You may have heard of Queensland as home of the Great Barrier Reef – two thousand kilometres of what is undoubtedly natural beauty at its finest. You may have sunk a XXXX tinny and wondered where that precious taste of froth came from (I’ll give you a hint – Queensland). You may have even heard of our State of Origin team that went 8 series in a row – no dingo is taking that baby away from us. But now we’re just getting off topic.
Queensland’s capital city Brisbane is home to a thriving Legacy community, one I joined back in 2013 thanks to a friend telling me about a certain deck in the format that played a little like my Modern GW Hatebears deck – Legacy Death & Taxes.
With highs of 40 players turning up to compete in our weekly Tuesday night legacy events and just under 60 competitors [including interstate players] turning out for Brisbane’s inaugural Eternal Weekend [BEW] last year, you can get a grasp of the love for the format not only this city is home to but also the Australian eternal player base (an unlimited Black Lotus as prize for first place could have also been a reason for the solid turn out).
Legacy in Brisbane is something special. With the friends I’ve met through the format it’s been more about the gathering than the magic as of late which has made the weekly events and monthly tournaments even more enjoyable to not only take part in, but also to catch up with those who don’t get to play too often due to other real life commitments.
Last year’s Eternal Weekend was won by Melbourne’s one and only Sean Brown aka. The godsend who writes This Week in Legacy aka. /u/ChemicalBurns156 aka the Canadian Threshold master; However as he’s now spending some well earned time in Japan the BEW reigning champion was not going to be around to defend his title.
When the event was announced it would be coming back this year I immediately knew I was playing Death & Taxes. With GP Shizuoka also booked and in the mix I knew Eternal Weekend was going to be a great opportunity to get some competitive testing in to see how my card choices weighed up against the meta that actually showed it’s face on game day.
Here are some cards I tried out in testing to see how much of an impact they still had.
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Spirit of the Labyrinth was the one card that I really wanted to see work in the main deck as when I think of all the blue mages in my local meta, shutting off cantrips and Jace, the Mind Sculptor sounds like the dream. I also believe the Japanese meta would be very blue heavy and Brainstorm would be a card I would be seeing a lot therefore a great target for hate.
When spoiled the Born of the Gods Enchantment creature had a fair bit of buzz around it. Here is a spoiler thread regarding the card so you can see some of the changes in thought regarding it’s impact on the format
Will it be a 4 of in Death & Taxes? Will it be a sideboard card? Does this make Enlightened Tutor any better? How competitive the 75 has become. Honestly in a format dominated and most known for its powerful blue spells this guy couldn’t make the cut?
I would have been really interested to see how this card would have fared without True-Name Nemesis in the field and from that, less -1/-1 effects in the sideboards of weary opponents. I can only assume, better?
Unfortunately Spirit just wasn’t good enough as a silver bullet as the majority of the time I got to try to blow out my opponent off Aether Vial, they had the removal spell or I couldn’t make use of its 3 power when trying to attack through Baleful Stix’s, Young Pyromancer tokens or even a harmless x/1 Elf.
Serra Avenger has to be one of the most fair creatures to ever step foot (or hoof or wing) in the Legacy format. A 3/3 vigilant flyer that cannot be cast in the early turns of the game (but can of course be placed onto the battlefield through an Aether Vial) just doesn’t sound like enough to make the cut.
In a meta where Palace Jailer was doing a ton of work for me, a creature that could not only attack but also protect the monarch on defence seemed a real appeal to me. Not only that, but it’s one of the only creatures that doesn’t die to -1/-1 or 2 damage hate such as Dread of Night, Massacre, Marsh Causalities, Golgari Charm, Kozilek’s Return…the list goes on.
Sadly Serra just turned out to be a little bit too vanilla. Some players do debate that Serra Avenger also isn’t good enough because she cannot be recruited for through Recruiter of the Guard, but I don’t think that’s a point needing to be analysed too much. Serra Avenger isn’t a silver bullet, it’s not a creature that you would WANT to fetch up with a Recruiter and if you did want to fetch a creature that could beat face, Mirran Crusader is just the right choice 99% of the time.
I only play 3 Rishadan Port – I always have and always will. I much rather drop the 4th Port than a Plains for a utility land to make sure my mana base is still consistent. I’ve never lost a game and thought to myself ‘if only I had that 4th Port’ as if anything it’s been ‘if only I hit a second Plains sooner’. This leaves me with a little bit more flexibility with that ‘4th Port slot’ and for some time I was testing out a Ghost Quarter in that place. This was mainly a hedge against local Eldrazi Post and Fast Depths players adopting Sorcerous Spyglass or Pithing Needle in their maindeck as an answer to Wasteland. It was also a hedge against Miracles players opting for a basic-heavy mana base. Being able to interact with a basic Plains or even Strip-mining my opponent if they really didn’t want to shuffle away the Terminus on top of their deck were some really nice interactions I now had on offer.
There was no better feeling that having an opponent go for an early basic land in games 2 or 3, Ghost Quarter them and then heard them say ‘I won’t search’.
However as good as Ghost Quarter was against my opponents mana bases, I felt like I wanted another Plains just to make my access to white sources each game more consistent. Ghost Quarter you still have a place in my heart. I won’t forget the times we had.
Cavern of Souls:
What’s better than a turn 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben against Miracles? An un-counterable turn 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben! Cavern was good but not great. In a deck where the creature types vary, I had a few spots where I just wanted a Plains more than anything. I think Cavern is still fine in a meta where there is going to be a lot of counter magic, but for more a good old Plains is more than fine. The smaller advantage for cards like Cavern of Souls or Horizon Canopy is that they are sources of white mana without being a Plains, meaning opponent who bring in Massacre might not get the chance to play it for free if you play your manabase correctly.
The Final Seventy Five:
4 Aether Vial
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Sword of Fire & Ice
The Core Creature Package
4 Mother of Runes
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Stoneforge Mystic
The Recruiter Package
2 Recruiter of the Guard
2 Mirran Crusader
2 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
1 Sanctum Prelate
1 Palace Jailer
1 Walking Ballista
5 Snow-Covered Plains*
3 Rishadan Port
1 Ancient Tomb
2 Council’s Judgments
2 Path to Exile
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Rest in Peace
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Leonin Relic Warder
1 Remorseful Cleric
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Sanctum Prelate
1 Palace Jailer
*As I could not find my 6th Snow Covered Plains I just opted for a 7th Plains but I do like the even split (in this case 6/6) if you’re opting for the technically correct SCP/Plains split.
I grinded a few months of Legacy Tuesdays before EW with some decent results, mainly finishing with 3-1’s and some old 4-0’s to go ‘infinite’ through store credit rewards. I streamed the Thursday night leading up to the event with the 1 of heavy sideboard version of the deck and finished 4-1 in an MTGO legacy league taking down Grixis Control, UW Stoneblade, UB Reanimator & UR Delver / Wizards and losing to another Grixis Control player.
Saturday came around pretty fast and before you know it I was reading my round 1 pairings.
ETERNAL WEEKEND BEGINS.
Round 1 against Yifei, a local player who I’ve known over the past few months as a pretty handy Aluren player and before that a Grixis Control pilot. I don’t mind the Aluren matchup on D&T but they do have the ability to grind out games, go wide with threats and win without the need for the Aluren plan. I do find D&T sometimes has a hard time against go wide strategies so I wanted an opening hand that gave me some early threats and mana denial. Phyrexian Revoker is my key interaction spell so hopefully I find 1 of my 2 and a Mother of Runes to protect it before my opponent tries to ‘go off’.
Game One – On the draw
Plains  | Rishadan Port  | Ancient Tomb | Phyrexian Revoker
Mulligan to 6 – This is not the start I wanted. My hand is way too slow with Rishadan Port being the only early game interaction. If my opponent is on Aluren then it’s great to have the Phyrexian Revoker ready for Cavern Harpy but I’d rather create a solid boardstate, pressure my opponent early on and then use a Recruiter of the Guard later in the game to find a Revoker if need be.
Plains  | Aether Vial | Stoneforge Mystic | Rishadan Port | Recruiter of the Guard
Keep and scry a Plains to the bottom
This hand is solid, allows me to cast a turn 1 Aether Vial and then lead with either a Stoneforge Mystic on turn 2 or have the ability to Port my opponent. I also have the Recruiter of the Guard to fetch whatever suits how this game 1 plays out and try to match Aluren’s ability to grind.
A land and Ponder from my opponent, a turn 1 Aether Vial for me. This is good. My opponent then plays a second land into…Tarmogoyf. Interesting…I untap and draw, play Rishadan Port and pass, porting my opponent on their upkeep and then Vial’ing in Stoneforge in their end step collecting a Batterskull from my deck. The next few turns makes it clear my opponent has brought a BUG Control deck and not opted for Aluren. After a good grind I find a game winning Mirran Crusader with my Recruiter to charge through a defending Tarmogoyf and parliament of Baleful Strix.
2 Flickerwisp | 1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | 1 Swords to Plowshares
Reasoning: Flickerwisp doesn’t have too much to do in the air with Strix around and the only real target for value is Recruiter in this matchup. However with the abundance of -x/-x hate in BUG colours I opted to trim down Flickerwisp and a Thalia, and then drop a Swords in place for 2 Council’s Judgements. The Rest in Peace neuters Tarmogoyf’s so there are going to be less threats my opponent can pressure me with that would warrant exile via sword.
Looking back I would have been happy to drop another Swords to keep a 3rd Flickerwisp in due to its versatility.
2 Council’s Judgment | 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar | 1 Rest in Peace
Reasoning: Phew, OK – not Aluren. BUG Control I believe is a pretty favoured matchup for D&T so I don’t want to try and sideboard too heavily. I believe True-Name Nemesis will be around and is the biggest threat against me so I bring in the Council’s Judgment’s to deal with those along with Planeswalkers like Liliana, Last Hope or Jace or even something like a Sylvan Library. Council’s Judgement is also a clean answer to Leovold if I need to get it off the board.
Gideon helps in the midrange grind and his emblem is great to fizzle the effect of Golgari Charm or an un-kicked Marsh Causalities. Rest in Peace was brought in as I saw Snapcaster Mage and Goyf in game 1 which was enough for me to warrant the enchantment.
Game 2 – On the draw
Wasteland  | Rishadan Port | Swords  | Thalia, GoT |Mirran Crusader
Mulligan – This hand is strong if I have a white source, but I didn’t want to risk leaving it up to top decking one. Without a white source I do get to deny my opponent access to their mana base but as my opponent fetched for basics quite aggressive in game 1 I’d expect them to play around Wasteland the same in game 2.
Plains | Karakas | Port | Batterskull | Recruiter | Vial
Keep and scry a Swords to Plowshares to the top.
This hand has an early play in Aether Vial followed by a Rishadan Port, as well as a Recruiter to go and recruit whatever creature I need later in the game. This is a pseudo 5 card hand as Batterskull is not being dropped onto the field anytime soon however as a 5 I would be very happy to keep.
This game my opponent decay’s my Vial on turn 2 but I draw another and play it. They had access to Leovold early which ended up doing a ton of work. Karakas’ing a Leovold isn’t the greatest feeling against a deck that is wanting to grind you out. Levold also doesn’t make porting my opponent very good, in-fact it makes Rishadan Port terrible. I remember creating a small board presence which was dealt with by Marsh Casualties whipped my board and the continuous beat down with True Name Nemesis, a few Baleful Strix and Leo proved too much for me to deal with.
No sideboard changes on the play.
Game 3 – On the play
Vial | Karakas | Plains | Wasteland | Mum | Thalia Heretic Cathar | Flickerwisp
Keep – This is a great opening hand. A turn 1 Vial into Wasteland see’s my opponent stumble a little on mana. This game went fast and in my favour. With Mother of Runes online I was able to deploy threats and flooded the board fast. My opponent wasn’t able to find a sweeper or decent blockers in time. Thalia Heretic Cathar played a critical role is giving me a Time Walk where my opponent didn’t have an answer and couldn’t play an untapped land or creature to kill or block one of mine. Victory.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 3/3 games.
Current record: 1-0
Round 2 pairings show I am up against my friend Erik, another local Death & Taxes player who also is known to play RUG Delver. However his most recent matches at our weekly events makes me believe this is going to be the mirror.
The mirror can always lead to some weird games of fair Magic. Aether Vial, Mother of Runes and Umezawa’s Jitte have always been the main cards to help you win this matchup. Swords to Plowshares is also key as it’s a great answer against an offline Mother of Runes, a Revoker haunting you from activating your permanents or exiling an attacking, equipped creature.
Game One – On the play
Karakas  | Rishadan Port | Swords  | Mirran Crusader
Mulligan – It was tough. 3 Swords against a creature deck? Yes please. However I felt this hand was very susceptible to Wasteland and against a Vial start, wouldn’t have done much. If that second Karakas was just a plains maybe, just maybe this is closer to a keep.
Stoneforge Mystic | Recruiter of the Guard | Plains | Wasteland | Aether Vial | Swords
Keep – This had is great on the play with a turn 1 Vial, an answer to Mother of Runes in Swords, Stoneforge to fetch Jitte and Recruiter to either grind out with Flickwisp’s or grab a key card like Walking Ballista or Palace Jailer.
Plains. Turn 1 Vial. Pass the turn. Erik plays a Plains and passes back. I play my wasteland, play the Stoneforge Mystic and search up Jitte which at the end of my turn gets exiled via a Swords. My opponent untaps and casts their own Stoneforge to find their own Umezawa’s Jitte.
Vial up to 2, I play a third land and play Recruiter of the Guard fetching a Flickerwisp. My opponent untaps, plays a 3rd land and taps out for Mirran Crusader. Now it’s clear, I need to get my Jitte online first and fast.
I untap, put vial to 3, play my 4th land which allows me to play and equip Jitte to the Recruiter, vial in Flickerwisp to exile the Mirran so they cannot block with first strike and get the first Jitte points of the match from there. The Flickerwisp then takes over the attacking duties with Jitte equipped and I safely take out the first match after killing off any creature trying to attack in with the opposing Jitte.
Out: 1 Sanctum Prelate | 4 Thalia, GoT | 1 Karakas | 1 Mirran Crusader
Reasoning: Thalia is pretty bad in the face of Karakas and her taxing effect isn’t relevant. Prelate can name 1 if you’re ahead to stop Swords to Plowshares or Paths out of the board, but if you’re already in that position I would rather a more…aggressive creature.I trim on a Karakas and drop a Mirran for Brightling as I really like the 3/3 body and the added flexibility of it’s abilities.
In: 1 Council’s Judgment | 2 Path| 1 Gideon| 1 Brightling | 1 Leonin RW | 1 Jailer
Reasoning: Council’s Judgement is a nice answer to…well anything really AND plays around Mother of Rune’s ability to protect but I didn’t feel I needed both. Path to Exile is great in these creature heavy matchups especially when it can stop a game breaking action like Jitte getting triggers from an attacking creature. Path-ing a Mother of Runes doesn’t feel great but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Gideon is nice for the match going long and allows you to go wide or make your creatures bigger than your opponents. Leonin Relic Warder is a nice recruit-able answer to equipment, Vial and Revokers and can be used nicely with Flickerwisp. I like Brightling’s abilities for vigilance, the life gain can matter in fair match-ups like this and the ability to pump can help race your opponent. Lastly the extra Jailer is another nice answer to an opponents creature and can help you get out in front very quickly. Just look out for getting your monarch stolen as it can turn the tides very quickly if you lose it.
Game Two – On the draw
Plains  | Wasteland | Aether Vial | Stoneforge | Leonin Relic-Warder | Brightling
Keep – This hand has everything (except a Swords to Plowshares but hey you can’t have it all). I believe my opponent mulligans down to 6. They lead with Plains into Aether Vial, I draw Phyrexian Revoker for turn, play my Plains and Vial and pass turn. They play a second Vial, miss their landrop and pass. Hmm..Untap draw…Play my second Plains and play Revoker. With no responses I name Aether Vial. They untap and draw Cavern of Souls, name Human and play Stoneforge for Jitte. Interesting name on the Cavern as it leads me to believe they have a Mirran Crusader in hand. My turn comes around and I wasteland the Cavern, play my own Stoneforge Mystic for Jitte and pass. In the coming turns I get to exile their Jitte with Relic Warder, get my Jitte online and I believe finish the game out with Brightling. My opponent stumbled on mana early on and I was able to take advantage of that. 2-0.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 5/5 games.
Current record: 2-0
Match 3 is against Shawn, a ‘local’ player back from Singapore who I thought would be on his usual Miracles list. However before the match he tells me he forgot to bring his Forces and it ends up being Ad Nauseam facing me down.
A tough matchup if I am on the draw game 1. Being able to be on the play twice is much better as most of my hate is 2CMC and only giving my opponent 1 turn to either go off or have a discard spell is a great spot to be in.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Phyrexian Revoker are key in this matchup to make sure I can slow down my opponent from combo-ing off and get enough pressure to seal the win.
Game One – On the play
Karakas | Plains | Swords | Flickerwisp | Thalia, GoT | Phyrexian Revoker
Keep – The Swords to Plowshares are a little dead but having Thalia and Revoker on the play is key and I don’t want to throw that away.
Turn 1 Plains pass is met with an Island into Ponder. I draw a card and quickly cast Thalia onto the board. I follow up with Phyrexian Revoker naming LED and start my beat down plan. As my opponent plays a Lotus Petal and passes, I use Flickerwisp to not only add to my board and clock but also to ‘reset’ Revoker to name Lotus Petal. This could have been a risky play, but the clock is too much and my opponent cannot go off.
4 Swords to Plowshares | 1 Palace Jailer | 2 Mirran Crusader 2 | 2 Flickerwisp
Reasoning: Swords to Plowshares is dead (other than the small chance your opponent goes for exact life and you’re able to save yourself by exiling your own creature to gain life but it’s not worth the chance), Palace Jailer is too slow and Mirran & Flickerwisp don’t really add anything other than a clock. I rather turn my maindeck into creatures that have an effect AND can clock my opponent.
2 Surgical Extraction | 1 Rest in Peace | 1 Remorseful Cleric | 1 Faerie Macabre | 1 Sanctum Prelate | 1 Brightling | 1 Ethersworn Canonist | 1 Leonin Relic Warder
Reasoning: Graveyard hate and Surgical is pretty key, the second Prelate allows me to name 1 or 2 and then 4 (Massacre, Tendrils, Empty the Warrens, Past in Flames) to lock out my opponent. Canonist is just as good as Thalia if not slightly better as an x/2 and Relic Warder is hate against Lotus Petals, LED’s or Dread of Nights. Brightling is a nice clock that can also be pumped to make your opponent have to really slog out the storm count to get you dead.
Game Two- On the draw
Aether Vial | Thalia | Batterskull | Recruiter of the Guard | Plains | Rishadan Port
Keep – This had again is pretty much a 6 with that Batterskull but is still very good. Turn 1 Vial into either Port or Thalia (depending on hand disruption) into recruiter is my game plan.
My opponent casts a turn 1 Dread of Night. Damn. Turn 1 Rishadan Port into Vial pass. I play the Port to try and draw into a white source that isn’t a Plains to keep a free Massacre off the table. My opponent Infernal Tutors for a Dark Ritual and passes turn.
I untap, play a plains and pass, porting my opponent in their upkeep. In response they ritual into a ritual into an Ad Nauseam and kill me on their turn 3.
No sideboard changes.
Game Three – On the play
Mother| Remorseful Cleric | Thalia, GoT | Flickerwisp | Recruiter | Rishadan Port
Mulligan – A great hand… if it had a white mana. I didn’t want to risk having to top deck a white source against a deck that can go off very early on. I can see why a less conservative player might keep this as the pay off for drawing a white source is pretty great, but that’s not me.
Vial  | Plains | Karakas | Flickerwisp | Batterskull
Mulligan – This hand sadly does a whole lot of nothing. A turn 1 Vial is always nice, but not having any creatures that actually have an impact on the matchup is not where I want to be. Way too slow.
Plains | Karakas | Thalia | Prelate | Flickerwisp
Keep – I bottom Walking Ballista. This hand is pretty great if I can dodge another turn 1 Dread of Night or discard spell turn 1. If I draw into a 3rd land by my 3rd turn I am very happy to drop this Prelate and most likely name 4.
Karakas pass. Ponder from my opponent pass. Phew. No Dread, no hand disruption. Draw another land and play Thalia. My opponent Preordains I believe and passes back. I slam Prelate and name 4. Now 4 doesn’t stop bounce or removal effects (other than Massacre), but it stops my opponent’s win conditions. I swing in and pass. Nothing big from my opponent who passes back only for me to draw another prelate and name 1. I could name 2 as it stops Abrupt Decay but after seeing both Dread of Night, Fatal Push and Chain of Vapor in prior games I’d rather stop those along with cantrips to find a way out of the lock I’ve put on the field.
The beats occur and my opponent concedes. 3-0 and feeling really confident with the deck.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 6/8 games
Mud. Tim is a long time Legacy player in Brisbane and a lover for metalcraft. MUD is a pretty rough matchup at times, however a well timed Wasteland followed up by Rishadan Ports and Phyrexian Revokers can really halt their ability to play out their threats and added pressure from my other creatures can end games quickly.
Game One – On the play
Thalia, GoT | Sanctum Prelate | Ballista | Plains | SoFaI | Rishadan Port | Wasteland
Turn 2 Rishadan Port or Thalia with a Wasteland backup on the play was good enough for me. Prelate on 2 I know stops both Grim Monolith and Lightning Greaves so I was happy with this hand. The sword was a little dead as my lands were going to be held up on denial duties and Ballista was not going to do a whole lot in this matchup except perhaps trade with a Ballista for 1 or Goblin Welder.
Plains pass, I get hit with an Ancient Tomb into Grim Monolith pass. Hmm… I want to get some early pressure down so I go for Thalia and get severely punished by Tim untapping and casting a turn 2 Wurmcoil Engine. Ok, not so bad. My plan shifted to taking a few hits, try to draw into Karakas to start chumping without losing a creature each turn but it doesn’t turn out well. The Grim Monolith also started to negate the effect of Rishadan Port as my opponent would add the mana I tap down into untapping their Grim Monolith for turn. It wasn’t looking great. I get a Stoneforge on the field and search out a Batterskull but she gets thrown under the coil of steel before I can deploy a cheap 5/5.
2 Thalia, GoT | 4 Mother of Runes | 1 Walking Ballista | 1 Mirran Crusader
Reasoning: Thalia’s taxing effect doesn’t do enough and drawing her in multiples can be pretty brutal. Of course Mother of Runes does nothing against artifacts while Ballista just doesn’t make a big enough impact. I don’t believe Mirran is the beater you want in this match up and was happy to trade 1 out for a Brightling.
2 Council’s Judgment | 2 Path | 1 Gideon | 1 Brightling | 1 Leonin R-W| 1 Palace Jailer
Reasoning: Path is great to remove big creatures like Wurmcoil Engine, Kuldotha Forgemaster or Steel Hellkite. Keeping their creatures out of the Greaves is key so having your 1 mana removal is perfect to respond to the equip. Chalice on 1 can be an issue so instead of only being able to Flickerwisp the Chalice, Council’s Judgments come in to deal with threats and Relic-Warder deals with Greaves, Chalice and some big threats. Palace Jailer again is a great removal spell and the card draw is vital to win the grind in this matchup.
Game Two – On the play
AKA. THE BEST GAME OF LEGACY I’VE EVER PLAYED.
Stoneforge  | Batterskull | Brightling | Flickerwisp | Council’s Judgement
Mulligan – No lands and even if I drew two consecutive lands off the top of my deck I’d be playing a very uphill battle. There are better 6’s.
Flickerwisp  | Gideon AOZ | Batterskull | SFM
Mulligan – Had a small chuckle to myself and put it straight back. No lands again and an even higher curve compared to the last hand. We can do better with a 5 surely.
Plains  | Stoneforge Mystic | Batterskull
Keep and top Wasteland – This was a great hand on the play for a 5 especially with wasteland on top.
This game was one for the ages.
I played Plains and passed, my opponent I believe played an artifact land and passed. I was happy to drop a plains and play Stoneforge getting SoFaI. My opponent played turn 2 Greaves and passed, I draw a Swords to Plowshares for my turn so I was happy to pass turn with both Swords and Stoneforge -> Batterskull up. On my opponents turn 3 they play a Kuldotha Forgemaster which I get to Swords in response to the equip to Greaves. Lucky as I believe they had enough on board to give it haste, sac some artifacts to get Blightsteel, equip and swing in.
If I was certain this was their play, perhaps I could have waited for Blightsteel to be equipped and used my Swords then, but I was not 100% sure what was going to be the target so was happy to exile the Forgemaster to stop any sort of shenanigans.
In their end step I put in the Batterskull, untap, put the SoFaI into play off Stoneforge and bash in with the equipped Batterskull for 6.
My opponent draws, plays Steel Hellkite, equips to the boots, swings in and activities its ability for 0 taking care of the Germ Token.
Game On. Clock on.
I draw Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Not good. I equip the Sword of Fire and Ice to the Stoneforge and swing in, taking some life from my opponent and drawing a card. Swords to Plowshares… which sadly does nothing in the face of this booted up Hellkite. I don’t play the Thalia as I assume my opponent will attack with the Hellkite then blow up the 2CMC Stoneforge Mystic taking the Thalia with it if also on board. I pass and Port. Hellkite swings in and SFM is gone. I go to 16. I play Thalia and Equip and Pass. I take a hit, Thalia goes down. It’s looking like it’s Flickerwisp on Greaves or Leonin Relic Warder to take the boots so I can swords the Hellkite. I draw for turn. Council’s Judgement. I name the Lightning Greaves then Swords the steel dragon then and there. My opponent untaps and plants a Wurmcoil Engine onto the battlefield. Ok. Draw for turn… Palace Jailer. Play the Jailer and Exile the Wurm. I get to the point where I get to attack for some damage with the Jailer but then another Wurmcoil hits the field.
Jitte gets in the mix and I end up winning the match, my opponent conceding with 2 Wurmcoils in play and me with a Jailer…and a first striking Thalia equipped with Batterskull, SOFIA and a Jitte with 5 counters.
On to game 3
Game Three – On the draw
Plains  | Karakas | Thalia, GoT | Mirran Crusader | Recruiter
Keep – Sure it’s pretty fair but it’s got a nice curve and Recruiter can fetch anything from Relic Warder to Palace Jailer if need be. It doesn’t have any quick interaction but with my opponent on a mulligan I was happy.
My opponent sadly mulls down to 5 and has a quick start of turn 1 Chalice of the Void. I believe I play a Plains pass and they don’t have too much to follow up with. Thalia and Mirran attacks take down my opponents life total and the Recruiter fetches a Palace Jailer to seal the deal. Not the way I wanted this match to end after such an amazing game 2. 4-0 and locked in.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 6/11 games
Current record: 4-0
Not just Lands, but local Lands aficionado and friend Allan who’s the only other 4-0 going into the last round of swiss. Allan has been playing Lands for a long time now, a very polished pilot of the deck and not someone I like seeing against my name when it comes to pairings. However Death & Taxes can really pressure lands players even without graveyard interaction in game 1. A turn 1 Aether Vial allows us to use our lands such as Wasteland and Rishadan Port to try and lock our opponent off mana or cards like Thespian Stage and Maze of Ith to get damage through. Sanctum Prelate is also an all star as naming 2 shuts off their engine in Life from the Loam and recurring removal in Punishing Fire. However you always need to be aware of Barbarian Ring, so make sure you get that Sanctum Prelate attached to a Sword of Fire & Ice asap.
We could ID into top 8 but I want to play it out. I payed to play competitive magic and wanted to get the most out of that.
Game 1 – On the play
Vial | Karakas | Wasteland | Swords | Thalia, GoT | Stoneforge | Recruiter
Keep – Welcome back turn 1 Aether Vial! In all seriousness other than having a wasteland-able white source this hand is great. Recruiter is going to get Prelate for sure and so I just have to try and slow down my opponent as much as I can.
I play turn 1 Aether Vial off the Wasteland as I don’t want to be cut off W straight away. My opponent plays a turn 1 Mox Diamond, land then Molten Vortex. Ouch. Looks like Recruiter is now going to search up a Phyrexian Revoker or else I’m going to be locked out of this game from this turn onwards. I tick up Vial and draw a Mother of Runes. Not the best when Vortex is something that can be activated more than once. I get Mum down via Vial but she dies to the Vortex in my opponent’s end step. I draw a 3rd land and go for it. Play Recruiter, get Revoker and activate Vial. In response Allan adds a red to his pool with one of his Mox Diamonds. He has no other colour producing lands. I name Molten Vortex and pass. Unfortunately Loam is the next spell cast and it all goes downhill from there. Maze of Ith makes my clock 1 damage a turn, Grove of the Burnwillows and Punishing Fire come online not soon after but it’s the Tabernacle I concede to mid game.
1 Swords to Plowshares | 3 Thalia, GoT | 2 Stoneforge | 2 Mirran Crusader| 1 Ballista | 1 Jitte | 1 Karakas
Reasoning: As I am bringing in a large amount of non-creature cards and my opponent has access to Karakas Thalia isn’t great. The Jitte doesn’t do enough for me so I drop it and 2 SFMs which can search up Sword of Fire & Ice to start getting some real beats going through a creature that cannot be Punishing Fire’d but I felt 2 equipment and 2 SFM left in the deck was fine. Mirran is pretty rough against Vortex and Punishing Fire so opted for Brightling out of the board.
2 Surgical | 1 Path | 1 Council’s Judgement | 1 Rest in Peace | 1 Remorseful Cleric | 1 Faerie Macabre | 1 Prelate | 1 Brightling | 1 Jailer | 1 Leonin Relic Warder |
Reasoning: Graveyard hate is key to slowing down the Life from the Loam engine as well as reoccurring Punishing Fire. Path is a great answer to Marit Lage as it doesn’t reset my clock like Swords to Plowshares does. Council’s Judgment and Relic-Warder are just nice answers to cards like Mox Diamond if I’m going full mana denial, Molten Vortex, Exploration or sometimes even naming a Tireless Tracker or Marit L with judgement. Brightling survives Punishing Fire, Ring and Vortex and really pressures the opponent through pump effects.
Pro Tip: Sometimes if your clock is good enough, you can take a hit from Marit Lage by swords’ing one of your own creatures to survive the attack and kill your opponent on the back swing. Just note to be out of range of a Punishing Fire or Barbarian Ring finishing you off.
Game 2 on the play
Plains  | Rishadan Port | Wasteland | Revoker |Flickerwisp | Mother of Runes
Keep – This is a more than fine hand. I was able to get a Mother of Runes online then Ported my opponent off Thespian Stage, their only mana source. I believe I drew into Wasteland to take care of their Grove of the Burnwillows and more importantly only G source, apply pressure and kill them before they could deal with my board.
Game 3 on the draw
Vial | Mother of Runes | Plains  | Palace Jailer 
Keep – This hand is pretty handy for a long game which it turned out to be. My mana cannot be tampered with outside of Ghost Quarter and I have a turn 1 Vial.
Grove pass from my opponent. I draw Recruiter, play a Plains into Vial and pass back. Wasteland pass from my opponent – A very slow start for my opponent but I am not upset in the slightest.
I get to Recruiter for Faerie Macabre which removes a Riftstone Portal and Barbarian Ring from their graveyard and the beats come online from recruiter and Jailer. They make a Marit Leige which I am able to block with a Flickerwisp and protect with Mother of Runes, but Tabernacle is not allowing me to do much else after my Vial was the target of a Krosan Grip. I sacrifice the Recruiter and Jailer on board so I have enough mana to play the 2nd Jailer, exile the Marit Leige and start beating down with the Wisp. The beats get there and I’m 5-0 heading into the QF’s of Brisbane’s Eternal Weekend.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 8/14 games
Burn. Isaac is a pretty well known local to play burn and has some really good results with it. A pretty 50/50 matchup depending on the speed of his hand and the speed of my threats and pressure. Do I get a Vial down before they drop an Eidolon? Does my Thalia tax or do they have lands each turn? Do they have Sulfuric Vortex before I can attack with my equipment? Searing Blaze is a rough card so I’m looking at Thalia and Stoneforge Mystic to get me some quick pressure and beats. and try to make the most of Rishadan Port before I have to wasteland it to keep myself from losing any life to Price of Progress.
Game 1 on the play
Plains  | Rishadan Port  | Jitte | Batterskull | Mother of Runes
Mulligan – Too slow. Turn 1 Mother of Runes into Port might seem fine, but if I am on the port plan for the rest of the game I’m not getting anything else down.
Plains | Swords to Plowshares | Vial | Mother of Runes | Recruiter | Flickerwisp
Keep – Turn 1 Aether Vial is a great start against Burn. Not only against Eidolon but playing at instant speed gives me a great advantage.
I don’t remember too much from these games but they have been recorded so I’ll be sure to update this with links to those matches once commentary and editing has been finished.
I believe I led with Plains into Vial, Isaac led with a Lava Spike pass. I got to draw into a second land and pass only to see my opponent play a land, pass and then Searing Blaze my end of turn Mother of Runes. Taylor-Swiftspears took over the game and my threats were burnt to a crisp. Concede and hope we can turn this around.
2 Phyrexian Revoker | 1 Palace Jailer | 1 Mirran Crusader | 1 Ancient Tomb | 1 Walking Ballista |
Reasoning: Revoker doesn’t have anything to name as I don’t believe my opponent is on Lavamancer, Palace Jailer is a liability as I do not want my opponent to get the crown, so much that I want to take chance out completely. Ancient Tomb is no good as I don’t really mind losing the ‘speed draws’ it can cause. Ballista isn’t needed and Mirran is swapped for Brightling.
2 Council’s Judgement | 1 Sanctum Prelate | 1 Brightling | 1 Leonin Relic Warder | 1 Ethersworn Canonist |
Reasoning: Council’s Judgment is great for Sulfuric Vortex and Ensnaring Bridge, Prelate on 2 stops Smash to Smithereens, Searing Blade, Price of Progress and anything from the board like Searing Blood or Sudden Shock. Relic Warder can reset my Batterskull, take out a Bridge or Vortex or even deal with an Eidolon (best off Vial). Canonist allows me to slow down their plan and doesn’t really affect me with my larger amount of artifact spells and Vial.
Game 2 on the play
Plains  | Rishadan Port | Wasteland | Jitte | Batterskull |
Mull – Rough. No creatures, no real interaction. This hand is just a bunch of nothing and a prayer for something off the top…every turn for the rest of the game. No thanks.
Plains  | Flickerwisp | Sanctum Prelate | Vial | Batterskull
Keep – This hand is okay. I get a turn 1 Vial and have some nice interaction later down the line.
This game goes long and Isaac is slowly burning me down. I get to the stage where I believe I top deck a Relic Warder, take out the Ensnaring Bridge on field and swing in with a Swords’d up Batterskull for 6 turning the tides. However I made an error:
I had a Swords to Plowshares in hand waiting to exile my own Germ if need be for life as I was at the stage of having enough mana to swords it, return it to my hand and redeploy it the follow turn. My opponent had a Barbarian Ring in play but no mana open to play it. I should have Swords to Plowshare’d the Leonin Relic Warder with the trigger on the stack. This would have meant I gained 2 life, the Ensnaring Bridge would have been exiled forever and the Batterskull could have run away with the game. Nevertheless my opponent in his turn killed the Relic Warder, got his Bridge back and passed. I was able to draw into a Recruiter of the Guard in later turns to find and use Flickerwisp to take out the Bridge to swing for lethal with the Skull and other threats. Lucky.
Game 3 on the draw
Vial | Plains | Karakas | Leonin Relic Warder | Recruiter of the Guard | Flickerwisp | Mirran Crusader
Keep – This hand is great. I have a turn 1 Vial, a sideboard card in Relic Warder and some great 3 drops to get pressure going and utility through Recruiter and Flickerwisp interactions (if I’m lucky and they don’t die straight away).
This game I’m very hazed on, but I know I got to a stage where I got to Relic Warder out a Bridge to swing with Mirran for 4 counters and gain 8 life. Another stalemate and long game led to me drawing into a Flicker effect for the Bridge to swing in for lethal.
Great feeling and into the semi finals.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 10/17 games
Jesse on RUG Delver. Jesse is one of the newest players entering the Legacy community but has found a nice spot with RUG Delver, having some really nice finishes at weekly events and some of the monthly tournaments.
RUG is a favoured matchup for me IMO, especially when I am on the play for game 1. An early Delver and ‘protect the queen strategy’ can be really rough for me, but luckily I have some great cards to try and apply too much pressure for that sort of strategy to work. Aether Vial is key. Thalia and Mother of Runes are key. Wasteland and Port are key for my mana denial. Stoneforge Mystic is also an all star as some RUG decks have issues dealing with Batterskull or really any of the equipment in game 1 outside of removal in response to equip or a card like Abrade.
Game 1 on the play
Plains | Mother of Runes | Swords to Plowshares | Thalia | Jitte | Revoker | Flickerwisp
Mulligan – This had would be sweet with another land instead of say the Revoker which is dead in the matchup, but I don’t want to risk a one lander and put it back.
Aether Vial | Plains  | Stoneforge Mystic | Thalia |Swords to Plowshares
Keep and bottom Revoker. I couldn’t ask for a better 6. Turn 1 Vial and then play the game out playing around Daze the whole time if need be.
Turn 1 Vial pass. Land Ponder from my opponent. This hand pretty much plays out as playing a slow game around Daze, getting down Thalia, SFM into Batterskull, dealing with a Goyf with the Swords to Plowshares and just pressuring my opponent into some bad blocks and ultimately a concession.
2 Phyrexian Revoker | 1 Karakas | 1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | 1 Flickerwisp | 1 Sanctum Prelate | 1 Walking Ballista | 1 Palace Jailer |
Reasoning: Revoker as said previously is dead other than if I see something like Izzet Staticaster in this next game. I’m happy to go down to 22 lands and 3 Thalia on the play. Flickerwisp is okay but I’m more than happy to add a Brightling to the mix over it. Prelate for 1 is great but I also have many good removal spells at 1 so board it out until I see something that really needs to be answered by it. Jailer isn’t great against a TNN deck and Ballista just doesn’t do enough against a deck with shroud creatures and Goyfs.
2 Path to Exile | 2 Council’s Judgment | 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar | 1 Remorseful Cleric | 1 Rest in Peace | 1 Brightling |
Reasoning: Path is a nice clean answer to Goyf and Delver as RUG Delver doesn’t’ run any basics. Council’s Judgments are for TNN or perhaps another threat of Sylvan Library. Gideon rocks in the midrange match along with Brightling and RIP & Cleric allow me to interact with threshold and Goyf.
Game 2 on the draw
Thalia  | Ancient Tomb | Karakas | Gideon AOZ | Recruiter
Keep scry Plains to the top. This hand is great as it allows me to play a turn 2 Thalia out of Daze range. I can then follow up with a Recruiter for something like a Stoneforge Mystic and then get Gideon down to really apply pressure.
Delver pass. Hmm… Draw a Plains and play it, passing turn as I don’t want to play a Wasteland-able source of mana. Delver doesn’t flip and I believe it’s a pass back. I play Ancient Tomb and cast Thalia, my opponent goes to Daze then realises I have 1 mana floating from the Tomb. Achievement unlocked. Thalia sticks, Delver doesn’t flip but a land means Thalia gets bolted out and Delver gets in. I play the 2nd Thalia and pass. Another Delver hits the field and the game goes into the air. Gideon doesn’t do enough after the recruiter gets countered out by double daze and I lose to Delver beats.
Game 3 on the play
Plains | Wasteland | Port | Thalia | Stoneforge Mystic | Recruiter | Vial
Keep – God hand? Other than missing something like a Mother of Runes or Swords this hand is straight gas.
Turn 1 Vial, sure. Opponent plays a turn 1 Delver and passes. I play a port and port my opponent in their upkeep. Delver flips and first blood is drawn. Another Delver falls to the field… This hand isn’t looking too flash against 2 flying threats next turn. I untap. Vial to 2 I put in Thalia so I can cast SFM without worrying about Daze or Force, get Batterskull and Wasteland my opponent off Red. Delver flips, but after taking damage I get to get in with Skull, recruiter for a Wisp and close out the game from there after I re-flip I a Delver and it has a hard time flipping. Finals magic baby.
Turn 1 Vial Count: 12/19 games
Shawn back to take me down with Ad Nauseam Tendrils. Pretty awesome to see Shawn come back from Singapore, win the weekly event and then see him here in the finals of Eternal Weekend. I feel good having another game 1 on the play and get a nice hand.
Game 1 on the play
Thalia  | Thalia Heretic Cathar | Plains | Ancient Tomb |Recruiter | Flickerwisp
Keep – Sure, this hand is a little more susceptible to Cabal Therapy with 2 Thalias and my opponent with full knowledge of what deck I am on but I keep it. Turn 2 Thalia is always a good one.
Plains go. Cabal Therapy, name Thalia Guardian of Thraben. Out.
Ancient Tomb into Recruiter of the Guard. Fetch Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
Opponent plays a land into another Cabal Therapy naming Thalia Guardian of Thraben.
Fine. 4th time lucky. Swing with the Recruiter, Flicker it for Thalia Guardian of Thraben.
Opponent Ponders, Preordains and passes. Sweet.
I play Thalia GoT AND Thalia HC and apply pressure. My opponent cannot go off in time and I get the first game.
4 Swords to Plowshares | 1 Palace Jailer | 2 Mirran Crusader | 2 Flickerwisp |
Reasoning – Same as round 3.
2 Surgical | 1 Rest in Peace | 1 Remorseful Cleric | 1 Faerie Macabre |1 Prelate | 1 Brightling | 1 Ethersworn Canonist | 1 Leonin Relic Warder |
Reasoning – Same as round 3.
Game 2 on the draw
Wasteland | Ancient Tomb | Plains | Sanctum | SFM | Ballista | Thalia HC
Mulligan – Too slow of a hand with only Prelate being the only real hate card.
Mother of Runes | Thalia | Stoneforge Mystic | Plains  | Karakas | Surgical
Keep and bottom Ballista. Thalia is always nice but on the play could be too slow. Surgical at least gives me some sort of early game interaction so we go with this.
Turn 1 Dread of Night. Pass. Ahh haha not like this please.
Karakas pass. Land and cantrip from Shawn – pass. Stoneforge Mystic hits the table and I go for Batterskull.
Second Dread of Night, SFM leaves the field. I don’t get time to get Dreads off the field before I get hit by Tendrils. Game 3.
Game 3 on the play
Plains | Port | Vial | Thalia | Canonist | Jitte | Batterskull
Keep – Turn 1 Vial into either hatebear is more than fine. I believe I play the Port into Vial only to be hit with a Cabal taking Thalia. I slam Canonist and then continue to Port my opponent. I draw into another land and Port and double Port until I hit my 5th land and want to apply more pressure in Batterskull. This was a really tough decision as I wasn’t sure how much Port was affecting Shawn’s ability to go off but I really wanted to get a faster clock going. I got Jitte online the next turn and before you know it my opponent is at 6 life with a Dread of Night on board and I have 4 Counters on Jitte. I know my opponent has a Chain of Vapor in hand, so I move the Jitte to the Battersull, pump it once to a 6/6 then go to move the Jitte back to the Canonist to make 2 Lethal threats. Shawn shows his hand.
It’s done. It’s over. 8-0 and winner of Brisbane’s second Legacy Legends as part of their Annual Weekend. A Volcanic Island was for top spot, but Shawn and I decided with the store to change 1st and 2nd place into $300 store credit each and play for the title.
Final Turn 1 Vial Count: 14/23 games – 60.9%
Aluren 2-1 W
Death & Taxes 2-0 W
Storm 2-1 W
MUD 2-1 W
Lands 2-1 W
Burn 2-1 W
RUG Delver 2-1 W
Storm 2-1 W
I love this deck. The maindeck Ballista didn’t matchup well against my matches but I still like having it as a recruiter option in game 1. My opponents during the event were all great to play against and put me in some really hard positions where a small slip up could have caused the day to swing in their favour.
The deck felt really smooth even with mulligans and the manabase was really nice with the amount of basic plains in the deck over utility lands like Cavern, Horizon Canopy, Misha’s Factory. The Ancient Tomb did some solid work at times, a turn 2 Recruiter to find what you need after knowing the matchup after turn 2 is a great feeling.
A small shout out to my twitch channel dougesontwitch [I play Legacy Leagues on Thursday ngihts from 7:30pm AEST] my Twitter and my Reddit account /u/douges. If you have any questions always feel free to contact me!
The quarter finals, semi finals and finals coverage will all be uploaded in good time so if I did get any play by plays wrong you can see them corrected via the footage. Hopefully we’ll have those matches up in good time and linked through this article.
For now it’s GP Melbourne Legacy side events this week and then GP Shizuoka in a few weeks. Hopefully with the travelling I can work on updating my piece on Rishadan Port.
Until then thanks for reading, stay safe and thank you to CBR MTG for letting me write this out!