The Top 8 Vintage Decks from Cardmarket Series Paris

Let's take a look at the Vintage results of Cardmarket Paris. The format which everybody loves — or hates — but which is hardly played. What did the ones fortunate enough to enter the Vintage zone choose to bring to the table? How diverse was the field, and what ended up on top?

Vintage doesn't leave much room for shenanigans when it comes to building the most competitive decks compared to other Magic formats. Unpowered lists are possible and I love seeing them, but they rarely work out.

Old Favorites Back from the Dead?

The format lately benefited from the restrictions of Narset, Parter of Veils and Karn, the Great Creator as well as Mystic Forge and Mental Misstep. The Misstep restriction made a bunch of decks playable again, such as DPS, Classic Storm, Painter, and of course Fastbond. The unrestriction of Fastbond gave the format room to experiment, culminating in new decks like "Crabshack" and "Ziasbond." Decks like Doomsday on the other hand had some recent success too. The format as a whole became a little slower and slightly more grindy.

oath of druids

Let's see which archetypes came out on top at the most recent Vintage main event. Here is a short overview of the decks that made it out of the Swiss rounds at Cardmarket Series Paris 2020:

Top 8

Five different decks out of eight is not as diverse as CM Series Prague 2019, but on the plus side, it reveals no dominance of any one particular strategy — even though Oath of Druids is a damn fine deck at the moment. It will be interesting to see if Oko, Thief of Crowns will earn a restriction if Oath remains this good. I personally am happy to see Workshops/Prison style decks less dominant theses days. The short Karn, the great Creator – Mystic ForgeMycosynth Lattice era was a Nightmare to me. Overall, having the Prague and Barcelona 2019 results in mind, I think that Vintage is in a great spot right now.

The Top 8 Decklists

I'm happy to see Sphinx of the Steel Wind here. This creature is difficult to remove because most artifact removal is red or green. The best way would be via Swords to Plowshares or maybe an Edict effect. But these are not played very often since Vintage is not a creature heavy format. Deputy of Detention could get the job done too … Just fodder for my Pyroblasts, thinks Mikael Linden. The Sphinx seems to be in a perfect place in the current metagame and iIt seems that Oath has all the answers at the moment.

  • Strengths: Synergy with Oko, able to run four Pyroblast
  • Weaknesses: Dependent on a single card

A sweet Mentor Outcome list eschewing the classic Voltaic Key/Time Vault combo. We have Monastery Mentor and Bolas's Citadel as win conditions. This list also sets aside Tendrils of Agony. Blightsteel Colossus comes in from the sideboard as an alternative win condition. Paradoxical Outcome decks profited the most from the restriction of Narset, Parter of Veils.

Survival is probably the fairest out of all the top tier Vintage decks, if you can call a Vintage deck fair. It always has a good chance to take a match and it does not have any bad matchups. Collector Ouphe was the perfect fetchable addition against artifact-heavy decks like Outcome or Workshops. We see other lock pieces or hosers in the form of Phyrexian Revoker and Containment Priest as well as Deputy of Detention, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and Leovold, Emissary of Trest. Scavenging Ooze plus Deathrite Shaman do their best against Dredge. Survival has answers to all decks in the metagame. Compared to a deck like Outcome it may only lack that kind of super crazy speed. It's ridiculous to say that about a deck that is capable of having two 4/3s (with haste), a 4/4, and a 1/1 creature on the battlefield on turn one … Survival came out of the Swiss rounds with the best record.

  • Strengths: Flexible creature toolbox with a wide range of silver bullets
  • Weaknesses: A little less explosive than other decks in format

Dredge is dead, long live Dredge. There is simply no way to stop bad ol' Dredge. This archetype got hit the hardest by the latest restrictions losing its playset of Golgari Grave-Troll and Mental Misstep. Some people thought this would be the end of Dredge in Vintage, but it is still creeping forward like a Zombie in a Romero movie. The missing copies of Mental Misstep were replaced by a couple copies of Force of Negation and the missing green pieces to cast Force of Vigor were replaced with Shambling Shell. Dredge without the Grave-Troll might be a little less explosive, but it profited a lot from Force of Vigor on the other hand.

  • Strengths: Explosive, disruptive, with Elesh Norn against Monks
  • Weaknesses: So much (effective) hate from every corner

Mackenzie Stratford's Paradoxical Outcome plays with Tendrils of Agony, but again foregoes Voltaic Key/Time Vault. You also see no Lavinia, Azorius Renegade in this deck, but Teferi, Time Raveler and two Defense Grids against other blue decks. One Pyroblast in the main, three in the sideboard as weapons against Oko, Thief of Crowns, Narset, Parter of Veils, Lavinia, and of course other countermagic.

Shops was not hit hard by any restrictions, but by Modern Horizons through the printing of Collector Ouphe and Force of Vigor. Although the deck was blessed with new tools in Stonecoil Serpent and Traxos, Scourge of Kroog, it faces much more pressure than before. But much like Dredge with four Bazaar of Baghdad, one should never count out this strategy as long as it has four Workshops.

  • Strengths: Very effective game plan
  • Weaknesses: So much hate from every deck

Very classic Oath stuff here. Philip Richman relies heavily on counterspells — twelve plus Veil of Summer — and artifact hate via Ancient Grudge, Abrade, and Oko, Thief of Crowns. The creature choice is the classic Griselbrand plus Niv-Mizzet, Parun duo. Since the deck has all the tools against blue and artifact decks main, the sideboard is filled with even more gravyard hate. Oath decks are in a great spot since Oko hit the scene. The planeswalker brings answers against artifact decks and elevates the natural game plan of Oath players. At the same time Oath of Druids is the deck easiest loaded up with four Pyroblast as the best answer to Oko, Thief of Crowns.

  • Strengths: Synergy with Oko, able to run four Pyroblast
  • Weaknesses: Dependent on a single card

The Dredge list of L'Hopital isn't very different from Laroche's. She runs three Force of Negation main whereas Laroche has another Unmask, Dread Return, and a single Street Wraith.

  • Strengths: Explosive, disruptive, with Elesh Norn against Monks
  • Weaknesses: So much (effective) hate from every corner

Observational Notes

Wild Research
  • More and more Pyroblast action. It is becoming very important to deal with Oko and the blue static-ability planeswalkers (Narset and Teferi). You see four Pyroblast in the main deck of Oath, while Outcome lists include one to two in the main and one to three in the sideboard.

  • Narset, Parter of Veils is in every blue deck and her restriction was the absolute right move.

  • White has become very common in Outcome — not just for Mentor — and in most Survival decks. Lavinia, Azorius Renegade and/or Teferi Time Reveler are a great fit here. Outcome decks are built slightly less explosive than before. Instead Lavinia, Teferi, and Narset provide a more secure game plan.

  • Most decks, besides Dredge and Shops, tend to go to three or four colors.

  • Sphinx of the Steel Wind is very underappreciated.

  • Surprisingly, no skulls from Necropotence Storm lists in the Top 8, although they benefited from the Mental Misstep restriction.

  • No real surprises, no rogue lists, no Fastbond.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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Fabolous(11.05.2020 17:48)

Hi! Thanks for the report! There is no video coverage right? :-)

ctobehn(11.05.2020 18:43)

Fabolous I don't think so, but there are two videos of Paris and Bologna 2019 and some older Vintage content :)

Ashnod(02.03.2020 11:06)

How many Players?

ctobehn(02.03.2020 11:17)

Ashnod 16 players. That's a relatively decent number for Vintage. CMSeries Barcelona had 12 and Prague 18 attendees.

DayWalkerRoy(26.02.2020 10:44)

Es ist schön Decks zu sehen die man sich nie leisten kann ;)

ctobehn(26.02.2020 11:02)

DayWalkerRoy Well, Survival (check out Attunement as a Bazaar replacement) and Oath in particular are decks that still work on a budget. Depending on the budget the International and Collector's Edition are ways to drop the prices of Vintage decks significantly. Apart from that, I feel you... Thank you for the comment!

MeatyOwlLegs(26.02.2020 12:23)

Ctobehn: Are International and Collector's Edition cards legal at Cardmarket series events?

TobiHenke(26.02.2020 12:32)

MeatyOwlLegs - They aren't! Officially sanctioned events of the Cardmarket Series follow all Wizards' tournament rules.

MeatyOwlLegs(26.02.2020 13:24)

TobiHenke: Well, that makes the author's comment a little confusing.^^

ctobehn(26.02.2020 13:25)

MeatyOwlLegs Just for Vintage feel at the kitchen table, but who knows... They are already legal in EC Old School.

Edit: Was referring only to the experience of playing a deck like above with original, non-proxy cards (CE/IE)

Mentioned Cards