I figured I needed to write something about this event sooner or later and I just haven’t had the time to get anything down about it.
I attended the SCG Columbus Legacy Classic on January 6, 2019, taking Scapewish.
Here is the list I played: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1460823#online
My overall record of the event was 3-5, which is frankly, not great. However, an analysis (and you will see why this event did not turn out great) is helpful in understanding where to move forward with this deck.
One note about this event: I did not have much practice at all prior to this event. Roughly a month before the event I played a local where I went 3-0 but that’s basically about it. I still chose to subject myself to this because I knew Scapewish well enough (and have spent enough time with it) that I could keep expectations low and just have a good time at the event (which I did).
That being said. Some thoughts.
- Assassin’s Trophy – This card performed much better than I anticipated during the event. It felt pretty much never dead, and it was able to hit multiple targets (Mentor, Jace, etc). I was very happy with it, and lists going forward will continue to utilize two copies of this in the main deck over Abrupt Decay.
- Abrupt Decay – I ran two in the sideboard because I feel that often times that it is still necessary especially if the format is very Shadow/Delver oriented. I cannot 100% say that Decay should not be in this list. I did not play against a deck where Decay would matter (Delver for instance) but I do think I would not mind trying dropping Decay in the sideboard for something like 2 Lightning Bolt.
- Huntmaster – This card was great. It did a lot of things and was very good in every game I resolved it in. Forcing my opponents who wanted to be reactive to play around Huntmaster’s trigger was very strong.
With those thoughts on the table, let’s take a look at the event.
Round 1 – Miracles (2-0 WIN)
Game 1 – My opponent spins his wheels a bunch and taps out for an Entreat the Angels. I untap and Therapy him for Force of Will, snagging one. His hand contains a Counterspell and a Brainstorm. There is a chance that he could Brainstorm into another Force of Will, but flashing back the Therapy only potentially gives him two blue mana, and also sets me up for Scapeshift but then I’m snagging Counterspell with the flashback. That being said, to me the line should have been to allow me to attempt to resolve Scapeshift and then Brainstorm at that point to try to hit Force + blue card. My opponent chooses to Brainstorm in response to the flashback Therapy, putting him down to 1 blue mana available. He does not have a second Force of Will (which I name for Therapy), I jam Scapeshift and go through the motions, presenting him a kill.
Sideboarding – This is something that I’ve come around to over time. In the era of Top Miracles, effects such as Slaughter Games + Lost Legacy were long considered bad, because they could just get around it with the power of Top. In current Miracles lists however, Slaughter Games is phenomenal. Getting rid of Jace is putting them on the ropes of being able to find a better kill condition is simply amazing. Bring them in. I also have Tsunami for blue decks, because it is insane.
Game 2 – This game is grindy and insane, we go back and forth through most of the game and I gain life off both Thragtusk and Huntmaster. I resolve a Slaughter Games hitting Entreat (given that I had answers for Jace and Mentor), and we continue to grind. Eventually though, my grind is just far better than his grind and I end the game at 23 life.
Round 2 – Lands (0-2 LOSS)
Both games of this matchup are determined by the fact that my opponent has early Marit Lage and I don’t have the appropriate interaction to deal with it. Unfortunate, but this is Legacy. It happens. There might be some more to do to this list to better set it up vs Marit Lage, but Trophy deals with Depths, so maybe long term more copies of Trophy to see them (maybe 3 over 2) might be helpful.
Round 3 – 4C Loam (2-0 WIN)
Game 1 – Another grindy game where I start off with Thoughtseize and he gets stuck on a Mox Diamond for many turns. I establish a great board state and continue to slam in the damage. My opponent gets to 6 life and I throw a Scapeshift. My opponent reads Valakut, and then proceeds to throw a Trophy into one of my nonbasics. I grab my other basic from the deck, and he cracks a Knight of the Reliquary to to get a Wasteland to get a Badlands, nullifying the Scapeshift. However, I have a Thragtusk, Regisaur, and two 1/1s and he’s at 6 with an untapped Knight that he just played the turn before. He ded.
Sideboarding – I like interaction in this matchup and I actually boarded out Scapeshift, expecting some form of extraction effect.
Game 2 – Another heavily grindy game, but my board state and creatures are just way better than his. I push through the damage and take the win.
This is where the rails of this event fall off. The gory details are that I am destined over Rounds 4-6 I play against ANT (Ad Nauseam Tendrils) THREE times in a row. I lose these matches 0-2 every time, because frankly my level of practice versus Storm is very nil, and while I do have to make my opponent think in one Game 1 (by gaining 5 life off Thragtusk to go to 25 life), it isn’t enough to push past. In one of my game 2s, I am able to Slaughter Games away a Tendrils, with enough backup (two Burning Wish + a Deed) to deal with an Empty. When my opponent storms off with Empty he is able to chain enough discard to get rid of all three and I don’t see another piece of interaction. Such is life.
Round 7 – Miracles (2-0 WIN)
Oh hey, let’s run back that Miracles train again, shall we?
Game 1 – I am able to gain a bunch of life off Thragtusk and Huntmaster, while whittling my opponent down to 16 life before I am able to locate a Scapeshift and just end the game. At one point, I pay 8 life from 28 to Sylvan Library to dig deeper through my deck. It works so well.
Same sideboarding as before.
Game 2 – This is probably the grindiest game I play all day. Loads of back and forth, Abrupt Decay’ing an Angel token (a single one), having to contend with two Snapcasters while I have managed to Slaughter Games Jace and Lost Legacy his Force of Wills. He did not have Mentor brought in, so two Trophies on the Snapcasters puts us both in a position where we’re just drawing for a kill or something to do anything with. My opponent’s deck is getting thin and not only that my number of mountains in play has risen considerably to the point where going on a Scapeshift and needing to math properly becomes a thing. Eventually I get to the point where I have double Valakut online, I fetch and go to 1 life and dome him for 6 to put him to 2 and then Scapeshift to sac a single land to get a Mountain into play. Literally insane game.
Round 8 – Oops! All Spells (1-2 LOSS)
My opponent ends up being the infamous Nat Moes of the Serious Vintage podcast, and head of Team Serious in OH. It was great to meet him since I also primarily write Vintage content.
Game 1 – He reanimates Undercity Informer, sacs it, and Therapies me and I concede. No sense in knowing what he’s playing against.
Game 2 – He goes on the same plan, and with the Narcomoeba triggers on the stack I browse through his library and consider that he doesn’t have a Pact of Negation in hand, and Surgical Extraction the Narcomoebas with the triggers on the stack. He concedes.
Game 3 – He makes a Turn 1 Goblin Charbelcher, activates it Turn 2, and I die.
Overall, I enjoyed my time at the event, while having to play against Storm 3x in a row was bad on the matchup lottery I still had a great time and all of my opponents were pleasant to chat with and play against. Furthermore, I made it through this event without a single judge call, so for me that is also a win.
I hope this was informative, and moving forward I definitely am intrigued to continue pushing this archetype. I definitely feel like this version has the most legs out of most of the Nic Fit builds that exists, and it continues to get better with newer sorceries printed for Burning Wish.
With that, I’m out.