Vasu Balakrishnan NYSE2019 2nd
Mana Sources (30)
Karn, the Great Creator has inspired several new decks, but the breakout in terms of success and popularity is a combo deck based on Karn and Mystic Forge. Karn can tutor for Mycosynth Lattice or the Time Vault/Voltaic Key combo, and Mystic Forge can draw your entire deck with a Foundry Inspector and Sensei's Divining Top, or simply generate massive card advantage. With a huge amount of mana acceleration and the occasional Serum Powder, the deck is very redundant and consistent, making it very very likely to resolve one of those two four-cost spells on the first turn, either of which is very likely to lead to a kill on turn 2 or 3.
Vasu's exact list, posted above, placed four players into the top 8 of the recent NYSE 2019 event, and focuses entirely on speed and answers to common hate cards. Other players opt to take the list in a more aggressive direction, by adding more Workshop Aggro-style threats, or a more disruptive direction, adding Sphere of Resistance.
As of today, KarnForge is the deck to beat, and it would be a mistake to enter a tournament without a plan for it. Future KarnForge development will likely revolve around reacting to those plans.
Joe Brennan, NYSE2019 1st
Mana Sources (21)
Like a Xerox deck, BUG has a mix of efficient threats, counters, and removal, but BUG decks tend to have a flatter power curve, with each card having value on its own, rather than filtering to your best cards with cantrips, which are becoming more of a liability in a post-Narset metagame. Black/Green/Blue threats tend not to have the raw power of a Monastery Mentor, but often have some disruptive or utility ability tacked onto them.
I often recommend BUG to players who enjoy midrange decks in other formats, and almost no other Vintage deck gives you that feel. BUG is one of the most personalizable decks in the format and lists tend to vary quite a bit from player to player.
What cards and strategies have you been using in BUG?
@craw_advantage Illusionary Mask is a truly insane card. Look at the Alpha wording again and remember that Morphs didn't exist for years. There was no such thing as a "face-down card", and the fact that a "face-down card" is a 2/2 creature with no abilities wasn't a thing. In Alpha, a Mask-face-down creature is just a creature with all of its characteristics, your opponent just doesn't know about them.
If you use Mask to play Shivan Dragon, you can pump its power without revealing it.
If you play a Serra Angel with Mask, you can attack with it and it won't flip until it deals damage. Your opponent can't block it without a flyer, but they don't know that it has flying.
If you use a Mask to play Rock Hydra it's going to have a bunch of counters on it. I guess. You could technically pay 10 mana and decide X=0 anyway.
If you play a Plague Rat with Mask, your other Plague Rats are bigger. It's kind of a tell, but your new rat is still face-down.
If you use a Mask to play a White Knight, and your opponent activates Pestilence, your White Knight won't flip up and your opponent won't know why. If they play a Swords to Plowshares on a Black Knight they committed an illegal action and ... well, I guess that depends on the REL level? Of course, REL levels didn't exist. Maybe you tell your opponent "sorry you can't do that, pick something else."
The card was sheer and utter madness. I don't know how long things worked this way. I'm guessing they changed the rules on this card before Arabian Nights was out, but I'm sure there were a lot of house rules surrounding the card. If anyone was around the competitive scene in the early early days I'd love to hear how it was handled. I've always been fascinated and terrified by the implications of the card before they added "status" to the game rules.
So there is some confusion here. Illusionary Mask can't be used to cheat cost on the creature. Current wording states:
"You may choose a creature card in your hand whose mana cost could be paid by some amount of, or all of"
e.g. you have to pay the mana cost or more. You even need to get the colors right, so you couldn't use a Mask to play a Goblin Welder with your Ancient Tomb, for instance. In this deck, Illusionary Mask does nothing. I don't believe Mask has ever worked that way, but I could be mistaken. I certainly don't recall any vintage deck that used it that way since 2002. If it really let people play any creature for free, it would probably be better to throw Emrakul and Blightsteel Colossus under it.
@ian-mars is correct that I only meant the deck size was illegal, if you just forgot to write some lands down than you're probably fine. It's possible to edit the original post without re-typing everything if you want to update it.
@jclnc007 If you know your friends like Powder Keg, that's a good reason not to play Phyrexian Dreadnaught. But if you're not running Dreadnaught, why run Illusionary Mask? As far as I can tell it does absolutely nothing in the deck. What are you trying to do with the card, maybe it doesn't work the way you're thinking?
I think that is a list of Vintage legal cards.
You are mistaken. It's 53 cards and is not a legal list. 52 if the Ancient Tomb was listed twice by accident rather than there being 2 Ancient Tombs in the deck.
I'm responding as if this isn't a troll post, but it's stretching my willing suspension of disbelief If this is a serious post, I suspect your playgroup is playing a very casual form of vintage, and might even have more fun with a format geared for non-tournament play like Commander?
If your heart is set on Welding in Sundering Titans, then you're going to need a 60 card deck, and you're going to need a lot more lands. If you want to dodge your Titan hitting your own cards, you can use non-Island mana like the original 7/10 deck did. Mana Confluence, Shivan Reef are nice, the new Fiery Islet seems great in this. An easy start is to throw in 7 of these cards to bring your deck up to 60. That alone makes your deck legal and a lot better, but you're probably going to want closer to 20 total mana sources? (including the artifact mana).
Now after all of that, you're still not in great shape to win a vintage tournament, but that's fine. Any less than those changes and you'll end up with a lot of games where you can't play a single spell, which won't be fun for anyone. Start with having enough mana to play your cards, cut the cards that don't do anything, and play a few games. Maybe build the deck together with your friends? Come up with questions to ask from the games you play.
It's hard for us to figure out what sort of environment you're playing in when your list isn't vintage legal and has no lands that produce the color of mana that your spells are.
I think I'm missing something. Have you played any games with this deck? You have several blue and red spells but no mana to cast them. There are Illusionary Masks but no card (like Phyrexian Dreadnaught) to play with them. Is the idea that you can use Mask to play Welders with colorless mana? I suspect just running Volcanic Islands would be a much better approach.
I think we're going to need a little more information to help you out, as it stands I'm guessing you wouldn't have much fun playing this deck, as you'll have a lot of difficulty drawing hands with the right mana to play anything. What are your goals with this deck? Are you taking it to a tournament? Playing with your friends?
It slows down your combo, but I would strongly consider maindecking the 4 Force of Vigor (or at least SOME number of them). I think it's remarkably strong in the format right now, and I've personally considered taking a look at Elf Combo entirely on the back of the card. I like to see someone taking a crack at it, and I love the Archon of Valor's Reach tech.
I think it makes a lot of sense to maindeck the Collector Ouphe as well. With 4 Green Sun's Zenith in the deck already, that gives you access to a ton of disruption with a minimal investment. I think you could make the case for several other disruptive creatures as well? (A splash for Gaddock Teeg comes to mind.) but I understand that each non-elf you add to the deck is going to slow you down. Ouphe is the best of them though, and is probably worth the slot.
I wonder if you want any of the new Canopy lands? (Horizon Canopy/Waterlogged Grove/Nurturing Peatland) it seems like the damage is pretty negligible for this deck, and you can quickly get enough mana generation on the board to make all of your non-Cradle lands redundant.
I think it's likely that the optimal version of this deck runs a second color, (blue for power?) and pretty obviously Black Lotus and Mox Emerald, but it sounds like you're building this with a budget in mind and they certainly aren't necessary for this deck in the same way that they are for an Outcome list.
You can do a lot with the power you have. Plenty of decks don't run the off-color moxes, I think you have lots of options. Can you describe a little more what sort of decks you enjoy playing? Maybe some decks you've liked from other formats, or some non-budget vintage decks that have caught your eye?