vintage super league

Vintage Super League

What is Vintage Super League?

Vintage Super League is a competition between Magic celebrities with matches played on Magic Online. Season 8 begins on April 19, 2018.

Matches are streamed live on twitch.tv/magic on Thursdays starting at 6pm pacific time. Replays can be viewed on YouTube.

Vintage Super League is produced by Randy Buehler and Athena Froehlich, and supported by Wizards of the Coast.

Kickoff

Team Snapcardster is incredible happy to not only be a part of the official VINTAGE SUPER LEAGUE but also kick-off the season with the first match against Team ChannelFireball.

Tune in on April 19th Thursdays at 6 p.m. PT on twitch.tv/magic. (3 a.m. CEST dang that’s after midnight…) when Andreas Petersen, Michael Bonde and Thomas Enevoldsen fight for honor against Luis Scott-Vargas, Josh Utter-Leyton, Matt Nass and Sam Pardee. 

Decklists

ChannelFireball

Snapcardster's Ad Nauseam

Spells (48)
Tendrils of Agony
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Duress
Imperial Seal
Demonic Tutor
Yawgmoth’s Will
Ad Nauseam
Pact of Negation
Mental Misstep
Ancestral Recall
Dark Ritual
Brainstorm
Chain of Vapor
Mystical Tutor
Demonic Consultation
Vampiric Tutor
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Ruby
Mox Emerald
Mox Pearl
Chrome Mox
Mox Opal
Sol Ring
Mana Vault
Black Lotus
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Lands (12)
Polluted Delta
Verdant Catacombs
Island
Swamp
Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
Chain of Vapor
Xantid Swarm
Tropical Island
Tormod’s Crypt
Fatal Push
Timetwister
Blightsteel Colossus
Tinker

Snapcardster's Dark Petition Storm

Spells (47)
Tendrils of Agony
Thoughtseize
Dark Petition
Gitaxian Probe
Preordain
Ponder
Time Walk
Timetwister
Yawgmoth’s Will
Mind’s Desire
Demonic Tutor
Ancestral Recall
Brainstorm
Vampiric Tutor
Dark Ritual
Cabal Ritual
Defense Grid
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Emerald
Black Lotus
Sol Ring
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Mana Vault
Mana Crypt
Lotus Petal
Necropotence
Lands (13)
Polluted Delta
Bloodstained Mire
Flooded Strand
Underground Sea
Island
Swamp
Tolarian Academy
Library of Alexandria

Sideboard (15)
Chain of Vapor
Fatal Push
Flusterstorm
Leyline of the Void
Tormod’s Crypt
Tinker
Blightsteel Colossus

Snapcardster's White Eldrazi

Creatures (37)
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Containment Priest
Phyrexian Revoker
Eldrazi Displacer
Thought-Knot Seer
Lodestone Golem
Reality Smasher
Sphere of Resistance
Null Rod
Thorn of Amethyst
Chalice of the Void
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Emerald
Sol Ring
Mana Crypt
Black Lotus
Lands (23)
Ancient Tomb
Eldrazi Temple
Cavern of Souls
Plains
Karakas
Wasteland
Strip Mine

Sideboard (15)
Null Rod
Mindbreak Trap
Fairgrounds Warden
Dismember
Umezawa’s Jitte
Grafdigger’s Cage
Trinisphere

Snapcardster's Temur Pyromancer

Creatures (8)
Young Pyromancer
Managorger Hydra
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (37)
Dack Fayden
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Sleight of Hand
Merchant Scroll
Time Walk
Treasure Cruise
Mental Misstep
Ancestral Recall
Brainstorm
Flusterstorm
Pyroblast
Abrade
Lightning Bolt
Force of Will
Gush
Dig Through Time
Mox Jet
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Emerald
Mox Pearl
Black Lotus
Sylvan Library
Lands (15)
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Library of Alexandria
Strip Mine
Island

Sideboard (15)
Abrade
Lightning Bolt
Leyline of the Void
Grafdigger’s Cage
Flame Slash
Mountain

Snapcardster's Paradoxical Outcome

Creatures (2)
Monastery Mentor
Blightsteel Colossus

Spells (44)
Tinker
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Preordain
Night’s Whisper
Demonic Tutor
Time Walk
Merchant Scroll
Treasure Cruise
Ancestral Recall
Brainstorm
Mystical Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Paradoxical Outcome
Force of Will
Dig Through Time
Voltaic Key
Time Vault
Sensei’s Divining Top
Mox Jet
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Emerald
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Black Lotus
Mana Vault
Mox Opal
Lands (14)
Polluted Delta
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Island
Library of Alexandria
Underground Sea
Tundra
Tolarian Academy

Sideboard (15)
Fatal Push
Kambal, Consul of Allocation
Flusterstorm
Chain of Vapor
Tormod’s Crypt
Grafdigger’s Cage

Snapcardster's MUD

Creatures (27)
Hangarback Walker
Walking Ballista
Arcbound Ravager
Phyrexian Revoker
Steel Overseer
Foundry Inspector
Lodestone Golem
Precursor Golem

Spells (15)
Black Lotus
Chalice of the Void
Mana Crypt
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Sol Ring
Sphere of Resistance
Thorn of Amethyst
Trinisphere
Lands (18)
Ancient Tomb
Mishra’s Factory
Mishra’s Workshop
Strip Mine
Tolarian Academy
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger’s Cage
Leyline of the Void
Umezawa’s Jitte
Null Rod
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Vintage is Coming! Season 2.

Last time, I shared my thoughts about the restrictions of Monastery Mentor and Thorn of Amethyst and listed a few decks that I expect to break out as a result. Today I’ll address the unrestriction of Yawgmoth’s Bargain and list a few more decks you can expect to play, or consider playing your self, in the new environment!

Having played Vintage for 14 years, I have definitely resolved and faced my share of Yawgmoth’s Bargain. At a healthy life total, you can expect to win the game on the spot, especially since we now have Mox Opal to start your black mana chain should you already have made your land drop in addition to Mox Jet, Black Lotus and Lotus Petal, so this card obviously has potential. It does come with a few downsides.

You need Dark Ritual to power out Yawgmoth’s Bargain, and Dark Ritual gets hit by Mental Misstep – a card that will increase its impact on the format after MUD and Eldrazi got weakened and killed respectively by the restriction of Thorn of Amethyst. Furthermore, it could be very difficult to support Dark Ritual and Mox Opal in the same deck.

The second problem is the lifetotal aspect of it. In different formats, a strength of Storm decks has always been its ability to win the game the turn before you lose the game in the hands of opposing creatures. In Legacy and Modern you win with Past in Flames in these situations. I imagine this Storm deck will also feature tutors and Yawgmoth’s Will for a similar effect, but my gut feeling tells me that a diverse threat base of Mind’s Desire, Timetwister, Wheel of Fortune, Necropotence, singleton Yawgmoth’s Bargain and Dark Petition in addition to the restricted tutors is a better way to go than maxing out on Bargains.

The third issue is the straight up comparison to Paradoxical Outcome. It costs less mana, it doesn’t care about your life total, and it makes it easier for your deck to support Force of Will. It should be fairly obvious that Paradoxical Outcome-based decks are the new sheriff in town, and this could cause an uptick in Null Rod and Stony Silence. Should this happen, then relying on Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual could be the way to go in Storm decks, and multiple Yawgmoth’s Bargains could become interesting. For now, I’m sticking to Paradoxical Outcome as my engine. If I was a betting man, this card would be at the top of my list of cards that should be on Wizards’ radar.


More New/Old Decks

Oath of Druids is in a strange spot. The biggest perk of playing this strategy before was preying on MUD decks, which will go down in the metagame percentages without a doubt after Thorn of Amethyst was restricted. It was also quite ambitious to justify playing Oath as long as quadruple Monastery Mentor was allowed, but that has changed now. The power of getting to summon a turn two Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn can’t be ignored, so people will look into different controlling builds of Oath in the weeks to come. The deck can splash black for tutors and Abrupt Decay or red for Pyroblast and Ancient Grudge if the metagame calls for it – or both because of Forbidden Orchard. While the land will sometimes give your opponent a relevant clock when you don’t draw an Oath, Forbidden Orchard is also a rainbow land that enables playing four colors.
For those of you who would be interesting in combining the speed of Oath of Druids with the power of Paradoxical Outcome, check out this deck that piloted to a top 4 finish a few weeks ago in the Vintage Challenge.

This card has definately seen play these past few months, but only as a win condition in Paradoxical Outcome-fueled decks. I think we will see classic Grixis Control decks pop up with this little combo as a finisher next to TinkerBlightsteel Colossus. Getting to run all the good cards in Magic and splash Pyroblast and Dack Fayden should be every Magic player’s dream. Time Vault + Voltaic Key is a powerful win condition because it can trump any boardstate from your opponent. You can go different routes within the Grixis shard with Goblin Welder/Thirst for Knowledge package, a Thoughtcast/Tezzeret well-oiled machine or the more streamlined way of life with “just good, restricted cards“. Being able to either control a long game or steal a quick one is a very good attribute in Vintage, and I believe we will see the power of Time Vault soon enough. If Oath and Time Vault both become major players in the metagame, Abrupt Decay looks deliciously well positioned.

Another archetype that has been horribly underpowered compared to Mentor is Blue/Red Delver. You have all the restricted blue cards at your disposal, you have the ability to pressure your opponent starting from turn one, and your support color is the best sideboard color in the format. Because of your low curve, you can use Wasteland and Strip Mine in combination with Null Rod to level the playing field vs. the heavy hitters of the format that need more mana to function.

A threat base of Delver of Secrets, Harsh Mentor or Young Pyromancer depending on your style and Snapcaster Mages combined with Lightning Bolt can put the game out of reach quickly with little to no time for the opponent to recover. You also have a solid amount of stack control with 4 Force of Will, 4 Mental Misstep and a few more cheap counterspells like Spell Pierce, Flusterstorm or Pyroblast, so you’re well setup vs. the unfair strategies in the format.

Once the format gets under way and I have access to more data from the Magic Online Leagues, I will go in depth with different decks and let you know about it. Until then, follow me on Twitter or on my Twitch channel and watch me take on the format later this week!

Vintage is Coming!

This Monday the Vintage format was hit by two more restrictions following the dominance of Monastery Mentor-powered blue decks and Mishra’s Workshop-based aggressive prison decks for quite some time. While it simply can’t be argued that these two archetypes needed to be cooled down, I want to talk about my solution for it and what I think about Vintage moving forward with the introductions of Leagues on Magic Online and these restrictions in mind. Let’s go!

First things first. If you google search for “ecobaronen mtgo”, you will see that I have a lot of good finishes with various versions of Mentor decks in Vintage. I’m not mentioning this to show off, but simply to underline that I’m not biased in this statement:

Monastery Mentor was the best victory condition for blue decks – NOT close – and it made all other blue decks simply a worse choice and therefor killed diversity little by little. Wizards made the mistake of chopping off its arms (Gitaxian Probe and Gush) once, but now finally went for the head. For these reasons it had to go.

Later in the article I will touch on which decks and cards are suddently playable again as a reaction to this restriction.

Wizards’ own statistics showed that four Thorn of Amethyst were played in 40% of all top 8 decks in the Vintage Challenges over the last year, and of course action should be taken towards this deck.

The only problem I have with this is, while you managed to make MUD worse, you also managed to kill White Eldrazi for no reason at all.

Here’s my White Eldrazi deck I played this spring in a proxy tournament and went 7-2 on the day (4-2 in the main event finishing 9th, then 3-0’ing a side event):

White Eldrazi by Andreas Petersen

Creatures (25)
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Containment Priest
Phyrexian Revoker
Eldrazi Displacer
Thought-Knot Seer
Reality Smasher
Lodestone Golem

Spells (12)
Thorn of Amethyst
Chalice of the Void
Black Lotus
Mana Crypt
Mox Emerald
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Jet
Mox Sapphire
Lands (23)
Wasteland
Strip Mine
Cavern of Souls
Eldrazi Temple
Ancient Tomb
Plains
Karakas

In a creature-based deck like Eldrazi, Thorn of Amethyst and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben are your eight cards that disrupt your opponent and not your self. While MUD is also very creature heavy, as Wizards stated in their article, you have the difference in 4 Mishra’s Workshop and Foundry Inspector to get mana advantage. With a playset of this old land, Sphere of Resistance and Thorn of Amethyst are so close to the same power level in MUD, while they are completely different in the Eldrazi list and the difference between a top 5 deck and an unplayable one unfortunately. Because I love diversity not only in the blue decks, but also in the disrupting and taxing archetypes, I feel like restricting Thorn instead of Sphere was a mistake.

A Look Ahead

With new restrictions and Competitive Leagues coming to Magic Online, the future looks bright for Vintage. While I can’t provide thoroughly thought out deck lists before we have an established metagame, I can give my best predictions about what to expect and what you should look into in the format now.

BUG is back! I expect Black/Blue/Green decks with Deathrite Shaman and Leovold to become a serious player now. These colors give access to the restricted blue and black cards, a one mana planeswalker, Abrupt Decay for Time Vault and Oath of Druids and a very powerful hatebear in Leovold. Leovold stops Paradoxical Outcome and prevents your opponent from chaining draw spells and cantrips.

I like the fact that this deck can afford to play Null Rod because of Deathrite Shaman for acceleration and will expect it to run a singleton Crucible of Worlds or Ramunap Excavator, maybe with a small Green Sun’s Zenith package, to replay Wasteland or Strip Mine. BUG is a potent combination of card quality and disruption.

With a defined metagame, you can build your Blue/White Standstill deck and prey on a lot of decks at the same time. You want a lot of cheap answers in the form of Swords to Plowshares, Mental Misstep and one mana counterspells to make sure you can play your unrestricted Ancestral Recall on turn 2.

From there you are looking to snowball your advantage with Mana Drain and more of the same cheap interaction. If you’re lucky enough to be chaining Standstills, you’re doing it right! The deck will most likely play some Snapcaster Mages and Jace, the Mind Sculptor for flexibility and card advantage and finish the game off with Emrakul, the Promised End. Like the BUG deck, only the on-color Moxen will be included, so Stony Silence to combat Paradoxical Outcome and Time Vault is a main deck option. I will be testing Spell Queller out of the sideboard for when my opponent sideboards out their removal spells, so watch out!

It’s finally little brother’s time to shine! Like Neymar Jr. leaving to Paris to get some time in the spotlight instead of being in Messi’s shadows, Young Pyromancer is ready to take over after Mentor was sacked.

Being awarded free 1/1’s for playing Magic is still very powerful, and I expect Grixis and Jeskai versions (the latter can even play singleton Mentor) to pop up.
Black lets you play tutors and card draw like Night’s Whisper or Painful Truths, and white adds Swords to Plowshares, Monastery Mentor and better sideboard options. Young Pyromancer is a turn one play a higher percentage of the time than Mentor was, so be prepared to fight the war on the stack earlier.
With a Mox, a normal play pattern in blue mirrors will be turn two Young Pyromancer with Flusterstorm backup. I’m super excited that this style of deck is still viable in Vintage and not too good anymore.

Next time I’ll be writing about three more new (old) decks, the unrestriction of Yawgmoth’s Bargain and the state of combo in general. In the meantime follow me on Twitter and tune in to my Twitch Channel and look out for Vintage action in the future. As soon as the Leagues are in place, I will be spending a lot of time playing in them.

Thanks for reading!