As you may know, I love to build graveyard decks that don’t just fold to graveyard hate.
Let me back up: As you may know, I love to build decks.
With Vintage out on Magic Online, I wanted to try out the format… but of course, when I’m trying out a new format, I like to try to build my own deck.
Bazaar of Baghdad felt like an underutilized card. Obviously it sees plenty of play in Dredge, but no one plays in in anything else, as far as I know, and that seems wrong. The card is too powerful to only be played in a deck that can fold to a single hate card.
So I decided to try building a deck around Bazaar of Baghdad as a madness enabler.
My deck has evolved quite a bit from where I started, but it’s definitely still at the beginning stages. I started with all the Moxes, Time Vault, Tinker, Voltaic Key, Tezzeret, Channel, Blightsteel Colossus, and Emrakul. I figured Bazaar of Baghdad would help me find a two-card combo to win the game. In playing, I found that actually winning the game was shockingly easy if I survived my opponent’s first couple turns, and once I “established control” I could easily finish people off with random anemic beats. So I replaced those with Squee, Goblin Nabob and Bloodghast to take further advantage of Bazaar of Baghdad, which leaves me at my current list:
- 1 Merfolk Looter
- 2 Arrogant Wurm
- 4 Basking Rootwalla
- 1 Thought Courier
- 3 Squee, Goblin Nabob
- 2 Bloodghast
Not a great showing for my first match – he was able to force through a quick game-ending play in the first game, and in the second game he just presented too many must-counter spells for me to keep up with without a Bazaar of Baghdad.
Game three ended weirdly, in that he just got confused on how Time Vault works and chose to untap it, giving me a turn, and then conceded in frustration even though he wasn’t actually dead. I’m pretty likely to win the game from there off his Mana Crypt even if he doesn’t mess up, but it’s really close.
In hindsight, not discarding the second Circular Logic worked out very badly, but I think it was also wrong. On the other hand, if I did, he just wouldn’t fight over it, and then next turn I’d have no counters and he’d likely be able to find another reanimation spell with Bazaar, so I was in a tough spot.
In the second game, I had a pretty solid draw with graveyard hate that effectively shut him down.
My keep in the third game was questionable, since I had no Bazaar and no graveyard hate and I’m pretty likely to find at least one of them if I mulligan, but I felt like counterspells were enough to let Thought Courier dig me out of it. I lost this game because I didn’t know enough about how his deck worked, but here, not countering again was much worse than it was the first time. I basically just wanted to see if I could beat that deck by letting it go off and then countering, I learned very decisively that the answer to that is “Absolutely not.”
That first game was everything I want out of a game. I really didn’t think I’d win the second game with the four-card hand I started with, but somehow my opponent just didn’t do anything for long enough that I was able to get my engine going.
Overall, I doubt this would be the best deck if Vintage had Pro Tours, but having access to a lot of cheap counterspells paired with pressure that requires a very low investment cost seems very good in the format, and Bazaar of Baghdad feels like a good way to keep finding counterspells. The deck is also pretty fun to play, since I like how you don’t really know what’s going to happen with Bazaar of Baghdad until you use it.