Winning the Eternal Weekend Vintage Championship

Eternal Weekend Prague Report

How To Win At Vintage Magic: The Gathering

Author: Lukas Schwendinger

Being an enthusiast of eternal formats limits you a lot when it comes to big tournaments and organized play. It has been five years since I was able to play Legacy at the 25th Anniversary Pro Tour. It was a blast and our Austrian team: David Reitbauer, Felix Innauer and me – was able to finish 12th. I did play my all-time favourite deck – Deathshadow (Decklist here) – and even went undefeated on day two.

Preparation and Meta Game Predictions

I felt very enthusiastic when they announced that paper Eternal Weekend is coming back this year and the location would be none other than the closest possible: Prague. I decided to prepare for it on Magic Online and attended the 4Season tournament in Bologna, Italy to practice some Vintage in paper as well.

In Legacy, I was doing great on Dimir Shadow. In Vintage though, I was not feeling comfortable on any of the UB Tinker builds I have tried. For Bologna I eventually settled with a build that featured a big „Twisterpackage“.

Timetwister Alpha

I did horrible in both the team trios and the Vintage main event. Got turn 1 killed multiple times, even through Forces. The deck was just overloaded with three-drops and the whole format seemed to draw way fewer cards than a year or two ago. Anyway, I got a first impression what the meta-game at Eternal Weekend could look like.

The weakness of Reanimator is essentially counterspells – trying to resolve Big Score or a seven-mana card through a counterspell is difficult. We found that this new version of Reanimator struggled even more against counterspells than the previous version, as it’s very linear and all-in on going big.

After trying various plans for post-board games, we discovered Decadent Dragon, which was the major breakthrough for us.

The card was incredible against any midrange decks, and our manabase also allowed us to cast our opponent’s spells fairly consistently.

This led to our transformational sideboard plan against blue midrange decks, where we sideboard out our “big” package, and become an interactive, value-generating midrange deck in the post-board games. 

Metagame prediction

In Europe, you can expect to see way more blue decks than anywhere else. Usually not the hard control-ish builds like in Asia, but we just love Brainstorm, Ponder and Preordain.

Also, with a lot of players not playing Vintage on a regular basis, I did expect players to tend more to Oath decks than Lurrus or Beseech Storm decks.

Lastly, I did expect more Bazaar of Baghdad decks and less Mishra’s Workshop decks than online, just because of card availability.


First of all, I’m neither the creator of this deck nor a big deck innovator in Vintage.

After Bologna, it was clear to me, I didn’t want to play a big Timetwister package like 4 Hullbreachers and Narset, Parter of Veils and I didn’t like the Bowmaster package either.

I was very impressed by an Esper deck I did play against in Bologna. After getting the decklist I did start from there.

In my head, the deck did solve a lot of problems. The Timetwister package is way too situational, in my opinion. Lavinia, Azorius Renegade and Teferi, Time Raveler seemed way more impressive against Tinker and Oath of Druids decks.

Also, no “random” 1-mana artifacts maindeck like Pithing Needle or Soul-Guide Lantern.

Paradoxical Outcome TSR

While I wasn’t able to play much Vintage between Bologna and Prague, I consumed a lot of Vintage content. Wasteland and Strip Mine seem to dominate a lot of games by themselves.

Especially Urza’s Saga decks give up a lot of mana consistency and get wrecked by them.

Obviously, the same applies to Bazaar of Baghdad and Mishra’s Workshop decks. I really hoped that Lorien Revealed would help out the mana base enough to make it work within an Esper build.

Spoiler about the conclusio: The manabase of this Esper deck is horrible…

With Paradoxial Outcome most likely not being the most played combo deck and being unsure of how many The One Ring decks would be present, I liked the idea of playing two Spell Pierce instead of Flusterstorm maindeck.

Finally, I decided on cutting Monastery Mentor. It always felt like a win-more card to me. Both Hullbreacher and Opposition Agent are situational, but in a lot of matchups it’s scary for your opponent if either one was played game one. All four creatures and the Teferi, Time Raveler often seemed to be a “must be countered otherwise you loose” card.

Two Swords to Plowshares and two Force of Negation seemed very standard and solid.

Sideboard was tricky. I did always play four Leyline of the Void in my board. I convinced myself the night before the Prague main event to cut down on Leylines to play some more one-offs. These could be applied to more matchups – like Grafdigger’s Cage for the Oath of Druids matchup or Steely Sabotage for Mishra’s Workshop stompy.

So I did cut all Leylines and added a second The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Grafdigger’s Cage, Soul-Guide Lantern and the Steely Sabotage. I felt comfortable going against Bazaar of Baghdad decks with Wastelands and Strip Mine maindeck, and I was expecting more Vengevine decks than Dredge.

The rest of the sideboard is very standard. White gives you access to Fragmentize which is just great in my opinion. Mindbreak Trap seems crazy strong, especially on the draw and I settled with a Virtue’s Ruin because White Initative is still a very good choice and reasonable popular as well.

Virtues Ruin POR

Eternal Weekend Europe – The Tournament(s)

Let’s start this report with the Legacy part. Eternal Weekend price payout is mostly for Top8 only. Therefore, it’s either go big or go home. I won on my first dice roll. Reasonable seven card hand. Fetch, Shock, Thoughtseize and opponent revealing one Mountain and six one-mana burn spells.

Looking at the rest of my hand: three other cards which deal damage to myself, a Bowmaster and a Wasteland was GG.

Game two was close but eventually I lost to double Red Elemental Blast and double Fireblast. Round two, I just got combo’ed turn 1 by Turbo Dark Depths.

Just not my day and I decided to drop before the frustration would really kick in.

Vintage Metagame next day looked more or less as expected:

Combo: 19.2%

Oath: 16.5%

Blue Control: 14.4%

Shops: 13.6%

Bazaar: 12%

Blue Tinker: 9.6%

More Mishra’s Workshops and Bazaar of Baghdad decks than usually played online but still Blue-Decks dominating. After Legacy, I was going into the event with very low expectations, but I felt comfortable in my choice of deck.

Round 1: Mono White Initiative 2-0

Null Rod WTH

Won game one with a very strong combo draw.

Game two my opponent went turn one Chrome Mox into Nullrod. My hand was not depending on artifact mana and I could just let it resolve and taxing my opponent more than myself. I was able to set up a Hullbreacher into Virtue’s Ruin even before he was casting his first Initative creature.

Most important thing in this matchup in my opinion is to keep the maindeck Loran of the Third Path in mind to not commit your combo pieces earlier than necessary to the board.

I was lucky never facing an Archon of Emeria.

Round 2: Dredge 2-1

Leyline of the Void GPT

Second Round, I got punished for my decision of cutting the Leyline of the Void out of the sideboard. Lost a very close game one after losing the dice roll.

Locked up game two with multiple hate pieces out of the board.

Game three, my opponents deck was just not cooperating with him.

Round 3: Oath 2-0

Lavinia Azorius Renegade TSR

Most played deck, which I was expecting to face a lot.

Lavinia, Azorius Renegade was shining in this matchup. My opponent did cast a Show and Tell and with having Lavinia and a combo kill in hand the game was locked up. Game two was won by Urza’s Saga token beatdown before he could resolve either combo piece.

Round 4: 4c Control 2-0

Dress Down

My opponent was playing a four colored deck with four Wastelands and a Strip Mine.

He got punished for his manabase both games.

Game one Urza’s Saga was dominating. Game two he went for a greedy tempo play, drawing into Dress Down and casting it in my turn, instead of waiting and casting it with Flusterstorm backup.

Round 5: Breach Combo 2-0

My draws just came together better than my opponents.

I had a very tricky situation: My opponent did resolve a Demonic Tutor last turn. Going for an Underworld Breach into Demonic Tutor play which I did let resolve despite having a Force of Will.

Then he played Black Lotus with Underground Sea up and a last card in hand. If I let the Black Lotus resolved, I would die if his last card in hand is Brain Freeze.

I did counter it and my opponent’s last card was a Tinker which he slowrolled waiting to find a counter protection.

Waiting to find a counter backup most likely costed him game two.

Round 6: Beseech Storm 2-0


We decided not to ID (Intentional Draw) round 6, because there was an unlikely chance that one out of the four remaining 5-0 players would not make Top 8.

I was able to put a Hullbreacher into play when my opponent did cast a Yawgmoth’s Will with only Brainstorm and Ancestral Recall in his graveyard.

Game two, my opponent went for a very risky turn one Mox, Land, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Bolas’s Citadel play.

Not sure how to feel about this play against a deck which usually plays 7-10 Force of Will effects after sideboard (Force of Will, Force of Negation, Mindbreak Trap).

His Tinker into The One Ring was countered by my Hullbreacher which was game.

Round 7: Intentional Draw

We were able to ID round 7 for the first and second seat in Top8.

The Top 8

I made it. More than happy already, and the Promo Mental Misstep guaranteed.

The Top 8 was played with open decklists so no surprises on each side, but my opponents needed to be scared of the one offs Hullbreacher and Opposition Agent. I went first seat and after going 1-5 in dice rolls in Swiss I was on the play for the last three rounds.

Quarters: Beseech Storm 2-0

Yawgmoths Will USG

My opponent played a Dimir deck with plenty of tutor effects.  Their plan was to either win with Time Vault or Trendils of Agony combo or go for value plays with Bolas’s Citadel or The One Ring.

In this matchup, I obviously did regret not having any Flusterstorms maindeck.

Game one, my opponent had not much going on. After Teferi, Time Raveler did bounce his Sheoldred, the Apocalypse I was able to play Yawgmoth’s Will, Timewalk myself into a position with Teferi on board, my opponent not having blue or black mana and a hard-cast-able Force of Will in my hand. I did end up drawing Tinker to basically win on the spot.

I did keep risky hand game two with big upside potential. My opponent did mulligan down to five. Naturally drawing into Demonic Tutor, Tutor for Time Vault ended game two on turn two.

Half Finals: Grixis Control 2-0

Urza's Saga MH2

This game perfectly reflected how the whole tournament went for me.

My deck just cooperated way better than my opponents, winning both games with Urza’s Saga tokens. While he was almost able to stabilize game oneManifold Key’s second ability did let me go for lethal anyway.

The mana restriction plan did hit my opponent hard game one, letting him fetch for a basic game two and struggling with colored sources afterwards.

Finals: Dimir Lurrus Control 2-0

Lurrus of the Dream-Den

I was playing against one of the most recognized Eternal Weekend players H.J. Goddik.

He already won two titles and lost last year’s final. You won’t believe me how nervous I was. He was playing a Dimir Lurrus Control build with Dark Confidents, 8 Forces and 4 other counterspells.

Despite playing Lurrus of the Dream-Den there were no Mishra’s Bauble or Dress Downs in his list.  No Tinker into any big combo pieces either, so he had to play “fair” Vintage Magic.

Opposition Agent CMR

I was very lucky, starting both games with a Gitaxian Probe in hand.

He did have a medium quality starting hand with a lot of search effects. With only one unknown card in his hand I went for a turn two mainphase Opposition Agent instead of just making Saga tokens.

If he would have had not found a Force of Will in his Ponder this might have ended the game at that spot.

He had the Force of Will and did tutor for Ancestral Recall right after. At this point, I was far behind. The Ancestral Recall I did draw was countered by another Force of Will found by Brainstorm in his upkeep.

Anyway, the game ended up in an attrition war. My opponent had to force multiple of my spells two-for-one’ing himself every time. At last, I was able to resolve a Tinker for Bolas’s Citadel. Despite not having the best cards on top, (i.e. Mana Crypt when you are on three life…) it was enough to close the game.

While abusing Sensei’s Divining Top with Bolas’s Citadel I did keep Orcish Bowmaster in mind – it would have been the only relevant card I could not counter with Force of Negation.

I was exhausted and didn’t board correctly.

But everything got together that day, and my boarded Fragmentize turned out to be a fantastic one-mana Sinkhole.

Mana issues gave my opponent a hard time. I had the option to skip my turn to untap Time Vault, but I had nothing in hand to get any advantage out of it.

An interesting interaction if your opponent has Urza’s Saga on two, you can skip your turn and deny them making a token, because they never get priority before their turn again.

I struggled to find action before resolving Pithing Needle naming Wasteland and then finding multiple Urza’s Saga‘s into Manifold Key resulted in me winning the whole tournament and the Black Lotus oil painting!

You can find my Quarters and the Finals to rewatch on Twitch.

Conclusio and how I would go forward

I’m extremely happy with my win and still can’t believe I took down the whole tournament.

I had an insane run. My deck cooperated perfectly, my draws were just better than the ones of my opponents and even the pilot did a bit of work for it, I think. You basically need all that to win a tournament like this. I can’t point it out enough. The community around the Eternal formats is just built differently:

All my opponents were super friendly, communicated clearly while playing and made the whole event very enjoyable for me. I can’t be grateful enough for all the friends who kept their fingers crossed for me from home and the many congratulations I received already.

Obviously I’m very happy how the deck played out, but let me try to reflect on how to go forward with it.

All creatures and Teferi, Time Raveler seem very powerful. Lavinia and Teferi are often kinda redundant though.

The manabase of the deck is horrible. The Lorien Revealed are helping out a bit, but not enough in my opinion.

I was also not too happy about the playset of Lorien. If you don’t have a Mox in your starting hand, the tempo you are loosing if you have to go Wasteland or Urza’s Saga into Lorien Revelead looking for your first land is enormous. Yawgmoth’s Will also gets worse with less Fetchlands in the list.

If I played the deck again, I would recommend like:


1 Fetchland

1 Tundra

Despite playing against Dredge, I’m still not sure if the four Leyline of the Void in the Sideboard are necessary. These cards all depend on the meta you are expecting, in my opinion:



Second Mindbreak Trap


Lavinia, Azorius Renegade was the most impressive card for me all weekend long. She shuts down a lot of decks completely and is a wonderful counterplay against Show and Tell and Bolas’s Citadel.

As said earlier, I’m glad I didn’t play a Timetwister package and I’m usure about how good Orcish Bowmaster is in Vintage in general.

I don’t think the mana problems of this deck can be fixed to a reasonable point, and would therefore recommend going for a two color version of either UW or UB. Both options with Citadel and Lurrus seem reasonable to me. I would not cut the Time Vault combo.

I just think it’s too powerful.

When playing Lurrus I would include some number of Mishra’s Baubles and a Dress Down.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Eternal Weekend, and I’ll also try to qualify for the MH2 Pro Tour!

Thanks for reading through all this. Happy to hear your thoughts on my “short” report. Feel free to connect with me on X/Twitter.

Lukas @MTGLukas

About the Author

Lukas Schwendinger is the lead buyer at Three for One trading and a seasoned competitive Magic player. His favorite Magic card is Death’s Shadow. Some of his biggest Magic successes are a first place at the Eternal Weekend Prague 2023 Vintage tournament and a 12th place at the Team Pro Tour Magic 25 with Felix Innauer and David Reitbauer.

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