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This Week in Legacy: Having Fun

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 talking about how one can still find fun in a format even when it feels like it is hard to have fun, and we'll address also the followup and feedback from last week's Round Table. In addition to that, we've got at least one Challenge from over the weekend to talk about as the Saturday event did not fire again, but the Sunday event did. We've also always got a Spice Corner (sorry Ultron, you can't stop the Spice this week).

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Having Fun When Fun is Hard

It is no surprise that right now people have a lot of strong feelings about the Legacy format. Opinions have been expressed about the format's health and the overpowered nature of some of the decks in the format. But one thing that I took away from our Round Table last week is that players are still finding ways to have fun even when having fun is hard to do. Fun is a wholly subjective piece and I'm not intending this piece to be how fun is a factor of banning cards (so don't take it that way), but it is important for our enjoyment of the game overall and it can be helpful to process how best to approach having fun.

So let's talk about that. How can one have fun in Legacy even if it feels like having fun is work?

Step #1 - Identify What is Making You Not Have Fun

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This is an important measure to finding some fun in the format: identifying what it is about the format that is causing you distress or causing you to not have fun. For some it's the grind, for others it's always seeing the same cards over and over, whether they play the deck themselves they are tired of seeing the cards in or maybe constantly play against those decks. Identifying that aspect out loud is a step in the right direction to begin to understand where you can go from there. Perhaps it is a specific card that is not fun, or a specific strategy. Regardless of what it is, identifying that can be extremely helpful.

Step #2 - Trying Something New

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Sometimes the quickest way to find fun in a format is to simply change it up and try something different. Trying a different deck out and learning it a little can be a refreshing way to have fun in the format, and can also act as a learning tool. For example if you've never tried out Death and Taxes and you are typically a blue player, maybe try seeing how D&T functions from their end and play it for a little while. This is obviously way easier to do on Magic Online, but you can also proxy in paper to get a feel for the deck's ins and outs with your friends. Learning new things is often fun for some people regardless of how unhealthy a metagame might seem because it is a new experience and players can often derive fun from new experiences.

It is worth noting that this step can also be somewhat frustrating trying to learn something new, but challenging yourself in this way is more often than not rewarding and fun.

Step #3 - Try Something Spicy

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If you're a player that never strays outside of a relative comfort zone, it might be difficult to really reach out and grab ahold of something spicy in the format. Week in and week out, I always try to identify anything from the League 5-0s that are spicy decks for the Spice Corner, and every week there is always a lot of players that never disappoint me in this regard. I'm one of those players that lives for the spice of life, so I always enjoy seeing and playing wacky decks.

Most recently for me was this deck that was truly a spicy spicy thing, and it was something I had a lot of fun playing around with.

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I realize that this is something that a number of players can have a hard time doing and finding fun with because it combines the frustration aspect of learning something new from above with the aspect of the fact that the spicy brew might be spicy but it also might not be very good. Still, this kind of experimentation is fun for a lot of players as well, and if you can find fun in this sort of thing it's absolutely worth a jaunt outside of your comfort zone into something a little crazier.

Step #4 - Take a Step Back

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Sometimes it is also important to recognize when you are pushing yourself too hard and to actually take a step back from things. There's nothing wrong with this. It's healthy to consider taking a break if you are feeling burnt out and incapable of having fun with something. Sometimes this is a step you migrate to immediately after recognizing what it is that's causing the lack of fun for some people. Taking a step back can mean different things though, perhaps it's simply cutting a certain type of event out like playing in competitive events and playing casually with friends or via Leagues, or it might mean taking a break from playing and watching more content. Sometimes it might be playing another format. None of these things are wrong if you feel that you need to do it as no one is obligated to keep beating their head into a wall if they're not having fun with something. I myself often migrate back and forth between several formats in order to keep things fresh and interesting. Sometimes I spend a week watching various content or listening to various podcasts (usually catching up a lot on these), instead of actually playing Magic. It's important to recognize when you are feeling fun burnout and to appropriately react to it.

Step #5 - Talk to a Friend

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At the end of the day, mental health in Magic is just as important as it ever was, and I find it also helps to talk about these aspects with a friend as well. Sometimes we can't always see a way forward out of the burnout or how to have fun, and an outside perspective can help us find focus. Expressing your concerns to someone else can help them give you advice on things to potentially try and having a sounding board to talk to helps a lot. The best part of Magic is always first and foremost the Gathering, and having others to talk to about format concerns and ways to find fun is exceedingly helpful.

Wrapping Up

I hope that this can help some people with being able to hopefully find some fun with the current Legacy format. I find often that having fun is just as important as winning is, and if one is not having fun it can be a frustrating experience overall. If any of these tips help you at all, then great! If you needed to take a break for a bit, then great as well! No single person approaches this the same way and everyone has a different story. If you feel like sharing your own tips for finding fun, please have at it in the comments!

Round Table Followup

Last week's Round Table was I felt a pretty resounding success, and we'll continue doing those kinds of articles for as long as people are enjoying them. One of the big takeaways that I got from reading everyone's topics last week is that Legacy currently feels fun, but is recognized as unhealthy by the metrics of data and how the format generally feels to most players. There also seems to be little consensus about how to actually change the format for the better, since most of the base had somewhat different ideas on how things should be adjusted.

One interesting takeaway from last week was also the fact that all the players agreed that there is an aspect of Black's color pie in fair Legacy that has really dropped off and most of those players would prefer to see printings that would help solidify Black as a fair color again.

I want to again thank all of the participants in the Round Table last week, and look forward to the end of 2021 in two months with a very large Round Table near the end of the year.

Legacy Challenge 10/10

The Sunday Challenge fired this past weekend at a bare minimum of 64 players. We managed to get all the data for this event thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

As we generally expected, UR Delver was at the top tables of this event, followed by a big increase in Doomsday players. This event also had a lot of different Stompy decks that don't necessarily fit the mold of an existing Stompy archetype. Definitely an interesting event, given the player attendance and the fact that a lot of the typical grinders we see in these events are simply not here. What will happen going forward will really depend on Wizards at this point.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
The EPIC Storm 1st Bryant_Cook
UR Delver 2nd OrnatePuzzles
RUG Cascade 3rd Xpz98
RUG Tempo 4th Ark4n
Blood Moon Aggro 5th swiftwarkite2
Lands 6th Delthar
Jeskai Ragavan 7th Ozymandias17
Mystic Forge Combo 8th wambocombo2020

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here, with some smattering of Daze decks plus some prison and combo aspects. At the end of the event it was combo stalwart and longtime creator of The EPIC Storm Bryant Cook himself that took down this event.

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Bryant's list is a full on five color Storm build at this point, maximizing heavily the power level of the additional protection cards like Orim's Chant gives, but also being able to really lean into making Prismatic Ending both exceptionally flexible and powerful. I have also seem some great things out of the card Galvanic Relay in these decks in my own personal experience playing against them, so I can definitely attest to how good that card is myself.

The Second Place list was on UR Delver.

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This is the build we've come to expect where Delver is cut down a two of, and we have cards like a couple Mishra's Bauble to make Dragon's Rage Channeler a little better. Note the main deck Gut Shot. This particular list has come gunning for a Monkey.

Also in the Top 8 we had a showing by RUG Cascade.

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This deck is pretty popular in Modern right now as well. Having access to Force of Will and Dack Fayden as well as both Spirit Guides make this a little more powerful in general. Definitely seems like a fun and strong deck.

Further down we had a showing by Moon Stompy / Blood Moon Aggro.

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This is certainly a deck we haven't really had a ton of results from as of late, mainly due in part to how good cards like Prismatic Ending are against the more disruptive elements of this shell (namely Chalice), but looking at some of the other decks in the Top 32, there wasn't a ton of Bant Control and decks that punish both Chalice and Moon so it seems like it was a solid meta call.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Mystic Forge Combo.

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Fateful Absence is an interesting sideboard card from the new set. Seems like a pretty sweet piece of removal, especially if Karn is out making it impossible for them to ever crack the Clue token.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a showing by the Naya Landfall deck.

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This list has some legitimately scary Turn 2 kills. It is extremely innocuous too how quickly it can put lethal on the table. Very cool deck indeed.

All the way at the bottom of the Top 32 we had SOLDIER STOMPY.

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The only deck where Aerial Responder and Suppression Field sees play. Solitude is a pretty sweet throw-in as well given how many white cards the deck has.

Around the Web

  • Our good friend Roland Chang is on 90sMTG this week playing some UR Delver! Check it out here.
  • Our other good friend Phil Gallagher is playing some Jund Thermo-Alchemist combo! Check that out here.
  • Cue the Mr. Burns - "Eggscellent..."
  • The entirety of The Legacy Pit Open is now on YouTube. Check it out here!
  • Prismatic Ending is the best removal spell of all time. Find out why over at The Eternal Glory Podcast's new episode.
  • The Canadian Threshold has a new episode, so go check that out here.

The Spice Corner

This is a pretty cool one. Depths combo that turns into Doomsday. Sweet!

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We haven't seen much Maverick in a while. This list is playing some new cards in Outland Liberator and Sigarda, Champion of Light.

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There's so much going on in this list. Ragavan, Expressive Iteration, Mox Diamond! Just wild.

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I am absolutely digging this Asmor/Cookbook Stax variant. Really super cool. I might have to try this.

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For when you need a Monkey in everything, we've got a Monkey in what looks like 4C Affinity.

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Finally this last list is like Maverick, but with Monkeys.

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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 /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit.

Until next time!

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