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Pro Tour Top 4 with "Death and Taxes" and Hareruya Latin

2018/08/24 00:00 

    • Marcio Carvalho
    • Hareruya Pros Blog
Marcio

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Hi! My name is Marcio Carvalho. I am a Platinum level Pro Player from Portugal and a member of Hareruya Latin.

Looking Back on This Season

The season did not start so well for Hareruya Latin in Albuquerque, with our best finish being a 10-6 for me, Thiago Saporito and Luis Salvatto. (Not bad, but nothing to be super proud with.)

Things changed after Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan in Bilbao, where Luis took the trophy home, while Lucas finished 16th and Carlos 23rd . We ascended to the Top 4 of the Team Series after this!

In Richmond, I finished 4th and Lucas and Luis grabbed some precious Pro Points with a 10-6 result to allow us to reach the 2nd place at the Team Series.

For the Pro Tour 25th Anniversary

When the team Pro Tour details were announced we quickly figure out that Hareruya Latin was going to split into Me, Carlos Romao and Thiago Saporito as first team and Luis Salvatto, Sebastian Pozzo and Lucas Berthoud as the second one.

We also followed the trend of having the older guy playing Legacy (Carlos in our case) and rock paper scissors for Modern and Standard.

One fact of being a part of Hareruya Latin as we treat each other like a brotherhood. Sometimes we are so pressured with results as being professional Magic players, but we play some casual fun Magic games to decide some important decisions, like battle some infinite mana games with the leftover cards from the drafts in which I dominated young Thiago leaving him stuck to Modern while I stay in Standard.

For those who don't know, Carlos has a proportional level of skill and laziness. After putting some thought, me and bolov0 (Thiago Saporito) realized that it was just better to leave Carlos with Standard because he at least knew what was going on since he played it at the last Pro Tour.

Fast forward to the day before the Pro Tour:

Carlos

"I've never felt so prepared for an event like I feel for this one."

Marcio

"Really? You made like 10 MTGO leagues..."

Carlos

"Yeah, exactly! Super prepared!!"

And here he is, reaching Platinum for the second year in a row, 2x PT Top 8s, National Champion. Pure talent!!!

After the Ban and Restricted Announcement

The somehow late format switch was luckily not very punishing for us, because of the ban and restricted announcement that promoted major changes to the format. I had close to no experience with the format, had only played Grand Prix Birmingham recently where I felt short to day 2 with now two card that have been banned, Grixis Delver.

Gitaxian ProbeDeathrite Shaman

Also playing Legacy in our testing group was Lucas Esper Berthoud. It's always a major value to have Lucas on the same boat as you. He and Carlos are on the total opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to testing and dedication.

Lucas Esper Berthoud

Image Copyright:Wizards of the Coast

Lucas will research every single forum or major website, just to get his hands on the latest piece of technology or sideboard guide. I'm pretty sure that Lucas played the same number of games that Carlos played in his entire Pro Tour preparation in any random night, after being working all day as a full time lawyer. Seriously, no one has any idea on how he is capable of doing it, but he does it. Ah... he also found time to write a report about his preparation. If you haven't check it, you can find it Here.

One of my favorite stories of this PT was when at Grand Prix Minneapolis 2018. One of Lucas opponents asked him who was going to team with at next weekend's PT.

Lucas

"I will be playing Luis Salvatto and Sebastian Pozzo."

Opponent

"Oh my god! Luis is my favorite player!"

Lucas

"Yes, He is very good!"

Opponent

"My friends are not going to believe me! I'm on my first GP, and I'm playing against a guy that is on the same team as a Pro Tour Champion!"

Lucas Cry

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Having Lucas on board meant that if we scroll down on our Facebook group we could catch-up fairly easy with what was going on. Having 2 truly Legacy specialists like Michael Bonde and Thomas Enevoldsen participating meant that the information and the discussions there were reliable and meaningful.

Michael Bonde

Michael Bonde

Thomas Enevoldsen

Thomas Enevoldsen

Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

In the beginning, I thought that moving to RUG Delver was a step in the right direction. After playing some games with Grixis Delver in preparation to Grand Prix Birmingham I liked how the deck felt and definitely wanted to give a Delver deck a try.

Lightning BoltDelver of SecretsTarmogoyf

RUG Delver, though, is difficult to explain. It's a bunch of super cool cards that make you look super cool when you play it, but doesn't actually have that many of good matchups and/or really good reasons to play it other than making you look good. Pretty much like 《Death's Shadow》 now in Modern. The threats are so much weaker now, with the 《Nimble Mongoose》 and the 《Tarmogoyf》 constantly underperforming. Also... don't play 《Stifle》!!

Stifle

It's already bad enough that you are playing a bad deck, you don't need to make it extra hard!

Lucas said that he was going to play a combo deck for sure. His reasoning made sense, as he didn't want to play super long and tight games against someone who is playing Legacy for much longer than he did. Playing a combo deck like Reanimator/Sneak and Show/Storm allowed him to play less turns making those small little decisions in a less of a factor.

ReanimateShow and TellTendrils of Agony

I'm not a big fan of combo decks though. I also played a Team Trios with my Legacy player playing Reanimator and didn't really like what I saw. The sideboarded games all felt like a nightmare, with most of the games being decided based on the number of hate cards his opponents drew.

Rishadan PortThalia, Guardian of ThrabenAEther Vial

Goncalo Pinto was high on Death and Taxes. In the early Facebook posts he was making fun of Michael Bonde for playing Mono Green in Standard, Tron in Modern and Mono White in Legacy. He eventually gave Death and Taxes a try and was really surprised with it. Now this is my kind of deck.

For those who don't know, I really like these Counterless Midrange Decks that have the tools to outgrind the pure control decks, while have also the tools to go under, punishing their slow draws. It was the Legacy Jund and I liked that.

I was playing a few events with it on MTGO and every game that I didn't die on turn 1 or turn 2 on the draw felt good. That said, I was getting annoyed with the amount of times that I was losing without even playing. It made me feel like I shouldn't be playing a deck without 《Force of Will》.

I ended up packing Death and Taxes and Sneak and Show to Minneapolis. After talking with Michael and Thomas on the Sunday of the GP, they told me that after trying a bunch of different things they were going to fall back to their comfort deck and play Death and Taxes. When you have two of the most experienced Legacy players in the world telling you that they are going to play something that you packed, you have to feel good about it.

After I showed them my concern about playing a non 《Force of Will》 deck Thomas replied with something that made me just go with it and don't stress about it anymore.

Thomas

"As long as you understand that there are somethings you can not control, you will see that it is a very good deck"

It made me think that the thought of a turn 3 《Karn Liberated》 or a topdecked 《Scapeshift》 didn't ever stop me to play Jund or Mardu Pyromancer. These things happen in Magic, decks have bad matchups, you should embrace that and be OK with it.

Death and Taxes Deck Guide

Being on the Death and Taxes boat with Thomas and Michael made the things extra easy. This meaning that you should just follow what they say and question very little about it.

You are pretty much locked on those:

We ended up going for the,

3 《Phyrexian Revoker》

Phyrexian Revoker

3

Necessary evil. There is no other 2 drop you really prefer.

2 《Sanctum Prelate》

Sanctum Prelate

2

I was really up on this one. Its ability to lock games against Lands or Delver felt really strong to me.

2 《Serra Avenger》

Serra Avenger

2

Michael and Thomas said it was worth it. It was.

1 《Recruiter of the Guard》 and 2 《Palace Jailer》

Recruiter of the Guard

1

Palace Jailer

2

Initially we had 2 《Recruiter》 and 1 《Jailer》, but me and Pinto wanted to make room in the sideboard some extra 0 mana graveyard hate and ended up moving this one to the main deck as it was also a card that you wanted to have access to a backup copy against control decks and also a card that you wanted to naturally draw against decks like Eldrazi or Sneak and Show.

Karakas

3

Cavern of Souls

1

We all ended up playing 3 《Karakas》 and 1 《Cavern of Souls》 and while me and Pinto went for the 2nd 《Cavern》, Thomas opted for a random 《Ancient Tomb》 and Michael for a 《Horizon Canopy》.

Plains

10

I also went with the 10 basic 《Plains》 even though I had the 《Snow-Covered Plains》 mix, just to go with the same 75 as Pinto. It worked last time. Also, I was getting free dinner every time I would get hit with 《Predict》 naming 《Plains》 and hit a Zendikar art one. #Value !!

The Pro Tour meta revealed to be extremely good for Death and Taxes, with me, Michael, Thomas and Pinto facing close to no unfair combo decks.

My personal record at the Pro Tour was the following:

Round Deck Result
Round 1 Eldrazi Win
Round 2 UW Stone Blade Did not finished
Round 3 Grixis Delver Win
Round 4 BUG Delver Win
Round 5 Maverick Did not finished
Round 6 Eldrazi Win
Round 7 Eldrazi Win
Round 8 RUG Delver Win
Round 9 UB Death Shadow Did not finished
Round 10 Death and Taxes Lose
Round 11 Lands Win
Round 12 Eldrazi Win
Round 13 Grixis Delver Win
Round 14 UB Death Shadow Win

We ended up reaching the Top 4, making it my 5th PT Top 8 with this one having a special meaning. Not only because I got to share the happiness with 2 of my favorite persons in the world - Carlos and Thiago, but also because the other Hareruya Latin(Luis, Sebastian, and Lucas) finished 6th granting us the number one seed of the Team Series final, later this year in Las Vegas.

Latin

In the Semi Finals, we played the triple hall of fame team of ChannelFireball where my plan to beat Josh Utter-Leyton consisted in winning the 2 pre-sideboarded games and then try to steal one game after they board in the triple 《Dread of Night》 and double 《Liliana, the Last Hope》 package. I failed to win game 2 and then couldn't make up for it, winning only one sideboarded game. Carlos also fell short against Martin and our run ended there.

Deck List and Sideboard Guide

If you are also willing to embrace the fact that some things you can't control, don't be like me and just run Thomas Sideboard. The second copy of 《Palace Jailer》 ended up being amazing, since I faced Eldrazi 4 times, but I felt stupid every time I looked at my sideboard and saw so many useless cards while the 《Ratchet Bomb》 and 《Needle》 would have been super useful in many spots, specially against the 《Dread of Night》 and 《Liliana》, like Josh had in the Top 4.

Sideboard Guide for the list I should have played:

Miracles

Against Miracles

Out

Phyrexian Revoker Phyrexian Revoker
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares
Serra Avenger Umezawa's Jitte

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment
Palace Jailer Surgical Extraction
Pithing Needle Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Against Grixis Control

Out

Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares
AEther Vial Umezawa's Jitte
Flickerwisp

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Palace Jailer
Rest in Peace Ratchet Bomb
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Against Lands

Out

Phyrexian Revoker Phyrexian Revoker Phyrexian Revoker
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Umezawa's Jitte

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Palace Jailer
Rest in Peace Rest in Peace Surgical Extraction
Pithing Needle Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Against Sneak and Show

Out

Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares
Stoneforge Mystic Stoneforge Mystic Serra Avenger
Umezawa's Jitte Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Containment Priest Containment Priest Palace Jailer
Ethersworn Canonist Ethersworn Canonist Pithing Needle
Council's Judgment Council's Judgment

Let’s keep a copy of 《Swords to Plowshares》 in the main deck. After《Show and Tell》 is played, it will be useful when it comes down to your《Phyrexian Revoker》against《Griselbrand》. Also, it will be useful when removing《Grim Lavamancer》 and 《Arcane Artisan》.

《Revoker》: 《Sneak Attack》, 《Griselbrand》, 《Lotus Petal》, 《Jace, the Mind Sculptor》

《Prelate》: 3 (《Show and Tell》), 2 (《Pyroclasm》, 《Abrade》), 5 (《Through the Breach》), 3 (《Blood Moon》)

BR Reanimator

Against BR Reanimator

Out

Flickerwisp Flickerwisp Flickerwisp Mother of Runes
Stoneforge Mystic Stoneforge Mystic Umezawa's Jitte
AEther Vial AEther Vial Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Containment Priest Containment Priest Council's Judgment Council's Judgment
Rest in Peace Rest in Peace Ethersworn Canonist
Surgical Extraction Path to Exile Pithing Needle

Against Storm

Out

Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares
Serra Avenger Flickerwisp Palace Jailer
Stoneforge Mystic Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Ethersworn Canonist Ethersworn Canonist Council's Judgment Council's Judgment
Rest in Peace Rest in Peace Surgical Extraction
Pithing Needle Ratchet Bomb

Against Elves

Out

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Flickerwisp Flickerwisp Serra Avenger
Sanctum Prelate Recruiter of the Guard Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Containment Priest Containment Priest Ethersworn Canonist Ethersworn Canonist
Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Path to Exile
Dismember Pithing Needle Ratchet Bomb

Against Eldrazi

Out

Mother of Runes Mother of Runes Mother of Runes Mother of Runes
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Sanctum Prelate Sanctum Prelate

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Containment Priest Palace Jailer
Path to Exile Dismember Pithing Needle
Ratchet Bomb Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Against Death and Taxes

Out

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Sanctum Prelate Sanctum Prelate
Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Palace Jailer Path to Exile
Dismember Pithing Needle
Ratchet Bomb

Against RUG Delver

Out

Phyrexian Revoker Phyrexian Revoker Phyrexian Revoker
Recruiter of the Guard Recruiter of the Guard
Sword of Fire and Ice

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Path to Exile
Dismember Rest in Peace
Ratchet Bomb

Against Death Shadow

Out

Flickerwisp Flickerwisp Mother of Runes
Recruiter of the Guard Recruiter of the Guard
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Umezawa's Jitte

In

Council's Judgment Council's Judgment Ethersworn Canonist
Path to Exile Dismember
Pithing Needle Ratchet Bomb

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