Q: "Has Wizards ever considered a major Pro Tour or Grand Prix level 'Vintage' event? We Type 1 and 1.5 players are starting to get lonely out here all by ourselves."
--Ryan Mirchel, Vancouver, Washington
A: From Chris Galvin, VP of Organized Play:
"Hi, Ryan. The short answer is no, we've never seriously considered a Type 1 format Pro Tour or Grand Prix.
"The next obvious question is fair: Why not? Where's the love, man?
"Instead of falling into that trap, let me explain why we use the formats that we do for the Pro Tour.
"We want to accomplish a lot of things with the Pro Tour. In order to 'make the cut,' a proposed format rotation would have to pass all these tests.
- A roughly even balance between constructed and limited formats
- Interesting and skill-testing
- Reasonably accessible to all players everywhere the DCI runs tournaments
- Within budget constraints for the DCI
"That last point pretty much explains why we don't simply run a PT for every format, but I figured it bears mentioning even though it's common sense.
"A format rotation that included Type 1 would run in to problems on all of these fronts. In order to maintain the constructed/limited balance, we'd have to force out either Extended or Block Constructed. While Type 1 fans will point out the format is in fact interesting and features a large number of different decks, it is the case that the types of decks turn over pretty slowly. From our perspective, slow change is less interesting than relatively rapid change. Most importantly, Type 1 has always and will presumably always prominently feature the Power Nine and certain power cards from very early sets, like Mana Drain. This puts the format out of the price range of many players. Also related to this, these early cards were never produced in a language other than English. The packs that contained them were never widely sold outside the US and Canada. Sure, hardcore players everywhere in the world know what a Mox is. But there are most definitely international access issues to the cards themselves.
"The relative number of sanctioned Type 1 tournaments compared to Standard and Extended tournaments definitely bears out the limited access problem.
"(If you want to call me on why there's no Standard Pro Tour, I already answered that one in a previous Ask Wizards.)
"Having explained why the Pro Tour is what it is, I'll point out that we do maintain the Type 1 format in terms of updating ratings as well as banned and restricted lists. Also, we run the Type 1 Championship as an open tournament at a major convention every summer. The prizes aren't big checks, but I think they're pretty cool. This year, Carl Winter won a piece of customized art. We commissioned Chris Rush to paint a reinterpretation of Black Lotus as the top prize."