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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Vintage 101: Yarrr Matey!

Vintage 101: Yarrr Matey!

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 version of Breach that is very Pirate heavy and looking at how that deck looks in Vintage. In addition to that we've got two Challenges to speak about. Last weekend was the 4Seasons events in Bologna, Italy, so once we have more information on those events we'll be discussing those as well. Also don't forget the new MTGO Deck Brewer's Pass (functionally an All Access Pass) that lasts until September 13th.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!


I always like looking at new and different takes on decks on this column. One such list that's been interesting for me to look at as of late is a list that was originally developed by Notmi of the Vintage Streamer's Discord. It takes advantage of the fact that the creature type Pirate has two incredibly strong options available to it in Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Hullbreacher to utilize and leverage Cavern of Souls in a Breach shell to make uncounterable effects for these cards.

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Both of these cards are so very powerful and can easily turn a game on its head. Making these uncounterable is in of itself a very powerful thing for sure. This also allows the deck to want to run cards like Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister to capitalize on the power of Hullbreacher.

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For the most part this deck is quite straightforward. One card that threw me for a bit of a loop here is the presence of Dockside Extortionist. In my research it was noted that having 10 creatures with the Pirate creature type was beneficial for Cavern of Souls as well as having additional red count for Fury out of the sideboard, and Dockside seemed like one of the better options with a sometimes relevant ETB trigger.

It's also worth noting though that in speaking directly with notmi that trying a red Monarch Pirate like Crimson Fleet Commodore or Emberwilde Captain could be a good swap for Dockside since the ETB trigger there is a bit more relevant (introducing the Monarch).

Outside of the Pirate shenanigans though, the Breach portion of this deck is pretty much just like how it works in any other Breach deck. There's no big change there, and you still have Tinker as a game plan with Bolas's Citadel to win the game off of.

This definitely looks like a fun deck so if you're looking for something off the beaten path of typical Breach shells this is worth checking out.

Vintage Challenge 9/2

The first Challenge event of the weekend 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 Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Initiative definitely continues to be one of the more popular decks in Challenges, and it has reasonable results but the number gets dragged down a bit by the overall number of players. Blue control decks did well as did Prison Shops and Oops.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Aggro Shops 1st Sommertroll
Initiative 2nd yPrincipe
Lurrus Control 3rd PunishingWaterfalls
Prison Shops 4th ChessNight5030
Lurrus Control 5th aplapp
Oops! All Spells 6th Trailovsky
Jeskai Initiative Tinker 7th billsive
Oops! All Spells 8th Unifro

Some Workshops representation here, as well as some combo and control. At the end of the event it was a split for the finals with the recorded winner being Aggro Shops.

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Very incredibly straightforward Aggro Shops list here. The addition of the Time Vault combo is pretty sweet though and that does add an angle of attack that is very cool.

The recorded Second Place winner was Initiative.

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Incredibly clean list here. This deck has some solid flex spots like the Anointed Peacekeeper here being able to cut off things like Bazaar decks.

Also in this Top 8 we had Dimir Lurrus Control.

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This deck has had a good solid run as of late in the Challenge events. It seems quite strong and does some fair and powerful things.

Further down the Top 8 we had Prison Shops.

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Oswald Fiddlebender is a sweet little addition to this kind of deck. Being able to cycle through the deck to get artifacts into play is pretty sweet.

Vintage Challenge 9/3

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

Initiative again was quite popular, and its win rate was quite good here too. Oath also did very well here as did Jeskai. Doomsday, Dredge, and Breach all did quite poorly.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Lutri Saga 1st medvedev
Jeskai Lurrus 2nd John1111
Oath of Druids 3rd noprops
Oath of Druids 4th Aylett
Lurrus Control 5th Oscar_Franco
Initiative 6th yPrincipe
4C Scam 7th TeamLeaderNa
Doomsday 8th duke12

Interesting spread of decks here. At the end of the event though it was Lutri Saga that won.

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I love seeing Lutri decksqq in this format, as they seem pretty sweet always. This list is super cool for sure.

In Second Place we had Jeskai Lurrus.

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Solid and straightforward, this list has a really good game plan and does powerful stuff. I love seeing Forth Eorlingas! in decks because that card is super sweet.

Also in this Top 8 we had some Oath action.

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I really love this deck. It's quite powerful and does a lot of really strong things.

Further down the Top 8 we had 4C Scam.

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This, as I understand it, is another deck built by notmi. Scam seems like some underexplored territory in Vintage, and it's possible it might be very good.

Around the Web

  • Phil Gallagher has a video on Uba Stax! Check it out here.
  • Justin Gennari has a good round of videos for us.
  • Revenantkioku has a video on the 8/27 Challenge with Doomsday. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

BUG Lurrus is fairly interesting.

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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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