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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Vintage 101: North America Eternal Weekend 2023

Vintage 101: North America Eternal Weekend 2023


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 all into the North America Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship! In addition to that, we've got an aggregate look at all three Eternal Weekend Vintage events and a look at two Challenges from this past weekend!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

North America Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship

This past weekend was the final and largest of the three Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship events held in Pittsburgh, PA. While Legacy experienced one heck of a growth spurt for their cap, the Vintage event did grow rather steadily to a solid 385 players overall. Very close to 400 for sure! At the end of the day, it's awesome to see how much of this was due in part to the Eternal Magic community being insanely awesome and either lending cards for people to play or in some cases entire decks.

This looked like an incredible event though and really exemplified what Eternal Weekend is all about in the form of the Gathering itself. There's just something incredibly special about NA Eternal Weekend and it's the people who make it awesome.

This event was also streamed, with coverage by the likes of Stephen Menendian, Kevin Cron, and even LSV! You can find this all on the CardTitan Twitch Channel. Also big shoutout to the incomparable Anuraag Das, who without we would not have this awesome coverage!

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

Oath of Druids was easily the most played deck of the event, and honestly this tracks pretty well for large paper events as Oath is very popular in paper. Still, it did quite well in addition to the metagame presence. However, it was definitely Combo Shops (aka Jewel Shops) that really made its presence felt in this event with a solid 62.6% win rate.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Combo Shops 1st Anthony Valentine
Combo Shops 2nd Tom Basketball
Oath of Druids 3rd-4th Brandon Chang
Combo Shops 3rd-5th Peter Coloyan
Oath of Druids 5th-8th Brian Coval
Combo Shops 5th-8th Adam Prusa
Oath of Druids 5th-8th Dan Nelson
Initiative Tinker 5th-8th Camden Drash

We mentioned Combo Shops before the cut! And yeah, that deck made its presence KNOWN. It was a huge chunk of the Top 8 in addition to the other big deck of the weekend in Oath of Druids. But it was Combo Shops at the end of it all piloted by Anthony Valentine that won the event and the sick Black Lotus painting.

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This is definitely a deck we identified as something that would probably do well at Eternal Weekend and it definitely did. This deck has a lot of really powerful "Vintage-y" turns to it, and it's just exceptionally strong. The Displacer Kitten in the list is quite good, being able to blink cards like Coveted Jewel over and over until a way to win the game is found, netting mana with each new spell cast.

In Second Place we ALSO had Combo Shops.

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This deck is relatively close to the winner's deck, with the exception of not having the Kitten or a card like Otawara, Soaring City. There's certainly a lot of flex room in this deck for cards, and a lot of flex space in the sideboard for Karn fetchable things.

Also in this Top 8 we had a good amount of Oath of Druids, so let's look at the highest placing one.

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Being an afficionado of this archetype myself, I was pretty happy to see it put up some strong results. I love the two Serra's Emissary out of the sideboard here. It's a very powerful card for post board games. Also Portal to Phyrexia is just so good in so many matchups.

Outside of all the Combo Shops and Oath, this Top 8 also had an Initiative Tinker list in it.

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The Tinker sub plan of this variant is mainly leaning on the Time Vault combo and not having anything like Bolas's Citadel which is quite interesting in of itself. It seems the big game plan here is the Initiative creatures and lock game plan of Lavinia + Hullbreacher is primary here, supplemented by the Vault Key combo and Saga.

I would also love to call out the highest Unpowered deck of the event. This mad lad, known as YoungToast, went 7-2 and nearly made Top 8 on POWERLESS RED PRISON.

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What an incredible run for an Unpowered decklist. Super cool to see. Broadside Bombardiers seems like an absurdly powerful card when you're smacking with Fury and then pitching it for 7 damage. Or even evoking Fury post board and pitching it for 7.

Aggregate View of All Three Eternal Weekend Events

Our good friends Justin Gennari took all of the data from all three Eternal Weekend events and compiled them all into one aggregate sheet for us to look at! You can find this data sheet over here. Big thanks to Justin for compiling this. It's a really interesting look at the format from a perspective of paper events. The total number of players for all events was 711! This is great for a format like Vintage for sure!

Let's look at some graphs!

Oath was by and far the most popular deck of all three Eternal Weekend events, and it's win percentages were rather reasonable overall. Oath usually tends to track as a very popular deck in paper events. It's usually pretty easy to learn and it's powerful. It also helps that right now the deck is considered to be a strong deck to beat in the current format. Lurrus Saga was also quite popular with a very solid win rate. Of the decks above this cutoff, it was CounterVine and Initiative that had very middling performances, while Esper Tinker and DRS variants also did rather poorly.

For the most part, this view of the format looks pretty great. There's a wide range of different decks that are seeing play alongside a really solid set of win rates and the gameplay of the format has been rather reasonable and interesting, especially on MTGO where things tend to be pretty cyclical overall. I'm rather pleased to see Vintage looking so well, honestly. It's definitely exciting to see such a solid turnout for all the events.

Vintage Challenge 12/9

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. Unfortunately we did not have any data for this event.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here. Without any data, let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Initiative 1st Thiim
Dredge 2nd Wizard_2002
Initiative 3rd fingers1991
Breach 4th thedeck84
Beseech Storm 5th MagerMistake
Esper Tinker 6th Dazai
Initiative 7th Dreddybajs
Lurrus Saga 8th musasabi

Quite a bit of Initiative here in this Top 8. At the end of the event it was indeed Initiative that won.

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Interesting take on this deck by slotting in the one of Karn, the Great Creator and a singleton Mycosynth Lattice in the sideboard for the lock. Kind of wild really.

In Second Place we had Dredge.

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Very much in the line of what Dredge was doing for a while there. I think it's fine for Dredge to keep shifting back and forth in its usage of various things like Silversmote Ghoul or Cabal Therapy. It makes the deck rather unpredictable in its approach which is nice.

Also in this Top 8 we had Esper Tinker.

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Solid list here for sure. I am liking seeing Spell Pierce in Vintage lists as of late. It's a sweet card and has a lot of strong game against other decks in the format.

Vintage Challenge 12/10

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 44 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 data sheet here.

Both Lurrus Saga and Initiative were tied for most represented, but Initiative took a nose dive into below 50% territory. Grixis Saga did quite well and all the other decks had reasonable win rates.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Beseech Storm 1st HouseOfManaMTG
Lurrus Saga 2nd medvedev
Grixis Tinker 3rd Sommertroll
Initiative 4th Dreddybajs
Lurrus Saga 5th musasabi
Lurrus Saga 6th Mogged
Combo Shops 7th Elfkid
Merfolk 8th SingPanMan

Lot of Lurrus Saga floating around here, however at the end of the event it was Beseech Storm that won.

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I really enjoy these lists. I enjoy the fact that there's a Dark Ritual deck in the format that isn't Doomsday and that part is super cool to have that kind of variety. It's definitely a very powerful deck and very interesting to play.

In Second Place we had Lurrus Saga, this time in a UW flavor.

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I like the UW flavors of this deck. Lavinia is such a powerful threat. It does some really strong things vs the metagame at the moment and being a 2/2 is huge against Bowmasters.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Merfolk.

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Oh man, Merfolk! I am digging this list for sure. Lot of really strong cards here. Tishana's Tidebinder is ultimately really cool. Super fun list.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

This go around we're going to be looking at any spicy lists from Eternal Weekend!

Bant Beans!

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In the Unpowered category, we had an ELVES list at 5-4!

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Lurrus Fastbond (aka Ziasbond!) is super sweet.

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Another Unpowered list. This time with Scam/Helm Combo.

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Did someone really play Chatterstorm Enchantress? WILD.

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A Natural Order list?! These decks get wilder and wilder.

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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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