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Vintage 101: Revenge of the Metagame


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 another metagame report of where Vintage is at as of late. In addition to that we've got some sweet paper event news as well as some Challenge data to dissect as well as a Spice Corner!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

May Metagame Report

It's been a minute since we looked at the state of Vintage right now. The last time we looked at some overall data is when we were feeling pretty concerned about the dominance of Tinker-centric decks, but things in general seem to have calmed down quite a bit on that front as more decks are improving or adjusting to the Tinker decks. The data w'ee using here comes fom the Vintage Streamer's Discord manned by Justin Gennari. You can find his Metagame Dashboard sheet here. To date since the release of Modern Horizons 2, his team has collected 6,891 entries of Vintage decks for an estimated 39,824 matches of Vintage! That's great!

Let's take a look at some charts!

At first glance on this chart, honestly the format looks really reasonable still right now. Many of the decks have pretty similar win rates, and there's a careful tension between the various pillars of the format that is still shifting back and forth week to week. Blue Tinker is certainly the most popular deck in the format, but it's win rate is reasonable enough at 52.18% w/ mirrors. In fact the highest win rate depicted here is Breach at 54.86% and even that is not utterly sustained week to week, as Breach has a smaller population size than Blue Tinker variants do. Blue Tempo variants are doing well, as is Doomsday and Aggro Shops, while both Hogaak and Dredge are pulling a lot of weight in the Bazaar portion of the metagame. If anything, the decks on the outskirts are things like 4C DRS piles and Oath at the moment, and even those have their day in the sun in an event.

What this tells me in short is that Vintage just needs time to breath from set to set and that there isn't anything so back-breaking that it needs to be restricted immediately. We could continue to have the same discussions over cards like Urza's Saga, but it's clear that Vintage seems to be a format where Wizards wants that card to see play, and there is still plenty of counterplay available for the card in general that it still seems just fine. If there truly was a real problem with the card, I feel like we would see it even more than we do now and there would be no reasons to play decks without it, much like we had happen during the Lurrus pre-nerf era and whatnot. Something would have been addressed by now if it was truly a real issue, and players keep coming up with ways to beat the card (either by directly attacking it with cards or by playing strategies where it doesn't matter like Bazaar). If anything it will be even more interesting to see what Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate brings to the format, if anything.

I've always said that I tend to prefer unrestrictions over restrictions, but even right now I don't think anything needs to overtly change with the format either at the same time. The only real issue right now driving Challenge attendance numbers is the fact that Season Two of Premier Play on MTGO does not include Vintage and instead is utilizing Pauper. Once Season Three rolls around and potential Eternal Weekend events, coupled with any All Access Weeks that may occur and Challenge attendance will rise back up. Even then, the core attendance on MTGO is pretty steady and holding well enough.

For now, Vintage looks fine and I look forward to another month of great gameplay and interesting decisions.

Paper Event News - The Legacy Pit Open II

We've got some paper event news! As part of The Legacy Pit Open II happening on October 1st-2nd 2022 in Richmond, VA there is also going to be a "Vintage Quest" six round tournament on the Sunday (October 2nd) that is allowing 15 proxies. It's a $2,000 prize pool and costs $55 to enter. You can find all of the details of these events on The Legacy Pit site over here.

Vintage Challenge 5/14

Our 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 datasheet here.

Shops and Hogaak were exceptionally popular in this event, with Hogaak really knocking it out of the park in terms of performance. Hollow Vine also had a solid event, as did some of the Blue Tinker piles. This looks pretty well spread out for sure and looks to be fine.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
BUG Midrange 1st Thiim
Doomsday 2nd Clone9
Hogaak 3rd Nammersquats
Esper Tinker 4th TunnelGaan
Hogaak 5th TeamLeaderNA
Hollow Vine 6th zajad
Dredge 7th WingedHussar
UR Tempo 8th Enrichetta

Quite a lot of Bazaar in this Top 8, with 4/8 of the decks being Bazaar based strategies. At the end of the event though it was BUG Midrange that took it all down.

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BUG definitely thrives in metagames where Bazaar is really good so this was a great pick and a great deck to win the event with. It has a lot of natural power versus Bazaar decks between the usage of cards like Endurance and Deathrite Shaman, while Tarmogoyf can often be generally bigger than most Bazaar deck creatures. Makes for a very strong combination of cards versus those decks.

In Second Place we have Doomsday.

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Main deck Opposition Agent seems pretty strong, and also we've got a main deck copy of Sleight of Hand as another cantrip of sorts. Two Daze is also something to see.

Also in this Top 8 we had some Hogaak.

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Very clean list here. Boseiju has been exceedingly good for these decks as a function of land destruction, since hitting opposing Bazaars or Workshops is pretty strong. Hogaak seems like a great fit for this card overall.

Near the bottom of the Top 8 we had Hollow Vine.

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The sheer redundant power of every card in this deck is what really makes it tick for sure. Fury out of the sideboard is just a truly powerful card that deals with a ton of different things.

Vintage Challenge 5/15

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event which had 36 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 datasheet here.

With such a small event, things were relatively all over the place, but UR Tempo had a strong performance here, as did Aggro Shops. Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st Vertyx_
Oath of Druids 2nd ktmr-39
UR Tempo 3rd Enrichetta
Aggro Shops 4th kanister
Hogaak 5th Oosunq
Mono White Aggro 6th hellkito
Aggro Shops 7th fatto10
Paradoxical Outcome 8th Dafne17

Interesting Top 8 for sure. At the end of the event it was Doomsday that won the event.

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Pretty similar list to the Saturday event Top 8, just without the main deck copy of Opposition Agent. Much of this deck's actual flex spots are pretty low in general, making this a very well-oiled machine that can easily crush events.

The Second Place finalist was on Oath of Druids.

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There's quite a bit going on here, between the Sagas and Oath game plan to the Tinker game plan as well. Hullbreaker Horror seems like a strong Oath target if you Tinker into Citadel and start bouncing nonland permanents for free.

Also in this Top 8 we had UR Tempo.

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Ragavan and Murktide are such a powerful combination in this format. Ragavan definitely himself can make games very swingy and provides a bit of interesting counterplay in the format.

Down near the bottom of the Top 8 we had Mono White Aggro.

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Very clean and powerful deck here. Main deck Deafening Silence hits quite a bit of the format, and it's cool to see even new card Lion Sash in the mix as well.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

You can find all of the 5-0 decklists from this past week here.

Standstill with Ragavans seems really absurd.

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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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