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This Week in Legacy: A New Moon Rises


Welcome to This Week in Legacy! Iconic Masters has just been spoiled, so there’s quite a few reprints to enjoy such as Thoughtseize, Grove of the Burnwillows, Bloodghast, Mana Drain and more to enjoy, but most importantly some rules changes have occurred concerning cards such as Magus of the Moon (and Humility). We’ll discuss the new Blood Moon shenanigans in a moment. Furthermore, Australian National’s Legacy side event just went past, as did the Quest for Power: Time Walk. And, of course, the weekly update on the Legacy Challenge!

A New Moon Rises

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Wizards added a little alteration to Magus of the Moon in the recent release notes:

What does this really mean? Well, the card that most comes to mind is, of course, Dark Depths.

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Lands players (and Depths players) are likely rejoicing. This means that a Magus/Blood Moon can help create Marit Lage if the land is played after their appearance and the Moon effect later destroyed. This makes Moon effects more of a double-edged sword in these matchups now, with anti-hate like Krosan Grip or Abrupt Decay even more deadly.

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I’m not sure if there is a way for Moon players themselves to incorporate Dark Depths into their deck. Magus certainly can be killed via Red removal to lead to an automatically thawed Marit Lage but Blood Moon is a little more problematic as Red isn’t know for being able to deal with Enchantments…

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Chaos Warp can, however…

There’s a lot of bizarre tension here, and maybe just the usual lock-em sock-em is a better approach. Sorcerous Spyglass soon to come from Ixalan is likely a pivotal piece of the puzzle in this deck to lock out Wasteland from disrupting this sort-of-crappy “combo”.

Let’s move from this brew with little potential and on to further discussion of where Blood Moon Stompy decks have progressed. The new age of Dragon Stompy really began in GP Chiba, when the power of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Fiery Confluence debuted in this shell:
 

There was still tuning to be done, however. As True-Name Nemesis and other fair creatures became an issue, and Abrupt Decay fell in prominence, Ensnaring Bridge was soon adopted as an another lock piece, despite it’s rather obvious dissynergy with Sin Prodder and Goblin Rabblemaster. Other creatures found their way into the mix, such as Quicksmith Rebel, to take advantage of the stalemate that Bridge creates.

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Hazoret, the Fervent also quickly revealed herself to be one of the perfect curve-topping four-drops. When curving out and beating down she is a very fast clock, but is also excellent behind a Bridge at pinging the opponent to death. Next to Chandra ticking up, this can lead to a very fast difficult-to-deal-with clock.

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That being said, players such as Sammy13, known for his very Dragony Dragon Stompy list that he recently won last week’s Challenge with, focussed on adding extra sweeper effects like Rolling Earthquake to assist in burning out the opponent or ensuring creature control is intact. Bridge was opted out of, but J.A.Eliso has been having success with a very controlling Dragon Stompy list:

This seem like a confluence of the ideas from Sammy’s list and recent trends concerning Ensnaring Bridge. Meanwhile, pinkfrosting (well known as an ex-Painter player, RiP) eschewed Rolling Earthquakes for a more streamline suite of threats:

Nonetheless, in addition to the core of Moons, Chalice and 3Ball, Bridge, a hefty planeswalker package including Chandra and more synergistic cards like Quicksmith Rebel, Hazoret, and cards like Bottled Cloister are making their way into the deck. The deck is becoming more like Blood Moon control than a Stompy deck, especially when so full with sweeper effects.

And then we have people taking the deck in a completely different direction:

This comes from the recent Challenge, but I thought I’d highlight it here. This is… Phoenix Stompy?!

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Chandra’s Phoenix is a card I have a huge soft spot for (after playing it in Standard some time ago) and comboes nicely with Torch of Defiance, expectedly, with Chandra’s plus ability reviving the Phoenix effectively. Flamewake Phoenix also gets in on the action, being a recursive threat thanks to the Ferocious complements in the deck – Slash Panther and Thundermaw Hellkite. Slash Panther is actually quite exciting, being a creature castable off two Sol Lands and like the rest of the threats in the deck, it has Haste. If anything, this is Haste Stompy more than anything and comes swinging out of the gates a lot faster than typical Stompy lists. It also features a lot more evasiveness than typical Stompy decks, that were typically stuck to attacking on the ground with Rabblemaster and friends.

My primary issue with this list is the huge amount of cards with 1RR in their casting cost. This makes Ancient Tomb less abusable, in some ways. I’d also like to see some burn spells to complement Chandra’s Phoenix. Fiery Confluence is an easy inclusion (especially since a board wipe can be recovered from easily thank to many of the creatures being Phoenixes), Magma Jet could also play a role and maxing out on Torch of Defiance is never a bad thing.

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There are a few other haste creatures that are also very impressive in these shells. Shaman of the Great Hunt is a beastly monster to curve into, and the new Charging Monstrousaur could be an impressive curve topper too, ala Reality Smasher in Eldrazi.

Is this another evolution of Dragon Stompy to investigate? Its creature suite certainly looks very resilient.

Quest for Power: Time Walk

Deck Player Placing
Grixis Delver Bob Huang 1
ANT Chris Hawker 2
Aluren Timothy Hepp Jr. 3-4
Bant Deathblade David Courson 3-4
Burn Jordan Berenhaus 5-8
Death & Taxes Allen Norman 5-8
Grixis Delver Liam Bollard 5-8
Grixis Delver Justin Miller 5-8

The Quest for Power went by recent with a Time Walk as the prize. You can see the replays of the event here. Sixty players joined the fray and Mr. Bob Huang took down the event with a list the same as what he topped the recent Challenge with – Grixis Delver with no Stifle or Cabal Therapy in the main deck!

There is a minor sideboard alteration – the addition of the third Therapy over Winter Orb (sadface, I love me some Orb) – but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bob’s list take over as one of the more stock approaches to the deck moving forward. If I wanted to be playing Pyromancer Grixis, this is definitely the list I’d recommend.

At third came a pretty exciting Aluren list. BUG-based lists have been the most prominent recently thanks to their very solid grind plan, but Recruiter-based lists still have some legs. The main issue with these lists is the lack of Blue count (in the main) for Force of Will, and although Cabal Therapy helps out a bit, these lists are somewhat soft to fast combo. That being said, their ability to combo using Aluren is much more reliable than typical BUG lists.

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Swan Song in the sideboard is also a pretty nifty piece of technology. The Bird is of little issue when Aluren can just combo out and ignore that blocker.

Australian Nationals Legacy Side Event

Australian Nationals just went by and with it an exciting Legacy side event. Although small with around 30 players, these events show a nice cross-section of my Australian metagame and what decks are prominent. The crew at CBR MTG were able to assemble the lists of the Top 8 and the rest of the tournament which you can find here. There was plenty of combo in the room, with fair decks like Grixis Delver and D&T underperforming spectacularly.

Tim Evers was the last bastion of true Blue fair decks in Canberra, again carrying the flag of Matthew Brown’s UR Delver but customising it considerably from its first iteration:

The most startling main deck inclusions are Abrade which I am a huge fan of, and lots of Spell Snares…Which I’m not sure I’m such a huge fan of with Sneak & Show making such a big appearance. But it certainly does do some work against more troublesome matchups like Death & Taxes.

09/10/17 Legacy Challenge

Let’s lastly run down the recent Challenge!

Deck Player Placing
Grixis Delver SorboOne 1
Death & Taxes yoshiwata 2
4c Control jacetmsst 3
Jeskai Landstill adalid240477 4
Death & Taxes Koke_MTG 5
ANT Veronkierto 6
ANT Pha-raoh 7
Lands PhReSHTinGZ 8

In 6th place came Vieronkierto with ANT:

Though there’s some pretty spicy sideboard choices! Dark Confidant has been a sideboard choice for a while, but VieronKierto complemented this with the card draw of Night’s Whisper to grind out decks post-board. Abrade, Rebuild, Hurkyl’s Recall and the Rodrigo Togores-inspired Culling Scales make an appearance as permanent-based hate cards.

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Sadistic Sacrament is chosen here as the Extraction effect of choice, which can be powered out on turn one and decimate certain opposing combo decks. Opposing ANT players will have a hard time when all their win conditions are removed, most certainly. However decks like Turbo Depths, Reanimator and Sneak & Show and somewhat resilient to Sacrament… Unless it’s kicked, which seems pretty unlikely.

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This is some pretty old-school Jeskai Landstill action, with Decree of Justice as the classic win condition. How this is better than current Miracles I have little idea, though I suppose the engine of Predict is simply replaced by Standstill. I do like Enlightened Tutor creating a bit of tool box with Humility, EE, and getting a Standstill to recoup cards too.

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Speaking of Humility it too got an update with the Magus of the Moon rules change. Cards like Phyrexian Revoker, True-Name Nemesis and other creatures with “as ~ enters the battlefield” will not have these replacement effects occur. This doesn’t change too much but is something to keep aware of.

This Blue-Red Control Porphyritic brought to the Challenge is pretty exciting too. Somewhat similar to Grixis Pyromancer Control lists but without Black, this list uses Bedlam Reveler as its payoff instead of Angler and utilising typical counterspells (a full four Counterspell, actually!) instead of Black hand disruption. The ability to have a wide complement of basics as well find room for Wasteland is pretty neat, but I feel this is a little lacklustre as a true Pyromancer list compared to the Grixis lists.

Conclusion

Well, that wraps up another TWiL! Here’s some more content from around the net:

‘Til next time!

Sean Brown

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

What I’m Playing This Week

Ethan Gaieski, friend, guest on the 15th The Salt Mine episode and exceptional player of Magic (in all formats) wrote up something pretty inspiring on reddit recently – his “primer” of sorts on his Punishing Naya Maverick list he’s been having huge success with.

I take the conclusions he’s made about the format quite to heart, and I do like the levelling he’s done against the current metagame filled with Grixis Delver and Czech Pile. The combination of Punishing Fire and Swords to Plowshares is something few decks can tout, but Punishing Maverick is the perfect shell for this, especially since giant Knight of the Reliquarys can quickly take advantage of the cleared boards.

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Removing Deathrite Shaman looks like heresy but Ethan’s mana base looks the sleekest I’ve ever seen, really promoting one of the deck’s strengths – Punishing Fire – by maxing out on Grove of the Burnwillows and Birds of Paradise to supply Red mana easily. There is no Deathrite subgames to worry about in this list, as mentioned in his post, with his mana dorks always reliable.

The Spice Corner

This is BUG Post. Likely aiming to play like a typical BUG-esque Control deck while trying to assemble the Post engine for the endgame, I do like the inclusion of Deluge in this style of deck as it’s the perfect card to catch up with when behind. Also… Snapcaster Crop Rotation sounds very fun!


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