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.
This was the final week of season 1 for Vintage Super League. We expect to be back for season 2 in January.
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.
Hall of Famer Luis Scott-Vargas and Vintage World Champion Stephen Menendian traded first place back and forth throughout the season so it seemed only fitting that they met in the championship match.
Steve pointed a pair of Misdirections at a pair of early Thoughtseizes, effectively trading four cards for four cards in a highly unusual way. However, with both Misdirections in the graveyard Luis could safely Merchant Scroll for Ancestral Recall, which found a Mystical Tutor for Dig Through Time, and with all those extra cards it was pretty easy for Luis to set up a Yawgmoth’s Will fueled kill (he went for Tinker plus Time Walk but could just as easily have killed via Tendrils of Agony).
It was Steve who got to enjoy an avalanche of card advantage in game 2. Luis tried to fight Steve’s Ancestral with a Force of Will, but Steve had a Pyroblast ready for it and Luis never really recovered.
Luis drew a zero land hand in game 3 that was capable of playing Black Lotus, Mana Crypt, and Tinker. Steve mulliganned down to 6 and Luis just went for it – sacrificing his Lotus and his Mana Crypt for turn 1 Tinker. Steve did not have a Force of Will and Luis attacked for lethal on turn 2 with his Blightsteel Colossus.
Steve used his Black Lotus for a turn 1 Young Pyromancer in game 1, and had enough permission to buy the couple of turns he needed to attack for lethal.
Game 2 was a long, drawn-out affair where Steve was able to resolve a bunch of card drawing and get a million cards ahead, but he was deathly afraid of playing a Delver that Luis might be able to answer with an Oath of Druids. Luis’s hand was actually quite bad at the time, but all the turns that Steve gave him while Steve tried to sculpt the perfect hand actually allowed Luis to draw some gas of his own. When Steve finally did go for a Delver (on a board that included both a Grafdigger’s Cage and an Oath of Druids), Luis was able to pick a fight in his end step with Hurkyl’s Recall and Dig Through Time. The craziest stack of the entire season resulted in Steve successfully Misdirecting an Abrupt Decay onto Luis’s Oath but that Dig resolved and found a 2nd Abrupt Decay for Luis. He was able to untap and resolve a Tinker for Blightsteel, stealing a game that Steve probably should have won.
There were no Oaths in sight in game 3 and Luis had to use his Force of Will to stop a Young Pyromancer. Steve used his own Force to stop a Jace, but when the dust settled Steve drew a Treasure Cruise and was quickly off to the races, resolving a Young Pyromancer and winning shortly thereafter to even the overall score at one match each.
Steve had to drop to 5 cards in game 1 and was able to fight off Luis’s first few threats, but the Tinker and the Jace were really just bait and Luis was able to follow up with Ancestral Recall and then Yawgmoth’s Will for Tendrils for the win.
Luis kept a 1-lander in game 2, and proceeded to draw the worst two cards in his deck: the Blightsteel Colossus and a Griselbrand. He had to discard before he found any more mana, and never was able to resolve anything proactive.
A pair of mulligans left Luis with a mediocre 5-card hand in game 3. The game looked sort of interesting for a while as both players played “draw-go,” but Steve had not one, not two, but three copies of Force of Will to make sure his Young Pyromancer and his Treasure Cruise resolved, but Luis’s Dig Through Time did not.
Game 1 was quite an interesting race. Luis had a turn 1 Library of Alexandria (on the play), but Steve had an aggressive creature draw with turn 1 Delver, turn 2 Young Pyromancer, and then another Delver. Steve chose to use his two Force of Wills to fight a Demonic Tutor, and won, which meant he would win the game immediately if his second Delver flipped. It didn’t, however, and Luis got one more turn while on 1 life. He used it to resolve the Yawgmoth’s Will that was already in his hand and killed Steve with a lethal Tendrils.
The winning formula was becoming pretty clear for Steve. Early creatures were nice and early card drawing was even nicer. His deck delivered these up along with a nice mix of permission in game 2 and the matchup which many had thought should favor LSV seemed more and more like it was actually edge-Delver. Steve’s draws were certainly better than Luis’s, but then again his deck just doesn’t have nearly as many bad draws.
Steve drew two Force of Wills, two land, a Grafdigger’s Cage, and two Young Pyromancers in game 3. Luis was able to Abrupt Decay the first Young Pyro and had a second Abrupt Decay for the Cage, but he could not find a copy of Oath of Druids in the 2 turns he had before he died to an army of elemental tokens.
Congratulations to Stephen Menendian – our first Vintage Super League champion!