Top4 split at Legacy Black Lotus (22/05/10)

The Legacy tournaments at the Black Lotus Store in Barcelona are probably the biggest weekly events in the world. With an average turn out that might hit the 35 players, Black Lotus has become an excellent place to practice Legacy at a real high level. You might find there players like Lluis Restoy (GP Madrid Top8), Ricard Tudurí (GP Winner) or Adrià Romero (who recently made top9 at the BOM4).

In the past I used to go every Saturday to the Legacy tournaments, but now, due to my job I can’t hardly get any Saturdays off. And those that I can, I usually make them match with the Vintage tournaments from the LCV6.

Anyways, so this past Saturday I managed to go and I won! Well, even though I really wanted to play because I felt I could defeat easily any of the top4 decks (Reanimator, Zoo and Survi-Auriok) I agreed on splitting the Top4 because the other 3 guys really wanted to, and I was a bit tired.

I expected the following metagame: Zoo, Reanimator, ANT, Merfolks and Countertop (thopters, progenitus, etc). That’s what the usual players play around there. Then there’s always some people with random decks like Belcher, White Staxx, etc… My predictions were almost perfect since there were a lot of combo decks (ANT, Reanimator), some Zoo, and also some Thopter/CounterTop decks.

The night before the tournament I prepared my ANT deck to fight that metagame. I can advance you that this is probably the best sideboard I’ve brought to a tournament. I’m really satisfied with the result and I felt I had answers for absolutely all the matchups that I could face. So this is the list:

Main deck: 4cANT by Jordi Amat
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Brainstorm
4 Mystical Tutor
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
3 Ponder
3 Duress
3 Orim’s Chant
2 Flooded Strand
2 City of Traitors
2 Chrome Mox
2 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Ad Nauseam
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill-Gotten Gains
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Tundra
1 Scrubland
1 Tropical Island
1 Island

4 Carpet of Flowers
3 Path to Exile
2 Nature’s Claim
1 Reverent Silence
1 Krosan Grip
1 Angel’s Grace
1 Slaughter Pact
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Tropical Island

I’m not gonna talk about the main deck choices because the list is pretty standard (15 lands – including 2 City of Traitors, 6 protection spells – including Orim’s Chant, 1 Tendrils, 1 bouncer, etc…). But I do wanna talk about the sideboard.

Path to Exile (3): This card proved to be the MVP of the tournament. And that’s the second time I performed excellent thanks to them. Let’s see it’s advantages:

  • It kills Gaddock Teeg, Ethersworn Canonist, Iona, Shielf of Emeria, as well as Tarmogoyf (BANPLZ!), Wild Nacatl, etc…
  • It’s white, so you’ll probably kill Ioona 100% of the times with it.
  • We run more than 1 copy, so we can use it more aggressively to kill an early menace that will save us some health points. Killing a turn 1 Wild Nacatl with a Path to Exile, if your game plan is slow, can turn into a huge advantage.
  • Nobody expects Path to Exile.


  • It’s white, so you’ll need to fetch for white. That usually isn’t a problem, but it’s not the same as playing Slaughter Pact (which I also run).
  • It’s more sensible to Daze/Spell Pierce since it costs more than Slaughter Pact.

Carpet of Flowers (4): In a metagame where blue is everywhere, this card seems the right call. Merfolks disruption is based on the “pay X more or counter this spell” (aka, Daze, Spell Pierce and Curse Catcher), and Carpet of Flowers brings lots of extra mana for free every turn. The only spell you should care about when playing against Merfolks is Force of Will.

The other reason why I run Carpet of Flowers nowadays is because control players expect you to play Dark Confidant Side Board, and they won’t side out their removal. Like this we achieve:

  1. We accelerate for free everyturn
  2. Opponent is playing with dead cards

Due to this version being 4 colors, Carpet of Flowers will fix our mana base pretty nicely. You’ll have the white, the green, blue or black whenever you’ll need it.

Nature’s Claim (2) + Reverent Silence (1) + Krosan Grip (1): Our worst match up is obviously anything running CounterTop. We can’t have our silver bullets all with the same mana cost, and that’s why I opted to have Nature’s Claim, Krosan Grip and Reverent Silence.

Chalice @1 hurts us a lot, but you should be able to Mystical Tutor for Krosan Grip in response to his Chalice, and get rid of it quite easily. Else, just try to combo out with the double LED + Infernal Tutor Kill.

Angel’s Grace (1) + Tendrils of Agony (1): Since I expected some Zoo decks, Angel’s Grace was a must include! I can’t play combo decks without 2 Tendrils of Agony but it didn’t fit in the main deck, so I finally opted to add it to the SB.

Against Zoo/Aggro decks, my usual sideboard plan is: +1 Angel’s Grace, +1 Tendrils of Agony, +3 Path to Exile, +1 Slaughter Pact (and if I expect Thorn of Amethyst like from Affinity, then I add the 2 Nature’s Claim + Krosan Grip), -2 Duress (I always leave 1 Duress, just in case you need to check for a trap :P), -3 Ponder, -1 Tropical Island (unless I have to add the green sideboard spells).

So this was more or less my sideboard strategy. My main game strategy was always to go for the double LED + Infernal Tutor Kill passing through Ill-Gotten Gains. I believe I killed like that around 90% of the times. I’ve been playing Iggy Pop/ iPop Negation / ANT for such a long time, that when I need to combo, I have it so clear that I know exactly what is needed to execute a certain amount of storm at any given situation. The fact that I reduced the amount of Ad Nauseam to 1 makes this plan my primary choice of kill.

I won’t explain my rounds with detail as I didn’t take accurate notes from the games. I’ll try to write about certain plays that were relevant during the tournament.

Round 1: Gonzalo Balot with random deck. 2-0

  • Gonzalo was a new player in the scene and he actually didn’t know how to play at all. I helped him understand the game a bit better after I won him 2-0 in less than 10 minutes. I tried to make him understand the phases, construction of the decks, etc… He took notes and I think he’ll be better prepared next time.

Round 2: Alex Mateu with Survi/Auriok. 2-1

  • Alex is actually one of the best players of the national Legacy scene. If you search him on deckcheck, you’ll discover a certain amount of good results.
  • Game one I cast a turn 2 Ad Nauseam for the win. Game 2 he casts 3 Meddling Mage in 5 turns without any deck manipulation… I killed his first one with Path to Exile, then the second one named Ad Nauseam and the 3rd named Path to Exile, so my only chance was to find Mystical Tutor, for Slaughter Pact and then combo (I had Nauseam and mana enough). I never found the Mystical nor the Pact. Game 3 I believe I combo him on first turn with a Infernal Tutor Kill.

Round 3: Oscar Mesegué with Reanimator. 2-1

  • Yet another excellent player with a lot of wins at the LCL/Black Lotus Store tournaments.
  • He managed to get Ioona (naming black) into play game 1. I didn’t had many chances since she would kill me before I could actually bounce Ioona. But, I insisted and didn’t surrender, as I wanted to make him believe I could actually bounce Ioona. So I tried to Mystical Tutor at some point, which he obviously countered with FoW (+ Blue card when he only had 2 cards left) fearing a Wipe Away. I told him he did well countering my Mystical as I would have probably won 😛 So he actually believed me, and in second game, he put Ioona into play again naming blue! But I had Path to Exile to remove her 😛 I won the same turn I played the Path to Exile. Game 3, he had turn 1 Entomb, and he placed on his GY… Inkwell Leviathan, fearing my Path to Exile again. It was obviously a bad choice, as the squid never got to attack (I had a Path in my hand, anyways)

Round 4: My friend, and ex-team mate, Oliver Satizabal aka Owli with Zoo. ID

Round 5: Daniel Sanchez with Spring Tide. ID

Top8: Pedro Grati with ANT. 2-1

  • I don’t know him that much. I know he’s performing well in pokemon formats, so I guess he’s a good player. BUT, I actually saw him play at round 5 (scouting FTW!), and I saw him play terribly bad. Misplays, wrong choices, etc… He told me after his last round, he’s not used to play combo. O RLY? 😀
  • Anyways, so Game one he casts DOUBLE duress on his first turn, and I win on my first turn! How? Check this out kids! My hand was: LED + Dark Ritual + Ancient Tomb + Lotus Petal + Cabal Ritual + Brainstorm + Sensei’s Divining Top. His double duress hits my Brainstorm and Sensei’s Divining Top. My topdeck was Infernal Tutor, and you know how the story ends 😛
  • On game 2, he had a strong play, but I slow him down with an Orim’s Chant in response to his Infernal Tutor. He searches Ad Nauseam (Mistake) which he can’t cast. I eot Mystical Tutor for Duress and take his Nauseam away. We both were at top deck but I had Sensei’s Divining Top. He drew a bomb before I found anything with the Top on 4 turns… He played Sadistic Sacrament so we moved onto game 3.
  • Last game was a normal game, I Duress him turn 1 and comb on turn 3 via Ritual + LED + Infernal Tutor -> Ill-Gotten Infernal Tutor for Infernal Tutor for Tendrils for a total Storm of 10.
  • As Pedro said “It happened what it should have happened”.

In the end, I accepted splitting the Top4 prizes.

The rest of the top8 went like this:

Sergi Herrero (Reanimator) VS Oscar Mesegué (Reanimator)

Àlex Mateu (Survi/Auriok) VS Daniel Sanchez (High Tide)

Jordi Amat (ANT) VS Pedro Grati (ANT)

Aldo Fernandez (Landstill) VS Oliver Satizabal (Zoo)

I’ll post the Top8 decks as soon as possible. Meanwhile, this is how the metagame looked like:

  • 3 ANT (Top8 + Top4)
  • 1 Landstill (Top8)
  • 1 High Tide (Top8)
  • 2 Merfolks
  • 2 Dredge
  • 2 Dark Depths (1 Countertop, 1 BG Hate)
  • 3 Zoo (Top4)
  • 2 Reanimator (Top8 + Top4)
  • 2 Rogue deck
  • 1 Alluren
  • 1 Survival (Auriok Combo) (Top4)
  • 1 Thopter/CounterTop
  • 1 Fatestalker
  • 1 Belcher
  • 1 Canadian Threshold
  • And a couple of lost lists

So, to conclude with something, let me just say…