Back to my Roots: Legacy and Vintage Bazaar of Moxen

This past weekend I had the chance to play in the Bazaar of Moxen events; with GP toppling (at least GP Malmo) attendance and full Beta Power 9 for the winner I finally got a chance to play the formats which I got started in. I haven’t really had time to devote to brewing Legacy and Vintage like I used to, and the fact that Nova Scotia’s Vintage scene is nonexistent means that all my powered play has been cube fueled. This means that, recently, when my friends have asked me for Legacy lists, I have had none to give them. Just embarrassing for a Legacy player.

As for the BOM itself, it is like no other event I have experienced. This is my second time going, and despite managing to win nothing each time, they are the most fun events I’ve ever played in. The events have the most insane decks, both in strategy and in card “pimpness”. There were an absurd number of fully pimped decks, and when I say fully I don’t just mean the most expensive version (Korean, Beta, Foil Japanese), I mean the most expensive version in pristine condition signed and altered. A few of my opponents had decks like these and gladly handed me their decks after the match and encouraged me to take a look at some of their cool alterations. I am not normally a fan of these things, but the number of collectors and their passion for their cards was astounding. The prizes for the event are crazy and it attracts a large number of players, the Vintage prizes even include power as Unpowered and Budget prizes.
Last time I went we (Me, Glenn Mclelwain, Mich Maes, Razvan Trufasiu) met up with an English player who needed a place to stay; Robert “Village” Wagner. We had such an amazing time that when I told him we were planning on making the trip he decided to tag along despite not playing cards for six months. Alex and I met up with Tyler Longo, Glenn McIelwain, Rob and Eduardo Saj at the event site and spent our non-tourney time cubing, building Eternal decks and eating kebabs. I also want to thank them for bearing with our PT Champion’s “humble brags” through the weekend, as he reaped his first experience of magic fame.

This is what I registered at the BoM event:

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Tarmogoyf
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Chain Lightning
3 Spell Pierce
3 Spell Snare
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
[/Spells]
[Land]
4 Wasteland
7 Fetchlands
4 Tropical Island
4 Volcanic Island
[/Land]
[SB]
4 Submerge
1 Spell Pierce
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Sulfur Elemental
2 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Ancient Grudge
[/SB]
[/deck]
*Editor’s Note-The Sideboard also contains 2 [card]Rough // Tumble[/card] but which seven Fetchlands they are, we may never know!

I know, no [card]Stifle[/card]s…… It pains me to cut that card, it really does. Everyone seems to understand how to play around it when few did a few years ago. Also, with the addition of Delver, you almost always want to be casting a threat turn one instead of leaving up [card]Stifle[/card] mana, which is the key turn for [card]Stifle[/card] as most opponents now know to fetch a basic on turn one against Threshold. I like the three-ofs for the most part. I really like [card]Spell Pierce[/card] main, as it complements [card]Daze[/card] very well and is effective against a lot of problem cards for this deck. The 19th fetchland is a concession to losing [card]Stifle[/card] for opposing [card]Wasteland[/card]s and the fact that you are often required to use your cantrips more aggressively to flip a Delver. The sideboard is definitely not where I want it to be, but I am still a fan of the core cards like the clasm effect, REBs, Crypts, [card]Submerge[/card] and the final copies of [card]Spell Pierce[/card]. The rest probably varies depending on the expected metagame.

I didn’t do so well in the event, finishing 6-3, but Hayne top 16’d with the same list; good for a [card]Mox Sapphire[/card]. He lost the top 16 matchup ironically enough to [card]Terminus[/card] and [card]Entreat the Angels[/card]. The judge and his opponent clearly didn’t get the joke when the spectators (and Hayne) erupted in laughter when Entreat was cast.

I, for the first time ever in legacy, got [card]Blood Moon[/card]’d out of a match. I guess I deserved it, running no basics for all these years. My opponent knew what I was playing before our match and mulliganed to turn one [card]Blood Moon[/card], both games :(. I beat up on Combo decks every time I played them, and lost a tight game three to a peeled [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card] (damn that card is good!) against Punishing Maverick.

Perhaps the best part of my day was walking over to find my friend Glenn immersed in a Canadian Threshold mirror with someone who appeared to be around 8 or 10 years old at the x-0 table. Immediately after the kid whooped his ass, Glenn began discussing sideboard strategies for the mirror with his opponent. They didn’t see eye-to-eye and the kid began to sass Glenn about his decisions and opinions. This young child hurt Glenn deeper than any full grown man ever could, he was called “f^&%#$ terrible” for boarding out his [card]Daze[/card]s on the draw, and was asked if he was an idiot and snorted at when he told his opponent he had boarded out Delvers. Little kid’s words hurt the most. Glenn’s typical social demeanor demands that he must have a witty response, but he was just so shocked at the words coming out of the child’s mouth that he sat there, shell-shocked, unable to speak.

As for Vintage, it had been even longer since I even toyed around with a Vintage deck and I kind-of chose haphazardly the night before the event as we were so tired after we had spent the entire day playing, then watching Hayne’s elimination round, and finally getting dinner. I ended up playing this list:

[deck]
[Creatures]
1 Blightsteel Colossus
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Force of Will
4 Gush
4 Preordain
2 Mana Drain
2 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Flusterstorm
1 Spell Pierce
1 Fastbond
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Ponder
1 Brainstorm
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Imperial Seal
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Tinker
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Voltaic Key
1 Time Vault
[/Spells]
[Land]
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
3 Tropical Island
2 Volcanic Island
[/Land]
[SB]
3 Ingot Chewer
1 Mountain
1 Nature’s Claim
1 Wipe Away
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Flusterstorm
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Pithing Needle
[/SB]
[/deck]

I really loved this list, and I think if I was to play Vintage again in the near future (which I really want to after this event), I would play this deck again with a few changes. I really like [card]Flusterstorm[/card] and [card]Spell Pierce[/card], but Drain is slightly underwhelming, I would likely add a second [card]Flusterstorm[/card] cutting a Drain. I would also probably cut a Hurkyl’s for a second Jace. I liked everything in the sideboard except for the [card]Wipe Away[/card].

I got to play a bunch of blue control mirrors and learned a lot about new Vintage in the process. [card]Flusterstorm[/card] and [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card] are rampant and have changed the way Vintage is played significantly, making playing against control decks much trickier.

Hayne was watching one of my matches of Vintage after I was out of contention and asked me about one of my lines of play in the second game. He asked me to post it.

It is Game 2. My opponent is an Italian gentleman with a Brazzers (Kids: don’t Google this) playmat, which he makes sure he kisses before each game. If this isn’t peculiar enough, he also has a stuffed monkey around his neck whose eyes light up red and heckles his opponents on his command. I’m hoping to win this one, even if just out of spite. He is playing Painter-Stone and I saw maindeck [card]Red Elemental Blast[/card], [card]Pyroblast[/card] and [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card]s. I lost Game 1, my hand on the play:

[card]Mox Sapphire[/card]
[card]Mox Jet[/card]
[card]Black Lotus[/card]
[card]Underground Sea[/card]
[card]Gush[/card]
[card]Vampiric Tutor[/card]
[card]Tendrils of Agony[/card]

Do you keep? What do you do?

My line may have not been right, but it was interesting. After my opponent played [card]Volcanic Island[/card] go, I decided to put him on Red Elemental/[card]Pyroblast[/card] and decided that my Vampiric options were severely restricted by those cards. I endstep [card]Vampiric Tutor[/card], after he quickly lets it resolve, I decide he does not have Misstep, so what do I find? I think he has [card]Red Elemental Blast[/card], but he could have a Force. I Vampiric for Demonic.

(Storm count on the left)
1 [card]Mox Sapphire[/card]
2 [card]Mox Jet[/card]
3 [card]Black Lotus[/card]
4 [card]Demonic Tutor[/card] (Finding [card]Yawgmoth’s Will[/card])
5 [card]Yawgmoth’s Will[/card]
6 [card]Black Lotus[/card]
7 [card]Demonic Tutor[/card] (Finding [card]Mana Crypt[/card])
8 [card]Mana Crypt[/card]
9 [card]Vampiric Tutor[/card] for Blank ([card]Tinker[/card])
10 [card]Tendrils of Agony[/card]

A kill totally immune to REB, but flops to Force and [card]Flusterstorm[/card].

Well he had neither of those cards, but he did have [card]Mindbreak Trap[/card] for my lethal Tendrils. 🙁

The Vintage event was refreshing for me. It’s been a while since I solved Storm puzzles and played around very complex lock pieces and counter-suites, but it certainly helped me get off the auto-pilot mode I was feeling after Barcelona. If you have never tried Vintage, I encourage you to find a local proxy event and bring a deck with the most powerful cards in Magic in it! I think that I will be going out of my way more often to make it to local Vintage (and Legacy!) events, they are a ton of fun and really great tool to help you get better at Magic.

I really want to congratulate PT Champion, Rookie of the Year and National Champion… jeeze, that’s a mouthful… Alexander Hayne as well as Team Manadeprived for our amazing showing at Barcelona. Hayne’s robo-playskill and our teamwork and effort really cemented the fact that we can compete on an international level. Huge thanks to every single person qualified for the PT that helped, and all those at home who helped us test.