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posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@shock-wave said in Sideboarding Versus Hollowvine/Hogaak:

Has anybody been able to solve this matchup? My best success has been through a combination of Leyline, Tabernacle, and Wasteland --- in that order. I find that if I don't have Leyline in my opener, then the odds of winning decrease exponentially, since resolving disruption becomes extremely difficult.

If Leyline sticks, then they're forced to dig for FoV, and that can be very costly --- those are the games I've found myself winning. I treat this matchup like a control mirror, and as with any control mirror, disrupting the draw engine is the key, so Leyline openings seem to be huge.

I recognize your name from MTGO leagues, assuming you're XShockWaveX. If you're looking for information about the online metagame and the opponents you'll find there you'll get both faster and more accurate answers on the Vintage Streaming Discord:

posted in Vintage News read more

Thanks for including me in this, Joe! It was fun getting to express my optimism about the format, as well as read through how the other participants enjoy interacting with the format. I'm looking forward to the next one!

posted in Vintage News read more

Fun fact: The first build of Belcher to post results post-ZNR was @notmi's (link here: The reason that @notmi chose Silundi Vision over Sea Gate Restoration was entirely card availability. The fact that builds using the tapped castable counterspell are succeeding over the untapped win-more spell is more of a Bob Ross happy accident situation and not a conscious choice.

posted in Dredge read more

@vaughnbros said in Pitch Dredge:

The Hogaak deck is an offshoot from Dredge and Survival decks essentially getting merged. With how a lot of people have it built, the deck does kind of need Bazaar, but some adjustment can be made to it to play better as a controlish deck. The builds with more Ouphes and Vigors are better for that, in my opinion. Those decks can keep mana denial hands without Bazaar and run down that route.

That's the route I took when I played Hogaak to the finals of the PAX Vintage Championship earlier this month. I included an answer to mulligans just now, but feel free to discuss other Hogaak-related things there:

posted in Tournament Reports read more

@botvinik said in PAX Vintage Champs - 2nd Place with Hogaak:

What are the general mulligan rules for the deck?

The best heuristic I can come up with is "have a plan". Oftentimes the strongest plan is Bazaar of Baghdad, but that doesn't make this a Mulligan to Bazaar deck. There are many, many lines, especially ones involving Stitcher's Supplier and Once Upon a Time, that can still lead you to powerful starts. Remember, Stitcher's Supplier on turn one sees more cards than Bazaar of Baghdad on turn one. If you're looking at a hand with a bunch of cheap creatures and a Hogaak, see if you can map out a quick line to casting that Hogaak. Don't be afraid to lead on Deathrite Shaman, cycle Hollow Ones, or pitch Vengevines to Force of Vigor to play a more Fish-style game rather than try to go for the nuts every single time. During my finals run I only had the "cheese" hand (Bazaar, two free creatures, one or more Vengevine) three times in nine matches, and one of those times the cheese didn't even pay off because it was too fragile.

I'm not a content creator, but my friend Justin Gennari is, and he has five five-match MTGO leagues with the deck to showcase some gameplay. I didn't vet these, but oftentimes when I watch him play he explains his opening hands and other thoughts very well. Here are the links to the YouTube playlists when he played the deck in early July, with 25 videos of full matches:

League 1:
League 2:
League 3&4:
League 5:

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

posted in Dredge read more

@Botvinik I saw that you were disagreeing with how Vintage Dredge is built with @notmi, who is an accomplished pilot with the deck. I decided to compile his recent (past three months) results with the deck and post them here rather than have you two continue being off-topic in the Omnath thread:

A league 5-0 in July:
A league 5-0 in August:
17th in an August Challenge:

I did the same data scrape to find a list without four Force of Vigor, but came up empty. Hope this helps!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Great work, Matt! We're looking forward to Omnath holding a trophy in all four hands before the season is over.

For those that missed it, Vintage Champion Brian Coval was all about this deck and recorded a league with it. He might not have the same prowess as Matt as the deck is built to Matt's style of gameplay, but it was still a fun and enjoyable watch:

I can't put names to faces on these forums, but when a big name like Brian Coval is on your side it's safe to say you've created a deck worth respecting.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Maverick featuring three Archon of Emeria went 4-2 in this past Sunday's Vintage Challenge, getting 15th out of 44 players and a strong enough finish to get published:

posted in Tournament Reports read more

Hey cool cats and kittens.

I made it to the finals of this past weekend's PAX Vintage Championship. This online event consisted of six rounds of Swiss with a cut to Top 8. In order to qualify for the event there were a series of $25 qualifiers, roughly two per day, where you needed to achieve a 3-1 record or better.

Since Krark-Clan Ironworks won the September 12th Vintage Challenge, I decided to load up a build of Hogaak that ran maindeck Collector Ouphe for the PAX Vintage Preliminary the next day. I pulled off an easy 3-1, 6-3 in games, with all three game losses being to Dark Ritual decks pulling off turn 1/2 kills. It was nice (and cheap!) to qualify on my first attempt. This was the build that I used:

Happy with my performance, I sat tight and waited for a week to pass. During this week Zendikar Rising was released, and with it people were brewing Goblin Charbelcher decks running Sea Gate Restoration, but nothing else really changed. Happy that Collector Ouphe was a tool against this new menace, I registered the same 75 for the Championship.

My matchups lined up fairly well, and I managed to push through the entire tournament without ever facing the Dark Ritual menace that bested me during the Preliminary. My matchups, records, and the decklists of my opponents were as follows:

Round 1 - IamActuallyLvl1 - 2-0 Esper PO (decklist)
Round 2 - Ikashy - 2-1 UR Xerox (decklist)
Round 3 - Wizard_2002 - 2-0 BUG Midrange (decklist)
Round 4 - unicornparadise - 0-2 Golos Shops (decklist)
Round 5 - BaconLettuceTomato - 2-1 Merfolk (decklist)
Round 6 - albertoSB - 2-0 BUG Midrange (decklist)

At this point I'm 5-1 and locked for the playoffs. I send out a celebratory tweet.

Quarterfinals - AnziD - 2-0 Breach Oath (decklist)
Semifinals - karatedom - 2-1 4C Planeswalker Control (decklist)
Finals - unicornparadise - 1-2 Golos Shops (same as the Swiss)

It was heartbreaking to not be able to exact my revenge from my Swiss loss, but Jonas (unicornparadise) piloted his deck very skillfully in both of our matches. The pivotal moment was the start of game three, where I kept a "cheese" hand on the draw that could make double Hollow One double Vengevine turn one. I had to fade Sorcerous Spyglass and Trinisphere. He had both.

A full breakdown of the top 32 decklists can be found on MTGGoldfish.

I'd like to thank the Vintage Streaming Community (Free to join, and harkens back to TMD's mIRC days! on Discord for their moral support during this event. It's nice to have a vibrant online Vintage community to bounce ideas off of and become a better Vintage player, even over a decade into my Vintage career. Special thanks to Justin Gennari ( and Anuraag Das (, who both streamed their side of the matches live.

I don't have a celebratory picture since this was an online event, so instead I leave you with a picture from this time last year from The Bearded Dragon's Mox Pearl event. I'm still crushing with Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis over a year later.


Mike Noble