Drinking from the Deadguy Ale – Making Top 8 of SCG Legacy Open: Kansas City

Tuesday, January 18th – Gene Richtsmeier made 6th place at the SCG Legacy Open in KC with a really interesting deck: B/W Tempo. Is it time to take down SCG Open: Indianapolis with Mother of Runes and Serra Avenger?

Quick introduction: My name is Gene Richtsmeier. I’m an active participant on the SCG Open circuit, making Top 16 in St. Louis, Top 32 in Denver, and
making Day 2 at the SCG Invitational. Finally making the final table at KC felt great. Especially after being one win short on at least three other
occasions. It’s also sweet making Top 8 with a deck that I and my brother Ben perfected and was totally off people’s radar.

After a disappointing 7-3 finish with some tough beats towards the end of the Standard portion of the weekend, I had this “here we go
again” attitude going into the Legacy tournament on Sunday. However, my good friend Ben cheered me up and told me Legacy is the main reason we
were here!

He was absolutely right. Legacy is my absolute favorite format of all time. It’s a format that rewards tight play. I read articles all the time about
incremental advantages obtained from tight play in Standard. This is even more evident in Legacy. With more complex card interactions and more
opportunities to make mistakes, you have many more opportunities to use skill to your advantage. On top of all that, you have the opportunity to
innovate, because of the deep card pool, and get the surprise factor on your opponent — as opposed to Standard where my opponent says
“Creeping Tar Pit. Go,” and gives away what he’s playing even if my spidey sense isn’t tingling.

Here’s the deck Deadguy Ale (or B/W Tempo):

This is by far one of my favorite decks to play, and it’s well placed in the current metagame. When building for Legacy, it’s important you plan around
the current popular decks: Merfolk, Zoo, Goblins, Countertop, and Dredge. Deadguy Ale can beat all of those. Have you ever wondered what would happen
if Bob became a pseudo-Iridescent Angel? I suggest you play this deck! Turn 1 Mother of Runes into a turn 2 Bob seems good. If that sticks, it usually
means GG.

This deck has the ability to make your opponents’ counterspells irrelevant, while at the same time hitting their relevant threats with discard and
removal. I love it when my opponent goes Natural Order, Progenitus, and I go Thoughtseize, take Force of Will, then Diabolic Edict them.

Let’s look at some of my card choices.

Aether Vial:

In the world of amazing counterspells like Force of Will, one card evens the playing field: Aether Vial. Not only does Aether Vial make cards in the
opposing blue mage’s hand dead, it also gives you great tempo. Notice how none of my creatures cost more than two? Yes, it’s no good if I
get soft-locked from Counterbalance. However, I have Aether Vial and discard to prevent that from happening. I can play every creature in my deck
(besides Mother of Runes) with an Aether Vial set at two. Aether Vial also forces my opponent to use his Force of Will on turn 1.

Worst-case scenario: I use one colorless mana and a card to get rid of my opponent’s best counterspell in the game and one random blue card. I
can’t say enough good things about this card when used in the right strategies.

Thoughtseize and Tidehollow Sculler:

In Legacy, people have so many options in what deck they can play. I like being able to play Thoughtseize or Tidehollow Sculler. With these cards, I
see what my opponent’s strategy is, allowing me to find the most efficient way to approach the match. Tidehollow Sculler is also amazing with Mother of
Runes and Aether Vial.

Stoneforge Mystic and Equipment:

I love running the toolkit with Stoneforge Mystic of Umezawa’s Jitte, Sword of Fire and Ice, and Sword of Light and Shadow. With Aether Vial, I can
Vial Stoneforge into play and use Stoneforge’s ability to cheat my equipment into play. It makes opposing counterspells irrelevant. I’ve beaten
so many Merfolk opponents with Sword of Fire and Ice and protected my creatures so many times from my opponent’s topdecked Swords to Plowshares
with Sword of Light and Shadow.

Jotun Grunt:

So if Tarmogoyf and Jotun Grunt get into a 1v1 fight, who wins? For the most part, Jotun Grunt. This card allows me to pick apart my opponent’s
and my own graveyard! This is especially nice against Dredge, Lands, or any deck that tries to abuse the graveyard. Did you know this guy is a 4/4 for
two mana? That’s just sick!

I run into this scenario all the time: Merfolk has Vial at three; I have Vial at two, and I have a 2/1 or a 2/2 on the board. They swing with no fear,
even with their lords, since they assume I’m going to block poorly. While they’re attacking, I Vial in my 4/4, and the look of frustration on my
opponent’s face is priceless.

Dark Confidant:

I’m of the opinion Bob is the most powerful creature in the game when in the right deck. I feel Bob is right at home in Deadguy Ale. The deck is named
after him after all. I’ve been playing this deck for some time, and I’ve never had to Swords my own Bob; yet I’ve played games where I stabilized at
one life. This is because nothing in your deck has a casting cost greater than three, and you play with Umezawa’s Jitte and Sword of  Light and
Shadow for life gain. The amount of card advantage you get is insane and keeps the tempo on your side.

Serra Avenger:

Did you know vigilance and Jitte is actually pretty good? How about a flying creature with vigilance with Jitte? Serra Avenger is a really cool win
condition, and when you’re running cards like Jotun Grunt, you don’t want to be counterproductive when you’re making Tarmogoyf a 0/1

Mother of Runes:

Probably the backbone of the deck along with Dark Confidant. Mother of Runes protects your most important creatures like Dark Confidant or a Tidehollow
Sculler. Mother of Runes gives you the time you need against more aggressive strategies to take over the game.

Diabolic Edict:

It’s a great way to deal with random dudes that are too sexy for Swords to Plowshares.

Swords to Plowshares:

No explanation needed. The card is busted.


Destroy target permanent is amazing. This paired with Wasteland gives you enough LD to out tempo some opponents. It’s also a great way of killing a


I know what people are going to say, “Gene, what’s up with the one-of Ethersworn Canonist in the sideboard??” Well the two Yixlid
Jailers were Ethersworn Canonists, but my brother Ben scouted the field, and he told me to get my Jailers because he said he saw Dredge all over the
place. So I quickly grabbed the two Yixlid Jailers I had on me and took out Ethersworn Canonist. The irony in this decision is the guy who’s telling me
to auto-lose to ANT is playing ANT! But hey, as you’ll see when I go into my match write-ups, Jailer saved me.

Sideboard is subjective to the metagame, so I won’t go into details about the other cards I chose.

On to my rounds:

Round 1 Miles Bathon: Glimpse Affinity

Miles is a great guy. He told me he drove all day to get to the event and was tired. I told him I was exhausted from playing ten rounds of Standard the
night before.

I don’t really like this matchup at all. Mother of Runes isn’t very good against Affinity. However, I was fortunate to draw just enough removal,
and my hands were just fast enough to out-tempo him. I was also able to discard Glimpse and be the beatdown both games to win.


1-0 Round 2 Jayce C Dunn: Dredge

Anyone who knows me knows I have a very sarcastic sense of humor. I like to crack a lot of bad jokes. Jayce joked right back, which made this match

It also helped that Jayce blew me out game 1. I had to mull to six and kept a two-Serra Avenger, two-Aether Vial hand with two lands. I remember
keeping that hand and thinking, “God, I hope my opponent is playing a blue deck.” Then I saw he was playing Dredge, and I cried like a girl. I
obviously got blown out game 1.

Game 2 was fun for me. I kept a hand with Extirpate, played Swamp, and said go. He didn’t play anything and discarded a dredger. Off the top, I ripped
a Jailer, played him, and said go. That looked like it bothered him, and I proceeded to ride my Jailer to victory. I saw his hand was full of
enchantment removal, which isn’t very good against me last I checked.

Game 3:

I played a turn 2 Grunt and put all of his dredgers on the bottom of his library throughout the game. I also had a Forge-Tender out to sacrifice if I
felt I needed to get rid of Bridge From Below. I then beat him down with my dudes.


2-0 Round 3 Alex Gonzoles: Merfolk

I don’t really remember this match. I believe I got a Sword of Fire and Ice hooked up both games and won.


3-0 Round 4 Ben Wienburg: CounterTop

Ben was last year’s SCG Player of the Year runner-up and with good reason.

Game 1:

We played an exhausting game 1; it was 30+ minutes long. I had some Vials, a Bob, and Jotun Grunt triggers all occurring during the same upkeep. I was
trying to be very careful not to miss any. Later in the game, I remember having lethal on the board. However, Ben played a Vedalken Shackles putting me
in an awkward position. I attacked poorly, and it cost me the game.

Game 2:

I was pretty sad about the misplay, knowing even if I beat Ben game 2, the best I could hope for was a draw. I had a double-Vial hand, but Ben Pithing
Needled Vial, and I was never in this game.


Important thing to remember: Magic is a complicated game; the best players in the world make mistakes all the time. It’s how you bounce back from your
mistakes that separate the men from the boys.

3-1 Round 5 Bobby Olesky: CounterTop

Bobby is a great player. The whole day, my opponents were completely baffled as to what I was playing. Especially when I went Swamp, Vial, go. But not
Bobby; he actually called out Sculler before I cast him.

Game 1:

We both got mana flooded. I was able to draw just enough threats to win the game. Bobby couldn’t draw any business spells, especially since I had an
active Vial.

Game 2:

I had a Fire and Ice and Jitte on Serra Avenger, if I remember correctly. This was able to give me the game. Last I heard, a 5/5 Shadowmage Infiltrator
with flying, vigilance, and protection from blue and red with a Jitte in her hand is pretty scary. 🙂


4-1 Round 6 Alex Bertoncini: Merfolk

The SCG Player of the Year and for good reason, Alex is a very good player. He’s also very lighthearted, and we both share the same kind of sarcastic
attitude. I know many of you have experienced this: sometimes you play an opponent, and you’re winning, so they just sit back and complain about how
lucky you are and how unlucky they are. Alex is nothing like that; he beats his opponents with skill and a smile. He has fun, and in the end,
that’s why we play the game. The whole time I referred  to Alex as the Champ, and I represented the common people. It made for an
entertaining Feature Match.

Game 1:

I got blown out this game. I had a sketchy hand because it had no basics, but I had a Bob and a Vial. I went turn 1 Vial. It got Forced. I then went
turn 2 Jitte to try to test the waters and hopefully let it get countered. Instead, Alex didn’t Force it and Forced my Bob the next turn. A lesser
opponent would’ve forced Jitte just because many players have the sentiment that Jitte wrecks them. My dual then got Wasted, and I couldn’t regain my

Game 2:

I don’t remember much about this game. I just remember thanking God I won!

Game 3:

Alex played an Island, said go. Under his breath, he muttered, “I wonder what’s going to get Spell Pierced.” Alex muttered just loud
enough, so I could hear it. I laughed and said, “Champ, are you trying to Jedi me?” I said this because I had a turn 1 Vial in my hand.
This is another reason Alex is the Champ; he actually had me debating for a second whether I’d play it or not. I then proceeded to say, “Champ,
this isn’t my first rodeo” and played the Vial. It didn’t get countered!

I then played a turn 2 Sculler and took one of his two Kira, Great Glass-Spinners (that card is amazing against me). I was a little nervous knowing he
was going to stick one with Merfolk to back it up. I did have a Serra Avenger in my hand and Vial at two. So I played a Stoneforge Mystic with Vial and
got Sword of Fire and Ice. Alex had the evil Kira, Great Glass-Spinner on the board. Either the next turn or the turn after, I had
Vial untapped, and Alex attacked me. He was debating whether he wanted to attack with Kira. He needed to get a clock on me, so he attacked, and I was
able to Vial in Serra Avenger and block Kira and kill her. I then had a Serra Avenger hooked up with Sword of Fire and Ice. Alex said “well played” and
conceded to me.

After that, he was nice enough to wish me luck in the rest of the tournament, and we cracked more jokes. He didn’t complain at all and acted the
way the Player of the Year should.


5-1 Round 7 Drew Idoux: Canadian Threshold

Drew and I are good friends, and we were both very sad that we had to play each other on the bubble. Drew helped me test my deck against my terrible
Aluren matchup while we were at the Invitational last month. Lucky for me, he was playing Canadian Threshold!

I don’t remember much about our games; we were both exhausted at this point and were disappointed about playing each other. I just know Jotun
Grunt was nice to me game 1 and 3 and so was Sword of Fire and Ice. He did blow me out game 2 with a Threads of Disloyalty off a Brainstorm when I was
going to kill him the next turn.

It’s never fun playing one of your friends this late in the tournament when you’re both on the bubble, especially when I just played him
the day before in Standard.


6-1 Round 8 Rob Vaca: Merfolk

I was 6-1. So, I should be able to draw in right? Um… no!! So sad. I was thinking, “Here we go again; Rob is going to dream crush
me.” On top of that, I was mentally exhausted because I wasn’t able to eat and was still tired from Saturday.

I don’t remember much because I was running off fumes at this point, but I was able to get games 1 and 3. I had just enough removal and was able
to get an active Jitte to work through Kira.


Losing in the Top 8 to Chris Osinski: Goblins

I was far from satisfied from just making the Top 8. I really wanted to win the event. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Game 1:

Chris won a drawn-out game 1, even though I almost stabilized through his playset of Goblin Ringleaders. The card advantage was just too crazy, and I
couldn’t get the extra turn I needed to win.

Game 2:

At this point, I was so exhausted that I really wasn’t playing to the best of my ability. I made several minor mistakes that I wouldn’t
normally make. I was actually getting a little bit frustrated with myself and with all the people watching. I ended up taking a minute to clear
everything out of my mind and was able to stabilize with one life through his onslaught of Goblins. I swung with my team, removed all the counters off
Jitte, and dealt exact damage to win game 2.

Game 3 Sudden Death:

If this isn’t gambling, I don’t know what is. Whoever goes first has a huge advantage, and Chris was going first. Still, that wasn’t
too bad, since I had the possibility of turn 1 Mother of Runes, Path to Exile, and Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tenders. Also, if he didn’t have turn 1
Lackey, I had all sorts of ways to win.

Unfortunately for me, he had turn 1 Lackey after snap-keeping his opening seven. I laughed and asked if he had it. Chris was a good sport and showed me
the card. I was forced to mull into a turn 1 Forge-Tender or Path. Sadly for me, it wasn’t meant to be, and I mulled down until I was out of the game.


This tournament was a blast; it was great getting the Top 8 under my belt. I’ll continue inching closer until I’m holding the SCG trophy, hopefully at
the SCG Invitational in Indianapolis!

P.S. Huge thanks to bsnake for helping me with the tournament report!!

Big thanks to Sabin and company for putting on a great event!!

Sabin is the greatest judge ever!!

Thanks, MN crew, for the support!!

I wish I could be Pat McGregor!!

Thanks Ben, Alex, Jade, and the rest of Team GNG!!

Thanks, Bridget, for being a good wife and letting me play so much Magic!!

Thanks to everyone who read this!!

Thanks to all my opponents who didn’t have a bad attitude (you know who you are)!!