The Boss of Infect

Posted in Event Coverage on June 12, 2016

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

It's hard to think about Infect without thinking about Tom “The Boss” Ross. Ross made it to the finals of Grand Prix New Jersey, which, at over 4000 players, was the largest Legacy event in history. Since then, Ross has continued to have tremendous success with the deck in multiple formats. It's clear that Ross understands the archetype better than anyone else in the world. I decided to catch up with Ross to discuss the power of poison.

Infect continues the theme of fast and resilient combo strategies being successful in Legacy. With access to cards like Berserk and Become Immense, it doesn't take many cards for infect to kill the opponent. In Legacy, the deck gets to protect its combo with Force of Will.

Let's see what the boss man has to say!

Tom Ross

Ross explained why Infect is so good in Legacy, “It's really hard to play, but it's also really hard to play against. The deck can play any role. It can be an aggro deck, a control deck, or a combo deck. Opponents need to find a balance of applying pressure and being reactive. If they let me sculpt my hand, then they're just going to lose. If they just sit back and let me do my thing, then they'll also lose. The deck also plays a lot of one-ofs that change the way the opponent plays their game. They see one Wasteland and start fetching for basics for the rest of the match. They see one Stifle and they start fetching during their mainphase.”

He went on to talk about recent changes to the deck and the matchups he was planning on facing off against this weekend, “I decided to add a single copy of Viridian Corrupter for the Eldrazi matchup. I do well against Miracles, they usually have to tap out for Counterbalance and it takes them some time to set it up with [Sensei's Divining] Top. Then I can lead with Invigorate and see what's up. The deck does very well against the creature decks like Death and Taxes or Elves. Lands is pretty bad and any sort of super Blood Moon deck, like Red Sneak Attack is also quite bad. The deck's versatility in how it plays means that even the bad matchups are winnable.”

Ross is currently 10-3 as we enter the fourteenth round of the tournament. He hasn't shared a hotel room with Brian Braun-Duin since Grand Prix New Jersey, where the two faced off in the finals. They're sharing a room again this weekend and Braun-Duin is currently 11-2. It's incredibly unlikely they'll have quite the same result as last time, but these guys definitely tend to win when they're spending time with each other.

Tom Ross's Infect - Grand Prix Columbus

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