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Vintage 101: Sleeping With the Fishes


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 anything from Streets of New Capenaa and what if any cards could see Vintage play! In addition to that we've got some Challenges to discuss as well as the Showcase Qualifier for the end of Season 1 to discuss.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Godfather of New Capenna

Spoiler seasons continue to come and ago, and Streets of New Capenna is no different. Set in a city filled with demon crime families and a very Mafia-esque vibe, this set focuses primarily on three color themes and mechanics for each of the five shard-aligned crime families. There's some new mechanics out there, but nothing that really quite says Vintage. As such we're going to just be looking at what cards might see Vintage play. This list is rather short, as we also included one card from New Capenna Commander as well. To me this is kind of a good thing because it means we don't really have a ton from this set actively impacting the format, which is fine after so many sets that have impacted the format at large.

So, let's get to it!

In Too Deep

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is probably not playable, but any time you stick Split Second on a card, it's generally worth a look. Being able to convert a Planeswalker or a creature into a Clue is something interesting enough. This does turn a Blightsteel into a Clue as well as Sphinx of the Steel Wind. While the opponent does get to cash in that Clue (outside of using something like Dack to steal it or Karn to shut it off), getting rid of the card that's causing you a headache is reasonable enough.

Scheming Fence

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is super unique. Sort of a Phyrexian Revoker-like effect that requires the card it names to already be in play. This can shut off Mana abilities just like Revoker can, so you can name Moxen already in play and stuff and use it to make mana itself from that point on. You can also use this on stuff like Time Vault and gain access to a Time Vault with no hoops, provided you are able to stop your opponent from just taking infinite turns themselves while having a Time Vault in play. Is this good enough? Not sure, but it seems fun.

Void Rend

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Uncounterable Vindicate is interesting, but being in three colors makes it super awkward to cast when you need it. Still, whenever they put "this can't be countered" on something, you should probably look at it because most of the time it's usually okay. Void Rend could definitely see some play as a possible sideboard card here or there.

Unlicensed Hearse

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is probably the most playable of the cards I've looked at for this set for Vintage. Exiling cards from graveyards as a free tap ability is almost always going to be very strong in general, but then the fact that this card turns into a big creature later on for a very reasonable Crew cost makes it even more intriguing. This is strong, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it see some measure of play.

Witness Protection

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Hi. Yes, this is Serra's Emissary, I mean Archon of Cruelty, I mean Griselbrand, calling from your life insurance company with a very important message about your term life insurance.

No this is not a scam. I am a very Legitimate Businessperson! Hello? Hello?

Vintage Challenge 4/16

Our first Challenge of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Saturday event which had 48 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.

As we have expected for some time, Tinker variants take up a lot of the metagame space here and they also had a pretty reasonable win rate. A lot of other decks had strong win rates too though due to the fact that they only had 1-2 pilots each on the decks and those decks performed well enough to convert to top spots. This doesn't look too bad really.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Breach 1st Michelino
Grixis Tinker 2nd ReneRandrup
RUG Tempo 3rd Thalai
Lurrus Standstill 4th MadMaxErnst
Grixis Tinker 5th fingers1991
Dredge 6th Lord_Beerus
Oath of Druids 7th PsiVen
Hollow Vine 8th D00mwake

Very interesting Top 8 here with a good amount of representative things. No Workshops here, but Bazaars and Tinkers and even some Lurrus. At the end of the event, it was Breach that took it all down.

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Utilizing Dragon's Rage Channeler here is actually super unique and pretty cool to see. DRC filtering into the graveyard is very strong for when you're ready to start combo'ing with Breach. Definitely looks like a fun list.

The Second Place finalist was on Grixis Tinker.

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The usage of a single Snapcaster here is pretty cool, and this deck is loaded up heavily on all the Hullbreacher, which seems to be a very good card right now in the current format.

Moving down the Top 8 we had a showing by World Champ Javier Dominguez on RUG Tempo.

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Seems like a super cool list with a lot of powerful cards. Ragavan and W6 work quite well together. We also see a Boseiju in the sideboard here, owing to the synergy between W6 and the card with Ragavan making Treasures to channel Boseiju with for one green mana. Very strong!

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Oath.

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Ah yes, Pernicious Deed. The anti-Saga card! This deck is definitely gearing towards beating Saga decks, and this extends even to its choices of Oath targets by picking up Serra's Emissary, which can name Creature to effectively shut off opposing Sagas from making creatures to kill the opponent which. Solid metagame pick here.

Vintage Challenge 4/17

The second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 45 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.

Tinker again had a presence, but a fairly middle-of-the-road performance. Doomsday performed quite well, as did Dredge and UR Tempo variants.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Tempo 1st Mogged
Doomsday 2nd SingPanMan
Grixis Tinker 3rd Butakov
Blue Moon 4th SenpaiBlank
Doomsday 5th sixmp
Esper Tinker 6th snoopy-magic
Esper Tinker 7th Violent_Outburst
BUG Midrange 8th yoshiwata

Lot of Blue in the Top 8 here, but with different shades of Tempo, Combo, Tinker, and even Midrange BUG. At the end of the event though, it was UR Tempo that took down the whole event.

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It's very interesting to continue to see decks that were functionally Legacy decks being brought into this format and made to work. Murktide is a really powerful clock of a card that closes games out very quickly.

The Second Place finalist was on Doomsday.

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Speaking of Murktide, this list is playing a singleton of the big dragon as a payoff card for grindier matchups where going for the combo right off the bat is problematic. It's a cool side plan of just making a 8/8+ and killing your opponent that way for sure.

Further, into the Top 8 we had a cool UR Blue Moon style deck show up.

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This deck is kind of sweet. Blood Moon seems somewhat reasonable right now given the amount of Sagas in the format, and Thing in the Ice and Ethereal Forager are pretty sweet cards.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have BUG Midrange.

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BUG is definitely an interesting deck with some powerful cards in it. It's weird that this deck isn't doing that much better right now, because I think it does have the tools to really squeeze and police the format a little. Maybe we'll see more out of this deck in the future here. For right now it seems like we are seeing it far less than we used to.

Vintage Showcase Qualifier 4/16

This past weekend was the final event of the Season One Premiere Play program on Magic Online, with the culminating event to qualify for a MOCS invite and a PT Arena Championship invite to the New Cappena Championship. Showcase Qualifier events are invitation-only through Top 8'ing a Showcase Challenge or by winning a Last Chance Qualifier. This results in a rather small metagame event of 24-28 players typically. This event had 24 players in it overall.

You can find the datasheet here for this event. Unfortunately due to the nature of these events Showcase Qualifiers almost never have their decklists published on the mothership.

These events are hard to take at face value often because they are such a small inbred metagame, and it's important to really keep that in mind looking at the data for it. Quite often players will gravitate to the perceived best deck in the format if their fundamentals within the format give them the best shot at playing the best deck, while others who are specialists in archetypes will tune their archetypes towards defeating the best deck or a range of decks they perceive the metagame to be on. The best performing here was Doomsday in general because there was only one pilot on the deck, but Aggro Shops also had a solid performance for putting both its pilots into winnining positions in the Top 8.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Aggro Shops 1st OnionLotus
Esper Tinker 2nd nathansteuer
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd IamActuallyLvl1
4C Lurrus 4th CodeProvider
Doomsday 5th Diem4x
Esper Tinker 6th Cioffo86
Hogaak 7th oosunq
Aggro Shops 8th pokerswizard

Like I noted, we don't have any lists for this event, but this is a pretty solid Top 8 with some solid names here. Shoutout to our friend Justin Gennari for making Top 4 here, and major congrats to OnionLotus for taking down the entire event on Aggro Workshops. OnionLotus qualifies for the MOCS as well as the New Capenna Championship event on Magic Arena.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

You can find all of the last week's 5-0 decklists here.

When Brian Kelly gets his hands on Underworld Breach.

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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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