Aside from the snow in April, this past weekend at SCG Milwaukee was the best weekend in magic I’ve ever had.
I started the weekend playing Jund in Modern, but because it’s Modern, I am familiar with dying early in the tournament. After wavering between deck choices, the desire to attempt Top 8 once again led me to registering Sultai Delver again in the Legacy Classic. This time, my knowledge of the deck and format led to my Top 4 finish and an invite to the SCG Invitational at SCG Con this June. Here’s what I sleeved up:
Sultai Delver by Allison Warfield
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Delver of Secrets
2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Liliana of the Veil
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Fatal Push
4 Force of Will
4 Hymn to Tourach
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Pithing Needle
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Golgari Charm
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Toxic Deluge
Here’s a round by round breakdown:
Round 1: Storm
Game 1 – My opponent tried to represent that he was actually on Grixis Delver by playing Gitaxian Probe, Volcanic Island, and Ponder. My turn 2 and 3 Hymn to Tourach quickly revealed that he was on Storm and he couldn’t bounce back from losing 4 cards at random.
Game 2 – I feel very confident against Storm, especially post sideboard. I bring in 2 Flusterstorm, 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Grafdigger’s Cage, and 1 Golgari Charm (in case my opponent goes on the Empty the Warrens plan). It worked.
Round 2: Food Chain
Game 1 – I have never played against Food Chain, so this game one was a bit of a learning experience for me. I lose after my opponent casts an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn by producing infinite mana with Food Chain and Misthollow Griffin.
Game 2 – I was not sure how to adequately sideboard for this match-up so I only brought in 2 Thoughtseize and 1 Golgari Charm. Hymn to Tourach was good in this match-up, and I manage to win game 2.
Game 3 – Fast-forward to the late game, my opponent has infinite mana again is attacking for 6 damage a turn. I have a Deathrite Shaman in play. I get my opponent down to 3 life with the Deathrite Shaman and have him dead next turn, I just need to activate Deathrite Shaman at the end of his turn and then on my next turn. However, my opponent top-decks an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, and I lose the match.
Round 3: Storm
Game 1 – My opponent starts to storm off and I think I’m taking a loss in game 1. However, he miscalculated Storm, so when he couldn’t kill me he conceded. Not a great win, but I’ll take it.
Game 2 – I stick to the same sideboard plan as round 1. I have 2 Daze in hand that I can cast. My opponent plays Dark Ritual, and I Daze it. He pays the extra with one card left in hand. I assume it is an Infernal Tutor, and if he cast it he would have 5 mana in his mana pool after cracking a Lion’s Eye Diamond. I was right, and he cast Infernal Tutor. I assumed against BUG Delver he would be searching for an Ad Nauseum, which I had my second Daze for. My opponent realized he accidentally sided it out because he thought I was Grixis Delver and conceded.
Round 4: Death & Taxes
Game 1 – This was a great match for me, but I can’t imagine my opponent had any fun. Game 1 consisted of me playing Hymn to Tourach and making my opponent discard two lands. The next turn, he misses a land drop and I Wasteland his only land. I won shortly after that. See? Great!
Game 2 – I sided in 1 Toxic Deluge, 1 Liliana, the Last Hope, 1 Golgari Charm, 1 Pithing Needle, and 1 Umezawa’s Jitte. I kept an opening hand with 2 Wasteland, an Underground Sea, a Deathrite Shaman, a Fatal Push, and two other spells. Turn one I play a Deathrite Shaman. Turn 2 I Wasteland one of his two lands and Fatal Push his Mother of Runes. He misses another land drop, letting me Wasteland his last land.
Round 5: Belcher
Game 1 – This match-up is essentially either Belcher goes off turn 1 with Goblin Charbelcher, Empty the Warrens, or sometimes Tendrils of Agony. My opponent knows I can cast a Daze. He tries to combo off and casts a Desperate Ritual and splices onto arcane another Desperate Ritual, leaving no mana in his mana pool. I Daze because I have seen his hand and know he doesn’t have a Simian Spirit Guide or an Elvish Spirit Guide. We call a judge to make sure he doesn’t get mana from the splice onto arcane. He didn’t get the mana and conceded.
Game 2 – I sided in 1 Golgari Charm, 1 Pithing Needle, and 2 Thoughtseize. I make it to my turn 2 without my opponent going off, and I cast a Hymn to Tourach. I hit 2 Desperate Rituals, and my opponent informed me that was the best cards I could’ve hit.
Round 6: Elves
Game 1 – I end up killing my opponent quickly with flipped Delver of Secrets because he couldn’t block in the air.
Game 2 – I sided in 1 Liliana, the Last Hope, 1 Toxic Deluge, 1 Grafdigger’s Cage, 1 Golgari Charm, and 2 Thoughtseize. My opponent played a Choke that I was not expecting, and it caused me to play more conservatively with my mana. This lead to him casting many elves and a Craterhoof Behemoth. Onto Game 3.
Game 3 – We got each other into a board stall. He had many small elves and I had 2 Deathrite Shamans, 2 Tarmogoyfs, and a Leovold, Emissary of Trest. I also had a Grafdigger’s Cage in play, so he could not use Natural Order or Green Sun’s Zenith to find a Craterhoof Behemoth. I got around the board stall by activating my Deathrite Shamans enough times to win.
Round 7: Grixis Delver
Game 1 – I honestly don’t remember many specifics from this match, possibly because I was very anxious about the possibility of missing top 8 by one match again. The match went by quickly, though. I won Game 1 on a swing with an unflipped Delver of Secrets and a 4/5 Tarmogoyf. My opponent blocked the Delver of Secrets and he was at 4 life. I asked him if we could move to damage and he said yes. My opponent forgot to mark my previous Deathrite Shaman activation, and he thought he was at 6 life, not 4. Again, not the best win, but I’ll take it.
Game 2 – I feel better about game 2 because of my sideboarding knowledge. I sided out all of my Force of Will and Daze. My opponent, however, left them in. I sided in 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 1 Liliana, the Last Hope, 1 Toxic Deluge, 1 Golgari Charm, 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Umezawa’s Jitte, and 1 Diabolic Edict. I didn’t play around Daze because I assumed my opponent sided it out. He didn’t, and while he did get to Daze my Delver of Secrets, Daze put him behind. I continued to play Hymn to Tourach and other big threats to win this match.
2-0 Win. Made Top 8!
Game 1 – My opponent tried to represent he was on Grixis Delver, but for some reason I didn’t buy it. I have a Deathrite Shaman and a Leovold, Emissary of Trest on the board. My opponent activates 2 Lion’s Eye Diamonds and discards an Ad Nauseum and Past in Flames. He flashbacks Past in Flames and in response I exile Ad Nauseum with Deathrite Shaman. He looks through his graveyard and plays a few rituals and then tries to play a Ponder. I let it resolve, and he draws a card. I quickly inform the judge next to me that my opponent drew a card with my Leovold, Emissary of Trest in play. He gets a warning and realizes that there isn’t a way he can storm off this turn. This match took quite a long time and I won game 1.
Game 2 – Same sideboard plan against Storm as earlier in the tournament. He plays a few rituals and Empty the Warrens on turn 1. I couldn’t dig far enough for my Golgari Charm so I lost.
Game 3 – I Thoughseize turn 1 to see my opponent has a similar hand as last game. I take the Empty the Warrens and he never storms off. My friends jokingly told me that was a $150 Thoughtseize I cast to win that game.
Game 1 – My opponent won quickly, I don’t remember much of this game.
Game 2 – I stick with the same sideboarding plan as I had in round 6. I resolve a turn two Liliana, the Last Hope. My opponent reads it a few times and realizes that I can keep killing his small elves every turn.
Game 3 – This was a very close match where Scavenging Ooze was amazing for my opponent. I had two Tarmogoyfs in playand my opponent was swinging with a 4/4 Scavenging Ooze. Looking back, I should’ve blocked with a Tarmogoyf, even if it wouldn’t trade with his Scavenging Ooze because my only out was a Toxic Deluge on 4. I don’t block and go down to 5 life. I draw exactly what I need – the Toxic Deluge. I glance to my lands to discover my third land is a fetch, and I cannot play Toxic Deluge for 4 after the fetch. I end up casting Toxic Deluge for 2 and kill the rest of his board, but the Scavenging Ooze inevitably got there.
My opponent in the Semi-finals is the person who ended up winning the whole Classic. He was one of the nicest opponents I had all day and was undefeated headed into Top 8. Since I couldn’t win the Classic, I’m glad he was able to take the whole thing down. I am happy with the list; however, I do want to go back up to 2 Toxic Deluge on the sideboard. Overall, I am extremely happy with how I played and how my deck performed in the Milwaukee Legacy Classic. My goal for this weekend was to Top 8 the Legacy Classic. I never imagined I would get to the Semi-finals and qualify for the SCG Invitational. So now it’s time to start learning Standard and Modern, and I’ll see you all at SCGCON in June!