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Vintage 101: I'm Still Standing


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah... Okay admit it, you heard the song inside your head. I know I did. With that said, howdy folks and welcome to yet another edition of Vintage 101! I'm the host with the most, Joe Dyer, and this week we're wrapping up our deep dive into various Vintage decklists with a deck that is a more classic take on a control archetype. In addition, we're continuing the hype train that is VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE!

It's been a crazy 2019 thus far, but things with Vintage aren't looking too shabby especially with the awesomeness that is VSL going on right now. Now is still a great time to get into Vintage via Magic Online, as we are still looking forward to the first quarterly playoff for Vintage. Next week is when we'll be starting to talk about the Metagame and how things have progressed on Magic Online with Vintage since Ravnica Allegiance dropped.

The deck this week is built around the card Standstill and is often known as Landstill!

Standing Up For Your Lands - A History

A part of both the Legacy Metagame and early Vintage in its inception, the idea of pairing the card Standstill alongside cards like Mishra's Factory (thus how it earned the name "Land"still) has generally always been around the format. Over the years the core of the deck has changed greatly, from Blue/Red versions to BUG versions each with their own strengths and weaknesses. As the Vintage format has evolved, Landstill grew and evolved too, eventually adopting White as the base splash for cards such as Swords to Plowshares and Stony Silence.

These days Landstill decks are very fringe in the format, but that doesn't mean they are bad. A capable pilot is certainly able to navigate most matchups to a degree of success with this deck, and if the idea of playing a very classic Control archetype appeals to you, this might just be the deck for you.

Standing Downwind - A Deconstruction of Landstill

Alright, let's take a look at a sample list, shall we?

As we always do here, let's dissect and deconstruct the nuts and bolts that make this deck tick.

Mana

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Outside of the Power, there's no additional mana sources in this deck, and the deck itself is only running the on-color Moxen plus Black Lotus. The off-color Moxen are a liability in this deck since it's so heavy on color requirements.

Card Draw + Selection

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

This deck includes a lot of the most common card selection seen in blue Vintage decks, as most of these cards except for Jace are also restricted. Regardless, the card selection in the deck is pretty powerful for needing to find answers. Speaking of answers...

Countermagic + Interaction

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00
$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Outside of the Standstill lock the rest of the deck is nothing but pure and unadulterared interaction from top to bottom. Whether its countermagic or being able to shut off the opponent's artifact mana, to a wrath effect that can't be countered, Standstill is packing ways to interact with its opponent in spades.

Standstill + Creature Lands

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The big draw to play a deck like this, Standstill is a lock piece and a card advantage engine in one card. The primary goal behind playing this card is to put the opponent into the position of not wanting to cast spells or risk the Landstill player drawing more cards, which slows down the pace of the game dramatically. Couple this with creature lands like Mishra's Factory and you have a winning position of not having to cast spells while accruing resources to win a countermagic war while attacking for at minimum two damage every turn.

The Art of Standing Still

Playing Landstill is much like playing a regular control deck, by proactively slowing your opponent down in the early game in order to stick a Standstill very early. The later you wait to play Standstill the worse it will be. Standstill provides a double-edged sword to the deck, banking on player's either breaking the lock at the wrong time or not trying to break the lock at all by shaping their hand versus the Landstill player. However, with the level of interaction that Landstill plays, more than likely Landstill is going to have better interaction overall through the course of a game versus an opponent who tries to wait out the lock.

While the lock is in place, creature lands can attack the opponent if they also do not have any creatures (and if you played Standstill early enough this is very likely), putting pressure on the opponent to break the lock to try to deal with the creature attacking them. Very rarely are you ever going to be breaking the lock on your own, if anything you are always going to want to bait your opponent into doing it.

Now, this does not mean that the lock is unbeatable. Far from that actually. There are positions in the game where it is smart to break a Standstill lock, more often than not with an innocuous spell at the end of your turn so that you might have to discard cards during cleanup phase. Often it is better for your opponent to rip the bandaid off and force the issue by breaking the lock early enough to get ahead in the game.

Another thing that can turn your plans upside down is the presence of Strip Mine and Wasteland. An opponent that is able to deal with your creature lands is going to be much harder to kill with just creature damage.

Sideboarding Into Stillness

Now let's take a look at the sideboard options this deck provides us.

Graveyard Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

As with any Vintage deck, having game against graveyard strategies is always important. This deck diversifies this by having multiple angles of attack, including Containment Priest being able to be used versus Oath decks.

Artifact Destruction

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Being able to have ways of dealing with Shops decks is also pretty important, which prioritizes cards like Energy Flux. In addition Hurkyl's Recall can act as interesting offensive versus PO Storm, by cutting them off being able to draw cards with Paradoxical Outcome.

Addition Interaction

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Having additional countermagic + ways to find important cards can be helpful versus Storm combo and other blue decks in the format.

Creature Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Since decks that play cards like Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer can be difficult to get above if they break the lock early and go to town making tokens, cards like Moat and Peacekeeper can give the Landstill player time to find further interaction to prevent their opponent from winning, either in the form of Supreme Verdict or premium removal like Swords to Plowshares.

VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE SEASON 9 WEEK 5!

That's right folks! We have arrived at Week 5 of VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE! All 16 of our VSL competitors have taken the stage and now it's time for them do so again with their eye on the playoff spot! Four competitors will enter to battle it out. Let's see who we've got this week!

  • Cyrus Corman-Gill (THE POWER OF SKULLS COMPELS YOU)
  • Andreas Petersen (THE "IT'S HOW EARLY IN THE MORNING?!")
  • Andy Markiton (THE MASTER OF THE CULT OF MISHRA)
  • Seth Manfield (THE HALL OF FAMER)

This is a stacked set of players tonight, and each and every one of them is bringing their A Game. Let's see what each competitor brought to the table, shall we?

These are some powerful lists from some very powerful wizards. This also marks the first showing of Ravager Shops within the VSL, by the master of Mishra himself Andy Markiton!

Round 1 we have Andy Markiton on Shops vs CyrusCG on PO! Montolio takes a quick Game 1 with triple Sphere of Resistance backed up by a clock. Game 2 Cyrus is able to get above the pressure and take the win. Game 3 Andy stumbles and Cyrus takes the advantage to sneak through the window and close out the game.

Round 2 sees Andreas Petersen on Dredge taking on Seth Manfield on Oath! Andreas takes a crazy Game 1 where he gets stuck on dredgers but manages to pull apart Seth's game plan to wear him down. Game 2 sees Seth slamming a Pithing Needle and taking over the game, finally ending it with a Blazing Archon off an Oath. Game 3 Andreas has a powerful start and plays the Oath of Druids dance to swing for lethal in a single turn off Dragonlord Kolaghan.

Round 3 is CyrusCG vs Seth Manfield! Game 1 is a wild game, but Cyrus is able to pull ahead and take the game. Game 2 is a bit of back and forth but Cyrus slams through with Karn, Scion of Urza and kills with a deterministic Tendrils of Agony locking him into the playoffs of VSL!

Round 4 is Andy Markiton vs Andreas Petersen! Game 1 is in Andreas' favor as he slams through a quick zombie army. However Game 2 is Andy's toy box as he quickly runs away with the game. Game 3 Andy turns a quick Turn 1 corner and demolishes Andreas's turn.

Round 5 is CyrusCG vs Andreas Petersen! Game 1 Cyrus keeps a loose hand and Andreas is off to the races to take the game. Game 2 Cyrus makes the magic happen and snaps off a Mind's Desire to hit Yawgmoth's Will to Tendrils for exact. Game 3 sees Cyrus and Andreas fight over some cards on the stack with some countermagic, with Andreas able to pull ahead to snag the game and another spot in the playoffs!

Round 6 is Andy Markiton vs Seth Manfield! Andy takes Game 1 decisively as he develops a Sphere of Resistance board of multiple Spheres into Ravager. Game 2 is back and forth before Seth finally finds an Oath of Druids into Griselbrand and Time Walk to take the game. Game 3 Andy plays through a Turn 2 Oath of Druids with Mishra's Factory beats and some smart plays to take the game to also move into the playoffs!

Cyrus, Andreas, and Andy all move into the playoffs!

What a legitimately exciting week. Crazy amounts of Vintage and some wonderful matches all around.

The Spice Corner

Our spice this week comes from Magic Online, where we get Knight of Autumn, Palace Jailer, and Notion Thief in the same deck?!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Like I said earlier, next week we're going to be taking a look at how the Vintage 2019 Metagame has been shaping up since the release of Ravnica Allegiance, in addition to talking about next week's Vintage Super League, and my time playing up in Michigan at Perfect Storm Games for their monthly Vintage Slam tournament! It should be a super exciting time, since I'm getting to play my favorite build of Dredge:

I'm trying out some new tech with this list this week and I'm excited to give it a shot. Should be fun regardless and will give me a good place to start digging further at the list. Side note, I really love Molderhulk. Insane card all around.

Remember to check out my YouTube channel and my Twitter! I'm going to be working up a new video soon, this one likely to be on BUG Survival. I just need to piece together the cards I need for the list. If there is a deck you'd like to see me cover in one of these videos, please feel free to reach out!

My props this week go to Min Hoq and Max Gilmore for their new site MinMax. Min is a friend of mine within the Ohio area and is a solid player, and these two guys joining forces is bound to produce some stellar content, even including some of Max playing Arclight Phoenix in Vintage! Be sure to check out their site for some sweet content!

Until next time, keep casting Ancestral Recall!


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