If you were watching the stream in Round 11, you probably saw something pretty impressive next to the name Wayne Polimine.
Facing down Andrew Cuneo’s Elf deck, Polimine went positively infinite—with Staff of Domination.
It’s not a sight typically seen in Legacy, and it’s even rarer at the top tables, but Polimine and his MUD deck have been proving people wrong all weekend and making other deck’s low curves look silly by comparison.
Deck Tech: MUD with Wayne Polimine
Wayne Polimine now finds himself under the spotlight quite often now that he’s near the top of the standings with MUD.
Look for the full list when undefeated decks are posted later in the day, but suffice to say the deck is a colorless Metalworker deck, with Cloudpost and Vesuva helping out with the mana as well. From there, Wurmcoil Engine and Sundering Titan do a lot of the heavy lifting.
At its core, Polimine built his version of the deck as a Prison deck, seeking to lock out opponents as early as the first turn with Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, and Lodestone Golem. Other versions try to combo out with Lightning Greaves and Kuldotha Forgemaster, but Polimine set that idea aside for a list that’s far more likely to lock someone out of even playing a spell.
And yet, the whole reason Polimine is playing the deck is because of a certain 6/6 lifelinker, an attachment many of us can understand because we have our own similar stories.
“I started playing in Zedikar/Scars and I really liked Wurmcoil engine. When I found out there was a Legacy deck, I built it and thought it was really cool,” Polimine said.
For me, I started playing in Alliances, and Balduvian Horde will always hold a special place in my heart. Everyone has their own version of the first card that captured their imagination.
But what Polimine discovered after playing with the deck some was that he was actually winning pretty consistently. Originally envisioned as a side project to play for fun, it quickly became Polimine’s favorite deck over the last year. And when the Grand Prix came around, his friends—rightfully, it would seem—told him to play what he knew.
A big part of the advantage Polimine has gained this weekend comes from the fact that players aren’t used to playing against the deck.
“We noticed in testing that people could beat me in games 4,5,6, but I had the advantage in the first few games as they tried to figure out how to play against it,” he said.
Part of learning to play against it is dealing with the Prison pieces that cause so much consternation. Polimine’s package includes:
That’s quite a bit of disruption. Why so much?
“People get greedy,” Polimine said. “It’s the same reason Wasteland is good.”
Polimine had plenty of examples. He said against Ad Nauseam Tendrils he had a Turn 1 Metalworker into a pair of Lodestone Golems on Turn 2. That’s tough to beat for any deck, but virtually impossible for a deck that tries to cast a lot of spells all in the same turn.
Then, again, against a BUG player he cast a Turn 1 Trinisphere off Grim Monolith and his opponent never cast another spell. Similarly, I watched him lock out his Esper Stoneblade opponent in Round 10 with Turn 1 Chalice of the Void, Turn 2 Trinisphere, Turn 3 Lodestone Golem.
“A lot of times an early lock piece is just game over for most of the field,” Polimine said.
The deck isn’t perfect, however, despite the awesome and amazing scenarios presented. Polimine said it doesn’t mulligan well and that it can be something of a coin toss against Sneak and Show. Dredge, though not a popular deck, is also a weak point for the deck.
And Elves, while typically a strong point, proved to be Polimine’s undoing, as he ran into a player who was just as hot as he was. Andrew Cuneo, deftly piloting his Elf deck around multiple Chalice of the Void, eventually won that match where Polimine went off with Staff of Domination, taking the final two games through some severe resistance.
Still, at 10-1 and well positioned against the format—and the players playing the format—don’t be surprised if the Top 8 has MUD all over it. Or at least in one spot.