Ok, so instead of polishing up my final essays for the last week of school, I’m writing about Vintage. I’m a horrible person. Here are my three favorite Vintage metagames: (Where I had the most success)
66 – The Mean Deck Metagame
I think there are actually some errors with the timeline with regards to 66-67. Flash breaks out BEFORE Gifts Ungiven is restricted. I know this because I won the SCG Power 9 event around this time with Ritual Gifts. I tailored my deck specifically to combat Flash combo. I mean, I might have played Meandeck Gifts if it wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to be better against combo by using cards such as Duress and a faster combo on the back of Dark Ritual/LED. I only started playing Vintage a few months prior to this, immediately after the Time Vault re-errata. I believe this moment in Vintage history is one of the best because Brainstorm was unrestricted and there were many viable decks and archetypes. It's what drew me into Vintage after all.
68 – 2nd Gush Era Begins
This was the first Gush era for me. GAT was a fun deck. I liked playing against Shops. I liked the mirror. I made a Gush storm deck and lost in the top 16 break of Waterbury that year to Bomberman. (A deck I went 13-1 in testing against the night before) It was good times. I would love to go back to this moment. By the end of it, I was on a 3 Dryad, 3 Goyf, 1 Psychatog breakdown. I feel like that ended up being the most versatile configuration.
86 – East Coast Wins
Obviously I’m going to list this because I came up with that name. At that time there was friendly rivalry between the regions of the U.S. and I just named the deck East Coast Wins as a snarky nod toward that. I was returning to the game after a hiatus and I returned to find that Espresso Shops was the best deck and no one knew what to do about it. The blue decks of the time were Jace control decks, but wait a minute, Gush was unrestricted and nobody was playing it? That seemed to be a huge miscalculation, so I made a blue deck with Gushes, using all the other good cards in the Vintage cardpool (Jace, Time Vault, Tinker) and the rest is history. My friend and I split the finals with the same 75 in June and we went on to dominate the rest of the summer with the same deck. I actually started with Spell Pierces but swapped them for Mental Missteps because Joe Brown kept beating me with Mystic Remora. (No one was playing Misstep before this point) I fell short in the Vintage championship as the metagame evolved to something new exactly in August (enter Slash Panther, which seems to be forgotten from the timeline as well). Slash Panther had a huge impact on this championship. Because of Slash Panther, the Gush/Jace decks with Dark Confident performed the best.
128 – Karn Combo Moment
I really liked this meta. Despite all the Narsets, I had a lot of success with Doomsday against Karn decks. Then I discovered BUG and consequently had a very high win percentage against most of the field. It’s a shame they had to restrict Karn/Forge and take away all my fun so quickly.