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This Week in Legacy: A Snapshot of Legacy 2021

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to be diving into the overall Legacy metagame based on the Challenge data that we've been collecting over the past month since the bannings of Oko/Arcanist/Astrolabe and see how things are really shaking out. Of course, we have two Challenges to actually discuss from this weekend as well, and as always we have a Spice Corner (and maybe a Hulk!).

Let's jump right into the thick of things, shall we?

Legacy Metagame Update for March 2021

We're now a little over a month since the bannings in Legacy, so we've got roughly a month's worth of Challenges to look at! This is fantastic, as we can start getting a good look at the metagame and what is looking good (and what isn't). You can see the data sheet for this metagame update over here. I also highly recommend joining the Legacy Data Collection Discord if you want to help with the project or support the project! This is a true labor of love for the Legacy community and it is great to have such a wonderful group of players really killing it for these events.

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the overall macro archetypes. The data range for this is from 2/15 (date of the bannings) - 3/15.

As sort of expected, Tempo and Midrange/Control continue to be some of the most popular decks in the Legacy format currently. This is not much surprise, as these archetypes are definitely always going to be popular in Legacy no matter what as long as Brainstorm is a legal card to cast. However, there is also quite a bit of combo decks in the format as well. Despite all of this, the current climate of this metagame seems pretty healthy. None of these macro archetypes seem to have a win rate positive over 55% or greater (with the closest being Tempo decks at 52.9%).

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We'll talk some of the pure statistics stuff later here, but for now let's look at the Subarchetype breakdown as well, with a cutoff set at 25 decks.

The closest deck coming to 10% metagame share here (at 8.4%) is U/R Delver as what seems to be the most popular Delver variant right now. There's a fair number of differences in many of the U/R Delver lists at this point, but the deck definitely seems like the most popular way to Delver. Elves is also seemingly one of the most popular combo decks in the format right now as well. It's also interesting to note the popularity of decks like Mono Red Prison as well, given how much Blood Moon has jumped back up in playability. Everything else here seems pretty good though, given that there's a healthy representation of different pillars of the format (Force of Will, Wasteland, Chalice of the Void, etc.) here between Combo, Tempo, Control, Fair Non Blue, Prison, etc.

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Let's take a look at the win rate charts for Subarchetypes and talk about some statistics.

The win rates for these decks are based in some statistical jargon that we need to cover in order to make some sense of this chart. This is what is known as a "candlestick" chart, which is more often commonly used for stock market financial stuff, but we've repurposed these charts to kind of function as "error bars" for the win rates by showing the range of the true win rate.

What is important to note about win rates is that we also have to talk about the concept of Confidence Interval. The Confidence Interval (CI) is a metric that tells us just how 95% confident we are in the data at hand. The higher the CI the less confident we are in the data, while the lower the CI the more confident we are in the data. What helps determine the CI is the sample size of the data. The greater the sample size, the lower the CI. This is why collecting a lot of data helps establish a better confident set of data. What this also means is that you have to take some data with a grain of salt because the sample size may not be good enough to really show what the true win rate is.

So for example, U/R Delver has a listed Match Win Percentage at 52.6%, which is pretty good. The 95% CI of this data is 4.64% which is based on a sample size of 74 players. This is quite a few players, and a healthy sample size (and a sample size that will continue to only get larger as time goes on). Conversely, if you look at Sneak and Show it has a listed MWP of 52.8% but has a 95% CI of 7.66% because of the lesser sample size. What this does mean in the long run is to look at the Min/Max of these decks. For example, the true win rate of U/R Delver could be anywhere from 45.70% to 59.85% based on the CI.

This is important to know because it helps one look at the data in a more objective light and take all the factors into account outside of just going off of what the win rate says.

Based on the Data - How is Legacy right now?

Based on looking at this data, Legacy is looking pretty good right now! There's a lot of different decks to play right now, and plenty of fun things to be doing. The format does seem to be coalescing a little bit to certain strategies, but there isn't a clear best deck in the format really. Delver is certainly popular, but it doesn't actually seem to be super overpowered which is great.

I am pretty happy with the format right now and I think things look pretty solid. The Legacy Data Collection project will continue to be collecting data to add to the overall data set and continue to make this data even better down the line, so I'm definitely looking forward to checking in next month on this. I'm also going to be holding another Legacy Round Table (the first of the year) soon-ish so that we can get a feel for how others in the community are feeling about the format right now as well.

Legacy Challenge 3/13

We had two Challenges this past weekend, however, we didn't have any decklists from either event, unfortunately (actually just no decklists from any event on Saturday-Sunday), so we can't dive into decklist specifics. However, thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection project we do have at least all the data from this event including the Top 8 standings, and the fact that the first event had 82 players in it. You can view the sheet for this event here.

Let's take a look at the charts.

U/R Delver was pretty popular in this particular event, but didn't actually seem to perform all that well. If anything, RUG Delver performed better here with more results put up into the Top 8 (much better conversion rate overall). The overall diversity of the event was actually pretty good though, even with the top tables being very heavily slanted towards Delver/Midrange-Control variants.

Let's take a look at the Top 8 as best as we can without lists.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Green Cloudpost 1st Angers
RUG Delver 2nd wakarock
Elves 3rd Testacular
RUG Delver 4th DanDeluxe13
Bant Control 5th trunks132
RUG Delver 6th HJ_Kaiser
Bant Control 7th Oceansoul92
RUG Delver 8th ome

As noted before, RUG Delver was exceptionally stronger in this event, with 4/5 of the pilots making it into the Top 8. This is certainly a pretty solid conversion rate. What this might say about RUG however is interesting, in that it appears the deck still has a lot of legs to it even without Oko. Tarmogoyf is still an exceptionally powerful beater, so it's not surprising. I am also seeing builds playing Hexdrinker, which I'm less sure of in these builds. It doesn't seem so great in a deck like RUG Delver, but it is seeing a lot of play.

The winner of the event however, would go on to be Angers on Mono Green Cloudpost, which is pretty enthusing. Congrats to Angers on their finish here as well as to the rest of the Top 8 competitors, and hopefully the lists see the light of day at some point.

Legacy Challenge 3/14

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event, which had 94 players in it. You can view the sheet for this event here. Again, we have no lists for this event, but we do have data and some charts!

Let's dive right into those now, shall we?

Again, U/R Delver was very popular but didn't quite put up a ton of results just like in the Saturday event. RUG Delver had some pilots on the deck as well, but it also didn't really put up a bunch either. As far as overall diversity is concerned, there was certainly quite a bit of different decks in the event despite U/R Delver's large metagame share. What I continue to see here is that these archetypes have their diehard fans, but many of the other specialists on certain decks are doing well and people are just playing whatever they want to, which is great to see.

Let's look at what made the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Red Prison 1st basuta
Bant Control 2nd mechint
U/R Delver 3rd grinderA
Death's Shadow 4th ome
Bant Control 5th Azn Ninja
RUG Delver 6th BReal2
Omni-Tell 7th ziggy_stardust
Doomsday 8th sawatrix

This Top 8 is pretty sweet. A little bit of Tempo, a little bit of Control, some Combo, and some Prison. In fact, the day was won by basuta, who has been pioneering Mono Red Prison builds for some time now, so it's great to see that persistence pay off. We actually do have basuta's list, because of the fact that they posted it on Twitter. Let's take a look!

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What really makes this deck tick is Fireflux Squad. The card is exceptionally powerful, being able to turn tokens into other threats, which really boosts the power of cards like Goblin Rabblemaster and Legion Warboss. Shatterskull Smashing is also exceptionally important to this deck now, and it is very powerful to use as both a land, a Chrome Mox target, or to cast and put some damage on creatures on the board.

Major congrats to basuta and the rest of the Top 8 competitors here. Hopefully the lists from this event do end up getting published so we can see the rest of them!

Legacy Octagon 3/12

Last week we did have another Legacy Octagon event, held by Team Lotus Box and organized by Legacy community stalwart Anuraag Das. Octagon events are essentially eight person single elimination tournaments (so in a sense playing out a Top 8) for an entry and prizing based on winning or placing second in the event. It is a high risk high reward type event, and always brings some exceptionally powerful players. This past week's event was no slouch in that department. You can find all of the decklists for this event here and you can keep up with all events like this by Lotus Box over on their Twitter.

Player Name Deck Name
Callum Smith Grixis Phoenix
Marcus Ewaldh Jeskai Miracles
Nathan Lipetz Omni-Tell
Andreas Petersen BUG Control
Luca Bodmer Bant Control
Joris Koek Mono Blue Delver
Cyril Pitalot Bant Control
Alli Lands

Some great players here all around, and it was our good friend Callum Smith who took down the whole thing on an oldie but goodie in GRIXIS PHOENIX.

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This deck is so cool and is really powerful. Being able to go Turn 1 Lotus Petal + Dark Ritual into Buried Alive and then casting Thoughtseize to make enough spells to trigger Phoenixes is super sweet. What a super sick deck that is a ton of fun.

The Second Place finalist of this event was another good friend of ours in Marcus Ewaldh.

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This is very straightforward of a Miracles list, U/W main splashing red for sideboard cards primarily. I love the Mishra's Bauble angle for additional draw power, especially for being able to set up Terminus for drawing on an opponent's turn. Seems really sweet overall.

Around the Web

  • The Legacy Pit had some real interesting spice with Roland Chang on Grixis Delver vs.... SNOW POX! Check out that hot action right here.
  • Our good friend Max from MinMax played a little Grixis Phoenix with our other good friend Callum Smith. Check it out here.
  • had a sweet Maverick vs D&T video featuring Phil Gallagher. Check it out here.
  • Our good buddy Eli Goings had a sweet Goblins 5-0 that he went over in replay. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

We had zero lists from League 5-0's this past weekend, so we made do with what we did have access to, so enjoy!


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Apex Devastator seems like a really hilarious card in Post decks.

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Izzet Painter? Izzet?!

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What I'm Playing This Week

I'm still rocking the Karn Echo train for a while. Really enjoying this deck. Ravenform is an immensely powerful card for this deck for sure.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Legacy!

As always you can reach me at Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit.

Until next time!

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