This Week in Legacy — GP Birmingham!

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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

Creatures (15)
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Hazoret the Fervent
4 Magus of the Moon
2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
4 Simian Spirit Guide

Planeswalkers (4)
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Karn, Scion of Urza

Instants/Sorceries (4)
4 Fiery Confluence

Artifacts/Enchantments (18)
4 Blood Moon
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Chrome Mox
4 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Trinisphere

Lands (19)
4 Ancient Tomb
3 City of Traitors
11 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
2 Abrade
4 Faerie Macabre
3 Kozilek's Return
3 Scab-Clan Berserker
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Surgical Extraction

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

Creatures (24)
4 Arcbound Ravager
2 Etched Champion
2 Lodestone Golem
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
3 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Steel Overseer
4 Vault Skirge
4 Walking Ballista

Artifacts (15)
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Lotus Petal
3 Mox Opal
4 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Umezawa's Jitte

Lands (21)
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
2 Darksteel Citadel
2 Inventors' Fair
1 Karakas
4 Mishra's Factory
4 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
3 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Ratchet Bomb
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Spellskite

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

Creatures (13)
4 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
2 Kess, Dissident Mage
3 Snapcaster Mage

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

Instants/Sorceries (23)
4 Brainstorm
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Fatal Push
4 Force of Will
3 Hymn to Tourach
2 Kolaghan's Command
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Preordain
1 Thoughtseize

Enchantment (1)
1 Search for Azcanta

Lands (20)
1 Badlands
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
2 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 [[Dead//Gone]]
2 Duress
2 Flusterstorm
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Marsh Casualties
1 Pyroblast
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

Creatures (9)
4 Academy Rector
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Veteran Explorer

Planeswalkers (2)
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Liliana, the Last Hope

Instants/Sorceries (15)
2 Abrupt Decay
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Collective Brutality
1 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Lingering Souls
2 Living Wish
2 Swords to Plowshares

Enchantments (12)
1 Cruel Reality
1 Curse of Death's Hold
1 Dovescape
3 Evolutionary Leap
1 Ground Seal
2 Pernicious Deed
1 Starfield of Nyx
2 Sylvan Library

Lands (22)
2 Bayou
4 Forest
1 Marsh Flats
2 Phyrexian Tower
2 Plains
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
2 Swamp
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
1 Bitterheart Witch
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Ground Seal
1 Karakas
1 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Reclamation Sage
1 To the Slaughter
1 Toxic Deluge

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!

Wrapping Up

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. 

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