Grand Prix Atlanta Day 1 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on June 30, 2012


Trial Grinder Winning Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff

Benjamin Battle

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Justin Desai

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Daniel Signorini

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Pascal Maynard

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Hans Knapp

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Saturday, 12:07 p.m. - Grand Prix Atlanta Legacy Primer

by Steve Sadin and Blake Rasmussen

There are a TON of good decks to play in Legacy right now. Whether you want to play a fast combo deck, a beatdown deck, or a control deck – there's going to be a good option for you.

So what are we waiting for? Let's take a look at some decklists!


While Reanimator wasn't a big factor at Grand Prix Indianapolis (the last Legacy Grand Prix), ever since the release of Avacyn Restored, Animate Deads and Entombs have been running rampant at Legacy tournaments across the globe. It's at the point where many pros have confidently stated that "Reanimator is the deck to beat in Legacy".

And there's one big reason for that – Griselbrand.

The premise behind Reanimator is simple. Get a big creature into your graveyard with Entomb, or Careful Study – then bring it back into play with an Animate Dead, a Reanimate, or an Exhume.

The deck is blisteringly fast, and thanks to Force of Will, Daze, and Thoughtseize, it's far from helpless in the face of your opponent's answers.

Plus, even if your opponent has an answer for your reanimated threat (be it a Swords to Plowshares, a Terminus, a Diabolic Edict, or even a Pernicious Deed with a ton of mana) that won't be good enough... Because you can restock your hand with Griselbrand, you will either draw yourself a Force of Will to counter their answer, or another reanimation spell to bring forth another huge monster a turn later. And once that's happened, it's only a matter of time before you'll fly to victory.

Gerry Thompson Reanimator

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One last important thing to note about the deck: not even uncounterable graveyard hate like Faerie Macabre (which, under normal circumstances, would be a great way to stop a Reanimator deck) isn't enough to beat the current iterations of Legacy Reanimator since they can sideboard in Show and Tells to bring huge threats into play without them ever touching the graveyard.

Delver of Secrets

Reanimator may be the deck to beat right now, but tempo oriented Delver of Secrets decks are more than capable of holding their own in today's metagame. Shuffling up a mixture of cheap, potent, threats backed by mana denial (Wasteland and sometimes Stifle), cheap removal (Lightning Bolts, and Forked Bolts), free counterspells (Force of Will, and Daze), and Brainstorms has been a recipe for success for as long as Legacy has been a format. And right now is no exception.

While the deck is capable of executing a lot of quick kills, it also has a lot of staying power. If you have the time to sculpt your hand with Brainstorms and Ponders, and protect your threats with Force of Wills – then you can beat just about anything with your Delver of Secrets deck.

Matt Costa RUG Delver

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Tom Martell won Grand Prix Indianapolis just a few months ago with his take on Stoneblade – a Blue-White-Black (or sometimes just Blue-White) deck full of cheap answers that looks to make exceptionally good use of Stoneforge Mystic.

While Stoneblade decks might not be as explosive as Reanimator decks which can put Griselbrands into play on turn two – the deck is still capable of some very fast starts (there are a lot of decks that simply can't beat a turn three Batterskull), and it's almost impossible to hate out with targeted sideboard cards.

So if you're looking for a resilient control deck that's capable of some quick kills – then Stoneblade may very well be the deck for you.

Tom Martell Stoneblade

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Other decks with Force of Will

While Reanimator, RUG Delver of Secrets, and Stoneblade are currently the most popular blue decks in Legacy, don't be fooled into thinking that they're your only options. There are tons of other great decks with Force of Will in them which (while somewhat out of the public eye right now) are still more than capable of dominating a tournament.

Sneak and Show

So you want to put a Griselbrand, or an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play on turn two -- but you're worried about Tormod's Crypts and friends ruining your day. Well, fear not, because you can circumvent the graveyard entirely by playing Sneak and Show.

Instead of reanimating threats back from the grave, this deck uses Sneak Attack, and Show and Tell to put its humongous threats into play. While Sneak and Show decks typically don't have access to black discard spells like Thoughtseize, they are still more than capable of pushing their threats through with Force of Will, Misdirection, and Spell Pierce.

Jonathan Hickerson Sneak and Show

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Hypergenesis is another fun, explosive deck that pops up now and then, but has a hard time gaining too much traction in a format full of decks that can Wasteland it, or easily counter its namesake spell.

The deck is fairly straightforward. Use various methods of acceleration to power out a fast three-mana cascade spell, cascading into Hypergenesis, the only spell under three mana in the deck. If that resolves, dump all kinds of huge permanents on the board, such as Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Angel of Despair, Griselbrand and Akroma's Memorial.

The deck is fun and powerful, but suffers from the vulnerability of its key spell to countermagic and the restrictions on casting costs (for Cascade) that keep it from running disruption like Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek.

But the deck can be a blast to play and is incredibly powerful if Hypergenesis resolves. Todd Anderson finished 5th at a SCG Open in Columbus earlier this month with the following list:

Todd Anderson Hypergenesis

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Former Legacy standout Merfolk has fallen out of favor recently, but the fact that the deck is full of quick threats (that can grow to huge sizes when surrounded by enough Lord of Atlantises, Merrow Reejereys, Coralhelm Commanders, and Phantasmal Images)) backed by the free countermagic suite of Daze and Force of Will, and a great mana base means that Merfolk will always be a viable option.

Adam Boyd Merfolk

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Blue White Miracles

If you're looking for an already established archetype that can make good use of the recently unbanned Land Tax – then look no further than Blue White Miracles. If you want to grind people out with counterspells, clear the board with Terminus, and eventually take over the game with a Planeswalker like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, or a big Entreat the Angels – then you're going to have a tough time finding a more appropriate deck than Blue White Control.

Oh, and don't forget that you can always stash away Miracle cards right at the top of your deck with Brainstorm, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and Sensei's Divining Top.

Michael Belfatto UW Micracle

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High Tide

And if you want to play a blue combo deck that doesn't touch creatures – then you may want to take a look at High Tide.