Week 4 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.


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.


David v Chris

This was a make-up match from week 3 and used decklists from the first “trimester.” In game one Chris played a fair amount of mana, but couldn’t quite get to 4 for Diminishing Returns so he had to say go and hope David’s turn 2 with Dredge wasn’t too good. Chris used Force of Will of David’s first Cabal therapy, but the second one resolved and David had to guess what the last card was in Chris’s hand. He guessed Goblin Charbelcher (which did seem like the correct thing to guess in that spot). If he’d been psychic he might have won, but he wasn’t and Diminishing Returns eventually found Chris everything he needed to win on turn 2.

Chris kept a hand with no blue mana in game 2, and never did find any. It took David until turn 3 to get his Dredge engine humming, but that was plenty fast enough when Chris’s speculative draw failed to work out.

Game 3 was decided on another judgment call where David made what was probably the right decision, but where the psychic play would have worked out. He chose not to point Mental Misstep at Chris’s Voltaic Key (since the deck has so many more targets that are usually so much better), but Chris had also drawn Time Vault and with Key in play he was able to take all the turns.

Chris wins 2-1

Kai v Eric

Eric showed up with a Mishra’s Workshop deck in an effort to continue his hot streak, while Kai is running an Oath of Druids deck with Show and Tell and Omniscience built in. Kai commented later that he thought his deck was solid against ‘Shops, but Eric crushed him pretty easily in 2 straight (dropping Kai to 0-4).

Eric wins 2-0

Luis v Steve

In a rematch of last season’s final this game played much more like a rematch of the regular match between these two. In both games Steve accumulated a hand with more permission spells than Luis had cards in hand. In both games, however, Luis just refused to do anything until he had a chance to sculpt his own hand and then wait for Steve to make the first move. Game 2 was particularly crazy as at one point Steve was discarding Pyroblast from a hand with 5 counters and 3 card drawing spells. Somehow Luis was able to hard-cast Elesh Norn a few turns later, a card which Steve simply could not deal with even if he could stack his deck.

Luis wins 2-0

Bob v Rich

One day after receiving his PhD from Carnegie Mellon (congrats to the newly minted DR. Atog Lord), Rich was the only player to stick with his archetype from the first set of decks. His trusty Delver deck served him well against Bob’s controllish Monastery Mentor deck, which never really seemed to get much going in a quick 2-0 match. Both players now find themselves in the middle of the pack at 2-2.

Rich wins 2-0

Randy v Chris

The one-time Belcher brothers both went back to decks they ran in season 1 (both of which would be very good against Belcher should anyone try it this set). Chris’s Terra Nova Shops deck wasn’t all that disruptive in game 1, but he found the clever play of using Phyrexian Metamorph to copy a Lord of Atlantis so his Mutavault would be a 4/4 Islandwalker. Randy couldn’t find a Wasteland or enough creatures to race. He almost won by top-decking Time Walk into Treasure Cruise, but he failed to find any lords and came up one point of damage short.

In game 2 Chris kept six land and a Dismember, which seemed fairly sketchy, but Randy had 3 Wastelands and used them on Chris’s first 3 lands thinking that would be good but all it actually did was give Chris time to draw real cards. Randy then failed to draw any lands for the rest of the game and Chris’s mana denial strategy kept a lethal True-Name trapped in randy’s hand, along with a Hurkyl’s Recall and a bunch of lords.

Chris wins 2-0

David v Tom

Tom ran a Gifts Ungiven deck, but his draws were fairly mediocre. He conceded the first game fairly early so David wouldn’t know what he was up to when David, who was already reasonably ahead, resolved an Ancestral Recall. In game 2 David stuck an early Monastery Mentor and Tom had no answer. Those monks don’t very long to win the game once they get going …

David wins 2-0

Week 3 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.


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.


LSV vs Kai

Kai had a turn 1 of Young Pyromancer (thanks to Black Lotus), Gitaxian Probe, and Strip Mine on what he saw was Luis’s only land. However, Luis Pondered off a Mox Sapphire into a land and immediately top-decked another land. Kai was able to counter a Time Walk and a Merchant Scroll, but Luis resolved a Doomsday with Gush in hand and that was game.

Luis’s deck continued to love him in game 2, delivering up a Xantid Swarm that turned off all the counter-magic in Kai’s hand, and a crucial land on his second draw phase. He had a potential turn 2 kill (enabled by Demonic Tutoring for Black Lotus so he could cast Doomsday), but with no creatures in play on Kai’s side and a second Xantid Swarm on his own, Luis contented himself with using his draw phase to access the first Doomsday stack (an Ancestral Recall, as usual) and a win on turn 3.

Luis wins 2-0

Rich vs Kai

The Delver mirror isn’t normally about the initial coin flip, but Rich got to go first and had a spectacular turn 1: Black Lotus, Young Pyromancer, Gitaxian Probe, Time Walk, attack for 4, Ancestral Recall, Ponder, “you can have a turn now, all I have is Force of Will, a blue card, and a Treasure Cruise.”

Game 2 was grindier, as the match normally is, but Rich eventually found a window where Kai was tapped out and he used it to  stick a Young Pyromancer, Time Walk, and then Snapcaster back the Time Walk. Volanic Fallout and Fire/Ice dealt the final damage as Rich exploded seemingly out of nowhere.

Rich Wins 0-2

Tom vs Bob

Dredge did what Dredge does in game 1. With no main deck way to interact, it would take a spectacular draw from Bob to be able to race and he didn’t have one.

In game 2 Bob drew his Strip Mine and used it to destroy the Bazaar of Bagdad that Tom had mulliganned down to 4 in order to find. Tom couldn’t find another and Bob it only took Bob a couple of turns to generate crazy value from a big Yawgmoth’s Will and finally stitch his combo together. With Zuran Orb and Fastbond already in play Tom conceded as soon as Bob found the Crucible of Worlds that could give him infinite life.

Game 3 was pretty interesting as both players drew a bunch of sideboard cards (in other words Bob drew hate cards and Tom was able to keep finding answers to them). First Bob played a turn 1 Grafdigger’s Cage. Tom dredged to fill his graveyard and then pointed a Nature’s Claim at the Cage, which resolved (his sequencing choice did not work out, though, as his Narcomeba was kept at bay by the Cage while no Bloodghasts showed up to come in off his post-dredge land drop). Bob used a Yawgmoth’s Will to replay the Cage on his next turn, and Tom was able to find another Nature’s Claim, but this time Bob had a Force of Will. Tom used Mental Misstep to counter Bob’s 2nd Cage and he found yet another answer on his next turn (a Chain of Vapor), but he chose to give Bob one draw step instead of playing a land and using his Chain as a response to the Bloodghast trigger so he could get a Bloodghast to sacrifice to Cabal Therapy to then strip the Cage from Bob’s hand. That one draw phase was a great one (pun intended) – it gave Bob a Ravenous Trap and suddenly Tom was in big trouble. He did manage to bounce the Cage and do a reasonable job of refilling his graveyard, but the final insult came in the form of Snapcaster Mage to flash back the Ravenous Trap.

Bob wins 2-1

Eric v Steve

Eric got ahead early with a turn 1 Delver, and with Steve forced into action to try to defend himself Eric was able to win the permission war over Young Pyromancers and Lightning Bolts. When all the dust settled on around turn 4, Eric had an army of elemental tokens that Steve couldn’t answer. Game 2 was decided primarily by Steve’s Strip Mine, which left Eric without any blue mana for most of the game.

Game 3 was once again all about Young Pyromancer advantage. Eric, whow as on the play, played them on both turn 2 and turn 3. By teh time Steve cycled through his various cantrips and had his mana set up, he was too far behind on board to ever really recover. Eric used 2 Force of Wills to stop Steve’s Pyromancer and with 6 tokens on the other side of the table all the card drawing in the world could not save Steve.

Eric wins 2-1


Week 2 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.


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.


Rich v Chris

Chris took the interesting line in game 1 of doing almost nothing for the first few turns while he slow-rolled several moxes and a Time Vault. He knew Rich played Dack Fayden in his deck and there was no reason to risk getting anything stolen. Rich did have exactly Dack Fayden in his hand, and eventually used it to steal a Chrome Mox, but by then Chris had found an Academy and a Voltaic Key, all of which he deployed on the same turn, winning the game without ever exposing anything important to Dack.

Rich used artifact removal cards in from his sideboard to slow Chris down in game 2, and Rich was able to Dig Through Time to find Force of Will and another Dig Through Time before Chris could even get to 4 mana to attempt his Diminishing Returns. It took Rich a while to actually win the game, but he had a grip full of counters the whole time and there was never any real danger of Chris getting back into it.

In game 3 Rich was able to Force of Will both a Timetwister and a Diminishing Returns, but then both players were out of gas and the game turned into a top-deck war (with Chris racing his Mana Crypt in addition to Rich’s draw step). Rich Gushed into another Gush and finally found a Delver of Secrets, but Chris promptly top-decked a Tinker. Bang. All Rich was holding was a pair of Missteps so Charbelcher was immediately lethal on the spot (much to the surprise of Chris who didn’t realize Rich’s 6 cards were all worthless).

Chris wins 2-1


Bob v Kai

Bob was able to assemble his entire Rube Goldberg contraption in game 1 against Kai’s Delver list. It took a bunch of Gushes, a Yawgmoth’s Will, and a Time Walk (in order to turn off the Yawgmoth’s Will exile effect), but he finally had Crucible of Worlds plus Zuran Orb plus Fastbond, which allows him to sacrifice land for 2 life and put them back into play for 1 life. That’s infinite life. You can also tap the lands before sacrificing them. That’s infinite mana. Bob also had a Sensei’s Divining Top and a fetch land so he was able to look at the top 3 and then reshuffle for however many times he needed to reshuffle in order to find a Kaervek’s Torch to sink all that mana into. Once Bob demonstrated the Top/reshuffle loop, Kai conceded rather than make Bob actually find it.

In game 2 Bob was on the Library of Alexandria plan, but Kai had Young Pyromancer and enough permission to build up a lethal army of tokens before Bob could use the card advantage from the Library to pull ahead.

Bob once again had a Library in game 3 and Kai once again had a Pyromancer, but this time Bob was able to run Kai out of permission and resolve a Demonic Tutor. He found Slice and Dice, which he cycled in order to kill all of Kai’s creatures (and draw a card). A second Slice and Dice dealt with Kai’s next Young Pyromancer and Bob’s Library gave him enough cards to keep pulling farther and farther ahead. Eventually Bob resolved a Yawgmoth’s Will with 20+ cards in his graveyard and Kai conceded rather than make Bob play it out.

Bob wins 2-1


Randy v Eric

Randy kept 2 moxes, 2 counterspells, and a Timetwister in game 1 but he didn’t draw the 3rd mana until Eric had his shields fully up and Randy wasn’t able to resolve anything meaningful before the end of the game. In game 2 Randy had a potential turn 1 kill, actually playing and activating Goblin Charbelcher on his first turn but the Tolarian Academy was still in his deck and it turned out to be about a dozen cards down. Normally the Belcher deck just shrugs and then reactivates the Charbelcher on the next turn, but Randy had used Black Lotus to cast it and Lion’s Eye Diamond to activate it so he only had 2 mana available. It took a couple of turns but he was eventually able to resolve a mana source and win the game on turn 3 or 4.

In game 3 Eric mulliganed into a mediocre 6 card hand, but decided Delver, Black Lotus, Pyroblast was better than going down to 5. Randy’s draw was great, but the net result was forcing through a Timetwister on turn 1 with an Academy and a bunch of other mana in play. Randy’s 7 cards off the ‘Twister had no action: Force of Will, Mental Misstep, and 5 mana sources. Meanwhile, Eric’s new hand was great. Eric had actually declined to Pyroblast the Timetwister because he was hoping for exactly this scenario. Randy eventually drew a Diminishing Returns, but Eric had plenty of permission and the undefeated reign of the Blue Belcher deck was finally over.

Eric wins 2-1


David v Steve

David had to mulligan down to 4 before he found a Bazaar of Bagdad, but Steve’s Delver deck doesn’t really have any way to interact with Dredge in game 1, and isn’t all that fast at dealing 20 so David was able to build a horde of zombies and attack for lethal in about 4 turns or so. In game 2 Steve drew his Strip Mine and David did not have any dredgers or a 2nd Bazaar in the top 10 cards of his deck. Steve didn’t have much of a clock and David did have time to eventually draw another one, but he still couldn’t find any dredge cards and Steve was able to attack 3 times with Young Pyromancer and some tokens. In game 3 David mulliganed all the way down to 1 card and still couldn’t find a Bazaar of Bagdad. The deck can’t operate without one (as we saw in game 2 when Steve had his one Strip Mine)

Steve wins 2-1

Luis v Tom

Well, it took a whole season before we had our first turn 1 kill, but it only took 1 week before we got #2. Luis started with Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Fastbond, Merchant Scroll (for Gush), 2nd land, Gush, Dark Ritual, and Doomsday. He used Doomsday to stack his deck as follows: Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Gush, Laboratory Maniac, Force of Will. He still had a Brainstorm in his initial hand, which he used to draw the first three of those. Then Ancestral got him the Maniac, which he could cast off the Lotus. Then Gush drew more cards than he had in his library, thereby killing Tom via the Laboratory Maniac! Tom had gotten to keep 7 cards with his Dredge deck, but he never got a turn.

Game 2 was almost as fast. Luis led off with a Leyline of the Void on turn zero. Tom has to exile some cards as he used Bazaar to find mana for the Chain of Vapor he was holding. He found it, but before he even had time to cast a Chain Luis played turn 3 Doomsday (off two land and a Mox Jet). He was holding a Gush so he was able to stack his deck as Mox Sapphire, Ancestral Recall, Laboratory Maniac, Black Lotus, and Gitaxian Probe. Gush gave him the first two, which gave him the Maniac plus the mana to cast it, and then Gitaxion Probe let him draw a card without needing any mana so that was game. Tom used his Chain to attempt to bounce the Maniac (which would have resulted in Luis dying from drawing off his own empty library), but Luis had had a Force of Will ready to defend himself the whole time. All Luis needed was 3 turns to win the entire match!

Luis wins 2-0