Top 8 Time Vault Games Open ft Food Chain

Hello all! I top 8’d a 6 round of swiss, 34 person tournament and wanted to post my thoughts on it. Here is the list I brought: http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=19394&d=323551&f=LE

While I do not have a fully detailed recollection of how everything shook out, I can do a quick once over of my matches:

R1 – Rory BUG Delver

G1 – BUG Delver did BUG Delver-y stuff. 2 blindly flipped Delvers closed out the game pretty quickly.

G2 – I actually am pretty unclear about how this game went. I think I combo’d but am not sure how I got to that point.

G3 – I kept a greedy hand that leaned on DRS a bit too hard, and was punished for it. I generally fetch up basics versus Wasteland decks, but for some reason needed a dual to play my hand as it was. The DRS died, the land died, I moved to the concede phase.

R2 – Nate Tezzerator

G1 – He sticks 2 Mox Diamonds and a Birthing Pod, I start to set up for the combo, but then go in for the Griffyn beat down plan. I apply too much pressure for him to dig out from under, and kill him before I see basically anything else.

G2 – Birthing Pod in Legacy is new for me, therefore I wasn’t ENTIRELY sure what his game plan was, and I kept Forces in (which I generally do not do unless its versus combo). He sticks a Pod while I set up the beat down plan again, then goes for a 7mana Affinity for Artifacts creature that I definitely force. I am able to close the game, then he informs me Griselbrand was in my future if I had not Forced that. He was pretty choked on mana, not having a blue source that game, so he was unable to do much, which felt bad.

R3 – Rory (?) Mono Red Prison

G1 – I have a semi nut draw with 2 basics and a fetch that gets the other basic I need. I knew what he was on, since he had sat next to me the round before, so I had a bit of an edge. I fetch up my basic, play my Ponder before they land a T2 Chalice. He has prison effects, but after I Decay the Trinisphere, I pretty smoothly sail into a combo finish.

G2 – I leave in the Forces and take out Relic, a Ponder, and Clique for the 2 Thoughtseize and Brutality. The Thoughtseize grabs a Rabblemaster, revealing Blood Moon, Chalice and some lands. He Chalices then Blood Moons the next turn, but I naturally drew into the combo, and kill him a turn or two later. I really like Red Prison conceptually, but it seemed to run out of gas pretty hard both games. I was under no pressure to assemble anything, and was able to do so at my leisure.

R4 – Tim Czech Pile

G1 – Tim is a good friend of mine and a pillar of the local Legacy community. While known for his all foil DnT, he owns multiple copies of just about every deck in the format, so it really is a dice roll when you sit across from him. The last we played, he steam rolled me with Shardless, so I thought it would be BUGx something. He does a few things that were pretty characteristically Czech Pile plays, like fetch up Sea into Badlands, then Hymn me. So I knew pretty quickly. There is some good resource exchange here, but I get a Food Chain online to give the birds “vigilance” and that is more than enough of a board state to close things up.

G2 – This was probably my most unfortunate game of the day. As I know he is a very capable pilot, I believe he drew 3 total spells the entire game, and 13 of his mana sources. While one of the spells was a Hymn and another a Deluge, he just sort of sat there and watched me go ham with my fliers. I had certainly anticipated a more interactive game, but it was over fairly quickly because of him being on the wrong side of variance.

R5 – Derek Red Taxes

G1 – So these games were intense. I did not know what I was on, because when people fetch up Plateau, you generally stare in awe. Which is what I did. He also did it with a Flooded Strand, so I was all sorts of concerned. A few turns in, after a Vial and SFM hit the table, I had a better idea of what I was dealing with. I combo’d through some Ports and the like, but not knowing if I am going to be Magus of the Moon’d I had fetched for basics which turned of his Wastelands.

G2 – I cant recall how I boarded, but I don’t think it was correct. I definitely did not bring in Needle, which I should have. I have been playing a ton of Eternal lately, and the “First Strike” rules in that game are different, so I had a pretty savage punt attacking a DRS into a Thalia offering the “trade”. I shame scooped immediately.

G3 – Midrange soup in action! We slugged it out for a long while, me fighting through a Sanctum Prelate and some Ports. I was able to stick a Leovold, draw some cards, it died, stick ANOTHER Leovold, draw some cards, and ultimately this won me the game. I got a Food Chain and a full board of birds online toward the end, staring down a Crusader with Batterskull. I dropped a Pithing Needle on the board, naming SoFI, which I SHOULD have named Batterskull (since I was looking at it), but thought he may have drawn the Sword and was going to start killing my stuff. Eventually hitting for 9 in the air, and having 2 DRS online was enough to close out a very long and interesting game. My opponent was incredibly fun to interact with, and we had a good conversation throughout our game, which was easily one of the highlights of my day.

R6 – ID

R1 of Top 8 – Cody 4c Deathblade

G1- Cody and I have a really great rapport. He is easily one of the best and widely respected Legacy players in the area, and is a fantastic person to play Magic with. As we are shuffling up, he comments on my playmat: “Do you write for www.TeamRankstar.com? I have heard they put out some good stuff.” Since I am the owner of the site, I nearly pass out from flattery in this moment, but drop a casual “Yea, I own the site!”

With my colored glasses firmly lodged on my face, we jump into the game. I have not played against much Deathblade, since it is all but nonexistent in our local meta. So I have never played against it on Food Chain. While I have experience with the deck, and know what Deathblade is capable of, I did not see some of the tech. I managed to cobble together enough value to combo off some how, and feel pretty good about it.

G2 – I did not see baby Jace coming. Between that flashing back StP a few times, and Bob getting him ahead on cards, I just could not keep up. We slug it out for a while, but I was a bit choked on cards after a Lily and some Thoughtseize action, so we move into G3.

G3 – This is definitely the game I am the most proud of. Not only am I giving a player who I respect a ton a run for their money, I feel like I make some really tight plays that give me the best chances to win. If he does not have the Force for my Deluge destroying his board of Bob, DRSx2 and Baby Jace, I pretty much win on the spot. Because he DID have the Force, I had to slither my way around his pressure, making some reasonable trades. The nail in the coffin turn was when I go to cast a Ballista for 6, which would have wiped out his Bob and something else, buying me enough time to find a Food Chain, and combo off with the pieces I had on board/in my hand. He politely Force of Will’d my game plan into the shadow realm, and swiftly ended the game on his next turn.

Overall, I think the list performed very well. While the Relic in the main was not particularly good today, it has been a house for me in the past, exiling cards in response to opponents DRS activation, getting a Griffen out of the GY and so on. I would probably take a similar list to another event this weekend, but may find room for a Chalice in the SB. I am also likely going to swap out a Ponder for either a Search for Azcanta or a Sylvan Library.

Huge shout out to each of my opponents for being incredibly gracious and having great conversations after our games.

Thanks for reading!

-Aphelion

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