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This Week in Legacy: European Eternal Weekend and SCG Baltimore


Welcome to another This Week in Legacy. This week we’ll be running through the recent European Eternal Weekend that occurred over the weekend of the 4th-6th of May. These events always set the world stage ablaze with some neat new technology, and really show what the format’s most dedicated are bringing. SCG Baltimore also went by, with another team event to look over and a corresponding Classic.

European Eternal Weekend

You can see the breakdown of European Eternal Weekend below.

Deck Player Placing
Turbo Depths Vladimir Arneuve 1
Death & Taxes Simon Depraz 2
Dragon Stompy Paul Ridoux 3-4
Grixis Delver Guillem Salvador Arnal 3-4
Dredge Antoine Dubois 5-8
Jeskai Control Julien Drouard 5-8
Miracles Cyril Pitalot 5-8
Grixis Delver Adrien Demoget 5-8

It follows what we’ve expected moving forward, with Grixis Delver and Czech Pile at the top of the format, Miracles following behind as the premier Blue-White strategy and then a smattering of others afterwards. In terms of non-Blue decks, Lands and Turbo Depths have been the premier strategies, followed by Death & Taxes – though interestingly absent are Dragon Stompy and 4c Loam. Looking back to other Blue decks, Stoneblade seems to continually make an appearance at European tournaments despite its lackluster positioning and in terms of BUG variants BUG Control a la Jeremy Dezani seems to supplant BUG Delver as the Brainstorm and Abrupt Decay shell of choice.

Moving on to the winning list:

Turbo Depths really is the menace people need to be looking out for, smashing apart tournament after tournament and continually changing for the metagame moving forward. Versions like that of Jody Keith from last week and Vladimir’s this week are taking the “Turbo” out of Turbo Depths and making the deck into more of a Rock-style machine full of answers (Thoughtseize, Duress and Decay) and less tutors (other than the premium Crop Rotation and Sylvan Scrying). No longer is making a Marit Lage the only way to win. Just drowning the opponent in card advantage thanks to premium midrange threats like Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant is certainly a possibility.

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I like how Sylvan Safekeeper is finding more of a calling in these lists too. Not only does Safekeeper defend Marit Lage from Edicts and Swords to Plowshares, but he also acts as a Mother of Runes-esque effect to defend Bob and Deathrite and let them get to work.

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The sideboard too is slanted for a midrange slug fest with Bitterblossom and Liliana, the Last Hope ready for the grind. Sideboard Choke I’m sure is also a powerhouse and must counter against a deck such as Miracles. I’d like to see a Life from the Loam in these sideboards to be honest, as reviving the combo again and again Lands style is another axis that can create inevitability.

Turbo Depths has come a long way indeed, as it beat one of its most difficult matchups, Death & Taxes, in the finals! How the mighty have… Fallen?

Well, not really. This is a pretty typical list without any frills of a Red splash and with the usual consistent quad-Stoneforge package. The only real metagame flex we see in this list is the triple Mirran Crusader for banishing Czech Pile, popularized by Thraben University’s Phil Gallagher, and dual, untutorable Serra Avengers as a mighty beatstick to fly over seas of Pyromancer tokens and annoying Merfolk Rogues. Two Revokers is becoming more and more normal with K Command so prevalent. Getting two creatures killed by the instant is a real walloping.

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In the sideboard, again we see a lot of consistency. I like the multi-angle axis of attack on graveyards here, with Surgical Extraction somewhat of an uncommon choice with Black-Red Reanimator now less prevalent but very useful against the rising Lands and Depths decks. An extra Sword in War and Peace, again drawing influence from Thraben University, locks up matchups like the mirror.

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Looking to the rest of the Top 8, Dredge has been having tonnes of success on Magic Online in the hands of Orim67, but now finally takes its place as a contender in Paper. This list mashes up a lot of things we’ve seen in past lists. There’s a little bit of Putrid Imp (two of them, actually), a little bit of Street Wraith and a little bit of extra creatures in Prized Amalgam. Also of note is the presence  of main deck Lotus Petal (perhaps influenced by the Japanese quad-Petal lists) and maxing out of Breakthrough over Careful Study. Study is the more consistent option (allowing you to keep a wider range of keepable hands) but Breakthrough is very much the more “broken” option for comboing out ASAP, especially when Petals are involved to dump the whole graveyard in the bin on turn one.

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Interesting sideboard choices:

  • Fragmentize as Leyline or Cage destruction (but notably not helping against Chalice + Leyline, common out of Stompy decks) that doesn’t give the opponent life like Nature’s Claim.
  • Silent Gravestone showing off its place as the best anti-Surgical and Deathrite hate available once more.
  • Sideboard Street Wraith to uncounterably accelerate and dodge those Deathrites trying to eat Dredgers.

I’m very happy to see Dredge at the top tables, especially with new weapons like Silent Gravestone at its disposal to make people more fearful. Bring on the zombie beats!

The oddest deck that made the Top 8 is this. Basically Bladeless Jeskai Stoneblade (again, making a statement about the strength of equipment currently), it incorporates a few Miracles-style innovations like Search for Azcanta and Predict for raw cards, but also backs it up with some aggressive Red options: Lightning Bolt, the flexible Abrade and everyone’s favorite Fire // Ice.

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But probably the most interesting inclusion is one of the best aggressive three drops prior to True-Name Nemesis printing: Geist of Saint Traft. He certainly has some merit now, too, because on empty boards he clocks faster than the Merfolk, but can run into issues against Baleful Strix and even a lone Snapcaster Mage on Ambush Viper mode. As stylish as the Geist is, maybe just having four True-Names is the sad but best way to go with this shell.

SCG Baltimore

Let’s look towards some of the decks from the recent Team Open in Baltimore as well. As always, take these with a grain of salt, as a team event typically tends to have a skewed selection of decks along with quite a small pool of Legacy players.

Grixis Delver takes the top spot with five players, but Czech Pile continues to be underrepresented in these Team Events. Rather, Miracles is the premier control strategy being utilized, with four players sleeving up Terminus.

There are a few interesting lists I’d like to highlight:

Not only has Lands extraordinaire Jody Keith opted for Turbo Depths, but so has David Long! David took a much more “Turbo” approach to the deck, opting for a pretty stock main deck maximizing on tutors and acceleration.

His sideboard is where things get a little fancy, to me, though.

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Green Sun's Zenith and Dryad Arbor create a neat bit of turn one acceleration while also providing Edict protection for Marit Lage. Tireless Tracker too finds himself a Zenith target to bring the grind. Safekeeper too can be tutored with Zenith.

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The other interesting sideboard card Long utilized was Damping Sphere from Dominaria. Sphere of Resistance has been a common addition to Turbo Depths to fight Storm, but can also hamper the setting up of its own combo. Damping Sphere fixes that, while also bringing some splash damage against Ancient Tomb decks, I suppose; though I’d like to believe those are relatively good matchups to begin with anyway.

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Almost all the recent Eldrazi lists featured Karn, Scion of Urza somewhere in the seventy-five – Joshua Taylor deciding to play him within the main. I’m still honestly not convinced by Karn in Eldrazi, as his -2 can’t really be effectively abused with the low number of artifacts in the deck and Eldrazi has its own Eldrazi-tribal grind engine in Endbringer anyway. In a deck like Steel Stompy, however, I think he is a much better fit due to being a grind engine that can also beatdown if needed.

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Although people have been tinkering with some fun Food Chain decks involving Squee, the Immortal these days, Cosmo Kwok took it back to old school, not even using Walking Ballista, in his rather classic BUG Food Chain list. With not even a Fierce Empath in sight, Cosmo aims to slam Emrakul or Tidespout Tyrant and ruin the opponent’s day. Along with the now BUG staple Leovold, Cosmo included some other oddities, such as Hostage Taker (Pirate Stompy classic), a main deck Delve threat in Tombstalker and a sideboard spicy Nimble Obstructionist. Also note the main deck utilizes Shardless Agent (like Food Chain lists pre-Ballista) which naturally limits Ballista’s inclusion but also makes cards such as Engineered Explosives and Flusterstorm look a little suspect.

Other notables from the Team Open include Jonathan Yanik’s Maverick list and more Preordain Miracles (but this time with Vendilion Clique in the sideboard).

Looking over to the Classic…

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The most exciting deck is definitely this! Deadguy Ale returns! With a few new innovations, actually, including Palace Jailer and Hero of Bladehold in the four drop slot and the addition of Liliana, the Last Hope alongside Liliana of the Veil. Some things never change though – Vindicate is still the name of the game with Deadguy Ale, ideally accelerated out by Chrome Mox to really get land destruction going. Chrome Mox always is an interesting but understandable inclusion in these shells, especially when turn two Dark Confidant can be powered out to really put pressure on the opponent.

Lastly, I’d like to highlight two new plans of Black-Red Reanimator:

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There’s a neat little creature package in the sideboard to do work on a few strategies. Grim Lavamancer I’m sure looks impressive when opponent’s have aimed to fight the Reanimator player on the stack, with no removal left in their main, and Lavamancer can get to work gunning down Deathrites and Delvers. Magus of the Moon I like as well – he’s the perfect way to lock out a Depths or Lands players after a Griselbrand draw fourteen, keeping the Demon safe from Karakas shenanigans. Turboing out Magus Stompy-style is also possible with certain draws too, especially ones involving many Lotus Petals.

Conclusion

That wraps up This Week in Legacy for this week. As always, here’s some links from around the web:

  • From Jo Dyer, The Eternalist features a profile on Miracles through the ages. Find that here.
  • Dan Kristoff talks how to Belcher in Part 1 and 2 of his series at Draw and Get a Beer.
  • Eternal Durdles talks Turbo Depths on their recent episode.
  • James Hsu is at it again with an excellent Legacy-relevant Humans of Magic. He talks to the Hatfield brothers, arbiters of the format from its early existence, about Thresh, Enchantress and more. Find that here.

‘Til next time.

Sean Brown

Email: sean_brown156@hotmail.com
Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

Well, I’m certainly excited to see this take a 4-2 in the recent Challenge! Bamboozled must’ve gone through lots of clicks to combo, but his list certainly shows the strength of Karn. I would recommend finding room for Ancient Den but adding Canopy is certainly interesting as flood protection. Tsabo's Web is a neat hoser (but narrow) to fight decks such as Lands. I guess it cantrips, at least, like how Ground Seal has been previously justified in other decks.

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The Spice Corner

A new variation on Tin Fins is what has been dubbed “Bizarro Stormy”. The main addition is Mind's Desire. Or, well, Magus of the Mind is what I mean, but with Shallow Grave and Corpse Dance in the mix it might as well be the same thing. Another interesting addition to this deck is Mastermind's Acquisition as a tutor for both your main deck and sideboard!

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This list comes from phazonmutant of MTGTheSource. I highly recommend joining the discussion of the deck as it evolves – find the thread here.

Bizarro Stormy
by phazonmutant


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