The prize payout for Eternal Extravaganza 6 was absolutely stacked. We had been testing for this event for quite some time; the Legacy and Vintage leagues in Roanoke were established largely to get in more games in preparation for this tournament series. Here’s what I submitted for the Legacy portion of the event.
EE 6 D&T
This is the same 75 I ran for my last two big events, and it has treated me very well. SoWaP has over-performed in the main, and the deck feels very smooth and consistent. Louis Fata and Mike Derczo both submitted the same 75 I did, and I felt like we had the best deck in the room walking into the event. Here’s the short version of how I did, followed by notable moments:
2-1 vs Painter
2-1 vs Miracles
1-2 vs ANT
1-2 vs Aggro Loam
2-1 vs ANT
2-1 vs Miracles
2-1 vs D&T
0-2 vs Burn
Painter’s Servant is a game-warping card. While most people respect the little 1/3 critter due to the instant win potential with Grindstone, turning Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast into a Counterspell or Vindicate is pretty gross too. The issue is that without Painter, all of those cards are very underwhelming against non-blue decks. I got a pretty savage blowout in game 2 that involved removing a Painter mid-combat in response to a Pyroblast on my Revoker. Without the Painter in play, the Pyroblast does nothing upon resolution.
While it’s perhaps not immediately obvious, Painter is a pretty mana hungry deck. In game three, I locked my opponent under a Thalia while he only had a City of Traitors and a Mountain for lands. He had a Sensei’s Divining Top, and every turn he was faced with a terrible choice: dig with Top again or cast one spell. He lost so much tempo that he was never able to recover. He flashed me a Kozilek’s Return at the end of the game, so I dodged a bullet there.
I was paired against Oliver Tomajko this round, who had a pretty deep run with Miracles in Louisville. I had played him previously when he was on BUG, but I suspected that he’d stay on Miracles after his great 10th place finish. The match was very interesting, but ultimately, he couldn’t deal with SoWaP and, to a lesser extent, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. I closed game one out in two turns with SoWaP. He decimated me in game two with a sequence of his own Gideon, Jace, Terminus, and Entreat the Angels. I really like Gideon in Miracles personally; I think Oliver could have been a little more aggressive with his Gideon, though I understand not wanting to expose it to Swords to Plowshares. In game 3, I just patiently deployed threats and equipped turn after turn. I forced him to deal with each one or die each turn. At some point I stuck a Gideon, and that proved to be insurmountable.
In game one, my opponent plays Gitaxian Probe and Underground Sea. He sees my hand, which notably contains a Karakas and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. My opponent then plays a cantrip and concedes. He had taken a mulligan, and something in my hand was going to prove unbeatable. I board for ANT. There’s a possibility that my opponent is on something like Tin Fins or Reanimator, but my gut says that it’s most likely that he wants me to over-board or keep in bad cards. If I’m wrong, boarding for ANT still means I’ve got mostly good cards in for the Reanimator matchup. If I board for Reanimator, I’ll have stuff like Council’s Judgment and Containment Priest that would be terrible in the ANT matchup.
Game 3 was interesting. I used a Pithing Needle and hit Polluted Delta. My opponent had a double Delta opener, so this bought me a pretty considerable amount of time. Unfortunately, I had only two lands myself and was unable to put up much pressure. My opponent has been cantripping and missing land drops. I’ve deployed a Rest in Peace and an Ethersworn Canonist
Eventually, I am faced with a pretty difficult decision. My opponent has a tapped Tropical Island that they used to Ponder, and a Flooded Strand they found off the Ponder. I can either play a second Canonist or Wasteland and drop a Vial. My opponent doesn’t have any lands, I’m relatively sure of that based on the previous few turns. If I play the Wasteland, I keep my opponent from casting an Abrupt Decay on my Canonist or Needle unless they have a Lotus Petal; they can’t start going off unless they have an additional Lotus Petal to boot. If I play the second Canonist, I stop my opponent from going off next turn unless they have something like a Massacre or Echoing Truth, but I open the window for my opponent to Decay the Needle and unlock two mana.
Given that my opponent’s mana was already choked due to the Needle (and indirectly due to the RiP neutering Cabal Ritual), I opt to stick to the mana denial plan. As odd as it sounds, getting the Vial in play at the cost of one of my lands is a trade I’m willing to make; I can’t really progress my board aggressively with just two lands, and even if I drew another, I might be hesitant to play a Plains to try and play around Massacre. My opponent had two Lotus Petals and managed to combo off. C’est la vie. I’m not 100% sure if the line I took was right or wrong here. I talked it over with a few players, both Storm and D&T, and I got very different answers and reasoning from various people.
Vs Aggro Loam
My knowledge of the format bit me in the butt this round. I quickly put my opponent on Aggro Loam despite his best efforts to masquerade as a Lands deck for a couple of turns. I spent the entire match playing around the Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage combo. I took lines that would keep me from dying to double (on in one case, triple) Knight of the Reliquary activations. Yet, my opponent wasn’t going for the kill. All match, I just assumed that my opponent recognized that I was playing around their combo, and they refused to take the bait and potentially lose because of it. Turns out, they weren’t going for it because the combo wasn’t in their deck… Awkward. I guess I could have recognized that at some point, but I just couldn’t comprehend playing the deck without the possibility of stealing free wins. Since I played scared of the combo, I didn’t take risks. I played it safe and drowned in a sea of card advantage from Dark Confidant.
I also made my only egregious misplay of the event during this match. I had a Batterskull equipped with Umezawa’s Jitte. My play was to Port my opponent’s Maze of Ith and crash in. My Jitte counters would have allowed me to kill two Dark Confidant. I set my Port and a Plains aside for just that purpose, take an action, and attack. I am horrified. I realize that I forgot to Port. Stone-faced, I just stare down my opponent. He goes to double block with the two Confidants and then goes… “Wait a sec, we’re in combat?!” He mazes my Germ, and we have a good laugh about how much of an idiot I was. I still won that game, but it took like another 10 turns than it needed to.
The pairings for this round were bittersweet. I was paired against my good friend, Anneliese Faustino. When I was at the University of Maryland as a grad student, Anneliese was an undergrad and just learning to play Magic. We played quite a bit there, but we largely played with common and uncommon loaner decks that I made for the Magic club or cubed. Now she was all grown up and playing Storm. *sniff* Senpai was so proud…
Anyway, she put up one heck of a fight. In game one, I dropped a turn two Thalia followed by a turn three Revoker on Lion’s Eye Diamond. She cursed the gods, but still insisted that this was better than Chalice of the Void. She fired off a couple of Cabal Ritual and tried to power through the hate, but then realized mid-Ad Nauseum that there wasn’t really an out for her.
She got her revenge game two. She mulliganed and led with a Dread of Night. Three of the cards in my hand are now dead. I make a joke about her playing a second Dread of Night as a follow up, and she giggled and obliged. I now have four creatures in the deck that can deal damage: 3 Revokers and 1 Serra Avenger. I drop The Little Revoker That Could on LED, but it doesn’t quite go the distance. She Ad Nauseums and stops at 1 to kill me.
I think back to the morning, and remember that I saw her sideboard while we were chatting. She has a whopping three Dread of Night in there. I decided to bring in Council’s Judgment to combat this, something that I have never done against Storm decks previously. It was not particularly relevant, as a Thalia shut her out of the game, but it felt very odd to me to have to hedge that hard against hate.
Did I mention SoWaP is good against Miracles yet? Oh, I did?! Well, not much else to say here then…
This was the event where I just played against everyone I knew. I was paired against Louis Fata (Antiquated Notion on MtG:S). I’ve been swapping decklists and strategy with Louis for years, and I convinced him to run my 75 the morning of the event; he only had to swap a Serra Avenger for the third Crusader, and it didn’t take much convincing for him to want to try SoWaP in the main. He had similar lackluster thoughts on Batterskull. Relevantly, we had dueling SoWaP in both games 1 and 3 of this match, and he won game 2 after sticking SoWaP (and two other pieces of equipment for that matter). I only won game one because I was on the play, and being on the play for game three was similarly important. I can’t imagine a decklist without SoWaP at this point; it’s so important to have two trump pieces of equipment for the mirror that way you still have a game breaker once the first is Revoked or Needled.
I don’t want to play against Burn in the last round of an event. That means that my Burn opponent is competent. I’ll play against bad burn players all day, but the good ones are a struggle. I kept hands that lined up poorly against his and lost without much resistance.
That meant my record for the day was a mediocre 5-3. That was good enough to make my money back, but I wasn’t particularly happy with the result given the stacked prize pool. I think I played well and I have no regrets in my deckbuilding choices. The ANT matchup I lost was within reach, but I was destroyed by Aggro Loam and Burn with little say in the matter. Derczo top 8’d with my 75, so that’s a great consolation prize. This was actually the first time I met Derczo in person, and I wish I had the chance to chat with him a little more. After the event, he felt that the decklist was pretty much perfect. He missed the 2nd Serra Avenger, but couldn’t quite justify cutting anything for it; similarly, he liked the idea of trying out an Armageddon as another haymaker against Miracles.
The rest of the weekend went poorly for me. I was a passenger in a car accident Saturday night. I was relatively uninjured (unlike the cars), but my shoulders, neck, and back are still pretty sore. I spent Sunday in bed watching Planet Earth 2 while eating pizza and cookies. While it wasn’t quite my plan for the weekend, it wasn’t bad, all things considered. Alrighty, this article has gotten too long, so let’s end it with some bullet points so I can start prepping for an anime convention this weekend.
Tyler Gardner, Jonathan Suarez, Mike Derczo, and Anuraag Das for their top 8 finishes.
Tales of Adventure for putting on the sort of events that will keep Legacy alive.
Free Chipotle catering for feeding 10 of us for a couple of meals.
SoWaP for being bros and getting people dead.
[I forgot her name] for playing a Monarch deck called “Pretty Pretty Princess” while having a tiara to do it right.
Tales of Adventure for a borderline unusable website and poor advertising.
Legacy players for not showing up to this event. Seriously, 180 something people is a weak showing, guys and gals.
Unlicensed drivers for obvious reasons.
Batterskull for being a bad card. I only put it in play once all event.