Serious Vintage Episode 31: BUG and Aether Revolt

For episode 31, Geoff Moes (@ThallidTosser on Twitter), Andy Probasco (@tmdBrassMan), and Josh Chapple (@joshchapple) return to justify their extended absence, sing the praises of basic swamps, and delve (we wish) into some new cards from Aether Revolt.

Play

Here’s the timestamped table of contents for your listening ease and enjoyment:
00:48: Where’s Nat?
06:35: BUG Chasing in the VSL
40:46: Aether Revolt
Total runtime: 1:01:33

Serious Vintage Lineup Changes

As you may have noticed, Nat Moes, who has been a driving force for Serious Vintage, isn’t part of Episode 31. Nat recently accepted a position at Wizards of the Coast as an editor, and will not be a regular participant on the podcast going forward. We are thrilled for Nat and wish him all the best at WotC. If you run across any new cards with They Might Be Giants lyrics or Latin quotes as flavor text, that’s likely Nat leaving a legacy. With that said, we’re happy to announce that Serious Vintage does have a future! Geoff, Andy, and Josh plan to continue the podcast, so stay tuned as we move forward.

Welcome to the Party, Leovold!

BUG control has been a popular deck on Team Serious for a while, and below are two examples from the team. The deck is generally tweaked for the expected metagame, but the basic game plan of controlling the board while you pick away at your opponents life total remains the same. The recent printing of Leovold, Emissary of Trest fits the deck perfectly. At a minimum he replaces himself with a draw trigger, and at his best he completely shuts down your opponent.

BUG Control, by Jimmy McCarthy

Business (39)
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
Flusterstorm
Null Rod
Dismember
Abrupt Decay
Crucible of Worlds
Ancestral Recall
Brainstorm
Dig Through Time
Ponder
Treasure Cruise
Time Walk
Painful Truths
Demonic Tutor
Deathrite Shaman
Snapcaster Mage
Trygon Predator
Baleful Strix
Gurmag Angler
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Mana Sources (22)
Black Lotus
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Sapphire
Verdant Catacombs
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Bayou
Swamp
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger’s Cage
Nature’s Claim
Engineered Explosives
Virulent Plague
Dread of Night
Tormod’s Crypt
Forest
Ravenous Trap
Maelstrom Pulse
Malicious Affliction
Murderous Cut
Null Rod

BUG Control by Andy Probasco

Business (38)
Deathrite Shaman
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Snapcaster Mage
Phyrexian Revoker
Baleful Strix
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Vendilion Clique
Painful Truths
Ponder
Treasure Cruise
Demonic Tutor
Time Walk
Thoughtseize
Ancestral Recall
Brainstorm
Dig Through Time
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
Flusterstorm
Abrupt Decay

Mana Sources (22)
Black Lotus
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Verdant Catacombs
Polluted Delta
Misty Rainforest
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Bayou
Swamp
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Sideboard (15)
Forest
Crucible of Worlds
Trygon Predator
Dismember
Nature’s Claim
Null Rod
Mindbreak Trap
Dread of Night

Aether Revolt

It’s always exciting when new sets come out to see what cards may have Vintage applications, and Aether Revolt has a few options for players to try out. Below are the three cards that we believe will see the most play in the format. Although we have boldly predicted that the last card below will have zero Top 8 appearances in 2017, but we’ve been wrong before.

1. Who doesn’t love a good removal spell? Fatal Push checks a lot of boxes for us, converted mana cost of one, and Instant speed to start with. There aren’t many things that Fatal Push doesn’t kill in Vintage, and with fetch lands it’s pretty easy to cast with Revolt. BUG control and storm combo decks seem like the perfect place to try Fatal Push out and see if it has a future in the format.

2. The next card we covered shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Walking Ballista is an obvious nod to a previous Vintage Workshop staple Triskelion. This card has a lot of potential as it combos well with other artifacts like Steel Overseer and Arcbound Ravager. Workshop decks have also struggled with colorless creature removal and in a pinch Ballista fills this role. The ability to turn unused mana into additional +1/+1 counters on your opponents end step is also something to consider.

3. This last card was a bit surprising, but Geoff is really excited and I’m sure Winding Constrictor will be an auto include in the Thallid deck. Spore counters add up quickly with this powerful ability and 2017 may just be the breakout year for Thallids. With a less color dependent casting cost this would have been an interesting ability in an artifact deck that either relies on prison cards like Smokestack and Tangle Wire or with Walking Ballista, Steel Overseer, and Arcbound Ravager.

Concluding Remarks

Thanks for listening and thanks for sticking with us during this transition. We’ll look forward to any questions or comments here or The Mana Drain or on Twitter. You can also email us at seriousvintagepodcast@gmail.com.