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.


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
Creatures (15)
4x Deathrite Shaman
3x Snapcaster Mage
2x Trygon Predator
2x Baleful Strix
1x Gurmag Angler
1x Tasigur, the Golden Fang
3x Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Control (14)
4x Force of Will
3x Mental Misstep
1x Flusterstorm
1x Null Rod
1x Dismember
3x Abrupt Decay
1x Crucible of Worlds

Draw (9)
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Brainstorm
1x Dig Through Time
1x Ponder
1x Treasure Cruise
1x Time Walk
2x Painful Truths
1x Demonic Tutor

Mana (22)
4x Verdant Catacombs
1x Misty Rainforest
1x Polluted Delta
3x Underground Sea
2x Tropical Island
1x Bayou
1x Swamp
4x Wasteland
1x Strip Mine
1x Mox Emerald
1x Mox Jet
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Black Lotus

Sideboard (15)
3x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Nature’s Claim
1x Engineered Explosives
1x Virulent Plague
1x Dread of Night
1x Tormod’s Crypt
1x Forest
1x Ravenous Trap
1x Maelstrom Pulse
1x Malicious Affliction
1x Murderous Cut
1x Null Rod

BUG Control by Andy Probasco
Creature (16)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
3 Snapcaster Mage
2 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Baleful Strix
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1 Vendilion Clique

Sorcery (9)
2 Painful Truths
1 Ponder
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
3 Thoughtseize

Instant (13)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Dig Through Time
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
1 Flusterstorm
2 Abrupt Decay

Artifact (4)
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald

Land (18)
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Polluted Delta
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Tropical Island
1 Bayou
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
1 Forest
1 Crucible of Worlds
2 Trygon Predator
2 Dismember
3 Nature’s Claim
3 Null Rod
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 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

Geoffrey Moes

Just a man. A man who likes plain hamburgers.