So Many Insane Plays – The 2009 Player’s Guide to Vintage

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Monday, January 12th – For a format with a relatively static cardpool, Vintage can mutate and evolve at a surprising rate. Today, Stephen Menendian brings us an invaluable insight into every viable deck in the current metagame. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a Vintage virgin, you can’t miss this!

Vintage Magic in 2009 is beginning with a bang! I’m here to make sure you get started on the right foot. Today, I am going to take a look at every viable deck in Vintage, exploring their game plans, the buzz, and examining their weaknesses.

I. The Players

These are the decks you are likely to face at a Vintage tournament. In some cases, they are proven tournament winners. In other cases, they are powerful weapons for the right metagame. In any case, you will want to learn them, know them, beat them.

Tezzeret Control

How It Works:

This is a classic Vintage Mana Drain-based control deck. It’s an archetype with roots all the way back to Brian Weissman’s The Deck. The premise is the same as all Blue-based control decks: gradually gain card advantage while answering opposing threats, then playing a single large threat which is sufficient to win the game.

So, how does it do these marvelous things? Let’s begin with the threat. The threat is Tezzeret the Seeker. Find Tezzeret, play it, tutor up Voltaic Key (or Time Vault directly). Survive until your next turn, then tutor up Time Vault with Tezzeret and use the Key to untap it (or just untap it directly with Tezzeret if you tutored up Time Vault). The deck can also directly assemble Time Vault and Voltaic Key by tutoring for one when the other is in hand.

From here, you can take infinite turns. Use those turns to draw up your deck, build up Tezzeret’s loyalty counters, and attack for lethal damage.

Until you can resolve Tezzeret, what do you do?

This deck uses its disruption package of Duress, Mana Drain, and Force of Will to buy time and fuel its draw engine of Thirst For Knowledge. If you Mana Drain an opponent’s spell, you can use that mana to cast cards like Gifts Ungiven, Fact or Fiction, and Thirst For Knowledge.

You will parlay this card advantage into further card advantage or giant threats like Tinker and Yawgmoth’s Will. Tinker can find Darksteel Colossus, and Yawgmoth’s Will will almost always lead to a game win by creating tremendous card advantage.

For further tips on playing with Mana Drain, here is an old, but still quite excellent article, by Kevin Cron on how to use Mana Drains.


This is the hottest deck in Vintage and by far the best performing, winning tournament after tournament. Many of the format’s best players have adopted this deck as their weapon of choice. It’s incredibly flexible, since you can draw from any color in the Magic pie. And since it is the closest thing Vintage has had to a classic control deck in years, it’s just irresistible to many players.


As powerful and popular as this deck is, it has a number of weaknesses.

Like the Gifts Ungiven strategies that Tez decks resemble, Null Rod based strategies give this deck fits. Null Rod not only stunts the development of the game plan, turning off cards like Sensei’s Divining Top, Engineered Explosives, and powerful artifact accelerants like Black Lotus and Moxen, but it also shuts down the decks combo! Time Vault can’t be used to take additional turns if there is a Null Rod in play.

To combat Null Rod, many Tezzeret lists are now running a maindeck Ancient Grudge. Since Luis wasn’t running Green, he ran Gorilla Shaman instead. Also, Tezzeret pilots have Tinker for Darksteel Colossus as a backup plan, in case Null Rod hits. But resolving an early Null Rod will severely stunt the Tezzeret pilot’s ability to develop their board state and draw cards. As a consequence, many Tezzeret pilots are also running a transformational Oath of Druids sideboard plan, or Tarmagoyf. Oath of Druids works very well with Tezzeret since it’s not a creature.

These decks also have vulnerable manabases. Running 4-5 colors might give you a power boost, but it also requires a bunch of dual lands. This opens the door to being Wastelanded on the ground and Null Rodded at the same time.

In addition to vulnerability to Null Rod archetypes such as Fish or RG Beatz, Tezzeret Control decks are also weak to Dark Ritual based storm combo decks. This is not anything new. Dark Ritual combo decks have generally beaten Mana Drain control strategies in modern Vintage because of their speed and power. However, they have been kept in check by the presence of Mishra’s Workshop prison strategies and the like. In recognition of this weakness, LSV and Owen Turtenwald drafted another printing from Shards of Alara, Ethersworn Canonist, to their sideboard.

In spite of any weakness, Tezzeret can be tuned to minimize or address those weaknesses. It might not be able to beat everything at one time, but it can be tweaked to beat enough of the field to get you to the top.

The Perfect Storm

How It Works:

This is Dark Ritual Storm combo at its finest. This deck uses cards like Yawgmoth’s Bargain, Necropotence, Tinker into Memory Jar, Mind’s Desire and Yawgmoth’s Will as storm engines to generate card advantage, mana, and storm, which it then deploys to cast a lethal Tendrils of Agony. Force of Will and Duress are used to protect these giant bombs. The tutor suite ensures that the Perfect Storm can find the right solution for any situation.

This is no tin-foil combo deck. The Perfect Storm is highly resilient and impervious to most modes of attack, featuring a rock solid, basic-land heavy manabase, and a powerful defensive line. It can race any deck, but it prefers to build card advantage and establish mana stability in the first couple of turns. From there, TPS builds a critical mass of spells and then executes an unstoppable kill. And just in case, the deck can fall back on Plan B, of Tinkering for Darksteel Colossus.

For more on this deck, I’ve written a three part primer on the archetype. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


This deck is the 2007 Vintage Championship winner, and the breakout deck after the restrictions in June that revamped the format. In spite of this success, the buzz on the deck is extremely light. There are less than a handful of players who play this deck (although I’m one of them), mostly in the United States, and almost none in Europe. My impression is that many of the players who would play this deck opt for a Mana Drain deck instead, even if they have a few percentage points greater advantage with The Perfect Storm, because they enjoy playing Blue control more.


While Null Rod and Chalice are irritating to the Perfect Storm, it can still fall back on a solid manabase and Dark Rituals to generate mana. Cards like Ethersworn Canonist, Gaddock Teeg, Sundering Titan are far more devastating for The Perfect Storm.

Hellkite Oath

How It Works:

This deck’s game plan is incredibly simple. First, find, play, and resolve Oath of Druids.
Then, find and play Forbidden Orchard. Use it to give your opponent a spirit creature. Activate Oath on your upkeep, revealing either Akroma or Hellkite Overlord.
Attack with it. Do the same thing next turn and win the game. You will have dealt at least 20 damage.

This deck uses Thoughseizes, Duress, Force of Will, and Negate to help it resolve Oath of Druids and stop the opponent from mounting an effect attack. It also uses Impulses, Brainstorm, Ponder, and tutors to help it find Oath of Druids. Chalice of the Void can come down on zero and buy the deck a bunch of tempo.


Another deck made possible by Shards of Alara. This deck has been putting up solid numbers since it first appeared. It’s a great choice for a Vintage novice and expert alike.


As fast as Oath is, assembling a two-card combo consistently in any format requires time. This time can be exploited by faster decks such as Ichorid or Storm combo. The lack of a real draw engine means that if a Tezzeret deck can pull ahead in terms of card advantage, it may be hard for the Oath pilot to come back into the game.


How It Works:

Step 1: Mulligan into Bazaar of Baghdad. Use Serum Powder to get there.

Step 2: Activate Bazaar, discard dredgers.

Step 3: On the upkeep of your second turn, dredge using Bazaar. Then dredge again on your draw step. This will often be enough to win the game.

Step 4: Flashback Cabal Therapy to clear the way. Finally, Dread Return on River Kelpie. Use Kelpie’s draw triggers to dredge more and then Dread Return again on Flame-Kin Zealot for a lethal swing with an army of Bridge tokens.


This deck has always a super cool factor. But it’s also now a deck of choice for a growing cadre of Vintage players. This deck won multiple large Vintage tournaments in 2007, including a 315-player tournament in Milan, Italy. Unlike the Grow era where Hulk Flash was rampant, most Vintage decks skimp on Ichorid hate, especially Leyline of the Void. It’s a fun deck that gives you an excellent chance of making Top 8.


Graveyard hate. Leyline of the Void. Extirpate. Yixlid Jailer. Tormod’s Crypt. Relic of Progenitus. Ichorid can still win through a great deal of hate, so the opponent better have a way to protect or recur its answers or layer them to win. Still, the performance of an Ichorid pilot will be less a function of the composition of the metagame than the frequency of hate in the metagame and the skillfulness of the pilot in playing around it.

Ad Nauseam Combo

How It Works:

Use all of your draw, search, and mana to play Ad Nauseam as quickly as possible. Duresses and Thoughtseize should clear your opponent’s hand of countermagic. Use Ad Nauseam to draw cards until you fall to 5 life or lower and stop. From there, you should have little trouble assembling a critical mass of mana and storm for a lethal Tendrils of Agony. The deck is designed such that Ad Nauseam should give you everything you need to win.

Travis’s list is derived from a build I suggested, and the key innovation was a swath of Chain of Vapors, the deck’s additional storm generator. Use of Chain of Vapor, copying it by sacrificing lands, to bounce your Chrome Moxen, and then replay the Chrome Moxen, imprinting superfluous Ad Nauseam, Dark Confidants, or unusable Thoughtseize and other unnecessary cards to generate more storm and a bit more mana. From there, you should be able to play a lethal Tendrils.

Dark Confidant can be played as quickly as possible for additional card advantage as well as damage. The deck does not actually need to play Ad Nauseam to win. Each attack with Bob will reduce the amount of storm you’ll need to win with Tendrils. This list can beat down with multiple Bobs and then play a few Rituals, Moxen, or bounce and a Tendrils to finish off an opponent.


This deck is so tight, but also tightly under wraps. Travis Spero, the 2006 Vintage Champion, has won consecutive tournaments in Colorado with his list, but he has been very secretive about the most recent tweaks. This deck is very cutting edge, and can compete with anything in the format. Whether it catches on will depend on whether the deck can get some wider visibility.


Ironically, even though this deck has mostly 3- and 4-ofs, it’s not as consistent as TPS. The deck has a higher mulligan rate and relies entirely on Duresses and bounce spells for defense, since it cannot utilize Force of Will. Most of the angles of attack have answers. Workshop decks that can pile on multiple Spheres are probably the worst match for this deck. However, if the Shop player can’t get a second Sphere effect on the table, the first one will be promptly bounced and the Ad Nauseam player will quickly combo out. Chalice of the Void at 1 is probably the single best play against this deck.


Fish is the moniker given to Blue-based Aggro-Control strategies built around Null Rod (or Chalice of the Void). Fish has for most of the time in the last 5 years been a major metagame player. The new Tezzeret era we have arrived in is no exception; rather, it’s the rule. Whenever Mana Drain decks are ascendant, Fish decks are not far behind. Although Fish is performing very well at the moment, with a few tournament wins on its belt, there is no consensus regarding which color combination is the best shell for Fish. Rather, three different color combinations are performing equally well.

BUG Fish

UW Fish

UR Fish

How It Works:

As you can see, each approach shares a core set of mana denial and disruption and Blue countermagic. Beyond that, each list is quite different. The basic idea is to trip your opponent up. Fish decks are not powerful, but they are designed to trap the powerful. Cards like Null Rod, Stifle and Wasteland slow and stunt your opponent’s mana and game plan while your creatures get into the red zone.


Fish is a great deck choice if you are in a heavy Tezzeret metagame, which you probably are.


Fish’s biggest weaknesses is Oath strategies, and Oath sideboard plans.


How It Works:

MUD is a mono-brown Mishra’s Workshop fueled hybrid strategy. It’s a beatdown deck, a prison deck, and a combo deck. The basic set up play is Mishra’s Workshop, Metalworker to generate roughly 12 mana on turn 2 to unload a hand full of artifacts. What makes this deck great is the new printing of Thorn of Amethyst for additional disruption. This deck can play Karns, Trikes, and Ravagers for beatdown while it locks you out of the table with Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst, Chalice of the Void, Tangle Wire, Smokestack, and recurring Wastelands via Crucible of Worlds.

It also has combo potential with Metalworker and Staff of Domination. With Staff of Domination, you can generate infinite mana with Metalworker, draw most of your deck, gain infinite life, and play a bajillion permanents for one massive alpha strike.


MUD was the hottest deck in Vintage just over a year ago, until Tyrant Oath came on the scene, and later Flash. It has shed some of its aggro components in favor of more prison lock parts (which are stronger against Mana Drain based decks), but it is still putting up solid results. It remains the best performing Mishra’s Workshop deck in Vintage, and has continued to win a few tournaments, even in this difficult metagame environment.

One of the advantages of MUD is that without additional colors, you gain a lot of consistency through the support of lands like Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors. MUD’s other huge advantage on all other Workshop decks is its abuse of Chalice of the Void. MUD can drop Chalice of the Void at 1 without any drawback. Chalice of the Void at 1 is a crippling play for most of the other decks in the field. MUD can also drop Chalice for 2 and shut out a number of other competitors, including Oath strategies.


MUD’s biggest weakness is Hurkyl’s Recall and Rebuild. Both cards are very difficult to stop, and they are devastating when resolved. Without preventing these cards from being played through land destruction and mana denial, MUD can be totally undone by the resolution of a single one of these cards. The generation of huge amounts of mana with Mishra’s Workshop and Metalworker is something that Mana Drain pilots lick their chops to take advantage of.

II. Marginal Players

The decks I’ve canvassed so far are the decks that are consistently performing in Vintage tournaments, generally popular or present in most Vintage metagames, or some combination thereof. The decks I’m going to look at in this category are archetypes that have either enjoyed success at one time, but are no longer the metagame force they once were, or they are niche decks with dedicated followers.

Traditional Control Slaver

How It Works:

This deck wants to Mindslaver you. A lot. And if that doesn’t kill you quickly, it will use Triskelavus and Goblin Welders to get you into a Mindslaver lock and beat you down with some monsters. Even a single Mindslaver activation can put any opponent nearly out of the game – or at least so far in the hole that it will take a lot of work to recover. Meanwhile, the Slaver player is actively applying pressure by drawing cards and doing broken stuff.

This deck is fundamentally about Tinker and Yawgmoth’s Will, two of the strongest restricted cards. This deck has Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Lotus Petal, and Academy on top of full Moxen. It can generate a lot of mana very quickly, which makes it very fast. Beyond the restricted cards, Control Slaver utilizes what is probably the next best unrestricted Blue card in the format, Thirst For Knowledge, as a draw engine.

This deck is also incredibly flexible. To play Slaver, you have to realize that you are not tied to one strategy. In one match, Tinker for Sundering Titan may be all that is needed. In another, you may have to set up a Slaver lock. In another still, you may be jockeying to pull off a large Yawgmoth’s Will. Control Slaver is a bundle of strategies and a package of combinations. This flexibility is one of the reasons that Control Slaver is so powerful. It is truly a deck that maximizes basic Vintage skills, including tactical mastery and metagaming.


This is what the “standard” Slaver build looks like since the restriction of Brainstorm. Sensei’s Divining Tops have filled the gap. Slaver is pretty much relegated to third or fourth pick Mana Drain deck at the moment, behind Tez and Painter, among others. Still, it has a number of dedicated followers thanks to years of dominance.


This deck has serious problems against Null Rod and Chalice of the Void. Null Rod prevents you from activating Mindslaver, let along Moxen or Tops. Your best plan is just to find Tinker and Tinker up a monster. Chalice of the Void is also a pain in the neck. If they have resolved it before your first turn, you may not even get a chance to play Tinker because you won’t have a Mox in play to sacrifice.

This deck is also weak to combo decks like TPS or Ad Nauseam. Those decks will mount an offense before Control Slaver can mount a defense. Mana Drain and Force of Will are not enough to stop them from winning. Tormod’s Crypt will help, but if those combo decks rise, then other tools will be needed.

Although this list is still showing up in Vintage Top 8s, there are two major variants worth discussing.

Strategic Slaver

You can goldfish the decklist here.

Brian DeMars is the creator of the variant, and his list put two copies into the 2007 Vintage Championship Top 4. It uses Strategic Planning to help plug the hole caused by the restriction of Brainstorm, while synergizing with cards like Goblin Welder and Yawgmoth’s Will. This deck has put up very modest numbers since, but I am sure that Brian will rectify that in the near future. It’s a list to keep in mind.

Etherium Slaver

This is the most popular Slaver build, although it’s been pared back some to look more like the traditional Slaver list. This list reflects the massive card infusion by Shards and is in many ways a superior Slaver list, shoring up traditional Slaver weaknesses.

Mono Red Workshop Aggro

How it Works:

A highly disruptive Mishra’s Workshop beatdown/ prison strategy. Juggernauts, Triskelions, and Solemn Simulacrums beat down while Magus of the Moon, Thorn of Amethyst, Sphere of Resistance, Wasteland keep your opponent’s mana tied up. This deck is highly synergistic. Goblin Welder works with Solemn Simulacrum as a draw engine and a perpetual fog machine. Solemn Simulacrum also provides mana support. Turn 1 Workshop, Mox, Simulacrum finds a Mountain for turn 2 Magus of the Moon.


This Workshop variant was extremely good in the final moments of the Gush era. It is much weaker against Mana Drain decks, yet it still manages to make Top 8.


The main difference between MUD and Mono Red Workshop Aggro is that you trade off a potential combo finish with Metalworker plus Staff of Domination; a more consistent and explosive manabase with Ancient Tombs, City of Traitors, and Metalworkers; and the use of Chalice of the Void for a lot of resilience with Goblin Welder and Red Elemental Blast and alternative disruption with Magus of the Moon. However, this deck still has a lot of the same weaknesses that MUD has, just not as pronounced. Energy Flux and Hurkyl’s Recall can still wreak havoc, although they aren’t as deadly. On the other hand, cards like Pyroclasm can singlehandedly wipe out your entire board.

5c Stax

How It Works:

Stax is the original Workshop Prison deck in Vintage. It uses the trio of Sphere of Resistance, Crucible of Worlds, and Smokestack to lock up the board and prevent the opponent from ever playing a spell. The suite of tutors enables the Stax pilot to find the card they need most at the moment and run a number of powerful singletons like In The Eye of Chaos and Balance.


After a long hiatus, it could be time, once more, for the return of Stax. It recently won two major tournaments in the U.S. Could Stax be returning as a metagame contender?


The Stax manabase is less consistent and much more vulnerable to disruption. It has difficult matches against Fish type decks. However, as an archetype, Stax is much stronger against Mana Drain decks than either MUD or Workshop Aggro.

5c Stax Variant

This variant recently won a tournament in Pennsylvania. It incorporates not only Shards of Alara’s powerful Mindlock Orb, but also the Leyline plus Helm of Obedience combo. With Leyline in play, a single Helm activation will remove your opponent’s library from game.

III. Dark Horses

European Control

This deck is very popular in Europe and it repeatedly makes Top 8. It obviously suits the style of a control player. I don’t expect any American to make a serious run with this deck, but you should not be surprised to see it featured in bimonthly metagame reports to show up in a major European Top 8.

Painter Combo

For a couple of months following the Vintage Championship until the release of Shards of Alara, this deck was the control deck of choice in many metagames on account of the allure of running maindeck Red Elemental Blasts. Owen Turtenwald also made Top 8 with this deck at the Vintage Championship last year. This deck is a viable metagame player, especially in heavy Blue environments. It is also not uncommon to see the Painter combo stuffed into a Tezzeret deck.


Parfait is actually a surprisingly strong deck in the current environment in the hands of a good pilot. The unrestriction of Mox Diamond opened the door to building a Land Tax deck in Vintage. Aura of Silence is a backbreaker. Scroll Rack and Land Tax is one of the great draw engines in Magic history. This deck has plenty of answers to most metagame threats. And it’s a blast to play.

Tyrant Oath

Tidespout Tyrant Oath is still putting up numbers, even since the printing of Hellkite Overlord and the restriction of Gush and friends. This list represents what I think is one of the strongest re-interpretations of Tyrant Oath. It maintains the remaining parts that made Tyrant Oath such a force, but it gives it a very powerful draw engine. Accumulated Knowledge is a perfect fit for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s a cheap cantrip that works well with a Tyrant in play to get the whole engine started. Second, once you’ve Oathed, you’ve probably dumped a few AKs into your graveyard, so that your Accumulated Knowledge will draw a couple of cards. Third, it’s one of the best draw engines in Vintage, although it has not been used very much in recent years. It was the draw engine that took Psychatog to victory in the first Vintage Championship in 2003. One of the reasons it’s so powerful is because it feeds itself and helps you find Yawgmoth’s Will so effectively. If you want a more sophisticated Oath list, rather than just beating down with a giant dork, this might be the list for you.


Belcher is a fringe Vintage archetype, but it has occasionally broken out of the box when piloted by an excellent player in the right metagame. For example, Belcher got 3rd place at the 2005 Vintage Championship. Justin Droba was also well known for making Top 8 with Belcher. A spate of recent printings has only tended to make it more objectively powerful. Vintage Belcher tries to play a Belcher and win the game or just generate enough storm to play an annoying amount of Goblins with Empty the Warrens. It’s not quite a turn 1 “all-in” deck, but it is almost as close as you get.

Budget Belcher

This deck is presented courtesy of Nat Moes. This deck is a very fun, budget deck. It turns out that there are now enough printings that Belcher can be piloted to some success without even using power, particularly since the unrestriction of Chrome Mox. This is a perfect deck to throw together for fun in a local Vintage tournament.


Josh Silvestri described this deck as “the budget deck to play in Vintage.” While I would reserve that honor for R/G Beatz or something including RG, this is a very, very good budget deck. First of all, it has a high turn 2 kill. Second, even if the combo is disrupted, you have a bunch of creatures that can attack each turn. Rich Shay and Owen Turtenwald have each piloted this archetype to decent records in recent Vintage tournaments. Here is Rich Shay Top 8 report.

Deez’ Naughts

This is the pet deck of Ben Carp, and he manages to continually make Top 8 with it. Ben will probably be at any major mid-western Vintage tournament. And there is a good chance he’ll make Top 8.


Goblins’ power seems to have waned in recent months; however, it’s still capable of making Top 8. Many Goblins lists run Null Rod. This one runs Chalice instead so that it can play with Aether Vial. Earwig Squad is a huge bomb if it resolves, and can singlehandedly win the game in many matchups. It’s another solid budget deck.

R/G Beatz

Of all the budget decks in Vintage, this version of R/G Beatz (also known as Christmas Beatings) is probably the strongest. It eschews the traditional conventions of Vintage, like fast artifact mana, and pokes a thumb in the eye to decks that rely too heavily on powerful Blue spells and a multitude of non-basic lands. While R/G Beatz decks of the past have relied on powerful one-drops like Kird Ape, Skyshroud Elite, and Aether Vial, this version replaces them with more controlling elements like Null Rod, Chalice of the Void, and Seal of Primordium. Fast mana is provided by the 8 Spirit Guides, which essentially function as Lotus Petal 2-9. The prevalence of Mana Drains and non-basic lands make the Pyroblast and Magus of the Moon absolute houses against many of the top decks in the current metagame. Since Tinker has become one of the strongest single plays in Vintage at the moment, a surprising little Goblin from Planar Chaos (Stingscourger) has shown himself strong enough to deal with the mighty 11/11 robot that spell often fetches. Top it off with Tarmogoyf, and you have an extremely competitive budget deck that builds for hundreds of dollars less than many you’ll find in the Top 8 reports of Vintage tournaments.

One word of caution, however: this is not a deck that races opponents. Pumping aggro elements as fast as possible is the surest way to lose. Instead, ambushing your opponent with Red Blasts, Stingscourgers, and Seals is a far superior strategy. Wait until your opponent is overextended, vulnerable, and overconfident then crush him with cards he never could have seen coming. This deck packs enough answers to deal with most situations a good pilot will face in both large and small Vintage tourneys.

IV. Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. A full-blow player’s guide, going deck-by-deck through the format, is a difficult article to write, especially in one article. But that’s exactly what I’ve done. This is a very long article, and it’s taken a lot of time to write. But I don’t think the article would have had the same impact in two or three parts. It is an article that is worth writing, and I hope that you find it valuable.

Some of the observant among you may wonder why I omitted certain decks. My goal was not to examine every potentially viable deck in Vintage. Rather, my process for deciding which decks to cover and which to leave out was based upon a mix of objective and subjective factors, including whether the archetype has appeared in Top 8s in recent months, whether there are good reasons to think the archetype could be playable even in the absence of recent tournament performance, and whether discussing the archetype, even if it hasn’t seen much play, would be of value to the reader.

Knowing the archetypes which are likely to appear in a Vintage tournament and having a sense of the many decks options is only the first step to playing Vintage. Learning to play these decks and understand the deck and metagame interactions and dynamics is equally important. For more detailed information on various archetypes, check out TheManaDrain.com for tournament reports, results, and deck discussion. If you have any questions about a particular deck, feel free to post your question in those forums and you’ll have a knowledgeable response within hours.

Finally, Vintage tends to change surprisingly fast for a format with a relatively stable card pool. This is a consequence of the fact that most new sets add something to Vintage, and in many cases, these new additions tend to make a big impact. It only takes one new printing to shake things up. Last year’s printings repeatedly illustrated this principle. In addition, every two months I write a metagame report that tallies the best performing decks by decktype appearing in every Vintage tournament around the globe with 33 or more players. These reports can cue you into changing metagame trends, and alert you to the emergence of new archetypes. You will be very impressed with all the changes in Vintage when we look back 12 months from now.

Hold onto your hats. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Stephen Menendian