Time & Mistakes

It's been a few months since the release of Conspiracy: Take the Crown and to be quite frank, the printings of Sanctum Prelate and Recruiter of the Guard haven't effected the metagame as we predicted.

Sanctum Prelate
Recruiter of the Guard

 

 

Sometimes you're wrong.

It's not that Sanctum Prelate isn't seeing any play, but without Miracles playing it, there's no reasons to dedicate slots for the card. Out of Death & Taxes, Sanctum Prelate is just another hatebear except it's slower than Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.

Because of this, I've reverted back to a previous list from before Sanctum Prelate. To be honest, there hasn't been much to innovate around – which has made me lose a bit of interest in the format. I apologize as it's lead to a lack of content for the website - but I strive to not publish fluff content.

This past weekend I attended a Standard Grand Prix in Providence, RI. After losing my first round of day 2, I decided I would rather play Legacy than hope to make it on tie-breakers for the minimum amount of money. Feeling a bit rusty after not playing Legacy in months, I worry that I won't be prepared for Star City Games: Baltimore in a few weeks and that I could use the practice.

Deck List

Mistake #1

BurningWish
Dark Petition
Telemin Performance

First round of the event, I sit across from my opponent and I can't put my finger on what he's playing - but I know the answer. I recognized him from Star City Games: Syracuse and I played against his friend playing Maverick. I put him on a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben deck.

I win the die roll and start with a Ponder, even though I have a pair of Cabal Therapy and a Lotus Petal in my hand. I figure it's better to see if I could just kill on the second turn instead. Well, I die.

It turns out my opponent is playing Belcher, he plays all of his spells into Telemin Performance - sigh. While technically not a misplay, I feel like I should've been able to get around this situation. The real misplay this round was in game two.

I look at a hand of Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Lion's Eye Diamond, Lion's Eye Diamond, Bloodstained Mire, Volcanic Island and Burning Wish. I immediately say, "Keep" without thinking it through. This hand doesn't actually do anything. I can make Goblin tokens, which isn't ideal. My initial thought was Dark Petition for Ad Nauseam, however, I don't have Spell Mastery.

I awkwardly play out all of my artifacts and the Bloodstained Mire before passing the turn. I am met with a Goblin Charbelcher.

This round was pretty miserable for me, after not playing Legacy since SCG: Syracuse I really felt out of practice. These sort of mental mistakes are ones that I hold myself above, I shouldn't be making these errors.

Mistake #2

Hurkyl's Recall
Thalia Guardian Of Thraben
Abrupt Decay

I've beaten Goblins in our game one and we're headed into game two. My opponent has been talking about how long he's played Goblins and how much he loves them, which makes me think back to all of those years of facing Nick Patnode on Goblins. Nick typically played Chalice of the Void or Thorn of Amethyst for his storm hate. I side out my copy of Empty the Warrens (ironically enough, I used Goblins to kill him in game one) and the pair of Duress for the Bayou and two Hurkyl’s Recall. I chose the Hurkyl’s Recall over Abrupt Decay because they're easier to cast against a deck with Wasteland and Rishadan Port.

We're at the start of game two, I cast Ponder leaving Hurkyl’s Recall on top of my deck. I can kill my opponent on the second turn or set up for a Hurkyl’s Recall, instead, my opponent plays a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben... How did I blank on that? Fortunately he searches up a Plateau to do so, I start setting up for a Burning Wish for Massacre turn that I'll be able to kill him with on turn four. I'm attacked to two and finished with a Tarfire the turn before I can win.

Needless to say, I switched the Hurkyl’s Recalls for Abrupt Decay for our third game. While this is a small mistake, it cost me a game not considering that my opponent was playing Thalia, Guardian of Thraben in their deck – I know better. Small or large, misplays like this cost you rounds in large events.

Mistake #3

Lions Eye Diamond
Vendilion Clique
Past In Flames

In my third game against Rich Shay in the final round, on the second turn Rich resolves a Counterbalance (with no Sensei's Divining Top on the table). I decide that now would be my best time to resolve the Burning Wish for Past in Flames in my hand. It resolved. For the next few turns we both play, "Land, go" until I have four on the table. I cast a Brainstorm which resolved during Rich's end step, which literally drew three copies of Abrupt Decay. I put back a Rite of Flame and the third Abrupt Decay before shuffling them while looking for a Bayou. Counterbalance is off the table.

I untap and draw Gitaxian Probe, at this point the rest of my hand is this: Dark RitualLion's Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, Past in Flames, Abrupt Decay, and Lotus Petal. I figured that I should cast the blue card to see if I could power through his counter-magic. Gitaxian Probe revealed: Force of Will, Brainstorm, Entreat the Angels, Vendilion Clique and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I draw Dark Ritual off of the Gitaxian Probe.

I think for a moment, for the first time all day I don't feel rusty - I got this! The game plan is to get the Lion's Eye Diamond on the table, cast Infernal Tutor and then respond with Dark Rituals. I start by laying a Lotus Petal on the table, followed by Lion's Eye Diamond I feel a bit of anxiousness while waiting for Rich to respond. It resolves, I try to stay calm knowing that the plan is working. Infernal Tutor, hold priority, Dark Ritual? Rich thinks, then taps three lands (leaving a Flooded Strand available) and casts Vendilion Clique. I respond with another Dark Ritual, which resolves. At this point, I should let the ability on Vendilion Clique choose targets, but my excitement for the plan following through gets the best of me - I foolishly break Lion's Eye Diamond for three red mana.

This is huge because it allows Rich to go a fourth card deeper while looking for a second copy of Force of Will or even Surgical Extraction. Rich shuffles his deck looking for a Tundra and then targets himself with the Vendilion Clique, putting Entreat the Angels on the bottom, then casts Brainstorm. At this point, Rich casts Force of Will on my Infernal Tutor (if it would've resolved I could've gotten Tendrils of Agony, in theory, which he was playing around or Cabal Therapy), at this point, I flash back Past in Flames and close the game out.

Final Thoughts

Not everything was bad, I had a situation against Reanimator where I wouldn't have been able to kill them without Grapeshot - which was pretty awesome. I didn't play all that well over the weekend, but it's time to get the dust off before Star City Games: Baltimore in a few weeks. It's important to remember your mistakes and try to grow from them, it's how you become better as a player. But also, playing decks in events while being "cold" with them isn't great, but can certainly clear out the cobwebs.

Until next time, keep storming!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 as well as 9 Star City Games Top 8s (2 wins). You can often find him traveling the northeast in search for the next big event, he recently won SCG: Worcester. Outside of M:TG he's an avid New York Mets fan, graphic designer, pop-punk enthusiast, and doggo aficionado. Bryant Cook is the owner and president of The EPIC Storm.