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Vintage 101: This Cat is on Fire!

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 all about a cute little kitty cat! That's right, it's Displacer Kitten combo and what that card can do in a format like Vintage. In addition to that we've got two Challenges to discuss, as well as a Spice Corner!

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

Where's It At, Kitty Cat?

With new sets there always comes new ways to look at decks and new things to build around. Vintage is great for these kinds of fun build arounds because often the surrounding support shell is so powerful that it really makes the deck work. The blue shell especially is very good at this, because cards like Ancestral Recall are always insane when you cast them, no matter what your win condition is.

With Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, we got a new little toy to look at in the form of Displacer Kitten.

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While this card is currently tearing up some circles in Commander with how cute and fuzzy it is, this card does have a lot of potential as a combo piece in a format such as Vintage. In a format where a multitude of cheap to free artifacts exists, triggering Displacer Kitten's ability is very easy, and with free countermagic even more so. This particular list comes to us by way of both Andy "Brass Man" Probasco and later Justin Gennari from his channel (video below), utilizing the Kitten's ability for both sheer value as well as for a solidly infinite combo.

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Primarily for value purposes, using the Kitten to repeatedly flicker cards like Arcum's Astrolabe and Spellseeker are very good for gaining raw card advantage as well finding the spells you need to win the game with. The real meat of this deck however is the usage of the Kitty with Teferi, Time Raveler. By casting either a zero drop artifact (or by casting an artifact like Sol Ring/Mana Vault), you can repeatedly trigger the Kitten's ability, flickering the Teferi back into play and then using Teferi's bounce ability to return the artifact to hand and draw a card, starting all over. This functionally allows you to draw your entire deck and generate infinite Storm count with which to kill your opponent with a lethal Brain Freeze, while your opponent is unable to interact completely thanks to Teferi's static ability. It helps that Teferi is also just an extremely reasonable card in the current format due to being able to shut off interaction so well and that the entire blue shell supplements this function by allowing you to draw cards and get further to your end game.

It's really interesting to see decks like this appear out of newer cards, and at a first glance the Kitten didn't look too thrilling in a format full of Pyroblast, but it actually seems to be a lot better than it looked on the surface, and that is super cool to see. I hope that we see more with this card in the future, because it seems like a lot of fun and is a very interesting strategy.

Vintage Challenge 6/18

This past weekend's first Challenge event was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 67 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.

Lot of variety at the top, with Shops/Hogaak at the top and other decks filtering out to the bottom. Hogaak did quite well as did DRS piles and Doomsday. Aggro Shops did poorly despite being well represented overall.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st kanister
Hogaak 2nd D00mwake
Hollow Vine 3rd MarioBBrega
Oath of Druids 4th PsiVen
Lurrus Standstill 5th Tw33ty
8Cast 6th Bargahof
4C Lurrus 7th NooxTom
BUG Midrange 8th Shadowz2005

Lot going on here with a few Bazaar decks and some Midrange piles. At the end of the event it was none other than Pro player kanister on Doomsday who took it down.

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This very much looks like a solid discoverN style list, and it is just an absolutely very powerful deck if you know what you are doing with it.

In Second Place we've got Hogaak.

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Ghost Quarter in the sideboard here is a very intriguing answer to various cards like Workshop, Bazaars, Urza's Saga as a good majority of those decks don't have basics to fetch. You can also find a Ghost Quarter off Once Upon a Time which is relevant.

Further into this Top 8 we've got some Oath action.

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This list is definitely interested in hating on Urza's Saga between Pernicious Deed being able to blow them up to Ashiok, Dream Render preventing them from searching for the artifact. Serra's Emissary is also very powerful naming Creature to prevent a win condition even if the opponent manages to get down their Vault/Key it's unlikely they will be able to kill the Emissary.

Near the bottom of the Top 8 we have 8Cast.

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We haven't seen this deck in a while so it's interesting for it to just pop up out of nowhere. Not much has really changed about the deck, as it's still jamming a bunch of draw effects and Tinker.

Vintage Challenge 6/19

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event, which had 56 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.

A ton of variety all over the place in this event, with great performances from Hogaak, Breach, Doomsday, DRS variants, and even DPS. Really just a solid picture of a fun metagame honestly.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Hogaak 1st lziter
Breach 2nd DieM4x
Bant Lurrus 3rd ZYURYO
GW Hatebears 4th Wesal
Golos Stax 5th bernardocssa
Doomsday 6th Vertyx_
Dredge 7th Wizard_2002
DPS 8th SingPanMan

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here, with quite a bit of variety. At the end of the event though, it was Hogaak that took it all down.

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This list is hitting Alpine Moon where the other one played Ghost Quarter in the sideboard, as Moon allows you to shut off Sagas, Bazaars, Workshops, the works. Very strong deck indeed.

In Second Place we've got Breach.

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Very powerful deck all around here. Hullbreacher is just very good right now in the current format.

Also in this Top 8 we had a showing by a Bant Lurrus build.

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Very interesting deck here. Lots of Hatebear effects which Lurrus plays well with, but also stuff like Elvish Reclaimer which is sweet.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got some DPS action.

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Don't see DPS all too much anymore in the format as other combo decks have sort of power crept it out, but it's still a very valid deck that can play Tinker and all of the restricted cards as well. Throwing Saga into the mix gives it yet another angle and makes it more like a Tinker strategy while still maintaining the elements of DPS that make it DPS.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari has some more videos for us this week:
  • Revenantkiouku has another video on a Challenge run with Doomsday. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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


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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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