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Vintage 101: Brave New World

Howdy folks! It's time for yet another Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to be discussing the first league and challenge results we have from post restriction Vintage!

It has been a hot week for Vintage as a lot of eyes have been on the format, including some bigger names such as NumotTheNummy and even LSV have been partaking in the post restrictions format. If you're new to the format or returning after some time away, welcome and hope you're enjoying yourself! Things have certainly been interesting... so let's take a look at our first week impressions, shall we?

Week One Winners: PO Storm, Chaotic Metagame

It should come as little surprise that the biggest winner of week one is none other than PO Storm. PO is a deck that benefits highly from the restrictions of both Karn and Misstep, and also benefited greatly from people trying out as many Fastbond brews as possible. The Fastbond decks seem to have a slowness that is easy for fast combo to exploit, and PO is very good at that. One thing to note however is that one card that really tends to push this deck a little over the top is Bolas's Citadel since a fast Tinker can often mean lights out for an opponent. The power level of this card is not to be denied as it churns through your deck very quickly.

It is also important to note that PO also has a very positive matchup over the other Storm based combo deck in the format, Dark Petition Storm, since PO can afford to run countermagic.

Outside of PO however, the metagame is currently just a tad chaotic as people are attempting to figure out what works best in this new world. I see this as a slight win since it means people are thinking, trying new and different things and attempting their best to innovate. It is great to see such interest in the format and there have been tons of streams with all sorts of things.

Week One Losers: Fastbond Decks, DPS

Unfortunately for all those cool Fastbond brews, we don't have many of them to show off. I am chalking this up mainly to many different brews being tried, different variations on a cool Fastbond deck, and just not having found the right one yet. Lands (like our good friend Brady showed above) seems pretty cool, but it does have problems with fast combo decks like PO and DPS. However, I am certain that somewhere along the line people will figure out what the best Fastbond shell is, it just might take some time. The card does have a ton of possibilities (I have seen people playing Vintage AmuLIT with this card) and it definitely can be powerful. So while we don't have much league data yet for these kinds of decks, I wouldn't count them out just yet. They will do something I feel.

In regards to fast combo decks, another loser this week just so happens to be DPS. While there was a lot of hype over the castability of Dark Ritual going up yet again, DPS has a lot of problems in the PO matchup still, as that deck can easily outclass it on countermagic, which is something DPS doesn't have the ability to run main deck. Still, a few lists popped up this week, so I'm personally hopeful that DPS will be a viable option still going forward.

Week One: The Best of the Rest

Of course, these weren't the only decks we saw this week. Decks like Survival, Shops, BUG, Arcanist decks (both Jeskai and Grixis), and yes even our old friend Dredge popped up all over the place in the league dump and in the challenge. Dredge further proved that two restrictions no matter how big they seemed was not enough to keep it dredging up the graveyard, as MTGO user laughingrock shows.

I will say I'm not sure I like the makeup of this list, since 9 sources of green post-board seem to be a little difficult to cast Force of Vigor even with a Bazaar. Notably, the deck still doesn't have a huge issue casting Force of Will, but I think trying to stretch for Force of Vigor now still feels like a major stretch, especially since the deck is subbing 6 slots of restricted cards in for 6 black cards (Golgari Thug and Street Wraith). Street Wraith does seem like pretty cool tech to push dredging through the graveyard.

Survival however, boosted in a big way, and I still believe it is poised to become the best Bazaar deck in the format since the deck is very Toolbox-like and can adjust for a lot. As wordy333 shows us, not even the Misstep restriction gets this deck down.

This list shows off one of the newer cards in the format that I feel has a great place now with Misstep restricted: Veil of Summer. This card is excessively strong, being able to protect yourself in a critical turn, and also being able to draw a card possibly into a counterspell or something equally as powerful when needed.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I have high hopes for more cards like this to see play as they seem like interesting design space.

Vintage Challenge 8/31

Our first challenge under the restrictions occurred on 8/31, so let's take a look at how things shaped up, shall we?

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st Condescend
PO Storm 2nd Itsukis
Hogaak Survival 3rd QuenchableFire
Ravager Shops 4th Cuikui
Ravager Shops 5th GGoggles
BUG Midrange 6th Desolutionist
Dredge 7th Smmenen (Stephen Menendian)
PO Storm 8th Lampalot (Michael Bonde)

At first glance, it definitely seems like PO was one of the bigger decks of the day. In fact, it had a pretty high conversion rate throughout the event. One of our friends GeekyJackson took the opportunity to crunch the data, which you can find here.

At the end of the event however, it was Condescend who took it all down with Esper PO Storm. Let's take a look at their list.

As evidenced by every other PO list as of late, the big hitters of the deck are now Teferi, Time Raveler and Narset, Parter of Veils. These cards can be very powerful in conjunction with one another, shutting the opponent off from interacting while the PO player gains time to be able to try to win the game either off a resolved PO or off a Tinker into Bolas's Citadel. Congrats on the finish, Condescend!

One of the coolest lists to come out of the event is the 3rd place list by QuenchableFire, who brought not only a Survival of the Fittest based list, but a list that also plays Bloodghast AND Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. If I had to give this a good name, I'd call it "Hogaak Survives! The Musical!"

This list seems pretty powerful and I can see just how easy it is between Basking Rootwalla and Bloodghast to slam down an early Hogaak and go to work. This list was originally primarily developed by the one and only Mike Noble, and was adapted by QuenchableFire for this challenge. Very excited to see this list do well. Congrats on the finish, QuenchableFire!

Also down the Top 8 of this event was Desolutionist, long time BUG player, who placed 6th on BUG Midrange featuring some cards such as Misdirection which is really sweet, in addition to Plague Engineer in the sideboard.

I'm a big fan of this style of list, and especially the inclusion of Ashiok, Dream Render seems very sweet.

Also in the Top 8 is another list playing our sweet prince Hogaak, piloted by none other than Stephen Menendian in Dredge!

Stephen's list is very interesting and it also is playing a card I've long advocated for Dredge pilots to include in their lists for some time and will be relevant again moving forward... Chalice of the Void. With PO regaining popularity, I expect to see Chalice more and more in Dredge as we move forward.

Outside of the Top 8 is where we get to see some pretty sweet lists, including a spicy Mono Red Shops list playing Goblin Welder and Daretti, Scrap Savant.

This list is amazing. I am digging cards like Uba Mask and Mindslaver in this list. Congrats to Trius on taking 10th place with such an awesome and interesting list.

Further down the list of Top 32, our good friend Ecobaronen (Andreas Petersen) posted a 4-2 result on his take on DPS. Awesome job, Andreas!

It's really cool to see cards like Pact of Negation and Demonic Consultation here. Really killer list.

Down at the bottom of the Top 32 is a really sweet take on Dreadhorde Arcanist in a Grixis based list instead of a Jeskai variant.

This list is gas. I am loving the ideas behind it, and I love the idea of Sedraxis Specter and cards like Dead // Gone.

As we always like to do here, let's talk about new cards and where they sit in this Challenge. We're also going to look at how many copies of things that were restricted and unrestricted.

Card Name Number of Copies
Narset, Parter of Veils 41
Force of Vigor 38
Collector Ouphe 27
Dreadhorde Arcanist 12
Veil of Summer 12
Bolas's Citadel 10
Teferi, Time Raveler 10
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 9
Force of Negation 6
Bazaar Trademage 5
Mire in  Misery 2
Wrenn and Six 2
Ashiok, Dream Render 1
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim 1
Plague Engineer 1

The big winner this week was decks playing Narset, Parter of Veils at a total of 41 copies of this card in the Top 32. Most of these decks playing it were PO Storm decks, but also a good number of Blue Xerox decks were playing it as well. Force of Vigor continues to be pretty powerful in the format as does Collector Ouphe.

Now let's look at the Restricted/Unrestricted cards.

Card Name Number of Copies
Mental Misstep 17
Mystic Forge 3
Golgari Grave-Troll 2
Karn, the Great Creator 1
Fastbond 4

Karn as a 1-of entirely (in the red Shops list from earlier) shows to me that effectively the card is basically unplayable if it can't be played as a 4-of. I expect maybe we'll see some more copies here or there, but I don't expect many decks playing it. Mystic Forge is expected more since it generates a lot of value on its own.

That being said, only one set of Fastbond in the challenge is a bit telling that again, players still haven't discovered yet what the best shell for this card is yet. We'll be keeping track of this from now on as well!

The Spice Corner

Our spice this week is a Fastbond deck, one that I would like to see further, and I mentioned earlier in this article. Our good friend Justin Gennari furnished me this list and he's streamed it a bit lately as well. It's Vintage AMULIT!

What I'm Playing This Week

I've been tuning Elementals and playing it pretty regularly. It's been pretty fun to play!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! It's an interesting time to be playing this format, even if it does seem like PO is poised to take over. This deck definitely capitalized on the chaos of the first week, and I feel like going forward people will be able to figure out how best to approach beating PO and then we'll see where things begin shaping up towards Vintage Champs at the end of October.

Speaking of October, next month marks a full first year writing for MTGGoldfish! It's been a great first year, and I am super appreciative of all the support I have had in my time here. Rest assured, I'm looking forward to another year ahead after this one! To show my appreciation however, I am running a contest that all you have to do to enter is fill out this form. This contest will close on October 1st and I will be possibly giving away something else to those who end up helping me reach my Patreon goals. Looking forward to this one!

As always you can find me on Twitter, Twitch, and Patreon! I'm also always around the MTGGoldfish Discord if you want to talk shop!

Next week we'll be continuing our journey into this brave new world and keeping up with Week Two of Post Restriction Vintage, and we'll also be discussing the possibility of further changes to the Banned/Restricted List as indicated by Ian Duke last week.

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