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posted in Decks read more

@zias Fantastic insights and thank you for sharing!

I definitely agree that veil of summer is a very strong card. It certainly has a lot more blowout value than thoughtseize does. Everytime I analyze that card further I realize it has more and more implications. It may be correct to run a combination of the two. Thoughtseize provides early game interaction that’s harder to play around and veil offers a wide variety of protections that the opponent is forced to play around or just hope you don’t have it. I definitely need to try the combination of the two in testing.

The oath assessment is very good. It is fantastic as a way to pivot from one strategy to the next and have a way out of certain hate. I assumed Muldrotha was amazing! It’s a shame it’s also a legend as the deck can become very vulnerable to karakas but the card offers so much potential it’s worth the risk.

I like Oathing into Ramunap a lot. Especially with a fastbond on board you just get to put your entire graveyard into play basically after the Oath resolves. Not the most impressive if they’re heavy on the Rest In Peace plan however lol.

A card I’ve been tinkering some with that I forgot to mention and might be worth looking into is Rotting Regisaur. He’s extremely castable at 2B, he’s a super fast 3 turn clock as a 7/6 once he’s on board that the opponent must answer almost immediately, and his ability is often more of an upside than a down side as he lets you discard riftstone portal, life from the loam, or even ancient grudge. I wouldn’t say he’s an oath target but more of just a post board Aggro strategy that pairs extremely well with the decks lock pieces and takes out the dangers of a card like force of vigor.

posted in Decks read more

@zias I have tested PO and other combo decks until I was blue in the face and then kept going and testing further lol. In all my time playing the deck the one thing I’ve learned is you have to be willing to have some extremely good matchups (shops, dredge, survival to some extent) and some really horrid matchups as you’ve found vs. po and other combo. The misstep restriction has brought the xerox matchup much closer than ever before which used to also feel awful (assuming your opponent knew what they were doing) analysis and thoughts are below, this might be rather long apologies in advance.

Here’s my thought process and choices for those matchups.

  1. In game one you’re just sort of holding on for dear life especially if you don’t know what opponent is on you’re probably in trouble. However, this is why I’m a huge proponent of 4 main deck rods. Rod increases your win percentage against shops, hammers PO, and has some marginal effect against certain xerox lists usually because a lot of those game ones come down to wasting them off of all their resources or get blown out by swords and falling behind. Meanwhile null rod doesn’t effect you at all. I would rather board in out post board then wish I had it in the deck. It’s so strong. Also I strongly prefer rod over ouphe because I can play it off tomb and a lot of PO pilots are packing bolts right now in preparation for ouphe. Just a preference and I could be wrong. I also like it better than sphere in the main because I feel like it has broader utility against the field especially against ravager shops which is a match you’re already favored in and I think is easily above 85% or more with 4 rods in the main whereas sphere against shops in the blind can spell bad times.

  2. The reason I went with one main deck chains was for combo matches and xerox. It gave me one more point of game one interaction that can end up being huge plus it’s another card that has implications against several matchups and if you’re opponent ends up on shops or something it’s useless against you pitch it to bazaar. Demonic tutor also helps here as you can search for a lock piece, even tutor for a chalice 0 against PO can at least buy a few important turns.

  3. Maximizing your possibility of interaction turn one post board. My entire board is basically dedicated to beating blue decks and combo because I feel like my non blue matchups are so good I don’t need to waste space on them. So I bring in the absolute maximum amount of hate and lock pieces I can post board and just try to bury them before they can get ahead. This doesn’t always work but I’ve found it to give me the best results. I don’t like cards like mindbreak trap or pyroblast because they seem too reactive and narrow for my taste and any halfway decent combo player will play around mindbreak trap or just take it with duress. However they are ill suited to defend against a diversified board of lock pieces in artifacts, enchantments, and hand destruction and tons of wastelands. Even something as simple as crop rotation for bojuka bog will either blow a match wide open or at least buy you a ton of time. I would always rather be progressing my board.

  4. Ancient tomb is huge in these matchups and I’m basically willing to take any amount of damage off my tomb short of killing myself. Often these matchups the opponent can do 20 as easily as they can deal 2 if they start going off so I am gladly taking tons of damage off tomb if it means playing 3 lock pieces in a row. It basically won me my PO match as it enabled me to play a spell every turn for the first five turns through my own sphere and wasteland my opponent at the same time. I gladly took 10 from it and won the game.

  5. As mentioned above thoughtseize was a star all day and I’m planning to go up to at least three. It’s easy turn one interaction that can disrupt the opponents hand in combo and take a key piece off of a xerox opponent.

The two combo matchups I tested the most were PO and DPS.

My board plan for PO was as follows:

-2 tabernacle
-1 maze
-2 bazaar
-1 exploration

  • 1 portal


  • 3 sphere
  • 2 chains
  • 2 seize

It might seem like I’m taking out a lot of land. However. Tabernacle is basically dead so is maze. Bazaar loses value with 3 chains in the deck and often 2 is plenty post board. Often portal is too slow against them. So you’re still left with 28 lands in the deck which is more than enough and you’re taking out lands that mainly don’t tap for mana. Also I leave in chalice regardless whether I’m on the draw or not as imo it has value even beyond turn one in this match.

My plan post board is to mulligan aggressively to find interaction/lock piece and also being realistic your odds aren’t great.

DPS boarding

-2 tabernacle
-1 grudge

  • 1 maze
    -1 exploration


  • 3 sphere
  • 2 seize

Chains isn’t great here but I leave one in just in case they keep a hand that requires smoothing out. Often I’ve found this match comes down to either sphere or crop rotation for bojuka bog or bust. Imo this matchup is often worse than PO because dark ritual is such an insane magic card and I think it can feel more hopeless. Luckily it’s still not that big a part of the meta. It may be easier for your build because you have a lot more sphere pre board and this is the matchup that card shines really bright.

Even faster combo like Belcher or Ad Nauseam honestly I just hope to win the die roll to even have a chance or hope their deck just lets them down hard.

Other things I’ve tried to improve the combo match

  • splashing white for little Thalia, Teeg, and rule of law. Was ok but the mana gets crazy
  • leyline of sanctity - took up too much board space and was often a let down
  • solitary confinement. Yea this seems insane and it is insane but it was actually better than you think and I’m convinced it might have teeth somehow but requires a lot of building around.
  • I’ve tried up to 4 mindbreak and splashing red for pyroblast and meltdown. As stated before i wasn’t a fan. They felt amazing until your opponent knew what they were doing or had a single force of will and then it was often sad town. Just felt way too reactive.
  • In heavier black builds I ran sadistic sacrament and 4 seize post board with 2 urborg. Sacrament was insane but often really hard for the deck to cast fast enough.
  • also I’ve had a ton of success with running 2-4 tombs to Maximize tomb plus lock piece turn one. I really like 2 and plan to go back to that number in the future.

Often the best way to beat combo is just not play it. Even if your paired up against it just like put a hat on to disguise yourself and then bust out your own combo deck and tell the judge that the deck you submitted wasn’t the actual deck you wanted to play that round. It’ll be fine it’s all the rage right now.

How has the oath board been? I played an oath board in the past with two griselbrand and void winnower and found it was ok. My biggest issue was the xerox matchup often felt even worse post board because they’re bringing in all their swords and wear/tear effects and you often can’t protect your oath targets or the oath itself.

I hope this provides some helpful guidance/hints. Happy brewing.

posted in Decks read more

Hi all, wanted to bump a thread I started sometime ago discussing lands (I am the mysterious “guest” in many of these posts).

I won a tournament over the weekend running the following. I have put a tremendous amount of work into this archetype for a really long time and it felt great to get a win with the list regardless of the size of the tournament:


Maindeck (61)
4 Crop Rotation
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Life from the Loam
1 Force of Vigor
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
2 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Emerald
4 Null Rod
1 Exploration
4 Fastbond
1 Chains of Mephistopheles
1 Ancient Tomb
3 Bayou
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Dark Depths
1 Forest
3 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Karakas
1 Maze of Ith
3 Riftstone Portal
1 Strip Mine
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
3 Thespian's Stage
2 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
3 Dark Confidant
2 Thoughtseize
3 Abrupt Decay
3 Sphere of Resistance
2 Chains of Mephistopheles
1 Choke
1 Blast Zone

My rounds were as follows:

UW Saheeli Combo-won 2-1
Shops-loss 1-2 (game three was one of the strangest games I’ve ever played and I lost due to all over my win cons getting exiled despite overwhelming board control)
Jeskai xerox- won 2-1
4c Paradoxical- won 2-1 (Chains of Mephistopheles and null rod combine to make a great pair)

Top 4
Survival- won 2-1 me and @Mike-Noble had a great match here in the Bazaar “mirror match” that didn’t involve dredge.
Shops won 2-0.

Having unrestricted fastbond really helps the deck a lot but having only 1 misstep I think is a bigger factor. It lets you get through your worst matchups a lot cleaner than before.

I went straight BG for this build and it really impressed me. Chains was great where it needed to be and thoughtseize out of the board was awesome all day long.

I think there’s so many builds to be had with this deck and this is just one of many.

Cards that impressed me:

  • Chains (except when Joe Brennan kept playing Dack Fayden and targeting me right after I played it)
  • Thoughtseize- Gave me great interaction against all of my blue matchups especially with misstep restricted. Stealing a key card from combo or a piece of interaction from Jeskai followed by a lock piece felt great
  • 2x Tabernacle- I have never run less than 2 tabernacle in this deck and continue to stand by that number in vintage. It makes your strong matches so much stronger and it’s a great safety net where you need it against shops.
  • Choke- I go back and forth on this card in vintage but it was awesome for me and it buys a ton of time when you are going the prison route.

Cards that didn’t impress me:

  • Blast Zone- I keep going back and forth on this card but it felt way too slow or not needed in all my matchups. I feel like another build could utilize it better though.

I hope people keep continuing to brew and try new things with this archetype. There’s so many lists to be had!

Happy brewing.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Hey all,

Just wanted to bump this thread and remind everyone this is coming up this Sunday!

Hope to see anyone there who can make it. It’s alwyas a great time and Jason is a fantatic shop owner and awesome all around guy.

Come out and enjoy the community if you can.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vaughnbros I tried hollow one in the board for a while but it never impressed me in the deck. He can add more early beatdown value though.

I like Bob out of the board as well in certain metas. He provides incredible CA without having to use the yard or if the opponent goes crazy on grave hate. He’s not the world’s best beater but he adds a lot of value especially next to Ouphe/reclaimer

Punishing fire/grove has always been very medium for me in vintage. It can pick off walkers sometimes and certain creatures but it’s dead in some matchups and very slow. Maybe alongside Wrenn it has more value but I’ve never been a fan and don’t think it’s good enough in a deck that already has so few slots to play with. I’ve tried punishing fire in the board however and it felt better there but it was still awkward.

I’ve been going much more into black. I think it offers a lot more options in vintage for this deck then red.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vaughnbros understood. I misunderstood your first removal comment. The biggest blowouts are usually the all in on lage getting hit by swords then your blue opponent buries you with Card advantage.

In the weeks to come it may also be pertinent to be weary of surgical which can be a blowout and may see an uptick in play with misstep gone and fastbond around.

I once had a Marit lage get fire/iced (as in tap your Marit lage), opponent got an oath trigger off my tapped lage, gets inferno Titan, top decks his only Jace bounce Marit lage. That was a blowout right there. Lol. Clearly not normal but sometimes the strangest cards get you.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vaughnbros the vintage version can much more easily run ancient tomb and it has a lot more fast mana and can easily play sphere turn one. Sphere has always been one of my best board cards in several matchups from xerox to all in combo. It’s one of the best ways to contain the unfair decks in the early games so that your toolbox of lands has a chance to get going and take over

Also post board removal is very important for the deck. I’m not sure why this wouldn’t be a factor you’d consider even given all the different lands.

posted in Survival read more

Has anyone done any testing with Glory?

I ran it in my board when I was playing survival lands as a way to protect hexmage and Marit Lage. It worked well there but that was a rather odd build with plenty of mana to soak up the cost.

In a normal build it may be slightly mana intensive but I can’t help but feel it has utility against decks like bug where you can have your rootwalla chump a goyf all day and use it as a way to push through damage. As well as mirror matches in the case of a board stall. Lastly it saves your guys from being picked off the board by removal. Oh and it has that super sweet promo foil printing(style points).

The down sides being it is mana intensive as mentioned above and it does get shut off by jailer and it’s mana intensive cost requires white mana.

Just thought I’d bring it up. It’s a card I think can use some thinking about.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vaughnbros the biggest downside to courser is it’s a total blowout when opponent has force of vigor. Just a reminder more than anything, I’ve seen several people forget he’s an enchantment and it goes poorly lol.

Biggest thing to beating storm is a sphere based board. Your best chance is landing sphere then rod and keeping them off of lands as much as possible. Ritual storm is always lands’ worst matchup (outside of something off the wall like 8 moon). 4 sphere and trinisphere in the board and chalice gives you a decent shot against decks like DPS or at least buys you time. Often even a turn one lage on its own can be too slow.

I also like to diversify by splashing white for Thalia so if they keep hurkyls it’s not a total blowout. This is often not that hard since you already have multiple riftstone and karakas and Mox Diamond.

On the PO side of things I really like to splash black for Chains which buys a lot of time against them and has some effect on DPS and also a big impact against xerox.

Clearly none of these are an auto win but lands revolves around gaining incremental advantage and tightening the prison around them a lot of the time more than just jamming lage as fast as possible.

The deck can also easily support 4-5 colors which I’ve been playing for a long time. So branching out from the main base isn’t that bad.

Just some thoughts.

Happy brewing.

posted in Survival read more

Another card I’ve been considering in the board is scroll of fate. It probably sounds lame but it lets you grind out games really hard against fair decks. Not only can you put beaters face down but you can also manifest lands and other random dead cards mid-late game. Let’s you put pressure on the opponent when you are otherwise stalling (and yes you can hide a dreadnought which I’ve defitniely been testing just because I love that card). A lot of decks will just lose to a 2/2 every turn plus hardcasting other stuff.

Not sure if it has legs yet but it shows promise for sure.