Phrexian mana and Innistrad block added Griselbrand, Lily, SCM and Cavern of Souls.
    This was probably the best time for Legacy in my opinion. I was having fun playing Stax and a whole bunch of brews, no Delver in sight.

    I think the lack of diversity in threats and answers recently - that there are very few differences in cards played between piles of the same colors, for example - is what really hurts. Maybe it doesn't really matter in practice that we don't play Ghastly Demise over Fatal Push anymore; it's probably better for all decks that swapped the former out. But at one point it truly felt like there were cards that could only exist in Legacy -- not because of their illegality anywhere else, but because the power level of Legacy was "just right" for them. Each deck's lines of play are still distinct, and still distinctly Legacy. But the cards themselves just feel a little too ... familiar.
    Quote Originally Posted by aslidsiksoraksi View Post
    He doesn’t have wasteland this turn, but he finds it the next. And wastes my Maze. I do get 1 zombie, but apparently stealing a zombie is just an act of petty theft? Seems like kind of a big theft to me since it stole the whole game... I die.

  17. #17

    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Quote Originally Posted by jiazhouhuaqiao View Post
    We sort of already have this with Old School (at least for Vintage).

    btw what [slayer]chaos is talking about is something like YGO's GOAT format. It's less about "what was fun back then" and more about rediscovering an old meta with knowledge we have now.

    Remember that Legacy did not really start until 2004 and took a few years before most players started taking it seriously.

    I think these are the interesting break points for Legacy:

    2005: New Era Legacy
    Base set up to 8th Edition
    Expansions up to (and including) Kamigawa block
    - This is basically the format at close to the starting point

    2010: Mature Era Legacy
    Base set up to 11th Edition
    Expansions up to Zendikar block
    - This is when Legacy really became legitimate. As for the cardpool, now you finally have the enemy-color Zendikar fetches, completing the cycle. This is also before Commander products started adding wacky commander cards like Flusterstorm to the cardpool, and before Scars block added Infect and Phrexian mana and Innistrad block added Griselbrand, Lily, SCM and Cavern of Souls.
    That's pretty much exactly our process for this and summer 2010 is where we landed. We kept backing up each year talking about what legacy gained/loss with each new block. It was a fun little trip seeing just how many busted and important cards were printed in semi recent sets. It was initially going to be just pre RTR so we didn't have to play with Deathrite Shaman. Then we backed it up again to get rid of Delver. Looking back at Scars block, it was so close to being powerful but fun and diverse and we're even talking about right now trying to build a completely new format from the ground up that would be M12 Legacy in 2011 with Gitaxian Probe and Misstep banned. For now though, we're settled into 2010 because that's where I remember having the most fun playing and brewing decks. It might all collapse if we find that Vengevine was actually way too strong for the format but for now it's it been a ton of fun.

  18. #18
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    Re: Best formats in the history of MTG

    Quote Originally Posted by jiazhouhuaqiao View Post
    Innistrad block added Griselbrand, Lily, SCM and Cavern of Souls.
    You are forgetting Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Big Addition to legacy :)

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