Vintage Fever

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For the past week and a half I’ve been out with mono. I had never had mono before, and the impressions I had gotten led me to believe that people with mono basically got to do whatever they wanted while they were too incapacitated to do any work. Well, that’s pretty much completely wrong. Now I know first hand that mono basically leaves a person with enough energy to sleep and spend several hours a day wishing that they were still sleeping. I would say that I’ve even been watching less Netflix since I’ve been sick because I really just don’t want to do anything.

Needless to say, this illness has left me completely untested for the Vintage tournament this weekend. Despite being sick and unprepared, I’m going to go ahead and battle the tournament anyway, because frankly I’m tired of doing nothing all the time.

Given the fact that I will have no idea what I’m doing on Saturday, I don’t think it would be wise for me to battle with Gush Delver as I intended. It is true that it’s the deck that plays most like a deck that I’m familiar with, but my confidence in Legacy Delver has a lot more to do with my knowledge of what my opponents can do than what my deck can do. Trying to play a deck with considerable control elements in a new format is probably a bit on the ambitious side.

Instead, I want to play something more on the proactive side. The Merfolk deck from Vintage Champs looks much more straightforward, but I really, really hate playing Merfolk outside of Lorwyn limited.

Option 1- Robot Shop

One deck that intrigues me is the Workshop “Affinity” deck. And by that I mean the Workshop Skullclamp deck. If you’re unfamiliar, it looks something like this(source:

This deck features some of the disruptive elements of typical Shop decks, but instead of going all-in on disruptive artifacts it features a more aggressive suite of creatures along with Skullclamp and Genesis Chamber as a draw engine. The major problem that I have with this deck is that I don’t know how effectively it could ever beat an Oath of Druids and I really don’t know what the proper set of disruption would be for this shell. Tangle Wire is easily one of my favorite cards, but how good is it in Vintage? I know it’s a 3-cost artifact that doesn’t do anything on turn one, which seems awkward. Most likely, my lack of experience eliminates this deck as an option.

Option 2- Tezzeret

Another option that intrigues me is dedicated Voltaic Key + Time Vault combo. The issue here is again going to be that dedicated Key Vault is something of a control deck with a combo finish. For reference, I’d be looking to play something like this(source:

The other problem with this deck? Aside from the fact that everybody should be ready for Key Vault, I haven’t the slightest idea how close this list would be to optimal. It’s definitely more dated than anything from Vintage Champs. I am intrigued by having the option to just kill people with Vault Key though, which leads me to a third option…


There has been mild discussion on the Facebook page of the store which will run the event, and a very interesting point was raised in one of the threads. Apparently Reid Duke felt that his Storm list was off by a good margin. Most notably, the Simian Spirit Guide in the deck doesn’t appear to do anything. Martin Lohman posed the question of why the deck doesn’t just run one copy of Key Vault, and I thought the inclusion sounded pretty neat. The deck already features Aeronaut Tinkerer and Voltaic Key isn’t completely worthless outside of the combo considering the few pieces of artifact acceleration. If I wanted to play Storm, I’d play this updated (for better or worse) version of Reid’s deck:

The advantages of this deck are pretty clear- it has a lot of ways to “just win” the game, which is far preferred to actually playing Magic. Of course, Storm can be a very difficult deck to pilot optimally, and I’m not sure how much my limited experience with the Legacy version helps. Wheel of Fortune is dramatically different from Burning Wish, after all.

Would it be wise to bring this pile in not knowing how well it can perform against decks packing Flusterstorm, Force of Will and Mental Misstep? Probably not. It’s definitely not the safest option, but it seems to very clearly be the most powerful. At the time of this writing it’s very likely that I’ll be throwing caution to the wind and battling with Storm. I already probably shouldn’t be playing anyway, may as well go deep.


As a quick update on the Pauper front, I’m going to take another week and look over current Mothership coverage of the format and see about jamming 5-3-2-2s. Thus far it seems tougher to have a real read on the metagame, but playing is more available than ever. Either way I should have a conclusion about Tron coming out in the near future. Just know that I haven’t forgotten about the project.

Thanks for reading.

-Ryan Overturf

3 thoughts on “Vintage Fever

  1. I never had mono, but it sounds like the deck that is most straightforward would be the best choice? I would not go with Storm in that case, such big decision trees! Maybe Tezzeret, but most likely I’d pick Robots. Of the (non-fish) decks in the Vintage champs Dredge seems most straightforward, I’d be tempted to play that (though admittedly that’s the only deck I would be close enough to building, just a Bazaar shy). Another option could be the Junk Hatebears deck?

    Anyway, good luck and hope you recover from the mono soon!

    1. Yeah, Storm is definitely the most difficult to pilot, but it plays the coolest spells!

      I’ve been getting a lot better on the mono front, and literally have no obligations other than sleep before Saturday, but we’ll see how I’m feeling the closer I get to the event.

      Dredge is definitely easy to play, but I think I see on average 7 pieces of hate in every sideboard, and that doesn’t sound ideal to me.

      One aspect of adding Key Vault to Storm is that it kind of gives you an “easy button”, but again, I’ll see if I’m feeling up to it when the day rolls around.

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