It feels like an eternity since the last time I played a sanctioned match of Legacy, mostly due to missing the last two biweekly Monday Night Legacy events at Twenty Sided on account of illness and work. So, the obvious solution here is to go and buy your entire Legacy deck on MODO so you can jam some Magics! Okay, okay, I don’t completely advocate doing that (maybe just a little). There are cheaper ways to break into Legacy, one of which I touched on here. Maybe one day I’ll do a guide to playing Legacy on a budget, but that day is not today, because I have a tier one deck and I need to practice it before the Star City Games circuit comes back to New Jersey in one short week from tomorrow. All this MODOing has led to me coming to the realization that it is high time I set up a Twitch account. Of course, after smashing two dailies, 4-0 and 3-1, in the last week, I realized I’m pretty bad at this whole Twitch thing. How bad? Well, lack of sound, aside (I’ll try to get a microphone soon!), just have a look at this sweet match against Tin Fins. No, there’s nothing wrong with your screen, it’s supposed to be quarter-sized, because watching video is more fun when you can’t read any of the cards.

Fortunately, I was able to scrap together some replays and record those to Twitch (for whatever reason, only a small and seemingly random selection of your replays are saved; I have one replay from the 3-1 daily and five from the 4-0). I’ll go through one of these replays that I’ve picked out and go through my thoughts on a turn-by-turn basis. The replays actually go by pretty quickly because MODO doesn’t go into the tank at all when it shows replays. Before we get started, here’s the list I was working with (I say “was” because I’ve since made some alterations that I will discuss, later):

Sometimes I Pretend to Play Decks Other Than Miracles.. Not Today

Creatures (5)
Snapcaster Mage
Venser, Shaper Savant
Vendilion Clique

Planeswalkers (3)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Spells (29)
Sensei’s Divining Top
Blood Moon
Enlightened Tutor
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Swords to Plowshares
Entreat the Angels
Supreme Verdict
Lands (22)
Arid Mesa
Flooded Strand
Mystic Gate
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Blood Moon
Circle of Protection Red
Swords to Plowshare
Enlightened Tutor
Entreat the Angels
Red Elemental Blast
Rest in Peace
Spell Pierce

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the Helm?! I’ve sold out and moved over to the Joe Lossett school of thought. After losing a couple pseudo mirrors, both in paper and digital, against the regular Miracles deck while I played RIP Miracles, I saw some issues with my build. The problem with that matchup is that you just have so many more blanks than they do. Where you have Rest in Peace, which you’re not even sure whether or not it’s safe to cast because you’re scared that they might actually be playing the same version as you and they might win out of nowhere with Helm, they have Cliques and/or more countermagic. In a matchup with this much card selection, those dead cards are going to lose you the game, very often. Helm itself is also a dead card until you draw and resolve RIP. As nice as it is to get those free wins that you sometimes get with a maindeck RIP, I’m going to put in some practice with what I consider the more consistent version. Not only do I get an easier time in the mirror, I also improve my percentages against other forms of control, and non-graveyard combo (Show and Tell)

The first video is game two of a match against Mono-Red Painter, after I had won game one. Cards of note that we know we will see based on what we saw in the first game and what we know about the archetype included Imperial Recruiter, Painter’s Servant, Grindstone, Red Elemental Blast, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon, Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, Simian Spirit Guide, Phyrexian Revoker, Sensei’s Divining Top, and both sets of Sol Lands. The deck usually seeks to lock opponents out with a turn one or two Moon (Blood or Magus), powered out by Sol Lands and/or Simian Spirit Guide. Then, they can either go on a beat down plan with all of their weenies while you’re Mooned out of the game, especially since Recruiters can quickly flood the board with bodies, or just win out of nowhere with the Grindstone-Painter combo. An added bonus is the synergy of Pyroblast/REB with Painter, since naming blue suddenly turns those (typically) sideboard cards into a sort of charm on steroids: for the measly cost of R, you have an instant speed Vindicate or Counterspell. In game one, we saw him hit an early Magus and follow it up with a Recruiter for Jaya Ballard, but we play enough basics to often shrug off Moons (hell, we maindeck our own Moon!), and enough sweepers to not get completely overrun by his army of one and two-power dudes. Going into game two, we obviously want to cut Blood Moon. Moat and Swords to Plowshares are good cards to bring in. Jace is less important in this matchup, so we can afford to cut one. I gave a thought to bringing in Red Blasts for when he plays Servant, but as hilarious as that scenario is, I don’t want to be that dependent on him to be able to play my cards. That said, here’s the game. As a bonus, I’m not going to show you the end, and I want you to tell me the correct play.

Turn 0: Solid opener. I have Swords, which is important to breaking up his combo and stopping the early Magus, access to three basics, Counterbalance, and Force backup. Yup, sorry Jace, but you’re currently the odd one out if I need a pitch for Force.

Turn 1: Top? Hmm.. I’ll let you have it. As a bonus, that will make you less interested in naming Top when you play Revoker.

Turn 2: Ooooh, another Swords. Let’s lead with the fetch so we have our options open; if we really need to swords, we can, but we keep open the possibility that we can slam Counterbalance next turn and hope for blind flips.

Turn 3: He’s tapping for three. We’re totally getting Mooned, here. Ah, Magus, you’re okay. I’m gonna show you how to farm, next turn. We’ll continue to stand pat with the fetch. Always wait as long as you can to fetch if you’re playing a deck with library manipulation.

Turn 4: Play plains; Turn Magus into a farmer. Snare is a nice draw with the open fetch.

Turn 5: Some nice Top shenanigans. When I first started playing with Top, I wouldn’t know to make plays like this and never really understood the point of playing two Tops at once. It’s usually good to play out your spare tops if you have nothing else to do, because you can turn them into another card when you have a shuffle effect handy (in this case, Recruiter). He’s fetching up a Painter, but I’m hardly scared with Force, Swords, and Snare.

Turn 6: Another fetch ensures that I’m totally in the clear from worrying about Blood Moon for the rest of the game. Time to slam Counterbalance… only to have him pitch Spirit Guide to cast Pyroblast. Not wasting Force; the Force is more valuable than blind flipping, especially now that I know he has at least half of his combo and I’m tapped out of blue.

Turn 7: Another Recruiter comes down to find… Darwin Kastle?! People play that card? So much for having my mana situation squared away.

Turn 8: Hmmm… so I got this Snapcaster that I can now pitch to Force instead of Jace. That means I can cast Jace and keep up Force backup, while still having the Snare and Swords ready for next turn. Jace-storm into Moat?! Oh sweet, now I also get to totally shut down any hope he has of attacking for the rest of the game.

Turn 9: Yeah, Avalanche Riders is not happening.. unless my finger that’s resting on F2 gets a little, uhhh, heavy? That guy was supposed to get Forced. I’d rather lose Force + Snappy than Jace + land. Hell, you could even have the land, Jace is better than all! Ok, enough angry ranting about my inability to properly press buttons. I still have a Moat. Oh, and he just played Grindstone. Now I can use my Force on that card, instead and pretend that I totally just next-leveled this guy.

Turn 10: Fetch, but let’s hold off on Moat. I know he has a Painter in hand, and I don’t think he’s not paying the echo cost on Riders, so his clock is pretty slow.

Turn 11: Sure enough, Painter comes down. I will save the Snare and use Swords, instead, since I know I’m drawing another Swords next turn from my Jace-storm. I won’t actually use Swords until he gives me a reason to. I can afford to take a couple swings, with this Moat that I’m holding onto. Oh, look, REB on my land? Sounds like a reason to cast Swords! I love a good two for one.

Turn 12: Land is pretty much EXACTLY what I wanted. I can now cast Moat, while holding up a blue for Snare. Snare only needs to stop Painter, which I am going to assume is literally his only path to victory, since he either needs to combo me or he needs to draw another blast while he has Painter to kill Moat.

Turn 13: Nothing really happens.

Turn 14: We draw Entreat the Angels. Now, my question to you, based on the current board state and everything we know about both decks, is this: what is the correct number of angels to make, and why? It’s obviously either two or three, but what factors are you weighing? We’re in a very dominant position here and should not lose the game, but I still think there is an absolutely correct answer, and it’s important not to leave those small percentages on the table, because every now and again, they will come back and bite you.

Before we part, this week, I mentioned that I made some changes to the above list, and I would like to address those. There was one change that I hadn’t made for budget reasons, as I was hesitant to pick up Misdirections, but I finally went and got one. I run also usually run it in my paper list, so there’s no real need to elaborate further on this minor update. What I think is the BIG change is…


…going up to four Jaces (no, the new legend rule hasn’t gone into effect on MODO, yet). After much consideration, I read some strong cases in favor of four Jaces (lol, rhymes) that I agreed with over on the forums at The Source. They’re always going to have an answer to one of your Jaces. Whether they make you discard it, they counter it, they make you pitch it to Force, they have their own Jace (for now), or they just manage to knock out his loyalty, they’re almost always going to do something to one of your Jaces. And if it happens early, digging for another one could be miserable. I don’t know the exact number, but the percentage of games I have lost after untapping with Jace is pretty low. You always want to see this guy as long as you’re going to live long enough to cast him. If you have an extra, you can always pitch him to Force, or Brainstorm it away, or Jace-storm it away when you cast the first one. If #teamgeist is a thing, can I start #teamjace? Must play four Jaces to apply. Then there were some other minor changes like going up to three Spell Pierces and cutting Blood Moon from the main (but keeping one in the board).

Hopefully this non-live, text-accompanying-a-replay format wasn’t too awful. I’m slowly figuring out this Twitch thing and will do some livestreams soon. Possibly as early as next week, but I still need to figure out the microphone issue. And by “figure out,” I mean I need to visit my parents and bring back the microphone or webcam I already own.

I’ll be streaming on I’ll post from my Twitter when I’m streaming (same handle).

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