Grand Prix Indianapolis 2012

Tom Martell is the Grand Prix Indianapolis 2012 Champion! Finally breaking through after placing incredibly well at the last two Legacy Grand Prix, Martell finally found his way to the Legacy title. Piloting an exceptionally well-placed Esper Stone Blade deck featuring the innocuously powerful Lingering Souls, Martell defeated a large cross-section of the Legacy field on his way to a very skilled Top 8, featuring players like Grand Prix Champion Adam Yurchick, former Canadian National Champion Pascal Maynard, Legacy stud Caleb Durward, and his eventual Finals opponent Kenny Castor.

In the Finals, Martell and Castor played out one of the marquee matchups of the weekend: Stone Blade against Delver. Castor took Martell to three games, and had him on the brink of death, but an exciting turnaround snatched Martell victory from the Jaws of defeat. Legacy has always been the format where anything can happen, and it certainly lived up to its reputation in this one. Congratulations to Tom Martell, Grand Prix Indianapolis 2012 Champion!

Top 8 Bracket


(1) Jordan, Dan

(8) Yurchick, Adam M

(4) Maynard, Pascal

(5) Martell, Tom

(2) Ferguson, Ando W

(7) Chilbert, Colin C

(3) Durward, Caleb S

(6) Castor, Kenny B


Jordan, Dan 2-1

Martell, Tom 2-1

Chilbert, Colin C 2-0

Castor, Kenny B 2-0


Martell, Tom 2-1

Castor, Kenny B 2-1


Martell, Tom 2-1



Follow live streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Indianapolis at with Rashad Miller, Rich Hagon, Sheldon Menery, and Rusty Kubis.




1. Martell, Tom $3,500
2. Castor, Kenny B $2,300
3. Jordan, Dan $1,500
4. Chilbert, Colin C $1,500
5. Ferguson, Ando w $1,000
6. Durward, Caleb S $1,000
7. Maynard, Pascal $1,000
8. Yurchick, Adam M $1,000

pairings, results, standings


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top 8 Player profiles

Adam Yurchick

Age: 25
Hometown: Mentor-on-the-Lake, OH
Occupation: gamer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
US National Team 2009
Grand Prix Houston Champion 2010
What deck did you play and why?
UW Stone-Blade. “Let the game come to you.”
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Played Magic for 13 years! Borrowed cards. (Thanks!) Talked extensively with Ben Friedman.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Flooded Strand
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Beat a turn two Empyrial Archangel on the draw!
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
Sideboard Meddling Mage (two or three).

Ando Ferguson

Age: 20
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Assistant Wrestling Coach at MSSD

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 32, SCG baltimore
What deck did you play and why?
Faithless Dredge. It’s the deck I’m most skilled with and it is so explosive.
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Through a lot of experience with the deck, and a lot of playtesting. Thanks go out to Paul Longo, the guy who got me started in Legacy.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Flayer of the Hatebound
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Game against Hive Mind. He turn 0’s a Leyline of the Void and a turn two Show and Tell for Emrakul. I drop in an Angel of Despair and beatdown with two hardcast Golgari Thugs
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
I’d find a place for Sphinx of Lost Truths in my sideboard. I really needed the explosiveness at times against combo decks.

Dan Jordan

Age: 20
Hometown: Albany, NY
Occupation: I play Magic

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 16, PT Amsterdam 2010
Top 16, PT Honolulu 2012
What deck did you play and why?
GW Aggro, because it has multiple creatures that, if you untap with, you win.
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Made deck from Marijn Lybaert’s version of GW and messes around with it a little.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Gut Shot
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Opponent played Volcanic Island, I Wastelanded it and played Thalia after he missed his land drop and he conceded. Boarded in Choke; he was on Dredge! J
What changes would you make to your deck and why?

Pascal Maynard

Age: 19
Hometown: Quebec City
Occupation: MtG Manager at card store Donjon in Quebec City

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Canadian Magic Tour Mtl 1st place, Canadian Magic Tour team trios Top 4, Canadian National Team 2010
What deck did you play and why?
Maverick without Stoneforge because it has a shot against everything.
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Tested a lot for Magic Tour Quebec City last week, and it obviously helped me for this Grand Prix.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Not Stoneforge Mystic, Sylvan Safekeeper
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Adam Yurchick
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
-1 Thrun, the Last Troll. +1 Surgical Extraction because Lingering Souls will see more play while Thrun is bad against it.

Colin Chilbert

Age: 24
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Occupation: Technical writer / Graphic designer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
What deck did you play and why?
High Tide. I know the deck really well and it has great matchups against most of the field.
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Played the deck regularly at my LGS, tested a lot online.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
High Tide

What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Went off on my turn 3 with two lands while facing lethal against Affinity.
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
None, the deck ran very well.

Tom Martell

Age: 29
Hometown: San Leandro, CA
Occupation: Entrepreneur / Lawyer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
7th PT Paris 2011, 13th PT Dark Ascension 2012, 16th PT Philly 2011, 2nd GP Columbus and 17th GP Providence (both Legacy)
What deck did you play and why?
Esper Stone Blade. It merges my Honolulu deck with my Paris deck.
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
A few games on my stream against Sam Black’s awful 4-Color Zombie deck and some games against LSV in the casual room on MTGO. 30 Minute call to brew with Sam en route to the airport Friday night.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Lingering Souls or Batterskull
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Intuition for Lingering Souls
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
-1 Tower of the Magistrate, +1 Tundra

Kenny Castor

Age: 22
Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Occupation: Starcity Games

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
4th GP Denver, SCG Legacy Open T*, several GP cash finishes
What deck did you play and why?
RUG Delver, you get to play all the sweet spells
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Battled with Nick Spagnolo, GerryT, ad GOOGS!
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Delver of Secrets
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Anytime someone cast Intuition
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
Maybe cut Sensei’s Divining Top for a land…

Caleb Durward

Age: 23
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Writer for

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
GP Columbus T8, broke Legacy, some other T8s
What deck did you play and why?
Canadian Threshold
What was your record:
How did you prepare for the event?
Tested with the Chicago crew. Craig Wescoe, James Bush, Jeremy Stowe, and Rob Vaca in particular.
What card has been your deck’s MVP this weekend?
Nimble Mongoose, Stifle, and Sulfur Elemental out of the board have been insane.
What is the coolest thing you either did or saw in Legacy this weekend?
Garret Young put a Goblin Charbelcher into play off a Show and Tell. My game one win vs. Tom Martell was absurd.
What changes would you make to your deck and why?
-1 Tarmogoyf +1 Green Sun’s Zenith (for Nimble Mongoose). That’s all.

Top 8 Decklist

by Event Coverage Staff

Pascal Maynard

Colin Chilbert

Kenny Castor

Caleb Durward

Dan Jordan

Ando Ferguson

Tom Martell

Adam Yurchick

Quarter Final Roundup

by Nate Price

Kenny Castor (RUG Delver) vs. Caleb Durward (RUG Delver)

Durward and Castor played an interesting first game in their mirror match. Castor got a Delver of Secrets into play and managed to get it to stick through Durward's removal. Through a series of Wastelands, there reached a point a few turns in when the only permanent in play was the Insectile Aberration on Castor's side. Even that would part soon, though. With Durward at 9, the Aberration found itself on the wrong end of a Lightning Bolt.

Kenny Castor

Things built back up over the next few turns as both Durward and Castor added a Tarmogoyf and another creature to their boards: Delver of Secrets for Durward and Nimble Mongoose for Castor. Getting to this point put Durward down to 3, though, which usually spelled doom against the RUG deck. Castor didn't have a red source, however, and Durward was able to knock him down to seven. One turn later, though, Castor found the Volcanic Island needed to aim a Lightning Bolt at Durward's face.

Kenny Castor 1 – Caleb Durward 0

Castor had an ideal start for the second game in this mirror match. While Durward had started with Sensei's Divining Top, Castor had the other half of the combo, dropping a Counterbalance into play.

"Saw that coming," quipped Durward as he smiled and shook his head.

The first spell that Durward tested the Counterbalance with was a Predict. With the Top in play, he was guaranteed to hit. Castor flipped a Wasteland, forcing him to use Spell Pierce if he wanted to counter it. When Durward tried to cast a Brainstorm afterwards, knowing the way was clear, Castor showed him it wasn't with a Brainstorm of his own, putting a Lightning Bolt from his hand on top to counter it. Afterwards, Durward punished Castor for biting there with a Counterbalance. Castor tried to counter with Spell Pierce, but Durward had the Daze to force it through, assembling the full combo first.

Caleb Durward

The next turns were, as Durward described them, "weird." Durward would play a spell, Castor would try to Counterbalance and miss, and then when Durward followed it up with other spell, Castor would pop a fetch land, prompting Durward to Stifle it. Castor's one saving grace was that he had a Tarmogoyf in play that was slowly chipping away at Durward's life. Under the moderate CounterTop lock, though, he was unable to contribute any more to the board, while Durward's spells were at the mercy of the top of Castors deck. Yet counter spells he did, and, combined with a timely Submerge, Castor managed to keep himself relatively safe while dropping Durward to 8. When he added a second Tarmogoyf to his team, Durward knew that he was in trouble. Things had looked so good for him, but a combination of luck and an inability to kill the early Tarmogoyf were making their effects known.

Over the next couple turns, Tarmogoyf kept hitting and hitting. Durward managed to stick one more non-Nimble Mongoose creature, and a Submerge cleared the way for the final attack, sending Castor to the Semifinals.

Kenny Castor 2 – Caleb Durward 0

Dan Jordan (Maverick) vs. Adam Yurchick (UW Stone Blade)

Things started fairly slow for these players. Jordan did have an aggressive start with a Noble Hierarch and a few other creatures to attack with, but Yurchick kept finding removal to deal with Jordan's threats. Eventually, a Stoneforge Mystic came down and fetched out a Batterskull. The Living Weapon didn't live long, however, as a Qasali Pridemage removed it before it could swing the game in Yurchick's favor.

Dan Jordan

Things continued like this for a while, with Yurchick either killing or countering Jordan't threats, all while being beat down by the Hierarch. Over time he fell to 5. Eventully, he found himself a way to pull ahead in Jace, the Mind Sculptor. He then began to attack all of Jordan's resources while filling up his own. Before long, Yurchick had two planeswalkers in play, Jace and Elspeth, Knight-Errant, both of which had two dice on them, while Jordan only had two lands and an Umezawa's Jitte. It wasn't many turns later that Jordan conceded.

Dan Jordan 0 – Adam Yurchick 1

The second game of this match went by so fast that I almost didn't see any of it. With some mana acceleration, Jordan managed to get out an early Knight of the Reliquary that survived long enough to pick up a Sword of Light and Shadow, which Yurchick could do practically nothing about. Within a couple of turns, Yurchick was gone. Had I turned around thirty seconds later, I would have missed the entire, blazing fast game.

Dan Jordan 1 – Adam Yurchick 1

With the other quarterfinals finished, I had a chance to sit down for an in depth look at this final game. In standard fashion, Jordan started off with a first-turn Noble Hierarch. On the play, Yurchick made a second-turn Stoneforge Mystic, fetching himself a Batterskull.

Adam Yurchick

"Yep. Seems good," Jordan admitted.

With only a forest and a Noble Hierarch in play, Jordan went to Swords to Plowshares the Mystic, prompting Yurchick to remove a Force of Will to Force the Swords. Jordan calmly played a Plains and played another. When he tried to make his own Stoneforge on his turn, Yurchick used Spell Snare to stop him. With that option gone, he played a Sylvan Library while Yurchick was tapped out, giving himself a way to replenish his hand.

Yurchick's Elspeth, Knigh-Errant made a resounding crash as it hit the table on the following turn. It immediately made a little protector, and Yurchick passed the turn. Just as Yurhick had bombed the table, Jordan used Sylvan to draw an extra card before dropping a Choke onto the board against a tapped-out Yurchick. Then, to make matters worse, he used Wasteland to kill Karakas, leaving Yurchick no hope of untapping lands. He then began to eat at Elspeth, attacking with his Hierarch. Yurchick let it hit her and then used her to lift his Soldier to drop Jordan to 11. Jordan had a massive following turn, adding a Knight of the Reliquary and a Qasali Pridemage to his team before passing the turn back. Another Knight followed on the next turn, and Yurchick appeared to be done. He made another token to help protect his only source of game, the Elspeth, but it wasn't enough. After some sacrificial blocks, Jordan finally managed to clear Elspeth off the board...just in time to cast his own. Yurchick just smiled and shook his hand.

Dan Jordan 2 – Adam Yurchik 1

Ando Ferguson (Dredge) vs. Colin Chilbert (High Tide)

On the draw, Ferguson started by passing his turn without playing a land, allowing himself to discard a Golgari Grave-Troll immediately. He began dredging as soon as he was able, eventually putting a massive stack of cards into his graveyard. There were some Narcomoebas in that stack, though, and with the trigger on the stack, Chilbert went for the ultimate answer to Dredge, using Cunning Wish to grab a Ravenous Trap from his sideboard, wiping out Ferguson's entire graveyard. With no more graveyard, and very few resources left, Ferguson conceded Game 1.

Ando Ferguson

Ando Ferguson 0 – Colin Chilbert 1

Despite a mulligan to four,Ferguson found a Faithless Looting to get things started, this time putting a Golgari Thug and an Ichorid into his graveyard. Over the next couple of turns, as he dredged his way into a bigger graveyard, he looked to be wary of running into the same Trap as last time. Unfortunately, after having his Ichorids hit with Surgical Extraction, he dredged his way into a fifteen card graveyard that got hit with another Wished for Ravenous Trap. While this one wasn't as devastating as the previous, it was enough. He wasn't able to go off before Chilbert, who, on the following turn, tapped two Islands for a High Tide, going through the motions that ultimately ended with a massive Brain Freeze.

Colin Chilbert

Ando Ferguson 0 – Colin Chilbert 2

Quaterfinals - I'll Choke; You Perish! - Tom Martell vs. Pascal Maynard

by Frank Lepore

Game 1

Tom is on the play in the first match, but has the unfortunate fate of having to mull down to six cards. Pascal kept his opener and Tom was satisfied with six. He led off with a Marsh Flats while Pascal led off with a Savannah and a Green Sun's Zenith for zero. Of course the only target was a Dryad Arbor and the turn was Tom's once more.

Tom fetched out a basic Plains, no doubt to avoid any Wasteland shenanigans, and drew his card. A Flooded Strand came down which sought out another basic land in the form of an Island. The turn was then passed and Pascal chose to play a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but missed his land drop for the turn. Tom took the opportunity to play Swords to Plowshares at the end of Pascal's turn and untapped his lands. A Snapcaster Mage came down for Tom, targeting his Swords, and he sent the Dryad Arbor to the same abyss as the Thalia.

Knight of the Reliquary

Pascal, with only one land in play, played a Mother of Runes then passed. Tom attacked with the Snapcaster, then cast a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, choosing to bounce the Mother of Runes. It wasn't looking good for Pascal as his only play was to recast the Mother. Tom got in for another two dropping Pascal to 19 life. When he attempted to replay the Mother, Tom countered it, but Pascal played a Plains followed by a second Mother of Runes.

Tom chose to brainstorm with Jace on his turn. He then played Inquisition of Kozilek, noting that Pascal had a Mindcensor, a Gaddock Teeg, a Knight of the Reliquary, two Umezawa's Jitte, and Green Sun's Zenith. Tom chose to discard the Knight of the Reliquary. He then attacked with Snapcaster before playing a Stoneforge Mystic and searching out a Batterskull.

Pascal untapped and tried for a Green Sun's Zenith for one. It resolved and he found a Noble Hierarch. He sent the Mother into the red zone aimed directly at Jace, which forced Tom to chump block with his Stoneforge. Tom fatesealed Pascal putting the card on the bottom then hardcast his Batterskull before passing the turn.

Pascal played a Gaddock Teeg followed by a Swords to Plowshares on Tom's Germ token. With only a Snapcaster remaining, Pascal chose to send the 2/2 Mother of Runes at Tom's Jace. Jace went to one counter and Tom took his turn. He started with a Brainstorm from Jace, then cracked two fetch lands in order to send his refuse back. He then cast a Stoneforge Mystic and grabbed an Umezawa's Jitte to both play and equip that turn. He cast Swords to Plowshares on the Gaddock Teeg to get him out of the way, then attacked with his Snapcaster, netting him two counters that were promptly used on Pascal's Hierarch and Mother. Tom was in a commanding lead, but could he hold it?

Pascal played his own Jitte, killing both, then passed back. Tom has a Snapcaster, a Batterskull, and a Jace to play with, while Pascal had a mere three lands. Tom once more looked at the top three with Jace and attacked Pascal down to 15 with the Mage.

Tom Martell

Pascal drew his card and passed, but during his end step, Tom returned the Batterskull to his hand, only to put it back into play with the Stoneforge Mystic! Tom then chose to Fateseal Pascal, letting him keep what was on top. He attacked with seven power, dropping Pascal to eight life. At the end of Tom's turn, Pascal cast an Aven Mindcensor then untapped to cast a Green Sun's Zenith for two. Tom had the Snapcaster to counter it and it was on to game two.

Tom Martell 1, Pascal Maynard 0

Game 2

Both players kept this time, and Pascal showed a first turn Noble Hierarch. Tom had a first turn Ponder off of a Tundra. Turn two saw a Choke for Pascal, which could spell doom for Martell! Tom played a Marsh Flats and passed the turn.

Pascal turned his Hierarch sideways and dealt one damage before following it up with a Knight of the Reliquary. Tom played a Scrubland, and cracked his Marsh Flats to find a Plains, while at the same time casting a Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull. On his turn, Pascal floated a green, then activated his Knight of the Reliquary to find a Wasteland for Tom's stray Scrubland. With the vice grips on Tom's mana and a growing Knight, things were looking up for Pascal. Pascal then cast a Green Sun's Zenith for three and found another Knight of the Reliquary before passing the turn.

Pascal Maynard

Tom played an Underground Sea – which does not pass the Choke test – and chose to Brainstorm, then cast a Swords to Plowshares on one of Pascal's Knights. The Stoneforge got in there for one damage and Tom passed the turn. Pascal drew a card off of a Horizon Canopy before getting in the red zone with his 6/6 Knight. He then added a Scavenging Ooze to the party before passing back. Tom had no action and time was running out. He declared no blocks from the attack and fell to three life. When Pascal played a Thrun, the Last Troll the score was evened up at one to one!

Tom Martell 1, Pascal Maynard 1

Game 3

It was the third game and both players kept their opening hands. While Tom had only an Underground Sea, Pascal led off with a Savannah from a fetch land that helped him cast a Noble Hierarch once more. Tom then opted to Brainstorm at the end of Pascal's turn. A Karakas came down for Tom to help summon a Stoneforge Mystic. That in turn found a Batterskull and the turn was once more Pascal's.

Pascal cast a Swords to Plowshares on Tom's Stoneforge Mystic, then cast a Thalia.

"Cards?" Tom inquired.

"Four," Pascal responded.

Tom was deep into the tank but came out to play a Tundra followed by his second Stoneforge Mystic. This time an Umezawa's Jitte would enter his hand. Tom had his Karakas up which threatened to return the Thalia back to Pascal's hand. Pascal untapped and swung into the red zone for three mana with his Thalia. Tom soaked up the damage in order to return the legend at the end of Pascal's turn to reap the advantages. Pascal then played a Scryb Ranger; untapped his Hierarch and replayed his Savannah; then cast a Scavenging Ooze.

Scryb Ranger++Inquisition of Kozilek
Scryb Ranger++Inquisition of Kozilek

Tom untapped and dropped a Perish onto the table. After Pascal performed the burial rites on his Scavenger Ooze, Noble Hierarch, and Scryb Ranger, Tom attacked for one with his Stoneforge Mystic.

Pascal dropped an Umezawa's Jitte, but with no creatures to wield the deadly blade, things for looking up for Tom. Tom cast an Inquisition of Kozilek, and Pascal revealed a Misty Rainforest, an Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and a Thalia, leaving Tom to choose the Thalia by default. Pascal cracked a fetch land and dropped the Knight-Errant onto the table, making a 1/1 Soldier. He was back in business, but Tom "flashed" in a Batterskull from the Mystic.

"I'm killing it, don't worry," Tom said casually as Pascal scurried to find a soldier token.

Tom untapped and cast Brainstorm. He did indeed have the Swords for the token, and after using it, he made quick work of Elspeth with the five power he had on board. Pascal surveyed his hand of a Horizon canopy and a Noble Hierarch. He cracked the Canopy and drew into a Knight which he promptly player before passing the turn. Tom had a Snapcaster Mage and, after asking how big the Knight was, he rapidly did away with it by flashing back his Swords to Plowshares. Pascal could not keep up.

He drew a second Umezawa's Jitte, but had no use for it. He played out his Hierarch and passed the turn. Tom sent in the team and Pascal dropped to 11 life while Tom sat at a healthy 27. He cast a Jitte of his own, which sent both copies to the graveyard. Pascal drew a Forest and was running out of options. He cast his second Jitte, equipped it to the Hierarch, then got in there for one...or at least tried to. Before attackers were declared, Tom removed the Hierarch with another Swords to Plowshares and that was the game!

Tom Martell 2, Pascal Maynard 1

Semifinal Roundup

by Nate Price

Colin Chilbert vs. Kenny Castor

"You are the match that I was hoping for the most," Castor admitted as the players studied each other's decklists before their semifinal bout.

"That's probably because I'm your only positive matchup left in the Top 8," Chilbert laughed.

"I guess we'll see about that," Castor coolly replied. "If nothing else, we both made a little more money next round."

Colin Chilbert and Kenny Castor study each other's decks before starting their Semifinal match.

Both players kept their opening draws, and Castor started first. Scalding Tarn became Tropical Island became Ponder. Chilbert matched Castor's Ponder and liked what he saw. Castor tried to Stifle a Scalding Tarn activation, but Chilbert had a Flusterstorm to actually get a land. Castor got some aggression on the table with a Tarmogoyf, and the Goyf immediately went to town on Chilbert's life total. It was a race, but one that ironically looked in Chilbert's favor at this point.

Chilbert kept sculpting, well aware of the amount of time he had. Ponders, Merchant Scroll, and a Cunning Wish for an Intuition carefully set up his hand in anticipation of his big turn. His Intuition fetched a set of High Tides, signaling an imminent end to the first game. Castor had a pair of 3/4 Goyfs in play and Chilbert at 12 life, but it looked unlikely that he would be able to finish the job in the turn he appeared to have. He swung in, knocking Chilbert to 6. Then, he dug a little deeper with Sensei's Divining Top, Brainstorm, and some Scalding Tarn action. With the motions gone through, he passed the turn, probably his lase to Chilbert.

Chilbert opened with a High Tide. Then he used Turnabout to untap his lands, leaving four blue mana in his pool. Castor used Force of Will to try and stop the Turnabout, but Chilbert Forced back. Chilbert's lands untapped. At this point, he did what his deck does, drawing an absurd number of cards and generating an absurd amount of mana through cycling Turnabouts, Time Spirals, Meditates, High Tides and the like. Before the first Time Spiral, Castor used one of his two remaining untapped Volcanic Islands to Lightning Bolt Chilbert down to two. Then they drew their new cards.

Using the extra blue mana from High Tide, Castor got to use his Top with his new hand. He looked like he might be able to at some point potentially win this game. Chilbert only had enough life to use one more Force of Will, though he did have access to Pact of Negation. When Chilbert went for a Merchant Scroll on his next turn, Castor used his last volcanic Island to Spell Snare it. Chilbert aimed a Pact of Negation at the Force of Will, which was re-Forced by Castor. Chilbert had a Flusterstorm to force through his Merchant Scroll, and he went and got a Cunning Wish to fetch a Blue Sun's Zenith, which he used to draw a bunch of cards. These cards were used to set up an eventual Brainfreeze for Castor's entire deck. After that, he used a Merchant Scroll for a Blue Sun's Zenith for one to finish the job.

Colin Chilbert 1 – Kenny Castor 0

In the second game of their semifinal match, Castor got off to a strong start with a Delver of Secrets and a Counterbalance, sure to be good against Chilbert's hand-sculpting engine, not to mention High Tide. When Castor added a Tarmogoyf to his team on the next turn, while Chilbert didn't have another land, Chilbert gave up a race he was never going to win.

Colin Chilbert 1 – Kenny Castor 1

This final game of this Semifinal Match went very interestingly. Castor once again got off to an early start, getting a Delver of Secrets and a Sensei's Divining Top to flip it. Chilbert made the unorthodox decision to cast Meditate when he wasn't in the process of going off, just to fill up his hand. Since it was so unorthodox, the unnatural turn of events led to both players forgetting to skip the turn for Chilbert, resulting in a long drawn out judge ruling. Eventually, when word finally came back to the table, Chilbert replaced a random card from his hand on top of his deck to replace the card he had drawn for his turn, and the turn passed back to Castor, its rightful owner. With that turn, Castor turned his two Insectile Aberrations sideways , giving Chilbert one more turn to go off. When Chilbert tried, however, Castor was ready with a series of Force of Wills, Red Elemental Blasts, and Surgical Extractions to prevent Chilbert from getting there. With lethal on the board, Chilbert conceded.

Colin Chilbert 1 – Kenny Castor 2

Dan Jordan vs. Tom Martell

Martell was the first to hit the board in this second Semifinal match. His Stoneforge Mystic fetched him an Umezawa's Jitte, very powerful against Jordan's Maverick deck. With no early creatures, Jordan was a bit behind. He did have a Sylvan Library to enhance his next couple of turns, but bad things loomed on the horizon. Martell attacked for one.

"Attacking," Jordan questioned?

"Well, I am the beatdown here, aren't I?"

After Jordan drew an extra card with his Library, Martell hit him with a Vendilion Clique denying him a Stoneforge Mystic. Instead, he went with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben as a source of damage and frustration. While not quite as popular this weekend as Mystic, Thalia was well up to the task. When a Knight of the Reliquary joined the team soon thereafter, Martell looked to be in a spot of trouble. He hadn't found a fourth land, and thus had reduced options. He held an answer in his hand, a Swords to Plowshares, but the Thalia was preventing him from playing it. Martell set himself up to block the Thalia if it attacked with the Mystic, but Jordan used a Swords of his own to remove the blocker before he could. He then added a second Knight to his team, putting Martell against the wall.

While Martell was still at the relatively safe 18 life, two massive Knights of the Reliquary were soon going to make that very unsafe. Martell used a Stoneforge Mystic to fetch a Batterskull, but it was probably never going to see play.

"If I had only taken that Thalia," Martell mused under his breath.

When Jordan used Stoneforge Mystic to grab a Sword of Light and Shadow, the game effectively ended. When Jordan turned his Knights sideways for fourteen damage, it actually did.

Dan Jordan 1 – Tom Martell 0

Martell's start for the second game was considerably more favorable for him than the previous one. He got to strip a Knight of the Reliquary from Jordan's hand with an Inquisition of Kozilek, and a Qasali Pridemage with a Thoughtseize. Jordan landed a Mother of Runes, but his Sylvan Library met a Force of Will. At this point, both players had fairly depleted their hands. Jordan found himself another Pridemage and a Noble Hierarch to go alongside it, but a Zealous Persecution out of the board reduced Jordan to just a Pridemage. Then, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, sent the Pridemage back to Jordan's hand. He had to replay it on the following turn, along with a new Hierarch, ending the turn with only one card in hand.

Jordan vs. Martell

For his second activation, Martell used Jace to Brainstorm. He found a Stoneforge Mystic, which he used to get an Umezawa's Jitte, which he put into play. The last card in Jordan's hand, however, was a Swords to Plowshares, which got rid of the Stoneforge, allowing Jordan to kill Jace. Afterwards, though, Martell found a Perish to clear Jordan's board, losing his Jitte to the Pridemage in the process. A second Jace replaced the old one, and he immediately started making it safe by fatesealing Jordan, who had only one card in hand. Jordan made a Noble Hierarch to whittle Jace down, but the planeswalker did its job.

Once he felt safe enough to Brainstorm, Martell began to pull ahead. When he made a Batterskull some turns later, the game appeared to be settled. Jordan did a good job of prolonging things with a Maze of Ith that prevented Martell from attacking, but Jordan couldn't either. Martell had control over the top of his deck thanks to Jace.

"It's a race! Me versus my Jace. Jace always wins..."

The turn before Jace went ultimate, Martell fatesealed one final time, putting the card back on top. Martell confirmed for Jordan that it was indeed a land on top of his deck, and Jordan conceded rather than wasting any of their time.

Dan Jordan 1 – Tom Martell 1

Jordan started the final game of this semifinal match with a mulligan, not an auspicious start. Thiings looked even more precarious when a Darkblast killed his initial Noble Hierarch. Martell kept him on the back foot by using Inquisition of Kozilek, Force of Will, and Perish to keep Jordan's board clear of anything save a Stoneforge Mystic, even nabbing the Sword of Light and Shadow that the Mystic had searched up. Martell made a Mystic of his own, fetching a Batterskull. Both players were down to two cards, but one of Martell's was the Batterskull, which made its way into play cheaply thanks to the Mystic.

From there, the Batterskull started swinging, putting the game further out of reach for Jordan. He drew an Umezawa's Jitte and thought for a minute before casting it, but Martell seemed unafraid. With his last card, Jordan played a Wasteland to destroy Martell's Tundra, dropping him to three lands and no white mana. Martell did have a Flooded Strand in play, though, getting a basic Plains out of his deck. He used it to play a Stoneforge Mystic, searching up his own Jitte, killing them both and once again putting him in the driver's seat. His next card was a more-or-less useless Wasteland. His final one was a Choke. Martell aimed a Vindicate at Jordan's lone blocker, and Jordan offered him good luck in the finals.

Dan Jordan 1 – Tom Martell 2

Finals: The Greater Force of Will - Tom Martell vs. Kenny Castor

by Frank Lepore

As the players shuffled up for their final match of the weekend, they reminisced about the last time they had played against one another. It was very casual, as at this point in the day everyone was just ready to be finished and get on with the night.

Game 1

Kenny won the last die roll he would have to make this weekend, and decided to keep his opening hand. Tom followed suit and Kenny cast a Ponder. Tom played a Flooded Strand directly into his graveyard and an Island made its way to his side of the board. He would also Ponder.

Kenny drew his card, which he knew to be a Tarmogoyf and it was promptly cast. Tom let it resolve, but he had a two mana bomb of his own in the form of a Stoneforge Mystic. Tom found a Batterskull and passed back the turn. Kenny wasted no time Lightning Bolting the Mystic and bashing in with a Tarmogoyf for three. He then used a Wasteland on Tom's Tundra to keep him off anything other than basics. Tom was at 11 life and Kenny's second Tarmogoyf was threatening to end the game in quick fashion.

Tom Martell

Tom played a Tower of the Magistrate, but with no white mana he was still a ways away from a Swords to Plowshares. Kenny attacked and Tom flashed in a Snapcaster Mage to block one of the Tarmogoyfs, bringing Tom to a mere seven life. After drawing his card, Tom shook his head and the game had ended in Kenny's favor.

Kenny Castor 1, Tom Martell 0

Game 2

Tom was on the play this game, which he commented is huge in this matchup. Both players kept and Tom led off with a Flooded Strand into a Plains. This was done on Tom's part to get around both Stifle and Wasteland. Kenny also cracked a fetchland for a Tropical Island to play a Nimble Mongoose.

"The Goose is loose!" Tom remarked.

He cracked a Polluted Delta and found a Swamp before passing back the turn. Kenny attacked for one, dropping Tom to 17 life. A delver of Secrets made an appearance and Kenny passed the turn. Tom played a Tundra from his hand and cast Lingering Souls, which Kenny used a Force of Will on. Tom had no choice but to end his turn.

The Delver declined to flip, and with that, Kenny attacked with his two 1/1s before using a Wasteland on Tom's Tundra and Casting another Delver of Secrets. Kenny was threatening a pretty fierce army...eventually. Tom untapped and flashed back Lingering Souls, adding two 1/1 fliers to the battlefield. He then used a Swords to Plowshares on Kenny's Delver. Tom passed, and Kenny added both a second Delver and a second Mongoose to the board.

With one card left in Kenny's hand, Tom weighed his options. Tom played a Stoneforge Mystic and Kenny had no choice but to let it resolve. Tom searched his library for an Umezawa's Jitte and slammed it onto the table. Unfortunately for Tom, Kenny was able to flip both of his Delver's by revealing a Brainstorm. Kenny would then cast the Brainstorm before attacking Tom for six in the air. Tom would drop down to nine life and Kenny would end his turn.

Tom untapped and surveyed the field.

"One card?" he inquired to Kenny.

"Yup," Kenny confirmed.

Without a play, Tom passed the turn to Kenny. Kenny played another Nimble Mongoose, and after attacks, Tom responded by casting a Snapcaster Mage, and playing Swords to Plowshares on one of the Delvers. Tom would take the remaining Delver damage and go to six life. At the end of the turn, he slipped his Jitte into play.

Tom had an amazing board, but could he stabilize? Top equipped his Jitte to a spirit token, but when Tom declared attacks, Kenny's last card – a Lightning Bolt – made short work of it. Kenny now had six cards in the yard and any spell he could play meant Tom was facing down three 3/3 Mongeese! Tom cast a Vendilion Clique targeting himself, then sent a Jace to the bottom. He then passed the turn. Kenny topdecked a fetchland, and without thinking, sent every three power creature – and potential three power creature – in Tom's direction.

"That's a good draw..." Tom lamented.

Tom blocked all three Mongoose with a Snapcaster, a Vendilion Clique, and a Stoneforge Mystic before Kenny popped his fetch land and pumped up his team. Tom fell to three life, and with only a 1/1 Spirit in play, things were looking grim. Tom had to crack a fetch land and fall to two life, but Tom drew Perish and Windmill slammed it!

Vendilion Clique

He killed Kenny's Mongoose and attacked with an equipped Sprit token. He used the two Jitte counters to clear Kenny's board, and with the help of a Jace next turn, Tom had finally stabilized. Tom Fatesealed Kenny, leaving a Spell Snare on top, and passed the turn. With nothing to do, Kenny passed the turn. Back and forth it went, with Tom nearly controlling Kenny's draw steps as he slowly amassed Jitte counters and dealt damage. The life totals were now 15 to six in Kenny's favor.

Tom cast a Lingering Souls for four Spirit tokens and was pretty far ahead. With his fear of losing this game behind him, he finally changed it up and chose to Brainstorm with Jace. He cast a Stoneforge Mystic, but it landed directly into the Spell Snare that he let Kenny keep. Nonetheless, Kenny drew his card and with Tom's Jitte at six counters, the game was essentially over.

Kenny Castor 1, Tom Martell 1

Game 3

Kenny chose to play first, and while he kept his opening seven, Tom would go down to six. Kenny started with a Volcanic Island into a Ponder, while Tom started with a much simpler regular Island.

Kenny Castor

Kenny played a second Ponder and shuffled the cards away. He luckily topdecked his second land post-shuffle and played the Scalding Tarn. At the end of his turn, Tom would Brainstorm. Tom would play a land on his turn then pass it back, where Kenny would do the same. Tom played a second Brainstorm at the end of Kenny's turn and then untapped.

Tom went to play a Stoneforge Mystic, but Kenny had the Spell Snare. And that was that. Tom passed the turn to Kenny, and Kenny back to Tom. Tom played his third Brainstorm on his own turn and Kenny let out a light chuckle. Kenny drew a Wasteland which dispatched Tom's Tundra. Tom then played a Flooded Strand, and both players continued to pass back and forth.

Tom asked how many cards Kenny had, and when Kenny said "six," Tom passed the turn, but declared he was cracking his fetchland on Kenny's upkeep. Kenny let it resolve, but when Tom attempted to crack his other fetchland, Kenny decided that one was worthy of a Stifle. Kenny passed back to Tom, and Tom cast a Snapcaster Mage during his mainphase. Kenny chose to Spell Snare the Snapcaster Mage, and both players passed in succession.

During Kenny's Draw Step, Tom declared he was playing a Vendilion Clique. Kenny let it resolve and Tom targeted Kenny. Kenny revealed an Ancient Grudge, two Daze, two Lightning Bolt, a Forked Bolt, and a Scalding Tarn; or six very situational cards. Kenny cast the Forked Bolt, dealing one to Tom and one to the Clique.

Kenny drew a 4/5 Tarmogoyf and hastily cast it. Tom said it was fine and back to Tom the turn went. Tom attempted to cast an Engineered Explosives, but Kenny Dazed it. Tom paid the one mana, but it left him with only one free mana. This meant Kenny could Ancient Grudge it and Tom would be unable to activate it in response. With an artifact in the graveyard, the Tarmogoyf was now a 5/6. Kenny added a Delver of Secrets to his army and passed the turn.

Things were looking bleak for Tom as he had no white mana and was facing down six power. He managed to find a Marsh Flats and cracked it for a Plains. Tom tapped three mana and cast a Perish, leaving Kenny with his 1/1 Scientist. The Scientist however revealed a Force of Will, and Tom promptly used a Swords of Plowshares before Kenny was able to draw it.

The game had very suddenly turned around, and with four cards in hand, Tom was once again in control.

"You drew a Snapcaster again?" Kenny asked, as Tom rifled through his graveyard.

Instead Tom simply cast Lingering Souls, and when he tried to flash it back, Kenny used his final Daze. Kenny drew a Brainstorm and cast is to check out his options. Kenny then used a Wasteland on Tom's Underground Sea and played a Delver of Secrets, leaving him with a hand of three Lightning Bolts. Tom landed a Jace, the Mind Sculptor and chose to Fateseal the top of his own library with him. Kenny would then reveal a Force of Will from the Delver of Secrets, turning it into another unholy abomination.

Unable to attack through Tom's tokens, Kenny simply passed. Tom put Jace up to seven counters and chose to Fateseal Kenny, putting the top card on the bottom. Kenny drew and played a second Delver, then passed. Tom once again Fatesealed, put the card on the bottom, and Jace would now be at nine counters. Tom played a Swords to Plowshares on the 3/2 Delver and passed the turn. Things were looking comfortable, but neither player was out of the woods yet.

Kenny drew and passed, then Tom untapped. Jace went to 11, and it was almost time to ultimate! Kenny passed again then Jace went to 13 counters. Kenny was going to have to waste his Lightning Bolts on Tom's Jace. He did just that, using a Bolt to drop Jace to 10 counters. Delver did not flip and Kenny had to once again pass the turn after playing his land. Tom then activated Jace again, returning him to twelve counters, and Kenny was back under pressure.

Kenny drew a Brainstorm, which flipped his Delver, and was then able to cast a Tarmogoyf. Tom attempted to activate Jace's ultimate, but Kenny had the Stifle! A Stifle for Jace's ultimate!


Tom had to simply cast a Swords to Plowshares on Kenny's Tarmogoyf, putting Kenny up to 27 life. Tom then cast another Jace, then Fatesealed Kenny again. The cycle began anew!

Kenny played his second Tarmogoyf then attacked into Jace with his Delver. When Tom blocked with both Spirit tokens, Kenny bolted one assuring the Delver prevailed. Tom then chose to bounce Kenny's 'Goyf and follow it up with a Lingering Souls, and a flashback that was met with another Daze. Two tokens later and Kenny replayed his Tarmogoyf.

"It's harder for me to screw up when you don't have any cards," Martell remarked.

"Now you don't have to ask how many cards I have anymore, "Kenny shot back.

Tom was back at Fatesealing Kenny, and he used a Snapcaster Mage to get rid of the Tarmogoyf via a Swords to Plowshares. Tom played a Jitte then passed the turn. Kenny drew...then passed. It seemed like it was Tom's game right now as he untapped and equipped the Snapcaster Mage, but Kenny flashed back his Ancient Grudge leaving Tom to get in for only two damage out of Kenny's remaining 31 life. Tom played a Stoneforge Mystic with no targets left and simply shuffled his library.

Kenny popped a fetchland and was almost assuredly running low on lands. Tom would Fateseal Kenny once more, putting the card on the bottom before attacking with his Snapcaster again. Kenny was getting down there and was now at 28 life. When Tom attempted to Intuition, he was met with a hard cast force of will! Tom had the Spell Pierce though and he searched for two Lingering Souls and a Flooded Strand. He was able to keep the Strand, but loaded his graveyard with Spirit tokens!

Tom put a Batterskull into play at the end of Kenny's turn, avoiding any counter Magic, then attacked with both the Batterskull and Snapcaster Mage. After seeing the writing on the wall, Kenny scooped us his cards, and Tom Martell was your Grand Prix Indianapolis Champion!

Tom Martell 2, Kenny Castor 1

Top 5 Cards

5.) High Tide

High Tide

The namesake card from the most consistent combo deck in Legacy, High Tide really made an impact on the format this weekend. Like many combo decks, High Tide plays Magic in a different way than most of the other decks in the field. They play creatures and try to drop their opponent to 0 life. High Tide doesn't care about life. It plays spells (lots of them) and tries to drop opponent's libraries to zero. It basically turns opposing decks into combo decks, whether they are or not, and challenges them to see who can go off first, and usually High tide wins. In addition, access to full sets of Force of Will and Pact of Negation really protect the deck from disruption.

High Tide is the card that makes the deck run. This innocuous looking card has a harrowing history, known to anyone who has played the game for longer than a decade. It only costs one mana, but the effect it generates is broken apart by the other effects in the deck. This deck is very difficult to disrupt because of all of the library manipulation the deck contains, and even if the deck is disrupted, it can usually rebuild before things get out of hand. More than one opponent was fooled into complacency by this deck, and it would just win out of nowhere. Respect the Tide.

4.) Brainstorm


Speaking of library manipulation, it is hard to talk about Legacy without mentioning this card. Something like 75% of the decks in the field run the maximum number of Brainstorms. Luis Scott-Vargas said that playing four foil Brainstorms was the main reason he wanted to come play Legacy this weekend.

Brainstorm is the consensus hardest card in the format to play, yet it is in virtually all of the decks. What makes this card so hard to play is the sheer number of options it gives you. Legacy is such a powerful format that wrong decisions are punished fairly harshly. The additional decisions Brainstorm places upon you are additional places to make mistakes. But I don't want to say all bad things about it. One of the reasons it is so thoroughly played is the insane amount of consistency it brings to decks. Combined with shuffling effects like Polluted Delta and kin, Brainstorm allows you to see a large amount of your deck for a minimal investment. It lets you protect cards from discard. It lets you transform you Delver of Secrets. It makes decks consistent in a format that rewards consistency.

3.) Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic

I really don't like talking about this card, but it's important to mention its impact on the format. There have been two schools of thought coming out as the weekend went on: those who were pro-Stoneforge and those who thought that it wasn't really that good. Regardless of which side you happen to be a part of, you can't deny the fact that it was played in over a third of the decks that made Day 2. You can't deny that it has probably been the target of more counterspells this weekend than anything other than other counterspells. Every reasonable variation of white-based decks featuring Stoneforge were seen this weekend, and it has proven to be a card one must consider when testing for Legacy. If it hits play and stays in play, it does amazing things. If it gets removed, things get a little worse, and that's where the argument against it lies. Still, the performance of the decks with it versus the versions of the deck without speak to its strength. Only Pascal Maynard's deck was a usual home for Stoneforge where it wasn't found in Top 8, and he was dispatched in the quarterfinals.

In any case, whether you are for or against Mystic's inclusion in decks in Legacy, as long as it can get Batterskull, Umezawa's Jitte, and Swords, it will be played. And played a lot.

2.) Tarmogoyf


Sure, Threshold has new toys. Delver of Secrets is a pretty cool card when you can manipulate your deck with Sensei's Divining Top, Brainstorm, and Ponder. Snapcaster Mage does some fun things when your goal is to put a bunch of cards into your graveyard. Thought Scour is a Mental Note that can ruin things for opponents!


Tarmogoyf kills opponents dead. For two mana you get a creature that rarely has less than three power. Unlike many creatures in this format, Tarmogoyf is an amazing threat at any stage in the game. Early, he's an unreasonably cheap attacker. Late game, he is a five-power juggernaut that is either dealt with immediately or he deals with you. This card is the one that won more matches for Threshold players on the weekend than any other card, and there were a lot of Threshold players that not only came to the event, but did well. It's not like I felt that Tarmogoyf was forgotten during this event, but I definitely feel like it started the day disrespected. Sure, Sword of Feast and Famine and Umezawa's Jitte can make things difficult for him, but he beats so hard and so fast that often, it just doesn't matter. Even in the finals, where Tom Martell's deck was clearly geared well to take out RUG Delver, he couldn't deal with one Tarmogoyf, and it did him in quickly.

1.) Lingering Souls

Lingering Souls

Described by Champion Tom Martell as both "a great card" and "one of the best cards in my deck," Lingering Souls is beginning to disgust me. It wasn't content with being one of the most influential cards in Dark Ascension Limited. It wasn't content making its presence known in Standard at Grand Prix Baltimore. No no no, it had to go and take over Legacy as well. Providing Esper Stone Blade decks such as Martell's a card capable of playing well in all phases of the game, Lingering Souls is a card that has really evolved into a multi-format star.

For the mere cost of four mana and a card, Lingering Souls puts four flying creatures into play. While this may not seem like much, one of these cards can hold the fort against most of the creature-based decks for at least a couple of turns, which is like an eternity in Legacy. If you get two, you can not only survive forever, you can even outrace Tarmogoyf and Knight of the Reliquary, two of the largest threats in the format. It deals with Insectile Aberration, as Martell proved in the last game of the Finals, Vendilion Clique, and Snapcaster Mage, and it can be searched out to great effect with Intuition. It's really good in other formats; it's amazing in Legacy.

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