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This Week in Legacy: BoM Super Finals, KMC Events and SCG Legacy Classic Knoxville


Hello and welcome to another edition of This Week in Legacy! This week we'll run through the high-stakes Bazaar of Moxen Super Finals, two KMC events from Japan with some interesting technology, and the happenings in the SCG Classic in Knoxville. I also have a rundown of the new brew that I've been tinkering with!

Bazaar of Moxen Super Finals

I'd like to thank the eminent Julian Knaab for notifying me of this tournament that occurred on the weekend of the 5th - 6th of November in Paris. This high-stakes tournament brought together fourteen players for a prize pool of 10,000 €, based on their placing and performances within the Bazaar of Moxen tournaments throughout the year. Although I'm sure the deck choices would've certainly been skewed due to the small player pool, there were some innovative decks that found their way into the tournament. The Top 8 can be found here, and I have the breakdown in a nice little pie chart below:

Most notable is a Splinter Twin deck that ended up in the Top 4, who then split the remaining prize pool.

Twin has had quite a frequent appearance in Legacy after its Modern banning. Max Ansbro took it to a Top 8 at 2015 Legacy Champs, fueling it with the then-legal Dig Through Time, Scott Davis Top 8ed an IQ with a version touting Ancient Tomb and Chalice of the Void, and Ogasawara Shou took the deck to the Top 8 of a 300 person tournament in Japan refining the technology of the deck further (no more Chalice of the Void and Brainstorm non-bo!). In fact Oohashi Hirofumi brought an updated list to a smaller Japanese tournament very recently too.

There are a few interesting differences between the two lists. Firstly, the acceleration pieces differ. Nicolas has utilized a set of Lotus Petal along with two Mox Diamond. I'm particularly anxious about Mox Diamond in this list with the low land count, and Oohashi's Chrome Mox seems much better as stable mana sources in my mind. The Lotus Petals do seem reasonable in a similar way to how they are used in Sneak & Show. However, since the deck will often be winning with Pestermite beatdown, having stabler mana sources may be a bit more useful.

Once Brainstorm is off the table, the card filtration options become quite interesting. Impulse is an all-star in both lists, as is Izzet Charm which can also be utilized as removal or countermagic. Nicholas opted for Jace, the Mind Sculptor as his planeswalker of choice, but the Japanese choice of Jace, Vryn's Prodigy certainly appeals to me a little more. With the prison pieces, baby Jace is readily protected, and can also be accelerated out on turn one. Flashing back Impulse, Intuition, and Izzet Charm, as well as being an alternative win-condition all give him solid utility. Also, untapping Vryn's Prodigy with an Exarch or Pestermite to loot twice sounds . . . Fun.

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The rest of the deck is filled with pitch counters in Force of Will and Misdirection, Prison pieces in Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void, as well as the combo. Interestingly Nicolas omitted the fifth Twin in Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, likely due to it having huge strains on the mana base.

I wouldn't be surprised if the deck primarily won with dorky beatdown or planeswalker control rather than the combo. Actually, I'm sure that's what this deck has as its primary advantage over combos such as Sneak & Show. The deck can play two roles: a prison deck, with dorky Exarchs and Pestermites as finishers on the opponent's life total while they are locked out by Chalice or Moon, or like MonoRed Sneak Attack, lock the opponent out and then finish them with a quick combo finish, or even just combo blisteringly fast before they can react. Having both a Plan A and Plan B is certainly an advantage in some situations, though having removal-prone win conditions is an issue in itself, as the similar Imperial Painter has shown.

Looking at the sideboards, Kozilek's Return and alternative win conditions like Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Goblin Rabblemaster made their way into Oohashi's list. Nicolas bizarrely had Negate and the Helm/Leyline combo. I'm sure the Leylines in the sideboard were a nod towards the nascent BR Reanimator lists that have been steadily taking over Top 8s around the world.

Looking at all the ideas of Splinter Twin decks across the past few years, I might build mine like so:

Fiery Confluence has been a staple of all my red Stompy shells and the card truly is the epitome of flexibility. Although harsher on the mana than Kozilek's Return, acting as reach, artifact destruction, or a wrath is very impressive. The alternative win condition package of Magus, Jace, and Chandra also gives the sidebaording plan of this deck a lot of different dimensions. Innovation in Stompy decks is always what I like to see, and Twin looks great as a shell that, like Painter, has multiple angles of attack.

The other deck I'd like to highlight is a 4c Delver list:

Bizarely no sideboard has been listed on the Bazaar of Moxen site, but this list looks almost pre-sideboarded anyway! With Life from the Loam, Painful Truths, and Sylvan Library in the main this list truly looks to grind and also capitalizes on the synergy provided by Snapcaster Mage similar to the Friedman-style lists. Rather than the package of Gurmag Angler and True-Name Nemesis that has been so common in these shells, however, Tarmogoyf has found itself a slot, and indeed the three Tropical Island implies this list to be leaning heavier on the green spells than the more common lists. 

Other decks of note that Julian saw at the tables were a Bant Humans list leaning on Captain Sisay and cards like Merieke Ri Berit and Lightning Greaves?! Sounds like a spicy one to spring on an unexpected metagame. Nonetheless, once again I'd like to shout-out Julian and thank him for alerting me of these results. Find his site itsjulian.com for a lot of great content, in particular his recent article on Slow Play is a great one of interest.

67th and 68th KMC

Moving to Japan, both the 67th and 68th KMC events occurred, which are always well-attended and typically featuring a few pieces of new technology. The 67th event had a Top 8 breakdown as follows:

Death & Taxes took two places, both of these featuring Recruiter of the Guard, though only the winning list featured Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Per usual, Esper Stoneblade took a Top 8 place with the innovative list that I featured once before. Michel's BR Reanimator list took down another Top 8, and Eldrazi and Infect rounded out some more of the slots.

The Lands and Dredge lists had some interesting pieces of technology, however, as singletons in their sideboards. Lands featured a Song of the Dryads as creature removal in green in the sideboard, likely as a nod to Sanctum Prelate. Note that the Ghost Quarter technology that Long and Ayers adapted did not make it into this list. The Dredge list featured a singleton many may be familiar with from Modern. Greater Gargadon acts as an additional sacrifice outlet to create Zombie tokens, and can be a fearsome monster to haste out or simply Dread Return. It does lose a fair bit of power if not in the opening hand (as it can no longer be Suspended), and I'm not really sure where you'd want to side it in. Nonetheless, it is something that hasn't been touched upon before.

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The 68th KMC event (which happened the day after, apparently a little Legacy weekend occurred in Japan!) had a breakdown as follows:

This is certainly more of the Japanese spice we expect! Tezzerator and Pox, two underplayed archetypes, found their way into this Top 8. Let's dive into the mess of craziness that the four color Tezzerator list is:

This is just a pile of artifacts, planeswalkers, and some Force of Wills, but certainly just accelerating into these huge bombs is a very impressive thing. Daretti, Dack Fayden, Jace, and the namesake Tezzeret all very easily take over the game, especially if backed up by Chalice of the Void and accelerated out as early as turn three or four. And despite it looking like there's just a pile of one-ofs, the deck has a surprising amount of tutoring. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas certainly can dig deep, and Inventors' Fair and Transmute Artifact allow for a variety of locks to be established, such as Thopter/Sword, Ensnaring Bridge, or Wasteland and Crucible of Worlds.

Probably the most bizarre addition is Breya, Etherium Shaper. Although excellent as a card to tutor for or hit off Tezzeret, the additional splash of white seems like an unnecessary strain on the mana base for a card that looks... Somewhat underwhelming. Although certainly she can machine-gun down some stuff while sacrificing some useless trinkets, the cost of her ability, and her mana cost itself is pretty restrictive. I'm sure she is likely replaceable, though being a artifact that can be hit off Tezzeret is something to note.

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The sideboard has some interesting cards too. There's Blood Moon (Dimir Signet will be doing overtime work when this is in play, I'm sure) and the Leyline/Helm combo, which is certainly becoming more and more prevalent as a sideboard plan thanks to Leyline being so powerful currently. Slaughter Games is also a card I really appreciate in ramp decks utilizing red and black mana, such as this list or Nic Fit. It can truly spell doom for many decks that rely on a critical piece.

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Next, let's look at Pox!

Pox is a deck that utilizes Smallpox to ruin peoples' day, destroying their mana, creatures, and hand. This is rounded out by a suite of additional land destruction (in this case, Vindicate), hand destruction (Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach), and creature removal (Innocent Blood, Toxic Deluge). Liliana of the Veil plays multiple roles, either stripping away the opponent's hand, removing creatures, or destroying multiple permanents with her ultimate. Other than the opponent crying in anguish, the deck also utilizes some creatures as win conditions. Lingering Souls gets supreme value with Smallpox and Liliana, as does Bloodghast. Tombstalker rounds out the threat package as a huge flier to beat the opponent down in four turns while all their resources are removed. Interestingly, the main deck of this list has opted to not use some staples seen in at least mono-black versions. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Wasteland, and Mishra's Factory are lands that have been eschewed for the white splash.

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The sideboard leans further on the white splash with some true land destruction in Armageddon and the strictly superior Ravages of War (for bling points, of course), and has a few haymakers against control opponents via Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Bitterblossom. Bitterblossom, in my mind, is a criminally underplayed card that can really pressure certain decks such as Miracles.

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For anyone who is interested in Pox I'd highly recommend the Pox deck tech episode from Legacy Breakfast. Their enthusiasm for the deck is contagious, and is sure to turn many listeners into terrible land-destroying black mages.

Other things to note from this tournament were a few pieces of technology in some of the lists. The Infect list played a Xantid Swarm in the sideboard, which is certainly impressive as an anti-countermagic measure (though I'm surprised Green Sun's Zenith was not utilized to tutor for it), and the BR Reanimator list employed a Magus of the Moon as a sideboard option.

Before we move to what happened on the North American circuit I'd also like to highlight another concoction out of Japan that won a recent Grand Prix Trial.

This deck certainly looks at the Zombardment lists that were flourishing on Magic Online for a lot of inspiration, and I've labeled it as such, despite no actual Goblin Bombardment being present. Instead, Lingering Souls and Vindicate make appearances (again!?) with the expected Swords to Plowshares. Probably the most unexpected card, however, is Heir of Falkenrath. It's basically Insectile Aberration, right? It certainly looks useful as a discard outlet for a variety of Gravecrawler and flashback shenanigans.

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The sideboard is understandably slanted towards fighting combo (the deck is incredibly soft game one, with only a few Cabal Therapy), but also makes room for a singleton Urborg Justice, an incredibly unique piece of spice. Sacrifice a bunch of creatures to Carrion Feeder and then Plague Wind your opponent.

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It's interesting that the green splash of this list is very subdued. It's really only for Deathrite Shaman and Sylvan Library, and there's not an Abrupt Decay to be found in the seventy-five.

I actually feel that some kind of Gravecrawler and Cabal Therapy centered deck is actually a very powerful contender, be it Jund colored like the older lists, Junk colored like the one recently featured, or even BUG colored with Prized Amalgam as a new piece of the puzzle. This is a rough brew I've been tossing around in my mind, but maybe it's something:

Sadly the main deck cannot support enough blue cards for Force of Will, but a solid anti-combo package boarding in Forces and Flusters seems reasonable, along with discard and Surgical. The main deck looks like it can grind monstrously though. In fact, blue might not even be necessary (since Amalgam will barely ever be cast) and perhaps the old Jund Zombardment core, just tweaked, is still feasible. I may be toying with these kind of lists sometime soon!

SCG Legacy Classic Knoxville

Moving towards America, we had a SCG Classic in Knoxville. The metagame broke down as follows:

The entire event was won by the stock OmniSneak list.

But more interesting was the incredibly rogue Ooze Reanimator list. You can find The Source thread for this deck here, but essentially the deck operates somewhat like a Tin Fins variant - but instead of using the Children of Korlis and Tendrils of Agony as its kill condition (though the list at Knoxville did utilize Children to draw extra cards), Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer, and Triskelion are utilized instead for an instant win.

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This also makes Buried Alive an excellent Entomb variant in the deck, as it assembles the combo directly into the graveyard. All that then needs to be done is either Shallow Grave or Reanimate Necrotic Ooze. The kill also doesn't require the combat step, which is quite handy. Of course, big, bad Griselbrand is still a shoe-in with this list, but unlike Tin Fins, the deck is not purely reliant on him and can attack the opponent with multiple game-ending reanimation targets if needed. Necrotic Ooze is also actually very feasible as a hardcast monster in the midgame, and Entomb can then become somewhat a toolbox effect to stock up the Ooze's abilities. Indeed I feel the deck, due to its ability to attack on multiple axis, along with its ability to overburden typical gravehate like Deathrite Shaman, is not simply some cute variation but actually has genuine benefits over Tin Fins or Reanimator.

The list of Michael Finnegan is what made its way to 10th place at Knoxville:

Mitchell Stephenson also found himself making Top 16 with another rogue-ish strategy. His Nic Fit list was somewhat typical of the Junk Fit lists that have been going around, featuring Siege Rhino, a light Zenith package, and the usual core of Explorer and Therapy. Mitchell also incorporated some blue these beauties: 

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Luckily, both these creatures are green, so Zenithing for them, rather than paying blue mana, is an option. Atraxa nonetheless looks very interesting as a four drop of choice. As a huge, monstrous, vigilance, lifelink Angel I'm sure she can dominate fair matchups and be essentially unraceable, but I do question her second ability's relevance. I guess boosting the counters on a planeswalker or adding extra counters to Scavenging Ooze could be a thing?

Mitchell also incorporated some interesting sideboard options. Lost Legacy has, erm, made its way into Legacy, acting like Cranial Extraction or Slaughter Games but one mana cheaper. What does it matter if they draw a card when I've ripped away all their Show and Tells? The targeted sideboard hate against Eldrazi of Glissa, the Traitor also makes another appearance in this list's sideboard too.

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Seeing Atraxa, I've actually been contemplating her moreso in a Bant Stoneblade list. The deck is excellent at ramping out four drops, and having a four-mana Baneslayer Angel-esque card is nothing to scoff at, especially with it being pitchable to Force in combo matchups where it's poor. Atraxa also looks interesting due to her interaction with Chalice of the Void, being able to make one-drops castable once more, which a Stoneblade deck certainly appreciates, and can also do some cute tricks with Jace or Jitte.

Although I thought Commander 2016 offered so little to Legacy, it turns out it contained some spicy one-of bombs in Breya and Atraxa that found their way into a few niche strategies.

Conclusion

That's all the time we have for this week. Again, hopefully this article inspired everyone to try something new for Legacy in the weeks ahead. Per usual, send me your weird lists, converse with me about recent Legacy events and whatever your feelings are about the format. I'm all ears! I'd also like to give some guidance to some other excellent content that has been created recently, and I'll try to make sure to mention any interesting Legacy content in this section whenever relevant.

Anyway!

‘Til next time,

Sean Brown

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

And catch me on The Salt Mine, for more banter about Legacy!

What I'm Playing This Week

If you recall last week, I was tinkering around with some wild WR Hatebears list in Vintage. What I've started to realize, actually, is that the White Stompy core of eight Thalias is much more flexible than initially expected. Phil Gallagher's toying with it in a more traditional Death & Taxes build and the recent Soldier Stompy lists, such as this, have indicated to me that perhaps Eldrazi are, although powerful, not the only direction to take this core. The Twin Stompy lists from this week's article also made me realize that a two-color deck featuring Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void isn't off the table in Legacy, and in fact can be successful. And so, we come to this big conglomeration of cards that I thoroughly enjoy.

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Although some may look to the Hateful 8 of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar, I look to the Hateful 12. Magus of the Moon joins the ranks as an often uncounterable lock piece deployable as early as turn one (though be wary of locking yourself out!), and semi-replaces Thought Knot-Seer as my third disruptive creature. Recruiter of the Guard fills in for Eldrazi Displacer as the card to overcome fair matchups, tutoring up powerful bullets like Palace Jailer or Pia and Kiran Nalaar. Like the Twin lists featured this week, this list features Chrome Mox over Mox Diamond, allowing the deck to run fewer lands and more gas. Simian Spirit Guide also makes an appearance as an acceleration piece, but also as an extra beater to close out the game while the opponent is struggling to win.

The sideboard is a little rough around the edges. Do I even have enough red sources for Sudden Demise? Should we feature Nahiri, the Harbinger somewhere in the seventy-five, perhaps with an Emrakul as an alternate win condition? Is Ajani Vengeant better than Elspeth, Knight-Errant? Do we want more tutorable bullets in the sideboard, and is Recruiter even worthwhile? These are all things to consider. Nonetheless, this list looks promising and a heckuva a lot of fun, and I'm likely to bring it to a weekly. Any suggestions and improvements in this list would be great!

The Spice Corner

Squadron Hawk, Brainstorm and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. A combination made in heaven. And it 5-0ed a League. I have no idea what to think, other than: "Sweet!"


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