Serious Vintage Episode 28: The Eldrazi Are Coming

For episode 28, Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser on Twitter), Nat Moes (@GrandpaBelcher), Josh Chapple (@joshchapple), and Andy Probasco (@tmdBrassMan) look at the coming storm of Eldrazi in Vintage Magic: The Gathering, how should players prepare for it, and how should it be treated grammatically.

Play

00:30 – The Eldrazi Are Coming
22:00 – What Do We Do When the Eldrazi Get Here?
43:53 – How Do We Pronounce Eldrazi, Anyway?
53:47 – Outro
Total runtime – 0:54:19

The Eldrazi Are Coming!

We jump right in on the podcast talking about various flavors of Eldrazi decks, examples of which are listed below.

White Eldrazi, by Andy Probasco - 5th Place NYSE IV

Business (30)
Chalice of the Void
Thorn of Amethyst
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Vryn Wingmare
Containment Priest
Phyrexian Revoker
Eldrazi Displacer
Thought-Knot Seer
Reality Smasher
Lodestone Golem

Mana Sources (30)
Black Lotus
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Ancient Tomb
Eldrazi Temple
Cavern of Souls
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Karakas
Plains
Snow-Covered Plains
Sideboard (15)
Aegis of the Gods
Dismember
Containment Priest
Disenchant
Grafdigger’s Cage
Umezawa’s Jitte
Tormod’s Crypt
Swords to Plowshares
Rest in Peace

White Eldrazi has a lot of creatures with abilities. It can control the board with Eldrazi Displacer (with or without its combo-buddy Containment Priest), and can shut down spellcasting with Thalia, Vryn Wingmare, Thorn, and Lodestone. It’s got a lot of controlling cards and good answers to the threats of the format. A similar list took first at Eternal Extravaganza IV.

JacoDrazi, by Jason Jaco - 10th Place NYSE IV

Business (35)
Chalice of the Void
Null Rod
Dismember
Warping Wail
Crucible of Worlds
Phyrexian Metamorph
Eldrazi Mimic
Matter Reshaper
Endless One
Thought-Knot Seer
Reality Smasher
Endbringer

Mana Sources (25)
Ancient Tomb
Eldrazi Temple
Eye of Ugin
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Cavern of Souls
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Ghost Quarter
Sideboard (15)
Leyline of Sanctity
Leyline of the Void
Grafdigger’s Cage
Spatial Contortion
Warping Wail
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Tribal Eldrazi (which also made the finals of the Eternal Extravaganza IV) has bigger creatures than everything else in Vintage. To keep unfair decks in line, it has Null Rod. It’s a classic aggro-style Vintage deck. It will beat you on the ground, to the ground, and into the ground. If it doesn’t do that, it gets out-Vintaged.

Ravager Aggro Workshops, by Andy Markiton - 1st Place

Business (34)
Chalice of the Void
Sphere of Resistance
Thorn of Amethyst
Trinisphere
Tangle Wire
Arcbound Ravager
Phyrexian Revoker
Lodestone Golem
Thought-Knot Seer
Triskelion
Hangarback Walker

Mana Sources (26)
Black Lotus
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Tolarian Academy
Mishra’s Workshop
Ancient Tomb
Eldrazi Temple
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger’s Cage
Relic of Progenitus
Tormod’s Crypt
Crucible of Worlds
Dismember
Witchbane Orb

This is, seemingly, the logical progression of Shops post Lodestone Golem restriction – cut three Lodestone Golems to make room for four Thought-Knot Seers. The lock pieces are similar to previous recent Workshops decks, but Seer makes the deck more resilient against artifact removal. Even Hurkyl’s Recall, which used to be catch-all artifact beater, might still leave lethal 4/4s on the board.

Eldrazi has so far been a great, fun, and formidable addition to the format. If it continues being successful and if the Tribal Eldrazi version takes off as a budget option, Eldrazi will be a significant player for a long time.

What Do We Do When the Eldrazi Get Here?

After introducing the decks, we talk about how to beat them. Bigger creatures, more removal, and better cards seem like obvious plays, but how to go about building a new deck. There are a few good ideas here, from Painter’s Servant and Blood Moon to Path to Exile and Gurmag Angler. Some Vintage players might have to completely rethink how they look at the format.

How Do We Even Pronounce Eldrazi?

We wrap up with everyone’s favorite topic: grammar. I’m not sure if Wizards has weighed in on the singular versus plural of Eldrazi. If you use Eldrazi as the plural and Eldrazo as the singular, it lends a fun European flare to the game, though.

Wizards has weighed in on the plural of Tarmogoyf (though I can’t find the reference right now), saying it’s Tarmogoyfs. That’s no fun, especially if Tarmogoyf regains popularity against Eldrazi. The obvious analog is wolf. Wolf, wolves; Tarmogoyf, Tarmogoyves. Try it. It’s comforting.

And one of the answers we suggest for Eldrazi, Baleful Strix, does, in fact, have a plural. You can attack with a flock of Striges.

Conclusion and Question for Discussion

Thanks for listening! We’re excited at the prospect of Eldrazi changing the face of Vintage Magic. How do you feel about it? Now that people can turn their Standard cards into a Vintage deck, how do you plan to react to the metagame shift? Do you want to see more creatures attacking the format, or are you an old-school wizard who likes casting spells that don’t require feeding? We’ll look forward to any questions or comments here or on Twitter. You can also email us at seriousvintagepodcast@gmail.com.

  • Scott Lanning

    Does seem like it really shakes up Vintage. The unpowered listed also could be a good entry point for those looking to get into the format.