Welcome back to Vintage Avant-Garde. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been asked by readers to write a matchup analysis and to do a play-by-play walkthrough of an actual Vintage match. In today’s article, I’m going to tell you what happens when RUG Delver faces off against Martello Shops.
Both decks have been doing really well in Vintage lately, so it’s bound to be a matchup that comes up fairly often. I’m going to be playing from the RUG Delver side against a friend of mine who will be piloting the Martello Shops deck.
Here are the lists I’m using today:
- 1 Sundering Titan
- 1 Duplicant
- 4 Lodestone Golem
- 2 Steel Hellkite
- 4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
- 3 Phyrexian Revoker
- 3 Phyrexian Metamorph
I won the die roll and was on the play.
My first hand of seven was:
Deciding to keep was a pretty easy decision considering this is a pretty fantastic hand to play against Mishra’s Workshop. Making things even better, my opponent mulliganed to six, which made my Force of Wills even better.
I played Misty Rainforest and passed the turn.
A pretty reasonable start from the Workshop deck!
Usually, I like to hold back my counters against Workshops to try and stop threats, but as it stood in this game I almost assuredly would lose to the 3Ball. So I Force of Willed the Trinisphere, pitching the Vendilion Clique.
The three cards that I saw were:
I left the land on top of my deck so that if he played a Strip Mine or Sphere I wouldn’t have to waste my FOW on it and would be able to cast Trygon. If he played a Thorns, I would still not fetch before I drew because then I’d be able to cast my Trygon and still have a land up to use my Force of Will.
I pass the turn.
The Chalice didn’t bother me in the slightest so I simply let it resolve, and he passed the turn.
Before I drew, I cracked my Tarn and got basic Mountain (17).
Perfect mana and Wasteland proof.
I drew a Lightning Bolt for the turn. I couldn’t cast it because of the Chalice, but I wouldn’t have wanted to anyways. I played my Trygon, which could eat the Chalice if necessary, and passed the turn.
My opponent played a second Mishra’s Workshop and cast a Steel Hellkite. Seems like a pretty good target for my Force of Will… I pitched Delver to Force (16) and since the Trygon was bigger than the Factory, he was forced to simply pass the turn.
I drew Tarmogoyf for the turn,
I attacked with my Trygon Predator, which dropped his life total to eighteen and destroyed his Chalice of the Void, and then play my Tarmogoyf, leaving up Mountain so I could cast my Lightning Bolt if necessary.
He drew and played a Wasteland (which had no targets), and once again I had a blocker that stunted any kind of offensive progress. He was forced to pass the turn. He was in pretty bad shape here and was basically drawing to another Steel Hellkite.
He drew and played a Lodestone Golem, simply to buy a turn of not getting clocked by my Tarmogoyf, and passed the turn. I had the Bolt but didn’t want to waste it hereâ€” I could push through four damage, but I was more concerned about saving the Bolt for later.
I drew Ancient Grudge (best possible card), flashed it to my opponent, and he conceded.
He looked at the top few cards of his library and wasn’t going to hit a Steel Hellkite anyway.
Seems fairly obvious, but I brought in all of the cards that have the text “destroy target artifact.”
And I took out all of the cards that suck in this matchup…
My opener was:
I liked that the hand had a bunch of mana, but I felt as though I could do a lot better and sent it back. I would have kept this hand on the play.
My second hand was a little better, and I ended up keeping:
I drew Preordain.
After he drew, I fetched (13) for a Volcanic Island and Vendilion Cliqued him.
I took his Forgemaster.
He played his Mishra’s Factory and passed the turn.
I drew, played Island, attacked him for three with my Clique, and passed.
He drew and played a Lodestone Golem, dropping him down to eleven.
I drew and played Mox Sapphire. I didn’t attack with the Clique here because I wanted to leave it back to block the Golem.
I drew an uncastable Delver and conceded.
My opening hand for game 3 on the play was:
Seems pretty sweet to me.
I drew another Tarmogoyf.
I played Misty Rainforest, cast a Goyf, and passed the turn.
I had to tap all four of my permanents to the Tangle Wire.
My opponent’s turn he had to tap all three of his permanents.
I attacked with my Goyf for three damage (15) and passed the turn. He clicked his Ratchet bomb up to one counter.
My play here was to just do nothing. He clicked his Ratchet Bomb up to two.
On his turn, he tapped the Chalice and drew a card.
This turns out to be a really interesting turn. He started off by casting Mox Emerald and then Trinisphere. I responded by casting Ancient Grudge to kill his Lodestone Golem and then flashed it back to kill his Chalice of the Void for one.
Will I ever get to use my cards? Â Read on to find out…
Not a bad turn…
On my turn, I tapped all five of my lands and he Ratchet Bombed away my Tarmogoyf.
I drew Preordain and passed the turn.
I tapped down three lands and drew Misty Rainforest, which I played and passed the turn.
I drew Volcanic Island, played it, and passed the turn.
He drew and has to pass the turn without playing a spell. He could only produce five mana and had a Sphere of Resistance in play.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE MATCHUP
After it was all said and done, I played a few more matches, and here are my conclusions about this matchup.
First of all, as is always the case with Workshop decks, the most important aspect of this matchup is who wins the die roll. Whoever is on the play is probably favored to win by a pretty wide margin.
Overall, I feel like the matchup is a little bit in favor of the RUG Delver deckâ€”especially after sideboard because RUG has a lot of good cards to bring in.
Chalice of the Void is a really important card in this matchup because RUG has so many cards that cost one mana. I would probably, if I were to play RUG Delver in a tournament, try to find room for one more Ancient Grudge, possibly over a Nature’s Claim.
Hope you enjoyed the matchup!
Cheers and thanks for reading!