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Surviving GP Columbus

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Kelly Reid

About Kelly Reid

Kelly Reid has been playing Magic since Revised Edition, when his first purchase was a starter deck and a Scrye magazine. He threw away the magazine and kept the price guide. Years later, he founded Quiet Speculation, the first website dedicated to the financial side of Magic: The Gathering. Preferring to leave strategy to the professionals, Kelly writes about potential sleepers, undervalued cards, and trends as well as covering a wide breadth of theory articles.

Surviving GP Columbus

Oh Legacy. The format of broken degeneracy, insane combos, and giant monetary swings that seem to happen overnight. We're lucky to have just had a Legacy Grand Prix in Columbus this past weekend, since the Gen Con Legacy Championships are just a few days away. The Top 8 lists from the tournament will surely show us some potential buys, sells, and even give us an idea of what to look for in the future. While the bulk of my speculations revolve around Standard, I usually have a good idea of what makes the format tick. Let's look over the top 8 lists!

Tomoharu Saito - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Flooded Strand
Island
Misty Rainforest
Mutavault
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Wasteland


21 lands


Coralhelm Commander
Cursecatcher
4 Lord of Atlantis
Merrow Reejerey
Silvergill Adept


20 creatures

Aether Vial
Daze
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Standstill


19 other spells

Sideboard

Engineered Plague
Nature's Ruin
Perish
Submerge
Tormod's Crypt
Umezawa's Jitte


15 sideboard cards

Yep, it's Fish! There isn't a lot to discuss in in this list, with the exception of Coralhelm Commander. I've long been a proponent of this card as a powerhouse, but it just never had the chance to shine in Standard. If Scars of Mirrodin block shows us a few Merfolk, the card could see play in Standard, but unless we see some robot fish on Mirrodin, I wouldn't hold out hope. This obviously has implications for foil copies of the Commander, which are probably worth considerably more now that the deck took down the whole 19-rounder. Even so, there isn't a very good margin to be made on that play. You could make a little bit of money, but you probably won't take home the big prize.

Tom Martell - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Flooded Strand
Island
Karakas
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Plains
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Tundra
Volcanic Island


22 lands


Tarmogoyf
Vendilion Clique


6 creatures

Brainstorm
Counterbalance
Counterspell
Firespout
Force of Will
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Oblivion Ring
Sensei's Divining Top
Spell Snare
Swords to Plowshares


32 other spells

Sideboard

Blue Elemental Blast
Firespout
Grim Lavamancer
Hydroblast
Krosan Grip
Llawan, Cephalid Empress
Meddling Mage
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Relic of Progenitus
Spell Pierce


15 sideboard cards

There are a few interesting pieces of technology in this list. The first card that stands out is the pair of Vendilion Clique in the main deck. This card was very hot when in Standard, and has seen a lot of play in many different decks. It is a consummate cheap, evasive beater with a ton of value. The Legendary status is all that keeps the card remotely fair. It should see a tremendous amount of play in the new Extended format, and as such it should be high on your list as a card to watch.

The inclusion of Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a Legacy Top 8 list should be no surprise to anyone, yet so many people seemed to have been caught off guard. It's not hard to believe that a format that can abuse deck-stacking and card-drawing so easily can abuse the best Planeswalker ever printed! While using it to set up broken interactions is great, it is sometimes acceptable to just draw a few extra cards a turn. This can only help keep Jace expensive, and while I would never consider speculating on an $80 Mythic, I'd be happy to own many copies of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. His foil version is going to go absolutely bonkers. I never recommend foiling out a deck, so do so at your own risk.

The last card from the list I want to discuss is Llawan, Cephalid Empress. She was a hot card at the dealer tables last weekend, but that was mostly because of dealers not coming prepared. The card is a one-of in many sideboards, which means that it's not going to bust out as a hot card. They were selling at around $4 on the weekend, but that was, as I said, due to the low on-site supply. Still, these kinds of cards can make you some cash if you come to an event well-prepared.

Jason Ford - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Island
Mishra's Factory
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Wasteland


24 lands


0 creatures

Brainstorm
Counterspell
Cunning Wish
Force of Will
Ghastly Demise
Innocent Blood
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Life from the Loam
Pernicious Deed
Spell Pierce
Standstill


36 other spells

Sideboard

Back to Nature
Diabolic Edict
Echoing Truth
Extirpate
Forbid
Krosan Grip
Leyline of the Void
Mindbreak Trap
Ravenous Trap
Stifle
Submerge
Tsabo's Decree


15 sideboard cards

Another Jace deck! The card that catches my mind is not the Planeswalker, but Pernicious Deed. We all know how good Engineered Explosives is, but if you're even remotely on-color, Deed can sometimes be even scarier. The card had somewhat of a renaissance this weekend, showing up all across the board, so it could be a big-time buy. They may be difficult to get cheaply, but they are sufficiently old enough that they have the chance to skyrocket. I'd like to see another high-placing list play the card as more than a 1-of before I call it "ready", but it's totally on my radar.

Brad Nelson - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Bayou
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Marsh Flats
Maze of Ith
Plains
Scrubland
Swamp
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland


23 lands


Dark Confidant
Knight of the Reliquary
Tarmogoyf


12 creatures

Gerrard's Verdict
Hymn to Tourach
Mox Diamond
Pernicious Deed
Sensei's Divining Top
Swords to Plowshares
Thoughtseize
Vindicate


25 other spells

Sideboard

Diabolic Edict
Duress
Engineered Plague
Extirpate
Pernicious Deed


15 sideboard cards

I love the inclusion of Knight of the Reliquary here! The card seems too broken in a Wasteland-dominated format, and this deck seems to run like Jund in many ways. Efficient creatures, disruption, and elite removal. Tell me you'd run Blightning over Hymn to Tourach if you could. I dare ya! Anyway, this is clearly very good for Knight's post-rotation value, which is why I've held off on selling any of mine. The 3 copies of Pernicious Deed between the main deck and the sideboard further sell me on the possibility that the card is "just damned good" in Legacy. The rest of the list reads like a who's who of the best cards in the format. It doesn't take a financial whiz kid to tell you that Mox Diamond and Tarmogoyf are the nuts in the format. That being said, Deed, Knight and even Extirpate might see an awful lot more Legacy play in the near future, so be sure to price that into your model when evaluating the cards.

Korey Age - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Ancient Tomb
Island
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island


18 lands


Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Woodfall Primus


8 creatures

Brainstorm
Daze
Echoing Truth
Force of Will
Lotus Petal
Ponder
Seething Song
Show and Tell
Sneak Attack
Spell Pierce
Wipe Away


34 other spells

Sideboard

Blood Moon
Firespout
Pyroblast
Ravenous Trap
Relic of Progenitus
Spell Pierce
Tormod's Crypt


15 sideboard cards

Pardon me, is that an Emrakul you're cheating into play? No? Oh, well then continue. Wait, what? I'm dead? No way! I cannot believe this deck made Top 8, but I can't say I'm unhappy. Emrakul is a totally ridiculous - nay, redonkulous - bomb, even in the game's most powerful sanctioned format, and paying less than 15 mana to cheat him into play seems like a fine strategy. The deck looks like a Casual deck and a Storm Combo deck met at a cheap dive bar and conceived an illegitimate love child in the bathroom, but it clearly can win games.

The problem here is that Sneak Attack already had this deck priced into its retail price for a long while. It shot from $10 to over $20 very quickly, and to expect more would be greedy. That's not to say that it won't go up more, but in the stock market we have a saying - buy on rumor, sell on news. This is the news. The rumor happened when Rise of the Eldrazi came out. Yes, the card might inch up to $30+, but do you really want to risk $25 to make $5? I sure don't. The same is true with Show and Tell. It's already had its price adjustment happen, so any speculation happening now that it's actually made top 8 would just be unwise and greedy.

Christopher Gosselin - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Island
Marsh Flats
Polluted Delta
Scrubland
Shelldock Isle
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Tundra
Underground Sea


20 lands


Cloud of Faeries
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn


4 creatures

Brainstorm
Dark Ritual
Doomsday
Engineered Explosives
Force of Will
Lim-Dul's Vault
Lotus Petal
Sensei's Divining Top
Shared Fate
Show and Tell
Solitary Confinement
Spell Pierce
Stifle
Thoughtseize


36 other spells

Sideboard

Armageddon
Dark Ritual
Extirpate
Form of the Dragon
Hydroblast
Leyline of the Void
Show and Tell
Snap
Solitary Confinement


15 sideboard cards

Emrakul again!? And this time, he's sporting a Cloud of Faeries instead of a Woodfall Primus. Why the Cloud? To untap Shelldock Isle, of course! Why the Shelldock Isle? Because you can set up a pretty absurd Doomsday stack and cast an Emrakul for free! There is so much to talk about with this deck. First, don't expect Shelldock Isle to shoot up in price. It was a bulk Lorwyn rare before this deck broke, so it could turn into a $2+ card or thereabouts. It's just too common. Doomsday, on the other hand, is much older. It got reprinted once, in 6th Edition, for reasons well beyond the understanding of this writer. That will keep its price tempered a bit, but both editions are considerably old. Doomsday has seen a lot of play in Legacy of late, and might be a very, very good buy.

Solitary Confinement is another talking point. It seems that the combination of Solitary Confinement and Shared Fate is totally bonkers - leave it to Legacy players to find that one - and the effect of Solitary Confinement is undeniably powerful. It could represent a powerful new keystone of a deck, as is often the case with a card that emerges from the mists of the past. Also of note are the copies of Extirpate, Show and Tell and Lim-Dul's Vault. Vault was a hot pickup a while back, and the common wisdom is that it's "not good enough" or some business like that. For my money, when I bought them at $1 each, I wasn't too concerned with the rewards. The risk was sufficiently low enough to make it a good investment. I still consider the card to be a speculative pick, because dealers seem to have their sell prices high and the buy prices low. This means that they're not sure where the card is headed. They price it highly to ensure they don't waste money by selling too low, and their buy price remains low to be sure they don't overpay for a potential garbage card.

Bryant Cook - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Main Deck

60 cards

Bloodstained Mire
City of Brass
Gemstone Mine
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island


13 lands


0 creatures

Ad Nauseam
Brainstorm
Burning Wish
Chrome Mox
Dark Ritual
Duress
Empty the Warrens
Infernal Tutor
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Orim's Chant
Ponder
Rite of Flame
Silence
Tendrils of Agony


47 other spells

Sideboard

Diminishing Returns
Echoing Truth
Empty the Warrens
Eye of Nowhere
Grapeshot
Ill-Gotten Gains
Krosan Grip
Pyroblast
Shattering Spree
Tendrils of Agony
Thoughtseize
Wipe Away


15 sideboard cards

There really isn't much to say about this list, so I'll just move on.

Caleb Durward - Grand Prix Columbus 2010 - Top 8

Forest
Gaea's Cradle
Island
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Wasteland
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills


21 lands


Aquamoeba
Basking Rootwalla
Noble Hierarch
Trygon Predator
Vengevine
Wild Mongrel
Wonder


24 creatures

Daze
Force of Will
Stifle
Survival of the Fittest
Umezawa's Jitte


15 other spells

Sideboard

Faerie Macabre
Krosan Grip
Spell Pierce
Submerge
Wheel of Sun and Moon


15 sideboard cards

Survival of the Fittest

This list, on the other hand, is the one that has me in a tizzy. UG Madness was the deck that reintroduced me to tournament-level Magic, and while I distinctly remember going X-X-3 with it back at Neutral Ground at a PTQ, the deck gained SO much with Vengevine. There are no words to describe what Vengevine does to a deck that can cast such good creatures for free. Discarding a Rootwalla and playing it helps trigger 'vine for zero mana. Your other creatures are very inexpensive. And then there's Survival of the Fittest. Remember when I said this deck got SO much from Vengevine? Yeah, how about one card, a GREEN card, that lets you discard it, fetch it, and fetch guys to re-buy it? 2 mana. There were dealers selling these cards for $20 at the GP, which I felt was criminal, and I did my part to price enforce. I cannot see this card doing anything but exploding in price from here, and is one of the rare occasions where I'm comfortable putting down $20 per card on a speculation. It's that good. It's clear that Survival of the Fittest and Vengevine are a match made in heaven, and you should do what you can to procure copies.

Breaking down the cards with potential, we see Survival of the Fittest, Doomsday, Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, Knight of the Reliquary, Coralhelm Commander, Lim-Dul's Vault, Pernicious Deed, and Extirpate. While these are not all recommended suggestions for places to put money, they are a good starting point. Got any other Legacy hot cards you think have room to grow? Leave me a comment below and let me know where you stand!

Kelly

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