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Vintage 101: Breaking Some Faces


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week I'm going to be taking a retroactive look at a card that hasn't really done anything in Vintage as of yet from Streets of New Capenna but looks like a rather interesting card nonetheless. We've also got two Challenges to talk about this week as well as a Spice Corner.

Professionally Breaking Faces

Quite often I think sometimes cards slip through the cracks here or there. This one actually comes from some commentary on Streets of New Capenna on the last So Many Insane Plays episode from last month, hosted by Kevin Cron and Stephen Menendian. In their review of New Capenna a card came up that had not been on my radar and I began to really think about it.

That card? Professional Face-Breaker.

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At face value this card doesn't seem overtly impressive, but it costing three mana did get me thinking since it's easy to splash for and works well with off-color Moxen and Black Lotus. The biggest upside of this card is that it can cash in Treasure tokens for functionally card draw that bypasses certain effects like Leovold, Emissary of Trest or Narset, Parter of Veils. I also got to thinking about how this could be abused and what other cards you'd probably want to play this with.

My answer ended up being: Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

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Ragavan and Face-Breaker offer a lot of value when used in conjunction with each other. There can be some very real powerful starts that begin with a Dash'ed Ragavan with a Face-Breaker in play (either off a Lotus or Mox + lands). While Face-Breaker does have some upside with off-color Moxen, those Moxen are hard to play in this kind of shell that really wants to be focused on Blue and Red cards. The Treasure generation here is smart because you're capable of either cashing in Treasures for opponent's cards with Ragavan triggers or you're able to cash them in for your own cards with Face-Breaker's ability. Multiple Face-Breakers means you're making more than one Treasure (besides the Treasure that Ragavan already makes) and having the extra mana to cast your own spells is really strong.

Now with that being said, we have obviously not seen this card do anything in the current Vintage format in any of the bigger events. However, I do like to think that there is always a measure of open-ness in the Vintage format still and that quite often we do miss cards that may possibly eke out a lot of value. Laelia, the Blade Reforged definitely took a hot minute for people to figure out, and there's just always a possiblility that abuse of Treasures down the line is a very real thing and having solid Treasure generating cards can make the difference there.

If you like the idea behind this deck and want to give it a go, please feel free to let me know what your experience was with it!

For now? I'm going to see about breaking some Faces.

Vintage Challenge 7/16

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 52 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.

Hogaak has been the overtly popular deck for the past few weeks and is definitely one of the meta decks of the format right now it seems. It had a solid win rate in this event, but so did a number of other decks and the overall spread was very good.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
BUG Midrange 1st Ale_mtg
Grixis Tinker 2nd Condescend
Combo Shops 3rd Cftsoc3
Doomsday 4th Vertyx_
Hogaak 5th PTarts2win
Bird Blade 6th SenpaiBlank
Hogaak 7th kanister
Aggro Shops 8th hodortimebaby

Definitely a solid spread of decks here in the Top 8. Some Bazaar, some Shops, some Combo and some Midrange. At the end of the day it was BUG that took it all down!

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This list has a lot going on in it, from the typical BUG stuff to things like Sylvan Library and even Liliana, the Last Hope out of the sideboard. Super cool list!

The Second Place finalist was on Grixis Tinker.

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This is also sort of a Breach deck too, as so many of these decks are skating that line of what they look like in regards to Tinker/Breach. Urza is a neat inclusion here as a grindy threat.

Also in this Top 8 we have some Coveted Jewel action.

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The Antiquities War seems like a sweet pickup with Paradoxical Outcome not going to lie. This list is even packing some Bronze Guardian in the side. Very wild!

Further down the Top 8 we had another showing by Bird Blade.

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SenpaiBlank's results with this deck are something to behold. Multiple repeated Top 8s with this deck and no signs of slowing down any time soon. Solid list for sure!

Vintage Challenge 7/17

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event also had 52 players in it, thanks to the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

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

Hogaak and Doomsday sat at the top of the heap here, with a nice spread all the way down to the bottom. PO and Golos Shops decks did quite well performance-wise, as did Breach.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st discoverN
Tinker Breach 2nd Diem4x
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd jacema
Golos Stax 4th bernardocssa
Hogaak 5th Sarlanga
Aggro Shops 6th mogged
Paradoxical Outcome 7th mechrataal
Aggro Shops 8th Slasher21

Decent number of spread here, with some Bazaar and Shops plus Combo and Tinker. At the end of the day though it was the Doomsday master themself discoverN that won it all.

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Very powerful list all around. This is the gold standard of Doomsday lists and I ideally would just recommend following along with discoverN's lists if you are interested in this archetype.

The Second Place Finalist was on Tinker Breach.

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Laelia is an all around powerhouse for this deck, even when the combo is ongoing as it turns into a threat that grows bigger with each Escape cast. Solid list for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had some Mono Blue PO.

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Definitely interesting to only see a list with Urza instead of the typical white threats that exist for this deck (Mentor/Lavinia), but Urza is very strong so I'm not surprised. Walking Ballista out of the sideboard is interesting with Karn, the Great Creator in the mix.

Further down the Top 8 we have some Golos Shops.

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Typically the Aggro Shops variants have been the defacto Shops build, but Golos is still a very powerful card and can do some really absurdly strong things.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 decklist dump here.

This WB aggro deck with Lurrus main deck is pretty cool.

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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 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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