OK, maybe not, but I did have a customer order eight Urborg Justice today. Is this a flash in the pan (sorry, I couldn’t resist)?
Urborg Justice does meet one requirement of a combo piece, it’s an instant. It costs BB and the Oracle text reads “Target opponent sacrifices a creature for each creature put into your graveyard from play this turn.”
I’m not sure how that’s good. The only way it could have a large effect is if your opponent has a lot of creatures in play. Isn’t that usually a bad thing? I guess I could see a lot of Forbidden Orchard activations or a bunch of Hunted creatures on your side or something but I’m still not seeing how Urborg Justice is useful.
Is this a new deck I don’t know about or just one customer who is way out on the edge?
Wizards surprised almost no-one when they banned Flash in Legacy in the June 1 B&R update. The bigger surprises were the restriction of Gifts Ungiven in Vintage (I’m hoping another of our authors will discuss that shortly) and the unrestriction of Gush.
I’m glad they banned Flash because that signals that Wizards gives at least half a tinker’s damn (pardon the pun) about the Legacy format. The format had quickly degenerated to Flash and anti-Flash, just like the problematic environments of Affinity and Skullclamp before them. When people are maindecking Leyline of the Void you probably have a warped environment.
Those who wanted Flash to stick around make the same argument about Goblins and the fact that we’re starting to see maindeck Engineered Plague, but I think there’s a big difference. Even with Vial Goblins still need a few turns to win. You have a chance to respond—heck, you even get two or three turns to find an answer. The Flash deck, especially post Future Sight, is extremely resilient and can beat even the fastest Goblin draw. Of course, it’s much faster than the other combo decks too. Flash brought the format back to what everyone thinks of as the worst of Vintage: a format where the die roll basically determines the winner.
I know this is overstated and there are ways to beat Flash but really, do you want Legacy defined by the fallout from a change in the errata list?
It will be interesting to see how the Vintage community responds to Flash, now that all the disgruntled Legacy Flash players have set their sights on an environment with Black Lotus and Moxen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Flash restricted in the September 1 B&R update.
This was my first Legacy tournament ever and I was really looking forward to it. I’ve always thought the format was interesting and it most closely matches the old casual games I used to play when I first started back when The Dark was the current set. My family and friends didn’t have any of the power nine but we had lots of other good cards since we started relatively early. Heck, I even saw a Moat played today and I haven’t seen that since my wife’s Deck of Infinite Annoyance, a monsterous white/blue control deck which would just lock everyone down if it was allowed to live past turn five, even in our four player free for alls.
I took Goblins. I felt justified in playing Goblins since I’ve had a version of the deck together since at least Fallen Empires, if not before. I used to love Goblin Wizard, as much for the pro-white as the putting creatures into play ability. Now that Goblins is a Tier 1 deck I couldn’t miss my chance to play all the best ones (minus Recruiter—I miss Recruiter).
Here’s the version I ran. With duals and fetch lands there’s no reason to go mono red when it’s so easy to splash a color. I chose white, partially for the confusion factor and also because I was toying with playing Rule of Law in my sideboard. Combo decks scared me, but I eventually decided that a turn three answer against a blue deck probably wasn’t going to get the job done. I wound up with just Disenchant but that was very worthwhile by itself. I should have included Swords to Plowshares and the fact that I didn’t wound up costing me.
4 Aether Vial
2 Lightning Bolt
3 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Goblin King
4 Goblin Lackey
4 Goblin Matron
4 Goblin Piledriver
4 Goblin Ringleader
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Warchief
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
4 Mogg Fanatic
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Dust Bowl
4 Woodland Foothills
4 Pithing Needles
3 Sulfuric Vortex
Round 1 - Jeremy Virden - rogue blue white toolbox
I thought I might be in trouble when his first creature was a Mother of Runes. He played a Savannah Lion next so I thought it was just some sort of white weenie deck. I used Lackey and Gempalm Incinerator to kill the Mother but then a Soltari Priest came out. Maindeck pro-red? Ugh, there is a problem with your deck having a big target on it’s face after all. Then he played a Pariah on the Soltari Priest. I proceeded to the scoop phase.
Game two I boarded out the Aether Vials and brought in Disenchants. He quickly put three (!) Galina’s Knights while I had a Piledriver and a Fanatic. I attacked with the Piledriver and his little known pro-blue ability, and he swung back with the Knights. I eventually found a bunch of friends for the Piledriver and swung for an large amount of unblockable damage.
He played a Divine Sacrament early in game three and I was tempted to blow it up with one of my two Disenchants but I held them. I don’t think I ever did use them, I just kept playing Goblins until they overwhelmed him.
Round 2 - Shane Munyer - Solidarity/High Tide
Shane had gone to the bar across the street and slammed a couple of quick drinks, and he was playing High Tide, so I felt good about my chances. It’s a complicated deck when you’re sober. Early Aether Vials combined with a relative lack of land, especially in game two and despite my double mulliganning, let to Goblin smashing.
Round 3 - Dan Flanagan - Suicide Black
Here’s where things got dicey. A couple of early Carnophages applied pressure and I had trouble finding threatening Goblins. When I did find them he Smothered them. He got a Phyrexian Negator on turn three, the Sarcomancy on turn four and I couldn’t get out of playing defense.
Game two I boarded in the Disenchants for the Vials again in expectation of seeing Engineered Plague. Sure enough he played the Plague but I cast Goblin Matron for a Goblin King to save the rest of my crew. I played the King and started building but then he found another Smother which he used to kill the King. That turned into a three for one as the Matron and another 1/1 Goblin died without their King. I cound’t get any traction after that and he crushed me again.
Round 4 - Scott Mills - Red Deck Wins
Scott got off to a quick start with the turn two Slith Firewalker followed soon after by a Ball Lightning. He had me down to 9 before I started to stabilize. I was finally able to kill the Firewalker that I’d been blocking most of the game and then started laying down my own Goblins. Two Goblin Ringleaders on consecutive turns plus two Aether Vials in play put too many little red guys on the board and his life total went 20, 18, 16, 12, 8, 0.
Game two I boarded in Disenchant for Vial again, this time to take care of Cursed Scroll which was his only long game. I didn’t really need it as I had a Fanatic on turn 1 to take care of any Firewalkers or Ball Lightnings, then just built slowly into a Matron for a Ringleader and a bunch more Goblins. It took me awhile to get past his burn but I did.
Round 5 - Brandon Rausch - Landstill
I was worried about this deck because it can take control of the board quickly. I hinted about drawing when we sat down because I thought 3-1-1 would get into the top 8 but he didn’t bite, so I figured I’d take my chances.
Game one I dropped Wastelands to keep him off blue for several turns and just played Goblins after that. Game two I didn’t board correctly. I couldn’t take out the Vials as they are gold against blue, but I didn’t put in the Disenchants because I’d forgotten about Chill. Unfortunately he didn’t, as he played one on turn two and then beat me down with a couple of Mishra’s Factories. Game three I fixed my error and took out the two Bolts, a Goblin King and the Skirk Prospector for the Disenchants. I didn’t really need them as Wasteland and then Dust Bowl destroyed his land one after the other. He never got going as I just kept hitting him for a couple each turn, slowing building up a Goblin army while Dust Bowl’ing his land away.
Round 6 - Top 8 round 1 - Dan Spero - Landstill?
I have a question mark there because I never really saw much of his deck. In game one on turn three there were no permanents in play! We both Wastelanded the other’s land away. After that I still had one land and drew more while he was stuck on one Plains for most of the rest of the game. Without blue he didn’t have any way to slow me down and he scooped after I dropped a Kiki-Jiki from my Goblin Lackey. Game two I replicated my correct boarding from the last round, leaving in the Vials of course. I had a Vial on turn one and also had a Wasteland, but he dropped a Plains turn one because he didn’t want to risk his land. I played a land and dropped a Piledriver. He dropped a Mishra’s Workshop and I was tempted to Wasteland it but I didn’t, I just kept building my army. He played a Jitte. I dropped a land and said go, waiting with my Disenchant in my hand for him to play a land, equip the Factory and try to attack. He drew and said go a couple of turns in a row as I attacked with a rather small army. Then he drew a Tundra and said go. I played the Wasteland, blew up the Tundra, and he couldn’t Brainstorm into more land.
Not to sound cocky, but this took longer to type up than to play. The only blue spells he played was one Brainstorm each game, after that he was stuck on mono white and no creatures.
*EDIT* I saw later that his deck was Fish. See his tournament report on The Source and his article about the deck on Star City Games .
Round 7 - Top 8 round 2 - Joel Popick - Survival of the Fittest
I was curious about this deck because I have a build too but I thought it was too risky to play. I was wrong, obviously. Game one I thought I had him as he played a Mountain, then I Matroned for a Goblin King and started sending Mountainwalking Goblins. Unfortunately he got his SOTF going, went and got a Flametongue Kavu, killed the King, and then started dropping more Kavus and Ravenous Baloths to overwhelm me.
Game two I boarded out the Bolts and the Vials for four Pithing Needles and two Disenchants. I opened with one Needle and drew another turn two, so I thought I was set. Unfortunately he played a quick Goblin Sharpshooter and I used one Vial on that, then the second on SOTF on the same turn. I figured that would shut him down but he followed with a Baloth and a Sword of Fire and Ice, which made him a 6/6 pro-red monster. I couldn’t find a Disenchant as the Baloth crushed me for 6 a turn plus a card plus a dead Goblin. I didn’t last long with that combo.
So I finished in third place and won 10 packs, including a Watery Grave and a Birds of Paradise which together are worth twice what I paid to enter the tournament, plus I had lots of fun. The finals were Control Sliver (!) versus Survival of the Fittest. I’m not sure who won but the Slivers seemed to be having a good time as I left.