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Vintage 101: The General Idea


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! This week we've got a supplmental product to look at in Commander 2019! While this set didn't bring us anything really busted (thank Mishra!) it did bring some cards that are worth at least talking about a little bit, even if they don't quite make the cut.

Furthermore, we also have a look at the results from this weekend's Vintage Challenge and it's only two more weeks to go until we get to a Banned and Restricted Announcement.

Without further ado, let's dive right into the thick of it!

Commanderin'

Commander 2019 as with all Commander sets brings in new cards that are made legal in the Vintage/Legacy and Commander formats. I fervently believe that Wizards has learned best how to balance these new cards and their impact on older sets. Gone are the days of cards like True-Name Nemesis (a veritable mistake of a card if there ever was one) creating hype for older formats, and now we have the days of creating interesting Commander cards. Most of these sets don't include much in the way of playable eternal format staples, and too often the ones that might slip through the cracks are actually just hype and end up being not very playable.

So... I'm taking these with a grain of salt here.

Mire in Misery

Mire in Misery [C19]

This is one that is obvious to talk about, since it represents a slight bend in the color pie for black. Black typically doesn't have good answers to enchantments, and as much as misery loves company, this card isn't the best answer to them either. There is a lot of hype around this card, people toting it for both Vintage and Legacy, and quite frankly there's a lot going against it in that regards. First off, not being instant speed is a severe downside. In fact, more than anything else about this card this hurts it the most. Now I can hear you saying, "well this lets you hit Oath of Druids in black," and sure, that it does, but think about what decks would play disruption against a deck like Oath and what other things would be available, for instance, cards like Abrupt Decay and Assassin's Trophy or Force of Vigor even. The other downside of this card is that it lets the opponent choose either or. Allowing the opponent a choice means that you have to dictate when you would cast this spell so that the choice works in your favor. Otherwise, the choice always works against you. In the case of the aforementioned Oath deck, if you don't draw this card until your opponent already has an Oath threat in play, it's not going to do much good against them since they will just sacrifice the Oath itself since the target is likely much better card quality (like Griselbrand).

In short, my feelings on this card are that it is definitely going to be a great Commander staple for mono-black strategies but in other formats it feels like it falls short.

Scroll of Fate

Scroll of Fate [C19]

I am not certain if this card is actually good or not, but it is different, and that makes it worth talking about. For three mana you can turn any card into your hand into a 2/2 creature, and if that card in your hand is a creature, well then you can morph it for its mana cost. While this is unique take on using Manifest, one of the best things this card has going for it is the fact that it can turn dead noncreature spells into usable creatures. Whether this is actually good, well that remains to be seen. I personally don't see the card doing a whole lot in the long run, but it certainly does do something interesting. One important thing to note is that this card can also manifest actual morph creatures which is probably still not very good, but is at least a decent interaction.

Dockside Extortionist

Dockside Extortionist [C19]

Extortion aside, this card has an upside potential of generating a lot of mana very quickly when presented with a Workshops deck that often has upwards of 4-5 artifacts in play at any given time. I'm not sure what this is inherently playable in at all, but the fact alone that it can spit out a ton of treasure tokens that may work with cards like Karn, Scion of Urza being boosted by that many artifacts in play at once does seem rather interesting. Besides, look at that face. Who wouldn't trust a Goblin like that?

Elsha of the Infinite

Elsha of the Infinite [C19]

As we have seen in the past year, Future Sight-like effects like Bolas's Citadel and Mystic Forge are excessively powerful, but they're also very good because they let you cheat on the mana slightly. Elsha is a similar effect in that it does allow you to cast noncreature spells at instant speed, and it is a Monk and it has prowess, so it does have a unique effect, but is that effect actually good enough for the format at 5 mana? I'm having trouble seeing it, but at the same time, I could be surprised by the ability to cheat cards off the top of your library even if you're not cheating on the mana to do so. This is one I would like to watch for, but I ultimately don't expect much out of it.

Anje's Ravager

Anje's Ravager [C19]

This card is actually pretty wild, and maybe just a little mad. At worst it's a 3/3 that attacks each combat but at best it's able to cast spells with Madness by ditching them every turn and then drawing a fresh grip of three cards. In conjunction with a deck build like Survival with Bazaar this can also filter cards into the yard like Vengevine while providing a hand to use with Bazaar and Survival. Again, I don't really expect this to do much, but I love the idea of utilizing a card that is basically an Ancestral Recall every combat.

Chainer, Nightmare Adept

Chainer, Nightmare Adept [C19]

This card strikes me as interesting mainly because of how unique it really is. This card in play with something like Oath of Druids makes any Oath threat into a haste threat immediately, and doesn't need to rely on cards like Dragon Breath to do so (and also doesn't lose haste either if something were to happen to Chainer himself). It's intriguing as a Human creature type as well since it can make haste threats out of that kind of deck as well, which makes for a more aggressive strategy. The downside is of course that he is Legendary and a X/2, which hurts him a lot. Still, it's Chainer.

K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth

K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth [C19]

I'm honestly not sure what could play this card, but turning everything into Phyrexian Mana for black costs is somewhat absurd. Note that this affects all costs too, not just casting costs in a spell, but also for activated abilities and triggered abilities that involve a mana cost payment as well.

Sudden Substitution

Sudden Substitution [C19]

This is certainly a strange card and as someone pointed out with it, you can sometimes just kill your opponent by giving an opponent a creature with Forbidden Orchard, then casting a Pact (like Summoner's Pact) and then using Sudden Substitution to switch the control. If your opponen t can't counter their new controlled pact they'll cast it and then next upkeep they'll have to make the mana payment or lose the game. It's not elegant, and I doubt that it actually does much, but it is something amusing to say at least.

Squee, Goblin Nabob

Squee, Goblin Nabob [C19]

Squee just wanted to come say hi and tell you all that he misses you, but he'll back soon from your graveyard!

Vintage Challenge 8/10

We had yet another Vintage Challenge this past weekend, and it was a doozy. Let's dig right into things, shall we?

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dredge 1st CoffeAnnan
RUG Xerox 2nd Call1Me1Dragon
BUG Midrange 3rd SwiftWarkite2
BUG Midrange 4th NinjaSloth
BUG Midrange 5th ReneRandrup
BUG Midrange 6th IDraftTheBeatz
BUG Midrange 7th Shir Kahn
Karn Forge 8th Dan9in

That is a ton of BUG Midrange decks, a deck that has risen to the forefront of the bleeding edge of the deck to beat. The major reason for this is a response to how powerful the Karn Forge decks are in the format currently. BUG can beat up hard on Karn Forge since it has a ton of tools (including Force of Vigor) to do so. BUG has a lot of variations to it, but it is extremely powerful in the current Vintage environment.

That being said, at the end of the event it was CoffeAnnan who pushed through with Pitch Dredge to win the event.

This list is pretty much to be expected setup from Dredge lists now, as it seems that Dredge has finally managed to solidify into an appropriate stock list. Even the sideboard options are pretty well set in stone these days. Still, a win is a win so congrats to CoffeAnnan on their win!

In 2nd place is Call1Me1Dragon with an excessively spicy RUG Xerox list featuring Wrenn and Six!

This list has some pretty spicy inclusions, and I am pretty much in love. Punishing Fire is pretty amazing and having multiple Force effects is very powerful.

Further down the Top 8 amidst the sea of BUG Midrange is our good friend Shir Kahn with the spiciest list of the bunch, playing a singleton Hexdrinker in the sideboard.

Further down the Top 32 of the event in 20th place is a pretty crazy Oath of Druids list with its primary targets being Progenitus and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn!

As we always do, let's take a look at the new cards from this year and how they stack up.

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Vigor 74
Narset, Parter of Veils 30
Collector Ouphe 24
Karn, the Great Creator 24
Mystic Forge 24
Manifold Key 22
Dreadhorde Arcanist 7
Force of Negation 7
Teferi, Time Raveler 6
Veil of Summer 4
Wrenn and Six 4
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 2
Ashiok, Dream Render 1
Blast Zone 1
Bolas's Citadel 1
The Elderspell 1
Fiery Islet 1
Hexdrinker 1
Ugin, the Ineffable 1

This is probably the highest amount of Force of Vigor that has been seen in one of these challenges. It is amazing how much these new sets have impacted Vintage over time, but the old standbys still continue to define the format. In this event alone there were 99 copies each of Force of Will and Mental Misstep in the Top 32. If you'd like to review more information on this event, please take a look at the event page on MTGGoldfish.

The Spice Corner

For some reason, this list did not populate into the 5-0s from the Vintage League for MTGGoldfish, but we have user MIJUKUMONO bringing us a little Hogaak-Depths in Vintage!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! There is certainly a lot to be talked about in Vintage at the moment, as we look ahead to the BnR announcement in just a short time. There's a lot of mixed feelings about this BnR announcement as we have mentioned before. It will be interesting to see what Wizards will do, and we will continue to keep an eye on the format as things develop.

As always you can reach me via Twitter, Twitch, or Patreon. I greatly appreciate your support if you choose to do so! I would like to aim towards being able to get back to streaming at some point, just have a lot of issues to sort out PC-wise to do so.

Next week we're going to be looking at the new hotness from this past weekend's challenge... RUG Xerox featuring Wrenn and Six! We're going full tree mecha mode, folks!

Until next time, keep casting treefolk!


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