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This Week in Legacy: Be the Legend You Were Meant to Be


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 hard into the new cards from Commander Legends and looking at the impact these cards may have in Legacy. In addition, we always have Challenge data to talk about, and of course our Spice Corner. I'm going to be trying something a little different this week with the decklists, so hopefully you all will be pleased with that.

It's also worth noting that this weekend's Sunday Challenge is the second Season Two Showcase Challenge event, so if you have enough QPs to participate in this (requires 40 QPs) then be on the lookout for that this weekend!

As well, the Legacy Manatraders Qualifier Series for this month started this past week and runs through the end of this month. Information on this series can be found here.

Without further ado let's dive right in!

Legen(dary) Steel

Commander Legends spoilers are in full swing, and since this set is also legal in Legacy/Vintage like mostly all supplemental sets are, we get inundated with a bunch of brand new cards that will be available to play with. While spoiler season isn't completely finished by the time this article goes live, there is of course some cards worth talking about. So let's take a look at what looks interesting, shall we?

Araumi of the Dead Tide

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Giving something in your graveyard Encore in 1v1 formats just means you're exiling one card here and then having to pay the encore cost of whatever you selected. The end result is that you only get one token because you only have one opponent. The fact that you need to untap with this and it's Legendary and blue means quite a bit in Legacy, and not being able to cheat on mana with the encore cost means that you're not getting a big creature into play with this. It ends up being just better to cast a Reanimate or Exhume effect at that point, since you only get the creature for a single turn as well. I'm giving this a bit of a hard pass for Legacy.

The Court Cycle

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The Court cycle is an incredibly intriguing set of effects, and they all follow a pretty similar set of rules. They all cost from three-four mana (with double mana symbols) and they all make the controller the Monarch when they enter the battlefield. The Monarch, while is generally a fine mechanic in multiplayer, is generally considered an incredibly powerful mechanic in 1v1 formats in that it generally tends to swing the game very quickly the longer that the player holds the crown. One of the more infamous Monarch cards in Legacy has been Palace Jailer, but these new cards represent a new way of becoming the Monarch with some very interesting game effects. Unfortunately by the time that this article had to be submitted the red Court has yet to be spoiled, so we can only really talk about the other four.

Each of the Courts has an upkeep trigger that does something normal, but does something a little bit better if you are the Monarch. The upside here is that if you untap with one of these and you're still the Monarch, the effect you get is way more powerful than if you aren't. The downside is that if your opponent can steal the Monarch before your first upkeep, then the effect is a little less good. With Legacy being so much more creature-centric than in the past this is important to keep in mind. Cards like Ice-Fang Coatl especially see a lot of play and end step Coatls can certainly take away a lot of Monarch situations. This certainly makes evaluating these cards an interesting task when you have to consider that the turn you play them you could simply lose the Monarch before the next turn.

These cards are quite frankly very polarizing when discussing them, conversations ranging from "utter do nothing" to the extreme over hyped and absolutely busted. I feel that these conversations are a little awkward, mainly because it seems to me that nearly everyone is looking for the next Uro, the next Underworld Breach, the next Lurrus, etc. Every set in 2019-2020 has had something so incredibly hyper efficient and powerful that we spend our time evaluating cards in those contexts, instead of just looking for something that can just be playable. For my own evaluation of these cards, both the white and blue Courts present some interesting and playable options to both various niche strategies but also to more common fair strategies, while the black and green Courts present unique incentives to decks that typically like to cheat on mana as their effects are better when getting them into play early.

The white Court being four mana seems like a lot, but the downside of this card is a little bit better if you don't have the Monarch as it still generates an evasive creature no matter what. The 1/1 flier could be used to stonewall other cards sort of like a pseudo-Bitterblossom, or it could be used to take the Monarch back at some point. If you do get to untap with the Monarch, the advantage of getting a 4/4 flier every turn is absolutely nuts and can close out a game quickly. One card that this card would be great with in conjunction is the card Moat, which hasn't quite seen much Legacy play in some time. But with a lot of threats like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Oko making Elks, there are a lot of ground creatures outside of things like Ice-Fang Coatl. Enchantments are traditionally difficult for a lot of decks to deal with, so a combo of Moat plus this card could be very strong at holding the Monarch. I think this tends to cement the white Court as the most playable of the cycle, as its downsides are not as pronounced as the other cards in this cycle, and is more than likely going to be the one that will see the most play overall.

The blue Court has stirred even more conversation on the topic of its playability, again with some ranging from "stone cold unplayable" to "I'm glad that Pyroblast exists." The downside of this card when you don't have the Monarch is exceptionally worse than having it, but the big topic here is that this card also costs three mana, making it the cheapest yet way we have of enabling the Monarch and it is in blue (a topic we'll discusss later on with another card). The floor of this card is three mana make the Monarch, for sure, but the ceiling is pretty high on what it does. The mere fact that its upkeep trigger can mill both players is a very real and interesting consideration since cards like Uro and the like see play. The fact that this is three mana does also open this up to Abrupt Decay and it is open to Pyroblast always, but something dying to removal has never been a real consideration to not play something. The claim that casting this is a do nothing effect is not quite right. Casting this posits the opponent on the question of, "Do you have a way to deal with this or a way to steal the Monarch?" and if the answer to that question is "No" then the experience of playing against this card suddenly becomes quite miserable. I can think of another three CMC permanent that has a similar functionality in the format, and that is Oko, Thief of Crowns as a comparison. Casting Oko into a board and making a Food is really in all actuality a bit of a "do nothing." You made an impact to the board with the Food and that might be relevant turns down the line, but if your opponent deals with Oko and you don't have a follow up Oko, you essentially spent three mana to then spend two mana later on to gain two life. Now, I do feel that while this comparison is a little close, Oko is obviously more powerful for good reasons because it can do other things the turn it comes down. The blue Court however, I feel will see play in various hard control shells, likely the same shells that will play the white Court, or decks that want to play cards like Standstill (the Replenish deck is sort of a big brain play, because milling yourself for 10 and then casting a Replenish sounds kind of silly fun). I don't think this is format warping by any means, but I do think it is playable and will also be incredibly miserable to play against.

The black Court is intriguing, and could also see play in decks such as Curse Stompy (despite not being a Curse) mainly because it's an enchantment that can be cast cheaply and then Monarch defended by cards like Ensnaring Bridge. At that point, making the opponent lose life and discarding cards is one heck of a clock. Again, this is not a four of, but more of a silver bullet two of type card. Despite also being a fringe strategy, Pox is another deck that could want this effect since it can cheat it into play with Ritual effects. Again, this is not much for fair strategies since the effect of this card is far less pronounced mid to late game (where an opponent may also be able to very easily steal the Monarch away as well).

The green Court is actually pretty cool, and I could actually see fast mana decks like Green Cloudpost based decks play a copy or two to dump into play a big creature that it might not be able to cast just yet. Also getting a free land drop off of it even is pretty absurd in a deck that wants to ramp. Four mana is probably nothing to those kinds of decks, honestly. It could also see play in green Stompy Chalice variants that want to play some bigger threats. This card gives incentive as noted before to decks that want to cheat on mana and isn't quite for fair strategies (as most fair strategy creatures cost very little or have some sort of inherent cost reduction built in either via Delve or being utterly efficient like Uro) as getting a game ending threat early is much better than actually casting this on Turn Four and waiting until Turn Five to get value out of it. The big downside of this card is that often these decks that try to cheat on mana like this are on more efficient quality of lands than quantity, so there could be some turns if the Monarch is stolen where the trigger doesn't actually do anything if they don't have a land to put into play. The other big downside of casting this early is that cards like Ice-Fang Coatl are a norm and could sneak in and steal the Monarch away before they get a trigger since many of these decks don't play many evasive threats.

Dargo, the Shipwrecker

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This card is incredibly wild given that artifact lands like Great Furnace exist and so do cards like Mishra's Bauble and Urza's Bauble. A Turn one play of Furnace, 2x Bauble is enough to cast Dargo immediately (paying red with Furnace and then sacrificing Furnace and both Baubles for the additional cost to reduce the cost to R). You could also even just sacrifice the Baubles to their ability and be able to fulfill the cost reduction from Dargo.

The potential of a one mana 7/5 trample is not something to really be ignored, and I'm sure some people will definitely slot this card into something and try it out. Also, look at that sneer. Can't go wrong with that sneer!

Fall from Favor

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So I mentioned earlier that we would definitely discuss the floor of the blue Court being "you become the Monarch" for three mana. This card is another card that is like this, where for three mana you can become the Monarch in blue, but with a real twist: it requires a creature to enchant with it. Now, while Legacy has become a bit of a creature centric format, needing to have a target to cast this one is a real interesting thing given that this is also a format where Veil of Summer exists as a playable card. If you find yourself in a position where you want to cast this on one of your own creatures simply to enable getting the Monarch, then there's a real problematic consideration of your opponent simply casting Swords to Plowshares on whatever you were attempting to enchant to deny you the Monarch.

Furthermore, one of the best creatures in the format right now in the Snow piles is Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and this is a card that these decks often play at least three of, and also have access to cards like Karakas. Using a Karakas to bounce their own Uro in response to casting this is sheer value for the Uro player since they can likely easily cast and escape Uro again and again. The aura also even if it does stick is easy to get rid of by being able to be Abrupt Decay'ed or if you do have to play it on an Uro, they can simply play another and Legend rule the one with the Aura.

It's also worth noting that the biggest threats that you'd want to play this on absolutely just don't care if they're tapped or not. Griselbrand can still draw seven cards, and Thalia still does her thing, so you're very much simply paying for three mana become the Monarch at this point. It's also worth noting too that even if you put this card into play off Show and Tell, you can't actually enchant whatever permanent the opponent is putting into play off Show and Tell (like an Emrakul or Griselbrand). This is because the Aura needs to attach to a permanent first in order to enter the battlefield (Auras that attach to nothing are put immediately into the graveyard), and the permanents put into play off Show and Tell aren't actually in play until Show and Tell finishes resolving, part of which means having to choose a permanent to attach this Aura too. (Trust me, I've made the blunder of putting Lay Claim into play and realizing I can't in fact take my opponent's Omniscience with it. Biggest oof.)

Needing a creature target is by far the biggest thing about this card, making it an utterly dead card in some matchups, and that in of itself means for me that this card is a pass for Legacy, however it is worth noting that this card is a Common, so I'm sure that Pauper players will readily enjoy this effect.

Hullbreacher

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Well... this is certainly a very interesting card with a lot of potential applications for the Legacy format (and quite possibly Vintage as well, we'll get to that later this week). One of the biggest places I can see this card is in the Karn Echo/Urza Echo Stompy decks. Those decks are already running Narset, Parter of Veils in conjunction with Echo of Eons to help debilitate the opponent's hand. It's possible that we could see a more divergent faster version of this deck that is using this in conjunction with Echo to gain enough mana on the Echo hand to continue casting cards (bonus points if you get to cast another Echo with the mana) and keep going. The fact that this has Flash and a reasonable mana cost for 2U as opposed to 1UU makes me wonder if this could just simply replace Narset entirely. Now, Narset does have her value in that she does allow you to get cards out of your deck, but flashing this in response to a Brainstorm is sort of absurd. Again, I sort of bet you'll see a turbo style version of the deck that plays both of these cards or the typical shell adopt this on mana cost + flash speed alone.

Another place that I could see this could potentially be Esper Vial, because again this is a 3/2 and searchable with Recruiter of the Guard. Vial'ing in Recruiter and then casting this seems pretty solid. And also, finally there are the applications of Merfolk given its creature type. Giving that deck a Notion Thief effect seems pretty okay.

Also this appears to be something of a cycle as it meets the exact same mana cost setup and P/T as another card already spoiled in Opposition Agent.

Jeska's Will

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While it's a fringe deck, Mono Red Storm (otherwise known as Ruby Storm) is a deck that utilizes effects like Act on Impulse and Ruby Medallion + red rituals to push through the deck and cast payoffs to eventually win the game with a Storm spell. Jeska's Will is essentially the same card as Act on Impulse, however it has the added upside of just being a ritual when you need it as well, making extra copies of the card exceptionally good. You'll never be able to choose both modes of this card in Legacy (because you don't control a Commander), but having this kind of flexibility for this kind of deck is really strong, and I would expect any Ruby Storm players to just simply swap out all their Acts for this card instead.

Krark, the Thumbless

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Krark is really really unique in a lot of ways, and being a two mana card really puts it into some consideration. I hadn't actually considered the card until I'd seen our good friend Peter van der Ham (who always does some great reviews of new cards via his Twitter) talking about it, and pointed out some very interesting use cases with this card. The biggest issue this card has is that there's a measure of variance and inconsistency for flipping coins, meaning on some instances you'll simply put the spell back into your hand, but in other cases you'll make double spells, which is suddenly incredibly powerful. The biggest downside of this card when this comes up however is when trying to cast cards like Force of Will / Force of Negation / Daze with Krark in play, as losing the flip in these scenarios absolutely is awful.

Another interesting case here is that Krark works really well in conjunction with cards like Dreadhorde Arcanist. Due to how Arcanist is templated, even if you lose the flip when attacking and casting a card, that card will be returned to your hand instead of being exiled and then can be cast again that same turn if able. If you do win the flip however, copying the spell cast off Arcanist is absolutely back-breaking.

As Peter mentioned in his tweet, if there is a shell for Krark it's possibly a shell that casts a lot of one mana spells and has Arcanist, but no pitch countermagic due to how awkward the card is with it.

Magus of the Order

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This is worth mentioning on the back of the fact that it is a Natural Order on a stick, but the fact that it requires itself and another green creature to be sacrifices as well as needing to tap to do so puts this firmly in the territory of hard pass for Legacy play for me.

Opposition Agent

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This is a card that nearly everyone has been talking about, and single handedly spiked the cost of Maralen of the Mornsong for Commander players. The power level of this card is incredibly over-hyped for sure, but that doesn't mean again that this card won't see play. There are a few shells that I can see this card seeing play in, mainly in decks like Snowko as a sideboard option and also in Esper Vial in the same capacity. One of the things that this does for those decks is gives them leverage against certain strategies, namely decks like Elves, but also decks like Doomsday. This card is incredibly so anti-Doomsday it's not even funny, as it simply makes the DD player lose the game at that point by exiling the cards they searched for.

The rumblings of a potential Turn one Dark Ritual into Agent type deck are a little overstated however, as those decks aren't likely that good when the opponent doesn't have to even fetch (in the case of playing against Snowko they play so many basic lands that a lot of their turns are land -> Arcum's Astrolabe) that Agent's ability will not be good enough to beat them since they can easily remove the card. Furthemore the amount of decks playing Force of Will + Force of Negation is much higher so a deck so tunneled in on this game plan is asking to be countered heavily by both countermagic + removal, or simply lose to themselves by not having their cards line up on time.

Again, that being all said, it's obvious this will be a card that will see play, likely in the two decks mentioned or if someone manages to make a Grixis Control shell viable too. It's certainly a powerful effect that can't be ignored, but it is a lot more hyped than it should be.

Wheel of Misfortune

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is a real reader. It takes a bit to process how this card works, and I think one of the best homes for this card is a deck like Belcher. In Belcher, the typical number naming here is going to be whatever your life total is minus one, as your opponent is never going to pick a number higher than that. This means you'll often be the one taking the damage (generally going to one life), but you'll also be wheeling into seven new cards and able to keep going on a refuel. There are probably more applications of this incredibly interesting card, but this is the one that I can see being the simplest.

Breeches, Brazen Plunderer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

BREECHES DEMAND CARD REVIEW!

But... but... Breeches there's just no easy way to break it to you... you're not made for Legacy.

POPEYE STOMPY LIVE FOREVER! BREECHES PLUNDER AND STEAL! THEN WE HAVE GOLD AND ALE AND CARDS!

Uh... okay Breeches, whatever floats your boat...

BREECHES' BOAT FLOAT VERY WELL! YOUR BOAT SINK! FIRE!

Legacy Challenge 10/31

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was our early morning Saturday event. Going forward we're going to be doing something a little different with these events. We'll still always cover the top two finalist lists from these events, but for the rest of the Top 8 I will be picking and choosing what lists to show and being a little more in depth on the discussion on those lists. Hopefully this will stir a little more talk on the subjects of these lists.

With that being said, let's take a look at the overall Top 32 Metagame for this event.

Quite a bit of Snow-related decks or decks that utilize Arcum's Astrolabe, but not really as many as it really seems. Decks like RUG Stifle (Poke Pile) treat the card as a mere support card and are running less and less of it than the 4-5c Snowko variants, very often running two at minimum while we're also seeing shells that play Snow-Covered basics not play any at all. It's hard to say where Snow is right now, but it definitely seems like it has a few great weekends and then things jump in and push it back down a bit and then things cycle back around. Generally we call this a Rock-Paper-Scissors type metagame where various different things cycle in and out in response to performances by certain decks.

Now, I think it's fair to say that Snowko is likely one of the best decks in the format (along with RUG Delver of course) and after Eternal Weekend's performances especially I'm not sure whether we should expect action or not at this point. While the deck is doing well, it also has the capability of being pushed back down if players decided to deal with it for an event or two. Combine this with the fact that there are plenty of Tier 2 strategies worth playing and that deck knowledge and skill still helps you gain an edge in this format, I suspect the current answer to this is no changes.

With that being said, let's look at how the Top 8 broke down.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
RUG Stifle 1st Leofa
RUG Stifle 2nd DieM4x
U/R Delver 3rd Excel0679
Cloudpost 4th Didackith
Snowko 5th MechinT
RUG Delver 6th BeeNew
Snowko 7th Baby
White Eldrazi 8th Mei0024

RUG Stifle, otherwise known as Poke Pile, had a very realistic showing this weekend, putting 2/3 of the pilots in the Top 32 into the Top 4 of the event and both of those decks in the finals of said event. Outside of that, we had a few more Snow decks, two Delver decks, and two big mana decks (Post and Eldrazi). Let's take a look at both the finals lists and talk about them, shall we?

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Poke Pile, so coined by the name of the original MTGO player who put this deck on the map (Jeff White aka pokemoki), is a bit of an interesting take on the Snowko genre. While it can certainly be classified as a "Snowko" deck given that there are Astrolabes and Oko, plus the typical threats of Coatl/Uro, Poke Pile also can named RUG Stifle in that it is a Snow deck that is strictly in RUG colors and also leans on the power of the card Stifle in many different matchups. There are a lot of unique things to be done with Stifle as a card, and quite often the deck can do such cool things as countering the sacrifice triggered ability from Uro on the first cast of the card, or utilize the card offensively in many different ways. Of course, when used in conjunction with Wasteland this can be a terrifying tempo swing if you're not expecting it.

One other big thing that sets this deck apart is the presence of Dreadhorde Arcanist and the tempo plan this deck can enable with that card. Quite often this deck is described as a "Delver-less Delver" deck due to this, often playing a lot of the same cards that Delver plays which includes even playing Daze. Having Astrolabe in this deck is often a plan of attack to enable casting of cards like Uro, but also to enable good sideboard cards like Back to Basics. It's worth noting too that this deck often does not actually splash any other colors like White or Black into the deck (Surgical Extraction doesn't count, as it's almost always cast for two life) and instead remains rather focused on the RUG coloration. I think this often makes the deck more resilient and less reliant on Arcum's Astrolabe as a card, which is why you often see now the deck playing at minimum two of this card, as it can make the mana fixing work by itself typically, Astrolabe just makes it a little easier.

Another list that caught my eye in this event was the Fourth Place Cloudpost list.

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One of the most interesting things about these archetypes is likely the most unexpected adoption of a card that was clearly designed for tribal decks in Allosaurus Shepherd. The fact that it makes all green spells uncounterable is a huge deal to these decks, as resolving cards like Crop Rotation is sometimes incredibly key. This has also allowed for this deck to be able to play some silver bullet combo lands like the Dark Depths + Thespian's Stage combo, giving the deck another axis of attack outside of the typical ramp into big creature strategy.

Once Upon a Time has also found a solid home in this kind of deck, since all of the deck's major payoffs either a creature or a land, making the card much better since this deck isn't trying to diversify into Planeswalker based threats as well.

One other incredibly interesting thing about this list is the presence of more than one The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in the sideboard. While this is a common place thing in formats like Vintage (where there are strategies that often require more than one in a sideboard due to land destruction effects played by decks to combat it), in Legacy often enough a lot of these decks only tend to play one of these because it's Legendary and getting stuck in hand is a little awkward. But, as decks like Delver and the like continue to ramp up and be good in the format, it does make sense to have multiple, if only to Crop Rotation into one when you need it.

Let's now take a look at the Seventh Place Snowko list.

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It's certainly interesting to see a main deck Izzet Staticaster here. Being able to clean up smaller creatures with this card seems pretty strong, mainly a solid response to Elves decks as those decks often don't have a way of pumping their team outside of Allosaurus Shepherd. Really the big thing here is being able to clean up Shepherd directly and also being able to hit multiple Shepherd's if need be (as most Elves decks are now on multiples). Being able to clean up Symbiotes and stuff too is also really strong. All around as Elves continues to remain popular this is a good inclusion in this kind of deck.

Furthermore, this deck doesn't have black in it to support Plague Engineer, so it leverages its win condition on cards like Shark Typhoon to win the game with. Archmage's Charm is also a super unique card to see, allowing for scenarios of being able to steal something like a Delver of Secrets from the opponent.

Let's round out our discussion with the last list in the Top 8, a very interesting White Eldrazi list.

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Karn, the Great Creator is simply one of the best payoffs for Ancient Tomb decks in general right now, and this Eldrazi deck is adopting that alongside the aggressive plan we're already used to seeing out of this deck. This gives the deck an interesting line of play where it can simply cast a Turn One-Two Karn, which can sometimes just effectively end the game right there. It's also super interesting that this deck's Chalices are in the sideboard, opting to run removal in the form of Swords to Plowshares instead. I think this is a good plan honestly. The overall value of main deck Chalice has gone down quite a bit, and there are few matchups where you really want it immediately on Turn One, as a lot of matchups can easily drop Oko and then invalidate it. Having removal instead allows this deck to deal with engine value cards like Arcanist, Uro, etc.

Eldrazi Displacer is also a severely powerful card, being able to continually shut down various creatures and is very easy to enable with lands like Shefet Dunes to allow for both Colorless and White mana.

Outside of the Top 8, I felt prudent to mention a few other lists. One such that caught me by surprise was the Ninth Place list.

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This list is just the most severe amount of hard control, with multiple removal spells and Planeswalkers as finishers. I also like the usage of Retrofitter Foundry here, since it can make surprise blockers or evasive threats and act as a mana sink in late game. There is also a Helm+Leyline kill in the sideboard, as well as an Ashiok, Nightmare Muse. This list is insanely cool.

The other list that I felt compelled to mention is a very interesting Miracles take, utilizing Temporal Mastery with Monastery Mentor.

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Instead of flipping Terminus this deck is flipping Temporal Mastery and that's really amusing to me. Monastery Mentor as the payoff here seems incredibly strong, and I would love to see this deck in action for sure.

Legacy Challenge 11/1

Our second Challenge of the weekend is the normal Sunday durign the day event. Let's dive right into its Top 32 breakdown.

Holy moly that's a lot of little green men! Elves was exceptionally well represented in this Top 32, which is very interesting to see. There was also a decent amount of Snowko, but the traditional Snowko variants did not really convert super well into the Top 8 at all. Other than that, this metagame actually looks pretty decent. There's a lot of interesting decks and some cool stuff going on here.

Now let's look into the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Yorion DnT 1st xJCloud
U/R Delver 2nd MedVedev
Elves 3rd Testacular
Doomsday 4th MM_17
RUG Stifle 5th Andre4Marini
Omni-Tell 6th CaptainFarbosa
Goblins 7th Grumsh
Turbo Muxus 8th Mephidro

Oh boy, what a really wildly interesting Top 8 here, but even more interesting by the two finals decks. Let's dive right into that First Place list by our good friend xJCloud and a list that we can only ever refer to as Sky Noodle Taxes.

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How do you make Death and Taxes even more Death and Taxier? Add 20 cards! Seriously though, this deck seems to be pretty goshdarn cool and is exceptionally well geared towards the various Snowko deck variants, by virtue of getting to play four each of Spirit of the Labyrinth (which is fantastic versus Uro) and also four each of Skyclave Apparition. The biggest upside as well is getting to run seven pieces of one CMC removal in both Plow and Path to Exile as well. And of course, it's obvious that in getting to run 20 Plains, you just get to run whatever Basic land art you want instead of Snow-Covered basics. Winning.

The Second Place list here was a U/R Delver shell, maxing out on the card Sprite Dragon!

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I like especially how clean this deck is, between six Forces, four Daze and multiple cantrips and removal spells, it's honestly very easy to see just how strong a card like Sprite Dragon is in this shell, especially when combined with the power level of Dreadhorde Arcanist. This is a pull no punches tempo list for sure, just throwing spells and threats at the opponent until they keel over.

Also in this Top 4 we had a showing by one of the Elves pilots, a deck that five pilots total in the Top 32.

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There's some sweet takeaways from this list for me, the biggest being an appearance by an old school piece of Elves tech in Nissa, Vital Force. Nissa allows you to untap a land (notably just Cradle in this regards) and it makes it a creature sure, but it also untaps it to be able to be used again. This is some really old school tech from when Nissa was first released, and it's neat to see it come back into the limelight even for a bit.

Another hyper intriguing thing in this deck is the presence of four sideboard copies of Deafening Silence. Given that this can be pushed through on Turn One, a lot of decks that are much faster than Elves can't easily deal with this card, so it's definitely very powerful at beating strategies like Storm or Doomsday.

It's also worth noting that it seems like the 4x Allosaurus Shepherd + 4x Nettle Sentinel builds of this deck are essentially the stock builds now, with the Elvish Reclaimer variants having flown off into the wind.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have a pair of Goblins based decks, one of which is the more Turbo Muxus plan that seeks to power out a Muxus early and quickly through Lackey or Chrome Mox / Skirk Prospector fast mana. The one we're going to look at however is the more traditional Vial Goblins variant.

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It's pretty interesting to see Shatterskull Smashing in the list, but the other wild takeaway here is the copy of Gaea's Cradle in the manabase. While this deck isn't casting any big green spells, Cradle is really good at beating one particular card and that's The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale among other usage such as enabling casting Shatterskull Smashing's X variable cost turning the card from a simple X spell into a massive board wipe on a good board state.

It's also worth noting that this deck is also going deep on the Conspicuous Snoop combo with Boggart Harbinger and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker as well, having an infinite combo to dump into play if it needs to be that quick. It's safe to say that 2019-2020 were all very good to Goblins as a deck, between Modern Horizons and the printings we've received just this year sofar in Jump Start mainly.

Outside of the Top 8, one deck did catch my eye in a very interesting way as we had a placing in 19th by Legacy Infect aficionado Fenruscloud.

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Not only do we get to see 2019-2020 staples of Uro and Oko here (with another set in the sideboard), but also there's a Skyclave Pick-Axe here as well. I actually really like this card and it makes some amount of sense by the fact that it's one of the "snap-on" pieces of Equipment from Zendikar Rising that automatically attaches itself to a creature. The Landfall trigger created by the card pumps the creature and makes the necessary amount of pump spells required go down as you are essentially getting a free pump spell with a land drop.

Ban Watch

We made some changes to the chart this week, based on some great community feedback. Going forward I'm no longer going to separately look at Oko / Veil in different shells, as feedback indicated that this actually makes these cards look better than actually looking at raw numbers of how many there are total. I agree with this a lot so I've revised the chart to simply show the numbers of Oko and Veil, not split into which decks they see play in.

With this information updated we can see the pronounced effect of Oko on the format but also how it tends to wax and wane over periods of time. This makes for a very interesting thing, as longer terms makes it appear as if Oko is sitting in a place of just "fine" in the format, despite the fact that the card creates unfun games and bad play patterns. There has been some hubbub more over the banning of cards like Uro, to potentially cut out the arms race between the decks that play it and give other decks a reasonable chance to dig in whereas Uro was simply great versus those decks, but I'm not sure if I see data that really supports that theory just yet. Unfortunately this is a very subtle thing, and there likely isn't a good answer without having to make multiple bans to try to keep some form of a balance in the format.

Regardless, I think the chart works much better in this regards, and I will continue to accept feedback on how best we can adjust this data for completeness and accuracy. Please note that I will be seeking people out for an EOY Round Table around January or so, to wrap up 2020 in review from a BnR standpoint.

Around the Web

  • 90sMTG had streamer Dougesontwitch on recently with Junk Maverick! Check out their match vs Grixis Delver here.
  • 12 hours of 12-Post Streaming for Extra Life! Check that out here!
  • Phil Gallagher with some hot hot Coretapper jank deck. Check that out here.
  • The EPIC Storm website had a sweet new Infernal Tutoring featuring the one and only Reid Duke. Check that out here.

The Spice Corner

Grixis Delver that sideboards into.... Doomsday?!?!

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Jolrael Bant Blade!

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Jeskai Delver with Fearless Fledgling?!?!?!?

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Okay this I can get behind because it's pretty cool. Death('s Shadow) and Taxes.

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What I'm Playing This Week

I'm actually on a bit of a Vintage kick this week, so I don't really know what I'm playing for Legacy purposes. I had been considering making some changes to Omnom Fit however and continuing to develop that archetype out a little bit. If anyone has any suggestions however, feel free to hit me up on Twitter! I also take donation leagues for working on videos, so if you feel obligated to ask me to record something I generally will.

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 on 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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