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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / This Week in Legacy: Guest Series - The Griefing Shall Continue Until Morale is Improved

This Week in Legacy: Guest Series - The Griefing Shall Continue Until Morale is Improved

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I’m not your usual host as Joe Dyer is off this week for some well-earned rest (Joe: LIES! I WORK FOREVER!). Instead, I’ve Grief scammed my way into taking over the column this week! For those of you who are unfamiliar, I’m Robert Wilson, the Founder and Head Tournament Organizer for Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy which I started in Columbus, Ohio, and am in the process of expanding to Houston, Texas.

This week I won’t be going deep into MTGO Decklists and data as they are still not available, but I’m going to discuss some reactions to the recent Banned and Restricted Announcement from June 24th and the following Weekly MTG, some top performers in this week’s Legacy Challenges based on the little data we do have, a Legacy $1k event I played at Pat’s Games in Austin, Texas this past weekend, run down quite a few upcoming paper Legacy events (major-ish and non-major ones), and talk a little bit about grassroots tournament organizing since this was also a subject mentioned in passing on Weekly MTG.

Joe: Besides Rob's guest article we've got a poke in at the Legacy Cup event over at MagicCon Amsterdam from this past weekend. Up until this point in the article, it's all Rob!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Banned and Restricted Announcement and Weekly MTG Reactions - Rob Wilson

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I want to start with some of the things I enjoyed about the Weekly MTG broadcast this past week with Andrew Brown and Blake Rasmussen, in particular the candor and transparency. One of the things the community has asked for over-and-over again is transparency and not to be left in the dark regarding decisions. I think the community appreciates that WOTC is making meaningful strides in discussing what is happening, why, and providing some of their candid thoughts. However, that’s the only positive I can say about the Weekly MTG broadcast.

Before I get into it, this isn’t personal and is meant to be constructive feedback, but if you told me going into the Weekly MTG show I’d be more frustrated after that broadcast than before the B&R Announcement itself, I wouldn’t have believed you. To say a lot of people were angry in the Weekly MTG chat is an understatement. I don’t think I have ever seen the Legacy Community galvanized around a singular issue like #BanGrief. I believe we’re at the point in which you’re disadvantaged for not playing UB Reanimator and while the results discussed this week are small and somewhat more anecdotal than we’re used to they look like a precursor of the format warping to fight the S-Tier threat while the UB Reanimator decks contort to fight the mirror.

I think WOTC needs some conduit to compile players’ feedback that’s more streamlined than “we read what you write online” because clearly, they weren’t reading anything the past six months. I know the idea of a Legacy Format Panel has been shot down repeatedly by Blake himself and I think that’s ok, but there are other alternatives such as surveys, focus groups, or for starters listening to your team of Play Design experts that engage with the format.

For anyone who didn’t see the Weekly MTG broadcast, Andrew Brown admitted that the Play Design team member who plays the most Legacy advocated for a Grief ban. To unpack this, imagine telling your colleague that even though you acknowledge they have more expertise on a subject and are better positioned to opine that you’re going to completely disregard them. That’s essentially what happened here. If you’re that Play Design member, do you speak up next time after being treated so dismissively? That team member may not take it this way, so I don’t want to speak for them, but as someone who works in a corporate setting, I’ve seen this kind of thing fester into resentment if it's repeatedly happening.

I also found it frustrating that WOTC said they didn’t want to create a lame duck format and did just that. I’m aware that their resources are constrained for time and Legacy isn’t near the forefront for design, but being dismissed entirely is insulting. I think from a financial perspective it's not talked about enough that the player base is essentially raising WOTC’s next generation of customers and has more than average disposable income. For example, my wife and I bought a case of Play-Doh (a Hasbro product) and while I may not buy every sealed product, we do indirectly spend money on Hasbro products that adds up over a long time.

As you can see below, I compiled a list of all the Legacy events I could find between now and the next scheduled Banned and Restricted Announcement in late August. Player sentiment is paramount for a format like Legacy. With traditional organized play people play for incentives like Regional Championship and Pro Tour invites. In Legacy, people play for the love of the format. Legacy players are typically older and have more career and family responsibilities, meaning they don’t always have time to play so when they can make events the turnout really matters. I believe that Play Design cares more about Magic than anyone and is qualified enough to anticipate that Modern Horizons 3 would not meaningfully change the Legacy meta, and particularly the UB Reanimator deck. It’s disappointing they did not act on this expertise despite being warned by the Community and their own expert.

Overall, I think WOTC made an easily correctable mistake by not banning Grief. I hope WOTC sees the data in the next couple weeks and concludes that the deck is warping the format to warrant an unscheduled format change before many of the large-ish events happen. While WOTC may not view these events as significant, it’s all we have. After all the best time to correct a mistake is today and the next best time to do it is tomorrow.

Legacy $1K at Pat's Games - Austin, Texas - Rob Wilson

If you’ve never been to Pat’s Games, it’s a unique LGS in that it’s a converted home (which is pretty common in Texas, especially Austin) giving it a very laid back offbeat vibe with unique fantasy decor and canvas prints hanging on the walls as well as a few painted murals. Pat’s Games also recently enclosed their previously outdoor patio space into more indoor seating.


Pat’s also has a unique item in its shop, a booster pack vending machine. Also, there are multiple bathrooms all of which are clean and spacious.

Over the weekend I had the chance to attend a Legacy $1K at Pat’s Games. After deciding to go only 10 hours before the event, I took to Twitter and looked for a reasonable UB Reanimator list because why would you play anything else if you’re going to try and spike an event. I came across the list below from @Lord_Beerus187 Friday Night Legacy Challenge Finals split and sleeved it up.

Over the course of the event, I went 5-1 in swiss rounds playing the UB Reanimator mirror in round 2, which I won, and in the quarterfinals against the same opponent, which I lost. My only swiss loss was to Jeskai Control in round 3 and I went into the Top 8 as the #1 seed after having to play round 6 out. We played out the quarters and top 4 split.

Decklists can be found here on Pat’s Games Facebook page. Unfortunately, I don’t have better data or more decklists as we used paper decklists and Companion for tournament administration instead of Melee or

The Top 8 archetypes were (3) UB Reanimator, (1) Grixis Delver, (1) Jeskai Control, (2) 4C Beanstalk Control, and (1) Grixis Control.

The Top 8 competitors were Robert Wilson, Peter Hollman, John Pomerat, Andres Lopez, Tom Andrews, Andrew Debevoise, Luke Bradley, Kyle Driskill.

Just looking around the room there were plenty of UB Reanimator players that didn’t make Top 8. It was the most represented deck by a pretty good margin. It’s also worth mentioning this was a sanctioned Legacy event so no playtest cards were allowed or the number of UB Reanimator players may have been even higher.

Overall, it was a great experience at the shop and if you ever get the chance to check out Pat’s Games, I’d recommend it. Also, thank you to everyone who came up to me and talked BCDL. I’m looking forward to it becoming a staple of the Texas Eternal Magic scene. While I haven’t finalized a date yet, my original intention was to run a Houston event in July, however, the schedule was full, and I have pushed back those plans to September. Stay tuned to the BCDL Twitter account (@bcdlegacy) for more information.

Upcoming Paper Legacy Events - Rob Wilson

Below is a list of upcoming US paper Legacy Events between now and the next scheduled ban update on August 26th. I’ve added links so event information can easily be found. In addition to the BCDL Legacy Open 3 and BCDL 16, I’ll be at the Oklahoma Land Run and hope to catch as many of you as possible. I can’t express how important it is to support Legacy Tournament Organizers. While the Legacy format may only matter to WOTC once per year, it always matters to us. As you can see below there are quite a few events all around the country happening this summer, not to mention smaller events like FNM which are part of the lifeblood of the format in some areas. I think I speak for all the organizers below when I say we appreciate the support the player base shows us and the Legacy format.

Major-ish Events ($5k in Prizes or more)

July 20th – Owl Central Legacy $5k in Millersville, Pennsylvania at Owl Central Games

July 27th – Oklahoma Land Run Legacy Open in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Game HQ

July 28th – SCGCon Baltimore Legacy $5k in Baltimore, Maryland at the Baltimore Convention Center

August 1-4 – GenCon Secret Lair Showdown in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indiana Convention Center Hall B

August 17th – Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 3 in Columbus, Ohio at The Warp Gate’s new shop 4499 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220

Minor Events (Less than $k in Prizes other than FNMs)

July 6th – From the Vault 14 - $1K in Saint Francis, Wisconsin at The Mana Vault MKE

July 7th – Win a Mox Diamond Event in Stow, Ohio at Better Plays Games

July 14th – Legacy Double Up in Vacaville, California hosted by Forgotten Path Games

July 20th – Dark Side Legacy $1k in Chesterfield, Missouri at Dark Side Comics St. Louis

July 20th – Cardboard Circle Pit IX in Oakland, California at Oakland United Beerworks

July 26th – Oklahoma Land Run Team Trios (Modern/Legacy/Vintage) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Game HQ

July 27th – Hero’s Legacy Landing in Merrimac, Massachusetts at Hero’s Legacy Landing

August 3rd – Heart of the Game $1k in Buffalo, New York at Heart of the Game (info not yet on website)

August 3rd – Eternal Kitchen Legacy Open II in Portland, Oregon at Lucky Labrador Brew Pub

August 3rd – Team Trios! (Modern/Legacy/Pauper) in Columbia, Tennessee at Game Knight - Columbia

August 18th - Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy 16 in Columbus, Ohio at The Warp Gate’s new shop 4499 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220

Note from Joe: I will always remind Paper Legacy TOs that I am more than willing to share your event details! Please always reach out if you want to be shared in the column!

Grassroots Tournament Organizing - Rob Wilson

I wanted to discuss this topic separately specifically as I think I’m in a unique position as the current longest running grassroots tournament organizer in the country. Andrew’s comment was that WOTC would like to see more grassroots Standard events. I agree with that sentiment but doubt its feasibility within the current environment. The usual incentive to run events is either financial or for the “love of the game.” Standard by and large doesn’t have this sentiment in the way Legacy does. I have yet to see any evidence that WOTC may develop a program to foster grassroots tournament organizers. In the event they do, I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can, but I’m not running a Standard event any time soon.

Between competition with Arena and MTGO it’s difficult to grow the in-person standard player base. Grassroots standard events are also at a disadvantage compared to WPN stores as they may not be able to award the usual incentives for playing Standard (RC invites). While WOTC has made meaningful strides to improve the health of the format, it’s more of a jumping off point for most players than a destination like Legacy. A successful grassroots scene usually takes a beginning player base and grows it over the course of time while focusing on the “secret sauce” of Magic, the Gathering. One of the things that I try to educate grassroots organizers about when they contact me (I’m always willing to coach at no cost to you) is the financial realities and risk of loss for running events at different scales and setting realistic goals and expectations. I think WOTC could foster grassroots organization growth through education and training regarding financials and logistics, a community liaison for coaching or logistic issues, and providing prize support beyond sealed product.

MagicCon Amsterdam Legacy Cup Event - Joe

This past weekend was MagicCon Amsterdam, and as these events are pretty massive celebrations of Magic overall, they do tend to have some great Legacy events at them. One such event from this past weekend was the Legacy Cup event, which ended up having 122 players out of a total 128 cap. Pretty impressive really, for a larger competitive side event at a venue also hosting a PT. This is of course, a full on 7 round Swiss event with cut to Top 8 played out on a different day.

You can find all of the decklists for this event over here. Let's poke at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Red Painter 1st-2nd Andy Hind
Maverick 1st-2nd Stijn van Dongen
Beanstalk Control (Yorion) 3rd-4th Shane Murray
Colorless Cloudpost 3rd-4th Diego Badinotti
Mystic Forge Combo 5th-8th Zyrgonian
Dimir Scam 5th-8th Bjorn Keulemans
Red Painter 5th-8th Michael Morris
Yorion Zenith 5th-8th Thomas Krak

Definitely a solid and interesting-looking Top 8 here. I recommend checking out the decklists here, as there are some pretty cool ones. I'll scour for the Spice Corner later here, but at the end of this event it was between Red Painter and Maverick.

Around the Web

  • Maxtortion has a video on Eldrazi Aggro in a Legacy Challenge Top 8. Check it out here.
  • TonyScapone has a video on a First Place Win in a Challenge with The EPIC Gamble. Check it out here.
  • IN RESPONSE has a new episode out. Check it out here.
  • StrassDaddy has a Maverick video! Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

Let's locate some spice from the Legacy Cup at Amsterdam!

Boros Aggro with some spice like Samwise, new Ajani, and Phelia?!

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Amped Raptor?!

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! I'm going to let Rob wrap things up this week a bit.

That’s all we have time for this week! Thank you to Joe and MTG Goldfish for allowing me to guest write this week. I sincerely hope we see an emergency change as soon as possible regarding Grief.

You can find me anywhere online @bcdlegacy and Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy as well as our Linktree for event info, merch shop, and other announcements. Thanks for reading!

Joe: I'd like to also personally thank Rob for helping to come up with this Guest Series idea. We may do more of these in the future because it was fun. I still had to do work though! ;)

Until next time!

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