I guess that title is what we call a humblebrag? If it’s not immediately clear, yes, I added another feather in my cap for 2014 by finishing in the money of the largest Legacy tournament of all-time, the second largest constructed tournament of all-time, and the third largest Magic tournament of all time. I’m gonna be honest, after my abysmal performance in last year’s big show (GP Dulles), followed by zero impressive Legacy finishes all year with Miracles—it got so bad that I had to take a breather and bring Sneak n Show to Eternal Weekend—I was going to be ecstatic over just making day two. I’ll admit, following the highs of making top 16 at last year’s Eternal Weekend, and feeling like I had really developed a mastery of the archetype, my confidence with the deck was shaken. I wasn’t even going to play Miracles last weekend. It’s weird saying this, but Miracles was pretty much an audible, as I was torn between the Jeskaiblade list that Rudy rode to victory I the previous week’s SCG Open, and Golddigger.

After much deliberation on the eve of the big event, I would eventually find myself settling on Miracles, with a few new innovations, courtesy of Master Lossett. Here’s the list I ended up registering:

I'm Due For A Miracle (I'm Waiting For A Sign)

Planeswalkers (3)
Jace, The Mind Sculptor

Creatures (3)
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant

Spells (31)
Relic Of Progenitus
Sensei’s Divining Top
Dig Through Time
Force Of Will
Spell Pierce
Swords To Plowshares
Red Elemental Blast
Entreat The Angels
Lands (23)
Arid Mesa
Flooded Strand
Mystic Gate
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Baneslayer Angel
Blood Moon
Containment Priest
Ethersworn Canonist
Force Of Will
Pithing Needle
Red Elemental Blast
Swords To Plowshares

I saw Joe running a pair of Relics as his maindeckable graveyard hate on his stream, and the idea made a lot of sense, since it could slow down/stop Cruises, randomly hose some powerful strategies, and cycle when it wasn’t needed. I was happy to adopt this piece of technology, as well as the singleton Dig, but I could not bring myself to cutdown to two Jaces. Instead, I shaved the third Clique, since I felt that Liliana was a big part of the reason we used to run three copies, and with the decline in Lily, we could afford to cut a Clique. In retrospect, I think we also could’ve shaved a Karakas, due to the legend-count in the 75 going from five to three.


Round 1 and 2

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Caught some shut eye via byes and sleep-in special


Round 3
Jody on RG Lands

You’d think the turn one Relic would make this easy for me, but Jody was able to induce me to pop it with a Punishing Fire. I probably could’ve afforded to have been more patient and take a few hits from the oh-so-slow burn, but I did exactly what Jody wanted me to do, and left an opening for him to start his Loam engine. It wasn’t long after that when he binned his Dark Depths to make a Cthulhu and kill me. In the second game, I actually got double Relic on board, early. The problem was that Jody had double Choke, against my deck that had only a single Wear. I scooped upon seeing the second copy of that horrid enchantment. It wasn’t even like I could play Islands and accumulate blue mana by leaving them untapped, because he also had multiple Ports.


Round 4
Travis on Death and Taxes

While talking to Travis, I learned that he is friends with the good folks at Casthaven, who sponsor us. He made mention of it upon seeing my sleeves and playmat. He joked that he’s a bad marketer because he does some marketing work for them, and I was using their logo gear while he wasn’t. Getting back to the actual Magics, this was a fairly easy match for me, as D&T typically is, so long as they don’t get that perfect hand that includes the early Vial plus Thalia plus multiple sources of mana-disruption in a game where I am vulnerable to Wasteland. (Yes, I firmly believe that either all of those things need to go right for the D&T player, or something needs to go drastically wrong for me, if I’m going to lose.) I established the Jace-CounterTop trifecta at a single life in game one, and that was all she wrote. Game two played out similarly, but it was Clique that mopped things up after CounterTop, rather than Jace.


Round 5
Bob on RIP Miracles

This was a painful one for me to lose, not just because it pushed me to the brink of elimination, so early in the tournament, but because I think if we play this match a hundred times, I win about 80. Bob was a completely capable and competent player, so no disrespect to him, but RIP Miracles ends up having a lot of dead cards against traditional Miracles, due to the RIP-Helm-Field combo, while I have the luxury of playing more countermagic. Nevertheless, he gets me in game one by landing an early RIP, then using Enlightened Tutor to find Helm after we trade resources and I’m out of gas. In game two, I establish CounterTop and beat in with Clique for the win. I made what might be construed as a greedy keep in game three, but I would keep the hand I kept, every time; it was something like land, Top, Top, FoW, FoW, Counterbalance, and another blue card. I end up stumbling on lands, failing to hit double blue in a timely manner, and failing to find a fetch to let me see some fresh cards, and I end up dying to an Entreat, after using my FoWs to fight over a Jace and an earlier Entreat (was a bit surprised he kept both in, but he probably had so many cards he wanted to cut, that he had to).


Round 5
Zach on Belcher

Zach wins the die roll, takes a mulligan, and then passes his turn without doing anything. Curious.. it’s clearly not Manaless Dredge. On his next turn, he Probes me, glances quickly, and says he’s good. “Wait,” I say, “don’t you wanna write ’em down?” Then he casts Land Grant, and the jig is up; he’s on ‘Belcher, and it’s “go-time” (the reason he declined to write down my hand was because he just needed to see that I had no FoW). At that point, he had the kill, but I made him go through the motions and flip his deck, just to see if he had anything spicy in there. Nope, typical ‘Belcher build. I have a hand loaded with countermagic in game two, and get the concession when I set up CounterTop, with a Wear and a land floating in my top three, to turn off his whole deck. In game three, I thought for sure that I was a goner. After Zach is able to Empty The Warrens for 18 goblins, I had two outs in my entire deck: Pyroclasm and the one Terminus that I left in. I figured that my tournament was over, at this point. Zach casually says that I will draw Terminus. I do. He then scoops ’em up, and I live to fight another day. On a side note, I left in a couple Plows to respect Xantid Swarm, but those probably should’ve been Terminuses; Terminus can stop Swarm, just the same, but also gives an out to Empty.


Round 7
Alex on Jund

In game one, I manage to fend off an endless stream of value generated by multiple Blood Braid Elves and live long enough to Entreat for two. It proves to be enough. At one point, Alex even gets Liliana up to 6, but I had the Clique, right on time, and the follow-up Clique to stop her from beginning to regain loyalty. That was a scary moment, especially given that this current build of Miracles is a bit softer against BGx decks than its predecessor, as a concession to all the Delvers in the meta (which I’ve still seen zero of). Alex never really pressures my life total in game two, as he seems to draw nothing but discard. He does get a Sylvan Library, but he is only able to afford a single card from it, due to Vendilion Clique pecking away. Clique goes the distance.


Round 8
Ben on Death and Taxes

Game one goes pretty much exactly how game one went in round four, my last D&T match. Game two was one of the best, most intense games of the day. There were so many wild momentum swings! Four fetches and a single swing from Spirit of the Labyrinth bring me down to 13, before Batterskull drops me to 9. I have to chump the germ several times, just to cling to life, as Ben reaches 38 life to my 7. Wear deals with the ‘skull while Ben is tapped out, but he finds a Jitte. Needle shuts down Jitte, but he still has a couple small creatures that might be able to end me, without help. Then I draw my secret weapon: Baneslayer Angel. Ben’s eyes look like they’re about to pop out of his head, as he says, “Baneslayer Angel?!” in shock and horror. “What’s the matter? Surely you have a Plow,” I say, knowing full well that he boarded them out. Baneslayer is able to knock him down to 2 life, before he finds Council’s Judgement. Ben feels a moment of reprieve. Then I find Entreat. One more win to make day two!


Round 9
Devin on Miracles

This was a bummer. After the high of winning that epic game in the previous round, I had to play a friend in an elimination match. The worst part is that it was a silly, high-variance match. The Miracles mirror typically comes down to who sticks Counterbalance first. Sometimes, they just naturally have it on turn two, with Force backup, and all you can do is sigh. I didn’t have the Top, but I did have the early Counterbalance, which Devin was unable to prevent. Once I followed it up with a Jace, that was enough to earn the scoop. Devin came out a bit more hot in game two. We traded Forces, early, and he landed the turn two Stoneforge Mystic, in a game where I had cut all of my removal. To make things worse, Devin stuck Counterbalance. Baneslayer tried to save the day like she did in the previous round, but Devin had other plans. Devin added Jace to his insurmountable board presence. Devin used Jace to keep bouncing Baneslayer and get me to 8 life. He used Brainstorm to set a FoW on top of his deck to stop Baneslayer from coming back (he told me this, later). Then I threw a Hail-Mary: Dig Through Time. I dug and found EXACTLY what I needed. Batterskull ate a wear, while Counterbalance experienced a Tear, and then Jace got blasted. Just like that, the tables had turned. Devin would find another Jace and try to tempo me out with small creatures, but it was not to be, as I would find a Clique of my own and another blast to close things out and win the race.


While it sucked knocking Devin out, I was pretty happy to be in day two. Find out how that went, next week! (even though I somewhat already told you in my title and opening paragraph)

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