5) Innovation is alive and well
There are those who will tell you that Legacy is a solved format, that the best decks are the best decks and there's no room for experimentation.
Those people would be wrong.
Zac Elsik and Eric Rill were among those who proved that you can innovate and Legacy and find success. Both advanced to Day 2 with unique decks, Elsik porting Lantern Control into Legacy and Rill piloting an Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck that also integrated Vengevine. While both decks have some room to grow — whether it be more removal in Elsik's deck or a possible shift to Natural Order in Rill's —they showed that you don't have to follow the established metagame to find success.
4) The race for the World Championship tightens
The race for the Grand Prix Master spot at the 2016 World Championship was already tight entering the double Legacy weekend in Columbus and Prague, and it seemed inconceivable that the four-way race for first between Tomoharu Saito, Brian Braun-Duin, Seth Manfield and Reid Duke could get any more exciting.
But, somehow, that's exactly what happened. Saito picked up two points in Prague while Duke completed a 6-0 run on Sunday to pull himself into contention. Heading out of the tournament, Saito at Braun-Duin stand tied for the lead at 47 points, with Duke sitting one back at 46 and Manfield in the thick of things with 45.
3) Jarvis Yu repeats in the Top 8
Jarvis Yu won the last North American Legacy Grand Prix, taking down Grand Prix Seattle-Tacoma last year with Lands, one of Magic's most unique decks.
He proved Sunday that it was no fluke, as he took an updated version of Lands — Shadows Over Innistrad's Tireless Tracker made an appearance — back to the Top 8 in Columbus. It was a momentous achievement for Yu, but one that he hoped was only a stepping stone. With a win in the quarterfinals, Yu would lock up Gold in the Pro Players Club this year, a threshold he's been shooting for all season.
The only problem? Sixteen-year-old Clay Spicklemire, whose Infect deck dispatched Yu in two quick games in the Top 8.
It may not have ended exactly where Yu had hoped — he'll have a few more chances this season to reach Gold — making the Top 8 of his second straight Legacy Grand Prix was a huge accomplishment, and an exciting one to watch.
2) The Miracles master proves his mettle
Joe Lossett is a regular on the regional tournament circuit, and he can almost always be found piloting his favorite Legacy deck: Miracles.
Fresh off his first Grand Prix Top 8 last month, Lossett was riding high entering his most comfortable format, and he showed exactly why in Columbus, breaking into the Top 8 with his trademark deck and then advancing all the way to the finals, with plenty of exciting games along the way.
None were better than his Top 8 matches, where he managed to win through his opponent's active Sensei's Divining Top-Counterbalance lock in the quarterfinals before playing a masterful third game in the semis against Noah Walker to eventually resolve a Moat that carried him to victory.
The run proved that no matter the stage (and apologies to Alexander Hayne, who made the Top 8 across the pond with Grixis Delver rather than Miracles he won Pro Tour Avacyn Restored with), Joe Lossett is truly the miracle man.
1) Clay Spicklemire's Big Finish
Clay Spicklemire had been playing from behind for the entirety of the third game in the finals. A lot of the crowd that was watching in the feature match area dispersed when Joe Lossett played Jace, the Mind Sculptor and followed up with Back to Basics. Spicklemire untapped just a lone basic Forest and his Noble Hierarch while Lossett looked confident.
Then Spicklemire's Noble Hierarch turned sideways, “Exalted trigger?”
“Yeah. I'll block,” said Joe comfortably as he nudged his Snapcaster Mage forward, “trade?”
“No,” Spicklemire's eyes pointed at Losset and his neck straightened upward.
“Before damage,” Spicklemire took a deep breathe, “Invigorate.”
Losset sunk in his chair, “So this is...”
“It's twenty-two trample damage,” said Spicklemire cooly.
Lossett sunk in his chair and activated his Sensei's Divining Top. There were a few seconds of silence. Then he extended his hand in defeat.
The crowd exploded with applause.