Hello everyone, and welcome to my GP Vegas tournament report. Or the first half of it anyway, since I’m writing this from my hotel room at the end of day one. I’m currently 7-2 with Goblins in Legacy. For those of you who don’t know, this is the list I’ve been playing lately:

Creatures (28)
Goblin Lackey
Skirk Prospector
Mogg War Marshal
Goblin Warchief
Goblin Chieftain
Goblin Sharpshooter
Earwig Squad
Goblin Matron
Goblin Ringleader
Tuktuk Scrapper
Krenko, Mob Boss
Gempalm Incinerator
Lightning Crafter

Spells (9)
Aether Vial
Warren Weirding
Lands (23)
Cavern of Souls
Snow-Covered Mountain
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Chalice of the Void
Cabal Therapy
Relic of Progenitus
Grafdigger’s Cage
Surgical Extraction
Blood Moon
Goblin Sharpshooter
Tuktuk Scrapper
Siege-Gang Commander

I started off with two byes.

Round 3—BUG Delver 2-0

Game one my opponent played a total of five cards: Polluted Delta, Underground Sea, Ponder, Thoughtseize, and Daze. In retrospect, this should have made it clear to me what my opponent was playing, but at the time I was thinking they were either on Bant Deathblade or some new form of Delver deck. As Bant Deathblade usually plays neither Ponder nor Thoughtseize, it should have been obvious that they were not, but when thinking through all the decks they could be playing, I somehow forgot about BUG Delver. My mistake however gave me an opportunity to practice sideboarding with incomplete information. This was an interesting exercise to me, and something I would like to write more about in the future.

Round 4—Grixis Delver 1-2

I won game one pretty easily and was feeling great about my chances. There I was, beating up on all the Delver decks I expected. Game two I kept a risky hand that had the potential to play a turn two Chalice if I drew a land. It didn’t pan out for me, but as I found out after the match, this led my opponent to bring Force of Will back in for game three. I’m not sure if that was correct or not, but it was cool to see my opponent identify a weak spot and try to solve the problem. I was not expecting my Blood Moon to get countered in game three, but it did, and that completely changed the game.

Round 5—RG Lands 2-1

This is a rather difficult matchup for Goblins, and after losing game one I at first felt like it was already over. However, I managed to regain my focus and play the best Magic I could, somewhat of a theme for me today.

I ended up winning two games in a row after using Wasteland in response to a Crop Rotation at a critical point in game three. I am very lucky to have good Lands players at my local game store to give me a lot of experience in the matchup, and here my testing really payed off. Shoutout to my teammates back at home for helping me prepare for this tournament!

Round 6—Death and Taxes 2-0

I don’t have much to say about this match. Things pretty much played out the way I drew them up. In game two Cabal Therapy did some serious work. So far I like bringing them in on the draw.

Round 7—Storm 2-0

Game one I had a turn three Earwig Squad take away all my opponent’s win conditions. I think it took my opponent off guard, but I was very impressed by how they adapted to the situation and played to their outs. When I passed the turn my opponent started comboing like normal, hoping that I would concede if it looked like they were going off. The probability that this would work was of course very low, but it was the best chance they had and they knew it. In a spot where it would have been easy to feel demoralized, my opponent kept their cool and played to their one out: bluffing.

Game two I had turn three Earwig Squad again, only this time it was backed up by disruption in the form of Grafdigger’s Cage and Chalice of the Void.

Round 8—Death and Taxes 2-1

I was both excited and a little nervous to be paired against one of the best Death and Taxes players in the world, Michael Bonde. Game one he played three Swords to Plowshares in the first few turns of the game, but when I finally found a Goblin Sharpshooter he had no removal for it, and so it cleared his entire board.

I lost game two to a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben equipped with Sword of Fire and Ice.

Game three I took a mulligan to five and kept a hand with Wasteland as my only land and no Aether Vial. Once again I found myself in a spot where giving up would have been easy, but I kept on playing, focusing only on playing the best Magic I could. Two very effective copies of Pyrokinesis, and a lot of lands off the top later, and I was in a winning position. Losing at Magic can feel pretty frustrating, and therefore it can be tempting to concede and go do something else rather than play out a losing position. But if you truly want to win you need to get past that and focus on playing good Magic.

Round 9—Sneak and Show 0-2

Game one I kept a reactive hand with a lot of removal spells—great against a Delver deck, not so much against combo.

Game two I once again kept a slower hand, but this time with some disruption. When my opponent cast Show and Tell I put a Goblin Matron into play, finding a Stingscourger that I could vial into play. Unfortunately my opponent had both Sneak Attack and Griselbrand, and I lost on the following turn. It’s quite possible I should have mulliganed for a faster hand this game and tried to race them instead.

Before we go, I want to touch on something that I’ve seen a lot of players do that I believe is costing them percentage points. When playing in a tournament you need to be careful not to give your opponent information they can use to to beat you. I knew what several of my opponents were playing before we even started game one today because they accidentally showed me a card in their deck or were using a lifepad from a previous round, allowing me to figure out what they were playing. Knowing what deck you’re playing against is an enormous advantage, and one you should be careful not to give your opponent when you don’t have to.

Sandro is a Magic player from Stockholm, Sweden. He’s been playing Goblins in Legacy for years. Follow him on Twitter @SandroRajalin

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