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Vintage 101: NYSE 2020 Style

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 looking at the results of the NYSE Open VII, which was held this past weekend on Magic Online. In addition to that event, we also have two Magic Online Challenge events to look at, as well as the PAX Online Vintage Champs event. As always, we have our Spice Corner, and I also look at some Zendikar Rising cards I missed in my first go around.

Without wasting any time, let's dive right in.

N.Y.S.E. Open VII - 2020 Style

The New York Stacks Exchange (N.Y.S.E.) is a legendary series of events held throughout the years by Nick Detwiler, and has long been one of the best and most well supported paper Vintage events, both in prizing and by the sheer generosity of the players involved in it (many things are often raffled for charity in these events). After last year considering that it was the last N.Y.S.E. event, Nick returned this year to run back a new style of N.Y.S.E. via Magic Online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making it hard to run paper Magic events.

Nick held this event via the tournament service MTGMelee, with all of the main entry fees (outside of the fee to MTGMelee) being completely donated to St. Judes Children's Hospital. Kudos to Nick for supporting such a great charity! In addition, the event was streamed via Andy Probasco (Brass Man)'s  Twitch channel, which you can check out the VODs for here.

This event had 50 players, and thanks to MTGMelee posting all of the decklists we have a complete metagame breakdown of the event.

PO is definitely always fairly popular among a crowd like this, as events like this coinciding with the PAX Online event allowed for predominantly paper players to participate thanks to the All-Access Tokens provided by PAX Online. It was incredibly fortuitous for this event to be in the middle of PAX like this. Another cool thing to see in this event was the fact that a lot of people were trying out cards from Zendikar Rising, most especially the presence of the Modal DFC spell lands in decks like Belcher.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8 of the event. It is worth noting that the MTGMelee site is slightly wrong in the Top 8 placings, and I was able to cobble together the appropriate Top 8 thanks to Nick and a few other folks.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
HollowVine` 1st Andy Markiton
PO Storm 2nd Justin Gennari
Golos Combo Shops 3rd-4th Mark Hornung
Doomsday 3rd-4th Nathaniel Riggs
HollowVine 5th-8th Tomas Gomez
Jeskai Xerox 5th-8th Matthew Murray
Breach 5th-8th Peter Mangus
U/R Xerox 5th-8th Austin Pipp

This is a sick Top 8, filled with some true ambassadors of the format overall. It is only fitting however, that the crown be claimed by none other than previous NYSE Open winner and all around insane Vintage player Andy Markiton.

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Andy chose to run on HollowVine for this event, a deck that he has had plenty of experience with on Magic Online. This list is pretty sweet, and I especially enjoy the two Maze of Ith in the sideboard. These are really good at dealing with random stuff like Blightsteel Colossus or Griselbrand.

In Second Place we have our Season Two Vintage Champ himself, Justin Gennari on trusty old PO.

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Justin's mastery of this archetype is certainly unparalleled, and the work that he continues to put in the archetype is great for the overall community's perceptions of PO Storm and how it has evolved in the format.

In the bottom part of the Top 4, we have both Golos Combo Shops and Doomsday. Let's take a look at the Golos list, piloted by none other than US Eternal Weekend Commentator and long time Vintage afficionado Mark Hornung.

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The power in this deck lies in the power to not only play a prison game on the opponent and lock them out of the game, but also the fact that it can win via the combos in the deck as well.

On the other half of the Top 4 we have Doomsday.

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Doomsday continues to be one of the more powerful combo decks in the format, made moreso by the printing of Thassa's Oracle, which has allowed the archetype to become more proactive and also presents a win condition that is difficult to interact with.

In the lower half of the Top 8, since one of those lists is a HollowVine list and we already looked at that, let's take a look at Jeskai Xerox by our good friend Matt Murray (ChubbyRain).

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Matt has a reputation for often playing things that are outside the box, and the Jeskai list here isn't that, but it is powerful. Main deck Containment Priest is a solid way of having an answer to Bazaar decks that rely on cards like Vengevine or Dredge, and the main deck Mindbreak Trap is a nod to those decks plus the Shops decks, as well as fast combo.

Also in the bottom of the Top 8 we have RUG Breach.

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This list is super cool. Managorger Hydra has always been a cool favorite Vintage card of mine, and it's always cool to see it show up in decks. Utilizing it with the Breach plan is pretty cool, and this deck also lightly splashes into black in the sideboard for Leovold, Emissary of Trest.

Rounding out the bottom of the Top 8 we have U/R Xerox.

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This deck is super cool and exceptionally powerful. Sprite Dragon enabling this kind of deck to exist and have its own Monastery Mentor-like card is very cool. I also love seeing cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance in the sideboard here.

Given that this event also coincided with PAX Online, having access to Zendikar Rising cards on Day 1 via the All-Access token allowed for many people to try out various new cards in this event as well. There were some really sweet decks outside of the Top 8, so let's take a look at a few of them.

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Fish decks have a long storied history in the format, but have long been fringe in the last few years of Vintage, so it's cool to see a genuine Fish deck in U/W Merfolk here.

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Academy-less Belcher featuring Sea Gate Restoration as the "lands". Pretty cool and interesting stuff. I'm not sure if I'd want to replace Tolarian Academy but it is neat to have a build that you can never absolutely whiff with Belcher on.

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This deck has Omnath, Locus of Creation, in it, which is a card that I definitely missed in my set review. Seems like an interesting card for sure.

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This deck has a copy of Sea Gate Stormcaller in it, which I can only imagine works insanely well with Ephemerate. I can only imagine casting Ephemerate on Stormcaller on the opponent's turn and then casting a double Mana Drain to ensure a counterspell. Seems absolutely nutty.

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Myriad Construct AND Forsaken Monument? Seems sweet. Kudos to good friend Josh McCurley for this list. Seems incredibly sweet.

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No Zendikar cards here, but yeah Fastbond + Trade Routes is super sick.

All in all, this looked like a super fun event. I would have tried to participate myself but alas I was out of town in a place with no WiFi for the weekend. Kudos to Nick Detwiler for always putting on a stellar event and thanks to the coverage team for providing sweet coverage of the event as well.

Following Up on Zendikar Rising

There were a few Zendikar Rising cards that I might have missed (at least two) so I wanted to do a small follow up on them.

Omnath, Locus of Creation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Seeing as how this guy showed up in the NYSE event this weekend in a list, I definitely am intrigued at the applications of this card. It replaces itself when it enters, and its landfall abilities are really powerful if you can continue to trigger them up to 3 times in a turn (fetch lands make this incredibly easy to do). On the floor it pitches to both Force of Vigor and Force of Negation/Force of Will, and it definitely seems like a really interesting card overall.

Thieving Skydiver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is another card that a few people were surprised I didn't evaluate. To be honest, this wasn't quite on my radar. On the surface it seems like it would be a great card as it steals various artifacts like Moxen, and can steal cards like Stonecoil Serpent while Dack Fayden can't. However, on rate you have to spend three mana to make this get a 0-1 drop artifact, and quite often to me it seems like there are better things to be doing at three mana.

Vintage Challenge 9/19

Our first Challenge event of the weekend was the normal Saturday Challenge, so let's dive right into the Top 32!

PO was yet again one of the more popular decks for this event, which did take place at the same time roughly as NYSE. The best decks of the event however ended up being both Golos Stax and HollowVine, both of which converted exceptionally well.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8 of this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Golos Stax 1st HodorTimeBaby
PO Storm 2nd Bryant_Cook
Golos Stax 3rd UnicornParadise
HollowVine 4th Elfkid
Doomsday 5th DiscoverN
HollowVine 6th WingedHussar
BUG Midrange 7th AlbertoSD
HollowVine 8th Laessoe

As noted, both Stax and HollowVine did very well, converting several pilots into the Top 8. At the end of the event it was indeed Golos Stax that took it all down.

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This list focuses more on the prison aggro element, and less of a true Stax build (because no Smokestack). These lists are slowly becoming the norm over the Ravager lists, and have mostly supplanted those lists it seems.

In Second Place we have Legacy Challenge crushing Bryant Cook on PO Storm.

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Bryant has certainly been tuning and tweaking this list for some time, and his result with the deck have shown through greatly. This is definitely a powerful list. As always I really enjoy the Sprite Dragon in it.

Moving down to Fourth Place we have HollowVine.

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Slightly different list than the list Andy played in the NYSE, but the core of the deck is still very much the same and still very powerful. The position of this deck and Hogaak seems to wax and wane, but it is an exceptionally powerful strategy right now.

In Fifth Place we have Doomsday.

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Peek and Mystical Dispute is solid 2020 Magic right there. Super cool stuff.

Moving down to Seventh Place we have BUG Midrange.

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This looks like a relatively straightforward BUG list. It is certainly interesting seeing Energy Flux appearing again in these lists however.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event. As always we're looking at cards that have 8 copies or more, with exceptions now made for both Companions (due to their unique nature) and Modal DFC cards (due to the unique place they take up in decks).

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Vigor 34
Force of Negation 30
Stonecoil Serpent 24
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim 20
Narset, Parter of Veils 16
Oko, Thief of Crowns 14
Once Upon a Time 14
Collector Ouphe 13
Sprite Dragon 13
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade 12

All of our usual suspects are floating around here, with both Forces at the top of the heap, which really isn't surprising. No new cards from Zendikar Rising in massive quantities and no special cards like Companions or Modal DFCs.

Vintage Challenge 9/20

Our second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday Challenge event, so let's take a look at the Top 32 breakdown.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8 of this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st SingPanMan
DPS 2nd JohnSmith3373
Hogaak Bazaar 3rd MadMaxErnst
Hogaak Bazaar 4th Mogged
Myriad Shops 5th Dazai
4C Xerox 6th Svaca
Golos Stax 7th UnicornParadise
BUG Midrange 8th Ecobaronen

This Top 8 had quite a bit of combo and combo/aggro between several Bazaar lists and spell-based combo, which ended up takign down the event under Doomsday.

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I am also impressed with just how much play Soul-Guide Lantern has seen in a lot of decks, Doomsday included. Steel Sabotage is also really super cool in the sideboard.

In Second Place we have DPS.

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This is pretty much how DPS has looked for a bit now with its minor resurgence in the format. I especially enjoy the Wishclaw Talisman in the deck.

In Third Place we have Hogaak Bazaar.

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This is a neat list, with main deck Life from the Loam and even a sideboard Ancestral Recall. Really neat stuff.

Moving down to Fifth Place we have a Shops build featuring Myriad Construct.

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Myriad Construct is such an interesting card to see show up in these lists. I wonder how good it and Forsaken Monument were here. Seems really interesting.

In Sixth Place we have 4C Xerox.

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This is classic Svaca style 4C Xerox, using both DRS and Arcanist and also having Dark Confidant as a card advantage engine.

In Seventh Place we have Golos Stax.

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This is a very clean list, and this same user managed to do very well in the PAX event, so they very much know what they're doing.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have BUG Midrange by our good friend Andreas Petersen.

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This is a pretty clean list and very strong stuff indeed. Andreas is no stranger to these kinds of decks, for sure.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event.

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Vigor 40
Once Upon a Time 39
Force of Negation 24
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 21
Collector Ouphe 20
Narset, Parter of Veils 13
Sprite Dragon 10
Wrenn and Six 10
Underworld Breach 9
Oko, Thief of Crowns 8
Soul-Guide Lantern 8
Stonecoil Serpent 8
Thassa's Oracle 8

Lot of similar stuff as always, both Forces are near the top or are the top in the case of Force of Vigor. These two spells have shaped Vintage so much in the past two years, and it's so interesting to see how the format has adjusted to them.

PAX Online Vintage Championships 9/20

This past weekend was also the culmination of the week long PAX Online events, held by Pastimes Events. The Championship event held on Sunday was the result of invitation-only by going either 3-1 or 4-0 in one of the Preliminary events throughout the past week. This event also came with an "All-Access" token much like how GenCon Online did, providing access to every card on Magic Online for the duration of the event. There were around 58 players in this event overall.

We got all the Top 32 lists on time this week, so let's dive right into the breakdown.

This event had a ton of BUG decks and quite a few Doomsday and Golos decks as well. This certainly seemed like an interesting event for sure.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8 of this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Golos Stax 1st UnicornParadise
Hogaak Bazaar 2nd Psyburat
4C Xerox 3rd Karatedom
Golos Stax 4th StonePeanut
Breach Oath 5th AnziD
Jeskai Xerox 6th Amiracle
PO Storm 7th Tom_Basketball
BUG Midrange 8th Sendoh007

There's certainly a lot going on in this Top 8, but it is worth noting that the only Hogaak Bazaar deck in the Top 32 made it into this Top 8, which is super cool. At the end of the event it was Golos Stax that won the event.

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This user ran back this list from their Top 8 finish in the Sunday morning Challenge, and clearly they know this archetype well. Good job, UnicornParadise!

In Second Place we have our good friend the one and only Mike Noble on Hogaak Bazaar.

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Mike's list is super slick and clean, full of raw Hogaak power. Mike is a solid player and a great guy, so it's great to see him do well in this event.

In Third Place we have 4C Xerox.

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This is more of a raw control type 4C Xerox build than the Svaca style with Confidant and Arcanist, but it definitely has a lot of power behind it between Oko and W6.

Moving down to Fifth Place we have Breach Oath by our good friend Anuraag Das.

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Anuraag has done well with this type of list before, and it's a super cool way to hybridize Oath and Breach together.

In Sixth Place we have Jeskai Xerox.

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This is a solidly clean Jeskai list, focusing on the snowball strength of Dreadhorde Arcanist. Seems very powerful indeed.

In Seventh Place we have PO Storm.

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I always like seeing Mystic Remora, because that card is super cool. The Kambal, Consul of Allocation in the sideboard is great as well.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have BUG Midrange.

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This is also a clean BUG list, with an often not seen too much Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which hasn't seen too much play as of late, but this is definitely a good list for Jace.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event.

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Negation 27
Force of Vigor 22
Collector Ouphe 21
Oko, Thief of Crowns 20
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim 19
Narset, Parter of Veils 17
Stonecoil Serpent 16
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade 13
Sprite Dragon 11
Thassa's Oracle 10
Dreadhorde Arcanist 8

The uptick in BUG definitely meant more Oko, but Oko's presence in the format overall doesn't seem to be too problematic really, compared to the power level of cards likes the two Forces.

The Spice Corner

Our good friend notmi gave us some sweet spice with No-Land Belcher featuring some Modal DFC cards from Zendikar Rising.

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What I'm Playing This Week

I decided to fire up some Ravager Shops with this super unique green version.

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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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