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Vintage 101: Prepping for Eternal Weekend 2021

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 into five decks that you can pick up and prep with for Eternal Weekend 2021! In addition to that we have data from both Challenge events over the weekend to talk about, and of course a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Prepping for Eternal Weekend - Five Decks You Can Dive Into

Eternal Weekend Online 2021 is approaching at the end of next month, and November 15th is when players can purchase tokens for All Access that lasts until December 1st. As we mentioned last week, there are three events over the weekend of November 26th - November 29th, each one for a different painting. Each event costs $25 for entry, and a single entry gets you the token for All Access.

So... let's start prepping! Whether you're new to Vintage or wanting to get a head start on the current format, we're going to talk about five decks that you can pick up and learn for Eternal Weekend 2021.

#1 - Paradoxical Outcome

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When it comes to Vintage, one caveat does hold true. If you've never played the format before or if you get to play it infrequently, choosing the deck that takes the most busted game actions is probably the correct way to go. Paradoxical Outcome decks have always fit that bill and are the very definition in the current era of the format as the most "Vintage-y" of decks to play. PO has had many evolutions over its lifecycle in the format, from Storm based kills to winning with Monastery Mentor and Managorger Hydra to now implementing a more practical approach with Urza's Saga and the Time Vault + Manifold Key combo.

This a deck that even new players to the format can easily begin to start learning on. The main game plan revolves around critical masses of artifact mana, while the card Paradoxical Outcome can easily turn into a mana positive card that allows the PO player to draw a ton of cards. Some of the more common understood lines in this deck lie in the ability to understand how to abuse certain artifacts (such as tapping Sensei's Divining Top to draw a card and then holding priority to cast PO in response) and the knowledge that PO itself is an Instant and can be cast on opponent's turns as well if need be. Urza's Saga is a powerful game plan for this deck that can easily string together the right cards needed to go infinite on turns and win the game.

The nice thing about PO is that there's quite a bit of content out there on the deck from folks like Justin Gennari and Bryant Cook among others, so it's really easy to sit and watch games with this to understand lines and how the deck operates.

#2 - 8-Cast Tinker

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Players already somewhat familiar with Affinity based strategies will understand the power of having eight Thoughtcast effects in a deck, so the 8-Cast deck is great for those kinds of players who get that stringing together a bunch of one mana draw two's is super good. 8-Cast shares a number of similarities with PO in that it's largely a Tinker based deck, but this deck is often a bit more aggressive and value oriented thanks to cards like Emry and Urza.

This is also a primary Tinker deck that does not run Bolas's Citadel because of all the seven mana value cost Thought Monitor and the like in the deck. Instead, an early target in Sphinx of the Steel Wind can seal games quickly as much of the format is incapable of dealing with an early Sphinx.

Again, this is a deck with a good amount of content out there, so it isn't hard to sit and watch some videos and pick up on the subtleties of the deck. This is a current favorite of mine, as it provides a lot of interesting counterplay to the format, and the mirror matches are intensely interesting.

#3 - BUG Midrange

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If your burning passion in most formats is to answer your opponent's cards and then send Tarmogoyf in for the win, then the BUG Midrange decks are likely for you. These decks play pretty similarly to other midrange style answer decks much like Jund in Modern or Control/Midrange variants in Legacy. The basic idea here is to have flexible answers for whatever an opponent is doing, and then seal it off with a fast clock.

A great number of decks in Vintage aren't immediately over prepared for a powerful beater like Tarmogoyf, and new cards such as Endurance have given the deck a lot of power against graveyard heavy strategies as well.

BUG has a solid game plan against most decks in the current format, playing resource denial in Wasteland and powerful hatebear effects like Collector Ouphe. If you really really like casting Assassin's Trophy this might just be the deck for you. This is an overwhelmingly fair deck, but it's powerful individual cards allow it to keep up and compete.

#4 - Golos Stax

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One of the major pillars of the Vintage format is the card Mishra's Workshop, and while that is ever hotly debated, Workshops decks have been a fixture of the format for a very long time. The current incarnations of these decks often rely on lock pieces like Sphere of Resistance and restricted pieces like Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void alongside cards like Golos, Tireless Pilgrim as a mana ramp card and utility land tutor.

This is a great deck to learn on if you enjoy sequencing your plays and understanding how best to mulligan in a game to an appropriate start. A common rule of thumb is often that a Shops deck should be doing something at least a little dumb on Turn One, and escalate from there, and that can help one understand how best to mulligan hands with the deck.

Sequencing in general is the most important aspect of this deck, and it's also important to note that many of the decks in the format come gunning for Shops with powerful cards like Force of Vigor, Shattering Spree, and Collector Ouphe. Still, more often than not, you can still present to your opponent an incapability to win the game through your lock pieces while coming in for lots of damage. This awareness of Shops has made its performance somewhat lackluster, but it still has enough power to get through here or there.

#5 - Dredge

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Another bogeyman of the format's long existence, Dredge operates with another pillar of the format in Bazaar of Baghdad by turning Bazaar's card disadvantage into advantage via use of the Dredge mechanic. The game plan goal of Dredge is relatively simple when it comes to mulligan decisions. Mulligan or Serum Powder hands that don't have Bazaar in them and go until you find a Bazaar. The entire deck's strategy operates on Bazaar so having it Turn One is paramount.

Dredge is a solid contender because it is a known quantity in other formats such as Legacy and Modern, and players will be familiar at least with how the mechanic itself works. Some of the newer adopted cards in this deck actually come from Modern technology in Creeping Chill. Dredge is also a great Force of Will deck, because it plays a fair amount of blue cards to cast it for free with while also being able to find them by drawing cards with Bazaar when it needs to.

The downside of this deck is the fact that many decks in the format pack in graveyard hate into their sideboards in order to beat Dredge in post board games. Dredge has some of the best Game One's in the format, but even that has dipped a little versus decks that can afford to play maindeck Endurance.

Which Deck Will You Pick?

Now, these definitely aren't the only decks in the format, but the five decks above make for a great start to understanding the Rock-Paper-Scissors aspect of the current Vintage format and how the metagame evolves from week to week. They also all have plenty of available content you can find on YouTube to watch and learn about how the deck works,

We'll be talking more about individually specific decks leading up to Eternal Weekend Online 2021, so we'll be diving into these further in those articles. For now, get ready for November 15th and start thinking of what deck speaks to you!

Vintage Challenge 10/23

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 57 players in it, thanks to data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

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

Blue tinker variants had a big showing here, primarily in Paradoxical Outcome based decks. PO had a solid performance overall, followed by Jeskai having a great performance as well, but it was the 8-Cast decks that really stood out. I think 8-Cast is likely one of the best non-PO Tinker piles in the format and it has a lot of power behind it.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jeskai Control 1st Phill_Hellmuth
8-Cast 2nd Slasher21
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd Fnoop
Golos Stax 4th Patxi
Paradoxical Outcome 5th coe205
BUG Midrange 6th WadeB
8-Cast 7th sandydogmtg
Golos Stax 8th Mogged

Reasonable Top 8 here. Fair amount of Tinker variants and some fair decks plus some Shops. At the end of the event it was Jeskai Control that took it all down!

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Jeskai is another great fair pile outside of BUG to look into for Eternal Weekend as well! It does require some knowledge of piloting blue decks in the format (primarily revolving around resolving restricted cards and counterplay) but it is a lot of fun and has some solid options to it. This list is no exception, having some powerful threats like Arcanist and Ragavan and a solid finisher in Monastery Mentor.

In Second Place we've got our good friend Slasher21 on 8-Cast.

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This deck as has been noted is quite powerful and has a lot of cool counterplay and angles of attack to it. There's so much value oriented in these lists and it makes it a ton of fun to pilot.

Down in Third Place we've got Paradoxical Outcome with a sweet twist in Dress Down.

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Dress Down is incredibly good versus other Urza's Saga decks because it makes the Constructs lose the ability that boosts their power and toughness, which kills them because they're then 0/0s. Beyond that, shutting off various different creatures is really quite strong. This is one way that decks can also deal with Sphinx of the Steel Wind by making it lose its protection effects.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a showing by a sweet UR Tempo build.

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I love seeing Thieving Skydiver in decks because the card plays out so very well and it does a great imitation of Dack Fayden while also being a flying beater. This deck is pretty sweet. We also get to see Pauper banned card Fall from Favor in the sideboard here.

Vintage Challenge 10/24

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

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

I love how night and day the two Challenge events end up being usually. The first event is a lot of Tinker variants, this event is a lot of Shops decks. However, despite being popular, Shops had a painfully bad performance here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st discoverN
8-Cast 2nd Diem4x
Jeskai Control 3rd _INF_
PO Oath 4th ecobaronen
Bant Archon 5th Nerdkneereape
Breach 6th TERROI2
Oath of Druids 7th kntr-39
Hogaak 8th noprops

It just wouldn't be a Top 8 without discoverN playing Doomsday in it, and would you look at that, not only did they play it but they won the event with it!

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discoverN is a truly powerful Doomsday player, and this list is solid and strong. This is a great deck if you're looking for something that is challenging, but the nice thing about Doomsday is that the resources for the deck are pretty unparalleled. It's a hard deck to pick up but it's exceptionally rewarding to pilot.

Also in the Second Place of this event is the 8-Cast deck.

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As before this deck remains pretty powerful. It has all the right notes of strong plays and card advantage. It's a deck I've been enjoying myself as of late and it's a lot of fun.

Down the Top 8 we had a showing by Bant Archon!

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The big pull for this deck is Archon of Emeria. That card really pushes a lot of buttons in current Vintage, and it's really sweet. Getting Endurance and Prismatic Ending also really helps this deck out quite a bit.

Outside of the Top 8 we have a Merfolk showing.

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Seeing Merfolk in an event is super sweet. Just solid aggressive threats and disruption. Classic combination.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

Speaking of Turbo Murktide, this deck is actually super sweet.

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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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