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This Week in Legacy: Hold the Gate!

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 diving into the world of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate and what cards if any could break into Legacy! We've also got two Challenges to look at as well as a Spice Corner!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Baldur's Gate!

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate is right around the corner, and with it will come with quite a few new cards that are legal in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage. With that being said, it is worth noting that there is an extreme possibility that some of the cards we're going to talk about here may not be present on the Magic Online client in the first place. It was announced recently that the full set could not be released yet on Magic Online and that select cards would be added to treasure chests starting on June 15th, which is the first time players will be able to get their hands on this. You can read more about this here, but the issue had to do with a resource crunch from the transition to Daybreak Games.

This set brings a few newer mechanics, many of which won't impact Legacy all that much. Backgrounds are specifically for the Commander format, and the Initiative doesn't have any cards that seem strong enough to warrant the mechanic being good in Legacy (given that the only Dungeon card that even sees play in the format is Acererak the Archlich). We also see the return of things like flavor ability words and Adventure spells, as well as multiplayer mechanics like goad and myriad.

Note that we are only covering the main set this week. Any possible Commander precon cards will have to wait until next week!

With that being said, let's take a look at the cards that could see play in Legacy from this set.

Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The power level of this card isn't immediately apparent until one remembers that Worldgorger Dragon + Animate Dead is a combo in Legacy that does see some amount of play here or there. This card is a lot like Worldgorger in that it does go infinite but it does not exile lands like Worldgorger does and doesn't make infinite mana.

However, the power of this card lies in how it is worded, because you only choose what permanents to exile when the trigger resolves, so if you wanted to, for instance, only exile your Animate Dead over and over with a Teferi, Time Raveler in play, you can do this. The best part of this is the card's floor with Animate Dead is that it will make an indeterminate number of 1/1 white Soldiers for every time you want to loop it with Animate Dead. Also because of how this trigger is worded, the loop can be stopped at any time because you can simply choose to exile nothing. Furthermore, if someone goes to remove this in response to the trigger, nothing will get exiled at all. The only major downside to this card is Karakas being able to stop it.

This is where I think Abdel Adrian is set apart from Worldgorger because its floor is much stronger at making a huge number of 1/1s, even if you do have to pass the turn, many decks in the format simply won't have the ability to deal with that kind of game-ending threat. In addition, being able to be played in a shell alongside cards like Teferi and Uro make this much more interesting to work with. I hope this is one of the cards that does make it onto Magic Online because it is really powerful and looks like a lot of fun to play with.

Archivist of Oghma

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This unfortunately is not a white version of Opposition Agent, and frankly does not look playable at all in Legacy. While yes, it is white card draw and that seems like something a deck like D&T might want, you also don't really want four of these in a deck, which means you're searching this up with Recruiter of the Guard and frankly there are just no realistic situations where you'd want to fetch this up instead of a different effect like Spirit of the Labyrinth or something like that.

In the words of xJCloud: "card bad".

Displacer Kitten

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is another card that has "infinite combo" potential around it. One such way this can be utilized is with Teferi, Time Raveler and a 0 drop artifact such as a Bauble, Lotus Petal, or Mox Opal. Blinking Teferi repeatedly while drawing out your deck is a very interesting potential combo, and this card can even save itself from a removal spell if it needs to by blinking itself. This also produces infinite mana with Karn, the Great Creator with Lion's Eye Diamond and Relic of Progenitus (by repeatedly exiling the graveyard and fetching the spells with Karn upon every blink).

This is definitely an interesting card, so we will have to see if it does actually see some play. Being fetchable by Recruiter of the Guard is a big plus to this card, but four mana is steep to consider. However, I think if you're sequencing this over a few turns of playing a Teferi, protecting him then dropping this, I think that's a reasonable place to be in a combo/control shell.

Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is definitely a reader. Basically what it says is if you cast an instant from hand, you can cast a sorcery from the graveyard and vice versa. It is worth noting that you still have to pay the mana for the other spell you cast, but this can let you do some unique things like cast Ponder and then flashback a Brainstorm from the graveyard or vice versa. I don't know if this is good enough honestly, because being Legendary is a big downside to cards like this that have to stay in play to do something.

Sailors' Bane

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh right. Yet another cost-reducted blue threat that can be cast for relatively cheap. While this is not quite Murktide Regent, this card synergizes well with Murktide Regent because it is capable of counting the spells Delved by a Murktide in its cost reduction. There's a lot of divisiveness on this card currently as to whether it will see play, and I firmly believe it will likely be a two of in addition to Murktide because it doesn't detract from Murktide's game plan, and it also provides a beater that functions under graveyard hate.

While this card is only counting instants and sorceries, that still isn't very difficult to set up, and not competing with Murktide makes it a solid game player to additionally work in this shell.

Rug of Smothering

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a really unique card that is probably not supremely playable, but it does do some things versus certain decks. Even against Doomsday it does things because they often operate at a low life total due to the cost of resolving Doomsday, so it makes win the same turn Doomsday piles pretty awkward.

I think this is probably yet another card that makes it into a sideboard of an Ancient Tomb deck somewhere in case you're afraid of Storm, but ultimately probably ends up doing not much else.

Legacy Challenge 5/28

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 50 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 data sheet here.

UR Delver had a strong presence in this event, along with a solid win rate. Another deck that surprisingly popped up here was Depths Combo, with a very solid win rate as well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Black Depths 1st medvedev
UR Delver 2nd Tomoro3333
Jeskai Control 3rd wiky
Reanimator 4th duke12
UR Delver 5th OrnatePuzzles
RUG Tempo 6th Butakov
Blue Karn/Artifacts 7th Killabee
Doomsday 8th Malowless

Definitely a unique and interesting Top 8 here. We had some Delver show up here or there, but also some combo, control... and MONO BLACK DEPTHS WINNING IT.

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This deck is supremely interesting. Having the Depths Combo plan plus Saga backup is really interesting, as well as having the hatebears of Opposition Agent and Dauthi Voidwalker. This deck is so cool for sure. It even sideboards into the Helm/Leyline combo! Solid performance here.

The Second Place finalist was on UR Delver.

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Tragic Lesson is a cute sideboard card for Mystic Sanctuary tech, which seems kind of fun. Only playing three Force of Will main with one in the sideboard is pretty wild, but I can see why since most of the format is so utterly fair right now. Definitely interesting deck construction for sure.

Further down the list we had a RUG Delver-like Tempo deck pop up.

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Uro being kind of a midrangey type card here is very much a similar path that we saw decks like Pokepile and stuff adopt with Dreadhorde Arcanist except now it's with Dragon's Rage Channeler and Murktide Regent. Uro and Murktide sort of compete for graveyard space, but they're both solid cards. Sulfur Elemental in the sideboard is also supremely amusing and interesting as anti-D&T tech.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a SWEET spicy list from Killabee.

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JHOIRA?! RIDDLESMITH?!?!? This deck is so cool. It does a lot of groovy stuff with the artifacts it pushes through and all the cards it draws, alongside Echo of Eons to refill. This just looks like a ton of fun to play. Who can often say that they play Gustha's Scepter in a deck?

Legacy Challenge 5/29

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event. This event had 89 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project. We did run into some unknowns with this event as MTGO was giving a fit to the players collecting data so the current data set is roughly 7-8 decks out of being complete.

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

UR Delver had a really solid representation and a solid win rate as well. The Depths combo decks primarily the Mono-Black Depths deck that did well on Saturday had another solid positive run this event, and Elves did super well in addition to Blood Moon Aggro/Prison strategies.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Delver 1st Oceansoul92
Blue Karn/Artifacts 2nd markdm
Elves 3rd runkor
Mono Black Depths 4th karatedom
Mono Black Depths 5th Butakov
Elves 6th EronRelentless
UR Delver 7th Baku_91
Painter 8th Light_Walker

Wild Top 8, given that six of the Top 8 is three different decks with UR Delver, Mono Black Depths, and Elves. At the end of the event it was UR Delver that took it all down.

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The really fun aspect of this deck is the sideboard copies of Counterbalance, which can be really solid in the mirror matches due to the fact that you are often cutting copies of Force of Will in the mirror match, having a card that denies much of the opposing deck's cards (since most of the deck is one mana value cards) is very strong.

In Second Place we've got a really interesting Blue Artifact deck.

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We've seen this variant before with the black splash for Plague Engineer, but this is not quite 8Cast due to no Thought Monitor or Thoughtcast. Instead this is a mesh of that deck and the Hullbreacher combo decks. Definitely interesting.

We also had some Elves in the Top 8, so let's look at the Third Place one from runkor.

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Snuff Out and Murderous Cut seem like sweet inclusions in the sideboard as cards that very cleanly deal with Murktide Regent, and even Kappa Cannoneer given that they can be made efficiently cheap enough to be able to pay for Ward. Looks like a solid list all around for sure.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Painter.

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Breya's Apprentice is a really sweet card that enables some awesome shenanigans with Welder/Engineer. Saccing a card to functionally draw a card then weld what you sacrificed back into play is really good.

Around the Web

  • The EPIC Storm posted a video on on their new version 12.9! Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Phil Gallagher posted a great article on the state of MTGO and eternal formats. Check it out here.
  • TonyScapone posted another trophy video on The EPIC Gamble! Check it out here.
  • 90sMTG has a great video on 8Cast vs Reanimator. Check it out here.
  • Bazaar of Boxes is adding 8Mulch to the pool! Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Pit has Bant Mobiles vs Jeskai Control. Check that out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Hive Mind WHAT?!

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Kind of a fun and unique take on Doomsday/Spanish Inquisition. Spoils of the Vault!!!!

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Sort of a fun Poxy-Black Midrange pile with Ob Nixilis, the Adversary!

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Helm/Leyline combo go!

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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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