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Vintage 101: Breach of the Titans


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 fun take on the Oath of Druids archetype. This deck utilizes Oath in a way to combo with Sun Titan and Underworld Breach to win the game.

Without further ado, let's jump right into the thick of things!

The Breach is Open

As I stated before, this deck is an interesting take on the Oath of Druids archetype. It's primary targets for Oath are only a pair of Sun Titan, in the hopes that it can mill enough cards to get back a copy of Underworld Breach to play, which then allows the deck to utilize the graveyard as a secondary hand of cards. Instead of treating Breach as a combo piece in this fashion it's treating it more as a repeatable Yawgmoth's Will, since the Sun Titan's can recur the Breaches on followup turns. One nice thing about this is the ability to repeatedly play restricted cards like Ancestral Recall and Time Walk from the graveyard at the cost of exiling three cards.

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Let's take a look at the list itself and then break it down into its core components!

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Fast Artifact Mana

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Most Oath lists tend to run the full gamut of Moxen + Lotus in the deck, so as to maximize the possibility of having Turn 1 Green Source + Moxen for an Oath of Druids, so it's no surprise to see it all here.

Card Draw / Selection

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Oath decks tend to be pretty blue heavy in their application of these restricted cards, so again none of this is truly any surprise. These are all the most common (and restricted outside of Preordain) pieces of the blue suite and are just sheer powerful cards in their own right.

Interaction / Countermagic / Miscellaneous

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Because of how blue heavy Oath tends to be it is afforded the ability to run Force of Will + Force of Negation for protecting its combo. The singleton Lightning Bolt might seem strange, but it's actually one of the cool ways the deck can win the game by simply leveraging the mana generated off Breach + Lotus with Bolt to just Bolt an opponent to death. Memory's Journey too can be helpful to stuff needed cards back into the library so that you can mill them again with Oath of Druids and refill your library to an extent, and can also prevent decking.

Planeswalkers

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It's no surprise as well to see Oko in this deck, since it has very much proven its worth in Oath decks in general. It is however, really cool to see Teferi here, given the synergy, the card has with both Sun Titan (being able to be recurred) and with Underworld Breach (bouncing it instead of sacrificing it at end step to get a card out of the deal and Breach in hand). And of course, we always have everyone's favorite blue restricted walker, Narset.

The Oath Package

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As noted before, the crux of this deck's interaction with Oath is mainly reliant on the interactions of Sun Titan and Underworld Breach, turning Breach into a value combo piece that allows the Oath player to play cards out of their graveyard. This is really strong given that the escaped cards don't get exiled as they would with Yawgmoth's Will, and there are several synergies with utilizing cards like Time Walk to take enough turns to close the game out with a pair of 6/6 beaters and Planeswalkers like Oko coming back out of the graveyard as well. Furthermore, Breach can often just be a value cast and used to get back an Oath that had been countered or something similar.

Sideboard Breaching

As far as the sideboard is concerned, you're likely to see a lot of the typical things you would see out of an Oath sideboard such as artifact/enchantment destruction and of course, Dredge hate. The original pilot of this built took the Dredge hate to a little bit of the extreme with this variant, splashing black for a single Underground Sea and four copies of Mind Funeral.

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This card is mostly intriguing because more often than not it usually ends up completely milling a Dredge opponent if they do not have more than just the four Bazaar of Baghdad in their deck (which most Dredge lists do these days outside of outliers that splash in Wasteland + Strip Mine effects). Since Dredge has to mulligan to Bazaar, upon casting Mind Funeral the opponent will only have three lands total in their entire library, so they will completely mill out and lose in their draw step. Whether or not this is truly good or not to warrant inclusion as a 4-of in the sideboard is intriguing to determine, but I love the idea of the tech.

Community Vintage Update

I don't have much to talk about right now that we haven't already discussed, however, I did want to point out my good friend Jon Hammack has posted on Twitter about another charity Vintage event in OKC this weekend. You can find the details of this here.

A reminder if you have an event you'd like me to talk about, an event you'd like me to cover, or just want to promote your event, please feel free to reach out to me!

Vintage Challenge 2/15

We had yet another Vintage Challenge last weekend, so let's dive right into the Top 8 of that event!

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Breach Painter 1st IamActuallyLvl1 (Justin Gennari)
Dredge 2nd Notmi
Ravager Shops 3rd Kuvalda
Hollow Vine 4th Montolio (Andy Markiton)
Ravager Shops 5th Otakkun
Hollow Vine 6th Hanchobai
PO Storm 7th LSV (Yes, that LSV)
BUG Midrange 8th Azerate218

This was certainly an intriguing Top 8. These challenges continue to be very interesting to look at because it is very interesting to see how the metagame has evolved since the restriction of Narset.

Of course, the winner of this event was none other than our good friend Justin Gennari on an extremely intriguing list.

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One super cool niche interaction of this list is the fact that Grindstone can target yourself when you have Painter out to completely mill. This allows for the purposes of Underworld Breach the ability to generate a lot of mana with LED+Lotus to kill the opponent with either the Painter kill or the Brain Freeze kill, or to simply bolt them to death with Lightning Bolt. I love the flexibility and the power of this list. It's really solid and looks like a lot of fun. Congrats to Justin on his finish!

In Second Place we had another good friend notmi on Dredge!

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This is pretty stock for Dredge really and isn't boasting much spice, but it is consistent and powerful and that's what matters. Congrats to notmi on their finish!

Down the line we had two showings of the Hollow Vine Bazaar deck (with Vengevine + Hollow One and a bunch of free pitch spells), with one of those showings by our friend Andy Markiton (Montolio)!

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It has been very intriguing seeing the evolution of these Bazaar aggro decks from the state of being toolbox like Survival to being more aggressive shells leaning on free countermagic like these decks are. These decks do seem pretty powerful though, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them continuing to show up in events.

Also down the Top 8 we had the one, the only LSV on PO Storm!

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This is certainly a solid list, and I really like the inclusion of Sai, Master Thopterist in the sideboard as an alternate Monastery Mentor-like card. It is also still very interesting to see how the overall metagame continues to adapt given that most thought that PO would completely dominate the format and necessitate a restriction. I don't think we are at a point now where a restriction on PO is likely and it might not ever happen unless the metagame drastically switches, but for right now it seems like things are in a great spot.

Now let's take a look at the 2020 cards showing up in this event:

Card Name Number of Copies
Underworld Breach 10
Thassa's Oracle 2

There weren't many really of Theros: Beyond Death cards this go around other than the usual suspects and even then most of the decks playing Breach were 1-2 copies per deck and used mainly with a singleton copy of Brain Freeze. It's been interesting to follow the trajectory of this card in Vintage and so far my gut instinct tells me the card is actually just fine in the format, with everything else going on, however it is still a card that has potential in the future to prove problematic. There were very few Thassa's Oracle this go around, with only one of the Oracle Combo decks and another Jeskai deck playing one for the clean kill.

The Spice Corner

This deck was worth mentioning this week because it's KCI!

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! It's a bit of a slow week this week, but we can certainly expect more interesting things on the horizon as we look down the line of 2020.

As always you can reach me on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord as well!

Until next time, keep casting Moxen!



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