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Vintage 101: Season Three Showcase Challenge Number Two

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 last weekend's Season Three Showcase Challenge results! In addition to that we have some information to share on the Vintage Eternal Weekend Highlights that were posted this past week, as well as another Challenge to talk about, as well as our Spice Corner.

Thankfully since last week all of Commander Legends was spoiled, and there didn't seem to be anything further to discuss from that set that we didn't already cover last week, so let's dive right into some results!

Vintage Showcase Challenge Season Three 11/7

This past weekend was our second Showcase Challenge event for Season Three. This is a premier level event, and costs Qualification Points (QPs) to enter, specifically 40 QPs. The players that Top 8 this event all receive invitations to the Season Three Showcase Qualifier event at the end of the season, which leads into a PT qualification. Thanks to the efforts of the Vintage Streaming Discord we know that there were 124 players for this event, making it quite a large Vintage event. In addition, the data collected by the Vintage Discord, we were able to put together a full picture of the metagame in this event. Let's take a look at it.

One of the very interesting things about the overall metagame of this event is that Jeskai Xerox is an exceptionally popular deck right now, possibly the most popular variant of Xerox Control. However, the deck did not actually convert very well to the Top 32 of the metagame, as no Jeskai deck cracked into the Top 32. It's also interesting to note how popular Dredge is as well. It seems that the deck has slowly worked its way back to being one of the most popular Bazaar strategies after having been somewhat supplanted by other Bazaar decks such as Hollow Vine and Hogaak for a little bit.

In all reality though, this event looked honestly super diverse and a great looking format right now. Nothing seems absolutely crazy, and the format is shifting back and forth week to week in a great bit of rock, paper, scissors style. Even just looking at the spreadsheet of data gathered by the Discord, the win rate of most of these decks fluctuate a lot but most stay within the 40-50% range, with some minor outliers here or there, but for the most part, everything looks pretty good.

Let's take a look now at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st LimitedPower
Golos Stax 2nd WamboCombo2020
BUG Midrange 3rd MrRaeb
BUG Midrange 4th Achillies27
Horror One 5th KenjiTS
Breach 6th Magni_93
Dredge 7th Wizard_2002
Grixis Urza 8th GGoggles

This is a solid Top 8, with some great players represented here. All eight of these players are now qualified for the Season Three Showcase Qualifier event, so major congrats to everyone here! This is a solid accomplishment for sure.

At the end of it all, it was none other than PO Storm that took it all down.

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This list is very much like the lists that Bryant Cook has been playing, with the sideboard plan of having cards like Sprite Dragon as a bit of a more Xerox-y way to win the game outside of the PO game plan. It's a very incredibly clean and streamlined list, and has a lot of power behind it. PO is a great deck on being able to shift game plans when necessary and adopt whatever role is needed to win the game. It can play a solid control game but also play a fast combo game as well. It's likely one of the most versatile Xerox Combo decks in the format at this point.

One of the biggest things about this deck that really affected it was the printing of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade, giving the deck a powerful way of shifting that game plan and playing a Xerox style game without sacrificing its combo potential. Lavinia continues to impact the deck as it's also a powerful hatebear effect versus the deck as well.

The Second Place finalist was Golos Stax.

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The Golos Shops decks have continually evolved as time has gone on, focusing more on a prison-based game play backed up by aggressive scalable threats like Stonecoil Serpent. This deck very much wants to deploy a bunch of lock pieces that force the opponent into a position of being unable to play the game, and then putting a bunch of power into play to close the game out. One very interesting thing about this particular list is the inclusion of a single basic in the deck, a fair nod to the fact that more and more decks exist in the format playing cards like Assassin's Trophy. Having a single basic makes it so that you can still acquire it off a Trophy, which in these decks is more than likely to be leveled at one of your lands (since most of these lists don't play a basic at all, and Trophy simply becomes Stone Rain).

Further down the Top 8 we have another showing by the "Horror One" deck in Fifth Place.

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This deck is like a strange amalgamation of Hogaak and Hollow Vine, using the fact that it has double Squee effects in both Squee himself and the card Krovikan Horror. The biggest thing that this card offers beyond a secondary Squee effect is the fact that it can be pitched to cards like Contagion and Sickening Shoal to deal with creatures like Deathrite Shaman and the like.

This variant is ever-evolving however, as we've seen versions playing five color creatures like Reaper King to enable cards that pitch to all the Forces and the black pitch spells, so this deck is continually being tuned and worked on, and it really is a very interesting take on the Bazaar Aggro archetype.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have GGoggles showing us all how to Urza.

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At its heart, this deck is very much a Tinker deck, wanting to put into play Bolas's Citadel to win the game with. The payoff however in this kind of deck is the strength of Urza, Lord High Artificer as well as Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. Being able to generate both mana and creatures with these cards is incredibly strong, and Urza himself is a solid win condition by being able to generate large enough creatures to close a game out fast. This is a solid list, and one that GGoggles has been working on for quite some time, so it's great to see that persistence pay off.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a great showing by none other than Vintage Humans in Ninth Place.

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This is a neat list. Once Upon a Time in general did a lot for these kinds of decks, making them a lot more consistent in finding both payoffs/enablers and mana to cast them with. The hatebears in this deck are exceptionally aggressive however, with main deck Lavinia and Kambal really pushing hard on the combo decks in the format. Post board this deck gains access to even more hate, with Ouphe and Deafening Silence.

All in all, this event seemed to be a very solid event, with a great turnout, and I think a lot of this has to do with the hype of the format off of Eternal Weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one to see if the hype train can continue.

Vintage Eternal Weekend Highlights

Thanks to the efforts of Wizards and a few awesome individuals in the community, namely Anuraag Das and Julian Knab, a great follow-up article was posted in regards to the Vintage Eternal Weekend events over on This included highlighted coverage of several matches with commentary.

You can check out the full article over here.

Also, our good friend Justin Gennari was able to upload all of the commentated matches into a single playlist to watch. Be sure to go check that out as well and throw Justin a subscription as well for his hard work!

Vintage Challenge 11/8

Our second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event, which had 43 players. Because of the efforts of the Vintage Discord, we have a full picture of this metagame as well, so let's take a look at it!

Dredge again proved that it is one of the more popular ways to build Bazaar based strategies right now. Furthermore, Golos Stax and several other archetypes also had quite a bit of play as well here. This also looked like a great metagame as well though, so it definitely looks like Vintage is in a really healthy spot right now!

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Breach 1st Lenka
Jeskai Xerox 2nd GutoCmtt
BUG Midrange 3rd Zyuryo
Golos Stax 4th Slasher21
Merfolk 5th Notmi
Dredge 6th Bennybo
PO Storm 7th Shir Kahn
4C Xerox 8th Aylett

This is a super neat Top 8, with some incredibly cool decks. And I mean some really cool decks. At the end of the event, however, it was Breach that won the whole thing.

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Breach is a powerful combo deck, and this build is more of a 4C variant, getting to lean on the powerful white cards like Lavinia and Mentor, with the powerful black tutors like Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor. One important thing to note is that instead of the typical Sprite Dragon in the sideboard, this list is on Young Pyromancer. The Balance in this list is also really cool. Breach is one of the more interesting Xerox Combo variants, as many times its kill is very compact and it doesn't need to play its hand if it doesn't want to. It can win often via regular Xerox things, but then can quickly turn a corner into a combo kill.

The Second Place finalist was Jeskai Xerox.

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As one of the most popular Xerox variants around, the combination of having the removal and countermagic options that Jeskai has is what really makes it attractive from a gameplay perspective. These lists are capable of casting Ancestral Recall a lot, which is one of the best reasons to be on this type of deck. The ability to put Ancestral on the stack a lot is very strong, either via cards like Mystic Sanctuary and Dreadhorde Arcanist.

The Third Place list of this event was BUG Midrange.

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This is a solid deck, and one of the other popular variants of the Xerox formula in the current format. This deck is unlike the Jeskai variants in that it isn't recurring cards like Ancestral Recall, but is instead preventing the opponent from doing the same with powerful hate cards like Leovold, removal like Assassin's Trophy, and the power of Deathrite Shaman. One very interesting sideboard card here is Legion's End, which can deal with opposing creatures like Lavinia, Deathrite, and Arcanist very cleanly.

Further down the Top 8 we had a really wild showing by none other than Merfolk by Notmi of the Vintage Discord.

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This deck is super cool. Between the fact that it has a lot of similarities to older school Legacy Merfolk, we get to see new cards like Thieving Skydiver in play. I really like this list a lot and it looks like a lot of fun.

Outside of the Top 8 one list came up that caught my eye was a super cool Oath of Druids list.

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The big reason for this deck to play only Blightsteel and Emrakul is to hope to mill the single copy of Dragon Breath and attach it to the Oath target to be able to swing immediately and end the game. This deck also hilariously has the addition of Channel, being able to put an Emrakul into play with the trigger by paying 15 life with the Channel effect.

The Spice Corner

Dream Trawler Oath?!

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Everything about this deck is really 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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