Welcome back readers! This is the final installment of my series of tournament reports from SCGCON last weekend. I had 4 different options for Classic formats on Sunday: Standard, Modern, Legacy, and Pauper. Given the Modern Classic is always the largest and Modern is not a terribly fun format to play competitively at the moment, I definitely was not playing that one. Standard is fun, but I had not played enough of it to feel comfortable playing in the Standard Classic over one of the eternal formats. So it came down to Pauper or Legacy. I ended up choosing Legacy despite how excited I was to register Gush at Competitive REL for the first time in my life. I just have more familiarity and results in Legacy so my chances of doing well were higher than that of any of the other formats. Therefore this article is going to cover what I played and an overview of the matches I played in the Legacy Classic.
If you want to read about how I did in the Invitational, the day 1 tournament report is located here and the day 2 tournament report is located here. If, however, you just want to read about the best format in Magic: The Gathering, look no further.
The Legacy Classic
Given I won an Open with Grixis Delver I decide to run that back with a few sideboard changes and a slight adjustment to the mana base. The manabase adjustment was simply switching from an 8/6 split on fetchlands and dual lands to a 7/7 split. This manabase is far better in the mirror and against Lands because you are much less likely to get Wastelanded off of any given color. The sideboard changed to include a Pithing Needle to hedge against Turbo Depths since that matchup is quite difficult and the deck has picked up popularity. The sideboard also changed to include a Liliana, the Last Hope because it is a more versatile card than Marsh Casualties so I decided on a 1/1 split on those versus the previous 2 Marsh Casualties. This is the list I settled on for the Classic:
Deck’s great. I’m medium. Time to flip some Fugitive Wizards.
Round 1: Sultai Leovold L
I lose the die roll but win game 1 with a triple Deathrite Shaman draw. My opponent also got stuck on just a land and a Noble Hierarch for a few turns and let me pull ahead. Game 2 is a horrific board stall that my opponent eventually wins by resolving a True-Name Nemesis and beating me down. Game 3 I lose despite being on the play, leading on turn 1 Delver of Secrets, Turn 2 Wasteland and Lightning Bolt your mana guy sending him back down to zero permanents (and attacking with the Delver I skillfully flipped), then Turn 3 bolting his next mana creature. My opponent eventually stabilizes with the third Baleful Strix to stop me from attacking. I cast 4 Lightning Bolt and an Abrade to clear the way for the Delver and he still ran me out of removal then stabilized. Quite a tilting way to start the Legacy classic for sure. (My breakers still end up being great because this opponent made top 8)
Round 2: Abzan Death and Taxes? W
This was an odd match to say the least. My opponent cast a lot of cards that made it look like a Death and Taxes deck, but also fetched a Scrubland, basic Swamp, and basic Plains throughout game 1. He also lead on Cavern naming Human into Noble Hierarch on the play (lost the die roll, again). Last play of note my opponent made before dying to the creature heavy draw I had is they cast Teferi’s Protection as a fog effect to get another turn. Game 2 comes down to a top deck war and my opponent rips an Umezawa’s Jitte to put on their last creature into a Sword of Fire and Ice to also equip in back to back turns. I die quite quickly. Game 3 I get stuck on lands and am forced to spend entire turns just casting removal spells on my opponents creatures. Eventually I draw out of the mana starve and find out my opponent has draw all 4 of their Aether Vials as well as 6 lands throughout the course of this game. They die to some ham sandwich of a threat I find.
Round 3: Storm W
This match I play against an opponent who has an entire foil and signed Ad Nauseam Tendrils deck. I lose the die roll (you may begin to notice a theme this tournament) and my opponent attempts to go off into a known Daze casting Ad Nauseam with no mana floating and a Lion’s Eye Diamond uncracked. I Daze the Ad Nauseam to force the crack of the LED and my opponent flips just about every high CMC card in their deck that isn’t Tendrils of Agony. My opponent stops revealing cards prematurely and is dead on board to my Deathrite Shaman. After a few minutes of thinking and casting spells from the graveyard my opponent also realizes they cannot win and concedes. Game 2 my opponent makes 12 goblins on turn 3 and I end up using 2 Deathrite Shamans to block and bolt them down, eventually killing my opponent with said Deathrites. It’s not often you 2-0 storm without casting a single Force of Will or Flusterstorm but this was one of those times.
Round 4: Elves W
This particular opponent had actually the most impressive Legacy deck I think I had ever seen. The entire deck was Japanese and foil and his Gaea’s Cradle judge promos were altered to be Japanese nearly flawlessly. I lose the die roll, obviously, and my opponent has a a lot of little green men to put on the table but no Natural Order or Glimpse of Nature. I end up just killing my opponent with a Delver of Secrets I played early while blocking with Young Pyromancer and his tokens. Game 2 my opponent mulls to 4 on the play and plays a Dryad Arbor. I Wasteland it and my opponent is left without a land for the rest of the game.
Round 5: Lands W
Naturally, I lose the die roll and my opponent has turn 1 Exploration. I don’t have an answer and get slowly Wastelanded out of the game. At the end of the game though I have a lethal Bolt in hand while my opponent is at 1 and am a single fetchland or natural Volcanic Island away from killing him. Unfortunately, I brick off and die. Game 2 I am able to line up my counterspells with the relevant spells and Wasteland my opponent a couple times to keep him from ever really getting anything started. Game 3 plays out very odd. They have turn 1 Exploration and Molten Vortex, the latter of which is probably the best card in the matchup since it is hard to interact with. My opponent doesn’t really have much going on for the next few turns and I find my Pithing Needle to name the Molten Vortex and start deploying threats. The turn before my opponent dies they make a Marit Lage but I have Diabolic Edict for it. Through all this my Delver I played after the needle never flipped across at least 4 turns. Never lucky.
Round 6: Four Color Control W
This match was a win and in to top 8. I lose the die roll because there is no other option apparently. I end up having a triple Delver and Deathrite draw but I have to slog through multiple Baleful Strixes. My opponent bricks a couple more times than I do and I manage to steal game 1 on the draw. This is extremely fortunate since beating Czech Pile on the draw is much more challenging than on the play. Game 2 ends up being a complete Deathrite Shaman war. I have 3 Deathrites in play to my opponent’s 2, and my opponent missed their second land drop. I end up wastelanding their only land and killing his Deathrites. My opponent dies with 2 lands in play and an Engineered Explosives and Toxic Deluge in hand to kill my 3 Deathrites. Super Lucky.
Round 7: Intentional Draw
Quarterfinals: Mono Red Prison W
I end up being the 7th seed for top 8 so, of course, I am on the draw. My opponent has turn 1 Magus of the Moon which I have not counterspells or Bolts for, I end up drawing a Bolt the turn after my opponent plays a regular Blood Moon that I can’t interact with or beat and I concede. Game 2 is much easier since I am on the play. I have a very traditional Delver draw with a turn 1 Delver of Secrets with 3 different counterspells in hand. I end up dealing all 20 points with the flipped Delver while countering the relevant prison pieces.
Game 3 is an odd one. My hand keep is kind of loose but it has turn 1 DRS into turn 2 True Name but no countermagic. My opponent leads on Ancient Tomb into Chalice on 1 (Tomb count 1). I Wasteland his Ancient Tomb on my turn to try and slow him down so that maybe I can resolve this TNN before any Blood Moon effects come down. My opponent plays a second Chalice on 1 off of another Ancient Tomb on his turn 2 (Tomb count 2). I play my first land. My opponent plays a Trinisphere (Tomb count 3). I play my second land. My opponent casts a Goblin Rabblemaster (Tomb Count 4). I play my third land and slam the True Name. My opponent attempts to cast a Chrome Mox for 0 mana, I point out they have to pay 3 for that, then they pay 3 for it (Tomb count 5). My next turn I have an interesting choice. I have a Force of Will and a blue card to pitch along with 3 lands to pay for it to counter whatever 4 mana spell they clearly want to cast so bad since that Chrome Mox represents their fourth mana source. Alternatively, I can play a Young Pyromancer to block Rabblemaster and attack with True Name. This is the line I take as it is the most aggressive and I am not actually that scared of Chandra, Torch of Defiance with a TNN in play anyway. My opponent is also kind of low since they have taken 10 off of their Ancient Tomb so far this game. My opponent untaps, and casts a Fiery Confluence to deal 1 to each creature and 4 to me (Tomb count 6). This kills my peezy, but also kills the goblin tokens he had lying around since TNN was trading with the new one each turn. My opponent, now at 5, is dead in 2 attacks to TNN, I am not dead to Rabblemaster, and have Force of Will on the last turn. I win this game thanks to Ancient Tomb playing for Team Drake.
Semifinals: Food Chain W
This round I have to play against a good friend of mine who is literally always playing Food Chain. I have no idea how this matchup goes and feel slightly the underdog since he is certainly far more experienced in this matchup than I. This may shock all the readers that have made it this far, but I am on the draw. Game 1 he isn’t able to get much going and I managed to kill him with a TNN beating down every turn and finish him off with a Forked Bolt for exactsies. Game 2 is the pinnacle of my Magic career. I read Food Chain while sideboarding, and elect to bring Pithing Needle in. Not only that but I draw my Pithing Needle off of a Brainstorm, elect to shuffle 2 other cards away and end up playing this Pithing Needle naming Food Chain. On the next turn my opponent casts a Food Chain. It is at this moment I knew… I messed up. On the following turn my opponent casts an Eternal Scourge and makes infinite mana with it because obviously Food Chain is a mana ability. Fortunately for me, he does not have much to do with this infinite mana. So naturally this egregious oversight never matters as my opponent bricks off and dies to my cards while we exchange a good laugh. Won’t be making that mistake again.
Finals: Four Color Control
This round I am playing against Four Color Control that seems to have Tarmogoyfs in the sideboard for Grixis Delver. I am on the draw for the final time this tournament. I lose game 1 to my opponents triple Deathrite Shaman draw without ever really being able to get much going. During sideboarding, I am mindful of the Tarmogoyfs and decide to leave a single Force of Will in my deck instead of boarding them all out in order to try and catch a Tarmogoyf since I only have a single Dismember to answer them effectively.
I get an aggressive start and lay the beatdown on my opponent. As we approach the mid game though, my opponent clears my board and sticks 3 Baleful Strix in a row. I continue to brick for a few turns. I eventually draw a Brainstorm but cannot cast it into a Pyroblast I know about, so I continue taking draw steps waiting for more action or for my opponent to tap their red land. I end up drawing a second Brainstorm which allows me to get the first one countered but resolve the second. I shuffle away two lands keeping the only 2 spells I saw in my hand: the single Force of Will in my deck and a Delver of Secrets I decide to hold instead of casting into the 3 Baleful Strix that are slowly but surely beating me down. The following turn I draw a fetchland, play it, pass and my opponent attacks me down to 3. I fetch on end step, skim through my deck and see that there are only 3 cards left that kill my opponent: 2 Lightning Bolt and a Forked Bolt. My deck still has at least 30 cards in it so I definitely have to get lucky. I grab my land, my opponent cuts, I untap, take the top card and rub it a bit on the table, preparing myself to be disappointed and lose the finals of this classic… It’s a Lightning Bolt. Man I am good at Magic. I bolt my opponent. He responds by Bolting me. My last two cards in hand are the one of Force of Will and the Delver of Secrets from the Brainstorm… I am very very good at Magic. My opponent scoops and we move to game 3.
Game 3 I cast a turn 1 Deathrite Shaman, my opponent doesn’t kill it, and I proceed to play lands and pass with my opponent for the next 3-4 turns. My opponent, who is pretty clearly flooding out, continues to play lands each turn and I begin to get butterflies as I realize just how good the Price of Progress in my hand is going to be if it resolves. The turn my opponent plays his own Deathrite I drain him down to 10. Then I fetch with my fourth land, hold priority and cast PoP. My opponent fetches to 9, fails to find, takes 8 down to 1 and casts Kolaghan’s Command to kill my Deathrite now presenting lethal and make me discard. I discard the last land in my hand leaving 2 Lightning Bolts and resolve my fetch. Still on end step I cast the first of the two Lightning Bolts in my hand and my opponent concedes.
Overall I had an insane weekend! I cashed the Invitational and won the Legacy classic, which should put me in a good spot for the beginning of the season 2 points race and I got a sweet plaque to remember how absurdly lucky I am. I hope you enjoyed reading this tournament report! Let me know in the comments what you thought of this style of article and if you have anything else to add to the discussion I would be happy to discuss. Until next time, stay lucky!
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