Howdy folks! It’s time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I’m your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we’re getting in the mood to prep for Eternal Weekend more with a look at five decks for you to consider playing at the event! I can’t make it this year, but at least I can help others prep. In addition to that we’ve got two Challenges to discuss, plus a fun little line challenge for Vintage!
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Five Decks to Vintage with at Eternal Weekend
Eternal Weekend is fast approaching and only a month away! With that in mind, let’s look at five full on Vintage decks that look appealing to do well in an event like this. These are not budget lists, as we already covered unpowered variants a few weeks back, so yes these are definitely competitive slanted lists in the current format.
It would be hard to have this discussion of a deck one should think about playing without talking about Lurrus Saga. Lurrus Saga is one of the decks I feel has one of the biggest shots of doing extremely well at Vintage Champs this year. It’s powerful and proactive, but it is out of the decks on this list one of the “fairer” decks, as fair as Vintage can be anyways. The combination of Urza’s Saga and Lorien Revealed is what makes this deck so incredibly potent in addition to the punishing power level of Orcish Bowmasters.
Variants of this deck do exist, but many have solidified to a shell much like above that has the chance to also abuse Time Vault combo as well to win the game off of. Saga makes for a strong backup game plan in general, and the value added bonus of Lurrus recouping something like Mishra’s Bauble every turn is very strong.
This is a deck to keep an eye on. It could very easily win Champs this year and I would not even be surprised.
Initiative is a deck that is at an interesting crossroads of its life in the Vintage format. It won the entire Vintage Champs event last year in the hands of Rajah James, but the deck itself was quite new and players could not easily grok how best to interact with it at the time. The adoption of creatures like Chancellor of the Annex into the shell that matched the Legacy deck’s development at the same time made for an interesting development in the deck, but there hasn’t been a lot of innovation or adoption of new cards too much since then. The most we’ve seen is cards like Phyrexian Censor float in and out.
Still, the straightforward raw power of this deck make it desirable to play by many, and the Initiative still is a very powerful mechanic. I could definitely see many of these decks populating Vintage Champs, also primarily in part due to the fact that the deck outside of Power is not super expensive. It’s a deck that does command respect and I could see some of these in the Top 8.
Oath of Druids
Oath as a deck has had something of a strange renaissance since last year’s Eternal Weekend. In that time, the deck received one of the best Oath creature that has ever existed in Atraxa, Grand Unifier and incorporated technology previously unheard of in Vintage in the form of Show and Tell to also act as a way to put Atraxa into play. Since then Oath has had several high profile finishes, including a win in the hands of Justin Gennari at the Buffalo Chicken Dip Vintage Open I in September.
While currently it seems like Oath is on the outs of the MTGO metagame a bit, in paper I would expect this deck to be incredibly popular at Champs. It’s fun to play and has strong lines behind it, and I would not be surprised to see one of these Top 8 or even win Champs.
It’s weird to suggest a deck out of left field but Dredge isn’t that out of left field in a lot of ways, and it’s shell still does a lot of very broken, non-Magic-y things. Factor in too that Bazaars are probably some of the most common lands to see at sanctioned paper events (it literally seems with people lending them out that there’s always a bunch that exist) that Dredge doesn’t seem that far fetched to me as a deck.
Many decks are awkwardly equipped to deal with a Bazaar that taps and doesn’t actually draw a card, making cards like Orcish Bowmasters a little rough if they aren’t on the board quickly enough. A lot of Dredge’s creatures can be annoyingly difficult to deal with, and having cards like Grief give the deck ways to disrupt the opponent while Creeping Chill gives reach. Decks can certainly tech against Dredge if they want to, but doing so is much harder than in past years due to cards like Force of Vigor.
I legit would not be surprised to see a Dredge player do well in these events.
Combo Shops has taken a super sharp turn this year, going from a cute fringey meme deck that plays Coveted Jewel to a real powerhouse that still plays Jewel but also plays The One Ring. This deck does a lot of powerful things and it does so in a big way that it wouldn’t be too surprising if some number of these did well.
The synergy of this deck is quite powerful and if an opponent is allowed to resolve Coveted Jewel the game may very well be over. The downside of the deck is as always being an artifact deck that gets shut down pretty hard to Null Rod or Collector Ouphe, but in the sideboard it’s granted some cards that either straight muscle through it (Wurmcoil Engine) or cards that make it go away (The Mightstone and Weakstone).
The other big issue this deck could conceivably have is Orcish Bowmasters if there isn’t a Ring protection trigger to prevent the damage. Still, I could see this do well in the Champs events.
Bonus Rogue Deck Choice – BEANS
I know it does seem a little crazy, and I know I only said five decks, but a sixth rogue choice seems fine to make. Up the Beanstalk has been making some waves quite a bit in the current format, and it’s definitely got some interesting aspects to it. The card replaces itself immediately but then starts converting cards into cards pretty quickly. Surprisingly there are more cards that trigger this than people think betweeen Force of Will, Dig Through Time, Lorien Revealed, etc. Casting a Force for free and converting to one card is already nice and even, but multiple Beanstalks on the battlefield will convert to more cards and suddenly you’re thinking about possibly decking yourself.
My favorite of these cards has to be Ethereal Forager. It allows you to be pretty liberal with Forces and Lorien Revealed in the early game, only to reacquire those spells back in the late game and convert them into even more cards. It’s a deck that gets to do a lot of really cool things, and I always find those decks to be interesting.
There may be more work to do on these shells, and this kind of shell could allow us to see our first true Yorion build that could be actually playable in Vintage, but if someone manages to really crack this… this could be a true Dark Horse out of nowhere deck that does well at Champs this year.
A Fun Challenge – Find the Line!
A new thing I was thinking of doing for this column in the future was to post lines that sometimes come up in the Vintage format, and see if people can essentially “find the line”. Vintage has a lot of really deep complex moments where a lot of really minute micro decisions matter. It’s always rather interesting to dive into these sorts of things. The primary format for this I was going to be doing was to post the screenshot/setup of the puzzle and then post the answer the following week. This might not be a regular weekly thing, but we’ll do them as we find some to talk about. In addition, if you’d like to send me some, you can always reach out Twitter!
The first one of these I’ll be talking about come from our good friend Maxtortion. He had posted this one as a “saw the line as I clicked concede” and it’s definitely exceptionally interesting.
The setup here is that the Painter opponent waited until the Breach player’s turn to activate Grindstone in response to an Ancestral Recall, as the prior turn mana was held up by the Breach player to bluff removal on the Painter’s Servant. There is an Underworld Breach in play and Painter’s Servant is currently naming Green. The Breach player is tapped out.
There is a line for the Breach player here to win this game. How do you win? Let me know in the comments! The answer will be revealed next week!
Vintage Challenge 11/4
The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 59 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer’s Discord.
Lurrus Saga was very popular here with a strong win rate. Initiative also was popular, its win rate was a little below the average despite having a good finish. CounterVine did pretty poorly as did BUG. Doomsday and Beseech all did very well.
Let’s take a look at the Top 8.
|Deck Name||Placing||MTGO Username|
|Turbo Vault Key||8th||J0se|
Definitely an interesting Top 8. At the end of the event it was Beseech Storm that won.
The miser Sheoldred in the main here is kind of a sweet way to have an out to win with on a Beseech if you think you’re gonna get hit by Flusterstorm or something like that. I like having the second in the sideboard as another way to juke a win postboard.
In Second Place we had a sweet Questing Druid deck.
Whoah this deck is SWEET. This looks definitely like something I would play. It’s got a lot of sick action with Bowmasters and Snapcaster, but also Ragavan and Questing Druid seems quite good here, much better than the card initially looked.
In this Top 8 we also had Initiative.
Fairly stock looking list here. Clean and mean for sure. The split between Solitude is interesting through.
Vintage Challenge 11/5
The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event didn’t have complete data so we don’t know how many players it had.
We do know from the Top 32 at least that Lurrus Saga was very popular and of the Top 32 it had a strong win rate, as did Jeskai being the lone Jeskai player of the Top 8.
Let’s take a look at the Top 8.
|Deck Name||Placing||MTGO Username|
|Turbo Vault Key||3rd||J0se|
So much Lurrus Saga here, in fact just a lot of Lurrus in general. At the end it was Lurrus Saga that won.
We discussed this deck quite a bit above because it’s definitely a favorite right now of a lot of people. It’s got so much strength behind it, it can easily catch people unawares.
In Second Place we had another Lurrus deck, this time Jeskai with a twist.
The bonus here is that this Jeskai deck gets to also play Questing Druid, which is simultaneously a red spell on the adventure side and a green spell on the Druid side. I am surprised actually at no Lorien Revealed here most of all, as it seems good in these kinds of decks.
Further down the Top 8 here we had Combo Shops.
This has kind of become the equivalent of the Paradox Engine in Legacy. It does a lot of those same busted things, but with Mishra’s Workshop to drive it so it draws even more cards. Seems very good for sure.
Around the Web
- Brian Coval has a video on Oath! Check it out here.
- Playing With Power has some Vintage videos! Check it out here.
- Justin Gennari has some videos this week.
- Eternal Durdles has a video on Vintage Format Pillars. Check it out here.
- Andrea Mengucci has a VEEDEO on Beseech Storm! Check it out here.
The Spice Corner
The latest 5-0 Weekly lists can be found here.
PO Painter is a mood.
That’s all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for your continued support of the column and join me next week as we continue our journey into Vintage!
As always you can reach me at my Link Tree! In addition you can always reach me on the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord.
Until next time!