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This Week in Legacy: Core Matter


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 looking at some of the cards from Core Set 2021 and how they may impact Legacy. We're not all the way through spoiler season just yet on this set, so we may have to do a follow up next week, but for now we can take a look at some of the more interesting cards.

In addition to that, we've got a deck focus on a deck with a bunch of green little dudes (aka Goblins), as well as at least one event to talk about in the Legacy Challenge from Sunday. As always we have our Spice Corner.

One thing I'd like to mention is that the Saturday Challenge has not been firing for a few weeks now, and this is mainly because the event takes place super early in the morning for US players, and is geared more towards EU and Asia players. For this season, these events have been held at 64 player minimums, and haven't been firing because they have been barely making it (sometimes at 60 players, just 4 short of firing). If anyone from Wizards is reading my work at all, I would like to put out there suggesting moving these events back to 32 player minimums. Obviously, I would rather see Challenges scale prizing based on attendance in general and make them a little more fluid, but in the interest of firing events 32 player minimum makes more sense. This is mainly because many of the countries this time slot is geared towards are starting to open back up from COVID-19 and thus many of those players are getting out and about more than playing in MTGO events.

With that being said, let's dive right into the thick of things!

21 Things to Do On Your Vacation

We are in the midst of yet another spoiler season as Core Set 2021 is on its way. This set is proving to be highly aggressive with reprints, with some very high profile reprints coming down the pipe from cards like Grim Tutor, Scavenging Ooze, Containment Priest, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. However, there are plenty of new cards coming down the pipe. Let's take a look at some of the cards that seem interesting for Legacy, shall we?

Teferi, Master of Time

Teferi, Master of Time <281> [PM21]

As Core Set 2021 is focused on Teferi and his story, we of course have a new Teferi to look at. This time, Teferi is mono blue and gives us our first Planeswalker that has the ability to activate abilities at instant speed and on your opponent's turn. This is pretty interesting overall, and I'm not sure where Teferi might see play but the unique aspect of the card certainly means that it will see some testing in some shells, possibly even Snowko shells. The fact that you can use it to loot on the opponent's turn makes it really strong with cards like Entreat the Angels and Terminus and is also able to protect itself in a pinch from an attacking creature. This is definitely an interesting card for sure.

Mangara, the Diplomat

Mangara, the Diplomat [M21]

This is a new take on white card draw and thus deserves an interesting look as to whether or not this effect is good or not. Being Legendary is often a downside in Legacy thanks to the presence of Karakas, but this effect does seem quite strong and being a 2/4 is solid stats overall. This really punishes Delver decks slightly by recouping on the clock with Lifelink and also having the card advantage plus being non Boltable. I honestly would not be surprised to see this appear somewhere.

Eliminate

Eliminate [M21]

This card is excessively strong in Legacy. It hits so many good cards in the format, from Oko and Teferi/Narset to cards like Dreadhorde Arcanist, Delver, and Tarmogoyf. Heck, it even hits threats like Knight of the Reliquary very cleanly. The only downside of this card is that it can be protected against by Veil of Summer, but being an instant speed catch-all type removal for two mana is powerful in this format, and I would definitely not be surprised to see this eliminate the competition.

Conspicuous Snoop

Conspicuous Snoop [M21]

This card is STRONG, and likely a solid indicator that we will never see Goblin Recruiter ever get unbanned in Legacy. There is already a solid combo kill floating around with this card, by casting this on Turn 2 and then Boggart Harbinger on Turn 3, fetching Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker on top of the library. This allows you to create infinite Snoops, until you have enough in play to where you can then make another copy of Boggart Harbinger, fetching Sling-Gang Lieutenant and then sacrificing all the Snoops for lethal.

I would also suspect that this would work pretty well in an existing Goblins shell, but also in a Food Chain Goblins type shell as well. Either way, this is an exceptionally powerful card to look out for.

Llanowar Visionary

Llanowar Visionary [M21]

Elvish Visionary and Llanowar Elves did the Fusion dance and combined into a bigger creature that does both things that each card individually did. Whether this is worth testing in Elves is up for debate, since being a mana dork + cantrip is cool but it does cost three mana which is a significant downside. I'm going to guess based on my own limited knowledge of Elves that this is a hard no.

Chandra's Incinerator

Chandra's Incinerator [M21]

I honestly think this card is pretty interesting, especially as a 1-2 of in a Burn deck. It's easily castable on Turn 2 (suspended Rift Bolt + any damage spell reduces it to just R for casting, or double Seal of Fire effects). After it comes down, it not only swings for six damage, but also turns any bolt effects into Searing Blaze effects, which takes away the need to level bolts at creatures and take damage away from your primary target. While this might be a bad late game topdeck, I honestly like this card and would be interested in trying it out.

Village Rites

Village Rites [M21]

I'm not going to lie that I immediately considered Veteran Explorer shells when I read this card. Instant speed card draw on a creature you already want to sacrifice seems just fine.

Angelic Ascension

Angelic Ascension [M21]

More Planeswalker removal, and this time in white. The downside is a little awkward, and likely Eliminate is simply just a better card overall, but it is interesting to see them attempting more ways of dealing with Planeswalkers.

Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse

Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse [M21]

Jolrael is back and this is quite an interesting effect, especially when paired with a card like Sylvan Library that will trigger it's first ability always. The second ability is a bit of a mana sink, but works great with cards like Gaea's Cradle. This has to do a lot to be considered, but I do think it is pretty interesting overall.

Stormwing Entity

Stormwing Entity [M21]

Reducing this to costing 1U by only having to have cast an instant or sorcery is pretty interesting, especially since you can set up dead cards with Ponder or Brainstorm first and then scry them away with the ETB trigger. Getting a 3/3 for 1U with Prowess is a super good rate, and I expect we will see this show up somewhere in a Delver shell.

Frantic Inventory

Frantic Inventory [M21]

This card is essentially Accumulated Knowledge except for one big thing. This card doesn't count all the cards in all graveyards, only the ones in your graveyard. This makes it actually superior in mirror matchups where AK was a liability due to the fact that casting them early could benefit your opponent. Frantic Inventory doesn't have that issue, which makes it more interesting to play. If Miracles ever fully returns to playing an AK variant, it will likely play this.

Peer Into the Abyss

Peer into the Abyss [M21]

While this is 2 mana more than Ad Nauseam, I feel like it is a bit more deterministic than Ad Nauseam in decks that want to cast it. Ad Nauseam in ANT can occasionally whiff and even further can occasionally accidentally kill the ANT player; with this card it is unlikely that the opponent won't draw good cards and even more possible that even if they have to pass the turn, they will be passing with a full grip of disruption and the ability to go off. Definitely looking forward to seeing this see play.

Thieves' Guild Enforcer

Thieves' Guild Enforcer [M21]

One mana threats are the best number for Delver decks, and this opens up an interesting Rogue tribal Delver style tempo deck that can quickly present a powerful threat in a 3/2 deathtouch. Also, did you know that True-Name Nemesis is a Merfolk Rogue? Yeah, that is a thing.

Miscast

Miscast [M21]

This card is pretty neat, and Mystical Dispute has seen some measure of play in the format, so I would expect to see this see play as a piece of cool conditional countermagic.

Niambi, Esteemed Speaker

Niambi, Esteemed Speaker [M21]

Niambi is fairly interesting in that she costs two mana and does some interesting things with bouncing creatures. She also turns additional Legendary creatures into card advantage. I'm not sure where this fits but it seems like a pretty cool design.

Sporeweb Weaver

Sporeweb Weaver [M21]

Hexproof from blue is neat, and while this profitably blocks a flipped Delver and survives, it still is capable of dying to a lot more like a Bolt + Delver swing. I don't expect this to show up really.

Sublime Epiphany

Sublime Epiphany [M21]

This likely sees no play whatsoever in Legacy, but holy cow all those combinations of effects and that ART!

Rambunctious Mutt

Rambunctious Mutt [M21]

WHO'S A GOOD PUPPER?! YOU ARE!

Community Legacy Update

I don't have a ton here to update as of late, so if you have something community-related you'd like me to feature please feel free to reach out to me!

Deck Focus - Goblins!

Returning back to some deck focus sections, we're going to talk about a great and fun little deck, featuring some adorable green idiots. No, I'm not talking about Elves, I'm talking about Goblins!

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Goblins is a pretty interesting and fun deck, based around the use of Aether Vial and Goblin Lackey. However, the distinction of Goblins as a Legacy deck is that this deck is not an aggro deck, and shouldn't be approached as such during gameplay. Goblins is in fact, a control deck, utilizing effects like Rishadan Port + Wasteland along with the Vial game plan to present enough disruption to the opponent while being able to break through with its creatures.

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In addition, the deck has a number of powerful silver bullet cards and multiple ways to tutor those cards up, either through Goblin Matron or Goblin Ringleader. Those cards include individually strong effects like Goblin Trashmaster, Sling-Gang Lieutenant, and Goblin Chainwhirler.

This is a deck with a bit of a learning curve, since as a pilot you need to know when to hang back and play a control game and when to turn the corner and start applying real pressure to the opponent. Also identifying what your opponent's game plan is and what silver bullets might be required to beat it.

The best thing about this deck is that it has a stunningly good matchup against the Snowko decks, especially the ones utilizing cards like Terminus. This is mainly because this deck has a great way of rebuilding quickly after a board wipe. It can very easily get back on board and present a threat, and Oko especially can be somewhat awkward since it doesn't protect against cards like Goblin Piledriver and for many of its creatures, turning it into an Elk is a genuine upgrade.

As mentioned earlier, this deck is also receiving a powerful new card in the form of Conspicuous Snoop from Core Set 2021, so that will be interesting to see how that card impacts this deck.

If you enjoy tribal decks that have an interesting play to them that can function as a control deck and as a pseudo aggressive strategy, Goblins is a great deck to look at. The deck has quite a few great pilots, one of the most prolific is Eli (aka GoblinLackey1). Eli provides great insight into the deck overall, and has a solid Twitch stream you should totally check out if you're interesting in seeing some peak Goblins play.

Legacy Challenge 6/14

We had at least one Challenge over the weekend, the normal Sunday Challenge event. Let's dive right into the Top 32 metagame breakdown!

One glaring thing to point out is that there really wasn't a ton of Snow variant decks (at least the normal 4C Snowko variants) in this Top 32, but there was plenty of RUG Delver and G/B Depths decks, which did quite well at converting to the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dredge 1st MahFuzVanGogh
Death and Taxes 2nd Malimujo
Snowko 3rd LSMGuys
G/B Depths 4th LaviDD
G/B Depths 5th Laywer
RUG Delver 6th Silviawataru
Esper Vial 7th JaceTMSST
RUG Delver 8th I_B_True

This is a wild Top 8 given that a few weeks ago we were considering that Snowko might be the best deck in the format and overly dominant after the bans of Lurrus/Zirda and the Companion Change. I suspect that the metagame is simply adjusting as it can and this also tells me that it's unlikely that cards from the Snow deck are so overpowering that they would require a banning. Sorry, Anti-Astrolabers, but it does seem like the card will be around for a while unless something changes rapidly that pushes Snow back into a dominant position.

At the end of this event however, it was none other than DREDGE that took it all down!

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Dredge is an all-around sweet deck to be on when you are expecting the format to be on a ton of blue pile and Delver decks. One big thing to note here is the presence of two main deck Lotus Petal, which can allow the deck to be ultra accelerative when it needs to be, but also only a single Careful Study in the list as well. Still, it's great to see a Dredge deck do well, so congrats to MahFuzVanGogh!

In Second Place we have Death and Taxes.

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This seems like an ultra-solid list for sure, and I love how there has been some adoption from the Esper Vial decks of having Charming Prince in the main deck. D&T is always one of those decks that is great in the hands of a solid pilot, and this one certainly did well.

In Third Place we have Snowko.

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This is what we've come to expect from these decks, leaning hard on the power of Astrolabe and the fact that it can run both Back to Basics and Blood Moon in the sideboard.

In Fourth and Fifth Place we have G/B Depths.

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The big difference between these two lists lies in the distinction of the creature base, since the Third Place list is more leaned on a Slow/Medium Depths deck while the Fourth Place list is a more classic Turbo Depths style deck. As such, the first list is focused more on playing a grindier game with card advantage with a combo backup while the Fourth Place list is more focused on getting to the Depths combo quickly to defeat the opponent before they can assemble a game plan.

In Sixth Place we have RUG Delver.

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This version of RUG Delver is much lower to the ground overall with Oko backing up the game plan overall. Hooting Mandrills slightly competes with Dreadhorde Arcanist, but not by very much. It still presents a strong threat.

In Seventh Place we have Esper Vial.

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I've talked about this deck time and time again on here, as I am a big fan of the deck overall. It is extremely powerful, and I expect that this is actually a better way to approach a D&T-like strategy with Aether Vial now than D&T actually is (and this is despite D&T placing well with a single pilot on the deck in this event). Esper Vial has a lot of strength in it, but also gets to play the blue suite of cards as well as some really powerful hate bears like Meddling Mage. This deck does have a strong learning curve, however.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have another RUG Delver list.

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One really surprising thing about this list is the complete lack of Dreadhorde Arcanist overall. Instead it relies on the power of Stifle (which is fairly awkward with Arcanist). Also great in this list is the sideboard Klothys, God of Destiny and Narset, Parter of Veils.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event. In order to have shown up in this list, 2019 cards needed to have 10 copies or greater.

Card Name Number of Copies
Oko, Thief of Crowns 29
Force of Negation 26
Veil of Summer 25
Arcum's Astrolabe 19
Prismatic Vista 17
Ice-Fang Coatl 16
Dreadhorde Arcanist 14
Deafening Silence 10
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 10
Klothys, God of Destiny 3
Cling to Dust 2
Yorion, Sky Nomad 2
Ox of Agonas 1

The Snow package didn't really do a whole lot overall in this event, given the level of Snow decks, but Oko himself was a fair presence along with Force of Negation. Also one interesting thing is the fact that there were only two copies of Yorion, Sky Nomad Companion decks in the event, and they were both interesting niche decks (Worldgorger combo and Aluren). I like that Yorion finds itself in a fun and interesting niche thing.

This event was interesting overall, and it will continue to be interesting to see how the metagame evolves as we move forward, and it will be also interesting to see just how Core Set 2021 will impact it.

Around the Web

  • Our good friends over at ELO Punters put out a new episode this past week! Check it out here.
  • 90sMTG posted some new videos on their channel featuring Rich Cali of Delver fame! Check that out here.
  • R/W Winota!

The Spice Corner

ABR gives us some greatness with Winota!

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A bit of a slower and more interesting take on Gyruda combo, with some backup plans like Urza, Lord High Artificer.

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Living End in Legacy? SIGN ME UP.

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Speaking of Cascade decks... RUG Waterfalls!

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What I'm Playing This Week

I am returned from vacation, but not entirely just yet at the time of this writing, so I'll be updating this section next week with whatever ends up striking my fancy in the world of Legacy!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thank you for your continued support of the column and join me next week as we continue our journey into Legacy.

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

Until next time, keep casting Teferi!


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