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Vintage 101: Deep Below the Surface


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're delving into some caves with the Lost Caverns of Ixalan set review! In addition that we've got two Challenges to discuss.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Journey to the Center of Ixalan

We have another Standard set coming in the form of Lost Caverns of Ixalan. This set has a number of new mechanics and at least one returning mechanic in Explore.

The new mechanics in this set are pretty interesting. The first big new one is Discover X, where it works a bit like a fixed version of Cascade. The major difference is that the mana value of the card you hit is gated by the number next to Discover (Discover 5, Discover 3, etc.) and if you don't want to cast the card or can't, you get to put it into your hand instead.

Another big mechanic here is the concepts of Descended and Descend. Descended is a check on whether you've put a permanent card into your graveyard fron anywhere that turn (sort of like Revolt) and Descend comes in a few flavors such as Descend 4 and Descend 8 where it is looking at the number of permanent cards in your graveyard.

Oh and there's also some pretty wild Jurassic World cards too.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about some cards.

Akal Pakal, First Among Equals

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is most definitely a Justin Gennari card, as he really likes the "artifact-centric" creatures in general. It's a cool effect and I mostly expect it to see play just by him and for him to Top 8 or win something with it.

Brass's Tunnel-Grinder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is interesting enough. It does draw cards and if Welder can do things with it then the card advantage is pretty good. As it stands right now though I don't know that this will see play.

Chimil, the Inner Sun

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh this card is actually super cool. I don't know if it's good enough but 6 isn't too hard to cast in Workshops decks and if it sticks around making your cards uncounterable + the Discover end step trigger really does dig through your deck hard.

It may be bad, but it's worth looking at.

Dauntless Dismantler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Okay, this card is pretty reasonable at two mana. Having a Meltdown-like effect in white is really strong and at a really solid mana value plus good stats at a 1/4. This is one I could certainly see.

Dino DNA

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Coming at us from the Jurassic World collection side of things is this interesting piece of graveyard hate. It's repeatable graveyard interaction that can can make creatures itself in the late game. I kind of like it.

Roaming Throne

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is kind of cool, considering you can name the creature types of cards like Golos, Tireless Pilgrim or Thought Monitor and double up those triggers. Four mana is not unreasonable in those decks and doubling up your Golos trigger seems quite good.

Sovereign Okinec Ahau

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The GW Aggro deck is a thing and this is a reasonable top end threat for that deck that can grow your creatures even bigger due to the fact that more often than not there will be counters on creatures already because of Luminarch Aspirant. Having Ward 2 is icing on the cake. I could see this seeing play in that deck specifically.

Tishana's Tidebinder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I like this card a lot. A Stifle stapled to a Humility effect is pretty cool and the fact that it hits Planeswalkers and makes them lose abilities as well is super cool. This is very interesting.

Vintage Challenge 10/28

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 58 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.

Lurrus Saga was quite popular and it had a pretty reasonable win rate. Combo Shops did very well here, while Aggro Shops and CounterVine performed rather poorly. Oath also did middle of the road here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Combo Shops 1st yPrincipe
Oath of Druids 2nd SebastianStueckl
Combo Shops 3rd Elfkid
Combo Shops 4th Callenutg1
Grixis Tinker 5th Renerandrup
Lurrus Saga 6th wiky
Lurrus Saga 7th Mogged
Combo Shops 8th notmi

Lot of Combo Shops in this Top 8 (and as we'll see this happens a lot over this weekend), and as it happens it also won the event as well.

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Very straightforward list here. The One Ring is quite good overall in this kind of deck where you can pick it up with PO, but also just utilizing the card for its protection and draw.

In Second Place we had Oath of Druids.

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I have enjoyed seeing the evolution of these builds especially with the two copies of Lorien Revealed. That card is quite good here for sure.

Further down the Top 8 we had Grixis Tinker.

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Super straightforward list, but it's got a strong proactive game plan and it knows what it wants to be doing. Yixlid Jailer in the sideboard is pretty cool.

Vintage Challenge 10/29

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. Due to the data not existing for this event we don't know how many players there were.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here. There was no data for this event due to technical issues, so let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Combo Shops 1st Elfkid
Combo Shops 2nd kokoko098
Combo Shops 3rd Callenutg1
Combo Shops 4th Bernastorres
Oath of Druids 5th kbzx
Doomsday 6th SingPanMan
Initiative 7th Moonmadness-_-
Lurrus Fastbond 8th haveaboavida

Even more Combo Shops here, with the deck taking up the entirety of the Top 4. At the end of the event it was Combo Shops vs Combo Shops with the winner being... Burn! No wait, that's not right.

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Both of these lists are pretty close to each other, with the winning list having a bit of an extra edge of Hullbreacher in the main and side. The Mightstone and Weakstone both seem like very strong cards in this deck.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a sweet Fastbond deck.

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This deck is super sweet. I am digging the angle of porting Sphere of Resistance lands to Vintage and this does it quite well.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari has one video for us this past week on Food Chain! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Is this Absorbentthree's final form? Who knows?!

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We talked about Unpowered lists last week. Our good friend John Ryan Hamilton came in and did a thing with Mono Red Stompy.

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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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