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Vintage 101: To the Horizon We Will Go


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 finishing up our set review for Modern Horizons 3 and the associated Commander product! In addition to that we've got some Challenges to look at from last week.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

On Ye Olde Horizon

We're finalizing up our set review of Modern Horizons 3 and associated Commander product this week. There's still a few things to look at from this set that we didn't cover from last week, so let's get to it!

Sneaky Snacker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This got mentioned last week, but I wanted to take some appropriate time to really hammer in on this one because at the end of the day, while this card sounds great for Bazaar strategies, I ultimately believe its execution falls flat.

The first real downside of this card is that this card is a sheer nonbo with a Bazaar deck like Dredge. In Dredge you're almost never drawing cards and almost never drawing three cards in a turn (outside of the first turn that gets you started), you're Dredging. Dredging is not drawing as a replacement effect, so this will never trigger. This means we have to look at this card entirely within the context of the Countervine (Squee/Master of Death) deck.

Second of all, the play pattern of this card is much slower on average than the current aggressive threat that Countervine plays in the form of Poxwalkers. In order to get this into play, you have to activate Bazaar, discard it, and then wait until next turn to activate Bazaar again to trigger it. One thing to note is that the wording here is so very, very specific. This card will not trigger if you activate Bazaar, pitch this, play a second Bazaar and then activate. It very specifically calls out the "third card" drawn in a turn, and by the time this interaction happens with two Bazaars, you have drawn more than three cards that turn already (one for turn, two for Bazaar, two for second Bazaar for a total of five cards). This simply will not trigger in those instances.

Compare this again to the current effect played in Poxwalkers. As early as Turn 1, if you know your role is to be the aggressive threat of the matchup, you can easily Bazaar and pitch a Rootwalla and 2x Poxwalkers and be off to the races the next turn in getting the opponent's life total to 0 as quickly as possible. Poxwalkers being a 3/1 also means you're going to present more damage overall and trade in more exchanges. There's also a very clever trick you can do with Poxwalkers where you can trade in an exchange, and then activate Bazaar post-combat and pitch another free Rootwalla and re-trigger your Poxwalkers back to play.

Yes, Snacker flies, but it's a 2/1 and yes, it pitches to Forces and Grief, but I don't think these things sell the card enough for me to consider a much slower option of gameplay in a deck that really does want to be on board quickly so that it can play the Tempo game. Yes, Countervine is absolutely a Tempo deck like Delver in Legacy. It wants to present a threat and then ensure that threat gets through quickly while protecting it. Having to wait turns to present your threat slows that down a bunch.

I'm more than willing to be wrong, but I don't think this card is very good below the surface.

Wonderscape Sage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Being able to bounce Urza's Saga at instant speed with the final chapter trigger on the stack and then also getting to draw a card out of the deal? In BLUE and at a mana value Lurrus can play? Yeah, this card is very good indeed. It would legitimately surprise me if this does not see play.

Eldritch Immunity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card seems absolutely trivial to play in Saga decks, honestly. Being able to give your entire board protection from each color is wildly powerful, but then also being able to scale that down to one creature is flexible and interesting. I think this seems like a fine sideboard card for sure.

Mutated Cultist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While Dark Depths doesn't always see a lot of play in Vintage, you can use this to reset counters on Saga too, but honestly the dream of casting this on a Depths into an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger seems super duper sweet.

Planar Nexus

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I really don't know if this is good or not in Vintage, because Cloudpost is assuredly not a thing there. But this is an "Urza's" land, so maybe something with Urza's Workshop and Saga seems reasonable enough. Very clever effect though.

Copy Land

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

FINALLY, an answer to Urza's Saga!

Vintage Challenge 32 5/30

The first Challenge to discuss was the 5/30 event. This event had 51 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Jewel Shops was super popular here with just a fair over 50% win rate, same as Dredge. Lurrus Saga was less popular this go around and had a rough below 50% win rate.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jewel Shops 1st MarcusMPV
Doomsday 2nd Tsubasa_Cat
Dredge 3rd medvedev
BUG 4th Kenzaburo
Jewel Shops 5th Graciasportanto
Jewel Shops 6th zzh
Lurrus Saga 7th John1111
Jewel Shops 8th jeunejulio

Quite a lot of Jewel in this Top 8, and it in fact won the event.

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Definitely a powerful looking list here. There isn't a ton of wiggle room in these decks and there doesn't have to be, it's very clean and powerful as is.

In Second Place we had Doomsday.

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I heavily enjoy seeing that Spreading Seas is more of a Vintage card these days, that is pretty cool. This list is strong for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had Dredge.

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Fairly stock looking list to what these decks are doing now. Dredge keeps shifting and changing back and forth, and I'm always curious to see where this deck goes because of how uniquely it attacks the metagame.

Vintage Challenge 32 5/31

The second Challenge to discuss was the 5/31 event. This event had 40 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Lurrus Saga was popular but it's win rate was fairly meh despite one Top 8 appearance. Dredge, Jewel, and BUG all looked quite good here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Lurrus 1st unluckymonkey
BUG 2nd musasabi
Jewel Shops 3rd _J0SE_
Dredge 4th Danielpena397
Doomsday 5th discoverN
Dredge 6th medvedev
Initiative 7th Munchlax446
Lurrus Saga 8th Amiracle

Pretty varied Top 8 overall actually. At the end of the event it was 4C Lurrus that won.

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This is a pretty sweet deck. Ragavan and Questing Druid, Wrenn and Six? Seems super fun for sure.

In Second Place we had BUG.

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Fairly solid looking BUG list here. I like the return of Assassin's Trophy. Also, Dauthi Voidwalker in the sideboard seems really sweet.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had one Lurrus Saga deck.

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Esper seems like a neat take on this. Seal of Cleansing is highly amusing as a Lurrus recurrable. Ledger Shredder is also really neat.

Vintage Challenge 32 6/1

The third Challenge was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 57 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

BUG was the most popular deck here which was sweet, and it had a strong win rate too. Doomsday also looked great. Both Jewel and Lurrus rode the 50% line, while Dredge looked meh.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Oath of Druids 1st etoustar
Lurrus Saga 2nd JakeTMS
BUG 3rd albertoSD
Countervine 4th Firetruck
Doomsday 5th discoverN
UB Tinker 6th Ark4n
Grixis Tinker 7th moatzu
Jewel shops 8th oosunq

Kind of an interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was Oath that won.

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I like the implementation of Thoughtseize and Veil of Summer honestly. Cutting the Tinker plan is interesting, but I've also really enjoyed playing that card in Oath despite it being not a *great* Tinker deck.

In Second Place we had Lurrus Saga.

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I have to wonder how much of this weekend was Saga players choosing to play something else or the metagame getting so cyclically hositle that they're back to switching around color variants to accomodate. Very interesting though!

Also in this Top 8 we had Countervine.

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We talked a great deal about this deck earlier. I really like this list. One main deck Fury is super duper sweet for sure.

Vintage Challenge 32 6/2

The final Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 42 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Vintage Streamer's Discord.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Lurrus Saga was the most popular deck, riding the 50% line of win rates. Both Iniative and Doomsday looked great here, while Oath seemed to suffer.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Lurrus 1st unluckymonkey
Jewel Shops 2nd _J0SE_
Initiative 3rd Munchlax446
BUG 4th kasa
Doomsday 5th discoverN
Lurrus Saga 6th Mogged
BUG 7th leeties
Lurrus Saga 8th joaobelo92

Fairly reasonable Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was the same 4C Lurrus pilot who won the Friday event.

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I just noticed on my second viewing of this the copy of Feed the Swarm in the main deck, and a copy of Flame Slash in the sideboard. Sweet stuff.

In Second Place we had Jewel Shops.

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Not much to say here. Very powerful deck and I like the copy of Lodestone Golem in the sideboard to give a shift more into prison.

Also in this Top 8 we had Initiative.

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Pretty interesting list. Not often we Misstep, but also March of Otherworldly Light and zero copies of Swords to Plowshares as well as zero copies of Solitude! Wild.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

Somebody stop Brian Kelly!

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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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