DELVING THROUGH VINTAGE

Posted in ETERNAL WEEKEND 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 26, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Yesterday, we got an opportunity to see the effect of Treasure Cruise on Legacy. Today, we're getting to see Treasure Cruise hard at work in Vintage. Looking around the room, there's a lot of cruising going on, and it's already hard to imagine this format without the instantly iconic card.


Why is Treasure Cruise so strong in Vintage?

In Vintage, players get to work with the best and least expensive spells ever printed, it's easy to cycle through the entirety of one's own deck very early. In these situations, Treasure Cruise is often an Ancestral Recall that we're allowed to play four copies of. According to Rich Shay, a Vintage specialist, it's the best non-restricted card draw spell, and it's quite a bit better than a lot of the restricted cards.

What cards get better in Vintage because of Treasure Cruise?

Bob Maher is confidant, but he's also confident that small and straightforward cards become a lot better with Treasure Cruise in the format, cards like Lightning Bolt. Treasure Cruise rewards us for playing cheap and efficient cards. With Treasure Cruise, we can develop with incredible velocity and refill our hand easily, over and over. Rich Shay was quick to point out that the best way to beat decks like those that play Treasure Cruise was to prevent them from chaining a lot of spell together. The best way to achieve this is usually to make spells more expensive for the opponent with cards like Trinisphere or Sphere of Resistance.

What cards get worse in Vintage because of Treasure Cruise?

David Williams correctly identified that cards like Thoughtseize and Duress, historically strong tools in Vintage, are much worse with Treasure Cruise in the format. The presence of Treasure Cruise means that one-for-one discard spells aren't as reliable as games progress. Sure, we can pick apart our opponent's hand, but we're making Treasure Cruise cost less and a there are suddenly five copies of Ancestral Recall that our opponent might topdeck.


It's clear that Treasure Cruise is one of the best cards in Vintage right now. Will we see Treasure Cruise decks dominate today's Vintage Championship as they did in yesterday's Legacy Championship? Or will the powerful tools of Vintage like Sphere of Resistance be enough to cage the recently unleashed card drawing beast.