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Vintage 101: United We Fall

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 Dominaria United and what cards may see play in Vintage! In addition to that, we've got two Challenges to discuss, a great recent video on Urza's Saga, and of course, a Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Dominaria United - The Fall of Dominaria

We're in spoiler season again and headed back to Dominaria for Dominaria United! This set has some interesting cards in it, and there are some very unique things to consider for play in Vintage from it. There's also at least one card from Dominaria United Commander to discuss as well, so we're breaking things up into two different sections for each.

Let's take a look at some cards!

Dominaria United

Anointed Peacekeeper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is actually sort of a neat card, given that we do have various Mono White aggressive decks. Being able to tax specific spells and see what is upfront in the opponent's hand seems pretty good for those decks especially when used in conjunction with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to tax noncreature spells in general.

Serra Paragon

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Again on the Mono White aggro train is the aspect of decks that are playing Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a main deck card. This card gives you an additional cast of things with a Lurrus in play and allows you to recast cards like Archon of Emeria if need be, which could be very powerful. Four mana is a lot, but these decks are slower, grindier decks, and it's a flier that can close the game out.

Worth noting too is that this recasts a Lurrus from the graveyard, so that's pretty cool.

Temporary Lockdown

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is pretty cool, but not sure if it will see play on the basis that it hits everything including your own Moxen and mana value 2 or less stuff. Might not be worth it at that point.

Rona's Vortex

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a really strong removal spell for opposing Planeswalkers at one mana. Even if you're putting it back into their hand, removing an option from the board temporarily is quite good. If you can pay the Kicker, putting it onto the bottom of the library is strong.

Cut Down

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Speaking of powerful removal, I think this card is pretty great in Vintage. It has the ability to kill a lot of creatures that are hard to kill with Fatal Push (example: Hullbreacher when you can't trigger revolt) for the same cost and not having to put as much effort into. I definitely see this one slotting into decks that are already playing Push to be a more flexible option.

Jaya, Fiery Negotiator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Jaya is interesting enough mainly because her +1 ability is creating Prowess creatures, which can eventually go wide and tall to win the game. The best aspect of this card is the fact that it's a Planeswalker that isn't hit by Pyroblast. I think this could have been really close in the past, but now it may be too soon for a card like this to be good.

Rundvelt Hordemaster

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Goblins in Vintage is more of a combo-heavy deck utilizing cards like Conspicuous Snoop and Goblin Recruiter, which I think is actually a big reason for Rundvelt Hordemaster to be an interesting card in that kind of deck. The Lord effect is icing on the cake compared to the exile effect when you can stack your deck a little with Recruiter or see what's coming up with Snoop. This could be a very fun card in those decks for sure.

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Justin Gennari. Challenge Issued.

Karn's Sylex

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

There's a lot of hubbub over this card for sure, as is the case with most three mana value cards like this. The biggest aspect of this card is that it does shut off fetches, Force of Will, and Bolas's Citadel. However, you absolutely need it on Turn 1 on the play to really make this effect good. The bigger issue with this card in Vintage is the fast that there is a greatly increased level of cards like Force of Vigor which is not shut off by this card.

Personally, I do not expect this card to be that good honestly. Not being able to shut off Vigor is poor in positioning, and the effect only being actually good versus Citadel decks is awkward. The Pernicious Deed-like effect is not very useful in a format like Vintage because of the fact that it destroys so many of your own cards like Moxen and etc.

Dominaria United Commander

Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is kind of sick, even if you're never activating the ability on the card. Being a one mana value card you can fetch this with Urza's Saga, and it has flash which is relevant. Being a very powerful card against Time Vault is honestly huge. Making it so the opponent can't go into extra turns is super sweet, and I expect to see this show up somewhere.

Urza's Saga - An Analysis

I would normally call out videos in the "Around the Web" section, but this is too good of a video to relegate to that. Justin Gennari recently recorded a solid hour long analysis of Urza's Saga, what the card does, what its strengths are, and how best to counterplay against the card.

Check out the video below. It's well worth the watch.

Vintage Challenge 8/27

The first Challenge of the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 49 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.

Tinker decks and Aggro Shops decks were pretty popular, with Tinker having a slightly reasonable win rate and Shops having a middling win rate. Out of these, Hogaak had the best performance overall followed by PO.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Hollow Vine 1st Breckoroni
Jeskai Lurrus 2nd NooxTom
Hogaak 3rd Oosunq
Paradoxical Outcome 4th IHaveTopTop
Oops! All Spells 5th medvedev
Combo Shops 6th IamActuallyLvl1
Hogaak 7th fingers1991
Doomsday 8th discoverN

This is a reasonable Top 8 with some varied lists in multiple pillar, such as Bazaar, Shops, Combo, and even fair decks. At the end of the event though, it was Hollow Vine that took it all down.

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The big powerhouse of this deck is the fact that there are eight Squee, Goblin Nabob effects with the addition of Master of Death. This turns Bazaar into a very draw positive card, allowing this deck to keep up the free spells that it wants to cast.

The Second Place finalist was on Jeskai Lurrus.

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This deck is sick. There's a lot of powerful stuff going on here, and being able to rebuy cards like Ragavan with Lurrus is super sweet.

Further down the list we've got Hogaak.

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No red splash here is interesting, but maybe things are starting to wane enough that the red splash isn't as needed. Loam in the sideboard is pretty powerful with Boseiju.

Down at the bottom of the Top 8 we've got Combo Shops with our good friend Justin Gennari.

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Cyberdrive Awakener is such an incredibly sick card. This list looks absolutely super fun.

Vintage Challenge 8/28

The second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday 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 data sheet here.

The top two decks tied for the top were Tinker and Oops, with Tinker having a very positive win rate and Oops doing fairly poorly despite putting one of the pilots into the Top 8. Breach also did very well, as did Hogaak.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Tinker 1st Butakov
Hogaak 2nd Sarlanga
Esper Tinker 3rd nerdkneereape
Hogaak 4th hopeof130
UG DRS 5th ecobaronen
Oops! All Spells 6th kasa
Esper Tinker 7th KingHairy
Jeskai Lurrus 8th NooxTom

Quite a bit of Tinker variants here, in addition to Hogaak. No Shops to speak of in this Top 8. At the end of the event it was Grixis Tinker that took it down.

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This is a very strong straightforward list using Ragavan as a great fair game plan in addition to the broken aspects of the deck.

The Second Place finalist was on Hogaak.

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Slightly back on the red splash here, but for only three Blazing Rootwalla and a Red Blast. Very interesting indeed.

Further into the list we've got Esper Tinker.

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This is the other half of the Tinker decks, utilizing more of the white threats like Mentor and Lavinia over red spells. Gaining access to Prismatic Ending is very powerful for sure.

Down at the bottom of the Top 8 is Oops!

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The sheer amount of strength of this deck is pretty awesome. It does so much and looks like a lot of fun to play.

Around the Web

  • Justin Gennari is reanimating this week! Check it out here.
  • RevenantKioku has some Doomsday Vintage Challenge action for us this week. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Death's Shadow is some sweet sweet sweet stuff.

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Brian Kelly, never change.

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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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