SWAWLQ I – Event Report

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to the first of what will hopefully become a series of reports for the South West Legacy Quarterly (SWLQ)!

First of all to give a little background information: Inspired by a swiftly developing Legacy scene within the Bristol and Cardiff regions of the UK and the amazing reports from the lovely folks who attend the London Legacy Monthly (LLM) events, a small group of us were inspired to give organising a similar event a go. 

Fast forward a number of months with no small amount of helpful advice gleaned from the LLM organisers and us having found a wonderful venue that were willing to host us for free we were able to get the first of what we hope is a successful series underway.

SWAWLQ – I

August 31st 2019

Twenty six signed up (our max capacity for the first event!) and twenty five made it to the venue to jam! Doors opened at 12:00 with everything organised by 12:30. The player meeting went underway and then the event began!

It was five rounds of Swiss, Pub/Ricardo TessitoriREL with a cut to Top 8. Prizes went to the Top4 with 1st getting a Tundra, 2nd a Savannah and 3rd and 4th Four Khan’s Bloodstained Mires each. Playtest cards (proxies) were allowed but it was really nice seeing many people opt to not proxy showing solidarity for potential future, sanctioned events within the area. It was also really nice seeing a lot of people local to the wider South West and Wales area that do not normally get to play paper Legacy join us.

The prizes on offer.

Metagame Breakdown

We collected full decklists from everybody so we have a complete map of what was played. Out of 25 participants we had 17 unique archetypes represented which is an amazing display of diversity. Of the decks played around 56% would be considered blue based cantrip decks and 44% non-blue based decks. Breaking down the meta into the three simplified primary archetypes of Aggro, Combo and Control (based off of MTGTOP8 listings) we can see that we had heavy Aggro dominance with 48% of the meta share whilst Combo and Control took 28% and 24% meta share respectively.The full list of decks can be found below:

Archetype#Archetype#Archetype#Archetype#
4C delver1Dredge2Infect1UB Stax1
4C Pile1Four Horsemen1Lands1UR Delver4
BR Reanimator2Grixis Control1Punishing Maverick2UW OmniTell1
Death and Taxes2Grixis Shadow1UB Shadow1UW Stoneblade2






Value Elves1

The variety continues as we dig deeper into the lists. Even despite being the same archetype, both the UW Stoneblade decks were built quite differently as were the two Punishing Maverick Decks with one even running Exploration/[c] and [c]Dark Depths combo. Of the UR Delver pilots, one went full aggro with Stormchaser Mage whilst others favoured Dreadhorde Arcanist for a more long game strategy. Some ran Stifle whilst others did not all proving there is a lot of diversity to be found, even within a single archetype. 

Graveyard decks were well represented with five being fielded including the infamous Four Horsemen combo deck! The conversion to Top 8 wasn’t too bad with one getting through, especially considering the amount of graveyard hate packed in the room. Between everyone present there were:

You can tell people were really respecting the graveyard!

Surprisingly there was a distinct lack of Storm based combo. ANT/TES/any of the spicier cousins were nowhere to be seen which was unexpected as many people were packing plenty of hate for it. Many of the blue decks were packing five copies of Force main and with Tempo based Aggro being the dominant archetype, commonly a disfavoured matchup for Storm it was savvy for no pilots to turn up with it.

Speaking of which, between the Delver and Shadow lists tempo, blue based Aggro was one of the main archetypes of the day with a total of seven decks represented, eight if you count Infect too which some people may class as very similar to Delver decks in construction. Despite the heavy meta share only two converted over to top eight. This may be due to the equivalent numbers of grindy control decks that may have outclassed them or the presence of Dredge, the ever present boogeyman of the format that punishes “fair” blue decks heavily.

Death and Taxes, a common sight in European and UK metas only had two entries which seemed low, however their more colourful Maverick cousins joined them in the fair, white based creature strategies corner for a total of four entries.

Other, normally popular, archetypes that were missing were Miracles, Depths variants, Burn and Sneak and Show. Miracles is currently on the decline in popularity in favour of Stoneblade which may account for no showings there. Two decks were running Dark Depths in the form of Lands and one of the Maverick decks but, given the recent good results observed online and in larger events, it was surprising to see no GB lists crop up. It being a proxy event, it was not too surprising to not see Burn. If given the chance to branch out, all but the most dedicated pilots would probably opt for something a bit less “budget”. Sneak and Show was also not present with only one Show and Tell deck at all appearing (sideboard plans notwithstanding – wait until the end to find out more). There were fifteen copies (eleven of which were maindeck) of Karakas in the room so the traditional UR Sneak list would have likely been a poor choice however, as shown by the single Omnitell deck, the more spell centric cousin seemed like a decent meta breaker.

The final interesting point was the lack of Chalice of the Void based “stompy” decks. Only two decks had Chalice, and one of those was Death and Taxes with some cheeky sideboard tech. There were no Moon Variants or Eldrazi lists showing and they may well have done well in this event, especially with a high number of relatively greedy manabases although, looking at the numbers the 7th highest played card was Island with a total of 38 copies being played (and another 4 Snow-Covered Island too!) so maybe Blood Moon is not where you want to be. A non red Chalice deck might have been a good deck to go in with, maybe with a faster Bomberman variant to try and blitz through the Delver and slower Control decks with.

Enough theorising now, let’s jump into the Top 8. 

Results

After the five rounds of swiss we had eight players (obviously, hence the name Top 8).emerge with one player at 4-0-1, two at 3-0-2, three at 3-1-1 and two of the five 3-2-0’s getting in too.

Gameplay starts in Round 1.

In seed order the Top 8 were as such:

  1. Nathaniel Thorne on UW Stoneblade
  2. Ishu Singh on 4C Pile
  3. Joseph Manning on UR Delver
  4. Bruno Maillot on UB Stax
  5. James Johns on UW Omnitell
  6. Gregory Nichols on Dredge
  7. Joshua Hulonce on Punishing Maverick
  8. Alex Jervis on Grixis Shadow

The Quarters kicked off with Stoneblade making light work of Death’s Shadow, Swords to Plowshares playing a pivotal role in the matchup. Maverick was able to outgrind the 4C Pile deck where even the power of Wrenn and Six, Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Tarmogoyf were no Match for Knight of the Reliquary, Scavenging Ooze and friends backed up by their own Wrenn and Six.

Dredge took down Delver punishing the relative light grave hate in the form of only two copies of  Surgical Extraction to make it through and finally Omnitell managed to navigate the mass of lock pieces to beat Stax.

In the Semi finals Dredge once again faced another fair blue deck and continued to steamroll through, bypassing two Containment Priest and three Surgicals to make it to the end game. 

Omnitell also made light work of the Maverick deck with the Maverick player finding little interaction game one and, despite a well placed Ethersworn Canonist off of Show and Tell game two, an upkeep Echoing Truth followed by the all Instant Speed Release the Ants combo took the match. 

The finals saw both players try to outrace each other and despite an aggressive Force of Will on an early Putrid Imp a combination of Lion’s Eye Diamond, Faithless Looting and Breakthrough managed to turn a single Golgari Thug into a world of hurt with a number of copies of Cabal Therapy being dredged, shredding the Omnitell player’s hand to be backed up with a horde of Zombies and the recently banned in Modern, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis himself. Omnitell not finding anything meant it went to game two. 

Game two found the Omnitell player manage to get the combo down however disaster struck as their resolved Show and Tell revealed a Wispmare from the Dredge player’s hand. With the trigger on the stack the Omni player cast Brainstorm in an attempt to locate a Cunning Wish to finish the kill but could not find it. They elected to Echoing Truth their own Omniscience instead, potentially to ensure they had the “B” out of “A plus B” style combo deck it is often thought of as. This got severely punished however as a well timed Cabal Therapy was found off the top of the Dredge player’s deck to take it out of hand. Despite further digging, the late start of the dredging element of the deck was finally unleashed and, the Omnitell player drawing nothing to push the win through, the handshake was given. 

The winners show their spoils! (From left to right – Joshua, Greg, James and Nathaniel).

The winner spoils their showing! (From left to right – Joshua, Greg, James and Nathaniel).

Closing words

With that the dust settled and the final results were in. Congratulations to all Top 8 finalists who made it through and a big thank-you to all who attended to ensure we had an excellent inaugural event. The organising committee are already taking on a lot of the feedback from the attending players and, now the tricky test run is complete, are looking to start preparations for the next event likely to be sometime in November. Once again a huge thankyou to the Venue, the Hope and Anchor pub for hosting us. You can find more info for them HERE. If you want to look out for information on future events or similar ones please head over to HERE for event sign ups and information, HERE for the South West Legacy Group or HERE for more information or on similar events in the UK. We would also like to thank Tom and the other organisers of the LLM for the advice they gave and their allowance of this website to post our reports on!

Top 8 decklists may be found below:

Top 8 Lists

1st Place: Gregory Nichols on Dredge

Dredge

Creatures (24)
Golgari Grave-Troll
Golgari Thug
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Ichorid
Narcomoeba
Putrid Imp
Stinkweed Imp
Street Wraith

Spells (23)
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Bridge from Below
Breakthrough
Cabal Therapy
Careful Study
Faithless Looting
Lands (13)
Cephalid Coliseum
City of Brass
Gemstone Mine
Mana Confluence

Sideboard (15)
Lotus Petal
Silent Gravestone
Ashen Rider
Wispmare
Leyline of Sanctity
Leyline of the Void
Nature’s Claim
Dread Return

2nd Place: James Johns on UW Omnitell

UW OmniSnow: Emracool Runnings

Planeswalkers (5)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler

Creatures (1)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Spells (35)
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Omniscience
Search for Azcanta
Brainstorm
Cunning Wish
Flusterstorm
Force of Will
Impulse
Narset’s Reversal
Spell Pierce
Ponder
Preordain
Show and Tell
Lands (19)
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Plains
Tundra

Sideboard (15)
Monastery Mentor
Vendilion Clique
Disenchant
Echoing Truth
Eladamri’s Call
Firemind’s Foresight
Flusterstorm
Intuition
Mindbreak Trap
Noxious Revival
Release the Ants
Surgical Extraction
Swords to Plowshares
Karakas

3rd/4th Place: Nathaniel Thorne on UW Stoneblade

UW Stoneblade

Planeswalkers (4)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils

Creatures (12)
Snapcaster Mage
Stoneforge Mystic
True-Name Nemesis
Vendilion Clique

Spells (24)
Batterskull
Umezawa’s Jitte
Brainstorm
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Swords to Plowshares
Council’s Judgment
Ponder
Supreme Verdict
Lands (20)
Flooded Strand
Island
Karakas
Plains
Polluted Delta
Prismatic Vista
Tundra

Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Containment Priest
Palace Jailer
Blue Elemental Blast
Disenchant
Flusterstorm
Path to Exile
Surgical Extraction
Teferi, Time Raveler
Supreme Verdict

[/d[ (3)
rd/4th Place: Joshua Hulonce on Punishing Maverick

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Planeswalkers (3)
Wrenn and Six

Creatures (21)
Dryad Arbor
Birds of Paradise
Gaddock Teeg
Knight of Autumn
Knight of the Reliquary
Mother of Runes
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Scavenging Ooze
Scryb Ranger
Stoneforge Mystic

Spells (14)
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Sylvan Library
Punishing Fire
Swords to Plowshares
Green Sun’s Zenith

Lands (22)
Forest
Grove of the Burnwillows
Karakas
Plains
Plateau
Savannah
Taiga
Wasteland
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Containment Priest
Dire Fleet Daredevil
Ethersworn Canonist
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Tireless Tracker
Choke
Red Elemental Blast
Surgical Extraction
Bojuka Bog

5th-8th Place: Ishu Singh on 4C Pile

Le Pile

Planeswalkers (5)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Wrenn and Six

Creatures (9)
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Plague Engineer
Snapcaster Mage
Tarmogoyf

Spells (25)
Abrupt Decay
Brainstorm
Fatal Push
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Liliana’s Triumph
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Tyrant’s Scorn
Inquisition of Kozilek
Ponder
Thoughtseize
Lands (21)
Badlands
Bayou
Island
Lonely Sandbar
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Swamp
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Plague Engineer
Scavenging Ooze
Pernicious Deed
Planar Void
Sylvan Library
Assassin’s Trophy
Hydroblast
Kolaghan’s Command
Pyroblast
Surgical Extraction
Veil of Summer
Toxic Deluge

5th-8th Place: Joe Manning on UR Delver

UR Delver

Creatures (13)
Bedlam Reveler
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Stormchaser Mage
True-Name Nemesis

Spells (31)
Brainstorm
Daze
Fireblast
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Opt
Price of Progress
Vapor Snag
Chain Lightning
Ponder
Lands (16)
Flooded Strand
Island
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Snapcaster Mage
Abrade
Hydroblast
Magmatic Sinkhole
Price of Progress
Pyroblast
Smash to Smithereens
Spell Pierce
Surgical Extraction
Vapor Snag
Narset, Parter of Veils

5th-8th Place: Bruno Maillot on UB Stax

UB Stax

Planeswalkers (7)
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Tezzeret the Seeker
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Creatures (4)
Soul Diviner

Spells (25)
Chalice of the Void
Crucible of Worlds
Ensnaring Bridge
Mox Diamond
Ratchet Bomb
Smokestack
Sorcerous Spyglass
Tangle Wire
Trinisphere
Lands (24)
Academy Ruins
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Island
Karakas
Maze of Ith
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Ensnaring Bridge
Grafdigger’s Cage
Sorcerous Spyglass
Tormod’s Crypt
Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Engineered Plague
Echoing Truth
Hibernation
Wipe Away
Virtue’s Ruin

5th-8th Place: Alex Jervis on Grixis Shadow

Grixis Shadow

Creatures (16)
Death’s Shadow
Delver of Secrets
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Hex Parasite
Street Wraith

Spells (27)
Brainstorm
Daze
Fatal Push
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Reanimate
Thoughtseize
Lands (17)
Blood Crypt
Island
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Swamp
Underground Sea
Wasteland
Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Bitterblossom
Leyline of the Void
Flusterstorm
Liliana’s Triumph
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Smash to Smithereens
Liliana of the Veil
Liliana, the Last Hope
Narset, Parter of Veils
Toxic Deluge

Spice Corner

What is any good event without a cheeky bit of seasoning? There were a few good options for the spiciest brew with Bruno’s UB Stax deck being a very strong contender however, in the spirit of trying to show off as many deck’s as possible did anyone remember me saying Four Horsemen combo? Because I do!

The Four Horsemen deck is a graveyard based combo deck that aims to combine the infinite tap and untapping of Basalt Monolith alongside the triggers generated by Mesmeric Orb in order to self mill the entire deck into the graveyard. Despite the presence of [Emrakul, the Aeons Torn the deck should eventually allow (in a number of loops) three Narcomoeba to get into play and a Dread Return, a Desecrated Tomb and a Sharuum the Hegemon within your graveyard. Use Dread Return to reanimate Sharuum and use Sharuum to reanimate the Tomb. You may then repeat the loop (Sacrificing Sharuum to a Cabal Therapy to then repeat it to get a Blasting Station into play. You finally continue the loop process, blasting away with the Station to finish off your opponent. 

The sideboard also has a great plan B which is just casting Show and Tell to drop in Emrakul or Sandwurm Convergences and the super saucy mainboard plan of generating infinite mana via Basalt Monolith and Rings of Brighthearth to simply cast Emrakul!

Bringer of the Spice: Ben Ayling on Four Horsemen

Apocalypse

Creatures (6)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Narcomoeba
Sharuum the Hegemon

Spells (34)
Basalt Monolith
Blasting Station
Brainstorm
Cabal Therapy
Desecrated Tomb
Dread Return
Flusterstorm
Force of Will
Lim-Dûl’s Vault
Mesmeric Orb
Ponder
Rings of Brighthearth
Lands (20)
Ancient Tomb
Flooded Strand
Island
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Tundra
Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Helm of Obedience
Leyline of the Void
Mindbreak Trap
Sandwurm Convergence
Show and Tell

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