All posts by randybuehler11

Playoff Time!

VSL Playoffs

For season 6 the playoffs are double round robin. That means everyone plays everyone on Tuesday night March 28, and then they submit new decks and run it back again on Tuesday April 4. At the end of 6 matches each (12 total) whoever has the best record is our winner. If there’s a tie, we will play More Magic ™.

Next Set of Groups:

Group 1: Feb 28


Group 2: March 7



Group 3: March 14



Rules reminder: 1st and 2nd place from Group 1 make the playoffs, along with 1st place from Group 2, and 1st place from the Wildcard Group. The Wildcard Group plays on March 21st and is composed of 3rd and 4th from Group 1, 2nd from Group 2, and 1st from Group 3. Anyone tied for last (on match wins) in Group 3 is demoted to next season’s Play-In Tournament.

Tiebreakers reminder:

Most match wins in current group

Game win % in current group

Head to Head, looking at the entire season

Match win % for entire season

Game win % for entire season

Play more Magic

Regular Season Groups and Format!

Group A plays Feburary 7th:


Then Group B plays on February 14th:


And Group C battles on February 21st:


Each group will play a round robin on their night (6 total matches). Then we make a second set of groups based on how everyone does: the 3 winners and the best 2nd place finisher go to Group 1. The “middle” four players go to Group 2. And the 3 losers and the worst 3rd place finisher go to Group 3.

After that come the playoffs: The top two from Group 1 (aka the “winners group”) make the playoffs, along with the winner of Group 2. The 4th person in the playoffs will be the winner of the Wild Card group, which will be composed of the other 2 from Group 1, the runner-up from Group 2, and the winner of Group 3.

(Meanwhile anyone tied for last in Group 3 gets relegated down to the play-in tournament for Season 7.)

Season 6 Starts January 3rd!

8 players will compete for 3 spots in the league starting the Tuesday after New Year’s. Check out our hype video HERE.

One of these 4 players will win a spot during week 1: Reid Duke, Kevin Cron, Oliver Tiu, Andy Probasco

Then one of these 4 will win a spot during week 2: Stephen Menendian, Rachel Agnes, Rodrigo Togores, Caleb Durward

The remaining 6 will play double elimination for the final spot during the last two shows in January. That will round out our newly expanded cast to 12 players when the regular season starts on February 7th.

Meanwhile, here are the players already confirmed for Season 6:

Randy Buehler
Rich Shay
Paul Rietzl
Brian Kelly
David Ochoa
Eric Froehlich
David Williams
Chris Pikula
Bob Maher

Season 6 Update

Tentative planning for season 6 has begun, but  we do not (currently) have a title sponsor so season 6 won’t begin until the Patreon hits our funding target. If you want to see another season and can afford to support us, please check out our Patreon page at

If you do make a pledge, please also voice your opinion on the Patreon feed about who you want to see join the league for next season!

Season 5 Playoff Structure

Shuhei Nakamura is the #1 seed based on his 7-2 record in the regular season, and he advances to the finals.

We have a 3-way tie for 2nd – 4th between Rich Shay, Eric Froehlich, and Paul Rietzl. Instead of trying to figure out who is the #2 seed what we’re going to do is have the 3 of them play a full round robin of best 3 out of 5 match series. (So the first two playoff weeks will have 3 total best 3 of 5 match-ups, instead of two.) Whichever one of them defeats the other two will join Shuhei in the finals. If they each go 1-1 then best match win % will be our first tiebreaker, followed by best game win %, followed by another match of Magic.

Playoff Scenarios

With the standings so close this season, the playoff scenarios going into the final week are shockingly diverse and complicated. We can still have 1 or even 2 players on 5-4 who miss the playoffs because 4 players get to 6-3. We can also still have a 6-way tie at 4-5 for 4th through 9th!

Here’s how it all shapes up player by player:

Shuhei (6-2) – Has clinched a top 4 spot. If he beats LSV in the final week he clinches a Top 2 seed as only Rich can tie him, and Rich would need two wins to do so.

Rich (5-2) – Has to play two matches yet since his match with Paul was postponed due to technical difficulties. He has clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot as the only scenario where 5-4 can miss is if he is one of the 4 players on 6-3.

Efro (5-3) – Has also clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot since the only scenario where 5-4 misses is if he is one of the 4 players on 6-3.

Paul (4-3) – He is the 4th player in the hypothetical 4-way tie for first at 6-3 that happens if 4 of the remaining 6 matches go exactly the right way. Since he has two left to play, though, what this really means is he clinches at least a tiebreaker match if he wins either one of them. He can also wind up in a 6-way tie for 4th if he loses both his matches. (In fact, he’s one of the keys to that scenario as 4-5 is only alive for playoffs if Paul goes Loss, Loss in week 9.)

LSV (4-4) – Needs to win and then needs one of the following to happen: 1) Rich beats Paul or 2) Web beats Paul, or 3) Brian beats Rich, or 4) Steve beats Efro. Basically, Luis’s match against Shuhei is a win-and-in for Luis as long as we don’t get all 4 of the results needed to have a 4-way tie for first at 6-3. Meanwhile, Luis can back into a 6-way tie for 4th if he loses and 4 other results turn out correctly.

Brian (4-4) – His scenario is slightly better than Luis because he is paired against Rich in week 9 and thus controls his own destiny (since a win from Brian guarantees that Rich does not get to 6-3 and thus that 5-4 is good for at least a tiebreaker match). Like Luis, Brian losing is part of the ‘6-way tie for 4th at 4-5’ scenario.

Kai (4-4) – Functionally the same situation as Luis in that he must win (over Randy) and get a little bit of help, or lose and get a metric ton of help.

Randy (3-5) – I’m not dead yet! All I need is for Paul to lose twice, Luis to lose, Brian to lose, and then Kai to lose to me and we’re golden! Well, as golden as someone tied for 4th through 9th can be, anyway.

Web (3-5) – Functionally the same situation as me: if he wins his match against Paul then we’re 1/5th of the way toward our 6-way tie.

Steve (1-7) – There is no drama in the race for “not last” this time around. A run of crazy-bad luck has left Steve as the only league member headed to next season’s play-in tournament. His match against Eric is still quite relevant to Eric’s playoff seeding though. (It’s also the only match that is not relevant to the 6-way tie for 4th.)

So … there can be a 4-way tie for 1st (at 6-3), there can be a 6-way tie for 2nd (at 5-4), there can be a 6-way tie for 4th (at 4-5), and there are a bunch of scenarios in between. Week 9 should be awesome!

Week 5 Update

The part of Luis Scott-Vargas will be played tonight by 2010 Vintage World Champion Owen Turtenwald. (OK, fine, he’s won some other stuff too.) The VSL wishes all the best to Luis while he is distracted from the league by the birth of his first child.