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This Week in Legacy: Ancient Tomb vs Entomb


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 taking a look at one of the big dichotomies of Legacy at the moment. In addition we've got some Challenge data, including a Qualifier event from last Friday.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Battle Between Ancient Tomb and Entomb

There's been quite a bit of chatter lately about Legacy. While I think most of that chatter has still said the format seems fine and interesting, there have been several musings on the pillars of the format and the fact that it seems like we are in a spot where we are not cycling around much on various pillars, but instead dealing with two central pillars: Ancient Tomb and Entomb / Reanimate.

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Much of this is due in part to the fact that Ancient Tomb decks have simply managed to continue to get better and better over time. The powerful fast mana it provides combined with extremely splashable and efficient threats overall have made the card extremely good in the current format, from decks like Goblins to 8Cast. On the flip side, Reanimator strategies and those decks playing the Scam package of Grief / Reanimate are all over Legacy at the moment. In fact, this package has more than evolved from the Dimir Scam variants we've seen into more full on Reanimator decks going back to Dimir based variants that used to be more popular before the innovation of Black/Red Reanimator.

That being said, this is a more recent development, and the format does seem to still have a measure of blue control and blue tempo decks hovering around the format overall. Beans and Delver decks are still here and still doing well, and Lands has very much capitalized on the Ancient Tomb decks of the format with its game plan of extreme mana denial and things like Sphere of Resistance.

The question remains as to where this all leads. We do have multiple sets coming soon including Modern Horizons 3, which could shake things up again. Personally, I've had a lot of fun with the format lately, so I don't think we are at a critical juncture just yet in banning anything, but we've had a huge influx of new things that have powered up these strategies. Broadside Bombardiers has really juiced up the Ancient Tomb decks of the format, very much compressing the format quite a bit.

I'll be curious to keep following the data, and we'll be having another check-in on the format by the end of this month so we can gauge where things are at.

Update to Legacy Data Collection Project Classifications

I just wanted to touch base on some recent updates to our Project Classifications within the Legacy Data Collection Project. Very recently we made some changes to the historical data going back to January 1, 2024 and some of those updates have included the separation of Black/Red Reanimator from Blue/Black Reanimator (named BR Reanimator and UB Reanimator within the project respectively). This change was necessitated mainly because those two versions play out very differently and the UB version of the deck is now gaining a ton of traction in the format.

In addition to these changes, we also added some new classifications such as an entry for the 4C Bloodbraid Marauder Cascade deck and also the Agatha's Soul Cauldron Combo deck. We'll be continuing to comb through and make what changes can be made in the future for sure as we move forward. One of the proposed ideas I'd like to eventually work towards is separation further of the 4C Beans decks vs the primarily BUG Beans decks, something we can easily do now that we have all the data, it just takes time to tweak the rules sets we use now for these.

Legacy Qualifier 3/1

This past weekend was a Legacy Qualifier event (which is basically like a RCQ/PTQ style event). This event had 162 players in it, thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

UB Reanimator was the most played deck of the event and its win rate was strong. Beanstalk Control was also popular, but its win rate was not so good. Grixis Delver did well as did Goblins, Lands, and RUG Delver. Boros and BR Reanimator did rather poorly.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Lands 1st empiricism
UB Reanimator 2nd Sven745
RUG Delver 3rd JPA93
Grixis Delver 4th Kazuga
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 5th oskiyaa
Red Stompy 6th faustosouza
UB Reanimator 7th Ark4n
Soul Cauldron Combo 8th adamwasmo

Very interesting Top 8. Two Delver pilots and some Ancient Tomb and Reanimator. At the end of the event it was Lands that won.

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A more classic Punishing Fire build of the deck here makes for a very interesting approach, especially with no Sphere of Resistance.

In Second Place we had UB Reanimator.

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This variation of the deck has been gaining in popularity as we've discussed earlier in the article. I like the sideboard options here of having some jukes that go more into a fair Dimir Scam-like functionality as opposed to leaning solely on Reanimator.

Further down the Top 8 we had Goblins.

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Strong and clean list here. I like the addition of The One Ring because it seems rather insane to draw cards off of.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Soul Cauldron Combo.

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This deck is incredibly sick. I love the functionality of stuff like Chaos Defiler that's so great in a Goblin Welder deck, but also having the Soul Cauldron combo is really fun.

Legacy Challenge 3/2

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 55 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Grixis Delver was the most popular deck of this event, but its win rate was very medium overall, despite some top finishes. A good majority of above the cutoff here didn't have solid win rates overall but all had some good conversion rates. RUG Delver did very well here though.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Naya Depths 1st Eldhrimr
RUG Delver 2nd Baku_91
Red Painter 3rd kanican
Beanstalk Control (Non-Yorion) 4th wiky
Black Midrange (Jund) 5th Masumaro
UB Reanimator 6th Capitano_CL
Grixis Delver 7th ZYX-FXY
Grixis Delver 8th Kazuga

Highly interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was Naya Depths that won.

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The Naya aspect of this deck is very much just a splash of red in the sideboard for Mawloc which seems like a very strong card. The main deck here is just incredibly solid overall.

In Second Place we had RUG Delver.

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It's amusing that the RUG aspect of this is also just a green splash for Questing Druid. Thundering Falls in the main is cool though to surveil something to the graveyard mid-combat for Dragon's Rage Channeler.

Further down the Top 8 we had Beanstalk Control.

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High on the end of things that trigger Beanstalk is very real here, between your Leyline Binding and Solitude + Terminus. Deck feels very spread thin just a bit for my tastes.

Also in this Top 8 we had Jund.

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Mawloc is so incredibly sick here, but also new card Break Out being a very real thing in this deck is incredibly interesting. There's a bunch of creatures in this deck that it puts into play which is super interesting. Surprised to not see any Orcish Bowmasters, but wildly interesting to see stuff like Inti, Seneschal of the Sun.

Legacy Challenge 3/3

The final Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event. This event had 66 players thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Both Lands and UB Reanimator were very popular, with both having strong win rates. Grixis Delver also did very well, as did Boros Stompy and Dimir Delver. Goblins did very poorly here in addition to Beanstalk.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Sultai Scam 1st dganev
RUG Delver 2nd M_4
UB Reanimator 3rd Killah_SUV
Boros Stompy 4th matttothec
Grixis Delver 5th jankyb
Lands 6th Nematic
Tin Fins 7th Munchlax446
Dimir Delver 8th JakeTMS

Highly interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event, it was a Sultai Scam list that won.

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Both Uro and Witherbloom Command seem strong right now, especially the latter in being able to leverage Wasteland well. Also gaining access to stuff like Pernicious Deed in the sideboard seems quite good.

In Second Place we had RUG Delver.

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Going big on Uro is sweet here. Seems like a strong game plan for sure to go bigger than the other decks around you.

Further down the Top 8 we had Boros Stompy.

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Anointed Peacekeeper is quite interesting here. It's a very powerful card for this deck.

Also in this Top 8 we had Grixis Delver.

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Very clean and straightforward list overall here. I still dig Molten Collapse. It's a very strong card overall.

Around the Web

  • StrassDaddy has a sweet Maverick deck featuring Mawloc. Check it out here.
  • Bryant Cook has a video featuring Surveil lands and Echo of Eons. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Zac Clark and Eternal Durdles has his wrap-up on MC Chicago. Check it out here.
  • Everyday Eternal has a new episode! Check it out here.
  • Bazaar of Boxes Series 10 has an Aftermovie! Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Gambit is diving into Enchantress. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

Now that Leagues are posted throughout the week, let's find some Spice!

This Paradox Engine deck is kind of sweet. Leaning hard on Bombardiers and "Name Sticker" Goblin.

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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 all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!



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