This was my biggest Vintage tournament yet. I made a few changes to my last version. I really wanted double Saheeli because I felt she was incredibly valuable, but I may have made cuts that cost me too many games.
Round 1: BUG I keep a decent opener with some draw and Moxes. They go Mox, Mox, fetch and play Leovold. So much for my draw. Turn two they drop a Collector Ouphe and Deathrite Shaman and I can’t recover. Game two they slow me down with an early Force of Vigor and then an Ouphe comes out and locks me down. Wait a minute, I think I might be missing something in my side. What card am I missing? 0-2 and I’m 0-1.
Round 2: Karn Shops Game one they get a turn two Karn and grab a Liquimetal Coating. Ah, well, so much for my mana. Game two they stumble at the start and Saheeli plus Time Vault give me enough time to get the Vault/Key lock going. Game three they play lots of quick mana and lock me out with Karn and Mycosynth Lattice. At least I won a game. 1-2 and I’m 0-2.
Round 3: Oath Game one Gixaxian Probe shows me that the way is clear and I get out Bolas’s Citadel and combo off. Game two I somehow manage to get going even though they have Griselbrand in play. I play Time Vault, completely forgetting about the Ancient Grudge in their graveyard. I cannot recover and die. Game three I cast Tinker turn one for a Citadel, expecting to have it countered. It resolves. I play a Mox off the top and then see a Force of WIll on top. I play my Lotus and cast Tendrils for 16. I pay five life to Force their Oath of Druids. I draw a land, play some artifact mana but get stuck with Mindbreak Trap on top of my deck. Should I have sided this in against Oath? I don’t know, but I pay four life to counter their next Oath. My next turn I play Scheming Symmetry, put Yawgmoth’s Will on top and cast Tendrils to win the match. I feel clumsy with PO Storm like I did with ANT at first. 2-1 and I’m 1-2.
Round 4: Survival They mulligan twice and play a Bazaar of Baghdad. I write down “Dredge” in my notes as they draw two, discard two Vengevines and a Basking Rootwalla. They then play a Hollow one and I completely brainfart about the Force of Will in my hand. Had I played that I might have had an extra turn to start making Saheeli tokens, but instead I Ponder into nothing I can do that turn and die. Game two they get out a quick Survival of the Fittest which my mull to six could not handle. I try to stifle an expletive but then just laugh and congratulate them on utterly destroying me. Holy shit. 0-2 and I’m 1-3.
Round 5: BUG Ever have a game one go so long that you lose but feel like it’s okay because you’re about to start game three and it’s one-one? Anyway, yeah. Collector Ouphe and Veil of Summer do me dirty. I did not stand a chance. Gosh, what change did I make that screwed me over? 0-2 and I’m 1-4.
Round 6: Storm My opponent and I laugh because we’re in Yokohama to play Vintage and I regularly encounter him at Vintage tournaments in Osaka. He plays Dark Petition Storm and I’m just a bit too fast. Game two he hits me with lots of discard, but there is a reason Yawgoth’s Will is restricted. It’s nice to have friends. 2-0 and I’m 2-4.
Round 7: 4C Zoo Another guy I knew, but I had never seen him at Vintage tournaments. Turns out he doesn’t have any power, but Mental Misstep, Force of Will, Force of Negation, Force of Vigor, Collector Ouphe and cheap, quick creatures can be punishing. Not that either of us were in the winner’s bracket, but he sure got me good. I did win one game through Ouphe just by continuously making tons of Saheeli tokens. You don’t need a Black Lotus to win. 1-2 and I’m 2-5.
Round 8: Burn I am at the literally last table, paired down to the only 1-6 player. They were extremely quiet and hard to understand. Game one I see they are on burn and assemble a turn two kill. Game two I try to Vampiric Tutor for a Tinker into Blightsteel Colossus, but they have Mental Misstep and I get overwhelmed. Game three it’s some back and forth until I am able to Tinker out the Colossus and they have no recourse. I’m an infect deck! 2-1 and I’m 3-5.
I did not respect creatures enough. Having even the one main Chain of Vapors that most lists run might have saved me in one or two games. I am going to test Toxic Deluge, Pyroclasm and Sudden Shock in the side, but I learned the hard way why the main Chain of Vapors is played.
As good as Saheeli was for me, I don’t think I need the two. One was more than enough and sometimes she didn’t have much to do, although acting as a Young Pyromancer and Copy Artifact in one is still extremely powerful.
It might be wrong to lean into Red instead of White, and maybe I’m not taking enough advantage of that. I’ll try to do some leagues on Magic Online and keep up with the deck. Sure, I could play the top lists like I do with Modern and Legacy, but Vintage is such a special, once-in-a-while kind of tournament that I might as well put my own little spin on it.