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This Week in Legacy: Have You Seen This Turtle?

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 looking at the impact of Kappa Cannoneer in Legacy thus far in an amusing poke at what many are calling "Pay to Win Blastoise Stompy". In addition to that we've got some sweet Legacy Challenge action from this past weekend as well as a look at the ManaTraders event from this past weekend as well. There was also a paper Legacy event this past weekend at Taitan Game Shop to talk about.

Without further ado let's dive right in!

Blastoise, Use Water Gun!

Since the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty we've seen a lot of sweet cards from that set see play (in fact today's Spice Corner has a bunch of them), but the most interesting story thus far has centered around a card not even in the main set, but in the Commander product, and that's Kappa Cannoneer.

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Right after release this card shot up as high as close to 100 tickets, due to the fact that as a Commander product card it is only available on Magic Online in Treasure Chests (for both versions) and not able to be opened in actual packs of Neon Dynasty. In paper, they're in the actual Commander decks. In the long run, I could see this card pushing to $30-$40 because of the short supply.

Naturally, the shells this card has started to see play in are those that are already playing blue and a bunch of artifacts such as Mishra's Bauble, Mox Opal, and Urza's Bauble, namely the 8Cast shell (although that moniker is being blurred a bunch by the inclusion of this new card). Because of the high price of the card and how powerful Cannoneer is, the name "Pay to Win Blastoise Stompy" has become a bit of a joke name for the deck.

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Cannoneer shores up a critical weakness for these kinds of decks, by allowing the deck a sticky threat that not only is a strong clock (Murktide level clock) but also is incredibly difficult to remove once it hits the board. If you're playing a deck that is based solely on using Swords to Plowshares to mop up creature threats, you're going to have a pretty time with this card simply because Ward 4 is incredibly difficult to meet in Legacy before the game is over (given that this card can come down easily Turn 3 most of the time). In addition, the function of not being able to be blocked on the trigger gives it the kind of evasive power it needs to close the game out. While Saga was and still is a great game plan for the deck, decks that could stonewall tokens with blockers until they could mop up the tokens always gave the deck problems in closing games out. The turtle fixes so much of that.

It is also worth noting that due to how the trigger reads on the card, Cannoneer will actually trigger when it enters the battlefield, immediately going from a 4/4 to a 5/5.

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However, just because the turtle is very strong there is still plenty of counterplay for it. While it misses on Meltdown (because nobody is ever going to cast that card for X=7) it still gets hit by cards like Seeds of Innocence, Pulverize, and even Dress Down is good against it by removing the Ward 4 from it to make it susceptible to removal. Also of course, just countering the card on the stack is going to be very good as well. The other way to mitigate this card is to also go after the artifact base much like when trying to keep a player off casting Thought Monitor by destroying artifacts already in play to prevent them using them for Improvise.

In addition to seeing play in the 8Cast shells, we've also seen Kappa Cannoneer show up in Bomberman lists as well, specifically those that play Gyruda, Doom of Depths as the Companion. This gives the deck another way of winning the game with the Salvagers loop by making an infinitely large Cannoneer to one shot an opponent with via the LED/Salvagers loop. This deck also got another piece in Patchwork Automaton which is a similar loop.

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This card is definitely powerful though, and the one thing really keeping it from really being played more widely is the fact that the card is so expensive on Magic Online. I expect that we can see the metagame shift to account for this card, but I will admit it's a pretty strong contender once the actual best shell for it is found.

Taitan Game Shop Event - Legacy for Real Estate 7

In terms of paper Magic news, there was an event in PA this past weekend at the Taitan Game Shop as part of their "Legacy for Real Estate" series. This event had 49 players and seemed like a really sweet time.

We don't have a full breakdown of this event as the event was ran using the Companion app, but we do have the Top 8 of this event thanks to the info provided by the store as well as Robert Wilson of Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy. It's worth noting that Tiitan Game Shop is looking for regional partners for the Legacy circuit in PA, so if you're interested in partnering with this fine game shop you can reach out to Robert at or over at @bcdlegacy on Twitter.

Now let's check out that Top 8!

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Painter 1st Cameron Wisniewski
Hogaak 2nd Scott Johnson
UR Delver 3rd Zachary Smith
Elves 4th Eric Swanson
Jeskai Delver 5th Robert Wilson
Doomsday 6th Aaaron Belsky
Death and Taxes 7th David Lance
UR Delver 8th Nicholas Bronder

This looks like a really solid and fun Top 8. Fair number of Delver players here in this Top 8, but also plenty of sweet decks as well. At the end of the event though it was Mono Red Painter that took down the event!

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Definitely a solid looking list here. Looks pretty reminiscent of what I've seen out of folks like Roger Sikes' lists. I dig the board-in here to Helm of Obedience combo with Leyline of the Void. Gives an interesting way to win post-board games.

Legacy Challenge 2/19

We had two Challenge events this past weekend, the first of which was the early morning Saturday event (the event that is now 32 player minimum). This event had 55 players in it thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

UR Delver certainly continued to have the popular vote in this event, but the win rate of the deck was less than 50% at 45% (for both mirror and non-mirror), which is interesting in of itself. Time will tell if we are seeing a shift with the release of Kamigawa where Delver is being settled or not. D&T and GW Depths had extremely strong win rates in this event and continue to put up some powerful results overall.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Black Phoenix 1st Pietrone10
GW Depths 2nd wara
8Cast 3rd Ak4suk1
Death and Taxes 4th jamiewvh
Sneak and Show 5th ht991122
Jeskai Cotnrol 6th WatoO
Death and Taxes 7th msskinbolic
Death and Taxes 8th shiromuni

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here. Zero of the typical Delver shell and plenty of Death and Taxes going on. At the end of the event though it was Pietrone10 who won the event on Phoenix!

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This variant has some tempo elements to it as well, creating games where things like Dragon's Rage Channeler helps funnel Phoenixes to the graveyard, which is pretty sweet. This list is super cool and looks like a ton of fun.

The Second Place finalist was on GW Depths.

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This is probably secretly one of the best permanent-based combo decks in the format right now, simply because of the versatility this deck has with its threat base and cards like Elvish Reclaimer being just so incredibly powerful. The red splash is great for letting the deck more easily interact with cards like Murktide Regent because of the blast effects.

Also in the Top 8 we had a showing by the 8Cast/Blastoise deck.

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The white splash here is really cool, given that it gives you access to cards like Esper Sentinel, Ethersworn Canonist and other cards like Lavinia, Azorius Renegade out of the sideboard. Really solid and interesting decklist for sure.

Further down the Top 8 we had a showing by Sneak and Show.

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We don't see that much of this deck as of late as it has been pushed down a little bit, but there is still plenty of strength in putting an Omniscience or Griselbrand on the table and winning the game.

Legacy Challenge 2/20

Our second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event, which had 108 players in it thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

UR Delver did very well in this event, putting up a solid 63.64% non-mirror win rate, and was the most popular deck. This is a stark change from the Saturday event, and more than likely has to do a lot with regional differences in those events if I had to really guess given the differences in time zones between the two events. It is interesting to see though how these events evolve over the course of the weekend. Again, time will ultimately tell what kind of trends we are seeing and sample size here is not enough to truly indicate that much.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
GW Depths 1st Dreadnaught33
UR Delver 2nd MentalMisstep
Painter 3rd RingoDeathStarr
UR Delver 4th kiyoaggro
Lands 5th isthetim
8Cast 6th themightywizbit
Esper Vial 7th FrancisYorkMorgan
Depths Combo 8th masongrode

Definitely an intriguing Top 8, with some solid representation across various archetypes. At the end of the event it was GW Depths that took it all down!

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One interesting thing here is the addition of a couple copies of Once Upon a Time into the deck, which can help smooth out some opening hands with its ability to nab either a land drop or a creature like Elvish Reclaimer. Also showing up is new Trygon Predator-like card Outland Liberator which is pretty sweet. In addition to that, check out the sweet Equipment tech in Tower of the Magistrate in the sideboard. Ever used a land to make a Germ token die that's equipped to Kaldra Compleat? Pretty sweet.

In Second Place we've got UR Delver.

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Hullbreacher in the sideboard is pretty interesting to see actually. Also starting to see more of a switch off Meltdown for cards like Energy Flux which can be used against the Turtle to great effect.

Also in the Top 8 we had some Painter action.

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Really strong list here. Enlightened Tutor hasn't seen a ton of play as of late, but it's cool because it can also find Urza's Saga if you need it to. That alone makes it pretty interesting.

Down at the bottom of the Top 8 we had Esper Vial.

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This deck gets a lot of really interesting tools, the newest of which is Lion Sash since it can be hit with Recruiter of the Guard (and Esper Vial is definitely a Recruiter deck at heart). Also, we get to see a copy of Otawara, Soaring City here, which makes a lot of sense given the various legendaries the deck does actually run that can reduce the cost.

ManaTraders Event - February

This past weekend was also the ManaTraders Swiss + Top 8 for the month of February. ManaTraders runs an event every month with qualifying rounds to make it into their final Swiss rounds at the end of the month for various formats. This past month was Legacy. This particular event had 130 players in it.

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

UR Delver had a commanding presence in this field, and a very strong overall win rate to boot. The other decks to have in that same range was GW Depths and 4C Control variants. However, as we will see by looking at the Top 8 the power of UR Delver really rose to the top here.

Let's take a look.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Delver 1st easymoneymarksman
UR Delver 2nd toselluc
UR Delver 3rd Ozymandias17
UR Delver 4th Baku_91
GW Depths 5th sharkcaster_mage
GW Depths 6th Sprouts
UR Delver 7th Diem4x
Bant Control 8th russell_wilson

There was definitely a ton of UR Delver in this Top 8. 5/8 of the Top 8 was UR Delver! Kind of wild to see. At the end of the event it was (gasp!) UR Delver that won the event in the hands of easymoneymarksman.

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These lists haven't fully solidified yet but I have a feeling once the flex spots are figured out we'll definitely start to see more stockier-looking lists. This is very powerful though all around. Congrats to easymoneymarksman on winning this event!

Around the Web

  • Our friends over at The Legacy Pit launched their first vlog! You can check out the first episode over here, talking about SCGCON Philly.
  • Bryant Cook goes mad scientist and combines The EPIC Storm and Doomsday. Check it out here.
  • Our friends at IN RESPONSE have a new episode! Check it out here.
  • 90sMTG has some sick vids on their channel now, with all the guerilla paper coverage they did at SCGCON Philly. Have a video featuring Sam Roukas and FORCEOFPHIL right over here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here. I definitely recommend viewing all the lists from this week. There's too many good ones.

Our first one is a Lands build, playing not only new Boseiju, but copies of Mulch and Crucible of Worlds!

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Grixis Control featuring Hidetsugu Consumes All is definitely intriguing.

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A SECOND Hidetsugu deck showed up too, but this one was also 4C with Kaito Shizuki and even Sorin the Mirthless.

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ItIsUnfair playing Arena Rector Control is definitely superb (and not at all surprising, they've played similar lists in the past).

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This next list is SUPER. If you had said we would see Reckoner Bankbuster and Shorikai, Genesis Engine in a Legacy deck so soon after the Kamigawa release... well I don't know what I would have done, so just go look at this decklist.

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What I Played Recently

I mentioned last week I was planning on recording a video with Legendary Aggro (decklist below). That video has been recorded and posted to YouTube! Check it out below!

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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 Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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