Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tourney Report: Legacy on 9-19-2006

I had the opportunity to play a 23 man Legacy event today near Jacksonville, IL. I sleeved up the following list for 6 rounds of swiss+1. As most of you know, I've been playing NLS since doing initial development of the deck several months ago. This is a fast storm combo deck packing Ad Nauseam, Doomsday, and Ill-Gotten Gains with a powerful tutor package and strong complement of cantrips. The deck is light on protection but makes up for it with increased cantrips including Sensei's Divining Top.

For this event, I tried a white splash. The 3 non-blue lands and lack of Island didn't really affect me all day, although I will gladly be moving to a more blue-centric manabase when Zendikar comes out so I have to mull fewer hands due to blue cantrips + nonblue duals. City of Brass is splashed to help the color distribution. I haven't found the lifeloss signficant yet in testing or tournament play. The singleton Silence maindeck is a nod to an increased amount of Tempo decks over CB decks in my metagame.

// NLS by emidln
4 Polluted Delta
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 City of Brass
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
1 Scrubland
1 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
2 Chrome Mox
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Dark Ritual
2 Cabal Ritual
4 Brainstorm
4 Sensei's Divining top
2 Ponder
4 Mystical Tutor
3 Burning Wish
2 Infernal Tutor
1 Doomsday
1 Ill-Gotten Gains
1 Meditate
1 Ad Nauseam
1 Tendrils of Agony
4 Duress
1 Silence

SB: 1 Silence
SB: 2 Xantid Swarm
SB: 1 Hurkyl's Recall
SB: 1 Pyroblast
SB: 1 Chain of Vapor
SB: 1 Krosan Grip
SB: 1 Tendrils of Agony
SB: 1 Empty the Warrens
SB: 1 Doomsday
SB: 1 Ill-Gotten Gains
SB: 1 Deathmark
SB: 1 Infernal Tutor
SB: 1 Thoughtseize
SB: 1 Reverent Silence

Round 1 vs BGW Deadguy

He opens with Thoughtseize and has to make a decision on:

City of Brass
Sensei's Divining Top
Dark Ritual
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Infernal Tutor

He takes Infernal Tutor and I play out City of Brass, LED, Petal, SDT. He Hymns me on his turn 2 and I Brainstorm off SDT. I keep LED + Mystical in that order on top and ditch another land and my Dark Rit. After playing the LED for my turn I pass and he plays a Tombstalker off Dark Ritual. I draw Mystical Tutor and Mystical into Ad Nauseam which, via LEDs and SDTs, wins me the game.

SB out: 3 Duress
SB in: 1 Chain of Vapor, 1 H.Recall, 1 Silence

Reasoning: Duress isn't very good here. If I Duress my opponent I'm probably still getting disrupted on turn 2. He doesn't have anything that gamebreaking that Silence doesn't deal with or that Duress can even take. I brought in Chain of Vapor and H.Recall as a concession to potential hate bears or early Chalice @ 0 or Tormod's Crypt, but also because Duress is just bad. Silence has the potential for a full turn of no disruption spells if necessary. I didn't expect Chant effects and am prepared to drop a game 2 to one if my opponent has them.

He opens up Scrubland, Rit, Hypnotic Specter.

My opening hand (after a mull to 6) is this:

Petal, Delta, Ponder, LED, Burning Wish, Petal

I crack delta for Ponder and find myself a Dark Ritual. From there I make a lot of Goblin tokens. He doesn't have a Maelstrom Pulse and I quickly take the match.


With my opponent playing Tarmogoyfs of his own plus white already, Vindicate seemed more likely than Maelstrom Pulse or Pernicious Deed. It's arguable for a black-based aggro-control deck to keep those cards in against a potential ETW, but maybe people would rather keep in STP for potential Dark Confidants than Deed/Pulse for ETW tokens or to clean up artifacts. For what it's worth, when I play BGW against Storm, I keep in Deed as their best option is to generally throw out a bunch of artifacts while trying to set up IGG or Ad Nauseam.

Round 2 vs Merfolk

I open up Duress, Volc, Mire, SDT, Tendrils, Brainstorm, LED. I open with Volc and SDT. My opp plays Aether Vial on his turn and I get some hot Brainstorm + Fetch action where I trade Tendrils and Brainstorm for a Mystical Tutor and Dark Ritual. My eot SDT reveals me a super-sexy Lotus Petal that I draw on my turn. After Duress clears out his Force of Will, I proceed to get my Mystical Tutor for Ad Nauseam on and win easily.

SB out: 1 Infernal Tutor, 1 Cabal Ritual, 1 Ponder, 2 Chrome Mox
SB in: 2 Xantid Swarm, 1 Silence, 1 Pyroblast, 1 Thoughtseize


I was worried about Merfolk slightly with my decision to go with the more mana-intensive Silences over extra Xantid Swarms combined with the relatively few mana sources in NLS. I considered not cutting Ponder or Chrome Mox, but in the end decided that I could survive mana disruption by mulling properly better than I could survive Stifles, Spell Snares, and Force of Wills.

I open up with City of Brass into Xantid Swarm. Swarm gets Dazed. Opp wastes my land and I run out fetch->badlands, SDT. SDT finds me a City of Brass which I play. I run out a Thoughtseize with Pyroblast backup and get some protection, but enemy uses Cursecatcher, Daze, Divert, and Blue Elemental Blast to foil my plans.

I don't change my sideboard after game 2.

I open up a Ponder which gets me a Xantid Swarm, I run out a Lotus Petal so I can pay for a Daze if enemy has it and play Xantid Swarm. Swarm resolves through Daze and I win shortly thereafter playing through a Cursecatcher.


Game 1 went according to script. Enemy had Divert in a heavy-aggro metagame to stop removal spells post sideboard. I received some splash hate there with my critical Thoughtseize taking the worst card in my hand, but I couldn't recover from losing the battle in time to win game 2. Game 3 saw me getting lucky with a Ponder into a Xantid Swarm while my opp didn't have Force of Will.

Round 3 vs Zoo

Opp plays Wild Nactl turn 1. He attacks me down to 16 via Qasali Pridemage and loses to Doomsday on my turn 2.

SB out: 4 Duress
SB in: 1 Chain of Vapor, 1 H.Recall, 1 Thoughtseize, 1 Silence


Duress isn't very good. Their scariest cards tend to be hate bears, which Duress won't usually grab. Doing something that isn't finding combo pieces on my turn isn't really what I want to do which is another strike against Duress. Finally, Silence causes my opponent to not play extra spells and could theoretically stop burn spells from turning me away from Doomsday if I have to go later than I'd like.

Opp does nothing turn 1. I Ponder into chaff and shuffle but am lucky to grab a Mystical Tutor off the shuffle. Opp has turn 1 Ethersworn Canonist. I drop and land and Burning Wish for Deathmark. He attacks me and then drops a couple dudes. I Deathmark his guy, then Brainstorm + fetch into an Infernal Tutor->IGG ftw.

Aggro is mostly a joke. Zoo needs to board a lot of cards or catch you with a bad hand to have a chance here. Even in those situations, Zoo's chances of winning 3 games aren't that great.

Round 4 vs Goblins (R/b/g)

I open with Ponder. Opp opens with Mountain, Goblin Lackey. I Brainstorm on my turn but can't win so I pass. Enemy wastes my land and drops a SGC. I eot Mystical for Dark Ritual and win with Doomsday.

SB out: 4 Duress,
SB in: 1 Thoughtseize, 1 Chain of Vapor, 1 H.Recall, 1 Silence


This is mostly the same as Zoo except with fewer hate bears. There is a small chance the enemy could Earwig Squad, but that doesn't actually beat us since we have 3 Burning Wish + Tendrils. They can do a lot of damage pretty fast and black builds have been known to carry discard in the sb. Silence in the early turns is pretty good as it stops them from developing creatures on board sans Lackey or Aether Vial.

Enemy has Leyline of the Void start the game in play. Opp plays turn 1 Goblin Lackey. I play land, mox, burning wish->Doomsday. Opp does something irrelevant and loses to Doomsday on turn 2.


Leyline of the Void isn't all that scary. My opponent didn't have much of a board for combo and I ran him over appropriately.

Round 5 vs Urg Dreadstill

I open with a SDT off City of Brass (ouch). I optimize while taking some damage long enough to resolve Mystical Tutor -> Silence on enemy's end step to break Standstill. I untap and win with Burning Wish->Tendrils after Duress + Silence clears him of useful stuff.

SB out: 2 Cabal Ritual, 1 Ad Nauseam, 2 Chrome Mox, 1 Infernal Tutor
SB in: 2 Xantid Swarm, 1 Silence, 1 Thoughtseize, 1 Pyroblast, 1 Krosan Grip


Ad Nauseam is pretty much not what you want to be doing. Infernal Tutor is pretty expensive here, and you will probably only need one to win after a large counter war.

I Duress away a CB seeing a Spell Snare. I Brainstorm finding SDT while putting a Pyroblast on top of my deck to set up turn 3 Burning Wish breaking LEDs to get an ETW. Turn 3 enemy plays Goyf + Island. Enemy Spell Snares, I SDT into Pyroblast and make a ton of Goblins. He doesn't draw EE and I win.


Going for ETW is kinda scary given that Dreadstill has EEs, but I had an opening and risked it. I figured that my opponent's chances of finding EE were roughly 50/50 if he was playing 3 so I took the risk knowing I'd be on the play for g3.

Round 6 vs Zoo

I keep a hand on Brainstorm, fetch, Ponder with a ton of accel and fail to win a bomb. Enemy eventually beats me to death.

SB (same as Rnd 3)

I open up a pretty good hand that lets me Infernal Tutor -> Ad Nauseam ftw before my opponent plays a land.

No sb for g3.

Opening hand: Fetch, Fetch, Mystical Tutor, Ponder, Lion's Eye Diamond, Tendrils of Agony, Burning Wish.

Enemy has turn 1 Nacatl. I draw Lotus Petal and open with Ponder hitting Cabal Rit. Enemy stalls on 1 land and attacks + plays Nacatl #2. I Mystical Tutor for Dark Ritual in upkeep and win with Burning Wish -> IGG with a Tendrils in grip.


I ran into the bad luck game one of keeping a hand on cantrips and then not cantripping into stuff. Game 3 my opponent missed his second land drop but I could have won the game pretty easily even through a hatebear due to my Mystical Tutor (it would have taken another turn).

Final Thoughts:

I didn't really have any bad matchups. Dreadstill isn't the best matchup, but I was able to keep Counterbalance off the table through a combination of Duress and luck. I've been practicing with the deck more and it seems to show with the speed that I've been seeing lines of play. Also, swiss+1 is awful for an event where first place received two boxes of M10 and second place receives 18 packs.


  1. I'm cheeseburger. Two questions:

    Game 1:

    I'd never side out Duress against a Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach and Sinkhole playing Deck...

    Duress on Turn 1 means:
    When your opponent has only one of his 8 cc2 Disruption Spells you can combo without getting heavily disrupted next turn.
    When your opponent has two of those cards in Hand (Hymn, Sinkhole) you'll get disrupted next turn nevertheless, but you can take more time after that turn.

    Round 3:

    Why don't you side in the Deathmark against Zoo? You need it for a cheap anti Teeg Pile and it kills Nacatl, Goyf and so on.

    I also side in the Infernal Tutor against aggro decks and side Burning Wishes out. Keep the duress maindeck against Burn for a better Ad Nauseam and against Zoo's best Hatecard -> Chant (or Mindbreak Trap, which is bad but which will have a hype after the release of Zendikar).

  2. I'm going to stay silent about Duress right now because I want to write about the utility of Duress in certain matchups later this week.

    I don't side in Deathmark against Zoo because I didn't want to dilute my threat density. I still have Chain of Vapor to bounce hate bears (and H.Recall to bounce the best hate bear) available via Mystical Tutor, Deathmark is available via Burning Wish, and a pile can be made to win with Chain of Vapor for 3UU (1 more than with Deathmark). I still have 2 Silence, 1 Thoughtseize available for any potential Chant effects although I'm not as concerned with taking Burn because I don't often Ad Nauseam past turn 1 against Zoo. I'll do some testing switching siding out the Burning Wishes against aggro.

  3. Why Silence and not Orim's Chant?

    You can do more tricks with the kicker of Chant. And after Doomsday with WW you can prevent more life loss.