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Thread: Getting the RUG Pulled Out - Legacy Classic Atlanta *T32*

  1. #1

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    Aug 2005

    Kennesaw, GA


    Getting the RUG Pulled Out - Legacy Classic Atlanta *T32*

    While I have been playing a long time (I’m virtually a dinosaur in Magic Years), I don’t get the opportunity or motivation to play at the “competitive” level very often. I used to play enough to get free entries to the SCG Open series and play in Invitationals, and have even top 8’d a couple of Legacy Opens in addition to cashing a number of times with a variety of decks. I am now mostly relegated to a FNM player who can play end boss when I find a good deck that I like, but when the SCG Tour was coming to Atlanta with a three-format team event, it is simply an event you don’t want to miss.

    As it turns out, my two primary Magic-playing friends at my LGS are ones who play a lot of very specific formats. When assembling a team, it made sense to slot the team as follows:

    - Friend who plays lots of Standard (and consistently wins and plays well)
    - Friend who plays lots of Modern (who recently went 6-2 in Modern at the Invitational)
    - Me, who owns Legacy decks (and has roughly 25x the Legacy matches than the other two combined)

    Saturday was very fun, and if you get a chance to play in these team events you should 100% do it. Just make sure that people are capable of playing decks on their own and don’t constantly ‘need’ your help to make decisions, because it is easy to fall into the trap of asking questions about every little decision and winding up with more match draws than normal. I was 100% on my own playing Legacy, and my matches tended to end first so I was able to provide my input for my teammates fairly often.

    I think I played very well; I finished with a 5-1 record but my teammates didn’t fare so well, each going 3-3 with a higher than normal amount of mulligans and never splitting up their losses. We dropped in round six, but the biggest dagger of all was the seatings:

    A seat: Me, with the initials A.A.
    B seat: Modern friend, with the initials B.B.
    C seat: Standard friend, with the initials NOTHING EVEN CONTAINING THE LETTER C SO STUPID WTF

    I played well enough that I convinced myself to play the Legacy Classic the next day, and since I wanted to go back to the event hall anyway to say hello to the myriad of friends I had made over my years of travelling playing Magic, it was a mostly easy decision. The fact that I had to start pre-planning meetings for the coming school year the next day (I’m a teacher) pushed me over the edge of committing to playing the event; my summer would have an eventful end regardless. As it turns out, it was eventful enough to warrant a report (in my mind, anyway)!

    What did I play? My old standby, RUG Delver! Here’s the mostly unsurprising list that I’ve learned how to play competently over years of it being my ‘go to’ deck when I don’t play often:

    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Nimble Mongoose
    3 Tarmogoyf
    1 True-Name Nemesis

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    3 Spell Pierce
    2 Dismember
    1 Forked Bolt

    8 Fetches
    4 Wasteland
    3 Volcanic Island
    3 Tropical Island

    2 Ancient Grudge
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Pyroblast
    2 Flusterstorm
    2 Rough // Tumble
    1 Invasive Surgery
    1 Sulfuric Vortex
    1 Destructive Revelry
    1 Grim Lavamancer
    1 Hydroblast

    The main deck is pretty straightforward. I was playing 2 Tarmogoyf and 2 True-Name Nemesis for a while, but I expected more Burn decks in the team event (against which Goyf is very good), and the Spell Pierces/Dismembers are just good catch-all cards when you could be facing a wide variety of decks. The Atlanta Legacy scene is notoriously hostile to Delver decks (all sorts of Chalice of the Voids and Blood Moons abound!), so my sideboard has multiple ways to blow up Chalice in addition to an out to cards like Back to Basics/Blood Moon once they are on the table. The Vortex was for the new Miracle matchup, since they are a VERY slow deck now. Invasive Surgery was cute card I found while researching sideboards online, and I liked the idea in theory. I definitely considered some amount of Divert in the 75, but eventually decided against it. I definitely enjoy the tightrope walk of having to make correct decisions all the time and the possibly to just ‘RUG’ people out of a game (early threat, Daze something, Stifle a fetch, Wasteland you, counter your thing, you’re dead!). For reference, my Saturday record:

    Round 1: Death and Taxes, 0-2
    Round 2: B/R Reanimator, 2-1 (super sweet all foil and FBB)
    Round 3: Imperial Painter, 2-1
    Round 4: New Miracles, 2-0 (got RUG'd)
    Round 5: Death and Taxes, 2-0 (also got RUG'd)
    Round 6: Burn, 2-1 (played a turn 2 5/6 Goyf!)

    I probably should have gone back to the extra True-Name with the amount of D&T decks that were around, but I decided to just run it back on Sunday.
    Something else you should know about me: it’s my “thing” to be ‘live’ for the entire Magic event and lose at the last possible chance, and miss every sort of top 8/prize/fame/fortune. I am also known to a number of people in the area as a player who can brick draw steps harder than [insert reference that makes sense to your age/interests, including Shaquille O’Neal free throws, this Cardboard Crack comic (, or something about masonry], so I don’t really have high expectations. In fact, I often call myself out that I’m really good at “playing the most amount of Magic for nothing”.


    Disclaimer: I didn’t take notes, am reconstructing this from my life totals and memory only, and started writing this at 1 A.M. a full 24 hours after the event – oh, and am a dinosaur – so actual gameplay and sequencing may be skewed in my retelling. I’m sure some of the details are screwed up, so bear with me I’M DOING MY BEST OK?!?

    Round 1 – Death and Taxes

    G1 – My opponent has a very nice ‘Promo & Taxes’ deck, with all sorts of Expeditions and Judge Promos and such. I’m able to limit the amount of white mana he can produce (thanks to only 1
    Plains and multiple Karakas), and wind up drawing my one True-Name to three him to death.
    G2 – I Force my opponent’s 1st Aether Vial on turn 1, Spell Pierce his 2nd Vial on turn 2, but his 3rd vial on turn 3 resolves. Luckily, drawing 3 Vials means you don’t have a lot of gas in the tank,
    and my TNN once again takes it down while I’m able to keep my opponent on only two lands for a large portion of the game.

    1-0 (2-0)

    Round 2 – Death and Taxes

    G1 – I’m able to keep the board mostly clear as the Mongoose gets loose, and my opponent’s Swords to Plowshares(s) languish in his hand.
    G2 – The Goose gets loose again, and combined with the True-Name, whittle away his life total. He actually has a clock of his own in the air, but I’m one turn ahead on the race and have the Force
    of Will for his desperation StP on his own creature.

    2-0 (4-0)

    Round 3 – UR Delver

    G1 – My awesome opponent is very excited that I’m playing RUG, as he has an almost entire foreign RUG Delver deck in his bag and is a big fan of the archetype. He’s playing UR with lots of basic
    lands; while we have similar draws, he sticks a Blood Moon on me which spells doom…especially since he won the die roll. The game is likely reversed if I had won the roll, but oh well.
    G2 – I mull to 5, but the Goose is loose again and we play a typical Delver vs. Delver game of having not much more than 1 land in play (due to Wastelands and Dazes), and I wear him down by
    keeping his board free of creatures.
    G3 – We do more of the early game shenanigans, but the Geese are still getting…Leese? And I’m able to keep his board pretty clear. He lands another Blood Moon on me, but my hand is full of red
    cards (including Pyroblast and Grim Lavamancer) and I flip my Delver off of a Dismember to put the nail in the coffin. I’m not doing the match justice; all I remember is that my opponent was a great guy and I was pretty excited about winning on a mull to 5 and through a Blood Moon.

    3-0 (6-1)

    A friend that came with me to the event site that day reminded me that I was certainly on target for the 5-0 0-3 to miss prizes, and I couldn’t say I disagreed with him. It’s my thing!

    Round 4 – Jeskai Stoneblade

    G1 – My opponent is a rematch from the previous weekend at a team event, and he beat me 2-0…while at 1 life in both games and I drew somewhere along the lines of 9+ lands each game. I wanted some payback, and got it in the form of Stifle and Wasteland. RUG-ing people out is strangely satisfying sometimes!
    G2 – More mana denial plus untargetable creatures for me, more losing for him. Revenge!

    4-0 (8-1)

    I spent the time I had left in the round watching my good friend move to 4-0 next to me playing Sultai Death’s Shadow, and we were pretty pumped about it. He says something like “Time to dodge each other until the finals!”

    Round 5 – Sultai Death’s Shadow

    Obviously, he cursed it.

    G1 – I’m able to win with the typical RUG gameplay: Goose you, Daze that, Wasteland this, and Force the crap out of that. His draws weren’t terribly impressive, either.
    G2 – One of the most frustrating games in a LONG time. I have a Goyf and TNN in hand, but the rest of my hand is lands and I don’t want to expose the TNN to his Diabolic Edicts (and my correct guess of Golgari Charm post-board too). I get to stick a Tarmogoyf eventually, but I get my TNN Thoughtseized and don’t have a huge clock (and each swing makes his Death’s Shadow more playable). My friend is stuck on one land, and is actively Brainstorming on his main phase to find a land. He Brainstorms, I cast one of my own to try to find a blowout card (Daze, Wasteland, Spell Pierce…anything, really) and see 2 fetches and a dual to match my hand full of lands. I put them back, and have a fetch in play to shuffle. He doesn’t find a land. I draw Brainstorm again, so I attack and pass. He plays another main phase Brainstorm, so I Brainstorm again to find action…and find three more non-Wasteland lands on top of my deck. He still doesn’t find a land. I crack a fetch and cast Ponder, and guess what I see? THREE MORE NON-WASTELAND LANDS AGAIN. I shuffle and draw…a non-Wasteland land! My boy eventually draws a 2nd land, plays a ton of 5/5 and larger creatures, and I die a horrible death…with 6+ lands played, and another 3-4 in hand. Gross.
    G3 – I’m pretty traumatized at this point and try to shake it off, but he just has a great draw that lines up well with mine and I get stuck on lands and die to a trio of Death’s Shadows. Groan.

    4-1 (9-3)

    I’m hard pressed to be too upset, because I’m really happy at the same time for my friend. I resolve to shake it off and get back in the tournament.

    Round 6 – Infect

    G1 – My opponent mulls to 4, but I only have 1 creature and a bunch of permission/removal so it takes forever to kill him (since I can’t fill my graveyard very quickly to speed up the Goose, because it’s all reactive spells). I wind up killing him with the special play of Stifling 2 Inkmoth Nexus activations so he can’t block my Goose.
    G2 – He leads on a couple of Noble Hierarchs, but I’m having trouble locating a 2nd colored source (specifically red) to cast the spells in my hand. I Ponder twice and have to ship a Wasteland each time, and the second time I shuffle away a Wasteland he plays an Inkmoth Nexus and I know I’m in trouble since he has 5+ cards in hand and 5+ available mana vs. my single mana and hand full of soft permission. I eventually draw the 2nd colored source, but he’s able to kill me over a few turns with Invigorates (which play around Spell Pierce et al very well).
    G3 – My opener has a Delver and a Mongoose in addition to a fetch, a Ponder, Force of Will, and Rough // Tumble. I lead on a Delver with the hope of flipping it, finding a land with the Ponder, and being in a position for a nice Rough. He leads on Hierarch again, and I know that buys me at least one more turn. My Delver doesn’t flip, I draw a Goyf, and Ponder sees 3 creatures. I shuffle and draw a land, so I decide to play the Mongoose as I have 0 other plays available and I’m willing to lose it to the Rough if it kills multiple creatures on his side. He plays another Hierarch, and still has no infect creature as he passes back. Delver misses again, I draw another land, and have the choice of casting Rough OR Tarmogoyf. I really don’t want to kill my Delver, so I decide to wait on the removal (since he doesn’t have an infect creature anyway) and play the Goyf. His turn 3 features an infect creature AND an Inkmoth, so I need to pull the trigger on the sweeper next turn. A blue spell on top would be the best (since I would be able to flip my Delver AND have a card for Force of Will); a Wasteland would be fine, as I would have a way to possibly kill both infect creatures. As it turns out, Delver stays small off a non-Wasteland and I have to Rough it out and try to kill him with a Goyf. Predictably, he has a pump spell for his Infect creature (not a surprise but I can’t do much about it). He untaps, attacks with both creatures and has an Invigorate for both of them to kill me.

    4-2 (10-5)

    Ugh. How quickly we went from feeling great about the tournament to being out of contention for top eight. Have I mentioned how I’m really good at playing the most amount of relevant Magic for nothing? It’s alllllll happening again.

    Round 7 – Death and Taxes

    I had a feeling that my opponent was on D&T; I wasn’t sure, obviously, but I just had this strong feeling about it that was reinforced by his white mana deck box and cream-colored sleeves.

    G1 – I lose the die roll, and keep a solid hand (which is great vs. D&T) that has 2 lands, 2 removal spells, a Force of Will, and 2 cantrips. He plays Plains into Mother of Runes (I KNEW IT), and gets visibly upset when I Forked Bolt him and his Mom. I Bolt his t2 Stoneforge Mystic (which gets Umezawa’s Jitte), play a cantrip, and he plays Sword of Fire and Ice on his third turn. I Wasteland him off of 3 mana, Force another Stoneforge, Bolt a Phyrexian Revoker, and then he resolves a Sanctum Prelate naming “1”. Luckily, I draw the True-Name Nemesis and am back in business, and I’m feeling pretty good about things at this point. Unfortunately, my opponent plays a Stoneforge Mystic and grabs the Batterskull. I attack and cast a Delver on my turn, and he predictably passes on his turn with the intent of putting Batterskull into play. My Delver doesn’t flip, and I attack in with the TNN (since I can’t block anyway), and cast a 5/6 Tarmogoyf. I get cracked for 6 by the SkullSword, my Delver dies a horrible death, and I feel the game slipping away (especially since he has the Jitte in hand). I draw and play the second 5/6 Tarmogoyf, attack with my TNN (no reason not to!), and pass. After a visit to the tank, my opponent inexplicably decides to attack with his SkullSword into my two Goyfs, and I snapped off the double block with zero hesitation. He equips the Sword to his Stoneforge and passes, so I’m back on the TNN plan with Goyf on defense. After drawing the THIRD Tarmogoyf, I attack him for 8 and then play the third Tarmogoyf (much to his chagrin), and the game ends quickly after that. I’m not sure I can win that game if he doesn’t attack into the double Goyf.
    G2 – I force his t1 Vial and play a t1 Mongoose. He plays a land and a Dazed Thalia. I attack for one and cast a second Mongoose (about to get loooooose) with Daze ready to go again. He plays a third land and Rest in Peace (now my Gooses are only loose in the pejorative sense), and I commence the RUGging. Attack for two, Wasteland you, Daze your 2-drop. Attack for two, counter your thing. Attack for two, Dismember your Mom. Attack for two, Bolt your angel. Attack for Two, Force something else. Attack for TWO. ATTACK FOR TWO, PLAY ANOTHER GOOSE OH GOD MAKE IT STOP…

    5-2 (12-5)

    Round 8 – Grixis Delver

    My opponent is another great guy, and we decide to play it out and split our prizes, as there is going to be a clean cut at 19+ points for top eight and neither of us want to play for nine hours to get nothing at all (my streak might be broken!)

    G1 – He wins the die roll and we have almost identical draws (Delver, Daze, Bolt, Wasteland etc.), which means a pretty easy victory for him, since he winds up flipping 3 Delvers and I’m stuck with both Dismembers while under heavy pressure. We both agree the game is likely the reverse outcome with a different die roll.
    G2 – I mull to 5, but as it turns out I land an early creature and am able to play protect the queen long enough to kill him somehow.
    G3 – I kill his first 3 threats on the first three turns, but his 4th threat on t4 sticks and he is able to protect it and race my own pressure in a great back and forth game of the typical Delver mirror.

    5-3 (13-7), good for 26th place and a bunch of tickets


    As it turns out, my first two losses wind up in the finals against each other (!!) and two more of my opponents end up in the top 16. I think I played pretty well throughout the day, and obviously my competition was pretty stiff that day. I was pleasantly surprised to go 3-0 against the D&T decks on Sunday, and it was a pretty decent confidence boost that I can still play at a decently high level. While the narrow losses in rounds 5 and 6 are pretty back-breaking, I really can’t be too upset with my finish with the amount of Magic/Legacy I currently play. Also, having a good friend make the finals and losing to the best 2 players in the event that day is hardly reason to get down on yourself.

    Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoyed an old-time tournament report from an old-time Magic player. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the tournament report that inspired me to write this one, from another local player who Top 16’d:

    - Nimble Mongoose for getting loose
    - My opponents for being generally awesome all day; especially rounds 3 and 8 with new friends made!
    - Justin for making it to the finals
    - The people who encouraged me to play and to stop finding excuses not to
    - My Burn opponent on Saturday who chided me for having foil FS Tarmogoyfs but a non-foil English Invasive Surgery. You right.
    - Uncrustables, for filling my belly instead of buying overpriced Convo food

    - My whole deck in Round 5, Game 2. Seriously??
    - My opponents with Aether Vial who never activated it for 0 but insisted on doing it every other turn. So many missed trolling opps.
    - Justin for jinxing us to play in round 5 WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE QUIET
    - The people who encouraged me to play AND GET MY HEART BROKEN AGAIN

    Keep on RUG-ing!


    Host of The Third Power Podcast about Cube! (

  2. #2
    Long Live Maverick
    haganbmj's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2012

    Kennesaw, GA, USA


    Re: Getting the RUG Pulled Out - Legacy Classic Atlanta *T32*

    My Burn opponent on Saturday who chided me for having foil FS Tarmogoyfs but a non-foil English Invasive Surgery.

    Nice writeup, it's good to see RUG in play - sometimes I forget the Nimble Mongoose exists in the new age format with Delve, Deathrite, and Snapcaster.
    Tusk up.
    (Not so) Current Decks: GB Elves, GW Maverick, GWb Maverick, LED Dredge, ANT, TES, Jund Storm.

  3. #3

    Re: Getting the RUG Pulled Out - Legacy Classic Atlanta *T32*

    Hey there! Round 6 Infect opponent here. I just wanted to say hi and that your tournament report was great. Thanks again for the games, keep on RUGing!

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