THE VICTORY LAP

Posted in ETERNAL WEEKEND 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 25, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Until recently, (7) Ari Lax was widely considered one of the best Magic players in the world without a Pro Tour Top 8. That all changed earlier this month when Lax was able to break through the Pro Tour Top 8 barrier, defeat Yuuya Watanabe in the quarterfinals, overcome Thiago Saporito in the semis, and secure his place in history as the Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir Champion by dispatching of Shaun McLaren in the finals. Today, Lax will be competing in the Legacy Championship, an event he won last year. There's a buzz about his presence in the room and he's at the top of everyone's list of potential winners here this weekend. I had the opportunity sit down with the defending champion between rounds for an interview.

 

Jacob Van Lunen: "Welcome back to The Legacy Championship! Today, you'll be competing for an opportunity to be the first player to win back-to-back Legacy Championships. What would repeating victory in this event mean to you?"

 

Ari Lax: "I'm the type of person that likes to earmark unique achievements. Winning back to back Legacy Championships would be one of those unique achievements, and it would be me that did it."

JVL: "Many Magic players experience stagnation in terms of skill progression; making leaps and bounds of advancement in sporadic short time frames, but mostly remaining in stasis. With you, this mold seems to have been broken. You've been consistently improving your game for more than a decade. What advice do you have for Magic players looking to take their game to the next level?"

AL: "Just be systematic about it. Find out what's wrong with your game. Fix it. Repeat this over and over. Basically, you need to learn from every mistake."

JVL: "Legacy can be a hard nut to crack. What were the biggest factors in your deck choice for this event?"

AL: "Very early on, I determined that I should just be playing Treasure Cruise in this event. Largely because I'll probably be playing it again at GP New Jersey, but mostly because that card is just really good."

JVL: "How has Khans of Tarkir affected the Legacy format?"

AL: "Khans has done more to change Legacy than any set in a long time. The accessibility to mass card draw [via Treasure Cruise] for so many decks means that the potential for any deck to play the card should change the format significantly."

JVL: "This is a bit subjective, but what do you feel is the best creature in Legacy? Your favorite?"

AL: "Up until recently the best would be Deathrite Shaman or Tarmogoyf, but those got much worse with Treasure Cruise in the format. The best creature is probably Delver of Secrets, but I'm partial to Flickerwisp."

JVL: "What's the best non-creature spell in Legacy? Your Favorite?"

AL: "The best one is still Brainstorm, it's not close. My favorite is still Tendrils of Agony, and that's probably never going to change."

With so much success at such a young age, it's clear that Lax, ranked 7th in the world, has a bright future ahead of him. Stay tuned for continuing coverage of The Legacy Championship to follow Lax and all of your favorite Legacy masters as we battle our way through the swiss rounds!