The U/W control matchup in Legacy is highly tactical, but also highly dull. Dave’s build incorporated Stoneforge Mystics, while John’s was a Landstill variant that relied more on Crucible of Worlds and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The winner would represent Jace, the Mind Sculptor in the finals against Micah Greenbaum—the loser would begin the long drive home.
Dave took down the die roll, and elected to play in spite of John’s protests. After tanking on his opener, Dave decided to keep his hand and leave John pondering before deciding to do the same. Scalding Tarn from Dave saw an Island from John, and Dave doubled down on Tarns for turn 2. Flooded Strand on John’s side of the board concluded his second turn.
Mishra’s Factory and a quick ship were all Dave mustered on the third turn, which John mirrored after playing Flooded Strand. The land, go game continued on Dave’s fourth turn with Flooded Strand, and John refused to break radio silence—he just dropped a Mishra’s Factory of his own and motioned for Dave to take his next turn.
Wasteland gave Dave an iota of interaction, but he made no other plays. John didn’t run out of lands on the fifth turn, making another Mishra’s Factory before casting Vedalken Shackles with his Factories and an Island. That earned a response—Dave broke one Tarn for Tundra and cast Brainstorm. John bit, paying 2 life to cast Mental Misstep and earning a frown from Dave. He paid 2 life for his own Mental Misstep and drew his three cards one John allowed most of the stack to resolve, still waiting to see what Dave did to his Shackles. Force of Will removing Jace, the Mind Sculptor put Dave on 16, but John fired back with his own Force, removing Spell Snare and going to 17—Shackles resolved.
Dave untapped and drew, aware that this minor war had depleted their resources and left him with an advantage in hand quality, but with Shackles and Factories to contend with. Finding another Tundra with a fetchland, Dave cast Crucible of Worlds. That was a game-changer—between Wastelands and fetchlands, he’d be able to savage John’s mana. It resolved, and he broke Wasteland on Factory and replayed it to do the same before passing the turn. John cast Brainstorm off his Island with two Strands untapped, bricking off on lands. He played Tundra and passed, hoping to somehow resolve the Jace in his hand.
Wasteland on Tundra and a pass concluded Dave’s next turn. John fetched an Island with one Flooded Strand during Dave’s end step, and drew a fresh card for turn. Breaking the second Strand for a third Island, John played Dust Bowl and cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor—Dave shrugged. Fatesealing himself and leaving the card, John passed turn.
Drawing for turn, Dave now had to contend with the planeswalker and lacked much of a position to do so. He broke Flooded Strand to find his third Tundra and made Stoneforge Mystic, searching up Sword of Body and Mind and then poking Jace with his Mishra’s Factory for 2 damage. Wasteland cleared the Dust Bowl, and Dave passed turn. John fatesealed Dave, leaving Mental Misstep on top of the library and then using Vedalken Shackles to steal Stoneforge Mytic. He added Polluted Delta to the board and sent turn to Dave.
Dave replayed Wasteland and dropped Batterskull into play—John shrugged. With Dave tapped out and Jace on a pretty safe five loyalty and defended by Dave’s Stoneforge Mystic, John elected to brainstorm with the planeswalker. Adding a Scalding Tarn to the field, he shipped the turn back to Dave.
Trying Swords to Plowshares on his stolen Stoneforge Mystic, Dave appeared intent on executing Jace. John’s Mental Misstep paying 2 life was countered by Dave’s—the same one John had fatesealed into place a turn prior. It was all part of the plan for John, however, with Swords to Plowshares in the grip. Dave cast Standstill, and that made John sit up in his chair. He broke Scalding Tarn for Tundra and then cast his Swords on Batterskull’s Germ token. Dave chucked his token off the battlefield and went to 16 life, resolving Standstill. With Crucible active against Jace, John still had the edge, however slight—after all, Dave could only threaten putting Batterskull on Factory, and Jace was able to freely fateseal with Shackles on defense. Factory beat Jace down to three loyalty, and Wasteland destroyed John’s Tundra to conclude the turn. John simply fatesealed Dave and left the card.
Dave replayed Wasteland on his next turn and chose to pass against Vedalken Shackles, lacking a great way to solve that problem until he could find a second Factory. Dave began bringing back fetchlands, thinning his deck of lands as Jace ramped up to nine loyalty over the course of a few turns.
“This sucks,” Dave said, failing to find his necessary second Factory through the fatesealing. He made an attack with Factory, but John stole it and then immediately gave it back, putting Jace on eleven loyalty as he left another card on top of Dave’s deck.
Shaking his head, Dave animated Factory and attacked. That forced John to tap two mana, but Dave did not break his Standstill at this juncture. John declined to give back the Factory this time, and when he fatesealed Dave and Saw Vendilon Clique on top, he knew Dave probably had a second in hand, and left the copy there. Sure enough, Dave cast the 3/1 during the end step. John fired Counterspell at the flier, and Dave conceded in response.
John 1, Dave 0
Dave opened on Flooded Strand in the second game, and John started with Island. Dave cracked his Flooded Strand to find Tundra, and decided to take this opportunity to cast Stoneforge Mystic after adding Wasteland to the field. John tried Spell Snare, but Dave paid 2 life and used Mental Misstep to force her through and fetch Batterskull. John drew and dropped Tundra, which tapped for Swords to Plowshares on the Mystic.
The lands Dave had played this game indicated he was likely strapped on mana, but he did have Scalding Tarn on the third turn. He declined to Wasteland John’s Tundra and ended the turn, nodding as John cast Brainstorm. He drew back one of the cards and then played Flooded Strand.
Dave made a fourth land drop in Flooded Strand, and decided to generate some action. He broke his Tarn to search for Tundra number two and then cast Standstill. John responded by cracking Flooded Strand for Island and casting Vendilion Clique, threatening to mess Dave’s hand up really badly here. “What do you think about this gentlemen?” John asked, and Dave allowed him to resolve. Once the trigger had targeted Dave, Swords to Plowshares targeted the Clique, Dave sacrificing his Flooded Strand for a third Tundra. Standstill resolved, and John untapped after spotting Dave’s Spell Snare and Batterskull. He played Plains.
Dave drew and passed, and John added Tundra to the board. Dave drew and passed once again, dismayed to see Dust Bowl join John’s party. Another whiff, and John then played Karakas. Dave didn’t hit a land again, as John added Flooded Strand, his eight land, to the board. Dave drew and played Island, sweet relief, but John didn’t let up—Scalding Tarn.
Dave drew his fourth Tundra, John landed Polluted Delta. On the next turn Dave found himself forced to discard during cleanup, and he binned Batterskull. John drew and dropped Mishra’s Factory, and Dave sighed. He drew and discarded Standstill. John went on the offensive with his Factory now, Dave reluctant to Wasteland due to Dust Bowl—he had formerly possessed equilibrium in that regard, but now it cost him 2 damage.
Scalding Tarn gave Dave some room to catch up, but his seven land were far short of John’s 11. Another attack from the Factory put Dave to 12, and he clearly contemplated some end of turn action before declining.
Wasteland on Dust Bowl merited a response from John—he popped it and targeted Dust Bowl, which blew up Tundra. The coast now clear, Dave played his own Mishra’s Factory. Equilibirum had been restored. John drew and attacked once again, earning no trade from Dave as he fell to 10, and John pitched a Mental Misstep.
Dave drew and did the same, with his Factory now able to block advantageously. John drew and passed right back. Scalding Tarn put Dave back on seven lands, and John tanked during his next turn. He eventually simply passed, discarding Vedalken Shackles. Neither player would blink!
Resolute, Dave passed on his next turn. He was rewarded when John cast Brainstorm! Picking up three cards, Dave cheered. He was on eleven cards—might as well use some of them now. He began with Mental Misstep for its mana cost on Brainstorm, and followed with Vendilion Clique, tapping his Factory. That left just Tundra and two Scalding Tarns untapped. John cast Counterspell, and Dave responded with Scalding Tarn for Island and Spell Snare. John’s Mental Misstep targeted Dave’s Spell Snare, but a Brainstorm in response gave Dave a chance to find some answers. He allowed the Misstep to resolve and then used Force of Will on the Counterspell, removing a Vendilion Clique. John fired his own Force, removing Jace and leaving him with just Jace and Crucible in his hand. Dave nodded, his counters exhausted.
What a turn. John took his own now, starting with Crucible of Worlds—it resolved, and Dust Bowl returned to play. Dave looked to be pretty far back against the recurring Wasteland here, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor only made things worse. John brainstormed, finding nothing of relevance beyond another Mishra’s Factory and a Spell Snare, with Celestial Colonnade perhaps a legitimate threat in a couple turns.
Untapping with six cards to John’s two, Dave looked to rally from 8 life. He began by playing a second Mishra’s Factory and casting Jace to trade, which succeeded. Dave passed then, under pressure from Dust Bowl but taking his time. John broke his three fetchlands for two Tundras and Island, Dust Bowling Dave’s Mishra’s Factory as he fell to 18. Dave responded with Vendilion Clique, staring down Celestial Colonnade and Spell Snare, which he kept. Dave binned the Factory, and then picked up his Vendilion Cliqu as John pointed Karakas at it. John’s Factory attacked him to 6, and Dust Bowl blew up Dave’s other Factory before John played Celestial Colonnade, threatening lethal on the next turn.
Dave drew and stared at a grip of six cards. He cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor and resolved it after John’s Brainstorm, using the brainstorm ability before passing the turn. John cast Standstill prior to activating his lands, with just enough mana to do so and still make Factory and Colonnade both creatures. Dave tried Swords to Plowshares on Colonnade, popping the Standstill, and conceded when John found a Force of Will.
John 2, Dave 0