Howdy folks! It's Joe again with another recap week of Team Vintage Super League! This week is the big week, with The Academy (Rich Shay, Brian Kelly, and Andy Markiton) vs Team Cardsphere (Randy Buehler, Reid Duke, and Eric Froehlich)!
In reality, this week should really be known as "Rich Shay kills Cardsphere" or "Aborting Cardsphere Launch due to Rich Shay". Why is that? Well, you've got to read on to find out!
Week 3 Recap - The Academy vs Team Cardsphere
Decklists for Week 3 can be found here. The two decks that ended up getting banned this week were The Academy's Dredge and Team Cardsphere's Dredge. Apparently neither team wanted to deal with Dredge!
You can also check out the VoD from Week 3:
Holy moly, the Team Cardsphere lists are spicy. Lands, Oops All Spells? Reanimator?! Randy and the team really went out on a limb with some very interesting decks. The Academy's lists were similarly interesting, including a deck that played a maindeck copy of
The Antiquities War!
Right off the bat Rich Shay and Reid Duke begin their great battle, with Rich on his Esper Xerox deck and Reid on Sultai Leovold. Both players establish an early presence in the game, with Reid casting a 3 count
Painful Truths on Turn 2! The game proceeds to settle into a back and forth with each player attempting to gain traction over the other, and both players managing to land a
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Reid manages to pull ahead however, by bouncing Rich's JVP with a
Jace, the Mind Sculptor and then casting
Thoughtseize to get rid of it and an
Abrupt Decay for Rich's
Dark Confidant essentially sealing Game 1. Rich hangs on for a bit, but eventually concedes.
Game 2 turns into an extreme top deck war as both players fight tooth and nail for any amount of advantage. However, a Monastery Mentor on Rich's side into a few fast mana spells pushes both players into a Game 3.
Game 3 starts off the bat with both players managing to dump a
Library of Alexandria in play, but Rich's countermagic suite combined with several well timed
Swords to Plowshares is more than enough to gain an upper hand in the matchup. Reid fights back hard, resolving an
Ancestral Recall on Rich's upkeep after managing to
Brainstorm into a Jace and a Leovold. However, a
Time Walk flashed back by
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and a
Monastery Mentor leads to Rich's ultimate victory.
The Academy is up 1-0! Team Cardsphere sends in their second competitor, Eric Froehlich on Lands!
Rich takes the early advantage over Eric, casting
Mental Misstep on Eric's
Exploration, but Eric manages to
Bazaar of Baghdad into
Ancient Grudge to stifle Rich's mana development. However, Rich manages to flash in a
Notion Thief in response to a Bazaar activation, and the game wildly begins to swing back into Rich's favor. All the while, Rich continues ticking up
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy edging ever closer into ultimate territory. Eric manages to establish a
Marit Lage token, but it eats a
Swords to Plowshares. Rich ultimates Jace, continuing to beat down with
Notion Thief. Eric moves to try to resolve several
Life from the Loam, but Rich's countermagic keeps the spell mostly at bay while continuing to debilitate with a Jace emblem. But one Loam slips through, drawing Eric into the necessary land destruction to kill the
Notion Thief with
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Rich goes deep into the Jace emblem, casting his own
Gitaxian Probe and then
Mental Misstepping it twice to get more triggers, emptying Eric of all the cards in his library for the win.
Game 2 starts off with a bang, with Rich establishing a turn 1
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Eric managing to cast a
Life from the Loam and get the Bazaar train rolling. The two fight a
Mental Misstep counter war over resolving a
Manabond on Eric's side. However, Rich draws into a
Tormod's Crypt, getting rid of Eric's graveyard in one fell swoop. Eric manages to get a
Thespian's Stage +
Dark Depths into play, but Rich's board state combined with a
Tendrils of Agony gets there.
The Academy takes a strong lead at 2-0! Team Cardsphere's next challenger, the one and only Randy Buehler takes center stage with Oops!
Game 1 opens up on a poor mulligan to 6 for Randy however, as both players do a whole lot of nothing while Rich slowly accumulates an infinite number of
Force of Will and
Flusterstorm. Rich casts
Duress, taking away Randy's
Pact of Negation and his protection for the combo. Randy attempts to get into the combo twice, but timely countermagic and
Flusterstorm shuts him right out.
Game 2 we get to see just how powerful the Oops deck can be even through a
Force of Will as Randy takes it right to a Turn 1 kill with
Pact of Negation backup.
Game 3 Randy mulls to 5 cards, and Rich establishes a
Containment Priest to begin beating down while Randy struggles to find a
Goblin Charbelcher to win with. Eventually, Rich manages to dump a
Kambal, Consul of Allocation, taking the Academy straight into a 3-0 lead.
Reid Duke steps into the driver's seat once again, playing the Paradoxical Outcome deck. Game 1 sees both players establishing a
Library of Alexandria but Rich manages to prevent Reid from gaining advantage off of it thanks to a timely
Duress. Reid unfortunately gets stuck on the Library as his only land, but manages to land a
Mana Crypt. Through combined pressure from
Dark Confidant and discard such as
Thoughtseize, Rich is able to gain the upper hand of the match, combined with a well timed
Force of Will on
Paradoxical Outcome. Rich ends the game with a mini-lethal
Tendrils of Agony.
Game 2 gets underway with a lot of back and forth, with Rich casting a
Time Walk into a situation where Reid casts a
Thirst for Knowledge without Rich being able to cast a
Notion Thief in response. Reid takes an extra turn before Rich's extra turn by tapping
Time Vault at the end of Rich's normal turn. Reid tries to go for a
Tinker, leading into a countermagic war that ends with Rich winning out on
Force of Will's. Rich responds the following turn by playing
Notion Thief into
Stony Silence. A quick
Strip Mine cuts Reid off of black mana entirely as Rich continues to swing deep in with
Notion Thief as Reid continues to unfortunately draw cantrip after cantrip.
At the end, The Academy wins on the back of Rich Shay at 4-0! Congratulations to Rich on a heck of a run, all the games were amazing to watch!
Notable Decklists - Cardsphere.com
Team Cardsphere brought some real spice to the table in the form of some very interesting combo-based decks. Let's take a look at one we did get to see, and another we didn't get to see unfortunately.
Randy Buehler's Oops! All Spells | Team Vintage Super League
1 Angel of Glory's Rise 1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls 4 Elvish Spirit Guide 1 Laboratory Maniac 3 Narcomoeba 4 Balustrade Spy 4 Undercity Informer 1 Wild Cantor 4 Simian Spirit Guide 1 Dread Return 3 Cabal Therapy 4 Dark Ritual 4 Pact of Negation 4 Cabal Ritual 4 Summoner's Pact 4 Manamorphose 1 Mox Jet 4 Chrome Mox 1 Mox Emerald 1 Lotus Petal 1 Mox Ruby 1 Black Lotus 1 Mana Crypt 1 Mana Vault 2 Bridge from Below 1 Cabal Therapy 4 Nature's Claim 1 Demonic Tutor 3 Mental Misstep 2 Goblin Charbelcher 4 Leyline of Anticipation
The goal of this deck is super simple, and is very much the same as the Legacy version. It seeks to stick a Turn 1
Balustrade Spy or
Undercity Informer in order to mill its entire library, triggering all the
Narcomoeba into play. Then from there, it casts
Dread Return getting back
Angel of Glory's Rise to get back
Laboratory Maniac and
Azami, Lady of Scrolls to draw a card and win the game.
Out of the sideboard, the deck can transform into a deck that kills with
Goblin Charbelcher, giving the deck another way to kill through cards like
Team Cardsphere's Reanimator | Team Vintage Super League
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite 4 Chancellor of the Annex 1 Tidespout Tyrant 4 Griselbrand 4 Cabal Therapy 1 Demonic Tutor 4 Reanimate 4 Exhume 4 Unmask 4 Entomb 4 Dark Ritual 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Demonic Consultation 1 Black Lotus 1 Mox Pearl 1 Lotus Petal 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Ruby 1 Chrome Mox 3 Animate Dead 4 Verdant Catacombs 2 Bayou 2 Swamp 4 Bazaar of Baghdad 1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 1 Archetype of Endurance 2 Thoughtseize 2 Mental Misstep 2 Abrupt Decay 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria 4 Nature's Claim 2 Elvish Spirit Guide 1 Forest
This deck oughta look fairly similar if you're familiar at all with Legacy Reanimator strategies. Stick a Turn 1 threat that kills your opponent. Fairly easy stuff, but also very fun.
Notable Decklists - The Academy
The Academy also brought some great lists to the table, but it was Rich Shay's Esper Xerox deck that took over everything as the 4-0 list. Let's take a look at that and a list we didn't get to see.
Rich Shay's Esper Xerox | Team Vintage Super League
3 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy 3 Dark Confidant 1 Monastery Mentor 1 Notion Thief 2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation 1 Tendrils of Agony 1 Thoughtseize 1 Gitaxian Probe 4 Preordain 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Time Walk 1 Fragmentize 1 Duress 4 Mental Misstep 1 Vampiric Tutor 2 Swords to Plowshares 4 Force of Will 1 Brainstorm 1 Ancestral Recall 1 Flusterstorm 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Emerald 1 Black Lotus 1 Sensei's Divining Top 1 Energy Flux 3 Underground Sea 3 Tundra 1 Strip Mine 1 Scalding Tarn 1 Polluted Delta 1 Misty Rainforest 1 Library of Alexandria 4 Flooded Strand 1 Island 1 Cavern of Souls 2 Swords to Plowshares 2 Fragmentize 1 Energy Flux 2 Containment Priest 1 Plains 3 Tormod's Crypt 2 Stony Silence 1 Snapcaster Mage 1 Disenchant
This deck is fairly straightforward, jamming all sorts of blue deck fun stuff into one build, and leaning hard on cards that act as silver bullets to all types of situations. Cards like
Kambal, Consul of Allocation,
Notion Thief, and
Energy Flux are all very powerful and deal with all sorts of things.
The Academy's "The Antiquities War" | Team Vintage Super League
1 Voltaic Servant 1 Snapcaster Mage 1 Blightsteel Colossus 4 Thoughtcast 1 Yawgmoth's Will 1 Merchant Scroll 1 Time Walk 1 Gitaxian Probe 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Tinker 1 Thirst for Knowledge 4 Paradoxical Outcome 1 Ancestral Recall 4 Force of Will 2 Mental Misstep 2 Flusterstorm 1 Hurkyl's Recall 3 Seat of the Synod 3 Mox Opal 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Black Lotus 1 Mana Vault 1 Sol Ring 1 Mana Crypt 1 Grim Monolith 2 Sensei's Divining Top 1 Time Vault 1 The Antiquities War 1 Ancient Tomb 1 Tolarian Academy 2 Island 1 Flooded Strand 1 Misty Rainforest 1 Polluted Delta 1 Scalding Tarn 2 Underground Sea 2 Karn, Scion of Urza 1 Mental Misstep 1 Flusterstorm 2 Hurkyl's Recall 2 Defense Grid 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 3 Tormod's Crypt 2 Echoing Truth 1 Mindbreak Trap 1 Extract
Honestly, this is the only deck that I wish we'd have seen on stream, because holy cow...
The Antiquities War?!
Karn, Scion of Urza!!! This deck looks like a heck of a lot of fun, and I love the spicy inclusion of
Voltaic Servant for the
Time Vault combo over the normal
Voltaic Key that usually accompanies it.
That's all the time we have this week folks! Next week is the last week of Round 1 of TVSL, with the Scottsdale Foundation taking on The Blue Crab Club! We'll be here again in the thick of it, bringing you all the best action and all the fun recaps.
Until then, may all your Magic be Eternal!