The Magic Online Championship started the weekend off with three rounds of Legacy, and the competitors brought a combined ten archetypes to battle this morning.
After the first two rounds, four players were undefeated: Sam Black, Alexander Ivanov, Jonathan Anghelescu, and last year's Magic Online Champion Magnus Lantto.
For Lantto, his performance in Legacy was close to mirroring his results in last year's Vintage portion of the tournament, both in match points and preparation.
"I think [Lands] is a great deck," Lantto said. "It's one of the best 5-6 decks in Legacy." Lantto went with Lands, after working a bit with resident Lands expert Daryl Ayers (one of last year's Magic Online Championship competitors). He felt that the deck would be advantaged in a field where he anticipated a lot of players to spend the least amount of time testing Legacy.
"I was thinking many players would go with something like Eldrazi, or something easier to play," Lantto said. "Lands has a very favorable matchup against decks like those." His fallback, should he play against troublesome combo decks like Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT), was to have a sideboard that could pick apart combo decks trying to go off early.
Unfortunately for him, the matchup between Lands and Jonathan Anghelescu's Omni-Tell was far from balanced, and it was one combo that Lantto's deck was not close to favorable against. While Lantto's Lands deck tried to do its thing, it is hard to "do its thing" when your opponent just wants to put an Omniscience, Griselbrand, or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play with a Show and Tell.
That is precisely what happened in their match, as Anghelescu first dropped a Griselbrand into play, drew a bunch of cards, and then used a second Show and Tell to put Omniscience into place. That let him cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn for free, earning a very quick concession from Lantto. Anghelescu quickly became the first player to lock up a 3-0 record.
Anghelescu's familiarity with casting Show and Tells was strong, although his background was primarily in the Sneak Attack variety, known as Sneak and Show. That familiarity was backed with, by far, the most experience in the format of this field, as Anghelescu has played well over 3,500 matches on Magic Online in the format.
"I am less confident about Standard," Anghelescu said at lunch, looking forward to the rest of Day One. His experiences with Standard, where he fell off the tracks quickly in the format at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, requiring him to re-think the format. Would he be able to overcome the next four rounds?
Meanwhile, Sam Black's Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) deck blazed past Alexander Ivanov in their match, propelling Black to 3-0 as well. The funny part about that result, and a testament to Black's natural abilities to pick up a deck, is that he did not prepare for Legacy. At all.
Feels good to 3-0 the format I didn't prepare. #mtgochamp— Sam Black (@SamuelHBlack) May 13, 2016
Black and Anghelescu will face off in the first round of Standard to determine who retains the unscathed record.