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Vintage 101: Mom's Spaghetti


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your hostest with the mostest, Joe Dyer, and this week we're getting down and dirty with a recipe on how to assemble a highly aggressive strategy in Vintage in the form of Colorless Eldrazi! In addition to that, we are also looking at the semifinals of VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE!

First things first, a little news for the Vintage Community. As some might have heard, Star City Games is indeed hosting another Power Nine Series this year June 6-9 at SCG Con Summer in Roanoke, VA. This is great news for the Vintage Community, as this is another sanctioned event in the US outside of US Eternal Weekend's North America Vintage Championship. Even cooler for this event is that it will also act as a Mega Trial for the 2019 Vintage Championships, meaning not only is there an opportunity to win some killer prizes but also byes to Eternal Weekend. Check out the full event details here.

Exciting stuff! I am hopefully looking forward to attending this event myself, I just need to hash out the little things (like registration fees, finding a place to stay in Roanoke... a deck to play... you know, that sort of stuff) but I definitely want to make it down.

The Eldrazi Menace

Now then, let's talk about Colorless Eldrazi. This deck has been showing up in quite a few of the Vintage Challenges on Magic Online thanks to a user named Thiim, and it definitely appears that it has legs. Let's take a look at one of the more recent lists that's shown up.

Now, let's distill this list into its key components like we always like to do.

Mana

$ 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 Power in this list, we also see typical accelerants in the form of Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Ancient Tomb, Eldrazi Temple, and Tolarian Academy. This highly ups the chances of being able to stick a powerful threat and/or a lock piece on Turn 1 and then proceed to follow that up with even more threats.

Lock Pieces / Disruption

$ 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

Disruption is key in a format like Vintage, and much like other Sol Land based decks (like Ravager Shops) this deck needs to be able to press the advantage with taxing effects and land destruction. It's worth noting that this deck does play three Main deck copies of Null Rod to hedge against things like Paradoxical Outcome in addition to Shops.

Threats

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Of course, no Eldrazi deck would be complete without the cadre of low-cost Eldrazi that were printed in Oath of the Gatewatch. Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher are excessively threatening and powerful creatures and can quickly establish a fast clock that's both disruptive and powerful upon an opponent.

The Eldrazi Sideboard

Since this deck is essentially completely colorless, it is generally going to have to rely on colorless answers for the most part or answers that are free in some fashion.

Graveyard Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

As with any Vintage list, you need graveyard hate to beat Dredge and the like, so cards like Ravenous Trap and Grafdigger's Cage help in that regards. Ravenous Trap has a high surprise factor given that it can't be easily played around unless you're aware of it ahead of time.

Creature Matchup Answers

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

Cards like Walking Ballista combined with equipped Basilisk Collar help answer various creature matchups, including things like Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer, while Spatial Contortion is able to kill and/or buff in one card, allowing for alpha strike capability.

Miscellaneous Utility

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Having an additional Null Rod in the sideboard can be helpful for games where the card is necessary quickly and up front, while Phyrexian Metamorph can come in matchups where its necessary to have additional threats or additional lock pieces.

I expect to see more of people trying this deck in the future. It seems pretty powerful and has some strong answers to the format overall. I'm really excited to see where it goes.

Vintage Challenge 3/16

Another week, another challenge! We are looking ahead to the very first FORMAT PLAYOFF of the first quarter of 2019, vying for a spot in the Top 8 to take place in the Format Championships at the end of the year. It's going to be an exciting time, but for now let's take a look at the results from this past weekend's challenge.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Xerox 1st DiscoverN
Oath of Druids 2nd Micmer
UR Xerox 3rd Geekyjackson
PO Storm 4th CyrusCG
Oath of Druids 5th Shir Kahn
UR Xerox 6th Sti
Jeskai Xerox 7th Tsoatt
Pitch Dredge 8th MossdogTrainee

There is quite a bit of Xerox in this Top 8, but also strangely enough... no Shops. Most of the Shops lists went 4-2 it seemed, but ended up being ousted out of the Top 8 by none other than Randy Buehler (MossdogTrainee) himself on Pitch Dredge. Also showing up in our Top 8 is our good buddy CyrusCG, on a slightly different take on the typical PO Storm list.

Opting to register zero copies of Tendrils of Agony must have been intriguing to Cyrus (as skulls are powerful), but it certainly paid off for him with the Top 4 spot. Congrats Cyrus for a great finish!

As mentioned before, we also have Randy Buehler in the Top 8 with none other than Pitch Dredge! Let's take a look at the list.

At this point, this appears to be one of the better lists for Dredge right now. I would like to see a little more of a singleton Chalice of the Void given how powerful the card is, especially versus Paradoxical Outcome.

Another list that struck my attention was from MTGO user Clone9, who's showing that it's totally cool to register main deck Kataki, War's Wage in addition to sideboard Brimaz, King of Oreskos.

VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE SEASON 9 SEMIFINALS!

That's right folks, we are into the semifinals of VSL! This week is going to be super exciting as we are going in with four competitors and coming out with two for the finals!

Our competitors are as follows:

  • Rachel Agnes (THE PHYREXIAN FAERIE)
  • Rich Shay (THE DOCTOR OF ATOGS)
  • Randy Buehler (THE GRIZZLED VETERAN)
  • Andreas Petersen (THE "NOT AS GREAT A DANCER AS MICHAEL BONDE")

Each competitor had to bring two decks this go-around, battling it out in best two matches out of three. Let's take a look at the lists!

Randy Buehler

Andreas Petersen

Rachel Agnes

Rich Shay

Set One - Round One - Randy Buehler (Xerox) vs Andreas Petersen (Sylvan Outcome)

Game 1 has Andreas on the play kicking things off with Turn 1 artifact mana and a Sensei's Divining Top with Randy's Turn 1 deploying a Black Lotus into Preordain and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Andreas deploys Voltaic Key and Time Vault on Turn 2. Randy casts Brainstorm to try to find action, but finds nothing. Randy makes Andreas play into the turns due to his Mana Crypt in play. Andreas casts Paradoxical Outcome on his next extra turn to seal the game.

Game 2 shows Andreas attempting to get a Turn 1 Managorger Hydra into play only to fall into a Flusterstorm fight that Randy manages to win. Both players fight over the stack as Andreas attempts to run out Ancestral Recall and Sol Ring and manages to stick Treasure Cruise and Sylvan Library. Andreas draws into Time Vault and Voltaic Key off his Sylvan Library. He resolves both and takes the match.

Set One - Round Two - Randy Buehler (PO) vs Andreas Petersen (Pitch Dredge)

Game 1 shows Randy off to the races with some mana rocks and draws into Paradoxical Outcome. Andreas opens up on Bazaar of Baghdad on the draw, drawing into Unmask to pitch an Ichorid to get rid of that PO. Randy finds another PO but it gets Mindbreak Trap'ed and  Andreas is off to the races with double Force of Will in hand. He forces Randy's Mana Vault play and drops a ton of Zombies. Randy finds Repeal into Demonic Tutor for Yawgmoth's Will and goes off to the races to take the game.

Game 2 shows Andreas playing the mulligan for Bazaar mini game while Randy keeps a pretty strong seven cards. Andreas Unmask's and takes a Tormod's Crypt while Randy just plays Mana Vault and passes. Andreas dredges more and flashbacks Cabal Therapy to rip apart Randy's hand. Randy tries to find some action but fails to do so and concedes.

Game 3 shows Randy trying to stick a Turn 1 Grafdigger's Cage but it gets Force of Will'ed by Andreas. Andreas Bazaars and Unmasks and takes Brainstorm. Randy casts a Ponder and finds a Preordain to try to find some action in a Tormod's Crypt, but doesn't find it. Andreas plays a second Bazaar of Baghdad and is off to the races with Cabal Therapy ripping apart Randy's hand. Randy Snapcaster Mage's into a Tormod's Crypt which buys Randy a turn, but it's not nearly enough to beat Andreas.

Andreas wins Best Two out of Three Matches and takes his place as the first Finalist of VSL!

Set Two - Round One - Rich Shay (Ravager Shops) vs Rachel Agnes (UR Pyromancer)

Game 1 has Rachel on the play with UR Pyromancer. She plays out a Misty Rainforest while Rich goes for double Arcbound Ravager which gets one Force of Will'ed. He jams a Sphere of Resistance and passes the turn. Rachel plays a Black Lotus and proceeds to get her Island Strip Mine'ed as Rich lays down a 2/2 Walking Ballista. Rachel attempts to Dack Fayden the Ballista but loses the Dack and some damage in the process. Rachel doesn't draw any action and concedes.

Game 2 shows Rich trying for Turn 1 Sphere of Resistance, getting it countered. Rachel lays down a Sylvan Library and gets Wasteland'ed by Rich. Rachel finds another green source and Nature's Claim's Rich's Ravager during his attack step. Rich lays down a Phyrexian Revoker and Trinisphere during a followup turn. Rachel answers the Trinisphere and gets to Dig Through Time on her followup turn. The game goes deep as Rachel finds a Young Pyromancer and Ancient Grudge with the ability to flash it back. Rich continues to fight but Rachel continues to find answers fueled by drawing into them with Sylvan Library, leading Rich to concede.

Game 3 shows Rich leading off with Foundry Inspector into Trinisphere. He presses the advantage but misses two land drops and attempts a Sorcerous Spyglass naming Dack Fayden. Rachel dumps a ton of removal onto the game with a Young Pyromancer up, playing Shattering Spree into Dack Fayden to win the match.

Set Two - Round One - Rich Shay (UR Xerox) vs Rachel Agnes (Seeking Spells)

Game 1 sees Rich starting off with just a land drop as well as Rachel. Rachel makes a Turn 2 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade but Rich has a Lightning Bolt for it. Rachel attempts to defend it, but Rich has a Flusterstorm for it. Rich makes a Dack Fayden and is off to the races. He Strip Mine's Rachel's red source and Rachel has no followup the next turn. Both players do a little, with Rachel sticking Snapcaster Mage to put a beat on. Both players fight over resources, but Rich is able to make a Young Pyromancer and protect it with Mental Misstep from a Swords to Plowshares. Rich is able to stick the win after a few turns.

Game 2 shows both players fighting over some resources while Rachel sticks a Lavinia. Rich finally finds a third land and attempts to Pyroblast it, which Rachel attempts to fight with Mental Misstep. Rachel fights over every Young Pyromancer and continues to push Rich to lower life totals. Rich stabilizes but finds no more action and loses to the Snapcaster Mage beats.

Game 3 shows Rich with a Turn 1 Mox and land but no other action. Rachel finds a Turn 1 Ancestral Recall without having to worry about having to protect it. Rachel is able to stick a Monastery Mentor and attempts a Dig Through Time into a Flusterstorm, making Monk tokens and attempting to kill Dack Fayden. Rich protects it with Snapcaster Mage to block to be able to continue to use Dack. Rachel defends her Monastery Mentor and friends valiantly but ultimately Rich is able to kill the Mentor with a Lightning Bolt. Both players go back and forth and Rachel continues to not locate a third land or mana source for red. She finds a Strip Mine and Spellseeker's for Swords to Plowshares. Both players fight over a single Lightning Bolt with an insane stack and Rich makes a million Elementals to take the match.

Set Two - Round Three - Rich Shay (UR Xerox) vs Rachel Agnes (UR Pyromancer)

Game 1 shows both players playing a game of attrition as Rachel is able to establish an early lead over Rich with a Lightning Bolt on Jace, Vryn's Prodigy followed by Force of Will on Ancestral Recall. Rachel makes a severely powerful board presence with Young Pyromancer to take the game over Rich.

Game 2 shows Rich with an early cantrip, where Rachel makes a Strip Mine Turn 1 to cut Rich off Red where his only land is a Library of Alexandria. Rachel makes a Young Pyromancer. Rachel makes some elementals while Rich holds back on the Library. Rachel gets to cast Time Walk into Treasure Cruise and several Elementals and just goes off the rails. Rich draws off his Library and Rachel makes Dig Through Time and is able to defend it to steal the game and the match.

Rachel Agnes catapults into the finals versus Andreas Petersen!

What an insane week of Magic. It's going to be an amazing finals with some heavyweight Vintage! The two finalists are both going to bring three decks next week and play best three of five matches. Be there or be square!

CONGRATS TO ANDREAS PETERSEN AND RACHEL AGNES FOR MAKING IT TO THE FINALS!!!!!

Spice Corner

Another sweet deck that's continued to make some hype appearances here or there, it's Vintage Lands featuring such hits as Fastbond and Cindervines!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! With the announcement for SCG Con and everything, and this weekend being a weekend out at SCG Cincinnati it's an exciting time. Again, if you're in the Cincy area and you're going to be at the Open, please feel free to stop by and say hello! I'm going to be posting on Twitter where we are at all day long and I want to say hi to some awesome peeps! It's going to be an exciting time!

Next week we're doing another deck look and this one is at another tribe that has gotten much love across multiple formats. So much love in fact that nearly every set prints something that makes people want to try it in this tribe. I'm talking of course, about the most represented tribe in Magic history: HUMANS!

As always, hit me up on the Twitters as well as Discord. I'm always around and willing to chat about Vintage or anything in particular related to Magic.

Until next time, keep up the tentacle madness!


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