You glance at the clock and it's 12:34 in the morning. You shake your head in disgust and you think to yourself…
You think about how that one girl you asked to prom turned you down; you think about that $35 overdraft fee Wells Fargo charged you for overdrawing your account; you think about how you left your house at 6 AM to drive three hours to a PTQ that you just got second at; and you think…
DAMN YOU BONFIRE!
Seriously I should have just not Mana Leaked his Angel or maybe I should have shuffled with Ponder to try to find a Snapcaster.
More disgust…and with another glance at the clock that now reads 12:37 you realize you still have another two hours to go. You're getting sleepy but a light and a "ding" indicating that you are on empty awake you.
Great you have to spend another 40 dollars you don't have to fill up your car. Seriously why didn't I just stay home?
At 12:59 you are back on the road and it dawns on you that tomorrow at 10 AM there is one more PTQ left for the season on Magic Online. You think I'll be home at 4. I could sign on and try to borrow a deck. You realize you can call up your friend Lenny to ask for a deck. He is half-awake when he answers with "What do you want chump?"
You tell him how you just lost in the finals. He doesn't know about losing in the finals as he won three Grand Prix and Nationals but being the good buddy he is his tone quickly changes and he obliges to your request.
You are now excited. You start to work out in your head what changes you might make to your deck. You missed too often with Augur of Bolas today. Does this mean you should cut one or maybe add another instant?
Now what to cut? You think how Restoration Angel was clogging up your hand and four was way too many. Done!
You look through your phone to call Lenny up to tell him about the change but somehow 40 minutes had passed and he was back asleep by now.
You put your phone down and turn on the radio. "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye is on.
You start to feel something good. You are ready to get crap done.
And just at the best part you feel your phone vibrate. It's Grandma; she is concerned and doesn't fully understand why you would drive over six hours in one day to play Magic (neither do you) but you tell her you'll be home soon.
She then asks "How'd you do?"
You tell her you got second.
She congratulates you.
You don't have it in your heart to tell her that all it gets you is a box meaning that between gas entry fee food and tolls you're still down on the day.
You hang up and get back to the drive as you are just about an hour away.
Tired and out of thoughts it's a struggle to make it home. However the next thing you know it's 3 AM and you are pulling on to your street.
You run upstairs.
You turn on your computer and load Magic Online. You are all set to go for the 10 AM PTQ.
You are about to head to bed when you see that there are seven in the queue for an M13 Draft.
You join for no other reason than you are a degenerate.
You take the Captain.
You rub your eyes and look at the clock: 10:19 AM WTF!!!
You never set your alarm and fell asleep during your draft missed round 1 and got dropped from the last PTQ of the season. You are enraged you scream at the top of lungs and you are tired of this BS.
You slam down your computer screen and leave your house. You don't know where you are going and it doesn't matter. Just some place where there is no Magic.
10:31 AM you are back in your car driving.
10:49 AM you feel your phone vibrate again. It's Lenny asking how round 1 went.
You hang up on him.
You keep driving.
11:25 AM you realize you are five minutes away from the store you used to play at eleven years ago when you were in high school. You remember you still have your bag in the trunk with your collection. This is it; you've had enough and you are selling everything you have.
11:30 AM you pull into the parking lot. You walk to the door with your bag hanging off your right shoulder and you hear "Last call for registration" from the counter.
Out of curiosity you ask what's going on.
A younger kid standing to the right of you says "Vintage tournament for two thousand dollars store credit."
You can't believe what you are thinking but the field looks soft and you want to play. Then again you don't have a deck. You take a look around the room and see Chris and Blake two kids you met yesterday at the PTQ. They immediately ask if you took it down last night. You tell them what happened and they shake their heads and quickly change the subject.
"What are you playing?" Blake asks.
"I don't have a deck" is your response.
Chris mentions how their buddy Josh has this built and is willing to lend it out.
- 1 Black Lotus
- 1 Mana Crypt
- 1 Mox Emerald
- 1 Mox Jet
- 1 Mox Pearl
- 1 Mox Ruby
- 1 Mox Sapphire
- 1 Sensei's Divining Top
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Time Vault
- 1 Voltaic Key
- 1 Ancestral Recall
- 1 Brainstorm
- 1 Flusterstorm
- 4 Force of Will
- 1 Hurkyl's Recall
- 2 Lightning Bolt
- 3 Mana Drain
- 3 Mental Misstep
- 1 Mystical Tutor
- 1 Repeal
- 1 Vampiric Tutor
- 1 Demonic Tutor
- 1 Merchant Scroll
- 1 Time Walk
- 1 Tinker
- 1 Yawgmoth's Will
You can't turn it down even though you haven't played Vintage in about ten years plus the deck looks like a lot of fun. You pay your thirty dollars and seven rounds later you find yourself in the Top 8.
In the quarterfinals you turn 2 your opponent in game 1; then in game 2 you drop a turn 1 Jace. You move on to the Top 4.
You lose two close games but you are happy with your result. The day has somewhat turned around. You are about to leave after returning the deck to Josh when Chris introduces you to his brother Brian.
Brian is a casual player as Magic is his third hobby behind poker and chess. He hands you a Legacy deck that he wants you to take a look at.
"What is it?" you ask.
He replies with "NO Bant."
You figure it's an outdated deck since Natural Order decks have been off the market for quite some time now. But you say "Sure" and take a look anyway.
He then challenges you to a few games and he wins over and over again.
U/W Control Team Italia Burn Goblins RUG—nothing can win against it.
You ask him if he's ever played this in a tournament before and he tells you he won a local invitational tournament with it. He even wrote a report on it but never submitted to any site. He hands you his laptop and you start to read his report on the deck.
"Hey guys! Brian here! Some of you might have seen me around the local shop but if you haven't at least I've introduced myself now. Anyway last week was the big Legacy invitational tournament and I ended up winning the whole thing. In this article I want to show you guys what I played and talk about each card specific to certain matchups and what role the card has in the deck. So before I go any further take a look at my decklist.
- 1 Birds of Paradise
- 1 Kitchen Finks
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 3 Rhox War Monk
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Progenitus
- 3 Vendilion Clique
- 1 Dryad Arbor
As you can probably see this list's starting point was the once popular NO RUG deck but I decided for the current metagame white would serve more of a purpose against the popular decks.
Against those six decks I think this deck just about even against most of them. None of them will blow it away except for when Dredge gets a nut draw and even then it can slow them down with a Force of Will or one of the sideboard hate cards it has against them.
On to my card choices!
Let's start with the lands as they are pretty straightforward. You want enough fetchlands to be able to thin out your deck and have them put to good use with Brainstorm and Jace. You also want enough dual lands since you are playing a three-color deck; however since Wasteland Price of Progress and Blood Moon all get played having one of each basic is nice. Also some decks still run Choke; you may be a blue deck but you want to make sure it does very little against you and keep it that way. Besides that the only really unique land is one Dryad Arbor. He is very important to the deck as he is a great creature to sacrifice to your Natural Order and can be fetched up with a Green Sun's Zenith or a fetchland.
Now let's move on the creatures.
1 Scavenging Ooze - He is a nice one-of as so many decks in Legacy are based on the graveyard and he can become even bigger than Tarmogoyf. Originally I had another Ooze in the board but I want to try out Jotun Grunt since having a 4/4 guy against RUG is important because it is always out of Lightning Bolt range while keeping their graveyard in check without having to spend any mana. If the Grunt turns out to be not so good then for sure you want another Ooze in the board. Another small advantage is that Ooze is green but I'm not sure if that's too important since siding out your "combo" is something that happens fairly often.
3 Rhox War Monk - As I mentioned above about staying out of Lightning Bolt range War Monk does just that and more. He can come down on turn 2 with the help of a Noble Hierarch and can gain you a ton of life all while you are hitting their life total. On top of all that War Monk is both green and blue meaning you can sacrifice him to Natural Order and pitch him to Force of Will. I considered playing four of him and zero Finks but for now I like the 3-1 split.
4 Noble Hierarch - He is pretty self-explanatory and helps you in so many ways. If I had to pick I would say the most important role he plays is ramping out all your powerhouse cards such as Jace and Natural Order but obviously he does more. Fixing your mana giving you another guy to sac to Natural Order and pumping your attacker are all just as important given the scenario.
1 Birds of Paradise - This is pretty much another Noble Hierarch just slightly worse since flying is not that relevant and losing exalted is a drawback. However you still want another one-mana accelerant and Birds of Paradise is best for the job.
1 Progenitus - One copy of him is all you need. Obviously he is not what you want in your opening hand but between Jace Brainstorm and Vendilion Clique you can almost always find a way to put him back into your deck so you will be able to search him out with Natural Order. Against decks where resolving a four-mana sorcery might be tough or a deck that you know will have answers to him don't be afraid to side him out along with Natural Orders and just become a midrange Bant deck.
1 Qasali Pridemage - He is nice because you can Green Sun's Zenith him up when you need to take care of an annoying artifact or enchantment. Besides that he is a nice attacker when you go on the aggressive route. If your metagame is full of Counter-Top decks and decks with Stoneforge Mystic you might want another one in the sideboard in place of a Llawan Cephalid Empress.
3 Vendilion Clique - Clique has been a staple in most blue decks for a while now and it fits very nicely in this one. As I mentioned earlier you can Clique yourself to get rid of a Progenitus to find something you need. Or a more common play is to Clique your opponent instead to take whatever card they may have to stop a Natural Order from resolving. On top of that it is a great attacker and can end a game quickly with the help of an exalted creature or two.
1 Kitchen Finks –Straightforward solid creature that is very annoying for some decks to handle.
Now on to the spells!
3 Green Sun's Zenith - Great card to search up what you need at any given moment but you don't want to play four as they can sometimes clog up your hand.
4 Swords to Plowshares - Best removal spell you could be playing. You are not a super aggressive deck so you don't care about giving your opponent the life otherwise you would want to be playing Path to Exile instead as most zoo decks do.
4 Brainstorm - Best card-drawing spell in Legacy and allows you to do lots of card searching.
4 Natural Order - The card your deck is built around but it's not a necessity to win. It will get sided out a decent amount of the time but you still want to be playing four due to the power of it.
4 Force of Will - A great card to stop whatever your opponent is doing or to force through something powerful on your side. The card disadvantage doesn't matter much if you forcing through a Jace or such.
4 Jace the Mind Sculptor - A card that will help you win so many games that you really shouldn't be winning and another reason why you want to be playing blue. I wouldn't want to play any less than four as it is a card you almost always want to draw and is the best weapon you have to stop opposing Jaces.
Ok so there you have it! That was the maindeck I played and the reasons behind my card choices. Now let me talk just briefly about the sideboard.
2 Llawan Cephalid Empress - This comes in pretty much only against Merfolk unless there is another blue creature deck out there. Should be changed for something else if Merfolk becomes less popular.
2 Path to Exile - Great against RUG Elves or any other creature deck. It's also fine to Path your own guy in certain situations.
2 Spell Pierce - Good against any control or combo deck and is much needed as you are light on counterspells in the maindeck.
2 Luminarch Ascension - Great against slow control decks.
2 Jotun Grunt- Same as Relic but also shines against RUG as it should be bigger than all of their guys while doing extra work against Dredge decks.
Well that's all I have for now. Thanks for reading!
Take it easy.
You think to yourself Wow a fairly decent article. Maybe this kid knows more than I originally thought. You ask him if he wants to talk about Standard but he says he has to go. Besides it's getting late and you have homework due for sociology class.
Bernard Bernard BERNARD!!!
You wake up to "Did you do your assignment? If not you are going to fail this class and never get into college unless you ace your final" from Ms. Irene
Then it hits you: was this all a dream?
You lean over to take out your book from your backpack but there are no books in there just a binder full of duals.
Thanks for reading.
[Editor's note: In case you're wondering this article was penned entirely by Gerard Fabiano.]