I'd like to say that this past weekend was a typical Magic trip for me; however, that was far from the case. Between the A/C in the car going out, my having done absolutely no playtesting, and Ali claiming he was going to play Caw-Blade, this trip proved to be anything but boring.
It all began the Thursday before the StarCityGames.com Invitational. I had taken the time off from work with the intentions of playing, but due to family issues, I cancelled my travel arrangements. With everything sorted out at home and the itch to play Magic tingling in my veins, I called Ali Aintrazi to see if there was still room in his car. [Un]lucky enough for me, there was.
The plan was to leave from Wes Murphy's house at 7:30 am Friday morning and arrive in Indy by around 6 or 7 that night. Around 10:30 am, we finally were on the road. Typical Magic trip so far, right? I thought so too.
On the way there, the A/C decided that working just wasn't on the agenda in the van we were in, and the misery began. Finally around 10:00 pm, with at least one sunburnt arm each, we arrived in Indy.
While getting ready for bed, we all agreed that we were playing similar Caw-Blade builds for Standard; however, due to Legacy being the diverse format it is, we all had different deck ideas. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was going to play in Legacy.
While I was dozing off, Ali said to me, “Will StarCityGames.com have NPH commons and uncommons?” I told him that we should and promptly fell asleep. The next morning, I awoke to a room scattered with debris from a sealed NPH box, one that Ali had been carrying around. In my confusion, I was informed that Ali had decided to play some Blighted Agent deck that Justin Parnell had talked him into playing, and he was cracking packs to get the cards he needed. Yeah, you read that right. I told Ali that he'd be able to buy the commons he needed, but during my slumber, he incinerated a sealed box instead.
When we got to the convention center, I began to interrogate all the normal SCG grinders as to which deck they felt I should play in Legacy, and all of them had different answers.
Lauren Lee pointed out to me that Reid Duke with NO RUG did extremely well in the Swiss portion of Providence, and with that, I decided to roll with that deck. After a depressing 3-4 finish in Standard, I decided to unplug my life support machine and get some food.
I came back to the event site and started to think about Legacy for the next day. I really love Dark Confidant and knew that I wanted to play that card. I talked to Glenn Jones about my predicament, and he told me about Edgar Flores's deck. I got the list and immediately started to make battle. Edgar's list was this:
This was the foundation I started with. I quickly realized that I needed to add at least a few basic lands. I was getting pretty destroyed by Wasteland. I was kind of unimpressed with Bitterblossom and Daze as well. I kept testing the same build until I found Edgar the next morning. He told me that he built the deck the morning of the event and brewed it in the car on the way there. With this knowledge, I felt a bit more comfortable changing the deck, knowing that it wasn't tried and true.
This is what I ended up registering for the largest Legacy Open StarCityGames.com has ever had.
Chrome Mox was nuts all day long. I actually think cutting a fetchland for a third Chrome Mox might be correct. I didn't really feel mana light at all this event. If anything, Chrome Mox helped against Back to Basics and Wasteland. Also, the explosiveness that Chrome Mox gives you allows you to just take complete control of games. A lot of decks have a hard time beating a turn 1 Dark Confidant or Stoneforge Mystic.
Sword of Body and Mind can kiss my ass; I hate that card. Everyone says it's the best sword to maindeck in Legacy, and I'm sure they're right for one reason or another, but I won't be doing that in the future. The milling aspect to this sword was actually a liability in certain matches. I needed the damage and the Wolves to race their deck, but I risked putting some dangerous cards into their graveyard. I actually lost a game because I milled an Enchantress player, and they Replenished on the following turn. Crucible of Worlds is also becoming more popular, and tossing extra Wastelands into your opponent's bin isn't exactly advantageous.
Don't Daze Me Bro!
In my opinion, Daze gets a lot better when you're playing in a Legacy field full of weak players. Good players already play around Daze, and the threat of having Daze is usually enough for people to still play around it. It won't stop you from losing to combo decks like FOW will.
I expected this event to have a number of solid players in it. Everyone who didn't play in Day 2 of the Invitational already had a Legacy deck, and the majority of those people weren't mouth-breathers. I decided to cut the Dazes for Force of Wills. There were some situations where Daze would have been an extreme blowout, but overall, I was very happy with Force of Will over Daze.
I added in a few Spell Snares as well; with so many Stoneforge Mystic decks running around, it seemed like it was worth it. I also wanted something to put in over Thoughtseize. I love Thoughtseize, but with so many Mental Missteps running around, I didn't want it to be my plan A.
I feel like the sideboard is a much better place for Thoughtseize right now, at least in a deck like this one.
Vindicate still exists?
I had the whole deck laid out on the table, and I was staring at it saying, “This deck is missing something, but I can't think of what it is.” Ali glanced over and said the word “Vindicate” and resumed building his deck.
Words can't describe my love for Vindicate. I can't believe I forgot about that card. However, thanks to Mr. Aintrazi, I tossed in some Vindicates at the last minute and ran to the player meeting. That card was MVP all day. In the future, I'd want another one somewhere in the 75.
I was really happy with most of my sideboard all day; the only thing I would change is I would take out some of the Equipment. I wanted to try to be cute and have a nice Equipment package against the field, but I had a few issues arise.
First and foremost, I literally forgot to add Sword of Feast and Famine. I had fifteen cards in front of me, had all the cards written down on my decklist, and didn't realize Sword of Feast and Famine wasn't in the mix until I tried to side it in a few rounds later. The only Equipment I would actually keep in the board are Umezawa's Jitte, Sword of Feast and Famine, and maybe Sword of War and Peace.
The second Batterskull made its way into the board because I enjoyed beating the crap out of people with it in Standard. However, I found my Batterskull dying a lot less frequently in Legacy than in Standard. The second Batterskull was kind of overkill. If you're really scared of a lot of artifact/Equipment destruction, then you're fine to leave it in the sideboard, but otherwise I'd just bench it.
My losses on the day were to Reanimator and Mono-Blue Control. If you add a bit more graveyard hate to the board, that should solve the Reanimator problem. I don't think the matchup was particularly bad. I went 1-1 against Reanimator on the day; my loss was pretty much a blowout, and he destroyed me two games in a row. He had a fast reanimation draw with enough countermagic to fight mine. The time I beat Reanimator, we had pretty decent games one and two, and in game three, he drew a billion lands after I dealt with his first fatty.
As for Mono-Blue Control, I don't really have any excuses for that. The only thing I took away is that Vedalken Shackles is really good. I singlehandedly lost to that card. More Disenchants and Vindicates should prevent that from happening again.
Wait a minute, who are you?
I reserved the ending of my article to briefly introduce myself to those of you who haven't worked with me at shows yet. I'm a buyer for StarCityGames.com; I enjoy long walks on the beach, candle-lit dinners, and casting Ancestral Recall targeting myself.
Ideally I'll be writing financial articles for the Select side of our website in the future, but I wanted to give our readers a chance to sample my work before I started giving you advice on what Magic cards you should be spending your money on.
Until next time, enjoy the game, have fun, and stop by the booth to sell us some Magic cards!
Wesley David Wise