The Greatwatch

There’s this little thing called The Gatewatch. If you’re not familiar with The Gatewatch, it’s Jace’s super squad of rad planeswalkers that travel through the aether from plane to plane solving mysteries and taking down the big baddies. It’s like a modern day Scooby Doo. Their most recent conquest was sending Ulamog and Kozilek back “from whence they came.” I’m not 100% clear on exactly how the story ended, but they either destroyed Ulamog and Kozilek, or they sent them on a one-way flight back to the Blind Eternities. Either way, Ulamog and Kozilek are gone.

Little-known fact: I once considered taking a vacation in the Blind Eternities. I ended up backing out of it when I found out there’s nothing to see there. Also, flights take forever. I went on a cruise instead.

While the annihilation of Ulamog and Kozilek is a good thing, that’s not the end of the story for Zendikar. Jace may have left Zendikar immediately after the big Eldrazi were taken care of, but his work wasn’t quite finished yet. What about all those medium-sized Eldrazi? For all you know, they are still out there ravaging the Zendikarian countryside. People can’t really rejoice that Ulamog and Kozilek went kaplat when Thought-Knots and Smashers are still going sliced turkey on some local villages.

Meanwhile, on another plane entirely, another atrocity remains unpunished. You know how some places have a rodent problem, or a cockroach problem? Well, Dominaria has a bit of a Lhurgoyf problem. Innocent people keep dying to this infestation of Lhurgoyfs, and nothing is being done to correct this problem. Lhurgoyfs are running uncontested in the streets, destroying homes. Destroying lives. Remember Hans? Remember Saffi Eriksdotter? I do. And their sacrifice will not be in vain.

It just wasn’t right to leave Zendikar in that horrid state. It isn’t right to allow Lhurgoyfs to continue their rampage upon the gentlefolk of Dominaria. If nobody else is going to stand up against this, then I will. The Gatewatch won’t correct these wrongs, so the responsibility falls to another group. I took it upon myself to assemble that group—a clean-up crew, as it were. That ragtag group of adventurers is going to finish the job the Gatewatch left behind on Zendikar. They are going to bring closure to the memory of Hans and Saffi, and safeguard the people of Dominaria. They are going to bring justice to the multiverse, one case at a time. They are (drumroll please) The Greatwatch.

Allow me to introduce them. The first member of the squad is a non-violent Monk teacher leading a bunch of young students on an unsupervised field trip. The second member is a Wizard who wears a monocle, has never been in a fistfight, and who carries around a painted hammer that is just for show. The last member of this squad isn’t actually a real sentient being, but is actually just a giant red moon that sometimes appears in the sky and messes things up.

And that’s the team! It’s the perfect mix of bad and badass needed to slay tentacled horrors and giant multi-limbed horrors. A teacher, a wizard, and a moon. The dream team is assembled. Everyone else can go home now.

Except Jace. Yeah, I forgot, Jace is also randomly on this team, like every other team. No team is complete without Jace.

With allies like these, what enemy could possibly stand a chance?

The Greatwatch assembled last weekend at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in their first test, a Legacy Grand Prix. Would they be able to take care of the Tarmogoyf problem? Could they clean up the Zendikarian countryside of Ulamog’s scraps and Kozilek’s gangster raps? It was time to find out.

UWr Miracles

In testing for this GP, I played about 8 Legacy Leagues on Magic Online. I went 4-1 in every single League. Never better, never worse. I’d start 4-0, then lose the last round to Cloudpost. I’d join another League, lose round 1 to Burn, play out and win the rest of the league. It didn’t matter what I did or how I did it, I was destined for that 4-1. I’d beat Eldrazi twice in a row, then lose to it that 3rd time. 4-1.

Based on this, you would think my expected result at the GP would be 12-3. 4-1 three times = 12-3. How wrong you would be. The thing is, a Grand Prix is way different than playing casual games of Legacy on Magic Online, so you have to account and adjust for that when calculating expected records. Expecting my win percentage on Magic Online to perfectly carry over to my win percentage in a higher stakes paper event with thousands of participants, including numerous professionals, would just be foolish.

Just kidding. I went 12-3. Consistency. It’s key. It doesn’t get you anything, but it’s key.

I identified that one of my worst matchups was the new Eldrazi deck that had been picking up in popularity. I say that, having gone exactly 50/50 against it in testing on Magic Online. It didn’t even seem like a particularly bad matchup. The thing is, Miracles is just so freaking good that a bad matchup is a 50/50 matchup. I actually went better than 50/50 against Cloudpost on Magic Online testing for this event, and that deck is supposed to be the stone-cold Miracles slayer.

If you plan on playing a lot of Legacy, and your number one priority is to win tournaments, then I think you are doing yourself a great disservice by not playing Miracles. Miracles is favored against almost every single deck in the entire format. Even a matchup that has traditionally plagued me playing Miracles, Shardless BUG, somehow was no longer a problem. Predict/Mentor versions of Miracles simply have a good matchup against Shardless. I didn’t really believe that was true until I went 4-0 vs. Shardless testing for the event and 3-0 vs. it in the event. It’s hard to ignore that.

You may be wondering: How did The Greatwatch do at the GP at their task?

The answer? Quite well.

Despite their different backgrounds, different ideologies, and different methodologies, Monastery Mentor and Snapcaster Mage teamed up under the banner of the Blood Moon to do what they were tasked to do. Slay Eldrazi. Eradicate Lhurgoyfs. Bring peace, justice, and happiness to the multiverse. That kind of fuzzy stuff.

Monastery Mentor and his squad of students learned the art of war from tomes found in an Ancient Tomb. They became militant. Snapcaster Mage handed out a lot of copies of the 1983 Farmer’s Almanac, which convinced many Thought-Knot Seers to find wives and settle down on some unclaimed Zendikarian farmland. A group of Reality Smashers took public transportation to the next village they were set to destroy. Unfortunately, they missed their stop and ended up getting off at the last bus stop, Terminus. Tarmogoyf got belligerently drunk at Jace’s bar, and other patrons complained. He got bounced. Blood Moon sometimes appeared in the sky and messed things up. What kinds of things? Nobody really knows.

When the dust cleared, I went 4-1 vs. Eldrazi and 3-0 vs. Shardless BUG. These are the bad matchups for Miracles? Could the real bad matchups please stand up?

Unfortunately for The Greatwatch, their work is not yet compete. I have another Legacy event I plan on playing this weekend. I’ve heard rumors that there are more Eldrazi that need to be taught how to farm and more Lhurgoyfs that can’t hold their liquor. I’m not sure if anyone else is willing to step up to the task and clean up these streets. So I will. For the good of the people. Also, for the good of me. Okay, fine. Entirely for the good of me. Sue me.

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