Hello everyone! Your 1-3 drop brother Sean Brown here! These here are bits of text coverage I was able to get during the Top 8 of the recent Legacy Masters event at NLG Dandenong. There will be a joint project with Melbourne bros The Salt Mine and Team Cock Magic to get the camera footage out and commentated within the next two weeks, but here we have two off-camera feature matches, as well as the finals that was also on camera!
Sadly I didn’t take any photos of the off-camera feature matches. I’m dumb, you’ll have to use your imagination a bit. Nonetheless, on with the coverage!
Quarterfinals: Steven Stamopoulos (Team Australia) vs. Brendan Watson (RUG Delver)
Steven Stamopoulos had been on a tear with his innovative take on Grixis Delver, featuring a fully evasive threat suite topping off with Tombstalker to dismantle his opponents and reach the Top 8 at 5-0-2. His opponent was Brendan Watson, who too had been taking his very classic take on RUG Delver to a strong position, his only defeat in the Swiss to Steve himself. The two Stifle-Daze-Wasteland machines were certainly geared to fight the combo decks of the format like Sneak & Show, but how they dealt with each other was certain to be an exciting match.
Steve, as the fourth seed (compared to Brendan’s fifth), takes the play, keeping his seven while Brendan takes a mulligan.
Steve begins by fetching an Underground Sea and Pondering on the first turn. Knowing this is a Delver mirror, there’s one thing he’s likely looking for – land. He keeps with his Ponder and passes the turn. Brendan starts off his first turn with an aggressive Wastelands (on the draw). An ambitious play with his opponent keeping off Ponder, but nonetheless somewhat viable. Steve only has Wasteland as his land drop – perhaps Brendan’s play payed off?
Brendan plays a land, cantrips, and passes back. Steve then Wastelands him and starts his turn. Steve draws his third card from Ponder, fetches an Underground Sea and casts Delver of Secrets. On Brendans turn, he attempts to Bolt it, Steve Dazes, Brendan Forces back, pitching Flusterstorm
“Fluster in the main. You’re a sicko!” Steve’s in awe of the tech.
Steve then Wastelands Brendan’s only land (there’s a lot of Wastelands going on!), but after one turn of passing back and forth, Brendan eventually draws Trop to cast his own Delver of Secrets. Steve simply plays a fetchland on his turn and passes back, Steve unable to find an answer quite yet. Brendan draws Wasteland, targeting Steve’s Underground Sea. That’s a heckuva lot of Wastelands! Steve fetches another Sea in response off his Scalding Tarn, and Stifles the Wasteland activation.
Two Underground Seas seems like an interesting fetching sequence. But then then the reason is shown.
Steven slams Tombstalker on to the battlefield.
Delver cowers in fear as the 5/5 flier stares him down. Brendan passes the turn unable to make a profitable attack. On Steve’s turn he goes to Fatal Push the Delver. This gets Forced, with Brendan all-in on his underclassed Insectile Aberration. There is a chance that a sequence of draws can allow him to race the 5/5.
Delver pings in for three, but Steve untaps and casts a second Push that resolves. With Brendan unable to race the Demon, Tombstalker goes all the way.
Steve wins game one.
Brendan begins on the play with a Ponder. On Steve’s turn he casts turn one Deathrite Shaman. This gets Bolted, and Brendan plays a second Volc. He has another Bolt, a Trop, a Tarmogoyf and Flusterstorm ready to go. But interestingly, he also has Submerge. With Steve fetching double Underground Sea, for Tombstalker I’m sure he did a good job masquerading as BUG Delver!
Steve plays a second Deathrite, which gets Bolted again during Brendan’s turn. Brendan attempts to cast Tarmogoyf off a Tropical Island but meets Steve’s Daze.
Steve Wastelands Brendan’s Trop and plays a Delver. Brendan draws an uncastable Goyf for turn. Steve plays his third land, flipping Delver to Spell Snare, opting not cast his True-Name into Daze and holding up Snare for potential Goyfs.
He gets in a few chips, but Brendan eventually draws a fetch, and gets a Green source and casts a Threshed Mongoose. Steve cracks a fetch for Volcanic Island at the end of this turn to play around potential Stifle
Main phase Steve casts a Brainstorm, finding his fourth land – but it’s his lone Tropical Island! Brendan’s Submerge, which has been rotting in hand for so long, suddenly is active against the flipped Delver that he can easily race if Submerge resolves. And it likely will – he has double Force, Stifle, Flusterstorm in addition to his Submerge. He taps two mana for the Goyf, baiting the Snare and Forcing back, bringing himself to six.
He then Submerges the Delver.
Steve casts his lovely black-bordered Red Elemental Blast in response.
Brendan Flusterstorms. And Steve reveals what else he found off Brainstorm.
Steve Flusterstorms back to win the stack war!
Goyf and Goose stare back sadly as Delver cruises over bringing Brendan to three.
And then, Steve Brainstorms into a Lightning Bolt he’d hidden away, bringing Brendan to zero.
Steve takes the quarterfinals 2-0 against RUG Delver!
Semifinals: Patty Robertson (Sneak & Show) vs. Thomas Selitto (Sneak & Show)
Patty and Thom joke that this is a little like cannibalism with the mirror match ahead of them. It’s a strange matchup, as casting the premier spell Show and Tell can lead to a kill on the crack back, unless it’s used to accelerate a Sneak Attack ahead of schedule.
Both players are well aware of what the mirror entails, with Thom well-versed in Sneak & Show and Patty the 2016 Legacy Masters Champion!
Patty is on the play, with both players keeping their hands. He starts on Volcanic Island and Ponders. He thinks hard on his Ponder of Jace, City of Traitors and a fetchland. He decides to keep it. Thomas starts with a Preordain, leaving a card on the top and bottoming the other.
Patty smashes out on turn two Jace via Lotus Petal and City of Traitors after Thomas leaves the top card on his library… It resolves without a hitch.
“Fatesealing me would be really bad.” Thom jokes, noting that he left on top with Preordain.
As tempting as it is, Patty shrugs and opts to Brainstorm.
Thomas tanks hard on his second turn. He plays a Ponder and finds a Scalding Tarn to put into play.
Patty Brainstorms from Jace, plays a fetch (sacrificing his City of Traitors) and passes back the turn. Thomas end-of-turn fetches to shuffle away the last two cards from Ponder.
Thomas draws his card, untaps, plays City of Traitors, Lotus Petal and starts the fireworks – he casts Show and Tell, likely intending to put a Sneak Attack into play. Patty casts Spell Pierce back. Instead of paying with his two mana Thomas opts to Spell Pierce back, leaving a single mana up.
Patty fetches, casts Brainstorm, finding Force of Will to counter back.
Patty Brainstorms with Jace and then passes back again. Thomas then casts the Sneak Attack he was ready to deploy last turn. Patty Forces. Thomas Forces back, feeling he’s got this. But Patty Forces again riding the huge advantage he’s had from Jace sitting on the table for so long. Sneak Attack goes to the bin, Thomas has only one card left in hand.
Patty then Fateseals Thom, giving him a Griselbrand that everyone gets to embarrassingly see next to the other one in his hand thanks to Gitaxian Probe.
After some Jace Brainstorms and more cantripping, Patty untaps, Sneak Attacks in Griselbrand, draws a pile of cards, casts Lotus Petal and Emrakuls Tom for the 22.
1-0 to Patty.
Post-board, Thomas Selitto has already vanquished a previous opponent hilariously with Grim Lavamancer from the sideboard beating down before anyone could pull the trigger. His opponent had to Cunning Wish for Volcanic Fallout just to get them off the table! The two joke about their sideboard plans and the merits of Torment Grim Lavamancer but are soon underway once more.
Thomas begins, mulliganing to six and scrying to the bottom. He begins with a land and passes, and then Ponders and shuffles for his turn two. Patty does the same, making his turn one land drop and Pondering on his turn two as well. Thomas plays City and passes the turn, hesitating for a moment on whether he wants to pull the trigger. Patty Ponders again. He keeps and passes back the turn.
Thom finds a Probe and sees double Sneak Attack, Emrakul, Fluster, Force, Pierce and Jace. A pretty monstrous hand with all the tools to eventually win. On his upkeep Patty fetches away his Pondered cards and draws Brainstorm, which he casts. He finds a fourth land, and passes, happy to play draw-go. Thom does the same. It’s basically a control mirror now, with “land, go” being each person’s play. Thom eventually has to discard down to hand size after missing land drops, discarding an Emrakul to shuffle his goods back into his library.
Eventually Patty takes two and jams Jace, the Mind Sculptor with a lot of mana leftover. Selitto fetches, sacrifices his Petal and hard casts Force of Will into the known Spell Pierce of Patty. This gets Pierced by Patty, and Jace eventually resolves. The Brainstorm machine begins again.
Thomas then Brainstorms on his turn, plays a land and passes back.
Patty then draws Probe…
And sees Thomas’ hand is only two Pierce and a Force!
“My hand is crap.” Thom admits.
Capitalising on this, Patty jams his Sneak Attack, easily beating Thom’s hand with his Force of Will and tonnes of mana to play through Spell Pierce. He fires Griselbrand and Emrakuls at Thom and the game is over.
Patty Robertson proceeds to the finals 2-0!
Patty Robertson is playing to defend his title of Legacy Champion in this finals. Michael Webb, on the other hand, is a happy-go-lucky weekly regular. But despite his easy-going nature, is one of the most feared Storm pilots in Melbourne, recently taking down the General Games monthly sanctioned and having a slew of local Top 8s to his name. This combo mirror can be scary – with Patty on the play, a fast kill is very possible, and Webb needs to aim pretty precisely with his Cabal Therapies, slowing down his opponent but also dancing around countermagic.
Patty takes the play and both players keep their seven. Patty plays Petal and Tarn and then passes.
Webb starts with a Gitaxian Probe, seeing Jace, Sneak Attack, Show and Tell and lands, including an Ancient Tomb. With the Lotus Petal, Patty’s signature move of turn two Jace is once again possible. Webb fetches an Underground Sea and Therapies, naming Show and Tell. Interestingly, he doesn’t opt to take Jace, which can make this mess of enablers into a feasible force. Rather, I imagine he’s opting to stop Patty from killing him quickly, with faith that his deck will simply kill before the advantage of Jace is relevant.
Patty predictably casts Jace and Brainstorms. On his turn two, Webb casts his own Brainstorm, then fetches off a Tarn to get a second Sea. He casts Duress seeing Brainstorm, Show and Tell, Sneak Attack, Probe. He takes Brainstorm.
Patty then Brainstorms with Jace, cracks a fetch, and then casts Sneak Attack with no mana floating.
Webb then casts another Brainstorm, fetching a Badlands after. He then casts Preordain, bottoming both and passing the turn back, struggling to find the final piece of the Storm puzzle. If Patty can find a monster, Webb will likely be dead.
Patty then Brainstorm with Jace, puts cards back and fetches with Misty. He casts a Preordain himself, putting one on the bottom and then, ominously, one on the top. It’s Griselbrand. He Sneaks it in and does the old 22.
1-0 to Patty Robertson.
Michael Webb is on the play. Patty starts with a pre-game action Leyline of the Void. Webb breathes a sigh of relief. It’s not Leyline of Sanctity I’m sure he’s feeling. Webb begins with a Duress, seeing two Force, a Griselbrand and lands. He takes a Force. Patty’s turn one is land, go.
Webb plays Brainstorm on his second turn. He then fetches for a second Sea, casts Cabal Therapy and names Griselbrand, leaving only the Force in his opponent’s hand – Patty has drawn another land for turn. I guess he has faith he can beat the countermagic (especially with Patty’s lack of Blue card currently).
Patty draws a great one to fix a shredded hand – Brainstorm – that he immediately casts.
He fixes his mediocre hand in quite a way. Finding everything he needs from his Braincestral Recall, he then plays Show and Tell, putting in Emrakul while Webb has nothing.
Webb cantrips around, but is unable to find Infernal Tutor to get his combo deck online.
He takes a hit from Emrakul, sacrificing his lands.
He goes to his turn, hoping there is a way… But there isn’t. He takes the final hit from Emrakul.
Patty Robertson wins 2-0 to take the Mox Jet and is the Legacy Masters Champion again!