Jordan Aisaka was the winner of our latest Legacy 1K at Mox Boarding House, and gives us a rundown of his experience.
I am not nearly as practiced as I once was at these sorts of things (thanks, pandemic). I used to be able to recall my keeps and even the early turns of most of my games. This is going to be a little more abbreviated this time around.
Round 1 vs. Jund Nic Fit
These decks are always funky to play against. They could be playing just about anything that costs between 4-8 mana. He’s playing a Green Sun’s Zenith package with Greater Gargadon and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King. Also, Titania. I know what these cards do and I win game one while defending my token makers from Fury.
I overextend Young Pyromancer and Mentor with no counter backup and it all gets cleaned up by Fury. I go all-in on a Murktide and try to protect it vs Pyroblast. I counter Once Upon a Time to stop him from getting red mana and this is probably just a bad plan. I should just counter the Blast instead. Basically, I make two huge mistakes and deserve to lose this one. I flood out and draw six lands.
Round 2 vs. Sam on Jeskai Control
He wraths early but is forced to fetch basics. We get into a board state where I’ve got an empty Murktide vs Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I play Mentor after he bounces Murktide and he goes for a Brainstorm into Narset. He tries to kill Mentor and I think I Daze just to make a token. I have Prismatic for his Narset and then attack and kill his Jace. He’s left with little counterplay as my Murktide finishes the game.
He is unable to answer my first threat and loses while drawing a ton of land.
We talk after and he might end up switching off Accumulated Knowledge to Expressive Iteration. He says the problem is holding open mana for Knowledge when people know there isn’t a counter spell isn’t very beneficial.
Round 3 vs. Doomsday
My opponent says he’s heard my voice before which is funny; I’ve been on a few podcasts (Leaving a Legacy, Kitchen Table Magic and Canadian Threshold) and done commentary for Card Kingdom.
He goes for Doomsday early in the game and I don’t have any pressure in play. If he tries for Thassa’s Oracle with cards left in his deck, I’ve got a Swords, so I might still be okay. He passes back which I think is weird and after I Wasteland him off Underground Sea he… concedes? Sometimes combo decks are hard to play.
My opener has a lot of bullets and after he Thoughtseizes me, he sees how much trouble he’s really in. I get to set up and find Force and a bunch more action. I play Young Pyromancer and close the game out.
Round 4 vs. Lee on 8 Cast
Lee gets off to an early start with Ancient Tomb and Urza’s Saga. He lets me resolve a Null Rod which is a huge mistake as now he just rips blanks off the top. I’m able to chump the early onslaught of Saga tokens with Young Pyromancer and slowly kill off his constructs with white removal. His second Saga gets Wastelanded and his plan stalls as I take over the game with random tokens. He told me after the game he just wanted to protect against Meltdown.
Possibly one of the best games I’ve played in a while. Lee opens with Chalice on one and I Wasteland him off Tomb. His follow up land is a Saga which he will not be able to create constructs with. I’ve got Meltdown in hand, but I decide to be patient. I’m not in a rush to play it because he doesn’t have any board presence. If I can build up enough lands, I can cast it and just rebuy it with Sanctuary. I play a few Expressive Iterations which find Wastelands to take him off his remaining lands, and then play Meltdown and clean out the rest of the cards in play. My Iterations found Force of Will, which helped me back up the spell.
It’s a solid win for me as I lost to Lee two weeks ago at the Laughing Dragon 1K.
Round 5 WIN AND IN vs. Esper Vial!
These games always go long because they have big, convoluted chains. I play a Mentor on turn three but he’s got the tech play of Cavern on Human into Meddling Mage on Force, and then Swords my Mentor. I certainly did have a Force in hand. He finds Karakas and Torach and just starts stripping my hand. I get a Mentor and Pyromancer in play but the fact that he’s a creature deck means he can block. He then finds Plague Engineer and kills off all my token friends.
I can’t really remember this game, but I think my Torpor Orb resolves and his deck becomes just a bunch of blokes.
Round 6 vs. Oops All Spells
We intentionally draw into the Top 8.
Quarterfinals vs. Delver
My opponent is on the play and I’m able to get a Young Pyromancer out. I’ve got plenty of removal as he is unable to answer all my little token bros. I play Expressive Iteration more times than he does and I win. It’s a good card.
He’s got a few too many fliers and my Murktide is awkwardly a 6/6 and not a 7/7. He two-for-ones himself but it’s worth it as another Delver cruises in for the win. I think this game I drew all four Mentors which is the worst card in the match up. At one point I’m just playing Mentor turn after turn while taking three in the face. He casts Expressive Iteration more than me. It’s still a good card.
An epic game that goes twenty-plus turns. At one point, he’s at 30 or so life after I Swords a big Murktide. My removal and Murktides are super powerful and after I Hydroblast and cast Test of Talents on a Petty Theft, I close the game out with Murktide and Young Pyromancer.
Semifinals vs. Oops All Spells
I’m SUPER lucky that Oops played vs. James Johnson in the quarters. James has always had my number (I think I’m 30% vs. him lifetime). Oops has such a good matchup vs other non-Force of Will combo decks just because it is so fast. I know what the Oops player is on, so I mulligan aggressively. I’ve got Ponder to find Force early, and he goes for it on turn one. I Force and we stare at each other for a few turns. He’s never able to fully build back up before my Young Pyromancer and tokens finish him off.
I mulligan super hard for a Force but can’t find it after going to five cards. My opponent also mulled and says it’s my turn…He decided to keep and hope that I’d mull down to almost nothing. He also kept a weak hand, and doesn’t have a turn one play. I’m able to find some light protection as he starts to discard cards to hand size. I find Torpor Orb and he immediatly scoops. He only had Foundation Breaker in his deck and decided not to board in Force of Vigor. I later learned that he boarded in four Xantid Swarms and Foundation Breaker, so Torpor Orb was back breaking.
Finals vs. Yorion Ephemerate
This game is super close as I build out a board of Young Pyromancer tokens. My opponent casts Spellseeker for Ephemerate but then makes the critical mistake of blinking it to try and find a Surgical Extraction when he had his one-of already in his hand. He tries to Surgical my Expressive Iterations when I tried to get one back on turn four with Mystic Sanctuary. Second main phase I Prismatic Ending his Spellseeker and suddenly he’s in real trouble with no creatures in play. He then plays Eternal Witness for Ephemerate but at this point it’s a little too late. He needed to maintain board position and died to my tokens.
We fight over an early Grim Lavamancer. I cast Iteration a few times and build up a big advantage. I find Meddling Mage and name Ephemerate. I then find Izzet Staticaster and clamp down hard on his board state. Sometimes it can be a little too easy to get carried away with having a spell-heavy sideboard alongside Young Pyromancer and Monastery Mentor. Lots of the ‘Rules’ cards can be incredibly powerful in games where you need to grind your opponent out. My opponent Green Sun’s Zeniths for Uro, and we fight over it with Swords and other cards. Eventually I remove it from the game. He goes up to 30 life, but it’s not enough as my board advantage is just too powerful. I rip into Mentor and then a few more spells to close out the game and the tournament
Overall 7-1 in matches and a total of 14-4 in games. Not bad.
Thanks to the CK judges for making a great environment to play in. Felt like the tournament fired at 11 and was smooth all the way through. We finished at 7:45 which is awesome compared to the Murkwood tournaments of old that would finish around 11 or 12…
Thanks to Kelvin Wallace and Bill Lee for hanging around the tournament and rooting me on.
And thanks to the Canadian and Portland guys for making the drive and turning out for a great event.
All in all, a great tournament! Good to know that I still got it and I can still design competitive decks that attack for format.