@nedleeds What do you mean?
The prompt specifically mentions Alliances and Force of Will being an option.
He said since Alliances. But I disagree with your statement
"barely any of the cards that really define our format had been printed yet."
The cards that make Vintage unique were printed before even Alliances. Force of Will is a Legacy staple. The fast mana, big blue, tutor and the busted Arabian and Antiquities lands are what define Vintage. Everything else revolves around them. Academy is busted because of artifact mana, Will is busted because of fast mana and rituals all printed before 1995.
@nedleeds That's fine you can disagree. The only cards that were printed at that point that really see regular play in our format at this point are lands, power, and a some other fast mana. Nearly everything that you play with that mana didn't exist yet. The namesake card in every deck, storm, dredge, gush, oath, ect. didn't exist.
Workshops is called Workshops most times isn't it? (sarcasm). Seriously though without the big blue, solomoxen, bazaar, workshop, dual lands, and dark rituals, all the pillars you mentioned except for Oath would not exist or be nearly as good as they are. Nedleeds was just reiterating my earlier post.
@Serracollector Fair. But it was called Stax for a long time. Storm wouldn't exist without storm.
Dredge wouldn't exist without dredge. Blue wouldn't exist without Force+Draw Engines. I think we can say a lot of decks wouldn't exist without their key components. Pretty much every deck could exist without moxen.
Wow... Indeed, this is just "water cooler" talk, but it's most interesting that the actual ubiquitous win condition cards of Vintage seem to all have been printed post-1995 (which was kind of my point here). Kudos to WoTC for doing this, and kudos to all of you for your input. I'm ever so tempted to modify my vote to include Oath of Druids, but I think Gush is still more important. How about a top ten list? I'll go with 1. Tolarian Academy 2. Yawgmoth's Will 3. Tinker 4. Gush 5. Cavern of Souls 6. Oath of Druids 7. Monastery Mentor 8. Show and Tell 9. Doomsday 10. Sneak Attack
5-Oath of druids
Storm cards are powerful, but always after an specific set up, just as time vault needs another card or BSC.
Showing will was for years enough to concede. It could win matches or just create an immense advantage.
Tolarian is a really unfair land. While it's possible to have it giving 0 mana, it's pretty normal to get 3 or more. And not colorless mana, but blue, the most relevant color. Every turn. Busted
Trinisphere in the mid game is great against some pairings. In T1 is game winning most of the time. Not fair in a deck with 5 black lotuses and sol lands.
Tinker was the most common win condition for eons. Bringing any robot, vault+key or memory jar (and much more) for 2U is priceless...
Oath of druids is the only non-restricted card in this list. I really find it as broken as the rest, or quite close. It's a 1 card combo that can be turned into 2 card combo with no requirements.
Close calls: chalice of the void, JtMS, sphere of resistance, wasteland, lodestone golem, memory jar, cavern of souls, gifts ungiven, snapcaster mage, goblin welder, monastery mentor...
FoW - changed the game forever and remains a staple 20 years later.
Will - combo out or recover from things being countered first time round.
Gush - draw and net mana. Was another entirely new concept at the time.
Wasteland - strip mine 2-5 vs greedy mana bases.
Cavern - gave teeth back to creature decks.