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This Week in Legacy: Companion, Interrupted

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 talking about the Banned/Restricted Announcement from this past Monday and how things are going to look for Legacy from a format overview. Because of this B+R announcement, we are not going to cover any of the results from this past week's Magic Online events, because they all took place prior to the announcement. However, I will be poking through the lists still for the Spice Corner, which we always have of course.

Before we jump into the deep end of things, I wanted to note that this weekend on 5/24 at 4 PM EST I will be a Remote Player guest over on The Legacy Pit! These guys have been doing a great job keeping the spirit of their stream alive during this pandemic by having many different guests on the stream and I'm really excited to be joining in on the fun for a night. Expect to see some interesting decks for certain, and give these guys a subscribe/follow to help support them!

With that being said, let's dive right into the topic for this week's article.

The Friends We Made Along the Way

Monday May 18th brought us a Banned and Restricted list update for Legacy, and with it came two cards that have been highly contentious as of late.

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Both Lurrus of the Dream Den and Zirda, the Dawnwaker have been banned in Legacy, effective on Magic Online on 5/18. Let's take a look at the reasoning presented by Wizards of the Coast in the announcement.

The ban of Lurrus was based primarily on a few factors. One of these factors was the relative power level of the card and the minimal deckbuilding requirements that it needed to enable as a Companion. Secondly, Wizards noted that Lurrus decks collectively were representative of an increasingly large portion of the metagame. In addition, several variants of Lurrus decks were maintaining a 55% or greater win rate on Magic Online, and the metagame showed no signs of adapting or slowing down on this.

This is obviously the ban that was relatively expected for a few weeks now. Lurrus has become so omnipresent in Legacy, and there seemed to be no sign of the card stopping its reign. If anything, the only competition that Lurrus actually had as a Companion came from the other Companion card that was banned in this announcement: Zirda.

Zirda's ban was simple forethought. As noted in the announcement, the win rate of Zirda decks while not played in great numbers was incredibly high and without Lurrus around, the metagame share of Zirda would have likely only increased to the point of also needing to be banned.

These are great changes and both cards that needed attention. While Zirda was on the low end of seeing play compared to Lurrus, having played with several of the shells myself I can definitely say that these decks were powerful and would have definitely continued to push on the overall metagame until Zirda would have needed banning as well, so having the forethought to deal with this was very pleasant from the point of this banned and restricted list announcement.

The one major issue that I've already read about this announcement however, is that people are upset that cards like Arcum's Astrolabe, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Veil of Summer weren't addressed. To me, this was to be expected. The oppressive factor in the current metagame was Lurrus and the forethought of the rise of Zirda, and these cards simply weren't on the radar as we never truly have gotten to see the prominence of the Snowko decks in the format without severe interruptions (Breach Metagame, Lurrus Metagame, etc), so I did not expect Wizards to ban any of those three cards nor did I expect them to address them in the B&R announcement. This announcement was about the death of a cat and a fox after all.

What Happens Next with Legacy?

Well, the big question on everyone's mind is what is going to happen now with both Zirda and Lurrus gone from the format. The trend we saw prior to Ikoria's release was that the BUG/4C Snowko decks were beginning to establish something of a hold on the format. With Lurrus gone, the format is likely to return to those decks becoming prominent again once more, however now those decks have a bit of a new toy in Yorion, Sky Nomad. This allows those decks to run more cards and more cantrip space to work with them in, along with a five mana threat that looms over the game.

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However, is Yorion actually really that good? This part is unsure. Whether Yorion itself is insane, or it is the by product of the power level of things like Astrolabe/Oko/Uro is another factor. I do expect that Yorion based Snowko decks will rise in popularity, but you know what else that means? If you guessed combo decks, then you'd be correct. One of the decks that was performing exceptionally well in the post Breach pre Ikoria metagame was Doomsday, and I expect those people still piloting that deck will continue to do so. Decks like TES and the like also continue to play well amidst the Snow menace. We will also see Delver shift back into the more RUG based coloration as they will reassert playing threats like Oko in the deck. We can also see a bit of a return of various Chalice based decks, like Eldrazi and Titan Dryad.

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And of course, let's not forget that we have the rest of Ikoria around to see as well. Gyruda is likely to stick around, but my gut (and my play experience on the deck) tells me that it is actually just a fine deck since it has a fairly high failure rate of milling and hitting what you need to win the game, and people now know how to interact with it much better. Cards like Song of Creation are asking to be looked at now as well, and could potentially prove to be interesting cards for the format overall. Grixis builds playing Of One Mind could theoretically still exist in similar shells as they did with Lurrus, but with the option of being able to play some threats greater than CMC 2. We also have interesting cards like Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy that could potentially show off some power. Sprite Dragon could continue to do interesting things in Delver shells as well.

There is a lot of metagame to consider and a lot of cards to look at, and while Legacy might migrate back to the snowy wastelands of Astrolabe, it's possible that new ideas could take hold and the format can change and evolve. Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting to see and look at how this might all shake out.

Community Legacy Update

Again, there isn't much to report here, but keep checking those groups for playing webcam Legacy! They really are a great aspect of why the Legacy Community is so awesome!

Around the Web

  • The folks over at 90sMTG posted a sweet video of Hogaak "Lavavnought" vs Cephalid Breakfast over here.
  • The EPIC Storm's website ( recently celebrated its Five Year Anniversary. You can check out Bryant's article on the topic over here, and congrats on five years of having an incredible resource available for TES players!
  • Phil over at Thraben University posted a sweet video of Yorion Enchantress. Wild stuff, and you can find that here.

The Spice Corner


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Boompile? Boompile.

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This person is playing Jund and I just respect that a ton.

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Further speaking of Yorion... how about Yorion Curses?

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What I'm Playing This Week

Since Zirda got the chopping block, I'm trying something a little more interesting with Kaheera Elementals.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thank you for your continued support of the format and join us next week as we journey into the next phase of Legacy with Ikoria.

As always you can reach me on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition, you can always catch me on the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit!

Until next time, keep on firing the Gyruda Cannon!

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