Birthday Post - My first SCG Open Top 8!

It’s my birthday today! So I’m gonna do a little throwback to the first SCG Open I Top 8’d - SCG: Los Angeles in January 2012.

RUG Tempo

Creatures - 14

  • 4 Delver of Secrets
  • 2 Grim Lavamancer
  • 4 Snapcaster Mage
  • 4 Tarmogoyf

Spells - 28

  • 4 Brainstorm
  • 3 Daze
  • 2 Dismember
  • 4 Force of Will
  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 3 Spell Snare
  • 4 Stifle
  • 2 Gitaxian Probe
  • 2 Ponder

Lands - 18

  • 1 Island
  • 3 Misty Rainforest
  • 3 Scalding Tarn
  • 3 Tropical Island
  • 4 Volcanic Island
  • 4 Wasteland


  • 1 Engineered Explosives
  • 1 Tormod’s Crypt
  • 1 Phantasmal Image
  • 2 Ancient Grudge
  • 3 Pyroblast
  • 2 Spell Pierce
  • 3 Submerge
  • 2 Surgical Extraction

It feels like forever since this happened and geez, my list is strange. Only 2 Ponders, no Nimble Mongoose, basic Island, etc etc…but it does contain one of the first significant finishes for Gitaxian Probe in RUG Delver (which Jacob Wilson ended up popularizing when he Top 8’d Strausbourg last year).

My matchups were:

  • Round 1 - Dredge - 2-1
  • Round 2 - Monowhite Stax - 2-1
  • Round 3 - BW Stoneblade - 2-0
  • Round 4 - NO Bant - 2-1
  • Round 5 - UW Stoneblade - 2-0
  • Round 6 - Dredge - 0-2
  • Round 7 - RUG Delver - 2-0
  • Round 8 - Reanimator - ID
  • Top 8 - Maverick - 0-2

I know a lot of people bash the quality of play at the SCG Open Series. It’s definitely true - we aren’t playing at the Pro Tour - but you still have to battle through 8 to 10 rounds of Magic. It’s not going to be easy. So I was unbelievably happy to Top 8. With no major Legacy tournaments around until the SCG Open Series, there was very little chance to really prove your skill like Standard or Extended players could do with PTQs or GPs, so doing well at this event was just a huge weight off my shoulders :)

Plus I got my brother in the Top 8 profile pic!

RW Walkers

Dragon Stompy has always been a flexible shell - as long as you have the lock pieces, whatever fatty you land (preferably castable off of a Seething Song) was pretty good. Koth of the Hammer was a possible card for the archetype, as were the Werewolves in Innistrad. With the printing of Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, can we shift Stompy to more of a Walkers build?
Creatures - 12
  • 4 Magus of the Moon
  • 4 Stormbreath Dragon
  • 4 Goblin Rabblemaster
Spells - 28
  • 4 Lotus Petal
  • 4 Koth of the Hammer
  • 4 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
  • 4 Ajani Vengeant
  • 4 Blood Moon
  • 4 Seething Song
  • 4 Chalice of the Void
Lands - 20
  • 4 Arid Mesa
  • 3 Plateau
  • 1 Plains
  • 4 City of Traitors
  • 4 Ancient Tomb
  • 4 Mountain

Yeah yeah yeah I added a color. But with Lotus Petal instead of Simian Spirit Guide, along with the singleton Plains, adding white for Ajani Vengeant seems good. Plus it can keep Deathrite Shamans, planeswalkers, and others in check while ticking up.

I considered green for Xenagos, the Reveler, which seems cool but sometimes a stream of 2/2’s isn’t super great, though it is an idea to explore?

BW Tokens

Hero of Bladehold is such a powerful card. It deals 7 damage by itself but is also immune to both Abrupt Decay and Lightning Bolt. Sure you can Swords it, but if you let it attack once it leaves behind a bunch of dudes as well.

BW Tokens is a thing in Modern, but can it be a thing in Legacy? Here’s a rough list:

Creatures - 12
  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 4 Stoneforge Mystic
  • 4 Hero of Bladehold
Spells - 26
  • 4 Chrome Mox
  • 4 Thoughtseize
  • 4 Swords to Plowshares
  • 4 Lingering Souls
  • 4 Bitterblossom
  • 2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
  • 2 Elspeth, Knight Errant
  • 1 Humility
  • 1 Batterskull
  • 1 Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands - 22
  • 4 Marsh Flats
  • 2 Bloodstained Mire
  • 2 Flooded Strand
  • 4 Scrubland
  • 1 Savannah
  • 1 Fetid Heath
  • 4 Ancient Tomb
  • 2 Plains
  • 1 Swamp

I really, really like Chrome Mox in a list like this, powering out turn one Stoneforge Mystics is really strong, as is turn two Hero of Bladeholds (with the help of Deathrite Shaman, Chrome Mox, or Ancient Tombs). The very nature of tokens helps you make up for that lost card advantage, allowing you to generate more creatures per card. Can you imagine a turn 1 Lingering Souls or Bitterblossom into a Sorin? Abrupt Decay isn’t nearly as good versus you.

There’s a lot of lifeloss in the deck (with Tomb, Thoughtseize, and Bitterblossom), but Stoneforge Mystic and Deathrite Shaman should be able to make up for it I think.

Humility is also very sweet with tokens, since you don’t lose much but you power them out very cheaply.

I would include anthem effects but the presence of Abrupt Decay (which isn’t very good against the deck) makes it worse, though you are vulnerable to Golgari Charm unfortunately.

What do you guys think of BW Tokens in Legacy?

island-delver-go said: It seems crazy to me that Phyrexian Dreadnought basically sees no play considering all the ways that Blue can protect it. I understand Abrupt Decay is an issue but that can't be the only reason why, can it?

Abrupt Decay is definitely a big piece, but also Snapcaster Mage can make countering removal futile. Delver creates a similar threat but on turn one, and doesn’t require casting another card to make it good. The final nail in the puzzle is the amount of artifact hate that is in sideboards like Ancient Grudge because of the existence of Stoneforge Mystic that can make Dreadnought irrelevant.

I have also added an “Ask” button so please ask me stuff about MTG? Especially Legacy but anything else too :)

Reprint Series - Khans of Tarkir, Part 2

Legacy staples are being reprinted nearly every year. What if you have never played Legacy but get a couple of these cards? What do you do? In the Reprint Series, I’ll be exploring possible budget decks built around these reprints. These lists may or may not be tuned. Proxy these up and see if these lists are within your budget!

Previous Reprint Series posts:

As I mentioned in Reprint Series - Khans of Tarkir, Part 1, the fetchlands rotating in and Deathrite Shaman rotating out creates an awesome scenario for incoming Legacy players - the ability to play the best mana dork ever printed!

Where else can we take the little-elf-shaman-that-could? Well, how about…Elves?

Deck 2: Elves!

Creatures - 38

  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 3 Llanowar Elves
  • 4 Quirion Ranger
  • 4 Priest of Titania
  • 4 Elvish Visionary
  • 4 Wirewood Symbiote
  • 4 Heritage Druid
  • 4 Nettle Sentinel
  • 4 Sylvan Messenger
  • 1 Birchlore Rangers
  • 1 Reclamation Sage
  • 1 Craterhoof Behemoth

Spells - 4

  • 4 Green Sun’s Zenith

Lands - 18

  • 4 Wooded Foothills
  • 4 Windswept Heath
  • 1 Overgrown Tomb
  • 7 Forest
  • 2 Dryad Arbor

I wrote about an Elf deck a couple weeks ago, but really, the spoiling of fetchlands makes the budget Elf deck 4 Glimpses, 3 Natural Order, some dual lands, and 4 Gaea’s Cradle away from being complete.

Fetchlands not only fuel Deathrite Shaman, but it gives a better reason for the 2nd Dryad Arbor to be in the deck. Dryad Arbor does a lot of work here - being an untap target with Wirewood Symbiote and Quirion Ranger, being an infinite blocker to stop Jitte with Quirion Ranger, awesome vs Liliana, and being an unkillable green creature for Natural Order purposes (when you get the Natural Orders).

We add a single Overgrown Tomb to take advantage of all of Deathrite Shaman’s abilities (though keep in mind Birchlore Rangers can do the same thing as well). The lifeloss shouldn’t be a big deal, as noted by Kyle Fader’s 12th place finish at our Championship event with more shocks than duals.

What other things can we do in Legacy now that we have cheaper fetchlands? I have a couple more lists coming!

Reprint Series - Khans of Tarkir, Part 1

Legacy staples are being reprinted nearly every year. What if you have never played Legacy but get a couple of these cards? What do you do? In the Reprint Series, I’ll be exploring possible budget decks built around these reprints. These lists may or may not be tuned. Proxy these up and see if these lists are within your budget!

Previous Reprint Series posts:


Oh, what a rise this got out of people when it was first spoiled!

While Modern players are certainly happy to see the final five fetchlands flourish in their format (see what I did there?), this is also the prime opportunity to get people into Legacy since the price gets a lot cheaper too!

So for people that are looking to get into Legacy with the Khans of Tarkir is launched to the masses, where can we go?

Deck 1: Zombies!

Creatures - 24
  • 4 Gravecrawler
  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 4 Carrion Feeder
  • 4 Bloodghast
  • 2 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Nether Traitor
  • 3 Blood Artist
  • 2 Tombstalker
Spells - 16
  • 4 Thoughtseize
  • 4 Cabal Therapy
  • 4 Disfigure
  • 3 Contamination
  • 1 Darkblast
Lands - 20
  • 4 Polluted Delta
  • 4 Bloodstained Mire
  • 8 Swamp
  • 1 Overgrown Tomb
  • 1 Undiscovered Paradise
  • 2 Mutavault

This is a budget version of Sam Black’s Walking Dead deck that made Top 8 at GP Atlanta and the Finals of an SCG Open a couple years back.

Deathrite Shaman & Thoughtseize are both Standard Legal as of this point, so getting a set shouldn’t be too tough. Luckily, fetchlands make Deathrite Shaman AND Bloodghast good, which is why I think this deck might be a decent budget option - sure, you miss the Lingering Souls & Goblin Bombardment that Sam Black used, but that can be added in over time - buying into Legacy is never an instantaneous thing anyway.

Unfortunately I can’t price the deck on accurately, but if you remove the 8 fetchlands and the cards that you may already have due to Standard (4 Deathrite Shaman, 1 Overgrown Tomb, and 4 Thoughtseize), the deck comes in at about $150 TCG Mid. From there, you basically just have to get the duals and the rest of the spells (Lingering Souls, Tidehollow Sculler, Faithless Looting, etc) are pretty damn cheap.

I’m pretty excited about the fetchland reprint, are you?

Rabble Zoo

Goblin Rabblemaster has already made its impact on Standard, as noted by the Rabble Red deck. He’s a pretty solid card since he generates an insane board presence by himself. I thought about a Legacy Jund Aggro deck with Deathrite Shaman and Goblin Rabblemaster, since playing him turn 2 is actually just insane against a lot of fair decks, even Miracles. Then I realized…wait, why not Zoo?
Creatures - 31
  • 4 Wild Nacatl
  • 4 Goblin Guide
  • 4 Kird Ape
  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 4 Tarmogoyf
  • 4 Goblin Rabblemaster
  • 4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
  • 3 Grim Lavamancer
Spells - 10
  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 4 Boros Charm
  • 2 Fireblast
Land - 19
  • 4 Wooded Foothills
  • 4 Windswept Heath
  • 3 Taiga
  • 2 Plateau
  • 2 Savannah
  • 1 Bayou
  • 1 Mountain
  • 1 Forest
  • 1 Plains

Fireblast and Boros Charm work wonderfully as reach if the Goblin Rabblemaster can’t get there. 8 fetches might be a little questionable with Deathrite Shaman. Not sure on the exact # yet.

I like how Ghor-Clan Rampager works with Goblin Rabblemaster, since you keep your opponent guessing on whether or not you actually have it.

Thalia could very well be in here since Zoo has always sucked against combo decks anyway, but I felt that the deck was very GR centric so basing a creature in white may not be a great idea. That’s a pretty fringe idea though, so Thalia is definitely in a theoretical sideboard.

I think this might be something I would play for a weekly event. Now to find the time…


Hopefully I’ll see you guys this weekend. Desert Sky Games, September 6th, 2014, noon start. Entry Fee $30 ($15 if you have 10 or more Legacy Series Points). Let’s end the Legacy Series the right way! I want a 7 rounder! :)

Porting Modern to Legacy

With the PTQ season ending and our Championships coming up next weekend, people with their Modern decks may be looking to play some Legacy! Every so often I’ll post a deck from Modern that we can upgrade into a Legacy deck for cheap. First off?


Here’s a list that finished in the Top 8 of SCG Modern Premier IQ in DC:


  • 4 Arcbound Ravager
  • 2 Etched Champion
  • 2 Master of Etherium
  • 3 Memnite
  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Signal Pest
  • 4 Steel Overseer
  • 4 Vault Skirge


  • 4 Cranial Plating
  • 4 Springleaf Drum
  • 1 Galvanic Blast
  • 4 Mox Opal
  • 3 Thoughtcast


  • 4 Darksteel Citadel
  • 1 Island
  • 4 Blinkmoth Nexus
  • 4 Glimmervoid
  • 4 Inkmoth Nexus

A pretty standard Affinity build. Now here is the Affinity build that Top 8’d our January Event:


  • 4 Arcbound Ravager
  • 4 Signal Pest
  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Memnite
  • 4 Vault Skirge
  • 4 Etched Champion


  • 4 Mox Opal
  • 4 Thoughtcast
  • 4 Springleaf Drum
  • 4 Cranial Plating
  • 3 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas


  • 4 Ancient Tomb
  • 4 Vault of Whispers
  • 4 Seat of the Synod
  • 4 Ancient Den

So what changes exactly do we make to the maindeck to convert it?

-2 Master of Etherium
-4 Steel Overseer
-1 Galvanic Blast
-4 Blinkmoth Nexus
-4 Glimmervoid
-4 Inkmoth Nexus
-1 Island
-4 Darksteel Citadel

+2 Etched Champion
+1 Memnite
+1 Phyrexian Revoker
+1 Thoughtcast
+3 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
+4 Ancient Tomb
+4 Ancient Den
+4 Seat of the Synod
+4 Vault of Whispers

The bulk of the cost is actually in the Ancient Tombs - according to TCGPlayer, the mid cost of the is roughly $150 and the low is $104. So if you already have an Affinity deck, it doesn’t take all that much to upgrade it from a Top 8 Modern IQ finishing deck to a Top 8 AZMP Legacy Series finishing deck!

Entry Fee: $30 | Noon start time

See you all there!

$30 entry fee, $15 if you have 10+ AZMP Legacy Series Points
12:00pm start
Choice of 4 Force of Will or 4 Wasteland to 1st place (and a trophy!), other set goes to 2nd place. Store credit to rest.
Hope to see you all there!

$30 entry fee, $15 if you have 10+ AZMP Legacy Series Points

12:00pm start

Choice of 4 Force of Will or 4 Wasteland to 1st place (and a trophy!), other set goes to 2nd place. Store credit to rest.

Hope to see you all there!