Revisiting cards as vintage evolves



  • Targeted discard effects, such as Duress, Thoughtseize and Cabal Therapy, have been deemed "playable" in some way, shape, or form. Cards such as Liliana of the Veil, and Hymn to Tourach whilst played in other formats, have not seem much play in recent times in vintage. Historically, both of these cards were deemed "bad" due to the prevalence of dredge. Whilst the ability of a dredge deck and pilot to perform well at an event has not changed, with the variety of dredge hate available, it feels like the percentage of dredge decks in a tournament is lower now than in the past. The downward trend of mana drain decks may also be relevant.

    I am curious to people's thoughts on cards such as LotV and HtT in the format today. Similarly, are there other cards that have not been able to perform well in the past, but due to the evolution of the format are prime candidates for testing today?



  • I don't think that Liliana is very good if you expect a lot of Pyromancer/Mentor. It's probably decent against Eldrazi and the likes, but Daretti is better.



  • Duress is largely NOT playable, due to the problems with Mentor, Young Pyromancer, and Snapcaster Mage. Thoughtseize however, I would say is playable (moreso than currently is seeing), but the real reason is becuase of the Benefit/Cost gap.

    The benefit of the card is worth the B manacost. The benefit of Lilianna or Hymn at 1BB or BB are not worth the cost.


  • Administrators

    I'm not sure I totally agree with your premise. I don't believe Hymn to Tourach was a commonly played card in vintage since the pre-Onslaught block-era Suicide Black decks, and even those decks weren't top tier. There was a huge amount of time where Dredge cards hadn't been printed yet, and Hymn was not doing well in events. Whatever the reason

    Does that mean other factors haven't conspired to make Hymn/Liliana better? Unsure.

    I would say for starters that I'd be very reluctant to play non-targeted discard against a Gush deck, who might just dump some lands and end up way ahead.

    On the other hand, vintage is a lot less bomb-centric now than it once was, and non-targeted discard gets better when average card quality is flatter. Ultimately, I expect the quality curve is flatter but not flat enough to make this kind of effect great. Liliana, moreso than Hymn, is a "build-around-me" card that might have a home in an archetype I haven't considered.



  • There was a huge amount of time where Dredge cards hadn't been printed yet, and Hymn was not doing well in events. Whatever the reason

    @Brass-Man: I recall many blue decks running 1-2 Misdirections as extra Force of Wills during this time. Having an ancestral misdirected was enough of a blowout. If you still had a hand, hymning yourself is clearly much, worse.



  • A lot of those effects seem to be associated with Dark Ritual, which Mental Misstep has done a hell of a number on.



  • I've been playing Thoughtseize, Hymn, and Liliana in a BUG Leovold deck I've been testing, and I rarely sideboard them out or have even considered removing them from the deck. Sure, Liliana can be bad depending on the opponent's deck, but I can say that about any card. Bob looks great until you're sitting across from burn, Mental Misstep is awesome until they have zero 1 mana spells in their deck, etc. Thoughtseize has more or less single handedly won me games, and Hymn just feels dirty to cast every time. I may be getting too cute, but I know multiple forms of disruption is how you beat combo decks consistently; and hand disruption can make counter battles awkward for the opponent.



  • @Water0 said:

    I've been playing Thoughtseize, Hymn, and Liliana in a BUG Leovold deck I've been testing,

    Would love to see this list!

    I think Mind Twist could even see more play than it does, but in the right deck of course.



  • @darkquarterer By no means am I an expert on this sort of deck, but this is what I threw together and changed a bit as I tested: https://deckstats.net/deck-11310879-b7e5aead575a8471d13012d0cbdf6af6.html

    I haven't really played with Managorger Hydra, and I wanted kind of a big threat. You could probably play Scavenging Ooze instead.

    Edit: I realised my fetchland choices don't really make sense if I want to get my basic swamp out of the sideboard into play.



  • Of course Duress is playable. What kind of nonsense is this. Lol. I have seen a split of TS and Duress. Also, Mind twist is only as good as Drain is good in a metagame. Currently I have seen some of the highest costing cards in some time being played that are juicy targets for Drain: Gush, Treasure cruise, Dig through time, Dark petition, to name a few. Hence, making Twist good. Or am I wrong?


  • TMD Supporter

    Cabal Therapy has been dominating Vintage for the last 6 months...

    It's ranked 17th on the list of commonly played spells in vintage, and ranked 21st overall. Appearing in 25.4% of decks.

    Duress is ranked 34th amongst spells, appearing in 14.3% of decks.

    Also amongst spells, by comparison, Mana Drain is ranked 35th and Leyline of the Void is ranked 38th.

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/format-staples/vintage/full/spells


  • TMD Supporter

    @Ten-Ten Since What makes Mind Twist great against Mana Drain specifically?



  • @mdkubiak said:

    @Ten-Ten Since What makes Mind Twist great against Mana Drain specifically?

    He meant mana drain having lots of good targets makes playing mind twist alongside it better, because you can cast it for large numbers more easily.



  • I feel the exact way about Hymn that I do about Power Sink. Used to both be ubiquitous in Vintage and somehow vanished. Personally, I still play both cards frequently, but then I'm hardly a ranked bad-ass these days. It's more for nostalgia, and honestly Hymn is probably underrated in the Vintage metagame. It still holds up in my personal play-testing anyway,,,


  • TMD Supporter

    @countbeckula said:

    I feel the exact way about Hymn that I do about Power Sink. Used to both be ubiquitous in Vintage and somehow vanished. Personally, I still play both cards frequently, but then I'm hardly a ranked bad-ass these days. It's more for nostalgia, and honestly Hymn is probably underrated in the Vintage metagame. It still holds up in my personal play-testing anyway

    Hymn is bad because you kind of need to be dealing with the board on turn 2, not random cards in your opponents hand. You're not nabbing any "Juzam Djinns" because they're already in play and attacking your life total.



  • It's not discard, but I've been back to toying around with stifle (or trick bind to play around misstep) in my blue lists. It's rarely dead in my hand t1 and almost always has a target mid game.



  • @desolutionist
    I completely agree with you and just wanted to reiterate that I no longer play MTG "competitively." It's just a nostalgia thing along with a pondering of why some of these former Vintage staples have become obsolete. Cheers.



  • Liliana is card disadvantage if you play and immediately +1 her; also her upside is irrelevant to the format. Even against non-Mentor decks, paying 1BB for an Edict is crazy.

    Hymn is bad because it's a terrible topdeck, and a lot of Vintage grindy matchups are topdeck based (also BB is a terrible cost to pay).

    Thoughtseize isn't played because there are fewer and fewer reasons to actually disrupt an opponents hand. It's bad topdeck just like Hymn. Also, it's normally used to answer something your deck can't otherwise (like mono-black trying to deal with Oath). These days threats are homogenic so you don't need that kind of answer. Also, Vintage decks have become more redundant so there's a good chance you'll Thoughtseize something just for it to be drawn again. Combo shifted from it to Defense Grid which is much better against a hand with multiple counters.

    There's also a Tempo issue with discard, since you are investing mana to deal with cards that your opponent haven't invested any mana into - making counterspells better in most cases.



  • This has been mentioned else where, but whats the verdict on Crop Rotation in Dredge?

    I really like the card against "decks not utilizing counter magic" (which i see more and more of these days). When Crop Rotation came of the restricted list, Eldrazi and Hate Bear decks didn't exist and Workshops had Chalice. I also assume more Bazzars would be better in the mirror, -Maybe also against PO?

    To be clear I would use this in addition to Serum Powder.



  • @John-Cox I think crop rotation could be good when it sees play. Some lists might struggle to find space for it. The only other problem I have with Rotation is that it could spend some games as a dead card. For instance if I draw it in a hand with a Bazaar and no green source I definitely keep the hand and I proceed as dredge does and rotation could just turn into a pitch card or something that I can just never play.
    However, running something like riftstone portal could make this instantly better. Making every land a green source could prove really useful if you drew into a barbarian ring or salvage or other non green producer. I think it definitely has potential in a dredge list just have to be careful about how many get put in, in my opinion.


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