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Vintage 101: Season Two Showcase Qualifier

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 talking a bit about last weekend's Season Two Showcase Qualifier event. Unfortunately for this event and for the Challenges last weekend, we have absolutely zero decklists (because they weren't posted by Wizards yet) outside of the winning list for the Showcase Qualifier event. Thankfully though we still have information on metagame breakdown thanks to the efforts of the Vintage Streaming Discord Community.

Vintage Season Two Showcase Qualifier 8/22

This past weekend was the culmination of the Season Two Showcase events on Magic Online with the Season Two Showcase Qualifier event. The winner of this event gets an invite to the Arena Split Championship on a path to the Player's Tour. This event was fed by the three Season Two Showcase Challenge events over the past few months, with the Top 8 competitors of those events qualifying for a spot to compete in the Showcase Qualifier event.

Due to the fact that there was one competitor who made two Top 8 appearances in the Showcase Challenges, there were a total of 21 competitors in the event. This number of players and such a small field meant that it was only natural for the field to be full of really well-known players and very good clues as to what those players would be on.

As noted before, we don't have much in the way of decklists outside of the winning one, but we do have the breakdown of the metagame thanks to the Vintage Streamers Discord and their efforts in populating data every week.

A large majority of the competitors in this event were on some form of the Underworld Breach combo deck, be it Grixis based or Jeskai. This isn't very surprising as the Breach deck is exceptionally powerful and can simply have some very strong games where it is hard to interact with easily. As well, other varieties of combo including Oath and PO were also very popular as well.

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

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st IamActuallyLvl1
Prison Shops 2nd Reiderrabbit
RUG Xerox 3rd Federusher
Oath of Druids 4th DieM4x
U/R Xerox 5th Sliphorn
Breach 6th Shir Kahn
Breach 7th JoseOrtiz
Grixis Urza 8th GGoggles

What a completely awesome set of powerful wizards here, from Magic greats like Reid Duke to some of our very good friends in Shir Kahn and Justin Gennari (IamActuallyLvl1). This is a solid Top 8 too, with a lot of diverse things in it.

However, at the end of the event, it was none other than our good friend Justin Gennari who took down the entire event on his weapon of choice that he has helped develop greatly over time,  PO Storm.

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One of the biggest things to note about this list is that it was specifically built and targeted at the 21 player metagame that was present in the overall event. Justin tweaked the list for a specific metagame by weakening a subset of his matchups to go more all-in against combo variants and blue decks. This certainly paid off for Justin as he piloted through to a Finals victory.

I know personally that Justin has been working very hard on the deck and his win here, and he definitely deserves it. A huge congrats to Justin on making it to another stage of his development as a Magic player and as a Vintage player. You can watch Justin recap the event (as he didn't stream it and instead streamed a recap of it) over on YouTube here. It's a great watch and gives a lot of great insight into the event and how he approached each matchup.

Vintage Challenges 8/22 and 8/23

While we didn't have decklists for these two events this past weekend we were able to get metagame information on them thanks to our friends in the Vintage Streamers Discord. Both of these events had roughly 50ish-60ish players, which is pretty good considering a good chunk were taking part in the Vintage Showcase Qualifier event.

Let's start with the breakdown for the 8/22 event.

The combo decks certainly ruled the roost of this event, with PO being heavily over represented. However PO didn't convert that well into the Top 8 of this event, and only boasted a 38.2% win rate. PO shared the limelight with Breach and Doomsday well, but it was the Bazaar based decks that really ruled this event, with both Dredge and Hogaak doing exceptionally well.

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

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
BUG Midrange 1st JKnecht
Dredge 2nd J000111
Doomsday 3rd Dan9IN
Dredge 4th PRGJJAR
Breach 5th Lord_Beerus
Hogaak Bazaar 6th n3kr0s1s
Dredge 7th mac121711
PO Storm 8th aronfrey1212

Dredge really had a hay day in this event, taking up three slots of the Top 8 overall and two of those spots in the Top 4. Dredge hasn't quite had this kind of an event in a while, often supplanted by the raw power of decks like Hogaak and HollowVine, so it's quite interesting to see it do well here.

Now for the metagame breakdown of the 8/23 event.

This event was pretty much a reverse of the Saturday event, with a lot more Breach and Hogaak taking over the event. However, the interesting nature of the event would translate to the Top 8, where thing got exceptionally more interesting.

Now let's look at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dredge 1st Furyure
Breach 2nd Kasa
Jeskai Xerox 3rd DiscoverN
Hogaak Bazaar 4th MadMaxErnst
PO Storm 5th Yuurari_Yuko
PO Storm 6th Bennybo
Breach 7th Ecobaronen
Golos Shops 8th Bgv1989

As noted, this Top 8 was super interesting, simply because it ended up with Dredge taking the top spot at the end of the event over Breach. In addition to that, both Breach and PO converted really well to the Top 8, so there was a lot of combo there, something that is becoming fastly true about nearly every Challenge event. This is something I plan to cover in upcoming weeks to talk about the nature of how the format has slowly become more combo oriented over the past year.

Community Vintage Update - NYSE Online

Our good friend Nick Detwiler is working on an online NYSE Vintage event to be held at some point in September. You can check out the information here, but the long and short of it is that it will be held on Magic Online.

The Spice Corner

Uro, Managorger, Ethereal Forager?! Yeah, this is cool.

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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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