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This Week in Legacy: Commander 2017 Spoilers

Welcome to another This Week in Legacy! We've already touched on a few of the Commander 2017 cards last week, but this week I'll go through as comprehensively as I can all the new cards that may be Legacy relevant. As always, we’ll also have a look through the most recent Magic Online Legacy Challenge!

Commander 2017 Spoilers

Commander products are always a highlight for Legacy, being one of the few sets that can specifically target Eternal formats. True-Name Nemesis and Containment Priest have been some of the powerhouses that were born out of the Commander products. Is anything so ground-breaking in Commander 2017? Well, sadly, not really. But let’s dig in anyway, going card-by-card in the order they were spoiled:

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As tempting as this is for a reanimator or Show and Tell creature, especially since it can get a fellow fatty into play after it attacks (if one is rotting in hand), as always Griselbrand is tough competition.

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In some Ancient Tomb and Moat deck (Angel Stompy, I’m looking at you), this could be some kind of fit – it trades incredibly well with removal, similar to the Regent cycle of Dragons (and Thunderbreak Regent got his share of Legacy play!). But how feasible that deck is to begin with is questionable anyway.

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Unofficially spoiled earlier, there’s a lot of clauses that need to make this guy good. That being said, the bizarre tap-out Blue-White Stoneblade lists (feat. Palace Jailer) certainly seems, bizarrely, like a nice home for this guy. Rebounding cantrips is very good value, and Taigam can defend himself from removal with Karakas. 3/4 is very reasonable in Legacy as well. That being said, I’d prefer a little more upside to be tapping out for this over Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

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I have no idea if there are enough Black Dragons to make some Black Dragon Stompy deck a thing, but perhaps in some interesting Dragon-based Nic Fit shell (I have seen Crucible of the Spirit Dragon in a 5-0ing Nic Fit deck, so maybe there is something here…) this could be a very strong midgame play, especially with Recurring Nightmare or even Birthing Pod as a key piece of those decks.

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Phasing returns?! Well. Unfortunately this is more just a “cool, nostalgic” card, rather than actually Legacy-applicable, though it is somewhat a nice variation on the Silence/Orim’s Chant/Angel’s Grace kind of effects. Excellent as a “gotcha!” from D&T against Storm, but that’s about all.

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Mardu has been the most underappreciated wedge in all of Legacy, and although Mathas, Fiend Seeker isn’t doing much for that cause, he’s somewhat of a step in the right direction. A pseudo-evasive creature that could get some value (if you’re optimistic) is not bad. With a bit of push in stats and value more easily generated, I could see a suite of Stoneforge Mystic, Bob, and a crew of Legacy’s most efficient removal and discard getting work done.

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Black is getting more and more random pseudo-evasive idiots that can create value. Although it’s a bit of a luck-of-the-draw kind of effect, and can certainly whiff pretty terribly (Mind-Eater doesn’t have the clause many of these style of cards have, in that any mana can be used to cast the exiled cards), in some Mono-Black deck already maxed out on Bobs, this could be an option for more grinding if needed. Though grinding done in a very mediocre way.

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This is a very cool card, and reminds me of Necrotic Ooze, which sprung its own reanimator variant. Mairsil may have such potential up his own sleeve in some convoluted combo – though activating only once per turn makes him a little too fair, sadly.

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Right after Hazoret’s Undying Fury we now get Mind’s Desire on a stick too! Like most of this Magi cycle, however, I don’t have high hopes for Magus of the Mind, other than in some kind of spell chain Shallow Grave type deck (Tin Fins, Griselstorm) that can give Magus haste and activate the ability very, very cheaply. Note that Magus of the Mind’s ability is a little different from usual Mind’s Desire, since there are no Storm copies, just a single effect.

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A cute little five drop for Nic Fit that probably won’t see play due to not being Zenithable. The payoff is also not incredible – basically getting a dumbed-down Sylvan Library and a potential recursive kill spell.

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Welcome the most Legacy-playble card in Commander 2017! Kess, Dissident Mage has a huge amount to love, so let’s break her down:


Four mana needs to pass the Jace test.The colours of mana for Kess are a little restrictive, though certain decks do find UBR a little easier to hit than 2UU. With the colors she requires in mind, we’re probably aiming for some kind of midrangey Grixis deck – Czech Pile and Grixis Control call to us.

Legendary Creature – Human Wizard

So Kess gets sadly hit by Karakas and has legend rule issues. She’s definitely not going to be a four-of moving forward.



Now that’s a body. When mentioning Rebound Taigam I spoke of the power of 3/4 and that holds true here too. 3/4 dodges Lightning Bolt and Abrupt Decay and needs a Revolted Push to kill it; so Red-based Delver decks will definitely struggle with this. Kess having flying is also huge. Legacy is dominated by three-power fliers, such as Insectile Aberration and Flickerwisp, and Kess happily brickwalls those. Something that a card like Jace can’t do permanently – he can only buy time.

During each of your turns, you may cast an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard. If a card cast this way would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

Every turn, you get to Snapcaster something back. This, this is powerful stuff, making Kess, if you untap with her, close to Jace in power level. If you cast Kess with a mana up, she’s definitely going to replace herself (because you’ll always have cantrips in the bin, I’m sure), and even without mana up, cards like Gitaxian Probe can still get cast. Note that Force of Will and Daze are also viable choices, and, unlike Snapcaster (and more like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy), these can be cast for their alternative costs.

This list comes courtesy of good friend Elton Wong, and is a good starting point for testing Kess, as she perfectly complements Grixis Control due to the aforementioned synergy with Probe. A 1/1 split between Jace and Kess looks pretty viable, and Kess herself may actually be easier on the mana, especially with Elton notifying me of his desire to include a basic Mountain and a Bolt over a Fatal Push. Kess really nicely complements Lightning Bolt, now that I think about it, giving the deck not only Angler, but also Kess, to quickly turn the corner in a flurry.

I’d be happy to see Kess crop up in Czech Pile too – in particular, the Pile versions minimising the Green splash may appreciate her.

08/14 Legacy Challenge

Another week, another Challenge. Let’s break it down:

Deck Player Placing
4c Control VedX 1
Grixis Delver SorboOne 2
Grixis Delver Mou 3
Dragon Stompy zackwihak 4
Elves jjkbb2005 5
Aluren Cartesian 6
Grixis Control SIN 7
4c Control jacetmsst 8

SorboOne keeps bringing the beats with Pyromancer-less Grixis Delver:

This time he’s opted for Snapcasters over True-Names, trimming down on a Stifle too. I’d love to find room for two Gitaxian Probe in this list just to give turn two Snapcaster a little bit of value, but then again, this style of list never really wants to be tapping out. I’m a huge fan of the countermagic suite SorboOne has chosen, and his sideboard also has a neat package of haymakers in Bitterblossom and Winter Orb. I like!

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Cartesian has long been the person behind Aluren’s innovation, and his newest version takes the deck to its grindiest yet, trimming down on Aluren and adding creatures that aren’t conducive to comboing at all – such as True-Name Nemesis. Collective Brutality is also an exciting way to use inevitable excess cards accrued after Cascading and Baleful Strixing through the deck.

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Tablet of the Guilds I’m sure can be explained as a Burn sideboard card, but also can be used to generate infinite life with Cavern Harpy if Aluren is in play! Vengeful Rebel is also very effective as a removal spell on a stick that can be recurred with Cavern Harpy (who also nicely triggers Revolt).

Montolio brought MUD to a Top 16, looking very traditional except for the addition of three Walking Ballista. I question whether this is better than typical Eldrazi or even Big Eldrazi, but I guess Metalworker is a hell of a drug.

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Another old Ancient Tomb deck came out of the woodwork in the hands of SBBobPlissken. Imperial Painter was decried by many as dead after Top’s banning, but here, multiple Enlightened Tutors, a focus on Chandra, Torch of Defiance for grinding, and Crystal Ball (!) let the deck see enough cards! Perhaps the deck ain’t quite dead yet.

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That's all for This Week in Legacy. Catch some Legacy content from around the net:


'Til next time,

Sean Brown

Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I'm Playing This Week

I really like SorboOne's list. So I'll be adapting it so:

I'm in love with sideboard Snapcaster Mage, something I've picked up from friends Ethan Gaieski and Steven Stamopoulos. It's a skeleton key that keeps the deck threat-dense vs. combo (4 Delver, 4 DRS and 2 Snap are all efficient, and DRS and Snap are also disruptive) while also being a powerful source of card advantage in grindy matchups. I'm not sure on the counterspell configuration, and honestly 2 Piece, 1 Snare is probably the best... But it's hard for me to refuse a good ol' Counterspell in Delver.

The Spice Corner

Mono-Red Storm finally takes down a 5-0!



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