[Free Article] The Evolving 2018 vintage metagame

  • TMD Supporter


    This is a comprehensive look at the evolution and direction of the vintage meta-game so far this year. I have every major deck featured, including how it’s done so far this year and where it is currently. I also offer some predictions for the rest of the year.

  • I'm so curious to see how many people show up with Survival decks at Vintage Champs ... My prediction is that there will be fewer than there are online, but enough to measure, and more than we've ever had at a North American Champs before.

  • TMD Supporter

    It really depends on how Survival does in the Vintage Challenges over the next two months. If it does well or well enough, that could buoy it into non-trivial numbers. If it wins a few more challenges, then it could top off at 4-5% or even a little higher.

    One of the problems with the deck is that it requires Bazaars, which puts it in competition with Dredge players who also need 4 Bazaars. That requisite puts a ceiling on the % of Survival in the room. Some versions of the Lands deck suffer from the same problem.

    I've faced it in a League match, but the player didn't really seem to know what he or she was doing, so there may be a high attrition rate for a deck like this, as players test it, and the move on.

  • @smmenen yeah, Survival is not an easy deck to play optimally. I try to watch whenever anyone plays it since it’s kind of my baby and even strong vintage players have some trouble figuring out what to be doing in any given moment.

  • @smmenen I believe the deck is low floor + high ceiling and that there are not too many competent pilots yet. We will see who puts in the reps before champs. Online the best pilot Ive played so far is definitely Hitogoroshi80.

  • @wfain I'm even a player who's good at playing this sort of goofy, fishy deck (see: Stoneblade at champs last year!), and it's hard to get Survival right. It's relatively easy to actually execute Survival, but the decision points between Bazaar and Survival are not easy to get right. (aside: I'm 99% sure the Rich+Me stream was a stronger player in absolute than a very, very high percentage of Vintage. We made mistakes in combat math, though fewer in execution).

    @Smmenen I can say that it's the most absurdly hard deck to build in paper I've ever seen. I was nearing 15 proxies for a mox event I played this at...and this is with real power, and real bazaars. 4x Survival? 4x Vengevine? 4x Noble Hierarch? That's a solid 1k of cards that don't really see play in any other Vintage deck at all!

  • @neo_altoid yeah, I watched you guys play it. I don’t remember exactly what they were anymore but there were a few points where I felt you guys were missing something or took a wrong mulligan decision or something. I do remember you sideboarded way differently than I do (for example I always leave a way to blow up Cage just in case I have Survival set up to win but Cage is the only thing in the way). No matter how good the deck is, I think @Smmenen is correct- it won’t break 4-5% because it costs like $30k+ irl being fully powered with 4 Bazaar and all those expensive 4 ofs on top of that.