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Vintage 101: Marching Onward


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 diving into the metagame again and seeing how Vintage is shaping up after another month. In addition to that we've got two Challenges from this past weekend to look at, and of course a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Tides of March Metagame

The Vintage Metagame slowly plods forward on Magic Online, and with the understanding that there would be no changes to the format from the beginning of the month's Banned and Restricted Announcement, we can see what things look like for over the month in the format. To do this, I've made a copy of the aggregate metagame sheet of the data that is collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find this metagame data sheet here. This sheet covers the date range back to March 1st. Let's start by pulling up some graphical data.

At the height of popularity over this past month is the Mono White Initiative deck at a whopping 77 decks over the next highest deck of Doomsday at 44 decks. However, despite the popularity of the deck, its win rate is below the average of 49.58% which is actually fairly reasonable. Doomsday is holding well in the format currently as the predominant combo deck of the entire format at this juncture. In addition to that, Tinker decks overall are exceptionally popular, but those are broken down by different variants (PO, Grixis, Esper) and all of them are at a 49-50% win rate overall.

What I see here when I look at this past month is really interesting and every month continues to cement that Vintage really does a great job of absorbing both new cards and new strategies, as well as cycling properly around the pillars of the format. This is great to see and very exciting.

We've got some upcoming sets that seem to have some potential impact on Vintage, most notably the Lord of the Rings set and The One Ring, so it will be interesting to see how the format evolves further, but for now I'm pretty happy with how things look.

Vintage Challenge 3/25

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Saturday event. This event had 64 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 datasheet here.

Mono White was pretty popular in this event, but it didn't have a great win rate. Doomsday did very well here, as did Jeskai and Oath decks. The Initiative Tinker decks showed up here but did very poorly.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st MaxMagicer
Jeskai Lurrus 2nd unluckymonkey
Doomsday 3rd Tsubasa_Cat
Doomsday 4th sixmp
UB Tinker 5th Diem4x
Oath of Druids 6th D00mwake
Combo Shops 7th MafiaDoSplit
Prison Shops 8th bernardocssa

Lot of combo in this Top 8, with quite a bit of Doomsday. So much Doomsday in fact that it won the event.

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Pretty solidly clean list here. Doomsday doesn't have a lot of deck velocity in terms of raw innovation and frankly, it doesn't need to. Don't mess with perfection they say!

In Second Place we've got Jeskai Lurrus.

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Mercurial Spelldancer seems pretty great in a deck like this made to abuse bringing back spells like Mishra's Bauble with Lurrus. It feels like it's probably pretty powerful overall.

Further down the Top 8 we have Oath of Druids.

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Atraxa with both Oath and Show and Tell is pretty wild. Also having a Tinker backup plan is super strong.

At the bottom of the Top 8 is Prison Shops.

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This is a pretty solid list for sure. Prison Shops decks are fun to look at, as there's always a lot going on. Again, Argentum Masticore in the sideboard feels like it has become rather stock at this point and I like it.

Vintage Challenge 3/26

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 49 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 datasheet here.

Mono White was again super popular and despite having a top finish the overall win rate of the deck was low. PO, Grixis Tinker, and Aggro Bazaar-based decks did poorly as well, while Dredge, Doomsday, and Jeskai all did very well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono White 1st ecobaronen
Doomsday 2nd sixmp
Doomsday 3rd Tsubasa_Cat
Dredge 4th Turn1GlistenerElf
Jeskai Lurrus 5th _Shatun_
Combo Shops 6th Hampuse1
Oath of Druids 7th CodeProvider
Prison Shops 8th ChessNight5030

Again, a fair amount of combo, in addition to some Shops, Bazaar, and at the end of the event the Mono White deck was the one to take it down.

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Very clean list overall here. I think we've finally seen these Mono White lists solidify to an extent from the early days of the deck. Definitely feels like there is a reasonable stock list at this point.

In Second Place we've got Doomsday.

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The sideboard juke here being Murktide Regent is pretty interesting as a clock over a card like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Murktide really is a strong clock though so I think it's pretty powerful.

Further into the Top 8 we have a showing by Dredge.

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I have long found it interesting the inevitable evolution of this deck and its deckbuilding. Dredge at this point is a well-oiled machine and it is very powerful.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Combo Shops.

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This deck is still definitely an exceptionally good deck, and there are certainly some cards upcoming that we talked about earlier that have a possibility of making it even better.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari has some new content for us this week!
  • Andy Markiton has a new video on Cradlevine. Check it out here.
  • Revenantkioku has a Doomsday LCQ video. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Cityscape Leveler!

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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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