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posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I like the Loam version a lot, but def opposed to cutting Crypt. Lock + bazaar is one of the best T1 plays. Plus loaming thru my own spheres, and tomb#5 for DarkStage and the occasional grave troll finish. The only times I've lost to crypt rolls is when they waste my bazaar which is a tough slog regardless.
I haven't played since my last post until tonight. The London Serum Powder interaction is more complicated than I assumed but still a very comfortable improvement. I went 4-1 w this, only loss to a maestro w T1 Containment Priest both G1+2.
4 tomb
4 shop
4 riftstone
2 waste
1 strip
1 lotus
1 crypt
4 bazaar
4 powder
4 null rod
4 sphere
1 thorn
1 trisphere
1 chalice
4 grave troll
4 stinkweed
4 bloodghast
4 amalgam
4 hollow one
3 loam
1 balance
side
4 w leyline
4 b leyline
4 stage
3 depths

I brought back sanctity after bad record v oath w last iteration. If I were to cut white leyline again, I like needle over spyglass, bc unlike stax, not trying for long term denial (ie dack/jace), only defending Marit for one turn, so their hand info isn't tactically relevant, and I want to be able to cast via Stage alone, regardless if Shop still in the deck.
Postboard Vs Pyromancer/Survival/Oath Ive found they're pretty good at still playing their hand out through minor locks, and if they hit my yard, I feel dumb starting from scratch w just a sphere in play vs their regular threats. I'm more concerned about spreading my wincons against their hate.
I have yet to face eldrazi w prison dredge.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Pharaoh has been relevant. My board plans:
Oath / Survival / any U-control w Wasteland+Snapcaster
+15
-4 null rod
-4 sphere
-1 Thorn
-1 Trisphere
-4 Workshop
-1 Thug/Ichorid/Imp

Paradox
+9 Dark Stage and needle
-9 Ichorid/Thug/Imp/Grave-Troll

Ritual
+13 not Pharaoh
-8 Troll/Imp
-5 Ichorid/Thug/Amalgam

Shops
+11 not leyline
-4 sphere
-1 Thorn
-1 Trisphere
-1 Chalice
-2 Shop
-2 Thug/Imp

Dredge
+15
-4 null rod
-8 Imp/Troll
-3 Ichorid/Thug/Amalgam

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Since OP, I went 4-1 twice w this. 1of Ichorid is surprisingly good. Pithing Needle also worthwhile, maybe 2of main over Thug. I'm interested to try the Loam version, to increase dredge count, and Petrified Field is meh, and living the dream of hardcast Grave Troll ftw.
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Mishras Workshop
3 Wasteland
2 Petrified Field
2 Dakmor Salvage
1 Strip Mine
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Serum Powder
1 Pithing Needle
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
4 Null Rod
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Golgari Thug
1 Ichorid
4 Bloodghast
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Golgari Grave Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Hollow One
Side
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Dark Depths
4 Thespian Stage
2 Vengeful Pharaoh
1 Pithing Needle

I've been crushing a lot of Pyromancer. Its surreal boarding out Workshop.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Hey it's Ubastax guy. I sold my magic collection in 2012 for five houses in North St. Louis, and I've flipped over 150 ghetto properties since. In January I was alerted that a local shop was offering full proxy vintage so I've been playing most Sundays this year.
Stax in any form did not survive the restricting of Chalice as a tier 1 deck, but awhile back u/Zias posted 5-0 in mtgo league with an innovative Prison Dredge list. Combining Workshop, Bazaar, and Null Rod again spoke to me, so I've been running variations on this archetype. I finally went 5-0 in league myself last week. https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/competitive-vintage-constructed-league-2019-03-24
4 Bloodghast
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
3 Hollow One
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
4 Null Rod
4 Serum Powder
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
2 Dakmor Salvage
1 Riftstone Portal
Sideboard (15)
2 Riftstone Portal
1 Hollow One
4 Dark Depths
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Thespian's Stage

The differences between my list and Zias
Main: -4 Cabal Therapy, -1 Riftstone Portal, -1 Wasteland; +4 Leyline of the Void, +2 Petrified Field.
Side: -4 Leyline of the Void; +4 Leyline of Sanctity.
I went 10-2 in games and my opponents discarded to Therapy in only two games, one of which I lost and the other I would have won anyway. Also given that Wasteland is the deck's primary weakness both pre and post board, I'm inclined to endorse Zias's maindeck, despite my good showing with this experiment. Sideboard, Tendrils is out of favor for Paradox wincon, and Hurkyl's is not a game breaker for this deck, so I'm still short selling white leyline, though Oath worries me. Instead I have had success holding off creature decks with Vengeful Pharaoh, or I see Spinning Darkness is back in pitch-dredge boards. Pithing Needle could also be worth slots vs Wasteland, as seen in the dedicated Dark Stage decks.

The deck plays along Dredge strategic lines, not Workshop. Its still a must-mulligan to Bazaar (at least game 1), and whatever disruption you can land is bonus. Cutting Moxen is the counter-intuitive breakthrough. It plays 10 cards that produce 2+ mana on their own, and all the disruption besides Trinisphere costs 2, so running Moxen would needlessly increase Null Rod parity. This was unthinkable in the Goblin Welder days of Stax, requiring cheap weldables and casting 4-drops. But Prison Dredge isn't trying for a hardlock, just slow the enemy enough that recurring free creatures carry the game. Its cutting the dredge package down to the minimum and foregoing free counterspells for the bargain soft lock pieces. Prison Dredge doesn't care at all about counter magic or creature removal or artifact hate. It only expects to drop 1 or 2 artifacts at most and can win without casting any. Enemy tempo and cards spent countering/removing your artifacts are not being spent winning the game, so just as good.
General opening hand plays.
Typical: Have Bazaar, Don't have both Tomb/Shop+Sphere/Rod in opening hand.
T1 Bazaar, discard dredge stuff, maybe cast Hollow One.
T2 Bazaar upkeep, play 2+c land, return avg 5 power, maybe cast Sphere/Rod.
T3 dredge a lot, avg 12 power on board.
T4 maybe attack lethal, or dredge most the deck w 15+ power on board.

Strong: Bazaar + Tomb/Shop + Sphere/Rod
T1 Tomb/Shop->Rod/Sphere
T2 Bazaar, discard dredge stuff, play another Rod/Sphere, maybe Hollow One.
T3 Bazaar upkeep, dredge, maybe return a creature.
T4 dredge a lot, return many creatures.
T5 Attack lethal.

Monster: Bazaar + Crypt/Lotus + Sphere/Rod
Plays like Typical, accelerated 1 turn. Can also draw into either Crypt/Lotus or Sphere Rod off first Bazaar activation.

The transformation into Dark Stage is clutch, by continuing to shrug off counter magic while ignoring yard and artifact hate. I easily won one memorable game against T1 Leyline of the Void + Black Lotus->Energy Flux.
Overall this deck has the main dredge upside of Serum Powder into the one card combo cranking out a fast, uncounterable, recurring ground game. It improves on other dredge builds by giving up the creature density and Dread Return big finish for more powerful disruption, plus the mana for alertnate uncounterable sb win, making it not dependent on either the graveyard or artifacts. I'm a fan, London mulligan should make this a tier 1 contender.