Tournament Report: 1st at BLC Trial with Legacy Infect

Modern Horizons has placed added attention on the Legacy cardpool and the archetypes that some of those cards could enable in Modern. While I personally do not play Legacy due to the prohibitive cost, I do like to keep an eye on it. One of the easiest decks to port from Modern to Legacy is Infect. With Turn 2 wins, Brainstorm, and Force of Will this archetype has it all. Today Sam Dams AKA Fenruscloud comes to us with a report on his winning run at a recent BLC Trial.

Decklist
Lands (19)
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Windswept Heath
1 Forest
1 Wasteland
1 Pendelhaven
4 Tropical Island
Creatures (12)
4 Blighted Agent
4 Glistener Elf
4 Noble Hierarch
Spells (29)
4 Invigorate
4 Brainstorm
3 Vines of Vastwood
4 Force of Will
3 Ponder
4 Daze
1 Become Immense
1 Crop Rotation
2 Berserk
2 Spell Pierce
1 Sylvan Library
Sideboard (15)
1 Pithing Needle
1 Narset, Parter of veils
1 Spellskite
2 Flusterstorm
1 Hydroblast
1 Crop Rotation
2 Return to Nature
1 Seeds of Innocence
1 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 Great Sable Stag
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Karakas
75 Cards Total

I have added three cards from WAR to the sideboard. MVP of the day was Return to Nature. This card has really overperformed for me during the day, as you can read below. The flexibility on it is so powerful; you basically get six sideboard cards in two slots. I started by replacing my Dissenter’s Deliverance but it was so good, I replaced my Krosan Grip for a second one. The downsides of losing cycling and split second respectively are nothing compared to the upsides that Return brings. You should really try it. Furthermore, I have really been liking the potential of Narset, Parter of Veils. I boarded her in a few times, though I never drew her, so cannot really tell much more.

The Rounds
Rd 1: 2-0 over Grixis Control (1-0)
Starting against one of the worst matchups to start the day. I am feeling pretty good though, glad to get started. I win the die roll and start with Noble Hierarch, which immediately gets Pushed on my opponent’s turn. Turn 2, I slam down an Inkmoth Nexus and pass just to see a Baleful Strix come down on the other side of the table. I expected this and I have a Blighted Agent in hand. After I cast it on my turn with a land, I can Vines it to protect it from an opposing Push. On my turn I Ponder into an Invigorate and I already have another Invigorate in hand with the Vines. I attack with Agent, pump with Pendelhaven and double Invigorate for 10 infect with protection. The opponent cannot stop it.

Game 2 my opponent mulls to six and uses Thoughtseize to take away Glistener, which is my only infect threat. I play a land and pass. On the other side of the table another Swamp gets played so it seems like my opponent is stuck with only black mana. I draw Inkmoth and play it right away. No land comes down across from me so I am feeling lucky and I Brainstorm at the and of his turn to generate as much pressure as I can on my turn. I find an Agent but no third land. I have two Agents so I decide to play one of them. My opponent draws blank again and does not have removal so I go for it. I play invigorate, which resolves, and play another one, which gets forces. This is exactly what I wanted, the second one was Force of Will bait, and I play Become immense for the win.

Rd 2: 2-0 over Lands (2-0)
I lose the die roll and my opponent plays exploration on his first turn so I am off to a rough start. I play a land and pass. I see a Thespian’s Stage come down and I have a Crop Rotation in hand. I have a very slow hand so I know I need to wait for my opponent to go for the Marit Lage combo and Wasteland the Dark Depths when he plays it. On my turn I play Inkmoth and pass. He plays Maze of Ith and passes. I Brainstorm at the end of the turn and play Noble on my turn. He goes for Crop Rotation to make Marit Lage at my end step but my Wasteland puts a stop to that. He tries to stall the game with Rishadan Port and Tabernacle, but I pay for Noble and when he tries to tap my Inkmoth, I animate it and Vines it in response. I follow it up with two Invigorate and kill him.

Game 2 was pretty funny. My opponent starts with Mox Diamond and Wasteland and he casts Loam to get back his land. I immediately Surgical his Loam, so I feel pretty good. On my turn, I play my Tropical Island and I name Wasteland with my Pithing Needle. My hand has Karakas, Agent, and Invigorate so this game can be over quickly. Unlucky for me though, Rishadan Port comes down and taps down my Tropical so I can only play Karakas and pass the turn. Ancient Grudge gets cast on my Needle and he wastes my Tropical so I just need to draw a land and I am good. We draw go for about four turns where I fail to find land and he taps down my Karakas every single turn. The game ends when I find a colored mana source and am able to cast Agent, after which I kill him on the next turn.

Oddly enough, the organization decided to do a Top 8 instead of a Top 4, even though there were not that many players. This means I can already draw in round to lock down Top 8, which is fine by me.

Rd 3: Intentional Draw (2-0-1)

Rd 4: 2-1 over Sneak and Show (3-0-1)

I am locked for Top 8 so I decide I want to play Round 4. If I win, I probably end in first place and be on the play to start my Top 8 matches; a big advantage for infect. I win the die roll and start with a Noble. My opponent Brainstorms and passes. I slam down Inkmoth and follow it up with Agent. This game is a pure race so I want to be faster. On the other side of the table, I see a Ponder being cast and ignore it. I kill him on my turn.

In Game 2, I made a risky play and got punished for it. I have Spell Pierce and Flusterstorm in my opening hand with a Noble. My opponent starts with land and passes. I do the same. He cantrips, plays Ancient Tomb and Lotus Petal, and passes. I decide to stick Noble on my turn. This was a mistake. This means I have only one blue mana for a counterspell. When he goes for Show and Tell, I counter, but he counters back. I threw this one away for myself.

I open Game 3 with an Elf after which my opponent Brainstorms on his turn. I play Pendelhaven followed by Noble and keep open blue mana for a counter spell. I slam in for six thanks to Invigorate. On his turn he plays a land and Brainstorms again. I have an interesting Brainstorm on my turn where I decide to keep a Pithing needle and Agent in my hand, putting back a pump spell and Spell Pierce. I chose this because I know that I have everything covered. I will play the Needle on Sneak Attack and if he plays Show and Tell, I can simply put Agent on the board. I even have Enter the Infinite into Emrakul covered. Since Agent would be my seventh permanent, I would keep my agent alive and deal the last infect damage. So I did not need Spell pierce. It took me a while to figure out this line, but I was quite happy about it. I attack and put him to nine poison. A bit anticlimactic, but my opponent simply extends the hand on his turn.

Quarterfinals: 2-0 over Sneak and Show (4-0-1)
I open Noble. My opponent Brainstorms and I play Elf on my turn. He Brainstorms again and gets butchered after he passes back.

Game 2 he Dazes my Turn 1 Noble. He then replays his land and adds a Petal too. I Brainstorm and fetch-shuffle away a Wasteland and Forest. He plays a land and Brainstorm. At the end of his turn I play Return to Nature on his Petal. He Brainstorms in response but the Petal is gone. I play another Noble and Inkmoth on my turn and pass. My opponent misses his land drop and I kill him on the return. He showed me his hand and he had Sneak Attack, he would have drawn a red source, so I would have lost if I had not destroyed the Petal. Thank you Return to Nature.

Semifinals: 2-0 over Maverick (5-0-1)
I see a Sylvan Library, so I am happy. The card is bonkers in this matchup. We both simply play a land on our first turns, so when I follow it up with Nexus and Library, I know I am in a good spot. This feeling does not last long though, since a Stoneforge Mystic resolves on the other side of the table. It is a straight up race now, so I would probably just take every single card I see with Library. I have a Blighted Agent with Invigorate and Berserk, but I fail to find a third land to protect the Agent. I just have to hope he does not have removal and I cast Agent. It went my way.

To start Game 2 my opponent simply plays a land, so my spider senses are tingling. I have a good hand, but I have to play it right. I only have a single fetchland and Noble, so if I go for Tropical and Noble I may lose the game on the spot. Him not playing a creature on Turn 1 signals Swords to Plowshares to me, so I fetch a Forest and cast Noble with it. At the end of the turn he does play STP on Noble and when he lays down the Wasteland on his second turn, I feel pretty good. He plays a Thalia too. This kinda messes up my gameplan, since I wanted to play Inkmoth Nexus followed by Library. I draw a fetchland however, so I simply play two Glistener Elf and keep the Nexus in hand for now. He casts Jitte on his third turn. I immediately destroy it with the Return to Nature, playing the Nexus as the third mana source. He casts Qasali Pridemage which is trouble, now I cannot cast Sylvan Library. However, he cannot attack with a creature or I may be able to kill him with an unblocked Elf on the swingback. So we play draw-go a couple of turns until I draw Spellskite. I play the Skite and Library alongside it. He tries to destroy Library, but I redirect it to Skite. Now I know I simply have to wait a few turns to get the cards I need with library. He dies three turns later.

Finals: 2-1 over Miracles (6-0-1)
What a Game 1, my opponents hand was insane really. I cast Elf on Turn 1, which gets countered by Force of Will. On my second turn I play another Flf, which gets Forced as well. I also play a Wasteland, which is pretty useless. When I cantrip on my third turn, I fail to find a colored mana source but I can slam down Inkmoth Nexus. I am very afraid of Back to Basics now, and it does come down on the other side of the table. I draw six turns without hitting a land and die.

I start Game 2 with Noble and he plays an island. I have Library and Force backup, so I play a land and cast it. He plays Spell Pierce, which I Force, but he had a Force of his own. I am still fine though, I kept a Brainstorm in hand and I already have an Invigorate; any single pump spell I find is lethal. He plays his second Island on his turn so I know I have to try and find the pump spell right now to kill him on my Turn 3. I end of turn Brainstorm and find Become Immense with Flusterstorm. Pretty much the perfect hand, so he dies.

In Game 3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar does it again. This is one of these cards specifically for this matchup so winning the tournament with it does feel extra sweet. My opening hand is nothing special, but it does have Nissa and 2 counters to ensure it resolves. My opponent starts with Island and Ponder. I play a Noble. but he STPs it at the end of my turn. He plays a land and passes. I play my second land and Ponder, hoping to find a few more ways to protect Nissa. I find a Crop Rotation, which is good here. I wanted him to think I care about it, which I did not, so that he uses up his counterspells. In his third turn he plays a land again and passes. I play the crop rotation at the end of his turn, which he Forces. I cast Nissa on my turn and it resolves. After this I start spawning plants and get Nissa all the way up to eight loyalty counters. At the end of that turn, he plays Vendilion Clique, so I know Nissa will eventually die. He attacks it down to 5 loyalty so I -2 and pump my five plants. First attack, I bring him down to 13 life. He draws, kills Nissa, and passes. I am very afraid of Terminus now, so I want to finish as quickly as possible. I attack and he plays Snapcaster, his last card, and targets Brainstorm. I cast Return to Nature and exile the Brainstorm. He blocks one plant and takes four, down to 9 life. He draws and passes. I attack and he blocks one plant with Clique, down to 6 life. He draws again and passes. I attack and hardcast invigorate on a plant, after which he extends the hand and the tournament is mine.

Wrap-Up
Those were some brutally close matches but he pulled it off in style. If I were to try my hand at Legacy, this would certainly be the deck for me. Are there any other Modern decks just waiting to break out in Legacy? What WAR cards have you been testing in Legacy? Come and share your ideas with us in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow to talk about the recipe for the perfect premium set. Until then my friends.

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