The premiere of Season 9 of the Vintage Super League is this Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern (GMT -5). We’re running a series of articles to celebrate, like our intro to VSL Season 9 and our rundown of the Top 5 Decks in Vintage, plus we’re running a few VSL fantasy leagues on Thousand Leagues!

Vintage, with the Power Nine, degenerate combo strategies, and absurdly powerful spells, is one of the most entertaining formats in Magic to watch. Thankfully, the Vintage Super League is returning this Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern, which gives you a the chance to watch some of the best Vintage players in action. It also gives me as good excuse as any to run down the top ten cards in Vintage.

Well, the top ten in terms of their fantasy value, at least. Over at Thousand Leagues, we’re running a bunch of sweet fantasy tournaments around VSL, and one type of tournament you can enter (for free!) is a Pick 6 Cards league. To play, you just pick six cards for your team. As each VSL match is completed, if a deck containing one of your cards wins, your team gets three points per copy of each of your cards in that deck. (And one point if it’s a draw.)

That scoring system means there is a major disadvantage to drafting cards that are restricted. Since a deck can only contain one copy of a restricted card, choosing one of them limits your team to three points per win from that card. Instead, it’s important to focus on the cards that are three- or four-ofs in the most popular (and best) decks in Vintage.

With that out of the way, go sign up for Thousand Leagues, and then use our top ten rankings to help build your team. (xRank is the custom power ranking system on Thousand Leagues. % Decks and Avg. Copies are determined using MTGTop8‘s dataset.)

10. Bazaar of Baghdad

xRank: 14
% Decks: 18.5
Avg. Copies: 4

Dredge is the boogeyman of eternal formats, and it crept in at #3 in our Top 5 Decks in Vintage. Along with Golgari Grave-Troll, Bazaar of Baghdad is the engine that keeps Dredge decks humming. It is always a four-of, making it a solid pick if you expect Dredge to show well in VSL.

9. Mishra’s Workshop

xRank: 12
% Decks: 19.7
Avg. Copies: 4

Aaron ranked Shops as the #1 deck in his Top 5 last week, but the numbers say that Shops is the second most popular deck in Vintage. Mishra’s Workshop is an auto-include at four copies for any Shops deck, and is as close to an auto-include on your team as there is.

8. Mishra’s Factory

xRank: 8
% Decks: 21.5
Avg. Copies: 3.8

Everything that can be said about Mishra’s Workshop can be said about Mishra’s Factory, except that Factory can sneak into a few more decks other than Shops. But given that VSL has a small field, that tiny advantage might not matter much.

7. Phyrexian Revoker

xRank: 7
% Decks: 22.2
Avg. Copies: 3.8

Copy and paste the text from Mishra’s Factory, except that Phyrexian Revoker can sneak into even more decks that Factory does.

6. Mox Sapphire

xRank: 5
% Decks: 89.5
Avg. Copies: 1

[See below.]

5. Black Lotus

xRank: 6
% Decks: 89.2
Avg. Copies: 1

You know what I said about restricted cards in the intro of this article? Well, I’m going to recommend drafting Mox Sapphire and Black Lotus anyway. They are both played in nearly 90% of decks, meaning that they are a conservative pick if you don’t have a good idea of what kind of metagame to expect. VSL is known to feature brews at times, and with players like Seth, better known known as Saffron Olive, it might be a good bet to play it safe.

Plus, you don’t get many chances to draft Black Lotus, so you might as well.

4. Paradoxical Outcome

xRank: 4
% Decks: 22.5
Avg. Copies: 4

Paradoxical Outcome Storm came in at #2 in our Top 5 Vintage decks, but the numbers say it’s a bit more popular that Shops and thus is likely a better choice when drafting your team.

3. Preordain

xRank: 3
% Decks: 45.2
Avg. Copies: 3.5

Look, blue is obviously the best color in Magic and is definitively the most-played color in Vintage. Preordain just so happens to be the best (unrestricted) blue cantrip in the format, thus it is played in almost every blue deck, leading to its presence in nearly half of all Vintage decks. If you expect anyone to play blue, you should have Preordain on your team.

2. Mental Misstep

xRank: 2
% Decks: 48.9
Avg. Copies: 3.5

Banned in Modern, banned in Legacy, but as yet unrestricted in Vintage! Mental Misstep is a free spell that helps keep combo decks in check. Even non-blue decks can play it, so it’s a pretty safe inclusion on your fantasy team.

1. Force of Will

xRank: 1
% Decks: 60.9
Avg. Copies: 4

Force of Will is played in over 60% of decks in Vintage as a four-of. That’s ludicrous. And you’d be foolish not to draft it for your Pick 6 Cards team on Thousand Leagues. Just do it.

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