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Welcome to Legucci

Why should you play Legacy? (or Legucci as we call it in Melbourne).

The format is expensive, no one plays it, and it’s all full of turn 1 wins. The players are probably insufferable and look down upon all those who play Modern and Standard because they can’t afford Legacy…right?

Not quite.

I would wager that the majority of you don’t know who I am and are giving this article about another 2 sentences before you switch back to watching some dude stream Hearthstone, so I’ll be quick.

My name is Steven Stamopoulos. I love MtG and am one of the founders of the Salt Mine, a podcast that talks about Legacy and KFC. I don’t play/own a Modern, Standard, Aus Highlander or EDH deck and I don’t draft. I play Legacy instead. I have played Legacy exclusively since Sphinx’s Revelation was about to rotate out of Standard and I haven’t looked back.

There are approximately a bajillion “intro to legacy” articles out there. If you are after that I recommend the one’s written by Sean Brown on this very site! What a top bloke.

What I propose to write about is instead about the format, it’s people, and why we play Legacy. In each article I write, I want to talk more about Legacy than I do Magic, if that makes sense. Sure, if Goblin Recruiter gets unbanned we’ll be celebrating and talking about how Goblins is still a tier 3 deck but in the meantime, let’s talk about Legacy.

So let’s start off with your concerns.

Turn 1 wins?
Yes. Sadly, they do exist. I would say they are rare but Michael Webb is astonishingly good at doing them with his Ad Nauseam Tendrils deck. Is it what the format revolves around however? No.

Is the format expensive?
Yes… but with 3 caveats.

  • 1: it’s really not that much more expensive than Modern and will always be cheaper than Standard in the long run;
  • 2: every weekly gathering we have, allows for play-testing cards.  Sometimes you’re allowed 30 proxies (and no one counts but don’t tell anyone), sometimes its 200 proxies. That Battle of Wits deck you wanted to build for fun but not actually buy? It’s on the house mate.
  • 3: The expensive cards will always be expensive unless by good fortune the Reserve list goes away. I hate the word “investment” because this is still a children’s card game, but you are pretty safe to spend the money in Legacy because the price of Underground Sea isn’t going down anytime soon.

Are the players elitist cockbags? They say a picture tells a thousand words, and the photo of us standing outside the Kebab-van represents who we are as people. Magic isn’t just a game to us, it’s a community. We also like eating highly nutritional and healthy food.

Are there any events to go to? Yes! Once upon a time the scene was non-existent. We now Legucci at least once a week, sometimes 2 or even 3 three times, with all events being well attended. Our main events are the weekly Thursdays which draw between 15-30 players every week. How neat is that!

Legacy isn’t just a format to us, it’s a way of life. It’s a reason to get together with mates on a Thursday night, to sling some cards and finish up the evening with some dinner and drinks. I often joke that the reason we get together on Thursday night is to have dinner. We just have to get through 4 rounds of Legacy first.

This isn’t a clique either, we legitimately love having fun so much that we encourage everyone to join in with us to share the banter. 2 months ago, I had never met Jesse Bartle. Now he’s one of my best mates –  despite the fact that he is an unapologetic vaper.

At this stage, you’re probably thinking, “we legitimately love having fun so much,” what a stupid sentence. Everyone loves to have fun!
Yeah… but do you?

I have seen Modern and Standard grinders at many tournaments, and sorry, but you all look miserable.

Whether you’re worried about being scumbagged by an angle-shooting opponent who makes the game about as fun as cleaning a toilet after your grandpa’s just shot diarrhoea everywhere, or whether you’re desperate to make it to the next RXYPTQ, competitive magic can feel miserable. Add to that all the complaints about the state of Modern and Standard and I really have one simple question to those who aren’t diarrhoea sprayers: why do you continue with this life or with these formats?

For every Fazz or Sean Brown, there’s a million magic players that will just never be good enough at the game to actually get paid to play. Guess what children, I’m that guy. I’m proud of it too!

Following the Splinter Twin banning, I even set up a change.org petition to get Sean banned in the interests of competitive diversity. Sadly that seems to have failed  🙁

Here’s the thing though… no one cares about being the best in the game or about being the biggest fish in the smallest pond in our Legacy scene. If you do, we’ll tell you to relax, Jesse Bartle will sing some opera and do a vape trick  (although not necessarily in that order).

If you play Legacy in 2017, it’s because you want to play Legacy and you want to play Magic. The format just doesn’t lead anywhere. There are no Pro-Tours to win, no Australian events will qualify you for the Pro Tour and with only 2 Legacy GPs a year, very few pro-points to gain. Even SCG dumped us for Modern. How rude.

But hyper-spikes are miserable everywhere right? Well you are correct. They are the dementors of the Magic CCG world. I have even seen spikey players judge my Goblin deck and roll their eyes at it at the “high stakes” tournaments, despite my deck costing considerably more than their deck. I’ll be honest, that does feel miserable.

As a community, we’re not about that life though. On our first year anniversary of playing weekly magic, I donated one of the Plateaus’ out of my personal collection as the prize. If you don’t know who I am, then you definitely won’t know Tim Worcester.  Do you know what Tim Worcester rocked up with at this 100% proxy event, with a Revised Dual-Land on the line? Delver, Miracles, Show and Tell? No.

Tim fought the good fight with Battle of Wits.

If you were to turn up to a Modern GPT with a Battle of Wits deck, I would not be surprised if someone internally thought “what the fuck are you playing that garbage for, I’m going to bag you to my cat after the event because I have no friends.”

When Tim turned up with that, we were all laughing our asses of, high-fiving him and asking him earnestly about the deck and what was in it. Despite him not being able to take down the event, it’s one of the fondest memories I have of a great night.

As for the format itself, people compare it to a stronger Modern a lot, but I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. I honestly believe that Vintage has a lot more in common with Modern: both formats are about throwing out haymakers as fast as possible. With Brainstorm and Ponder restricted, the “blue” decks of Vintage end up looking a lot more like the blue decks of Modern than Legacy, except with better cards.

I have tried relentlessly to get into Modern, but I just can’t stand games that end in the first few turns. If I wanted to play “two ships passing in the night” I would play Euro-Truck simulator while only wearing underpants…. anyway yes! Legacy can be a fast and powerful format, but the answers are equally powerful and efficient. As a result, the average game of Legacy goes on for longer than your average game of Modern.

I at heart am a midrange player and so Legacy is perfect for me. I bet you didn’t expect that one in a Legacy article! Honestly though, no matter what kind of player you are, Legacy has a deck for you. In my regular rotation are the following decks:

If you look at that list of decks, it is easy to mistake them all for aggressive creature decks but they are so bloody different to each other that they are chalk and day. Not even chalk and cheese or night or day. Chalk and Day.

Even the Delver variants that share about 40 cards play very differently to each other. The Elves deck is a combo-deck and the Goblin deck is a control deck. I’m not kidding either, Legacy Goblins are 100% a control deck.

What you’ll notice is that only 2 of those archetypes are blue decks. Check out the cards in your average Maverick deck. Looks like trash doesn’t it? You would think that that deck has no right to exist in Legacy. How can it beat combo?! It doesn’t even play Force of Will! It’s just playing honest creatures… right?
You are correct, Maverick, a G/W/B or G/W/R deck, is the fairest deck of them all and yet it is still able to consistently beat up on combo thanks to its access to Green Sun’s Zenith and Knight of the Reliquary which are able to fetch up Gaddock Teeg and Karakas respectively. Show and Tell in an Emrakul? Well I’ll put Knight in and bounce your Spaghetti thing. Want to kill me with a Tendrils of Agony or Empty the Warrens? You’re going to have to beat my 2/2 first mate. |G O T| E M |

So if you like slower paced games where every single decision is relevant, then Legacy’s your format.

But what if you like hyper-powerful combo decks that require you to dance on a knife’s edge? Well Legacy is also your format! Have you seen what a good ANT player can do? It’s scary. The final game of GP Prague 2016 shows some of the best magic I have ever seen played. A lesser Storm player than Rodrigo Togores (aka everyone) would not have won that game, match and GP.

Hey you U/W control players out there. Miffed that your archetype is dead in basically every other format? Well good news, because the best deck in the format (but only by a slim margin) is a deck called Miracles. Make no mistake, if you make one mistake with this deck, you will lose. You have no Sphinx’s Revelation to bail you out, you have no 4 mana sweeper like Supreme Verdict to just slam to get you out of a sticky situation. You have to balance the cards in your hands with the top 3 cards of your library. You also have to guess what the CMC of the next spell your opponent will cast will be. It’s definitely hard work to play but it is rewarding if you can master it. Many have tried to win with the deck and many have failed. Have you got what it takes to be the Miracle man? Only one way to find out isn’t there.

And last but not least, the brewers! On an episode of the Salt Mine, I called Vial Smasher the Fierce “a hobo’s vomit in a bucket.” So what did Graham King do? He built a Grixis deck with Grenzo in it and 4-0’d a weekly. Every other week Gene Holland will message me a sweet brew that he’s worked on and lo and behold, he’s there at the next weekly battling with it. On the grand scale, Reid Duke just won GP Louisville with a total brew. Sure he’s Reid Duke and you’re a good old Aussie battler, but still! If you want to brew in this format you can! With the power of Brainstorm and the utility of Force of Will, almost any deck can be a contender. There are also 20,000 other cards to choose from. If you can’t brew in this format, you’ve got a problem.

So readers, the choice is yours. If you want to try something new, spend very little money for your time, and have a boatload of fun then I’ll see you at one of our weekly events. To find your nearest event, please check out our Weekly Legacy in Melbourne Facebook.

That it’s turned into a meme-page just enforces what I’ve said above; we play for fun and we are all friends. Negativity not allowed! When it’s time for sanctioned events, we are more than happy to lend out duals and fetches and other cards that are hard to come by.

If you would like to listen to some legacy content and learn more about the format, please check out our podcast at www.thesaltminesite.com.  We try and upload a new episode every 2-3 weeks and are one of the most listened to Magic podcasts worldwide. Not bad for some shit magic players from Melbourne and New Zealand 😉

Till next time,

Love

Steven.

  • Sean Brown

    <3

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