Las Vegas—I’m sure by this time you’re totally sick of hearing about it. Either you went and it’s over, or you didn’t and you took in every tournament report about Modern Masters you could stomach. Here’s one more!

I went, of course. Touched down in the airport at 1:30pm Las Vegas time, and I’ll tell you, I was a bit tired. After hearing about the lines for playmats and the free Mini Master event, I decided to take it easy and shower, change clothes, and just take a moment to myself. I don’t normally wake up at 7am, eat breakfast, and then fly over two mountain ranges into the desert. So I figured I’d slow my pace down a bit.

After the shower I walked (yes I was that close to the convention center I was able to walk over) to the venue. Upon entry I immediately start to see friendly faces. I sign in, receive my “Las Vegas” sleeves, and my All is Dust promo. I’m intent on finding foils for my fledgling cube. After reading Alex K’s Cube articles, I’m really excited to create my own set of cards to play.

I take a look around the dealer tables for $1 binders. I have to admit I went a little over board on my first round of foils. Mostly I picked up stuff that’s modern playable and likely would not be in my cube. Call me greedy.



Shortly after I joined up for a legacy tournament at 7pm. I sleeved up the same Fish Deck you’ve seen Ben Lunquist play. Here’s a quick synopsis of this tourney.

Round one, I play Charbelcher. She bricks after I counter her Goblin Charbelcher. I swim home. Game two pretty much the same thing happens. Mutavault turns out to be an all star and I’m able to have a guy without committing early mana. Wasteland is a dog in this match. Nothing to side it out for… I run twenty lands I need them all.

Round one, I face Bant Midrange. His first land is a Tundra. I smirk. Victory comes by way of islandwalk. The second game mirrors the first but I played a Submerge to save my lord from Sword to Plowshares. It’s over rather quick. I look around. There’s Storm, a couple Omnitell decks, Junk, Miracles, another Belcher, and several Jace decks (Stone- or Deathblade). This looks like a good field for me. As long as I don’t hit Junk, I’m favored, I believe.

Round three. I get Junk. And of course I get spanked. My second game I keep a hand I have no business not snap-mulling. So that’s on me. I’ll have to win out to have a chance at the…”What’s the prize?” I ask the judge. “A Moat.” Oh well, what’s it even worth…SCG has it at $400? Whoa! I need to focus! I’m gonna win a Moat.



Round four, I win the Charbelcher lottery. Woot! Game one is mine on the back of Force of Will. Game two I had the Force for his Charbelcher, but he casts Empty the Warrens on his turn one. Well, crap, I didn’t see that coming. But I promise to not let him get to four mana next game. Game three is a snap keep with Island, Island, Force of Will, Force of Will, Spell Pierce, Mutavault, Master of the Pearl Trident. I’m pretty happy. Island, go. He tries to go off but this time I’m wise to the Warrens and let him use his mana to get to three and then Force.

Turn two: Lord, Pass.
He draws…Pass.
Turn three: Vault Adept, show Cursecatcher, attack for two, pass.
He draws. And tries to go off again. I let him toss out his hand. And Force. He’s left with one card…and extends the hand.

I look up. We are the first to be finished. I charge up my phone. I can do this! After talking to a few of the other legacy players, many say this is the first legacy event they’ve played in a while. Their LGSs don’t run much as far as eternal formats. I make a note to thank Luis for supporting the arts.

Round five is Miracles. It’s a grindy match but I take the first game when Surgical Extraction removes his Rest in Peace combo after a turn two Daze. There’s a bunch of back and forth but eventually I draw a fourth Wasteland to send his Arid Mesa to the yard and the Energy Field is no more. I swing and he blows his Engineered Explosives for two, and he recasts it the next turn thanks to Academy Ruins. I play a Merrow Reejerey. Then another. He EntreatsSpell Pierce. He decides to leave it be, since he needs two mana to activate the EE. Next turn, he Entreats and I’ve got nothing. Three 4/4 Angels while I’m at 18, and he’s at 5. Untap, topdeck a Lord, Vial it in and attack. He blows the EE and I vial in a second Lord. He extends the hand. It was an intense game, but super fun.

Holy cow, I’m a Legacy player! That was outta control! They announce that the tourney will be cut short by one round. I’m pretty sure this means I can’t win a Moat. Bummer. I’m doing so well, though, so I don’t really care.

Round six, I square off versus Goblins. Everyone tells me this is a bad match up but I’m not convinced. Both games I block his early guys and then my dudes are huge. I take the game over pretty quickly—Dismember deals with Goblin Piledriver, which I never saw but held my black for anyway.

5-1. I’m looking to hit round seven and see what I get. X-1 gets 12 packs…OF DRAGON’S MAZE. LAME! Oh well. They announce that since its 12am they’ll cut the last rounds and pay out the tourney based on current records. I’m fine with that. I take my 12 packs and open squat. Then dream of Grand Prix Victories.

It’s 8am. I wake up and shower. Look at the cards I picked up the night prior and I’m sort of antsy. My roommate gets up. We get breakfast. I’ve got the sleep in special I won at a GPT, so I decide to sleep in. Only thing is I’m too antsy to sleep.

I go back to my room. Wander around, read articles about MM sealed, and generally futz. Finally, I give up, I’m not going to sleep. I walk over to the convention center.

Deck construction has just finished of the no byes crew. I scour the dealer tables for last minute foils before it’s game time and I find some more gems!


Before long I’m onto deck building and, wouldn’t you know it, Bob Maher (aka Dark Confidant) is two spots from me. Pretty cool! And then I open my pool. The first thing I notice is Vedalken Shackles. That’s a card to build a deck around, for certain. Then I scour through my cards and find this guy!


Whaaaaaat! Oh man I definitely have to get Bob to sign this. I’m super excited and I build my deck. I think my excitement lead to some misevaluations on the strength of some cards. Anyhow, I waited until Bob had finished registering his deck (he took the full time, likely the smart thing to do) and I asked him to sign it and to get a photo op. He was more than happy to! What an awesome dude!


Right, so onto Rounds.

Round four I played Eddie. Super nice guy, on Thallids a GW build. I missed a suspend trigger and he told me that he’d let that one go not the next one. Eddie you’re a better man than I am! For his all generosity, though, he won the match off a Stir the Pride/Echoing Courage Thallid waffle stomp. It was brutal.


Round five, I played Brian on B/W. I lost Game one without much fight. Game two I climbed back into the game with my Shackles. But eventually, not even the Shackles could stop his second fattie, Divinity of Pride, from suiting up with equipment to get out of my Shackles’ range.


Kaylie and I faced off in the sixth round. (Though Wizards thinks I played Sean Upshaw). Both games I was able to play a third turn Shackles and eventually win the board. Afterwards, Kaylie and I looked at her deck. I tried to hook up a R/U arcane Kiki/Pestermite deck for her. She played my deck against me and crushed me, so that didn’t really work as planned. After the game I expressed an interest in her Foil Desperate Ritual for my cube. And she just gave it to me. She wouldn’t even look at my trade binder! Pretty awesome.


Round seven, I’m still alive but quite sure I made a terrible move in building my deck. My next opponent, Aiden, schools me no problem and the second game I got land screwed.


I drop. I’m starving and I need food, a shower, and a change of clothes. I head back to the hotel and clean up. I meet out with John, Li, Giaco, and Zach B. for a buffet at the Wynn. I X-0 the crab legs and prime rib. After dinner I head back to the hotel. I’m pooped. Right to passing out.


I spend day two picking up more foils and playing some pick-up games of Modern. For a Modern-centric tourney they really didn’t have many Modern constructed events. What the heck what up with that?!


The day comes to a close and I head to In-N-Out Burger to eat dinner and then make for the airport. When I get home I kiss my girlfriend, and go to sleep for about two hours then head to Twenty Sided Store at 6. There’s a Cube Draft! I’m not missing that.


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