First off, let's give you the decklist:
I can't say I expected to fight through so many Tezzerets as I did over these five matches. It's pretty clear that we're soft to opposing planeswalkers, which is why we have Pithing Needle and Hex Parasite. I felt good about our odds against the pseudo-mirror before he Force of Willed our Hex Parasite - a phrase you're unlikely to see anywhere else ever again. Affinity is also just a really awkward deck to play against with Ensnaring Bridge, since they can insta-equip Cranial Plating onto a zero-mana attacker and deal a ton of damage with Ensnaring Bridge in play, so that's pretty unfortunate. The other combo matchups played out about as expected.
I can't say I was expecting Shattering Spree from either combo deck, since that's literally the best card in the history of Magic against us and artifact-prison strategies have been on a pretty severe downswing as of late. Still, I can believe it from a Burning Wish player. Sneak and Show, though? That's just hateful. Gotta shrug that one off after our incredibly lopsided match against that same player earlier in the session, though.
Some reflections on the deck:
- Mox Opal is buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusted and is absolutely the only reason we were in several of those games.
- Lion's Eye Diamond is awesome, although the "put a draw effect on the stack + activate" thing came up basically never. It was just a Black Lotus for activated effects and a convenient One With Nothing, which isn't bad but isn't as great as I wish it were.
- Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek are still great. No surprises there, and I'm interested in revisiting them in the future. For now, though, it's kind of passe. More interesting combos, please!
- Transmute Artifact is great, would play again.
- Relic of Progenitus kolded a Dredge deck and a Reanimator deck in testing, so while they didn't exactly shine here (outside of the Tezzeret pseudo-mirror where Joe Lossett couldn't activate his Thopter Foundry for a while), they give the deck some nice velocity while also hurting a bunch of decks that I didn't get to play against on video.
- Uba Mask is probably the best "win condition" in the deck. We would have been dead on turn four on the draw to Griselbrand + draw 7 + Sneak in Emrakul, but we had Opal into Mask to lock our opponent right out of the game. Get some.
- A lot of the sideboard didn't get a chance to shine, since we didn't play against a terribly wide variety of decks. I do think I should've boarded in Smokestack against Sneak and Show, though. That one's on me.
- I'm just happy that Hex Parasite got its day in the sun. It can put "got Force of Willed" on its resume now. That means something.
Since there was such positive reception to the decklist article, I'm going to trust all of you. For the foreseeable future, with very few exceptions, I'm going to continue to work on the fringes of the format. My goal will be to bring interesting but slightly underpowered cards to light and figure out what the best home for each of them will be.
I won't always break new ground (Tezzeret + Thopter/Sword + Transmute Artifact already existed, for instance). I will always start from a top-down focus on maximizing the power of a specific card that you, dear audience, will pick out for me. I may end up running the poll on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays so as to give myself more lead time, but since I don't have a topic for next week yet, I would love your input - now with write-in candidates! If you want to see a card on a future ballot, write it in and I'll let people vote on it in coming weeks.
For those competitive tournament players out there: I'm not going to stop doing research, I'm not going to stop thinking about how to improve existing decks, and I'm not going to insist that my brews are top-tier tournament-ready creations. I'll still recommend decks for Grands Prix and Invitationals. However, I've come to understand Legacy as a format where eager spectators vastly outnumber eager players, and so most of this column's time is going to go toward putting on a show. As always, I welcome your comments - if nothing else, I hope I've shown myself to be receptive and responsive to feedback.