Philipp Schönegger is someone you can certainly call an expert at playing a Miracles deck in Legacy. Beginning with Grand Prix Ghent, Schönegger has tooled and retooled his favored Jeskai Miracles deck into a state he called “practically perfected.” Built to take advantage of the power of Sensei’s Diving Top and Counterbalance alongside miracle triggers from Entreat the Angels and Terminus, a bevy card selection, countermagic, and removal spells helped keep its player alive until the pseudo-lock was online.
It’s a package that put him into the Top 8 of Grand Prix Paris and again here.
Phillip Braverman took a different road to the same deck. He had found success with two Top 8s on the StarCityGames Open Series, and had come to the conclusion that card selection would be a good thing for a Legacy Grand Prix. With some sideboard help from his friend, Braverman was proving imitation is the best form of flattery.
Jeskai Miracles, with a dash of Dig Through Time, was Braverman’s weapon of choice as well. Only one players could carry the controlling deck onto the semifinals.
Braverman’s plan to take control and force through damage from Stoneforge Mystic hit a snag from Schönegger’s Sensei’s Divining Top and Counterbalance. Missing plenty of land drops meant when Schönegger had the opportunity to create an Angel with Entreat the Angels there wasn’t much Braverman could do about it upfront.
After a battle over Brainstorm, Braverman countered the spell making the creature token before slipping Batterskull onto the battlefield. Terminus from Schönegger ensured Braverman would have no attack either. Throughout all this, Schönegger used his Jace, the Mind Sculptor to reshape his hand as favorably as he could. When Braverman tried for a Counterbalance of his own, Schönegger was ready with Force of Will.
Using Jace to hold control, Schönegger was content to let Counterbalance and Sensei’s Diving Top lock Braverman out.
“Next game.” Braverman said after he had enough. Score one for the European expert.
“It’s still in the deck!” Schönegger said, admitting his sideboard plan was a little different from what Braverman had speculated between games.
Braverman had a second Stoneforge Mystic though, adding a second copy of Batterskull to his hand. Slipping the first into play with his Mystic, Braverman was ambushed by Schönegger’s Wear // Tear though he fought the counterspell war to keep his equipment in play.
Snapcaster Mage and Jace, the Mind Sculptor gave Schönegger a few options, and he opted to block and protect the Planeswalker against Braverman’s attack and Red Elemental Blast. However, it slid downhill for Braverman from there. Using Will of the Council and Snapcaster Mage to clear out Batterskulls, Schönegger lost his Jace but set up an Entreat the Angels for two 4/4’s on an otherwise empty battlefield.
At 26 life, Braverman had a comfortable padding of life to find an answer in. Stopping a Counterbalance-Sensei’s Divining Top duo on Schönegger’s side was a start, but falling to 2 life gave Braverman just one more turn to Top his own way out from the Angels.
He drew one last card and extended the hand instead.
Phlipp Schönegger defeated Phillip Braverman, 2-0, to advance to the semifinals of Grand Prix New Jersey.