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This Week in Legacy: Five More Minutes, Mom!

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 diving into what March of the Machine means for Legacy! In addition to that, we've got a bunch of events to discuss from the Challenges this past weekend and the Showcase Qualifier to the Bazaar of Boxes Series 7 event. We've also got an event announcement for another Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

A March of Machines

Spoiler season is upon us yet again and this go around we are ending it all with the finale to the ongoing Phyrexia storyline that has been culminating since at least KaldheimMarch of the Machine is an all out Planar war and the invaders are Phyrexia itself. We're going to talk a bit about the new mechanics, especially since this set introduces us to the first new card type in a long time to be added to the game. We'll also talk about what cards might impact Legacy here.

Battle Battle Battle

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Of course the biggest thing to mention about March of the Machine is the introduction of the Battle card type. Battles are a new permanent type (and they're all double faced cards), and all of the Battles in this set have a sub type of Siege. These cards are interesting in that the sub type actually defines the rules of how these cards interact with combat (which means future Battles could have different sub types that adjust the rules of how they act in combat). Every Battle enters the battlefield with a number of defense counters on it, which tells you how much damage it takes to defeat a battle. They are only cast during your main phase if the stack is empty just like regular non-Instant spells.

Here's where things are interesting. When a Battle with sub type Siege enters, you choose an opponent to be its protector. Every other player in that game can attack the Battle to reduce its defense counters. It's worth noting too that Battles can be damaged by direct damage spells as well (for example you can certainly cast Lightning Bolt on a Battle. The Battle's protector can block creatures attacking it.

Once the last defense counter is removed from a Siege Battle, the Battle is defeated and a triggered ability triggers to exile it and allow the Battle's controller to cast its back face from exile without paying its mana cost. Usually the back half is also a permanent, but in some cases it could be a spell.

The biggest thing to note about these cards is the fact that there are a number of cards that exist in Legacy that can directly interact with the removal of counters from permanents, namely Hex Parasite and Vampire Hexmage to name a few. Whether this may slip in some Battles into the format remains to be seen. Most of these look pretty safe (and quite frankly low powered for Legacy), but some like Invasion of Ikoria can be cast pretty cheaply (you can even cast it for X=0) and immediately flip into an 8/8 with reach. I would definitely be interested in seeing what happens with this card type out of this set for sure. Knowing also that the Lord of the Rings set is also coming could mean that we will see this type again pretty immediately in that set.

Other Mechanics

There's a few other mechanics to talk about, but they are doubtful to have a huge impact. The first of which is Backup, which applies abilities to creatures based on the creature entering with Backup and also a +1/+1 counter to boot. Another mechanic is Incubate, which creates artifact tokens called Incubators which can be transformed into a Phyrexian artifact creature later on for two mana.

Now let's take a look at the various cards that could see play in Legacy.

Chrome Host Seedshark

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Parallels to be had here with Monastery Mentor (which also got reprinted in this set!) but I think this card is a little slow, and the fact that you have to pay it off by paying 2 for each one to transform is rough. That being said, there is something to be said about some form of an Ancient Tomb shell that makes more tokens to supplement Urza's Saga Constructs, but I don't think you need more cards that do that, and Sai is already better at three mana.

Deeproot Wayfinder

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This card is almost there, but it's incredibly slow and lacks evasion to push through its damage trigger. It is a two mana 2/3 which is cool, but it's very close. Maybe if it had some form of pseudo unblockable ability.

Faerie Mastermind

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World Champion Yuta Takahashi talked a bit about this card at Magic Con Philadelphia where it was spoiled, and he mentioned very specifically he hoped it would be played in Legacy and Vintage. This is very much that sort of Ledger Shredder-esque threat and it does have Flash which is cool. It can definitely draw some cards, but I'll be curious to see where this one falls. My guess is it possibly might not fly here at all though.

Halo Forager

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Sort of a weird Snapcaster Mage variant without Flash. It does fly which is interesting, but more than likely this is not going to see much play.

Invasion of Gobakhan

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While most of the Battles have seemed fairly safe overall, this one is reasonably costed and is sort of an Elite Spellbinder-like effect. Three counters makes it reasonably easy to defeat, and the reverse side does some interesting stuff if you are attacking with creatures. This could very easily be an Elite Spellbinder copies 5-8 in a Stompy-esque deck.

Kroxa and Kunoros

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xJCloud pointed out that this card combos with Altar of Dementia due to how the ETB trigger here is worded. This is what's known as a Reflexive trigger, meaning that it's a trigger inside of a trigger. So what happens here is when Kroxa and best boy Kunoros ETBs you get a trigger stating that you may exile five cards from your graveyard. When you do this, it then creates a new trigger to return a target creature card to the battlefield. So functionally, you are not choosing the target until you do the action that the initial trigger states to do.

What does this mean with Altar of Dementia? Well, it means that you can sacrifice Kroxa and best boy Kunoros with the ETB trigger on the stack to Altar, milling yourself for 6 cards. When you do the thing of exiling five cards from the graveyard, you can then return Kroxa and best boy Kunoros to the battlefield, and start over, milling until you have no library, and then you can get back Thassa's Oracle with the last reflexive trigger to win the game.

Would this see play in Legacy? Who knows, but it is pretty sweet and definitely interesting.

Moment of Truth

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This card had a lot of chatter around it when it got spoiled, but I don't think this solves anything by the loss of Expressive Iteration at all. It's functionally a fancy Anticipate and those effects have not been traditionally playable. Iteration was one of those variants that ended up being way too strong, and I really doubt this sees much play.

Phyrexian Censor

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Excuse me what? This card has some juicy text on it for an uncommon. A hatebear that is sort of like Deafening Silence in a way, but also like Ethersworn Canonist in a way by shutting off Non-Phyrexian spells and creatures. This could theoretically see play in Infect, while it does cut off multiple pump spells in one turn, it does allow you to restrict the opponent's interactivity down a lot and if your opponent is on combo then you are given a lot of time to win the game. Card is pretty cool.

Surge of Salvation

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It's 2023 and Veil of Summer is still a lot better than this card is honestly. I don't know if this is playable over Veil or other white cards like Silence or Orim's Chant like this, but it's close. If this had been designed during Eldraine era it would have drawn a card.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster

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One of the wildly cool things about this set is the concept of planar team-ups with various characters from across the planes teaming up to fight Phyrexia. In the case of Thalia, she ended up with a Giant Frog! In all actuality this card is pretty sweet. It's a 4 mana 4/4 which is already reasonable stats and it has First Strike and Deatchtouch, while also being a hate effect and an Exploration. It also draws cards. Git gud indeed!

Wrenn and Realmbreaker

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There's a lot of divisiveness over this card, but I think this card could find a home somewhere in Legacy. The static ability is very, very powerful, and while the +1 doesn't untap the land, I don't think it needs to. It can act as a protectionary measure on a Thespian's Stage to where you could give it Hexproof and then it can safely become a copy of Dark Depths  where you could not destroy this in response to the trigger. It's worth noting too that the -2 ability does indeed get around cards like Leyline of the Void and Dauthi Voidwalker due to how its templated "from among the milled cards". I think this card is pretty sweet overall though.

Yargle and Multani

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Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 2

Our good friend Rob Wilson of Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy posted this last week right after we had already gotten the article submitted so I promised him I'd get this announcement in this week! Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 2 is happening on 7/29/2023 at the Brewdog Brewery in Canal Winchester, OH. Prizes are insane yet again with 1st place getting three Revised Volcanic Island.

Entry for the event is $145 and it again includes lunch. It is also worth noting that Rob has worked things out this year to where Buffalo Chicken Dip will be present at the event for players to partake in, and the event will be open to players 18 and older, however you obviously must be 21 or older to purchase alcohol at the venue. This is a big change from last year where it was relegated to 21 and older to attend the event.

You can find all of the details of the event right here. Looking forward to this!

Bazaar of Boxes Series 7

The 7th Bazaar of Boxes event took place over the weekend on April 1st in their new venue. It was sold out with 80 players (although appears that only 78 showed up to play). The event was live streamed and VODs will be found on the Bazaar of Boxes YouTube channel soon. You can find all of the information from Bazaar of Boxes on their Twitter here.

You can find all of the decklists for the event here and the data sheet here.

Definitely an interesting metagame for sure, with both Breakfast and Red Painter being the most popular decks. Breakfast didn't have a very good win rate overall, while Red Painter did quite well. UR Delver did poorly, so did 4C Uro Control. 8Cast and Aluren also had some great win rates as well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Red Painter 1st Maarten van Tol
Doomsday 2nd Maxine Duck
Infect 3rd Sam Dams
White Stompy 4th Guus de Waard
Lands 5th Jordy Nieuwenhuis
Blue Painter 6th Werner van Buren
Yorion Zenith 7th Thomas Krak
Creative Technique Combo 8th Mark Ehrhart

Definitely an interesting Top 8! We got a look at some sweet spread of decks here, and even a deck that only exists in paper Legacy! At the end of the event it was Maarten van Tol who won on Red Painter.

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Painter continues to be a very good deck in the current format, and we even get to see a singleton copy of Chaos Defiler in the 75 as well. Very fun and solid card.

In Second Place we had Doomsday.

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Solid list overall here. One copy of Grief is pretty sweet.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a sweet list in Creative Technique!

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This deck is incredibly sweet. It functions heavily on utilizing Creative Technique in order to hit a bunch of Cascade cards that will then hit more copies of Creative Technique and then keep going. It's super fun and really interesting. Unfortunately, some of these cards like Creative Technique and Let the Galaxy Burn don't exist on Magic Online.

Legacy Challenge 4/1

The first Challenge event of April was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 59 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 incomplete data sheet here. Due to technical issues we did not get full data for this event, so there are no fancy graphs.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
8Cast 1st jessy_samek
8Cast 2nd boytriton
Lands 3rd Granham
Red Painter 4th Julian23
Reanimator 5th Magic_Dads71522
4C Uro Control 6th McWinSauce
Sneak and Show 7th JPA93
Bomberman 8th kanican

Very interesting Top 8. Lot of Ancient Tomb here for sure. At the end of the event it was an 8Cast mirror... so the winner was I guess UR Delver? (Nah just kidding, it was 8Cast!)

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The biggest thing on this list is the addition of a third Kappa Cannoneer in the sideboard. Other than that, the rest of the deck is pretty stock.

Let's look at the Second Place list.

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The main deck here is pretty much like the First Place deck, but the sideboard has some stuff like Hullbreacher in it.

Further down the Top 8 we had an interesting take on 4C Uro Control.

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Staff of the Storyteller is really strong, as we talked about last week. This deck gets to have a lot of fun with it with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes. Really sweet stuff here.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Bomberman.

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Nice to see Elite Spellbinder being thrown around more. That card is really quite good.

Legacy Challenge 4/2

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 90 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 incomplete data sheet here. Due to technical issues we did not get full data for this event, so there are no fancy graphs.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st wonderPreaux
Red Painter 2nd Looseski
RUG Delver 3rd Bullwinkkle6705
8Cast 4th boytriton
8Cast 5th Butakov
UR Delver 6th Delthar
Bant Natural Order 7th kauffj
Elves 8th ferrarix

Pretty neat Top 8. Some Delver here or there, but a lot of 8Cast. At the end of the event though it was Doomsday that won it all.

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This list has the sideboard juke of Shelldock Isle and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as a game-winner. Also has Sheoldred, the Apocalypse as an additional juke. Pretty solid list overall.

In Second Place we had Red Painter.

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Even without access to Chaos Defiler this deck is just so very powerful. It has so many solid angles of attack that it can win games without ever activating a Grindstone.

Further down the Top 8 we had Bant Natural Order.

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This is a super cool list. Lot of crazy shenanigans going on here between the NO plan, the Fiend Artisan plan, and just the general power level of Green Sun's Zenith.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Elves.

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Another deck featuring Atraxa as a target for Natural Order, because Atraxa is sweet.

Legacy Showcase Qualifier 4/2

This past weekend was also the final season Showcase Qualifier event. These events are invitation only, as players who Top 8 Showcase Challenges and win Last Chance Qualifier events are the ones who are invited. This means the field is generally much more specialized and small. In this case, the event had 30 players in it thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 15 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Interesting spread of decks here. Several Bant decks, several Reanimator (which despite its Top 8 finish only had a 50% win rate), and a good amount of RUG Delver. Of the top decks, 8Cast and Jeskai did the best here, while one off decks like Doomsday and Arena Rector Stompy also did quite well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jeskai Control 1st JUJUBEAN__2004
Stiflenought 2nd CoolUser
Doomsday 3rd FGC
RUG Delver 4th fingers1991
8Cast 5th Ark4n
Arena Rector Stompy 6th HanktheObese
Reanimator 7th Supercazzola
Reanimator 8th Secretaznman

This Top 8 is pretty sweet. Some solid spread of decks here for sure. At the end of the event it was Jeskai Control that won it all.

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Very solid Jeskai deck here, with the Narset/Day's Undoing combo and lots of powerful Planeswalkers. All the red is primarily in the sideboard here with stuff like Blood Moon and blast effects.

In Second Place we had Stiflenought.

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I love Stiflenought decks, and every time I see one of these I just squeal with giddy laughter. They're so much fun!

Further down the Top 8 we had Arena Rector Stompy.

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This deck looks like so much fun overall. I love the evolution of this deck and how good it really looks.

Around the Web

  • Phil Gallagher is turboing out Atraxa. Check it out here.
  • Legacy Weekend 2 Trailer! Check it out here.
  • Everyday Eternal has a new episode! Check it out here.
  • In Response has a new episode as well. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

BUG Yorion is kind of sweet.

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There are no words to describe this deck.

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Thought Lash Combo!

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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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