Hello and Welcome! Click the links above to read about VSL, the schedule, and the standings. Click here if you want decklists. If you want to watch the video archives you can click here. Meanwhile, if you just want to hear about this week’s matches then read on.
Some people have asked for a way to follow the Vintage Super League without watching all the matches every week. These match recaps are for them.
With three weeks to go in the regular season I started looking at who had clinched the playoffs and who had been eliminated. I discovered that it was still possible for someone with a 4-5 record to make the playoffs because if exactly the right 15 results happened, there would be an 8-way tie for 3rd through last. Well, 10 of those games have now happened and the 8-way tie scenario is still live!
Chris v Bob
The maximum possible 9 Bobs came to play in match #1 (4 Dark Confidants each plus Bob Maher himself). Bob had a great draw in game 1 and Chris struggled to figure out what to take with Thoughtseize and what to point his Mental Misstep at with the choices including Ancestral Recall, Snapcaster Mage, and the Sensei’s Divining Top / Voltaic Key combo. Chris took the Recall and countered the Top, but the Snapcastered Ancestral resolved and found Bob a Tinker to go get the Time Vault – an even better combo with that Voltaic Key.
Chris seemed to have game 2 under control, having disrupted Bob’s hand and knocked Bob down to 3 with a pair of Spirits of the Labyrinth. However, Bob top-decked a Trinket Mage on the last possible turn to go get a Voltaic Key to go with the Time Vault that had been rotting in his hand up until that point in the game.
Rich v Luis
Luis was able to Force Rich’s Young Pyromancer and use Gush to get back to 7 cards so he could start drawing cards with Library of Alexandria, but Rich was able to resolve a Treasure Cruise for one mana on turn 3. The Cruise gave him another Pyromancer plus an Ancestral and Rich had so much card drawing that he used Force of Will on Luis’s Black Lotus. The play was good enough that Luis actually Forced back and then used the Lotus to put out 2 Pyromancers of his own. Rich had a Bolt for one, resolved his Ancestral, and then pointed Pyroblast at Luis’s Dig Through Time. A second Cruise made sure nothing could go wrong and Rich won going away.
Luis was able to stick an early Pyromancer in game 2 and then show off the broken power of his version of the deck with Fastbond and Gush creating 6 1/1’s and enough counters to stop every spell Rich drew before he was dead.
Game 3 started much slower, with several turns of “draw, go” before both players pushed through Young Pyromancers. Rich was the one holding Lightning Bolt so his was the one that generated a bunch of tokens. Treasure Cruise also looked great once again, though it was helped by all the land Luis drew in the mid-game.
Tom v Josh
Game 1 was positively insane as the players dueled for control of the game across many, many turns. Josh eventually dealt with all Tom’s threats and accumulated a grip full of counters, but he was down to just one victory condition left in his deck: a lone Young Pyromancer. It turned out to be the 4th card from the bottom of his deck and Josh had just enough time to make just enough tokens to win the game before his deck ran out of cards.
Game 2 swung on a very subtle mistake on the very first turn: Josh tapped his Library of Alexandria during his main phase and then played out a Mox Jet. If he had said “go” before tapping the Library for a card he would have still been able to activate Library after he cast Force of Will to stop a Young Pyromancer. When Tom then followed up with a Thoughtseize the next turn Josh was never able to get back on the Library plan and Tom was able to start resolving Treasure Cruises. Notion Thief delivered the fatal blow when Tom resolved it as a response to a Gush.
Josh was again punished for the way he played turn 1 in game 3 when he slow rolled a Black Lotus only to have his hand ripped apart by Cabal Therapy and Thoughtseize. Tom then resolved a Young Pyromancer and seemed to have the game, but Josh top-decked Demonic Tutor to go get Yawgmoth’s Will to cast approximately one million copies of Gush (thanks to his Fastbond). He eventually found a Young Pyromancer and was so far ahead that he was able to win despite a fairly brutal mis-click.
Randy v Steve
Steve was feeling good about having already clinched a spot in the Top 4 based on earlier results, and he was feeling even better when he was able to Tinker out an Inkwell Leviathan on turn one through Randy’s Force of Will. Randy’s turn 2 Null Rod was suddenly irrelevant and he did not have the perfect draw that was required to race the 7/11 trampling islandwalker.
Randy used Mindbreak Trap to stop Steve’s turn 1 Time Walk in game 2, buying himself the time to drop a Null Rod and turn off not just Steve’s artifact mana, but also his Vault-Key combo. In game 3 Steve mulliganned fairly aggressively and wound up starting with just three cards. Randy had kept a draw with Black Lotus and no other blue mana, but he did draw an Island on turn 2 and things were pretty easy from there.
Dave v Eric
Eric dubbed his version of the Angel/Steel City Vault deck “Sin City Vault” and declared that this round would decide once and for all which was the best city. Dave resolved a turn 1 Ancestral (Forcing Eric’s Misdirection), and was able to use the extra cards to set-up a turn 2 Yawgmoth’s Will that found both Time Vault and Voltaic Key (with a little help from Transmute Artifact). That’s a turn 2 kill.
Dave tried to do even better in game 2 as he had 4 mana on turn 1 along with both Time Vault and the Key, but Eric stopped the turn 1 kill attempt with a Force of Will. After both players resolved an Ancestral Recall Eric put a Memory Jar into play but had to pass the turn to Dave, who played a Timetwister and found the Tinker he needed to get his Time Vault again. Eric cracked his Jar to look for a Force of Will, and found one, but so did Dave. Apparently LA is the best city.