Week 8 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 David

Oh my god, this match … David loses game 1 (partially because he has so few colored mana sources in his deck) and in game 2 Rich puts Griselbrand into play on the first turn (via Show and Tell).  With his life in the league on the line *Dave beats first turn Griselbrand*! It involved putting in Karakas via that Show and Tell and Rich drawing 14 cards as a response to Griselbrand getting bounced and somehow Dave managed to survive all of them (that part is still fuzzy to be, but I was there … I know it happened). And then David won game 3 as well, maintaining control of his own destiny in the battle for “not last.” Seriously, if you watch one match this season, it should probably be this one:

David wins 2-1

Chris v Luis

Luis’s deck turns out to be very bad against True-Name Nemesis, and it has exactly zero answers to True-Name cast with mana from Cavern of Souls (other than race, which is pretty hard to do). Luis did manage to stitch together a Crucible of Worlds / Strip Mine lock in game 2, but he couldn’t deal with Chalice of the Void on 1 in game 1, or a pair of True-Names in game 3.

Chris wins 2-1

Steve v Kai

Kai kept Academy, Black Lotus, assorted other mana, and no “business” spells in game 1. Steve was able to counter the Time Vault combo and resolve a Dack Fayden (countering Kai’s Force of Will), but Kai then top-decked Preordain into Goblin Charbelcher and they were quickly on to game 2.

With Steve’s deck full of artifact removal Kai felt he needed to win as quickly as possible and he used Pact of Negation to force through a turn 1 Timetwister, hoping he would either win the game or find the Academy by the time he needed to pay the upkeep. His ‘Twister hand was one mana short of getting the Academy (or doing anything else) and so Kai died to his own Pact trigger.

In game 3 Kai drew the Mishra’s Workshop he had sideboarded in as a hedge against Steve blowing up all his artifact mana. It allowed him to play turn 1 Belcher, threatening to win on turn 2, but Steve top-decked Black Lotus and was able to play a turn 1 Dack Fayden and steal the Charbelcher. Kai promptly top-decked Tolarian Academy, which allowed him to play his other Charbelcher and win on turn 2 anyway!

Kai wins 2-1

Tom v Randy

Randy fended off Tom’s initial flurry of activity in game 1, but had only one Lord of Atlantis for pressure so Tom had time to find a Doomsday, say go, and win through a Cursecatcher. In game 2 Tom was able to Duress away Randy’s Force of Will, but Randy’s horde of merfolk dealt too much damage too quickly and Tom couldn’t piece things together before he ran out of life.

In game 3 Randy’s draw was slow but somewhat disruptive. Null Rod  shut off any Black Lotus shenanigans and Misdirection (which Tom saw with Gitaxian Probe) turned off Ancestral Recall, but Tom was able to use Dark Ritual to cast his Doomsday and then built a pile with Time Walk, Lab Maniac, and two Gushes to win despite being painted into a fairly small corner.

Tom wins 2-1

Eric v Bob

Eric had a solid Dredge start with two copies of Bazaar of Bagdad, but he didn’t hit enough dredgers to win on turn 2 so he set up to win on turn 3. Bob never gave him one. Doomsday off 3 Underground Seas was followed up by Gush into Ancestral into Maniac and a straight-forward win for Bob. In game 2 Bob kept a hand full of broken cards but no graveyard hate. Eric had 2 Mental Missteps and seemed to have successfully fended off the brokenness as Bob tapped out for Ancestral Recall on the last turn before Eric would kill him. His three cards off the Ancestral were Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, and Yawgmoth’s Will. Unbelievable! With Fastbond and a couple lands among the cards in his graveyard, Bob was able to set up a Tendrils of Agony storm kill from there.

Bob wins 2-0

With one week to go, this season’s division into the have’s and the have-not’s has gotten even more stark: 4 players have clinched a playoff berth but any of them could still finish with any of the top 4 seeds. (It’s currently a 3-way tie for first between Efro, LSV, and Chris at 6-2, with Randy one game back.) Meanwhile, Dave is alone in last at 2-6 but fully 5 players are tied just one game above him. David must defeat Bob Maher in the last game of the season to have any chance to play season 3, but if David does win then he earns himself at least a tiebreaker match as Bob will definitely be tied with him and as many as 4 other players could be.

Week 7 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.


Chris v Bob

Chris ran a build of Merfolk with maindeck Chalice of the Void and he completely blindsided Bob with Chalice on 1 in game 1. (Bob has seen Chris’s hand with Duress and then left two 1-mana spells on top with a Brainstorm). In game 2 Chris’s mana denial plan worked perfectly and Bob never got to even get started.

Chris wins 2-0

Randy v David

Randy won the roll and used Black Lotus to play both a True-Name Nemesis and a Cursecatcher on turn 1. David had no real answer so he chose to play only a single Wasteland before conceding.  Randy put half of his anti-Workshops package into his deck for game 2 but David turned out to be playing Landstill. David also found not one but two copies of Engineered Plague, which he used to kill all Randy’s Merfolk (and all that he might ever play int he future too). Things might have been different if Randy had understood David’s deck and chosen a different line of play (and/or sideboarded differently) but the misinformation really helped David here.

In game 3 David only drew one land that tapped for colored mana, and Randy Wastelanded it. David did get a Deathrite Shaman onto the table first and that let him get down another Engineered Plague, but Master of the Pearl Trident allowed Randy’s Merfolk to live through it and David never found the colored mana he needed to play the Abrupt Decay he was holding (and which would have caused Randy’s entire army to crumble).

Randy wins 2-1

Rich v Steve

Steve got down a reasonably quick Monastery Mentor in game 1, but Rich stuck an Oath of Druids and used it to find Griselbrand. The big flying demon got the job done. In game 2 Steve got control of the game via card drawing, played two copies of Grafdiggers Cage so he wouldn’t have to worry about Oath, and then mopped up pretty quickly with a pair of Mentors.

Game 3 turned on a Thoughtseize. Steve chose not to use a Mental Misstep on it and Rich was really eager to resolve a Brainstorm so he took the Misstep even though he had 2 Missteps of his own. He could have taken Wear/Tear, which wound up blowing up a Mox Sapphire and denying Steve the 3 mana he needed to cast Show and Tell. In addition, Steve quickly found a blue card to go with the Force of Will, which is the other card Rich could have taken, and that let Steve get a Mentor onto the table through Rich’s own Force of Will.

Steve wins 2-1

Tom v Kai

This one was a combo fight, but Kai’s Belcher deck only delivered up a reasonable draw in one of the 3 games. Tom had little trouble defeating Kai’s mulligan to 3 in game 1. In game 2 Kai used a turn 1 Timetwister to set up a turn 2 kill. Tom actually resolved Fastbond, two Gushes, and a Doomsday on his own first turn but had no way to draw teh top of the Doomsday pile so he had to say go. Kai was able to play a Belcher on turn 2 with Pact of Negation back-up. In game 3, Kai kept a mediocre 5-card hand and Tom ripped it apart with both Duress and Thoughtseize on the first turn, followed quickly by a value Yawgmoth’s Will that cast them both again.

Tom wins 2-1

Eric v Luis

The main event for this week featured first place versus second place and when Luis learned that Eric was on Dredge, he announced that his odds of winning the match with his Punishing Pyromancer deck were 0%. Luis may have had a bad matchup, and a sideboard that assumed no one would play Dredge, but none of that mattered when Eric had to mulligan all the way down to 1 card before finding a Bazaar of Bagdad in game 2 and never did find one despite another mulligan down to 1 in game 3.

Luis wins 2-1

The playoff scenarios are relatively straight-forward with two weeks to go. Luis and Eric have clinched playoff berths. Rich and Steve can make the playoffs if they go 2-0 and Chris or Randy go 0-2 (which would then force tiebreaker matches for the actual playoff spots). 4 players have been eliminated from the playoffs (David, Tom, Bob, and Kai) while 4 players have clinched “not last” (Randy, Chris, Eric, and Luis).

The one thing that is not straight-forward is the seedings for the playoffs, which are quite a big deal since 1st place gets a bye into the final and 2nd place gets a bye into the semi. Right now things are wide open with Luis and Eric tied for first one game ahead of Randy and Chris.

Week 6 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.


Kai v Chris

Kai won the die roll and had his Black Lotus so he was able to both Demonic Tutor for a Force of Will and also resolve an Oath of Druids off a Forbidden Orchard. Turn 1 Null Rod could have made a game of things if Chris had been on the play, but he wasn’t and thus it wasn’t much of a game.

Kai had Lotus again in game 2 but with Chris on the play Kai had to pay 1 for it on turn 1 and by turn 2 there was a Null Rod in play. A second Thorn ensured Kai could never gett anything going and Chris mopped up with Mishra’s Factory.

Kai kept a hand in game 3 which had a lot of mana (including Forbidden Orchard) and the ability to blow up 3 artifacts, but no actual action. He promptly drew Oath of Druids off the top on turn 2. If Chris had played around Abrupt Decay by destroying all of Kai’s black mana, he might have been able to stick a Grafdigger’s Cage and turn the game into a top-deck battle, but with Cage blown up by Decay and flashback on Ancient Grudge live again, it quickly became a blow-out.

Kai wins 2-1

Randy v Bob

Randy had Mox Sapphire in game 1, which allowed him to play turn 1 Lord of Atlantis and start the beats, but he ran his Ancestral into a Flusterstorm and Bob resolved an Ancestral Recall of his own. Bob also resolved a Treasure Cruise a few turns later, but Randy was able to Force of Will and Monastery Mentor and so few cards of the other cards in Bob’s deck actually matter in this match-up that the early Lord of Atlantis (with a little bit of help from a Cursecatcher) pretty much went all the way.

In game 2 Randy used Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Null Rod to deny Bob the ability to cast many spells. Bob did manage to sneak a Monastery Mentor into play the one turn his Sol Ring was in play and working, but Randy quickly sent him back to zero mana and Bob never found the Tundra or Plains he needed to turn on the two copies of Swords to Plowshares he was holding. Mentor can’t out-race True-Name Nemesis when there aren’t any monk tokens to help him.

Randy wins 2-0

Rich v Eric

Two quick Thorns of Amethyst and a Chalice that he set to 2 allowed Eric to disrupt Rich’s draw (which included 2 Young Pyromancers). Duplicant exiled a Delver and it took Eric a few turns of attacking to actually win the game, but he was never in any real trouble.

In game 2 Rich showed off a never-ending supply of card drawing and removal spells. Once Dack Fayden stole his Kuldotha Forgemaster, Eric had seen enough and they were on to game 3.

Eric gambled on a turn 1 Chalice for zero (after playing a Sphere of Resistance) because he figured fast mana was the only way Rich could keep up with the rest of his draw. The gambled paid off as he stranded a Black Lotus in Rich’s 1-land hand and Rich was never able to overcome all of EFro’s mana denial.

Eric wins 2-1 – Now 6-0, Eric has already clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot even though there are still 3 weeks to go.

Luis v David

David went for a turn 1 Ancestral Recall and used his entire hand (two Force of Wills and two blue cards) in an attempt to resolve it, but Luis had 2 of his 3 copies of Mental Misstep plus a Force of Will of his own. Luis’s last 3 cards? 2 lands and an Ancestral of his own … turn 2 Oath (off an Orchard) ended things pretty quickly from there.

Luis kept a mana-light draw in game 2, and David figured that out and used Wear/Tear on a Mox Jet after Luis used Demonic Tutor and then said go, but once Luis finally did find a 3rd land it was the perfect one: Boseiju Who Shelters All. This made the Show and Tell he had tutored for uncounterable and suddenly David was being attacked by Emrakul.

Luis wins 2-0

Steve v Tom

Game 1 was a drawn-out control fight. Steve found himself once again discarding to hand size before he found enough land to operate, but then he was able to stick a Dack Fayden, which found him a Monastery Mentor. Tom was able to Demonic Tutor for Yawgmoth’s Will but he had to say go, planning to win the game on the following turn. Steve’s Dack found him a Dig Through Time, which found him a Mox and  Time Walk, which meant he suddenly had 3 monks to fight alongside his Mentor. He was empty handed as his Time Walk turn began and needed to resolve two spells to get enough prowess triggers to win the game. Preordain into Gush got the job done without even needing to go fishing with Dack!

Game 2 was another long one. Steve stuck an early Stony Silence, which turned off Tom’s Vault-Key combo permanently. Tom was able to draw lots of extra cards via Ancestral and Treasure Cruise, but most of them were mana, many of which were shut off by Stony Silence. Academy actually allowed Tom to build up to 12+ mana in play (to Steve’s 2) and eventually he forced a Dack into play, which found him a Jace, and Steve knew he wasn’t winning from there and conceded to the two planeswalkers.

Game 3 saw Tom put on a clinic in properly sequencing spells. He built up a hand until Steve played  Mentor and then he baited out most of Steve’s permission with a Treasure Cruise that Tom didn’t actually care about. Once the dust settled Treasure Cruise did get countered but Steve was down to a Misdirection that couldn’t do anything to stop Tom from Demonic Tutoring for Time Vault, playing Voltaic Key, and playing Time Vault.

Tom wins 2-1

Week 5 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.


Kai v David

Kai had his Boseju in game 1, but he couldn’t find a Show and Tell and his hand accumulated quite a few uncastable fat things (Emrakul and 2 copies of Omniscience). Both players fought over card drawing spells for a while and Kai finally managed to resolve an Oath of Druids (with 3 spirit tokens from Forbidden Orchard already on David’s side). Things looked good for the German Juggernaut to finally get his first win, but he spilled all 4 copies of Show and Tell into the graveyard before he found Griselbrand when he activated his Oath. With nothign useful left in his deck Kai just had to hope he could attack twice with Griselbrand, but David played out a pair of Monastery Mentors, made two monks, and was able to trigger prowess to kill Kai all the way from 18 in one attack while Griselbrand was tapped. (Afterwards Kai acknowledged that what he should have done was draw 7 with Griselbrand so he could then discard Emrakul to hand size, and trigger its ability to shuffle his graveyard back into his library. It’s not clear this would have won him the game, but it would have let him Oath up Emrakul and then potentially win with one big attack (though depending on what kai drew David’s Mentors might have gotten the job done anyway).)

David kept a very interesting draw in game 2: zero land, Gitaxian Probe, 2 Mental Missteps, and 2 copies of his best sideboard card in Grafdigger’s Cage. Kai’s turn 1 looked nuts: Ancestral Recall and enough mana to also play Oath of Druids off Forbidden Orchard. David Misstepped the Ancestral and if he could find a land for Cage he would be in great shape, but he whiffed on his draw step and his Probe so all of a sudden Griselbrand was in play … and they were off to game 3.

David resolved an early Cage in game 3, and it bought him a ton of time, but Kai was able to resolve multiple copies of Dig Though Time while David flooded a bit and never found a Mentor. Kai steadily pulled ahead and was able to Force of Will the Misdirection on the Abrupt Decay that Kai was using to blow up that Cage and allow him to Oath. One Oath activation is all it takes as Griselbrand put him quite far ahead.

Kai wins 2-1

Chris v Eric

The big showdown between the last two 4-0 players was a slugfest. Eric used a pair of Tangle Wires to great effect in game 1, providing himself with a window where he could play Kuldotha Forgemaster and copy in with Phyrexian Metamorph, but Chris did not have enough mana for the Null Rod that he drew on the one turn before they went active.

In game 2 Chris had large mana advantage since he was the one who drew a Workshop, but the real advantage he had was all his “man-lands.” His 2-power beatdown strategy was working so well that he actually paid 3 mana and 2 life to copy a Phyrexian Revoker with a Metamorph and Eric couldn’t deal with all those creatures before he ran out of life.

Game 3 was a weird one. Eric had a quick Crucible of Worlds and a Wasteland, but Chris has Phyrexian Metamorph in hand, ready to copy the Crucible (and allow him to play Wasted lands back from his graveyard) as soon as he got to 3 mana. He never did draw a Workshop, but Eric was loathe to use his Wasteland on untapped Wastelands that could be activated as a response (or Ghost Quarters … or Strip Mines … Chris drew a lot of these). However, Eric did let himself get 2-for-1ed whenever it looked like Chris might actually get to 3 mana. It took a while but a Mishra’s Factory and a Phyrexian Revoker got there for Eric as Chris played a 12-ish turn game without ever missing a land drop, but none of them were Workshop so he never got to 3 mana or played any meaningful spells.

Eric wins 2-1

Tom v Rich

Quite a few league members looked on eagerly to see if Tom had found a way to make the recently unrestricted Gifts Ungiven work in modern day Vintage. In game 1 Tom had turn 1 Time Vault into turn 2 Vampiric Tutor for Voltaic Key. Rich Gushed as a response … and found the Force of Will he needed! Rich’s Delver and Pyromancer tokens had Tom on a 1-turn clock, but Tom did have a Gifts Ungiven and a Tolarian Academy that made enough mana to leave him with 3 main phase mana after the Gifts resolved. He  put together the following 4 cards: Slice and Dice, Black Lotus, Yawgmoth’s Will, and Recoup. Rich gave him Recoup and Slice and Dice. Tom used Slice to kill Pyromancer and all the tokens, thus buying him the turn he needed to untap and Recoup Yawgmoth’s Will (putting Voltaic Key into play with his Time Vault). However, Rich top-decked a Time Walk, allowing him to hit with Delver and drop Tom to 1. On his Time Walk turn Rich concluded a crazy serious of top-decks with a Grafdigger’s Cage (which means you can’t play cards from the graveyard with Yawgmoth’s Will). Rich clearly got very lucky to win, but if Tom had gotten a Time Walk instead of a Slice and Dice with his Gifts Ungiven then he never would have had to give Rich that one last turn to potentially top-deck something.

Rich had another fast Pyromancer in game 2, and by the time Tom built up to the 4 mana it costs to play Gifts Ungiven it was basically too late. He had to just give himself card drawing spells and hope he could top-deck a Slice and Dice, which he didn’t. All in all the Gifts looked depressingly slow and Tom fell into last place by himself at 0-5.

Rich wins 2-0

Randy v Steve

Randy kept a 1-land draw with multiple free counters, a Ponder, and a good curve of creatures if his deck delivered up land. It did. Steve’s drew into some cheap answers when he was able to Gush as a response to a Wasteland, but Randy knew that was a possibility and just wanted Steve to pick up his lands. Monastery mentor eventually came down on Steve’s side thanks to a Black Lotus, but randy was way too far ahead in the race and True-Name Nemesis finished things off fairly easily.

In game 2 it was not one but 2 Monastery Mentors for Steve and that’s a lot harder for True-Name to race. A Strip Mine denied Steve access to his 3rd mana for a couple of turns, though, and that bought Randy just enough time to be in position to top-deck a Lord for the win. Steve could have saved a Pyroblast to use its destroy mode on any top-decked Lords, but he used it a turn earlier to kill a Cursecatcher and make more monks. The lord did come off the top and randy was able to attack for exactsies with True-Name the turn before 8 monks and those two mentors would have dealt approx 400 damage to him.

Randy wins 2-0

Bob v Luis

Luis drew his one main deck copy of Boseju and used it to make his Show and Tell uncounterable. That let him put Griselbrand into play and the game was not very hard to win from there. (For the record he Showed again and this time Omniscience came down and made all his other spells free (including multiple copies of Dig Through Time, but Bob had seen enough before they could resolve).

Game 2 was similarly lopsided as Bob mulliganned a 1-land draw into another 1-land draw that never really worked out. With two copies of Show and Tell Luis played one to bait out the permission that he assumed Bob must have, but Bob had nothing and suddenly Griselbrand was in play again. Once he was joined by Omniscience and Emrakul, Bob conceded with Emrakul’s Time Walk trigger on the stack.

Luis wins 2-0