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Vintage 101: When In Doubt, Jund Em Out!

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 looking at what Jund related strategies exist in the Vintage format as well as a touch on how the Hogaak deck has evolved into these colors as well. We've also got some Challenge data to discuss as well as All Access Token time!

I also want to note that in regards to Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, many of the cards from this set that we looked at for both Legacy and Vintage are not programmed into MTGO for this set (including cards like Abdel Adrian, Sailors' Bane, etc. At the very least we get Displacer Kitten, as a treat.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Junding For Fun and Profit

While Vintage is at many times a very blue centric format, there are a good number of non-blue strategies in the format that exist and have had opportunities to flourish in the past few years. The unbanning of Lurrus made for plenty of non-blue decks to exist in general, and more powerful creature options such as Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer have allowed decks like the main focus here to exist as well. I'm of course, talking about Jund!

Jund in Vintage is a bit of a different beast because the deck gains access to so many of Magic's best cards here, from Ragavan to Deathrite Shaman and Wrenn and Six, that it has a very strong critical mass of effects. This isn't a Jund where you're cascading Bloodbraid Elf into Liliana for sure, but a very low to the ground beast that gains access to mana denial, card advantage through Dark Confidant, and powerful removal spells.

Let's take a look.

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There's certainly a lot going on here, and it is worth noting there are exactly three actual "blue" spells in this deck, making it slightly more 4C than Jund, but I don't think anyone will begrudge you for playing two splashable pieces of blue Power here and Mental Misstep. Those seem all sorts of fine to have.

The big selling point of this deck is the sheer power level of its threats. Vintage is less about discard spells being good so you won't see any Thoughtseize here, but you will see proactively powerful removal and solid threats that do powerful things. After all, this is Vintage. Ragavan on its own has a ton of power behind it, but it's even better when backed up with Wrenn and Six and DRS. Goyf is a strong beater, and Collector Ouphe provides a much needed angle of attack versus the format.

I definitely like this deck a lot and I think it's worth looking at. It's much like the BUG variants of decks in the format, but you do get to play Pyroblast and Lightning Bolt which is really powerful.

Another deck making some dips into Jund colors is Hogaak.

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The dips for this deck is pretty light, because it's mainly for having access to all eight Rootwallas, but also for sideboard red cards that matter in the current format like Pyroblast and Alpine Moon. Moon provides a powerful answer to stuff like Urza's Saga, which is filling a hole that Hogaak has against those decks in post board games.

It's definitely great to see that we are still seeing lots of interesting non-blue decks in Vintage, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them!

MTGO 20th Anniversary All Access Token

That's right, it's time yet again for another round of All Access Tokens on Magic Online, one of the best ways to try out older formats like Legacy and Vintage for the low low price of $25. This go around is for the MTGO 20th Anniversary Celebration, and they last all the way until June 29, which is solidly three weeks if you bought one on June 8th (when the tokens went live). This is a great time to get into trying out Vintage on the MTGO client.

Oh there's also events too?! That's right. There are several Format "Play-In" Events going on throughout this next few weeks, with a set of Vintage Play-In Events occurring from June 13-14. These are five round events costing 15 Event Tickets or 150 Play Points and doing well in them (four or more wins gets a Constructed Finals Token) gains you access partially to the 20th Anniversary Series Finals which will take place on Saturday June 25th at 7 AM PST (as the event itself costs both a Constructed Finals Token and a Limited Finals Token to enter). This is a Limited Event where the format will be Sealed with Modern Horizons 2 and Top 8 draft of Modern Horizons 2. The First Place prize of this event is four regular Magic Online digital sets of each Vintage-legal expansion.

Pretty insane prizes all around here. There's also some special Avatars being given out if you earn more than one Finals Entry Token, and every account created before June 7th also gets a free 100 play points!

You can check out the full announcement here.

Paper Event News

There have been a few paper events recently, most notably from the 4Seasons Bologna event over this past weekend. I am waiting to hear more on this one so I can give it a proper write up hopefully, but I know turnout was really solid for this event. You can check out the event news from all the events for this over on their Facebook page here.

Also, my friends in Team Serious held another Team Serious Invitational over this past weekend! I'm going to be doing a proper write up on that probably next week as the main focus so that I have a bunch of pictures and stuff from the event. I was not able to attend this one, but it looked like a ton of fun!

Vintage Challenge 6/4

Our first Challenge from over the weekend was the mid afternoon Saturday event. This event had 55 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.

Hogaak was exceptionally popular in this event, but didn't quite have a performance like it usually does. Instead Breach had a solid performance as did Doomsday, Hollow Vine based decks, and Golos Stax Shops variants.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Breach 1st Miharu_Fuyumiya
BUG Midrange 2nd Thiim
Breach 3rd kauffj
DPS Breach 4th achillies27
Hollow Vine 5th Breckoroni
Doomsday 6th discoverN
Hogaak 7th WingedHussar
Breach 8th xfile

Quite a bit of Breach in this Top 8, and based on the deck's overall performance it makes sense to see so many at the top tables. It in fact won the event in the hands of normally playing Oath Miharu_Fuyumiya!

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These variants kind of blur the line between Breach and Tinker, but I consider them to be more predominantly Breach because that's more of the game plan. Still getting to see Laelia in these lists which seems absolutely absurd with the Breach combo kill giving you a creature to just win with. Very solid list right here.

In Second Place we've got BUG Midrange.

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Boseiju! We haven't seen too much of this card in the BUG lists and I do think it is something that should be looked at by these decks as it seems very good against a lot of decks right now. Opposition Agent is also super sweet as well.

Further into the Top 8 we've got a hybrid Tinker/DPS list going on here.

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This is like a hodgepodge of multiple things, and it's worth noting there's a Breach with no Brain Freeze, so it's really just a value Breach here for winning the game off Tendrils much like Yawgmoth's Will.

Also in this Top 8 we had Hollow Vine.

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This deck does a ton of stuff and it's really easy to see why it's so powerful. Tons of free creatures and free interaction all fueled by Bazaar? Seems really good indeed.

Vintage Challenge 6/5

The second Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 52 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.

Breach and Aggro Shops was reasonably popular in this event, with Aggro Shops having a very reasonably win rate. Hogaak did much better here as did Tinker variants. Breach itself didn't do fantastic here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Aggro Shops 1st fistfullofmetal
Jeskai Tinker 2nd otakkun
Painter Shops 3rd adm29
Hollow Vine 4th Breckoroni
Hogaak 5th oosunq
Grixis Tinker 6th romanmy
UR Tempo 7th Mogged
Aggro Shops 8th Bless_Von

Definitely a super interesting Top 8 here, with a lot of different stuff going on. At the end of it all though it was a super unique Aggro Shops variant that took it all down.

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Bronze Guardian is such a super sweet card. Giving all your other artifacts Ward 2 on a double-striking body is very strong and if you get more than one of these into play you can end up in a situation where you have things with multiple instances of Ward 2, making it functionally hexproof for your field (while also protecting your other Guardians). This is really interesting stuff for sure.

In Second Place we've got... Jeskai Tinker?

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Yes, this is predominantly Jeskai based given the only black cards in the deck are Sphinx and Citadel, both of which are Tinker targets. Definitely an interesting take on the archetype and something new we hadn't really seen before.

Also in this Top 8 we have a Painter version of Aggro Shops.

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Having the aggro plan back up the combo here is really smart indeed, especially when Urza's Saga can fetch the Grindstone half of the combo. This deck is pretty cool.

Near the bottom of the Top 8 we've got UR Tempo.

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This deck continues to be really powerful. This is definitely one of the more interesting decks to be playing in the format right now as Ragavan simply feels pretty busted.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

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

RUG with Ledger Shredder is pretty sweet.

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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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