MTGGoldfish is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Vintage 101: No Permanents? No Problem!

Vintage 101: No Permanents? No Problem!

Howdy folks! It's Joe Dyer again with yet another Vintage 101! This week we're going to be taking another look at a sweet Vintage deck, in addition to finally getting to take a look at the Vintage Playoffs for Q1! It's going to be an exciting week of Vintage, folks! Let's buckle up and strap ourselves in for the ride of a lifetime!

First things first, you can now watch all of Vintage Super League Season 9 on YouTube, via the Magic: the Gathering YouTube Channel! Now you can go back and binge watch the entire thing, and catch some of the amazing ups and downs of this season.

Furthermore, my War of the Spark set review is coming soon! I'll be waiting until I have the entire set spoiled officially before coming up with my set review, but already so far there are several sweet cards that I'm looking forward to from the Vintage perspective.

With that out of the way, let's get on to today's deck, shall we?

Uba Uba Uba Stax-a

Once upon a time, when several pieces of Mishra's Workshop based decks were still unrestricted (like Chalice of the Void), Workshops decks were more prison-like in nature. This prison based functionality lent the deck to a very powerful strategy, the use of Smokestack to push an opponent out of the game. The idea behind the Stax philosophy is nothing new. However, Uba Stax, developed by Robert Vroman, added the card Uba Mask to the strategy as an additional way of being able to limit what the opponent could do.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card severely impacts the usage of cantrips, especially the usage of cards like Ancestral Recall and Brainstorm. In addition, it makes the card Bazaar of Baghdad fairly powerful, since more often than not you will be able to play a land or cast a spell off of the "drawn" cards. This card, combined with the rest of the lock pieces available made for a very strong deck in Vintage.

However, in recent years, the Stax strategy has fallen out of favor, as restrictions to Workshops decks have impacted the deck. However, Austin Yost (@Y0stwiththeMost) has been somewhat responsible for putting Stax back into people's minds thanks to a recent 5-0, and the decklist is pretty sweet. I made a few changes myself based on some Twitter convo, and well here we are.

One of the major changes I made to this list from Austin's list was the addition of a Bazaar of Baghdad into the manabase, and the removal of Grafdigger's Cage from the sideboard for a Tabernacle and a pair of Wurmcoil Engine. It turns out that Leyline of the Void is decent enough at beating Dredge, and Leyline of Sanctity is also really decent at shutting off Oath of Druids that the Cages just weren't necessary.

Now that we've established these changes, let's break this bad boy down, shall we?


$ 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 the deck, this deck's mana is much like a regular Workshops deck, nearly identical in nature in some cases, from the inclusion of both Mana Crypt and Sol Ring to Tolarian Academy. This deck needs the fast mana to be able to cast its lock pieces quickly.

Lock Pieces

$ 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

The vast brunt of a deck like this, this deck packs many ways of trying to keep its opponent from playing Magic. The deck even plays main deck Null Rod to put decks like Paradoxical Outcome off its game while using other cards like Trinisphere and Sphere of Resistance to tax its spells.

Utility and Land Destruction

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

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

Another way this deck can attack is on the axis of land destruction, which backed up by Crucible of Worlds can be absolutely devastating. Setting up Crucible-Wasteland/Strip Mine lock is powerful and Crucible becomes even more powerful when involving Smokestack in the mix as well.

Creature Lands

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Since quite often there aren't many real creature threats in the deck, this deck has to rely on creature lands to pummel its opponent into submission. Mutavault gains a little traction in that it can be pumped by Mishra's Factory, but also it's a creature land that can't be blown up by Ancient Grudge.

The Staxified Sideboard

Now let's take a look at the sideboard options this deck can play.

Graveyard Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This deck keeps it pretty simple and opts for the clean Leyline of the Void to be able to deal with graveyard based decks like Dredge. In fact, having to mulligan to a Leyline can be good for this deck since it will often bring in additional Ensnaring Bridges from the sideboard, so having less cards in your opening hand can help the Bridge.

Oath + Storm Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The white Leyline does a pretty good job of keeping things like Oath of Druids and Paradoxical Outcome on its toes. Neither deck can target you for important business spells like Oath itself, Forbidden Orchard, and the ever important Hurkyl's Recall.

Creature Hate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tabernacle is a super efficient way of dealing with decks like Young Pyromancer or Monastery Mentor based decks that can't easily pay for the tax on their creatures. In addition, more Ensnaring Bridge sits in the sideboard to deal with creature heavy strategies.

Miscellaneous Utility

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The Spyglasses here give the deck another way of attacking specific activated abilities (such as Dack Fayden or Bazaar of Baghdad) while the Wurmcoil Engine gives this deck a fantastic blocker versus decks like Ravager Shops and a way to be aggressive if need be to gain life out of Ancient Tomb damage.

Vintage Playoffs Q1 - 3/30/2019

Two weeks ago, the very first quarterly playoff of 2019 occurred for Vintage on Magic Online. If you aren't yet familiar with this concept, the Quarterly Playoff is what determines who gets to participate in the Format Championship in January of 2020. The winner of the Format Championship becomes qualified for the Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS) and an upcoming Mythic Championship. Only 32 players get to make it to the Format Championship, determined by the Top 8s of the four Format Playoffs that occur each year. So, as you can guess, these events bring out the big guns. Lots of powerful wizards made it into this event, so let's talk about it!

Presenting the very first Top 8 of the Quarterly Playoff!

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Colorless Eldrazi 1st Pokerswizard
Ravager Shops 2nd Montolio (Andy Markiton)
UR Xerox 3rd DiscoverN
Ravager Shops 4th S063
Jeskai Mentor 5th GeekyJackson
PO Storm 6th Condescend
Dredge 7th CyrusCG (Cyrus Corman-Gill)
Inferno Oath 8th Shir Kahn

What a stacked Top 8. Beyond the Top 8, some powerful wizards like The Atog Lord himself Rich Shay landed in the Top 16 (the only extent of the lists that we have) along with other powerful wizards like Pascal3000, Renerandrup, and Jogee.

At the end of the event it was none other than COLORLESS ELDRAZI that took the top spot, helmed by Pokerswizard.

This list looks great and is pretty standard, but the addition of [[Umezawa's Jitte] has got me all in a titter. This is an exciting list and I'm really excited for Pokerswizard here. Congrats on your finish!

Another familiar fan favorite (and of course, one of my favorite peeps) is Cyrus Corman-Gill in 7th place, on the best deck ever (hyperbole, but true): DREDGE

I like Cyrus' list a lot. Gemstone Mine is a super intriguing inclusion, and Cyrus himself said that they worked much better than the typical Mana Confluence you see in the sideboards of these lists. Regardless, congrats on your finish Cyrus! Excited to see you making it to the EOY Championships!

Also appearing in the Top 8, the master of the Workshop himself, Montolio!

I really like this list a lot. Chief of the Foundry is pretty gosh darn powerful, and the sideboard function of having both Powder Keg and Ratchet Bomb is something I absolutely love over using cards like Null Rod to combat Paradoxical Outcome. Congrats Andy on making it to the Champs!

Finally, one of the other decks appearing in the Top 8 is none other than Inferno Oath, helmed by Shir Kahn!

The sideboard spice for this list is fantastic! Arcane Laboratory?! Eidolon of the Great Revel?!?!? This is so great, and I'm excited to see this deck make it. Congrats to Shir Kahn on your finish!

We have three more of these Playoff events to go, so it's going to be super interesting who ends up making it to the EOY Championships in January. Suffice to say, I will be there after every event covering them for you!

Vintage Challenge 4/6/2019

Last weekend also boasted another format Challenge, so let's also take a look at the lists from that! Here's your Top 8, coming right at you!

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st IAmActuallyLvl1 (Justin Gennari)
Ravager Shops 2nd Shadow_PT
Jeskai Mentor 3rd GeekyJackson
Dredge 4th JDPhoenix
UR Xerox 5th _Shatun_
PO Storm 6th Reiderrabbit (Reid Duke)
Dredge 7th CyrusCG (Cyrus Corman-Gill)
Ravager Shops 8th Fnoop

The Top 8 of this event included special appearances by our good friend Justin Gennari, Pro player Reid Duke, and of course our favoritest guy CyrusCG. At the end of the event however, it was Justin Gennari who took down this event with a perfect 6-0 record on Paradoxical Outcome.

This list oughta look somewhat familiar as it is relatively close to the same kind of PO list that Andreas Petersen piloted in the finals of Vintage Super League. The green splash of this deck is super intriguing since it gains access to cards like Sylvan Library but also importantly it gains access to Managorger Hydra, which can get very big very fast. Massive congratulations to Justin on his finish! This is killer!

The Spice Corner

Our spice corner this week is just too spicy to bother with just one list, instead we've got TWO SPICE lists! That's right folks, this week was EXTRA SPICY!

Our first list comes to us from our eternally spicy friend, Matthew Murray on a Junk based deck playing none other than Kaya, Orzhov Usurper.

Super cool list, especially with the Main deck Kambal, Consul of Allocation and Ramunap Excavator. The true rock star here, though? Seeds of Innocence.

Our second spice list comes from last weekend's Challenge. Have you ever wanted to just copy ALL the things? Well uh, Sculpting Steel is certainly a card that can do that!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Rest assured I'll be back next week talking about various Vintage-y things, least of which will be the London Mulligan and how that impacts Vintage on Magic Online, since that goes live this past week. It should be relatively exciting and interesting to talk about. Even though I'm still not a fan of the rule, I am a fan of data, and the best way to gather that data is on Magic Online, period.

As noted before, upcoming weeks will also include my War of the Spark Vintage set review, so get ready to get Eternalized!

Until next time, keep on Stax'ing!

More in this Series

Show more ...

More on MTGGoldfish ...

Image for The Power of Pauper: Snack Time! the power of pauper
The Power of Pauper: Snack Time!

Joe Dyer talks about Sneaky Snacker's impact on Pauper!

Jul 12 | by Joe Dyer
Image for Commander, but First to Lose Wins! | Commander Clash S16 E26 commander clash
Commander, but First to Lose Wins! | Commander Clash S16 E26

What happens if the goal of a game of Commander is to lose as quickly as possible (and keep your opponent's from losing)? Let's find out!

Jul 12 | by SaffronOlive
Image for Single Scoop: Elder Giant Kindred single scoop
Single Scoop: Elder Giant Kindred

Hopefully Kroxa, Uro, and Phlage can help everyone respect their Elders! With the additional help of Torpor Orb and more, maybe we can channel our Big Deck Energy!

Jul 12 | by TheAsianAvenger
Image for Bloomburrow Spoilers — July 11 | Efficient Critters! daily spoilers
Bloomburrow Spoilers — July 11 | Efficient Critters!

Powerful and efficient creatures at one and two mana, across colors in Bloomburrow.

Jul 11 | by mtggoldfish

Layout Footer

Never miss important MTG news again!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Email
  • Discord
  • YouTube

Price Preference

Default Price Switcher