Miracles in Vintage: A Primer
Miracles in Vintage: A Primer
"The strongest of all warriors are these two -- Time and Patience." - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Very popular in our sister format, Legacy, Miracles in Vintage is a powerful deck that operates with finesse and precision in lieu of brutally powerful haymakers found in other archetypes. Made viable by its flexible card selection and pinpoint solutions, Miracles has the tools to fight anything given enough practice and tuning. The skill curve of the deck in Vintage is far more forgiving due to the power level of the spells, but do not allow Monastery Mentor fool you into false securities - this deck is a reactive beast, through and through.
To summarize the game plan of any given 75 that falls under the archetype, Miracles aims to generate gross amounts of virtual card advantage by using powerful spells that blank multiple cards in your opponent's hand, as well as halting any gains in tempo with efficient sweepers and removal spells. By leveraging Sensei's Divining Top in tandem with fetchlands and powerful cantrips, you aim to be increasedly favored the longer the game continues, reaching a point of inevitable victory against any deck not prepared to fight back.
/* Creatures */ /* Mana Sources */ 2 Snapcaster Mage 1 Sol Ring 3 Monastery Mentor 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire /* Planeswalkers */ 1 Mox Pearl 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Mountain 1 Plains /* Card Advantage & Filtering */ 1 Black Lotus 1 Ancestral Recall 2 Volcanic Island 1 Brainstorm 3 Tundra 1 Dig Through Time 3 Island 1 Ponder 4 Scalding Tarn 1 Time Walk 4 Flooded Strand 2 Predict 3 Preordain /* Sideboard */ 4 Senseis Divining Top SB: 1 Steel Sabotage SB: 1 Flusterstorm SB: 2 Containment Priest /* Countermagic */ SB: 2 Ingot Chewer 1 Flusterstorm SB: 2 Pyroblast 1 Mental Misstep SB: 2 Rest in Peace 2 Mana Drain SB: 2 Wear // Tear 3 Counterbalance SB: 3 Grafdiggers Cage 4 Force of Will /* Removal */ 1 Wear // Tear 2 Swords to Plowshares 2 Terminus
To Be Continued...
I will furthur update this post when I have time in the future. For now, I wanted to simply test out the new forum software and wanted to get this started.
I've been playing Miracles in Legacy for some time now, and have wondered about it in this format. My initial impression was always that the Counterbalance lock seems like it can often be too slow when Storm is capable of going off on Turn 2 a high percentage of the time and there's so much fast mana. Additionally, the actual Miracle cards seem much worse when we only have access to one Brainstorm plus two to three Jaces. I see you're only running 2 in the list you posted, which makes sense.
All that said, I saw that there were two Miracle decks in the Top 8 of the February MTGO Challenge, so it seems evident that the deck is still competitive in spite of those flaws. I may have to give it a try in my play test group and see where it takes me.
Finally, looking over your list, with only one red spell in the main deck I don't think the basic Mountain is necessary. I'd be looking for room for it in the sideboard so we can add an additional Basic Island to the main deck.
unrelated to your deck ... but decklist in a code block actually looks pretty gorgeous. I hope for a custom solution later, but this is a pretty nice stopgap I think
@Brass-Man I just assumed that was a new forum feature and I couldn't find the button to do it. I can't wait until we have that fully implemented.
the forum is fully Markdown compatible, so if you surround text with ``` and ``` you get a neat little code block like
# Miracles keeps winning online, I don't understand it but there must be something there!
Did I do it right?
@GHitchHiker - In regards to the speed of the deck, I actually have slowly been cutting cards that make the deck faster in lieu of more consistency and have found the builds closer to the Legacy version to be putting up much better results. I feel that the deck is fast enough to handle most things well, its worst matchups being Tezzeret-based control decks with Thoughtcast and Dredge thus far. Dredge is a weird one, though, I keep going back and forth on how I feel about the MU and how much I want the third Terminus MD for that MU.
As for the basic Mountain, I had one in the sideboard for a long time and hated that it ate a slot there. I opted to eschew it, moving it to the maindeck over one of the cut moxen. Cutting it for some other basic is likely fine, but it is important that it is a basic for the Shops matchup, as well as any hatebears or similar decks you may encounter.
Why playing just 1 MM in the list when the most important card to get the lock engine going is SDT.?
Besides that, the deck has to fight all the cards that can harm your plan being mainly: other MM, Claim, REB effects, and all the efficiency of 1 CC spells.
I would try:
3 Mental Mistep (maybe 4)
2 Mana Drain
You also need to protect your SDT when replaying it after putting it on top of the library to counter 1cc spells in case you don't have one on top. Plus helps to reveal 1CC vs. other 1CC spells with Counterbalance. Plus they protect your Mentors from STP, and Bolts.
All in all, the deck seems pretty strong and well positioned in the current meta.
I have been testing with @Winglerw28 a fair amount lately, and I have been very surprised by this deck. I thought it wouldn't be nearly as good as it is. I have come to the decision that it feels very similar to landstill, in that, if miracles doesn't lose in the early game, it is probably going to win the game. I was surprised by how good counterbalance specifically was, and Terminus.
@PeAcH Misstep has been an odd card for me, as I've found I want to cut more the more I play the deck. I agree that Top is good to protect, but I've found just having the full four and extra cantrips to be better since Misstep is worse in the later game (with Counterbalance performing its role).
@PeAcH also, I am extraordinarily conservative in the way I play Mentor (perhaps too much so at times), so protecting it isn't something I feel is necessary since I often can just find the redundant copies or can win with Jace. I most often win through Jace ultimate.
If he already has counter-top online misstep is only there to preserve the top but there are 4 tops already so the mms would be redundant dead draws at that point.