Futureproof Strategies



  • Let's face it, Vintage is in a rough spot. Attendance is dwindling, locally and digitally. My local monthly went from 5 to 6 rounds to 4 to 5 rounds, which by the numbers is a loss of half the crowd. The internet offers countless reasons for this if you care to look around, but this topic isn't about the reasons. This is a topic about how I, and many other players, may react to it.

    I'm giving myself a three year runway before I expect Vintage and Legacy to die locally. With these final years, I'm looking to stick to strategies that don't tie my money up in non-Modern cards. I'm lucky enough to have proxy Vintage events (15), so things like power, Library, Bazaar and Workshop are a non-issue. However, the rest of the cards I run should be as applicable as possible in Modern to avoid sudden collapse.

    Without swaying anyone with what I've looked into, my question is this: What decks do you see having staying power over the next few years in a 15 proxy environment?

    More optimistically, my question is this: What decks could you show to an enfranchised Modern player and tell them "hey bud, if you grab a Sharpie and 15 basic lands you basically own this deck" to sell them on the format?



  • I realize my first post came off too much like I want something and don't want to give in return. Therefore, here's my perfect example of futureproofing by playing a valuable Modern deck in Vintage and Legacy:

    Modern: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/modern-humans-46452
    Legacy: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1318956
    Vintage: https://www.streamdecker.com/deck/BJC-8xTam



  • I think you're asking a lot of questions at once, so it might help to follow up and clarify exactly what you're looking for, but I'll try to throw some thoughts out.

    For starters I'm obligated to reject the premise that vintage is in bad shape or dying at the moment ... but that doesn't mean that specific metagames aren't shrinking, and I'll take your post at face value and assume that it's getting less popular in your area

    Are you trying to maintain the value of your collection?

    "the rest of the cards I run should be as applicable as possible in Modern to avoid sudden collapse.

    If you're talking about long-term #mtgfinance I think you have things completely backwards. Vintage cards don't really collapse in the same way Modern cards do. If you want to hedge against collapses, you'd try to AVOID cards that are in Modern, not buy into them.

    Some Modern staples that come to mind as currently playable Vintage cards are Vengevine and Mox Opal. The risk of Mox Opal dropping is so much higher than the risk of Tundra dropping. The only cards in my collection that have ever gone down in price a year or longer after I bought them are cards that were popular in Standard or Modern.

    If you fear that declining Vintage play will result in staples like Force of Will getting cheaper, you can stop worrying. Vintage has never been a real driver of card prices, and hasn't been since at least when I entered the format in 2002. Dealers, speculators, collectors, Commander players, Modern players and Legacy players have so much impact on these card prices that the tiny pool of vintage players never makes waves.

    If you're really trying to protect yourself from sudden collapse, investing in Modern staples seems like one of the worst ways to do it, and reserved list cards one of the better ones ... though if I'm being totally honest, the real advice I'd give would be to play proxy vintage and keep your money in something safer than cardboard altogether.

    Are you looking for strategies that are good in Vintage now and will be good in Vintage years from now?

    That's not so hard, and there are lots of non-finance reasons to be interested in that question, too .... Shops, Grixis Big Blue, Dredge, Storm combo have all been around in some form or another for maybe 10+ years, these are all fairly safe investments from a "time spent learning to play" perspective, though I don't think you're asking about that.

    Are you looking for decks that are cheap to get into if you already have a Modern collection?

    Totally reasonable question, especially if you're trying to get non-Vintage Modern players into the format. I know very little about the Modern metagame, but I took a quick glance at MtGGoldfish.

    Humans as you mentioned is very similar to decks that Vintage players have been running for years. I don't personally like Vintage humans, but it's certainly an established deck, and you could 15 proxy it from a Modern list with no real issues

    Dredge in Modern is more than 15 cards away from a Vintage Dredge deck, but the cards its missing are quite cheap. A Modern Dredge player could absolutely buy into the Vintage version easily.

    Hardened Scales has a ton of overlap with Vintage Ravager Shops, though buying into it, even with 15 proxies, might require some cards in the $30 price range like Wasteland.

    Azorius Control is strategically very similar to a U/W Vintage Big Blue deck, or a slow version of Jeskai Mentor, a Modern Azorius Control player would be comfortable playing the deck, but they may not share enough cards for them to quickly build it.

    And while I didn't explicitly see these decks listed as Modern decks, I'm willing to be there's a reasonable Modern deck that's close to U/R Delver, and a reasonable Modern deck that's close to BUG/Leovold Control.

    Specific cards that jump out to me as played in both Modern and Vintage include:
    All fetchlands, especially blue ones.
    All cards with Dredge
    Lightning Bolt / Path to Exile / Dismember
    Thoughtseize
    Noble Hierarch
    Cavern of Souls
    Walking Ballista / Wurmcoil Engine / Arcbound Ravager / Steel Overseer
    Snapcaster Mage
    Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    Mox Opal
    Teferi, Hero of Dominaria / Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    Bloodghast / Narcomoeba / Prized Amalgam / Gurmag Angler



  • I have several conflicting feelings about this thread, but I'll be considerate and take your request at face value.

    There are not any decks in Modern that will translate into Vintage because the way that Modern is played is vastly different from Vintage. If I'm being brutally honest you have a better chance of convincing Pauper players to play Vintage because Pauper is closer to Vintage than Modern is by a long shot.

    With that out of the way, I think you focus on deck style not cards played to woo over players from Modern. Take Eldrazi, it is not very good in Vintage but Shops plays a similar style with way more power. It kills consistently by turn 3 or 4.

    Storm in Modern is fun and is does not align with Storm in Vintage but it has a style similar to Paradoxical Outcome. Most players that like Modern Storm will love a fully power Paradoxical Storm deck.

    Dredge in Modern is slow and cannot hold a candle to Dredge in Vintage but the concepts are similar and an easy explanation of how Bazaar works will wow any Modern player.

    The control decks look like an easy port over but FOW is very hard to play correctly and with Mental Misstep most control players from Modern will feel out played very quickly in Vintage. Delver decks in Vintage are not bad but a Pyromancer deck would be easier to get into similar to the Matt Sperling's list from Champs. Learning how to play Dack Fayden is no easy task. I still make mistakes playing control and I have been playing for years.

    I like the idea of getting players from other formats into Vintage but I think the sell is the awesome power of the format itself. It is one of the only formats with a turn one kill and it allows for literally any style of play.

    @Brass-Man did a great job showing card value, and Modern card prices did spike this year but overall with reprints they have been contained and will be contained by Wizards. Wizards has taken the Pokemon strategy with Modern and they will not let those prices spike too high without doing more reprints to keep the cost of entry down.


 

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