StarCityGames.com columnist Reid Duke is known for his MTGO stylings as reiderrabit but when the Open Series takes a trip into the northeast you will often spot him battling in real life. After falling short in Standard yesterday Reid has rallied to an undefeated start in Legacy today. His opponent Jim Davis is one of a couple players performing well with Goblins at this event—an archetype that has been performing poorly of late. Boston could be the tournament that puts the tribe back on the map.
Reid won the die roll and took the play making a pensive keep. Jim also kept his hand and Reid opened on Scalding Tarn for Tropical Island casting Noble Hierarch. Jim revealed himself to be on Goblins following a Mountain and a Goblin Lackey on the first turn. Reid's archetype was still a bit up on the air given the large number of Tropical Island decks in the format. Even a Noble Hierarch didn't necessarily imply a Bant variation.
Reid tapped his Tropical for a Ponder and kept the three cards playing a Volcanic Island and Lightning Bolting the Lackey dead before attacking with Noble Hierarch. That revealed Reid to be on a Legacy RUG concoction perhaps along the lines of Next Level Thresh Canadian Threshold or Gerry Thompson's Memphis list as played by Jon Penick. Jim cracked a Scalding Tarn of his own on the second turn searching up a Mountain and playing Goblin Piledriver.
Reid nodded and began his second turn with a Green Sun's Zenith for two putting a 4/5 Tarmogyof into play and passing the turn without a third land. A Rishadan Port from Jim gave him his third land while a cycled Gempalm Incinerator killed the Hierarch. Jim passed with just the Piledriver in play a lone Mountain untapped.
During his draw step Reid found a Volcanic Island on top of the deck and attacked with Tarmogoyf putting life at 14 to 19 in his favor. Jim hesitated before finding a Mountain with Scalding Tarn quite wary of Stifle but Reid allowed it to resolve. On four lands Jim attempted to resolve a second Goblin Piledriver. Reid thought that one over eventually deciding to let it go. The original Piledriver poked in for a point of damage and Jim passed the turn with Rishadan Port and a Mountain untapped. Reid used the end step to cast Vendilion Clique revealing two Goblin Ringleaders a Goblin Matron and a Mogg War Marshal. He cycled the War Marshal and then untapped his lands.
Jim tapped Tropical Island during Reid's upkeep and Reid retaliated with an attack for 7 dropping Jim down to 6 life. He passed with just two Volcanic Islands at the ready leaving Jim unsure of exactly what he should play around. Thanks to a fifth land he could Matron for Gempalm Incinerator to kill Vendilion Clique and he had enough blockers for Tarmogoyf. A Force of Will removing Daze from the game dropped Reid to 17 life and countered the tutor putting Jim in a tight spot. He could only send a single Piledriver due to the Goyf and he played Wasteland post-combat to blow up Tropical Island.
Reid drew and attacked with both creatures dropping Jim to 3 and passing the turn. When Jim's next card offered him no way out he scooped up his cards.
Reid 1 Jim 0
The Goblin deck would have the play in the second game and Jim kept a hand sporting Aether Vial and a contingent of Goblins alongside just a Rishadan Port and a Wasteland. He cast the Vial resolving it with a sigh of relief and Reid drew for turn. He played a Volcanic Island and ended his turn.
Jim laid down a Wasteland after ticking his Vial up a counter and during Jim's end step Reid decided to cast a Brainstorm. Once it had resolved Jim cracked his Wasteland on the Volcanic. Misty Rainforest replaced it with a Taiga and Jim followed that with Noble Hierarch. He wasn't pleased to see Goblin Lackey from Jim during his end step.
Untapping Jim put Vial to 2 counters and attacked with Lackey landing a point of damage and earning a free Goblin. He put Matron into play searching up Gempalm Incinerator. Adding a Taiga to the board he used the Gempalm to incinerate Noble Hierarch and draw a card. Reid fell to 17 as he cracked a Wooded Foothills for Tropical Island following with a Green Sun's Zenith for Dryad Arbor immediately after. Vial put Goblin Piledriver into play during Reid's end step.
Jim ticked up the Vial once again on the fourth turn to 3 and then drew. Lightning Bolt killed Goblin Lackey when Jim moved to attack the Piledriver and Matron attacking for 4 and dropping Reid to 13 life. Jim played an Arid Mesa and left it uncracked as he added Mogg War Marshal to the field and Reid nodded. He untapped with three lands puzzling over how to solve this problem. Falling to 12 for another fetchland Reid put a Volcanic Island into play and cast Natural Order for Terastodon destroying his own Volcanic Island and Jim's Rishadan Port and Aether Vial. Jim searched up a Taiga with his Arid Mesa during the end step falling to 19.
Jim paid his echo on War Marshal and drew for the turn. Declining an attack he added just Arid Mesa to the board and passed. Green Sun's Zenith for one searched up a Noble Hierarch on Reid's side repairing his mana base as he passed to Jim.
A fourth land for the Goblins player and a pass were the only action he had and things got worse for him as Reid added a second Noble Hierarch and a Tarmogoyf to the field on the following turn. Jim cracked another fetch going to 17 for a second Mountain.
No viable attacks available Jim played a fourth fetchland and passed the turn with two cards in hand. Reid tanked briefly before casting Umezawa's Jitte and equipping it to Terastodon his largest creature and attacking. He'd tapped out to do so and making sure he actually connected was important. A block with Mogg War Marshal before damage followed by an alt-cast Pyrokinesis removing Lackey put Jim on zero cards but also prevented the Jitte from gaining counters while killing a hapless Elephant. He could've taken this opportunity to clear out Reid's Hierarchs and hamper his mana but killing the Elephant let him begin to get aggressive again.
All of Jim's creatures turned sideways now Reid falling to 3 as Tarmogoyf blocked Piledriver and three Goblins alongside two Elephants connected. Reid attacked with Terastodon putting two counters on the Jitte before casting Natural Order and sacrificing a Noble Hierarch to search up kitchen Finks going to 5. Jim chuckled forced to reevaluate his attacks now that he was on 5 life himself.
Gempalm Incinerator off the top killed Kitchen Finks once sending Reid to 7 life but shrinking the 3/2 to 2/1 so that no Elephants would be harmed in the blocking of his next attack unless Jitte got involved. Drawing for the cycling Jim attacked with just the 3/3s and Reid took the damage falling to 1 life. Terastodon attacked earning a chump from one Goblin before a land and a third Natural Order turned the last Noble Hierarch into a Progenitus. Reid gained 2 life going to 3 and passing the turn with his Jitte on 3 counters.
Revealing a hand filled with lands and Aether Vials Jim conceded the game. “It took all that but you got me.”
Reid 2 Jim 0