Eight rounds of Legacy are in the books here at Grand Prix Richmond. 179 competitors will be coming back tomorrow and there are eight undefeated players headed into tomorrow. Magic's history was on display all day and Round 1 showed us something completely different.
Oops, I Win
Chase Allsup started his first-ever Grand Prix with a bang. He didn't even play a land and won on the first turn.
Both of these Gatecrash cards have an ability where they can force a player to put cards from their library into the graveyard until they reveal a land. But what happens when you don't have any lands? Well, then your entire library hits the bin. And that's exactly what Allsup wants to happen.
The deck runs four copies of Narcomoeba which will enter the battlefield once they go from the library to the graveyard. Allsup then sacrifices three of his creatures to return Angel of Glory's Rise to the battlefield. The Angel's ability then brings back both Azami, Lady of Scrolls and Laboratory Maniac. With both of those Human Wizards on the table, he then uses Azami's ability to tap one to force himself to draw a card and, thanks to Laboratory Maniac, win the game.
Why play this deck? Allsup, who has been playing since Invasion but only got into Legacy three years ago, said it was a good deck to get into Legacy. Having previously played Storm combo, he wanted something with a bit more of a surprise factor. That's when he picked up Oops, All Spells, which he described as having the "best turn one win ratio" in Legacy.
What cards does he not want to see? "Leyline of the Void, it shuts off my combo." To that end he has considered starting to run a sideboard and include Nature's Claim.
Did I not mention that? Chase came to the event today and registered exactly 60 cards. Why? "Every card in my deck has a purpose," he said, and he doesn't want to risk diluting the game plan. Still, Leyline of the Void is such a backbreaker that he has had to consider registering a sideboard in the future.
When I caught up with Allsup he had already picked up his third loss but was in good spirits. He won't make Day 2 but is ready to play in the Standard Grand Prix tomorrow. And he'll always have his wins on camera.
Legacy and Beyond
Legacy lends itself to some interesting board states. With access to nearly the entire library of Magic, games can feature cards printed decades apart from each other.
That's a lot of Goblin tokens
One, two, three four, I declare a Vial war
Still had all these in my graveyard
Look who decided to show up in Legacy...
Sometimes things escalate quickly.
And sometimes friends show up.
But Grand Prix are more than just the main event. They are also a place to just enjoy everything Magic has to offer.
Cosplayers Gabby Kun and Ashlen Rose show us what happens when Innistrad meets Ixalan
What's better than taking one turn? Taking all the turns in Commander
Reid Duke entered the weekend second in the Player of the Year race. Holding a one point lead over Luis Salvatto and trailing Seth Manfield by one point, Duke needs a strong finish to jump Manfield in the standings. That's pressure, right?
What about having every one of your games under the Feature Match lights? Reid Duke played every round under a camera. On top of that he would either analyze his game in the moment or hop in the booth after to go over his thought process.
Reid's day almost got off to an inauspicious start. His Round 4 match against Christopher Stitson on Miracles went to time. In extra turns Reid had a lethal Lightning Bolt but couldn't risk it in the face of a Counterbalance. Choked on mana thanks to Back to Basics, Reid needed a lot to go right.
So it did. Finding the second red source he needed, Reid was able to remove a Jace, the Mind Sculptor and see that the coast was clear to attack Christopher's life total directly. No sweat.
Reid's day did not get easier as he squared off against players like Yuuya Watanabe (in a Grixis Control mirror match), Tomoharu Saito (on Temur Delver), and Andrew Baeckstrom (Blue-Black Death's Shadow). That last one ended with a flourish.
In the final round of the day Reid was up against Brad Bonin for his second Miracles matchup for the day. It all came down to a pivotal game three where Reid found himself locked under Back to Basics again. Unlike Round 4, he was unable to find a source of red mana and lost at the hand of Brad's Monastery Mentor and many Monk tokens.
Reid Duke ended the first day at 7-1...
Player of the Year
But what about Seth Manfield and Luis Salvatto? Salvatto got off to a strong start but picked up his second loss in Round 7. He battled back and kept his chances at improving his standing in the home stretch alive with a 6-2 finish to Day 1. Manfield picked up his second loss earlier in the day but did pick up six wins - enough to get him to Day 2.
The Undefeated Players
At the end of Day 1 there were 8 players with pristine 8-0 records and two more who finished 7-0-1 . The undefeated players are (5) Owen Turtenwald, Sam Pardee, Edgar Magalhaes, Brad Bonin, Neal Turk, Oliver Tomajko, Alexander Chen, and Zachary Wood. The undefeated archetypes include two Blue-Black Death's Shadow, two Grixis Delver, White-Blue Stoneblade, Miracles, Temur Delver, and Grixis Control. Join us tomorrow at 9:30am local time on twitch.tv/magic for Day 2 coverage of the Legacy Grand Prix Richmond.