A Legacy is Established!

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Jon Sonne is the Grand Prix Philadelphia 2005 Champion!

With almost a quarter of the field sporting goblins this weekend it was Jon Sonne's version that emerged on top. His deck incorporated the mana disruption elements of classic RDW. In his three game finals with the Meddling Mage himself, Chris Pikula, Jon's sideboarded Patron of the Akki helped him over the hump of Chris' turn one Engineered Plague.

It was an exciting weekend chock full of goblins, combos, and control. It will be exciting to see the effects of this event - the first major Legacy event of any kind - will have on the remaining event with the same format later in the year.


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Paul Serignese   Tom Smart, 2-0        
8 Tom Smart   Jonathan Sonne, 2-1
       
4 Jonathan Sonne   Jonathan Sonne, 2-0   Jonathan Sonne, 2-1
5 Pat McGregor    
       
2 Chris Pikula   Chris Pikula, 2-1
7 Lam Phan   Chris Pikula, 2-1
       
3 Pasquale Ruggiero   Pasquale Ruggiero, 2-1
6 Ben Goodman    


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION

  • Blog - 8:01 p.m. - Finals: Jon Sonne vs. Chris Pikula
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Blog - 7:33 p.m. - Semifinals: Chris Pikula vs. Pasquale Ruggiero
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Blog - 6:50 p.m. - Quarterfinals
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Blog - 3:43 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Brian David-Marshall



  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Trial Decklists, Legacy Deck Tech, Undefeated Showdown, and more!
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Turn 1 Kill, Top Pro Play, The Best and Worst of Times, and more!
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Info: Day 1 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
 1.  Jonathan Sonne $2,400
 2.  Chris Pikula $1,700
 3.  Pasquale Ruggiero $1,200
 4.  Tom Smart $1,000
 5.  Paul Serignese $800
 6.  Pat McGregor $800
 7.  Ben Goodman $800
 8.  Lam Phan $800
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  • Sunday, November 13: 3:43 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks


  • Pat McGregor - Threshold
    GP Philadelphia 05 - Top 8


    Lam Pham - Threshold
    GP Philadelphia 05 - Top 8



    Pasquale Ruggiero - Red-White Rift
    GP Philadelphia 05 - Top 8


     
    Chris Pikula - Rogue Deadguy Ale: A Homebrew
    GP Philadelphia 05 - Top 8


    Ben Goodman - ThreshGro
    GP Philadelphia 05 - Top 8





     
  • Sunday, November 13: 6:50 p.m. - Quarterfinals


  • Chris Pikula vs. Lam Pham

    Lam Pham, left, vs. Chris Pikula

    Chris was extremely nervous about his quarterfinals opponent. He had seen Lam Pham wreck people all weekend long with his threshold deck. Mystic Enforcer was a huge problem for him with virtually zero outs against it maindeck. Post sideboard he had Swords to Plowshares if he could get them through Daze and Force of Will

    Game 1

    Lam's Tundra was Wastelanded and his subsequent Island stuck but Chris was working the hand this turn and Ritualed Hymn to Tourach - hitting Plains and Predict - and burned for one.

    Chris smirked as a Meddling Mage saw play on the other side of the table. He played Nantuko Shade. Both creatures got in for two on the next turn. Chris' Hypnotic Specter was Dazed. Chris got in for six on the next turn but Lam was way ahead on cards after a pair of Accumulated Knowledge.

    Lam could not really afford to attack. He left the Meddling Mage back on guard duty and reinforced with Werebear. Chris Hymned and Lam cast AK for three in response. He let it resolve and Chris hit Force of Will and Sword to Plowshares.

    The game slowed down at this point. Chris played Cursed Scroll while Lam had a pair of Nimble Mongoose. Chris was frowning a turn later when Lam Brainstormed into Mystic Enforcer. After a moment's consideration he announced, "I'll concede."

    Ben Goodman, left, vs. Pasquale Ruggiero

    Game 2

    Chris shook his head as he tried to figure out how to sideboard. He whiled away the time with small talk, "So is your deck good against Goblins?

    Lam shrugged, "It's not bad. I would say it is 50/50."

    "I thought about decks like yours but I couldn't tell if it would beat Goblins. I didn't test it to be fair."

    Chris fetched Scrubland on the first turn and made Cursed Scroll. Lam had Nimble Mongoose. Withered Wretch was shut down by Lam's Pithing Needle. He did not however have any more lands - just the one Forest. Chris beatdown for two and made another.

    Turn four saw Chris cast a pair of Dark Confidants only to have them both Force of Willed. He swung for four on the next turn, Scrolled Lam naming Nantuko Shade, and played the insect. Lam scooped without ever seeing his second land.

    Game 3

    It is very disappointing for the crowd whenever Chris does not make a Dark Ritual play on turn one. Lam seemed relieved by the lack of action. He untapped and played Werebear only to have Pikula Sword it. Chris had Gerard's Verdict and gained six life when Lam discarded two lands - he pumped his fist knowing that it meant his opponent was not holding gas.

    Chris punished him for it on turn three with a Sinkhole on one Tropical and Wasteland on the other. Lam had no play. Chris continued the disruptive assault with Hymn to Tourach. Lam dug with Serum Visions and found Swords to Plowshares and a fetchland for the Hypnotic Specter Chris played a turn later. He removed it from the game on the next turn. Chris had another Specter.

    Paul Serignese, left, vs. Tom Smart

    Lam AK'd for two cards but Chris emptied his hand with Hypnotic and Gerard's Verdict. Lam continued to fight - Brainstorming and cracking fetchlands - he was only at 12. Nantuko Shade joined Chris's side of the table.

    "I had no land," sighed Lam who ironically had kept a land heavy hand. "He has so much land destruction I needed to keep it. It was a good hand. I really needed that Werebear."

    Goodman vs. Ruggiero

    Pasquale took a long Game 1 against Ruggiero when, in the words of Goodman "His deck did what it is supposed to do and my deck did what it was supposed to - lose." In Game 2 Goodman made three Nimble Mongeese and Armageddoned for the decisive win.

    This game started off with a mulligan for Pasquale. His opponent led off with Pithing Needle for Eternal Dragon. Nimble Mongoose and Serum Visions were the turn two plays for Goodman. Goodman scrambled for the Threshold. He Predicted his top card to draw two more and added a Werebear but he could not get enough cards before Pasquale wiped them out with Slice and Dice.

    Meddling Mage came down naming Humility alongside a new Nimble Mongoose. Goodman added another Mongoose but the game was slipping away from him. Pasquale used Boil and a brief counterwar ensued with Pasquale's Pyroblast as the final salvo. Akroma's Vengeance wiped the board.

    One turn later Pasquale played Eternal Dragon. Goodman ripped through his deck with a flurry of Brainstorms, Predicts, and Serum Visions but he was not facing good odds. "You are going to need several outs."

    Pat McGregor, left, vs. Jonathan Sonne

    "Hmmm … I think I will let you win with style points," laughed the good natured Goodman as he cast Armageddon. Pasquale cycled Decree of Justice for six tokens just to be sure.

    Pasquale sighed with relief, "My Block Constructed deck wins."

    Goblins vs. the rest of the field

    Tom Smart and Jonathan Sonne both won their matches in convincing two-oh fashion against Threshhold and Gamekeeper combo. Against Paul Sereginese, Smart cycled a Gempalm Incinerator to kill Salvagers as he was about to go off. Other than that it was just goblins doing their thing. Tom Smart and Sonne would be facing off in one bracket while Lightning Rift and Black-white battled in the other bracket. Either way Goblins would have a hard time against either of these decks which did not lose a Goblin match all weekend.



     
  • Sunday, November 13: 7:33 p.m. - Semifinals: Chris Pikula vs. Pasquale Ruggiero


  • Chris mulliganed going second for Game 1. A turn two Abeyance kept him from making a turn two play. He Hymned on turn three and Pasquale cycled Eternal Dragon in response. Chris Wastelanded Forgotten Cave and Sinkholed a Mountain on the next turn. Hypnotic Specter was up next. Pasquale could not do anything but cycle and hope for an out. Nantuko Shade came down next and Chris started taking huge bites out of Pasquale's life total.

    Pasquale Ruggiero, left, vs. Chris Pikula

    Pasqaule found Swords to Plowshares but it was too little too late and before I could even punctuate a sentence they were on to Game 2.

    Ruggiero, did not like his chances in the match-up. "I am drawing dead. I might have had a chance if I had drawn a Mountain."

    "Lots of my opponents would have had a chance if they had drawn land," grinned Chris. "I have to say the match-up seems much better when we play than it looks on paper."

    Game 2

    Chris led with Duress and saw Rift, Pyroclasm, Disenchant, and Eternal Dragon. "I am going to take Lightning Rift."

    "Good choice."

    Sinkhole sunk Forgotten Cave on the next turn. Pasquale cycled the Dragon for Plateau. Another Duress saw two Pyroclasms, Disenchant, and Renewed Faith. Chris took one of the 'Clasms. He then trotted Nantuko Shade out there to 'duress' the other.

    Chris' Hypnotic Specter was promptly shot down with StP and Chris was aghast.

    "Off the top?"

    Ruggierio felt he was entitled to one or two timely draws against Chris, "C'mon."

    Pasquale Abeyanced during Chris' upkeep and the only thing he could do was cast Dark Confidant. Pasqaule was not done ripping though. He cycled Eternal Dragon, played his land and cycled Slice and Dice to keep Chris to one card per turn.

    Another one of Chris' Hippies was rfg'd and now the game seemed to be fully under Pasquale's control. He was able to bring back Eternal Dragon each turn and find land. When Chris found another Dark Confidant it was neutered with Humility. Chris did not get the card but he did get in for two when he Vindicated the enchantment but Pasquale trumped him with a cycled Decree to kill the 2/1.

    When Eternal Dragon finally decided it had retrieved enough lands and wanted to see play Chris scooped.

    Game 3

    Tom Smart, left, vs. Jonathan Sonne

    Turn two Duress from Chris saw only one more land in hand and six spells. He took a Pyroclasm and Wastelanded Forgotten Cave. He offered up Dark Confidant on the next turn but Pasquale found land for his other Pyroclasm. Hypnotic Specter was up next. Pasquale Abeyanced and Chris used Wasteland in response.

    Hippie got in for one hit and was followed up with Hymn to Tourach. Pasquale drew a third Pyroclasm but was almost out of cards. Chris was not out of Hypnotic Specters though. Pasquale was playing off the top and found a fourth Pyroclasm to take out the flier. No matter, Chris restocked with Dark Confidant.

    The game sort of lumbered along for a couple of more turns but unless Pasquale found Slice and Dice Chris was going to the finals - Pasquale had no white land to do anything else with. Pasquale bought himself one additional turn cycling Renewed Faith but he could not stop Dark Confidant - the Necro that serves the beats - from delivering the killing blow.



     
  • Sunday, November 13: 8:01 p.m. - Finals: Jon Sonne vs. Chris Pikula


  • Chris Pikula took second!

    "I have never won in the finals of a Grand Prix. I lost two of them back to back - Kansas City and DC," sighed Pikula. He was hoping to turn that around against Jon Sonne but Sonne - who grinned when he heard about Chris' track record - liked his chances.

    "I have destroyed some lands this weekend," said Chris as the two players looked over each others decklists.

    "I have destroyed my fair share but I would venture you have destroyed more than me."

    Game 1

    Chris shrugged and kept his opening hand, "Duress?"

    "There are only four targets in the deck."

    "What am I supposed to do - not Duress?"

    Jon led off with Mogg Fanatic. Nantuko Shade showed up on Chris' board and it blocked the Mogg. It was replaced by a Piledriver from Sonne.

    Chris tried Gerard's Verdict - "You are getting some good ones." - and nabbed Siege-Gang and another Piledriver. Cursed Scroll punctuated his turn. Jon used Wasteland on Chris' Scrubland and played another Piledriver. Cursed Scroll one of the Piledrivers naming Duress.

    Chris looked up at the judge and smiled, "He forgot to attack one turn right?"

    Jon had been hoping that Chris wouldn't notice his slip up and grinned sheepishly, "I have been playing tooo good. I just had to make a mistake right?"

    "It's cool now if I lose I can complain, 'I lost to some guy who just didn't attack with Piledriver.'"

    Sonne Matroned for a Warchief. Chris killed the second Piledriver during his upkeep.

    Ringleader changed the tempo of the game around as Sonne nabbed Siege-Gang and Lackey off the top. Chris tried to keep Jon off double red with Sinkhole but Jon ripped Mire off the top. Warchief was killed on upkeep. The goblins kept swinging though and Chris life was dribbling away.

    Nantuko Shade traded with Ringleader but things were looking grim.

    "C'mon Sonne! SONNE! SONNE!" chanted Antonino DeRosa from somewhere behind the crowded rail. Chris made a pouty face and hollered back, "He already lost!" even though it was the opposite of true.

    Game 2

    Jon had a turn one Lackey but Chris came over the top on turn two with Darkblast and Cursed Scroll. Sonne had to play fair with a two-drop on turn two and summoned Piledriver. Chris put out Dark Confidant and when Sonne tried to cycle Gempalm Incinerator to kill it, Pikula used Swords on the Piledriver.

    Wasteland took out Jon's Port and Hymn to Tourach took his hand down a notch.

    Withered Wretch - Chris' sideboard against aggressive decks - lined up to enter the red zone in a turn. Sonne's Piledriver was killed EOT with Dark Ritual to activate Cursed Scroll. Chris bashed in for two and played Hypnotic Specter.

    Jon looked over the board and opted to save everyone some time and move onto Game 3. "That is the first game I have lost in five or six rounds."

    "And no Engineered Plague!" exclaimed Pikula.

    Game 3

    "I'm going to six," grumbled Chris. "That is my first no-land hand of the tournament."

    Jonathan Sonne is the 2005 Grand Prix Philadelphia Champion!

    Sonne had the first turn Lackey but Pikula had the first turn Engineered Plague. Sonne had no turn two play but Pikula was out of land. Sonne tried to get in for one with Warchief but Chris was ready with Darkblast.

    Sonne put down Piledriver and Chris - who still needed land - dredged up the Darkblast. He did it again on the next turn to kill Siege-Gang Commander. He was concerned about Jon being able to pay the offering cost on Patron of the Akki. He needn't have worried. Jon simply paid full price. Chris still didn't have a second land and took a whupping from the legend.

    Jon had Goblin Ringleader into Goblin Warchief on the next turn and attacked for a gaudy fifteen under the Engineered Plague. Chris shook his head, "I can't believe I lost this game with Engineered Plague in play and won the one without it."

    Jon Sonne was the Grand Prix Philadelphia 2005 Champion!


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