It’s a Bant Miracle!

In the past few months I’ve taken just two losses across four separate events with my Legacy deck. Tier 1 doesn’t even quite describe just how good Bant Miracles is right now. By the end of this article you’ll either be convinced enough to play it or change your deck enough to beat it.

Let me walk you through the Bant Miracles deck I played to dominate four separate Legacy 2K’s. Here’s the list:

[Deck Title= Bant Miracles – Eli Kassis]
[Creatures]
3 Snapcaster Mage
2 Ice-Fang Coatl
1 Monastery Mentor
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Teferi, Time Raveler
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
2 Force of Negation
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
3 Terminus
2 Veil of Summer
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Snow-Covered Forest
4 Snow-Covered Island
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
2 scalding Tarn
2 Mystic Sanctuary
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Volcanic Island
3 Pyroblast
1 Rest In Peace
1 Monastery Mentor
2 Return to nature
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Veil of Summer
1 Flusterstorm
1 Terminus
1 Containment Priest
1 Carpet of Flowers
1 Celestial Purge
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

The first thing that stood out to me about this deck was it’s flexibility. Legacy is a format rich in diversity where players play the deck they can afford or prefer, often above what they feel is strongest. Old Miracles lists would frequently lose to a turn-one [Card]Chalice of the Void[/Card]. Now we have Oko to breathe new life to our game state. I’m going to walk you through a Tournament Report from my event in Late January.

Round 1

I faced off vs Elves. Game one they had a normal first couple turns with some mana dorks while I just played lands. On turn three they had double [Card]Glimpse of Nature[/Card] that I was “forced” to force twice. This left me with very little action. They played five power worth of creatures and began attacking me.

I was able to play an Oko and gain life to offset most of the damage. The plan was that I would bide my time until I could dig to a [Card]Terminus[/Card]. After playing five [Card]Ponder[/Card]s and three [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]s and not seeing one I finally succumbed to damages. Game 2 my opponent resolved two [Card]Natural Order[/Card]s, but a well setup [Card]Terminus[/Card] still captured the game for me. Game three my opponent was able to combo kill me by turn four with a [Card]Thoughtseize[/Card] and through a Swords and a Force. Not off to a great start for a six round event.

Round 2

This time I was up against Burn. Legacy Burn isn’t nearly as good as Modern Burn strangely enough. My opponent led off with a suspended Rift Bolt and I had a turn three Oko. That’s really all I need to say there. Game 2 started the same way and it was clear why Oko is already banned in three formats.

Round 3

My opponent was playing the new Temur Lands list this round. For those unfamiliar they basically play Oko in a Lands shell. Game 1 opponent mulligan’d to five cards and I had the [Card]Force of Negation[/Card] to exile their [Card]Life from the Loam[/Card]. My Oko was able to trump their Oko with the aid of my removal spells. Game 2 my opponent didn’t have colored mana sources and once I was able to get past their two copies of [Card]Rishadan Port[/Card]s, Oko again put the game away.

Round 4

This is the round I found out how good of a matchup Dimir Shadow is for Miracles. Death’s Shadow doesn’t want to gain life and Swords to Plowshares gives them a lot of it. My opponent played very well and deliberately, but my whole deck was geared to poop on their game plan. Planeswalkers were again the win condition and proved quite unfair. 

It was at this point I knew I had a win and in next round. Since one more win would let me draw into the Top 8. My thoughts often wander to what I need to watch out for and improve in these circumstances. I knew I had one loss to a strong start from my opponent, but more from me not being able to fully put up much resistance. Considering ways to increase my starts like Carpet of Flowers. Also good functional cards to help utilize resources on while finding appropriate resources for the game state like Narset, Parter of Veils came to mind. These would all serve to function for another day however.

Round 5

I finally got to play a mirror match. I was very concerned about going to time, but luckily, we both played fast and efficiently. My opponent resolved an Oko and a Teferi before I resolved any spells and I felt quite disadvantaged. Luckily, they were not able to close the game quickly. Once I had enough mana, I used a proactive [Card]Veil of Summer[/Card] (because of Tef3) to ensure I could resolve a [Card]Monastery Mentor[/Card]. Then I rattled off a few Astrolabes, [Card]Ponder[/Card]s and [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]s to make creatures. 

My opponent had a couple [Card]Entreat the Angels[/Card] tokens and tried to fight off the Mentor. A couple [Card]Swords to Plowshares[/Card] later and their planeswalkers were off the table. It cost me all my Mentor tokens and the Mentor itself was removed by an opposing Swords. From parity, I had an Oko versus my opponents nothing and that was all she wrote for Game 1. Game 2 my opponent couldn’t answer an early Mentor and it ran away with the game very quickly. Mentor was definitely the MVP of the matchup.

Round 6

I got the pair down unfortunately and couldn’t draw into the Top 8. Luckily my opponent was on Burn and I found the matchup to be quite favourable the first go around. Managing my life total with Oko and ensuring I wasn’t in reach of an un-counterable deal four damage spell was all that was needed. My opponent not being able to utilize an aggro strategy with creatures thanks to my removal spells proved important. This win clinched me second seed going into the Top 8 and allowed me to be on the play. Of course, that came in handy for Legacy. 

Quarterfinals

I hadn’t played against Delver yet and that was strange given that Delver used to be the most popular deck in the format. [Card]Brazen Borrower[/Card] surprisingly gave me a tough run for my money and cost me the first game. I had stabilized, but at a low life total and a top-decked [Card]Lightning Bolt[/Card] finished me off. Games two and three went very favourably as my opponent was forced to mulligan and had hands that didn’t materialize. I took the approach of using excess [Card]Pyroblast[/Card]s on their [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]s and my opponent revealed their hand of four lands with four on the table before conceding. 

Semifinals

Up against Bryant Cook, someone whose renowned for being a Storm aficionado. I was expecting a standard Ant list, but he was running [Card]Mox Opal[/Card]s and [Card]Wishclaw Talisman[/Card]s. I believe replacing [Card]Thoughtseize[/Card]/[Card]Duress[/Card] slots with [Card]Veil of Summer[/Card]s as well. This made my own [Card]Veil of Summer[/Card]s less efficient and effective. 

I spent the first five turns of game one bluffing a [Card]Veil of Summer[/Card] with an obvious [Card]Tropical Island[/Card] up, but of course that was ineffectual as I learned afterwards. Having drawn multiple [Card]Force of Will[/Card]s and a Negation plus a couple [Card]Snapcaster Mage[/Card]s put this win in the books for me. Game 2 my opponent had to mulligan and kept a double [Card]Lotus Petal[/Card] plus [Card]Mox Opal[/Card] hand. I believe this crippled his hand because he couldn’t use a [Card]Lotus Petal[/Card] without turning off Metalcraft. My hand was crafted full of counter-magic and my opponent attempted an [Card]Empty the Warrens[/Card] for ten goblins. I used an Oko and a Jace to deal with the tokens and stabilize. Once that happened my opponent never recovered. 

Finals (I.D)

My opponent was my friend I drove up with and the person I lent a deck to. We split the prize and chose to drive home early to get through the snow storm more safely. My friend didn’t mind me taking the Trophy and the glory as a thank you for loaning him the deck. Incase anyone is interested I built him the Blue Green Omni-Tell deck that has popped up all over the MTGO scene. He actually went undefeated with the deck and achieved his highest finish to date (big congratulatory shout out to Christopher Seager!). 

I usually put a paragraph of things I would consider changing at this point in the article. Honestly the deck is very solid. I would only look to the sideboard for considering a couple slots that might combat Lands and or Omni-Tell a little better as those decks have both seen a rise in popularity. [Card]Containment Priest[/Card] might be better served as [Card]Deafening Silence[/Card] for the combo matchups. Maybe as a two-of. Something like From the Ashes could be a useful way to combat the lands matchup, but also maybe just [Card]Blood Moon[/Card] is better and more flexible.

 

Legacy has been through a lot of changes over the years. It’s in a fun place right now where every deck feels like it has the right tools to combat any other deck. No one is pigeonholed into playing a singularly powerful deck because of excessive format domination. Despite the fact that I have been dominating with Miracles of late. I think each deck is adaptable to combat this strategy if they so choose.

Hopefully everyone likes the deck, Check out my stream at Twitch.Tv/EliKassis three days a week and also to see plenty of recorded videos anytime. Subscribers also gain access to my Discord channel with access to important things like sideboard guides. If anyone picks up the deck and has any cool idea’s feel free to tweet at me and discuss it anytime!

Magic Super Saturday in Toronto & Quebec City

90 teams, almost 300 players and even more battling in side events descended on the Montecassino Hotel in Toronto this past weekend. The biggest event in the history of the F2F Tour!

And lucky for me, my team and I got to take down the whole thing.

Your F2F Tour Toronto champs, Capstick, Fournier and Tzaneteas.

This was the first Team Trios stop on the F2F Tour in 2020 and we heard Toronto loud and clear — y’all really like playing some team Magic.

Fournier, Elliot and I were able to take down the event with the lineup of Dimir Inverter in Pioneer, Amulet Titan in Modern and Golgari Depths in Legacy. A week prior to the event, Fournier and I didn’t even have a third and got extremely lucky to tag Elliot in. He’s kind of a silent master in the Toronto area and plays linear decks like Burn in Modern and Depths in Legacy extremely well.

In the finals we triumphed over the team of Brian Ching, Zach Ryl and Geng Yu Xu. These three have been battling together for a while now on the Face to Face Games Toronto Showdown series and Ching in particular has been on quite the heater with his [Card]Stoneforge Mystic[/Card] decks in Modern as of late.

Your F2F Tour Toronto Top 4.

Joining us in the Top 4 were the teams of Dhaliwal – Harvey – Van Vaals as well as Duong – Luciow – Ablack. The former were another team of Toronto ringers who have been putting up big results over the past year and the ladder were a combination of St.Catharines and Toronto players.

As for the metagame in the room, it can sometimes be hard to pin down what is most successful in these big team events. With that said, both Amulet Titan in Modern and Dimir Inverter were clearly the two front-runners in their respective formats. In my — admittedly biased — experience Amulet was incredible on Saturday and was able to simply run over all of the [Card]Blood Moon[/Card]s and [Card]Ashiok, Dream Render[/Card]s people had ready for me.

That said, I was specifically impressed with Ching’s deck from the Top 4 and would be interested in exploring various [Card]Stoneforge Mystic[/Card] decks in Modern. The combination of [Card]Sword of Feast and Famine[/Card] to induce fear in Amulet players and [Card]Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath[/Card] for fair mirrors is an extremely powerful one-two-punch.

The biggest event in F2F wasn’t the only event we hosted this past weekend. The Tour also stopped in Quebec City on the very same day. With that said, we’re still preparing the lists from Quebec City, so stop back later this weekend and check out all the details from that event.

Now, without further ado, here are the Top 4 lists from Toronto:

F2F Tour Toronto Top 4 Trios Decklists

First Place: Fournier, Capstick and Elliot

Pioneer

[Deck Title= Dimir Inverter – Daniel Fournier]
[Creatures]
4 Inverter of Truth
3 Thassa’s Oracle
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Censor
4 Dig Through Time
4 Fatal Push
2 Hero’s Downfall
4 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
4 Opt
3 Thought Erasure
4 Thoughtseize
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Choked Estuary
4 Drowned Catacomb
3 Fabled Passage
3 Fetid Pools
6 Island
3 Swamp
4 Watery Grave
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Cry of the Carnarium
2 Legion’s End
4 Mystical Dispute
2 Narset, Parter of Veils
4 Pack Rat
1 The Scarab God
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Modern

[Deck Title= Amulet Titan – Keith Capstick]
[Creatures]
4 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
4 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
4 Primeval Titan
4 Sakura-Tribe Scout
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Amulet of Vigor
1 Engineered Explosives
4 Once Upon a Time
1 Pact of Negation
4 Summoner’s Pact
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
4 Castle Garenbrig
2 Cavern of Souls
1 Field of the Dead
2 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Golgari Rot Farm
2 Gruul Turf
1 Hanweir Battlements
1 Radiant Fountain
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
4 Simic Growth Chamber
2 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Tolaria West
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Vesuva
1 Wooded Foothills
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Aether Gust
3 Beast Within
3 Dismember
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Field of the Dead
3 Mystical Dispute
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Tireless Tracker
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Legacy

[Deck Title= Golgari Depths – Elliot Tzaneteas]
[Creatures]
4 Dark Confidant
4 Elvish Reclaimer
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
4 Vampire Hexmage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Abrupt Decay
1 Assassin’s Trophy
4 Crop Rotation
3 Duress
4 Mox Diamond
1 Sylvan Scrying
4 Thoughtseize
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Bayou
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Dark Depths
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Nurturing Peatland
1 Sejiri Steppe
1 Swamp
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wasteland
4 Thespian’s Stage
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Assassin’s Trophy
1 Force of Vigor
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Karakas
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Pithing Needle
2 Plague Engineer
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Sylvan Safekeeper
2 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Second Place: Ryl, Ching and Xu

Pioneer

[Deck Title= Mono-Green Devotion – Zach Ryl]
[Creatures]
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Jadelight Ranger
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Voracious Hydra
2 Voyaging Satyr
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Karn, the Great Creator
4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
4 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
4 Wolfwillow Haven
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Castle Garenbrig
16 Forest
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Damping Sphere
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
1 God-Pharaoh’s Statue
1 Nylea’s Disciple
1 Pithing Needle
1 Questing Beast
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Shadowspear
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 The Great Henge
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 Verdurous Gearhulk
1 Walking Ballista
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Modern

[Deck Title= Bant Snowblade – Brian Ching]
[Creatures]
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
2 Snapcaster Mage
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
1 Batterskull
2 Cryptic Command
3 Force of Negation
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile
1 Spell Snare
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Breeding Pool
3 Field of Ruin
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Snow-Covered Forest
6 Snow-Covered Island
2 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Temple Garden
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Aether Gust
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
1 Disdainful Stroke
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Mystical Dispute
1 Return to Nature
2 Timely Reinforcements
3 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Legacy

[Deck Title= Temur Painter – Geng Yu Xu]
[Creatures]
4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch
4 Goblin Engineer
3 Goblin Welder
4 Painter’s Servant
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
1 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Grindstone
1 Lion’s Eye Diamond
3 Lotus Petal
1 Mishra’s Bauble
3 Mox Opal
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
3 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Soul-Guide Lantern
2 Veil of Summer
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Great Furnace
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Scalding Tarn
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Island
2 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Taiga
1 Tropical Island
1 Volcanic Island
2 Wooded Foothills
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Echoing Truth
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
3 Lightning Bolt
1 Pithing Needle
2 Return to Nature
1 Sai, Master Thopterist
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Trinisphere
1 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Third Place: Dhaliwal, Harvey and Van Vaals

Pioneer

[Deck Title= Dimir Inverter – Shawn Dhaliwal]
[Creatures]
4 Inverter of Truth
3 Thassa’s Oracle
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Dig Through Time
4 Fatal Push
1 Hero’s Downfall
4 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
2 Mystical Dispute
2 Narset, Parter of Veils
4 Opt
3 Thought Erasure
4 Thoughtseize
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Choked Estuary
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Fabled Passage
1 Fetid Pools
6 Island
3 Swamp
4 Watery Grave
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Cast Down
2 Damping Sphere
1 Doom Blade
2 Hero’s Downfall
3 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Legion’s End
1 Mystical Dispute
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
1 Thassa’s Oracle
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Modern

[Deck Title= Amulet Titan – Dominic Harvey]
[Creatures]
3 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
4 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
4 Primeval Titan
4 Sakura-Tribe Scout
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Amulet of Vigor
1 Ancient Stirrings
4 Once Upon a Time
1 Pact of Negation
1 Primal Command
4 Summoner’s Pact
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
4 Castle Garenbrig
2 Cavern of Souls
1 Field of the Dead
2 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Golgari Rot Farm
2 Gruul Turf
1 Hanweir Battlements
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Radiant Fountain
4 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Tolaria West
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Vesuva
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Aether Gust
2 Beast Within
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Dismember
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Flashfreeze
1 Force of Vigor
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Mystical Dispute
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Legacy

[Deck Title= Sultai Zenith – Michael Van Vaals]
[Creatures]
1 Courser of Kruphix
1 Dryad Militant
2 Gilded Goose
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
3 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
2 Noble Hierarch
1 Plague Engineer
1 Questing Beast
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Brainstorm
1 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
1 Sylvan Library
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Bayou
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Karakas
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Polluted Delta
3 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
3 Verdant Catacombs
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Carpet of Flowers
1 Collector Ouphe
1 Fatal Push
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Pithing Needle
2 Plague Engineer
1 Veil of Summer
1 Vendilion Clique
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Fourth Place: Duong, Luciow and Ablack

Pioneer

[Deck Title= Sram Auras – Dap Duong]
[Creatures]
4 Alseid of Life’s Bounty
3 Aphemia, the Cacophony
2 Dryad Militant
4 Hateful Eidolon
4 Sram, Senior Edificer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 All That Glitters
4 Cartouche of Solidarity
4 Ethereal Armor
3 Gryff’s Boon
4 Karametra’s Blessing
4 Sentinel’s Eyes
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Godless Shrine
1 Mana Confluence
6 Plains
1 Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Apostle of Purifying Light
2 Damping Sphere
2 Dead Weight
1 Deafening Silence
2 Gideon of the Trials
2 Hushbringer
2 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist
1 Trial of Ambition
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Modern

[Deck Title= Burn – Andrew Luciow]
[Creatures]
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Boros Charm
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Skewer the Critics
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Bloodstained Mire
3 Inspiring Vantage
5 Mountain
2 Sacred Foundry
4 Sunbaked Canyon
4 Wooded Foothills
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Deflecting Palm
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Path to Exile
2 Rest in Peace
3 Skullcrack
3 Smash to Smithereens
1 Wear // Tear
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Legacy

[Deck Title= Eldrazi Stompy – Muk Ablack]
[Creatures]
4 Eldrazi Mimic
3 Elvish Spirit Guide
3 Endbringer
4 Endless One
4 Matter Reshaper
1 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Once Upon a Time
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Blast Zone
4 Cavern of Souls
2 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Eye of Ugin
1 Forest
1 Karakas
3 Wasteland
1 Wastes
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 All Is Dust
1 Karakas
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Ratchet Bomb
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
3 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Warping Wail
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Congratulations once again to Daniel Fournier, Elliot Tzaneteas and I guess myself from everyone at Face to Face Games on their outstanding performances this past weekend! Before I leave you for the week, I’d like to also extend a special thank you to both our judge staff and our sponsor Ultimate Guard for helping us put on a great event.

The next stop on the F2F Tour is coming up this Saturday, March 7 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where we’ll be hosting Modern! Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you on the battlefield!

Showdown Recap: Magalhaes flips a Miracle in Legacy

Edgar Magalhaes and Four-Colour midrange Legacy decks, go ahead, name a more iconic duo.

I’ll wait…

One of the city’s most decorated players picked up yet another Showdown title this past weekend when he took down our Legacy Sunday Showdown.

Your Showdown champ, Edgar Magalhaes.

Now, if you have spent any time playing Legacy in Toronto over the past few years you’re acutely aware of how lethal Edgar can be with a [Card]Baleful Strix[/Card] in his hands. That said, this weekend his decided the shelve the artifact creature for it’s distant snow-covered cousin [Card]Ice-Fang Coatl[/Card] and the Bant Miracles shell that’s been successful since the banning of [Card]Wrenn and Six[/Card].

Edgar was able to take down Stephen Conway and his Jeskai Breach deck in the finals.

Your Legacy Showdown Top 8.

Joining them in the Top 8 was Daniel “Gul_Dukat” Goetschel on his own Grixis version of Breach, Boston Schatteman playing Grixis Delver, Lam Phan back to battle with his classic Izzet Control deck, Wilkin Chau on Dead Guy Ale as usual, Alexander Neufeldt playing Izzet Delver and Tse Shuen Wan who played ALL the colours in his control deck.

I think it’s safe to say that Legacy is in a pretty weird place right now. With the addition of Pioneer and the lack of support for the format lately the metagame is moving pretty slowly, but it’s also clearly warping around [Card]Underworld Breach[/Card]. This card is just so fundamentally broken, and it already dominated PT Phoenix in the Pioneer format, so it’s not a surprise to see it doing so well in Legacy. Especially because you get to pair it with [Card]Lion’s Eye Diamond[/Card].

With that said, Edgar proved that with a little bit of graveyard hate and a strong controlling plan, it can be beat. This is one of my personal favourite ways to play Legacy, a strong combo deck and controlling decks trying to find the best way to beat it is always a fun playground to build decks in.

Congratulations to Edgar for once again taking down one of our Legacy events. With his win on Sunday he is once again qualified for this season’s Ultimate Showdown. After losing to Matthew Dilks in the finals late last year, he’ll be looking to finish one spot higher in the standings this season. Omar Beldon was FINALLY kept out of the Top 8 last weekend, but his lead over the rest of the field still remains massive early on this season. If you’re interested in your Showdown Points total check out our tracker here.

This upcoming weekend Face to Face Games Toronto we’ll be hosting a Modern Showdown. That’s right, it’s time to bust out those [Card]Primeval Titan[/Card]s and battle! Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you at the shop!

[Deck Title= First Place, Four-Colour Miracles – Edgar Magalhaes]
[Creatures]
4 Ice-fang Coatl
2 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Arcum’s Astrolab
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
1 Entreat the Angels
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Terminus
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Flooded strand
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Polluted Delta
4 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Plains
1 Snow-covered Forest
2 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Tundra
1 Tropical island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Veil of Summer
3 Pyroblast
3 Rest in Peace
2 Monastery Mentor
2 Return to Nature
1 Volcanic Island
1 Flusterstorm
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Jeskai Breach – Stephen Conway]
[Creatures]
1 Thassa’s Oracle
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Force of Will
4 Brainfreeze
4 Underworld Breach
1 Teferi, Time Raveler
3 Enlightened Tutor
2 Orim’s Chant
1 Silence
1 Grinding Station
1 Spell Pierce
1 Seal of Cleansing
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Plains
1 Snow-covered Mountain
1 Plateau
1 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island
1 Prismatic Vista
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded strand
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Flusterstorm
1 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Serenity
2 Chain of Vapor
3 Wear // Tear
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Monastery Mentor
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Five-Colour Control – Tse Shuen Wan]
[Creatures]
4 Ice-fang Coatl
3 Snapcaster Mage
1 Brazen Borrower
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
2 Plague Engineer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
1 Pyroblast
3 Lightning Bolt
1 Magmatic Sinkhole
1 Spell Pierce
1 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
2 Oko, Thief of Crowns
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Prismatic Vista
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
1 Volcanic Island
4 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Forest
1 Snow-covered Mountain
1 Snow-covered Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 From the Ashes
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Dead of Winter
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Veil of Summer
2 Return to Nature
1 Carpet of Flowers
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Grixis Breach – Daniel Goetschel]
[Spells]
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Brainstorm
4 Thought scour
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Underworld Breach
3 Brain Freeze
1 Memory Sluice
1 Grapeshot
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Thoughtseize
3 Duress
4 Lotus Petal
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Island
1 Swamp
2 underground Sea
1 Badlands
1 Volcanic island
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Polluted Delta
1 Bloodstained Mire
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Mountain
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Duress
4 Chain of Vapor
4 Abrade
4 Tormod’s Crypt
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Grixis Delver – Boston Schatteman]
[Creatures]
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Dreadhorde Arcanist
2 Young Pyromancer
1 Brazen Borrower
1 True-Name Nemesis
2 Gurmag Angler
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
2 Preordain
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Fatal Push
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Force of Negation
2 Spell Pierce
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
3 underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
1 Fiery Islet
4 Wasteland
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Abrade
1 Bitterblossom
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Hydroblast
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Null Rod
1 Plague Engineer
3 Pyroblast
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Thoughtseize
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Izzet Control – Lam Phan]
[Creatures]
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Brazen Borrower
4 Bonecrusher Giant
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Brainstorm
4 Impulse
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Spell Pierce
2 Spell Snare
2 Counterspell
2 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Dust Bowl
4 Wasteland
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Flooded Strand
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island
1 Mountain
5 Island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Engineered Explosives
4 Relic of Progenitus
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Dispel
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Abrade
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Sweltering Suns
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Five-Colour Niv-Mizzet – Alexander Neufeldt]
[Creatures]
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Dreadhorde Arcanist
3 Stormchaser Mage
2 Brazen Borrower
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
3 Preordain
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Chain Lightning
4 Daze
2 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Island
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Polluted Delta
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Flooded Strand
2 Fiery Islet
3 Volcanic Island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Flusterstorm
1 Hydroblast
3 Pyroblast
2 Shattering Spree
2 Blood Moon
2 Jinxed Choker
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, Dead Guy Ale – Wilkin Chau]
[Creatures]
4 Dark Confidant
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Murderous Rider
2 Remorseful Cleric
1 Gurmag Angler
1 Hero of Bladehold
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Thoughtseize
1 Cabal Therapy
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Hymn to Tourach
3 Liliana of the Veil
2 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Vindicate
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Batterskull
2 Lingering Souls
3 Chrome Mox
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Scrubland
3 Swmap
1 Plains
1 Karakas
1 Castle Locthwain
4 Wasteland
4 Marsh Flats
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Polluted Delta
1 Bloodstained Mire
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Leyline of the Void
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper
1 Zealous Persecution
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Plague Engineer
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Humility
1 Pithing Needle
1 Liliana’s Triumph
1 Surgical Extraction
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Showdown Recap: Beldon, Fournier and Capstick win trios

Well, at this point what is there left to say? Omar Beldon won yet another Showdown!

This time — luckily for me — it was a Team Trios event where we played Modern, Legacy and Pioneer, and he chose to carry Daniel Fournier and I to the finish line.

Your Team Trios champs.

In all seriousness Fournier never lost a match all day, so he was doing the majority of the carrying, but it’s way funnier the other way so I’m sticking to that.

We played what we thought we the best decks in each format. Inverter had a coming out party all weekend long at both PT Nagoya and Brussels in Pioneer, Amulet has been dominant in Modern since the last banned and restricted announcement and Omar thinks [Card]Underworld Breach[/Card] is absolutely broken in half. He remarked all day long how amusing he thought it was that WotC had allowed him to play [Card]Yawgmoth’s Will[/Card].

We defeated the team of Tsiligiannis, Loong and Wiradharma who played Inverter, Miracles and Jund in the finals.

Your Team Trios Showdown Top 8.

Rounding out the Top 4 were the teams of Bao, Luk and Xiao who played Infect, Ramp and Sneak & Show as well as the team of Posaratnanathan, Ryl and Xu who played Infect, Five-Colour Niv-Mizzet and Dimir Reanimator.

For me this event was really interesting because for the first time in a long time I could honestly say that every format looked extremely fun and healthy. Breach may be just a little too good in Legacy, but Modern has a lot of challenging games in it right now and Pioneer is absolutely wide open. These team events are a great way to get an idea of where Magic’s is at as a whole, and I had a blast playing all day.

With our win on Sunday Omar, Dan and myself qualified for the upcoming Ultimate Showdown of ULTIMATE destiny and the rest of our Top 8 have begun their march up the leaderboard.

This season, we’re going to closely following the Ultimate Showdown leaderboard each week and I’ll be giving you updates on the race as the results unfold every week in these recaps. This week the big news was Fournier, one of our past Ultimate Showdowin champs — locked up his qualification and Omar pulled even further ahead in the Showdown leaderboard race. Seriously, this guy has 330 points and Andrew Gordon is sitting tight in second place with 160. Omar is truly off to an unprecedented start.

This upcoming weekend Face to Face Games Toronto we’ll be hosting two big Pioneer events. First on Saturday we’ll have our first local F2F Tour stop of 2020 in Hamilton, Ontario where we’ll be battling in Magic’s newest format. And then on Sunday, we’re back at the shop for a Pioneer Showdown. Make sure to pre-register for Hamilton here and the Showdown here and we’ll see you on the weekend!

First Place: Fournier, Capstick and Beldon

[Deck Title= Dimir Inverter – Daniel Fournier]
[Creatures]
4 Thassa’s Oracle
4 Inverter of Truth
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Opt
4 Fatal Push
4 Thoughtseize
2 Censor
2 Thought Erasure
2 Supreme Will
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Murderous Cut
4 Dig Through Time
3 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
[/Spells]
[Lands]
6 Island
3 Swamp
4 Watery Grave
4 Drowned Catacomb
3 Fabled Passage
3 Fetid Pools
2 Choked Estuary
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Ratchet Bomb
2 Legion’s End
4 Pack Rat
1 Enter the God Eternals
1 Tyrant’s Scorn
2 Cry of the Carnarium
3 Mystical Dispute
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Amulet Titan – Keith Capstick]
[Creatures]
4 Primeval Titan
4 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
4 Sakura-tribe Scout
4 Dryad of Ilysian Grove
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Amulet of Vigor
4 Summoner’s Pact
4 Once Upon a Time
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Pact of Negation
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Simic Growth Chamber
4 Castle Garenbrig
2 Gruul Turf
2 Tolaria West
2 Valkut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Field of the Dead
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Hanweir Battlements
1 Radiant Fountain
1 Vesuva
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
2 Forest
2 Snow-covered Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Dismember
2 Aether Gust
2 Beast Within
2 Force of Vigor
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Radiant Fountain
1 Field of the Dead
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Underworld Breach Combo – Omar Beldon]
[Creatures]
1 Thassa’s Oracle
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
1 Grinding Station
2 Orim’s Chant
4 Underworld Breach
4 Brainfreeze
4 Force of Will
1 Defense Grid
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Spell Pierce
4 Preordain
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Lotus Petal
1 Pact of Negation
3 Enlightened Tutor
1 Seal of Removal
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island
1 Snow-covered Plains
1 Snow-covered Mountain
2 Snow-covered Island
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
2 Prismatic Vista
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Force of Negation
2 Chain of Vapor
2 Wear // Tear
2 Monastery Mentor
2 Serenity
2 Silence
4 Swords to Plowshares
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Second Place: Tsiligiannis, Loong and Wiradharma

[Deck Title= Jund – Matthew Loong]
[Creatures]
2 Dark Confidant
2 Scavenging Ooze
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Bloodbraid Elf
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Wrenn and Six
4 Liliana of the Veil
3 Fatal Push
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Lighting Bolt
2 Thoughtseize
3 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Maelstrom Pulse
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
1 Mountain
2 Nurturing Peatland
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Raging Ravine
1 Stomping Ground
2 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wooded Foothills
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Pillage
2 Collective Brutality
3 Fulminator Mage
3 Plague Engineer
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Nihil Spellbomb
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Dimir Inverter – Richard Wiradharma]
[Creatures]
4 Thassa’s Oracle
3 Inverter of Truth
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Opt
4 Fatal Push
2 Censor
2 Omen of the Sea
1 Drown in the Loch
1 Thought Erasure
1 Tyrant’s Scorn
1 Coax From the Blind Eternities
3 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
1 Murderous Cut
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
3 Dig Through Time
4 Thoughtseize
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Watery Grave
4 Fabled Passage
2 Fetid Pools
2 Choked Estuary
3 Swamp
6 Island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 The Scarab God
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Inverter of Truth
1 Ashiok, the Nightmare Weaver
1 Thief of Sanity
1 Cry of the Carnarium
3 Mystical Dispute
2 Noxious Grasp
2 Legion’s End
1 Coax From the Blind Eternities
1 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Miracles – Evangelos Tsiligiannis]
[Creatures]
2 Snapcaster Mage
3 Monastery Mentor
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
3 Potent
2 Predict
3 Counterbalance
4 Force of Will
2 Force of Will
2 Spell Pierce
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Council’s Judgement
1 Entreat the Angels
3 Terminus
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Tundra
2 Plains
4 Island
1 Karakas
3 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Prismatic Vista
4 Flooded Stand
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Back to Basics
3 Disenchant
1 Dovins Veto
2 Flusterstorm
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 Mystical Dispute
3 Rest in Peace
1 Supreme Verdict
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Third Place: Bao, Luk and Xiao

[Deck Title= Infect – Meng Bao]
[Creatures]
4 Glistener Elf
4 Blighted Agent
4 Noble Hierarch
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Blossoming Defense
1 Become Immense
2 Distortion Strike
4 Might of Old Krossa
3 Groundswell
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Scale Up
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Vines of Vastwood
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Waterlogged Grove
4 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Breeding Pool
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Forest
2 Pendelhaven
1 Dryad Arbor
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Kitchen Finks
3 Veil of Summer
2 Spellskite
2 Dismember
2 Nature’s Claim
2 Spell Pierce
1 Distortion Strike
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Simic Ramp – Damon Luk]
[Creatures]
4 Arboreal Grazer
4 Cavalier of Thorns
3 Courser of Kruphix
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
2 World Breaker
1 Oblivion Sower
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
3 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Growth Spiral
4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Breeding Pool
2 Castle Garenbrig
2 Fabled Passage
7 Forest
4 Hinterland Harbour
1 Island
3 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods
4 Yavimaya Coast
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Damping Sphere
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
2 Graffdigger’s Cage
2 Negate
2 Perilous Vault
2 Tireless Tracker
3 Unravel the Aether
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sneak & Show – Ray Xiao]
[Creatures]
4 Griselbrand
3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lotus Petal
4 Preordain
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Spell Pierce
1 Flusterstorm
4 Show and Tell
4 Sneak Attack
2 Omniscience
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
3 Snow-covered Island
3 Volcanic Island
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Graffdigger’s Cage
2 Blood Moon
2 Goblin Cratermaker
2 Defense Grid
2 Arcane Artisan
2 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
2 Pyroblast
1 Flusterstorm
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Fourth Place: Posaratnanathan, Ryl and Xu

[Deck Title= Infect – Roy Posaratnanathan]
[Creatures]
4 Glistener Elf
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Blighted Agent
1 Spellskite
1 Viridian Corrupter
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Distortion Strike
1 Become Immense
3 Scale Up
2 Groundswell
4 Might of Old Krossa
4 Blossoming Defense
4 Vines of Vastwood
2 Spell Pierce
1 Apostle’s Blessing
4 Once Upon a Time
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Pendelhaven
2 Waterlogged Grove
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Breeding Pool
3 Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Veil of Summer
1 Graffdigger’s Cage
1 Pithing Needle
1 Return to Nature
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Weather the Storm
2 Dismember
1 Krosan Grip
1 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Force of Vigor
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Five-Colour Niv-Mizzet – Zachary Ryl]
[Creatures]
4 Sylvan Caryatid
3 Paradise Druid
2 Uro,Titan of Nature’s Wrath
2 Siege Rhino
1 Hostage Taker
1 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
3 Niv-Mizzet Reborn
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Dreadbore
1 Discovery // Dispersal
1 Cut // Ribbons
1 Unmoored Ego
1 Oath of Kaya
1 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Utter End
1 Supreme Verdict
4 Bring to light
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Fabled Passage
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
1 Forest
3 Botanical Sanctum
1 Watery Grave
2 Sandsteppe Citadel
2 Opulent Palace
2 Spirebluff Canal
1 Overgrown Tomb
2 Stomping Ground
2 Temple Garden
1 Godless Shrine
1 Mana Confluence
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Rest in Peace
1 Kunoros, Hand of Athreos
1 Hour of Devastation
1 Deafening Clarion
2 Infernal Reckoning
2 Rakdos’s Return
2 Thought Erasure
1 Selesnya Charm
1 Surrak Dragonclaw
1 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Dimir Reanimator – Geng Yu Xu]
[Creatures]
1 Grave Titan
3 Griselbrand
1 Hapless Researcher
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
1 Tidespout Tyrant
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Entomb
4 Force of Will
4 Careful Study
3 Collective Brutality
4 Exhume
2 Ponder
4 Reanimate
3 Lotus Petal
2 Animate Dead
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Snow-covered Island
2 Snow-covered Swamp
4 Underground Sea
2 Verdant Catacombs
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
3 Echoing Truth
2 Fatal Push
2 Flusterstorm
4 Show and Tell
2 Pithing Needle
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

A Rocky Horror Training Montage: My PC preparation

Staying on top of Magic is difficult at the best of times.

A sudden change in one format can upend weeks or months of preparation while a committed player struggles to stay afloat. It was only right that those of us fighting for the ultimate honour on the SCG Tour (at, for many of us, the highest stakes in our careers) would have to cram for all the classic constructed formats. Here’s an inside look at one man’s confusing, careening journey:

[Deck Title= Jund Food – Dominic Harvey]
[Creatures]
4 Cauldron Familiar
4 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
4 Murderous Rider
4 Gilded Goose
1 God-Eternal Bontu
4 Mayhem Devil
4 Paradise Druid
1 Thrashing Brontodon
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Witch’s Oven
4 Trail of Crumbs
1 Casualties of War
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Castle Locthwain
4 Fabled Passage
4 Blood Crypt
4 Stomping Ground
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Swamp
5 Forest
1 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Epic Downfall
4 Noxious Grasp
2 Return to Nature
2 Casualties of War
4 Drill Bit
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

In another timeline this would be the swan song for an old, tired Standard format. Since the release of Throne of Eldraine we’ve had three Mythic Championships, a handful of Magic Fests and an Invitational that was meant to feature Standard too. After two sets of bans the same sets in Standard birthed another new format and we prayed it would be bearable before a return to Theros wiped the slate clean again. 

Early signs were mixed. A widespread concern was that the bans would just give way to a format where [Card]Fires of Invention[/Card], somehow not nearly the most broken card in its set, could run rampant with its competition neutered. Jeskai Fires performed well at the first Arena tournaments and was sure to set the tone for the last Arena Mythic Championship of the year. Various [Card]Cauldron’s Familiar[/Card] + [Card]Witch’s Oven[/Card] shells were popular too, with Twitch phenom crokeyz leading the adoption of [Card]Casualties of War[/Card] as a mirror breaker that was also the scariest card for Fires. 

This was shaping up as a format where whoever cast the biggest hay-makers came out on top. With that in mind, the Five-Colour Fires decks chosen by Shota Yasooka and (obviously) Ken Yukuhiro looked like a stroke of genius. Yukuhiro’s list sported [Card]Niv-Mizzet Reborn[/Card] as a Fires payoff that could reliably find the all-important [Card]Casualties of War[/Card], tangle with Cavaliers and Kenrith in a fight, and give you a free [Card]Divination[/Card] as an afterthought. Most importantly, this take on Fires was my kind of nonsense. Even the seemingly tough Izzet Flash matchup was closer than expected and that deck seemed like a flash in the pan anyway. What could go wrong?

Seth Manfield, Brad Nelson, and Javier Dominguez answered that decisively by putting three copies of the same Simic Flash deck in the Top 8 of the Mythic Championship. The [Card]Brineborn Cutthroat[/Card] builds had always under-performed but this new take re-imagined the role of cheap counterspells, using them as a bridge to Nissa (still, after all this time, the queen of Standard) that were also ideal follow-ups to Nissa. The ability to transform into a Nissa plus [Card]Hydroid Krasis[/Card] ramp deck meant that old approaches of baiting out counters with your weakest cards or biding time and picking your spots played right into their hands. I knew without testing that this deck would ruin my dreams of colourful dragons. I knew after testing that it was beating everything else too.

My testing partner Baker Neenan (probably better known by his MTGO handle VTCLA but now definitely better known as a future MOCS competitor) and I made some clear upgrades to the Flash deck. [Card]Gilded Goose[/Card] is leagues better than [Card]Paradise Druid[/Card] in a deck that passes with its mana open every turn, wants to stay afloat against pressure, and never forces you to choose between it and [Card]Quench[/Card] or [Card]Growth Spiral[/Card]. With four Goose and four [Card]Growth Spiral[/Card], the dream draw of third turn Nissa — still the best thing to do in Standard — is possible and Goose slots neatly into common openings like T1 Goose, T2 [Card]Quench[/Card], T3 Ambusher/[Card]Frilled Mystic[/Card]. It’s only really worse against [Card]Bonecrusher Giant[/Card] but we correctly predicted that few, if any, players would bring Fires given its dismal matchup against Flash. 

The Ramp versus Flash matchup was our next priority. We found that Flash mopped the floor with Ramp in game one but the addition of [Card]Shifting Ceratops[/Card] as well as ramp’s own [Card]Mystical Dispute[/Card]s and [Card]Aether Gust[/Card]s flipped the script — now both decks were playing similar games but Ramp was already designed to gain the mana advantage that’s so important in Flash mirrors. However, the Flash deck was still more cohesive and ready to prey on Ramp’s inconsistencies. Going into the final day, I was leaning towards Flash splashing [Card]Noxious Grasp[/Card] to fight my fellow [Card]Breeding Pool[/Card]s. 

With the clock ticking I went through the motions of testing with and against Jund Sacrifice. Jund came out ahead even with builds laden down with [Card]Casualties of War[/Card] and other ways to fight Fires. I knew I wanted to build Jund to be more efficient and more removal-heavy and that this would make the Simic matchups even easier. Korvold greatly over-performed whenever it showed up and was often the only card you wanted to draw so maxing on those was the first move. I added a [Card]God-Eternal Bontu[/Card] as another ace to dig for with Trail that could win in one shot with [Card]Mayhem Devil[/Card] or spark joy by de-cluttering your board while dodging the omnipresent [Card]Aether Gust[/Card]. 

The key to the Flash matchup was preventing them from taking over the game with Nissa or Ambusher so four [Card]Murderous Rider[/Card] + four [Card]Noxious Grasp[/Card] let you do that and slice up Ramp’s payoffs. This setup made me worse in mirrors due to the lack of Casualties but I could still board up to three of those and Korvold/Bontu often let you power through or get ahead of Casualties anyway. After going into the last day least confident in Standard, I came out thinking I had the best deck in the tournament.

While the format looked imbalanced in Roanoke, Standard finally seems to be in a decent place for the first time in a while. I’d argue for a third round of bans — [Card]Frilled Mystic[/Card], [Card]Negate[/Card] and [Card]Sinister Sabotage[/Card] (maybe [Card]Quench[/Card] to be safe) — so that I can play rainbow roulette with Niv-Mizzet in peace but that may be pushing it.

[Deck Title= TitanShift – Dominic Harvey]
[Creatures]
4 Primeval Titan
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Veil of Summer
2 Hour of Promise
2 Explore
3 Khalni Heart Expedition
2 Prismatic Omen
4 Scapeshift
4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Farseek
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Stomping Ground
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Forest
3 Mountain
1 Snow-Covered Forest
3 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Sheltered Thicket
2 Cinder Glade
1 Castle Garenbrig
1 Field of the Dead
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Field of the Dead
1 Veil of Summer
3 Damping Sphere
3 Anger of the Gods
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Choke
4 Lightning Bolt
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck] 

More than the other formats, my preparation for Modern was heavily informed by the roster of the tournament. For one thing, Modern seemed stable while Legacy and Standard were both going through their own upheavals so it made sense to focus most on them and pick a ‘safe’ choice for Modern. Team Lotus Box was over a third of the field and they were still high on the Urza deck they broke Modern with — Evan Whitehouse Top 8’d MagicFest Columbus, Dylan Donegan won a MCQ in Richmond — and they agreed the deck was largely un-exploitable. Now, obviously since then the format has been completely overhauled by the banning of Oko, [Card]Mox Opal[/Card] and [Card]Mycosynth Lattice[/Card] a lot of this has changed, but I figured I’d share my preparation with you anyway.

The addition of [Card]Karn, the Great Creator[/Card] for the Invitational was a mirror-breaker that was incidentally perfect against every deck that tried to move the goalposts by going over the top of Urza or not playing into Oko. Elsewhere, Harlan had played Urza since its release to fantastic results while his testing partners in Drake and Zach Allen had a lot of experience with and respect for it. Oliver Tomajko played Urza at the Invitational, as did Dilks. Collin Rountree played what Allen Wu told him to play; Wu placed ninth in Columbus with a more interactive build of Urza. There was a real chance we were looking at a one deck tournament where the race to find the mirror breaker was already over.

With that in mind, I looked for ways to thread the needle and somehow emerge with a decent Urza matchup. My understanding of the deck improved when I was told that Urza is just good Jund — the best interaction, the best threats and powerful sideboard cards for any matchup. The counters are universal interaction, Oko invalidates any deck that relies on a specific creature or artifact while creating cascading pressure, and Urza is a ‘free’ threat that adds a ton of power to the board.

The only card types that aren’t covered by that somewhere are lands and enchantments so I first looked at the big mana decks that were my go-to for most of this year. I expected Tron to have a fine matchup against Urza but Oko was surprisingly annoying when backed up by counters and [Card]Damping Sphere[/Card] added a whole new dimension that you had to fight through post-board. Similarly, Amulet relied too heavily on Amulet and Scout to get up to Titan in time and Damping Sphere was still an issue. Recent ramp decks leaning heavily on [Card]Castle Garenbrig[/Card] and [Card]Field of the Dead[/Card] like my list from the Ultimate Showdown offer a template for how to beat Urza with this strategy.

I had spoken to Collins Mullen a while ago about his [Card]Scapeshift[/Card] list from mid-2017 that cut the interaction for a mono-green maindeck with [Card]Khalni Heart Expedition[/Card], [Card]Prismatic Omen[/Card] and [Card]Hour of Promise[/Card] to give as many nut draws as possible. This was the perfect starting point: Valakut and [Card]Field of the Dead[/Card] were impossible for Urza to interact with while the enchantments could avoid counters and set up winning turns that ignored the battlefield. The deck didn’t care about Oko and cards like [Card]Engineered Explosives[/Card] were mostly air. There was no obvious bullet for Karn to fetch unless they could cast Lattice but Valakut and Field could even fight through that sometimes. Most Urza lists were still playing [Card]Damping Sphere[/Card] as their all-purpose ramp/combo hate that did nothing against me. 

Expecting at least 40 per cent of the room to be on Urza, the next most popular decks figured to be Shadow and perhaps blue decks looking to prey on those. [Card]Veil of Summer[/Card] is excellent against all those and crucial for improving your pre-board Urza matchup; why not maindeck it instead of [Card]Lightning Bolt[/Card]s that had no good targets or the other ‘flex slot’ candidates that did nothing in this narrow field? I could still board in the red cards where they were useful and Veil even cycled in some of the ‘other’ matchups thanks to its bizarre templating. 

With [Card]Scapeshift[/Card] putting up promising results (in as far as anything does against Urza), I locked it in as a default and looked elsewhere. I tried several [Card]Karn, the Great Creator[/Card] shells trying to harness its proven strength against Urza but discovered that most of these were just bad decks and that Oko beats Karn unless you can defend it properly. The most promising Karn deck was also an Oko deck based on a Devoted Druid list from MTGO brought to my attention by Gerry Thompson. The [Card]Devoted Druid[/Card] half didn’t do much for me but the planeswalkers alongside mana creatures and [Card]Ice-Fang Coatl[/Card] felt very promising. Finding a good tertiary threat (…ideally one good against Urza) would push this idea over the line. I was going to start with this after the PC, but then they banned Lattice: 

[Deck Title= Bant Good Cards – Dominic Harvey]
[Creatures]
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
4 Arbor Elf
3 Gilded Goose
2 Tireless Tracker
2 Wall of Blossoms
2 Noble Hierarch
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
4 Karn, the Great Creator
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Oath of Nissa
4 Utopia Sprawl
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
1 Temple Garden
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Windswept Heath
4 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Island
3 Prismatic Vista
2 Waterlogged Grove
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Liquimetal Coating
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Pithing Needle
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Mystical Dispute
3 Path to Exile
3 Ashiok, Dream Render
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Speaking of Druid being nonsense, my nightmare came true and Lotus Box showed up with a Bant [Card]Devoted Druid[/Card] deck that I couldn’t hope to beat and punished me as hard as possible for relegating Bolt to the board. It was tough to separate my frustration at what that choice meant for me from my general confusion. Their deck was still poor against Urza — without even [Card]Teferi, Time Raveler[/Card] or [Card]Postmortem Lunge[/Card] to let you steal games from Oko — and weak to the blue decks that some of the Urza players might turn to instead. The [Card]Mirran Crusader[/Card] plan shores up the Shadow matchup but I was surprised to learn they liked it against Urza too, where it gets swallowed up by the end-game Cryptic lock like everything else and is often bricked by Urza itself. In particular, Tomajko/Corrigan’s white splash with [Card]Spell Queller[/Card] and [Card]Path to Exile[/Card] was naturally strong against this plan and the matchup as a whole.

This tournament proved that Urza is not just a very strong deck in a vacuum but highly adaptable and resilient. My too-clever-by-half TitanShift deck became so much worse the moment Urza adopted [Card]Ashiok, Dream Render[/Card]; adding a few removal spells here or some [Card]Pithing Needle[/Card]s there shifts matchups more than any opponent can by adding something to their deck. [Card]Choke[/Card] is the closest thing to ‘Urza hate’ but it is much worse on the draw than the play, can be weak if they have a basic Forest or [Card]Mox Opal[/Card], and is mostly neutered by Urza — and this all assumes it resolves! Removing Oko would reduce Urza to ‘just’ the best deck in another form but is a necessary move for the format anyway — the much-heralded diversity of Modern, where you can bring whatever you like and win with it, is exposed for the lie it is when Oko is around.  

[Deck Title= Sultai Snow – Dominic Harvey]
[Creatures]
1 Questing Beast
2 Gilded Goose
2 Noble Hierarch
2 Plague Engineer
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
3 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Scavenging Ooze
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Sylvan Library
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
3 Arcum’s Astrolabe
1 Force of Negation
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Polluted Delta
2 Wasteland
2 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Snow-Covered Island
1 Bayou
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Brazen Borrower
2 Veil of Summer
1 Plague Engineer
1 Force of Negation
1 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Bitterblossom
3 Leyline of the Void
2 Pithing Needle
1 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Carpet of Flowers
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

When Pioneer was announced and the Invitational format quickly changed, we were excited to see if the Players’ Championship would follow suit. Instead, this tournament ended up as the last hurrah for Legacy on the SCG Tour. This was great news for… well, everyone else. Many grinders list Legacy as their favourite format and have built up an institutional knowledge that’s hard to compete against as a newcomer. 2019 shook Legacy to its foundations like every other format but the building blocks remained — two equally skilled players look highly mismatched if one has spent several years casting [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]. Toronto has an excellent Legacy scene with Edgar and Dilks as headline acts and other PC competitors were keen to boast about their Legacy prowess.

The scariest aspect of Legacy was also the most reassuring: I don’t know how to fight fair against people casting [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]s but I know that’s what they’re doing. When we shared our predictions after decklists were locked, we all expected a field full of blue decks with a smattering of combo players hoping to sidestep the blue mirrors they feel outmatched in. I considered running the classic gambit of playing a graveyard deck in an unprepared room and Dredge making Top 8 of the GP was a great place to start. I quickly found it was fragile even against the blue decks it’s meant to dominate and wondered if Hogaak was a better way of doing the same thing, urged on by the good doctor Tariq Patel. I came away from my Hogaak testing even more impressed that he managed such an impressive run with it, as the deck had glaring structural flaws that I didn’t think I could fix in time. 

I started to question this entire plan. For a small tournament in a narrow format where you can confidently predict the metagame, hard hate of any sort looks more tempting. If you play a combo deck you’re already ahead against the graveyard menace; if you play a blue deck you have to build your maindeck to beat the 50+ per cent of players on similar decks and you won’t have many weak cards to upgrade. That leaves you with a lot of empty sideboard slots that can only really be used to target combo. That can be easier said than done — it’s hard to cover the graveyard, [Card]Dark Depths[/Card] and any ambitious Storm players at the same time — but I felt the risk was greater thanks to how obvious this move was. Even before I queued into Dilks on Hogaak and heard another player had requested a copy of Dredge, those decks were an obvious choice if you want to play a different game. Half of the Lotus Box core showed up with Hogaak to comically varied results. If I told you the guy who 3-0ed with it thought it was broken while the guy who didn’t win a game was immediately off it, would you be surprised?

I decided to trust the process of elimination. I 0-5’d a league with my default choice of Lands before learning that my Lands sensei had joined another dojo. I confirmed that I’m not the type of savant who can win with Storm without putting dozens of hours in. I watched several hours of Ross Merriam losing with Elves in years past and put it down before I even picked it up.

Danny Batterman then pointed me towards a Sultai Snow deck with Green Sun’s Zenith that finished second at GP Bologna. This tournament was the only real bellwether for post-Wrenn and Six Legacy before the Players’ Championship but very little attention was paid to it — my deck was automatically brushed off as “Dom being Dom” when, if anything, I’d cleaned up someone else’s list and instilled some discipline! If certain card choices raised an eyebrow, the basic premise made a lot of sense. The blue soup mirrors are all about Oko — you want to be the best Oko deck and the best deck at beating it — so Decay is the ideal card to pair with it. With Oko dominating the board, Leovold covers what happens off the board as well as cards that interact with your board (or find others that do). 

[Card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/Card] distinguishes this from the other Snow lists sludging around. Zenith demands a commitment of sorts in deckbuilding but offers a lot in return, promising reliable turn-two Oko or Leovold without making you play too many mana creatures that are poor draws in the longer games that Oko inevitably creates. Access to [Card]Scavenging Ooze[/Card] gives you a shot at beating the graveyard decks in game one while a steady stream of [Card]Ice-Fang Coatl[/Card]s threatens to bury Delver. Most importantly, Zenith lets you put Leovold into play turn after turn in the matchups where that’s all you want to do — either they remove it and you’re up at least a card, or it sticks and makes life impossible. 

I had second thoughts at the eleventh hour after Daryl Ayers won the online Legacy Playoff with Death & Taxes. I knew Collin Rountree would play it — and part of me knew he would 3-0 — but also that Zan had flirted with it in the past (which meant Jeremy would slide into the DMs too) and Abe knows his way around a basic Plains. Am I meant to be playing it myself, loading up on [Card]Massacre[/Card] or [Card]Virtue’s Ruin[/Card], or pretending it doesn’t exist? After tabling that question, I ask my friends if I’m just making a mistake by not playing Sneak & Show — an under-performer once you remove JPA93’s results from the average but a consistent one and also the perfect way to hedge against blue decks and combo at the same time. Ultimately, I didn’t regret not playing it while realizing that this would have been a great tournament for it. 

I enjoyed this final foray into Legacy and may look for excuses to play the format more. I don’t know if the current batch of complaints about the format are sound but I do know that, like every other format, it would be more interesting without Oko. 

***

I’ll close with a quick account of the tournament experience. Most of us got to this event primarily through long days in the trenches in large tournament halls, a jumbled mass of players and chatter and starvation-induced mistakes. The culmination of that effort is the highest stakes tournament of the year in a building where you’re more likely to play FNM or an IQ – or, to paraphrase Patrick Sullivan, to have your thumbs broken for stealing duals. Being in such a low-key environment with fewer distractions relieves a lot of pressure and helps to foster a strong camaraderie but can be jarring when you realize someone just lost a match for thousands of dollars with little fanfare. 

Usually the intensity of an experience adds to the stress but here it was the downtime: you would wait for hours to play for your right to stay only to squander that opportunity, or watch two players — and, by now, friends — go under the bright lights knowing it would spell disaster for one of them. Not having your own match to focus on at all times almost forced a weird kind of empathy where the gravity of the moment for everyone else sank into you too. 

Despite the atmosphere, this tournament felt much more stressful than most — in my second match against Abe Corrigan to end the first day after more than twelve hours of Magic, both of us looked and felt utterly defeated. Anecdotally, it seemed like the stakes were getting to people as I saw more critical mistakes than you might expect from players of this caliber. After a while, this becomes reassuring — it isn’t just you, the best players on the circuit that you want to call your peers are all succumbing to it too. Along with many, I thought Oliver and Edgar were the two best players in the tournament (as well as two of the best I’ve ever met); it was fitting that they met in the finals and Oliver hoisted the metaphorical trophy after the fewest fatal errors.

I’ll go into the toll of the grind in a separate piece. This race was such an all-consuming experience that it’s hard to reflect on whether it was ‘worth it’ — so much would be different if this was still just the abstract possibility it seemed at the start of the year. Ultimately, I didn’t embarrass myself too bad; I put on a good show; I had a wonderful time; and I get to leave with the title of best rookie year in SCG Tour history with some hardware to show for it. If you can’t be happy with that, why bother?

Showdown Recap: Orcish Lumberjack takes down Legacy

One of my absolute favourite things about Legacy is that you just never know what you’re going to run into at the table. Round after round you go toe to toe with some of the most efficient and powerful cards in the history of Magic — the [Card]Brainstorm[/Card]s and [Card]Ponder[/Card]s that have defined the format for years.

And then, when you least expect it — BOOM! [Card]Orcish Lumberjack[/Card].

And that is the exact card Connors Eilerson used to take down this past Sunday’s Legacy Showdown.

Your Showdown champ, Connors Eilerson.

Connors of course played the classic “Apple Jacks” strategy that he always plays in Legacy all the way to his win on Sunday. This deck is essentially a more creative take on the classic Aggro Loam deck that has been popular in Legacy for years featuring the ever-powerful [Card]Mox Diamond[/Card]. Connors defeated Elliot Tzaneteas and his Golgari Depths deck in the finals in what feels like his tenth Legacy Top 8 with the deck over the past few years.

These base-green Mox decks are really one of the many treats Legacy gets to offer. You’re offered a lot of colours and some early mana acceleration so instead of maxing out on cantrips and efficiency you can play some more expensive and splashy cards. [Card]Titania, Protector of Argoth[/Card] being my personal favourite of the bunch.

Your Showdown Top 8!

Joining them in the Top 8 was Anthony Evangelista on Sneak & Show, Travis McDonald [Card]Blood Moon[/Card]ing people with Mono-Red Prison, Omar Beldon straying from his blue roots with Death & Taxes, Nolan Honey on a cool Esper-based Four Colour Control deck, Steve Scobie on Mono-Green [Card]Cloudpost[/Card] and Chris Anderson playing Grixis Delver.

With his win on Sunday Connors qualifies himself for our upcoming Ultimate Showdown of ULTIMATE destiny and the rest of our Top 8 have begun their march up the leaderboard.

If you’re interested in whether you’re qualified or not or you still need to select your format of choice for the first free rounds visit this Google Form here to confirm all the details.

This upcoming weekend at Face to Face Games Toronto we’ll be hosting our second EVER Pioneer Showdown! That’s right, pre-register and come on out and explore this brand new format with us!

[Deck Title= First Place, Apple Jacks – Connors Eilerson]
[Creatures]
1 Archon of Valor’s Reach
1 Elvish Reclaimer
1 Knight of Autumn
4 Knight of the Reliquary
3 Orcish Lumberjack
1 Primeval Titan
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Titania, Protector of Argoth
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Life from the Loam
2 Natural Order
4 Mox Diamond
3 Crop Rotation
3 Punishing Fire
1 Sylvan Library
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Blast Zone
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Dark Depths
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
3 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Karakas
1 Maze of Ith
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains
2 Savannah
1 Scattered Groves
1 Sejiri Steppe
2 Taiga
1 Thespian’s Stage
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
4 Windswept Heath
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Collector Ouphe
2 Force of Vigor
1 Gaddock Teeg
3 Leyline of the Void
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Swords to Plowshares
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Golgari Depths- Elliot Tzaneteas]
[Creatures]
4 Dark Confidant
4 Elvish Reclaimer
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
4 Vampire Hexmage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Sylvan Scrying
4 Thoughtseize
4 Mox Diamond
3 Duress
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Assassin’s Trophy
4 Crop Rotation
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Bayou
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Dark Depths
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Nurturing Peatland
1 Sejiri Steppe
1 Swamp
4 Thespian’s Stage
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wasteland
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Assassin’s Trophy
1 Force of Vigor
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Karakas
2 Lilliana, the Last Hope
2 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Sylvan Safekeeper
1 Toxic Deluge
2 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Sneak & Show – Anthony Evangelista]
[Creatures]
4 Griselbrand
3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Simian Spirit Guide
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Omniscience
4 Show and Tell
4 Sneak Attack
4 Force of Will
1 Force of Negation
2 Spell Pierce
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Lotus Petal
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Polluted Delta
2 Volcanic Island
3 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Defense Grid
4 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Abrade
2 Pyroblast
2 Pyroclasm
2 Arcane Artisan
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Mono-Red Prison – Travis Macdonald]
[Creatures]
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Hazoret, the Fervent
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Simian Spirit Guide
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Abrade
2 Karn, the Great Creator
3 Chrome Mox
4 Blood Moon
1 Kozilek’s Return
3 Trinisphere
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Fiery Confluence
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
11 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Abrade
1 Kozilek’s Return
2 Scab-clan Berserker
1 Mycosynth Lattice
3 Sulfur Elemental
1 Spine of Ish Sah
2 Sorceress Spyglass
3 Faerie Macabre
1 Ensnaring Bridge
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Four Colour Control – Nolan Honey]
[Creatures]
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
2 Snapcaster Mage
3 Baleful Strix
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Arcum’s Astrolabe
3 Hymn to Tourach
1 Thoughtseize
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Swords to Plowshares
2 Drown in the Loch
4 Force of Will
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
1 Entreat the Angels
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Swamp
2 Underground Sea
1 Scrubland
2 Tundra
1 Tropical Island
1 Bayou
4 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
3 Misty Rainforest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Veil of Summer
2 Spell Pierce
2 Plague Engineer
2 Bitterblossom
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Terminus
1 Teferi, Time Raveler
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Mono-Green Cloudpost – Steve Scobie]
[Creatures]
4 Primeval Titan
2 Walking Ballista
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 Kozilek, the Butcher of Truth
1 Platinum Emperion
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Once Upon a Time
3 Explore
3 Crop Rotation
2 Expedition Map
2 All is Dust
2 Candelabra of Tawnos
4 Pithing Needle
4 Ancient Stirrings
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Maze of Ith
1 Thespian’s Stage
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Blast Zone
1 Karakas
3 Vesuva
4 Glimmerpost
4 Cloudpost
6 Forest
2 Misty Rainforest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Force of Vigor
2 Krosan Grip
2 Weather the Storm
1 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Choke
3 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Death & Taxes – Omar Beldon]
[Creatures]
4 Thalia, Guardian Of Thraben
4 Mother of Runes
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Recruiter of the Guard
1 Walking Ballista
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Flickerwisp
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Sanctum Prelate
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Aether Vial
[/Spells]
[Lands]
12 Plains
4 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
2 Mihra’s Factory
3 Karakas
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Gideon Ally of Zendikar
1 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Rest in Peace
2 Deafening Clarion
1 Path to Exile
1 Gut Shot
3 Council’s Judgement
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, Grixis Delver – Chris Anderson]
[Creatures]
4 Delver of Secrets
1 Bedlam Reveler
3 Young Pyromancers
1 True-Name Nemesis
1 Brazen Borrower
3 Dreadhorde Arcanist
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Preordain
4 Ponder
2 Fatal Push
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
3 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
1 Force of Negation
1 Drown in the Loch
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Wasteland
4 Volcanic Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
1 Misty Rainforest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Abrade
2 Painful Truths
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Liliana’s Triumph
2 Pyroblast
1 Dread of Night
2 Plague Engineer
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Null Rod
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]