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This Month in Legacy (July 2015)

Hello once again! Another month has gone by, and therefore there is another This Month in Legacy to be looked at! This month was very important because the second, and last, Legacy GP of the year has gone by. GP Lille was an excellent spectacle of new Legacy technology, proving to everyone that Dig Through Time is indeed strong, but there are a lot of powerful and unique things you can be doing to attack the metagame. And since it occurred at the beginning of the month, we have a lot of data from subsequent weeks to see how it has shaped the metagame. We also have a new set that has been released, Magic Origins, and with it some interesting new cards to play with. We’ll go through all that in a moment. For now, some statistics!

Firstly we’ll look at the composition of GP Lille down to the Top 16.

The GP Lille Top 8 exhibited a few things. Firstly, Miracles is still very popular, of course, with three in total making Top 16 and two of these making Top 8 (in fact, two made the finals). One of these Miracles lists was drastically different from what we’ve typically seen, however, and was able to take down the tournament, as we’ll see later. Another deck that had a great run in the tournament is Ad Nauseum Tendrils, with Europe’s perception as the capital of combo somewhat justified. Note that two of the three lists here weren’t typical Ad Nauseum Tendrils lists, but were more along the lines of the Grinding Station lists I talked about last month. Speaking of last month, 4c Delver lists similar to those that took Prague Eternal’s Top 8 made an excellent appearance in GP Lille, being the highest placing Delver lists in the tournament, speaking to the power of Dig Through Time in this more midrangey Delver shell. Traditional BUG and RUG did however make Top 16, showing that the classics still have chops. Another more rogue strategy that found a place in the Top 8 was 4c Loam, a grindy blue-hating concoction that attacked the metagame in an incredibly effective way. Other decks that made appearances were OmniTell, now less of a boogeyman, with none placing in Top 8, and relatively stock Infect and Lands lists.

We’ll revisit a few of the specifics of GP Lille in a moment, but next let’s look towards the global online and paper metagames.

Miracles is once again the most popular placing deck, but the composition of the decks following it have dramatically shifted. No longer is OmniTell ruling the roost beside Miracles; instead it is just part of the pack of viable popular archetypes. Within this pack is expected archetypes like Grixis Control, Infect, Jeskai Stoneblade, Grixis Delver, Lands and Elves, who have all been relatively popular in previous months, but one deck that has seen a big resurgence is MUD, the mono-brown artifact deck, perhaps speaking to the power of Chalice of the Void within the current metagame. Other decks following this pack have been the newly minted 4c Delver, as well as its relatives BUG and RUG Delver, and 4c Loam lists. Merfolk has seen a little bit of lift relative to last month (another Chalice of the Void deck), while Shardless BUG has seen a dramatic drop in its play, with other BUG Control style lists being selected instead. Dredge has also had a bit of a downturn compared to last month, correlating perhaps with OmniTell’s decreased saturation.

Monastery Mentor Returns

The Monk has returned after his appearance at GP Kyoto. Claudio Bonnani beat up on the competition in Lille with a nicely tuned Miracles list, centred upon main deck Monastery Mentor as a win condition over Entreat the Angels. This list was based on the GP Kyoto list that came second, which I talked about a few months ago, but the clunky Stoneforge Mystic package has been cut for cleaner Snapcaster Mages and a few other tweaks have been made – the deck definitely looks much smoother than the previous Japanese list.

Claudio Bonnani’s Mentor Miracles

Creatures: (6)
Monastery Mentor
Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (34)
Ponder
Terminus
Force of Will
Brainstorm
Counterspell
Daze
Swords to Plowshares
Dig Through Time
Pyroblast
Sensei’s Divining Top
Counterbalance
Lands: (20)
Arid Mesa
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Island
Plains
Volcanic Island
Tundra

Sideboard: (15)
Red Elemental Blast
Disenchant
Wear // Tear
Engineered Explosives
Surgical Extraction
Rest in Peace
Pyroclasm
Flusterstorm
Vendilion Clique
Ethersworn Canonist
Blood Moon
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

A running trend we’ll see, Prague Eternal’s Top 8 was a nice predictor of the GP Lille top decks with Johannes Gutbrod’s Mentor Miracles list being very close to Claudio’s. Claudio however cut the singleton Jace and a Terminus in the maindeck and added a Force of Will and additional Counterbalance, really allowing him to have a streamlined game plan game one. His sideboard also lines up in a similar way, with just a few tweaks. A few notes about individual card choices, the Dazes in the main, although looking initially incongruent with Miracle’s game plan, act as important additional protection for Mentor or Counterbalances, game ending threats once resolved, and are reasonable since Mentor Miracles isn’t really as mana-hungry as typical Miracles thanks to its more compact, and less mana intensive, compared to Entreat, win condition. Furthermore, four Counterbalances and four Mentors really allow Mentor Miracles to either lock out the opponent or just destroy the opponent with a sea of Monks very quickly, remedying one of Miracle’s main problems in its inability to close out the game quickly. This deck is looking to be an excellent new contender within the variety of Miracles variations, and is likely to see play alongside Ponder and Legends versions, for Miracles players who actually want to kill the opponent.

In tandem with Mentor Miracles, a few other Mentor lists have also sprung up. One made an appearance at GP Lille and has seen a few waves on Magic Online. This list essentially asks – what if you got Grixis Control, replaced Pyromancer with Mentor and swapped your Plows for Bolts? You’d get this list – Esper Mentor.

Dennis Baauw’s Esper Mentor

Creatures: (7)
Monastery Mentor
Baleful Strix
Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells: (34)
Lingering Souls
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Cabal Therapy
Force of Will
Counterspell
Brainstorm
Dig Through Time
Swords to Plowshares
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Lands: (19)
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Marsh Flats
Underground Sea
Tundra
Island
Plains

Sideboard: (15)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Surgical Extraction
Meddling Mage
Flusterstorm
Pithing Needle
Null Rod
Engineered Explosives
Disenchant
Zealous Persecution
Containment Priest

This list enacts a similar game plan to Grixis Control, aiming to cantrip, refuel with Dig and then slam an army in a can until the opponent can no longer cope, but is of course a bit slower out of the gates due to its threat being three mana. The deck does have a bit more of a token subtheme occurring, very nice with Cabal Therapy, of course, but also emphasised by the presence of Sorin, Solem Visitor.

Some lists on Magic Online have gone a bit deeper into the colour pie, eschewing a reasonable mana base for a greedier four-colour one. Deathrite Shaman accelerating out Monastery Mentor is indeed a nice bit of synergy, and adding powerful cards like Abrupt Decay seems like an expected thing to do once the Shaman is being played.

DSCK’s 4c Mentor

Creatures: (8)
Deathrite Shaman
Monastery Mentor

Non-Creature Spells: (32)
Cabal Therapy
Gitaxian Probe
Ponder
Preordain
Abrupt Decay
Brainstorm
Dig Through Time
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Sylvan Library

Land: (20)
Bayou
Flooded Strand
Marsh Flats
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Tropical Island
Tundra
Underground Sea
Sideboard: (15)
Sylvan Library
Energy Field
Flusterstorm
Helm of Obedience
Meddling Mage
Pithing Needle
Rest in Peace
Spell Pierce
Zealous Persecution

A Deck Full of Hate (And Many Colours)

Two previously rogue lists made Top 8 of Lille, 4c Loam, though they were in the Prague Eternal Top 8 as well. Let’s look towards the highest placing list of Christoph Alsheimer.

Christoph Alsheimer's 4c Loam

Creatures: (12)
Knight of the Reliquary
Dark Confidant
Scavenging Ooze
Deathrite Shaman
Gaddock Teeg
Dryad Arbor

Non-Creature Spells: (23)
Life from the Loam
Green Sun’s Zenith
Punishing Fire
Abrupt Decay
Mox Diamond
Chalice of the Void
Sylvan Library
Liliana of the Veil
Lands: (25)
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Bayou
Badlands
Taiga
Scrubland
Savannah
Forest
Grove of the Burnwillows
Maze of Ith
Wasteland
Barren Moor
Tranquil Thicket
Karakas

Sideboard: (15)
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Slaughter Games
Toxic Deluge
Leyline of the Void
Thoughtseize
Choke
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Golgari Charm
Reclamation Sage

These lists look incredibly powerful, having a variety of ways to attack the current Legacy metagame. The first of these is Chalice of the Void.

Being able to accelerate out Chalice of the Void with Mox Diamond is a key component of these lists, especially since Life from the Loam can recoup the discarded land. Chalice locks out so many of the common decks. The card shuts down OmniTell’s and other combo deck’s ability to cantrip and sculpt their hand, Delver decks, especially Grixis Delver, and even control decks like Miracles suffer under the Chalice.

Image Image Image

The next package of cards in these decks is the grinding package of Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows, beating up on most fair creature decks, along with Dark Confidant, Sylvan Library and Life from the Loam generating more and more card advantage as well. Liliana of the Veil also assists in the grinding ability of this deck, being powerful against combo and control decks (especially Miracles). Abrupt Decay is the excellent, flexible removal of choice for this list that doesn’t get countered by Chalice, of course.

To close out the game this deck uses Knight of the Reliquary. The card is exceptionally hard to deal with for many decks, especially ones relying on one mana removal since these will generally be locked out by a Chalice, and can easily one-shot the opponent when a deck like this is utilising Life from the Loam to Dredge its graveyard.

The sideboard of this deck utilizes a few uncommon cards. Padding out combo hate like Thalia and Thoughtseize is the uncommonly-played Slaughter Games.

This card is very unique in that it can only be utilised by decks that can ramp quite hard, which this list does fairly well between Green Sun’s Zenith for mana dorks and Mox Diamond, but is a card it can completely crush a variety of combo decks. Exiling all of OmniTell’s Show and Tells, no questions asked, is a powerful ability indeed.

If you want to learn a bit more about these lists, Philipp Schönegger can explain much better than me, and has an excellent article on them. Swing over and have a look at that if you’re curious.

A New Way to Bug Your Opponent

Shardless BUG has been the de facto BUG control list of choice within Legacy, with its central interaction being Shardless Agent Cascading into Ancestral Visions, or just accumulating value by hitting Goyfs, Decays or Brainstorms.

But what if we just packed in four Dig Through Times instead? These Delver-less BUG Delver lists have done so, being much leaner, mana cost-wise, and have started to erode into Shardless BUG’s numbers this month. One of these came second at the first Origins-legal North American Legacy Tournament, the SCG Chicago Premier IQ.

Devin Koepke’s BUG Control

Creatures: (11)
Baleful Strix
Deathrite Shaman
Tarmogoyf
Lands: (20)
Bayou
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
Abrupt Decay
Brainstorm
Daze
Dig Through Time
Force of Will
Hymn to Tourach
Ponder
Toxic Deluge

Sideboard: (15)
Nihil Spellbomb
Null Rod
Trinisphere
Disfigure
Flusterstorm
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Life from the Loam
Toxic Deluge

Image Image

Delver of Secrets has always felt pretty contentious in BUG Delver lists, and although a necessary card as a turn one threat against combo, its often one of BUG Delver’s weaker threats in attrition matchups, and Devin has replaced his Delvers with Baleful Strixes and a Toxic Deluge – excellent cards for beating up on fair opponents. Daze looks a bit strange once one takes the deck in this direction, but it’s excellent with Hymn to Tourach since Hymn forces the opponent to play out their hand as fast as possible, which Daze punishes, while Hymn can also force an opponent to miss land drops which Daze, again, punishes. The deck’s low curve also allows the deck to accommodate it, as missing land drops is fine when one is not aiming to cast a three mana Cascader. Trading one-for-one early and often is also important to fuel Dig Through Time as fast as possible. Baleful Strix is also nice with Dig, as now Dig can find high-impact creatures, unlike Delver, which is very lackluster as the game drags out.

Cards whose absence I’m surprised at are Liliana of the Veil, traditionally very powerful against Miracles, at least in the sideboard, though none in the main deck I’d imagine are a consequence of this list’s desire to keep its mana costs low. Trinisphere is also a interesting card in the sideboard, since it punishes the cantrips of this deck pretty severely, though having permanent-based combo hate is always nice, though I’d expect some number of Thoughtseize as additional combo disruption instead.

Nonetheless these lists look very interesting as another potent Dig Through Time shell in the same vein as Grixis Control.

Origins Additions

Magic Origins has been printed and this month we’ve seen snippets of potential additions to a few decks. The set is unlikely to have as big an impact as Khans block had, but definitely has a few cards to look out for.

This list won the aforementioned SCG Chicago Premier IQ, and featured a new creature as a silver bullet.

Mike Rekow's Elves

Creatures: (32)
Birchlore Rangers
Craterhoof Behemoth
Deathrite Shaman
Elvish Visionary
Heritage Druid
Nettle Sentinel
Quirion Ranger
Reclamation Sage
Scavenging Ooze
Shaman of the Pack
Wirewood Symbiote
Dryad Arbor
Lands: (17)
Forest
Bayou
Misty Rainforest
Savannah
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Gaea’s Cradle

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Natural Order

Sideboard: (15)
Choke
Abrupt Decay
Golgari Charm
Gaddock Teeg
Progenitus
Cabal Therapy
Natural Order
Thoughtseize

Elves lists have remained relatively stagnant over the past few years, with little dramatic changes occurring to the main deck other than the addition of Natural Order targets such as Ruric Thar. Shaman of the Pack is a new addition to the standard Elves lists, but will likely be run in a similar vein to Ruric Thar – a silver bullet finisher that can close out the game, but this time without using the combat step. Notice that compared to Craterhoof Behemoth and Ruric, Shaman of the Pack is much easier to Green Sun’s Zenith for and also has some nice synergy with Wirewood Symbiote.

Another more radical-looking Elves lists, almost like a port of Modern Elves, was seen this month, utilising a few more Origins additions.

Sebastian Bartl’s Elves

Creatures: (32)
Dryad Arbor
Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Reclamation Sage
Scavenging Ooze
Birchlore Rangers
Shaman of the Pack
Dwynen’s Elite
Heritage Druid
Nettle Sentinel
Quirion Ranger
Deathrite Shaman
Elvish Visionary
Wirewood Symbiote

Non-Creature Spells: (10)
Collected Company
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Lands: (19)
Pendelhaven
Bayou
Cavern of Souls
Forest
Wooded Foothills
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Gaea’s Cradle

Sideboard: (15)
Cabal Therapy
Thorn of Amethyst
Abrupt Decay
Krosan Grip
Choke

This list uses Collected Company in a similar way to Modern Elves, both as a tool to grind out the opponent as well as a tool to find the deck’s combo piece of Ezuri, Renegade Leader. There’s a bit of tension here between Collected Company, Glimpse and Green Sun’s Zenith, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Glimpse was trimmed even further in this kind of list.

Dwynen’s Elite makes an appearance here as not only a way to create additional bodies for Cradle, but also has neat synergy with Heritage Druid – Druid into Elite immediately creates three mana on turn two. The card is also really excellent with Wirewood Symbiote, in a similar fashion to Shaman of the Pack.

My personal love, Death & Taxes, has also found a new disruptive creature in the form of Vryn Wingmare.

Although the card creates crazy starts such as Mom into Thalia into Wingmare, locking many blue decks out of the game, it also makes the deck much more susceptible to cards such as Dread of Night, and also decreases the deck’s closing power, as creatures such as Mirran Crusader or Brimaz usually have to be cut for the Pegasus. Nonetheless, Bocci has been going well on Magic Online piloting Death & Taxes with Wingmare.

Bocci’s Death & Taxes

Creatures: (26)
Flickerwisp
Mother of Runes
Phyrexian Revoker
Serra Avenger
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Vryn Wingmare

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
Aether Vial
Swords to Plowshares
Batterskull
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands: (23)
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Mishra’s Factory
Rishadan Port
Snow-Covered Plains
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Council’s Judgment
Ethersworn Canonist
Leonin Relic-Warder
Pithing Needle
Rest in Peace
Sunlance
Veteran Armorer

One of the more absurd concoctions from SCG Chicago’s Premier IQ was an Affinity list featuring the newly printed Day’s Undoing, taking sixth place!

Scott Muir’s Affinity

Creatures: (24)
Arcbound Ravager
Baleful Strix
Etched Champion
Frogmite
Memnite
Ornithopter
Vault Skirge
Disciple of the Vault

Non-Creature Spells: (20)
Chalice of the Void
Cranial Plating
Springleaf Drum
Mox Opal
Day’s Undoing
Thoughtcast
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Lands: (16)
Ancient Den
Seat of the Synod
Tree of Tales
Vault of Whispers
Ancient Tomb
Glimmervoid
Inkmoth Nexus

Sideboard: (15)
Ensnaring Bridge
Tormod’s Crypt
Ethersworn Canonist
Phyrexian Revoker
Containment Priest
Abrupt Decay
Thoughtseize
Whipflare

Affinity seems like a perfect home for Day’s Undoing, as the deck can quickly poop out its hand, accelerating out lock pieces like Chalice of the Void, and then reload with Undoing on the second or third turn while the opponent is either locked out from casting the majority of their hand or have done little, if at all. This list also features the classic Disciple of the Vault as one of its win conditions, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone try another Origins addition that has excellent synergy with Disciple and Ravager. It seems powerful enough for Modern, but could it have a place in Legacy?

Nonetheless I think this list’s mana base could be streamlined a little better, with Baleful Strix and Abrupt Decay looking very optimistic, especially with only two Glimmervoids and two Springleaf Drums. This list looks like it has a lot of potential though, and Day’s Undoing could see the revival of previously fringe contender Affinity.

Merfolk have had a good showing this month, again possibly attributed to Chalice of the Void’s excellent place in the metagame at the moment, and have also had a small addition with Harbinger of the Tides.

Although the card is unlikely to make huge waves, with Merfolk lists being so tight, as a sideboard card for fair matchups it seems very reasonable. Vialing him in and bouncing a flipped Delver seems like great times, especially when a Chalice is locking out that Delver from being recast. Robert Dacunto brought a streamlined Merfolk list to a SCG IQ and made fourth place, featuring two Harbingers in the main.

Robert Dacunto’s Merfolk

Creatures: (26)
Harbinger of the Tides
Cursecatcher
Lord of Atlantis
Master of the Pearl Trident
Phantasmal Image
Silvergill Adept
True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells: (12)
Force of Will
Aether Vial
Chalice of the Void
Lands: (22)
Cavern of Souls
Wasteland
Mutavault
12 Island

Sideboard: (15)
Cursed Totem
Grafdigger’s Cage
Pithing Needle
Relic of Progenitus
Sower of Temptation
Flusterstorm
Mindbreak Trap
Submerge

Ad Nauseum Tendrils and TES have also incorporated Dark Petition as expected from last week, although it hasn’t been too widespread, with a lot of ANT lists remaining relatively stagnant. Caleb Scherer did utilize two Dark Petitions in his Storm list in Chicago’s Premier IQ, however, though his list does take a more Grinding Station approach, especially with the two Sensei’s Divining Tops in his main deck.

Caleb Schrer’s Grinding Station

Non-Creature Spells: (46)
Brainstorm
Cabal Ritual
Dark Ritual
Empty the Warrens
Past in Flames
Tendrils of Agony
Dark Petition
Duress
Cabal Therapy
Gitaxian Probe
Infernal Tutor
Ponder
Sensei’s Divining Top
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Lands: (14)
Badlands
Bloodstained Mire
Island
Swamp
Volcanic Island
Underground Sea
Scalding Tarn
Polluted Delta

Sideboard: (15)
Xantid Swarm
Abrupt Decay
Ad Nauseam
Chain of Vapor
Disfigure
Hurkyl’s Recall
Rebuild
Surgical Extraction
Tropical Island

Meanwhile The Epic Storm (TES), propagated by Bryant Cook, has also been utilising Dark Petition as a Burning Wish target in the sideboard. TES players often had to decided whether to have their fourth Infernal Tutor in the side or the main, but now the decision is easy with Dark Petition acting as the Wishable tutor. Since it’s in the sideboard its mana cost of five also isn’t a problem with Ad Nauseum.

Bryant Cook’s The Epic Storm

Lands: (12)
Polluted Delta
Bloodstained Mire
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Swamp

Non-Creature Spells: (48)
Chrome Mox
Lotus Petal
Lion's Eye Diamond
Rite of Flame
Dark Ritual
Cabal Ritual
Infernal Tutor
Burning Wish
Brainstorm
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Cabal Therapy
Duress
Empty the Warrens
Ad Nauseam
Sideboard: (15)
Bayou
Abrupt Decay
Xantid Swarm
Chain of Vapor
Void Snare
Thoughtseize
Past in Flames
Empty the Warrens
Tendrils of Agony
Massacre
Dark Petition

Dark Petition has given a boost to a very scarcely played Storm archetype, with a rare Doomsday list with four Dark Petitions featured on Magic Online, piloted by Flow_True.

Flow_True’s Doomsday

Creatures: (2)
Cloud of Faeries
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Non-Creature Spells: (42)
Cabal Therapy
Dark Petition
Doomsday
Duress
Gitaxian Probe
Ideas Unbound
Ponder
Tendrils of Agony
Brainstorm
Dark Ritual
Rain of Filth
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Sensei’s Divining Top
Lands: (16)
Island
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Shelldock Isle
Swamp
Tropical Island
Tundra
Underground Sea

Sideboard: (15)
Abrupt Decay
Echoing Truth
Monastery Mentor
Xantid Swarm

This list utilises the popular Shelldock Isle + Emrakul kill, but also has a few other avenues including the usual Tendrils kill. Importantly this list has been able to cut the red from the deck thanks to Petition, which was traditionally used for Burning Wish, and has now become a cleaner pure blue-black combo deck game one. Also very cool in this list is the deck’s ability to sideboard in Monastery Mentor as a potent threat once the opponent has boarded out their removal.

Getting Down and Dirty with MUD

MUD is essentially Vintage Shops decks watered down due to the lack of the deck’s namesake card in Legacy, and is instead powered by the Sol Land and 12-Post mana base. The deck is nonetheless very potent due to the power of Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere, which can annihilate many of the common strategies of Legacy (as we’ve seen with 4c Loam’s Top 8), or at least slow them down until MUD can get enough mana to start slamming haymakers like Wurmcoil Engine or tutoring up Blightsteel Colossus thanks to Kuldotha Forgemaster. The deck’s most recent addition is a certain Spirit Dragon that instills incredible fear once it hits the board. You better Force this, fair Magic player, or else you’re very, very dead.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is an excellent top-end card in the mono-artifact deck and lists featuring four of this guy have even been seen.

Deadwing’s MUD

Creatures: (16)
Lodestone Golem
Metalworker
Sundering Titan
Wurmcoil Engine

Non-Creature Spells: (20)
Chalice of the Void
Grim Monolith
Lightning Greaves
Ratchet Bomb
Trinisphere
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Lands: (24)
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
City of Traitors
Cloudpost
Glimmerpost
Vesuva

Sideboard: (15)
Ratchet Bomb
Grafdigger’s Cage
Phyrexian Revoker
Pithing Needle
Steel Hellkite
Thorn of Amethyst

More interesting variants have also appeared this month. This MUD version by Charlie-in-the-Mox (what a great name!) is more like the now very rarely-seen Stax deck, utilising Vintage staples such as Tangle Wire and Smokestack.

Image Image

This list is all about making the opponent miserable while they die to Lodestone Golem or pokes by manlands. Therefore, it is a thing of greatness.

Charlie-in-the-Mox’s Stax

Creatures: (4)
Lodestone Golem

Non-Creature Spells: (30)
Chalice of the Void
Crucible of Worlds
Ensnaring Bridge
Mox Diamond
Ratchet Bomb
Smokestack
Sphere of Resistance
Tangle Wire
Lands: (26)
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
City of Traitors
Mishra’s Factory
Mutavault
Rishadan Port
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Ensnaring Bridge
Defense Grid
Phyrexian Revoker
Razormane Masticore
Spellskite
Zuran Orb

I’m surprised to see no Trinisphere in this list, though there is a few other things I love. Mox Diamond and Crucible of Worlds is, of course, wonderful, as is Crucible’s synergy with manlands and Wasteland. Smokestack and Tangle Wire really don’t get enough Legacy play, despite these cards’ obvious power, and I’d highly recommend trying out this list, especially if you don’t mind people hating you.

20/20 Ft Deep

Marit Lage has been getting a lot of attention recently. The indestructible 20/20 was a centerpiece of Alex Mortimer’s Lands deck that he Top 8ed GP Lille with.

Alex Mortimer’s Lands

Non-Creature Spells: (26)
Gamble
Life from the Loam
Punishing Fire
Crop Rotation
Mox Diamond
Exploration
Manabond
Lands: (34)
Thespian’s Stage
Wasteland
Rishadan Port
Grove of the Burnwillows
Maze of Ith
Dark Depths
Taiga
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Forest
Karakas
Glacial Chasm
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Horizon Canopy
Tranquil Thicket

Sideboard: (15)
Bojuka Bog
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Chalice of the Void
Choke
Pithing Needle
Trinisphere
Sphere of Resistance
Krosan Grip

There’s not too much to go through here, with the tried-and-true stock RG Lands build seeing him to an excellent Top 8 finish. Make sure to check out his chat with the guys from Legacy Breakfast, which you can find here, lots of great insights there.

The list I really want to highlight, that has been getting a bit of exposure on Magic Online, is the Turbo Depths lists who don’t concentrate on locking the opponent out, like what Lands does, but instead aims to make Marit Lage as quickly as possible, before the opponent even has a chance to Plow it.

Negator77’s Turbo Depths

Creatures: (4)
Vampire Hexmage

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

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

The deck’s mana base looks sort of crazy, being essentially black-green splashing for Brainstorm, but also uses a rainbow mana base to support some powerful sideboard option in Canonist and Slaughter Games. Urborg is also really important here as it gives the deck the ability to make a turn two Marit Lage. Urborg, discarding their interaction, into turn two Dark Depths, cast Hexmage and create Marit Lage seems very powerful.

In paper a few people have taken the deck in a different direction, keeping it centered in black-green and making it more of a midrange deck with a random combo kill.

Marcus Stehr’s BG Depths

Creatures: (11)
Vampire Hexmage
Dark Confidant
Deathrite Shaman

Non-Creature Spells (24)
Abrupt Decay
Crop Rotation
Life from the Loam
Living Wish
Thoughtseize
Liliana of the Veil
Mox Diamond
Lands: (25)
Bojuka Bog
Swamp
Barren Moor
Dark Depths
Thespian’s Stage
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Wasteland

Sideboard: (15)
Inquisition of Kozilek
Toxic Deluge
Vampire Hexmage
Crop Rotation
Abrupt Decay
Pithing Needle
Dark Depths
Glacial Chasm
Karakas
Thespian’s Stage

This list is more than happy to simply play like a typical Rock style deck, using Bob, discard, removal and Loam to accrue advantages, but can also kill very fast if required. The incorporation of Living Wish is also very sweet, with utility lands and Hexmage tutorable. I personally would like to see a light white splash here, as Living Wish becomes very powerful when it can find cards such as Gaddock Teeg, Canonist and Thalia.

A Real Aggro Deck in Legacy

Some of the Delver decks in Legacy are indeed quite aggressive, with RUG and UR Delver following the Philosophy of Fire to some extent. But Legacy has little room for this wild cat.

Zoo decks have been pretty unimpressive due to their lack of interaction with combo, and they also fold pretty hard to decks such as Miracles as Terminus is a big thorn in the side. However a few lists this month have proven that, if built correctly, Zoo can tussle with the top decks.

Snapcaster23’s Little Zoo

Creatures: (28)
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Goblin Guide
Hooting Mandrills
Kird Ape
Loam Lion
Qasali Pridemage
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Wild Nacatl

Non-Creature Spells: (14)
Chain Lightning
Atarka’s Command
Fireblast
Lightning Bolt
Lands: (18)
Forest
Mountain
Plains
Plateau
Savannah
Taiga
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard: (15)
Display of Dominance
Krosan Grip
Pithing Needle
Pyroclasm
Searing Blaze
Smash to Smithereens
Sulfuric Vortex
Swords to Plowshares

The Little Zoo list above exhibits the same kind of play style that Modern Zoo has, except that the burn spells of the deck get a nice upgrade and the deck also incorporates Thalia as a necessary creature to help against combo. The deck can leverage Atarka’s Command really well, just like Modern Zoo, but I feel this list might have some troubles against Miracles and other control strategies.

Nekoyama’s Big Zoo

Creatures: (24)
Birds of Paradise
Bloodbraid Elf
Noble Hierarch
Stoneforge Mystic
Tarmogoyf
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Wild Nacatl

Non-Creature Spells: (15)
Lightning Bolt
Punishing Fire
Domri Rade
Batterskull
Umezawa’s Jitte
Sylvan Library

Land: (21)
Arid Mesa
Forest
Grove of the Burnwillows
Karakas
Mountain
Plains
Plateau
Savannah
Taiga
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Sideboard: (15)
Blood Moon
Forked Bolt
Gaddock Teeg
Pithing Needle
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Sulfuric Vortex
Surgical Extraction

This list, however, looks like it has a lot of tools to fight against a wide spectrum of deck in the Legacy metagame. I like going up to the full four Thalia to resist combo decks and I also like the incorporation of Stoneforge Mystic, which is of course an excellent trump in creature-orientated fair matchups. Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows is another excellent card for beating up on Delver decks.

Image Image Image

The deck also looks like it has some solid staying power against a deck such as Miracles, with Sylvan Library, Domri Rade and Bloodbraid Elf generating card advantage, which is usually unavailable to decks like this. For anyone looking to bash opponents with Wild Nacatl and other green beefers, this looks like a nice place to start.

Conclusion

With GP Lille in the books we have a few new contenders to look out for within the Legacy metagame. 4c Delver has come to prominence as perhaps the best Dig Through Time Delver strategy, while 4c Loam has also risen in order to combat the blue mages everywhere. Other Chalice-based decks, such as MUD and Merfolk have also seen a little bit of an uptick as well, speaking to the power of the lock piece currently. Miracles is still the top dog, of course, but now has a new, powerful, proven variation in Mentor Miracles, no longer a gimmick after it took down GP Lille and found itself in the Top 8 a second time after its appearance in GP Kyoto. OmniTell has seen a huge backlash this month, being much less popular, and is now just part of the pack of other viable decks including Grixis variants, Infect, Stoneblade, Infect, Lands, Elves and ANT. Magic Origins cards have popped up a few times this month, but with nothing format warping appearing… Yet.

Hopefully you enjoyed this month’s article, feedback is much appreciated!

Til’ next time,

Sean

Bonus Lists

Who needs Lord of Atlantis when you have Grand Architect? And Chief Engineer! And blue idiots to power out Batterskull!?

Robert Sittig’s Uw Aggro

Creatures: (23)
Sage of Epityr
Chief Engineer
Grand Architect
True-Name Nemesis
Cursecatcher
Judge’s Familiar
Stoneforge Mystic

Non-Creature Spells: (16)
Brainstorm
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Batterskull
Lands: (21)
Karakas
Plains
Tundra
Windswept Heath
Cavern of Souls
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Island

Sideboard: (15)
Ethersworn Canonist
Vendilion Clique
Path to Exile
Misdirection
Mindbreak Trap
Relic of Progenitus
Pithing Needle
Helm of Possession
Manriki-Gusari
Sword of Feast and Famine
Detention Sphere

Quest for the Holy Relic is quite a sweet card, especially with all the zero mana creatures in Legacy. Add in the best equipment tutor in the game, a draw engine in Puresteel Paladin, Mom to protect everything and Glint Hawks to bounce stuff, and you have a brew!

Mislav Petrović’s Quest for the Holy Relic

Creatures: (25)
Puresteel Paladin
Memnite
Glint Hawk
Mother of Runes
Ornithopter
Squadron Hawk
Stoneforge Mystic

Non-Creature Spells: (18)
Enlightened Tutor
Swords to Plowshares
Quest for the Holy Relic
Argentum Armor
Paradise Mantle
Sword of Body and Mind
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Umezawa’s Jitte
Chrome Mox
Lands: (17)
Marsh Flats
Windswept Heath
Ancient Den
Arid Mesa
Plains

Sideboard: (15)
Spellskite
Leyline of Sanctity
Stony Silence
Disenchant
Rest in Peace
Mana Tithe

It’s no secret that Legacy is quite an expensive format, especially a deck such as BUG Delver full of dual lands. Well, what if instead of dual lands you played shocks? And instead of Tarmogoyfs you played something that nicely complemented these shocks – Death’s Shadow!

Cailliau Manoel’s BUG Death’s Shadow

Creatures: (16)
Gurmag Angler
Street Wraith
Death’s Shadow
Deathrite Shaman
Delver of Secrets

Non-Creature Spells: (27)
Berserk
Dig Through Time
Force of Will
Brainstorm
Daze
Dismember
Reanimate
Gitaxian Probe
Thoughtseize
Lands: (17)
Bayou
Swamp
Underground Sea
Bloodstained Mire
Wasteland
Watery Grave
Polluted Delta

Sideboard: (15)
Force of Will
Massacre
Toxic Deluge
Grafdigger’s Cage
Pithing Needle
Abrupt Decay
Flusterstorm
Golgari Charm
Surgical Extraction
  • Anonymous

    Nice! Some very nice decklists here to check out.

  • Brian Larter

    Lovong these posts! keep them coming!

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