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Vintage 101: One Ring to Rule


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 analyzing the preliminary impact of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth on the Vintage format. Next week our Tales of a Bygone Era series will continue! In addition to that we've got info on Challenges from this past weekend.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Ringing in the MTGO

The first weekend of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth on Magic Online is now here, and we're now able to finally start seeing some of these new cards in the Vintage format.

For the most part Vintage has been relatively lightly touched by the set thus far, compared to how strong certain cards are proving themselves in other formats such as The One Ring showcasing its power level in formats like Modern. We did see some lists over the weekend with some of the new cards, but I will note that many of the chase cards of the set are very expensive on MTGO (such as The One Ring lol) so that can definitely impact how much people are playing these cards.

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For The One Ring, I think we are still waiting to see the full effects of this card on the format, but there has been a lot of hubbub over multiple Key decks with the card. We did see this Prison Shops list from over the weekend though.

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On the other hand, the other card showing up is of course Orcish Bowmasters. That showed up a little bit more in the Challenges as well as some other events this weekend. This is a card that I suspect has a lot of different homes and it can find itself inside various shells, making it pretty versatile. It was super fun getting to see this card in a list from Justin Gennari in a prelim over the weekend.

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I suspect as time goes on we will see what other impact this set will have but for now I think the Ring and the Bowmasters is more than likely going to be the two major ones that will stick across the format.

Vintage Challenge 6/24

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 54 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.

Shops was highly present at the top of the metagame here between both Prison and Combo variants. Despite being most of the metagame, Prison Shops didn't do too well, while Combo Shops did much better. Doomsday and CounterVine suffered a bit despite Doomsday having some top finishes here, while Dredge and Oath did very well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Initiative 1st shadow_PT
Dredge 2nd TheManLand
Doomsday 3rd Doomsday
Prison Shops 4th Patxi
Initiative 5th geekyjackson
Lurrus DRS 6th Tsubasa_Cat
Oath of Druids 7th Thalai
Doomsday 8th ecobaronen

Interesting Top 8 for sure here with some variety. At the end of the event though it was Mono White Initiative that won!

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Very much as close to stock as one can get with this list for sure. We've seen some minor flex spots in this deck here or there, but this is pretty tried and true.

In Second Place we had Dredge.

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Very clean and straightforward. Dredge has not had much of a re-innovation since its last updates of cutting cards like Bridge from Below and Cabal Therapy.

Also in this Top 8 we had a really fun looking Esper DRS variant.

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Lurrus plus Orcish Bowmasters seems pretty sweet, and also just Dark Confidant in general seems great as a way to hit your card advantage engine.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had World Champ Javier Dominguez on Oath.

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I love this variant of the deck. It's so much fun. Definitely exceptionally powerful.

Vintage Challenge 6/25

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 46 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.

Again a lot of Workshops at the top of the metagame share, but neither deck had great win rates despite Combo Shops having solid performances in the top tables. Doomsday did very well, as did Esper Saga variants and Initiative Tinker.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st discoverN
Initiative Tinker 2nd TunnelGaan
Oath of Druids 3rd Eonwe7
Initiative Tinker 4th starslights
Combo Shops 5th MafiaDoSplit
Esper Saga 6th ziofrancone
Combo Shops 7th yPrincipe
Esper DRS 8th CrazyDiamond513

Quite a bit of Tinker and Shops here, but the winner was Doomsday by the master discoverN!

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Very solid and straightforward list here. discoverN is functionally the gold standard of this deck, so if this is a deck you're looking to play this is a great place to start.

In Second Place we had Initiative Tinker.

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Knight of Infamy is the best opposing Mono White Initiative card I've seen yet. Very cool.

Also in this Top 8 we had Combo Shops.

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Very clean list. This deck continues to push the envelope and it's very powerful.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had another Esper DRS variant.

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Getting to play Bowmasters and then also Mentor is definitely something. Really digging this deck for sure.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

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

JUND.

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BUG Scam is so sweet.

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How much Initiative? ALL THE INITIATIVE.

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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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