11th Place at GP Bologna with 4C Mentor -Part 1-

Arne Huschenbeth

Arne Huschenbeth

Introduction

Hello avid Legacy Fans! This is part I of II of my Legacy endeavour in Bologna. This part is going to be mainly about my preparation and findings the week before Bologna. The next one will be an “oldschool” like round-by-round tournament report.

Brainstorm

Casting 《Brainstorm》s is one of my favorite things to do on this planet. Sadly, for numerous reasons, I don’t get to play competitive Legacy all too often. I was actually planning to skip GP Bologna. The metagame looked stale with RUG Delver being the clear monarch of the format. Additionally there was a hometurf PTQ on the weekend of Bologna in Berlin.

Together Forever

Things changed when Wizards of the Coast (WotC) Organized Play announced that all Platinum, Gold and Silver Pros from the last two seasonal quarters will be invited to the first Players Tour in 2020. I no longer could attend the PTQ in Berlin. Knowing that, Bologna became more appealing. One last GP in 2019 before a two month winter break for European GPs. One last time to start with three Byes. In addition three very good friends were attending. Even offering me a couch slot. They take high priority in having a great time rather than being super competitive like me. A good change of pace and being with them over the weekend basically meant I will have a good time no matter how to tournament goes.

Well, and I haven’t even mentioned Mystery Draft, or how I call it “The Money Printing Machine”. Many reasons to attend Grand Prix Bologna. When booking my flight, I had Bologna more as a vacation than an actual tournament in mind. But of course me being me (an overly ambitious spike who won’t accept defeat, ever), I could not test – so test is what I did. I even streamed some of it, you can find my Legacy VODs under my Twitch Channel here.

My Testing Process

These are the decks I tried for GP Bologna (in order of testing).

Decks I tested In Order
Sultai Delver
Grixis Delver
BUGr Astro Control
BG Depths
Sneak&Show
4C Mentor
Jeskai Mentor
Bant 《Natural Order》

I did not have a whole lot of time, which meant I couldn’t test each of these decks thoroughly. I definitely missed things and didn’t have the best list of each of these archetypes. I still got a good grasp on Legacy as a whole after playing many different strategies. 《Wrenn and Six》 got banned a week ago, nobody really knew what would be best after the dominant planeswalkers departure.

Arcum's AstrolabeOko, Thief of Crowns

The thing I realized quickly was that 《Arcum’s Astrolabe》 in conjunction with 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 is exceptionally good. And to no one’s surprise the best planeswalker of all time is pretty good in Legacy too.

Sultai Delver

Delver of SecretsTarmogoyfFatal Push

I started out with BUG Delver and quickly dismissed it. Since the departure of 《Deathrite Shaman》 the deck hasn’t felt the same. Without it, the deck feels like a medium aggro deck and a medium midrange deck, not good at anything particular, just medium. It doesn’t have 《Lightning Bolt》 for reach and it can’t compete against the Astrolabe decks in the lategame.

The deck succeeded at GP Bologna, but I think that is more to the fact that many good players chose to play the deck then the deck being actually great. I am not saying it is a de facto bad deck and you shouldn’t play it, it is packed with a very high individual card power level.

Grixis Delver

Dreadhorde ArcanistGurmag AnglerLightning Bolt

Grixis Delver made more sense to me. You have 《Lightning Bolt》 which isn’t a dead card against Combo decks like 《Fatal Push》 would be. And you have 《Dreadhorde Arcanist》, a very good 2-Drop, arguably better than 《Tarmogoyf》 in many spots. For example against Combo, where you just want to load up your hand with counterspells or against 《Baleful Strix》, where you still get something out of attacking and trading.

DazeWasteland

The deck felt good. I just couldn’t bring myself to play 《Daze》 and 《Wasteland》 and only 15 lands. Since the departure of 《Wrenn and Six》 and 《Deathrite Shaman》, the mana in Delver decks has become pretty bad. 《Wasteland》 is really good against Delver nowadays. Additionally what I never really liked about Delver, where how bad some of your draws can be. Things have to line up for you. To many reactive cards or to many threats make for an awkward draw. Sure, 《Brainstorm》 fixes some of these issues, but you won’t always have 《Brainstorm》 in your Top12 cards.

I got jealous of my opponents playing Astrolabe and Snow-Covered Basics. I wanted to have a high chance of playing actual games. I didn’t want to sit down to play Legacy to lose a game to a 《Wasteland》 on my 《Underground Sea》.

BUGr Astro Control (Czech Pile)

Drown in the LochHymn to TourachJace, the Mind Sculptor

I quickly identified for myself that I wanted to play Astrolabe Control, here is my latest take on Czech Pile. Sultai with some red in the board.

WastelandVeil of Summer

Things went well at the beginning, but then I just couldn’t win anymore. I was quite sad, I really liked this deck in theory. 《Wasteland》 still troubled you, especially if you didn’t draw Astrolabe. 《Veil of Summer》 obliterated my deck. Most decks were either splashing for it or playing green as a main color. The deck felt like a clunky control deck.

A friend of mine, Sascha Schwarz, was excited about the archetype as well. He couldn’t win either and dismissed it. He chose to play Sneak&Show and made Top64 in Bologna. My 4C list wasn’t perfect either. If you want to see a good build of the archetype, go check out Tomas Mar’s 10th place list from the Grand Prix.

BG Depths

Vampire HexmageDark DepthsThespian's Stage

Out of desperation I even started playing a deck without 《Brainstorm》!? Can you imagine in what state of mind I had to be to do such an egregious thing? I was at a low point in my life.

ThoughtseizeAbrupt DecayDark ConfidantElvish Reclaimer

Jokes aside, BG Depths made a lot of sense. Early discard, 《Abrupt Decay》, resiliency in the form of 《Dark Confidant》 and 《Elvish Reclaimer》 and a fast combo kill. I achieved my only trophy in my week of testing for Bologna with BG Depths. I quickly realized that the deck was very difficult to play. Though in the end it just didn’t feel quite right, I didn’t enjoy myself playing the deck.

Sneak and Show

GriselbrandEmrakul, the Aeons TornShow and TellSneak Attack

I then fired up a league with Sneak and Show and got completely annihilated by two tribal decks, Goblins and Merfolk. I could not stand a chance in all four games. It wasn’t even close to close. Off it, Sascha told me he kept winning, but I was off it. OFF IT. All of those games are streamed by the way, if you want to see my misery first hand. Link above.

4C Mentor

Monastery MentorOko, Thief of CrownsPyroblast

After those catastrophic events, I decided to chill the rest of the evening and tuned into the Cardmarket Prague Stream, where my buddies Thoralf “Toffel” Severin, Jamin Kauf and Riley Knight put on a good show. I then checked out the Top8 decklists and found this gem, European Legacy Miracles Master and overall nice guy Tomas Vlcek‘s 4C Mentor list.

Ice-Fang CoatlArcum's AstrolabeBlood Moon

That’s what we are talking about. I had some personal problems at that time, fortunately this deck let me escape reality easily. On the next morning I started working on the deck. At first I added 《Ice-Fang Coatl》 and the fourth Astrolabe. Coatl seemed to make sense to me. I didn’t like 《Counterbalance》 all too much. 《Blood Moon》 over 《Back to Basics》 was another No-Brainer for me. Here is a screenshot of my first match with the deck.

Arne_Legacy

This screenshot encaptures what I love about Magic and about Legacy. A back and forth until finally my 《Monastery Mentor》 takes over. Check out the time on the clock and the size of the libraries. One of the most fun matches I had in a long while and exactly what I needed to be fired up about getting back into the trenches.

Veil of SummerSwords to PlowsharesTeferi, Time Raveler

The deck made sense to me in many ways. 《Veil of Summer》 is a lot worse against you and 《Swords to Plowshares》 helps against Marit Lage. 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 is phenomenal in Blue Mirrors. I didn’t miss the black discard against the combo decks either.

Mountain

I ditched the Coatl after playing a couple leagues. I realized how important the 《Mountain》 was vs Delver for 《Pyroblast》 and against Death and Taxes for 《Wear/Tear》, 《Izzet Staticaster》. With 《Mountain》 instead of 《Forest》, Coatl made less sense. I then tried a version without green, just Jeskai Mentor. I went back to 4C quickly though. 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 and 《Veil of Summer》 are worth the right splash. The cost is so low, too. With 《Arcum’s Astrolabe》 in the mix, one 《Tropical Island》 is all you need.

Final Decklist

After playing more with the 4C version and talking to Legacy Aficionados Stefan Schuetz and Tomas Vlcek, I ended up on this list for GP Bologna.

Containment Priest

I added a 20th land, you really want to hit your first four land drops with this deck. I like 《Containment Priest》 more than the narrow 《Rest in Peace》. It helps against 《Green Sun’s Zenith》, 《Natural Order》, Sneak&Show and 《Aether Vial》 in addition to shutting down Graveyard Strategies.

Conclusion

Natural Order

If you have been paying attention, then you might have noticed that I have not talked about one deck I tested. Bant 《Natural Order》, an idea by my good friend and Legacy expert Jasper Grimmer. A promising deck if you ask me. But more of that in Part II. How my tournament went, how the food tasted and what Bant 《Natural Order》 is, you will know soon enough.

I hope you had a good time reading and thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Arne Huschenbeth (Twitter / Twitch)

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Arne Huschenbeth

Arne Huschenbeth Arne is an enthusiast for Standard and won GP Rimini which was held by exact his favorite format. He also achieved impressive 10-0 record at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. He has 3 more GP top 8s past seasons, and earned 41 Pro Points during 2017-2018 season which was good enough to become a Gold Level Pro. Read more articles by Arne Huschenbeth