Monday, 15 October 2012

Quest for the Golden Parmo: Part 2

By Chris Mander

Now onto the sideboard, a difficult decision when new to the format. I had a pile of roughly 30 possible cards to narrow down, a difficult task with a somewhat unknown meta and a lack of knowledge of the format. After lengthy questioning of my much more knowledgeable teammates I narrowed it down to this:

1 Sword of Light and Shadow: Protection from Swords to Plowshares, this was mainly to bring in vs creature matchup’s like Maverick, or to give my creatures protection from Dispatch.

1 Leonin Bola: It doesn’t look like much, a card that was pretty good in limited, but not really made an impact elsewhere, but as I learnt a couple of weeks previous against Hypergenesis, this card can do some serious work against all in type strategies.

2 Tormod’s Crypt: I’ll be honest, these are a no brainer in most sideboards, abuse of the graveyard is prevalent in Legacy, even if I didn’t really know when I should be siding them in.

3 Ethersworn Cannonist: Insurance vs combo, slows down swarm type decks, doesn’t die to dread of night (That card, as I was soon to learn, is just horrible for me.)

3 Jotun Grunt: Dodges lightning bolt, shrinks Goyf, removes Snapcaster targets and can get in the red zone.

2 Judge’s Familiar:  Slows combo, stacks with Thalia, and can do a pretty good job as a sword carrier.

1 Leyline of Sanctity: I knew combo and Burn were present at the tournament, if I’d have owned 2 I’d have put 2 in.

1 Fiend Hunter: Gets stuff out the way, fairly good on the defence, and can do fun things with a Flickerwisp

1 Phyrexian Revoker: See part 1, so many uses.

I was fairly happy with the board, although I think I’d like to try a tutor board, but not having time to obtain the narrow hate cards I’d have liked, I went with what I had, and into round 1, and mono red burn.

Round 1: Burn

G1: Ouch, my lifepad tells the tale of this game, the numbers dropping faster than Felix Baumgartner, I was dead before I could make any sort of impact. Creatures ate shocks, and despite managing Mangara taking a mountain into exile nothing could stop the lava spike to the face.

Out went Mangara, too slow for this one I feel, in came Leyline of Sanctity, and 2 Judge’s Familiar.

G2 :Mulligan for 1 card is not a thing (Trademark, Alex Gershaw), but somehow I managed it. I hit the Leyline on my second mulligan, and forced my way through the burn with a Flickerwisp with Jitte and a Batterskull.

I brought in 3 Jotun Grunts, as they seemed able to dodge most removal.

G3: This was extremely close, a grindy game with the burn dropping me to 1, before I managed to hardcast Leyline (yes, I know, very lucky to draw into it). Smash to Smithereens was a thorn in my side, but managed to keep a Jitte for an attack and saved myself with its lifegain ability. Drawing 3 Jotun Grunts in a row got me there, smashing their way in.

Round 2: RUG Delver

G1: Muligan to 5, and I never really got going, his Wasteland on my Karakas turn 2, followed up by a Force of Will on my Aether vial left me in a pretty deep hole. Delver beatdown followed, and I scooped holding nothing of note.
Game 1 was so fast my opponent didn’t know what I was playing. In came the Jotun Grunts and Judges Familiar, I can’t quite recall what got evicted.

G2: I always felt like I was behind in this game, pretty soon I was staring down 2 Goyf’s, a Mongoose with threshold and a flipped delver, with my board being 3 Mother of Runes. A timely stifle on my Wasteland, and a Fire on 2 of my pro green mother of runes finished me off. Very much outplayed.

Round 3: W/B Stoneblade

G1: My opponent began to destroy my hand, but had no answer for 2 Serra Avenger’s dropped in 2 turns. When the Sword of Fire and Ice hit the table there was nothing a few lingering souls could do against the angelic onslaught.

G2: The reverse of game 1, my opponent dropped Dark Confident, Stoneforge Mystic and fetched up a Jitte, I had no answer for the beatdown, dying quickly with very little on the table, and no damage done to my opponent.

G3: Here my notes get sketchy, I must have been a bit engrossed in the action to take any, but if I recall rightly this game involved an early Revoker naming Liliana (It was in his hand), followed by a Serra Avenger carrying a Sword of Fire and Ice. My opponent didn’t recover, and the Sword trigger brought the game home.

Round 4: Show and Reanimate?

G1: I mull to 5, and drop a Revoker, naming Griselbrand, this quickly met a reanimated Angel of Despair, killing my revoker. The next line reads Iona, so I guess you can all see how this game went from here, unable to cast most of my deck isn’t really a good position to be in.

G2: I dropped a few weenies, including a Stoneforge Mystic, which fetched my trump card in this match, the Leonin Bola. I managed to keep a Griselbrand tapped down, and began the beats with a Flickerwisp, the game ending pretty soon after that.

G3: A non-event really, my opponent had to drop to 5 cards, and didn’t draw any gas, the game was quickly over with my fliers beating in.

So I’d made it into a top 8 cut, finishing 3rd out of 18, to be honest I was not expecting to get near the top 8, but my luck seemed to be holding. My next game was against affinity, a matchup recently a final at SCG, and one Tezzeret won, thanks to the Dread of Night. My notes here become sketchier, and so these parts might be a bit brief.

Quarter Final: Affinity

G1: This game revolved around a Revoker naming Cranial Plating, a card of which my opponent held 2 in hand. I was staring down 3 Etched Champions, but a Flickerwisp saved the day carrying the Sword of Fire and Ice, burning away the defences, and smacking Tezzeret around on its path to victory.

G2: T1 Dread of Night by my opponent is pretty much an auto scoop when my hand is lands, Flickerwisp, and a Mother of Runes.
G3: Inkmoth Nexus with a Cranial Plating is a scary sight, and my error of forgetting it could be equipped at instant speed led me to take 7 poison damage pretty quickly. My board of Flickerwisp and two Avengers just got me there; the angels’ last act was to throw themselves in the path of the Nexus, allowing the Flickerwisp to end the game.


Semi Final: Storm

I’ll be honest here, I had no idea what I was doing in this match, and won game 1 through a play error by my opponent, who didn’t account for his mana correctly. Game 2 and three he stormed off, tendrils corrupting me, and removing me from the tournament.


Death and taxes is a legitimate deck, with a decent chance against most decks. I feel it’s a deck which improves with the pilot, and I’m sure I will get better as my knowledge of the format becomes broader. I wish I managed to dodge the storm deck until the final, as I fancied myself vs Maverick, a much more favourable matchup for my deck. I was often too quick to become the aggressor, something I’ll work on as this deck does well going long.

My card of the day was the Leonin Bola, it really did some work and I like its versatility, now all I need it wizards to print more utility equipment! I think I will probably change to a tutor board next tournament, and play 2 Judge Familiars main deck at the expense of a revoker or two. The card seems well placed at the moment.

It was nice to have the Team Leeds lads together, and a feeling of community is growing again. We all had a fantastic time with the Boro’ lads and the meal following the tournament was worth the trip alone, the Golden Parmo attained. If you are interested in joining the format, or just want to know more feel free to email me at

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Quest for the Golden Parmo: Part 1: Deck Overview

By Chris Mander
This Saturday I attended my first big Legacy tournament, at Meta Games, Middlesborough. We traveled up in my little Corsa with Dan, James, Lawrence and Alex. Much magic was discussed, sideboards were dissected, and rules questions solved. A brief stop over in a cafĂ© led to our deck lists being confirmed, and we set off to find the shop. Arriving an hour and a half early we were confident we were only 5 minutes away, and the sat-nav indicated it wasn’t far. We didn’t account on the sat nav leading us into Fallout 3’s wasteland, but luckily a quick phone call to Wizbit saved us from the deathclaw assault.

The shop itself is a good venue, with several tables, lots of room, friendly staff and a hi-tech TV method of showing the matchups, which avoids the crush around the piece of paper nicely. Attempting to register we were unable to find my DCI number, (For some reason I have no country, and I can’t seem to fix it) so a new DCI number later I sat down for my first match.

Now, a little bit of history of me as a player, I am a recent convert to legacy, mainly due to watching some truly awesome games in Patriot Games Leeds and discussions with James. I am at heart a mono-white man, and I was recommended Death and Taxes by James, after proxying it up vs. Dan at the team Harrogate meet I knew it was the deck for me.

The Decklist + Rationale

The Creatues:

The Instants:

The Artifacts:

The Lands

11x Plains

Thalia: She is such a beast in many match ups  she slows combo, she carries equipment like a boss, and she has a few fun interactions with Karakas and damage.

Phyrexian Revoker: Can really hurt any strategy, the uses for this guy are so vast I’ll not go too deep. He stops Jace and the likes, can turn off equipment, and can even attack fairly well and block Etched Champions.

Mangara of Corondor: If the game goes long this is the main way to win, with it and karakas you have a reusable permanent exile effect, and if you also have an Aether Vial on 3, you’re in a real good spot.

Mother of Runes: Negates removal, blocks anything on the ground all day long, and is generally a real menace for decks looking to get rid of her. If she gets to untap she’s lived too long.

Flickerwisp: Much like Revoker, this card has several interactions, from flipping a delver back over, acting as a Karakas for Mangara, and many more uses. Also carries equipment really well.

Stoneforge Mystic: Quite bonkers as a card, its ability to drop a Batterskull on turn 3 for 1W is just broken. Also important in some matchups in fetching the utility equipment that can turn the tide against some decks.

Serra Avenger: A dumb beater, but probably one of the best, a 3/3 vigilance flier, for WW, with a drawback negated by a vial on 2. If you get a sword on this its probably already over.

Swords to Plowshares: W, get rid of almost anything. Yes please.

Aether Vial: The deck is creature heavy, the vial helps you use your lands for other uses (Mana denial through ports is common) and it helps you drop your creatures in relative safety.

Umezewa’s Jitte: Trademark Dan Hiscutt: it’s a Plainswalker on a sword. So versatile, some nifty tricks with first strike, and colourless removal. This sword is just silly.

Sword of Fire and Ice: Protection from red is very useful in the land of lightning bolts, pro blue means your creatures can smash through delver, and you get to draw a card and shock a creature (or player) . Unreal.

Batterskull: A ridiculous threat with a Stoneforge Mystic active and a very good flicker wisp target, if you’re looking to beat down, or stabilize with life gain, this is your card.

Rishadan Port: Keeping a player off a colour can be the difference between a win and a loss, unfortunately this requires you to know the format, and being fairly new I tend to miss opportunities for this card. Will get more and more useful the more I play I’m sure.

Karakas: Bounces legends, both offensive in the Mangara interaction,  and defensive in the Show and Tell matchup.

Kor Haven - It was meant to be a fourth Rishadan Port, but mine were in the post. Seemed a good white utility land, and could save me

Wasteland: Furthers the mana denial strategy, as mentioned above, keeping a player off a colour can win you the game.

So we have come to the end of part one. You've met the deck and I've explained the cards. The deck itself can be played as a control deck, looking to go long to ensure the Mangara Lock, through mana denial, taxing and timely use of removal. Some matchups you need to be the aggressor, dropping threats, and getting in the red zone. It’s a deck with many interactions, and a bit of an all rounder. Its favorable matchups are against other creature decks, and its weakness is a lack of speed, especially against combo. As I learn to play the deck my main issue is my lack of patience, sometimes my desire to win can lead to mistakes, return for part 2 to see if it gets the better of me!