Thank you so much for the insightful response. It sounds like I really need to buy a pauper deck or something just to test out the UI before committing to vintage MTGO.
As far as the difference in emotional experience between MTGO and paper Vintage, I'm not sure how I will feel until I try it, which of course would require an investment in a digital Vintage collection.
If I had to choose between an ultra-competitive online environment or a casual fun game of Vintage (drink in hand), I would definitely choose the latter. To be honest, your thoughtful unsolicited response is a microcosm for what I love about Vintage, the players. If I thought that I had another option to easily connect to the vintage community and play and discuss decks, I wouldn't be looking at MTGO.
On a slight tangent, I've visited this site nearly daily for at least 15 years because of all the awesome discussions dating back to Roland Chang and Vroman debating 5c Stax vs Uba Stax or Rich Shay and DeMars discussing whether Control Slaver really needed Burning Wish with a tendrils in the SB. Over the years, new players have joined in the conversation, and I have learned so much from all of them (too many to list, but you know who you are). All I really want to do is play some friendly Vintage Magic with people who appreciate the format as much as I do. And when I can't play (which is most of the time), I come here to engage the community. I wish I could do more as I feel more players were active in these forums in the past, and I don't know why things have changed. There are still several current TMD members, whose posts I look forward to, because I know that I'm going to learn something or be forced to think about a deck or match-up in a novel way, but for some reason the frequency of these posts have decreased. Why do people suddenly not enjoy discussing Vintage on a forum? I've never won a tournament. Nobody knows me on this site, yet I've always felt welcomed to participate.
Thanks everyone for all the great advice. I thought about renting cards at $15/wk, but still over the course of a year I would spend over $600 and have nothing to show for it. Is there an easy way to test the interface? I didn't notice a way to goldfish. I feel like I would have to make a deck with the default commons and uncommons and just play a few pick-up games to see if the interface is more than I can handle.
P - Please keep the great advice coming.
It's been a while since I've seen a discussion about MTGO. I just got a Windows machine for the first time in 15 years, so suddenly MTGO is an option. I downloaded the software but haven't quite committed to the $500 it would take to play Vintage. I feel like I have already spent enough on paper Vintage and the idea of spending money on digital cards is hard to swallow. On the other hand, it might be the best place to play Vintage.
I was hoping people who play on MTGO or have in the past could comment on MTGO for vintage specifically. Are league matches easy to come by? Are league matches like Challenge matches in terms of quality of players and decks. I'm not sure how often I could give a whole Sat. for a Challenge event, though these seem great for playing the best people out there and getting better. Is it still worth $500 just to play in Leagues? Is the interface an insurmountable problem in some way? Any opinions thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I was thinking the same thing at work all day. You could oath into Sun Titan and play this every turn if needed. Also, you could play vault/key or even better Karn, the Great Creator. If you hit Sun Titan with this, Karn, and Black Lotus in your graveyard, it only requires like 10 other cards in the graveyard to cast Lotus enough times to essentially pay for Karn and a SB Mycosynth Lattice, which is pretty easy given the number of creatures typically played in oath.
Thanks for the kind words. At least I know that I'm not the only crazy person, having these thoughts.
I haven't had much time to test in seriousness, but some basic goldfishing and rudimentary testing plus the results from some of my previous games, makes we want to add at least another Forbidden Orchard to 2 main. I think the mana fixing is too important, though I don't run this land out without oath unless I'm baiting a strip mine/wasteland. I also think that somewhere between 2-3 Forbidden orchard and 2-3 Oath main is probably correct with up to 4 oath in the board. The number of Forbidden Orchards depends in total upon how many crop rotations you run, which I'm currently favoring 3 Orchards and 2 crop rotation in the 75. I have also increased the SB pyroblast to 2 over Veil of Summer and a Forbidden Orchard that has moved to the main deck.
If anyone ever tests on xmage, feel free to reach out. I would love to get in some practice games, but I don't have mtgo at the moment. Maybe I should look into that.
If anyone else is trying anything along these lines or has anything else they want to share, please speak up.
I want to thank everyone for the lively discussion so far. Please keep it going. In the interest of providing food for thought and hopes that it keeps the conversation more active or encourages others to post, I will say that I recently played a slightly outdated version of this list against a few decks in the metagame.
Here are some quick thoughts.
Xerox mentor with dread arcanist
I thought this was going to be heavily favored for arcanist. The common replacement of mental misstep with pyroblast made me feel like the deck was preboarded against me with 3 pyroblast and 3 Narset, not a bad way to start game 1 in a control vs control matchup. What I discovered was that Mana denial with strip and assassin's trophy with help from Wrenn and 6 (W6) was a decent way to punish the xerox manabase, while not worrying as much about pyroblast, since all these key mana denial cards aren't blue. Also, W6 is a fine way to get rid of Narset at 1 loyalty, when needed. The threat of oath makes it hard for the deck to just run out arcanist since it can be met with Emrakul. Without the cantrip recursion, the match-up doesn't feel as lopsided asI thought. Overall, we both felt the the matchup was more favorable for the oath list. Again, he is a better magic player than I am, but doesn't know vintage well. I'm an ok player, but have followed the metagame daily since forever.
Arcbound ravager shops - This felt like a near even match-up. Oath was again key. This is clearly a matchup where postboard, I would accelerate into max oath/orchard. In game 1, oath was still a great early play, severely hampering his ability to play creatures, but it forced a game where Mishra's factory was a key card for him to pressure me under an oath. I often felt the need to assassin's trophy/wasteland the factory to buy time to give him a creature to trigger oath. Force of vigor is amazing against shops; who knew? The pithing needle in the board was kind of an answer to factory and bazaar (dredge).
This felt bad. Containment priest and Displacer main were tough on oath. An early oath or Oko to deal with displacer/priest plus counter spells and mana denial could still get there, but accelerating was key. I think that I would have liked this match up even less with tarmogoyf or pyromancer.
Game 1 is predictably not great. The mana denial package gives a better game 1 than most control decks, but not stellar. The SB is heavy on dredge hate plus accelerating into Blazing Archons with max oath/orchards. I think the combination of good hate and a fast game plan are needed to try and overcome dredge. Creatures wouldn't have been as good I think.
I didn't get a chance to test against PO storm or Survival and now the metagame will likely shift, so who knows.
If you're still reading, I wanted to switch gears and discuss some other card choices, I have been mulling over.
When misstep was restricted many decks added pyroblast in its place, since it's great against Narset and just as dead against shops. In the 4c decks that I run, the blue count has to be carefully considered to support force of will (FoW). It's easy to play the best nonblue cards and forget about FoW. I really wanted blue counter spells to replace mental misstep and 1 pyroblast main, which I ran even when misstep was unrestricted. It was hard to find a replacement, and for a while I ran Daze. I usually only ran 2 Daze, which meant I often drew it later in the game. Daze seems like a strange counter for a control deck trying to build its mana resources for late game (i.e. not wanting to return lands to hand), but the ability to return a land and discard it to Dack to improve the draw effect or get back the land with W6 as virtual card advantage felt pretty good. Eventually, I cut the card, but then mystic sanctuary was printed. I haven't tried mystic sanctuary in my list, but the Xerox RUG planeswalkers lists are running 2. It seems like a good way to recast Time walk while building up W6 for infinite time walks. How do people feel about mystic sanctuary? Should I try it in my list? Would Daze be a consideration in the new RUG planeswalker lists?
Looking forward to the great responses.
Thanks! The list was an old version I had typed up with more black for DRS, that I tried to adapt on the fly to the oath creature version. The deck I’ve been playing does have 2 u sea and 2 volcanics, given the color spread. Thanks for taking such a close look at it. I may consider a second orchard in part for mana fixing in place of Trop x3. Mostly still trying to figure out if there’s a world where oath is worth loosing creatures when I don’t plan to play 4 of each oath and orchard.
Oath of Nissa might be ok as a 1 of, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't do what oath of druids does. Oath if Nissa is kind of like a green one mana cantrip that smooths the mana base in a 4c planeswalker list. Oath of druids is a win condition that plays very well with planeswalkers, by preventing your opponent from developing answers to your planeswalkers and allowing you to sometimes play Emrakul on turn 2 or even as a mid-game finisher.
I guess the first question I would ask to people is this:
Do you think that oath has strategic interaction with planeswalkers?
If so, is there any benefit in the current metagame to use oath as a control deck finisher rather than all-in combo, noting the increase in rise of very playable control planeswalkers as listed in the original post?
If it's feasible, could an ideal list not run the full compliment of oath and orchards main?
I think playing oath in a planes walker control shell when your opponent plays tarmogoyf or even pyromancer may be a strategic advantage (as is seen in the recent Xerox planeswalker decks). There are lots of advantages to oath against other matches as well.