For me, being a better player is something like you becoming an expert on a subject. When i started playing magic, i always found myself coming back to a particular archetype (prison). I have since ventured out of that archetype to brew fun stuff, but always came back. My synopsis on how to be a better player is from that mindset, of having "mastered" a deck/archetype.
My goal then was to play this deck into the ground, until i knew it backwards and forwards. Depending on the format, that changed to knowing what my opponents decks are and how they win. Knowledge is power!
After you know your deck, and how it interacts with other decks in the format. you can get a sense of what role to play in your game. Are you the aggressor? or are you controlling until you get your hay-maker/card to get you back in the game? If you have built a deck that you are passionate about (this is especially important in vintage since these cards are an investment!) then you should know what cards you need in any given situation.
PLAY TO YOUR OUTS. if you are on the back foot, or even if you have the advantageous board-state, REMEMBER THIS! Your opponent doesn't want you to win, plan for your opponent to try and stop you, even when you know you have game on board (unless you have information that says otherwise).
I went to Champs 2017 and had the pleasure of meeting a great many people and seeing many different decks being piloted in front of me. I am unfortunately in an area where i have to beg my friends in between modern rounds to grab a proxied vintage deck and jam a game or two before the next round. Between that and using an awesome app to get sample hands (top decked) during down time, all i had to get my knowledge up was listening to EVERY podcast, EVERY youtube video, watching streams when i could, and talking to friends that play legacy and sometimes vintage with me, theorizing about everything i could think of.
Any deck you decide on playing, number one I think is picking a deck you want to win with (of course after evaluating what you think the meta is and what would do well). Knowing the intricacies of your deck vs other decks (triggers, timing, what your opponents spells actually say, oracle text!) Then looking into all the information you can. I would literally go into work listening to Vintage Super league, So many insane plays podcast, Leaving a legacy podcast, anything i could to increase my knowledge of the format.
After that was all said and done, I got ready for EW over the course of two months and came out with a respectable unpowered 6-4 record. I only lost to myself one time that tournament, the rest i blame variance which unfortunately, is a thing sometimes
@ydl and as far as sin prodder and bridge, it's only a nonbo if they need to swing in with their creatures and the give you the land on top and then you draw a land, order than that, it's fine not to seeing with him. At some point they will have to choose between taking 4 from fiery confluence or letting you cast it and taking 6. Or dealing with Chandra, or hazoret
@ydl I found that if the game goes according to plan, T1 lock piece, T2 threat, T3 another threat. Sin prodder gets there pretty good. Being that mono red has very few card advantage spells, it's also a way to get deeper into your deck, or throw damage at your opponent. Menace is also relevant.
I found that in legacy, sin prodder is pretty meh unless you are winning though. In vintage, he is a problem lol.
More hazoret go in vs decks with swords to plowshares, I also like boarding hazoret in against oath/blue decks because if she sticks, you don't have to cast any more spells. Just pitch until you have a dead opponent.
Hey all! I just wanted to put my two cents in on my FAVORITE achetype- mono red Prison!
First let me tell you guys that this is what i ran in a trial and what i had an amazing time running (BUDGET) at EW.
here is my list that i got 100th place (6-4)
a note about what i lost to:
First loss was to dredge, I cant say he outplayed me more than i failed as a pilot.
I had created a locked boardstate and decided to protect against single removal and run out every ensnaring bridge i top decked. and in the third and final game, my opponent reminded me of the sideboard card i had most feared, serenity....
Second loss was to variance. I lost to eldrazy, one of my best matches. Opener in game three was turn one blood moon with no lands in hand. I figured that my odds to draw a land would be pretty good. I was wrong. A revoker on black lotus beat me down while I was top decking lock piece after lock piece, not able to cast them.
Third loss was to possibly my worst matchup, Jeskai mentor/good stuff.
i got killed by my own rabblemaster game one, and a jace ult the next game. was not pretty.
My final loss of the day was to Patrick Brennan, cool guy, he was the guy who got crushed by reid last year on paradoxical.
It turns out that game one, on the play, I have a fantastic shops matchup and it showed all day long. Game two, the power of mishras workshop showed as my opponent had the mana to cast a turn one lodestone golem AND a phyrexian metamorph. Game three was a fight, but he prevailed doing shops things that they do.
Wins were against:
Lands(2-1) - turn one 20/20 really good when i don't top deck a bridge lol
3 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 City of Traitors
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Blood Moon
3 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Null Rod
1 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Sin Prodder
1 Hazoret the Fervent
4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Fiery Confluence
1 Chalice of the Void
2 Cursed Totem
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Hazoret the Fervent
1 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Sorcerous Spyglass
3 Mirage Mirror
In a format/color where if you dont have power to pump out equal threats, you have to make cover-most answers.
This is where the red prison deck shines!
If someone can make it powered efficiently, go for it. I honestly think this deck is fine unpowered because of the pieces in the deck that work with bridge, hazoret, and chandra. This is an explosive prison deck that tries to jam, problem after problem, until your opponent is dead, or at 6 life, then you fiery confluence them
Main deck artifact hate makes this deck really strong against much of the decks out there.
and the call to run ensnaring bridge was strong as i got paired against two lands players, even if i didnt have a moon, I would have time against merit lage.
questions, comments, concerns?
I think this is super strong in the current paper metas, if shops holds the majority and you still want to have outs to many other possible vintage strats.