Getting ready for the Vintage Qualifier: Doomsday Cheatsheet & Sideboad Guide
27/08/2022 · 14 min read
Why is it good?
The deck can be anything from a turn one combo deck to a grind machine. We can't control the board, so we need to win on the spot against "big" board states like Constructs, Monks, 4-power Bazaar dudes etc.
Opponents' emotions will make them mulligan non-Force hands after getting killed turn one and sometimes die turn one when they lose the roll and don't have Force. The strength is making THEM adapt and guess if we are fast or grindy. Win/win scenario for us.
Removal spells and "just creatures" are bad against our deck. With the rest of the format being very creature-heavy, we have a higher game 1 win %.
What are we afraid of?
Generally we don't wanna face disruptive creatures. Ouphe, Leovold, Thalia, Archon and friends are super annoying and make us rely on fast kills and Force of Will. I value addressing these boys a lot in my SB.
Breach & Brain Freeze
Breach being the "best deck" is something else I look for when evaluating if Doomsday is a good choice. Brain Freeze is super annoying, and you will need to play like a champ to beat it. Duress, winning with Consultation, or having Oracle in hand are three ways to do it. Good opponents will make sure to not lose to Flusterstorm on Freeze, but sometimes you can sneak through a win with Flusterstorm and beating one resolved copy by making a good pile.
Threats after having resolved a Doomsday
People also started playing a lot post-DD rather than always fighting over it on the stack which was the case a year ago. Resolved DD meant coast was clear, but now it's super hard. Cards like Pyroblast, Endurance, Ragavan, Hullbreacher/Narset/Leovold, Wasteland, Ouphe alongside the "obvious" Fluster/Forces are all cards that you need to worry about post-DD. You will need some very good habits when constructing your pile as "Ancestral into whatever" will fail more than you think.
The list is pretty stock these days, but I'll address each "flex slot".
Watery Grave: I've seen people play 9 fetches instead, but I like the Grave. A handful of times I've gotten Wasteland+Surgical'd on Underground which is enough reason for me.
Treasure Cruise: For me, chaining cantrips, trading 1-for-1 with Fluster/Daze and pulling ahead with a delve spell is big game in Vintage. Many pilots don't run this card, but I love the grindy element and having more must-counters in the mid game.
Sleight of Hand: If you play an additional cantrip, you want one that can beat Narset/Leovold/Hullbreacher in your DD pile. Sleight of hand into Time Walk into Oracle is a swift way to beat Leo+Ouphe with three mana available. Demonic Tutor can also be used if you have four mana.
Lotus Petal: I play Petal when I want to win as fast as possible which is typically because of Bazaar aggro at the top tables. It's bad against blue where I sideboard it out every time alongside the top deck tutors.
Force of Negation: FoN shines as your 5th FoW against Shops and combo mirrors. I value fair blue and Bazaar more these days, but it's an option.
4th Flusterstorm: I play four of this card because it's the cleanest way to force through your combo while also being a good defensive card.
Mystical Dispute: Card can be maindecked if you expect to play against quad Hullbreacher decks and decks with two Lavinias which can sometimes be annoying and sometimes not do anything against us.
Mindbreak Trap: I will play this card in my SB if I expect to play against mirrors and even faster combo like Oops! Right now I don't think we need it compared to more versatile "anti blue" cards.
Leyline of the Void: Takes up a lot of slots, but is a good way to punish Dredge specifically. I think you're better off racing and protecting against fairer Bazaar decks. With Oops, All Spells! on the rise, it could be time for Leyline once again.
Fatal Push: I'm up to the full four thanks to the list of creatures I already described. My theory is that I'm very happy if I don't face hateful dudes and will happily pay for it with 4 sideboard slots.
Steel Sabotage: Your turn one interaction against Shops where the gameplan is FoW/Steel Sabo and win early. Most games they'll have one lock piece and some creatures out, where Steel Sabo can do a reasonable Hurkyl's impression and win shortly after. It's possible to win longer games, but they're favored the more turns the game goes on. Revoker on Lotus can be annoying, but land drops can oftentimes get the job done.
Murktide Regent/Tasigur/Mentor: I've seen a lot of creatures in various sideboards, but I didn't find a combination I like enough. Mentor can be strong, but the deck only runs 2 moxes, so it's kind of slow - especially if you have to fight over it on the stack. Murktide is cool vs. non Pyroblast and the mirror, where winning with DD can be hard. Tasigur is the middle ground and shines vs. Bazaars 4/x's as a defensive mechanism while you sculpt the win.
Library/Mystic Sanc/Island/Tundra: Lands are cool out of this sideboard. I think the format is too fast for Library of Alexandria/Mystic Sanctuary right now, so I just play a single Island to bolster my ability to make land drops vs. Shops and Ouphe/Wasteland decks. Also helps vs. Ghost Quarter and Assassin's Trophy.
We will use the following deck as reference for the sideboard guide.
|2 Thassa's Oracle||$12.99|
|4 Street Wraith||$1.99|
|1 Mox Sapphire||$1,199.99|
|1 Mox Jet||$1,199.99|
|1 Lotus Petal||$9.49|
|1 Black Lotus||$5,199.99|
|1 Demonic Consultation||$21.99|
|1 Vampiric Tutor||$49.99|
|1 Mystical Tutor||$21.99|
|1 Mental Misstep||/P||$6.99|
|1 Dig Through Time||$0.79|
|1 Ancestral Recall||$949.99|
|4 Force of Will||$129.99|
|4 Dark Ritual||$0.99|
|1 Treasure Cruise||$0.25|
|1 Time Walk||$999.99|
|1 Gitaxian Probe||/P||$2.99|
|1 Demonic Tutor||$39.99|
|1 Watery Grave||$18.99|
|2 Scalding Tarn||$27.99|
|2 Polluted Delta||$44.99|
|2 Misty Rainforest||$27.99|
|2 Flooded Strand||$42.99|
|4 Underground Sea||$499.99|
|1 Snow-Covered Island||$2.29|
|2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale||$4,499.99|
|2 Mystical Dispute||$3.49|
|4 Fatal Push||$3.99|
|4 Steel Sabotage||$0.25|
Matchups + Sideboard guidelines
Kill them fast! Tabernacle can help vs. nut draws, and Fatal Push kills Ouphe, Deathrite and Vengevines.
- -1 Necro, -4 Fluster, -1 Street W
- +4 Fatal Push, +2 Tabernacle
More focus on sculpting early as they have a lot of interaction, but passing the turn doesn't help you if they have Squee/UB squee going, so bite the bullet and go for it rather than stay back and lose. Tabernacle, Daze and Flusters are good here, and losing life before DD is bad. Watch out for Noxious Revival to "time walk" you post-DD.
- -1 Necro, -2 Street Wraith
- +2 Tabernacle, +1 Dispute
I would sideboard the exact same way as above except you can cut Misstep for another Dispute if they are not on Therapy. They play worse control than Squee, but better aggro, so even more emphasis on racing.
- -1 Necro, -2 Street Wraith
- +2 Tabernacle, +1 Dispute
Fast hand or Force of Will their lockpiece and beat Revoker and Wasteland are your avenues to victory. Sometimes stacking multiple Street Wraiths can beat Sphere drawn post-Doomsday.
- -4 Flusterstorm, -1 Misstep, -1 Necro, -1 Street W
- +4 Steel Sab, +1 Island, +2 Push
Life total is more of a concern here, so winning the turn you cast DD is probably needed in the mid game.
- -4 Fluster, -1 Misstep, -1 Necro, -3 Street W
- +4 Steel Sab, +1 Island, +4 Push
Brain Freeze is super tricky which is the main reason why I play Duresses in the SB. Find a window where they only have one mana up, so your Flusterstorm can take you home. Some games you can't beat the card which is what we have to live with. We go for maximum interaction post-sb and can hopefully go off with multiple backup in the mid game or early with a single backup.
- -1 Petal, -1 Vampiric Tutor, -1 Mystical Tutor, -1 Street W
- +2 Duress, +2 Dispute
You're faster and you play more interaction, so this matchup is about identifying when you're the control deck and when you're the belcher deck. Some versions run annoying creatures like Lavinia, Hullbreacher and Oppo Agent in their 75 which I usually hedge against in sideboarding.
- -1 Petal, -2 topdeck tutors, -3 Street W
- +2 Duress, +2 Dispute, +2 Push
This MU reminds me of playing blue Scapeshift in Modern. Who ever goes for it first is usually not favored. The thing is we are playing Vintage, so a lot of scenarios are unique which means that some openings you have to go for it. Try and get a read on your opponent's sequencing, land drops etc. and find a good turn to cast a business spell while not leaving your self completely naked. Dark Ritual is a "bad draw", but also necessary evil to take advantage of "tap out for cantrip" turns from the opponent.
- -1 Petal, -2 topdeck tutors, -1 Dark Ritual
- +2 Duress, +2 Dispute
Tricky matchup because they have relevant creatures and counterspells. Game one you want to punish them for developing the board. Leovold can complicate things post-DD, but build your pile with that card in mind and you'll be fine most of the time. Pyroblast can also complicate things, so I usually put two Oracles in my pile and a way to play them on back-to-back turns.
- -1 Petal, -2 topdeck tutors, -1 Necro, -1 Consultation, -2 Street W
- +2 Duress, +2 Dispute, +3 Push
This is a very bad matchup, so hope for a fast hand or Force of Will to eek out game one. After sideboarding we get removal spells and it plays a lot like Shops Aggro where you deal with their one nasty card and win quickly after.
- -4 Flusterstorm, -1 Necro
- +4 Fatal Push, +1 Island
Tips for building DD piles
- Ouphe, Revoker, Spheres, Wasteland etc. can disrupt your ability to produce mana post-DD. Having land(s) in your pile is a cool thing to think about to beat these cards.
- Narset/Leovold/Hullbreacher can prevent you from drawing cards, so stuff like fetch, DT, Time Walk are ways to reduce your deck size without access to draw spells.
- Pyroblast makes sense for them to have after you resolve DD, so make sure to not lose to Pyroblast on Oracle. Having multiple Oracle in your stack for back-to-back turns will win games.
- Endurance can steal a game here or there, but sometimes you can beat the card by Ancestral into Gush or casting two Oracle on the same turn with Lotus.
- Dashed or on-board Ragavan can be beat with Street Wraith on top of your library.
- Sometimes you can smokescreen your opponent by putting cards like Ancestral (to make them focus on anti-draw) or Lotus (to make them focus on Ouphe/Revoker) in your pile even though you don't need them to win. This is relevant in a world of tutors or cantrips where you provoke a bad choice out of them. Examples of this vs. BUG for example are Lotus, Ancestral, Oracle, Time Walk, Underground Sea (with fetch in hand). Draw and play Walk, draw Oracle, fetch the Sea, win the game.
- If you go for a "normal" pile of Ancestral, Lotus, Oracle, Oracle, I like stacking Gush underneath Ancestral in case it gets countered. Then you follow up with another must counter, and if that card is also countered, your Oracles will be lethal the turn after.
- Don't be afraid of losing one copy of Oracle, Lotus, Ancestral, nor Gush to delve/Force pitch. You can always find another combination of cards to win.
Notes on Demonic Consultation
Consultation is often your 5th copy of Force of Will, Flusterstorm, Doomsday or Dark Ritual unless you win with Oracle in which case you should think about the order you cast them. Oracle first means they have to Pyroblast upfront, but leaves you more vulnerable to Flusterstorm and vice versa.
Desperation Consultation is only relevant if you die on the following turn. Hoping to mill one Oracle and hit the second one in the bottom three cards or going for Lotus if your mana is tight are options, but ideally not something you'll ever do.
Against good players, when you don't have the Oracle in hand and they are focused on that way to lose, you can maybe get them to Flusterstorm your Consultation midgame where you can pay for it.
Notes on Necropotence
Necro can be a tricky card to play with. I would advise to draw 9-10 cards in hand in most cases, draw more aggressively if you feel like you NEED a Force of Will to not die.
Remember you need 2 lifepoints and a way to draw into your top card if you have Necro in play and wanna win with DD. Tutoring together Consultation and Oracle is a smooth way to leverage your card advantage.
With Necro in play, you can do cool things like drawing to an even number for a bit of value before casting DD, setting stacked cards aside and draw end of turn (Force of Will is normal here) and not lose to Brain Freeze.
If you notice your opponent never thinks about Flustering your Ritual or you're certain they have it, Necro is a good play over Doomsday in some scenarios.
I hope you like this article and look forward to the next one! Happy Doomsday! ;)
If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Temur Creativity Primer & Sideboard Guide [Modern], Pioneer Azorius Control Sideboard Guide
Published: 2022-08-27 00:00:00