Robert Vroman's pimped-out Legacy cards.
The Legacy portion of the StarCityGames St. Louis $10k got off to a start with a monster of a first round Feature Match. Ben Wienburg, a solid pro from the Midwest area, had achieved a fair amount of success playing the Legacy format. With a Top 16 at Grand Prix-Chicago and a Legacy Worlds Top 8, he's a man to be feared when it comes to the older formats. Robert Vroman, however, was an "old format" personality all to himself. Famous on forums and in the Midwest for his fanciful altered-art cards, he was a respected player who lived for the older format instead of the PTQ flavor of the moment, and was known for identifying as a Vintage player.
Wienburg got to start the game off on the play, and opened up on a Nimble Mongoose. Robert Vroman had Sensei's Divining Top, an artifact so powerful it was banned from the tables of Extended competition. A second Nimble Mongoose came down for Wienburg as he sought to get his beatdown on against Vroman's Gifts Ungiven deck, featuring combos like Dark Depths/Vampire Hexmage.
The 1/1 shrouded thresholders were kept home, however, as Robert cast the aforementioned Vampire. Because Ben only had four cards in his graveyard, his Mongeese were 1/1s, easy pick 'ins for the Hexmage's first strike. Wienburg passed, and Robert spent his turn casting Life from the Loam to return some fetch lands and getting a Viridian Zealot countered by a Wienburgian Spell Snare. The battlefield started to clutter as Ben cast a Tarmogoyf, using a fetch land to do so. That put him at six cards in his graveyard, and he opted to pop a Wasteland on his opponent to make it the full thresholded seven; an attack put the scores 18-8 in Ben's favor.
Running out of life points with which to maneuver, Vroman cast an Eternal Witness to bring back Force of Will. He then played Dark Depths and popped his Vampire Hexmage targeting the Coldsnap land. Wienburg used Stifle to counter the ability, and Vroman didn't use his Force to counter back. When Ben attacked with his team, Vroman fell to 2 and had just a single turn to swing things around. When his draw step and a Brainstorm failed to get him there, the players were off to the second game.
Ben Wienburg 1, Robert Vroman 0
Sideboarding, both Ben Wienburg and Robert Vroman were silent. For Vroman it was part of his default settings as a player; shrouded in a flannel shirt, his winter jacket slung over the chair and a stocking cap on his lap he seemed unassuming. But looks could be deceiving, and as his opponent decided whether to mulligan or not, Vroman's gaze pored over Ben's face looking for any signs as to what the Ohio player was thinking. He might be the quiet type, but for Robert Vroman it was all about getting an edge on his opponents.
Nimble Mongoose led things off again for Ben Wienburg, but Vroman played The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale to force Ben to pay for the privilege of keeping the creature on the battlefield. Robert managed to land a Sensei's Divining Top while Ben added another Nimble Mongoose to his side of the table. The players worked fetch lands, both the Zendikar and Onslaught varieties, in an effort to build their manabases. An Engineered Explosives from Vroman allowed him to wipe the board of Mongeese, but forced him to cash in his Top in response to not lose it to his own artifact.
Wienburg was out of creatures, passing the turn and watching as Robert cast a Life from the Loam (Spell Snared) and then played Maze of Ith. Ben only had so many Wastelands, and with Vroman on an active Life from the Loam it looked like his Tabernacle and Maze might keep Wienburg's efforts at attacking on lockdown. Ben cast a Tarmogoyf, then used Wasteland to blow up Maze and get an attack in. The effort put Robert at 9.
Coiling Oracle came down for Robert Vroman, netting him a free Brainstorm, and he cashed in his Top for a second time to dredge back Life from the Loam. That allowed him to pick up his Maze of Ith, which he replayed before passing the turn. Wienburg tried to clear the way for an attack by casting Submerge targeting his opponent's Oracle, then Wastelanding Maze of Ith for the second turn in a row. His Tarmogoyf tore a 5 point chunk out of Vroman's life total, leaving him at 4.
The game was teetering on a very fragile precipice; with Life from the Loam + Maze of Ith going, Robert Vroman was very close to taking control. His opponent, however, had managed to knock him down to 4, on the verge of tipping it in his favor with a final beatdown push. Vroman recast his Coiling Oracle, then used Grim Discovery to get back a Voidmage Prodigy that had been dredged to his graveyard as well as his Maze of Ith.
At the end of Robert's turn, Ben pulled the trigger. He cast Fire/Ice to tap his opponent's Maze of Ith, then untapped and used a second Submerge to take care of the Coiling Oracle for the second time. Vroman had no counter, and nodded his head in defeat. The game tipped in Ben's favor.
Ben Wienburg 2, Robert Vroman 0