A Quest for Power: Unrestricting Vintage

The Kitchen Table forum

Posted on Aug. 18, 2020, 12:33 p.m. by Oof_Magic

I have spent the past few months toying around with the most powerful tools in all of Magic on a quest to find the most broken constructed deck possible. Essentially ramping Vintage up by removing the Restricted List. And so, amidst a sea of new format ideas, I bring a simple one. Vintage but Unrestricted. That’s it. No change to minimum or maximum deck size, no ‘commander/commander spell’, no new zone, nothing you aren’t already familiar with if you play constructed.

• No more than a play set of non basic lands unless a card says otherwise like Relentless Rats .

• All banned non-companions are still banned. So no dexterity cards or Sharazad nonsense (although Sharazad is probably safe). No command zone cards or conspiracy nonsense.

• All restrictions are lifted. Yes. All of them. This is meant to be the most unforgiving format. Know what you’re signing up for.

• Only scribbled basic lands count as official cards of the format. This is really just a fun guideline and not a hard rule. But who’s packing this type of heat and carrying it around. Ensure yourself with Basics Ensurance!!

I will get this out of the way quick. This is not meant to be a balanced or healthy format. This is an experiment to see how unbalanced the format is when you drop the weight of the Restricted List. Is it as unbalanced as might be assumed?

It certainly will be a coin-flip format. This sounds in bad taste but I play plenty of other games that operate on chance and I love Magic. Magic has classically blended randomness and probability with skill and intuition. Personally, I think there could be a space for a real competitive environment.

The folder below contains my experiments. You’ll see a wide array of decks. While many may focus on combo, the prison decks are not to be underestimated. In my opinion, they are the dominating force. And they are a big door in for diversity. So if you can swallow the inherent craziness that comes with such power, I think you’ll find that an Unrestricted Vintage may have far more diversity than one might initially think. The real question is whether people can get behind the coin-flip nature of the format. While it doesn’t always play out that way (as Leyline of Anticipation has made itself a pivotal player of the format), games are often decided by two things: 1) coin-flip, 2) matchup. But it can actually get more complicated than that. My wheel decks have a nasty habit of putting counters in the opponent’s hand. Just one example of how games are more nuanced than at first glance (unless you’re glancing at Stax).

Please feel free to come explore my own lists and offer any input. Most of the comments on my decks talk about the price which is why I put the fun ‘Basics Ensurance!’ rule. I want to talk decks and meta. I already know these decks are ridiculous on a wallet. So let’s talk about what we don’t know instead. Like what’s the most powerful deck possible in the context of a meta to play it in. Please share your thoughts on mine and please please please feel free to offer your own ideas. Magic has taught me that a community will root out problems faster than an individual. So join me on my quest for power as we search for The Most Broken Constructions!

Unrestricted Vintage Folder

I have so far found much experimenting to be needed. I have run into a promising diversity so far. I’ve seen Paradoxical Outcome in many variations. Most interestingly was a build that used Monastery Mentor and Time Walk to get around Leyline of Sanctity . I’ve run into Tinker / Bolas's Citadel builds. I’ve seen Blightsteel Colossus in control shells and hasty combo shells. I’ve seen Stax. I’ve used enchantment and D&T shells to success. I’ve seen Dredge. I’ve seen a very midrangey U/G build with Oko, Thief of Crowns , Collector Ouphe s, and True-Name Nemesis to tempo opponents. I’ve done Storm centered on Timetwister , Second Sunrise , Underworld Breach , Yawgmoth's Will independently. I’ve caught players by surprise with Mind Funeral and then been totally mismatched against a fair deck. I saw a clever take on burn capitalizing on Pyrostatic Pillar and Eidolon of the Great Revel alongside all the most efficient burn including the extra potent Galvanic Blast . I’ve seen Arcbound Ravager aggro. I’ve seen Flash / Protean Hulk in a couple different forms. I’m still waiting for a solid Doomsday deck to form.

This is my rough view of the meta as it stands: • Stax • D&T • Shops Aggro • Enchantment Prison • U/G Mid • Storm (in a dozen forms which is best being meta dependent) • Colossus • U/B Mill • Flash Hulk • Dredge

Storm is assumed to be a major presence of the format and while that may have truth to it, that obfuscates how diverse Storm can be. I’ve run into:

Mystic Forge Yawgmoth's Bargain Paradoxical Outcome Necropotence Bring to Light Underworld Breach Mind's Desire Bolas's Citadel Collected Conjuring Memory Jar Yawgmoth's Will

This is just a brief smattering of some of the decks I’ve used and run against. Storm may be popular but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be diverse. Whether all of these would last is to be determined in the testing. But at a preliminary glance, I take no issue with Storm with all is diverse forms and am willing to accept that as an aspect of the format. I just gave eleven separate build around cards. Some can be used together but not all. Each provides a different way to approach the archetype. You can definitely argue that there isn’t much archetype diversity (Aggro is virtually non-existent) and I can definitely understand that claim. Frankly, I think a meta needs to exist before such claims can be made. When you cheat out an absurd creature, who do you turn to? When you play a bunch of spells, what do you end up running up to? When you run a bunch of counters? Etc. Not to mention these decks don’t all necessarily run the same finishers. Tendrils of Agony is a popular choice but I have personally utilized Brain Freeze , Molten Psyche , and Thassa's Oracle . There’s also a lot of small decisions that go into deck building and gameplay for each of these shells. Do you opt for slow mana sources (lands)? What rocks do you go with? Should I pitch to counter or spend the rocks? What do I pitch? And frankly deciding on an opening hand is a tough game in itself. People may think the format comes down to luck but if you keep a bad hand in any format, you are liable to get punished. UV just brings the punishment much more swiftly. Playing against slower decks can shift my mindset into keeping less resilient more combo centric hands. Then I get punished on the draw for thinking my opponent might just be slow rolling.

I’m sure there is a ton more work to do. Some of these decks are very meta prone. But I’m sure there’s more beyond this brief foray. I’ve been very pleased with what I have discovered so far. Mind Funeral will thrive in a Moxen heavy combo meta but will fade fast if fair decks like Midrange and Stax take over. Midrange can keep Stax in check but can fall to control. Enchantment prison can really hose combo and Dredge but faulter against D&T and Stax. There’s a lot to be done but I really like what I see. I’m not deluded into believing this is near a viable format yet but I find room to be optimistic.

Caerwyn says... #2

So, pretty much just kitchen table sans any budgetary restrictions.

As a competitive format, this would not work. By removing the restricted list, it would be really easy to win on the very first turn. Most games would be decided not by skill, but by two questions: Who went first? and Did the other player happen to have Force of Will of Force of Negation and some Blue fodder, without the first player having same.

August 18, 2020 2:40 p.m. Edited.

Daveslab2022 says... #3

In short: yes it’s absolutely broken, there is a reason the restricted list exists.

Games become incredibly one-sided when my opener is 4 moxen and I can play a 5 drop on turn 1. Ancestral Recall, and Time Walk, are ridiculously unbalanced and provide too much power for one color.

I guarantee your format would be nothing but degenerate decks, that all contain 4 Recall and 4 Time Walk, with 4 of each relevant color of moxen.

August 18, 2020 4:10 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #4

Daveslab2022 - Not to mention Timetwister and Yawgmoth's Will with the aforementioned Time Walks/Recalls.

There is only one deck in this format--moxen/Black Lotus/Tolarian Academy to fuel casting obscene numbers of draw spells until you hit a combo and win the game. Nothing else would be viable.

August 18, 2020 4:28 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #5

Collector Ouphe will probably play a big role too :P

August 18, 2020 4:36 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #6

I would jam 4x Serendib Efreet because the original art looks sweet, and it was WAAAAAYYY before my time. (So i never got to cast it when it was playable)

August 18, 2020 5:04 p.m. Edited.

Oof_Magic says... #7

There is absolutely some ubiquity but that’s a bit of a given. While Storm would be a really common deck, it could come in many variants. I’ve explored powerful prison decks that implement few Restricted cards. There’s Dredge. One really interesting build I came up with was around Mind Funeral.

I’m running into this interesting dilemma where the Mind Funeral deck beats all the artifact mana based combo decks handily. But the deck inherently needs a meta to be the actual ‘best deck’. Then Stax comes in raining on its parade. So there’s a real paper-rock-scissors game going on between Stax, Mind Funeral, and the wheel based combo decks. Ergo, a real meta.

I too at first thought the format would be combo dominant but I’m learning that 1) it’s the slower decks that are performing the best, and 2) there’s a promising amount of diversity within the archetypes present.

Feel free to check out the folder. See if the lists match up with your notions. There’s got to be more out there.

August 18, 2020 6:13 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #8

Stax isn’t a viable deck in a format that ends before you can even put your Stax pieces onto the battlefield. Nor are taxes viable in a format where the first player was able to drop a half dozen or more Moxen on turn 1.

The game simply is going to end to whichever Blue deck goes first. It doesn’t matter whether they use dredge or storm or a turn 1 hasty Blightsteel to finish the game; they’ll still try to reach that end in the same way. Ramp, wheel, repeat is the name of the game.

August 18, 2020 6:28 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #9

Here is the deck list:

Edit: 4x Gitaxian Probe and Street Wraith should be in there also.

August 18, 2020 6:40 p.m. Edited.

Daveslab2022 says... #10


I’m sorry but there is absolutely no way that “It’s the slower decks that are performing the best.”

Who are you play testing with?

Caerwyn is absolutely right. Whichever blue deck goes first would win.

You’re giving people access to as much mana as they have in their opening hand. Anywhere from 1 moxen to 12 mana from 4 Lotus. Blue has always been the degenerate color with stupid cards and value. This has been proven time and time and time again.

I would modify his deck list to include some amount of Paradoxical Outcome to re-use your moxen and draw half your deck, and the finisher would probably just be some form of Storm.

He also said Ancestral Vision but we all know he meant Ancestral Recall

August 18, 2020 7:02 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #11

Caerwyn So I thought the same until I ran across Mind Funeral. That really began to change my perspective. Unlike a lot of the wheel based Storm variants, it doesn’t expose itself or make itself vulnerable. It easily beats those decks. But it has a glaring weakness in preying on artifact mana decks. That’s where Stax comes in. Mind Funeral beats all the Storm decks, which go 50/50 to Stax on die roll, which beats Mind Funeral.

Even if it’s in its most extreme form, that’s still meta gaming. Those are matchups decided by deck rather than who had blue. If mtgtop8.com is considered reliable, they show 46% of decks play on average 1.6 Force of Negation. With a loose tongue you could say half the format plays half a play set. Force of Will is the most dominant non-Restricted card with three quarters (74.5%) of decks running on average 3.8 (a play set in just about all non Stax decks). And there’s other prison decks like my enchantment list or my D&T list that do include Forces so they have even better game against the combo decks. But those lists don’t have the lands that make Stax beat Mind Funeral.

August 18, 2020 7:10 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #12


I so far have had consistency issues with non-wheel/twister combo decks. But they expose themselves in a way Mind Funeral does not. That my whole contention. I think Mind Funeral beats all the combo decks most people assume would run the format. But if that’s the case, then that opens the door for Stax to supercede the Mind Funeral decks by virtue of deck design.

This is mostly theory. I may pull up a game generator and test them out with my lady. But I don’t have an expanded play group I do this with. This has all developed as I’ve stepped away from the LGS scene. But you can certainly take the lists and test them as you please.

August 18, 2020 7:21 p.m.

King_marchesa says... #13

There no point in running Mind Funeral because even if you go first you could not have a copy of it in your opening hand. Also, other decks could also just run four lands and pretty much negate the effects of 1 Mind Funeral and unless you manage to get multiple Mind Funerals in an opening hand and have the Mana to cast them all then you win but even then the other player can just counter one of them and survive. Then they just win next turn. Another way to negate the Mind Funeral effect would just to run Thassa's Oracle and Demonic Consultation wincons. With this strategy you have the same percentage chance to get a Thassa's Oracle as the opponent is to get a Mind Funeral you can just play it then and win on your upkeep granted if they don't have any Mana they can't cast the Oracle but still the Oracle would be a pretty easy include to turn an opponents Mind Funeral into your win. I'm no expert on vintage but I know for a fact that a deck that relies on one card to beat other decks does not have a very good chance against other decks that can win on turn one.

August 18, 2020 7:23 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #14

I just don’t understand how you feel Mind Funeral decks win... like sure if you cast it and I’m not playing lands in my deck then you could win turn 1. But how does that beat the decks that actually win? I just threw together the list Caerwyn was talking about. I’ll tag you in it. I’ve won, through aforce, on turn 1 every single time.

I fear you do not have enough experience in vintage to truly understand how broken these cards/this format would be.

August 18, 2020 7:23 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #15


If a combo deck can come together that doesn’t utilize wheel effects, then I can see the case. Mind Funeral is the closest it gets. I’ve tried using black rituals and tutors to get Peer into the Abyss and that worked sometimes but was clunky.

I’ve smashed my Mind Funeral list against my Hot Wheels list and Mind Funeral beats it every time by virtue of not giving its opponents counters. Wheels and twisters expose the user. My Mind Funeral deck doesn’t employ such exposing cards.

I haven’t had much success with combo decks that weren’t using twisters or wheels. So my theory is that those cards hand opponents counters that could break their chain. That’s just what I’ve noticed when smashing dolls together. That’s not to say those decks can’t beat Mind Funeral but that those decks open themselves up in a way the Mind Funeral deck does not and that has definitely been born out in testing.

August 18, 2020 7:37 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #16

Tutors seem like a good idea--after all, you can quickly find the cards you need to win, whereas Blue draw spells have a chance of never finding what you want.

That thinking, however, is a trap. You run heavy into Blue draw because those cards have two different functions--they both help you find what you need to win and they can be pitched to Force of X to ensure your victory or try to stop an opponent's victory (though, once they start going off, they likely will have more resources to win the inevitable counterspell war).

August 18, 2020 7:41 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #17

Yeah I’m sorry but if you think Peer into the Abyss is even remotely playable in this format.... That just proves my hypothesis that you’re not experienced enough.

I’m really _really _ not trying to be a jerk, but that card is beyond bad. Absolutely no reason to play it at all.

August 18, 2020 7:41 p.m.

King_marchesa says... #18

In this format you might as well as run ad naus and draw almost your whole entire deck

August 18, 2020 8:32 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #19

Caerwyn The problem with the wheel decks is that they can win a counter war in one iteration but they have to stay perfect until they pull their finisher. All the while counters are being reshuffled so they aren’t exactly being exhausted.

Daveslab2022 adding the lands definitely improves the game against Mind Funeral. My next contention is the Leyline of Anticipation decks. That’s been a key part of making my D&T list and enchantment prison list remotely competitive on the draw. Dredge already follows the ‘mull to Bazaar’ rule. Bring in Serum Powder. Could be feasible at giving the slow decks the leg up as they don’t need critical mass like the combo decks.

Peer hasn’t worked out as well as the wheel decks. I tried it with Bolas's Citadel and Yawgmoth's Bargain as well but they weren’t working out. Could need more tinkering. But I’m throwing out an idea. I’m just seeing what could be done. When I started tinkering with the notion, I wasn’t looking to make a statement but rather to pose a question. Would one deck take over the format? Or would it be such a die roll that it didn’t really matter? And do the cards exist to bend that die rule?

August 18, 2020 8:36 p.m. Edited.

Daveslab2022 says... #20

You’re playing such weird and random cards that are not good...

Leyline of Anticipation is not worth running. At all. What’s the point in playing your moxen on their turn?

Yawgmoth's Bargain is just too expensive, and so is Bolas's Citadel

August 18, 2020 8:53 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #21


Leyline can be clunky in some decks but it has worked out quite well with my D&T and Enchantment prison decks. Getting a Lavinia, Azorius Renegade before the opponent starts the game is pretty strong. Game ending against many decks. Getting a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Glowrider, Vryn Wingmare, or Sanctum Prelate our before the game begins can beat a lot of decks.

Leyline has particularly excelled in my enchantment prison lists as blue actually has a couple of really solid hateful enchantments in Energy Field and Arcane Laboratory. So the enchantment deck gets the benefit of powerful hateful enchantments, the ability to steal the play (along with Serum Powder), and the counters with blue support to hold off the combo decks.

I know some of my card selections are weird. The first oddball I ran into was Molten Psyche. Tendrils of Agony is a potent storm finisher but also incredibly vulnerable to Leyline of Sanctity. So whether you’d play Psyche versus Tendrils really comes down to what the format calls for. Mind Funeral is definitely another oddball that is honestly bad but the format positions itself to make Mind Funeral stronger than it ought to be. Null Rod isn’t a particularly busted card but the Vintage format recontextualizes it to be more powerful than it ought to be. I don’t think a deck is obligated to play Power 9 just because they are legal. I think the shift in power by removing the Restricted list changes the format on a fundamental level.

I’m not saying that Unrestricted Vintage wouldn’t be busted. But could it be manageable? I feel like mentioning opening the Restricted List gets dismissed and there’s little discussion about what the actual format would look like.

August 18, 2020 9:49 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #22

So I perused your homemade decks. They are not powerful. You have omitted the most powerful card Ancestral Recall in basically all of your blue decks...

The lists you built are not optimized. You lots of overcosted effects just because they fit with the theme you’re going with. My 1 deck would almost definitely beat any of your decks.

T1 Lavinia? Forced.

August 18, 2020 9:51 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #23

Hey. Vintage D&T can do it but there’s plenty of redundancy to back Lavinia.

I think you should try testing the decks against each other or against your own and seeing what your results come out as.

Saying that Lavinia is forced but I should be playing Recall in all blue decks rings a bit hollow. Test them and see what you think.

August 18, 2020 10 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #24

I meant I would force your t1 Lavinia lol.

But also, you really don’t think 4x ancestral recall wouldn’t be an automatic in every single deck in the format?

I’m sorry, but you ARE familiar with the concept of card advantage???? 1 mana for 3 cards is absolutely insane.

August 18, 2020 10:02 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #25

The Force argument is a bit hollow when this deck can dish it back. And the enchantment prison deck has even better blue support.

I get that Recall is the best mana rate ever. But in a format with so much mana flowing, card advantage is more about card rate than mana rate. And seven cards for one beats three for one. I promise, the mana works. Just play around with it.

August 18, 2020 10:11 p.m. Edited.

Daveslab2022 says... #26

So you have the perfect opener of Leyline of Anticipation, mox pearl, mox sapphire, Lavinia, force and another blue card? Lol then I have 2 force 2 blue spells

And while that argument may work for your 1 underworld breach deck, what about the rest of the 9 decks where you completely ignored the absolute best card ever printed?

August 18, 2020 10:20 p.m. Edited.

Caerwyn says... #27

Timetwister only refreshes your hand; that’s what makes it such a powerful card.

You Ancestral Recall, Probe, and Wraith until you find Twister, shuffle your library, and do it all over again until you’ve found your win condition.

If you don’t find your Twisters, you still have Yawgmoth's Will, which turns your Ancestral Recalls into pseudo wheels.

You are basing your opinion on wheel decks on the one you build, which is strictly inferior because it ensures your opponents have resources. That’s unnecessary - with the Restricted List removed, you can happily use abuse cards that ensure you keep piling up resources, while your opponents are stuck with their opening hand.

August 18, 2020 10:27 p.m. Edited.

Oof_Magic says... #28


I think my inclusions of Black Lotus makes pretty clear what the best card printed is.

If you look at my combo decks they do in fact either run wheels, or Recall. I think I have two that run both. Cold Wheels and Breakfast. Mind Funeral has it. I’m thinking about making Mind Funeral a control shell. But I do in fact utilize Recall. Maybe it would make the prison decks better. They would need testing. Do you have recommendations of what to remove?

The reason I don’t rely on those draw spells in the prison decks is the sheer redundancy. The enchantment prison deck not so much but there’s a lot of overlap in how the pieces effect the combo decks. But the prison decks, aside from Dredge, are the only decks that don’t have either Recall or a spinner of some kind (Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, Echo of Eons, Timetwister, Memory Jar).


Am I missing something? Timetwister rotates everybody’s hand. Narset, Parter of Veils is strong but is there much redundancy of that effect? Then you have to make room for it. Possible. Karn, the Great Creator works in Stax because it’s a redundant effect. I don’t think Narset has that kind of backing.

August 18, 2020 10:33 p.m. Edited.

Daveslab2022 says... #29

Sigh... I’m just going to move on from this conversation. Some of us are unwilling to learn.

August 18, 2020 10:36 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #30

Sorry, late night and my mind was on another card, strike that point.

I'm genuinely curious which of your decks you think would fare best against the one Daveslab2022 put together. I'd like to playtest the two against one another as a demonstrative.

August 18, 2020 10:37 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #31

Feel free to test any of my lists. If it were me, I’d start with the prison decks. I’m also not a skilled Dredge pilot at all. Pitch dredge is very weird. But yeah, feel free to copy them and tinker around. I’m trying to foster dialogue. Having data will go a long way. I’ve always backed the idea that the community can solve any format. But I’d like to actually get some results to analyze.

August 18, 2020 10:39 p.m. Edited.

Caerwyn says... #32

I asked the question for a reason; you have 8 decks and I do not have time to test them all. I don't want to get in a situation where I playtest a deck and you simply say "that was a bad matchup, it does not prove me wrong."

So, again, which deck do you feel would fare best?

August 18, 2020 10:44 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #33

I personally like the enchantment prison deck. But I have a question about it before making it a recommendation. I’m curious how Aegis of Honor works with Storm. If it only prevents a single instance from the Storm stack, it may be better to swap Aegis with Energy Storm but there is Energy Field. D&T and the Enchantment prison are my strongest recommendations. Unlike Stax, those decks have the counters to potentially break their chains. I have tried to include sideboards with all my decks. Whether you want to go that deep is up to you.

August 18, 2020 10:53 p.m. Edited.

Caerwyn says... #34

All those options are irrelevant -- Tendrils of Agony causes loss of life, not damage. Damage prevention effects would not stop your life total from being drained to zero.

August 18, 2020 10:58 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #35

I’ve made a catastrophic mistake. Swap Aegis for Leyline of Sanctity.

EDIT: I’ve made the swap.

August 18, 2020 10:59 p.m. Edited.

Oof_Magic says... #36

If Tendrils forces players to use Leyline of Sanctity, Molten Psyche makes for a great workaround. When Psyche is popular, go with Aegis. When Tendrils is popular, make it Leyline. That’s really a meta call.

August 18, 2020 11:13 p.m. Edited.

shadow63 says... #37

Happymaster19 your not a vintage player from looking at your profile. You can't just throw popular cards into a deck and make a good deck. Vintage is an insane format that you probably can't solve from the outside looking in. Also there have been other discussions on this topic and they all pretty much come to the same conclusion that the format would come down to whoever has a stronger opening hand wins. Also if the Mind Funeral deck would become popular all decks have to do is add in 1 single land.

August 19, 2020 8:49 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #38

Err, Mind Funeral stops at 4 lands, you could at least read the card if you're going to be so harsh on the idea of including it in a kitchen table format '^^

August 19, 2020 9:16 a.m.

shadow63 says... #39

Oh sorry but still 4 lands isn't impossible to have in a deck with moxes

August 19, 2020 10:53 a.m.

Oof_Magic says... #40

Hence, Mind Funeral takes advantage of the combo decks. And that deck is backed by Ancestral Recall, Demonic Consultation, and Mind Grind. I’ve joked to myself that the deck is so consistent at getting the mill, the combo is actually getting two, or a mill + counter. Getting the mill is so stupid easy. I think of it kind of like the most epic Blood Moon ever that actually wins you games. You’re doing a manabase check. How devoted is the opponent to artifact mana over lands? A deck like Stax runs over Mind Funeral by virtue of having over a dozen lands. I think the Funeral threshold is around eight lands in a deck. Above that and you start relying a bit too much on those Mind Grinds.

August 19, 2020 11:35 a.m.

Oof_Magic says... #41

shadow63 I guess the argument is that you can’t talk about a format you don’t play. So no more aspiring for Pioneer for me. Funny thing is I’m hearing about this vacuum and no one is trying to fill in that space. A lot of denial and dismissal with very little data and analysis. We have to try looking at the format as a whole but I mention a deck’s maindeck Leyline of Sanctity invalidates all those flashy Storm decks then I’m looking in a vacuum. Saying that the conversation is in a vacuum pushes the conversation into the vacuum. Self fulfilling prophecy. I’m not saying I’m right. I’m saying I offer ideas rather than dismissal. To rid the vacuum takes dialogue. I want to get out of the vacuum which I why I took a personal experiment to the public. As with any format, this will be solved by a community. So far, I’m having a tough time getting past the dismissal.

To any and all, I invite the opinions of the experienced Vintage players as well as any interested in exploring the unknown. Spread the word so we can get the experienced perspectives.

August 19, 2020 12:23 p.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #42

I only skimmed through comments, but I suppose I should start with background since players are saying "Non vintage player by the look of your profile"

I have been playing MTG since 1995, was present and played through the "Combo Winter" of Urza's Saga. I was there when Tommi Hovvi won with his Extended Academy deck. Extended being Modern now. I was there when the Candelabra of Twanos/Academy deck was created. Saw and both Played High Tide. Saw the Restriction of the untap cards from the Urzas block along side Tolarian Academy and a slew of other cards. I saw the unrestriction of Crop Rotation and Gush, I've seen Gush become restricted again. I've played,

Draw 7 Storm With Tendrils of Agony High Tide Worldgorger Combo Miracle Gro Stax aka ($T4KS, The 4,000 dollar solution which everyone now names prison decks after abd clearly did not know what it meant) And Doomsday both with Tendrils and Lab Maniac Win cons

It's very clear by the majority of comments and ideas, eg. Playsets of Moxen and Timetwister alongside "Yawgmoth's Win" (Yes, it's not a typo that's what the card was nicknamed) and saying that they're ultimately broken have NEVER and I mean have NEVER played vintage.

If you have played vintage Draw Seven, you would know that you had access to 8 copies of a Draw 7's those being

4 Diminishing Returns 1 Wheel of Fortune 1 Windfall 1 Timetwister 1 Tinker/Memory Jar

Alongside Yawgmoth's Will and a plethora of 0 mana cost artifacts those being Mox Pearl, Sapphire, Jet, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Chrome, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Black Lotus and Lotus Petal and even potentially Lion's Eye Diamond. Alongside a set of Dark Ritual giving you 9 to 10 zero mana cost mana rocks and 6 1 cost multiple mana producers for a total of 15, and at those numbers the deck still had a chance to fizzle out.

In the current Vintage Meta a majority of the decks do not even use all the moxen. They strictly use ones on color.

Secondly Tolarian Academy is no longer the uber powerful card the majority of you assume it is. It mostly functions now like a Mishra's Workshop. Even with a grip full of Moxen and a Time Twister. Even with it currently restricted and having access to 4 Crop Rotation and all the artifact mana it is VERY VERY possible to lose.

A lot of decks in Vintage wouldn't win turn one or two, sometimes it takes turn three. Even if everything was unrestricted.

I've even argued the unrestriction of Academy a long long time ago as it is no longer the power house every one assumes it to be.

He is 100 percent correct. A Serum Powder/Leyline play does every deck justice especially with an instant speed Chalice. Similarly a Gemstone Caverns, Spirit Guide (Elvish or Simian) Will net you a before your turn instant speed 2 mana to stop your opponent. There's also access to Force of Will/Negation/Misdirection/Commandeer

You guys are somewhat right, it would be insanely overpowered but it just wouldn't be guaranteed turn one. Not even Hulk flash which can win turn 0.

I like this idea completely, and I think the majority of you all especially those of you heavy EDH players should open up your minds and try the format, cause right now it's the everyone dies on turn one closed minded thinking that is killing the format off, and its quite quite sad.

Kudos to the guy who posted this and anyone else familiar with the format. If I missed your comment in here I'm sorry.

August 19, 2020 7:33 p.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #43

Everyone needs to stop assuming that the combo decks would be overpowered. It would be the Prison/Staks/Fish decks (for those who don't know, Fish was a merfolk deck, later adapted with cards like Meddling Mage and Mindcensor Aven to stall opponents and win via aggro. Yes you could win just by attacking like a normal game of Magic in vintage) that would be absolutely terrfying and impossible to play against

August 19, 2020 7:38 p.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #44

Oh wait, there's Mental Misstep too. Forgot about that. 2 life, bye bye Mox. Hated that play.

August 19, 2020 7:52 p.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #45

Caerwyn. Staxs would still be viable in this format as mentioned earlier. Leyline/Chalice at instant speed for 0

August 19, 2020 7:59 p.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #46

And in a deck where lands simply aren't needed you would just run Goblin Charbelcher and call it a day. No Mind Funeral nonsense. Not a single Storm play. Black Lotus, Mox Jet/Sapphire float a black, Dark Ritual, Tinker, Tutor Charbelcher. GG.

August 19, 2020 8:17 p.m.

Daveslab2022 says... #47


Yeah man I’m not particularly inclined to believe you when you don’t even know what Mental Misstep does.

You definitely cannot counter a mox with that card.

August 19, 2020 8:42 p.m. Edited.

defamagraphy1 says... #48

Sorry, I was just thinking of Ring or Vault

I 100 percent know what I'm talking about. Let's say you load your deck up with nothing but Moxen and Black Lotus, Timetwisters and Paradoxical Outcome, Ancestral Recall, Brain Freeze, and Free counters. You're going to have an absolutely bad matchup against someone With Chalice/Thorn/Trinisphere/Lodestone Golem. Not to mention there's a huge chance to fizzle out. "If" everything was unrestricted, you wouldn't even play that. Hell you don't even have to do that now, and you can still do it restricted. Just play Doomsday. Hold a Street Wraith and a Mox or Lotus Petal and set up a pile with Ancestral, Black Lotus, and Thassa's Oracle. In the past you had to do a pile with have a land out, and a one of either Chrome Mox imprinted Blue or Black, Mox Jet or Sapphire, or Diamond and your pile of Brainstorm, Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, Yawgmoth's Will, and Tendrils had to have at least a land, two cards in hand and Street Wraith,You would tap for black, cast Dark Ritual, then Doomsday spellcount 2. Cycle Wraith, Draw Brainstorm, Tap for blue, cast Brainstorm, 3 draw Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, and Will, Put two cards from your hand back on top. Cast Black Lotus, Sacrifice for BBB,Cast Lotus Petal for U, Cast Will, Spell Count 6, Recast Black Lotus and Lotus Petal, Sac Lotus for BBB, replay Dark Ritual, BBBBB, Sac Petal for U, spell count 9, cast Brain Storm, Draw into your Tendrils, put the two you drew back on top, cast Tendrils for the win.

BUT SURELY, after that complicated explanation I've never played vintage.

In an unrestricted version of Vintage, a Storm deck wouldn't even be played. Period.

But please, with little to no knowledge of the meta or even vintage itself, tell me how I don't know what I'm talking about.

And yes you'll mention some counter arguement about how Doomsday used, Lab Maniac, but Doomsday was played with Tendrils as the win before Maniac was ever printed.

So please continue with your arguement on what you find hard to believe.

August 19, 2020 10:06 p.m.

Oof_Magic says... #49


I appreciate the vote of confidence but you don’t think any Storm deck would succeed? Also, the Charbelcher idea is interesting. But can you consistently get it out and fire it off quickly enough and consistently enough?

Please feel free to peruse the provided folder for some of my ideas.

August 20, 2020 12:20 a.m.

defamagraphy1 says... #50

They could, but not really. There was a a period of time in Vintage when Trinisphere wasn't restricted, and turn one Workshop into Trinisphere was a game ending play. You would have to FoW, and some times you had to deal with Workshop, Vault, Trinisphere + Sphere of Resistance or Thorn of Amethyst. Workshop or Staks decks dominated at the time being that every piece to stop a storm deck was unrestricted and they could easily finish you off with a Sundering Titan or Juggernaut.

Against decks like that most of the time you weren't comboing out on turn one, you would usually Force or dig for a Chain of Vapor or Duress/Thought Seize and pray you could keep going. Then Fish decks were sort of just as bad as they easily incorporated Thorn of Amethyst into their deck.

4 Force of Will and 4 Thoughtseize were common to fight those decks, and against Hulk Flash, a lot of times even if it was your first turn they could combo out before you played your first land. Especially on a Serum Powder hand

If vintage were unrestricted, its not storm decks that would dominate. Not by a mile.

August 20, 2020 4:46 a.m.

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