Vintage is not just about blue spells. There are also proactive strategies that exist in Vintage and they are very important in keeping the metagame balanced. Today I will introduce the most common decks built around the card Mishra's Workshop, which gave them their name 'Shops'.
For those interested I wrote a report from the latest Power Nine Challenge. This time I played with URw Delver and for some reason managed to place 10th which was the same place I managed with the deck last time :-). This deck choice was obviously totally wrong but it worked out for me ok.
Before Eternal Weekend I started a series of Vintage articles aimed at new players that would like to venture to our world of Vintage. Here is a link to the third article of the series that was published yesterday.
if anyone interested here is a report from the latest P9C.
there are many options how a Delver deck can look like but unlike other decks it is often usually a predator deck of some kind even though it has often more linear plan than other decks. You can either go for a very streamlined version or more fluid version that can play a control role. Splashing black usually makes you more control than then tempo.
The creature suite is not really that given. While you will most likely play 4 Delver of Secrets (it's usually 4 or 0), 4 Pyromancers doesn't need to be the case. I was often boarding out 1-2 Young Pyromancers in many games and it is to be seen if that might not be happening now as well. Note that without Gush this creature is kind of worse. So it depends on how many spells you can put in the deck and meaningfully use them.
Snapcaster Mage becomes very playable now but in order to get the most value out of this deck I'd still stick to a certain number of JVP. Since the deck is not that fast though now, maybe running Snapcaster Mage may be correct. I doubt it though. (so far I just board them out almost all the time...). I put Snapcaster Mages in because I want to have around 10 creatures that can swing. So if I won't find a better replacement I'll stick with this card.
The engine should be restricted spells + Preordain. You will need more though than just this and it is still to be seen what it may be. So far I tried all kind of tutors instead because I couldn't find anything better. The best card is actually Night's Whisper but is black which also a slightly different approach to how to play the deck. The cards I play now are 2 Spell Pierce, 1 Pyroblast, 1 Fragmentize, 1 Merchant Scroll, 1 Mystical Tutor. I'm still undecided about the two tutors. The other cards are doing their job well.
I wouldn't think Dack Fayden is necessary. At least not now before the metagame settles. It wasn't usually good even before. If you want a three drop Snapcaster Mage is better.
Mana Denial should feature Null Rod effect. Wasteland is a question. During the Shops/Mentor era it was actually good to play 4 Wastelands since that helped a lot, not only against Shops but also against other decks and even Mentor (if it wasn't the UW version). Some versions were very light on lands though so hitting occasional Tundra was good enough to win the game sooner.
Main deck hate is about to be seen. I'd run an enchantment/artifact hate main deck, otherwise I wouldn't bother. But a card like Smash to Smithereens might be ok though since it can deal 3 damage...(I run Fragmentize, but wouldn't run let's say Shatter....um or well a good artifact removal in those colors...that is)
As for Wasteland, if you play that as additional lands (spell slot) it is ok. Otherwise it can really put you behind. I tried to avoid running Wasteland as much as I could because I always needed every single blue mana I could produce to play cantrips and cheap countermagic. Wasteland was always messing with that plan. When the metagame changed a lot, wastelands became more of a necessity (see walking ballista and lands like workshop). I wouldn't say that wasteland is bad and I wouldn't say that wasteland is good either. It will depend on the decks that will emerge. By default I'd rather play without the card in my deck and I have 15ish lands available to me with a single strip mine being the additional land (15th land).
The same goes to Harsh Mentor, this card in diverse metagame is not good. Against some decks you need 4, against many you'd rather see anything else than a 2/2 that occasionally hits an opponent for 2 (fetchland usually). I did not think about how the deck should look like now though, so not sure what I'd play instead. Most probably some combination of JVP and Snapcaster Mage (I feel 1 would be the right number). I started with 3 Snapcaster Mages and that's certainly a number you don't want to run. Anyway Snappy is better than Harsh Mentor.
I play white because I expect Oath decks to be played so I rather have my Containment Priests ready (RIP and Stony Silence that is more difficult to get rid of...). Also play PTE to deal with some things like Blightsteel Colossus or Marit Lage.
Just build the deck and play with it. There are several different approaches but I would fall back on the Delver decks from when P9C started.
(By the way Abrade performed better than I expected, I like it more than Smash to Smithereens, but my deck was rather build against Shops by default)
I'm currently trying this. From there I will try to tweak it to suit my needs and the metagame.
Those who read the thread under my tournament report have probably read part 1. I wrote a follow up article later but it took a while to be published (because in the meantime there was also part 2, a Vintage Daily report). So here is part 3.
Afterthoughts part 3 -> http://puremtgo.com/articles/deck-roles-proactivity-modern-vintage-urw-delver-journey-part-3
Afterthoughts part 1 -> http://puremtgo.com/articles/afterthoughts-october-power-nine-challenge-part-1
I find the Sulfur Elemental too expensive to cast and not really good enough. While against Mentor it won't slow you down that much. It can reset a board and you can still win a game against Mentor. How often this scenario happens, is it worth it? Against White Eldrazi the card is good if the player plays Vryn Wingmares and Spirit of the Labyrinth but many decks don't even run these and it can't deal with new Thalia. I never boarded this against White Eldrazi later on. Just against Mentor and strange decks (and landstill). But there are players that used to play that card main deck!
In the end I cut all my Elementals and replaced them with Containment Priests. Those are more (mana efficient) and more versatile.
I also don't board Wear/Tear against (White) Eldrazi. When I need Chewers I have Chewers but if I play against Oath or Vault/Key decks I board in Wear/Tear. Fragmentize does not really help in this case.
Each of us will play the deck in a slightly different way and we all need different cards to make the deck work for us.
There is nothing like '2nd Tundra is a mistake'. Yes, it can be a mistake in your list but not for someone else who tweaks the deck a bit or has a different play style. Unless we are all perfect players we cannot say that a certain card choice is definitely a mistake. We all try to use our cards and our deck the best way we can. But sometimes we can't to the extent someone else can. So it is better if we play with something less efficient but something we can actually pilot the way we want and feel familiar with.
@p3temangus Thank you. After reading through TMD I came to the conclusion that no matter what I say it will most probably end up being flagged as subjective and without any kind of arguments behind my card choices or observations and I regret posting here.
The first article out of 3 I mentioned earlier is up on puremtgo.com (http://puremtgo.com/articles/afterthoughts-october-power-nine-challenge-part-1). It talks about URx Delver from my perspective and sums up what I already said partially here. If you want, you are free to check that out. (the second article is just report from the DE, part 3 talks about roles and proactivity from the URx Delver position. it was supposed to be one article but I had to divide that into 3 parts.)
As I already said I'm no proactive player. Having such a deck in my hands feels strange and that is why I decided to play Wear/Tear, Dack Fayden and Echoing Truth. It gives me options and that is something I need. There is already discussion on Fragmentize and Disenchant and it is very similar. The thing is Wear/Tear is hardly efficient unless you play it under very specific conditions. But the card won me so many games against Oath and Vault/Key decks (and some strange White Eldrazi builds) that I will stick with it most probably. I've played with Fragmentize since the card was printed and I always just want to cross it out in my decklist and put Wear/Tear in. I sadly watch my opponent going -> Tezzeret, Tinker -> Time Vault not being able to deal with it when I have Fragmentize in my deck. So if you are interested how I felt, I felt exactly this. Whenever I had Fragmentize in my hand it did not do what I needed it to do in this deck unlike in Esper Mentor where the card was solid.
EDIT: I know that most of the time many people see Wear/Tear as 2 mana artifact removal and 1 mana enchantment removal. During my games when I needed the Wear/Tear against blue decks I play it for 3 more often than you might think. Sometimes when I play Wear/Tear for 1 is because I want to bait out Misstep.
As for JVP. I started with 1 in my deck than played with 4 for few months. I started cutting those Jaces later though because it's not instant/sorcery. Even though it can replay instant/sorceries it often was taking up slots I needed for something else. If I were to play 4 of these I'd have to cut Pyroblast and Dack Fayden. When I had 2 in the deck I never had too many of them or too few so I decided that this is the right number. But well as with Wear/Tear there is nothing else I can tell you about that. It's my subjective decision, nothing I really pondered about. JVP on the other hand is VERY powerful card and I always want to play it over Young Pyromancer. It's a tough call to decide what card I want to play because both win games and if you play JVP and then Pyromancer it can be an overkill but sometimes it can go wrong. Having 4 JVPs main deck is also something that would change my SB plan and I'd rather avoid this...
As for Dack Fayden, on Magic Online the card hardly performed well even though it won the games when I played it. But JVP would have similar effect. Dack has an immediate impact though unlike Jace. But JVP outshines the card if the card sticks. In the paper tournaments I played Dack Fayden performed better and was my only way of actually catching up and helping me to win the game later. Only once I lost when my opponent needed to draw 3 specific cards and drew them with Ancestral Recall that I couldn't counter (my opponent got super lucky so I wouldn't count that...)
I don't know why I had different experience with the card online and in paper. Maybe because I played against more Oath and Landstill decks IRL where I usually prefer having Dack than JVP.
That single Echoing Truth is something that made me win games I couldn't have otherwise won and no other card would have won in those matches. It got rid of Moat, Marit Lage, army of hasty Zombies, Elesh Norn, Oath, Ensnaring Bridge, Fleetwheel Cruiser, Nahiri to name a few. I won those games. I even bounced my Pyromancer so my opponent with Griselbrand couldn't gain life, once I saved Jace this way because it was the only remaining card in my deck that could win the game. 10 turns later I milled my opponent with it. just because I had that Echoing Truth....I don't want to say the card is good and you don't need to play it if you have better cards to play and know how to use them. But if I look back at what Echoing Truth did for me ... I don't want to replace it.
Actually the most notable cards during my matches during this P9C and the SCG tournament I played in were basic lands. My opponents weren't happy about them at all.
I wanted to abstain from posting here. But I'll be around so if you want to ask me more questions or let me explain what I had in mind PM me. or message me somewhere else. I'll be happy to talk to you.
In order to have a follow up for my P9C Afterthoughts I needed to play more matches and if possible also play in several Vintage tournaments before the next P9C. I played in 3 different events (with 3-1 records) but decided to write a report from Vintage Daily event to promote it. There will be a follow up article sooner or later.
Hello there fellow players. I wrote a report from the last Power Nine Challenge but since my previous articles had to be published first it was delayed. So those interested in yet another Delver journey, they are welcome to read the report.
@log I agree with you even though I had my say listening to you talk to PeAcH about Shops. I also expected a way higher number of Shops, mostly because I expected players from Germany to come and play (and there's a lot of Shops players there). Unfortunately they didn't come, similarly as others from France and vicinity due to mostly the reputation of BoM organizer (and whatnot).
I expected also Henrik, Niels and Simon to be on Shops and they play well. The problem wit up to date lists may also be because people don't want to play up-to-date Shops lists. I have Shops usually around and the version I was able to play was one that was acting more like a prison rather than aggro. Casting little creatures and attacking with them doesn't really appeal to me and I'd also wish to find something to interest me and I think this was the approach of many players there. I was playing somewhere at the lower tables (I don't want to offend anybody) but what I've seen there I could hardly call Vintage. There were so many weird things happening there, and also there were Shops around...'the theoretically easy deck to play'. The up-to-date lists are also something I'm not used to (it showed when I played with it).
It's true that the Vintage in Europe often looks like it got stuck in time and many players are a bit behind what is going on Magic Online or on the other side of the globe. At events here I often felt that I played with the same cards as online but the games were often totally different...One of the reasons may also be the fact that we have/had sanctioned Vintage events here mostly. This may be a reason why some players don't change decks, don't experiment and don't adapt.
Our local community started to follow a bit after I came and crushed their reality of what is Vintage. Some of the players felt that badly that they started wondering what's wrong and well it made them actually adapt a bit. In general....the consensus here is to play Vintage for fun. Most of the players were never good players in the first time, but they have access to Vintage cards so they can play Vintage. So when someone like me came there and beat them they felt that I'm from a different world and destroying something of theirs.
We should be glad that we can play paper Vintage even if Eternal Weekend/its organization was a big disappointment.
note: I'm talking about Vintage players in Europe...
I first found out about Magic in 1995 and since then I just wanted to play the game as much as I could but that wasn't quite possible since it was very expensive (like 3,5x more expensive than nowadays). But from the crappy cards I got I started trading with other kids around for cards that seemed to be good to me. Years later I found out that the cards I got this way were actually pretty expensive and that the trades I made weren't really fair. But who knew? There was nothing like price lists or game stores at that time. I simply recognized a good card when I saw one.
I played T1.5 till Legacy came to existence. Looking back at that time the decks were quite overpowered. I used to play mobo-blue control and usually faced staxx, dark ritual/necropotence or worldgorger combo. Goblins were popular as well. With the new format the players I knew and played with/against stopped playing Magic or some of them started to play Type 2. I did not understand what happened at that time but for me it meant that I either find a different format to play or also take a break. I started playing Extended because T2 did not seem interesting to me at all...I had no understanding for that format.
Few years later I moved to Czech Republic and started looking for some Extended/Legacy players but they were not present. Standard was the most played format so I joined the ranks of Standard players for some time, eventually taking a break because it was really boring. After that I really wanted a format in which I could play control again so I started playing all formats including highlander, EDH, Modern etc. I delved into Legacy but that was more and more creature based and more 'value' based as other formats. Extended was no more. Modern was a joke and I really wanted to go back to playing Mana Drain and that is how I slowly ended up playing Vintage. But it took me a very long time to realize that I should have done this very long time ago. People in my country don't accept me well though and they gave me a really hard time so I left paper Magic to some extent and started playing Magic Online.
When Wizards of the Coast made the announcement about Power Nine Challenges I decided to buy a Vintage deck and participate. After few months of grinding limited I got enough tix to buy a Vintage deck and my new adventure could begin. Joe Fiorini added me to a Vintage group on FB (I tried to register at TMD but my registration never went through) and then a whole new world opened up to me. You guys helped me realize how much I still love the game. I found players I'd like to call my friends. I got to play a format in which I actually feel like playing Magic again.
For the sake of Vintage I started participating in paper Vintage tournaments. I was afraid it would be as bad as in other formats but it wasn't.
Thank you for sharing your stories.
@ChubbyRain Lately I actually trust WotC (last few years) quite a lot in what they were doing both online and in paper (it's more about stuff that affect venues/sellers and organized play, also standard rotation that practically solved ridiculous prices of cards from last set of a block ) so it is unlikely I would run away. They tried to address issues that are here for a long time and I think they actually succeed more often than not.
The same applies to designing sets lately. The reason why I play Vintage is because it is the only left format that allows for the kind of play and decks I like. But I have to say that the design of new sets is awesome, it is totally different from what I would expect or like but it is really well done.
Unfortunately sometimes it happens that they just do something players really do not like. But well they could just try to really say what they are trying to achieve and slowly get there. The second batch of announcements was something they should have done in the first wave. We need numbers and lists. We are very value oriented. I understand that WotC is trying somehow to avoid talking about secondary market etc. but it is pretty real and players live in it especially those that play on Magic Online. If they accept the fact that modo is for the 'highest level players' they should also approach the players that way, unless they really want to take out the 'money' from us. Meaning that they would give us less and less possibilities what to do with the product. One way to solve this would really be some kind of prize wall. They need to give us possibilities not take them away. I don't like this direction (the second thing is that we probably have expensive collections, I personally do not want to lose the monetary value of it - I want to be able to sell it whenever I want - but that is more due to the fact that I don't really have money IRL).
We need information and see that what WotC does has a good purpose and should be good for us. But sometimes it just does not look like it and I do not like uncertainty. (ok, I'll stop now since I'm obviously off-topic as well...)
@wappla: I used to run Mystical Tutor in RUG (Delver) and UR Delver before the restriction of Cruise and Dig and the card was awesome. But afterwards I never actually thought of playing that card again. I also don't have enough experience with the card now though. I most probably play way less than you guys play.
those SB cards are subpar compared to others but relevant for me against decks I needed to face. I'm not really a tight aggressive player so for me it is usually to play with a list that is more 'loose'. (not sure if you get what I mean? hopefully).
Anyway I participated in two Vintage events this weekend going 3-1. Not ideal score but I can possibly write a report and a summary of my thoughts?? I'll post a link if I find my article to be worth reading....
I know that my experience might not really be that valueable, I don't have any tournaments to back it up except local 4-0 and 3-1 with Boin's list.
Sol Ring is something I rather decided to cut, because usually the deck just simply wanted to play something on turn 1 and if possible not get it countered. I had (still have) Black Lotus in the deck which allows for some t1 TKS or something but usually when I had access to the card a better play was to play a Thorn and following turn I usually had the 4 mana I needed to cast the spell anyway. I lost more games to having Lotus and not a Mox than vice-versa. I run all five Moxen and would not play less. What number of sources is necessary is a question. I think that if the deck won't rely too much on the Eldrazi (Reality Smasher) it does not need to play that many sources, but it still wants to have access to 2 mana on turn one.
I also had Trinisphere in the deck instead of Chalice of the Void and noticed that I managed to win more games because of that Sphere than when I had the possibility to play Chalice.
This deck seemed to want an explosive start the same way Eldrazi wanted and without over 27 sources this deck just can't do that. But it is possible that one does not need that because it is more of a Prison deck than stompy. Sitting behind Thorns works as well and is usually safer than wondering if your opponent has the Force of Will or not. It's not like 1 TKS will certainly win the game.
I actually like Recruiter of the Guard in the deck and will have to try it. It may not be as crazy as in Legacy but being able to find a hatebear seems pretty good (or an additional creature).
I struggle with Shops but maybe I'm doing something wrong.
What I wonder is why Boin likes Vryn Wingmare. I played that before but Thalia, Heretic Cathar often has similar effect since many decks run fetchlands and nonbasic lands but also affects creatures coming into play. The card has First Strike and is quite a beater unlike the Wingmare and can block Foundry Inspectors/Fleetwheel Cruiser and other creatures all day. The only downside I see is that Thalia is a legendary creature so you can't have two in play and it can be bounced with Karakas...
(time to try wappla's list instead)
@Islandswamp the Dailies that are available at acceptable time in (the middle of) Europe do never get posted and I've seen quite some interesting decks there. Since our decks don't get posted what people see are simply decks from Dailies that mostly American players play. We see the same people and same decks.
(I asked WotC if they could post the morning DE from the weekend at least but ...well it did not really start happening.)
I tried to force some people to enter results from European Vintage tournaments but it seems that they are too lazy doing that and I'm tired of entering decklists to MTGTop8. If someone could at least provide me the decklists so I wouldn't need to ask for them. If people would start doing that we could try to see if there is some kind of cycle or change in paper Vintage here because that would interest me as well. I usually try to ignore the tendencies that are online in paper Vintage but then we have top 8 full of humans and eldrazi.
I don't want to be rude. But this has been bugging me since I came here...at first I though that it is just my impression but after talking with few people online I know that I'm not the only one.
For years I tried to be part of TMD but my registration just did not go through and I never got any answer from the admin. I usually ended up on TMD, tried to find some information and left. At that time I might have actually asked someone about this or that but now it is different. I came to the Vintage (online) community thanks to IslandSwamp but soon I found out that I don't really feel welcome. There are exceptions, there are many players that are really nice and accepted me right away. But in general this place feels 'hostile' to beginners and from many posts, videos and streams I get the impression that there are players that do not actually want new players to come and play. And if they would be allowed to play, their questions wouldn't get answered or they would be shown that they simply do not belong here and that their voices have no power.
My deck was torn apart and I was told to play a 'real' deck if I want to play Vintage even though that I placed well in different kind of tournaments with it. I'm nobody in terms of not being a pro player, vintage champion or whatever. But I had the energy to do something for the community. I could write for example. So I started writing for our local players and later for wider audience which was obviously a mistake but I realized one thing. Even though I had no problems playing Vintage right from the beginning I realized that players that are trying to enter the format actually struggle with it. After I spent some time in a local game store playing Vintage and listening to others talk about my decisions I finally understood that there is way more to Vintage than people think at first. They simply do not see what the format is about. Showing a decklist to someone even with some instructions how to play the deck won't let them see what they really should do. Because what they need to figure out is 'what can happen and what should certainly NOT happen'. For that same reason those players do not need a 50 pages primer explaining any kind of situation or what can the cards be used for. They need guidelines and later they can read something more complex.
What I wanted to say with this is this. Basics no matter how basic for you is something that can be incomprehensible for others. People should be given basic information about the format itself, its staples and (archetype) shells. From there it is up to them to figure out what to do. They should also understand the cycle of metagame and the formats balance.
But so far I haven't found anything like this. I lived through it though so I don't need it but what about players that do not play magic for 20+ years and just play for example for 3 years? I had a long talk with one such person trying to explain him why he does not play Modern well. He had hard time understanding that. Now imagine that same person playing Vintage...
Anyway it would be good if discussions about decks or their strategy would actually be somewhere at one place. We can say that there are fairly established decks, so anything related to those could be talked about in one thread. This way we wouldn't need to dig up old posts or look for that kind of information elsewhere.
The thing is that it's not just about the treasure chests as Titus said it is also about the redemption. I think people primarily fear what will happen with Magic Online. What do we know? Nothing much. I personally feel cheated on and it does not matter if WotC actually thought about secondary market or not. It is not transparent, we are in the dark and in fear. That is not good because that gives a reason to leave modo. Many people did just that and I would do it as well too if I had access to modo at work when I read the announcement. When I got to see what my collection is worth after the announcement it dropped from 5k to 3.91k and I decided to keep it thus. If I would imagine myself paying 5k for the cards and then just losing that money I would be horrified. I could have bought...power nine for that (not really but at least a part of it).
Already the introduction of PlayPoints was a move I did not like but since prices plummeted I bought in (not really I just played A LOT of drafts and turned my prizes into my current collection). At that time Wizards was addressing a problem that was caused by making the redemption fees way higher. The players were well aware of this and the consequences but it took WotC a really long time to figure this out and fix it. It showed, the prices of everything went down and continued to fall for a very long time. Players became very unhappy about their prizes as they were rather worthless. This was fixed with untradable 'new currency'. Now they seem to want to take redemption completely away and what they did suggest a Hearthstone like model to be the direction of Magic Online. That is something I do not really want. I like my (digital) cards and want them to keep their value.
Remember all the surveys that were more of a Hearthstone survey than Magic Online one? It started with something like 'Do you play Magic Online? if so for how long' and 'Do you play Hearthstone?'. If you answered yes in the second question you had to fill in several pages of questions. I would actually be interested in results from these surveys.
One of the things they were interested in is how much money you actually spend on Magic Online. I personally doubt that this number is actually high but since you also had to write down how often you play and in how many tournaments you participate per month. I don't spent much (almost nothing) and usually entered something like 45 events per month (which at that time I found as 'a lot' but I don't play much compared to the players I know). They also wondered what kind of tournament play is what people want and I guess Leagues and cross-pod draft is something they actually got a high percentage of preference. But well I can be wrong. Anyway this survey most probably was done to see what we can actually withstand and what direction they can take without losing us, but they misstepped few times already.
Erm what I wanted to say is... there is supposed to be a new digital platform that should be for all the players that are somewhere in between casual and pros (both included). They want to create e-sport out of it, so I really hoped Magic Online would stay the way it is for those that still wish to play on it. I fear that Magic Digital Next will be a completely different game because I can't even imagine Magic: The Gathering the way it exists in digital world to be seen streamed and watched by way more than 20k viewers. I expected to WotC still keeping modo for 'highest level players' and not destroy the model it was built on so it would be more 'stream' friendly or even more casual player friendly.
If Wotc is trying to take 'money' out of us and eliminate something like 'going infinite' I would also understand that but hell I really would like to know what is WotC thinking and I think that we deserve that. Because it is about trust. If WotC fails in this we won't come back.
(hope the text above is understandable at least a bit)
As for the treasure chest, after I calculated what the EV should be (I came to something like 2.24) I realized that this is quite ok. But the thing is...what t he market will do with it and how many of these there will be. This won't go up but only down. Well, anyway all I can do now is wait and see. But certainly I do not consider this positive. It might be in the end but I don't see the 'value' of it. All I can see is uncertainty and prices dropping. Also it will make it harder to reenter events I'd say. But that all is to be seen. I don't like this 'lottery' at all...
(BTW the probability of opening a curated card is actually 19%)
as Andy said I don't run Dismember because it simply costs too much, it costs both life and mana. The difference of 1 mana is huge and 'flashblacking' it is a pain and I don't care about the CMC unless it costs 1. Sometimes being able to Dismember for 3 mana instead of 4 would be nice but I don't get often in that situation (even I do). Even though I fetch for Underground Sea more often I don't often have double black either.
So I did not even consider running it. Playing Young Pyromancer/JVP and then playing Snuff Out while tapped out is important.