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Vintage 101: Popularity Contest

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 taking a look at some of the more recent increases in popularity that Vintage has received on Magic Online, as well as an announcement about Eternal Weekend Online, and also two Challenge events from this past weekend to discuss as well. This is a reasonably short article overall this week, so I promise we'll have some more big stuff to talk about soon!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

You're Gonna Be Popu-lar

One thing that I have noticed as of late on the interwebs is that there has been a reasonably solid popularity increase in talking about and playing Vintage on Magic Online. As a format, Vintage is relatively cheap and in many cases way cheaper than Modern and some points Legacy when it comes to deck prices, so I am not fully surprised at the format receiving some attention.

A lot of this has to do mainly with a lot of the ongoing sentinment regarding the Legacy format and the issues that format is currently having. Because of this, a lot of players playing Legacy have switched over into Vintage as a way of taking a break from the format, despite the fact that this premier play season has no Showcase level events for Vintage even!

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I certainly hope that a lot of these players who are picking up into the format, maybe some for the first time ever, are able to stick with the format even once the current issues with Legacy are corrected. Vintage is I feel at a really solid place in its current developmental cycle as a format. There is a lot of interesting and unique counterplay between strategies, and nothing feels too insanely overpowered that it might need to be restricted. Even Urza's Saga, a card that a lot of people thought would break open the format, has really settled well into the format's push and pull cycle of play.

One thing that is interesting to note however, is that a lot of this popularity boom seems to extend mostly into League play. Based on the current Challenge attendances for Vintage, those have remained fairly steady, but I have heard a lot about Leagues as of late from players and how they are finding and enjoying the format.

This is a great time for the format in general, and I definitely recommend giving it a shot. There are still a few more All Access Weekends for Conventions coming up and as we have next an announcement about Eternal Weekend Online! These are great ways to see if the format is right for you!

Eternal Weekend Online

We got an announcement this week from Wizards on when Eternal Weekend Online will be taking place. The announcement for the Vintage event stated it was going to be over the weekend of November 26-28, which is right after Thanksgiving in the US. There are no more concrete details to share about this announcement, as we only got what the dates were. How many events there will be or if they're bringing back All Access Tokens for the entry is unknown.

You can find the announcement in the Weekly MTGO announcement article, located here.

Vintage Challenge 10/9

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the mid afternoon Saturday event. Thanks to the efforts of the Vintage Streamer's Discord we know this event had 46 players in it.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Metagame looks pretty stable here, with the Golos decks at the top of the popularity contest (hey that's the name of this article!) but not having a great performance overall. The metagame continues to shift back and forth even from day to day on the weekend, which is fun to watch. Doomsday had a hot run in this event, but there were only four pilots, and the pilots that do play on MTGO are very good at the deck.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st Clone9
Ravager Shops 2nd medvedev
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd lampalot
Paradoxical Outcome 4th JOANANTON
Mono White Aggro 5th grymn
Doomsday 6th Thiim
RUG Control 7th Mogged
Oath of Druids 8th s063

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here. Solid combo representation with both PO and Doomsday as well as some control, shops, and even Aggro. At the end of the event it was Doomsday that took it all down.

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This deck continues to have a strong game against a lot of different decks, and occasionally it's hard to specifically attack this shell (as we've seen decks go as deep as four Archive Trap in the sideboard), but it's definitely not unbeatable. I am sort of surprised we have yet to see new card Consider break into the Vintage versions like we have in the Legacy versions, but the decks while having similar payoffs are definitely built differently.

The Second Place list was Ravager Shops.

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The Nettlecyst versions of this deck seem incredibly strong. It is pretty amazing how good a three mana Cranial Plating that comes with a free creature really is.

Further down the Top 8 we had a showing by the Mono-White Aggro variant.

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I think it's pretty great that Lurrus has found a home like this, honestly. It seems well suited for this kind of deck and makes the gameplay of the deck rather interesting as well.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Oath of Druids.

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This is the Saga Oath list I've seen going around. Pretty interesting stuff. I love Saga/Tinker as a backup plan to this strategy. Makes for some really interesting counterplay with the deck.

Vintage Challenge 10/10

The other event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event, which had 39 players in it, thanks to the data from the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

The Tinker decks were a big part of the metagame in this event, but they didn't perform all that well. PO had one of the best performing rates out of the three players on the deck, tied with Jeskai which put both players in the event into the top tables. I love how uniquely situated both metagames from each weekend are. They feel like completely different events every weekend and that is pretty amazing.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Paradoxical Outcome 1st NathanLipetz
Dredge 2nd PRGJJAR
Jeskai Control 3rd Folero
BUG Midrange 4th s063
Golos Stax 5th oosunq
Jeskai Control 6th Murkyblack11
Golos Stax 7th fistfullofmetal
BUG Midrange 8th HotaruTenshi

Pretty neat Top 8 here for sure. Some Shops, some Dredge, some Combo, and a lot of fair decks. At the end of the event however, it was our good friend NathanLipetz who took it all down on PO!

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Definitely a solid PO list here, implementing the tools of Urza's Saga and the Vault/Key combo as a finisher. This is Nathan's first Challenge win in Vintage, so congrats to him on a stellar run!

The Second Place list was on Dredge!

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Very clean list with a lot of 4-of card action going on. Dredge has always had a lot of power to it when people aren't respecting it, and PRGJJAR definitely brought the list to make people respect it. Solid finish!

Also in the Top 8 we had some Jeskai Control action.

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We begin to see cards like Expressive Iteration and Prismatic Ending breaking into this shell slowly and gradually, but they're getting there. They're definitely both very powerful in Vintage, so I wouldn't be surprised to see them more often.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a take on BUG Midrange we've seen here or there in the Challenges.

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Grist, Malevolent Hermit, and Outland Liberator are neat additions to the BUG shell. Also old school Shops killer Trygon Predator makes an appearance here.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a PO list show up with a real slant on Hullbreacher.

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Day's Undoing is certainly a strong way to abuse Hullbreacher's effect. Also, check out that sideboard with four copies of Dauthi Voidwalker and also copies of Legion's End. Spicy!

And then... there's Justin.

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Actually this deck is super sweet. Colossus Hammer in Vintage?! I'm here for it.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

Discord user ianmarsh sent me a sweet list this week. When in doubt, Jund em out!

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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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