Vintage Artist Constructed is the love child of a devoted fan of Vintage and Magic art, created to celebrate the art of Magic in an accessible format.
Essentially, the format is Vintage with the additional twist of restricting deck construction to cards illustrated by a single artist, basic lands included.
That’s right, Basics included.
Sure, it makes things a bit more awkward when your Christopher Rush deck has to rely on Black Lotus and Sol Grail to cast your Lightning Bolts, but restrictions breed creativity, so the saying goes, and it’s proven true with this format as well.
The format is very open. With Dredge essentially eliminated, the Power 9 distributed between 4 artists and Workshops relegated to casting Primal Clay (and not much else with only 3 lands to choose from), the field is clear for building new strategies and creating unexplored synergies.
By illustrated we mean “printed on a physical card in open circulation that is legal for tournament play”. That means Judge Promos, From the Vault, even Chinese alternate arts are allowed (assuming you have the cards), but the Magic Online Cube, Vintage Championship and Legacy Championship arts are not.
If it’s been printed on an official, physical, tournament legal card, you can include it in your deck, otherwise you’ll have to ask the reprint fairy for a miracle.
To stay true to the spirit of the format, the cards in your deck are restricted to the relevant versions for your artist as well. Please make sure that your Christopher Moeller deck has his Lightning Bolt and not Christopher Rush’s, same goes with basic lands and everything else. Yes, it makes things a bit harder (and more expensive in many case) but the payoff in flavor is worth it.
Since certain artists work, or have worked, as a team, cards from the following artist pairs can be included in the same deck:
- Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
- Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
- Kaja & Phil Foglio
Artists collaborate on illustrations from time to time and that is usually reflected in the artist credit on the card. For the purposes of deck construction, these cards can be used in decks for any of the printed artists on the card.
@TheProxyGuy has been kind enough to put together this list of all of the artists that have illustrated basic lands. Some artists can still make a deck without needing basics, but this list should make brewing much easier.
The entire card pool is open to you, barring the current restrictions, and once you start brewing you may be surprised at the interesting options you uncover.
This format will be debuted at GP Vegas and hopefully grow from there.
To kickstart you in your exploration of the format, we’ll be sharing a few of the decks that we came up with after some initial brewing over the next few weeks.