Vintage 101: BRO, THIS ISN’T THE 80s!

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Howdy folks! It’s time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I’m your host, Joe Dyer, and I am back from my vacation! This week we’re going to be covering The Brother’s War for Vintage! This set does have some interesting goodies for us, so it should be fun. We’ve also got some Challenge data and some data on the Vintage RCQ event from over the weekend.

I will note that there are still some bugs with decklists coming from the Wizards website, showing Top 8s in the wrong order (showing them in swiss order rather than in Top 8 order).

Without further ado let’s dive right in!

Yo Bro!

The Brother’s War is upon us, and yet another spoiler season has ended. This set looks pretty cool and there are certainly some interesting cards in it that could see Vintage play. One of the bigger mechanics of this set is the Prototype mechanic, which lets you cast big artifact creatures via an alternate cost. By doing this, the creature gains the mana cost, mana value, color, and P/T listed in the Prototype line.

Let’s take a look at some of the cards that could be seen for Vintage.

Loran of the Third Path

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A white Reclamation Sage is actually pretty interesting overall, and costing 2W is a nice splashable upside. Since this is Legendary, you can also bounce it and cast it again for repeated effect. In addition, the activated ability pairs nicely with cards like Spirit of the Labyrinth and Hullbreacher.

Scholar of New Horizons

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This looks weird at first, but the cool thing about it is how it can pair with cards like Luminarch Aspirant. It comes with a counter already and then you can use it with Aspirant to remove counters from itself or other creatures to fetch a Plains. Also, it’s worth noting that this says “remove a counter from a permanent you control” so you can use this in conjunction with Urza’s Saga to keep Saga from leaving after 3 counters (by removing a counter from the Saga in response to the third chapter ability). This is a reasonable card to pair with Saga in a Mono White shell, so this is pretty cool.

Defabricate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Being able to counter and exile artifacts/enchantments is nice, but then the added flexibility of a Stifle effect is also really good. Modal cards that are flexible like this are always worth looking at and trying out for sure.

Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is interesting. The bounce effect is kind of cool because then you can use the copy effect to make tokens of the spell, but then it’s also just a way to save artifacts on board from destruction effects (by bouncing them instead). I like this a lot and it seems cool.

Hurkyl, Master Wizard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Hurkyl seems quite strong, as you’re always going to have a bunch of different card types to cast in many Vintage decks (artifact, instant, sorcery are bare minimum) that you should reasonably expect to draw 2-3 off this card every end step. This could see play in PO where you are locked under a Hullbreacher and can’t easily draw cards to get rid of it.

Brotherhood’s End

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Modal cards again are always worth looking at and this is no exception. Having a sweeper that also can switch to sweeping artifacts is really good, as many of the artifacts you want to hit in this format cost three or less anyways. This is less mana intensive than By Force and hits more cards on average.

Haywire Mite

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A Naturalize effect on a creature is reasonable enough especially since it exiles instead of destroys, but the fact that you can find this off Urza’s Saga is really what makes it worth looking at. Definitely seems like a very powerful card.

Perennial Behemoth

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Crucible of Worlds that can attack actually does seem kind of cool. Five mana is obviously pretty nothing in the scheme of Workshops decks, and the chonking body on this means its going to be hard to swing through for most other creatures in the format (2/7 is a huge huge huge back end). The Unearth is mostly flavor text here.

Third Path Iconoclast

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A Young Pyromancer effect that works off any noncreature spell? Yes, this will likely see some play. Being two mana value also means that Lurrus decks like some of the newer Breach builds might pick this up too since it can be used to set up a go-wide win condition that is more flexible overall than Young Pyromancer.

Cityscape Leveler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Eight mana seems like a lot, but wow the effect of this thing if you’re casting this. Giving your opponent a Powerstone is mostly flavor text in this format (unless your opponent is actually on Shops), so most of the time you’re just destroying nonland permanents. Also since this hits things on attack too, the repeatable nature of it seems quite good.

Energy Refractor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A very different sort of Prophetic Prism effect, this one lets you filter generic mana into any color of mana that you might need. I don’t know if this is good enough to see play really, but the design is interesting.

Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A three mana spell that lets you cast colorless and artifact spells at flash speed is kind of sweet, and then the fact that it can grow bigger is also quite reasonable. Definitely intrigued to see where this goes.

The Mightstone and Weakstone

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It is a little weird to talk about this card without discussing the other half that makes up the Meld pairing, but the Urza half of this is actually just not all that great. This however, is definitely strong. Five mana for a mana rock that also possibly draws cards or kills a creature is exceptionally respectable, and this can be cast off Mishra’s Workshop unlike Dismember. This could definitely see some play.

The Stasis Coffin

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The cute interaction here with this card is to crack it when your opponent is going into Time Vault loops and then they have to give you a turn or they can never actually kill you which is super funny. Other than that, I don’t see a whole lot of uses for this one.

The Stone Brain

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A colorless Lobotomy effect is rather interesting enough, and this could be a great way for Shops decks to have an answer versus Doomsday that isn’t as incredibly narrow versus other decks. And while Karn is restricted, it is worth noting that you can return it to hand with Karn from exile, which is really gross.

Vintage Challenge 11/12

Our first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Saturday event. This event had 63 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer’s Discord.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Breach was highly popular here and it had a solid win rate, followed right by Lurrus based DRS builds. This is a nice spread of archetypes though for this kind of event. Lot of nice variety here.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Lurrus Breach 1st sneakymisato
Grixis Tinker 2nd ReneRandrup
Doomsday 3rd Clone9
Lurrus Standstill 4th bless_von
Hollow Vine 5th Firetruck
Oath of Druids 6th desolutionist
8Cast 7th Cuikui
Lurrus Breach 8th Kinarus

This is a nice variety of decks, from Bazaar-based decks to Breach and even Standstill. At the end of the event though it was Lurrus Breach that took it all down.

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Instead of a more Grixis-y type build with black tutors, we’ve got a build that’s Jeskai focused and has cards like Arcanist, Ragavan, and Ledger Shredder. This looks very strong for sure and seems incredibly interesting to play.

In Second Place we’ve got Tinker.

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This is what we’ve come to see as a fairly solidly stock-looking Grixis Tinker build. It does what it does, and it has additional powerful game plans like Hullbreacher in addition to the prime plan of jamming a Tinker into a Citadel.

Vintage Challenge 11/13

Our second Challenge event is the early morning Sunday event, which had 53 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer’s Discord.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Breach was again very popular, but this time it’s win rate was pretty poor. Hogaak and Oops both did very well, as did Lurrus DRS decks. Again, this is a nice spread and we get to see how cyclically things occur within the format even over the weekend.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Oops! All Spells 1st medvedev
Oops! All Spells 2nd yanmaster
Lurrus DRS 3rd unluckymonkey
UB Tinker 4th Gerschi
Doomsday 5th discoverN
Aggro Shops 6th _Shatun_
BUG Midrange 7th FedericollMadao
Lurrus Breach 8th WhiTe TsaR

Reasonable amount of different decks here, but at the end of the event it was a pretty wild Oops mirror.

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These decks are functionally the same, so it’s kind of fun to see a true mirror. The one of Urza’s Saga in the sideboard is kind of amusing and interesting enough, as is Leyline of Anticipation to maybe hopefully kill your opponent on T0. Super funny and interesting for sure.

Vintage Qualifier 11/13

We also had a verifiable Vintage RCQ style qualifier this past weekend on Sunday. This event had 143 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer’s Discord.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Breach was again super popular and its win rate was very good in this event. PO also had a solid win rate, as did Hogaak. The wide spread of decks here is very nice and showcases a lot of the interesting diversity in the current format.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Tinker Breach 1st duke12
Lurrus Breach 2nd sneakymisato
Prison Shops 3rd pokerswizard
Oops! All Spells 4th medvedev
Doomsday 5th Karatedom
Tinker Breach 6th cicciogire
4C DRS 7th Ale_Mtg
Lurrus Breach 8th Kinarus

Quite a bit of Breach in this Top 8, bolstered by some Combo and Shops. At the end of the event it was a Tinker Breach build that won it all.

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Pretty common-looking build here overall, and there isn’t much as of late that pushes its way into these decks. You can definitely go into Ragavan/Shredder, but with Tinker plan I don’t think you really need to. Definitely a solid list.

The Second Place list was the Lurrus Breach list from sneakymisato that won the Saturday event.

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The fact that this deck can easily sideboard into just a very strong Jeskai Control list is pretty cool, while people are gunning for the combo and you just kill them with Ragavan and Shredders.

Around the Web

  • We’ve got some sick roundups for Justin Gennari’s content for us, let’s see what he’s got:
  • We’ve also got an Aggro Shops league from Montolio. Check that out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week’s 5-0 lists here.

Classic Belcher!

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Wrapping Up

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!