This Week in Legacy — GP Richmond


Howdy folks! It's Joe again, and we're here to look at the overall experience of Grand Prix Richmond!

Without wasting much time, let's dive right into the article!

The Reid Duke Experiment

In what sounds like a great band name, GP Richmond marked a first in coverage in that we got to follow the tumultuous journey of one of the most wonderful pro players that exists: The one, the only, Reid Duke.

The idea behind this experiment was very simple: Coverage would follow Reid throughout the event, either through feature matches or Time Walk backup feature matches, in addition to Reid being in the booth to talk about his matches and also pre-recorded information from him about various match-ups for his deck, sideboarding, etc. This idea was borne out of the fact that Reid needed to be able to play in this GP to try and beat Seth Manfield's points for Player of the Year, but also wanted to help with coverage.

This experiment was, in my personal opinion, a great success. Not only did it help build a narrative throughout the event, it also gave many of us great insight into how strong of a player Reid Duke is and also just how sportsmanlike he is. By having the tables mic'ed up so we could hear Reid and his opponent playing the game, we were able to understand how powerful good communication in the game is. In addition, by using a format like Legacy to perform this experiment with, people not familiar with the format could gain greater familiarity off the sheer basis of watching Reid explain everything and the number of games he was on camera. I guarantee that many people walked away from this experience feeling a little bit more understanding of the Legacy format and especially how control works in Legacy.

It was an awesome experiment and a lot of fun to watch Reid's progression throughout the tournament. Hopefully Wizards takes something away from this experiment and applies it to future events.

GP Richmond Top 16 Breakdown

The Top 16 metagame breakdown for GP Richmond provided us some very interesting information about the format, placing two copies each of the prevailing Delver strategies in the format (Grixis Delver, UB Shadow, and RUG Delver) into it.

Let's take a look at the breakdown:

As we can see, this field is actually pretty diverse in strategy (given that the three Delver variants do operate on slightly different axes). Grixis Control was one of the bigger decks in this GP, even being piloted by the coverage star Reid Duke. The deck is proving to be very powerful and versatile at dealing with many different threats.

However, at the end of the day on Saturday, it was none other than Andrew Cuneo on Miracles who took it down vs Lucien Longlais on Lands. After staring down a turn two Marit Lage in game one, Andrew made it happen games 2–3 and took down the tentacly overlord of Coldsnap fame.

Miracles — Andrew Cuneo | 1st Place GP Richmond Legacy

Creatures (4)
4 Snapcaster Mage

Planeswalkers (3)
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Instants/Sorceries (28)
4 Brainstorm
2 Council's Judgment
4 Force of Will
4 Ponder
2 Portent
3 Predict
1 Spell Pierce
1 Supreme Verdict
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Terminus

Enchantments (5)
2 Back to Basics
2 Counterbalance
1 Search for Azcanta

Lands (20)
1 Arid Mesa
4 Flooded Strand
7 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
3 Plains
2 Polluted Delta
1 Tundra

Sideboard (15)
1 Baneslayer Angel
2 Containment Priest
1 Counterspell
2 Disenchant
2 Flusterstorm
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Spell Pierce
1 Spell Snare
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Vendilion Clique

It's no joke that Andrew Cuneo is a strong player when you hand him a control deck. Andrew has been piloting control decks for most of his Magic career, and his strength with this styles of deck really shows in his plays.

Also showing up in the Top 8 was Eldrazi Stompy piloted by Ethan Weber! It's worth noting that Ethan was the highlight of the Wizards Day 2 Coverage article, as his amount of practice with the deck was literally the week before the Grand Prix. He had only picked up the deck the week before and Top 8'ed with it at Richmond! Congrats Ethan!

Eldrazi Stompy — Ethan Weber | 7th Place GP Richmond Legacy

Creatures (27)
4 Eldrazi Mimic
2 Endbringer
4 Endless One
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Walking Ballista

Instants/Sorceries (2)
2 Dismember

Artifacts (6)
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Umezawa's Jitte

Lands (25)
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cavern of Souls
2 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Eye of Ugin
1 Karakas
2 Mishra's Factory
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
1 All Is Dust
1 Karakas
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Ratchet Bomb
3 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Tumble Magnet

What's enjoyable about this list is seeing cards like Karn, Scion of Urza and Tumble Magnet in the sideboard. With the meta trending much fairer, having further options to deal with decks that boast problem creatures/artifacts and ways to dig better than they can is really strong.

The Spice of the Rest

As always with any GP coverage, there is some spice shown. There was 12-Post versus Enchantress on camera, Tin Fins, Belcher, you name it.

And of course, there was a little Nic Fit. If you guys missed this one on coverage, be sure you check out this clip.

Despite some creative deckbuilding, Ali Aintrazi brought BUG Nic Fit to GP Richmond. Let's take a look at the list:

BUG Nic Fit — Ali Aintrazi | GP Richmond

Creatures (15)
4 Veteran Explorer
4 Baleful Strix
2 Snapcaster Mage
2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer

Planeswalkers (6)
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Karn Liberated

Enchantments (4)
4 Pernicious Deed

Instants/Sorceries (14)
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Innocent Blood
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Brainstorm

Lands (21)
2 Forest
2 Island
2 Swamp
2 Bayou
2 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta

Sideboard (15)
1 Toxic Deluge
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Faerie Macabre
3 Flusterstorm
1 Hydroblast
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Thoughtseize
1 Tireless Tracker

While I'm not a huge fan of some of the design choices of this list (having no Green Sun's Zenith at all seems to me incorrect. I suspect he may want at least two), it was fun to watch Ali on camera against one of Nic Fit's better match-ups in Eldrazi Stompy, especially getting to resolve Jace, Karn, and Liliana.

Another deck that showed up on camera a few times was, well, Miracles. But not the Miracles that won the event, but rather a new spin on technology with the deck by using the card Accumulated Knowledge instead of Predict. I have a friend by the name of Lawrence Harmon who wrote an article for this on his blog site. Go check it out here!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! GP Richmond was a sweet event, and I'm now looking forward to Eternal Weekend at the end of October! Sadly, I won't be able to make it to Eternal Weekend this year, but these things happen.

Until next time!

Joseph Dyer (@volrathxp) is an avid Legacy enthusiast. He's admin of the /r/NicFitMTG subreddit, as well as a regular participant on the Source and MTGLegacy subreddits. His knowledge of the Legacy format is deeply rooted in constant analysis, playtesting, and lots of discussion of the format. Joseph's primary accomplishments include a 10–5 finish at GP Columbus 2016 with Rhino Fit, and a 32nd place finish at SCG Columbus Legacy Classic with Sneak Fit. 

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