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Vintage 101: The Grief of Love Persevering

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're diving into the beginnings of Modern Horizons 2 and what it may mean for Vintage. There's some really spicy stuff to talk about for sure! In addition to that we've got data at least on two Challenge events from last weekend, but no actual decklists from these events due to them not being posted on Wizards' website.

Also worth noting that this weekend is the Vintage Showcase Challenge for Season 2; the first Showcase for that season. If you're entering make sure you have 40 QPs lined up!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Event (Modern) Horizons

We're a little bit into Modern Horizons 2 spoiler season, and already we've got some really interesting cards to talk about, so let's dive right into the cards so far that look interesting.


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This card is incredibly powerful, and will be a real thing in Bazaar based aggro decks. Not only does this card essentially Unmask your opponent for the low cost of pitching a black card in hand, but since it's a creature it can't be hit by Force of Negation or Flusterstorm and it also triggers things like Vengevine and Bridge from Below. Furthermore, once this is in the graveyard, it doesn't stop being useful since it can be exiled to fuel Ichorid.

This is definitely a card I expect to see in these decks for sure. It's got a lot of power to it. Supposedly this is part of a cycle, so I'll be really curious to see what the other cards in the cycle do.

Profane Tutor

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Besides the fact that the art here is sick (RKF is amazing), this is a strange card until you consider that it can be cast for free by Dreadhorde Arcanist, which is really interesting. Is there room for an Arcanist deck that wants four copies of Demonic Tutor and cards that pitch this into the graveyard? I'm not sure, but it sounds cool.

Kitchen Imp

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Yet another card that works really well in a Bazaar based aggro shell. The Madness cost on this is really low, and I could definitely see this as an option that is fast and aggressive, while also being on color for threats like Hogaak. Definitely an interesting card.

Void Mirror

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This card has so far become one of the most contentious cards yet to come out of this set's spoiler season, and it's only the first FEW DAYS. I have a lot of thoughts on this card because at first glance this seems like one of the most debilitating things to ever hit the Vintage format. However I've been around this format long enough to remember cards such as Lavinia, Azorius Renegade's first reveal (where players immediately called for its restriction), and Damping Sphere's first reveal. Shoot, even Deafening Silence's first reveal (even though Silence ended up being a not so bad sideboard card in decks that wanted it).

The first thing I want to say about this card is this. Don't panic.

This is not the end of the world of Vintage. While I'm sure this card will be tested (and believe me, it will be tested because reasons), I suspect that this is not quite as bad as everyone's takes make it out to be. So first things first calm down a little and let's start looking at this with a more level approach.

The biggest thing about this card is the fact that it cuts off things like Moxen, but it does go a step further and cuts off other colorless spells if only colorless was spent to cast them. Immediately our attention is drawn to Workshops as we can ascertain that against a Workshops deck on the play, dropping this Turn one is pretty back-breaking. They can't cast any spells right? This cuts off Force of Will and Force of Vigor as well. This has to be really insane, right?

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Well, sort of. Plenty of the Shops decks (especially the Golos Combo variants) often play cards like Cascading Cataracts or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth that allows them to make some amount of colored mana. Furthermore, if you're not on the play and you're on the draw instead, the Shops player can play any number of color producing Moxen and then be able to play through this easily. Should this really be popular those decks can make plenty of deckbuilding adjustments to account for this card.

In addition to this, this is symmetrical and that is a factor that has to be considered when playing with this card. Lavinia is powerful because it is not symmetrical, though the decks that want to play Lavinia right now are very far and few between (as Jeskai's primary popularity has really gone down). Damping Sphere is a very close comparison here because it is also symmetrical and can potentially put you in a poor position of locking yourself out. The biggest thing about Void Mirror is that the symmetrical nature of it is REALLY pronounced since it locks out your own mana rocks like Moxen and also locks out free interaction such as Force of Will and Force of Vigor.

What this does is give the card a bit of the same issues that Damping Sphere had in the format. This card deals with so many things that it becomes difficult to actually piece together where you might actually want it. Do you want a card against Shops that also turns off your ability to interact with them if they do manage to play through it? That becomes problematic at best. Shops doesn't want this card either because it can easily get itself trapped under it just like Sphere effects. Speaking of Sphere effects as well, this is not so good with Sphere/Thalia effects because it lets players pay an additional mana which could be potentially colored in order to play through this. So if decks playing Force of Will aren't looking for this (especially decks wanting to cast Dreadhorde Arcanist), and Shops decks don't want it, and even Hatebears decks have a problem with wanting it because of the Thalia tax issue, then what deck actually does want it? We start actually looking at the decks that want this, and suddenly we find that not so many do. This is a very similar issue to how Damping Sphere appeared in the format, and while yes this card is definitely a lot better than Damping Sphere (which is why it will definitely see some testing), I think it does fall into that same trap of being so close but not close at all. If this were asymmetrical, I'd be a lot more worried, but the fact that it is symmetrical is very important to evaluating and understanding this card.

I suspect this is a very over-evaluated card, and while players will definitely try it out, I think the end result will be that this is nowhere near as bad as people thinks it is. Don't panic, slow down, and give it time to really see how this plays out before really going nuts on calling for restrictions on this.

If you want to hear from some of the players that are really on the pulse of the format as well, Justin Gennari had a great post on this card on Twitter, so be sure to go check that out.

If anything, this is definitely going to be one of the most polarizing cards thus far in this set, and if that's anything to take from this so far it's that there's certainly more on the way.

Garth One-Eye

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This makes a Shivan Dragon, that's gotta be good, right?

Mythic Society 5/19

As always, the Mythic Society events happen every Wednesday evening at 7 PM EST. These are fun casual FNM style events and are often really low key. You can find out more information on them over at their Twitter.

The lone 4-0 this past week is Rodney Bedell on the Horror One/Dredge-like Bazaar Aggro deck.

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This is like a combo of Dredge + Squee based Bazaar decks and it's pretty sweet stuff. Looks like definitely a fun deck for sure.

Another sweet deck that caught my eye was a Helm/RIP variant with Thassa's Oracle combo.

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The fact that this just boards into Esper Mentor + Witch is pretty sweet. I am digging it.

Finally, Patrick Humfleet knows just how to have a good time with Fastbond.

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This list is really sweet. I am digging it for sure.

Vintage Challenge 5/22

We did have two Challenges this past weekend, but alas we did not have any actual posted decklists on them. We do however have the data on them thanks to the collection by the Vintage Streamers Discord. We know this event had 64 players in it overall.

Let's take a look at the breakdown.

A lot of Ravager Shops here in this event as the deck continues to have a pretty solid performance overall. BUG was less popular here but didn't have quite the best win rate. Ravager Shops being so popular is very interesting, but the deck has a lot of power to it and can really squeak out some free wins.

Let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Ravager Shops 1st PTarts2win
Ravager Shops 2nd hodortimebaby
BUG Midrange 3rd Montolio
Breach 4th ecobaronen
Dredge 5th Lord_Beerus
Golos Stax 6th s063
Golos Combo Shops 7th eggybenny
White Weenie 8th OxyWithMoxy

Even the finals of the event was a Ravager v Ravager matchup, with PTarts2win coming out on top of it. The rest of the Top 8 has a lot of Workshop in it, but also some combo and fair decks.

Vintage Challenge 5/23

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday morning event, which had 58 players in it.

Let's take a look at the breakdown.

Again Ravager and BUG are at the top of popularity, but again BUG seemed to not perform as well. One deck that did is a new UW Hatebears/Eldrazi deck that has been floating around as well as the typical decks that tend to on Sunday (Doomsday, Dredge, etc.)

Let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Breach 1st thedeck84
PO Breach 2nd shir kahn
Dredge 3rd NekoReality
Ravager Shops 4th Shadowz2005
Doomsday 5th SingPanMan
UW Hatebears 6th Vesper25
Grixis Tinker 7th MagerMistake
Ravager Shops 8th WhiTe TsaR

Breach did a number on this Top 8 by rising to the top in the hands of pilot thedeck84. The fact that we do seem to have a back and forth, an ebb and flow to these results does make me think that Vintage is not in such a bad spot, but we shall see what Modern Horizons 2 has for us for sure.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari has a sweet one for us with Hermit Druid Combo. Check it out here.
  • MTGO user noprops posted a league on Hogaak. Note this is in Japanese. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Andy Markiton posted a league on Golos Shops! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner


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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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