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Vintage 101: Sing Us a Song You're the Hamster Man


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 about Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes in Vintage and where that card has been finding homes. In addition to that we've got both Challenges from this past weekend to discuss as well as the 4Seasons event from a few weekends ago and of course, a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Hamster Man

Planeswalkers generally have a high bar set for them in Vintage, due to the fact that many Planeswalkers have to really do a lot up front in order to see play in this format. Many of the format's most iconic Planeswalkers these days are all generally three mana value ones as well so the bar is set even higher for one higher than three mana value to do well.

Enter Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes.

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While M&B is four mana value and in two different colors, the power level of this card has proven sofar to be actually pretty good in Vintage as a format. It generates a stable aggressive threat in the form of the Boo token, and also has the ability to provide reach + raw card draw and an inevitable clock as Boo keeps coming back every turn. We've seen M&B in a number of decks in the format lately, and it's no surprise that it's good in many of them. For example, the DRS Planeswalkers deck has a lot of power behind it with M&B.

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Since these decks play honestly very few creatures except for the one mana Planeswalker that is Deathrite Shaman, Minsc & Boo not only gives this deck a lot of further reach to close a game out but it also provides card advantage and a strong stable threat.

Likewise, we've also seen the cards in other RUG based builds like RUG Oath.

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Here, the card provides further board control that can be used to keep the board state even on creatures once you have an Oath target in play, or it can provide a solid B plan to win the game without an Oath in play alongside the other Planeswalkers like Oko and Wrenn and Six.

Even further still we've seen this card show up in very rogue strategies, such as Absorbentthree's Gruul deck.

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The card performs a lot of similar roles here, providing a powerful support role over the top of the already aggressive threats of the deck while being a powerful source of card draw in a deck that doesn't otherwise get much card draw at all.

One of the major key strengths of this card is the fact that it can't be hit with Pyroblast, which is an absolutely common run-of-the-mill card we see in the current format, and the decks it is showing up in aren't excessively prevalent enough to warrant having Hydroblast or Blue Elemental Blast in the sideboard just yet, which allows the card to have some strong games.

I look forward to seeing this card more and more, as I think it is one of the more interesting Planeswalkers to play with in the current format, and it plays a strong role in the decks it enhances (or in the case of Absorbentthree's decks it has helped create).

4Seasons Vintage Event 3/4

Two weeks back was the 4Seasons weekend event in Bologna, Italy. This event usually includes a Vintage event and this one was no exception, being held on 3/4 (the Saturday event). This event had 67 players in it overall, thanks to some information provided by our good friend Raffaele about the event. Based on the info given, this was the breakdown of the overall metagame there.

  • 6 Shops (3 Aggro, 1 Prison, 2 Combo)
  • 9 Bazaar (2 Dredge, 3 Aggro, 4 Counter)
  • 10 Blue Control (8 Jeskai, 2 Other)
  • 7 Combo (2 Doomsday, 3 Breach, 1 Ops, 1 Other)
  • 3 DRS (1 BUG, 1 4C, 1 Other)
  • 10 Aggro (8 Monowhite, 1 Other Aggro, 1 Other Blue Tempo)
  • 4 Oath
  • 18 Tinker (3 PO, 2 Grixis, 4 Esper, 8 Initiative, 1 Other)

All in all it seems like a pretty solid metagame here, bit heavy on Tinker decks, but that's to be somewhat expected here.

You can find the Top 8 decklists from the event over here. The Top 8 of the event is listed below here.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Paradoxical Outcome 1st Peter Ward
Oath of Druids 2nd Andrea Fortunati
Esper Lurrus 3rd Francis Cowper
Grixis Tinker 4th Rory Smith
Initiative Tinker 5th Enrico Vair
Control Bazaar 6th Tom De Decker
Jeskai Lurrus 7th Hans Jacob Goddik
Jeskai Lurrus 8th Raffaele Ramagli

Thanks to Raffaele for providing us some information on this event. 4Seasons events always sound like a real blast and I would hope to get to one someday.

Vintage Challenge 3/11

The first Challenge event of the weekend had 59 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 data sheet here.

Mono White and Initiative Tinker were the most played decks, but neither had a super stellar win rate despite each putting a player in the Top 8. Aggro Shops had a great performance here as did Oath of Druids.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Oath of Druids 1st Miharu_Fuyumiya
Goblins 2nd micrograms
Aggro Shops 3rd oosunq
UB Tinker 4th handsomePPZ
Mono White 5th Danielpena397
Dredge 6th masakitaro
Initiative Tinker 7th SoulKing54
Aggro Shops 8th AWepp

Interesting Top 8 here for sure with some decent spread of strategies. At the end of the event though it was Oath of Druids that won in the hands of known Oath master Miharu.

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Atraxa seems really strong here, honestly. There's a wide enough spread of card types here that picking up the card selection aspect is very strong. Definitely looks like a great list.

In Second Place we have Goblins!

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This deck just existing still is pretty great. A combo deck and a fair-ish cheaty on mana aggressive strategy all in one, Goblins does some pretty unique things and I love it.

Also in this Top 8 we had Aggro Shops.

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Cars go Beep Beep when Fleetwheel Cruiser comes out to play. Pretty solid Aggro list for sure.

At the bottom half of the Top 8 we have Dredge.

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Dredge has looked pretty static for a while but the archetype really hasn't gotten any really new toys, so that's fine. The deck still has a lot of power when it wants to do so and people forget it exists for a minute.

Vintage Challenge 3/12

The second Challenge event of the weekend had 58 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.

Combo Shops variants were the most popular deck here (primarily Jewel Shops) and it had a strong win rate. Aggro Shops did well, as did Prison Shops and Aggro Bazaar strategies.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Prison Shops 1st ManBoyChild
Jeskai Lurrus 2nd unluckymonkey
Combo Shops 3rd Cherryxman
Combo Shops 4th etoustar
Mono White 5th _BOI_
Grixis Tinker 6th Yamaro
Control Bazaar 7th gn42
Aggro Bazaar 8th tajoordan

A lot of Workshops based decks and Bazaar decks in this Top 8. At the end of the event it was Prison Shops deck that took it all down.

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I like seeing new cards in decks, and seeing Argentum Masticore as a sideboard option here is pretty sweet. Being a card that can't be stolen by Dack Fayden is pretty sweet, but also its stat line of 5/5 First Strike is solid and it can convert high mana value cards into destruction effects.

In Second Place we've got Jeskai Lurrus.

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Not surprised at all to see Mercurial Spelldancer here. The card is quite powerful and has a lot of strong things it can do, especially when it's copying Expressive Iteration or Merchant Scroll or even Time Walk. This is definitely a solid deck.

Also in this Top 8 we had two Combo (Jewel) Shops decks. Let's look at the higher placing one.

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Displacer Kitten seems like such a powerful card for this deck. It really makes the whole thing hum and it works well with Karn, the Great Creator as a combo kill.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had an Aggro Bazaar build known as Cradle Vine.

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Cradle Vine is really powerful honestly. The sheer strength of the free creatures and the Gaea's Cradle interactions vs Tabernacle and also with Hexdrinker as a mana sink are really good. I hope to see more of this variant in the future really.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari has some content for us this week!
  • Andy Markiton (Montolio) has a video on Cradle Vine for us! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 lists here.

Siege Rhino. That's it. That's the tweet.

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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 my Link Tree! In addition, you can always reach me on the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the Vintage Streamers Discord.

Until next time!



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