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This Week in Legacy: Axion Legacy Masters and Hareruya's The Last Sun


Welcome to another This Week in Legacy. This week we’ll be running some smaller (but still large) events from around the globe that occurred around the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. From London is the Axion Legacy Masters event, the largest Legacy event in the UK in recent history. I’ll also have a look at the Japanese The Last Sun event at the end of 2017!

Axion Legacy Masters

I’d like to thank Sebastian Amrogowicz for the lists of this 167 player event. The London Legacy scene has been going from strength to strength and it’s great to see them deservingly getting some great numbers and quite a diverse deck array. Well, there’s certainly one stand-out archetype, though…

Miracles.

Three Miracles lists made Top 16 of this event, along with an odd Blue-White Control list. Let’s jump in with the stockiest list first:

I have to feature Callum’s list, since he was a recent guest on the revived The Salt Mine, but Claude Schmit and Francis ran almost identical lists. What stands out the most is both Counterbalance and Search for Azcanta as permanent-based sources of card advantage that early iterations of post-Top Miracles was lacking. This makes the deck less prone to hand disruption and Search in particular makes a Hymn to Tourach look embarrassing, feeding the flip into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin. Counterbalance looks a little weird and high-variance, especially when slammed on turn two, but all the cantrips in the deck give a lot of manipulation over the top on of one’s library and once Jace is in play Counterbalance almost has equivalent power to when it was with Top.

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The sideboard features an incredibly flexible suite of answers, with Callum and co. looking away from narrow cards like Blood Moon and even additional bombs like Gideon. Instead only blanket answers like Red Blasts, Disenchant effects (and CJ for even more flexibility) and the sideboard of Mentors, to shift into a more aggressive plan, are available.

You can hear more on the most recent Miracles lists in the recent episode of The Salt Mine, where Callum explains all of his thoughts.

Next let’s look at the very famous Olivier Ruel’s very different Blue-White Control deck, utilizing a pile of prison enchantments:

This is certainly not Miracles, but does start with a core of cantrips and Jace and some number of Plows. There’s also three Supreme Verdict to sweep the board, similar to how Miracles uses Terminus. But it’s the core of Rest in Peace, Energy Field, Helm of Obedience, and Enlightened Tutor that complements these which is interesting. Rest in Peace is incredibly interesting as a main deck card currently, suppressing Deathrites, Delve threats, and a lot of Czech Pile’s Snapcaster and Kommand-based engine.

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A few interesting bullets that can be Enlightened Tutored for include Back to Basics to lock out mana, Engineered Explosives (with a singleton Volcanic Island in the deck to boost Sunburst to three if needed – but no sideboard Red cards like Blasts included at all!), Detention Sphere, and Luminarch Ascension! Ascension I suppose is similar to Entreat and complements the lock-out of Energy Field well, as the damage prevention clause is easily fulfilled.

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I typically don’t like how clunky a deck like this deck looks, but it’s very interesting as a deck to prey on the current metagame – Rest in Peace gets a lot of value currently against many of the tier decks, and Abrupt Decay is at quite a low.

Let’s look next at some of the non-Blue-White decks from this event:

The winning Turbo Depths list looks very stock if just looking at the main, but the sideboard features some interesting ones. Bitterblossom in particular, a card that gets quite under utilized in Legacy, is featured here as a completely alternative axis of attack from the Turbo Depths deck. Ground Seal too is an interesting piece of utility here, cantripping ,and stopping Czech Piles engine as well as any Reanimator strategies. In a pinch, it can also defend Dark Depths combo pieces from getting hit by Surgical Extraction.

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As a tangent, speaking of Ground Seal, Silent Gravestone is a powerful new weapon Rivals of Ixalan has given to certain decks. I’ll speak on this a little later, but I’m excited to try Gravestone in my recent Dredge lists as a very cheap way to defend from Surgical.

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In a similar vein, Alex Mortimer brought a relatively stock Lands main deck:

Dryad Arbor as a Crop Rotationable (or fetchable) piece of Edict protection is certainly useful but the card I’m more interested in is Heaven // Earth:

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Lands has played sweeper effects in the past, but the fact that this one is useable from the graveyard gives it some strong synergy with Loam. No longer will feel bads occur when you Dredge your sweeper effect into the graveyard.

I look forward to more stories of Magic in pubs from the London crew and the birth of interesting technology that comes from that!

The Last Sun

Next, we move to Japan! Here’s the Top 8 of the Hareruya The Last Sun event from the 24th of December, with 189 people packed into the Hareruya store. Find the Top 8 here.

And we see, again, Miracles!

Taking down the event was a little bit of a bizarre Miracles list. Kawai Yuusuke brought main deck Mentors, less emphasis on the Predict engine, three Counterbalance, and most interestingly two main deck Ensnaring Bridge!?

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I can get behind the Counterbalance an Mentor package, which afford this list a bit of a tap-out permanent-based game plan. But Ensnaring Bridge I’m a little less sold on. With Kolaghan’s Command so rampant is seems like somewhat of a liability to me, and can also be a little awkward with Monastery Mentor (though I suppose you can build a Monk army and swing with them all once your hand size is large enough). It does however help bail the deck out of some very difficult matchups – Eldrazi Stompy and Sneak & Show both have trouble with an in-play Ensnaring Bridge, especially pre-sideboard. So I can see the benefits in hedging some percentages.

Takahashi Yuuta took a somewhat similar list to Top 8, but had a few less oddities. If anything, it looked like a Miracles list from a few months back, with a straight Blue-White mana base, Unexpectedly Absent and Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard, which was heavily used before Counterbalance was seen as once again viable.

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Both Japanese lists also share main deck Flusterstorm in common, which I like in lists particularly using it to defend Mentor. Counterspell to defend the Monk can be a bit difficult, but Fluster will be able to snag most non-Decay removal.

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The rest of the Top 8 was rounded out by four Grixis Delver decks (one of which was an Angler+ Thought Scour list), Elves (featuring Sandworm Convergence for the Show and Tell rub-ins, I imagine) and a relatively straightforward Czech Pile list.

Looking to the Top 16 gives us some spicier stuff though:

Here’s comes the Griselstorm again! Completely Mono-Black, this list has a lot of fancy stuff going for it, mainly due to the incorporation of Lion’s Eye Diamond. Not only can you do the old Infernal Tutor + LED trick, but Shallow Grave + a cracked LED can lead to an immediately activating Magus of the Will. LED’s mana can also be utilized for Unburial Rites – interesting that no Scrublands are included in this list to give the card a little more utility. This deck also has the good ol’ alternative game plan of just Ritualing out a Grave Titian or, post-board, using ramp pieces like Grim Monolith and Lake of the Dead to do so.

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I’m sure there’s a lot more intricacy to this list than first glance, so anyone who loves trying to emulate the Vintage power of Yawgmoth’s Bargain and Yawgmoth’s Will, I’d start here.

Jund took a place in the Top 16 too, continuing it’s solid appearances in Japan. There’s nothing too exciting to see here, but Grim Flayer and main deck Diabolic Edict are worth noting.

Meguro Masahiko's list I featured last week and gosh is it an oddity. Similar in vein to the Angel Stompy lists and White Eldrazi we’ve seen going well on Magic Online but with a little… More.

Wasteland Strangler is a very odd one. It works well with Thought-Knot Seer and Angel of Sanctions and can interestingly be tutored for by Recruiter of the Guard when needed in a pinch, however, so it does seem justifiable as tutorable removal. Other interesting inclusions were Kitesail Freebooter, who I like quite a bit, especially since it too works with Strangler! Lastly, Worship is a powerful weapon against certain other decks, and I remember it being particularly great in the Eldrazi mirror. Once you’ve Worship-locked the opponent, I’m sure Rasputin Dreamweaver + Eldrazi Displacer+ Walking Ballista can clean up the opponent through the board stall.

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Lastly, we reach Esper Deathblade 2017.

This list harkens somewhat to Bant Deathblade lists but has cut Hierarch for cards like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, making it a little less Green intensive. That being said three Leovold’s and two Decays do certainly make a statement on how greedy this deck wants to be. And it found room for two Wastelands! Even greedier.

The sideboard has some eyebrow-raisers. Ob Nixilis Reignited is very cool (but expensive) and I’m surprised why something like Kaya, Ghost Assasin was not chosen for similar purposes instead. Edicts are staples of all sideboards these days with Marit Lage and True-Name running around, but To the Slaughter is seen yet again as a non-Red to deal with Jace or any other frustrating planeswalkers. Maelstrom Pulse likely serves a similar purpose.

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Conclusion

That’s all for This Week in Legacy. As always, here’s some more content from around the web:

  • The Salt Mine is revived! Me, Steve and Matt talk to Londoner Callum Smith about Miracles, RUG Delver and other fun things. Find that here or on your podcast app!
  • Amadeus Grun talks about Steel Stompy (featured last week) at Sideboard Files!
  • Phil Gallagher talks about 111 matches with Red-White Death & Taxes at Thraben University.
  • The TES website looks at the matchup and mulligan decisions against Miracles.
  • At CFB Mengucci is at it again – Reanimator, Omni-Tell and TES!

‘Til next time.

Sean Brown

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

What I’m Playing This Week

The thing I’m most interested in is Silent Gravestone.

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This is a big deal for Dredge! Everyone is packing Surgicals these days as graveyard hate of choice and Gravestone nullifies all of those for the very efficient price of one mana. Ground Seal does much the same but is a little ambitious to cast unless more mana sources are being boarded in. Silent Gravestone gives decks leaning on plans of Snapcaster + Surgical such a beating; with 4c Control and Miracles at the forefront of the metagame now, it seems like I good time to be trying it.

The Spice Corner

Iatee is at it again with some exciting innovations to Imperial Taxes. This time… Dire Fleet Daredevil? I’m sure this has a lot of interesting uses, especially with Vial and Recruiter. Imagine stealing a Brainstorm and then shuffling with Recruiter… In D&T. That’s exciting. Though there is a little tension with Thalia, of course.

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