Unlocking the Vault #69: Vintage DE with Esper Bomberman

Nearly a month into Vintage being released online, the Daily Events still fire at a healthy pace. Both evening DEs (in North America) fire almost every day. All we really need to do is start getting the Premier Events to start firing. PEs are a much better judge of the power of Vintage decks and can weed out the weaker variations that can crop up in shorter 4-round Swiss events. While decks built around Mishra’s Workshop have dominated the 4-0 decks selection, it’s difficult to say if the same level of dominance would continue in a 5-6 round Top-8 event. Another concern is the inordinate percentage of splitting in the 3-0 v. 3-0 decks in the DEs due to the ridiculously large disparity of prize payout between going 4-0 and 3-1.

There is a growing movement to start getting the Saturday July 16th PE to fire. I plan on joining the event and hopefully people reading this article will do the same. The health of Vintage online is going to be fine without PEs firing, but if it is going to really thrive, PEs are key (thanks to WotC pushing prize support in that direction).

Nonetheless, the DEs are firing, and I’ve been trying to play in as many as my current school/life events allow (which is to say, not as much as I would like). Over the last week or so I’ve been messing around with a couple of different builds of “Bomberman decks”. In 2013, Bomberman found its way back into the Vintage scene with some success in fighting other “fair” decks that had become more prominent in the Vintage metagame. Over time, the deck has evolved to eschew the “Bomberman” elements to the deck into a more disruptive human-based Blue Control deck. While I like those decks to some degree, the Bomberman aspect of the original decks seems more appealing to me through some testing. Having spent some time with the deck, I gave it a whirl in a recent Daily Event.

While the tournament did not go perfectly, we did get to see the deck combo off a couple of times through assembling Time Vault-Voltaic Key or the Bomberman engine (Auriok Salvagers-Black Lotus). It also showed that the deck needs some work to shore up the combo matchup. Besides trying to play more anti-Combo measures such as Flusterstorm, Mindbreak Trap, and Ethersworn Canonist, an additional tutor such as Vampiric Tutor would help immensely. I didn’t want to initially play with Vampiric at the expense of another card in the maindeck, but in hindsight, an additional tutor would help smooth out some matches. It’s possible that you could take out Mox Opal for Vampiric. Opal is a nice form of color fixing in this type of deck, but I didn’t find it to be so powerful or necessary compared to a much more high-impact card such as Vampiric.

I would certainly recommend that others try out this deck, though if someone wants to try the more recent evolution of the deck (sans-Salvager) here is a reasonable starting point to build from, which won a 25-person paper event in early June:

Clan Magic Eternal
Follow me on Twitter @enderfall

  1. M1G2, you could’ve kept up the loop in order to have mana to hardcast FoW.

  2. I can’t think of any reason in m1g1 why you waited to use library on your opponents turn.
    You had two moxen to play to get back down to 7 cards.
    And you had a mental misstep for thoughtseize in hand at the ready.

    Also, m1g2, you should have said why you didn’t counter jace. You said later that you don’t care about anything unless it’s an oath.
    But at the time of jace being cast you could have activated top to see if the third card was blue and spun it to possibly counter the jace.

    Overall your timing seemed very off. I’m no expert but you weren’t “Picking the best line” because you weren’t maximizing your resources. You kind of just stumbled upon the cards you needed at a convenient time.

  3. M1G3: When you’re tutoring the first time, doesn’t grabbing Top guarantee that you never run into the problem of stalling out because of lands on top?

  4. I don’t play Vintage and mostly I only watch Luis Scott-Vargas playing it, but i think you seemed a bit reactive most of the time, whereas this format seems to be best taken advantage of by being proactive. For instance, firing Ancestrall at the first opportunity (moreso with a combo deck) or playing a Jace 1st turn when possible.
    Anyway, not that I am an expert or anything :) Thanks for the videos!