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Vintage 101: The Bird is the Word


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're talking about a card that flew under the radar (literally) for Vintage from Streets of New Capenna! In addition to that, we've got some Challenge data to discuss as well. Also, we've got a Spice Corner!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Ledger Shredder!

Sometimes during spoiler season we run into situations where cards get missed in the massive influx of information coming out about a set that it isn't until after we are playing with the cards that we realize the impact some things can have. This is definitely true in Vintage where things often move a little slower, but also when sets like Streets of New Capenna come around that don't have many actual Vintage playables it becomes hard to spot gold in the spoilers. Thankfully, a few were able to spot something very strong in the main SNC set that is starting to pick up and see play. That card? Ledger Shredder.

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This card is great for Vintage. The power level of this card is readily apparent since Vintage often revolves around chaining spells during turns and doing multiple things in one turn that triggering the Shredder is just absolutely inevitable. Since this card cares about both players during a turn, it can even trigger twice in one turn if both players are casting spells. You can even cast this card and then cast a Mox as the second spell for turn to trigger it as well. The card quickly grows out of hand and gets big, while churning through your deck at the same time. A single connive puts it out of Lightning Bolt range even, and that is really quite strong.

Since the card's release, multiple people have approached what shells this card might go into, with the most recent of those coming out of a Top 8 result from this past weekend's Challenge events on a UW Stoneblade variant.

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Stoneblade decks are frightfully fringe in Vintage, but a card like Ledger Shredder that boosts the deck's core gameplay and also works well with holding Equipment (Shredder holding a Kaldra Compleat or a Sword of Fire and Ice seems extremely strong). Vintage certainly has the tools to make this archetype good, but not a lot of players tend to focus on these kinds of one-off decks. Shredder, combined with the results since the card's release might really help its case in showcasing just how good the card is in Vintage.

In short: the bird is the word.

Vintage Challenge 5/7

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event 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.

Hogaak and Breach tied for the topmost played decks, and they both had solid results to boot. Tinker did way worse than it has in previous events with a very low 37.5% overall win rate, despite putting one pilot into the Top 8 of the event. Doomsday also had a solid event and really out of nowhere Combo Shops appeared and had a solid event as well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Breach 1st medvedev
Doomsday 2nd sixmp
UR Tempo 3rd JUJUBEAN__2004
Breach 4th Michelino
Hogaak 5th fingers1991
Grixis Tinker 6th ReneRandrup
Hogaak 7th Nammersquats
Combo Shops 8th ScorpionDeathDrop

Good amount of stuff going on in this Top 8. Fair number of Breach, Hogaak, even Shops and UR Tempo. At the end of the event it was Breach that took it all down.

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Laelia is a very strong threat for these decks to have, almost like a Mentor that goes tall but also digs through your deck at the same time. Really strong stuff for sure.

In Second Place we've got Doomsday.

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The power of this shell is very undeniable, but time has shown again and again that it is definitely able to be metagamed against and beat if players know how to approach playing versus the deck. Still, it's a very strong part of the format right now and should be on your mind in larger events.

Further down the Top 8 we have Hogaak.

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Speaking of metagaming versus Doomsday, you can see it already in the sideboard here with the pair of Archive Trap hanging out. One of the ways decks like this can attack that deck. The rest of this list is really powerful and one of the better Bazaar decks in the current format right now.

Down at the bottom of the Top 8 we have Combo Shops.

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We haven't really seen this deck in a while, which is interesting enough. It wins mainly off the combinations of Dark Depths + Thespian's Stage as well as Leyline of the Void and Helm of Obedience. Really fun stuff!

Vintage Challenge 5/8

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 40 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.

Blue Tempo variants and Blue Tinker held the popular vote in this event, but Blue Tinker variants didn't do too well outside of PO which is its own separate archetype. PO had a great event, given both its pilots ended up int the Top 4 of the event. Doomsday also did quite well as did DRS variants.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st sixmp
Paradoxical Outcome 2nd wong4210
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd medvedev
Hogaak 4th misstrigger
BUG Lurrus 5th ZYURYO
Aggro Shops 6th Sahakvic
Stoneblade 7th SenpaiBlank
Aggro Shops 8th Thomas_Serra

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here with some Shops action as well as Hogaak and even PO. At the end of the event it was sixmp who also placed Second in the Saturday event taking down this event on Doomsday.

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I have said this before but I think the sideboard Murktide Regent is a very clever way of winning the game, especially if you can set it up and then Doomsday with it to set up a pile that takes multiple turns to just clock them with the dragon. Very inventive!

The Second Place finalist was on PO.

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Very classically designed PO w/ Saga variant right here. All the things you would expect from Mentor to Lavinia. Balance is also a sweet inclusion in the sideboard as well.

Down the Top 8 we had a sweet BUG Lurrus list.

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Elvish Reclaimer is such a great Magic card that I love seeing a deck that wants to play it in Vintage. This deck is sweet. It even has Dead Weight to recur with Lurrus! Really wild stuff.

Down near the bottom of the Top 8 we had a showing by Aggro Shops.

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Patchwork Automaton has really worked itself into these decks and it's not hard to see why. The card is really powerful and gets out of hand very quickly for a low cost that also protects itself well.

Around the Web

  • Our good friend Bryant Cook has some Tendrils of Agony for us. Check it out here.
  • Justin Gennari did the unthinkable and put Tinker into Doomsday! Check it out here.
  • Revenantkioku put out two videos this weekend on Doomsday for the Challenges:

The Spice Corner

You can find all of the 5-0 decklists from this past week here.

Oh Brian Kelly.

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What I'm Playing This Week

I've been slowly hashing out a list that plays Eruth, Tormented Prophet as of late, and it seems rather interesting. Ragavan is definitely a beast in the format for sure. Probably going to record a video with this one.

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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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