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This Week in Legacy: Hamster Man!

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 back from vacation last week. Amidst all of the catching up we're going to be talking about a card that has been catching on like wildfire in paper Legacy but does not exist on Magic Online yet, Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes! In addition to that, we're playing catchup on all the events in the past two weeks so we've got a lot of events to talk about including a paper event in the NRG Series.

Note that because of the large amount of events I'm covering this week I'm only going to be covering the Winner and Second Place Finalist decks for each event. This won't be the norm going forward and is only because there's a bunch of events to talk about.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Go For the Eyes, Boo!

One of the more interesting things lately about paper Legacy is when cards that aren't yet on Magic Online are very interesting build-around cards or just very good in general. As of late, a lot of the discussion in that regards has been pretty centralized on one card. MINSC & BOO!

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While this card does not technically exist yet on MTGO, it is technically programmed on MTGO which means that as soon as Treasure Chests are updated with it, we will be able to start actually seeing the impact of this card on the Legacy format. Minsc & Boo provide a very interesting metric for a four-mana Planeswalker. At its floor, the card is making a 1/1 with trample and haste but at the top end of playability, it is doing things like making a 4/4 with haste and trample the turn it comes down and then swinging in for four more damage and then sacrificing to the -2 ability to deal four more damage while drawing four cards. The card does all of this while also being able to make yet another 4/4 the next turn, and one can quickly see how well this card gets out of hand in a game to where it is just winning the game.

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What this does is it gives this card a lot of powerful inevitability, but also gives it a lot of utility. There is a very real raw power in creating a threat that always comes back every turn like Boo does, so dealing with the creature alone is never going to be a winning game. This makes Minsc & Boo very good in slower control based matchups where the raw inevitability of the card allows it to be a powerful threat that can't easily be dealt with by Pyroblast or even Prismatic Ending (since M&B costs four mana).

This is definitely a powerful card, and one that I would be keeping my eye on especially once we do get it on MTGO. The raw playability of this means it will definitely be everywhere in many kinds of decks and not just control decks (GW Depths can play this as well of course), as we are already seeing in paper Legacy.

As Minsc would say: GO FOR THE EYES, BOO!

NRG Legacy 5K 7/31

Over the final weekend of July in Chicagoland area we had a 5K hosted by NRG! NRG events are usually super sweet and this one was no exception, bringing out 140 Legacy players to play. This is an awesome turnout! 

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

UR Delver was not only exceptionally prevalent in this event, but had a pretty solid win rate too with a 56.74% non-mirror win rate. However, GW Depths also had a very powerful performance as well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
GW Depths 1st Rodney Bedell
UR Delver 2nd Dawn DeLozier
UR Delver 3rd Joseph Bernal
UR Delver 4th Isaac Bullwinkle
Elves 5th Ethan Cummins
Red Stompy 6th Mark Nabors
Oops! All Spells 7th Barry Piotrowski
UR Delver 8th Will Kwalczyk

Quite a bit of UR Delver / UR based decks in the Top 8, but the rest of the Top 8 was definitely decks that were geared to try to attack Delver. At the end of this event though, it was the absolutely stunning Rodney Bedell who won it all on the back of UR Delver's big nemesis of the format: GW Depths.

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GW Depths is one of the decks in the format that can truly boast a strong Delver matchup and also maintain a high level of performance against other decks as well. The deck has plenty of powerful options and a lot of strong removal (especially post board where you gain access to Blast effects as well as Swords to Plowshares). This is a deck to pick if you are expecting a lot of Delver in an event.

Speaking of Delver, the Second Place Finalist was on Delver.

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This is a pretty solid stock list, but we do get to see how paper Magic influences this list with the sideboard access to cards like Maddening Hex that gives the deck further game in various matchups. Definitely a very powerful card.

Legacy Challenge 7/30

The last weekend of July also gave us yet another Saturday Challenge event. This event had 61 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 datasheet here.

UR Delver had the popularity vote in this event, but its performance was absolutely abysmal here. The deck that did really the best here was Yorion Zenith and Riddlesmith Combo. This is definitely one of those weekends where players were on the move in paper events (with the NRG and RCQ event season going on) so that might have had an impact here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bant Control 1st ZYURYO
Riddlesmith Combo 2nd Killabee
Reanimator 3rd Eonwe7
Red Stompy 4th Tyerube1618
Yorion Zenith 5th LeoFa
Yorion Zenith 6h McWinSauce
Elves 7th EronRelentless
Hammer Time 8th CrusherBotBG

Seeing as how we had no Delvers here, the big deck in the Top 8 was Yorion Zenith, but the winning deck was just good old Bant Control.

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This deck is close to edging into 4C territory but doesn't quite go all the way since Ashiok, Dream Render is a hybrid card. The deck still plays a slightly off-color land (Zagoth Triome) because of the interaction with Field of the Dead though!

The Second Place Finalist was none other than Killabee, master of the Riddlesmith.

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The results continually being put up by Killabee and this deck are pretty amazing. It's a super fun deck too!

Legacy Showcase Challenge 7/31

Also that same weekend as the NRG was the Legacy Showcase Challenge that is in the tail end of Season 2 on MTGO. These events feed into the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season. This event had 281 players in it, which is a pretty stellar turnout thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

Delver came back out to play at a whopping 21% metagame share and a 54.09% non-mirror win rate. In addition, Red Stompy had really solid results, as did Elves and Yorion Zenith.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Delver 1st Beenew
UR Delver 2nd mei0024
Madness 3rd MrJacetwo
Red Stompy 4th Sharkcaster_Mage
Red Stompy 5th yPrincipe
Death and Taxes 6th IsolatedSystem
Yorion Zenith 7th cftsoc3
Oops! All Spells 8th PunishingWaterfalls

Pretty interesting Top 8 with some D&T, Oops, even Madness. At the end of the event though it was a verified split between Delver and Delver-less.

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These decks have some major differences to them, as one of them is playing full four Delvers and the other is more leaned into the Delver-less style build. What is really interesting is the complete lack of Lightning Bolt] in pretty much both lists with zero copies in one and two copies in the other, instead opting to play more copies of Unholy Heat. This can definitely be seen as a hedge on the mirror matches and the ability to kill Ledger Shredder, which Bolt often has issues with.

Legacy Challenge 7/31

There was a verifiable Challenge going on the same time as the Legacy Showcase Challenge, and that Challenge managed to scrape up 64 players (the minimum) according 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 making its presence known here as well, with 17% of the event going to the deck with a solid win rate. Jeskai Control also did quite well and despite having a reasonably high number of players Reanimator did just merely okay enough even though it put one copy in the Top 8.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
8Cast 1st Minest110
UR Delver 2nd Numstail
Reanimator 3rd Shindy
Hogaak Depths 4th DNSolver
Goblins 5th MindGoblinMTG
Jeskai Control 6th trunks132
UR Delver 7th hipeople351
UR Delver 8th kurohiren

Quite a few UR Delver in this Top 8, but at the end of the event it was 8Cast that won it.

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Welding Jar is a sweet main deck inclusion, one that hedges against stuff like Boseiju, Who Endures and even stuff like Meltdown. This deck remains very strong for sure.

The Second Place Finalist was indeed on UR Delver.

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Again we see a lot of Unholy Heat over Lightning Bolt. Definitely interesting, but it's one good way of beating certain creatures as Delirium is pretty easy to turn on. Being able to eat Elvish Reclaimer with Delirium on is a plus.

Legacy Challenge 8/6

This past weekend's events were pretty well attended with the Saturday Challenge of the weekend having 72 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 datasheet here.

Again we see the overbearing presence of UR Delver with a solid metagame share and win rate. Elves and Riddlesmith Combo also had some great results as we will see by the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Riddlesmith Combo 1st IPlayBadDecks
Sneak and Show 2nd JPA93
Elves 3rd EronRelentless
UR Delver 4th triosk
Painter 5th kuriroy2567
Elves 6th runkor
Doomsday 7th manadra1n
UR Delver 8th Bullwinkkle6705

The TOp 8 had some Delver and some Elves in it, but at the end of the event it was IPlayBadDecks who took it all down on Riddlesmith Combo.

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There is a ton of power to a deck like this. It has a lot of angles of attack and a lot of sensibilities to it that are very Vintage power level-esque in nature. The fact that it can easily push through a win on Turn 1 is really incredibly strong, and being able to protect itself with Defense Grid is very very good. This is definitely a deck to keep your eye on.

The Second Place Finalist was good old classic Sneak and Show by JPA93.

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This is a superbly stock Sneak and Show list, showcasing that any time you can put Griselbrand into play is just good clean Magic.

Legacy Challenge 8/7

The final Challenge of the weekend was the Sunday event, which had 107 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 datasheet here.

UR Delver again was quite all over the place and had a reasonable win rate, but it was Jeskai Control and Reanimator that did really really well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Reanimator 1st ScourgeAlters
Reanimator 2nd tye8fl
Death's Shadow 3rd Diem4x
UR Delver 4th JUJUBEAN__2004
UR Delver 5th triosk
Jeskai Control 6th sshearing
Jeskai Control 7th lvc
Jeskai Control 8th Ozymandias17

This Top 8 had a lot of Jeskai and UR Delver in it, but at the end of the event it was the Reanimator v Reanimator matchup! Did you guess that Reanimator won? You'd be right!

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Both these lists have some slight differences, with the winner opting for a package of Children of Korlis and Tendrils of Agony leaning more into a Tin Fins lookalike contest while the Second Place list is very much deep on Griselbrand and no Archon of Cruelty. Definitely two interesting lists!

Around the Web

  • PunishingWaterfalls posted a video on their Top 8 in the Legacy Showcase with Oops. Check it out here.
  • Our friends over at In Response have a new episode! Check it out here.
  • Phil Gallagher on Phyrexian Obliterator. Check that out here.
  • We have a truly awesome article here written by John Ryan Hamilton (xJCloud) on the topic of Red Stompy/Moon Stompy on MinMax Blog. This is a great article, definitely check that out here.
  • on GW Depths performance at the NRG. Check that out here.
  • The Combo Master himself Jax on the topic of Chain of Smog Combo! Check it out here.
  • MinMax Blog has another solid article, this time by Isaac Bullwinkle on the topic of Deleuzean Control! Check it out here.
  • Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode out! Check it out here.
  • The Dark Depths Podcast just celebrated their 100th episode with a real big spectacular epsiode! Check it out here.
  • Everyday Eternal also has a new episode out, so check that one out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Quite a lot going on here with Kittens and Ledger Shredder's!

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Much Dryads, Such Valakuts.

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This Planeswalker focused Loam list is something else. Ajani Vengeant!!!!

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Greater Gargadon must be unbugged on MTGO. It's time for Jund Sac Nic Fit!

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This Bant Tempo deck is 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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