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This Week in Legacy: Here There Be Monsters, Part 2


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another This Week in Legacy! This week we've got a lot to talk about, because we have the rest of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths to discuss, as well as some stuff from Commander 2020. In addition to that we'll be talking about the Legacy Challenge from last week (since the results finally got posted) and the Legacy Super Qualifier from this week! To top that off, we've got a deck focus on Cephalid Breakfast, and always our Spice Corner!

Again, it seems like there is a bit of a breakdown on Challenge results getting posted, so the Showcase Challenge results were not available before my article was due. Hopefully these issues with weekend events gets sorted out soon.

We also do not have a Level Up Lesson this week as I am still hunting down some guests for future ones. If you're a Legacy Specialist and want to talk about your deck a bit, reach out and talk to me!

Also, if you're in the mood for some more, check out last week's episode of The Dead Format, featuring yours truly!

Hunting for Monsters

We've got the full set for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths now, and last week's spoilers were a bit of a doozy when it came to some cards that were spoiled. We're going to start strictly with the companions first, because of how new that mechanic is.

Zirda, the Dawnwaker

Zirda, the Dawnwaker [IKO]

While I initially thought that Gyruda was one of the more broken companions, Zirda takes the cake in literally every way possible. This card is incredibly crazy, being a 1.5 card combo with cards named Basalt Monolith and Grim Monolith that is always available. The downside of this card is having to build with activated abilities in mind, but in Legacy there is a small way to get around having cards without activated abilities in your sideboard (since Companion does not look at your sideboard), and that is of course Karn, the Great Creator.

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Getting to play four copies of Karn allows you to place some cards that don't have activated abilities that are typically played by Karn decks (such as Ensnaring Bridge, Sorcerous Spyglass, etc.) to simply fetch with Karn. This allows you the ability to slightly circumvent Zirda's restriction. The most obvious downside however is that these decks do not get to play Chalice of the Void, but since Zirda only looks at permanents, you can also play a build that plays Force of Will and Brainstorm instead.

Our good friend OnTheWind from the Legacy Discord helped out with some interesting lists for Zirda to give an idea of what this card is capable of.

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There is a ton of upside to this card, and I expect to see it all over the place. It feels excessively powerful having access to a combo piece at all times throughout the game to just cast when you have the ability to do so and just win the game.

Jegantha, the Wellspring

Jegantha, the Wellspring [IKO]

Jegantha's deckbuilding restriction is pretty hard to read, but essentially it means that you can't have a card that has more than one of the same symbol in its mana cost. For example, this card disqualifies you from being able to play Force of Will because it has two blue mana symbols in its cost. Conversely this also affects cards like Walking Ballista and Chalice of the Void (by having two X's in the mana cost).

With this kind of restriction, where does a card like this possibly even fit into Legacy? Many decks play cards with multiple mana symbols, and it is unsure whether the benefit of having a 5/5 vanilla essentially is worth having to cast over some of those cards. For example, I've heard discussion on whether Maverick could play this, but many builds include the card Questing Beast in them, which in my opinion is arguably a much better creature to have access to over Jegantha.

That being said, there may be some room for this card. I myself did some poking around with this and decided to see what it would take to slot this into Vial Elementals, since that deck doesn't tend to run many same mana symbols as is.

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Being an Elemental as well as the fact that the deck typically gets to five mana thanks to Risen Reef, having a free 5/5 for this kind of deck seems actually just fine, and the mana ability can actually help too.

Kaheera, the Orphanguard

Kaheera, the Orphanguard [IKO]

This particular companion is on the lower end of playability for me, but the thing I've heard about it is that for decks that don't play creatures this is a free slot in the sideboard. I'm not 100% sure I believe that most decks that are creatureless will be capable of casting a green/white creature (since most of those decks tend to either be colorless or blue/black/x in colors) but maybe a free 3/2 vigilance is fine. Personally however, I'm of the mind that this particular one is not great to cast in Legacy, outside of some sweet sick Cat/Elemental deck. Sadly, it can't even slot into the Vial Elementals deck above as a Companion without cutting Phantasmal Image, which is something that I don't think I'd like to do. However, it is potential to possibly play main deck as a lord effect despite not being an Elemental itself.

Obosh, the Preypiercer

Obosh, the Preypiercer [IKO]

This card is interesting enough. It promotes some odd deckbuilding, but might work pretty well within some form of Rakdos burn shell. That being said, you do lose on access to certain cards like Eidolon of the Great Revel, while also losing access to Fireblast. Very rarely do these decks get to 5 mana too before their opponent is stone cold dead, so I am not certain this fits in anywhere at all currently.

Yorion, Sky Nomad

Yorion, Sky Nomad [IKO]

Legacy Battle of Wits, let's go.

Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy

Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy [IKO]

Yet another Simic card that feels pretty powerful, Kinnan is pretty excessively insane especially when you consider that it doubles the mana from Arcum's Astrolabe (effectively turning Astrolabe into a Signet). This also goes infinite with Basalt Monolith but doesn't go infinite with Grim Monolith, but I could expect to see this in the same kinds of shells that you play Zirda, the Dawnwaker in.

It is worth noting that this does not allow you to make more mana with cards like Lion's Eye Diamond (since LED doesn't tap) and with Urza, High Lord Artificer (because "tap for mana" has a very specific rules meaning, and Urza is producing the mana, not the artifacts he taps).

Even moreso, the secondary ability here can find cards like Ice-Fang Coatl and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and filter away the top five. Yes it costs a bit, but this is a great late game card for those decks and also just a solid card in general for Astrolabe decks.

The Ozolith

The Ozolith [IKO]

This card is super cool, and the biggest and best use of it is with cards that have the Modular mehanic, which namely leads to the most recognizable use of that mechanic in the card Arcbound Ravager. While many of the decks that use this card also run Chalice of the Void and this is a one drop, there could be a sweet build with Hardened Scales that could exist. Cards like Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker get huge boosts from this card, but it's also worth noting that this card can distribute any kinds of counters to any creature in play. For example, it can take -1/-1 counters dealt as damage by infect creatures on your own creatures that die, and then turn those counters back onto the infect creature to kill it. This seems like an interesting use of this card overall.

Song of Creation

Song of Creation [IKO]

This card has a lot of text on it and is absolutely begging to be broken. There is a lot to be done with this card, I'm just not sure what yet. However, I'm sure someone will figure something out with this card. It has too much going for it to not do something fun or interesting. While it may not be so broken that it's the best thing ever, it does scream combo potential. Regardless, really cool card no matter what.

Whirlwind of Thought

Whirlwind of Thought [IKO]

While drawing a card for noncreature spells seems like it should be great at four mana in three different colors this is pretty awkward to play with. I don't see this card doing much in Legacy at all for the most part.

Titans' Nest

Titans' Nest [IKO]

While this also does cost four mana, giving every spell in your hand Delve is kind of insane (and we all know how actually powerful Delve is as a mechanic in Legacy), and I have to wonder if this could see play somewhere. Imagine getting to delve away mana costs for things like Force of Will or a hard cast Terminus, or just literally anything else. This feels pretty nutty, so it's going to be down to the converted mana cost that dictates whether it will truly see play or not, but I feel as even just a 1-of it might be worth it to be able to Delve just about any spell you cast.

Of One Mind

Of One Mind [IKO]

I'm going to go on record and say that I do believe this card to require too much setup to be playable in Legacy. A reminder that Delver of Secrets is a Human on both sides means that having a flipped and unflipped Delver does not fulfill the conditions to make this card cost U. Yes, if you have Monastery Mentor and the first token (which is just a Monk, not Human) and Young Pyromancer and an Elemental token this costs U, but getting to these points first before this card would need to be relevant makes it exceptionally awkward for a sorcery speed draw spell.

While this could maybe supplement some draw spells here or there I wouldn't expect to see this as more than 1-2 of at best, and even that is pushing it. Just because it costs U if you have a Human and Non-Human doesn't mean that Dreadhorde Arcanist can flash it back either without a power boost (which usually doesn't happen in Arcanist decks).

Sea-Dasher Octopus

Sea-Dasher Octopus [IKO]

Again a reminder that Delver is a Human on both sides, because I know that someone is going to consider wanting to put this card onto a Delver at least once. This however, is an intriguing card and I think it could see play somewhere, especially if you mutate it under something like Dreadhorde Arcanist (keeping Arcanist's superior toughness and color intact) and turn it into a card draw engine that seems incredibly insane. The fact that this has flash too is very powerful and makes it worth consideration.

The Triome Lands

Indatha Triome [IKO] Ketria Triome [IKO] Raugrin Triome [IKO]

Savai Triome [IKO] Zagoth Triome [IKO]

Normally a series of ETB tapped lands wouldn't be worth talking about, but not only do these lands have land types but they have three of them. While ETB tapped is pretty awkward in Legacy, I actually believe that some decks will see use out of some of these in certain decks, where it makes fetching for the colors on the card much easier in one land. While Arcum's Astrolabe makes this kind of moot point, I can definitely see some situations where a deck might want one of these as a one-of in the deck. Being able to cash in on the cycling too seems okay as well. I am really curious where these will go.

Ethereal Forager

Ethereal Forager [C20]

Switching gears to Commander 2020 we have another card with Delve on it, and as we talked about earlier Delve tends to be a little nutty. However, I don't believe that to be the case with this card unfortunately. While the upside of this card might seem great, the downside of this card is that it is blue in a format where more players are playing the card Pyroblast than anything (in order to combat cards like Oko). Yes, "dies to removal" isn't a great argument to not play a card, but the problem with removing this card is that the spells that were Delved away are effectively just gone and you won't ever get them back. Compare this to something like Dreadhorde Arcanist where if you kill an Arcanist, you can play another and still accrue value off the spells in your graveyard, and Arcanist even casts them for you, something this card does not do.

I certainly think someone will try this card out, but I don't believe it will be good enough long term to see continual Legacy play.

Nascent Metamorph

Nascent Metamorph [C20]

This card is pretty interesting design but I don't know that it will do much. If you manage to snag something like a Griselbrand or an Emrakul then that's pretty cool though. Being an attack trigger is certainly interesting, but overall I doubt this finds a place or a deck it wants to be in.

Almighty Brushwagg

Almighty Brushwagg [IKO]

No comment. Best card in the entire set.

Community Legacy Update

Again, there isn't much on the paper front going on because of the pandemic, but more and more people are playing via webcam, so be on the lookout for that in your social circles! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there with everything going on!

I do want to call attention to a sweet thing though, called Legacy Double Dash, which is organized by Tim Schulz. It's a Legacy Two-Headed Giant event comprised of various streamers and Legacy MTGO players. The idea is that each team is playing the same deck however. You can find it on Thursday at 5:00 PM PST at twitch.tv/schulzcubed!

Deck Focus - Squidbillies

Our deck focus this week is on a sweet hybrid control/combo deck known as Cephalid Breakfast!

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Cephalid Breakfast was first pioneered in the Extended format by Javier Dominguez in later 2004-2005. The name comes from the fact that the deck plays Cephalid Illusionist and as was expected at the time had a breakfast related name because all combo decks in Extended had this nomenclature.

The deck functions off the basis of using Cephalid Illusionist with Nomads en-Kor to infinitely redirect damage to the Illusionist which in turn will mill the entire deck. Then a Dread Return is cast bringing back Thassa's Oracle to win the game. This deck is a hybrid deck because only 12 cards are needed to perform the combo. The rest of the deck is actually an Aether Vial based Stoneforge Mystic deck, which acts not only as solid backup plan by having card like Batterskull, but also allows access to the card Shuko which can also be used to perform the combo by equipping for 0 between two creatures over and over.

Because of this deck's hybrid nature, it can often play a fair control game with Force of Will and Brainstorm and can even shift completely to this kind of deck post-board by bringing in more countermagic, removal, and even other threats like True-Name Nemesis.

One of the big reasons this deck is back in a spot where it is able to do well is on the back of cards like Thassa's Oracle and Once Upon a Time. Oracle provides the deck a powerful way of just winning the game that is not susceptible to removal, and OuaT gives the deck a functional way of searching out creature cards and pieces of the combo, which greatly improves the consistency of the deck overall.

Of course, Javier is still in love with his pet deck to this day. He recently wrote a great article on the deck in March, and it's well worth the read.

This is a great deck if you're looking for something fun and challenging but also has a great sideboard hybrid plan.

Legacy Challenge 4/5

These Challenge results didn't get published in time for last week's article to cover it, so we're going to cover it this week. So let's jump right into the Top 8 of this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Snowko 1st MM_17
Cephalid Breakfast 2nd Pische10
4C Snowko 3rd Gul_Dukat
4C Miracles (No Black Snowko) 4th Dieu
Elves 5th KanonenFutter
Elves 6th JjKbb2005
Sneak and Show 7th Danker
Turbo Depths 8th Yanmaster

This is a wildly interesting Top 8, with quite a bit of Oko going on here, between two Snowko lists, Miracles, and even one of the Elves lists containing Oko in it. We're going to talk about this in a future column about Oko, Astrolabe, Uro, etc decks but for right now let's take a look at the First Place list by MM_17.

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As is indicative of these lists, the ability to play cards like Uro and Oko really influences the power of this deck, but it really does lean well on Astrolabe. However, I almost suspect this deck would likely be playable in some form without Astrolabe thanks to the sheer power level of Uro, which is a bit scary to consider.

In Second Place, we have Pische10 on this week's deck focus, Cephalid Breakfast!

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It is certainly great to see this deck doing well with Thassa's Oracle being a card. Very cool stuff indeed.

Moving down the Top 8, we have two Elves lists, one of which is by our previous week's guest Level Up Lesson, Jack Kendall!

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It is a bit wild to see Oko showing up in this deck, but it honestly makes a lot of sense and is definitely just a powerful enough card to see play.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have good old fashioned Turbo Depths!

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This is a pretty typical list for Depths currently, but it's great to see the deck do well here.

Let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event. For space sake I will not be including 2019 cards that have less than 10 copies.

Card Name Number of Copies
Arcum's Astrolabe 33
Veil of Summer 25
Oko, Thief of Crowns 23
Ice-Fang Coatl 21
Force of Negation 20
Prismatic Vista 17
Plague Engineer 16
Teferi, Time Raveler 14
Once Upon a Time 13
Dreadhorde Arcanist 11
Brazen Borrower 10

2019 Cards

Card Name Number of Copies
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 16
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove 8
Thassa's Oracle 4
Cling to Dust 2
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos 1
Ox of Agonas 1
Soul-Guide Lantern 1

2020 Cards

Of course, the story of this event is Uro, Oko, Astrolabe, and Veil. Strong Simic cards should surprise no one at this point as they will continue to prove themselves to be powerful strategies to play in the format.

Legacy Super Qualifier 4/9

Last week also brought us another Legacy Super Qualifier, one that clocked in at about 216 players overall. There is yet another of these scheduled tomorrow (Thursday, 7am PDT/10 am EST) so make sure you make note of this in case you intend to play in this.

Let's take a look at the Top 32 metagame breakdown first.

The 4C No Red Snowko decks were a huge portion of the field in the Top 32 of this event, converting two similar lists to the Top 8 overall. Eldrazi Stompy followed up as a popular option, but it didn't convert any players to the Top 8 at all, while RUG Delver matched its percentages and converted two lists as well to the Top 8.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Death and Taxes 1st L337erHosen
5C Snowko 2nd MadLameGuy
RUG Delver 3rd CReactor
Mono Red Prison 4th BomberBoss
Turbo Depths 5th TheWholePeter
5C Snowko 6th TheZookeeper
RUG Delver 7th Federusher
Omni-Tell 8th Vmi-Nav

This was certainly an interesting Top 8, with some surprising decks popping up amidst the threat of Oko/Uro decks. At the end of the event however, it was down to two players who queued for the Player's Tour.

In First Place of the event we have L337erHosen with Death and Taxes!

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It is certainly interesting to see cards like Mangara of Corondor appear in addition to Tomik, Distinguished Advokist. The very presence of cards like Plague Engineer has made it difficult for D&T, and this list doesn't even give consideration to that by playing cards like Giver of Runes, but leans more on stock four Mother of Runes instead. The real all star is Mirran Crusader however, being able to take on Oko and swing through Uro, which is incredibly strong.

Congrats to L337erHosen on their finish and qualification!

In Second Place in the other PT qualification spot, we have MadLameGuy on 5C Snowko!

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This is again, pretty indicative of these Astrolabe decks and what they're capable of. This one goes a step further and plays red for Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast out of the sideboard, really leaning on the fact that Astrolabe can cast these cards for them with absolutely zero red duals in the main (but a Volcanic Island in the sideboard as well for these). Still, results are results, so congrats to MadLameGuy on their PT qualification!

In Third Place we have RUG Delver!

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This is pretty common of RUG Delver, but the deck is still pretty powerful and probably the best Delver shell right now. It gains a lot of equity with its cards with Arcanist, and Oko is a strong backup plan.

In Fourth Place we have Mono Red Prison!

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This is what we've come to expect from this kind of deck, but I really still love Bonecrusher Giant in this deck. It is a really solid card and threat overall. Scab-Clan Berserker is a sweet card out of the sideboard as well.

In Fifth Place we have Turbo Depths!

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It's worth noting that TheWholePeter did go undefeated in the Swiss portion of the event, and this list is pretty sweet to boot.

In Sixth Place, we have another 5C Snowko deck!

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Not much to say about this deck, but I enjoy the From the Ashes in the sideboard here. Such a sweet card!

In Seventh Place we have another copy of RUG Delver!

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One great thing about this list is seeing Stifle. Stifle is great.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have Mono Blue Omni-Tell!

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While most Omni variants have been splashing green for Ice-Fang Coatl and Veil of Summer this version prefers to just jam multiple Spell Pierce instead, which does seem pretty great.

Now let's look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event. Again for space sake, I will not be listing cards for 2019 below 10 copies.

Card Name Number of Copies
Arcum's Astrolabe 33
Oko, Thief of Crowns 32
Force of Negation 28
Veil of Summer 23
Ice-Fang Coatl 22
Karn, the Great Creator 16
Dead of Winter 13
Once Upon a Time 12
Force of Vigor 11
Deafening Silence 10
Dreadhorde Arcanist 10

2019 Cards

Card Name Number of Copies
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 21
Cling to Dust 3
Klothys, God of Destiny 2
Soul-Guide Lantern 2
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos 1

2020 Cards

Again, Oko, Uro, Veil, and Astrolabe are excessively powerful and will continue to be for some time it seems. This event also had a fair amount of Karn, the Great Creator in it as well. It was worth noting however, that more copies of cards like Cling to Dust and Klothys, God of Destiny are appearing. I think these cards are strong ways of combating Uro especially, so I wouldn't be surprised to see them show up more.

Around the Web

  • ELO Punters posted a new episode on Metagame updates, so check that out here!
  • Phil of Thraben U posted a video on RUG Delver with Super Q winner Rich Cali over here!
  • GreenSunsZenith.com posted a video on Legacy Death and Taxes over here!
  • Reddit user Nolagold posted a round by round play-by-play of the Super Qualifier on Emry Control, which you can check out here!

The Spice Corner

This deck from our good friend MatsOle is really sweet and spicy.

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Curse Stompy combined with Helm/Leyline combo!

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SNOW. DRAGON.

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This next deck is doing a lot of things and I like all of them. Edric, Spymaster of Trest? YEAH!

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What I'm Playing This Week

I've been a little morose on what I've wanted to play lately because BUG Zenith is roughly 100-150 tix above my Cardhoarder rental limit, so I decided to play around with Vial Elementals again for a bit.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! I highly appreciate you guys taking the time to read and check out my content! Join us next week as we continue our journey into Legacy and this new world with Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths!

As always you can reach me on 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, keep casting Companions!

 



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