Duals to Protect the Jewels Metagame Report

Duals to Protect the Jewels was a spectacular achievement for Melbourne Legacy, assembling sixty-six players for an event with prizes entirely donated from players, and a proportion of entry going towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. We also had silent auctions of cards, a sausage sizzle, sweet games and some sweet banter. You can find the photo album outlining all the festivities here.

However, I’m going to be talking about how the metagame shook out and what this means for Melbourne Legacy going forward. With a few large events popping up in the near future – such as the Eternal Weekend at NLG Dandenong – getting data on these large tournaments are more and more pertinent for player preparation ahead.

Firstly, let’s look at the some charts outlining decks played on the day, with the bar cart highlighting how effectively decks converted to wins, and give a bit of profile on each of the most-played ones:

PieMetagame

The decks that put up the biggest numbers were Death & Taxes and Grixis Delver, with six players, Miracles and Sneak & Show with five and Storm with four.

Melbourne has had a long history with Death & Taxes, and the deck has brought many Melbournian players, such as myself, to a reasonable amount of success. The deck has always been easy to pick up and play for new players – you just cast some idiots that cripple the opponent, and Wasteland them here and there – but Melbourne has also fostered many who are well-versed in the ways of the White creatures. If anything, Melbourne has become a hotbed for excellent Death & Taxes players, and the Top 8 certain showed off players who have been rewarded for their dedication and have a deep understanding of how the deck interacts with many matchups. No amount of hate people packed in their sideboards pre-emptively, be they Sulfur Elementals or Dread of Nights, were able to stop the dominance of the White creatures. It also helps that traditionally poor matchups like Elves and incredibly fast combo decks were largely unseen.

Grixis Delver was far the most popular Delver variant and was tied for highest number of appearances with Death & Taxes. However, none of the copies pushed into the Top 8. Grixis Delver has been a favourite of many newer players to the format as their first foray into Brainstorm, and many also picked up Steven Stamopoulos’ Team Australia version eschewing Young Pyromancer and adding Tombstalker. The powerful core of Delver, Lightning Bolt and the pile of disruption are always going to be great, but with Death & Taxes and other non-blue, hateful decks very prominent in Melbourne, it’s very easy for the so-called “Honda Civic” of Legacy to have its game plan rendered ineffective without tight play.

Miracles has been the top-dog in the global Legacy scene for many years, but in Melbourne its popularity has been climbing quite slowly, but has nonetheless reached the third most represented deck in this event. Its difficulty is high and can be cumbersome for newer players, which certainly reduces its numbers and means that typically only enfranchised players pick it up – and place quite well with it. Typical Mentor lists were quite popular, though Top 8ing list was a more hardcore Predict-heavy build. Also featured was Matthew Larcombe on the Esper build he has been touting recently.

Sneak & Show was the combo deck of the day, despite the hostile presence of Death & Taxes – which definitely may have contributed to the deck’s lacklustre performance overall, placing nowhere in the Top 16. Sneak & Show is a strong entry point for newer players due to the sheer strength and speed in which it can assemble its combo, while also rewarding those who have experience with the deck due to finer decision points making or breaking wins. Sideboarding, in particular, needs to be set up to fight the expected Death & Taxes metagame. Some opted for the tactics Kentaro Yamamoto won with – a man-plan in the sideboard involving Grim Lavamancer and Vendilion Clique to control the board – while others took the OmniAttack builds, involving main deck Omniscience, Cunning Wish and a corresponding wish board to dodge the Karakas of the world. Although not placing in Top 8, Sneak & Show is one of the more scary decks to expect at a tournament in Melbourne and definitely needs some slots dedicated to it.

Last of the more widely played decks was Storm. Unlike Sneak & Show, this was widely adopted by veterans of the deck, who are able to navigate through the precariousness of the hatebears and countermagic of the format. Although occasionally similarly straightforward to Sneak & Show, Storm has a lot more threatening matchups than just Thalia.dec thanks to the Chalice of the Voids of the world, and hence requires a bit more finesse in certain situations. Storm has rewarded its well-versed players, utilising and angling their decks effectively against the expected metagame, with solid success, many of them achieving high finishes within Top 8s and Top 16s consistently.

Other than these big players, other decks took the limelight. Merfolk made a surprising appearance in the Top 8 (with a lot of spice!) and was at the top tables frequently, Lands made solid showings despite it typically being uncommon (until now!) in Melbourne and my lovely and unloved RUG Delver had the same amount of appearances as its much more loved BUG cousin! Lesser known decks like Pox, Painter (the pimpest Painter ever), Stax and pure Black-Green The Rock also made appearances! Legacy in Melbourne, although the more popular decks are now bubbling to the surface, still has its fair share of interesting archetypes.

Next up, a closer look at our Top 8ers! In order of Top 8 seeding:

Name: Leon Raymond
Age: 21
Hometown: Camberwell
Archetype: 4c Loam

How long have you been playing Legacy?
Two Months.

Why did you play your deck this weekend?
It’s the only deck I’m familiar with and I felt it had a strong match-up against Delver variants.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Having two Dark Confidant out and being on three life against Grixis Delver for several turns without getting Bolted.

What was the standout card from your deck?
Chalice of the Void, total anti-metagame.

 Leon Raymond
Name: Michael Kelly
Age: 23
Hometown: Melbourne
Archetype: Death & Taxes

How long have you been playing Legacy?
On and off for around three years.

Why did you play your deck this weekend? It’s the deck that I have the most experience with in Legacy.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Not losing a match in the Swiss was the most memorable part of the tournament for me.

What was the standout card from your deck?
Thalia and Sword of Fire and Ice.

 Michael Kelly
Name: Brennan Garcia
Age: 24
Hometown: Sunbury
Archetype: Miracles

How long have you been playing Legacy?
3-4 months.

Why did you play your deck this weekend?
I think Miracles is the strongest deck in the format right now and while it has some bad match ups against popular Melbourne decks over the course of 6-7 rounds variance sets in and those decks are unlikely to go the distance. I also didn’t want to play a deck with greedy mana base. I choose a more controlling build because since others have put up such great results recently with Mentor Miracles, the metagame shifted to having more Abrupt Decays. Finally, it’s just a really fun and rewarding deck to play, which is the most important part of a deck choice for me.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Using Sensei’s Divining Top and three fetchlands to filter through my deck looking or an answer to Infernal Tutor. After looking at my fourth set of three cards I found Snapcaster Mage and I was able to flashback Counterspell to win 2-0 in round six and lock in Top 8.

What was the standout card from your deck?
Had to be Jace. A surprising number of my games were won with a Jace ultimate.

 Brennan Garcia
Name: John Atkin
Age: 28
Hometown: Melbourne
Archetype: Death & Taxes

How long have you been playing Legacy?
Eighteen years.

Why did you play your deck this weekend?
I own it, decided to play it over Elves because I would fare better vs. Miracles and Sneak & Show.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Top decking a Flickerwisp to flicker my SoFI that had been Carried Away…

 John Atkin
Name: Jesse Dent
Age: 21
Hometown: Warragul
Archetype: 4c Control

How long have you been playing Legacy?
2 months or so.

Why did you play your deck this weekend? I’m a big fan of all sorts of control, and saw the list a couple of days beforehand and thought it was really sweet.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Just barely scraping by against Reanimator with only two Deathrites on board racing a reanimated Chancellor of the Annex.

What was the standout card from your deck?
Kolaghan’s Command put in some serious work throughout the day, and was seriously worth the splash, and it would have probably been able to place me higher in the Top 8 if I’d managed to cast it in either of my last two games.

 Jesse Dent
Name: Soohan “Han” Sohn
Age: 31
Hometown: Busan, South Korea
Archetype: Eldrazi Aggro

How long have you been playing Legacy?
3 months.

Why did you play your deck this weekend?
John Atkin initially recommended this deck to get me into the format. I’m a relatively new player so I thought it a good deck with good interaction but limited variance.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Mirror match with Sully! His shiny beautiful cards were no match for my naïve piloting. It could have gone either way; his Eldrazi deck was actually quite different. Got him on the back foot just enough to squeak out a win.

What was the standout card from your deck?
The cheapest of them all: Warping Wail. It’s Eldrazi Command, man. Cheap as chips too.

 Soohan Sohn
Name: Jack Jiggens
Age:21
Hometown: Brisbane
Archetype: Death & Taxes

How long have you been playing Legacy? About 2 years.

Why did you play your deck this weekend? It’s the deck I feel most comfortable playing in this meta.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
I don’t know.

What was the standout card from your deck?
Serra Avenger.

 Jack Jiggens
Name: Joe Michael Caragan
Age: 32
Hometown: Burnside, Melbourne
Archetype: Merfolk

How long have you been playing Legacy?
I’ve been a casual player of Legacy for more than 2 years.

Why did you play your deck this weekend?
I played it coz… It has a good match-up on any deck that uses Brainstorm.

Most memorable moment of the Swiss?
Casting Carry Away to gain control of Sword of Fire and Ice.

What was the Standout card from your deck? True-Name Nemesis.

 Joe Michael Caragan

And then the Top 8 broke down as below!

Top 8

Jack Jiggens took away the trophy! You can find his report here, along with a few others – Michael Kelly, mine and 10th-placer Michael Webb – with more to come, I’m sure.

Lastly, what everyone has wanted: the Top 8 lists. I’ll also be listing the Top 16 too, as a bit more coverage and spicy decks to look over!

Top 8

1st
Jack Jiggens
Death & Taxes

Creatures: (26)
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Mother of Runes
4 Flickerwisp
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Serra Avenger
2 Mirran Crusader
2 Sanctum Prelate
2 Recruiter of the Guard

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Swords to Plowshares

Lands: (23)
9 Plains
3 Karakas
1 Horizon Canopy
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
4 Rishadan Port 

Sideboard: (15)
1 Faerie Macabre
2 Rest in Peace
2 Containment Priest
2 Council’s Judgment
2 Path to Exile
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Pithing Needle
1 Palace Jailer
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
2nd
John Atkin
Death & Taxes

Creatures: (26)
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Mother of Runes

4 Flickerwisp
3 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Serra Avenger
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Sanctum Prelate
2 Recruiter of the Guard
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
4 Aether Vial
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Swords to Plowshares

Lands: (23)
10 Plains
3 Karakas
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
4 Rishadan Port

Sideboard: (15)
1 Sanctum Prelate
1 Batterskull
1 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace
1 Containment Priest
2 Council’s Judgment
2 Path to Exile
2 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Disenchant
3-4th
Leon Raymond
4c Loam

Creatures: (10)
4 Dark Confidant
1 Gaddock Teeg
4 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Scavenging Ooze

Non-Creature Spells: (24)
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Life from the Loam
3 Liliana of the Veil
4 Mox Diamond
3 Punishing Fire
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Sylvan Library
1 Toxic Deluge

Lands: (26)
1 Badlands
1 Barren Moor
2 Bayou
1 Cabal Pit
1 Forest
3 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Karakas
1 Maze of Ith
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
1 Taiga
1 Tranquil Thicket
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
2 Windswept Heath

Sideboard: (15)
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Bojuka Bog
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Garruk Relentless
2 Golgari Charm
3 Leyline of the Void
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
3-4th
Soohan Sohn
Eldrazi Stompy

Creatures: (23)
4 Eldrazi Mimic
1 Endbringer
4 Endless One
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
2 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Thought-Knot Seer

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
1 Warping Wail
2 Dismember
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands: (26)
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cavern of Souls
2 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Eye of Ugin
3 Mishra’s Factory
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Wasteland
1 Karakas

Sideboard: (15)
1 Endbringer
1 Warping Wail
2 Thorn of Amethyst
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Sphere of Resistance
2 All Is Dust
5-8th
Brennan Garcia
Miracles

Creatures: (3)
3 Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (37)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Sensei’s Divining Top
4 Counterbalance
4 Terminus
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Entreat the Angels
1 Council’s Judgment
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Predict
4 Force of Will
1 Counterspell

Lands: (20)
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
4 Island
2 Plains
4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa

Sideboard: (15)
3 Flusterstorm
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Wear // Tear
2 Monastery Mentor
2 Pyroblast
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Mountain
1 From the Ashes
5-8th
Jesse Dent
4c Control

Creatures: (13)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Baleful Strix

Non-Creature Spells: (27)
1 Liliana of the Veil
2 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Force of Will
3 Fatal Push
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Counterspell
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Painful Truths
2 Thoughtseize

Lands: (20)
1 Bayou
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta
2 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands

Sideboard: (15)
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Fatal Push
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Thoughtseize
1 Pyroblast
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Flusterstorm
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
5-8th
Michael Kelly
Death & Taxes

Creatures: (26)
4 Mother of Runes
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Flickerwisp
3 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Recruiter of the Guard
2 Mirran Crusader
2 Serra Avenger
1 Sanctum Prelate

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands: (23)
10 Plains
4 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Karakas
1 Horizon Canopy

Sideboard: (15)
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
2 Path to Exile
2 Council’s Judgment
1 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace
1 Containment Priest
2 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Faerie Macabre
5-8th
Joe Michael Caragan
Merfolk

Creatures: (26)
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Cursecatcher
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 True-Name Nemesis
3 Phantasmal Image
2 Master of Waves

Non-Creature Spells: (14)
4 Aether Vial
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Force of Will
2 Daze
1 Echoing Truth
2 Opposition

Lands: (20)
2 Wasteland
3 Cavern of Souls
3 Mutavault
12 Island

Sideboard: (15)
2 Submerge
1 Dismember
1 Flusterstorm
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Pithing Needle
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Carry Away
1 Back to Basics
3 Chalice of the Void

Top 16

9th
Sean Brown
RUG Delver

Creatures: (10)
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Nimble Mongoose
2 Hooting Mandrills

Non-Creature Spells: (32)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
3 Spell Snare
1 Spell Pierce
1 Counterspell
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Forked Bolt
1 Dismember
1 Life from the Loam

Lands: (18)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Wooded Foothills
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Flusterstorm
1 Forked Bolt
1 Null Rod
3 Pyroblast
1 Submerge
1 Sudden Demise
1 Surgical Extraction
2 True-Name Nemesis
2 Winter Orb
10th
Michael Webb
Storm

Non-Creature Spells: (45)
4 Brainstorm
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Ad Nauseam
4 Cabal Ritual
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Dark Ritual
3 Duress
4 Infernal Tutor
1 Rain of Filth
1 Tendrils of Agony
2 Past in Flames
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
1 Sensei’s Divining Top

Lands: (15)
2 Bayou
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island

Sideboard: (15)
4 Abrupt Decay
2 Echoing Truth
2 Disfigure
1 Empty the Warrens
2 Flusterstorm
1 Extirpate
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
2 Tendrils of Agony
11th
Stephen Tang
Miracles

Creatures: (6)
3 Monastery Mentor
3 Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (34)
4 Sensei’s Divining Top
4 Counterbalance
4 Terminus
1 Entreat the Angels
4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Lands: (20)
4 Flooded Strand
3 Scalding Tarn
1 Polluted Delta
1 Arid Mesa
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
2 Plains

Sideboard: (15)
3 Pyroblast
2 Flusterstorm
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Wear // Tear
1 Blood Moon
2 Engineered Explosives
12th
Tom Hurst
Imperial Painter

Creatures: (15)
2 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Goblin Welder
1 Magus of the Moon
1 Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
4 Imperial Recruiter
4 Painter’s Servant

Non-Creature Spells: (23)
1 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Sensei’s Divining Top
4 Grindstone
4 Blood Moon
1 Pyroblast
3 Lotus Petal
3 Red Elemental Blast
1 Lion’s Eye Diamond
3 Enlightened Tutor

Lands: (19)
1 Wooded Foothills
4 Arid Mesa
3 City of Traitors
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Great Furnace
2 Plateau
4 Mountain

Sideboard: (15)
3 Lightning Bolt
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Rest in Peace
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Pyroclasm
1 Trinisphere
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Manic Vandal
13th
Phillip Unwin
Lands

Non-Creature Spells: (25)
4 Crop Rotation
4 Exploration
4 Gamble
4 Life from the Loam
1 Manabond
1 Molten Vortex
4 Mox Diamond
3 Punishing Fire

Lands: (35)
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
4 Dark Depths
1 Forest
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
3 Maze of Ith
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Rishadan Port
2 Taiga
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Thespian’s Stage
1 Tranquil Thicket
4 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Karakas
1 Kozilek’s Return
4 Krosan Grip
4 Sphere of Resistance
3 Tireless Tracker
1 Trinisphere
14th
Andrew Killey
Burn

Creatures: (14)
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel

Non-Creature Spells: (26)
2 Sulfuric Vortex
4 Price of Progress
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lava Spike
4 Fireblast

Lands: (20)
8 Mountain
1 Taiga
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Arid Mesa

Sideboard: (15)
2 Sulfur Elemental
2 Searing Blaze
2 Pyrostatic Pillar
3 Exquisite Firecraft
3 Destructive Revelry
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Grafdigger’ s Cage
15th
Graham King
Lands

Non-Creature Spells: (24)
4 Gamble
1 Molten Vortex
3 Punishing Fire
4 Crop Rotation
4 Exploration
4 Life from the Loam
4 Mox Diamond

Lands: (36)
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Dark Depths
1 Forest
2 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Karakas
3 Maze of Ith
1 Riftstone Portal
3 Rishadan Port
2 Taiga
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Thespian’s Stage
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
3 Chalice of the Void
4 Krosan Grip
2 Pithing Needle
3 Sphere of Resistance
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Tireless Tracker
16th
Trent Mizzi
Storm

Non-Creature Spells: (45)
1 Ad Nauseam
4 Brainstorm
3 Burning Wish
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Dark Ritual
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Infernal Tutor
1 Past in Flames
4 Ponder
1 Tendrils of Agony

Lands: (15)
1 Badlands
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island

Sideboard: (15)
2 Chain of Vapor
2 Crash
1 Dark Petition
1 Deathmark
1 Disfigure
1 Duress
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Massacre
1 Past in Flames
1 Shattering Spree
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Tendrils of Agony

Phew! And there ends our bit of coverage of DtPtJ. Thank you all who attended, organisers Steven Stamopoulos, Rob Gascard and Isaac Cafarella along with all those who donated!

Expect some more sweet, sweet Legacy in the future.

By Sean Brown

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