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This Week in Legacy: Doing the Phyrexian Hustle

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 continuing our look at March of the Machine and notably March of the Machine Commander and what additional cards have come out of that since last week that could be Legacy playable. In addition to that we've got Challenge data from this past weekend to look at.

Let's a-go!

Marching for Phyrexia

March of the Machine and the full spoiler for both it and the Commander decks are out now, so let's take a look at what cards we may be interested in for Legacy purposes. There wasn't a bunch of cards missing here, but there were some really interesting ones.

Dance With Calamity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is by far the most interesting of cards revealed from the MOM Commander set (and really the only card from the Commander set that actually piqued our interest). There's definitely been some discussion over this card, and I'm very curious to see where it lands if anywhere at all. The effect is definitely very powerful, and it is a Sorcery for Burning Wish to fetch, but 8 mana is quite a lot of mana to be putting into something like this. There are a lot of comparisons to be had here to cards like Ad Nauseam and also Peer into the Abyss where cards like Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual tend to shine a lot more than the Red rituals, but things like Rite of Flame and Seething Song do exist.

The other awkward issue with this card is that you do have to immediately cast all the spells you can during the resolution of the spell which makes sequencing rather awkward, and it doesn't allow you to play a land off of it. At the end of the day I think this has the most potential to be tested and could end up being a fun tool in the toolbox of Storm type decks. The fact that they made it hard to abuse by setting it up so that it shuffles first also really shuts off any sort of other abuse and you're definitely hoping to build your deck around this card exiling a bunch of 0-1 MV cards instead.

Deeproot Wayfinder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I know I reviewed this one last week, but some folks mentioned that I did not mention the Merfolk in the room by noting that this is a card that could go in a Simic Merfolk variant. At best I think those variants are fringe enough (as is Mono Blue Merfolk really), and while this card could possibly be interesting there, I still think it's too slow, and even giving it some form of evasion like Islandwalk, you still may be behind the curve to really abuse this well. It is absolutely a neat effect, but it's just far too slow for current Legacy to really abuse.

Etched Familiar

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

There's been some discussion about this little guy (POOR Filigree Familiar!) in Painter decks where you can loop it with Goblin Welder and Goblin Engineer. The fact that it only does its effect when it dies is a little rough as you're not getting much value off of it when ETB, but when Chaos Defiler rolls around and more Rakdos variants come about I could see this card playing a role of "reach" in a deck like that, or even just stabilizing life totals a bit. But seriously, Phyrexia compleated the wrong best boi.

Invasion of Tarkir

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I've heard some chatter about this particular Battle in terms of various UR Delver-esque strategies, and I personally don't think the card is very good in those decks (at least in the main deck and wanting to build around it). I know that those decks in the past did play Bonecrusher Giant and this is sort of comparable (in that it does damage on the front half and becomes a creature on the back half). If you were going to want to play around with this, it would likely have to be in a deck that is already cutting Delver of Secrets for sure, since as a Battle this is another card that is not flipping a Delver in addition to cards like Mishra's Bauble already.

The bigger issue with this card is that 5 Defense counters is a lot, and it can't damage itself (on purpose obviously) with its ETB, so you are resorted to having to spend a Bolt + attacking to get value out of it. Now, I could see this being a sideboard card in some of those decks for the very grindy matchups like Control where they have Pyroblast up for your Murktides. You can spend this for two mana in those matchups to damage them with some Murktides in hand, and then flip it later on to gain another big flier that can't be Pyroblasted.

Lithomantic Barrage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I saw this card come up in some minor discussion and while I think it's an interesting design space it probably isn't going to see much play.

Rampaging Raptor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

As sort of a Red version of Questing Beast to a small extent, this card is interesting, but ultimately the decks that might want it are Red Prison based strategies which already have one of the best four drops in the deck now which is Caves of Chaos Adventurer. It could possibly be a sideboard card, but I'm struggling to see where I might want this over the Initiative threats which will just often win the grindy matchups on their own.


$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is actually pretty interesting. It's sort of like Birgi, God of Storytelling except the mana it adds is only tied to Instants / Sorceries instead of just any spell like Birgi. The big thing here is that it could supplement Birgi though by adding another card to put on the battlefield alongside Birgi (as sort of Birgi's 5-6) and then it's making RR for every Instant and Sorcery you cast while also reducing your opponent's life total at the same time. At the end too, if you flip it when your opponent is low on life, the Saga's first chapter is going to blow up their board + deal three damage to the face, which is not a small number. I could see this being tested for sure.

Is Infect Back On the Menu?

One thing that has been interesting as of late is the reinvigorating nature of Infect in the current format. We've been seeing a reasonable amount of the deck as of late, thanks to newer cards like Skrelv, Defector Mite and Ajani, Sleeper Agent.

In fact, our good friend Sam Dams (Fenruscloud) very recently posted a solid video discussing the deck in its current iterations given some of its recent high profile finishes in some paper events. Is Infect back on the menu? I think so. It's definitely a solid deck and has a lot of power behind it.

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Legacy Challenge 4/8

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 68 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Red Painter and Jeskai Control were the most popular of decks, but both didn't have great performance. 8Cast did quite well here, as did Reanimator. Elves however, which didn't make the cutoff here did insanely well with a 100% conversion rate of both of it's pilots to the Top 8 of the event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Elves 1st EronRelentless
Boros Stompy 2nd toselluc
Jeskai Control 3rd RyanWu
Death and Taxes 4th Granham
Elves 5th Mav40121
UR Delver 6th stu909090
8Cast 7th Jack9Em
8Cast 8th boytriton

Certainly an interesting Top 8. UR Delver with one Top 8 appearance here, but overall the deck did rather poorly in the event. At the end of it all however, it was our good friend EronRelentless who won it all on Elves.

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Very powerful list here. Atraxa has seemed super good in these decks for sure. I am also not surprised to see Gaea's Blessing as a sideboard card here given how prevalent Painter has been as of late.

In Second Place we had Boros Stompy.

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Initiative popping back into some form of the limelight in a Boros form, trying to mainly push a hatebear like Archon of Emeria into play first before its Caves of Chaos Adventurer or Seasoned Dungeoneer. This feels ultimately a lot fairer in general though, as the resources to try to get these creatures into play becomes a lot more difficult without White Plume Adventurer propping things up on Turn 1.

Further into the Top 8 we have Death and Taxes.

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D&T adopting Touch the Spirit Realm is not super surprising. It can blink both creatures and your Equipment (including Trailblazer's Torch) so it's ultimately a pretty neat card overall there.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had 8Cast.

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Very solid and straightforward list here really. No frills, and the deck doesn't really need any. Unlicensed Hearse in the sideboard is super sweet.

Legacy Challenge 4/9

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event (and Easter Sunday to boot). This event had 81 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

UR Delver was very popular but it's win rate was very poor. Reaniamtor also had a poor win rate, while 8Cast, Elves, and Jeskai Control did very well in this event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Riddlesmith Combo 1st Killabee
Elves 2nd Succulent
Jeskai Control 3rd Ark4n
8Cast 4th Ant_Are_MTG
Boros Stompy 5th Promidnightz
White Stompy 6th perez
Oops! All Spells 7th COmboMAN
Boros Stompy 8th KeepAny7vsYou

Little bit of the Stompy decks this go around, but also some combo and some control. At the end of the event it was the one and only Killabee (Fly Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Killabee!) on Riddlesmith Combo that won the event.

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I always love seeing the iterations on this deck. Killabee spends so much time iterating and working on this, and it's great to see hard work pay off. Vindictive Flamestoker looks superb here, so does The Mycosynth Gardens.

In Second Place we've got Elves.

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This is a pretty solidly stock list with not a ton of frills. Elves is a very good deck right now and it has a lot of power behind it.

Also in this Top 8 we had Jeskai Control.

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It's nice seeing pure Jeskai going around again. Staff of the Storyteller is really powerful it has seemed, especially since there are so many cards that enable it.

Near the bottom of the Top 8 we have Oops! All Spells.

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Oops is a neat deck, and while it's overall structure hasn't changed too much, it doesn't really have to. It has a lot of strong applications in the current format.

Around the Web

  • 90sMTG has some upcoming card action with The One Ring in their webcam league. Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode on results in the metagame. Check it out here.
  • has a video on 4C Loam. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

I love every time I see Demigod of Revenge.

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Painter + Stiflenought is so cool.

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Hardened Scales.deck is super sweet.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Legacy!

As always you can reach me at all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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