Grand Prix GhentDay 1 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on July 21, 2012

EVENT COVERAGE

Saturday, 11:01 a.m. - From Atlanta to Ghent

by Tobi Henke

It's a great time to be playing Magic. The game is at an all-time high, and while high-level tournament play is only the tip of the iceberg, this most visible part of Magic is growing too. Take Grand Prix for example. There are more Grand Prix in 2012 than in any previous year, and a record number of three events were put on the schedule for this weekend, one in Columbus, Ohio, one in São Paulo, Brazil, and one over here in Belgium. This expanded GP line-up has a lot of advantages beyond the simple fact that it's bringing the Grand Prix experience to more people than ever before. For one thing, it allows for a greater variety of formats, for instance, more Legacy. In all of the years past there have been eight Legacy Grand Prix; this year alone has three, with the last one just three weeks ago in Atlanta. So for the first time we're actually able to see how this format's metagame evolves in a matter of weeks. What lessons could be learned from Atlanta? How do players adapt? Will the proven powerhouses prevail or is there a noticeable shift in deck choice? Answers to all of these questions throughout the weekend ... but first, for comparison, let's take a look back at the results of Grand Prix Atlanta.

Deck: Day 2: Top 32: Top 8:
RUG Delver 32 7 2
Maverick 19 3 1
Stoneblade 14 8 2
Reanimator 14 3 0
Elves 7 1 0
UW Miracles 5 1 0
Merfolk 4 0 0
Sneak and Show 4 0 0
Goblins 3 1 1
RU Delver 3 0 0
Mono Red 3 0 0
Belcher 2 2 1
Zoo 2 1 0
High Tide 2 0 0
BW Blade 2 0 0
Affinity 2 0 0
Mono Blue Control 2 0 0
RWB Zombie Bombardment 1 1 1
BUG Delver 1 1 0
Reanimator Tendrils 1 0 0
BGW Hymn to Tourach 1 0 0
Cloudpost 1 0 0
Forgemaster/Metalworker 1 0 0
RUW Aggro 1 0 0
ANT 1 0 0
Dredge 1 0 0

The four big ones in Atlanta obviously were RUG Delver of Secrets, Stoneblade, Maverick, and Reanimator. The first three of those had been around for ages, while Reanimator was a rather recent addition, pushed to the forefront of the format by the arrival of Griselbrand. And while the deck put a respectable number of people into day 2, once there they apparently met some fierce resistance, that is players who prepared for the easy-to-hate reanimation strategy. As a consequence Reanimator only took three spots in the Top 32 (admittedly ninth and tenth place) and failed to make the Top 8. Green-White Maverick had similar trouble converting day 2 appearances into actual good finishes. Of 19 just three made the Top 32, but at least Ben Stark got into fifth place with it. Compare that to 14 Stoneblades in day 2 turned to eight Top 32s and two Top 8s for example. Meanwhile, RUG Delver of Secrets may have simply been the most played deck, although it took down the tournament in the hands of Gaudenis Vidugiris.

However, this was just the top of the field. Legacy is as diverse a format as can be and the metagame breakdown clearly shows it. Where else could you possible find such a large number of different strategies on the second day of a Grand Prix? Going strictly by the numbers, special note should be made of the two Goblin Charbelcher decks. We can't say how many tried the deck on day 1 and failed, but it sure seemed a good choice on day 2. Goblins, too, seem like they may seriously be considering a comeback. And talking tribal here for the moment, Elves are moving up as well, and Merfolk at least got a new toy since GP Atlanta in the form of Master of the Pearl Trident. It's an interesting time for Legacy ...


Saturday, 11:11 a.m. - Trial Winning Decks

by Tobi Henke

A whopping number of 33 Grand Prix Trials took place yesterday, each awarding three byes for today's main event to the lucky/brave soul who went 5-0. Unfortunately, not all of the winners' deck lists made it to the coverage; fortunately, we still have twenty. And twenty is plenty to get a first impression of what's to be expected this weekend.

Five of the 20 chose Maverick, making the green-white toolbox/beatdown deck the most succesful archetype so far. RUG Delver of Secrets variants provided four champions, no surprises yet. But on par with Delver of Secrets's four were four blue-white miracle decks (half splashing red). It appears the miracle mechanic from Avacyn Restored may have finally caught on for real. Esper Stoneblade got two wins, and then we're down to the ones, a testament to the unparalleled diversity of the Legacy format: there was one Dredge deck, one Goblin deck, one Ad Nauseam-Tendrils, one Kuldotha Forgemaster deck, and even one very classic burn deck. Can't get more diverse than that.

Roman Nikolayev

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Matteo Blasi

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Borja Villada

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Tobias Dreger

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Urs Glaubitt

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Omar Diez

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Simone Giovannetti

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Andrea Milillo

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Emanuele Marcotti

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Niklas Kronberger

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Marcel Gelissen

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Andrea Cibak

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