Have you ever had one of those Sundays?
I’m not talking about a Sunday where the highlights can be summed up as a Facebook status along the lines of "watching the SCG Open and drinking alone #thelife."
I’m talking about a Sunday where you just won a trophy playing the game you love. Complete strangers are giving you handshakes and high-fives left and right. Your phone is overrun by nearly a hundred text messages of congratulations and one or two "sacks." You’re getting ready to be interviewed on SCGLive by Reuben Bresler about your victory . . . all smiles . . . camera’s about to roll . . .
Then Reuben asks, "So what are you going to play in Legacy?"
Hello, my friends!
My name is Tyler Wilkerson, and I just had one of the sickest weekends I’ve ever experienced.
Hell, I didn’t even go to Disney World, and it was still awesome! (Even though I did throw minor temper tantrums on the car ride down at every exit advertising the magical land after being promptly "no sirred" when my eyes lit up.)
I’m an Atlanta-area player that has been playing since Nemesis and has very few major tournament performances to write home about. I made Top 8 of the SCG Classic Series in Charleston, have a few IQ Top 8s and won one, and have competed in three Invitationals so far.
Open Series tournaments are my bread and butter. I love the atmosphere, the level of competition, and the stories that come from an Open Series weekend with friends. However, if you would have asked me on Friday if I thought I was going to give the Gerald Thompson a run for his money at winning back-to-back Opens, I would have said something like "if I have that insane of a weekend, I’ll do a cartwheel on camera!" The odds were definitely not in my favor from my point of view.
So I get to Orlando with my friend Mahindra, eat some chicken confit and steak tartare at the Capitol Grille, yadda yadda yadda, and win the Standard Open. No bigs.
Now back to the question: "So what are you going to play in Legacy?"
I hadn’t really put much thought into it actually.
Don’t get me wrong—I love me some Legacy. But ever since the rise of True-Name Nemesis, I hadn’t really considered what I could do to combat it. I had played Omni-Tell at the Invitational in Indianapolis and mustered a decent 6-2 record with the deck, but I was also able to dodge all the blue tempo decks except for one of my losses to RUG Delver. So needless to say, I was a bit worried about my future with the big enchantment while everyone was countering spells and attacking for three.
Mahindra had brought three Legacy decks with him to Orlando. He was already playing the True-Name Nemesis deck of the three, leaving Goblins and Omni-Tell. After the interview with Reuben, I hunted Mo down to consider my options. He had already filled out a registration sheet for Goblins, so my exhaustion from the early morning finals match was really pushing me in that direction . . . but then he whipped out this spicy little beauty:
Now that’s a deck I shouldn’t be touching with my bear paws! The Omni-Tell list I had played at the Invitational was nowhere near the level of pimp of this version. Mo just looked at me, smiled, and said, "You deserve it."
That was all it took.
TIME TO ENTER THE INFINITE!
For those new to the world of drawing your entire deck and casting anything you want for free, let me give you a rundown of what the deck does.
The main kill in Omni-Tell is casting Show and Tell or Dream Halls, which then allows you to cheat an Omniscience into play. With the ten-mana enchantment in play, you mainly want to cast Enter the Infinite for free, drawing your deck and placing a high-cost card on top. Then you cast Cunning Wish to fetch up Release the Ants from your sideboard and cast the derpy little red spell as many times as you need to kill the opponent (seeing as how they usually can’t win the clash and the card keeps returning to your hand). You have a couple of backup plans involving Dream Halls or throwing a spaghetti monster into play, but those are definitely the other ways to win.
This list is pretty classic. The only maindeck spice is the Quicken, which to be honest was old tech for when I need to go off in response to the other Show and Tell decks trying to win after casting Show and Tell. The sideboard is also standard-ish. You have the quintessential Cunning Wish package that lets you do whatever you like in most situations, of Leyline of Can’t Touch This for any deck trying to mess with your hand, and two Defense Grids as a greasy stain of a solution for decks with countermagic.
The Wish toolbox definitely has some interesting cards for different game states.
See the latter of the Echoing Truth explanation and add in the fact that it can’t be countered.
This is a weird one. Revival is only really Wished for in a situation where you need to reset the top of your deck if you lose a clash randomly. It also can be a rebuy on your one-ofs, like Intuition or a used sideboard card, or it can be a very fringe way of dealing with somebody trying to Reanimate an Iona, Shield of Emeria that is without a doubt going to name blue (can’t Reanimate what’s on top of your deck, bro).
Extra counter for upcoming "big" turns against control and the like.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about! This card is just a Swiss Army knife for the deck. It’s the Band-Aid for all of your boo-boos. I mean, it is the card that lets you easily go off with Dream Halls in play! All you have to do is search up the Quicken, the Impulse, and a . . . wait.
Oh yeah, about that . . .
I forgot to put the Impulse in the deck for the tournament.
Quick Explanation: Impulse is an integral part of going off with Firemind’s Foresight. The strength behind casting Foresight is being able to get three blue cards (including Intuition) so you can pitch one card to cast the Intuition for Enter the Infinites and then pitch the second blue card to cast the Enter. Firemind’s Foresight is a very specifically worded card where you can only search up one-, two-, and three-cost instants. Without the only two-mana instant in the deck, the Foresight plan becomes pretty embarrassing, such as what happened versus Affinity in round 2. If it wasn’t my opponent’s first Legacy tournament, I’m sure he would have laughed me out of the convention center as I frantically searched my library, sideboard, and graveyard for the non-existent Impulse.
And with that embarrassing moment, ladies and gentlemen, let me segue right into my favorite moments from the tournament!
Favorite Moment #1: Resolving Show and Tell on turn 2 in round 1. Let’s see who showed up to class:
One of these things is not like the other.
Favorite Moment Numero Dos: In round 6 after attempting to get Brian Hannan to tell me what he was playing and him giving me the standard answer "stuff and things," I soon find out he was playing Death and Taxes. I got to live the dream in this match and combo with a Flickerwisp trigger on the stack targeting my Omniscience. Enter the Infinite is that much sweeter when you cast a Quicken right before it.
Third Favorite Moment: I’m sorry, David McDarby. I’m just . . . really, really sorry.
MOST FAVORITE MOMENTO: My entire Round 9 versus Adam Fox was insane. This was my second "gotta play" win and in of the weekend, and boy did I not want to face U/W/R Delver with so much at stake. Adam especially seemed like an adept pilot and somebody that I was really going to struggle to get through to my second Top 8.
Game 1 had a very interesting turn where I was sculpting my hand while getting the business from a flipped Delver. I decided to pull the trigger on a Gitaxian Probe to see what Adam was working with and to see if the game was even winnable. He revealed two Forces, Daze, and two Wastelands. As I wrote down the contents, I knew that I had to make something happen that turn to get some of that nastiness out of his hand. The City of Traitors I drew off the Probe made the plan fall into place.
I didn’t have a winning permanent to put into play with Show and Tell, but I did have two copies. Knowing what I knew, there was no chance Adam wouldn’t counter my Show and Tell, but if he pitched Daze, he’d still have one of the Forces. That’s where the City came into action. I acted as quickly as possible, slamming the City of Traitors and casting the Show and Tell. Adam tanked and eventually did what I thought he would do in that situation:
With City of Traitors in play alongside three Islands, the threat of a second Show and Tell is there, but there’s also the looming possibility of a Dream Halls now, which I tend to think forced his Wasteland into play to deal with it. Since he knew he was going to be Wastelanding the nonbasic, he wouldn’t have five mana to hard cast the Force he wouldn’t have pitched if he didn’t draw a blue card. That turn was the turning point for me to take the game. The rest of the match was super tight, with Adam showing me the power of double Chris Pikula in game 2 and me finally getting my revenge for all his meddling by Wishing for a Slaughter Pact in game 3 to seal the match.
My Top 4 match was definitely heartbreaking, but I still couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. Drawing all the lands in the world while having Uncle Omniscience in play was a minor pothole on my yellow brick road! All in all, I had the most fun I’ve had playing Magic during the Legacy Open. All of my opponents were nice, talkative, and had winning personalities. I really have to give them all respect for dealing with my giddy banter and antics.
Moving forward with Legacy, I have to say I still like Omni-Tell. It can produce such ridiculous draws and has so much consistency with its high amount of card draw and selection that it can have game versus any deck. If the trend of decks like Jund, Jund Depths, and other green and black strategies keeps going strong to combat Delver of Secrets / True-Name Nemesis decks, then Omni-Tell is sitting pretty.
I’d make a few changes to the deck before taking it to your next Legacy event however. The first step is definitely to include the Impulse for Firemind’s Foresight and most likely cut the Quicken to make the necessary space. I also like either Spell Pierce or Flusterstorm over one copy of Enter the Infinite in the main.
As for the sideboard, I’m 100% cutting Wipe Away and Noxious Revival. I really want a couple more ways to deal with Iona, Meddling Mage, and Canonist, so I’m thinking about adding the second Slaughter Pact and a Surgical Extraction. With two Slaughter Pacts, you can safely board one in and leave one to be Wished for, giving you many ways to find it when you need it. Surgical is just a nod toward a possible resurgence of Reanimator and also could be useful versus a rise in Loam decks if the games go long.
I really do appreciate all of the support and love sent my way during my attempt to be the second Magic player with back-to-back Open wins. I have overwhelming pride in being part of this game’s community, and I’m grateful for everything this game has given me. I’m also amazed more and more each weekend at the level of professionalism and just the sheer amount of thought that goes into these tournaments and their coverage. It felt great to be a part of it.
Now the Open Series in Nashville is on the horizon, and I’ve got a reputation to keep and some points to grind. I’m coming for you GerryT! Dust me off a seat on that mountain!
The StarCityGames.com Tournament Crew & Coverage Team: Always a fantastic job!
My Two Main Stores: Anime-zing Escape in McDonough, GA and Wasteland Gaming in Duluth, GA. Some of the best people I know frequent these great stores, and I don’t know what I’d be doing without em.
Team Orgg: My brothers! Let’s make 2014 our year!
Mahindra: For letting me borrow the sweetest-looking deck all Sunday and being the Mickey to my Rocky all weekend.
Kendall: Thanks for letting me borrow dat Mono U, brah!