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By: stsung, Jaroslava Stefankova
May 16 2018 12:00pm
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Playing Magic Online is pretty much the only way I have played Magic for the past few years. I have to say that since I switched to online things have gotten way better for me. From time to time though I really wish to go to a real life event and have some fun though - I need that in order to be able to cope with my everyday life. Grand Prix are the go to events for me, but eternal format GPs are rather rare. After GP Amsterdam (Team Sealed) I was looking for another event I'd go to. There was Eternal Weekend announced and GP Birmingham. I wanted to attend both but I had to choose one. Since playing Vintage is even more rare than Legacy I decided to head to Paris, France to attend Eternal Weekend Europe 2018. My plan was simple, attend and have fun since I hardly played any competitive Magic in the last 12 months (aside from a PTQ here and there, Nationals, and a few GPs).

I was under a lot of stress before the Eternal Weekend and for that reason I hardly had the will to actually go there and play. I just put Eternal Weekend aside and focused on work. I still hoped things would go well for me and I'd enjoy the event, but I had my doubts because stress takes a really big toll on me. Last time due to that my Eternal Weekend experience was a very bad one.

 

 

In order to go to Paris and not spend a fortune on accommodations we had to have at least 3 people going, so I started asking people around if they would join. In the end 6 of us were supposed to go, which was more than I expected. Wizards of the Coast obviously didn't try to advertise this event much nor did Bazaar of Moxen who organized the event. BoM took quite a lot of time to provide all the information.  While waiting for this to come to light everything became seriously expensive and I can imagine that this was also one of the reasons why some players simply didn't come.

Since I had too much work to do I didn't spend much time preparing for the event.  I did not even know what decks to bring with me. For Legacy I wanted to play either Death and Taxes or Grixis Delver. For Vintage I had no idea but I brought Ravager Shops, UWR Control, and URw Delver. The reason why I wanted to play Death and Taxes was that it wasn't a blue deck that requires many decisions. While this deck is actually complex and there are many lines of play it doesn't exhaust me the same way 4c Control or Miracles do. As for Grixis Delver, I played with this deck for years which also makes it a good candidate for a very long event. I expected we would play 10 rounds like last time and that is really exhausting. In Vintage my decisions were based on similar criteria. I picked one deck to play if I would be in a bad shape - Ravager Shops. That deck is probably the best one in Vintage and requires different kinds of decisions than a blue deck and sometimes it just wins. The games do not usually go long. It's not as exhausting to play as UWR Control which was my second choice. UWR Control is a deck I played in the past few months and have really enjoyed it. My results with it weren't that great though (3-2s). The strongest point of the deck is that it has a game against pretty much anything but one needs to really earn those wins. The games are long even on Magic Online and even playing 5 rounds seems to be long. The games were often very fun though. URw Delver is something I played the most in Vintage and the advantage is that it can do well against Shops and is good against certain variants of Oath as well. It is worse against UWR Control though.

 

Little bit of Vintage - Ravager Shops

 

 

On Friday we arrived in the afternoon to Aubervilliers where the venue was located. I hoped I'd be able to participate in the evening Vintage Trial still but it looked bleak. We arrived 5 minutes after the event was supposed to start (we got a bit lost). I went to ask someone at the judge station about the trial and I was allowed to participate. It meant I had to write my decklist in front of a judge which wasn't the most pleasant experience.

Before I start with a short report I'd like to comment on my deck. After the restriction of Thorn of Amethyst it seemed that the best approach to play a MUD deck was to go aggressive and play Arcbound Ravagers and cheap creatures including Steel Overseer and Hangarback Walker. It seemed that this was the deck to play if one wanted to win an event. Unfortunately the deck is not as fun to play as its predecessor which I actually admired and had quite some fun playing with (that deck was already more aggressive than I'd like). I wasn't really a fan of Steel Overseers and rather would play Precursor Golems but due to the card being bugged on Magic Online I also ended up playing Steel Overseers. This version didn't appeal to me that much but it was a deck I still had to play in a real life event (I just played with it online or with friends) and playing it at Eternal Weekend was a good opportunity to really see how the deck behaves when I shuffle the deck with my own hands.

When Dominaria was released there were few cards that caught interest of Vintage players. Notably Karn, Scion of Urza and Traxos, Scourge of Kroog. I tried playing with both a bit. While Karn seemed to underperform, Traxos seemed to be good enough to be played in Shops. I started wondering if I should tweak my deck accordingly. I brought with me Traxos and The Immortal Sun because both cards were very good when I had the chance to play them. I didn't have any time to switch to a newer build before the Trial started so I registered my pre-DOM version. After a little bit confusion because my deck contained 57 cards (I missed 3 Wastelands) the event could start even for me and my opponent.

Round 1 - Paradoxical Mentor
I swiftly lost the first round. I was stressed out and couldn't think straight and didn't sequence correctly. My opponent started with an Island and some cantrips suggesting Mentor of some kind. I kept a hand with Ancient Tomb, Chalice of the Void, Arcbound Ravager and 3 Steel Overseers which I wasn't happy with but it was better than not being able to play anything (I didn't shuffle well enough?). My following draw was Steel Overseer bringing a sad smile to my face. During my lethal attack I ran into Hurkyl's Recall and my opponent killed me later. My opponent, on Paradoxical Outcome Mentor, showed me in the next game that he didn't care about my two Spheres in play. He went Mana Vault, Sol Ring into Monastery Mentor. Few Moxen followed and that was enough to stop my few creatures I produced. I felt terrible. Something went terribly wrong in those two games (totally forgot I had Chalice of the Void in play as well so I could feel even more embarrassed - it wasn't relevant).

Round 2 - Paradoxical Outcome (TinkerBot/Tendrils)
In the following round I played against a Blue-Black PO deck which I didn't fear that much. On the other hand I should have because Ravager Shops actually has a bad matchup with these kind of decks. This time my hand was better because it contained Thorn of Amethyst, some creatures including Phyrexian Metamorph and fast mana. This way my opponent was slowed down and I also destroyed his lands with Wastelands I drew later in the game. That worked out fine for me and we could go to game 2. One of the cards I boarded in was Witchbane Orb and while doing that I realized that I may actually want to play more in my sideboard than just one. There were many Oath decks and many Paradoxical Outcome decks from what I've seen while walking around the tables. My opponents not being able to target me with Hurkyl's Recall, Oath of Druids or Tendrils of Agony actually sounded good. I didn't draw the card but I didn't need it, I had Trinisphere in my hand. My opponent played Time Vault on turn 1. I played the Trinisphere and destroyed my opponent's land so I would not allow him to cast Voltaic Key. I hoped that I would find a fast clock fast and win before my opponent would get to casting the Key. I won.

Round 3 - White Eldrazi
My opponent started with a Plains so I expected to be up against White Eldrazi or a hatebear deck. I played Arcbound Ravager while holding Walking Ballista and 2 Steel Overseers in my hand. Next turn my opponent played Null Rod which meant my creatures turned suddenly into 1/1s. After I played Walking Ballista which was the only creature capable of being bigger than 1/1 my opponent played Leonin Relic-Warder and targeted my Walking Ballista with it. This meant I couldn't attack with either of my creatures since the cat was also a 2/2. I wanted to concede but I was drawing more and more creatures and my opponent couldn't win through my army of 1/1s either. I knew that I also had bigger creatures in the deck that could attack into few hatebears. When Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar joined the team on the other side of the table I considered conceding again. I counted my creatures, my opponent's creatures, the damage I'd need to deal in two swings and came to the conclusion that I need to play 3 more creatures + 1 for each my opponent would play. I drew some Phyrexian Revokers naming Abandon Hope (which brought some confusion to my opponent's face), then later swung with everything and let my opponent do the math. He blocked everything, killed some of my creatures and lost next turn.

My opponent asked me to play fast in the next game so I did (that staring contest lasted 30 minutes). Most notable addition to my deck post-board were Dismembers both of which I drew. The problem was that the land I had in my opener was named Mishra's Workshop. I kept my hand because it also contained Foundry Inspector and Lodestone Golem that I played during the first two turns. My opponent played two creatures too. First he blocked my Inspector but let my Golem through and next turn double blocked the Golem. I had Dismember ready and killed one of the blocking creatures. My second Dismember hit Thought-Knot Seer or something and I won shortly after that with Lodestone Golem.

Round 4 - BUG Delver
My following round could be told in one photo (below). My opponent went turn 1 Delver of Secrets followed by another one. It didn't want to transform into a flying insect but that didn't really matter since my Walking Ballista and Phyrexian Metamorph ended up countered. I couldn't draw anything relevant then, the Delvers eventually flipped and killed me a bit later.

 

 

One usually wants to draw their Workshops, but in certain situation like the one above, one can only weep.

 

I kept a hand with two Mishra's Workshops, Wurmcoil Engine, Foundry Inspector, Sphere of Resistance and Arcbound Ravager. I played all my cards in my two turns and was actually glad to see my opponent open with Library of Alexandria. Unfortunately my opponent didn't care about drawing cards, he continued with fast mana and Energy Flux. I think I froze in horror at the moment. I put all my cards in my graveyard in my upkeep and hoped to top deck Ancient Tomb or something. Till the end of the game the only land I encountered was Strip Mine which I used on Library of Alexandria since my opponent got back to having 7 cards in hand. Again, I lost to a flying insect. I wanted to drop but I had just one more round to play and no plans for the evening anyway.

Round 5
Round 5 was very quick. My opponent played Demonic Tutor on turn 1 feeling quite confident. I wondered what could possibly happen to me. Fast mana, blue and black colors suggested Tinker being the tutored card. I had Phyrexian Metamorph in my hand so I didn't really mind the envisioned scenario. I wondered what would happen if I was wrong or if my Metamorph would get countered. Next turn my opponent played Tinker fetching Blightsteel Colossus. I played my Phyrexian Metamorph and hoped it would resolve (my opponent was down on cards since this required a tutor and some fast mana). It resolved. After the Colossi got shuffled back into our libraries I played Trinisphere hoping this would give me enough time to win the game. It was. The following game I got a nuts draw. I simply went turn 1 Lodestone Golem. I followed up with a Sphere and a creature and my opponent scooped his cards.

After the event I realized that this deck probably won't be a good choice if I would be tired so I decided to play Delver instead if I wouldn't be feeling well. I'd play Mentor if I felt I could pilot the deck for 8-9 hours. As for the Shops decklist I registered, it lacked cards I would have wanted to play. The card I missed the most was Null Rod which may sound very strange, but seeing the number of PO powered decks I really wanted to have that card in my sideboard. The other possibility was running Ratchet Bomb (which didn't come to my mind at the moment I was pondering about my sideboard). Along that I wished I had played a set of Sorcerous Spyglasses but I understand that the sideboard space is limited. Wurmcoil Engines were obviously useless (not useless, just not worth the 6 mana) and Precursor Golems were the cards to play (a set) which leaves few more slots open and those would be filled with Grafdigger's Cages and Tormod's Crypts. Witchbane Orb or Jester's Cap were also fine choices for the sideboard. I prefer Witchbane Orb but for many Jester's Cap works just as it should.

Phyrexian Metamorph is a card I heard many people talk about. Many of the players weren't too happy about playing it and I wondered if those players actually played Shops. On Magic Online I'd considering cutting one but in paper the number of players playing Tinker and having Blightsteel Colossus in their decks is often way higher. Metamorph is very versatile card and can solve many situations. I was very glad I played 3 copies and wouldn't cut a single one. The cards I wasn't particularly happy about were Steel Overseer and Hangarback Walker but that also might be because of all the decks I was facing. There was a lot of Oath and PO decks. I'd trade these for Chief of the Foundry and some Fleetwheel Cruisers for the events at this Eternal Weekend.

To give you an idea how the actual metagame at Vintage Championship looked like: UWR Control (20%), Shops (16%), Paradoxical Outcome (16%), Oath (9%). These were followed by BUG Fish, Grixis Control and Eldrazi. There were only 4 Dredge decks.

I spent more times thinking about Shops and figured that I'm probably not a Shops player after all.

 

 

We received a playmat with Spell Snare on it for participating in the Legacy Championship and a playmat with Flusterstorm on it for participating in the Vintage Championship. I'm not entirely sure why Spell Snare was chosen...

After the quick game and some afterthought I went to submit my result slip and a judge put some tix into my hand. I wondered what to do with them whether I wanted to crack open some Dominaria packs or get a playmat (in the end I got the Flusterstorm playmat that I traded for a different one). Prize wall was closed so I went back to the hotel and managed not to get lost on my way there. We played few games of Legacy, wrote our decklists and went to sleep. I actually played some fun games against Sneak and Show and I wasn't really winning that much even though I had Karakas in my hand almost all the time. I went to sleep but I didn't manage to actually fall a sleep. A sleepless night is always very long and often makes me very angry or rather grumpy if there are people sleeping somewhere next to me. Those are times when I'm seriously jealous. Wish I was one of those people that could sleep anytime, anywhere.

 

Legacy - Death and Taxes

Even though I had not slept  I was actually pretty hyped and ready to sling some spells, in my case rather creatures. The deck I sleeved was almost the same build I play on Magic Online. I cut Phyrexian Revoker from the main deck and added a third Mirran Crusader. In the sideboard I cut Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Faerie Macabre and replaced those with Sanctum Prelate, Pithing Needle and Surgical Extraction. Sanctum Prelate is very good against Lands and cantrip based decks. It also works very well in stopping global removal for a turn or so which made me want to play 2 copies in my 75. Pithing Needle is a card I wanted to have access to in order to deal with Chandra, Torch of Defiance and annoying lands like Thespian's Stage. Surgical Extraction was additional graveyard hate with which I had good experience with (in addition to Rest in Peace). I felt that my deck was well tuned for Magic Online metagame but I wasn't sure about the paper one. I expected to do better in paper though because there the Grixis-based Deathrite Shaman decks are not that common even though they are still probably the biggest part of the metagame.

 

Round 1 - Bye

I spent 10 minutes watching a player win with a deck built around reanimating Magus of the Mind several times until finding Tendrils of Agony and playing them for free. I have to say that it was very interesting to see this in Legacy. I knew the player would most probably just win with Tendrils of Agony but I couldn't figure how he'd do it without being able to go through the library like we can do in Vintage. I got my answer soon enough and that's how I learned that there is a Mind's Desire on a stick - Magus of the Mind (the top card in the player's hand on the photo). The Miracles opponent wasn't probably that happy to see all that. After watching this I walked around to see what kind of decks people were playing. I've seen a lot of Grixis Delvers, 4c Controls, Lands, but also way more Death and Taxes decks than I expected.

 

In reality the most played decks were Grixis Delver (11%), 4c Control (8%), Miracles (7%), Lands (6%), followed by True-Name Nemesis BUG Midrange, Death and Taxes.

Round 2 - Sneak and Show
It was quite funny to run into Sneak and Show, the matchup I played during the night the day before. I hoped that this would help me win it and 'wake up' since it was also my first match of the day. Game 1 didn't go well. On turn 2 my opponent slammed Show and Tell and I just wanted to scoop. I let my opponent put a card into play. It was Emrakul, I conceded.

Game 2 went quite well until I managed to almost throw the game away. My opponent had some troubles with my Thalia and Rishadan Ports. In the meantime I was trying to deal 20 damage as fast as possible and also avoid Kozilek's Return or Pyroclasm. When my opponent was down to one he played Show and Tell. My only card in hand was Flickerwisp and I put it in play without thinking a bit. I immediately 'facepalmed' myself and wondered if that Griselbrand would kill me from a position in a game I just couldn't lose. Luckily for me my following draw was Recruiter of the Guard which found me an answer to Griselbrand which resolved and I could deal the remaining damage.

I hoped I wouldn't mess up game 3 in a similar way. This was certainly a good wake up call. In game three I mulled to 5. My hand contained Karakas, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, 2 Flickerwisp and Phyrexian Revoker. I scried and hit a land. I played Thalia which was again making my opponent's cantrips cost one additional mana and hoped to draw a third land which would also produce white mana. That didn't happen but I drew Aether Vial which also allowed me to put my three drops in play, at instant speed. A turn later after my Vial went online with 3 counters my opponent played Show and Tell. My opponent was without a red source and also had only 3 mana available and this I kept my Revoker in my hand. This was ideal moment to put it into play and name Griselbrand. Griselbrand showed on the other side of the table which was good for me since a 7/7 Lifelink creature shouldn't be able to kill me. I had still 2 Flickerwisps in my hand, Mother of Runes in play, and my opponent had no means how to get rid of either of my creatures. My plan was to flicker Griselbrand and later block it with my Flickerwisp and give it protection from Black so I could attack back (and not run into an untapped Griselbrand). I survived 5 attacks of Griselbrand this way and my opponent died to my little white creatures swinging back. It was kind of hilarious (at least for me).

Round 3 - Elves

When I arrived to my table I saw my opponent with a green playmat, green sleeves and a green deck box. I started to wonder if he was on Elves because that is not a good matchup for Death and Taxes. My opponent started with Green Sun's Zenith into Dryad Arbor, Quirion Ranger and Wirewood Symbiote followed. I wasn't happy and my opponent apologized for playing Elves when he saw my expression. It didn't really look good for me. Fortunately for me I was able to keep my opponent out of 4 mana so I wouldn't terribly die to Natural Order. In the meantime I played Stoneforge Mystic fetching Umezawa's Jitte - my only hope against these pointed ear creatures. I played Phyrexian Revoker naming Wirewood Symbiote so I could kill the Elves with Jitte without using more counters than a single one (per Elf). I got rid of 2 Quirion Rangers, Wirewood Symbiote and Dryad Arbor with my Jitte but it was destroyed by Reclamation Sage the following turn. My opponent was still mana screwed. His Glimpse of Nature attempt didn't go well either and his Heritage Druid got plowed. In the end Mirran Crusader won me the game but I was pretty much dead to Craterhoof Behemoth or Natural Order top deck.

 

In the following game my game plan was similar. Find Mirran Crusader and Umezawa's Jitte, manage to get it online. I had both Stoneforge Mystic and Mirran Crusader in my opening hand. I managed to deal with Heritage Druid. I kept Flickerwisp in my hand to be able to deal with one creature in the case Craterhoof Behemoth would happen (it was lethal if all creatures would go through, with flickering one creature I may have survived). My opponent played Gaea's Cradle and Craterhoof Behemoth. I flickered one of the creatures and went down to 1 life. Next turn I equipped Jitte on my Mirran Crusader and killed all other creatures in play and later won. That was close. I honestly didn't expect to win this match.

Round 4 - Mono Red Prison

My opponent played Ancient Tomb, Chrome Mox (removing Fiery Confluence), exiled Simian Spirit Guide and landed Chandra, Torch of Defiance. That was really bad. My hand contained Mother of Runes and Phyrexian Revoker but it wasn't likely to work out. Both of my creatures died. My opponent then played Magus of the Moon which made the majority of my lands Mountains. I drew one Plains but not another one so I could play Flickerwisp and do at least something. I eventually died to 3 Magus of the Moon and Goblin Rabblemaster.

 

I felt like this matchup is pretty bad for me since there isn't much I can do with Fiery Confluence that kills all my creatures and if not all my creatures or me it deals with Batterskull or my Sword of Fire and Ice which was probably the only chance I had against this deck. The good thing was that I didn't face Chandra on turn one but just on turn 3 or something. I managed to deal with her this time. My opponent followed up with Chalice of the Void for 1, Chalice of the Void for 2, Ensnaring Bridge. In the meantime my hand was full of one and two converted mana cost cards and it didn't look good. I managed to kill some creatures from my opponent and in the end play enough creatures so I could deal lethal in two attacks thanks to Flickerwisps that I could still play. I was able to win this game only thanks to Recruiter of the Guard. It was a long game and I hoped our following game wouldn't last that long.

Game 3 I had a plan, avoid Fiery Confluence, find Sword of Fire and Ice and somehow win. Tough to do against a deck that runs 4 Fiery Confluence, 2 Abrade and some Volcanic Fallouts. My opponent played Chandra, Torch of Defiance on turn 1 and I was fairly certain that my 3-0 record would turn into 3-1. I put up a lot of resistance though. I amassed some creatures so I could in theory kill Chandra. Sword of Fire and Ice would allow me to go through and hit her. Unfortunately my opponent played Pia and Kiran Nalaar. I couldn't get through the Thopter tokens and Chandra went ultimate. My opponent asked me what color the Emblem is and when I was answering 'Colorless' I realized that my Sword nor Mother of Runes won't save me from Chandra blowing up my board if she'd want to do that. My opponent destroyed my Mother of Runes and the rest was going to my head. I managed to get Batterskull, equip it with Sword of Fire and Ice and started attacking back. I needed to attack two more times to deal lethal but unfortunately my opponent played 2 spells that killed me. It was a great game. It was past the end of the round already so I had no time to recover from this match and went to see whom I'd face next.

Round 5 - Eldrazi

My opponent started with Matter Reshaper. I had to read the card to remind myself when the card triggers and played Swords to Plowshares on it (thinking of it I haven't seen many English cards around). Next turn I drew Mother of Runes and since I didn't have anything better I played it being aware that the card is not going to do much. My opponent played Eldrazi Mimic while having like 5 sources in play already by turn 2. That meant my opponent didn't have anything better in his hand either and I got my hopes high - Mother of Runes could trade with Eldrazi Mimic! To my surprise my opponent attacked without playing anything first so I blocked. Then we stared at each other for like 10 turns, playing a land and saying go. My opponent drew 2 more lands than I did. I eventually played two creatures and won the game without any resistance from my opponent.

 

I won game 1 even though it wasn't much of a game which was good for me because it gave me the possibility to win one of the remaining two games. The first card my opponent played on turn 2 was Thought-Knot Seer which I targeted with Swords to Plowshares. I drew another one knowing I'd most probably lose the card. My opponent decided to get rid of it and I was allowed to keep my Stoneforge Mystic and few other irrelevant creatures. My opponent played 2 Reality Smashers. One I got rid of with a Sword I drew in the meantime discarding my last card. Later I fetched for both Batterskull and Umezawa's Jitte and was ready to hit my opponent with it when another Reality Smasher happened meaning I couldn't attack that turn. I needed to equip a flying creature with Jitte it or find a creature with First Strike (I boarded out Thalias, but Mirran Crusaders were still in the deck). I drew Flickerwisp so it was Flickerwisp that helped me get through. I got rid of Reality Smasher later. My opponent's last attempt at playing something was Endbringer but I got rid of it too and won the game. I was lucky.

Round 6 - Maverick

I played against Maverick in the next round and I felt fairly confident since my win rate in this matchup is high. Unfortunately I lost this time.

 

Game 1 I won quickly because I had a good draw and managed to deal with all my opponent's creatures - the main reason is that my opponent ate all his fetchlands from his graveyard and let his Knight of the Reliquary get killed.

Our second game was very long and very strange. The game revolved around Umezawa's Jitte. We both had it in play and the first player to deal damage with it was likely to win. I had a card I could deal with my opponent's Jitte but it would also mean I'd lose my own Jitte. Any card my opponent would play next would just simply kill me since I had nothing else. It was fairly safe not doing anything with my opponent's Jitte because he needed either 3 removal spells to connect or a flyer. Well, my opponent showed me 2 Abrupt Decay, Swords to Plowshares and hit me with Umezawa's Jitte. Next he played Knight of the Reliquary and I knew that I couldn't deal with either of the cards. I didn't draw anything relevant and lost. I was seriously on tilt and in the last game mulliganed to 5.

My opponent played Umezawa's Jitte on turn 2. My hand was 'ok', it just didn't contain the lands I needed. I got hit by Jitte meaning any of my creatures I could play wouldn't survive. I needed a second source of white to play Council's Judgment but drew it too late. I could have looked for Phyrexian Revoker but in the meantime was facing big beaters on the other side of the table. I was very sad after this match. The games against Maverick are always tricky and I enjoy them a lot, but I failed and lost. It crushed me.

Round 7 - BUG Control
I have no recollection of this match. Game 1 I most probably destroyed my opponents lands or something because my opponent's life total ends on 14. Game 2 Deathrite Shaman was involved because my opponent was trying to gain life with it (which I actually recall) and I was being attacked by Baleful Strix, but that's all I can tell from my notes. I have no idea what was going on in the game but I won with Batterskull.

Round 8 - True-Name Nemesis BUG

I wasn't too motivated on winning and when my opponent played True-Name Nemesis thanks to Deathrite Shaman on turn 2 I just scooped. I went to grab Council's Judgment from my sideboard again and wondered if there is anything else I'd want to board in. Since I scooped too soon I didn't know what I was against, I could have played against TNN BUG which is more of a control midrange deck or BUG Delver which would be a bit more problematic. Either way I was probably bound to play against certain amount of Tarmogoyf and True-Name Nemesis.

 

In game two I was unable to avoid True-Name Nemesis but I was lucky enough to tutor for both Batterskull and Sword of Fire and Ice which both stayed in play! This way I didn't care about True-Name Nemesis. It took me a while to get the Sword so my life total was low and I still had to deal with Baleful Strix in order to attack and not lose my Germ. Later when I finally managed to get a third land I attacked into Baleful Strix with Batterskull and put it back into play with Stoneforge Mystic. Later I drew another one and it resolved. I found the Sword, equipped it to my Germ and attacked a few times for the win (managed not to forget about my Sword triggers).

Game three looked pretty bad when my opponent played many cantrips, 2 Deathrite Shamans and a True-Name Nemesis. The clock was fast and I needed to equip my Batterskull to any creature (my Germ died to Abrupt Decay and Stoneforge Mystic to Fatal Push). I produced Mirran Crusader which was able to block Tarmogoyf. Another Tarmogoyf followed but I managed to get rid of it thanks to Swords to Plowshares. It still meant I was dying to TNN and 2 DRS. I was waiting for a fifth land so I could equip my Crusader with Batterskull and hit my opponent with it for a lot of damage (the life gain was the relevant part in this case). Unfortunately I drew Aether Vial which one of the onlookers commented as 'that's usually a better land but in this case a totally dead card'. I thanked him for the remark, sadly signed my match slip and went to see the top 8 tables.

Round 9 - Grixis Delver

Next round I played against a player on Delver of some kind. I saw Underground Seas but not a third color. I expected Grixis Delver but I couldn't be sure. I do not remember much from the first game. My opponent played Delver which I actually welcomed because I was tired and didn't want to think much during the game. Later Delver was joined by Gurmag Angler which I didn't mind because I had Swords to Plowshares in my hand and I also had Mirran Crusader available.

 

My opponent kept a one lander in game two and played Delver of Secrets on turn 1. Later, I ran into a Daze even though I knew I could have avoided that by using my Wasteland to blow up the land. I wasn't unhappy with my card being Daze'ed though because I still could use that Wasteland later and play a creature I needed to play Stoneforge Mystic. Next turn my opponent transformed their Delver with a cantrip and played it. Next turn I destroyed the land and played my creature. I tutored for Batterskull and was fairly certain I'd win since my opponent didn't seem to be content after casting that cantrip. He swung with Delver and passed. I was good to go. Delver was not able to race my Batterskull and I won. It wasn't nice of me.

We talked a bit about Legacy, Delver and Infect - the deck my opponent was normally on - afterwards. My opponent wanted to try this deck and see if he would want to play it in Birmingham. The deck fared fairly well but it seemed he'd play Infect instead with which he had way more experience. I agree that when wanting to play Grixis Delver one needs to prepare for mirror matchups and 4c Control and that's not as easy as it may seem. It requires a lot of experience to navigate through so I hope he'll do well with Infect instead.

After I finished my match I went to find Mates who was playing for 7-2 record. He won and decided to bring an Iconic Masters box home.

 

Afterthought
In general I was very happy with my decklist and I think that I could have done better than 46th place I finished. I certainly won't be afraid to bring Death and Taxes to a Legacy GP.

There were few things that I noted. First, Sword of Fire and Ice was saving me quite often. It seriously overperformed. I had my reasons to play the card - the main reason being 'dealing' with True-Name Nemesis to which the deck has no answer game one. Second, Mirran Crusader was also way better than I expected. I added this card to the deck to fight all the Grixis-based decks on Magic Online. I didn't have much chances to play against non-Grixis decks online with it so I wasn't really sure how good that card would be in other matchups (paper metagame). In the end I realized that Protection from Green is actually pretty relevant as well and thanks to Double Strike this card can get counters on Umezawa's Jitte first, use them and then get 2 more which can sometimes cope with the Jitte staring contest. It is not great against Red decks but I didn't encounter many of them. I also welcomed the fact that this card trades with Thought-Knot Seer. The Stompy deck I encountered and top8ed seemed to be popular and it is very mean to my little Death and Taxes creatures. Third, the card I wanted to sideboard almost all the time was Disenchant. I really wished for this card to be in my sideboard even in a single copy and I was telling this myself every single time I was sideboarding. The card I'd cut would be Palace Jailer even though I really like the card. It is possible that the deck didn't really needed it, because I always had other ways how to deal with annoying artifacts. I felt the need to have the card though very badly.

After the event I was very happy I decided to participate in the Legacy Championship. It wasn't originally my intention. I'd just wanted to play Vintage and leave Legacy for Birmingham. I felt like missing something out though so I registered for the Legacy event in the end. My expectations were very low and I thought I'd drop soon and go have some fun somewhere in Paris. My record was good though, I felt great and I had lots of fun. The people were great.

Friendly game of Vintage and turn 1 Blightsteel Colossus, answered with Phyrexian Metamorph.

When I returned to the Czech Republic and went to see what is going on social media I realized that I have zero interest in reading Dominaria, Standard or Modern posts and I also didn't want to play any of those formats. I just wanted to come back to playing Vintage and Legacy. It was a strange feeling, one I always felt after participating in eternal format events. It shows how different these two formats are compared to Modern, Standard and Limited. I keep coming back to playing other formats but they are different kind of Magic for me. Sometimes it feels like playing a totally different game. Magic is very diverse, it has a lot to offer and there can be players that will like a totally different aspect of the game.

Thank you for reading
S'Tsung (stsung on Magic Online, follow me @stsungjp on Twitter)

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