Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Vintage 101: The Most Coveted of Jewels

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Howdy folks! It’s time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I’m your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we’re going to be talking about a deck that has been around for a little bit, but is seeing a bit more play as of late in the form of Coveted Jewel Combo Shops. We’ve also got some data from this past weekend in regards to the Showcase Challenge and the regular Challenge, and of course a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Coveting Jewels

One of the more interesting decks that have risen back to some level of prominence since the advent of the Mono White decks having broken into the format is a hybrid Mishra’s Workshop + Paradoxical Outcome deck that utilizes the card Coveted Jewel as a way to outdraw the opponent and win the game. This deck does a lot of wild stuff and it has even become a shell for cards like Cyberdrive Awakener and Displacer Kitten.

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This deck has existed in some form over this past year, but has been steadily gaining in popularity enough that we are seeing it with more regularity. Blurring the lines between blue decks as Tinker decks and PO based decks alongside the Workshop side of things is a very interesting thing. There are so many ways to churn through the deck with these cards, especially if you can get both PO and Jewels being bounced.

What makes this deck strong right now though is actually the presence of Phyrexian Metamorph. Being able to copy a Jewel is great, but also being able to copy an Initiative creature to steal the Initiative is something else entirely. The versions with Cyberdrive Awakener also just have a very solid way of just alpha-striking the game to close a game out and just makes for a very powerful finisher (one that you can even find off Tinker if you desire).

This deck is pretty cool right now and it’s something to keep aware of because it is very good.

Vintage Showcase Challenge 1/14

The first big event of the weekend was the Vintage Showcase Challenge on Saturday. Showcase Challenges are high-level premier events where the Top 8 earns an invite to the Showcase Qualifier event at the end of the season. Winning the Showcase Qualifier results in functionally a PT-level invite for the winner, so this is definitely a big deal. This event had 149 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.

Mono White was by and far the most popular deck, but it definitely tapered off in win rate for sure at around 48.4%. Oath did quite well, as did Oops and Aggro Bazaar-based decks and of course the Tinker decks both Grixis and Esper. This looks pretty good really and despite the big uptick in popularity, the metagame is proven that it’s absorbed the Initiative deck quite well.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st Enrichetta
Grixis Tinker 2nd BERNASTORRES
Oath of Druids 3rd CodeProvider
Red/White Aggro 4th yPrincipe
Mono White 5th Lumbalgic
Esper Tinker 6th ajollygoblin
Dredge 7th Lord_Beerus
Esper Tinker 8th Condescend

Quite a Top 8 here really with a good number of Tinker decks and some White-based Initiative decks. At the end of the event it was Doomsday that took it all down!

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Virtue’s Ruin is one heck of a hedge against the Mono White decks for sure. Also, note here the Gaea’s Blessing tech in the sideboard. This is to counteract Archive Trap if you think your opponent has it in your Doomsday pile and it’s functionally just a free card. Super fun.

In Second Place we’ve got Grixis Tinker.

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Sheoldred continues to prove her worth in these decks, breathing new life into cards like Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister as things to be doing. This is definitely a clean and really powerful list for sure.

Also in this event we had a showing by a Red/White based version of Initiative.

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Gaining access to Caves of Chaos Adventurer as well is really cool. This seems like a very strong deck, and having access to some pro-white effects in the sideboard is pretty cool too for the mirror.

Vintage Challenge 1/15

The other event of the weekend was the early morning regular Challenge event. This event had 47 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.

Pretty even spread across the board of all the decks represented here really. PO did very well as did Aggro Shops and Jeskai.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Oath of Druids 1st canepis16
Hogaak 2nd vwxyza648204
Hollow Vine 3rd TheJigIsAlwaysUp
Aggro Shops 4th s063
Paradoxical Outcome 5th Cioffo86
Doomsday 6th sixmp
Hollow Vine 7th AlpInco
Esper Tinker 8th Mogged

Quite a bit of Bazaar here and some PO. At the end of the event though it was the sole Oath player in the event that won it all.

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Serra’s Emissary is incredibly strong and I think this deck looks pretty powerful right now. Emissary having such a powerful game against a big amount of the format is very good.

In Second Place we have Hogaak.

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The red splash continues to be pretty strong for this deck and I’m pretty okay with it. This deck has its moments for sure and it can really put a lot of pressure on the opponent.

Further down the Top 8 we had some Aggro Shops action with some blue splash to it.

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Having some of the blue power is solid, but also having stuff like Sarevok’s Tome and The Mightstone and Weakstone is pretty good too. This deck is cool.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari always has some great videos for us, let’s see what’s on the docket this week:
  • Our good friend Montolio has a video on Coveted Jewel Shops for us. Check it out here.
  • Revenantkioku has some Bauble Doomsday for us! Check it out here.
  • Another set of videos this time a Vintage Challenge run by Jeskai Lurrus. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

lolOmnath.

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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!

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