SCG Doncaster Super Legacy Invitational Qualifier Tournament Report by Brad Pearce
StarCityGames have been the driving force in the Legacy metagame over in the United States and subsequently facilitated its popularity in UK. SCG have started sanctioning events, similar to Pro Tour Qualifiers, for their invitational only events that are held during their US open season. Meta Games, a Middlesbrough based games store, sanctioned a ‘Super Invitational Qualifier’ last Saturday and Sunday (12th and 13th January) which I attended both days, primarily for the Legacy event; I will not be writing much about my experiences of the Standard event, where I played UWx Flash and went 1-3 drop. Day one saw around 180 players, and the Legacy event was just over 90 players; which I believe is one of the largest legacy events, if not the largest, ever held in the UK.
Firstly, I think it is important to speak about the metagame proceeding the event, that determined my deck choice. Old legacy favourites, such as Storm, Reanimator and Show and Tell have been as popular as ever, but four main decks have risen to the forefront which are mainly based on early tempo and getting value, and having a decent chance against most of the field are Canadian Threshold/Delver, Jund (Due to its popularity in Modern), Esper Stoneblade and BUG Control.
All of these decks have 1 thing in common, many of their key spells cost 1 mana. I decided that I wanted to take a prison deck, something that could combo and win sometimes, but mainly just made it really hard for my opponent to do anything, so I elected to play MUD, which I brewed out of the ashes of the Workshop Vintage deck; I will explain more about the deck at the end of the article.
Round 1 – Storm
Game 1 was over in a few seconds as my opponent killed me before my first turn. It is a bad feeling losing game 1 in match 1. He dropped a Lion’s Eye Diamond, shortly followed by a Dark Ritual and then he played Infernal Tutor, sacrificing his Diamond, giving him Hellbent and enough mana to cast an Ad Nauseam for the win. He saw my hand before the kill spell, and was satisfied that I could not go off before he could.
Game two was awful for my opponent; I had sideboarded 3 Trinisphere to go along with my 4 Chalice of the Void in the maindeck. I started the game with an Ancient Tomb, allowing me to place a Chalice of the Void with 1 token, practically destroying his deck. I proceeded to make a Lodestone Golem and go to killing town.
Game three was tough, and I almost lost. I mulliganed to 5, and kept a ropey 3 land hand, hoping for some toys to come my way. He went first, played a land, and passed. I drew a Trinisphere after a few turn of him setting up to go off, and played it off a Grim Monolith; this was the end for Storm as it is very hard to go off when all your mana ramp is at 1 or 2 mana. I killed him again with a late game Lodestone Golem.
Win – 2-1
Round 2 – Painted Stone
I love the Painter’s deck, however it was not until game two that I realised that was what I was playing. I won the roll and played a Chalice of the Void for 1 using an Ancient Tomb. My opponent said “good game!”
I sideboarded Trinisphere thinking it was another Storm deck. In game two my opponent played a Volcanic Island and let a little too much information go by playing a Mox Opal (which to my knowledge is the only competitive deck that plays both of these cards). I knew he couldn’t go off as fast as me so I spent the first 2 turns set up a Kuldotha Forgemaster that was ready to search for a Spine of Ish-Sah and kill the Painter’s Servant should he go off that turn with Grindstone. He didn’t and I drew the Spine, which I couldn’t play, so I used the Forgemaster to tutor up a Blightsteel Collossus which he had to use his Servant to block to avoid lethal poison damage.
Round 3 – Feature Match against Eduardo Sajgalik (Storm)
My opponent was a nice guy but was fairly fast to try and show who was wearing the trousers. He killed me on turn 1 much the same was as my round 1 opponent did, although he did not see my hand. I will be brief here, as this match will be up on Youtube soon (I made a big boo boo in this match, Game two).
I killed Sajgalik in the next two games using Trinisphere(s) and Chalice.
I was quite nervous in this game, and may or may not have embarrassed myself, depending on how good the audio on the camera was. He was talking about variance and prowess, so I decided to talk about the evolutionary neurobiology of starlings, and how the variance in the tail feathers determines their sexual success. Plus I feel that you cannot complain about variance if you play Storm.
Round 4 –Storm
Game 2, I dropped two Lodestone Golems on turn 2 and 3 off 2 Ancient Tombs and my opponent could not recover (or play spells).
Round 5 – Jund
This match was exceptionally difficult. I started game 1 with a Crucible of Worlds off of an Ancient Tomb and a Grim Monolith, with a Wasteland in my hand. This game was a walk as my opponent had no land ever and I had giant, steel robots.
Game 3 was close; however I felt that I had full control (my opponent will disagree). I Trinisphered early after playing a Phyrexian Revoker, naming Liliana of the Veil, and then set up a Lodestone Golem. He worked up to 3 Lands and was about to explode, when I played another Lodestone Golem and equipped it with Lightning Greaves. He had gone in for 1 with his Deathrite Shaman, not fearing his safety and 12 life points was 2 too many.
Rounds 6 & 7
Having gone undefeated I could intentionally draw round 6 and 7 with my opponents whom were also heading for top 8. I finished in 2nd place entering the Top 8.
By this point my mind was slush. I held it together, but in both of my games in this round, I mulliganed to 5. In the first game, my opponent got down an Umezawa’s Jitte and finished me off with a Snapcaster Mage turned Ambush Viper, after I took a lot of hurt from 2 Ancient Tombs. In game 2 I had only 1 mana source after a keep with 0 lands, and my toys got taken early by a hand disruption.
I feel that I rolled over a bit here, but making top 8 was a blast.
Finished – 5th Place
I finished up 5th with money and a hot playmat,I had a great weekend and have had a lot of fun with giant steel robots (which are better than tiny little robots with hats).
MUD is a high variance deck, it is often criticised as being inconsistent. I have found that MUD tells you what the plan is with your hand, and you say yes or no. Sometimes the plan is to make Metalworker turn 1, or 2 off a Cavern of Souls and play huge men or a Staff of Domination on Turn 3, going infinite; others, you make a prison with Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, Wasteland and Crucible of Worlds and your opponent cannot recover.
It is a very difficult deck to play, but rewarding when you can value each of your cards in each match. A good example is Chalice of the Void; if you play it against Storm you probably snap keep a hand with it in, against Jund, it is largely not worth the life points taken from an Ancient Tomb to play it.
Here is what I played:
4 x Metalworker
4 x Grim Monolith
4 x Lodestone Golem
4 x Chalice of the Void
3 x KuldothaForcemaster
2 x Crucible of Worlds
2 x Wurmcoil Engine
3 x Lightning Greaves
2 x Staff of Domination
2 x Steel Hellkite
2 x Mox Opal
2 x Sundering Titan
1 x Blightsteel Colossus
1 x Spine of Ish-Sah
1 x Myr Battlesphere
1 x Duplicant
1 x Platinum Emperion
3 x Ancient Tomb
4 x City of Traitors
4 x Wasteland
4 x DarksteelCitadel
4 x Cavern of Souls
2 x Crystal Vein
What I would Change:
The Staff of Domination should go down to a single copy. You can tutor it up and a lot of the time, if it is not your plan it’s practically dead; the deck would benefit from another Ancient Tomb, and this is what I would play instead. I would move Trinisphere to the main board, as Grim Monolith followed by it is just mean, and I wanted it all the time. Finally I think that only 1 Mox Opal is the best thing for the deck, playing 1 more Crystal Vein will increase the turn 1 Chalice of the Void frequency which is the main reason you play the deck.