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This Week in Legacy: Chalice Factory

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 doing another dive in on a group of decks centered around a specific card in Legacy, much like we did for our article on Aether Vial based decks. This time it's all about Chalice of the Void! In addition to that, we've got Challenge results from the past weekend, including the results of the last Legacy Showcase Challenge of Season Two. As always, we'll have our Spice Corner to talk about as well!

Now let's get right into it!

Something Something Chalice on One

Legacy as a format has converged over time on being overly efficient on mana, and as a result of that the format generally plays cards that cost zero or one in converted mana cost. Cards like Brainstorm, Ponder, Dark Ritual, and the like are the bread and butter of Legacy. One of the most effective counterplays versus the format's most commonly played cards is Chalice of the Void.

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Chalice decks are powerful in Legacy due to the fact that they have the ability to push out Chalice quickly via the fast mana available in the format. Sol lands like Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors let Chalice decks get a leg up on opposing decks in the format, especially if they're on the play. Many Chalice decks function on a gameplan of using Chalice to delay their opponent from being able to cast their impactful spells while being able to deploy threats to end the game.

More often these kinds of decks are referred to by the moniker "Stompy", an old name that often refers to decks that trade a long game for a fast set of threats to quickly try to end the game. This describes these Tomb+Chalice decks to a tee as the long game by these decks is quite often pretty bad. It can be problematic for decks like this to go long, as the longer the game goes on the worst it is for the deck.

There are numerous variations of Stompy deck that have found their place within Legacy over the years, as well as many different variations of Chalice decks that aren't explictly Stompy. We're going to take a look at a few examples of these.

Mono Red Prison (Dragon Stompy)

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The deck known as Dragon Stompy has been a part of the Legacy format for a very long time, as players were able to identify the strength of combining Chalice with a prison effect like Blood Moon in a format dominated by dual lands. This original name comes from the fact that the deck originally ran Rakdos Pit Dragon as a curve topping threat (and how far we've come from that being a thing). The name has stuck over time, but in more recent years the nomenclature of Mono Red Prison has been a big part of the deck's identity. Mono Red has changed greatly over time, and has even rolled with the punches in a metagame where Blood Moon's effectiveness has gone way down due to cards like Arcum's Astrolabe.

However, the deck continues to be a popular option for players as it is capable of adapting to many different methods of ending the game. These days those threats can fold two ways, either with Planeswalkers like Karn, the Great Creator and Chandra, Torch of Defiance to quick creature beats from cards like Goblin Rabblemaster.

Mono Red is one of the decks in the format that goes through the most ups and downs, but it does have a pretty dedicated subset of players, and is popular for that reason.

Eldrazi Stompy

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Eldrazi Stompy finds its roots in the release of Oath of the Gatewatch, where many of the decks primary threats were printed. Low cost Eldrazi combined with Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin made for a poor time in the Modern format, and after the banning of Eye many started to develop and work on the deck within Legacy as well.

Eldrazi is an interesting Chalice deck in that often it doesn't always need to deploy Chalice in order to win a game. A Turn 1 of Eye into Eldrazi Mimics and Turn 2 of Thought-Knot Seer can close games out incredibly quickly. Factor in the strength of cards like Reality Smasher and Endbringer and you have a solution of cards that simply wins games. Chalice is still played in these decks however because these kinds of starts aren't always guaranteed and Chalice can simply put the opponent on the back foot in a game, especially if Chalice is followed up by a TKS that can steal away a critical spell.

Eldrazi has received minor upgrades over time, typically in the form of cards like Blast Zone and on occasion has adopted Once Upon a Time as a consistency engine boost.

Titan Stompy

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Titan Stompy started life as a deck brew idea by our good friend Callum Smith (WhiteFaces) but has since grown beyond its roots to become a solid part of the Chalice decks within the format. The biggest driving force behind this deck lies in the strength of Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. Dryad enables the deck to move quickly in developing its mana advantage, but also allows the deck to find a kill with the card Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

This deck adapts more of a Lands based strategy as opposed to a typical Stompy game plan, gaining additional mana advantage in Chalice's other best friend Mox Diamond. The entire driving force of this deck's existence is heavily rooted in 2019-2020 Magic thanks to cards like Field of the Dead and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath having found their way into the deck.

Titan has a lot of power behind it and has proven itself to be an interesting part of the Chalice decks in Legacy.

Karn Echo

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Most Chalice decks are some form of an aggressively slanted deck, leveraging the mana advantage to push a clock on the opponent. Karn Echo is much different than that, as it is more often considered to be a combo deck than a traditional Stompy shell. This deck utilizes its mana into looping cards like Echo of Eons to refill its hand, and then continue to use that mana to develop its game plan into a win condition with Karn or Urza to shut down the game.

Furthermore, this deck has the secondary ability of completely debilitating the opponent's game plan via the usage of Narset, Parter of Veils and Echo of Eons. This can quicky end an opponent from being able to interact with this deck by denying them resources and putting them into top deck mode.

This is a deck that I've often referred to as a "sleeper" in the format, as the amount of players who play it is fairly low, but the power level of the deck is incredibly high. If more people picked up on this deck, it would be very interesting to see how it handles.


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Aggro-Loam is a deck that doesn't utilize the typical Stompy manabase to cast their Chalices, instead using the mana from Mox Diamond to power out a Chalice. Aggro-Loam is often more of a roleplayer type deck in this regards, utilizing its pieces to fulfill any role within a matchup from control to a more midrange aspect.

This deck can act as prison a well with sideboard options, and requires a lot of pilot skill to leverage its power level. Many pilots on this strategy play this strategy for a very long time. It is a powerful deck, despite not looking like much on paper.

So... Chalice on Zero?

Chalice decks are intriguing options to have available within the Legacy format, and you can generally find a Chalice strategy that plays to the strength of the card. There is often a joke that you can play Chalice and Ancient Tomb and pretty much anything else and win the game with it, and that often can be true. Chalice on its own makes up for a lot of power, and can be a great alternative for players seeking some differences from the blue stew of Legacy.

Community Legacy Update

I don't have much to report here at the moment, but it's worth noting that the Legacy Community continues to maintain during these times of no paper Magic events, with plenty of webcam groups and discords to allow people to still play their paper cards with others.

I do want to give a big shoutout however in this section to the Leaving a Legacy Podcast. They recently released their 300TH EPISODE! LaL has been one of the most consistent places to find Legacy based podcast content and it's a huge accomplishment to make it to such a milestone. So, big congrats to both Pat Euglow and Jerry Mee on making it to 300!

Legacy Challenge 8/8

Our first Challenge of the weekend was a normal Challenge, and is the early Sunday morning one. So let's dive right into the Top 32 Metagame breakdown!

There was a fair amount of RUG Delver here, but in all reality the deck didn't perform all too well, only putting one pilot into the Top 16. This is relatively interesting as Legacy continues to shift back and forth as the deck was excessively dominant just over the past month or so. I view this is a great thing, as the format is adjusting and settling into a push and pull/rock, paper, scissors-like state.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Omni-Tell 1st MaxMagicer
Bant NO 2nd Kihara_Works
Snowko 3rd Zyuryo
Sneak and Show 4th JPA93
Yorion Aluren 5th Otaba
ANT 6th Alucart
U/R Delver 7th Excel0679
Rector Fit 8th Overhaul

There was a lot of combo in this Top 8, but of varying kinds of combo. At the end of the event it was indeed a double combo whammy match between Omni-Tell and Bant NO, with Omni-Tell taking the win.

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The U/G variants of this deck are incredibly strong, really maximizing the usage of cantrips to locate its combo, while pulling double duty with fair midrange cards like Ice-Fang Coatl. Sometimes these can even be used to bait other decks to think that it is a fair Snow deck, while being able to surprise with a Show and Tell.

In Second Place we have Bant NO.

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The Bant NO shells are super cool, having the ability to play a really fair game of Magic with its midrangey threats into a quick Natural Order into something like Progenitus or Archon of Valor's Reach. This is quite a strong deck right now and something to be on the lookout for.

In Third Place we have Snowko.

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This is more of the traditional BUG splashing white variant of Snowko that has made the rounds back and forth over the past few months. No fancy red splashes or anything here, which is fine. This deck is strongest when it can cast its spells appropriately, and forcing into a fifth splash occasionally works against that when they don't have Astrolabe.

In Fourth Place, we have Legacy Endboss JPA93 on Sneak and Show.

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Nothing crazy here, as this is JPA's wheelhouse, but there is a Rushing River in the sideboard which is super cool.

In Fifth Place, we have Yorion Aluren.

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This list is sweet! I love the use of Ukkima, Stalking Shadow over Parasitic Strix as it makes it more difficult to interact with actually, since the trigger is on leaves the battlefield instead of enters, and it isn't dependent on needing a black permanent in play to trigger. Niambi, Esteemed Speaker is also a really cool inclusion that allows for another point of being able to bounce a relevant creature.

In Sixth Place we have ANT.

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"But ANT is unplayable" - 2019-2020 Legacy Players.

"Count to 10, Tendrils?" - Alucart, who Top 8'ed with ANT.

In all seriousness though, it's great to see ANT perform. I've been of the mind that most of the big reason people don't want to play the deck is on the perceived notion that it is unplayable or bad, and that there isn't players really investing time into trying it because of that. There's no Peer into the Abyss, but that's okay.

In Seventh Place, we have U/R Delver.

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This list is pretty sweet, and I love seeing Sprite Dragon as I think the card is definitely better than it generally looks on paper. Also interesting here is Ethereal Forager, which I would like to see in further action, because I've never been really sure on the card. Still, I hope it was great!

Rounding out the Top 8 we have Rector Fit.

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This is one heck of a list! Chandra, Awakened Inferno, Possibility Storm, AND Punishing Fire + Field of the Dead in a Rector Fit shell with Yorion, Sky Nomad?! Ooh man, I am in deep on this one.

Now let us take a look at the 2019 and 2020 cards in this event. As always we're only looking at 2019-2020 cards with 8 copies or more, with special exceptions made for Companions (due to the unique nature of them).

Card Name Number of Copies
Oko, Thief of Crowns 32
Dreadhorde Arcanist 24
Veil of Summer 23
Force of Negation 22
Force of Vigor 19
Once Upon a Time 16
Arcum's Astrolabe 14
Plague Engineer 14
Ice-Fang Coatl 13
Teferi, Time Raveler 10
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 10
Karn, the Great Creator 8
Yorion, Sky Nomad 2

All the usual suspects are here from 2019-2020, so there should be no real lack of surprise on that end. It is interesting to see two Yorion decks, both of which made it the Top 8 of this event between Aluren and Rector Fit.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 8/9

Our second event of the weekend was the third Legacy Showcase Challenge of Season Two. This is a premier event, requiring 40 QPs to enter, so they're almost always stacked with some impressive pilots. Without further ado, let's dive right into the Top 32 Metagame breakdown.

As expected RUG Delver was highly represented as one of the more popular Delver decks at the moment, but it only converted one pilot to the Top 8. However, there was a fair amount of stuff like Esper Vial and Hogaak in this event as well which is really interesting.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Snowko 1st StefanoGS
Death's Shadow 2nd DieM4X
Elves 3rd BladeOfIce
RUG Delver 4th Kurohiren
Snowko 5th AnziD
Hogaak 6th Poriden
Esper Vial 7th Koke_MTG
LED Dredge 8th Basuta

This is a pretty interesting Top 8 with a nice array of strategies to choose from both fair and unfair. At the end of it all however, it was Stefano Garcia who took down the event on a Miracles slanted build of Snowko.

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Stefano's list is very powerful and is more of a traditional Miracles list than a midrange pile like most Snowko variants are. I especially like the Peacekeeper in the sideboard. Very cool stuff.

In Second Place we have Death's Shadow.

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Shadow is a deck that appears occasionally, does well in an event, and then migrates back to relative obscurity until it returns to crush in a different event. Still, it's a deck that can put up reasonable results for this reason because people tend to forget the deck exists until it does do well at an event. What is cool here is the Eliminate in the sideboard.

In Third Place we have Elves.

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Elves pilots have officially settled on one copy of Allosaurus Shepherd, and I can confirm that this isn't due to the supply of the card for sure. It has been noted that Shepherd in multiples gets way worse, so only needing one for Green Sun's Zenith purposes is perfect. It definitely has enabled Elves as a deck for sure and has made the deck very good.

In Fourth Place, we have RUG Delver.

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This is a pretty typical RUG Delver stock list at this point, and there isn't much evolution to the deck as of late. Klothys floats in and out of sideboard slots, but other than that there's still the same flex spots there has been. There's nothing wrong with this of course, the deck is just incredibly powerful.

In Fifth Place we have a more RUG slanted Snowko list by Anuraag Das.

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This is more like a RUG Delver build without Delver and leaning harder on Dreadhorde Arcanist and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. It's very powerful, however, and four main deck Stifle is super wild and really strong.

In Sixth Place we have Hogaak.

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I was sort of wondering when I'd get around to seeing Hogaak slot Oko into the sideboard of the BUG variants. It happened in Dredge, might as well happen in Hogaak! There's also two main deck Hapless Researcher here, which is an old school U/B Reanimator tech.

In Seventh Place, we have Esper Vial.

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Esper Vial is a deck that continues to perform, and it has the capability of playing well with many new value bounce and blink effects such as Barrin, Tolarian Archmage.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have LED Dredge.

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It's always said that Dredge is good when blue pile decks are good, and this is always true for the most part. Dredge beats up well on slower blue pile strategies, as they often have a lot of rebuild functionality and inevitability.

Now let us take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event as well.

Card Name Number of Copies
Oko, Thief of Crowns 25
Force of Negation 23
Veil of Summer 22
Dreadhorde Arcanist 20
Force of Vigor 18
Ice-Fang Coatl 18
Plague Engineer 17
Once Upon a Time 15
Arcum's Astrolabe 14
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 13
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 12
Teferi, Time Raveler 11
Karn, the Great Creator 8
Yorion, Sky Nomad 2

Again Oko takes the top slot, with all the usual suspects we expect to see showing up as well. We again had two Yorion decks, which seems to be a solid number for those kinds of decks showing up in this event.

At the end of this event, everyone who made Top 8 here receives a qualification for the Season Legacy Showcase Qualifier, which will take place on August 30 and wraps up Season 2 of the MTGO Premier Play. Congrats to everyone here who made the Top 8, and looking forward to seeing you all for the Showcase Qualifier!

Ban Watch

We didn't have much in the way of data from last week's events because those result weren't posted, so our chart this week doesn't include those events. It's looking like those events won't be posted, so we have to work with what we have.

So then, let's take a look at the chart of the "Bannable" cards that everyone keeps talking about.

Around the Web

  • Our good friends at MinMax are back, and Max wrote a great article on making unorthodox plays in Legacy, which you can check out here.
  • Anuraag Das with a great U/R Delver video featuring Rich Cali over on Channel Fireball. You can find that here.
  • Reddit user Klarostorix posted a great writeup on Legacy Ninjas, which you can check out here.
  • There's now a Maverick Podcast! Check out the first episode here!
  • Speaking of deck guides, Beest42 on Reddit posted a Mono Blue Delver guide which you can check out here.

The Spice Corner

Prison Planeswalker Stompy? I'm in.

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Our good friend Jeff Lin with U/W Tempo!

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Speaking of Jeff Lin, you ever just want to Astral Slide and Astral Drift a Gilded Drake a bunch? Got you covered.

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This deck has Spellshock in it!

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What I'm Playing This Week

I'm still working on playing around with the Wilderness Reclamation pile, which is kind of fun and hilarious.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks again for your continued support of the column and join us next week as 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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