Yesterday, 481 hopeful Magic players descended on the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia with dreams of being crowned Legacy Champion. After ten rounds of swiss and two elimination rounds, only two remain.
Kevin Jones has been on quite the tear recently. After nearly a decade of practice, Jones is finally starting to reap the rewards. Jones won the Star City Games Standard Open in New Jersey earlier this month, won his State Championship two weeks later, and he hasn't lost a single match this weekend. Jones was the only player entering the Top 8 without a single loss.
John Grudzina, a research analyst in commodities trading, has been winning and Top 8ing Vintage events for the last few years. He's won a Black Lotus and Mox Sapphire in the last year alone. Grudzina's record this weekend is only tarnished by a single loss at the hands of none other than his finals opponent, Kevin Jones.
Would Grudzina enact revenge against his only previous loss in the tournament? Or would Jones continue his unstoppable tear and win the 2014 Legacy Championship?
Grudzina quietly studied Jones's decklist while Jones chatted with the judges and his friends on the sidelines.
Jones's 9-0-1 record in the swiss secured his choice to play first here in the finals, a huge edge for a Delver of Secrets tempo strategy.
In the first game, Grudzina was able to flip Delver of Secrets into Insectile Aberration early, but Jones was applying his own pressure with Monastery Swiftspear. Jones gained a tempo advantage by being on the play and forcing Grudzina to use an early Daze, which gave him the opportunity to stick Young Pyromancer.
Jones's Young Pyromancer started to take over the game, each removal spell and cantrip churned out a threat, and Grudzina was quickly falling behind.
Grudzina found and resolved Umezawa's Jitte, but he'd need another turn if he was going to equip it and get some counters. Jones followed up with a flurry of spells and killed Grudzina before his Legendary Equipment could get to work.
Kevin Jones 1 - 0 John Grudzina
Shuffling up for the second game, both players were quiet.
Jones perked up and broke the silence, "That was a good game, right?"
Grudzina nodded, "Yeah, it was closer than it looked."
The second game was about attrition. Neither player was able to stick a threat for more than a turn cycle. Both players sculpted their hands and occasionally tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to stick a threat. Grudzina baited Force of Will out of Jones with Delver of Secrets, clearing the way for Treasure Cruise on the following turn; Jones had another Force of Will for Treasure Cruise, but Grudzina had his own Force of Will, Jones used Flusterstorm and the game was, once again, at parity.
Jones broke serve with his own Treasure Cruise on the following turn and he was suddenly very far ahead.
Jones couldn't apply a lot of pressure, though, a single Elemental token from Young Pyromancer was doing some quality work, but Grudzina was able to deal with every relevant threat Jones could muster.
Another Treasure Cruise from Jones was enough to put the game out of reach for Grudzina. Jones started playing threats and Grudzina couldn't find enough answers. Jones was able to close the game with a pair of Lightning Bolts just two turns later.
Kevin Jones 2 - 0 John Grudzina
Congratulations to Kevin Jones, your 2014 Legacy Championship Winner!