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Vintage 101: I Thee Wed


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're looking at the new new cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow and whether any of those might be good enough for Vintage. In addition to that we've got two Challenge events to talk about, and another ongoing series of Cram Sessions for Eternal Weekend, this time on BUG Midrange (as not to lose momentum on talking about decks people can play for those events). We've also got a Spice Corner!

Without further ado let's dive right in!

Bells Will Be Ringing

We're in Eternal Night (I mean Spoiler Season)! Innistrad: Crimson Vow is upon us, with all its Exploit and Blood Tokens and CLEAVE... and well, okay so none of those mechanics really have much to do with for Vintage, and there's only really a handful of cards to actually talk about in this set for Vintage which is kind of nice actually.

With that said, let's get right to it and start talking about cards.

Demonic Bargain

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I usually never try to discount tutor effects, especially ones that cost Lotus mana to cast. This seems certainly interesting despite the big downside, but I feel like it could do something, especially in conjunction with something like Thassa's Oracle. Is this good? Not sure, but I feel like it could be.

Change of Fortune

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a weird wheel effect given that it only affects you and not your opponents, so it makes stuff like Hullbreacher a little weaker for the caster and also technically stronger against the caster, which is a real concern given how much play that card is seeing right now. The fact that this counts cards you've discarded prior to casting this is pretty cool, but at the same time you could probably just be playing Paradoxical Outcome for four mana and win the game instead. This is probably not as good as it sounds like it.

Eruth, Tormented Prophet

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is the card that I think I am most excited about for Vintage purposes. The mana cost is reasonable (since Dack also costs 1UR) and the effect is simply interesting, especially when you factor in cards like Sensei's Divining Top and possibly stuff like Birgi, God of Storytelling. Frankly, turning your Ancestral Recall into a "draw 6" is insane, and even if you do have to cast those cards that turn, this format plays a ton of low cost to no cost things that make this probably pretty good. I have played Showdown of the Skalds before in this format, this is like that card except for every card you draw. I honestly can't wait to play around with this.

Dollhouse of Horrors

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a weird card. If the ability made a Karnstruct much like how Urza's Saga and Urza, Lord High Artificer did, I'd be much more intrigued by it simply because five mana is nothing in some decks, and reanimating anything like Thought Monitor seems incredibly good. Granted, even just counting Constructs is fine; there's enough Constructs in the format that you could build around this in a reasonable way. Would be cool to see a Saga-esque aggro style deck playing this for late game grind fest style plays. Very interesting for sure.

Lantern of the Lost

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Yet another piece of Relic of Progenitus / Soul-Guide Lantern-like effects. I still think I like Soul-Guide Lantern better especially in the decks playing Urza's Saga because often you want to exile your opponent's graveyard and not your own (since those decks often play cards like Emry, Lurker of the Loch, etc.) Still, this is another tool in the toolbox of graveyard hate for when you need to diversify a little bit.

Eternal Weekend Cram Session - BUG Midrange

We're continuing to look at decks that you as a player newer to the format can pick up and learn once the tokens are available on November 15th to play in Vintage Eternal Weekend 2021 Online. This week we're going to be taking a look at the current constructions of BUG Midrange.

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Do you really really like Modern Jund? Is Tarmogoyf your bestie? Well then this is the deck for you. If you've ever felt any amounts intimidated by Vintage, BUG is a deck that can really help with that because it is flexible and has solid answers for a wide array of things. It plays a lot like decks like Modern Jund where you are answering card for card with strong card quality in both your answers and your threats.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It is pretty amazing just how good of a clock Tarmogoyf is in current Vintage, even with decks running around that play cards like Urza's Saga. One thing that is really solid about this deck is the suite of answers it has and how flexible those answers are. This deck can adjust its main deck construction to shift to a wider array of things it wants to beat, and that alone makes it an interesting deck to consider for Eternal Weekend.

BUG is a great deck for players newer to the format, because they're often able to find analogies of the deck in formats they may already play (for example, the Modern Jund comparison). This allows for a lot of the play style fundamentals of those decks to carry over, with an added layer of being able to cast your cards a little faster on rate thanks to artifact mana as well as being able to cast cards like Ancestral Recall. This deck has a great matchup against artifact reliant decks, like Workshops and decks that rely on critical mass of artifact mana thanks to Collector Ouphe as well as graveyard decks like Dredge because of Deathrite Shaman and now Endurance. Its largest predator is the Jeskai Control / Midrange piles mainly due to the fact that the white removal is very strong against a lot of the cards here (Swords to Plowshares and Prismatic Ending primarily), but that shouldn't detract you and you can still win games against those decks. In a more open field, this is a deck to consider because it will more than likely have game against most of the decks you will face.

There are not a ton of solid tips and tricks for this deck because it's exceptionally straightforward in its gameplay. Most of what you would need to know revolves around casting Ancestral Recall and that is very subjective and matchup dependent. It is important to remember that Dig Through Time is an instant, so casting that at specific instant speed spots (in response to another spell or on opponent's end step) can be exceptionally powerful. Beyond that most of the deck is adapting to the matchup at hand and sequencing threats and answers.

This is a great fundamentals deck. If you understand combat fundamentals and how to sequence, you will likely enjoy this deck a lot.

Vintage Challenge 11/6

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the mid-afternoon Saturday event. This event had 53 players in it, thanks to 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.

Tinker decks were definitely popular and have remained super popular as of late, but performed just reasonably in this event. It was the BUG decks that really performed here, leading to how much more cyclical the format has been over the past few weeks. It's one of the great things about how the metagame ebbs and flows with Vintage and makes the format really interesting.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dredge 1st Wizard_2002
Hollow Vine 2nd S_P_O
BUG Midrange 3rd simmsey
BUG Midrange 4th fingers1991
Blue Tinker 5th Diem4x
Blue Tinker 6th swiftwarkite2
BUG Midrange 7th Funnyman31399
Blue Tinker 8th ReneRandrup

As noted before, BUG had a solid event here, pushing 3/5 of their pilots into the Top 8. Absolutely solid performance for sure. At the end of the event however, it was down to Bazaar v Bazaar, with Dredge as the ultimate winner!

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Grief really was a solid printing for this deck. Discard with upside of being solid food for Ichorid later in the game, and just an all-around strong card. Creeping Chill also continues to be a mainstay of this deck, which is pretty awesome.

The Second Place finalist was also on Bazaar, but on the Hollow Vine deck.

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The redundancy of this deck is just really powerful when it comes to turning Bazaar into a net card advantage card thanks to both Squee and Master of Death. In addition, the pitch elementals from Modern Horizons 2 were also really solid for this deck, namely Endurance and Fury.

Down the Top 8 the top-performing BUG Midrange player had some interesting things going on in their list.

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Snapcaster Mage is a sweet inclusion here. Also a sideboard copy of Thrun, the Last Troll?! Very sweet.

Also in the Top 8 we had a Blue Tinker shell, specifically "Esper" Tinker.

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These slower-paced control Tinker variants are very strong and have a lot of power behind them. Hullbreacher is super strong in these lists and the card has never felt better against the format given the number of decks like PO and 8-Cast.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a showing by Miharu on Oath!

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It's wild to see a day where Griselbrand isn't seeing play in Oath, but Archon of Cruelty is REALLY strong. Also, check out the Dress Down in this list and how good that is at answering stuff like Urza's Saga right now. Really solid stuff.

Vintage Challenge 11/7

The other Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event, which ad 39 players in it thanks to data collected by the Vintage Streamers Discord.

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

The metagame really ebbs further into the weekend with this event, as it shifts more towards Shops doing well. This event had a super solid performance by Aggro Shops, as we will see by the Top 8 here.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Aggro Shops 1st WhiTe TsaR
Dredge 2nd Wizard_2002
BUG Midrange 3rd burrarun
Dredge 4th ger5559
G/W Humans 5th Wesal
Blue Tinker 6th Kenzaburo
8-Cast 7th JUJUBEAN__2004
Jeskai Control 8th discoverN

Pretty wide range of things in the Top 8 here, from Bazaar decks to midrange piles and even G/W Humans. At the end of the event however, it was Aggro Shops that took down the entire thing.

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I'm sort of surprised we don't see this deck more often given how strong cards like Nettlecyst are. I would expect and hope more from this archetype going into Eternal Weekend. It never feels like a truly bad choice to me as it is aggressive and fast.

The Second Place finalist was the winner from the previous event on Dredge.

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No changes here to this list from the day before. Don't fix what isn't broken, for sure.

Down the Top 8 we had a showing by G/W Humans!

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Outland Liberator seems like a really powerful card, so I'm not surprised it's seeing play. Also, Mirran Crusader in the sideboard is super sweet. You might even call this list... liberating.

Also down in the Top 8 we had a showing by 8-Cast.

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This deck is incredibly strong right now, as it leverages a lot of speed combined with the individual power of the cards it plays. Definitely a deck to keep an eye on for Eternal Weekend.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a Sun Titan Breach Oath deck.

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Have not seen Blightsteel Colossus in a hot minute for sure. Pretty sweet deck!

Also near the bottom of the Top 32 we had a Vintage version of RUG Cascade.

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Shardless Agent and Crashing Footfalls. Whee! Also worth noting that it's really good with Dreadhorde Arcanist too after the fact, so that's pretty insane. Looks like a fun list overall.

Around the Web

  • Monke in PO? Bryant Cook has the sweet deets for this list here.
  • MTGO user noprops posted a video on Esper Tinker. Check that out here.
  • This week Justin Gennari has some Bant Archon action for us. Check out the video here.

The Spice Corner

Been a while since we've seen straight up Landstill.

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Our final Spice deck was posted to Twitter by our good friend NathanLipetz. Laelia, the Blade Reforged!

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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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