Last weekend (weekend of September the 18th 2021) The Legacy Pit hosted the Legacy Pit Open, a large competetive event for Legacy in the US. The event was very successful and a number of people have already written reports / write ups of their tournament experience. A number of archetypes were represented including a number of people out to jam some Doomsday in paper. We approached those who were part of the online community and asked if anyone was willing to write up a report of their event and we had a brilliant response with 4 pilots submitting reports for this article and 1 of them even offering to talk over the experience in an interview too!
For the wider meta and to follow the decklists within the event it can all be found online along with the organiser's website (they produce a lot of good content so please check them out!):
Linked below you can find a link to the interview I (Doishy) had with Romario Vidal. This was a great chat and covered his thoughts going into the event, his deck choice decisions, the event itself and future thoughts including how Consider might be changing the lists pilots run. The interview is just under 2 hours (1 hour 49 minutes) and has been cleaned up to hopefully make it palatable for the ears. Currently it is only available on Youtube because unfortunately the payment model on SoundCloud means we cannot upload any additional content on there without paying for the priviledge. Please do have a listen if you have time!
We had 4 players submit reports which you will be able to read below. Overall Doomsday had a very good showing in the event, despite the high numbers of Delver and Ragavan decks in general. With 11 pilots Doomsday, had around a 3% meta share and boasted an impressive 58.54% match win rate (without mirror). This was the best performance of any deck with a playerbase >10 in the event so a huge well done to all the player's collective performance.
The players who were able to submit a report were RomarioVidal, VendillionMisclique, germancouch and Ruta Barracuda so a huge thank-you to them for being willing to take the time to provide those reports. There were also some other great results from other players but they were not able to find the time to submit anything.
Grixis Turbo Meandeck
This past weekend the guy from The Legacy Pit hosted an event in Frederick MD, this was the first large event since the start of the pandemic in NA. The tournament was only a few hours away driving from my house and, like a lot of other legacy enthusiasts, I was itching to play some paper legacy.
The general perception was the meta was being dominated by Ragavan/DRC/Urza's Saga decks. Out of those 3, Ragavan represented the biggest threat to my deck of choice: Doomsday. I didn’t really do any extensive testing or preparation for the event due to some family schedule changes and some other personal businesses, but I was did play a good number of leagues and tried a few different deck configurations. Eventually I settled on the Kai Sawatari* Doomsday list, it’s the list most similar to the lists I was familiar and have had some previous good results.
So onto the event, we were required to submit decklists and register ahead of time since there wouldn’t be any in-person registration, with that being said I registered the Wednesday before the event.
G1. I kept a hand that could cast Doomsday with Force of Will but there were no lands. If I remember correctly this was my opening 7: 2x Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Doomsday, Thoughtseize, Force of Will, Daze. I am also on the draw in this game. They played a Wasteland and passed the turn. On my turn I cast Petal > Thoughtseize, I see double Daze, Expressive Iteration and some lands, I took a Daze; I cast Dark Ritual into Doomsday, now the pile I ended up building was what I like to call the DnT pile, 2x fetches, Thassa's Oracle and 2 fetchable lands. This pile would lose to a second piece of countermagic but it would beat removal, the Daze I knew about and Wasteland. They drew a Force of Will and we went to play g2.
This deck was a bit of a brew but it had all the good cards you would expect to see in an reanimator deck plus some Show and Tell and some tin fins elements.
G1. I saw a basic Swamp and an Entomb, that was it. When I went for the combo they seemed to just have f6’d. I sideboarded for reanimator.
G2. Opponent caught me off guard when they played a basic Island into Careful Study, I sideboarded out some of my discard spells but now I realized I am playing against a deck that is also playing countermagic. Luckily they were able to put Iona, Shield of Emeria in the graveyard but not reanimate it back before I could resolve Thassa’s Oracle.
G1. This is another game that I didn’t get the right deck my opponent was playing. They cast a Chalice of the Void on turn one off a City of Traitors which I countered. I cast Doomsday the following turn and make a pile that can beat anything but a Trinisphere, they don’t cast anything and just pass the turn, Thassa’s Oracle enters the battlefield and we reach for our sideboards. I thought my opponent was on mono stompy but in this case I think I would still SB the same way.
G2. They had sort of a slow start just casting some baubles but nothing else until after I resolved Doomsday, they cast a Karn, the Great Creator, I let it resolve even though I had Force of Negation, Force of Will and a blue card in hand. They minus Karn to get a Tormod's Crypt then try to flashback an Echo of Eons with a Lion's Eye Diamond. I countered and won on the following turn.
This round I played against the great and powerful Tony Murata aka into_play on mtgo, well known caster of Primeval Titans.
G1. So this is one of the best MUs for Doomsday, it's not say you can't lose as the combo player, with the printing of Endurance things got a lot more tricky. I wasn't expecting much interaction from Tony's side of the table before board and made a pretty basic Brainstorm pile.
G2. I boarded in the Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn + Shelldock Isle plan in this game. I knew it could be a bad idea since they play cards like Pithing Needle, Karakas and possibly Wasteland / Ghost Quarter. I cast Doomsday on turn 2, the pile I made was Brainstorm (Emrakul was in my hand), Shelldock Isle, Thassa's Oracle, Underground Sea and Doomsday. I put shelldock in play on turn 3, Tony cast a Crop Rotation when Emrakul resolves, I countered and he conceded. The idea here was to have a second Doomsday to refill my deck in case I needed to attack twice with Emrakul.
Played against legacy master Bob Huang, earlier in the day I asked if he was on Delver he told me Affinity. Honestly I thought was trolling me for a second, it turns out he was not.
G1. I mulled to 6 trying to find a hand that could cast a quick Doomsday, but I wasn't able to put and Doomsday together before a couple of constructs reduced my life total to 0.
G2. I tried basically the same plan as game 1 but this time I was able to combo before getting attacked down to 0.
G3. I found the combo pieces a turn too late, but overall I think this was one of the MUs I hadn't played any matches against it, I didn't really approach the games correctly.
Played against another great player from Arizona, the awesome Matt Hackbert.
G1. Last time I talked to Matt he was playing Tin Fins/Ice Station Zebra type of decks but he was also posting in the Doomsday discord. I was able to combo kinda early in the game, and the only cards I saw were a couple cantrips and a Cabal Therapy.
G2. I thought Matt was on some kind of combo and I was right I just wasn't expecting cephalid breakfast. Funny part is I kept a hand with 3 Doomsday, the only thing I kept thinking was “If he plays a Therapy I am conceding before he even names “Doomsday”. Matt made a small mistake that ended up costing him the game and therefore the match.
Things started getting interesting from this round on, at least in terms of tournament prize. Earlier in the day the tournament organizers announced they expanded the prize support to anyone who finished X-3 or better. At this point I had 2 losses, which meant I could only lose 1 match in the last 3 rounds if I wanted to at least make my entry fee money back. You can imagine I was very thrilled to face probably the worst MU for Doomsday.
G1. Now this is getting late in the day, I am starting to get a bit tired, not writing notes means I am not 100% on these boardstate and play sequences but I am going to to my best. This game was decided by an early Doomsday and later a Thassa's Oracle with some Force of Will back up, but my opponent didn't actually have any interactions besides the Daze they had for my Doomsday.
G3. I was able to resolve Doomsday and make a pile that ended with me casting Thassa's Oracle off Cavern of Souls. Barring some Stifle shenanigans this pile was perfect for this scenario, and now the dream to cash the event was still alive.
Well, as it turns out I was going to have to play against some hard MU in these last rounds.
G1. This was kinda funny, both me and my opponent just mulliganed into oblivion. My opener was 5 lands (mixed of Underground Sea and fetches) Ponder and Daze, after that I saw two hands without lands, both me and my opponent decided to pile shuffle. I stopped at 4 and they went down to 3 cards, I kept a hand resilient to Wasteland and it could cantrip. The hand I see after casting Duress is 3x Wastelands. I ended up winning this game but my opponent came really close to making up the card disadvantage from the mulligan.
G2. I used the SB plan for Delver, and Pact of Negation really shined in the combo turn. It felt super rewarding to win this and the previous round. This also meant I was guaranteed to get my entry fee money back and now I was going to play for some extra $45.
In this round I played someone who I considered to be one of the nicest people I have met playing this game Michael Mapson. Mike hosts a podcast about Modern and Legacy, he also has been putting really good results with this Depths variant, by the way this is also another mu doomsday is favored. To be honest I was kinda relieved I wouldn't have to play against Ragavan for the third time in a row.
G1. Like I said previously this is a mu Doomsday is favored, much in the same way Doomsday is favored against Mono Post but now you do have to have a plan for Endurance. I wasn't very familiar with the stock 75 for this deck but I suspected they weren't playing Endurance in the main deck. I cast doomsday, Mike asked me if he was dead to which I replied “yes if you don't have any interaction” they said “I do not”. I demonstrated to Mike the pile I was going go make with the cards in my hand and we went to G2.
G2. I kept a hand that could combo by turn 3, and I also had a Force of Will for any early turns disruption he could have like Deafening Silence or hate-bears. If I remember correctly I cast a Thoughtseize on turn 2 and discarded an Endurance. I also saw 2 Knight of the Reliquary. Mike drew 3 extra cards with Sylvan Library over the next two turns, casts a Choke which I countered, then I cast Doomsday. He again asked me if he was dead, I said the same thing “yes if you don't have any interactions” and they conceded. We talked a bit about the MU and then I was done.
Ended 7-2 in the event, really enjoyed my matches, all my opponents were really nice to interact and were very pleasant, can't wait for big events to become a normal thing again in the future when things are safer.
Grixis Turbo Meandeck
My general decision to play Doomsday for the Pit open was based on a gut feeling that Ragavan decks would be less popular in paper and my general dislike for the card. I didn't have very much experience with combo and got 100% of my list from Kai and followed his stream religiously over the past few months. Unfortunately I was wrong about my general impression of the metagame, there was a bunch of monkey buisness. Despite with facing some bad matchups and my relative inexperience as a pilot, the deck felt bonkers. One thing I will say is while the Bant/4C matchup feels close when I play online many of the pilots in this event seemed to not have a good understanding of matchup dynamics. Plenty of Endurances cast at the wrong time and Pyroblasts burned on cantrips.
Game one was quick. They tapped out for a t2 Sylvan Library when I had Daze in hand, was able to go off holding up multiple pieces of interaction. Game 2 I got smacked down by an early Wasteland x Life from the Loam lock. I questioned if I should board out the Shelldock Emmy plan but chose to leave it in.
This paid off in the final game where I cast Duress to see Force of Will and multiple Endurance. I was able to play it slow with Emrakul and won but it was close. They got two dredges to look for the one-of Wasteland.
G1 I played Lotis Petal into a Chancellor of the Annex trigger so that I could cast discard on t1 to take an Entomb. After that they went for an Animate Dead line on Grief to put us both hellbent, but a 2/1 doesn't do a great job as the only clock. Cantrips in the deck meant I was able to outdraw them from there and easily win.
G2 They mulled into oblivion.
G1 was close, they had turn 1 Ragavan and off the first cantrips I saw straight gas. Unfortunatly I had to let them cast spells.... I avoided this once by casting a Personal Tutor for Edge of Autumn they chose not to attack which was odd and it ended up enabling a same turn kill.
G2 got blown away.
G3 Probably the coolest game of the tournament for me. Both of us keep 7 and do nothing but cantrip for the first few turns. I know their hand has to be mono interaction but at this point my opener had two Pact of Negation and I've drawn into the full playset. We go draw go for a couple turns making land drops at which point my hand is 4 Pact, Dark Ritual, 2 Cyclers. I topdeck the Doomsday and resolve through hardcast Force of Negation, Force pitch Daze, and Pyroblast at which point they have two unkowns in hand. I made a big punt here by putting myself dead to double Daze. I wasn't recognizing that they had tapped out for the FON and I didn't need to empty my library. Realised it as soon as I cast the Ideas Unbound. Thankfully they only had one Daze and I got away with one.
Game one was pretty masterful, same turn kill at the last possible moment to win at one life.
G2 wasn't close.
G3 They had tapped out for Delver of Secrets and I Brainstorm into the nuts. I resolved a Doomsday using double Dark Ritual off Petal to Duress them first. Seeing mono cantrips Force of Will and Daze. Had to take Force and leave them with Daze but at this point I can't beat much. I played it too slow and lost to a Delver flip off Lightning Bolt. In hindsight I should have waited a few turns to go off. This exposes me to Wasteland but none of the piles I could build from that low on resources could effectively fight an onboard threat plus Wasteland anyhow.
Game 1 was uneventful.
Game 2 I mull to 5 and lost to an early Sylvan Library.
Game 3 was my second big punt. I didn't realize they had an onboard Karakas tucked in with their other lands! Made a Pile that would have lost to Endurance when I could easily have put them on 0 outs with an Ideas Unbound that drew in to Pact of Negation.
G1 Not much to say here.
G2 I tried to resolve Doomsday on turn 1 with plenty of backup but they played Flusterstorm. Given how big a blowout that play was, the game was actually rather close. Think I put 3 copies of Doomsday on the stack total.
Game 3 was another regrettable situation involving Karakas but this time they played it from hand. However I only had the Doomsday in my yard and went to cast Thassa's Oracle with one card in library to win through Endurance. Pretty sure that they could have hardcast that Endurance earlier to kill me...
G1 They played heath go. I didn't know exactly what they were on but resolved turn 1 Doomsday with Undeground Sea and a fetch in hand. Made the following pile to beat Wasteland + Thalia, Guardian of Thraben over two turns.
They knew they couldn't win and so just chose to not reveal what deck they were on. I assumed depths.
G2 they Thoughtseize twice, and made in my mind a poor choice to take Dark Ritual over a Preordain in a situation where my only other draw spells were cyclers. The Preordain let me dig to a Brainstorm that ended the game.
G2 I kept a super interactive hand where I was able to Daze, Force the enablers. I then drew some cantrips while they were stuck doing nothing and won easily.
G3 Went to 5 for a hand of Ponder, Force of Negation, land, Dark Ritual, Doomsday. They kept a hand reliant on a turn one Faithless Looting that I Forced. Draw land for turn and resolved Doomsday for an easy turn 2 win.
Grixis Turbo Meandeck
I don't have a ton of notes about each match other than what I played against but I'll try to recall anything notable. In terms of prep was I played at least one or two matches daily on cockatrice two weeks leading up to the tournament and Kai's stream/Youtube was super helpful in terms of learning lines and the thought process of the deck.
Nothing to note here. Typical combo matchup for DD where I bought time with counterspells to get a same turn win with Doomsday.
Lost G1 due to Delver doing Delver things.
Games 2 and 3 he kept hands high on interaction but no threat which weren't difficult to beat.
G1 had a quick Doomsday through Force of Will+Daze with Duress + Force of Will backup and made a ptt (pass-the-=turn) pile that passed twice and played around most things except something like triple Lightning Bolt or threat + double bolt.
G2 he just kept a hand with Daze and no threat. Something of note in that G2 that happens in paper play that you don't get online is after I Doomsday'ed through his Daze he sort of slumped in his chair which I read as he didn't have anything else to fight back so I went for the same turn kill in lieu of a ptt pile. It ended up being the case that he didn't have anything but that could have been a nutty bluff too.
Both games I had some really good hands that went off quick with protection. G1 he plays Ancient Den then passes which I read as not a Force deck so I just jammed.
G2 had counters for anything that mattered and jammed a pile that wins on the same turn.
Outside the game note: this round had a random deck check for our table where I got pulled aside for my list being different than the deck I was presenting. Mtg Melee was struggling for ~36 hours up to the event including right up to the event start so I was confident there was an issue with the site and me manually inputting my deck. I had triple-checked the list prior to driving out to the event and it matched up with what was in my deck so I'm not sure where/when the mixup happened. I was able to defend my position to the judges while also being respectful of their position and fortunately didn't get a game loss.
G2 I never saw a 2nd land after cantripping, Pondering twice and Brainstorming so I was stuck on Volcanic Island the whole game and fell way behind. I was finally able to Doomsday and make a pile that could win if my opp egregiously misplays more than once but I messed up the chances by not piling Emrakul 2nd so I could Shelldock Isle. First misbuilt pile of the day.
G3 was just a series of clunky draws that were enough to resolve a doomsday but couldn't beat the Pyroblast in his hand that hit my brainstorm and left the Emrakul stranded in my hand while he beat down with his Collector Ouphe.
This match felt like how the delver matchup should go. Had a ptt pile g1 that he triple bolted me out of.
G2 I had a turn that I think I could have won through but misplayed. After cantripping + casting Ideas Unbound I had Dark Ritual, Doomsday, Thoughtseize, Pact of Negation, Street Wraith and Pyroblast. I Thoughtseize them and see Blast x2 and FoW x3. I took one of the Forces but I think I should have taken one of the Blasts. I don't remember how much mana I had open or know if there is a same-turn winning pile post-Doomsday resolving through 1x blast+3x force with that hand but I couldn't have beaten 2x blast with that hand anyway so I should have taken the blast. I was in a bad spot that game anyway but I closed the door on myself.
On the whole with the delver matchup it seemed as though this opp knew how to play against Doomsday whereas my previous 2 opponents didn't have as many reps against the deck. Keeping a hand that goes T1 Ponder and a bunch of interaction but no early threat is a good way to lose a good matchup against Doomsday which is what both of my previous delver opponents did.
Got absolutely run over this match. It was one of those matches where stompy had everything and can keep jamming threats+lock pieces to run you out of resources. They had Jeska's Will in the list though which I thought was cool.
G1 I Doomsday'ed quick but punted hard but not putting Ideas Unbound in the pile. (Pile punt count #2) That made me have to pass the turn 3 times against Elves which is a death sentence even with a Force.
Games 2 and 3 I had T2 or T3 Doomsdays after some interaction or with protection.
Playing in a big paper tournament again was a blast and I hope to get in more like it soon. This was easily the biggest tourney I've been in since the pandemic started with the next closest being a 45 player modern $2k in August. Everyone I interacted with just seemed stoked to be there. The pit staff were also respectful in my experience. I've heard concerns from other players about not enough precautions for a tournament this size during covid and the only other precaution I could think to do would be follow what other concerts/festivals are doing in requiring proof of vaccination or a negative covid test within 72 hours at the door.
Concerning the deck, Doomsday felt like a great pick for the tourney. 9 rounds of doomsday didn't feel that crazy from a mentally taxing standpoint and I'd 100% choose playing this deck for the next big tournament. Getting the reps in and memorizing the majority of common piles went a long way in consolidating mental energy throughout the tournament. Only egregiously misbuilding 2 piles in retrospect across 9 rounds of Magic could be worse but also can be improved upon for sure. On the note of list changes, I don't know how I feel about the Emrakul + Shelldock plan anymore. Emrakul rotting in your hand is real bad, has happened to me in multiple games, and Bant has been preparing for the Emrakul plan now with Karakas, Dress Down, Back to Basics, etc. I'm going to cut that package from the board and see how that goes next time. The maindeck Island was also meh in it didn't cast Doomsday and it didn't protect me from Wasteland that much anyway when the opp can just waste my Sea and I'm back at no black mana. Now that Consider is legal too I'm looking forward to trying Consider + Deep Analysis which brings me to my list changes.
Grixis Stifle Turbo Meandeck
The Legacy Pit Open (LPO for short) was my first Legacy tournament in over a year and a half. To give some background, before my daughter was born in March, 2020, I decided that the MTG First 2K and the Dice City Revised Open would be my last bits of competitive Magic for a long time. At some point after my daughter was born, I grinded leagues on MTGO with Meandeck Doomsday in the Oko meta with the older, more controlling version of Meandeck Doomsday, and I performed quite well with it until I had to focus more on family life. Up until this point, I had played Doomsday in paper only once at my local meta, Curio Cavern, in June of 2021, and I had not played any matches with the Turbo version I ran at the LPO. So, going into the week before the tournament, I would not have played more than 2-3 matches with Doomsday, no matches with the Turbo version, and a grand total of 6 matches of Legacy in 2021, period.
To prepare for the tournament, I first had to decide whether I wanted to stick with the controlling version of Doomsday that had fallen out of favor or move to the turbo version. I didn't really have the time or the desire to get back on MTGO, so I paid close attention to what Kai Sawatari (Sawatarix), Max Carini (Wonderpreaux), and Ethan Formichella (Monkeyscantcry) were running. Max's Stifle version was very appealing to me since it appeared to enable an easier pivot between controlling and turbo modes of the deck, and it also appeared to fit better with substituting Lim-Dul's Vault for Personal Tutor. The choice to run Lim-Dul's Vault over Personal Tutor was personal preference, but I also am simply unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars in paper for a card that in my view only provides a marginal advantage over the alternative. The same decision was also made in designing the sideboard – I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about spending $400 for a set of Force of Negation, so with a lot of help from Max, I crafted a sideboard for this event that would fit well for the expected meta.
When some of the Nothern VA Legacy crew got together at Bob Huang's place to test, I jumped at the chance to get some reps in to prepare for this tournament. I tested Doomsday vs. Ragavan Tempo matchup quite a bit with Dan Signorini and Kyle Pittleman, and it didn't seem as bad as I had imagined. It became incredibly obvious after the first couple games that going fast with countermagic/disruption before the Ragavan deck could establish itself was the way Doomsday wins the matchup.
After testing and more discussion with Max, I decided on the list below for the LPO. I felt the slotting for boarding for the various decks that make up the current meta was very straightforward in this build, which was intended to make things easier on me during the LPO.
Round 1 of the tournament began with me facing Mark Marra on Jeskai Tempo, with me on the play. So, welcome back to Legacy – let's start with a tough matchup right out of the gates. I was able to take Game 1 largely due to casting an end-step Lim-Dul's Vault that spurred an exchange where my opponent cast Daze and Force of Will. I was lucky enough to find Doomsday off Brainstorm the following turn and already had Dark Ritual in hand. That let me build a pile that could win through Wasteland and the active Ragavan on board while losing to Force of Will #2 + blue card (which I felt wasn't likely):
Game 2 was very close and involved a lot of decision-making with cantrips trying to find disruption, mana, and Doomsday. I ended up making a misplay at one point with my cantrip decisions with Ragavan on the board, as I figured out after the fact that I needed double Daze to win and lost one of my Dazes to Ragavan.
I was able to fade Wasteland and got there.
Again, I was on the play. Game 1 was fast – an opening Thoughtseize showed me I was clear to go for a fast kill. By turn 2, I had 2 cyclers, Dark Ritual, and Doomsday in hand with no mana floating after Doomsday. A pile of LED, IU, Lotus Petal, Pact of Negation, Thassa's Oracle enabled the same turn win with 2 cyclers in hand.
Game 2, my opponent and I both mulled to 6, and my opponent came out with a plan to just race me with a fast Marit Lage. This is one game where Lim-Dul's Vault found me a win where Personal Tutor wouldn't. By Patrick's third end-step, he had assembled the combo. I cast Lim-Dul's Vault then, holding Brainstorm, cycler, and Lotus Petal, and land in hand. After paying 10 life (so looking through practically my entire deck!) I was able to find a Vault pile that would win the game for me in Stifle, Doomsday, cycler, Dark Ritual, X. On my turn, I drew Stifle and passed to my end step, where I cast Stifle on Thespian's Stage activation. In Patrick's end step, I cast Brainstorm and put cycler and land on top. On my turn, I drew the 2nd cycler and won using the same pile as game 1.
Anthony is a regular at Dice City Games, the other store in the DC Metro Area that has a highly competitive Legacy meta, and I recognized his playmat and vaguely recognized him under his mask from monthly tournaments at DC Games.
Game 1 was quite strange, in that Anthony never fetched a red source, only Tundras, presumably to hide what he was on; we exchanged Stifles on fetches and Wasteland, and I eventually found the combo with disruption in the form of Thoughtseize and Force of Will backup to win with a pass the turn pile using Ideas Unbound.
I remember Game 2 being a slog, with us again trading Stifles on fetches/Wasteland, my having to deal with an initial Ragavan with Abrade out of the sideboard. This was followed up by Anthony with a second continuously dashed Ragavan that I was unable to deal with. I made a critical mistake with my cantrip decisions at this point that cost me the game, as I piled my Ponders incorrectly twice – the first, giving away a land I actually would have needed, and the second giving up a Daze that I originally thought would have had no impact, but after I saw Anthony using his Ragavan Treasures right away and was tapping out each turn, meant having double Daze would likely have won me the match. So, by the time I was able to cast Doomsday and win the same turn, I was at 1 life, meaning I lost the game.
Game 3 was low impact from my side – I was able to disrupt with an early Stifle into a follow-up Duress to buy time, but my cantrips simply kept hitting more discard and air rather than finding me Doomsday. By the time I was able to find Doomsday, Anthony had stabilized and started finding Wastelands and threats to quickly diminish my life total.
Bryant was a friendly face in the tournament and one of the many players I was hoping to be able to play with that I used to have great games with on MTGO. We both knew what each other was playing; I was very familiar with Bryant's entire list, and I was pretty sure Bryant knew I was on Max's Stifle version of Doomsday from our chats before the tournament that day. I would like to have said I played these games as well as I could, but that wouldn't be true. The problem with not having played much Magic at all for over a year is that you start feeling fatigued earlier in a tournament than you would have if you were keeping up playing. This was probably my worst played match of the day. As a result, it's also the match I remember the best, since I have thought about how I could have played it better since then.
Game 1, I kept a slow hand of Ponder, 2x Force of Will, Street Wraith, Fetchland, Fetchland, and was on the play. Against any other deck and player, I would have said this would have been a fine keep. Against Bryant on TES, I should have looked for a faster combo hand, since that is how Doomsday wins the Storm matchup. I opened with fetching for an Underground Sea and cast Ponder – I believe I shuffled that Ponder and drew Lotus Petal. Bryant had a very fast start as expected and was able to play out much of his mana as expected and cast Ponder. On my turn, I drew Brainstorm and cast it to find another Brainstorm, a second Street Wraith, and a land – no second blue card to hold up double FoW. I put Lotus Petal and Land back on top and played out a second fetchland. Bryant cast Wishclaw Talisman on his turn, which I attempted to counter with Force of Will (pitching Brainstorm). He responded with Veil of Summer, which I had expected to happen. I cracked the fetch to get a shuffle and felt good about playing to my outs with two Street Wraiths in hand. With Veil on the stack, I cycled the first Street Wraith, which drew another Street Wraith. I then cycled the remaining two into cards that were not blue, and I lost the match to natural Tendrils off the Wishclaw. One note is that if I had let Wishclaw resolve, Bryant had enough mana on board to be able to kill me through an Ad Nauseam line with ease, so the Wishclaw was a must counter with the expectation that I would also have to counter a Veil of Summer in response.
In Game 2, Bryant mulled to 6 while I mulled to 5 – Stifle, Force of Will, Flusterstorm, Street Wraith, Underground Sea. Not ideal, workable. Unfortunately, I played this game horribly. I started by cycling Street Wraith to find a cantrip, but hit another land instead. I played out the Underground Sea and passed. Bryant has a less explosive start with fetch, pass. I draw Doomsday, play out my second land and pass for turn. Bryant led his turn on Brainstorm, then played a Taiga (representing Veil in my mind) then played out Petal, LED, and Mox Opal into Wishclaw Talisman. At this point in game 2, I should have been playing more patiently, but I decided to go with a high risk, high reward play that in retrospect was a poor decision made out of a feeling of desperation from being on a mull to 5 – I was going to make a bluff to try to steal Bryant's Wishclaw from him by letting it resolve (thus representing I didn't Force of Will even when I did) because he had two cards left in hand at that point by my counting. One would be presumably Veil of Summer, and the other potentially Dark Ritual. So, when Bryant cast Veil of Summer, I responded with Flusterstorm – perhaps too quickly. I was surprised when he stopped right there, although after reading his tournament report, I can see why he stopped now. Next turn, I drew a third land, which was unexpected. I quickly played it, and I figured at that point, that was my window to try to go for a win by casting Doomsday and building a fastest-killing pass-the-turn pile I could while holding up Force of Will on Bryant's turn.
What I should have thought more carefully about was the possibility of Bryant having Echo of Eons in hand, which he did and led on the following turn. Now my problem was my pile, while drawn if I survived a turn would win me the match, was not built to handle an Echo of Eons and could only counter one spell, assuming I drew Force of Will in my fresh 7. I should have let it resolve anyway, but I instead countered it, and that exact amount of life loss let Bryant kill me with a natural Tendrils. It was a huge misplay, but I also played that whole game incredibly poorly.
I talked with both Max and Romario after the match about Game 2 specifically, and they had different takes. Max was of the opinion that I did have to go for a Doomsday there because I was so far behind, but I should have jam packed my pile with counter magic and that way let Echo of Eons resolve to keep Bryant off the win. Romario was of the opposite opinion, that I should have waited, since I had the ability to Force of Will or Stifle and could potentially draw into a same turn kill. After the match, Bryant and I also talked a little about game 2, and he shared Max's opinion that I should have let Echo of Eons resolve and counter the payoff spells post-Echo. It's a tough choice, either way, but I think in the end that Romario was right and I should have waited to cast Doomsday.
I was on the draw and kept a slow 6, not knowing what Kyle was on. I can't recall exactly what my hand was Game 1, other than I had Force of Will, land, and multiple cantrips. I opened with fetch for Underground Sea, Ponder, which I shuffled, and passed. I recall Kyle opening on a DRC. On the following turns, I spun my wheels while getting Wastelanded out of the game. By the time I recovered, Kyle had Delerium turned on with DRC, eventually flipped a Delver, and was able to close the game out with a series of burn spells.
Game 2, I kept a really fast 7 that consisted of Volcanic Island, Fetch, Fetch, Dark Ritual, Doomsday, Stifle, Daze. I couldn't ask for a better 7 against Delver. Kyle mulled to 6. I went turn 1 playing my fetchland and passed. On Kyle's turn, I cast Stifle on his fetchland. On my turn, I drew another Daze. I played the other fetchland, cracked it for Underground Sea, cast Dark Ritual into Doomsday, and passed with the following pile:
Game 3, I was on a mull to 5, but found a quick hand of Fetchland, Dark
Ritual, Doomsday, Daze.
I drew into a second Daze after Kyle opened with Volcanic Island into Delver of Secrets. On my turn, I cracked the fetch for Underground Sea, cast Dark Ritual into Doomsday. I built a pile to beat Wasteland but would require fading 2 turns:
Unfortunately, that didn't matter – Kyle revealed Brainstorm to flip Delver, played Volcanic Island #2, then attacked with Delver. He cast Lightning Bolt, which I Dazed and he Dazed back, then he cast Lightning Bolt #2 for the win.
I lost the die roll and saw an opener of Yavimaya into Quirion Ranger. Elves is generally a favorable matchup assuming I can race game 1, which I could. I had mulled to a 6 that had land, land, Dark Ritual, cantrip, LDV, Daze I drew into Ponder, and cast it turn 1, finding Doomsday. The following turn, Michael cast Nettle Sentinel and another Quirion Ranger. I untapped, drew into a blank, played a land and cast Doomsday. I made a cycler pile into Thassa's Oracle. Next turn, Michael tried to find a way to go off by leading on Elvish Visionary, which I Dazed to win game 1 when I untapped.
Game 2, I kept a 6 that I think was Flusterstorm, Thoughtseize, Dark Ritual, Underground Sea, fetchland, and Doomsday. I remember Michael also mulling to 6 and leading on Thoughtseize. The following turn, I Thoughtseized back, seeing he had a slow hand. I took his Elvish Visionary and passed. On his turn, Michael played out some of the 1-drop creatures from his hand and passed. On my turn, I cast Brainstorm and drew into Doomsday, Lotus Petal, and a Volcanic Island. I cast Dark Ritual into Doomsday off the fetched Underground Sea and built the below pile.
Game 1 went in my favor rather quickly, despite being on the Draw. I kept a six that had Dark Ritual, Daze, Lim-Dul's Vault, Underground Sea, Fetch, Ponder. Zach opened with Quirion Ranger turn 1. Back to back Elves felt like a boon after facing 3 Ragavan decks earlier in the tournament. I played Underground Sea and cast Ponder to find a Force of Will. Zach's second turn involved playing a Quirion Ranger and Nettle Sentinel. I played a fetch and passed. Zach didn't draw any engine cards, so he played a couple more creatures and swung for a few points of damage. In his end step, I cast Lim-Dul's Vault and found Doomsday right away. When I untapped, I cast Doomsday and made a cycler pile. The following turn, Zach didn't topdeck a win, so I was able to cast Thassa's Oracle without issue the following turn.
Game 2 was much more interactive. Zach kept his 7, and I think I mulled to 6 again that had a turn 1 Dark Ritual into Doomsday with no backup, but had cantrips. Zach opened on Thoughtseize, taking Doomsday, leaving me to have to dig. Zach continued building his board turn 2 and ran his Grist into a Daze while I found nothing off my Brainstorm, leaving me with blue card and Street Wraith in hand. By turn 3, Zach got the Glimpse engine online and drew into Craterhoof Behemoth, which cast that same turn. I cracked my fetchland to clear the top of my library, then cycled with Street Wraith playing to my outs for a Force of Will, which I did not draw.
Game 3, I kept a strong 7 that, with cantrips, got me to a turn 2 Doomsday with Force of Will backup. At this point, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think Zach mulled twice. It didn't end up mattering, but I misbuilt my Doomsday pile to be a pass-the-turn where I had one blue mana open. I likely could have built a pile of Brainstorm (cycler in hand), LED, cycler, TO, X, X. It would have left me open to Endurance, though, so I decided to go with the below pile to hold up Force of Will on Endurance (which he didn't have in hand) to win.
Game 1, we both kept 7's. At this point in the tournament, I honestly couldn't recall what my 7 was, other than it had FoW, cantrips, Dark Ritual, and land. My opponent opened to Underground Sea, Ponder, pass. So at first I thought I was in a combo mirror. I cast a Ponder on my turn as well. My opponent cast another cantrip and then played out Ornithopter. Ok, I'm facing Ninjas - not a great matchup, actually kinda bad. On my turn, I find the combo and set up a pass the turn pile with Ideas Unbound. My opponent ninjitsus in Yuriko on his turn and hits me for a decent amount, but not enough to keep me from winning the following turn.
Game 2, I mulled to a quick 6, and my opponent also mulled to 6. He opened with Thoughtseize taking Doomsday, then played out 2 Ornithopters. My cantrips were unable to find another Doomsday in the following turns, meaning I quickly died to a board of ninjas.
Game 3, I kept a slower 7 that was full of disruption. My opponent mulled to 5. I opened on Thoughtseize, taking his Force of Will. He played out his two Ornithopters and passed. On my turn, I cantripped to find Doomsday and left mana open to Stifle ninjitsu, which I did the following turn. My next draw was a Red Elemental Blast, which I used on Yuriko the next time it entered the battlefield. When I untapped, I found the third land for Doomsday, had Cavern in hand, and made a cycler pile that won me the match the following turn.
Game 1 was weird - I kept a 7 that just needed me to find Dark Ritual and I had Force of Will backup. My opponent started out fast into an Emry that whiffed. The next turn, I find the ritual and immediately cast Doomsday, making a cycler pile to cast Thassa's Oracle with Force of Will backup. My opponent spins his wheels the following turn, not top decking well.
Game 2, we both mull to 6. My opponent opens with Painter's Servant naming , which is not what I want to see with a grip full of Red Blasts and cantrips. On my turn, I draw Force of Will and play a fetch land. My opponent casts Grindstone on his turn, which is met with Force of Will from me. He forces back, I Red Blast his force, and he Forces again. The next time he untaps, I lose.
Game 3, I mull to 5 looking for a quick Doomsday, which I don't find. Instead, I have Abrade, Petal, Fetch, Cantrip, Dark Ritual. I cantrip turn 1 and shuffle to draw Street Wraith. My opponent plays turn 1 Painter. Turn 2, I attempt to Abrade and am met with Force of Will. From there, the game gets away from me as my opponent plays Urza's Saga and finds Grindstone off it over the next couple turns while I cantrip and find nothing good.
Playing Doomsday in paper felt just as easy as online to me, except I found myself choosing piles quicker to not get accused of stalling or slow play; not that I found cause to feel that way in this tournament. I do think, though, that there were several instances where I would have made better decisions if those same games had been played on MTGO because I would be able to talk myself through those lines out loud - something one really can't do in paper.
I would say the weirdest part of playing Doomsday in paper was using copies from Weatherlight and having to explain the Oracle text was updated to sequence resolution differently starting in 6th edition. I was asked the same thing about Lim-Dul's Vault and struggled to explain the changes, even though at this point I knew how it is supposed to resolve from playing it on MTGO. I suggested we call a judge to get the Oracle text, but my opponent declined and said he was just curious.
Overall, I was happy to have gone 5-4 after playing almost no Magic at all since October 2020, although it is clear to me I could have played better and may have finished better if I had played sharper/tighter. I felt that the Doomsday/Ragavan Tempo matchup is much closer than I had expected it to be, though I do feel like I have Dan and Kyle to thank for quickly bringing me up to speed on that matchup. I think that overall, the deck is still well-positioned in this meta. It's not quite as well-positioned as it was in the Oko meta, but I would say it is still the top combo deck. The Legacy Pit meta showed Doomsday coming out to a 54% win rate (thanks to Jesse Hatfield for analysis), which was right in the same ballpark as the Ragavan decks. Also, after the tournament, Alex Rubin posted that he saw Torpor Orb a lot out of his opponents' sideboards, validating my choice to run Abrade, even if I dodged Torpor Orb myself. So overall, I think my deck choice was solid, as were my sideboard card choices.
After the tournament, I got some barbecue in Frederick with some of my NoVA and RVA friends. The food was pretty good, and it felt a bit surreal that we were able to go have dinner with friends after playing Magic all day. It was honestly great getting to play Legacy in paper again and great to hang out with old friends. The Legacy Pit put on a great tournament, and I felt safe with the mask enforcement. I look forward to being able to do this in the future.
And there we have it! A big thank-you to all our contributors who submitted reports for this article. As I said there were 11 players for Doomsday overall and it's great to see so many choosing it for such a big event.
One final thing to note is the Wiki has now been updated with instructions on how to integrate Consider into your pile building. For those unaware Consider is a new card which allows for a couple of things. First of all it allows existing Brainstorm + Cycler + X piles or + Cycler Piles + X piles to now go down to 0 cards left in deck.
+ Brainstorm + Street Wraith + X
For the cycler variant just remove the SW from the pile and put Consider on the top.
We will of course try to update other content including default decklists and relevant interactions when we have time/enough data to do so.
If you haven't yet, please feel free to watch / listen to the interview with Romario that can be found linked at the top of the page. feel free to judge my (Doishy's) first attempt at sound editing!
The final thanks to all the players who submitted to this article. We love seeing other people in the community get involved with content creation so if you would like to get involved or have an idea for an article or series please let us know!
If you would like to submit any content to the Wiki then please contact AngryBacon in the Doomsday Discord or contact Doishy on the Discord if you wish to discuss anything mentioned in the article further.
Until next time.
Keep up the good work all!