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Double Top Eights at SCG Memphis

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Legacy, Standard

Hey guys! Zac Hicks here of The Scoop Phase. This weekend, I not only top eighted the StarCityGames Standard Open, but I won the entire Legacy Open. What a surreal feeling. Before this weekend, I had never even moneyed an Open.

The night before the Standard event, I was confidently locked in on playing Wolf Run Robots. I love going ramp, ramp, Titan. However, while watching my friends Shon Long (UB Lich) and Chi Hoi Yim (RG Wolf Run) play against each other, I realized how fun the Heartless Lich deck was. I thought about running it, but threw that possibility out the window because I didn’t own many of the cards.

After a hard night’s rest (Charles Quittmeyer and Chi Hoi do not like people that snore,) I woke up and grabbed some Waffle House before heading to the event. Throughout the night, I had been constantly thinking of copy effects and Heartless Summoning and Havengul Lich and everything about Shon’s deck that I liked so much. When we got to the event, I went into find cards mode, and after using my judge connections I found the full seventy-five. These are the changes that I made from Shon Long’s original list:

-1 Buried Ruin -1 Perilous Myr -1 Black Sun’s Zenith +2 Sphere of the Suns +1 Entomber Exarch

SB -1 Phantasmal Image +1 Phyrexian Metamorph

I wanted the Sphere so that I could play the deck like I would play Wolf Run. Turn two ramp, turn three ramp, turn four 6-drop. The Exarch was a nod to my bad matchup vs. Control. It’s pretty much a Distress on legs that I can Clone for extra value. In fact, it won me a game vs. Solar Flare where I took his Oblivion Ring the turn before he could hit my Frost Titan. Don’t forget that it can hit lands!

In the sideboard, the only difference was the Metamorph over the Image. I wanted the extra chance of cloning a Sword or, in my case; I was able to Metamorph my Sphere of the Suns round seven, which lead to me making top 8.

UB lich is a deck that takes advantage of not only Heartless Summoning, but also the metagame. With all the Tokens, Humans, Vampires, Zombies, Wolf Run, and Delvers running around, a deck with Massacre Wurm is the nuts. The optimal line of play involves turn one Ponder, turn two Heartless or Sphere, turn three Solemn Simulacrum into turn four 6-drop. Hopefully that involves a Massacre Wurm to wipe the board or a Frost Titan to lock down a specific threat.

Havengul lich adds a lot of reach to the deck. It allows you to not only buyback all the creatures you’ve been casting, but you can also steal your opponent’s creatures too. Sphere of the Suns generates the mana you need to take just about anything. The deck also has a built-in machine gun in the form of Perilous Myr. With Heartless Summoning and Havengul Lich on the battlefield, your lands now read “Tap: Deal 2 damage to target creature or player.”

The deck is good at beating all the small creature decks like Tokens and Delver, but has a lot of problems with stuff like Liliana of the Veil, Dissipate, Mana Leak, and other control elements.

The Whole List:

Sideboard Strategies

Mimic Vats were Shon’s suggestion. I didn’t like them, but I can see where they could be good versus the right deck. The Nihil Spellbombs were there for Snapcaster Mage, Solar Flare, Frites, and Kibler’s Ghoultree deck.

The three Ratchet Bombs were amazing for me. The card completely hoses token strategies and takes care of flipped Delvers, Huntmasters, and Mayors. The third metamorph in the sideboard was intended for titan decks as well as the old Delver decks that still use equipment and Geist of Saint Traft. The two Wurmcoils were for Aggro strategies. In retrospect, I would rather have two in the maindeck and one in the sideboard.

Lastly, the Black Sun’s Zenith is the early-sweeper we need to stall for Massacre Wurm. Sometimes it will even be used in conjunction with the Wurm to get even more damage in.

I avoided my worst match up (UB Control) all day long and played against matchups that just fall over to Massacre Wurm. Tokens and Zombies were thrown aside, and I also beat a Solar Flare and Wolf Run deck.

In the top eight, Lady Luck decided to take a break and I failed to draw Wurmcoil Engine, which lead to me losing to the eventual second place Zombies deck.

As far as changes go, I would only turn one of the Frost Titans into a second maindeck Wurmcoil Engine. On the day, I wanted the lifelink constantly and never got it. As far as the sideboard, Shon loved the Mimic Vats, but I felt like they were useless. I would definitely cut the Mimic Vats for a second Black Sun’s Zenith, a fourth Massacre Wurm, and a second Entomber Exarch. I want the Wurm and Zenith for all the agro decks and the Exarch to help against the surge of UB Control decks at GP Baltimore. A little more insurance vs. Control isn’t bad.

I was in a good mood on the way back to the motel room with the guys. I had made $250 (no split,) and I was looking forward to having fun with Legacy the next day. How could this weekend get any better?


I woke up the next day, grabbed some snacks from a convenience store, and we headed to the site, where I began searching out Trash for Treasure. I only needed two, so someone had to have them.

Vendors didn’t have any. The big traders didn’t have any. The Judges didn’t have any. I was screwed. I sat down, took out my collection and started looking for replacements. At first, I was going to pull a UB Lich and use Sphere of the Suns again, but my car-mates threw a fit about it and demanded I continue looking.

I laid the deck out and realized I only had two Lodestone Golems in the deck, so the third Golem was an easy addition. As for the last slot, I finally figured out that I was missing my maindeck Mindslaver, which finished my decklist. Here’s what I ran:

There it is, guys. MUD. A lot of people ask me what MUD stands for, but it’s not an acronym. It is called MUD because mud is brown and so is much of this deck. The deck has many different ways to win and can conform to any situation. The main engine in the deck is the nearly-broken Metalworker. If you ever get to untap with this little Squire, you’re going to be generating some massive amounts of mana, letting you cast nearly anything. The main plan is to drop a monster like Wurmcoil Engine, Lodestone Golem, Batterskull, or Sundering Titan and beat face. Paired with Lightning Greaves, the deck puts a huge clock on your opponent. However, if you happen to draw the combo pieces, or the beat-down plan isn’t happening, there are a few different combos you can utilize.

1. Kuldotha Forgemaster: I don’t pair this up with anything specific because it’s so versatile. It’s a reusable Tinker than can fetch any fatty. For the most part, the artifact I get the most is Blightsteel Colossus to go for the infect win. However, I do fetch Mindslaver and Sundering Titan frequently.

2. Goblin Welder: Also not paired with anything specifically because it has a lot of different synergies. It can repeatedly make Wurmcoil Tokens, it can make Sundering Titan a land killing machine gun, and it can generate a soft lock with Mindslaver. As long as you have an artifact in play and can generate four mana, your opponent will never take another turn.

3. Metalworker + Staff of Domination: If you have a non-summoning sick Metalworker and a Staff of Domination, you have the potential for infinite mana. All you need is to have three artifacts in your hand, which is easy enough. Tap Metalworker to reveal three artifacts for six mana. Use three of it to untap Metalworker, and one of it to untap the Staff. This nets two colorless mana every time you go through the cycle. With infinite mana, you can use the Staff to draw your deck, gain infinite life, tap your opponent’s creatures, and do anything you want. Make sure that you keep Metalworker untapped at all times so you can re-combo.

Sideboard Strategies

The Trinispheres were coming in vs. almost everything. I wouldn’t mind having a few of them mainboard. Powder Keg comes in vs. decks like Elves, Goblins, and decks that rely on artifacts like Affinity and Thopter Foundry.

Tormod’s Crypt is my graveyard hate of choice. I only play two because I can chain them with Goblin Welder and can tutor for them with Gamble. Pithing Needles come in to hit Wastelands, which otherwise hurt the deck. Witchbane Orb and Spellskite were a nod to Burn being popular in the last few StarCity Opens.

Steel Hellkite is a beating vs. the various agro decks in the format. Merfolk in particular has absolutely no answer to it if it resolves. Goblins and Affinity have to be careful with it as well. The third Blood Moon, honestly, wasn’t needed, and the two main deck were plenty. Lastly, Chaos Warp is an out to some of the more problematic cards that I usually can’t deal with such as Null Rod, Stony Silence, and Planeswalkers.

So the Legacy Open starts. I get crushed round one by the eventual top eight competitor Jeff Sirkis. He was probably the only one in the room running Stony Silence in his sideboard. He also had the Enlightened Tutor to tutor it up. It was such a sick matchup for him.

Rounds two and three, I faced back to back Sneaky Show decks. The first one was piloted by Michael Pozsgay and the other by a guy that had his first feature match vs. me. Both matches ended the same way: Mindslaver you, have you cast Show & Tell, I drop a fatty & you drop nothing, I win.

Next round was against a friend of mine, Alex Gonzales, who is a StarCity grinder. He was on BUG control and had no clue what I was playing. This was an advantage I had all day. Infinite Mindslaver lock took him out. Goblins, in the feature match, was the first and only time I got to win with Metalworker + Staff of Domination.

I locked up a top eight slot by 2-0’ing a Canadian Threshold deck piloted by Jeremy Stowe, who managed back-to-back cashes with Delver decks. For the coverage of my Top eight match, the video should be up on StarCityGames within the week. For the top four match, written coverage can be found at here and the finals here.

As far as things I would change about the deck:

-2 Gamble +1 Trash for Treasure +1 Lodestone Golem

SB: -1 Blood Moon +1 Powder Keg (Ratchet Bomb is also acceptable)

The maindeck Gambles were a calculated risk to test out the card, and they were almost always boarded out. I’d much rather have another beatstick and at least one Trash for Treasure, aka Goblin Welder #5. As for the extra Powder Keg, I would like to be able to have even more outs to agro decks.

I was also contacted after the tournament by a man from Germany who also plays MUD and has said that Summoning Trap is the nuts in the deck, which is worth a test as well.

But until then, you guys can catch me on the restarted The Scoop Phase within the next few weeks.

Zac Hicks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zac37840
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hix360
Website: http://www.thescoopphase.com

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