Grand Prix Prague – 226th with Elves

Grand Prix time! The annual event the entire continent’s Legacy community is looking forward to. It’s quite a shame Wizards of the Coast decided to hold both the US and EU one on the same weekend, given how interconnected the community is, with several players usually flying across the pond for each other’s Grand Prix. Still, GP Prague was an amazing event for me, even though my final finish left a sour taste in my mouth….that was quickly overcome by all the awesome people I met int he Czech capital (which also happens to be one of my favorite cities to player Magic tournaments in!).

This is the crew greater Munich assembled for this special event:

Andreas Reling — Eldrazi
Anton “Enton” Karlinski —
Eldrazi
Christian “Reuschel” Reuschel —
Eldrazi
Christian “Staubsauger” Sanktjohanser —
Eldrazi
Florian “Craggy” Stange —
Belcher
Michael “Wuaschti” Thiel — GWBr NicFit
Robert “Wichtelmann” Darnhofer — Dragon Stompy
Me — Elves

Thursday – The Prague Legacy Scene

Reuschel, Flo, Robert and I decided to hit Prague a full day earlier than the rest in order to have all the time in the world to grind the Friday Trials as well as Prague’s legendary Thursday Night Legacy. As you can see, my travel schedule was perfect:

7:15 am: Julian’s alarm clock goes off.
8:04 am: Julian’s last possible train option leaves the station.
8:12 am: Julian wakes up.

Waking up to the horror of having missed the last train I could have taken to make it to the Munich main station in time to catch our long-distance train to Prague, I spent the next TWELVE minutes brushing my teeth, getting dressed, packing my suitcase — all the while researching ways to somehow still “outrun” said train. I left the house at 8:24 am and arrived at the local staiton just in time to catch another train at 8:36 am, which would take me to another train that would eventually outrun my initially booked train about an hour down the track. What a way to start the day…:-)

Once in Prague, we met up with Tomas Vlcek and Marc König at the LGS and headed into their famous Thursday Night Legacy tournament. From what I know they usually attract a crowd of about 20 people. With the GP lined up for the weekend, we must have cracked that shop’s all-time record when we assembled over 60 people for a random 4 round 10 proxy event. Here’s how things went for me:

The face of man who didn't expect The Spanish Inquisition
The face of man who didn’t expect The Spanish Inquisition

Round 1 — Shardless BUG — 2:0 WIN
Round 2 — Deathblade — 0:2 LOSS (Reuschel)
Round 3 — Eldrazi — 1:2
Round 4 — BUG Control — 2:0 WIN

Considering how I started out the day, a mere 2-2 can only be viewed as an improvement, even though it of course wasn’t good enough for any prizes. Robert on the other hand finished at an undefeated 4-0 with Dragon Stompy, while Reuschel (and I believe also Flo) rode their decks to a 3-1 performance.

Aferwards we hit one of those tiny Chinese places that Tomas had introduced me to during one of my earlier visits to Prague, where we end up spending way too little money on way too much food. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for their “real” menu (as Tomas later reminded me), which they usually only hand out to locals. But honestly, after paying something like 15€ for a 3-course meal including drinks I guess I can’t complain at all.

Friday – Day 0 – Trials, Trials, Trials

Infinite Trials, Infinite Fails
Infinite Trials, even more fails

When we get to the event site I realize I had been here before: about a year or two ago there was this huge tourism fair on the compound. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Kenya would be of little use this weekend ;-(. Reuschel, Robert and I collect our Infinite Trial badges, while Flo is left to Belcher people the old-fashioend way through actually paying money. When the doors open, we quickly head for one of the very first trials.

From here on out, everything’s blurry. I think I played in something like 6 trials over the course of day, usually only ever reaching the Top8 but failing to advance any further. I played the first half of the trials with my “regular” Chaos Elves list sans Natural Order but eventually just hit too many Eldrazi and other “fair” decks, so I figured it was time to bust out the big guns again and (natural) order some fools. I still couldn’t clinch a top spot in the second set of trials I played in, but not gonna lie, it felt pretty good just randomly Natural Ordering people out of games. Can’t really say how much of them were win-mores anyways, but the sheer power of the card is undeniable. In a way I feel a bit like Arthas when he grabbed Frostmourne… 😉

Friday Night Dinner
Friday Night Dinner

After the event I trade all the points I won during the trials for a Starter of Urza’s Sage (which I haven’t opened yet) and a Russian Lorwyn booster and team up with the rest of our friends from all over Germany and Europe and head to a great Czech restaurant Tomas recommended to watch the opening game of the EURO 2016. With Tomas on our side, we even managed to unlock the hidden menu items and enjoy a great dinner + strawberry dessert. I LOVE strawberries! When we arrived back at our apartment, the rest of our Legacy crew had already arrived and we proceed to f̶i̶n̶e̶-̶t̶u̶n̶e̶ build our decks for the Grand Prix. In Wuaschti’s case that meant disassembling a bunch of our Duel Commanders and turning them into his Legacy deck. He ended up Day2’ing with a deck full of Titania, Guardian of Argoth, Broodmate DragonMeren of Clan Nel Toth and other proved Legacy staples. He was also undefeated at 6-0-3 but somehow the coverage didn’t include him with the 9-0’ers 😉

 

Saturday – Day 1

After long consideration I decided to run the Natural Order version in the main event. In hindsight, I surely wasn’t the wrong decision given the matchups I faced. Not that Chaos Elves couldn’t have done the same or even better. From what I know, Elias Klocker played Chaos Elves to a 11-3-1 finish. Here’s the list I played:

Maindeck

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Wirewood Symbiote
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Nettle Sentinel
Quirion Ranger
3 Heritage Druid
2 Birchlore Rangers
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Reclamation Sage

4 Glimpse of Nature
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
Natural Order
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

4 Gaea’s Cradle
3 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Forest
2 Bayou
Dryad Arbor
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Verdant Catacombs
Cavern of Souls
1 Pendelhaven

In Legacy, unless you’re playing a beat-them-all kind of deck like Miracles, the way you build your deck is always a function of which matchups you want to be very well-prepared for and which ones you’d rather avoid. The way I built Elves for Grand Prix Prague, I wanted to beat a lot of grindy fair decks, Eldrazi, but also Infect. The decks I’d rather not face would be any kind of combo, especially Sneak Show and probably Miracles, given how much worse the Natural Order version is against them.

Here’s how my Day1 went:

My list for the GP
My list for the GP

Round 1 — *BYE*
Round 2 — ANT — 2:0 WIN (Feature Match)
Round 3 — Miracles — 2:0 WIN
Round 4 — Imperial Painter — 2:0 WIN
Round 5 — Eldrazi — 2:1 WIN
Round 6 — Miracles — 0:2 LOSS (Tomáš Vlček)
Round 7 — 4c Delver — 2:1 WIN
Round 8 — Omni Sneak Show — 1:2 LOSS (JPA93)
Round 9 — BUG Delver — 2:0 WIN
7-2 for Day2 in 92nd position

Round 2:
My day started with a feature match in the second round, however only the last turn where I randomly attacked for lethal was caught on camera. Having to face ANT was quite unfortunate given how under-prepared I was for the matchup. I still managed to steal the first game when my opponent Thoughtseize‘d my business-less hand only for me to topdeck the game-winning Natural Order on the very next turn. I was quite surprised the game even got this far (must have been turn5) despite me havng no Deathrite Shaman, which is usually the only way to interact with ANT in a meaningful way game1. In the second game I kept a hand with some discard but no black mana, so I just kept attacking for 3-4 damage every turn. Fortunately my opponent had boarded into BUG Control Storm which became appartent when he would always just pass after drawing his card for the turn and then throw one of his manyAbrupt Decays onto my attacking creatures. I eventually just got him by attacking and draining him with Deathrite Shaman a couple of times. I’m far from a Storm expert but from what I understand about the matchup, you’re really not supposed to bring in Abrupt Decays and should instead just opt for all Chain of Vapor you got.
Score: 2-0

Round 3:
I’m paired against Miracles. Game1 I just go ahead and kill him on the second turn. Easy game, easy life much? Game2 becomes a bit grindier but from what I remember I get some very favorable trades and eventually just death-by-a-thousand-cuts him. At one point he tries to get back into the game by Entreat the Angels‘ing for 3 tokens, which could barely win the race for him. All I needed to draw at this point was any kind of untap-effect for my Deathrite Shaman in order to swing the game back in my favor. I untap and actually do draw Green Sun’s Zenith. After casting Surgical Extraction on his Force of Will (just to make sure), I proceed to take game, set and match!
Score: 3-0

Round 4:
My R4 opponent turns out to be a really nice guy from Norway. We chat a bit about how expensive his country is and how my friends and I have switched our summer vacation plans from Norway to Scotland, which he refers to as “Norway Light.” The match itself works out the way it usually does: he doesn’t have the game-winning turn1 Blood Moon in either of our games and I just take it. Game2 was especially unfortunate since he had to mulligan down to 4 cards and then just passed without a land.
Score: 4-0

During my 1st round BYE

Round 5:
Round 5 was the one and only time I went to time in the Grand Prix. A while I go I did an analysis of all my sanctioned Legacy matches I ever played and from what I remember my unintentional draw rate was at something like 2-3%. Game 1 once again just turn2 my opponents with a great Birchlore RangersNettle Sentinel draw, before losing a long and drawn-out game2 where he ends up drawing just one-too-many Reality Smashers. Our final game looked to like it was heading down the same route after I (kinda) screwed up my third turn and just attack with a 6/6 Craterhoof Behemoth on an empty board after my opponent blew his Ratched Bomb. I had of course anticipated the Bomb, but had probably given his hand too much credit by really wanting to get the Behemoth into play before he gets to land a Thought-Knot Seer, thereby missing out on a way to get a much better trade on his mass removal. Eventually the Behemoth just trades for a Reality Smasher and we’re both in topdeck mode. I manage to assemble a couple of Elves that start pressuring my opponent’s life total, but lose my entire board to his All is Dust. After taking a hit from his Eldrazi squad, I manage to once again build enough of a board to EVENTUALLY hardcast Elderscale Wurm to stay alive at 7 life. Really happy about this turn of events, I stupidly forget to attack with my two random Elves, which would have shut down one of my opponent’s Ancient Tombs. This was highly relevant as my mistake would have allowed him to Eye of Ugin for a second All is Dust and cast it…had he put the second copy into his board [edit: as I am informed through Twitter, Eye of Ugin can only find creatures]; really dodged a bullet there. The match heads to turns but with my own personal Worship in play I manage to assemble all the resources neccessary to take him down on my last extra turn.
Score: 5-0

I just can’t ever beat Tomas!

Round 6:
Technically a win-and-in for Day2, even though 6-3 isn’t really what I was hoping for in the first place. Unfortunately I’m paired against my fellow Team Euroswagger Tomáš Vlček on Miracles. With no crazy draws on my side he easily takes me down 2-0 in short order. The only really noteworthy thing of the match was him later revealing that he actually sided out all Counterbalances, knowing how much I hate the deck and would probably come prepared for it. I’ve seen this move a couple of times with other Miracles pilots and it usually works out in their favor. I don’t wanna give you guys any ideas, but… 🙂
Score: 5-1

Round 7:
This round I’m up against 4c Delver or as I wanna call it: the guy who Forked Bolt‘ed my entire board on turn2 and then just ran away with the game. Game 2 I got of to a much better start, quickly flooding the board with creatures and locking him out on turn3 with Choke. In the final game he goes for the well-known “Glimpse resolves” gambit on turn2, only to find himself overran by a bunch of angry, little green men and their Behemoth on the same turn. He actually did have the Force of Will but figured that I wouldn’t kill him. I can’t really blame him since a postboard turn2 isn’t the most likely thing in the world. In the end I think it all comes down to your hand as a Delver player: if it’s bad and needs variance to act in your favor, you should probably let it resolve; if it’s however pretty good and you’re ok with losing a little bit of value on a Force of Will’ed turn2 Glimpse, you probably should just pull the trigger.
Score: 6-1

At this point I was already “locked” for Day2, but I really wanted to get a better result than the dreaded 6-3.

"Is Julian done taking pictures? Can we get food now?"
“Is Julian done taking pictures? Can we get food now?”

Round 8:
When I check my pairings, the cruelty of the DCI Reporter once again struck: I’m paired against resident MTGO Grinder and connoisseur of torn aeons, Jonathan Anghelescu aka JPA93. The Natural Order-Elves matchup against Sneak Show is absolutely horrible, especially when you show up with a sideboard like mine. It doesn’t help that he recently incorporated Omniscience into the maindeck which makes it even harder to interact with his various combos. Pithing Needle on Cunning Wish? I don’t think so. Luckily for me, he doesn’t really do a lot in the first game. At some point he hardcasts Sneak Attack and passes the turn, ready to kill me on the untap. On my turn I get my Glimpse of Nature Force of Will‘ed (pitching Show and Tell!), then play Cavern of Souls on Elf and Reclamation Sage Legacy’s second-most dangerous enchantment away. This put him in the awkward spot of having just pitched his only other enabler to Force of Will, leaving him with a hand of creatures and and two cantrips, which don’t find another Sneak Attack or Show and Tell in time.

Game2 I’m much less fortunate. Despite me buying a turn through Surgical Extraction‘ing his Lotus Petals in response to a Sneak Attack, my deck doesn’t really hand me the tools neccessary to overcome him. Game3 I keep a hand with Pithing Needle but his Show and Tell puts Omniscience into play and Cunning Wish into Firemind’s Foresight makes short work of me. I shock him for a second when I jokingly announce a Krosan Grip he could have but didn’t play around, but I don’t have it and he takes the match.
Score: 6-2

GRUDGE MATCH TIME!
GRUDGE MATCH TIME!

Round 9:
More than any round before, I really want to win this one. 6-3 still doesn’t feel like a “real” Day2 to me. And even though it’s just a single match, it feels like it gives you so much less breathing room on Day2; not that 7-2 wasn’t already pretty rough in the first place. I’m paired against a really friendly guy from Italy. I’ve heard before that “some Italian with a lot of tattoos” was roaming our tables with Charbelcher; Andrea matched the description so I get ready to start racing a bunch of Goblin tokens. I’m so trapped in my idea of him playing Belcher that him cracking a Fetchland on turn1 doesn’t even put me off. “Fortunately” he then starts with a Deathrite Shaman upon which I realize that I had been fooled. Both games 1+2 are very long and drawn out with Umezawa’s Jitte doing an insane amount of work. Game1 eventually comes down to me having exactly one out left in my deck to win the game: since Andrea had me dead next turn and had been sitting behind 4 cards he never touched throughout the race situation, I very much assume those must either be blanks or Force of Wills. I have Craterhoof Behemoth and 7 mana in play so I need to draw exactly my one Cavern of Souls to win the game. I do. Magic is brutal.

Game2 I start with 2 Deathrite Shamans which my opponent is quick to Pithing Needle. However with him failing to find a Tarmogoyf and me having Pendelhaven we enter this weird race situation that any Limited player would be proud of. He eventually has to Toxic Deluge my team and his Vendilion Clique away, leaving us both at something like 6 life. To our both delight it’s now him who starts drawing rather useless Deathrite Shamans, while I rip the mighty Umezawa’s Jitte which just completly takes over the game. Maybe Tarmogoyf would have still been able to do something but since my opponent didn’t draw a single one over both games I’m glad I didn’t have to worry about that.

"In my days we were so poor we used our body as life pad."
“In my days we were so poor we used our body as life pad.”

After the dust has settled, 6 of our 8 guys have made it to Day2. Only Reuschel and Robert have failed to advance and would grind the Legacy side event on Sunday. We assemble greater Team Euroswag (which took something like 45 minutes to get everyone together) and head to one of the suburbs of Prague where Tomas’ father has a restaurant. We arrive pretty late but Tomas uses some of his Czech-fu to unlock the kitchen again and order meals for everyone. While we wait he and Marc get into a discussion about whether Death & Taxes could ever beat Miracles. Tomas is convinced that the matchup is heavily in his favor, something Marc of course disagrees with. A grudge match is called and the two play it out while waiting for dinner. I think Marc ends up winning 3-1. My favorite moment was when Tomas asked: “You can’t win. We should eat” — about 5 turns later Marc had turned the tables (hello Cataclysm!) and taken the game. Then they ate.

Sunday – Day 2

Day2 at a Legacy GP, it had been a while since the last time I had been here. It was also the first time with Elves after a several near-misses in the previous GPs. At this point people often ask what your goal for the day is. I can always only shrug to that. If there was something like a “goal” to me, it can only ever be winning as many matches as possible. I don’t really like the concept of having a “goal” as it implies there was a certain number of wins you’d be happy or content with. There is no such thing. Don’t get this wrong though: this doesn’t mean that I would expect to do well; not at all. The only thing I expect of myself is to play as well as I can and then just see what I end up with.

Flo after a long day of Belcher'ing
Flo after a long day of Belcher’ing

This is how my Day2 went for me:

Round 10 — Eldrazi — 0:2 LOSS
Round 11 — Eldrazi — 1:2 LOSS
Round 12 — TES — 1:2 LOSS
Round 13 — Miracles — 2:0 WIN
Round 14 — RG Lands — 1:2 LOSS
Round 15 — BUG Delver — 2:0 WIN
9-6 for 226th out of 1,477 players

Round 10+11:
Unfortunately I didn’t really get to play a lot of Magic in these two rounds. Both opponents knew I was on Elves and started the game with a turn1 Chalice of the Void into Thought-Knot Seer. Still, the overall matchup is fine, especially with Natural Order and Elderscale Wurm, so I was still feeling quite good about my chances postboard. But if there’s anything that symbolizes all of my postboard games in those two rounds, it’s what my R10 opponent did on first turn after I had started with a Deathrite Shaman: turn1 Chalice of the Void, exile Simian Spirit Guide, Dismember your Shaman, pass…*sigh*. I then proceed to draw 4 lands and my Elderscale Wurm on my five next draw steps. But yeah, at least I played against some really friendly guys 😉
Score: 7-4

Savage Play on the table next to me.
Savage Play on the table next to me.

Round 12:
I’m on the play and keep a very likely turn2 kill. Unfortunately I̶’̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶i̶g̶h̶ ̶K̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶S̶k̶y̶r̶i̶m̶ my opponent is on TES and kills me on turn1. In the second game I’m able to get him with a quick Natural Order after he failed to really get anywhere with his cantrips. Game3 I keep a hand with Thoughtseize as well as reasonable amount of pressure. Unfortunately my opponent starts the game with a Thoughtseize and takes my own one, which leaves me with little interaction. On turn2 I draw Surgical Extraction, which isn’t even very good vs TES technically, as they are much less reliant on Past in Flames. However, combined with discard on Burning Wish, it would be the almost instant win since they often only play Tendrils of Agony in the board. When my opponent goes for a “natural” Ad Nauseam on turn3 my spider senses start tingling: he had no mana floating and was already tapped out with a Dark Ritual in the graveyard but a land drop remaining. I let it resolve, hoping that he wouldn’t play a land as his first action post-Ad Nauseam. He in fact ends up revealing two more Dark Rituals and continues his turn with a Lotus Petal. With Petal on the stack, I respond and rip his two rituals from his hand. Not gonna lie, that felt pretty slick. Unfortunately I still end up losing as after further investiagation and a Gitaxian Probe, he still has enough to finish me off with Burning Wish for Tendrils of Agony.

A funny situation occurred during game3 when I searched my opponent’s library with Surgical Extraction. I realized that he had kept revealing cards with Ad Nauseam while at 5 life despite having a Dark Petition in his deck which would have killed him. I jokingly remarked that it was pretty ballsy of him to keep revealing despite already having the kill. My opponent seemed quite confused by that, which made me remember that he had Burning Wish‘ed for Dark Petition in a previous game and probably forgot to put it back into his sideboard. Would have made for a hilarious end to the game had he actually revealed that card while at a seemingly five life 🙂
Score: 7-5

This guy had brought his friend's face to take a picture with me :D
This guy had brought his friend’s face to take a picture with me 😀

Round 13:
I hope you guys aren’t looking for this epic story of how I masterfully dispatched the boogeyman of the format and taught them a lesson in humility. Because in fact this match was the easiest I played all weekend long. My opponent hardly ever found a Terminus and even when he did he would usually only ever get 1-for-1 trades. Counterbalance would show up occassionally but never with its partner in crime in order to exercise their reign of terror. My opponent would get a couple of good Predicts but it felt like it hardly ever mattered, only drawing him into more useless permission, Jaces that would die right away or Snapcaster Mages that couldn’t keep up with my own card advantage engines and once on the board were rendered useless by my Pendelhaven. I wish every match against Miracles played out like this…
Score: 8-5

Round 14:
In the penultimate round of the tournament, I’m paired up against a guy on RG Lands. The matchup is slightly negative for Elves as Lands can easily out-nut-draw our little green men. Even our turn2 kill on the play is easily disrupted by a turn1 Punishing Fire. Still, being on the draw is a huge deal and allows me to quickly assemble an army of bloodlusty Elves. Unable to use his ressources for offense, my opponent is quickly forced into Crop Rotationing for Glacial Chasm, which makes him sacrifice another one of his scarce lands, putting him into an especially awkward spot after I Reclamation Sage his Mox Diamond. After paying the cumulative upkeep on his Chasm for a couple of turns he can no longer afford to hide behind it and scops up his cards. Game2 I keep a rather slowish hand that has access to Surgical Extraction which should allow me to play the long game….my opponent on the other hand had no such intentions and just randomly presents me with everyone’s favorite 20/20 as soon as turn2.

Well, there’s still game3, I guess.

The good news first: there actually was game3 (hooray for space-time-continuum!). But this is where the good news end. My opponent hits the absolute nuts. I start with a random Elf, which he immediately kills with fire on his first turn. “That was fun, let’s try that again” he probably thinks as he proceeds to buy back his Punishing Fire on turn2 and kills yet another one of my Elves. On turn3, that line had apparently grown old on him, so he switched his old legendary black avatar factory back on and ended the game. Fuck man, 20/20s are good.
Score: 8-6

Day2: Jonathan Anghelescu vs Tomas Vlcek
Day2: Jonathan Anghelescu vs Tomas Vlcek

Round 15:
So here we are. The final round of the weekend. My opponent and I battling it out for what we call the “golden pineapple” in German: something of no apparent value. And boy did I want that pineapple. I don’t know what it is with me, but even just those 24 Planeswalker Points on the line, I wanted them. It might sound stupid because objectively there wasn’t really anything to win for both of us, but when I’m in a match I usually don’t think too much about the context and just try to win.

My opponent was on BUG Delver, a usually favorable matchup for Elves unless they bring a ton of hate which can be quite hard to overcome. Fortunately for me my opponent didn’t really have/see any of that in our two games, which meant that things just came down the old battle of Tarmogoyf vs Elvish Visionary — only one of those two would emerge victorious and claim the throne of the best green two-drop ever printed. Game1 we do our usual trades early on which benefits Elves as both Abrupt Decay and Force of Will have a hard time finding some actual value in the matchup. I eventually just overcome him with critical mass. Game2 things start looking rather grim for me as I stumble on mana and soon find my board of just Forest and two random Elves staring down 2 Tarmogoyfs and 2 active Deathrite Shamans.

Enter Umezawa’s Jitte.

While I don’t have enough mana to equip Jitte right away, I am able to play it along with an Wirewood Symbiote in order to “fog” one of the Goyfs for a turn. After untapping I swing in with Jitte, losing one of my creatures to Deathrite Shaman but taking it down in the process. On my opponent’s next untap, a topdeck’ed Abrupt Decay takes care of one of his Goyfs while the other one still gets stonewalled by Symbiote. On my turn, Magic’s best insect of all time (BIAT) picks up Umezawa’s finest and is able to swing past the opponent’s last remaining Deathrite Shaman thanks to the one counter left on Jitte from the previous attack; postcombat, I take out my opponent’s Deathrite Shaman and replace it with a copy of my own, leaving him with just a single Tarmogoyf, which now stays back on defense. On my next attack, I have Heritage Druid pick up the Jitte and slam into Tarmogoyf. After a pump with Jitte and Pendelhaven, they’re both 4/5 and my opponent expects me to deal the final blow through -1/-1 from the Jitte. Instead I just remove the last land in both graveyards with my Deathrite Shaman, shrinking the Goyf to a now lethal 3/4. This move also allows me to use my last two Jitte counters to take out his newly summoned Deathrite Shaman. Victory, at last. What a horrible Day 2 though…
Final Score: 9-6 for 226th place out of 1,477

After the main event, we stick around to wait for our friends playing in the Big Legacy Side Event. I’m really thrilled to learn that Rodrigo had made the Top8 of the Main Event with his Storm deck; he has without a doubt been Europe’s best/most successful Legacy player of the past 12 months and a great guy on top of that. If I had had to put money on anyone winning the GP, it would have either been him or a random guy with Miracles. Really happy to see it was the former! 🙂

In the Legacy side event, Reuschel finishes at 4-1-1 which is good enough for 1.5 displays of some recent Standard set, which turned out to have an Expedition Polluted Delta and a lot of other cool goodies in it, easily paying for the trip. Sabrina Kool from the Netherlands, whom I had given my GP list the day before, ends up splitting the finals of the side event with it, taking home 6(!) displays. The same is true for Marius Hausmann, who played his RW Imperial Painter to a 5-0-1 finish with this list:

Maindeck

4 Ancient Tomb
4 Arid Mesa
3 City of Traitors
3 Plateau
2 Mountain
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Great Furnace

4 Painter’s Servant
4 Imperial Recruiter
3 Simian Spirit Guide
2 Goblin Welder
1 Magus of the Moon
1 Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
1 Spellskite
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage

4 Pyroblast
4 Grindstone
4 Blood Moon
3 Lotus Petal
3 Sensei’s Divining Top
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Enlighteened Tutor
2 Ensnaring Bridge

He asked me to share the list with you guys and see whether anyone had any cool new ideas how to improve the deck even further. Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of Painter in the first place and am a bit sad to see Marius once again abandon Death & Taxes, which I consider to be the vastly superior deck. But yeah, sometimes you really just want to play a deck with Dwarves, I guess ;). One big advantage of Imperial Painter is a lot of opponents’ unfamiliarity with the deck, leaving them wide open to blowouts and ways to outplay them, especially with Goblin Welder. So if you’re looking for a really teched out Imperial Painter list, Marius must have spent something like 2 or 3 years working on it; give it a try!

Watching the Game at the Hard Rock!
Watching the Game at the Hard Rock!

After Rodrigo had won his semifinal and our other friends had collected their prizes, we head out for our traditional visit at the Hard Rock Cafe to watch Germany’s first match of the EURO 2016 vs Ukraine. One thing I really love about that place is their (almost) infinite refill police that I had only ever experienced in the US before. Flo and I opt for the JUMBO COMBO, which technically is a starter but leaves us physically incapable of adding anymore food to our stomachs. Reuschel gets what I had originally planned to get after the JUMBO COMBO and orders a great “New Yorker” steak. I don’t really know what was so New York about that steak but it surely looked awesome! Not sure what Robert had, but I DO remember getting awesome hot fudge sundaes for desert and Germany winning 2-0! Oh, and Yoshi also made an appearance! 🙂

Altogether, the Grand Prix was once again an outstanding and amazing experience for me. Even though I feel disappointed about the awful Day2 I had, meeting up with so many of my friends from all around Europe (and even Kai from Japan!) totally made up for it. I wish Wizards of the Coast would give us more Legacy GPs as they’re always such an awesome event. I take it as a positive sign though that they have decided to reward us with an additional Eternal Weekend (in Paris) this year! Also shout-outs to the coverage guys, especially Matej, Olle and Riley who did a great job and helped out the format a lot. Legacy always has these super amazing stories to tell that make for great video coverage feature matches. Can you imagine what the Twitch chat would have looked like during the final turn of GP Columbus? I wish I could say “yes”, but because of a lack of video coverage in the US, we’ll never know.

Right now I’m really looking forward to Bazaar of Moxen’s Strasbourg Open during the first weekend of July. Our crew of 8 just booked a great apartment only something like 100m from the tournament site. It’s the same place we had stayed at for GP Strasbourg three years before with the host providing some of the best breakfast I have ever had. After that it’s probably gonna be MKM Madrid for me, even though I’m still not sure as I’m slowly getting annoyed with them for not updating their leaderboards. With the success I’ve had at their tournaments thus far, I hope I’m already locked for their next super finals but I’d feel much better if they would just let me know. The same is even more true for my friends who currently have no way of telling where they rank and how important attending MKM Madrid would be for them. MKM is still doing a great job overall, much better than the TOP Series, but if they wanna close the value gap to Bazaar of Moxen, it’s time to step up their game.

On other news, I just had my week#2 match in the Legacy Mediocre League against none other than Caleb Durward on Tin Fins. Make sure to check it out on YouTube:

That’s all for today. Thank you for watching and have a nice day.

So long,
Julian

PS: I saw someone receive a warning for rearranging graveyard order. In Miracles vs Shardless BUG. Technically correct, realistically crazy.

5 thoughts on “Grand Prix Prague – 226th with Elves

  • June 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm
    Permalink

    Can you explain Elves t2 win for us (me) the legacy illiterate

  • June 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm
    Permalink

    Sure, no problem. There are a couple of ways, but here’s an example:

    T1: Forest, Nettle Sentinel
    T2: Tap Forest, Birchlore Rangers. Tap Sentinel+Rangers, Glimpse of Nature. Play Cradle, tap for 2 mana. Play Heritage Druid, draw a card. Play any other 1mana Elf, draw a card. Tap Elf, Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel for 3 mana. Keep playing Elves and drawing cards. Thanks to Nettle Sentinel untapping all the time, you’ll always have enough creatures to produce even more mana with Heritage Druid. Once you have a second Nettle Sentinel it becomes really crazy and each Elf you play will be a Dark Ritual for green. Eventually you’ll have a lot of creatures in play and then just cast Craterhoof Behemoth or play GSZ or Natural Order for it. Untap Nettle Sentinel and attack for lethal damage.

  • June 21, 2016 at 9:40 am
    Permalink

    Isnt it legal to board in more cards than out and therefore having a <15 Sideboard? So the storm player was fine?

  • June 21, 2016 at 11:39 am
    Permalink

    Ha, you’re right. Somehow got it confused with having *too many* cards in the SB.

  • June 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm
    Permalink

    Any chance you can give updated sideboarding strategy for the top 10ish decks or so? All the old stuff I see mentions going for Prog off NO asap vs Delver but you mentioned you’ve boarded them out vs Delver for a couple years now. I know sideboarding changes by the matchup and what you see from the opponent but as a newer player it helps to have some basic guidelines to follow.

What do you think? Comment below.