Building a Vintage gauntlet



  • I'm a long time casual player who is trying to break into competitive Vintage. There is not much Vintage in my area that I know of so I've been talking with some friends about building a playtest gauntlet so that we can all just grab a deck and play to learn the match ups. I'm looking for advice on things like what decks to include, where should I grab the lists, and what to do about sidboards since they are meta specific. Any help is appreciated.



  • You definitely want to practice against Shops (something like this), Mentor (here), Oath (something like this but it could be different creatures/no Saheeli), PO storm, and that's about it. Shops and Mentor are basically the entire metagame according to both MTGGoldfish and mtgtop8, so you definitely need to have a chance against both if you want to have a successful deck.

    Grafdigger's Cage is a popular sideboard card since it helps against both Oath and Dredge (not super common but a deck that is played), but many Oath lists are just running castable creatures; so they don't even need to use Oath to win. Outside of that, it really depends on your deck, your colors, and what the meta says.



  • @Oso

    Dear Mr. Bear,

    My wife and I do just about exactly what you describe. The decks we use are: Shops, UWR Mentor, Oath (standstill variety), White Hate Bears, White Eldrazi, Outcome/Storm, Merfolk and Dredge. We didn't build all those decks in a single day, but over time. So don't feel like you have to go on a 16 hour card gluing bender. Just pick 2 decks and go to town.

    My first suggestion is to go on the internet and purchase a lot of homelands or fallen empires cards, which are simultaneously the crappiest cards ever made, and the best thing ever for proxy vintage. Next get a laser jet and go to work making 75 card decks. In terms of the sideboard, I suggest you look at several lists from mtgtop8, and familiarize yourself with those cards which appear most often in the sideboards, or even in the main boards. For example, if you look at White Eldrazi lists, you will find "fringe" cards that appear in some lists but not others. (Glowrider//Vryn Wingmare, Warping Wail, Thalia-Heretic Cathar, even Reality Smasher.) So I would print out those cards as your sideboard and then experiment with various configurations. That will start to get you a natural feel of what the difference is and in what situations you might want one or the other. The same goes with Gush decks, and Shops decks, which are spoken of as monoliths but actually contain myriad subtle variety inside those archetypes. If there are really close choices, as the one between Glowrider and Vryn Wingmare you can even playtest against your partner using a wildcard rule... where you can play a card as either one of those cards. Then just keep data on which one is better more often and you have your answer as to deck configuration.

    Next, lastly, I would play all sides of the matchups, but I would also center myself on learning one archetype well. I would select a single deck archetype and try to master it from every angle, especially against those decks that are the most common in the format. For example, if you become a Shops player who can win the Mirror and beat Gush at a decent rate, you will be very successful in tourneys. If you become a Gush player who can win the mirror and beat Shops, same thing.

    Good luck to you Mr. Bear.



  • @Water0

    Thanks for linking the lists, that will help a lot.



  • @Topical_Island

    Thanks for all the advice. Do you have two gauntlets built so you can practice the mirrors? My wife and I have recently started playing against each other with a DPS and Dredge list just because that is what we have built. We'll play a few matches and then switch and compare how we sideboarded and what hands we felt like we could and couldn't keep. That's what got us thinking about building a whole guantlet to run and bringing in some of our friends to get fresh prospectives on all the match ups.



  • @Oso It's crazy you mention that. My wife plays gush and hasn't done as well at tourneys as she's liked lately while I've been doing better. We realize that's because I play my Oath list against her Gush list all the time, and then when we go to tourneys she sees Oath never, and I see Gush all the time. So we just mirrored her Gush list so we can play that. We should probably mirror Shops too, just because it's so common, but on the other hand neither of us play it in tourneys so who cares.



  • Building a gauntletcan be a powerful tool when you don't have the time or means to travel and compete regularly. I have had a vintage gauntlet together since 2007, and the decks in the gauntlet have changed to keep up with new deck and tech trends. I would suggest that you build the most commonly played decks so you can learn the different inflection points in the metch-up and se where the basic decison trees take you. My gauntlet for this meta consists of a Gush-Oath list, a Shop Aggro list Ravager/Ballista list), a Silence Mentor list, a Joe Brennan Mentor list, Amalgam Dredge list (with Unmask) and a Paradoxical Outcome combo list. We also run a friend's Eldrzi list against te gauntlet as a 7th deck.

    You have to make sure to find the happy medium between two things: running enough decks to minimize inbreeding and running few enough decks so you can maximize your reps and get the data you want as efficiently as possible. You need a minimum threshold of decks in the gauntlet to keep the sideboards honest and ensure that you're getting enough testing to tweak the maindecks if necessary or find better edges in the match-ups. It's time consuming, but once you gain a moderate level proficiency with each deck, the testing sessions will become more rewarding and the better your play will b with your deck, as you can approach the match-up from both your point-of-view and your opponent's. Skills like this are verynecessary when piloting certain decks (shops and dredge are the first to come to mind) as you will need to sequence your bait spells appropriately to tease out misplays and/or maximize the information derived from your opponent's responses (oh, they didn't force/ misstep, etc) to maximize your opportunity to win. If you'd like to discuss more, feel free to PM me.
    The important thing


  • TMD Supporter

    @Oso said in Building a Vintage gauntlet:

    I'm a long time casual player who is trying to break into competitive Vintage. There is not much Vintage in my area that I know of so I've been talking with some friends about building a playtest gauntlet so that we can all just grab a deck and play to learn the match ups. I'm looking for advice on things like what decks to include, where should I grab the lists, and what to do about sidboards since they are meta specific. Any help is appreciated.

    This is a great question.

    First thing you should do is look at major tournament results, and look for trends and consistently performing archetypes.

    If I was building a gauntlet for the current metagame, I would first try to assess what I'm trying to accomplish. Are you building a gauntlet for a particular tournament or just to learn the format? Those are two very different questions. Since you said you are just trying to learn the format, I'd make it broader and bigger - or perhaps - more generic and less metagame tailored.

    Here are what I see as the key strategies to build right now:

    1. Some predominant flavor of Mentor - perhaps Sylvan Mentor or a Stony Silence Mentor with JVP.

    2. A Walking Ballista Workshop deck

    3. A Dredge Deck (possibly Pitch)

    4. A Paradoxical Outcome Storm deck

    Those four strategies are tentpoles in the format and environment. If you want to go broader, you should probably add Oath and White Eldrazi. If you want to get more specific, you can add variants or other strategies, like a Delver deck or a Stax deck or whichever version of Dredge you didn't already include.

    Specific places to grab lists include:

    1. The tournament results forum here: http://www.themanadrain.com/category/9/official-tournament-results
    2. The MTGO decklists page here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/deck-lists-magic-online-products-game-info
    3. Top 8 decks archive here: http://mtgtop8.com/

    Good luck!

    Stephen



  • maybe this can help: http://metadeck.me/

    You can print up to 12 decks. I think until 4 decks you print card name + text box.
    4+ Just card name, cost and P/T. Sorry cant remember, working atm.
    But if you can print full card will be better. metadeck confused me in the beginning.

    About gauntlet, which Oath can be used ? I found many variations, any player as reference like Montolio for shops?

    ty!



  • @Smmenen said in Building a Vintage gauntlet:

    Since you said you are just trying to learn the format, I'd make it broader and bigger

    Specific places to grab lists include:

    1. The tournament results forum here: http://www.themanadrain.com/category/9/official-tournament-results
    2. The MTGO decklists page here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/deck-lists-magic-online-products-game-info
    3. Top 8 decks archive here: http://mtgtop8.com/

    Good luck!

    Stephen

    Having a Vintage gauntlet is super fun! I have one and I think that Elliot B. in the bay area has one that he printed out a while back. I usually have between 12 and 18 Vintage decks built out at any time (with a metric shit-ton of proxies) to test with friends. Thanks to the VSL, a lot of people are familiar with some of the notable vintage decks, so a lot of people can pick up a deck and at least make reasonable plays after a few games and get super excited to be playing Magic's most awesome format. When I was building my gauntlet (and when I decide to change it), I basically followed the advice that Steven gave you above. I think that my current gauntlet includes:

    1. 2 Mentor Decks (a stock list and my dumb combo mentor deck)
    2. Merfolk
    3. Shops
    4. Eldrazi
    5. URw Delver
    6. Grixis Delver
    7. Land Heavy Dredge
    8. Standstill
    9. A more Fenton-esque build of Oath
    10. Grixis Painter
    11. Doomsday
    12. DPS (Haven't got around to building Paradoxical Storm)
    13. Grixis Thieves/Control
    14. A UW Moat Control Brew Deck
    15. My stupid Thing in the Ice/Blood Moon deck
    16. Belcher

    Why these decks? Some are good and some are fun. Depending on your mood and purpose, you'll want to play with different ones. Have fun learning this crazy ass format!


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to The Mana Drain was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.