April 25, 2014

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Small time Legacy in Calgary

Legacy is my favourite format. I love the power level of the cards and the insane interactions: anything is possible in a Legacy match. Earlier this week, I participated in and witnessed some pretty interesting games of Magic: The Gathering. Let me give you the run-down of how our four-man mini-tournament turned out.

First of all, my decklist:

Combo Elves

Creatures (28)
Birchlore Rangers
Craterhoof Behemoth
Elvish Visionary
Heritage Druid
Llanowar Elves
Nettle Sentinel
Priest of Titania
Quirion Ranger
Viridian Shaman
Wirewood Symbiote

Lands (20)
Dryad Arbor
Forest
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Overgrown Tomb
Swamp
Woodland Cemetery

Spells (13)
Crop Rotation
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Natural Order

Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Duress
Inquisition of Kozilek
Pithing Needle
Progenitus
Relic of Progenitus
Tormod’s Crypt

Round One: Jerome — BUG Delver

While sitting down for round one, my opponent informed me that he was just getting into Legacy. I expected another budget deck like mine for this reason, but boy, was I wrong. After winning the die roll and playing a turn one Green Sun’s Zenith for zero to find Dryad Arbor, I passed the turn and saw him play Polluted Delta (signed by Rob Alexander) into Underground Sea into a foil Delver of Secrets. I drop another land and play a Birchlore Rangers, then attempt to cast a Nettle Sentinel. He Daze’s it. Tough guy, I think to myself, as his Delver flips and he plays a Deathrite Shaman. On my third turn I cast another Nettle Sentinel which was countered by Force of Will, pitching Stifle. At this point I’m starting to think that he’s running out of counter magic. I cast Glimpse of Nature and get to draw a couple of cards and land some elves. His next turn produces but a Wasteland, so on my turn I resolve Natural Order and trample him under foot of a bunch of angry green creatures. For game two I sideboarded into every discard spell I had along with the Pithing Needles: I’m not a fan of Liliana of the Veil making me sacrifice my elves. Game two was even more one sided, as my discard stripped out his counter magic and made way for a quick hoof to the head.

Round Two: Jason —Burn

I knew what Jason was playing before the match started so I chose my first elf as a sacrifice to Lightning Bolt or some other burn spell. Sure enough, Llanowar Elves ate a bolt on turn one and it was all downhill from there. My opponent managed to have enough burn for both me and my elves effectively shutting me out. At one point he cast Price of Progress while I had two Dryad Arbors and Gilt-Leaf Palace on the field. In game two, I boarded in some discard as well as the Pithing Needles for Grim Lavamancer. Game two was over before it really began. I didn’t bring anything in my sideboard to effectively deal with Burn, as I figured that it was not likely to be played, but boy was I punished.

Round Three: Stefan — Four Colour Delver

My final opponent was playing the version with Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Game one went the distance as he countered or Lightning Bolted pretty much every elf I had: he was casting Stifle on Qurion Ranger’s bounce ability by the end of it. Somehow, and I attribute it more to luck than anything, I was finally able to Glimpse about 10 elves together in one turn and hard cast Craterhoof Behemoth. When the behemoth hit the field, it was the only untapped creature I had but was large enough for lethal. In game two, I followed the same sideboard strategy that I used against BUG Delver. He had to mulligan down to five. I kept a shaky hand with discard capabilities. Turn one he played Volcanic Island into Delver of Secrets. I cast Inquisition of Kozilek: seeing two lands and a Force of Will. On the next turn, his Delver didn’t flip and he pinged me for one. I use Duress to take the Force from him, seeing only a new land. On his turn his Delver flipped, and he swung in. The next couple of turns saw me churning out elves and him swinging with the Insectile Aberration. Finally I drew a Natural Order and cast it, only to have him Stifle Craterhoof Behemoth’s enters the battlefield ability! Eventually I the green beats got him to concede as the night was getting late.

In the end, I was 2-1 in matches and 4-2 in individual games. My prize for going 2-1 was large enough for me to buy two copies of Thorn of Amethyst, which I decided was necessary should I face Burn or Delver decks in the future. Getting beaten by a deck that I often scoff at as sub-par was humbling and I don’t plan on it happening again.

If you have the means, I highly recommend playing Legacy: it isn’t called the King of Formats for nothing. Whether you like to smash your opponents with giant green creatures or slowly choke them out with counter magic, Legacy has a deck for you. Your deck doesn’t have to have cost you a second mortgage for you to have fun and still be competitive on a local level.

May your Glimpse chains never fizzle!