Howdy folks! It's Joe again and I'm here to talk about another large Legacy GP, Grand Prix Birmingham!
Without further ado, let's dive right into this event!
GP Birmingham Top 16 Metagame
As has been the case for several large events now, holy moly all that Grixis Delver. With three lists in the Top 8—plus a Czech Pile list—half of the top tables of this event were dominated by Deathrite Shaman. Are we to the point yet of a ban? Who knows!
At the end of the day, it was Gary Campbell on Mono-Red Prison who managed to oppose the little Elf that could, snagging the top spot in glorious Stompy fashion.
Mono-Red Prison — Gary Campbell | 1st Place GP Birmingham
4 Fiery Confluence
Despite the Planeswalker rule changes nerfing Fiery Confluence some, the card still remains one of the best ways for Mono-Red Prison to close games out. However, what makes this list awesome isn't the normal Mono-Red Prison stuff, it's a new addition in Karn, Scion of Urza! Four-mana Karn keeps popping up all over the place (as I certainly expected it would in these kinds of lists), given that he does so much for Stompy builds in general. Being able to filter cards and inconsistent draws helps this type of deck a ton, giving it the ability to play through grindier games. The -2 ability can make artifacts that can either attack for a ton (thanks to the other artifact lock pieces in the deck) or give ways for Pia and Kiran Nalaar to push through damage.
Karn also made an appearance in Johan De Gruyter's Steel Men Stompy, a deck which I am not surprised at all to see the planeswalker in.
Steel Stompy — Johan De Gruyter | Top 8 GP Birmingham
If you've ever seen Vintage Workshops in action, this deck is essentially Shops without the Mishra's Workshop. It's very powerful against the field of Delver and the like since nearly every threat the deck plays is must-answer for a Delver player.
On the fair Blue side of things, Janus Andersen showed up ready to play with Kess, Dissident Mage, and boy did he ever.
Grixis Kess — Janus Andersen | Top 8 GP Birmingham
1 Search for Azcanta
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Marsh Casualties
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Toxic Deluge
What a pretty sweet list, not gonna lie. Kess getting to shine and put in some work at larger events is great, partially because up until recently she was actually unplayable in most large events due to the fact that the card is only available in foil (and thus curls hard, marking it in a deck). Thanks to new Wizards Judge policy, Judges are able to issue proxy checklist cards for players who have these kinds of cards (like Kess and Vial Smasher) so they don't have to worry about this issue.
The Spice — Shaun Fishwick on Nyx Fit!
Sharing a little bit of spice from this event, one of the users in my own little corner of the world of my Nic Fit Discord Server did solid this weekend, ending up 7–6 but sneaking into Day 2 at 6–2. He ended up with a feature match in round 9, which is worth checking out. His name is Shaun Fishwick and his list is Nyx Fit!
Nyx Fit — Shaun Fishwich | GP Birmingham
I am relatively in love with Shaun's list, because Academy Rector and Nyx Fit are very cool decks to watch. Despite getting paired against Storm on camera, it was still awesome to see Nyx Fit get some camera love. I especially like the two Living Wish to be able to snag some form of disruptive element in game one to shut the opponent off of whatever they're doing.
For those that aren't aware of how this deck works, the goal of the deck is to ramp and disrupt early with Veteran Explorer and Cabal Therapy to get an Academy Rector into play and make it perish in a fiery flame, getting one of the lock piece enchantments such as Overwhelming Splendor, Dovescape, Curse of Death's Hold, or Cruel Reality. Shaun's deck also plays Starfield of Nyx to rebuy enchantments such as Pernicious Deed or large lock pieces pitched to Collective Brutality.
Congrats to Shaun on your finish! So great to see such a fun list get noticed!
That's all we have for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed the recap, we're slowly getting closer to the annal of annals with the 25th Anniversary Pro Tour, where we will get to see Legacy at the highest level! What will happen? Who knows! But I do know it will be an awesome time and I'm looking forward to it.
For me, I'm solid on going to SCGCon here in June, so if you're in the area and want to meet me, please feel free!
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.|