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Vintage 101: Spectacular September Metagame Update

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 taking a look at our monthly metagame report for Vintage and where things stand with the format. In addition to that we've got two Challenges from this past weekend to talk about.

It's worth noting that there was also a super awesome paper event for 4Seasons Bologna this past weekend as well! We'll be covering what info we have of that.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Super Duper September Metagame Update

It's time yet again for another Metagame update and what Vintage is looking like in this past month. Much of this info is thanks to the tireless efforts of Justin Gennari and the Vintage Streamers Discord and the work that they do week in and week out. As such, you can find the vast majority of what we'll be looking at on their Metagame Dashboard. I've made a copy for this data linked here which what I will be using for this past month. The full data set goes back to Modern Horizons 2 release, but we will be solely focusing on this past month of August into September (starting on 8/1), which is about 787 decks overall.

Let's start by looking at some metagame representation numbers.

As we can see, the top dog in terms of representation in the format is definitely the Tinker Saga decks, followed swiftly by Hogaak as the next most represented deck. Beyond that we've got both Oops and BUG Midrange, and then down the line into Shops, Doomsday, Jeskai, and Breach.

All in all, despite the massive influx of Tinker decks, the metagame looks fairly reasonable. However, let's take a look at the win rate data.

Tinker Saga variants not only have the most representation in the past month, but they also have a very strong win rate at around 54.98%. Even more so, it's non-mirror win rate is around 56.1%. Breach tops the list overall of the highest win rate in this data set, but the sample size for Breach is somewhat low and it's 95% CI is high enough that we have to take that into account when looking at it. Higher sample rates definitely help data from these smaller data set periods like this, so it is important to keep that in mind when viewing data like this.

Interestingly enough, Hogaak has a rough 46.30% win rate here, which has often been a deck that's touted as being quite good versus Tinker decks in the past. According to this data, Hogaak's win rate versus Tinker Saga is around 34%, so that in of itself is not very good at all. According to the matchup matrix, some of Tinker's poorer matchups are decks like Breach, Jeskai, RUG, and PO with its stronger matchups being versus decks like Doomsday, Oops, and Shops variants in addition to a stellar 68% versus Hogaak.

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Conversely, some of Hogaaks strongest matchups end up being decks like Jeskai (57%) and opposing Bazaar decks, which speaks a lot to why it is so popular as it definitely is very good in those matchups.

That being said, every month to two months of Vintage is often the very definition of a rolling metagame, and decks float in an out of the top spot over and over throughout the course of the year. While the format may look like Tinker is good to great right now, that may not be true in a few months here, as we get more sets that add cards to the format. This does mean Vintage definitely rewards knowing your deck and knowing how best to build your deck to the rolling metagame and that playing to the metagame can often be very strong.

It also means that for me, Vintage looks incredibly fine right now and super fun. The speed of the format is definitely sped up a notch and there is a very real sense of what you should be doing in the format, but the format still looks pretty great in many ways. The best way to really approach the format right now is to pick something you know you will enjoy playing (fun is subjective yes, but if you can't have fun with it, it's going to be hard to learn to play) and something that rewards solid repetition and muscle memory based on what kind of decks you enjoy.

I'm looking forward to next month and I feel we will see much of the same there with a very vibrant and rolling metagame that really rewards skill and deckbuilding choices.

4Seasons Bologna

This past weekend was also 4Seasons Bologna in Bologna, Italy. The main Vintage event at 4Seasons had 40 players in it, and sounded like a super fun event overall.

We don't have much data, but we do have the Top 8 of the event, which we'll take a look at here. You can find the Top 8 decklists for this event here.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Paradoxical Outcome 1st Cioffo86
Paradoxical Outcome 2nd Adam Washburn-moses
BUG Midrange 3rd-4th Yannick Jeths
Jeskai Lurrus 3rd-4th Raffaele Ramagli
Doomsday 5th-8th Francis Cowper
RUG Midrange 5th-8th Aguanile87
Breach 5th-8th Werther Masi
Breach 5th-8th Tiziano Ostigoni

This definitely looked like a fun event overall, and while 40 players isn't huge turnout it looked like a lot of fun. You can follow all of the 4Seasons Tournament updates over here on Twitter.

Vintage Challenge 9/10

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 65 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamers Discord.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Tinker was quite popular at 20% of the metagame, and while it had a reasonable win rate, the field was really well spit down the rest of the decks past the cutoff. Honestly, this looks pretty good.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Prison Shops 1st yPrincipe
Breach 2nd Nammersquats
Aggro Shops 3rd _Shatun_
Breach 4th desolutionist
Esper Tinker 5th Condescend
Oath of Druids 6th Miharu_Fuyumiya
Paradoxical Outcome 7th RespectTheCat
Dredge 8th helvetti

Lot going on here with some Shops and Breach, Tinker, Oath, and even Dredge. At the end of the event it was Prison Shops that took it all down.

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We've been seeing more and more of the Golos Prison based decks here or there. It's nice to see some variety in the Shops macro archetype for sure. This list looks pretty solid.

The Second Place finalist was on Breach.

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This is a very reasonable list for sure. Just leveraging the Breach kill and having ways to protect it is very strong indeed.

Further down the Top 8 we've got Oath master Miharu!

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Looks like a very solidly stock Miharu list. I know they were trying out Minsc & Boo a bit, and would be curious to know if they liked the card there or not.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got Dredge.

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Definitely a very straightforward list here. We can see that the trend of dropping cards like Bridge and Therapy has continued into the long term, and honestly the archetype is probably better off for it with these changes.

Vintage Challenge 9/11

The second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event, which had 37 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamers Discord. Definitely a smaller event than we've seen before for this particular event.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Tinker was well represented and it had a solid win rate, while Aggro Shops absolutely seemed to tank it. Doomsday also looked quite good.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Combo Shops 1st Cherryxman
Doomsday 2nd discoverN
Jeskai Lurrus 3rd NooxTom
Grixis Tinker 4th mosh110
Oops! All Spells 5th medvedev
Grixis Tinker 6th AlphaBlade
Hogaak 7th oosunq
Oops! All Spells 8th Elfkid

Good amount of Tinker based strategies here, plus Oops and Hogaak. At the end of the event though it was a super sweet Combo Shops build that won it all.

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Cyberdrive Awakener is such an absurdly cool Tinker target. I love this list so very very much.

The Second Place finalist was Doomsday master, discoverN.

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This is definitely the gold standard of Doomsday lists here. Always keep an eye on what discoverN is doing when it comes to this deck for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had Jeskai Lurrus.

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NooxTom has continued to have some really solid results with this deck. It says a lot about how Jeskai is constructed in the current format for sure, but it is definitely very powerful.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got Hogaak.

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Straightforward list here, completely dropping any of the red splashes from it, instead focusing on cards like Ouphe and Loam, with a very spicy Eaten Alive in the sideboard.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

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


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Merfolk with some new Vodalian Hexcatcher action.

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Displacer Kitten COMBO.

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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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