Howdy folks! It's Joe again with another week of insanely awesome Team Vintage Super League recap!
This week saw the team So Many Insane Plays (helmed by Stephen Menendian, Kevin Cron, Jason Jaco, and alternate Andy Probasco) taking on The Hornet Queens (Rachel Agnes, Erin Campbell, and Athena Froehlich). This week also marks the very first time that Athena Froehlich stepped from behind the production of VSL into on-air play.
Week 2 Recap - SMIP vs Hornet Queens!
Decklists for Week 2 can be found here. The two decks that ended up getting banned this week were SMIP's Workshops Aggro and The Hornet Queens' Mentor list.
You can also check out the VoD from Week 2:
Just by looking at both sets of these decklists, I am definitely impressed by the Hornet Queens willingness to step outside of the traditional Vintage mold. They really brought some spicy stuff to the table.
Right off the bat, Stephen Menendian accelerated his team into 1-0 lead on Workshop Stax over Athena Froehlich's "Finessin'" (a
Hollow One list driven by
Survival of the Fittest and
Bazaar of Baghdad) with easy pressure and a combination of
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and
Smokestack. Two games open and shut the door on the early lead.
However, Rachel Agnes stepped up to the plate with a deck affectionally known as "Wut in Karnation", a super spicy Workshops list that is not only plays
Karn, Silver Golem, but also Dominaria's very own
Karn, Scion of Urza! The new planeswalker pulled his weight, allowing Rachel to defeat Menendian to bring the score up to a solid 1-1.
Kevin Cron jumped in next, playing a 4C deck centered around
Leovold, Emissary of Trest. While taking Game 1 on the back of a very strong
Dack Fayden play, Rachel managed to swing through Games 2-3 with
Walking Ballista and
Hangarback Walker. Even
Precursor Golem made an appearance, pulling the Hornet Queens up to a solid 2-1 lead!
SMIP's final team member Jason Jaco jumped into the fray, piloting his "Two-Card Monte", a deck based around strong two-card combos such as
Helm of Obedience/
Leyline of the Void and
Grindstone. Rachel was put on the ropes once more in Game 1 as Jaco was able to establish the Helm/Leyline combo (which functions on the basis that since the cards are never actually put into the graveyard as Helm looks for, it exiles your opponent's entire library). Game 2 however, Rachel killed Jaco in response to casting
Balance by using
Arcbound Ravager with
Walking Ballista for an exactly lethal 11. In Game 3, Jaco's usage of
Goblin Welder made the matchup grindy and interesting, with
Dack Fayden stealing one of Rachel's
Hangarback Walker's. However, a
Karn, Silver Golem held the fort down and Jaco suprisingly conceded to a 5 counter
The Hornet Queens take a decisive lead at 3-1!
Stepping back into the ring, Stephen Menendian decided to play Paradoxical Mentor, a deck that can be extremely fast at pressuring the Workshop decks with its judicious use of the card
Blightsteel Colossus. Stephen assembled one in Game 1 and swung in for the win. Game 2 however led to a sketchy keep on Stephen's part, allowing Rachel a kill him off the back of
Chalice of the Void on zero counters and
Phyrexian Revoker shutting off Stephen's
Sensei's Divining Top! Game 3 is where we got to see just how good new Dominaria hyped sideboard staple
Damping Sphere really could be. The verdict? Well, not super great as it turns out. Not having access to her full range of mana, Rachel was shut off of some more powerful plays and unable to establish more than a 1/1 or 2/2
Walking Ballista because of the Sphere. Stephen went in for a
Monastery Mentor kill because of this, bringing SMIP back on the board with a 3-2 record.
Down to their last team mate, Erin Campbell of Magic Mics Podcast took the stage on "White Diamonds", a white-based Eldrazi deck with taxing effects from
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and
Thalia, Heretic Cathar! Erin slammed the door hard on Stephen in Game 1 with an early double Thalia play and
Eldrazi Displacer to shut off Stephen's
Monastery Mentor. Game 2 however, saw Stephen accessing a Turn 1 triple Mox into
Blightsteel Colossus play that most assuredly ended the game. Game 3, Erin's strong start with a
Sphere of Resistance started to shut Stephen out, but a missed opportunity at following up with a
Thorn of Amethyst let Stephen
Fragmentize into a
Yawgmoth's Will chain that not only got him a Tinker/Blightsteel combo, but also removed Erin's only blocker.
Tied at 3-3!
Erin opted to continue playing, this time piloting the "Rainbow Coalition", a Vintage Humans list! With powerful cards like the Thalia pair in addition to
Kitesail Freebooter, Erin established a strong presence in Game 1 and pushed through Stephen's disruption. Game 2 a strong keep by Stephen led to a countered threat and a Tinker/Blightsteel combo. Game 3 is decided by a Turn 1
Time Walk into
Mox Sapphire and again... Tinker of Blightsteel.
The series is set at 4-3 with So Many Insane Plays taking the lead!
I was very impressed with this week at the level of play, and a little disappointed The Hornet Queens didn't pull it through, since I was rooting for their unique take on their submitted decks. Rachel Agnes in particular made some very stellar plays and Erin Campbell definitely picked the stronger two decks versus Paradoxical Outcome with just a tiny amount of variance having seen the same Tinker/Blightsteel turns over and over. On the SMIP side, it was awesome to see a player on the caliber of Stephen Menendian's decisions, even when they didn't seem to be very obvious to the viewer. Regardless, there was some well played Vintage Magic this week and it was fun all around to see.
Notable Decklists - So Many Insane Plays
The SMIP's team submitted some very strong overly heavy on
Mishra's Workshop's decks, in addition to the obvious powerhouse that was Paradoxical Mentor. Let's take a look at some of their spicier inclusions.
Workshop Stax - Stephen Mendenian | Team Vintage Super League
1 Steel Hellkite 1 Lodestone Golem 2 Karn, Silver Golem 1 Phyrexian Metamorph 4 Phyrexian Revoker 2 Null Rod 3 Crucible of Worlds 4 Tangle Wire 3 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Smokestack 1 Chalice of the Void 4 Sphere of Resistance 1 Thorn of Amethyst 1 Trinisphere 1 Black Lotus 1 Mana Crypt 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Sol Ring 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Mishra's Factory 4 Mishra's Workshop 1 Strip Mine 1 Tolarian Academy 4 Wasteland 1 Inventors' Fair 1 Ghost Quarter 2 Null Rod 1 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Grafdigger's Cage 2 Tormod's Crypt 1 Karakas 3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale 2 Ratchet Bomb
A very powerful inclusion into the list of decks, Workshop Stax certainly put in a lot of work against the Hornet Queens' bevy of creature-based decks. The combo of
Crucible of Worlds with
Strip Mine /
Wasteland can be effectively back-breaking against decks when you want them to not be able to pay for Tabernacle.
Two-Card Monte - Jason Jaco | Team Vintage Super League
2 Dack Fayden 3 Painter's Servant 2 Goblin Welder 4 Dark Confidant 1 Time Walk 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Tinker 1 Ancestral Recall 2 Pyroblast 2 Ancient Grudge 1 Demonic Consultation 1 Vampiric Tutor 4 Helm of Obedience 3 Grindstone 1 Memory Jar 1 Trinisphere 1 Black Lotus 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Mana Crypt 1 Sol Ring 4 Leyline of the Void 1 Tolarian Academy 3 Mishra's Workshop 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Mana Confluence 4 Gemstone Mine 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 2 Ancient Grudge 1 Rest in Peace 2 Containment Priest 2 Grafdigger's Cage 1 Nature's Claim 2 Abrupt Decay 1 Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast 1 Balance 3 Defense Grid
Two-Card Monte is a sweet deck, basing its kill conditions around several "two-card" combos. The two primary ones as mentioned earlier are the Helm/Leyline combo and the Painter/Grindstone combo. In addition to the combo pieces, the deck runs several ways of interacting/finding those pieces such as
Goblin Welder, and
Notable Decklists - The Hornet Queens
The Hornet Queens submitted some really fun spice for their side of the decklists, and I can't include them all (because I totally would), but we can share some of the more interesting ones.
Finessin' - Athena Froehlich | Team Vintage Super League
1 Anger 4 Basking Rootwalla 3 Birds of Paradise 3 Deathrite Shaman 4 Hollow One 1 Ingot Chewer 4 Vengevine 4 Street Wraith 1 Demonic Tutor 4 Faithless Looting 1 Time Walk 1 Wheel of Fortune 1 Ancestral Recall 1 Black Lotus 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 4 Survival of the Fittest 1 Bayou 3 Bazaar of Baghdad 1 Forest 1 Gaea's Cradle 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Savannah 2 Taiga 1 Tropical Island 1 Verdant Catacombs 2 Windswept Heath 1 Wooded Foothills 2 Ingot Chewer 1 Containment Priest 1 Gaddock Teeg 1 Kataki, War's Wage 3 Mindbreak Trap 3 Null Rod 3 Ravenous Trap 1 Wispmare
Going into this week, I definitely expected there to be some form of a
Bazaar of Baghdad deck, and I nearly expected it to be Dredge (owing to Erin Campbell's status as our reigning Dredge Queen). However, instead we got the sweetness that is "Finessin'", which I think was actually very smart because the amount of Dredge hate that SMIP's brought to the table was fairly high.
"Finessin'" uses Bazaar to dump threats such as
Basking Rootwalla, possibly triggering the 4/3s with haste with a
Hollow One followup. In addition it plays a copy of
Anger to allow its creatures to get haste if there's a Mountain in play. Tied together with
Survival of the Fittest, this deck is just super sweet.
Wut in Karnation - Rachel Agnes | Team Vintage Super League
1 Karn, Silver Golem 4 Arcbound Ravager 4 Phyrexian Revoker 4 Steel Overseer 4 Foundry Inspector 1 Lodestone Golem 2 Hangarback Walker 4 Walking Ballista 1 Black Lotus 1 Mox Emerald 1 Mox Ruby 1 Mox Sapphire 1 Mox Jet 1 Mox Pearl 1 Mana Crypt 1 Sol Ring 4 Sphere of Resistance 1 Thorn of Amethyst 1 Trinisphere 1 Mana Vault 1 Chalice of the Void 4 Mishra's Workshop 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Wasteland 4 Mishra's Factory 1 Strip Mine 1 Tolarian Academy 2 Karn, Scion of Urza 2 Dismember 4 Damping Sphere 4 Grafdigger's Cage 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 3 Precursor Golem
Deck name being ultimately hilarious aside, it definitely showcases the powerhouse that is
Karn, Scion of Urza.
Karn's abilities really mesh well with this style of list, as the constructs generated by his third ability can be very large and aggressive, while the card filtering is also just very powerful. An early Karn can easily shut a game out with how aggressive it can play.
Another fun interaction with this deck is
Karn, Silver Golem being able to
Murder zero CMC noncreature artifacts (such as Moxen,
Mana Crypt, etc) at instant speed.
That's all the time we have this week folks! Next week is our big week with Team Cardsphere.com taking on the Academy! Be sure to tune in at 6PM PST for another exciting week of Team Vintage Super League!
Until then, may all your Magic be Eternal!