What are some Common Vintage Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know?

You can block with a Mishra's Factory and use it to pump itself.

You can activate an Orchard on your opponents end step so they don't get an attacker the turn before you Oath.

(not explicitly vintage) +ing a planeswalker is a cost, so you can cast a Jace and + it if you think it will get bolted.
This plays out as you cast a Jace TMS, hold priority +2 it then pass priority. They then bolt it. Now your Jace is alive, at 2 loyalty and at that point the fateseal resolves.

I'll keep adding to this thread.

last edited by John Cox

@kistrand To piggy back on this, plan for the worst case scenario, but don't always act like the worst case scenario is the case. For example, if your opponent is on blue, has drawn some and has 5 cards in hand - he MAY have FoW, so you have to carefully consider casting that clutch spell. But if you DON'T cast that spell, and have nothing you could topdeck to push the spell through next turn, then not only did you virtually give them FoW in their hand, but you also gave them time to dig more and actually find FoW.
Sometimes they have the stop, sometimes they don't. Sometimes you cast your spell and they counter and it seems crippling (but if you held it in your hand, they'd STILL have the stop, so does it matter?). If you never cast the spell out of fear of a counter, then they ALWAYS have the stop, whether a counter is in their hand or not.

Having Mishra's Workshop and Trinisphere in your opening hand. Having Ancestral Recall and enough Missteps to choke a Llama in your opener.

@nedleeds Now you're talking : ) A similar classic vintage skill is to have Oath, orchard, mox, FoW+blue card in opener.

Sequencing land drops and spells is a skill many still lack in mtg in general.

spell sequencing: For one, It took @Smmenen writing an entire book on how to play Gush properly before some people caught on to how good the card is outside of Grow.dec or Gush Storm. (Turns out, Gush was THE blue deck)

On lands: I still see players making the mistake of cracking one for a dual as soon as they play it, (many still think "thinning" your deck is a valid reason) unnecessarily giving away info and opening themselves up to wasteland.
Many times players lose to themselves, making the wrong land drop turn one.

last edited by Ten-Ten

Innumerable, but sideboarding is a complex and nuaced set of operations. To pithily reduce it to a sound bite or “tip,” remember to differentiate between sideboard plans on the play vs. the draw. Too many players overlook this with generic instructions.

I don’t think this was said yet, but if you can, don’t play into Mindbreak Trap. E.g. if my opener has land, mox, mox, Bob, I should play land, mox, Bob, mox.

Oath of Druids doesn't trigger if both players have the same amount of creatures. People do that wrong all the time.
Also, Pithing Needle does nothing vs Oath.

@BranDawri Also, if two Oaths are in play and an imbalance of creatures exists, they will both trigger. At this point, you can respond with Forbidden Orchard creating a further difference in creature amounts. When the first one resolves you can evaluate whether you need to use the second Oath ability. There are a few iterations of how this plays out, but you get the picture.

I think most of these aren't really "tips and tricks" as much as they are simply knowing or not knowing how cards work.

@thecravenone said in What are some Common Vintage Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know?:

@griselbrother Cool, thanks for the input!

You're welcome, I'm glad you're with me. It would be a pretty bad article on tips and tricks if really basic stuff was to be included.

@griselbrother For a column called “Vintage 101,” this stuff seems pretty appropriate.

Knowing how to maximize your use of Engineered Explosives against Sphere effects and Chalice.

Most people are aware of using colorless manner to get around chalice, but also paying two or more of one color can play around chalice ( and Misstep if explosives on one counter is needed).

Also being aware with a taxing effect, you can announce x to be less than the number of counters you will need and use the tax as a way to add extra colors to the payment (ie. announce x is one with Thalia in play and pay UW for your explosives to have two counters on it to kill Thalia)

There's a technique called 'Walking the Dog' with Flusterstorm. Also if you put your opponent on 2 good spells in lets say a 7 card opener and you feel you have a slow start it may be correct to counter (Force let's say) Lotus. Especially if you know what your opponent is on. Mana Crypt is sometimes a similar decision, especially against Shops or formerly Eldrazi. The decision gets easier with more information, and even easier if you are playing blue and have 4-6 textless cards to pitch like Skillstep and Flusterstorm.

But even against a blue deck who has Lotus, Mentor, any Blue Land, some mess of Flusters and Skillsteps. With perfect information you would Force lotus.

Brainstorm + Fetchland
“Sac then tap” (smokestack and tangle wire)

@ten-ten I see people crack fetches EOT thinking that "duh, thinning" is actually a thing. Then they waste card advantage by drawing Brainstorm, Ponder or similar effects.

@infectedmushroom yeah, it's always best to just wait to crack a fetchland when needed. I got a better handle on this before Brainstorm got restricted and even moreso when Lotus Cobra was printed.

@infectedmushroom said in What are some Common Vintage Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know?:

@ten-ten I see people crack fetches EOT thinking that "duh, thinning" is actually a thing. Then they waste card advantage by drawing Brainstorm, Ponder or similar effects.

To further expand on cracking fetches at the right time, people should also be extremely mindful about when they crack fetches. Remember that if you crack a fetch you do not have access to that mana till you fetch your land, which might allow your opponent to respond to the fetch activation!

True, mana drain is played a bit less these days, but it's worth keeping in mind that you don't want to drop your shields by fetching at the wrong time.

@griselbrother said in What are some Common Vintage Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know?:

@thecravenone said in What are some Common Vintage Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know?:

@griselbrother Cool, thanks for the input!

You're welcome, I'm glad you're with me. It would be a pretty bad article on tips and tricks if really basic stuff was to be included.

But a surprisingly large number of people still get these things wrong, basic or not, so they're useful tips, and a generic "know how your cards work" is IMO less useful than mentioning specific things people get wrong.

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