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Vintage 101: The Land

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 talking about an amazing weekend filled with Vintage, but mostly filled with the Gathering. It's been a long time since I've gotten to play real paper Magic and The Land was that opportunity. We've also got some Challenge data from this past weekend and of course, a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's get going!

Going Back to the Barn - TSI: The Land 2

Playing paper Magic has been something that has been out there for quite a while. The pandemic fundamentally changed that aspect of the game for all of us, and now many stores are returning to some level of sanctioned paper Magic play. It was with this idea in mind of returning to the Gathering that we had begun planning the first Team Serious Invitational of the year to be held at a place only known as "The Land".

A Team Serious Invitational is a pretty special thing. It's not only a chance to play some full proxy paper Vintage, but it's a chance to connect with our friends within the group, many of which haven't seen each other since the beginning of the pandemic. Team Serious, as I've mentioned before in this particular column, is largely based in Ohio (where I'm from) but has plenty of members who either formerly lived in Ohio or are involved in the group in some fashion. This particular event was organized by the incredibly wonderful and gracious Rajah James at an incredibly spacious and sweet venue, and even came with some 1000% Serious dinner and prizes. Oh and we also had 29 players for this event, which is superb!

(Seriously. This prize table? Sweet!)

We had a severely awesome event for sure, an event in which I waffled a lot on what I was going to play. After all, we were allowing Modern Horizons 2 to be legal for the event, and there was certainly a lot to consider. In the end, I ended up picking a deck that I've played online a few times and that I really enjoyed playing. It's a list that Matt Murray had played around with and had posted a 5-0 with. I'm always one for impressive spice, and this list had it in spades.

That's right, it's Showdown of the Skalds!

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One of the big fun things about this deck was being able to resolve Showdown of the Skalds and it's pseudo draw four ability on the first chapter enabling some truly silly shenanigans, such as being able to cast Force of Will for it's alternate cost and hitting stuff like Time Walk off of it. There are plenty enough cheap spells in Vintage that the Second and Third chapters are trivial to enable, in some cases making things like Ice-Fang Coatl an immensely massive creature (such as in one game where I had two 7/7 Coatls on the table). The Planeswalker suite is incredibly disruptive, and creature threats like Uro and Omnath are just very powerful.

I had a real blast playing the deck, and I ended up going 3-2 throughout the course of the event with this list, placing 11th in final standings. I won't go deep into my event, but my losses were both against BUG Magecraft Piles (piloted by the one and only Matt Hazard, and my good friend Joe Palazzo). The decks I beat were a Thought Lash / Thassa's Oracle combo deck, a Grixis Magecraft deck, and Two-Card Monte (piloted by the superb Nam Tran). It was a true pleasure playing against all of the players in this event, because it was just a super fun time to be hanging out and playing paper Magic. I didn't make the Top 8 of the event, but it was still an insane amount of fun. Also, I got a seriously sick prize. Seriously, that Fiasco (the Sad Robot is pretty good too though).

One really fun thing that happened at this event was that one of our Team Serious members David Lance (Eternal Weekend Mishra's Workshop winner David Lance) had managed to get 90sMTG Monarch stalwart Roland Chang to come down and join in the fun. It was absolutely immense to meet Roland and hang out and chat with him. We even managed to get in a great shot (courtesy of Roland himself) with Roland, David, myself, and well... the nightmare fuel unicorn mask too.

This really for me, illustrated the most important part of all of this. It wasn't about the prizes, it wasn't about the gameplay, and it wasn't even really about the Vintage. It was about the Gathering. Getting to see old friends, getting to meet new friends. That is what truly connects us in this game, and it is those memories that really makes it all worth it. Thanks to everyone in Team Serious for coming together and making this happen, but most of all thanks to Rajah for putting on an amazing event, and we can only hope there's more to come on the horizon.

The Vintage Event Itself

For those curious as to how the event broke down as far as Top 8 is concerned, here is how things went.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Ravager Shops 1st Chad
GWB Hatebears 2nd Steve
Aggro Shops 3rd-4th Justin
BUG Midrange 3rd-4th Joe
Grixis Tinker 5th-8th Kevin
BUG Midrange 5th-8th Roland
DPS 5th-8th Max
Golos Combo Shops 5th-8th David

Pretty solid breakdown of archetypes in the Top 8. One super amazing thing I'd like to point out is that the winner of the event, Chad, had never played Vintage really at all before this event, and managed to just go on a tear all the way to the top on Ravager Shops! Congrats to Chad for being a TSI Champion!

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Very slick and clean list. Most of the best games I saw out of Chad's day involved a lot of Traxos, Scourge of Kroog action and a lot of solid Fleetwheel Cruiser hits. It was great to see Chad take down this event!

His finals opponent Steve McGrew did not make it easy on his though, with a sweet GWB Hatebears list.

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This list is super duper sweet. Archon of Emeria, Green Sun's Zenith, and just a pile of value. Definitely a really cool list overall.

We had a ton of other variety throughout the event, as mentioned I played against stuff like Thought Lash combo, but I also saw people playing plenty of decks like Emry, Lurker of the Loch Shops as well as various blue piles. Just a solid and interesting event all around from a metagame perspective.

Oh and there was someone playing DredgOath. So.... there is that.

Mythic Society 6/2

As a reminder, every Wednesday is the Mythic Society weekly Vintage event! This event starts at 7:30 PM and is a great FNM style casual Vintage event held via Magic Online! Check out the Mythic Society Twitter for more information.

Our lone 4-0 this week comes from Ryan Haddad (aka Slasher21 on Magic Online) trying out some new Modern Horizons 2 cards in Urza's Saga.

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This event was one of the first events on the ground with these new cards, so we didn't really know yet what Void Mirror would be fully like, but it sounds like the consensus is slowly arriving to it being kind of bad, which is mostly what I expected. Urza's Saga however, is turning out to be great especially in this archetype.

Our good friend Justin Gennari, never one to settle down for these events, has some spice for us here.

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That's right, it's Velomachus Lorehold in Oath with an extra turn focus. Super amusing and looks like a ton of fun.

Finally we got an Aggro Shops variant with Crystalline Giant from well known data guy Robert Taylor (aka fireshoes)!

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Very interesting list here, especially with the three Skysovereign, Consul Flagship across the 75. This card is great for dealing with a lot of different cards and it's very powerful when leveraged well.

As always, keep up with the Mythic Society's events on Twitter and be sure to join them! They're a lot of fun!

Vintage Challenge 6/5

We did indeed have two Challenge events this weekend, the first of which was the afternoon Saturday event. This was the first event with Modern Horizons 2, and thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord, we know there was 44 players in this event.

You can find all the Top 32 decklists for this event here.

BUG was exceptionally popular in this event, having quite a bit of the metagame share. Golos Stax was also really popular as well here. All in all this doesn't look like a horrific metagame, but this was only the first event under MH2.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Esper Tinker 1st s063
Golos Stax 2nd EddyViscosity
Doomsday 3rd discoverN
Hollow Vine 4th Montolio
Golos Stax 5th palk52
BUG Midrange 6th Falkoneye
Bazaar Squees 7th WingedHussar
RUG Midrange 8th SenpaiBlank

This was a pretty decent Top 8, with some solid representation across archetypes including both Bazaar and Shops, plus Combo and Fair. At the end of the event, it was the Esper Tinker deck w/ Sedgemoor Witch that took it all down!

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This is a pretty strong list. Sedgemoor Witch in general has really proven itself in the format thus far and it's great to see it doing well. It really lends itself well to these Tinker decks too. Very cool.

In Second Place we've got GOLOS!

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No new cards yet, but a pretty solid Golos Stax list. Leveraging Crucible of Worlds with Wasteland or Strip Mine is almost always going to be pretty good.

Down into the Top 8 we've got our good friend Andy Markiton (aka Montolio) with Hollow Vine!

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Not only are we getting to see the full force of 8 Rootwallas here with Blazing Rootwalla, but new cards Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth and Endurance out of the sideboard are pretty solid. I'm sure we'll see more of these Evoke creatures in these archetypes as time goes by.

Speaking of Evokes, we also had BUG Midrange in the Top 8.

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Two main deck copies of Endurance is really powerful, by just being a strong 3/4 beater threat for Black Lotus mana, but also the free aspect of it being very strong as well. This is a great card versus Doomsday in general which has been very popular for a while now (since you can use Endurance to tuck their library back in response to the Oracle casting).

Also in the Top 8 we had another Bazaar Aggro deck, this time focusing more on the Squees.

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Master of Death as a Squee effect that can be pitched to both black and blue pitch spells is really quite strong for sure, but also just having the redundancy of the effects with 8 Squee effects is super powerful for Bazaar to find the cards it needs. We also see new card Subtlety here, which seems pretty interesting. It's never getting cast or put into play here outside of the Evoke, so I'm really curious how it performed.

Outside of the Top 8 we have Sharkstill w/ Urza's Saga!

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Saga is quickly becoming one of the major winners of Modern Horizons 2 and it's cool to see some really neat lists like this one with the card in it. Also it's just great seeing Mana Drain in a decklist again, honestly.

Further down the Top 32 we have a sighting on Grief in Hogaak.

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Grief seems ultra perfect for this kind of list. It already has all the ability in the world to pitch to anything in the deck, so having an Unmask effect that triggers Vengevine just seems so incredibly powerful for sure.

Vintage Challenge 6/6

Our second event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event which had 47 players in it according to the data from the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all the Top 32 decklists for this event here.

Bazaar really flipped the tables in this event, with Hollow Vine and Dredge being incredibly popular over the typical popularity of both Doomsday and BUG Midrange decks. However, DD did quite well despite only three pilots, as two of those pilots placed in the Top 8.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
PO Storm 1st lampalot
Hollow Vine 2nd S_P_O
Dredge 3rd Wizard_2002
Stiflenought 4th Aylett
Golos Combo Shops 5th CodeProvider
Doomsday 6th ZYURYO
Doomsday 7th discoverN
4C Midrange 8th Dazai

Definitely an interesting spread of decks here, between Combo and Bazaar but also some Shops going on as well. At the end of the event however it was Michael Bonde (lampalot) on a PO build featuring... you guessed it Urza's Saga!

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PO seems like a natural inclusion for the Saga land, simply because it plays a pretty massive critical amount of artifacts and the tutor effect is great for almost all of them. Having Urza, Lord High Artificer in the deck as an additional source of Constructs is also great and gives the deck a bit of a grindy way to win through Null Rod and Collector Ouphe effects.

In Second Place we've got some more Hollow Vine action!

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Not only do we get the full 8 Rootwalla effect, but also Master of Death AND Endurance and Fury! This list seems pretty insane and powerful for sure.

Also in the Top 4 we've got STIFLENOUGHT.

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Okay this list is super sweet. Just good clean Stifle your Dreadnought Magic right here. Furthermore you can also fetch Dreadnought off Urza's Saga and then Stifle the ETB trigger. Just a super cool list all around.

Further down we have Golos Combo Shops w/ triple Saga action.

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Combo Shops is a great place for this card because of how well it can abuse it with Thespian's Stage copying it and then copying another land to keep the abilities. Really powerful effects in general.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a showing by a BUG list featuring Dauthi Voidwalker.

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I'm really curious how good Voidwalker is, it definitely seems like an interesting card. It looks pretty solid in this kind of list as just a Leyline of the Void effect, but could also be good in 2CM based Helm of Obedience decks as an additional set of Leylines.

Around the Web

  • Some Hollow Vine content from this weekend's Challenges from Andy Markiton! Check that out here.
  • Some more Hollow Vine by noprops! This video is in Japanese. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Justin has some KCI action for us. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Phil Gallagher has some GW Eldrazi action for us. 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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