Sometimes you regret a deck choice after day 1. Sometimes after the tournament. And sometimes you realize two or three rounds in that you made a terrible mistake. The protagonists in this showing of "If only we played Bant Nexus" were myself and my colleagues and teammates Luca Casadei and Jan Merkel.
When Wizards of the Coast announced a Team Constructed Pro Tour, I asked Dirk Baberowski and Marco Blume if they were up for a comeback. A combination of being too busy at work, family, and the tournament being in Minneapolis meant they weren't interested. Then Jan won a qualifier for the 2018 MOCS, which comes with a PT invite. He couldn't go to Pro Tour Dominaria and his invite was pushed to Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. I asked Jelger Wiegersma and Brock Parker if they wanted to be our third, but they liked winning too much. I've been playing a bunch of Team Limited GPs with Luca and Antonino de Rosa in the past years and when he became available, that was an easy decision.
Splitting the formats wasn't too difficult. Luca played a lot of Standard on Magic Online while Jan has several hundred games to his name with Mardu Pyromancer in Modern. That's hardly the best deck in the format, but it's one of the better ones and knowing your deck and matchups inside out matters more than finding a deck that is potentially a little bit better overall.
That meant I was left with Legacy. The good news was that I know most of the playable decks from back in the day, but I had no idea where to start. As The Pantheon/Ultimate Guard core-group wanted to do their own thing, we joined the other leftovers of The Pantheon along with their teammates - Gabriel Nassif, Eric Froehlich, and David Williams; Ben Rubin, Corey Burkhart, and Rich Hoaen; Jamie Parke, Brian Kibler, Ben Seck (TBS), and Logan Nettles. We were still very low on people with actual knowledge of the Legacy format and Eric suggested to add Tannon Grace and Brennan DeCandio to fix that problem.
Rich had been playing Legacy for a while and was pretty happy with Miracles even before Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe were banned. He suggested Turbo Depths as a starting point for me, as that deck kept giving him trouble, but I played three leagues with it and wasn't overly impressed. My next stop were decks with Chalice of the Void and Thorn of Amethyst because in Vintage, some form of Aggro Shops is always one of the best decks. Eric had played Affinity at the last Team Constructed GP and wasn't very happy with that choice, but TBS and I did pretty well in a bunch of queues with aggressive Eldrazi builds, though the mirror match was pretty frustrating. Around that time, the Cloudpost/Grim Monolith version of the deck started to gain popularity on MTGO. While the matchup isn't horrible, the big Eldrazi deck seemed to be somewhat favored against the smaller version, so I tried the big version myself and hated it.
For a while, we were pretty close to playing a Mono-Black Smallpox deck that showed up among the 5-0s in the Legacy leagues on July 21st. The deck looked great against all the fair decks trying to win with creatures and still had a chance to beat unfair stuff in three games. But after some early good results, we started to lose a bunch. The problem was that the deck didn't close games fast enough and gave the opponent too many turns to draw something to come back into the game, and it lost too many games to its own manabase. I'm usually not a big fan of too many copies of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, but this deck wants to run Wastelands, Mishra's Factory, and a bunch of special lands like Maze of Ith and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Not drawing Urborg often meant casting your double black spells was a serious problem.