Hi all! I come fresh from another foray into Lejacy Magic at the always-fun Fanboy3 in Manchester. 37 players came with their favourite deck sleeved up, resulting in 6 rounds before top 8. The prizes? A very good looking Mox Pearl to the winner, with store credit to the top 4 and 5 boosters for each of the losing quarter finalists. Legacy has undergone a lot of changes recently with the StarCityGames Open Series forcing people to make better decks than the classic Team America Control, Goblins and so on. The buzz was that the format would be Zoo, Merfolk, Goblins and New Horizons this weekend, so I picked a deck which would be good against those 4 and forsaked my usual protection against silly combo decks, since with a 9 round tournament I might only have to face it once or twice and I can afford one loss in the swiss easily. I brewed up the following, borrowing many cards from the always-excellent Rik Powell:
4 Goblin Guide
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Qasali Pridemage
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 Lightning Helix
4 Price of Progress
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Raging Ravine
3 Arid Mesa
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Baneslayer Angel
1 Stirring Wildwood
3 Krosan Grip
Which is similar to my Madrid deck but has subbed the Mindbreak Traps for the mirror tech of Baneslayers :D. The Karakas was a last-minute addition I borrowed from Matt Light in lieu of the presence of many Emrakuls in the room.
Round 1 vs Phil Smith with Bridge-Naught
His deck is one of the new Emrakul ones. It is based on the old Stifle-Naught decks which used Stifle to cheat Phyrexian Dreadnaught into play. Using Mosswort Bridge they can hide away a good card and with the Dreadnaught in play and trigger on the stack can activate the Bridge to cast something good. They also have Show and Tell to directly cheat stuff into play. I have only a few answers for this sort of deck but I have a lot of aggression so it might not be too terrible. Game 1 he chose to not counter my Knight of the Reliquary as he wasn't sure if Zoo was playing Karakas still (most don't) so when he Show and Telled Emrakul into play I was able to tutor up my land to bounce the Spaghetti Monster. Game 2 he countered my Knight but I'd already drawn the Karakas. In any event his countering my Knight put enough card types into graveyards to power up my Goyfs for a lethal attack so it was Catch 22 really.
Round 2 vs Tomas Sukaitis with Bant
Tom brought Bant but had given up on Counterbalance-Top for a straightforward aggro-control version of the deck. My Baneslayers came in for this creature mirror and it was mostly back and forth with life totals only he has War Monks. Game 1 I played around Stifle (quite common in current Bant Decks) only to get blown out by Wasteland (far less common). Game 3 had an unusual situation: on 4 life with a Jitte versus War Monk and Qasali Pridemage I rip a Baneslayer Angel. He rips Noble Hierarch and the Exalted means I actually have to chump block :o.
Round 3 vs Thomas Robinson with Goblins
I may be mixing up rounds 3 and 4 here as I don't have any notes to go on but I definitely played these 2 matches. Goblins is a good matchup for Zoo as they lean fairly heavily on turn 1 Goblin Lackey (how lackey!) or Aether Vial, but Lackey is a 1/1 versus my 21 1 mana answers and Vial doesn't affect the board very quickly. I draw a bit of gash while he nuts off a Ringleader but his deck is set up to do that so fair enough. Game 2 I establish control of the board but only draw 3 creatures the entire game, 2 Guides and a Nacatl - Jitte helps a lot with this. Game 3 he didn't have a very explosive start and played out 2 Vials in the first two turns before Edicting me when I had a Nacatl and a Pridemage in play. I sacced the Nacatl as I was fairly sure his hand had something like Goblin Warchief, Ringleader, Siege-Gang so I kept the Pridemage to kill his 2 counter vial in his next upkeep with the trigger on the stack. This turned out to Time Walk him just enough for my guys and burn to get in before he could develope a board presence.
Round 4 vs Jason Christie with Enchantress
Another good matchup for Zoo. I was lucky enough to know what my opponents were playing every round today - having good friends at tournaments has a lot of benefits and you should always help out the people you know if you can because they often return the favour. I kept my hand despite being slow because it had a Qasali Pridemage in. I got some damage in and kept him off the right cards until he raw-dogged a Moat when he was going to tutor for it with the Sterling Grove he had in play. I'd rather he'd tutored for it as I'd been sandbagging my Pridemage in hand. I ran it out to kill the Grove as he had a card which prevented players from casting spells and activating abilities in opponents turns and had to hope to draw another Pridemage to win. Luckily I did and was able to attack in in time. My hand for game 2 had no 1 drop or 2 drop again but 2 Krosan Grips so I kept. My draws were Wild Nacatl, Gaddock Teeg, Qasali Pridemage, Qasali Pridemage; proving that it is, in fact, very nice being me.
Round 5 vs Alex Shoemark with Iggy-Pop
This is not a good matchup for me as I have to have one of my Teegs or Canonists to win, but at least if he's leaning on Ill-Gotten Gains rather than Ad Nauseam my sideboard graveyard hate has room to do something. Game 1 I mull a hand without Teeg into another one without Teeg but some aggression. I cast 2 spells before I lose (Goblin Guide and Lightning Helix) and start sideboarding. Games 2 and 3 I get a hate bear and some aggression plus a Tormod's Crypt so I am able to put him under pressure. Luckily for me his draws are terrible and I sneak the victory. Game 3 his keep was because he had Lotus Petal, Crystal Vein and Dark Confidant, which seems fair but he failed to draw any more lands. I'm not convinced Bob comes in against Zoo because he just gives me extra Lightning Bolts on my opponent but perhaps his testing revealed that he wanted more cards more than he wanted his life total - I think Bob is more for mirror matches. Ah well, no complaints as I can ID into the top 8 with Matt Light in round 6.
4-1-1, 4th after the Swiss
Quarterfinals vs Matt Light with Hypergenesis
Matt is playing another one of those Emrakul decks, only using Hypergenesis alongside Show and Tell to put Kul and the gang into play. I literally have only my main deck Karakas and my sideboard Ethersworn Canonist to interact and sure enough Matt kills me with gigantic monsters. 1 at a time, a la Reanimator I can deal with but 5 or 6 at once is too much. He kept a dog of a hand game 2, with 1 land, a cascade spell and 5 monsters on the draw, but he only needs 2 mana sources to plain win the game, against a deck with Goblin Guide, up a game and in a match where he is the heavy favourite so I think it's defensible.
Lose in the Quarters
I pack wars my 5 M11 boosters and manage to get a Fauna Shaman and am fairly happy with top 8 when I hadn't played Legacy in a while and couldn't list peoples' decklists by heart any more. I've got a new version of Zoo brewed up with a bit more metagaming involved but I'm saving it for Rik or myself to run in the Legacy event at Nats in a few weeks time - probably not me, I'll be busy being National Champion obv.