I sat down with Thomas Enevoldsen this week to discuss his Magic-playing career. We started from the beginning and worked our way to the present day. Thomas started playing competitive sports when he was 3 years old, kicking a soccer ball around and trying to beat his older brothers. Many years later, he has become a Magic phenom and full-time lawyer.
The full audio interview can be found here.
Off the record, I asked Thomas about the Death and Taxes deck that he is best known for (TWO Legacy Grand Prix Top 8s with the deck!). Although this part of our Q&A didn’t make the final recording cut, I am sharing this here for all the DnT enthusiasts out there. The answers are paraphrased and edited for brevity.
Q: Thomas, what are your thoughts on Eldrazi Displacer in Death and Taxes?
A: A bit clunky and slow for Legacy. It’s a 3-drop that competes with Mirran Crusader, and most of the time I’d rather have Crusader or Mangara. If you have 3 mana to spare, you’re probably winning the game already. If you’re behind, it’s not doing enough. In some metagames where Mirran Crusader is not great (no Abrupt Decay decks), it might be worth considering. But overall it’s not great.
Q: Thoughts on the new Thalia?
A: Need to test it, but at best it’s a 2-of. Again, it’s competing with Mirran Crusader and Flickerwisp at the 3-drop slot. It’s not great in combat, because it’s not beating a Tarmogoyf and Crusader is better at that. The lands-come-into-play-tapped ability is sort of random, and doesn’t consistently hose all the decks. Being legendary is great, but I need to test it, and I wouldn’t play more than 2 copies.
Q: Thoughts on Holy Light?
A: No real application for this card. In Death and Taxes, sideboard cards can’t be too situational since you have no ability to shuffle it away if you draw it. Your sideboard cards have to be good all the time, and this doesn’t make the cut.
Q: Thoughts on Archetype of Courage?
A: Not good. Does not have a relevant ability.
Q: At a GP-level event, is it correct to ignore certain bad matchups like Elves?
A: Personally, I don’t try to ignore matchups even if they’re bad. Playing against Charbelcher is the exception, because you have no way to really beat it. But even against Elves, I prepare for that matchup. Sometimes it works to my detriment, but I still want to have a shot at winning the bad matchups.
Q: So then, what’s your game plan versus Elves?
A: You need lots of removal. You need to stick a Stoneforge Mystic + Jitte as quickly as possible, and slow their game plan enough to find this combination. Hands with Mother of Runes + Ethersworn Canonist + Containment Priest are very important, to slow down the Elves player.
Q: What’s your game plan versus Eldrazi?
A: The biggest key to this matchup is having enough removal. You need to play the attrition game with them. Don’t be afraid to 2-for-1 and trade two of your creatures for one of theirs, because their threat density is not great and they don’t have combat tricks. Make sure you have Revoker to shut off their Jitte, because Jitte wrecks us. The Aether Vial + mana denial plan is really good for us, too.
Q: In general, how is the Death and Taxes versus Eldrazi matchup?
A: It’s generally unfavorable for us. If they have nut draws — Mimic, Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher — there is no way that we can win. If they don’t have nut draws, the matchup becomes 50/50. So in general, it’s unfavorable.
Q: Do you have a recommended gaming store for visitors going to Denmark?
A: Faraos cigarer in central Copenhagen. Friendly staff, great selection, and I’ve played there for a long time. There are daily tournaments, too.