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This Week in Legacy: 80th and 81st KMC, 07/15/17 Legacy Challenge


Welcome to another This Week in Legacy! This week I’ll be running down the back-to-back KMC events that ran on the 15th and 16th of July, as well as the recent Challenge. We’ll also have a look at some spicier concoctions from Matthew Brown and the Philippines at the end of the piece!

On we go!

80th KMC

Let’s look at the event held on the 15th to start with, with 70 players. The Top 8 broke down as follows:

The first place list should look a little familiar… It’s Blue-White Stoneblade.

A very similar list Top 16'ed GP Vegas, though that one lacked Ponders. Naota Kagotani made the simple change of dropping the land count down and altering the countermagic suite to fit in the full eight cantrips. One particular card I like leveraged is Council’s Judgment, which is an incredibly efficient answer to card like Leovold, Emissary of Trest and True-Name Nemesis, the current premier threats of the format. A full two copies makes quite a statement, and this is one of the few decks, next to neo-Miracles, that can cast it purely off basics. Speaking of basics, the eight basic lands give this list a hella robust mana base.

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An interesting and somewhat throwback sideboard piece of technology in this list is Sword of Feast and Famine. Stoneforge Mystic is typically a liability in combo matchups due to how slow and clunky she is, but Sword makes her a bit more reasonable. Stoneforge on two, on turn three hold up countermagic and then put the Sword in, and then turn four get swinging (while never tapping out), while shredding apart the opponent’s hand.

Stoneblade keeps looking better and better, with continuous placings on Magic Online (particularly in Challenges, as we’ll see) and the classic Japanese Esper Stoneblade list making a Top 8 here too.

2nd place was Jund, which has bizarrely continued to place effectively in Japan.

What a list. Zero Lightning Bolt and zero Bloodbraid Elf give this a little less of an aggressive bent that we’ve seen in some list prior. Instead, Fatal Push and Punishing Fire look to be effective creature control mechanisms within this list. A few Standard all-stars also take the stage in this list. Grim Flayer has been getting lots of traction in Jund recently, but Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, although one of the staple four drops of Modern Jund lists, makes his first appearance in Legacy here. A pseudo hate card against graveyard strategies like Dredge, a lifelinking beat stick in aggressive matchups and a value creating engine in grindy matchups, Kalitas seems like a solid choice. Four mana is a lot in Legacy, and this competes with cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance, who would be my four drop of choice in Jund due to her flexibility and difficult-to-answer nature.

At 3rd was Shigeyuki Tamura on Black-White Pox.

The White is for supplemental threats Lingering Souls, as well as the somewhat-improved Sinkhole (seen in typical Pox lists), Vindicate. Souls gets too little credit these days, as it can decimate many fair matchups, especially against decks like Delver that can struggle to push through a horde of Spirits. It also can generate value thanks to Smallpox and Liliana of the Veil as discard outlets. Bloodghast (a recurring threat excellent again with discard outlets and the sacrifice clause of Smallpox) and big daddy Tombstalker round out the surprisingly diverse threat suite.

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The rest of the decks included Deathrite-less Grixis Pyromancer (finding room for Snapcaster Mage, which we’ll look at later), a Grixis Delver deck with main deck Collective Brutality (!!!) and Dragon Stompy once again going full prison-control and main decking Bottled Cloister and sideboarding Null Brooch for even more Cloister shenanigans!

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81st KMC

The next day, another KMC event was held! Seventy-two players joined up for this one. The Top 8 is here.

That’s three Grixis Control lists. Whoa. Let’s have a look at the list of Fukudome Yuu, apparently the designer of the 3rd and 4th placing list, which expanded upon the lists from Vegas. Meanwhile, Azuma Yuuki piloted a list very close to those more well-known.

Snapcaster Mage is the new-ish addition to these lists, replacing some of the flex slots. Preordain has also been drastically shaved in these lists to accommodate the Snapcasters and a little more removal. Liliana, the Last Hope is also a nice touch.

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The sideboard is also what we’ve been expecting, including the sideboard Counterspells that have become common on Magic Online. That being said, one of the odder choices is found here:

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Basilisk Collar has been seen before in a few places… As a nifty bit of equipment with Stoneforge, as a valuable source of lifegain the Ancient Tomb-flush Eldrazi once used, and as a combo with pingers such as Cunning Sparkmage and Grim Lavamancer, here I imagine its role is to make Anglers into huge lifelinking beatsticks, remedying aggressive matchups like Burn or even Delver. It also makes random leftover Elementals into realistic threats. I wonder why a simple sideboard Umezawa’s Jitte was not chosen for this slot, though…

ANT also gave two players a Top 8 in this tournament, both opting for a Green splash. One purely for Xantid Swarm, the other for both Swarm and Decay. The 4th placing list also had some bizarre sideboard tech…

I guess if your opponent sideboards out their removal, turn two Phyrexian Obliterator sounds pretty good!

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Another neat list from this Top 8 is a BUG Eureka-Tell list. This list is very much concentrated on Omniscience with all six enablers (two Eureka, four Show and Tell) able to slam in the powerful enchantment. Interestingly, Cunning Wish is not included and Lim-Dul’s Vault is used to dig for the final kill.

Meanwhile, an Omni-Attack list also found its way into the Top 8. Pretty typical, except for the inclusion of one of Miracles’ hallmark cards.

Sneak & Show has always been flush with the full twelve cantrips… Why not use that to grind out a little bit of advantage? This seems like a pretty spicy little inclusion in Sneak & Show’s relatively dull flex slots, and could be strong in metagames more flush with discard-heavy decks (as this metagame of Grixis Control seemed to be!). Also notable is the inclusion of Abrade as a flexible Wish target!

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Wrapping up this list was a wild BUG Delver deck, featuring only three Delvers, main deck Rancor, and three True-Names.

One last person I’d love to give a big shout-out to is Mikito Tanaka. The original Bomberman, who I featured quite some months ago for his second-place finish and whose deck has spread to the streams of Caleb Durwald and Anuraag Das! He posted up an incredible heart-warming article on the development of the deck at the KMC site, detailing his entire thought process and his eventual breakthrough to the current builds featuring Ballista and Mentor. I will definitely do something about getting this translated… Somehow. He’s put an incredible amount of effort in it and I definitely want it to reach the wider world! If anyone could get in touch with me for translating this, it would be greatly appreciated.

07/17/17 Legacy Challenge

Next, let’s have a look at the recent Legacy Challenge. The Top 8 can be found here.

Jeff Hoogland took down the Challenge with a somewhat interesting take on Grixis Delver. If anything, this list looks mid-way between Grixis Delver and Grixis Control somewhat, opting for an additional land (the third Underground Sea), one less Daze and the addition of more value-oriented cards like Snapcaster Mage, the third Cabal Therapy and Kolaghan’s Command.

Mats “MatsOle” Ellingsen has been well-known for his innovations with 4c Loam on Magic Online and is always bringing the deck a huge amount of success. With Hour of Devastation now released, he incorporated Ramunap Excavator as a new Green Sun’s Zenith target, along with old school Ajani Vengeant for some Lightning Helix action!

The sideboard Vindicate is also interesting, but is likely a concession to the incredibly strict mana costs of similar cards like Council’s Judgment.

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Looking towards Grixis Control again, this list is actually Czech Pile without Green cards. The Tropical Island is only for Deathrite activations! The lack of Leovold is certainly notable, but Abrupt Decay has been getting shaved more and more in many lists, and this seems like the natural conclusion to reach, though the removal suite of four Lightning Bolt leads to this list being a little bit more aggressive than most typical Piles. Tasigur, the Golden Fang has also started to become a staple flex card in the deck after his appearance in GP Vegas.

A notable boon the deck gets once it cuts Green is the almighty Blood Moon to ruin mana bases of many decks, particularly ones that can “go over” the deck with big mana.

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Speaking of big mana, Pathy’s 12Post list is very much in the vein of the Big Eldrazi lists we’ve been seeing for quite some time, but less emphasise on Eldrazi Templeand Eye of Ugin (and the inclusion of some Crystal Vein make Ugin, the Spirit Dragon a supplemental bomb along with the more typical Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger).

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Maxtortion mentioned his Esper Delver deck in his masterpiece of writing “Nonbos: Using a Legacy Lens to Analyse Anti-Synergy,” and here he brought it to 11th place. Rather than lean on Stoneforge Mystic as many past Esper Delver decks have (such as Ethan’s Dark Knight Delver featured last week!), Max has taken the core of the Thought Scour Grixis lists and swapped the Red for White. This adds two crucial pieces: Lingering Souls, a perfect card to flip off a Thought Scour, as well as a “threat” that can flip Delver, and Swords to Plowshares, whose downside is less of an issue when Gurmag Angler can continue to slam through. I’m sure this helps the deck really out maneuver many other fair decks, particularly opposing Delver decks, where Souls is so potent. The sideboard Zealous Persecution are also certain to do heavy lifting against True-Name Nemesis and Young Pyromancer, while the suite of potent White sideboard options remedy combo matchups.

Although he only reached a middling 3-3 record in the Challenge, Ragoz’s list is very exciting! This is a port of Reid Duke’s True-Name BUG, slotting Progenitus and Natural Order in. I’m not sure four True-Name is where the deck wants to be, since True-Name is neither Zenithable nor saccable to Order, and some of the other numbers seem a bit sketchy. But nonetheless I like the direction this list is going, and perhaps there’s further potential for the classic NO Pro combo to be developed in this style of shell.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of This Week in Legacy. As always, here’s some more Legacy content from around the world:

'Til next time!

Sean Brown

Email: sean_brown156@hotmail.com
Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

The recent Pyromancer Grixis Control lists have proven that Deathrite isn’t exactly a shoe-in to all the Black shells out there. Matthew Brown, the man behind the innovative “UR Control feat. Delver” deck recently emailed me how he has been stylising Grixis Delver. As always it’s full of Snapcastery value.

Here’s some words from the man himself:

I'm playing Delver over Deathrite because they are a faster clock in combo matchups, attract Red Blasts in grindy games, making it more likely to outdraw my opponent with Baleful Strix. They also don't require specific mana and allow me to fetch basics since every deck is seemingly playing Wastelands.

“I want two mana answers in my deck for Chalice decks and for Sanctum Prelates. I am playing Go for the Throat, though I wouldn't blame you for wanting Diabolic Edict in the deck helping against Marit Lage. Go for the Throat answers Eldrazi and Gurmag Angler. The deck still has eight one mana answers to Delvers, Young Pyro, and Deathrite.

Hour of Devastation may not have a ton of Legacy playables but Claim to Fame is up my alley. I have one in my board for fair decks. Claim hits everything I want to be doing and in my mind is a better rate against fair decks than Kolaghan’s Command. Having lines of: for one mana get back Grim Lavamancer and then later use two mana to give my Baleful Strix haste and +2/+0. Yes please!

The Spice Corner

This list came third in a 3v3 tournament held in the Philippines!

Adding Nahiri, the Harbinger adds a lot to Mono-Red Sneak Attack, letting it destroy problematic creatures or enchantments, while also summoning Emrakul to decimate the opposing board if she ultimates. There’s a few concessions to the mana that need to be made, such as including more White sources via Mox Diamond and fetches, but like Imperial Painter before, I’m sure the White splash is very functional!


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