Okay, so I have a lot of love for the Legacy format, having started during the format's inception in 2005. I did a lot of work on the old Salvager-Gamekeeper deck (which can be found here: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...den-Grahams%29), but haven't played all that much recently. My last excursion into the Legacy format was during Gencon 2010 with 43 lands, which ended poorly (2-2 drop). Fast forward to the announcement of the SCG Open event in my backyard, and I'm suddenly excited again.
Most of my testing involved playing a Junk deck with Loam and extirpates, and I was solidly on this plan until I saw the top 16 of the Orlando Open. There was a lot of Merfok, and a lot of non-basics. Not to mention, there was a very distinct lack of graveyard hate. All of these things made me do the last minute audible into Lands. Of course, I wasn't sold on a good lands plan yet, and was trying terrible things like playing 4 Dark Confidant maindeck to get around the mental misstep problem. This seemed decent on paper, but it was terrible in practice. After some more testing with my friend Preston, and some exchanges with Chris Walton (Mastershake on the Source), I come to this 75 for the open.
1 Crucible Of Worlds
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Mox Diamond
1 Zuran Orb
4 Life from the Loam
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Maze of Ith
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Riftstone Portal
4 Rishadan Port
3 Tolaria West
3 Tranquil Thicket
4 Tropical Island
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Academy Ruins
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Null Rod
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Pithing Needle
1 Tormod's Crypt
4 Dark Confidant
1 Raven's Crime
1 Worm Harvest
The maindeck is pretty straightforward, but some of the sideboard choices are a little weird, and I'll explain them briefly before I get to the meat and potatoes of the report.
Null Rod: Null Rod is there primarily as an answer to artifact based graveyard hate. Yes, it has some applications against Affinity, and combo, but it was really there for Tormod's Crypt/Relic of Progenitus/Nihl Spellbomb. Of course I didn't see any of those cards during the tourney, but it did pull its weight.
Raven's Crime: Raven's crime was a concession that my control match-up may not be so awesome, and that U/w Landstill was probably going to be really popular. The plan of tutoring up Loam/Urborg/Raven's Crime with Intuition was too good to pass up.
Worm Harvest: This was my secondary kill condition in the games I was going to side in Null Rod, especially since it does take out Mindslaver, and the last thing I want is to only have one kill condition in my deck.
One quick warning before I start my report, I'm doing this all from memory 4 days later. I didn't take notes, and I'm looking up names in the pairings database. So needless to say, my sideboard notes won't be great, and games may blur together.
Round 1: Christoffer Andersen (U/r Painter's Stone) 2-1
I don't even get anywhere near the pairings list and Chr&erson is flagging me down and pointing out our table. Chris and I have played before, and he knows of my affinity for combo decks, so I'm hoping that this will work out in my favor.
Game 1: I keep a fairly standard hand versus him, but he Mental Missteps my Exploration. I try to keep him off of mana with Rishidan Port and Wastelands, but he Intuitions for the combo and kills me.
I sideboard in the Null Rods.
Game 2: I drop a turn 1 Exploration, and he Forces. Turn 2 I drop Null Rod, which elicits a look of utter disbelief. The game goes on a few more turns with him trying to aggro out with Painters, Trinkets and Welders, but I drop a Chasm and he concedes.
I sideboard in Worm Harvest after remembering my primary kill condition is not live under a Null Rod.
Game 3: I drop a turn 2 Null Rod again, and the game goes long at that point. We play draw go for a bit, with me using active Ports to keep him under my lock, until I can get Loam going. Once that starts, I quickly assemble a kill with Worm Harvest, making 4 tokens, and then 7, before swinging in there for lethal. He shows me a Show and Tell and an Emrakul out of his hand and bemoans his lack of lands.
After the round, I'm chatting with some friends and he stops by to mention that Goblin Welder can target my Null Rod and trade with a Mox Diamond in my graveyard. He'd apparently forgotten all about that, and I didn't even realize it myself. I didn't mind it though, a bad match-up was in the bag for me.
Round 2: SCG KY Draft Open #2 Champion, Andrew Shrout (Naya Zoo) 2-0
Game 1: I get some early Explorations into play, and he gets some creatures on the table. I control which creatures he gets in with by having Maze of Ith plus Tabernacle, and he concedes when I go get Zuran Orb and get well out of burn range.
I sideboard in an Engineered Explosives.
Game 2: More of the first, except he gets me down to 3 life at one point. I mindslave him when he has a Goyf, Knight of the Reliquary, and Grim Lavamancer on the table. I make him burn himself with Lavamancer, sacrifice a land with Knight to get a fetch and then sac that for no land, and then all of his guys die to my Tabernacle. He had a turn to draw a red land and a burn spell, and didn't get there. I slaver lock him, and he concedes.
Round 3: Feature Match with Previous SCG Legacy Top 8 Member Adam Cai (U/w/r Control) 1-1 draw
I'm out of the room when the feature match pairings are announced, so I walk up to table 3 and get ready to sit down when Ben Weinburg makes a comment that he thinks I have a feature match. When I mention my opponent is Adam Cai, he laughs and points towards the feature match table. Crap. And, just to add to the nerves, it's the Jace table, which means I'm going to be on the Internet for the Legacy geeks to laugh at my every single misplay. No pressure.
The entire match can be found here: http://blip.tv/scglive/scg-louisvill...am-cai-5206737 (although they did spell my name wrong on blip.tv, good job guys!)
A few quick asides:
During game 1, I grabbed Riftstone Portal from my graveyard because I wanted an untapped land to use my Rishidan Port, and the ability to Wasteland if he dropped a non-basic land. The other two lands in my graveyard were Tranquil Thicket and Tolaria West, which didn't help me all that much.
The Glacial Chasm that turned around game 1 was going to originally be a Maze of Ith, just like the commentators were speculating. I remembered that Glacial Chasm was just better in this situation as it absolutely saved me that game.
As the commentators noticed later, I wasn't trying to convince Adam to scoop during the long pause in play. I was trying to make sure that I could move to the beginning of combat step, and animate my Creeping Tar Pit so he wouldn't be able to cast a Swords To Plowshares on my Creeping Tar Pit.
Also, my hand Game 2 was pretty loose, but I didn't think that I was going to have much better than turn 1 active Rishidan Port and turn 2 Intuition with any 5 cards.
However, Adam was very nice and gracious during our match, and even mentioned that if I was in a winning position during game 3 and time was called, he would scoop.
Round 4: Garett Young (1 Land Charbelcher) 2-1
I sit down across from my opponent, ready for a long, grinding match against some sort of control deck, especially since I'm in the draw bracket now, but he let me know that he was in the X-1 bracket, and got paired up. This comforts me a little bit as I don't have to worry about playing a painfully slow control match.
Game 1: He wins the die roll and opens up with Gitaxian Probe. Which makes my heart sink, because Belcher is an absolutely unwinnable matchup. I show him my hand which is devoid of any answers, but is kind of good versus other decks (1 Exploration, 1 Mox Diamond, some lands including a Tolaria West.) He then Land Grants and fetches up his Taiga. With no Rishidan Port/Wasteland on my side of the table, he plays it and passes turn. I draw Port (tech!) and start tapping down his mana. Then, I get down a Glacial Chasm and 2 more Explorations at some point. Right after I get the Chasm down, he has active Belcher, and I have to start paying the upkeep cost for the Chasm so I don't die to a Belcher activation. At this point I'm digging like crazy to find my Mindslaver so I can lock this game up. 2 turns before I'm going to die to my Chasm, I find my Mindslaver and put it on top of my library at the end of turn. I dip to dangerously low life totals during my next turn, but I draw my Mindslaver and I take his turns infinitely. This is when it gets a little awkward. He activates Charbelcher targeting me and flips his deck, and starts ordering cards. I look at his deck real quick and let him know he has no outs, but he contests that he does. I inform him that anything he draws he isn't casting, and any Spirit Guides he draws are not getting used to belch me. He still contests that he does, and I call a judge to explain the situation. The judge tells me he can still play, and I'm wondering why he's contesting my lock. He finally mentions that he's going to deck me, and I remind him that Academy Ruins puts the Mindslaver back on my library, meaning he will be the one decking. He facepalms for a second and then packs them in.
I sideboard in 3 Null Rod.
Game 2: He vomits 12 Goblins on the table turn 1, and I look at my hand of exploration, 2 Tolaria West, Mox Diamond, Intuition, Bayou, and.. 2 more non-land cards. I realize I can win this if I draw any lands at all, as I'll just go Tolaria West up a Tabernacle and he'll be down to 1 creature, which I can probably find a Maze of Ith for. Of course, I don't draw a land in 2 turns, and I die horribly.
Game 3: See game 2 (14 tokens on the table). Except I draw a Tolaria West when I need to and transmute for The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. His board goes away at this point, and I start bashing in there with my Creeping Tar Pit. I get in there twice before he plays a few spells (and a Taiga) to drop a Simian Spirit Guide. This puts a damper on my plan, as I'm at 6. I don't turn my Creeping Tar Pit sideways, and my opponent draws a card, and then attempts to pay for the Tabernacle upkeep. I didn't see the card draw, but Adam Cai points out that he'd already drawn. A judge is called, and the judge rules that the trigger is optional, and in drawing the card he's declined to pay for it. Garrett appeals this to the head judge (to which I'm not going to blame him at all, he always has the right to appeal). The head judge shows up and upholds the previous judge call. I start playing quickly, untapping, drawing, activating my Tar Pit, and bashing. I get there before our time is up (we got a 5 minute extension due to the judge call), and Garrett graciously offers the hand.
Round 5: Former Kentucky State Champion Tommy Graves (U/w/r Control) 2-0
Game 1: I lay down some early lands and he keeps a light land hand. I keep him off of mana with Rishidan Port and Wastelands, and he packs them in.
I sideboard in a Raven's Crime and a Worm Harvest.
Game 2: He keeps a one land hand and doesn't see another land until I've established a pretty dominant board position. I don't remember all that much about this round, just locking him out as quickly as possible.
Round 6: Tim Lyons (Ad-Nauseam Tendrils) 2-1
Game 1: He keeps a fairly stock hand, and while I think I have some sort of chance, he goes for the Ill-Gotten-Gains loop and I ask him to show me the Tendrils. He does, and we head to game two.
I sideboard in Null Rods, Raven's Crime, and a Tormod's Crypt.
Game 2: He keeps a somewhat slower hand, and I slow him down with Rishidan Port and Wasteland. I get a Zuran Orb into play at some point during the game, and make it a point to keep as many lands on the table as possible. He still fires off an Ad Nauseam, but doesn't have enough to storm me out. I Raven's Crime his hand away, and lock up the game shortly after.
Game 3: This game is another slower game where I keep him off mana as much as possible, and I put out a Tormod's Crypt. He builds up to his big turn (I'm still at 20 at this point), and forces me to Crypt him when he goes for a Cabal Ritual. He gets off a fairly large Ad Nauseam, going down to 3, and starts trying to storm out. He ends up with 8 storm when he casts his last Infernal Tutor (he has no cards at this point as he had to use a Lion's Eye Diamond to get more mana.) he chooses to go get Brainstorm to attempt to hit lethal instead of draw out the match, since we were about on time, and a draw here for the both of us would have been bad. He whiffs on the Brainstorm, and I bash in with my Creeping Tar Pit next turn for the win.
Round 7: Feature Match with SCG writer Todd Anderson (NO RUG) 1-2
Game 1: I have the wrong idea about what deck Todd is on (I'm thinking he's on Team America for some reason) and keep a hand that would be good versus that deck. Of course, I realize my folly when I see a Volcanic Island, but Wasteland is good against either one of those decks, and I establish board control pretty quickly with Loam and Ghost Quarter, taking out his few basics and I lock him out shortly after.
I don't remember what I sideboarded in.
Game 2: I try to keep him off mana early, but he drops a Surgical Extraction on my Life From the Loam. He asks if there's any way I can win (I think the verbatim question was 'not to be a jerk, but can you win without Loam?', and I understand why he asked), and I tell him I can still win. He gets a Natural Order off, and drops Progenitus. He domes me and I drop an Ensnaring Bridge, trying to stem the beats. He topdecks a Krosan Grip and I die.
Game 3: He gets another early Natural Order, and I get out Glacial Chasm, this time trying to dig for a way to get multiple lands in play so I don't die to Chasm. He cuts me off of mana by repealing my Mox Diamond and then countering it, and then countering my other attempts to get an Exploration or Manabond. I find myself a mana short the turn I need to Academy Ruins back an Ensnaring Bridge, and I die horribly.
Round 8: Feature Match with 2010 SCG Open Player of the Year Alex Bertoncini (Merfolk) 2-0
I do the mental fist-pump when I see I'm playing against Alex, because hey, Merfolk is this deck's best match ever. We sit down at the feature match table, and Alex lets me know he's going to go check to see if he can Top 8 with a win here (if he didn't have a chance, he would have just conceded). He comes back and says he has a chance, so we shuffle up and start.
Game 1: Alex attempts to mount an offense as quickly as possible, and counters my first 2 attempts at an Exploration/Manabond, but I get one out finally and start grinding him out with Glacial Chasm, Maze of Ith, and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. I get control at this point, and he packs them in.
As we're sideboarding, he laments that this match-up is about 95%-5% in my favor, but is really animated and funny about it. I bring in an extra Engineered Explosives, and take out a Manabond.
Game 2: More of the first, except for the part where I land an Ensnaring Bridge, and he draws for the turn and then flips over his entire deck, lamenting that he had absolutely no answer for a resolved Ensnaring Bridge. He then congratulates me on my victory and wishes me luck in the top eight.
I was glad I got the chance to play against Alex, as he was actually the nicest opponent I'd faced all day. Lands can be an infuriating deck to play against, and I saw a lot of frustration throughout the day. Of course, I was psyched for the top 8, and was pretty disappointed when they announced that Joe Bernal was the only 19 pointer to get into the top 8.
In closing, I was very happy with my performance and the $100 payout for 9th place never hurt anyone either. I didn't really play badly throughout the event, and took down some of my bad matchups.
Props & Slops
Thanks to everyone from Empire Comics for cheering me on through text.
Thanks to Curb for suggesting Lands 3 weeks before I decide to audible to Lands.
Thanks to everyone who helped with testing and deckbuilding (Mastershake, Preston, Randy, Dobbs, Dan)
Also, Glacial Chasm gets a prop, because that card was absurd for me all day.
Dark Confidant. That card didn't even do anything at the tourney, same goes for Karakas. Both cards were not necessary. I think I'd actually consider cutting Dark Confidant for the next legacy tournament if I decide to play Lands.
Congratulations, and nice report! It's a shame that you were only tiebreakers away from being in T8. I remember at the time in the GGslive-chat stream we were all gunning to see you play.
Did Raven's Crime help out in any of your matches during the day? (I saw you boarded them in, but how did they actually play out?)
This really was a great read. A report with 43-lands was exciting :)
Congratulations! Almost there!
On the G1 against Adam Cai, after you dropped Wasteland, why didn't you blew it on the Plateau when he attacked with his creatures? He woudn't have the mana on his next main phase to cast Jace...
(ps: still reading the report...)
Super Bizarros Team. Beating everything with small green dudes and big waves.
Why didn't you just charbelch your mindslavered opponent (Rnd4-g1) instead of getting him to scoop?
Tash, I think it is remarkable that you went 2-0 against storm combo for the day. You sure as hell did not have an easy path there. To hear the proponents talk about it, those decks are bulletproof to nonblue decks (almost nonblue in your case). I don't have to tell you that this is just not the case.
I love Lands. I enjoyed the report.
Thanks, I enjoyed the read.
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