Top 16 at Grand Prix New Jersey may not sound impressive, but at a nearly 4,500 player tournament that finish is accolade worthy. That's where we last saw Akash Naidu and Bob Huang, both missing out on a Top 8 that was incredible to crack into.
That was last fall. This year the 2015 Legacy Championship at Eternal Weekend started with 744 players, a staggering growth of more than 300 year over year. Their experience with large, long legacy tournaments paid off as they cleared a path into and through the Top 8.
Both were experienced Legacy veterans, but only one would bring home the Tundra trophy and 2015 Legacy Championship title.
Naidu's Omni-Tell was one of the premier decks of Legacy. Using card draw and hand sculpting spells to set up a critical turn of Show and Tell for either Omniscience – allowing the rest of the card draw to chain into Eladamri's Call for Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn – for just an Emrakul outright was a deadly sequence all weekend. Surprising opponents with an unexpected turn two push proved invaluable through Naidu's march to the finals.
Huang was equipped with the now venerable Delver of Secrets deck, his version pushing the established Grixis version – Young Pyromancer, Pyroblast – into green thanks to Deathrite Shaman and a reconfigured manabase. Using the Shaman to accelerate mana, eat away at opponents' life totals, and even pad his own if needed added a dimension of efficiency and utility to an already powerful deck. With counterspells like Force of Will and cantrips like Gitaxian Probe, Huang could pressure early or late and manage the game into his favor.
The namesake Delver of Secrets led the way for Huang in the first game as Naidu took time sculpting his hand with Ponder, Brainstorm and more. Insectile Aberration off a Brainstorm put a quick clock under Huang's control, with Deathrite Shaman to accelerate the pressure.
Dig Through Time, fighting through a Force of Will from Huang with his own, put Naidu even deeper into his library. Falling to 7 life on Huang's next attack, Naidu made a mode: An unopposed Show and Tell for Omniscience. Casting Dig Through Time and Cunning Wish for Eladamri's Call to call up Emrakul, the Aeons Torn was the winning sequence Huang feared.
Akash Naidu's Omni-Tell had torn through his Top 8 opponents. He was excited to advance to the finals.
Huang took a peek with Gitaxian Probe but Naidu was undeterred: Show and Tell on turn two had been effective for Naidu throughout the Top 8 and he pressed on here, though Pyroblast and Daze was enough for Huang to fend that off. With two Wastelands in hand, Hunag made sure to take care of the City of Traitors Naidu used on his second turn, and the game slowed from there.
Hunag used Deathrite Shaman to scratch away at Naidu's life total as the card draw kept flowing with multiple Ponders, Brainstorm, and more. Dig Through Time from Naidu was met by Dig Through Time from Huang first. Gitaxian Probe from Naidu in the aftermath revealed Pyroblast and Daze on Huang's hand, a double dose of disruption in waiting.
A second Dig Through Time from Naidu poised to put him deeper, and Huang didn't fight over it; his disruption would wait for a fight over Show and Tell. That came next turn after Huang picked up a Force of Will to join his defenses. Huang pointed a Pyroblast at it and Naidu has no response.
It didn't bode well for him.
Vendilion Clique was Huang's first threat in awhile, but it was a three turn knockout if left unopposed against Naidu. One last Dig Through Time followed by Brainstorm resolved, but Naidu couldn't find the answers he needed.
Bob Huang's Four-Color Delver sculpted the situation into its favor over and over.
The final game set off with a flurry of card draw familiar to everyone in Legacy: Brainstorm, Ponder, Gitaxian Probe and others give both players information as their hands were massaged. An early Young Pyromancer started generating Elemental creature tokens for Huang, forcing Naidu to respond.
Show and Tell hit a Force of Will wall, adding to Naidu's Elemental problem along the way. Dig Through Time was sacked by Huang's Pyroblast, and Naidu fell to 2 life on the next attack by the Elemental horde, and with just two lands there wasn't any way for him to get out.
He gamely tapped his two lands for Dig Through Time before extending his hand.
Bob Huang defeated Akash Naidu, 2-1, to win the 2015 Legacy Championship at Eternal Weekend!