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This Month in Legacy (June 2015)

Hello there! Sean, Legacy player from Melbourne, Australia, here once again to report about the Legacy metagame of June 2015. This week we’ll focus on a few events that have been significant.

Firstly, in Melbourne, our Eternal Masters Legacy event occurred and the metagame broke down as follows:

The Top 8 was:

  • 3 RUG Delver
  • 1 Dredge
  • 1 OmniTell
  • 1 Shardless BUG
  • 1 Infect
  • 1 Burn (winner)

Despite how the Top 8 looks, the room was full of the ever-so popular OmniTell and Miracles, as well as the usual Delver decks of RUG, Grixis and BUG varieties – with RUG apparently being the most popular variant here in Melbourne, edging out Grixis Delver.

Looking towards the global metagame, our friendly chart is here once again in its colourful glory. Again, these statistics are taken from mtgo.com, tcdecks.net and mtgtop8.com.

Miracles still remains the most popular placing deck, primarily due to its online prominence. However, Grixis Delver is now following behind it, with OmniTell falling off its perch as the second most played deck. This may be due to the relative increase in Grixis Delver being played, which features multiple angles of disruption against OmniTell, as well as the increase in RUG Delver. BUG Delver has seen less play compared to last month, however, and it appears that many Delver players have transitioned towards the Grixis version. Other decks that have seen relatively increased play are Death & Taxes, MUD, Esper Deathblade and Reanimator.

I Want to Main Deck OmniTell Hate

What is the worst card for the opponent to put in off Show and Tell for an OmniTell player? Oblivion Ring and similar cards like Ashen Rider are beatable via OmniTell’s ability to go off at instant speed with Release the Ants or by Trickbinding past it, and opposing Emrakuls are laughable with OmniTell’s ability to win straight away. No, the worst card for them to see is this lovely lady:

Iona, Shield of Emeria shuts down the entire OmniTell deck (and a lot of other decks) – their flexible answers such as Cunning Wish and Wipe Away are impossible with an Iona naming blue. The only possible way to get around her is by playing the very uncommon black splash version of OmniTell and Thoughtseizing or Snuff Outing her, or having Emrakul immediately ready to go. But otherwise, the OmniTell player will be in big trouble.

Another Achille’s Heel of OmniTell is the deck’s lack of graveyard hate. Since wish targets occupy most of its sideboard, OmniTell players can only really reserve a space in the sideboard for a single Surgical Extraction, if at all, which may be too slow.

So to attack OmniTell, we want to be able to main deck Iona and abuse the graveyard. There are two decks that fit this bill quite nicely, and have seen a slight uptick as a result.

Chris Chant took advantage of OmniTell’s prevalence by choosing Dredge as his weapon of choice at Melbourne’s Eternal Masters. When everyone’s concentrating on OmniTell as enemy number one, it’s easy for the boogeyman to sneak through…

Chris Chant’s Dredge

Lands: (12)
Cephalid Coliseum
City of Brass
Gemstone Mine

Creatures: (23)
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Golgari Thug
Ichorid
Golgari Grave-Troll
Narcomoeba
Putrid Imp
Stinkweed Imp

Non-Creature Spells: (25)
Lion's Eye Diamond
Bridge from Below
Darkblast
Breakthrough
Dread Return
Cabal therapy
Careful Study
Faithless Looting
Sideboard: (15)
Nature's Claim
Lotus Petal
Firestorm
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Ashen Rider
Breakthrough
Ichorid

Notice Chris has chosen Iona as his Dread Return target of choice over the more typical Flame-Kin Zealot due to her ability to lock OmniTell out of the game once Dread Return resolves, as well as be an excellent card to Show and Tell into play. Ashen Riders in the sideboard are also a nod towards OmniTell, being again a reasonable card to Dread Return into play as well as put in off Show and Tell. I also like the Darkblast in Chris’ list moving forward. With Young Pyromancer again on the uptick, Darkblast is an excellent option to get your Ichorids through the Elemental army.

Reanimator seems to also be a reasonable metagame choice at the moment thanks to its ability to main deck Iona, be faster than OmniTell and have significant amounts of stack and hand disruption. One must be wary of all the Grixis Delver decks sporting Deathrite Shaman at the moment, however, as Reanimator can’t overpower a Deathrite as easily as Dredge.

Yves Monet's Reanimator

Creatures: (8)
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Sphinx of the Steel Wind
Griselbrand

Non-Creature Spells: (37)
Dig Through Time
Shallow Grave
Brainstorm
Daze
Entomb
Force of Will
Ponder
Careful Study
Exhume
Reanimate
Lotus Petal
Lands: (15)
Flooded Strand
Island
Wasteland
Marsh Flats
Swamp
Polluted Delta
Underground Sea

Sideboard: (15)
Tidespout Tyrant
Show and Tell
Thoughtseize
Hurkyl’s Recall
Dread of Night
Submerge
Engineered Explosives
Misdirection
Pithing Needle

The New One-of in OmniTell

Speaking of OmniTell, Joe Fox was the sole OmniTell player who reached Top 8 of Melbourne’s Eternal Masters with a relatively stock OmniTell list:

Joe Fox’s OmniTell

Lands: (18)
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Island
City of Traitors
Volcanic Island

Creatures: (2)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Non-Creature Spells: (40)
Omniscience
Gitxian Probe
Ponder
Preordain
Show and Tell
Brainstorm
Spell Pierce
Impulse
Cunning Wish
Intuition
Force of Will
Dig Through Time
Sideboard: (15)
Wipe Away
Intuition
Stifle
Flusterstorm
Eladamri's Call
Release the Ants
Firemind's Foresight
Red Elemental Blast
Pyroblast
Lightning Bolt
Pyroclasm
Young Pyromancer
Hurkyl's Recall

Although the lists have remained relatively stagnant after the deck’s showing at GP Kyoto, there has always been a one-of, which has seemed a little out of place…

Impulse is a fine Magic card, but next to Brainstorm, Ponder and Preordain it looks a little lackluster. It’s a necessary card in OmniTell due to it being a part of the Firemind’s Foresight chain, which essentially leads to death by ants or sphaghetti monsters, but some OmniTell players have begun to replace it by a card that is exclusively powerful when Omniscience is in play, exhibited in this list:

isdan's OmniTell

Creatures: (2)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Non-Creature Spells: (39)
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Preordain
Show and Tell
Brainstorm
Cunning Wish
Dig Through Time
Flusterstorm
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Twincast
Omniscience
Lands: (19)
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
City of Traitors
Flooded Strand
Island
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island

Sideboard: (15)
Flusterstorm
Eladamri’s Call
Engineered Explosives
Firemind’s Foresight
Grafdigger’s Cage
Red Elemental Blast
Release the Ants
Sudden Shock
Through the Breach
Trickbind
Wipe Away

Image Image

Twincast, and its functionally similar Split Decision, allows for the doubling of Cunning Wishes when an Omniscience is in play, allowing OmniTell players to get Eladamri’s Call and Release the Ants immediately, which leads to a nice clean kill. All that’s required is Show and Tell, Omniscience and a Cunning Wish to go off. Cunning Wish gets Firemind’s Foresight, which gets Brainstorm, Twincast and Cunning Wish. Cunning Wish + Twincast gets Eladamri’s Call and Release the Ants, and Call gets Emrakul, which can then be Brainstormed to the top and clashes can be won. The problem is that Twincast is essentially a dead card when not going off, compared to Impulse which provides card selection, but OmniTell players now have a tool which allows them to go off with a lower amount of cards in hand at instant speed, so it’s something to keep aware of.

Another relatively recent wish target incorporated is Sudden Shock, which, despite not being as efficient as Lightning Bolt, can kill hatebears like Thalia through an active Mother of Runes, which is very handy, as well as ruin the day for decks like Infect.

Revisiting RUG

One of my personal favourites, RUG Delver has been making a steady resurgence this month, overtaking BUG Delver. The deck has flourished due to its relatively positive matchup against OmniTell and other combo decks, with cards like the three-mana Show and Tell becoming a difficult prospect once soft countermagic and a blind-flipped Delver is involved. As aforementioned, Melbourne’s Eternal Masters featured three RUG Delver players in the Top 8, and Graham King piloted it to second place:

Graham King’s RUG Delver

Creatures: (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose
Tarmogoyf

Non-Creature Spells: (30)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Daze
Force of Will
Stifle
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Forked Bolt
Spell Snare
Lands: (18)
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Submerge
Grafdigger's Cage
Sulfur Elemental
Red Elemental Blast
Pyroblast
Vendilion Clique
Destructive Revelry
Rough // Tumble
Ancient Grudge
Izzet Staticaster

Graham’s list has a few interesting features. The three Destructive Revelry make a big statement about wanting to destroy Counterbalances as soon as possible, as well as being an additional angle of hate against OmniTell, since you can blow up their Omniscience in response to their initial Dig or cantrip if they don’t have enough resources to kill you on the spot. Staticaster is a card I’m also very much in love with (I play one in almost all of my Modern decks) and seems like a great overall choice for Elves, Death & Taxes and decks leaning on Young Pyromancer. Its three mana cost is somewhat irksome, however. The other two RUG players in our Top 8 also came with their own spice, one sporting Seedtime (!) in the main, and oldies such as Repeal and Annul in the sideboard, and the other featuring Preordains in the main and some Spellskites in the sideboard.

Looking to the States, Ben Wienburg is a long-time RUG Delver player who Top 8ed a recent SCG Premier IQ in Indianopolis. His main is relatively stock, but his sideboard features some very interesting technology.

Ben Wienburg’s RUG Delver

Creatures: (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose
Tarmogoyf

Non-Creature Spells: (30)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Daze
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Stifle
Spell Pierce
Forked Bolt
Spell Snare
Lands: (18)
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Grafdigger's Cage
Winter Orb
Blurred Mongoose
Sulfur Elemental
Ancient Grudge
Dismember
Flusterstorm
Price of Progress
Pyroblast
Spell Snare
Submerge
Rough // Tumble

The first card I want to highlight is Blurred Mongoose. Although on the surface Blurred Mongoose appears very underpowered, he fulfills a niche role of being a threat that is not only untargetable (like his Nimble brother) but also uncounterable, meaning that he’s an excellent threat against a deck such as Miracles due to his ability to push through the CounterTop lock. Some time ago Patrick Sullivan incorporated four of these bad boys into what he called Goose RUG when he expected a heavy control metagame. You can see the awesomeness (and the craziness) of this list here.

Another impressive card that Ben has in his sideboard is Winter Orb. Harkening back to the old days of Miracle Gro and primordial Threshold lists, Winter Orb is still an incredibly powerful card to this day, and decks with intense mana requirements (like Miracles, for example) are likely to suffer under the Orb. This gives RUG an ability to deny the mana of decks that are otherwise basic heavy, a potent ability.

Price of Progress is also a sweet addition. Although it looks bizarre in RUG’s non-basic heavy mana base, matchups such as Shardless BUG can become very attrition-based, and Price is a powerful haymaker that allows RUG to punch through the last few points of damage. Think of it as a super-powered Char to the face, with a cheaper cost but much more potent backlash.

The traditional RUG Delver has also gotten a bit of shake-up by popular player Jean-Mary Accart, also known as Lejay on Magic Online. These list have been appearing sparsely in European tournaments, and now Lejay has finally brought them into the limelight on Magic Online. These RUG Delver lists are more reminiscent of current Grixis Delver lists, in that they lean on Pyromancers, cantrips and Dig Through Time to have a bolstered late-game, with Dig finding a variety of impressive silver bullets.

Lejay’s RUG Delver

Creatures: (11)
Delver of Secrets
Tarmogoyf
Young Pyromancer
True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Force of Will
Daze
Dig Through Time
Dismember
Lightning Bolt
Pyroblast
Spell Pierce
Stifle
Lands: (20)
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Polluteed Delta
Snow-Covered Island
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Pyroblast
Ancient Grudge
Flusterstorm
Forked Bolt
Grafdigger's Cage
Hydroblast
Null Rod
Red Elemental Blast
Submerge
Sulfur Elemental
Sylvan Library
Vendilion Clique

Welcome to the Grinding Station

The Storm combo archetype has been a constant within all of Legacy’s existence, with ‘IGGy-Pop’ being the forefather of these, whose engine card was the now-antiquated Ill-Gotten Gains.

Michael Bomholt’s IGGy-Pop

Lands: (15)
Flooded Strand
Island
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Underground Sea

Non-Creature Spells: (45)
Chromatic Star
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Brainstorm
Cabal Ritual
Chain of Vapor
Dark Ritual
Impulse
Intuition
Mystical Tutor
Ill-Gotten Gains
Strategic Planning
Tendrils of Agony
Sideboard: (15)
Pithing Needle
Xantid Swarm
Engineered Plague
Echoing Truth
Tropical Island

This was prior to the printing of Infernal Tutor and a few other cards which would soon be part of the deck (Leyline of the Void was used with Ill-Gotten Gains to essentially become Mind Twist + Ancestral Recall, which is pretty spicy) and hence the deck overall looks a bit strange, especially since it features something than many recent storm decks haven’t revisited until now…

Multiple copies of Tendrils of Agony. Due to Infernal Tutor being printed, the numbers of Tendrils in storm decks were generally shaved down to one, because of its new tutorability. Unfortunately this means the likelihood of being able to Tendrils ‘out of hand’ decreased significantly. When you cast Infernal Tutor to find your Tendrils, this is the business spell that a lot of people will generally spend their Force of Wills on, and then your spell chain will be broken. But if you simply cast Tendrils when your opponent was waiting for the Infernal TutorIt is essentially uncounterable. This is due to the nature of the storm mechanic, which puts multiple copies of the spell on the stack – sure, they can counter one of these copies, but the rest are likely going to resolve, barring some more niche countermagic like Stifle or Flusterstorm.

With this in mind, a few Europeans have been crafting an Ad Nauseum Tendrils (ANT) variant they have dubbed Grinding Station. Why is it called Grinding Station? Not because it actually features the card Grinding Station, but I guess because it can… grind well? Strange Legacy deck names are indeed strange, but its grindiness is well-exhibited if we look at a list that Top 8ed Prague Eternal:

Pascal Wagner’s Grinding Station

Non-Creature Spells: (45)
Dark Ritual
Cabal Ritual
Rain of Filth
Ponder
Brainstorm
Gitaxian Probe
Preordain
Lotus Petal
Lion's Eye Diamond
Infernal Tutor
Tendrils of Agony
Past in Flames
Duress
Thoughtseize
Cabal Therapy
Lands: (15)
Polluted Delta
Misty Rainforest
Underground Sea
Bayou
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Island
Swamp

Sideboard: (15)
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Dread of Night
Abrupt Decay
Krosan Grip
Xantid Swarm
Flusterstorm
Chain of Vapor
Ad Nauseum

Essentially, these lists sacrifice more speed to create more lines of play and higher resilience, with the game plan of these being primarily to simply drop lands and cast cantrips for a long period of time, until the sheer density of cards in your hand makes it unbeatable for any amount of countermagic. The creator of the Grinding Station thread on The Source even advocates going on the draw with these lists, so that you start your turn with eight cards to your opponent’s seven – his list also takes the grinding to the extreme, featuring a full set of Tendrils, additional Empty the Warrens and three Past in Flames, while cutting all of his Infernal Tutors to the sideboard.

Pascal’s list keeps the Infernal Tutors, but in these lists Infernal Tutor and Lion’s Eye Diamond are de-emphasized as the primary way to kill the opponent, and instead Past in Flames in leaned on to not only create a kill, but also, due to the density of business in the deck, the Grinding Station player can cast ‘value’ Past in Flames, flashbacking cantrips, to continue on their merry way. The density of business can be seen in the three copies of Tendrils of Agony and the second Past in Flames in the main. The discard suite is now a little modified thanks to the lack of Ad Nauseum main (a trend that has been going on for awhile), with Thoughtseize now an incredibly viable option due to no longer caring about the life loss it causes game one. It also features Rain of Filth in the main, which Kai Thiele debuted in GP Kyoto in his ANT list. Not seen here is the ability to go even further down the grindy path, adding additional tutors and Sensei’s Divining Top.

Speaking of additional tutors, storm aficionados have been looking towards a new card from Magic Origins as a potential addition, especially in the Grinding Station lists not featuring Ad Nauseum, due the card’s hefty printed mana cost.

Dark Petition looks to be very similar in power to Grim Tutor (and cost many dollars less), especially since Spell Mastery is easily achievable for a generic Legacy deck. The question is whether the five mana in the corner is feasible – for these Grinding Station lists, it’s definitely a consideration, as they’re looking to go longer. It should be interesting to see whether this card is incorporated, or whether the five mana required to cast it, despite the free Dark Ritual it supplies, will hinder its playability.

Grinding in Burn

More decks getting grindy! This one, only subtly, however. The Burn master of Melbourne, Matthew Vaughan, took first place and won a Mox Sapphire at Melbourne’s Eternal Masters, with Burn. Yes, Burn won through a field of OmniTell and other blue decks. How did he do it? Well, let’s look towards his list.

Matthew Vaughan’s Burn

Lands: (19)
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
10 Mountain
Barbarian Ring

Creatures: (10)
Goblin Guide
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Grim Lavamancer

Non-Creature Spells: (31)
Lightning Bolt
Chain Lightning
Rift Bolt
Lava Spike
Price of Progress
Searing Blaze
Fireblast
Sulfuric Vortex
Sensei's Divining Top
Sideboard: (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Smash to Smithereens
Vexing Shusher
Pyrostatic Pillar
Grim Lavamancer
Barbarian Ring
Sulfuric Vortex
Searing Blood

Probably one of the more important additions in Matt’s list is the singleton Sensei’s Divining Top, adopted from a GP Kyoto Trial winning deck list, which allowed him to have some late game staying power against midrange opponents. Being paired against Jund and Shardless BUG throughout the day was an excellent showcase of the power of Sensei’s Divining Top, with some great stories of its power to dig up a Price of Progress and create a win, when all seemed hopeless, happening throughout the day.

His sideboard also featured some excellent cards for popular matchups expected throughout the day. Pyrostatic Pillar, although powerful against traditional storm-based combo decks, is also great against OmniTell, and, in addition to Eidolon of the Great Revel, the OmniTell player may take too much damage cantripping before they go off. Pyrostatic Pillar is also a reasonable card to Show and Tell into play, because if they don’t have Emrakul or Dig in hand, cantripping into these may be impossible due to the amount of damage already taken.

Another great card is Vexing Shusher, who shines in matchups such as Miracles where countermagic (or Counterbalance) is the Burn player’s greatest obstacle. He is also a guy that attacks for two, so he’s never really a dead card. I also saw the Shusher take a more proactive role in matchups against Infect, where he wreaked havoc by creating uncounterable Searing Blazes to deny Infecters from ever staying on the board.

The subtleties of the list (the trimming of one land due to access to Top, the Barbarian Ring in the main and side as additional ‘uncounterable’ Burn spells) show a lot of care put into it, and I’d highly recommend this list as a cheap starting point for anyone looking for a deck to get into Legacy with. Matt’s deck capitalized completely on the metagame that was aiming to attack OmniTell, with Matt beating two RUG Delver decks in Top 8 (who beat OmniTell on the way to the Top 8) and Infect in order to claim the prize. He’s proven that no one should scoff at Burn; these cards are still really damn good:

Image Image

Venturing into Castlevania

Looking back towards Europe, I’ve mentioned this deck a few times before, but I think it’s finally coming to prominence enough that it deserves a real highlighting. A bizarre looking concoction of BUG and RUG Delver, BURG Delver, also known to some as Castlevania (because a ‘burg’ is a ‘castle’ in German, heh), sacrifices mana base stability for the sake of raw power. This raw power is epitomized by the presence of two of the best removal spells in all of Legacy, together at last, in a Delver deck.

Image Image

Looking again at Prague Eternal, there were some sweet BURG lists that made Top 8.

Maximillian Lorenz’s BURG Delver

Creatures: (13)
Delver of Secrets
Deathrite Shaman
True-Name Nemesis
Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (28)
Force of Will
Daze
Thoughtseize
Brainstorm
Ponder
Dig Through Time
Lightning Bolt
Abrupt Decay
Lands: (19)
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Taiga
Wasteland

Tomas Mar’s BURG Delver

Creatures: (12)
Deathrite Shaman
Delver of Secrets
Tarmogoyf
Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Dig Through Time
Lightning Bolt
Abrupt Decay
Daze
Spell Pierce
Force of Will
Sylvan Library
Lands: (19)
Wasteland
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island

Sideboard: (15)
Flusterstorm
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Nihil Spellbomb
Vendilion Clique
Submerge
Forked Bolt
Ancient Grudge
Sylvan Library
Golgari Charm
Wasteland

The mana bases in these decks are very off-putting, but I guess they’re nothing that Deathrite Shaman can’t remedy. Nonetheless, these lists look very potent because of their ability to very easily switch gears between aggro and control, and are actually a Delver shell with Dig Through Time that I can respect, thanks to their ability to find flexible answers like Abrupt Decay, Snapcaster Mages and inevitable, sturdy threats like True-Name Nemesis or Tarmogoyf. These definitely go a bit ‘bigger’ than other Delver decks, somewhat like BUG, but still keep the aggression that I like to see and take advantage of Bolt’s valuable reach. You can also Bolt-Snap-Bolt in Legacy! If I were running BURG Delver, my list might look something like this:

Sean Brown’s BURG Delver

Creatures: (12)
Delver of Secrets
Deathrite Shaman
True-Name Nemesis
Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Daze
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Dig Through Time
Spell Pierce
Abrupt Decay
Sylvan Library
Lands: (19)
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Taiga
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Duress
Pyroblast
Flusterstorm
Spell Pierce
Vendilion Clique
Marsh Casulaties
Ancient Grudge
Sulfur Elemental
Life from the Loam
Abrupt Decay
Grafdigger's Cage
Nihil Spellbomb
Pithing Needle

The Many Ways to infect

Karl Eyre Top 8ed Melbourne’s Eternal Masters with Infect, beaten in the Top 8 by a flurry of Searing Blazes and Grim Lavamancers. His Infect list was nonetheless very strong, utilizing a few popular choices many players have been transitioning to:

Karl Eyre's Infect

Creatures: (12)
Noble Hierarch
Blighted Agent
Glistener Elf
Lands: (19)
Inkmoth Nexus
Forest
Pendelhaven
Tropical Island
Wooded Foothills
Windswept Heath

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
Force of Will
Become Immense
Daze
Invigorate
Berserk
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Vines of Vastwood
Spell Pierce
Flusterstorm
Brainstorm

Sideboard: (15)
Absolute Law
Seal of Primordium
Grafdigger’s Cage
Spell Pierce
Savannah
Tormod’s Crypt
Swords to Plowshares
Force of Will
Crop Rotation
Sylvan Library
Krosan Grip

The sideboard of Karl’s list is teched out with the common white splash for access to actual removal (Swords to Plowshares) and Absolute Law, which seems like a great choice considering most of the Delver decks are transitioning to Lightning Bolt variants. Looking to Karl’s main deck, it features very prominently two Flusterstorms, a card that is usually found only in the sideboard of many blue decks. Flusterstorm shines specifically in Infect, however, due to its synergy with pump spells. Being able to cast Invigorate on your Infect creature and then respond to any removal or countermagic with Flusterstorm, which will then have a very high Storm count, makes it very often a one mana hard counter…

So maybe just cut Force of Will?

Nicolas Genieis's Infect

Creatures: (13)
Ichorclaw Myr
Blighted Agent
Glistener Elf
Noble Hierarch

Non-Creature Spells: (27)
Crop Rotation
Become Immense
Berserk
Flusterstorm
Brainstorm
Daze
Invigorate
Vines of Vastwood
Ponder
Lands: (20)
Forest
Verdant Catacombs
Pendelhaven
Inkmoth Nexus
Misty Rainforest
Tropical Island
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
Surgical Extraction
Spell Pierce
Krosan Grip
Force of Will
Crop Rotation
Wasteland
Bojuka Bog
Pithing Needle
Null Rod

As radical as it seems, Nicolai’s Infect list that won mtgUK’s Legacy National Championship at the end of last month seems very powerful. Against most fair decks, Force of Wills aren’t really required, and Vines, Flusterstorm and Daze do some heavy lifting in their place. He can also go much faster during game one to beat opposing combo decks, where you’d typically want Forces, due to his increased number of Infect creatures as well as his increased number of pump spells. Nicolai’s list is actually incredibly reminiscent of Olle Rade’s original, and very dated, Infect list that spurred Tom Ross’ interest in the archetype, which featured no Forces in the main and a high density of pump spells.

Olle Rade's Infect

Lands: (18)
Misty Rainforest
Verdant Catacombs
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Inkmoth Nexus
Forest
Pendelhaven

Creatures: (14)
Blighted Agent
Glistener Elf
Ichorclaw Myr
Necropede
Noble Hierarch

Non-Creature Spells: (28)
Brainstorm
Daze
Gitaxian Probe
Invigorate
Berserk
Rancor
Vines of Vastwood
Might of Old Krosa
Sideboard: (15)
Gut Shot
Faerie Macabre
Nature’s Claim
Spell Pierce
Tormod’s Crypt
Viridian Corrupter

Conclusion

Well, that’s all for June 2015’s This Month in Legacy. Miracles is still king bee, but Grixis Delver has now taken the throne as the most popular Delver variant and second most popular deck. Usual suspects OmniTell, Grixis Control and Jeskai Stoneblade have followed, and Shardless BUG has continued its strong appearances. RUG Delver has just outpaced BUG Delver this week, but their numbers still pale in comparison to Grixis.

Join me in the next few weeks for some stuff about Modern Burn and the next part of my RUG Delver primer.

Til’ next time,

Sean

Bonus Lists

Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere and Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors have been friends for a long time, and there’s been a variety of ways to mix these lock pieces with the colours of Magic, ranging from mixing it with Goblins (especially with the powerful and relatively new addition of Goblin Rabblemaster), Dragons, Werewolfs, Soldiers, Faeries and the ultra-I-hate-blue green Stompy deck Sylvan Plug. Black Stompy decks have never been too popular… Until a new potent threat was printed in Fate Reforged:

panottie's Demon Stompy

Creatures: (14)
Abyssal Persecutor
Desecration Demon
Mardu Strike Leader
Phyrexian Obliterator

Non-Creature Spells: (25)
Liliana of the Veil
Hymn to Tourach
Diabolic Edict
Victim of Night
Chalice of the Void
Chrome Mox
Trinisphère
Lands: (21)
Ancient Tomb
Phyrexian Tower
14 Swamp
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Sideboard: (15)
Batterskull
Chains of Mephistopheles
Drown in Sorrow
Engineered Plague
Leyline of the Void
Null Rod
Pithing Needle
Toxic Deluge

Another strange brew from Magic Online, this deck blends elements from Nic Fit (a family of Veteran Expolorer ramp decks) and Spanish Inquisition (a blistering fast combo deck relying on draw spells like Cruel Bargain along with Culling the Weak and Summoner’s Pact) to generate absurd amounts of mana, which can then be dumped into Green Sun’s Zeniths to cast huge haymakers, or kill the opponent via more typical routes of Burning Wish into Tendrils of Agony. I love how this list has multiple routes to victory (there’s also randomly a Dark Depths kill in the deck too…), as well as Green Sun’s Zenith’s possibility as mana, a finisher and disruption via its ability to get Xantid Swarm. Culling the Weak and Veteran Explorer together also seems just ultra-dirty.

d_T-T_b's Nic Fit Storm

Creatures: (8)
Dryad Arbor
Deathrite Shaman
Primeval Titan
Veteran Explorer
Xantid Swarm

Non-Creature Spells: (37)
Burning Wish
Cabal Therapy
Duress
Green Sun’s Zenith
Infernal Tutor
Ad nauseam
Culling the Weak
Dark Ritual
Chrome Mox
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Sensei’s Divining Top
Lands: (15)
Badlands
Bayou
Dark Depths
Forest
Mountain
Swamp
Thespian’s Stage
Verdant Catacombs
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
Xantid Swarm
Duress
Abrupt Decay
Empty the Warrens
Ill-Gotten Gains
Massacre
Natural Order
Pyroclasm
Reanimate
Regrowth
Reverent Silence
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Tendrils of Agony
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