This is primarily a column about Standard, and I will certainly return to it tomorrow, but I wanted to take a quick reprieve to talk about my favorite Constructed format: Vintage. This past weekend, MTGO held their Power Nine Premier Event, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play some Vintage while in the comfort of my own couch and watching football. The deck I virtually sleeved up was the same deck I played in Legacy.
Dark Petition has added a new dimension to Storm decks in all formats, but it is truly something beautiful in Vintage. The things you can do when you get to add to your normal Rituals-based fast mana the artifact power that Vintage possesses are amazing. Moxes, Black Lotus, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, and Sol Ring fuel Dark Petitions as early as turn 1. Demonic Tutor is just about the best thing you can be doing in a deck like this, so being able to add effectively 4 more to the deck is fantastic. The question then becomes what you do with that Tutor effect.
Yawgmoth’s Will is the true power engine. The combination with Black Lotus and Lion’s Eye Diamond allows you to Ritual your way to 5 mana, cast Dark Petition, and still be able to use free mana to keep the chain going. Getting back to 6 mana allows you to cast the Dark Petition out of your graveyard with more than enough storm to generate a lethal Tendrils of Agony.
It’s so easy to go off early with this deck that you often have extra mana laying around. There isn’t much need to go off turn 1, especially in a format full of interaction that happens to cost 0. Mental Misstep and Force of Will are excellent pieces of permission, but neither are especially punishing just because you allowed your opponent a chance to untap. Gitaxian Probe has completely changed the way both Legacy and Vintage Storm play out as the free spell for storm count, the extra card, the information—everything Probe does is fantastic. It also happens to be a deadly combination with Cabal Therapy, something many top Vintage decks have been utilizing of late. Duress is still an all-star, so having 7 or more ways to strip apart your opponent’s hand before going off (often you can still do this turn 1, but more comfortably turn 2), is what really cements this deck as the best in the format to me.
The rest of the deck is just the huge payoff cards. Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister allow you to empty your hand (again, often turn 1) and completely refuel, ready to go off with tons of mana at your disposal the next turn, if not the same turn. Mind’s Desire and Yawgmoth’s Bargain are the trumps when you can actually get to 6 mana, as you will almost always win as soon as that happens. For this past weekend, the most important card in the deck for me (outside the clear engine) was Necropotence. I could easily cast Necro on turn 1 or 2 after a discard spell and immediately draw 7+ additional cards, setting up an amazing hand to go off the next turn, or even have time to continue to decimate my opponent’s holdings knowing I would always have cards on my side. It’s been a long time since I got to experience the full power of the Skull, but it shined extra bright for me.
This deck served me incredibly well in this tournament. I managed to go 6-1 in the Swiss, losing a close 3-game match to Merfolk, who I would again meet in the Top 4. The Top 8 went as smooth as possible for me as my Storm deck continued to fire on all cylinders for a solid 3-0 6-0 into the Championship prize. I had an absolute blast playing this deck in my favorite format, so hopefully you’ll also get the chance to take it for a spin!