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Vintage 101: All Access Attack

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 the All Access Weekends on Magic Online and how easy they make it to learn and play Vintage! In addition to that, we've got two Challenges and a Super Qualifier to discuss, so there's lots of data to talk about.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

MTGO All Access and Conventions

This past weekend was the first weekend for the return of the All Access Tokens on Magic Online for PAX West, and those tokens will be around for various weekends upcoming that are all tied to various conventions holding events online. The best part of these events is the fact that winning three matches in a convention event earns the winner a Wizards Ticket good for entering an upcoming Convention Series Championship on Saturday, January 1st of 2022. The full prizes for this event will be announced later, but the winner will receive four digital sets of every Modern legal set on Magic Online!

What is great about these events is that not only are they great fun, but that they also provide events for older formats such as Legacy and Vintage. Because of this, they are also really solid for learning and getting into Vintage on Magic Online, because for roughly $20 for an event, you gain access to nearly every card on Magic Online until the Wednesday following the convention! There are some minor exceptions to the cards available, but this is a super solid way to try the format out for players who may be interested but not sure if they should buy in fully to the format on MTGO. Due to the nature of these tokens, you can use these for the access and play any number of casual games you desire as well as enter any Leagues, Queues, or other Scheduled Events (which require an additional cost to enter).

For those looking to understand a little bit where the format is and what decks they should consider trying out, there are some great resources for this including this column as well as a great video that was recently done before the ManaTraders event by our good friend Justin Gennari.

Regardless, these All Access events present a great way to try the format, do well in, and earn an entry into a really sweet tournament down the line. There are four conventions supported this way throughout the season here, the first of which was PAX West this past weekend.

Be sure to keep an eye out on the Daily MTG site for further announcements regarding these tokens. They provide a great way for new players to the format to learn the format and earn sweet prizes at the same time! 

Convention Name
All Access Period
Event Dates
PAX West
September 1st - 8th
September 3rd - 6th
Gen Con
September 15th - 22nd
September 16th - 19th
September 29th - October 6th
September 30th - October 3rd
PAX Unplugged
December 8th - 15th
December 9th - 12th

Vintage Challenge 9/4

We had two Challenge events this past weekend, the first of which was the mid-afternoon Sunday event. Thanks to the efforts of the Vintage Streamer's Discord we know this event has 62 players in it.

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

BUG had a pretty wide presence in this event, with the next most represented deck being Golos Stax based decks. Currently the metagame for the format and these Challenge events especially feels wide in regards to what can do well. Every week it seems like we get a different event as the metagame pushes and pulls according to what does well the week before. This kind of metagaming is really interesting to see and keeps Vintage feeling relatively fresh.

Let's take a look at the Top 8 for this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Blue Tinker 1st murkyblack11
Oath of Druids 2nd Miharu_Fuyumiya
Blue Tinker 3rd bcs8995
Golos Stax 4th Rixxen
Jeskai Control 5th Jenara19
Golos Stax 6th IamActuallyLvl1
BUG Midrange 7th s063
Jeskai Control 8th laughingrock

Pretty interesting Top 8 with a small variety of things going on in it. Blue Tinker, Golos, and Jeskai made up a chunk of this Top 8, and it was Blue Tinker that took down the event, with the "8-Cast" version.

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This is my favorite of the Blue Tinker variants, because I really love the doubling up on draw effects with Thought Monitor. That seems super powerful in general and a lot of fun. I also find it sweet to see new card Suspend in the sideboard here.

The Second Place of this event is Miharu on Oath!

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Zero copies of Griselbrand is amazing, but honestly, I can see it as of late with all of the Karakas floating around. Archon of Cruelty really does a lot of damage and has an immediate impact on the board. Miharu is always pushing the envelope of Oath lists, so it's cool to see the innovation continuing.

Also in the Top 8 we had one of the popular decks in Golos Stax.

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It seems that the threat of Doomsday has dipped a bit and allowed these decks to run some other sideboard cards besides Archive Trap. Seeing a basic land in the sideboard of Shops decks is forever interesting, but it generally is in regards to when BUG decks are more prominent because of cards like Assassin's Trophy.

Also in the Top 8 we had Jeskai Control.

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Gaining access to Ragavan and Prismatic Ending has been very powerful for the Jeskai shell. We also continue to see Alpine Moon in the sideboards of these decks, which has been very good for fighting multiple lands from Workshop and Bazaar to Urza's Saga.

Vintage Challenge 9/5

Our second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday early morning event, which had 34 players in it according 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.

BUG and Golos again vied for the top spot in popularity in this event, followed by Doomsday and 4C variants. Despite the overall popularity of the top two decks though, they had a pretty sub-par win rate compared to decks like 4C Midrange, but even then both put copies into the Top 8.

Let's take a look at that Top 8 now.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Paradoxical Outcome 1st Diem4x
4C Midrange 2nd Dazai
BUG Midrange 3rd jaredallsop619
Golos Stax 4th Tsubasa_Cat
BUG Midrange 5th Yuurari_yuko
BUG Midrange 6th ecobaronen
Painter 7th Draco_Fyrwing
Hollow Vine 8th CodeProvider

A lot of Deathrite Shaman in this Top 8, but that's fairly par for the course for the Sunday events because the early morning crowd really likes those kinds of decks. At the end of the event though it was Paradoxical Outcome that took it all down.

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Main deck Opposition Agent is pretty wild. Also, a main deck Mindbreak Trap is incredibly metagaming against other combo decks.

The Second Place list was on 4C Midrange.

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Ragavan was a pretty big boon to this deck as well, giving an additional mana advantage and card advantage to Deathrite Shaman. This deck can be very powerful provided it can get these cards into play.

Also in the Top 8 we had a sweet Painter list.

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Aetherflux Reservoir is honestly just a super sweet card to pair with Bolas's Citadel. It makes for a super interesting Goblin Welder target as well. Very neat list!

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Hollow Vine!

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I always enjoy seeing Snapback in these 75s. It's a super sweet bounce spell for free, and that is pretty cool. Fury also added quite a bit to this deck.

Vintage Super Qualifier 9/5

As part of the All Access weekend for PAX Online, there was also a Vintage Super Qualifier event on Sunday. Thanks to the efforts of the Vintage Streamer's Discord we know this event had 91 players in it, which is a great turnout.

You can find all of the Top 16 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Golos Stax was quite overrepresented in this event, despite having a sub 50% win rate. BUG fared much better in general with a 52% win rate in the second most represented deck slot. Out of the decks represented here, Doomsday had two pilots and an insane win rate of 76.5% (sample sizes being what they are and all of course). Still, looking at everything in this event, Vintage feels really great right now and looks like a lot of fun. There's a lot going on in the format and it always feels like anyone's game for these kinds of events.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st IdraftTheBeatz
Blue Tinker 2nd Slasher21
Golos Stax 3rd yamakiller
Blue Tinker 4th karatedom
BUG Midrange 5th ecobaronen
Paradoxical Outcome 6th BERNASTORRES
Golos Stax 7th alicoco
Paradoxical Outcome 8th lilianaofthevess

This Top 8 was heavy on Blue Tinker variants as well as Paradoxical Outcome. However, it was one of the two Doomsday players that took down this entire event!

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This is what happens when all the Shops players start cutting Archive Trap, Doomsday sneaks up and just wins an event. Still, this deck is very powerful and is still probably one of the format's premier spell-based combo decks.

The Second Place list was our friend Slasher21 on Blue Tinker!

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Again we have the 8-Cast version here, alongside Emry and Urza as powerful cards in addition to the draw effects. The real banger here is Teferi's Response, which is primarily used to counter a Wasteland activation.

Down the Top 8 we had another Blue Tinker variant, but this one with Strixhaven all-star Sedgemoor Witch.

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I'm of the mind myself that Witch is severely underplayed. While I really enjoy the Thought Monitor versions of these decks, I think Sedgemoor Witch is still a very strong card and has a lot of current potential in the overall metagame. I think this speaks a lot to the overall strength of the blue shell and the Tinker shell especially, but Witch is still incredibly viable.

Outside of the Top 8 in the Top 16 we had a showing by the Lurrus Taxes variant.

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I like that this deck exists and that it gives a reason to play nonblue strategies in a format so heavily skewed towards blue. Lurrus gives the deck a lot of velocity and power in this regard.

Around the Web

  • As always Justin Gennari has some sweet videos for us. Check these out.
  • Engwar01 continues their "Tour of Vintage" with a focus on BUG Midrange. Check it out here.

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 Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition, you can always reach me on the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord.

Until next time!

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