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Vintage 101: Showcase, Redux

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 the results of the second Season Two Showcase Challenge event for Vintage. In addition to that, I'm also going to be talking about a Vintage Unleashed event that was run by my friends in Team Serious over this past weekend. As always, we have another Challenge to talk about and our Spice Corner.

Vintage Showcase, Part II

This past Saturday's Vintage Challenge was replaced by the second of three Season Two Vintage Showcase Challenge events. For those unaware, these Showcase Challenge events are sort of like a Playoff event, where the Top 8 qualify to partake in the Vintage Showcase Qualifier event at the end of the season. Because of this, Showcase Challenge events cost Qualification Points to enter (40 QPs to be exact), so they are often attended by the best of the best players in the format.

This event boasted 134 players, a fairly large number of people for one of these kinds of events, battling it out to make it to the Top 8 and earn the qualification spot. It is important to note that these events, unlike the way that events worked last year with the Vintage Playoffs and Championship events, the Qualifications do not pass down from the Top 8 down if someone already has a Qualification.

Let's dive right into the Top 32 metagame breakdown. We also have some additional information thanks to the folks of the Vintage Streamers Discord!

Holy Doomsday, Batman! This event is coming off a week where Hogaak Bazaar was pushing itself into a position of dominance in the format, and that push continued into this event. While six Hogaak Bazaar decks converted to the Top 32, the overall information of this event as known had roughly 28 Hogaak Bazaar decks in the total amount of players in the event, TEN more decks more than the next highest represented in PO Storm.

However, out of all of this, it was Dark Ritual based decks that rose to the challenge of Hogaak Bazaar, converting exceptionally well to the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st Tw33ty
Jeskai Xerox 2nd Sliphorn
DPS 3rd ReiderRabbit
PO Storm 4th Shir Kahn
Hogaak Bazaar 5th Federusher
Ravager Shops 6th Billster47
Doomsday 7th S063
Oath of Druids 8th DieM4x

While Hogaak Bazaar did convert one pilot to this Top 8, it was most assuredly the Dark Ritual decks that were the talk of the town. There was quite a bit of blue-based combo in this Top 8 overall, an interesting response to the heavy amount of Bazaar decks over the past few weeks.

At the end of it all however, it was indeed Doomsday that took it all down.

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One of the super cool things about this list is the three Daze in the main deck. Doomsday has so many options of being just a control deck with a combo finish now that Thassa's Oracle compartmentalizes the win condition of the deck, allowing it to run more disruptive elements.

There is also a Tasigur, the Golden Fang in the sideboard.

In Second Place we have Jeskai Xerox.

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This list is pretty sweet and lean, playing to its strengths of the typical Xerox shell setup. It's also pretty neat to see Teferi, Time Raveler in a Xerox shell outside of its typical use in PO. There is a lot of disruption here, though, between the six Forces and single Daze, PLUS Flusterstorm.

In Third Place we have Reid Duke himself on his old standby, Dark Petition Storm.

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Reid is well known for these kinds of decks, having played them for a long time in Vintage. His list even shows that there are really only a few of the important cards from the past two years (namely Citadel and Wishclaw Talisman) in an otherwise fairly stock DPS list. I especially love the Bontu's Last Reckoning in the sideboard.

In Fourth Place we have our good friend Nico Bohny on PO Storm.

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Nico's list is super intriguing, because typically we see Lavinia, Azorius Renegade in the main deck and not in the sideboard. However, there is a sweet Balance in the main deck. This is a solid list overall however, and Nico is a solidly powerful Vintage wizard!

In Fifth Place we have Hogaak Bazaar.

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The so-called Boogeyman of the format going into this event, Hogaak did at least convert one pilot here to the Top 8 and in reasonable showing, proving that the deck does have legs. This is a real clean list overall. Strong stuff.

In Sixth Place we have Ravager Shops.

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This list is pretty reminiscent of my good friend Josh McCurley's list from this past month, with the singleton restricted Karn in the main. It is quite interesting to see multiple copies of Golos in these lists, and only a single copy of Traxos. Golos is definitely a powerful card, being that it can act as both threat and mana ramp. While you're never activating Golos' ability in this list, Golos can fetch any silver bullet lands or ramp you.

In Seventh Place we have another Doomsday list.

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One big change from the winning list here is the presence of Hope of Ghirapur in the main deck. This card is pretty cool and does a good job of disrupting the opponent's ability to stop your combo. Also, there are THREE The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in the sideboard. Clearly coming to this event prepared to deal with Hogaak and HollowVine.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have Oath of Druids.

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This list is pretty classic Miharu_Fuyumiya Oath, and is an exceptionally strong version of the deck. This deck also has a real amount of disruption to protect the combo.

Outside of the Top 8 of this event, I'd like to give a shoutout to a few lists. One of those is the MTGO user Jacobisboss and his performance on BUG Midrange. Jacob is a good friend of our friend Rat3de, and is also 14 years old! Congrats on placing so well at 11th!

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Also down the Top 32 of the event is a sweet Standstill list, reminiscent of the current incarnations of the deck in Legacy. Yeah, baby, it's Sharkstill!

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Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event. We're only taking a look at the cards that have 8 copies or more in this event.

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Vigor 34
Collector Ouphe 26
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 24
Once Upon a Time 21
Deafening Silence 17
Force of Negation 17
Narset, Parter of Veils 16
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade 14
[[Oko, Thief of Crowns] 12
Thassa's Oracle 11
Sprite Dragon 10

With as much Hogaak in this event, it's no surprise to see cards like Force of Vigor high up on this list, but also because of a lot of BUG Midrange in the event as well. Narset was also present in half of the decks in this event, having ultimately cemented herself as a staple restricted card in everything blue.

This was an interesting event overall, with quite a bit diversity and interesting decks in it. Congrats to those folks who made it to the Top 8 of the event! We'll be looking forward to seeing you all in the Showcase Qualifier at the end of Season 2.

TSI Virtual Realm - Vintage Unleashed

This past weekend I took part in an inaugural event for the Vintage Unleashed format. If you aren't familiar at all with this format, you can read about it in an earlier article here. This event was held by my good friend Nat Moes and the folks of Team Serious. The event was held via the Team Serious Virtual Realm Discord Server, and unfortunately only had six participants including myself. However, the event was relatively interesting and did show some of the interesting things about the Vintage Unleashed format.

The shell that I ended up choosing to play for this event was a shell that utilized the engine of Gush + Fastbond, and I chose to base that shell on cards that I enjoyed playing in the form of Risen Reef + Young Pyromancer.

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I actually had a lot of fun playing this deck, even though my end result record of it ended up being 1-2-2 (Yes, two unintentional draws). One of the things that we did learn over the course of this event was the round / match structure made for some interestingly long games in Gushbond mirror matches. You see, the match structure was Best 3 of 5 with the first two games pre-sideboard, and the resulting games post-sideboard. Because of this, matches between Xerox decks would often go long and to time. I suspect that any future events may not adhere to this match structure, but that also didn't make the games we did play any less good. In fact, many of the games played were some of the most interactive and fun games I have had in a long time.

We ended up doing a Round Robin structure however for the event, given that we had such few participants and that seemed to work relatively well for that.

The other participants of this event and how things ended up at the end of the event are below:

1st, 15 points, Stephen Menendian on Gush (Storm)
2nd 10 points, Andy Probasco on Gush (Bant)
3rd 8 points, Nat Moes on Gush (RUG)
4th 5 points, Joe Dyer on Gush (Elementals)
5th 4 points, Rajah James on Gush (Stasis)
6th 0 points, Randall Witherell on Belcher

One obvious thing to note is that there was a lot of Gush in this event. Being a smaller event did mean quite a bit to deck selection and thus we had no one that approached any of the other possible deck strategies like Workshops or Mind's Desire based combo. It would have been intriguing to see what would have happened with a larger base of participants. At some point in the future, maybe a Magic Online event would be possible to help bring in more interest to the format.

I would be remiss however to not post the other player's lists, because they were all very sweet in their own regards. While there was a lot of Gush, there was a lot of diversity in the Gush archetypes present, which was super cool to see.

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All in all, this event was fun to partake in, and we did do a small raise for charity in the process of doing it, so that in of itself made it worth joining and playing a really sweet and interesting format.

Community Vintage Update

I don't have much to report here other than the fact that one of Vintage's most prolific tournament organizers Nick Detwiler posted on Twitter this past week about considering an online NYSE event through Magic Online. If this is something you are interested in, go hit up Nick on his Tweet and let him know!

Vintage Challenge 7/12

Our second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday Challenge, so let's dive right into the Top 32!

This event shifted a lot of things, with a lot of Xerox and PO Storm taking over the Bazaar decks. However, that being said, there were only 38 players in the event due to the event's time slot, so take that for what it's worth on the Top 32 results.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st MurkyBlack11
Golos Shops 2nd Hampuse1
PO Storm 3rd Eh Loko
Breach 4th Swengen
Doomsday 5th DiscoverN
Doomsday 6th Dead_Style
RUG Xerox 7th AlbertoSD
BUG Midrange 8th Alnash

This was an interesting Top 8, with again a lot of combo in most of the Top 8. Doomsday and PO Storm was definitely a big part here, but there was also Breach and as we will see... a bit of a combo oriented Shops build as well.

At the end of the event however, it was PO Storm that took it all down.

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This list is mostly the same as the list that Bryant Cook has been playing for the past few months and doing well with. The singleton Underworld Breach is very strong in this kind of list as an additional Yawgmoth's Will-like effect.

In Second Place we have a cool option for Golos Shops.

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This list is very much close to the ideas typically used in Two-Card Monte, by having a combo based aspect to win the game with. In this case, it's the Helm/Leyline combo primarily, but also having the Dark Depths combo with both Mirage Mirror and Thespian's Stage. Golos acts as a combo piece here too, being able to fetch Depths or Stage if need be.

Third Place was another PO deck, so let's move down to Fourth Place with Breach.

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This is a clean stock Breach list. I think this deck is pretty strong, and definitely has some legs in the current format.

In Fifth Place we have Doomsday.

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This list is the same list as the winner of the Showcase Challenge, and is definitely strong. Force of Despair is a sweet inclusion in the sideboard.

Sixth Place also had a Doomsday list, so let's move down to the Seventh Place list in RUG Xerox.

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This deck is pretty strong, and the interactions between Wrenn and Six, Gush, and Mystic Sanctuary is really powerful and allows the deck to do some really busted stuff.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have BUG Midrange.

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BUG is a powerful deck, and has a good range of threats for dealing with a variety of situations. I especially like the three Daze in the list here.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event.

Card Name Number of Copies
Narset, Parter of Veils 21
Sprite Dragon 19
Dreadhorde Arcanist 17
Oko, Thief of Crowns 16
Force of Vigor 15
Force of Negation 14
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade 14
Soul-Guide Lantern 13
Underworld Breach 11
Collector Ouphe 10
Thassa's Oracle 8

Narset was at the top of the 2019-2020 heap in this event, taking up a good chunk of the event, but as the Top 32 of this event was 32 out of 38, this is no surprise. Still, it is interesting to see how new cards are influencing Vintage overall.

The Spice Corner

There's a lot going on here, and I like it.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! As always thanks for continuing to support the column and join me next week as we continue our journey into Vintage!

You can always reach me on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord!

Until next time!

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