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This Month in Legacy (January 2016)

Okay, now we’re finally back on track in terms of our monthly Legacy updates! I hope everyone had a good New Year and…

Welcome to a New Year of Legacy!

Per usual, there’re lots of interesting new things to investigate in January as the Legacy metagame has continued to develop – especially with Oath of the Gatewatch now hitting shelves and a few potential Legacy additions now finding their way into deck lists. The highlight events of this month were the bevy of SCG Classics, per usual, as well as a few large events hosted in Europe – if you want more information about the crazy amount of Legacy action going on in Europe (I’m super jealous), look towards Julian Knab’s guide here! American’s need not fear either though – there’s a variety of new series set up by stores around the country, including Eternal Extravaganza featuring many ‘satellite’ tournaments in the lead up to their tournament throughout the year. Details here about EE, and per usual look to the tournament announcements section on The Source for further details on a variety of tournaments.

So there’s quite a lot of Legacy going on this year – I’m really proud to see Legacy communities around the world step up and fulfil the void that SCG left with its trimming down of Legacy Opens!

Anyway, on to our charts and metagame analysis!

The Online metagame results have been relatively infrequent, and as such the sample size is quite small (though expect some more Legacy action on MtGO now with Legacy Leagues announced!). We nonetheless see Miracles at the top, but ANT far lower than its previous high position. Shardless and Sneak & Show have also climbed to a lot of success this month, countering the decline they’ve been showing in previous months. A few interesting decks have shown a bit of prominence this month online too – Grixis Control, one of the top contenders during the Dig Through Time era, has now equipped itself with some Painful Truths and is now revitalised. Zombardment, the age-old pet deck of Sam Black, has also shown resurgence Online – more on that one later.

The Paper data reflects the metagame’s progress a little more expectedly – Miracles and ANT right at the top. Grixis Delver no longer sits amongst the peak of decks, however, edged out by BUG variants, Death & Taxes and Elves. 4c Loam continues its climb into the upper echelon of decks in the format. Interesting additions to decks that have a surprisingly increased amount of play include Goblins, Merfolk (both with new toys), OmniTell and Turbo Depths.

Again here’s the combined Online and Paper chart for those curious.

Oath of the Gatewatch Is Out of the Gates

Oath of the Gatewatch brought with it some strong new toys for a variety of decks, particularly decks abusing colourless land, whether they be Wastelands, Rishadan Ports, Mutavaults, Cavern of Souls, Ancient Tombs, City of Traitors or whatever.

The first week of Legacy after Oath featured an SCG Classic won by a monster of the Legacy format…

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Well, a monster of many years ago.

Goblins, once known as the scourge of Legacy, has for many years been outclassed by creatures power creeping upwards set after set, while the same core of rabble-rousers has been played since the days of Onslaught block. The tribal synergies of Goblins can certainly be powerful, but at times can feel undermined by the Tarmogoyfs and Stoneforge Mystics of the world. But perhaps one of Oath of the Gatewatch‘s new additions can allow Goblins to maintain relevance within the format. John-Peter Reiland included a singleton copy of Warping Wail in his SCG Classic-winning Goblins list, but many feel that this card may be much more worthwhile than a singleton.

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John-Peter Reiland's Rbg Goblins

Creatures: (30)
Earwig Squad
Gempalm Incinerator
Goblin Chieftain
Goblin Sharpshooter
Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
Siege-Gang Commander
Skirk Prospector
Stingscourger
Tuktuk Scrapper
Krenko, Mob Boss
Goblin Piledriver
Goblin Lackey
Goblin Matron
Goblin Ringleader
Goblin Warchief

Non-Creature Spells: (7)
Warping Wail
Tarfire
Aether Vial
Lands: (23)
Badlands
Bloodstained Mire
Taiga
Wooded Foothills
Mountain
Arid Mesa
Cavern of Souls
Rishadan Port
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Chalice of the Void
Relic of Progenitus
Goblin Sharpshooter
Tin Street Hooligan
Ancient Grudge
Krosan Grip
Pyrokinesis
Warren Weirding

Wail fits very nicely in Goblins, as Goblins runs a huge amount of colourless lands with Cavern of Souls, Rishadan Port and Wasteland, second to only decks abusing Tombs, Cities and Posts, making the card easily castable. Wail also acts as serviceable removal, particularly against idiotic 1/2 blockers such as Deathrite Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic, allowing the potent Lackey draws to now go unhindered. But unlike cards such as Tarfire, Warren Weirding, Pyrokinesis and even the hallmark Gempalm Incinerator, Wail has further relevance against one of the greatest banes of Goblins – combo. Having a maindeckable card that not only acts as removal for the majority of threats you need to push through, but also can delay combo enough for Piledriver to bring in the beats, is certainly special, and Wail looks like a nice addition to the deck that hasn’t got any potent additions for a few years.

I’m a big fan of finding room for four in the seventy-five, and this is exactly what Melbourne Goblin connoisseur Steven Stamopoulos has done:

Steven Stamopoulos' Rg Goblins

Non-Creature Spells: (7)
Aether Vial
Warping Wail
Tarfire

Creatures: (30)
Gempalm Incinerator
Goblin Lackey
Goblin Matron
Goblin Piledriver
Goblin Ringleader
Goblin Sharpshooter
Goblin Warchief
Mogg War Marshal
Siege-Gang Commander
Skirk Prospector
Tin Street Hooligan
Lands: (23)
Bloodstained Mire
Cavern of Souls
Rishadan Port
Snow-Covered Mountain
Taiga
Wasteland
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
Ancient Grudge
Grafdigger’s Cage
Krenko, Mob Boss
Magus of the Moon
Pyrokinesis
Relic of Progenitus
Stingscourger
Sudden Demise
Tin Street Hooligan
Warping Wail

Wail has also found its way into a another tribal strategy – Merfolk.

Igor Panigada's Merfolk

Creatures: (24)
Vendilion Clique
Phantasmal Image
Cursecatcher
Lord of Atlantis
Master of the Pearl Trident
Silvergill Adept
True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells: (16)
Warping Wail
Force of Will
Umezawa’s Jitte
Aether Vial
Chalice of the Void
Lands: (20)
Wasteland
Cavern of Souls
Mutavault
10 Island

Sideboard: (15)
Echoing Truth
Manriki-Gusari
Submerge
Flusterstorm
Null Rod
Tormod’s Crypt
Back to Basics
Dismember
Harbinger of the Tides
Venser, Shaper Savant

Taking up slots typically occupied by Daze, Wail is again easily castable thanks to this list’s ten colourless lands and provides some hard interaction against creatures that slip through Chalice or Force of Will, compared to the bounce spells Fish usually utilises, particularly great against Stoneforge who can prevent racing thanks to Batterskull. It also provides additional combo protection, in addition to Chalice, Force of Will and Vendilion Clique, making its disruption suite quite multi-faceted.

There are a few other places Wail can also find applications – MUD can now use this as removal and an additional layer of combo protection, as can 12Post, and Death & Taxes can use this as another angle of disruption against combo (especially Elves, where the first two modes are very relevant), though the card clashes with the deck’s use of Port and Thalia.

Another very relevant card for Legacy is Stormchaser Mage.

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Stormchaser Mage is likely to be directly paralleled with a two-drop well known to most Eternal players.

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The difference is, of course, that Stormchaser goes tall, rather than wide, making him suitable in lists that aim to burn the opponent out very quickly, since Stormchaser’s damage manifests immediately, compared to Pyromancer who has a one-turn ‘delay’, in a way, but is much more potent against spot removal. I think choosing one option over the other really depends on the deck. UR Burn variants will likely favour the Mage due to his ability to close out the game faster and the Prowess curve of Swiftspear into Stormchaser looking quite potent. Delver decks aiming to go a bit longer though, such as Grixis and 4c, will still likely favour the Elemental spewer. Also notable is that Stormchaser has a surprisingly large butt. A 1/3 body is actually not that bad on defence, especially since he has flying to block annoying Delvers. In fact, one spell puts him out of Bolt range and into a position to favourably block Delver. Something to consider.

Anyway, there were three lists that featured Stormchaser Mage this month – two of which were UR Burn lists, while the other was an Eli Kassis special featuring a more tempo-orientated approach and the most unexpected draw engine in awhile.

Looking towards the more Burn-orientated lists first…

Alex Sperling's UR Delver

Lands: (18)
Arid Mesa
Flooded Strand
Island
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island

Creatures: (12)
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Stormchaser Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (30)
Brainstorm
Chain Lightning
Daze
Fireblast
Force of Will
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Price of Progress
Sideboard: (15)
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Flusterstorm
Grafdigger’s Cage
Grim Lavamancer
Price of Progress
Pyrokinesis
Smash to Smithereens
Submerge
Surgical Extraction

Dries Vanheukelom's UR Delver

Lands: (18)
Bloodstained Mire
Flooded Strand
Island
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Wooded Foothills

Creatures: (14)
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Snapcaster Mage
Stormchaser Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (28)
Brainstorm
Chain Lightning
Daze
Fireblast
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Price of Progress
Spell Snare
Sideboard: (15)
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Force of Will
Pyroblast
Submerge
Sulfuric Vortex
Surgical Extraction

Running a similar land count (eighteen) and a similar creature base, the non-creature spells in this list differed greatly though. Sperling’s list truly went all in on the burn with Prowess plan, utilising Gitaxian Probe for increased Prowess triggers and a suite of burn including Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and the two ‘big’ spells, Price of Progress and Fireblast, likely the two biggest boons to running a pure UR list. Vanheukelom ran a similar suite of burn spells (upping the Price count by one) but trimmed down on Forces, Probes and Dazes for three Spell Snares – likely a metagame call to answer difficult permanents like Tarmogoyf and Counterbalance. Running non-free countermagic is somewhat counter to this decks cantrip-and-burn plan though, so I’d be wary of that. That being said, with eighteen lands I do love the addition of Snapcaster Mage in Vanheukelom’s list. PoP-Snap-Pop is strong, especially when triggering Prowess along the way. Bits of sideboard technology I like in these lists are Sperling’s Pyrokinesis (hey, Stormchaser increases the red count too!) and both sideboards now including Eidolon as a piece of permanent-based combo hate.

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Now to Eli Kassis’ more brewy piece of work:

Eli Kassis' UR Delver

Creatures: (12)
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Stormchaser Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (30)
Pyroblast
Brainstorm
Daze
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Compulsive Research
Forked Bolt
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Lands: (18)
Island
Mountain
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Flame Jab
Grafdigger’s Cage
Surgical Extraction
Pithing Needle
Null Rod
Sulfuric Vortex
Set Adrift
Submerge
Flusterstorm
Smash to Smithereens
Izzet Staticaster
Blood Moon

The main deck non-creature spells seem nice and standard… Until this pops out at you:

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Painful Truths has been seeing a lot of play recently, but in a UR shell there is no such access. Instead, Compulsive Research is the card, apparently, which is perfectly fine in a Delver shell that doesn’t need any lands past three anyway. Research also means that Eli could happily run more situational cards like Pyroblast as they can be looted away. Also notable is that Eli got to include Wasteland in his UR Delver list, as he is not running Price of Progress like the other two, which is naturally counter to Wasteland.

The sideboard is also filled with a few spicy meatballs.

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Flame Jab, in addition to Staticaster, is his anti-creature package. Jab is pretty interesting since its ability to be quickly Retraced can lead to a lot of Prowes triggers and a lot of damage, while still controlling the board. Set Adrift is also one of the few Delve spells available to UR Delver, and although its Sorcery speed is irksome and Submerge looks to be simply better, recall that Gurmag Angler is the all-star of Grixis Delver who cannot be Submerged effectively unless the Grixis player’s one-of Tropical Island is in play. In those situations, Set Adrift is very powerful, putting the opponent back almost two turns for potentially a single blue mana.

Another deck that received a bit of a boost is 12Post! 12Post has been the premier Eldrazi deck in Legacy, and Takashi Hasegawa threw some new toys in with Primeval Titan and friends, furnishing this RG 12Post list to a Top 8 finish at GP Nagoya’s Legacy side event:

Takashi Hasegawa's RG 12Post

Lands: (26)
Cloudpost
Glimmerpost
Grove of the Burnwillows
Vesuva
Taiga
Maze of Ith
Cavern of Souls
Karakas
Windswept Heath
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Eye of Ugin
Forest

Creatures: (9)
Primeval Titan
Thought-Knot Seer
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Kozilek, the Great Distortion

Non-Creature Spells: (25)
Ancient Stirrings
Punishing Fire
Sensei’s Divining Top
Pithing Needle
Kozilek’s Return
Expedition Map
Candelabra of Tawnos
Crop Rotation
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Sideboard: (15)
Sphere of Resistance
Surgical Extraction
Warping Wail
Red Elemental Blast
Krosan Grip
Sundering Titan
Reclamation Sage
Choke
Bojuka Bog
Pithing Needle

New cards featured here are:

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Thought-Knot Seer fits very snugly in the 12Post list, especially since Grove of the Burnwillows is essentially a ‘tri-land’ in this list, tapping for colourless as well. Providing an angle of disruption against combo in the main deck may help the deck delay long enough for its fatties to get online, while the 4/4 body is also a very reasonable clock and roadblock in fair matchups. Kozilek, the Great Distortion is also the new addition to the Eldrazi Pantheon, and whether he edges out old Kozilek is up for debate. His ability is very strong though and again provides an angle against combo, countering basically everything with free Disrupting Shoals – as long as the 12Post player is not dead before Kozilek resolves.

Kozilek’s Return partners up with Punishing Fire to provide one of the most potent anti-creature packages I have seen within a 12Post list. Moment’s Peace can be very lacklustre at times, especially since it can be undone by a timely Force of Will, but Fire can grind through any amount of countermagic with Grove, and Kozilek’s Return can come back and stabilise the board once an Eldrazi Titan appears. I like positioning 12Post lists in this way due to most of the Delver variants being Grixis-based now, whose threats all get torn apart by this list’s removal suite.

Well, I said 12Post was the format’s premier Eldrazi deck… Until now.

A little bit of a preview of Feburary’s events, post-Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, every Legacy brewer has been trying to find the right configuration of these:

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And these:

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Keep an eye out for the Eldrazi menace in Legacy, and February should develop interestingly as lists become more and more developed and tuned.

The Start of the Zombie Apocalypse

In 2012 Sam Black brewed up a very sweet concoction of Zombies in Legacy. There’s no Lord of the Undead in these lists, to many people’s chagrin I’m sure. Instead it included the most efficient recursive threats in Legacy such as Bloodghast and Gravecrawler and sacrifice outlets such as Carrion Feeder and Goblin Bombardment. Although it looked like a steaming Johnny deck, Sam ended up Top 16ing the Legacy Open he piloted it in, showing the deck had some powerful synergies going on.

Sam Black's Zombardment

Creatures: (19)
Bloodghast
Carrion Feeder
Geralf’s Messenger
Gravecrawler
Rotting Rats
Tombstalker
Lands: (19)
Swamp
Badlands
Bloodstained Mire
Marsh Flats
Polluted Delta
Scrubland
Undiscovered Paradise
Verdant Catacombs

Non-Creature Spells: (22)
Goblin Bombardment
Tragic Slip
Cabal Therapy
Faithless Looting
Gitaxian Probe
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek
Lingering Souls
Thoughtseize

Sideboard: (15)
Dark Confidant
Goblin Bombardment
Grave Pact
Darkblast
Disenchant
Geth’s Verdict
Tragic Slip
Deathmark
Inquisition of Kozilek
Thoughtseize
Vindicate

Although initially in what we would now call Mardu colours, a new Jund variation of this deck has popped up on Magic Online, piloted through many Daily Events by ReneRandrup – who has been absolutely crushing. There’s a variety of new and interesting pieces of technology here that Sam didn’t have access to in 2012; I’m sure many people wouldn’t have expected Satyr Wayfinder and Grim Harupex to find their way into Legacy!

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ReneRandrup's Zombardment

Non-Creature Spells: (21)
Bridge from Below
Cabal Therapy
Entomb
Faithless Looting
Gitaxian Probe
Goblin Bombardment

Creatures: (21)
Bloodghast
Carrion Feeder
Deathrite Shaman
Gravecrawler
Satyr Wayfinder
Grim Haruspex
Lands: (19)
Badlands
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Marsh Flats
Phyrexian Tower
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Undiscovered Paradise

Sideboard: (15)
Abrupt Decay
Ancient Grudge
Duress
Engineered Explosives
Magus of the Moon
Null Rod
Perish
Pithing Needle
Sudden Demise
Surgical Extraction
Urborg Justice

The deck features the same core creatures – Bloodghast, Carrion Feeder and Gravecrawler – but with these now is the one-mana planeswalker Deathrite Shaman, providing his usual ramp and reach options, Satyr Wayfinder, to act almost like additional copies of Faithless Looting, while also feeding sacrifice outlets and hitting land drops, and Grim Haruspex, who, although slow, provides the deck a strong ability to continue to find fuel for the Zombie Apocalypse. A few other new incorporations are Entomb – to find either Bloodghasts, Therapies or maybe the Bridge from Belows the deck now features, for more Zombies – and a full set of Gitaxian Probes, giving the deck the usual Gitaxian Probe/Cabal Therapy core that has become so popular, elevating the deck’s ability to attack combo decks.

The sideboard features a few powerful additions. Magus of the Moon is a great lockdown creature that can be pushed out on turn two via Shaman and Urborg Justice is a card tailor made for this deck – saccing a bunch of reusable dudes to Goblin Bombardment and then Plague Winding the opponent seems like a good time.

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Hopefully ReneRandrup’s new list’s success can revitalise the archetype and show there’s a lot of unexplored potential here. Maybe even Liliana, Heretical Healer has actually found a home in Legacy?

No NO? No Problem! Chaos Elves Makes Its Debut

Although Natural Order provides Elves its swiftest win condition, especially against non-blue decks (as a D&T player myself, I have been on the receiving end of many fast NOs that I could do nothing about), if Natural Order is countered or disrupted in some way (via countermagic, or even a Stifle on Craterhoof, perhaps) the Elves player can be set back significantly as Natural Order has forced them to two-for-one themselves. Furthermore, Natural Order often forces the Elves deck to commit further and further to the board to ensure Craterhoof is lethal and that there’s a little green dude ready to be sacrificed for the greater good. All these points have made Elves’ matchup against Miracles particularly negative, as committing greatly to the board is scoffed at by Terminus and Natural Order has to push through countermagic as well…

So why not just cut Natural Order?

With Miracles the most dominant deck in Legacy, this seems very reasonable. Furthermore, Natural Order does little against Storm, as it’s unlikely that in the first game Elves can race fast enough. So instead, the deck can focus further on being a powerful midrangey grind engine thanks to Glimpse and Visionary, as well as make room for more powerful Green Sun’s Zenith targets, such as Wren’s Run Packmaster (excellent against Miracles) and Gaddock Teeg (excellent against Storm and Miracles!). This is the direction Elves master and all-around Legacy celebrity Julian Knab has taken the deck – giving birth to a new version: Chaos Elves (because it has no Order… Get it?), that he 4-0ed a Daily with on MtGO.

Julian Knab's Chaos Elves

Lands: (20)
Bayou
Cavern of Souls
Forest
Gaea’s Cradle
Pendelhaven
Savannah
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Dryad Arbor

Non-Creature Spells: (10)
Crop Rotation
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Sylvan Library

Creatures: (30)
Birchlore Rangers
Craterhoof Behemoth
Deathrite Shaman
Dwynen’s Elite
Elvish Visionary
Gaddock Teeg
Heritage Druid
Nettle Sentinel
Quirion Ranger
Reclamation Sage
Scavenging Ooze
Shaman of the Pack
Wirewood Symbiote
Wren’s Run Packmaster
Sideboard: (15)
Abrupt Decay
Cabal Therapy
Karakas
Null Rod
Pithing Needle
Surgical Extraction
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thoughtseize

Other than the aforementioned Packmaster and Teeg, Julian has also incorporated a few other interesting additions:

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Dwynen’s Elite is another great value Elf (that works nicely with Heritage Druid), while Shaman of the Pack also gives an alternative way of combo-killing through Ensnaring Bridge etc. Though I doubt that’s the main usage of her – again working with the grind plan effectively, Shaman provides a Zenith target which with Wirewood Symbiote can continue to burn the opponent out even though a Goyf or other large blocker may stand in the way. Crop Rotation is also a bit of a blast from the past (old Elves lists used to run it before the Legend rule was revised) but this fits nicely as both a tutor to chain Cradles (a large amount of mana is needed to ‘combo’ with this list, since the threshold for Craterhoof is higher now without NO) while also finding a neat addition to the mana base – Cavern of Souls – which helps push Elves through Counterbalance with no issue.

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The sideboard features most of the general Elves affair, but now has room for a singleton Karakas as well as Thalia, since the grind slots of the sideboard (Scavenging Ooze, Sylvan Library etc.) are now pre-boarded into the main deck and the sideboard can now be concentrated toward beating combo.

Looing into the future (ie. February), Julian actually ended up winning the MKM Milan event with Chaos Elves. His revised deck list is here and text coverage of his finals match is here.

Turboing Out Marit Lage

Lands is most well-known for its usage of the Dark Depths combo kill, but often the deck simply uses it as a way to finish you off after they’ve Wastelocked you – the writing was already on the wall. I wouldn’t call Lands a dedicated Dark Depths combo deck ala what was revealed in 2009 at Pro Tour Austin, after the printing of Vampire Hexmage:

Paolo Vitor Dama da Rosa's Dark Depths

Lands: (24)
Dark Depths
Ghost Quarter
River of Tears
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Tolaria West
Underground River
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Creatures: (11)
Dark Confidant
Vampire Hexmage
Vendilion Clique

Non-Creature Spells: (25)
Beseech the Queen
Chalice of the Void
Chrome Mox
Engineered Explosives
Muddle the Mixture
Repeal
Thoughtseize
Sideboard: (15)
Bitterblossom
Damnation
Doom Blade
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Pithing Needle
Slaughter Pact
Threads of Disloyalty
Tormod’s Crypt
Yixlid Jailer

This deck is much more dedicated to winning via Marit Lage, featuring ways to generate cards to find the combo, tutors and the full combo package of Vampire Hexmage, Dark Depths and the explosive ability to turn two Marit Lage with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

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This deck lives on in Legacy via the Turbo Depths variants that have been popping up in numbers each month, with January having quite a strong influx.

Thomas Hepp's Turbo Depths

Creatures: (4)
Vampire Hexmage

Non-Creature Spells: (27)
Abrupt Decay
Brainstorm
Crop Rotation
Duress
Inquisition of Kozilek
Sylvan Scrying
Thoughtseize
Expedition Map
Mox Diamond
Lands: (29)
Bojuka Bog
Sejiri Steppe
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Wasteland
Bayou
Gemstone Mine
Mana Confluence
Misty Rainforest
Dark Depths
Polluted Delta
Thespian’s Stage
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Sideboard: (15)
Pithing Needle
Surgical Extraction
Flusterstorm
Krosan Grip
Ghost Quarter
Abrupt Decay

This deck is primarily BUG coloured and features amounts of protection (discard), tutors (Sylvan Scrying, Expedition Map, Crop Rotation), card selection (Brainstorm) and some acceleration (Mox Diamond) to combo-off with Marit Lage as fast as possible. The mana base is also pretty interesting, featuring eight combo pieces (Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths – no longer do we have to rely only on Hexmage now!), Urborg for pseudo-acceleration, gold lands such as Mana Confluence and Gemstone Mine (likely to avoid Submerge), a light amount of duals to maximise Brainstorm and a few singleton tutor targets such as Sejiri Steppe (to protect your 20/20) and Bojuka Bog for main deck gravehate.

This list is rather modest though… The deck can go a bit faster!

Álvaro Sánchez Lopez's Turbo Depths

Creatures: (8)
Elvish Spirit Guide
Vampire Hexmage

Non-Creature Spells: (23)
Crop Rotation
Not of This World
Duress
Sylvan Scrying
Sylvan Library
Mox Diamond
Pithing Needle
Lotus Petal
Lands: (23)
Bojuka Bog
Sejiri Steppe
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Swamp
Wasteland
Bayou
Dark Depths
Thespian’s Stage
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard: (14)
Sphere of Resistance
Ghost Quarter
Krosan Grip
Pithing Needle
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Abrupt Decay
Karakas
Duress

This list eschews Brainstorm and instead relies on Sylvan Library for card selection and Lotus Petals and Elvish Spirit Guides for acceleration. The disruption suite is also trimmed down to centre on saving Marit Lage from Swords to Plowshares only via Not of This World!

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The deck can also move towards another, slower direction, semi-reminiscent of the 2009 lists by introducing Dark Confidant, Chalice of the Void and more pieces of interaction. Also: a Living Wish toolbox!

Paulo T. Vieira's Turbo Depths

Creatures: (7)
Vampire Hexmage
Dark Confidant

Non-Creature Spells: (26)
Abrupt Decay
Crop Rotation
Life from the Loam
Hymn to Tourach
Living Wish
Chalice of the Void
Mox Diamond
Lands: (27)
Bojuka Bog
Cavern of Souls
Karakas
Maze of Ith
Savannah
Swamp
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Bayou
Forest
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Dark Depths
Thespian’s Stage
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland

Sideboard: (14)
Thespian’s Stage
Tsunami
Toxic Deluge
Vampire Hexmage
Containment Priest
Phyrexian Revoker
Golgari Charm
Gaddock Teeg
Scavenging Ooze
Dark Depths
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Ghost Quarter

Props to the sideboard. I love me a Tsunami.

Conclusion

Another New Year of Legacy action to look forward to everyone. The top decks haven’t seen too many seismic shifts, but have seen the usual pushing and shoving as archetypes fall and creep upwards as the metagame morphs – although Miracles has been per usual at the top. Also, as has been noted, Oath of the Gatewatch is already making a sizable impact in the format via Warping Wail and Stormchaser Mage, renovating and rebuilding a few existing archetypes, but I’m sure there’s more Eldrazi-shaped impacts to come in the months ahead, heh. Innovation continues to prop up this month as well with Chaos Elves now making its debut alongside updated versions of previously niche contenders such as Zombardment. Hopefully we’ll see some sweet new things in the months ahead as well!

‘Til then,

Sean

Bonus Lists

Someone either really loves EDH or Highlander, or simply misses the good times of Survival and Tradewind Rider. Hats off to you, good sir.

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Matteo Negrin's 4c Survival

Creatures: (30)
Dryad Arbor
Gaddock Teeg
Merieke Ri Berit
Peacekeeper
Phyrexian Revoker
Qasali Pridemage
Quirion Ranger
Rhox War Monk
Scavenging Ooze
Scryb Ranger
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Vendilion Clique
Eternal Witness
Mother of Runes
Tradewind Rider
Fauna Shaman
Meddling Mage
Noble Hierarch

Non-Creature Spells: (14)
Abrupt Decay
Negate
Spell Pierce
Force of Will
Green Sun’s Zenith
Lands: (13)
Bayou
Forest
Misty Rainforest
Savannah
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Tropical Island

Sideboard: (15)
Abrupt Decay
Spell Pierce
Wilt-Leaf Liege
Surgical Extraction
Aegis of the Gods
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Vexing Shusher
Magus of the Moon
Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Orzhov Pontiff

I knew Legacy mana bases were greedy, but not this greedy, surely! Utilising almost every Domain spell playable in a control deck gives… This Domain control deck. I can’t wait to see his opponent’s face when he puts Engineered Explosives on five. Just ‘coz he can.

Stefano Maccagnani's Domain Control

Creatures: (6)
Snapcaster Mage
Keranos, God of Storms

Non-Creature Spells: (31)
Pyroblast
Swords to Plowshares
Abrupt Decay
Evasive Action
Punishing Fire
Brainstorm
Worldly Counsel
Global Ruin
Vindicate
Toxic Deluge
Collective Restraint
Engineered Explosives
Sensei’s Divining Top
Lands: (23)
Bayou
Misty Rainforest
Plateau
Scrubland
Windswept Heath
Flooded Strand
Tropical Island
Tundra
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Grove of the Burnwillows
Polluted Delta

Sideboard: (15)
Flusterstorm
Vendilion Clique
Containment Priest
Red Elemental Blast
Krosan Grip
Surgical Extraction
Engineered Explosives
Slaughter Games
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