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Insider: Legacy Tournament Report (U/W/r Miracles)

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Welcome back, readers!

I know that normally I write finance articles, but as a Legacy aficionado who just played in a Legacy SCG-IQ, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to write up a tournament report. Let's start from the beginning.

Pre-Tournament

The first thing one must decide before a tournament is what deck to play. Certain factors help contribute to the decision. 1. What cards do you have available? 2. What decks do you expect to play against? 3. What decks do you feel comfortable piloting?

For #1, I've invested a lot into my Legacy collection, which greatly reduces the decks I can't play due to card availability. That being said, there are still some decks I can't play--High Tide and Imperial Painter come to mind.

For #2, It was an SCG-IQ but we expected attendants from all over the state and a lot of different tier 1 archetypes. This is important to note because at small local tournaments with a smaller player pool it is often wiser to pick a more explosive "glass-cannon" style deck (like Dredge, Ooops All Spells, Cheerios, etc.). This also means that whatever deck I pick needs to have a chance against a large variety of good decks.

For #3, I have extensive playtesting experience with Miracles, Maverick, Dredge, and Storm. However, recently I've been playing Miracles the most and it's the deck I am most comfortable piloting.

Once an archetype is chosen (in this case Miracles), my next step was choosing the exact build. The beauty of Legacy is that several different builds are available for many deck archetypes, which can be tweaked based on the pilot's skill and the expected field.

As a lot of Delver and X-Blade decks have been doing well on the SCG circuit recently, I expected a higher count of this archetype. Therefore, I wanted to play the U/W/r Miracles version that has the most play against them.

This is the decklist I chose:

As you'd expect, the main deck needs to cover a lot of different bases (based on what you're playing against) and the sideboard cards need to shore up any known weaknesses.

For this tournament I chose to play the following sideboard:

Card Reason
2 Rest in Peace Best graveyard hate for white
2 Flusterstorm Storm hate
1 Pyroblast Best anti-blue card
1 Red Elemental Blast See above
1 Supreme Verdict Uncounterable Wrath for tempo/creature decks
2 Ensnaring Bridge Sneak & Show and Reanimator hate (also splash against larger creatures)
1 Relic of Progenitus More graveyard hate (good against RUG)
1 Pithing Needle Planeswalker/universal hate
2 Wear // Tear Equipment hate with splash hate for Enchantress/MUD
1 Izzet Staticaster Hate for all small swarm style decks (Elves/Goblins/Death and Taxes)
1 Swords to Plowshares Extra removal spell

Now that the deck and sideboard are set let's begin with the actual tournament results.

Tournament

Round 1 vs. RUG Delver

Game 1:

He won the die roll and proceeded to play a turn one Nimble Mongoose. I tried to chump block with a Snapcaster on turn two, but he had the Lightning Bolt for it and by the time I finally killed the Nimble Mongoose (with a Vendilion Clique), it had already knocked me below 10. A Tarmogoyf finished me off while I durdled about looking for a Terminus.

Sideboard:

-1x Venser, Shaper Savant
-1x Spell Pierce
-3x Vendilion Clique
-1x Jace the Mind Sculptor

+1 Pyroblast
+1x Red Elemental Blast
+2x Ensnaring Bridge
+1x Swords to Plowshares
+1x Relic of Progenitus

The reasoning for this board plan was that RUG Delver plays few threats, though very quickly. Therefore, my goal is to stall them, hopefully at enough life to stabilize and avoid being burned out.

Game 2:

I managed to slow his game plan down a bit and stick an Ensnaring Bridge, however he was able to get in enough pings with an un-thresholded Mongoose to get me down to 8. I got my JTMS up to 12 loyalty counters, but the turn before I could ultimate he was able to burn me out.

0-1

Round 2 vs. Imperial Painter

Game 1:

He won the die roll and played a Mountain turn one. This led me to believe he was playing either a Painter deck, Sneak and Show, or Mono-Red Sneak Attack.

I played a turn one Island and passed with Spell Pierce up. He then played Ancient Tomb and a Painter's Servant. I played a Scalding Tarn (as I had a Swords in my hand) and passed. He then played a Blood Moon and with that on the stack I had to fetch for a Tundra and send his Servant plowing.

From this point forward I ripped fetchland (read Mountain) for four turns in a row while he played a Simian Spirit Guide and proceeded to beat me down with the 2/2 monkey. I eventually drew into a JTMS, Terminus, and Venser...all while having only the basic island and a bunch of mountains in play. Thus, I died slowly and awkwardly to a Simian Spirit Guide.

Sideboard:

-3 Terminus
-2 Vendilion Clique

+1 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast
+2 Wear // Tear
+1 Pithing Needle

Game 2:

I started with Island into Top. He played a turn one Mountain, I then fetched another basic Island and played Counterbalance. He forgot that Pyroblast can counter a blue spell, allowed the CB to resolve, and I proceeded to float an Entreat (for its three CMC) and a Brainstorm on top while filtering through cards. When I had a strong hand of counterspells, I entreated for five and finished him off the next turn.

Sideboard: No changes

Game 3:

He went Mountain, Spirit Guide, Spirit Guide, Blood Moon...right into my Force of Will. I played a Top and next turn he played a second Mountain and dropped Painter's Servant. In hand I had Scalding Tarn, FoW, Brainstorm, Pyroblast, and something else. As he had already used up two Spirit Guides I figured the likelihood that he'd have another was very slim (just as he assumed I wouldn't have another Force). I let it resolve; he named blue as expected. I played my Tarn, fetched out the Volcanic Island and Pyroblasted his Painter's Servant.

We played draw-go for awhile while I played lands. I got my JTMS in play and fatesealed him up to 11 loyalty. I then top-decked an Entreat for four angels (leaving up Red Elemental Blast). I let him keep the Pyroblast I'd fatesealed, he used it on JTMS and proceeded to die to the angels.

The reason I left the Pyroblast was that I knew he'd blow it on the JTMS immediately and more importantly I'd already decided I was going to win with the angels as he had no maindeck out to them (and letting him blast it meant he wouldn't draw the Grindstone that he could have potentially top-decked).

1-1

Round 3 vs. Esper Deathblade

Game 1:

I won the die roll and started with basic Island into Top. He played a fetch and passed. I went for a turn two Counterbalance with Force backup. He Forced it, I returned the favor and locked him out when he played nothing on turn two. I played a turn five Vendilion Clique (holding up two lands to Counterbalance/Top) and beat him down.

Sideboard:

-1x Venser, Shaper Savant
-2x Swords to Plowshares
-1x Spell Pierce

+1x Supreme Verdict
+ 2x Ensnaring Bridge

I knew he played True-Name Nemesis and while I could try to fight over them with Pyroblasts, targeted removal was really only good against the Stoneforge Mystics themselves (and Blade players will tend to go for the Sword of Fire and Ice first because it's doesn't get stranded in their hand if the SFM gets killed). Ensnaring Bridge and Verdict gave me solid answers to resolved threats.

Game 2:

He resolved two Meddling Mages, naming Terminus and Entreat, and a Vendilion Clique which tucked my Wear // Tear. Unfortunately for him I happened to draw the Supreme Verdict, wiping away his board.

I Cliqued him on my turn to see a hand of Swords to Plowshares, Batterskull, and Helm of Obedience (which he'd sided in thinking I was still playing my RIP Helm Miracles build). I tucked the Swords and counterbalanced his Helm with a JTMS, and then counterbalanced his Batterskull with a Force I'd been floating (ideally to counterbalance his Force if he forced my Jace). He conceded when I untapped and started fatesealing him with Jace.

2-1

Round 4 vs. MUD 12-Post

Game 1:

I won the die roll, played my fetchland into Top. He attempted to cast a turn two Chalice of the Void for 2 (which I Forced). I stuck a Counterbalance. He played a Wurmcoil Engine. I played a Jace and unsummoned it. He played it again. I bounced it again. I countered it with a Terminus off of Counterbalance, which was pretty awesome.

He then cast a Karn Liberated which exiled my JTMS. Then he exiled a card in my hand, then my Counterbalance. Cast another Wurmcoil (which I Terminus'd) and then he cast a third one. I died to that one.

Sideboard:

-1x Pyroblast
-1x Spell Pierce
-4x Counterbalance
-1x Entreat the Angels

+2 Wear // Tear
+2 Ensnaring Bridge
+1 Swords to Plowshares
+1 Pithing Needle

As I didn't expect to Counterbalance lock him out of this game, I was going for the hide behind Ensnaring Bridge, Jace him to death plan (with Pithing Needle for Karn).

Game 2:

I got my turn one Top and he played his first locus land. We played draw-land-go for a while and then he stuck a Trinisphere (which by this point I didn't care about) and a Chalice for 1 (which was a pain, but not a stop to my end game).

He then proceeded to drop Metalworker, Staff of Nin, and a Blightsteel Colossus. I sent the creatures packing with a well timed Terminus and I Weared his Staff of Nin (which I have to admit is the first time I've ever had to do that). He proceeded to draw another one and a Staff of Domination.

I was again able to Wear the Staff of Nin and Snapcaster, Wear the Staff of Domination, but not before he dumped a bunch of mana and draw five cards. After this it was him simply playing Wurmcoils and Kuldotha Forgemasters until I ran out of answers.

2-2

Round 5 vs. Storm

Game 1:

He won the die roll, but mulliganed to four. I managed to get my turn one Top (with a Force of Will and Snapcaster just in case). He proceeded to not draw lands and I stuck a Counterbalance. He conceded when I untapped with the lock.

Sideboard:

-4x  Terminus
-2x Swords to Plowshares
-1 Venser, Shaper Sevant
-1x Jace, the Mindsculptor

+2 Flusterstorm
+2 Rest in Peace
+1 Relic of Progenitus
1x Pyroblast
+1 Red Elemental Blast

The cards I swapped out were almost 100% dead or too slow against Storm, whereas what I brought in all had some value (especially when they go for the Past in Flames kill).

Game 2:

He mulliganed to six, but my hand was 2x fetchlands, 1x plains, 1x Spell Pierce, 1x Flusterstorm, 1x Relic of Progenitus, and 1x Jace. He didn't go off on turn one, I draw a counterspell. He tried to Ad Nauseam on turn two with no mana floating so I Spell Pierced it.

I drew a Vendilion Clique and played my remaining fetchland. He drew and passed, I played my third land and the Relic. He attempted to go off on his next turn and when he cracked his LED with the Infernal Tutor on the stack, I just flat out countered the Infernal Tutor and he conceded.

Final: 3-2

Post-Tournament

Unfortunately my tie breakers weren't all that great and I landed in 12th place. However, I do feel that my deck choice for the tournament was a good one (there were a lot of creature-based decks that would have a hard time beating 4x Terminus) and the deck is extremely powerful and resilient.

Going forward I would likely cut the red from the deck. There are very few instances in which I can fuse Wear // Tear (and since Wear was the mode I used the most, I paid two mana for a more restricted Disenchant). The lack of a lot of blue decks also made the Pyroblasts and Red Elemental Blasts somewhat underwhelming, though I imagine in other larger venues they would pull their weight more.

I realize that with Legacy many players think that you can splash a color with virtually no cost, but weakening your mana base is a cost and it's one that should definitely be considered and weighed against the possibilities.

7 thoughts on “Insider: Legacy Tournament Report (U/W/r Miracles)

  1. I was surprised to see Ensnaring Bridge come in against RUG. As a RUG player I always board my Goyfs out against decks that are likely to RIP me, and they’re pretty weak against STP, too. Maybe this isn’t completely adopted by everyone, but anyway, the question is- how many cards do you usually have in hand against RUG? I feel like it’s more than Bridge would like.

    1. If you board out Goyfs then you’re leaving yourself only 8 threats…so if they bring in more removal (as they tend to do) then they can simply run you out of threats and if you don’t one soon enough (or don’t land it) they can build up their land base (which was my goal against RUG). The trick with ensnaring bridge is that you get your hand to less than 3 cards (which is pretty easy so long as you hit your land drops). The only problem you run into is when you draw a terminus against an empty board and it sits in your hand, but if they have an empty board than maintaining the bridge isn’t as big of a deal. I can definitely understand pulling the Goyfs when you fear the RIP’s though.

      1. Many RUG sideboards have different threats to bring in. It’s not boarding down, it’s making a lateral change. Be it sulfur elemental, sulfuric vortex or TNN, something that deals damage is coming in.

        1. But again..if they bring in Sulfur Elemental or TNN, keeping your hand to 2 or less (with a bridge in play) keeps those threats from doing anything. The key # against RUG is 3 power (or greater). The sulfuric vortex is a much bigger problem for Miracles because it’s much harder to get rid of, but looking over a lot of recent winning RUG lists I’m not seeing a lot of additional threats in the board (maybe 2 at most). Grim Lavamancer would also be a major problem if the Miracles player goes the bridge route as well as he can help you get your mongoose “un-thresholded” and burn for 2 each turn.

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