The 2015 Vintage Championship at Eternal Weekend was a mammoth event for the Vintage format. 460 players battled across 10 rounds, and a Top 8, to show off the depth and power of Magic’s oldest format. Sharing all the stories the weekend created was impossible, but these five cards capture the key lessons we’ve carried back from one of Vintage’s biggest days.
5) Monastery Mentor
While Delver of Secrets and Young Pyromancer continue to have fans within Vintage, it’s the newest spell-based value creature that’s demonstrated the most staying power in recent events. Monastery Mentor keys off the plentiful and powerful cards Vintage is renown for, and Ryan Eberhart’s Top 8 showing led the way for a variety of Mentor decks to make their presence known. With a pile of Monk tokens built by stymying opponents, it’s hard to see how Mentor isn’t a deck that’s truly here to stay.
4) Hangarback Walker
It’s rare to see a new card adopted quickly into Eternal Formats. At a similar speed to Treasure Cruise before it, Standard’s breakout card from Magic Origins had found its way into many of the top decks of the tournament: Hangarback Walker. Leaping into Mishra’s Workshop-based decks, such as both Top 8 contenders’ Rich Shay and Paul Mastriano, the efficient place to dump mana was often paired with Arcbound Ravager to ensure Thopters could appear at a moment’s notice.
3) Bazaar of Baghdad
Dredge is a constant threat in Vintage, and the Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship was no different. Attacking from an angle of value requiring specific answers meant decks could be caught unprepared or out of position even after bringing in the appropriate answers from the sideboard. Sullivan Brophy’s Top 4 berth was just the tip of the graveyard iceberg, and without Bazaar of Baghdad it wouldn’t have been possible.
2) Notion Thief
Do you like drawing cards? Finalist Robert Greene, and several others outside the Top 8, brought Notion Thief to bear in a format filled with cheap ways to draw extra cards. Turning opponents’ greatest threat - card advantage - into your own value or forcing them to fight over a Thief instead of a threat such as Young Pyromancer ensured the Grixis decks applying pressure had the potency to see it through.
1) Oath of Druids
The Vintage mainstay archetype built around Oath of Druids was out in force over the Vintage Championship. In winner player Brian Kelly’s hands it pulled out Dragonlord Dromoka, Sphinx of the Steel Wind and Griselbrand with brutal efficiency, quickly locking opponents out of options to escape. Thanks to his “Bomberman” combo of Black Lotus, Pyrite Spellbomb and Auriok Salvagers - the trio that clinched the finals -winning game for him - weakened the direct Oath plan while providing the surprise ammunition to take out every opponent along the way.
With back-to-back years in the Vintage Championship winner’s hand it was clear Oath of Druids wasn’t going anywhere, and anyone looking at Vintage can’t ignore just how flexible and powerful the deck can be.