Howdy folks! This is Joe and we're here to do our weekly recap of the first week of Team Vintage Super League!
The first week of this event was Team ChannelFireball (consisting of Luis Scott-Vargas, Sam Pardee, Josh Utter-Leyton, and Matt Nass) vs Team Snapcardster (Andreas Petersen, Michael Bonde, Thomas Enevoldsen, and Julian Knab as backup).
A Recap on How Team VSL Works
Before we get started, let's give a brief recap on how Team VSL works. The league format is played using the "Conqueror" style of format. Basically if a player wins a match they keep playing with the same deck they won with until they lose. Then their next teammate in line plays. Once a player loses they are out of playing until every other teammate on their team has taken a loss. The first team to make 4 wins takes the team series, effectively making each week a best 4 out of 7 matches.
Each week, the two teams will submit 6 decklists which are published ahead of the night that VSL takes place. Then, each team gets to ban one of the opposing teams decks from being played. Once a deck loses, it is eliminated from being played again that evening.
In addition, decks utilize a "unified" constructed model approach to deck-building by stating the following: 'two decks may not overlap by more than 12 total non-land*, non-sideboard cards. There are no constraints on lands or sideboard cards. (Note: For Vintage we are counting any artifact that taps and/or sacrifices for mana as a “land” … aka you can have all the Moxes in all your decks and it does not count as overlap.)'
You can check out the decklists for Week 1 right over here. The two lists that were banned this week were White Eldrazi and Birthing Shops.
You can also check out the VoD from Week 1:
Week 1 Recap - Team CFB vs Team Snapcardster
For being the first week, things got right off to a bang with CFB taking an impressive 2-0 lead over Snapcardster in the capable hands of Luis Scott-Vargas on Storm. From having to fight over disruption into a Turn 17
Tendrils of Agony from his opponent Andreas Petersen in Match 1 to bricking on land-based mana vs Michael Bonde through a Turn 1 post board
Null Rod, LSV managed to pull through with style.
However, Match 3 versus Thomas Enevoldsen on RUG Pyromancer was the sealing fate in LSV's games, by providing enough pressure and countermagic in Game 2 - 3 along with fatal
Managorger Hydra attacks. Enevoldsen even mulliganed to 4 in Game 3, losing an
Ancestral Recall to a Turn 1
Duress and then managed to pull through every card he ever wanted to see, while LSV was stuck on not having blue mana to cast any cantrips.
Sam Pardee then stepped into the ring with his take on Vintage Lands, and while he managed to assemble a Marit Lage in Game 1, Games 2 - 3 were less kind to him and he could not make it happen, having to fight through a
Leyline of the Void and just all around powerful pressure from the Pyromancer deck.
Then the real magic happened and probably one of the most hilarious and groan-inducing matches of the night. Matt Nass on ChannelLich'sMirror.com, a deck designed to abuse
Lich's Mirror and
Channel to lethally kill an opponent using
Fireball. Matt Nass opens Game 1 on the play with a Turn 1 kill, and then proceeds to sacrifice his
Lotus Petal for blue instead of red with a
Yawgmoth's Will effect in play. He spins his wheels for a bit then concedes, and doesn't really get there Game 2 either.
Josh Utter-Leyton attempts to step in, however, due to internet connection issues LSV takes over for his teammate in a pinch. His "Affinity" deck very easily disassembles Enevoldsen's RUG Pyromancer deck, putting CFB up 3-3 vs Snapcardster solely on the back of LSV.
However, it's not enough to win the day, and Match 7 vs Michael Bonde on Esper Paradoxical Outcome showed us how crazy some Vintage games can get with interaction sometimes. Countermagic flies, Paradoxicals draw a lot of cards, but ultimately Michael Bonde is able to seal the match with a
Monastery Mentor kill in Game 3, winning the Team Series at 4-3.
Notable Decklists - CFB
Team CFB went fully off the deep end when developing their lists, opting for very interesting and powerful interaction along with (of course) the best deck to ever exist in ChannelLich'sMirror.com. Let's take a look at both that deck and Sam Pardee's Lands.
ChannelLich'sMirror.com - Matt Nass | Vintage Super League Week 1
1 Channel 1 Fireball 4 Personal Tutor 3 Preordain 1 Ponder 1 Gitaxian Probe 1 Yawgmoth's Will 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Imperial Seal 1 Time Walk 1 Tinker 1 Ancestral Recall 1 Mystical Tutor 4 Pact of Negation 4 Force of Will 1 Brainstorm 1 Vampiric Tutor 4 Lich's Mirror 4 Planar Bridge 1 Black Lotus 1 Lotus Petal 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Sensei's Divining Top 1 Memory Jar 4 Misty Rainforest 4 Verdant Catacombs 4 Polluted Delta 3 Tropical Island 1 Bayou 1 Underground Sea 3 Hurkyl's Recall 2 Ancient Tomb 1 Forest 1 Island 2 Defense Grid 3 Flusterstorm 1 Void Snare
The way this deck works is fairly simple. Stick a
Lich's Mirror into play, cast a
Channel and then float colorless mana until you die and the Mirror replaces the event with you reshuffling, going back to 20 and then drawing seven cards. Once you're past the first iteration of this, the deck can abuse
Planar Bridge with a second Mirror by activating the Bridge then activating
Channel mana to kill yourself with the Bridge activation still on the stack. This ensures that you can continue the loop by then fetching up another Mirror.
What's the payoff here? Well, for CFB...
Fireball, obviously! Although the deck would have been much cleaner looking for
Walking Ballista as the kill condition, CFB opted for pure style points here.
Now let's take a look at Sam Pardee's Lands.
Lands - Sam Pardee | Vintage Super League Week 1
4 Life from the Loam 1 Gamble 3 Ancient Grudge 2 Crop Rotation 3 Mental Misstep 1 Chalice of the Void 1 Mox Diamond 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Ruby 2 Null Rod 4 Exploration 1 Fastbond 2 Manabond 1 Bayou 4 Bazaar of Baghdad 3 Dark Depths 2 Ghost Quarter 1 Glacial Chasm 3 Grove of the Burnwillows 1 Karakas 3 Riftstone Portal 1 Snow-Covered Forest 1 Strip Mine 1 Taiga 2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale 4 Thespian's Stage 4 Wasteland 3 Windswept Heath 1 Null Rod 1 Mindbreak Trap 2 Abrupt Decay 4 Hollow One 1 Maze of Ith 2 Nature's Claim 2 Punishing Fire 1 Sphere of Resistance 1 Ray of Revelation
This deck is much like Legacy Lands, with the exception that this deck not only gets to play 4
Bazaar of Baghdad, but it also gets to play the singleton restricted copy of
Fastbond which can get really insane, assembling the
Dark Depths +
Thespian's Stage combo. It was a lot of fun to see this get played, even if Sam didn't do so hot with it in post-board games.
Notable Decklists - Snapcardster
Snapcardster on the other hand, opted for decklists that were slightly suboptimal to tier deck builds due to the unified construction rules, but were positioned well against the interesting decks that CFB brought to the table. One such deck was Andreas Petersen's
Ad Nauseam list.
Ad Nauseam - Andreas Petersen | Vintage Super League Week 1
2 Tendrils of Agony 1 Gitaxian Probe 1 Ponder 4 Duress 1 Imperial Seal 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Yawgmoth's Will 4 Ad Nauseam 4 Pact of Negation 4 Mental Misstep 1 Ancestral Recall 4 Dark Ritual 1 Brainstorm 1 Chain of Vapor 1 Mystical Tutor 1 Demonic Consultation 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Pearl 4 Chrome Mox 1 Mox Opal 1 Sol Ring 1 Mana Vault 1 Black Lotus 1 Lotus Petal 1 Mana Crypt 4 Polluted Delta 2 Verdant Catacombs 1 Island 1 Swamp 4 Underground Sea 1 Chain of Vapor 4 Xantid Swarm 1 Tropical Island 4 Tormod's Crypt 2 Fatal Push 1 Timetwister 1 Blightsteel Colossus 1 Tinker
Pact of Negation means this guy is getting his combo out and protecting his
Ad Nauseam all the time. In fact, Andreas cast all four during one of the games he played versus LSV! This is a typical Storm list however, but instead of playing cards like
Paradoxical Outcome and
Dark Petition it's playing
Ad Nauseam which is pretty hilarious.
The deck that put up most of the results from Snapcardster's side however, was Thomas Enevoldsen's RUG Pyromancer.
RUG Pyromancer - Thomas Enevoldsen | Vintage Super League Week 1
1 Dack Fayden 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 3 Young Pyromancer 3 Managorger Hydra 2 Snapcaster Mage 1 Gitaxian Probe 1 Ponder 4 Sleight of Hand 1 Merchant Scroll 1 Time Walk 1 Treasure Cruise 4 Mental Misstep 1 Ancestral Recall 1 Brainstorm 2 Flusterstorm 2 Pyroblast 1 Abrade 1 Lightning Bolt 4 Force of Will 1 Gush 1 Dig Through Time 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Pearl 1 Black Lotus 2 Sylvan Library 4 Scalding Tarn 1 Flooded Strand 1 Misty Rainforest 1 Polluted Delta 3 Volcanic Island 2 Tropical Island 1 Library of Alexandria 1 Strip Mine 1 Island 1 Abrade 2 Lightning Bolt 4 Leyline of the Void 4 Grafdigger's Cage 3 Flame Slash 1 Mountain
The concession made with this deck due to the unified construction rules was that they couldn't play the
Preordain in it, so they opted for
Sleight of Hand instead. However, that being said...
Managorger Hydra! What a killer card. Also, copies of Standard format all-star
Abrade between the main deck and sideboard!
That's all the time we have this week folks. Next week's matchup should be a real treat with Team So Many Insane Plays (Stephen Menendian, Kevin Cron, Jason Jaco, and Andy Probasco as alternate) vs The Hornet Queens (Athena Froehlich, Rachel Agnes, and Erin Campbell)! Be sure to tune in next Thursday at 6PM PST for all the great action and we'll be right here again next week with our recap.
Looking ahead past next week, be on the lookout as well for the May 3rd episode because that is when Team Cardsphere.com (Reid Duke, Randy Buehler, and Eric Froehlich) will be taking on The Academy (Rich Shay, Brian Kelly, and Andy Markiton)!