Week 1 Recaps

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.

There’s a Pro Tour next week, so Vintage Super League will be back for week 2 on February 10th.


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.


Eric v David

Eric probably felt good about his opening draw of turn 1 Library of Alexandria, but then he found out that his housemate was running Dredge this week and that Library was way too slow to impact the game, especially versus quite a good Dredge draw. David already had multiple copies of Bridge from Below and a bunch of dredgers by turn 2 so Eric conceded and went to his sideboard.

Eric did not skimp on Dredge hate when he built his Delver sideboard: fully 4 copies of Grafdigger’s Cage and 2 Ravenous Traps came in (along with another Dig Through Time to go looking for them.) Game 2 was kind of a non-event as David never found a Bazaar of Bagdad despite mulliganning all the way down to 1 card. This is standard operating procedure for Dredge: you mulligan (or Serum Powder away) all non-Bazaar hands and the math says you are about 98%+ to find one. Well this was a 2% game and Eric mopped up pretty straight-forwardly.

Game 3 was kind of a real game, and David was able to destroy EFro’s first Cage while filling his graveyard thanks to a pair of Bazaars. However, Eric blew away his graveyard with a ravenous Trap and then used Dig Through Time to find not just another copy of Grafdigger’s Cage, but also a second Ravenous Trap. When the game ended, over 50 cards were in David’s Exile zone …

Eric wins 2-1

Randy v Rich

Randy kept a 6-card hand with his Charbelcher deck that was just fine if he could resolve Expedition Map on turn 1 and thus have 3 artifacts to turn on his Mox Opal. However, one Mental Misstep later and Randy couldn’t cast any more spells. One Dack Fayden later and Randy didn’t even have his Chrome Mox any more. Randy’s deck delivered up nothing but more Mox Opals and more Charbelchers so he was never able to cast another spell.

Rich had all the permission he needed to stop Randy’s initial attempts to go broken in game 2, and he even had a pair of Ingot Chewers to blow up Randy’s artifacts. However, when both players proceeded to draw mana off the top of their decks that was a lot better for Randy than Rich. Randy managed to resolve a Diminishing Returns, but it gave Rich another hand full of permission that Randy had to slog through. After they traded threats for counters again, Randy managed to top-deck and resolve an Ancestral Recall that found him a net of +6 mana. That allowed him to play out a lethal Charbelcher and the players were off to game 3.

Game 3 was another grindy one. After seeing what he was up against with Gitaxian Probe, Randy baited out a Misstep and a Pyroblast with Expedition Map and a Misstep of his own. Rich then used Force of Will to stop Randy’s Ancestral Recall and the players were suddenly in top-deck mode. Randy once again had time to draw into the mana he needed to cast the Charbelcher which was the last card left after the initial flurry.

Randy wins 2-1

Randy vs Luis

Match #3 was supposed to be Kai Budde versus LSV, but Kai had no access to internet and instead there was a last minute swap between Luis’s week 1 match and his week 3 match. After the dust settled Kai will be playing twice in week 3 and while Randy will take that week off having played twice in week 1.

Luis shocked pretty much everybody by showing up with a Doomsday deck. He mulliganed a reasonable 7-card hand with no free counters since he knew what Randy was playing and found the Force of Will he needed to stop Randy’s turn 1 Charbelcher. He then used Mystical Tutor (and Gitaxian Probe) to find another Force of Will, which Randy promptly made him use on a Time Vault (with Voltaic Key already in play). Both players were completely empty at this point and the game lasted quite a few turns, but with Randy on 7-mana to LSV’s 2, things looked good for Randy. He used Pact of Negation to counter the Doomsday that Luis drew into (paying the 5-mana on the next turn) and then drew into Mind’s Desire and built up a big hand that got his storm count all the way up to 11 after he forced Luis to Flusterstorm a Tinker on the one big turn. He found a Tezzeret that could tutor up a Charbelcher and that was that.

In game 2 Randy kept a hand with Academy and a bunch of artifact mana, but his only action was a Gitaxian Probe and a Preordain. Luis used Thoughtseize to take the Preordain, but the Probe found another Preordain, which found a Tezzeret and suddenly we had the first actual turn 1 kill in the history of the Vintage Super League! (The best we’d had before was turn 1 Tinker for Blightsteel Colossus.) For posterity, the full turn 1 kill was: Gitaxian Probe (into Preordain), Mox Jet, Mox Ruby, Black Lotus, Expedition Map, Lotus Petal, Tolarian Academy, tap Academy for 5, Preordian, draw Tezzeret the Seeker, tap Mox and use 4 floating blue mana to cast Tezzeret, activate Tezzeret’s middle ability to find an artifact with cmc 4, put Charbelcher into play, sacrifice Black Lotus for 3 mana, use that mana to activate the Charbelcher, revealing a library with no lands to deal 49 damage and put Luis at -33.

Randy wins 2-0, somehow running his record to 2 wins versus no losses just 60% of the way into week 1.

Chris vs Tom

Tom Martell did a great job of writing this match up. You should go read all about it there.

The only thing I want to add to that is that Chris did start with the decklist Randy ran in the Vintage Holiday Festival tournament, but he came up with a pair of new cards that added enough power to the deck that Randy decided to run it even though he had previously been planning to go in a different direction: Diminishing Returns and Candelabra of Tawnos.

Chris wins 2-1

Steve v Bob

Bob has a sweet looking brew designed to set up the combination of Zuran Orb, Fastbond, and Crucible of Worlds. With those 3 cards in play you can tap a land for mana, sacrifice it for 2 life, and then pay 1 life to put it back into play (untapped). Rinse, lather, repeat and you’ve got infinite life and infinite mana (technically you have arbitrarily large amounts of life and mana, but you knew what I meant). Bob’s plan is to then sink that mana into a Kaervek’s Torch.

Unfortunately for fans of cool things, it turns out Delver is still a good deck even after the restriction of Treasure Cruise and Menendian was able to  stop Bob from ever really getting anythign started. Bob’s draws weren’t great and Steve just kept drawing more cards (including the one Treasure Cruise in both games … plus the Ancestral, a Dig Through Time, etc.) It took a while to actually win, but Steve was in control the whole way.

Steve wins 2-0

Season 2 start date announced!

Season 2 will begin on January 27th (aka, ‘a week from Tuesday’ as I post this). The matches will start at *6*pm pacific time, which is a new start time and one hour earlier than we were starting in season 1.

9 players return from season 1 and Kai Budde has replaced Josh Utter-Leyton.

The rules are essentially the same, though we have tweaked the playoff format by making all rounds best 3 out of 5 matches and requiring each player to bring 3 decks for each round, first playing them in a preset order, and then choosing freely from those decks for match 4 and match 5 (if necessary).

Note that we will be skipping a week after our debut since the majority of the league will be busy with preparations for Pro Tour Fate Reforged in Washington, DC. This means Week 2 will take place on February 10th.