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.

*SPOILER WARNING*

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.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

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

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