Last week, in a testing group for Grand Prix New Jersey, I was finally fed up with Maverick. I got my Green/White butt handed to me when I ran the deck against Miracles and UR Delver. Or, if you will, mine and many others two boogeymen of Legacy. Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy to be testing these two matchups, especially with very competent pilots behind their respective decks. But you know how difficult navigating through Counterbalance is when you don’t have clear methods to disrupt them? It’s awkward for me, and I was incessantly uncomfortable, even after boarding (where ten, yes TEN cards came in against the control deck) I still believed the matchup grossly unfavorable. Moreover, I didn’t trust myself enough with the deck to consistently sequence through the countermagic, specifically when my deck runs more or less off the top of its library. A creature deck cannot put enough pressure into a Terminus without getting drowned in card disadvantage, which gives the Miracles player ample time to sculpt a soft lock. And without pressure or disruption, what exactly am I doing to beat a deck full of answers?

I scrapped the idea that night. While I enjoy this deck list, it excited me much less in practice, and the deck felt weak to many of the typical things my opponents would be doing all day on Saturday. That does not for a happy Magic experience make, especially when my kicks come from winning games. Well, winning games and meeting awesome people, which so far has been a theme with Grand Prix experiences this year. Meeting awesome people, that is…

So I set out to find the answer of what to play, yet again. Really, it is Treasure Cruise that has screwed it all up for me. I loved playing BUG Delver. I love and miss my Hymn to Tourachs and Liliana of the Veils. They are two of my favorite magic cards and I was disappointed when Treasure Cruise made it harder for them to exist. Even my newly purchased set of Tarmogoyfs were staring back at me, disapprovingly, at all the delving that was happening. I felt helpless. I knew what the answer was and I just had to accept it. I texted my Legacy sensei, Justin, for help:



i want to play blue, and abrupt decay, and have a second angle of attack

why cant i have all these things!?




“Good question, honestly you need to have your ass handed to you for a while with the deck you want to play to really learn what you want to play”


“One thing is for sure… i want to play drs, scooz, abrupt decay, and thoughtseize”


“Alright we are picking two decks, a blue list and a non blue list, I don’t care if cruise is in the blue list or not, but either way here are the decks you can play that include the cards you mentioned:





BUG Delver

Snap Control



Aggro/Control Loam

Here are the decks you need to be prepared for

UR Delver

RUG Delver









UWx Control





Sneak and Show

Omni Show


Solidarity/High Tide


Then we spent hours going over the decks and, one by one, eliminating potential options. Keep in mind, I was at work while all this was happening, trying to help customers, answer the phone, do normal work stuff. It was arresting, but after several hours, we settled on a deck that had all the elements I wanted — well, almost all of them — and contained cards I was excited to play. We decided to start working on a BUG control list. We based the list off a successful list fellow Hipster Tim Akpinar had been working with pre-Khans of Tarkir. I took the list, moved the pieces around, and came up with a list to being testing.

That’s right folks, I decided to play blue, after making such a fuss about not playing it last week.


Creatures (12)
Deathrite Shaman
Baleful Strix
Snapcaster Mage
True-Name Nemesis

Spells (26)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Liliana of the Veil
Abrupt Decay
Spell Pierce
Force of Will
Dig Through Time
Treasure Cruise
Lands (22)
Creeping Tar Pit
Verdant Catacombs
Polluted Delta
Underground Sea
Tropical Island

Sideboard (15)
Golgari Charm
Umezawa’s Jitte
Maelstrom Pulse
Krosan Grip
Force of Will
Phyrexian Revoker
Surgical Extraction

A few questions remain for me before I run this in New Jersey: is Dig Through Time something I want in this list, or should it just be 3 Treasure Cruise? I will mess with both and figure out what works best. On one hand, the one-of’s in the board along with Brainstorm/Jace manipulation might make it one dig, two cruise. But Dig might not even be necessary. I dunno… I haven’t ever cast Jace!

There’s also the sideboard, which is completely untested for the metagame. I will have to meticulously observe what I want for each tested matchup and chart the sideboard against the expected field. So I have basically, oh I dunno, zero time to get myself straight for this Grand Prix? Sounds like fun to me!

Seriously, though, i’m really nervous about Legacy, because I haven’t had an easy time entering the format. As everyone by now knows, the floor to buy into Legacy is very high, and when i’m spreading myself out between Standard and Modern already, well, I have very little budget to work with for Legacy as of yet. I’ve spent the last year and a half accumulating the staples of Modern Magic. Hopefully by next year i’ll have invested into the Legacy staples I want (read: DUAL LANDS) so I have deck building flexibility. But so far, its been all about the borrows.

I hate borrowing cards, but it’s been the only way I have been able to sit down and actually play Legacy at my LGS, so everytime I have the itch to play I have to send out the bat signal and for the most part, until recently, it’s been all Justin who has been helping me get myself both into the format and providing access to the cards. Recently, though, other people I know have been awesome enough to help me out. In fact, for this Grand Prix, I’ve had card help from Justin, fellow Hipster Tim — who just lent me the entire mana base for this BUG list — and friend of Hipsters Keith. They have all been great in providing me with an open learning experience when I test with them. Great assists guys!

Now, to buckle down and get prepped. Well, as prepped as I can possibly be for this event. Next week i’ll be reporting back, complete with pictures, epic storytelling, and my experience in the mires of a Legacy Grand Prix! Until then, be sure to check out Tim Akpinar’s Survival Guide to Legacy, which he will be updating us all with every day this week!

Best of luck to everyone at GP New Jersey!

Derek Gallen likes Brainstorming.

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