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Vintage 101: The Spooky Season


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 diving into a truly spooky season of Halloween with another story decklist article. I've done these for the Christmas seasons before and they were always pretty fun so I hope you enjoy it! In addition to that we've got some Challenge data and some announcements on Eternal Weekend 2022.

As a reminder, this article is my last one for the next two weeks while I am on vacation! My next article will be after the weekend of the 12th of November.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Spooky Scary Skeletons - A Halloween Vintage Tale

Darkness falls... and a tale like no other begins. We find ourselves on the dark plane of Innistrad, where malevolent geists run amok at night and monsters prowl in search of human flesh. There is a small cottage at the edge of the woods. Inside, a young man prepares for an evening feast. A pot of boiling water bubbles on the stove. There is a knock at the door, shaking the young man from his reverie. No human would ever come to his home this close to night time, when the darkness would devour them.

He opens the door to nothingness. The forest sings with life in the nighttime air, and the man eyes the darkness all around him. He turns around to head inside and is taken aback by an elderly woman sitting in his living room. Her eyes gleam and glint in the night. At her feet, a kitten made of pure shadow plays with its tale. Its golden eyes flicker as it regards the man.

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"Who are you?" the man asks.

"A visitor," the woman replies. "I understand you live here all by yourself?"

"I do... Again I ask... who are you and what do you want here?" the man presses once more.

"I come to offer you a bargain..." the old crone says. "A life once lost. I can provide you all of that and more. You must perform a single task, and you shall have her once more."

The man started to say something and then stopped. He thought of the love he had lost... the woman he had loved. "What do you wish me to do, elder?" he asked.

"Go to the graveyard down the path. I cannot step foot on its grounds. There you shall dig up a very specific grave. You will know it by the symbol painted on the tombstone. Bring to me the skull of the body interred there, and you shall have your reward," the old crone replies. "Beware though, the spirits of the dead will not rest this night."

The man scowled, thinking about the crone's offer. After a moment of silence, he nodded his assent. "I will return soon," he said.

The man grabbed his coat and a sturdy shovel and wandered off into the darkness, finding his way down the path to the graveyard. In the center of the graveyard there was a tombstone, marble white and emblazoned with the symbol of the once great angel Avacyn. It would be no other. He stepped inside the graveyard and made his way to the tombstone. As he did, the ghouls and spirits of the night filled the air with terrible moaning.

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The man worked feverishly, digging as he could. All around him the ghosts and ghouls howled and screamed, but they did not approach him. Perhaps they sensed too the darkness in his heart that had brought him here. Or perhaps... perhaps they bided their time and waited for something else.

In the distance, the trees parted and vines snapped as the presence of the greatest of them all filled the graveyard. The man looked up and stared in ruin at the monstrosity, the very perversion of nature that looked down at him. Its eyes were deep and soulless... its body comprised of the carrion and dead that it claimed as its own.

"You defile the grave of a great man..." a voice came from the creature, a voice made from many beings speaking as one. "You defile this very place."

"I sought this place out of a love lost," the man said confidently. "I sought this man for the same reason."

"No one escapes the coldness of the grave," the creature replied. "No one escapes this place. Your doom has been sealed here."

The creatures many parts began to come apart at its very seams, spilling bodies of ghouls and ghasts to the ground below. They lunged at the man, seeking to end him quickly. He grabbed the skull from the grave below and ran through the graveyard, his legs pumping as fast as he could to escape.

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The graveyard filled with the scent of overwhelming death as the man exited back into the path. He ran hard, losing his way back to his cottage. He soon found himself in the dark forest once more, the roars and howls of the ghouls and ghosts far behind him. He walked on, catching his breath. A glowing light opened up before him and he found himself in a grove of mushrooms.

The man looked down at the skull, still in his hand. There was nothing special about it. Nothing that had indicated why it was desired by the old crone. He looked up, peering through the darkness at the sky above. He had to move quickly if he wanted to see his lost love again.

The grove lay silent as he moved, a monument to the dark powers that threatened mortal existence. Nothing touched the man while he walked. From the depths of the grove, the Trickster lay waiting. His disguise as the old crone had roused the man from his abode, a sacrifice necessary to the dark gods the Trickster paid fealty to. All that he required was time to wait for the man to approach.

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The man soon found himself in front of another cottage, but it wasn't his own. Instead, it was a cottage made of mushrooms and glowing plants. The man stepped inside, scowling as the old crone reappeared.

"You have found the item I sought," she said with a sly grin.

"I nearly died taking it," the man replied, tossing the skull to the witch. "Now, give me what is owed."

The crone cackled slightly as she snatched the skull out of the air. Her cackles grew ever maddening as her shape transformed into a handsome man in dark clothing. "I am afraid all you are owed is a quick death, human. A deal with a Trickster is never kept."

The man merely coughed. "A shapeshifter," he said. "You thought to take me for a fool, a thing you could play with." A dark red flashed in the eyes of the man. "You thought you could deceive me... but I am the lord of deception."

The man's arms extended, becoming sinuous and clawed. His horns extended from the back of his head, and he grasped the Trickster in his claws. With a mere snap, the Trickster's head came from his shoulders, landing on the floor of the cottage. The demon lord chuckled and waved his hand, dissipating the magic around him. The Trickster wasn't really dead. Those of his kind would always return, but this one would think twice about attacking a young man living on the edge of the forest again.

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As for the love that had been lost? The man pondered the woman who had been his worshipper. He desired her existence once more, but she had been stolen by another and he had been confined to the dark forest. But not for long... soon his power would return in full and Innistrad would be his for the taking.

Eternal Weekend 2022

We've got some confirmation now as to what Eternal Weekend is going to look like in 2022. One of the big things about this year is the return to in person events with two in person Eternal Weekend events as well as a Magic Online event. You can find all the information over on Magic.gg.

One important thing about these events is that every Top 8 competitor for these events will receive a paper promo Gush in addition to any other prizes. This means that there is only going to be 24 copies of these in existence.

Asia Eternal Weekend

One of the in person events is the Asia Eternal Weekend being held on November 26th-27th in Aichi, Japan. This event is hosted by BIG MAGIC. The winner of the Vintage Championships will receive a Bazaar of Baghdad artwork trophy.

More information on this event will be found on BIG MAGIC's website.

North America Eternal Weekend

North America Eternal Weekend is also being held again, this time in Philadelphia on December 9th-11th and is being hosted by Card Titan. The winner of the Vintage Championships here will win a Time Walk artwork trophy.

More information will be given via Card Titan's website.

Magic Online Eternal Weekend

Due to some rescheduling issues with the European Eternal Weekend that was planned, a virtual Magic Online Eternal Weekend is going to be held on MTGO on December 10th-11th. The Vintage event here will be on December 11th at 1 AM PT (4 AM ET). There's a few big differences to prior online Eternal Weekend events, the major one is the fact that this event is not an All Access Event. That being said, these events do only cost 20 Event Tickets or 200 Play Points to enter.

The winner of the Vintage Championship here will receive an Ancestral Recall artwork trophy. All Top 8 competitors will receive a paper promo Gush.

More details for the online Eternal Weekend events can be found on MTGO.com.

Vintage Challenge 10/22

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Saturday event. This event had 53 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 datasheet here. Please note there is some funkiness in the decklist page as it's showing the Swiss results and not the final Top 8 ordering here. Due to the decklist issues, I'm only covering the top two decks for this event.

Hogaak was the most popular deck here and it had a below-average win rate overall. Everything else is pretty well spread out, with Doomsday having the best overall performance out of the crowd.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st MaxMagicer
Grixis TInker 2nd Renerandrup
Prison Shops 3rd 416Frowningtable
Doomsday 4th sixmp
Doomsday 5th s063
Breach 6th thedeck84
Dredge 7th jeremy_hines
Dredge 8th Montolio

Quite a lot of Doomsday in this Top 8 as well some Dredge. At the end of the event it was indeed Doomsday that won the event.

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Pretty solid straightforward list here with not much frills. The sideboard juke here is Murktide Regent as a powerful fair threat when the combo is off the table.

The Second Place finalist was on Grixis Tinker.

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Very solid and powerful list here. Not a lot of frills either and fairly stock.

Vintage Challenge 10/23

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 48 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 datasheet here. Please note there is some funkiness in the decklist page as it's showing the Swiss results and not the final Top 8 ordering here. Due to the decklist issues I'm only covering the top two decks for this event.

Hogaak was again the top deck in popularity, and it had a much more reasonable win rate. Doomsday also did very well yet again, as did Dredge and Tinker Saga.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Combo Shops 1st CodeProvider
Hogaak 2nd kanister
Paradoxical Outcome 3rd Clamavus
Prison Shops 4th 416Frowningtable
Doomsday 5th sixmp
Dredge 6th mei0024
Hogaak 7th otakkun
Hogaak 8th hopeof130

Lot of Bazaar decks all around in this Top 8 with a little bit of Shops and Tinker. At the end of the event it was Combo Shops that won the whole event.

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Combo Shops hasn't been as seen as of late, so it's cool to see it pop up and do its thing. Having both the Helm/Leyline and Depths Combo is super sweet.

The Second Place finalist was kanister on Hogaak.

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This version of the Gaak deck is pretty cool, really leveraging the powerful effect of free creatures and even cards like Gaea's Cradle. Hexdrinker especially is a really unique card here because it can ratchet up quickly to fully leveled up and be a really powerful threat.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

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

When in doubt... Jund them out!

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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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