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This Week in Legacy: Into the Mind's Desire

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 all about the very recent Banned and Restricted update for Legacy! In addition to that we've got some first impressions of Creative Technique on Magic Online and some Challenge data!

It's a wild one, so let's strap in and get right to it!

August 7 Banned and Restricted Announcement - Mind's Desire UNBANNED IN LEGACY

This past week was a very interesting Banned and Restricted announcement, the first of Wizards' attempt at a yearly cadence for BnR for Standard and other formats, with a clarification that other formats can receive more frequent looks at BnR updates. You can find the link to this BnR update here.

Still, I don't think what we got out of this was actually on many Legacy player's radar. We got an unban! And it's for a card that's... actually somewhat interesting?

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So, bit of a history lesson here. Legacy originally started life in MTG as a sub type (named Type 1.5) of the original two formats in the game (Type 1 being Vintage and Type 2 being Standard) in 1996. The format at that time was pretty weird, given that it had no restricted cards like Type 1 and its banned list was the sum of all cards that were either restricted or banned in Vintage or Standard. This status quo continued until 2004 when Legacy became independent in Vintage and cards that were already banned in Type 1.5 mostly continued to be banned in the new format.

Mind's Desire was released as part of the set Scourge on May 26, 2003 (so while Legacy was part of Type 1 as Type 1.5). On June 1st, 2003 a Banned and Restricted Announcement was issued restricting the card in Type 1 (a mere six days after its release), which in turn banned the card in Type 1.5 (due to how Type 1.5 bans worked).

Thus, when Legacy became independent in 2004, Mind's Desire never came off the banned list and remained banned. Until well.. this week! Mind's Desire is now a completely and utterly legal card to play as a 4-of in Legacy.

Now of course, Desire seems like a really powerful card. Storm spells usually do something rather big and flashy and Desire was powerful enough that the card was banned six days after its release. But in the long run of things, does Mind's Desire actually break Legacy? I think the answer here is no. In fact, I consider this to have been one of the safer unbans for the format for some time now, just not one that was on my radar for this announcement.

I did ask on Twitter what some folks thought it would go in, and a number of folks (including Joe Lowdon and Skuamato) said possibly in High Tide while a number of others noted that it's likely not any good, and I tend to lean on this side of the fence. I expect we'll see a lot of people try to "break" the card and it will see a lot of play initially, but I think in the long run it will likely fall off in a number of decks. I would also expect a rise in other decks that have either copies of Mindbreak Trap in their sideboards (also due to the fact that Creative Technique is seeing a lot of play as well) or things playing Sphere of Resistance (like Lands).

That being said, there's a lot fun experimentation going on here with this card for sure already. I played this particular list earlier this week to a 3-2.

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Now, I do actually really enjoy these periods in Legacy because it really drives excitement in the format as people will definitely be trying to make the card work and seeing people get really excited about something like this definitely has me excited as well. To all those folks out there playing this card in the format: Godspeed, all of you.

Creative Technique Combo aka "Mississippi River"

This past week also gave us some interesting stuff with the addition of a Commander backlog card to Magic Online in the form of Creative Technique.

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We've talked a bit about this card before this in paper, where the idea is to use Technique to loop through your deck with Cascade spells and win off Maelstrom Wanderer or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Well, now we can finally try this insanity out on Magic Online (and spoilers, it had a good weekend) and so I took the deck for a spin on a stream on Saturday to see how fun it is. It's pretty fun! Check out the hilarious VOD below.

Legacy Challenge 8/5

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 63 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.

Reanimator was the most popular deck here, but it had a really poor performance overall, while Death's Shadow and Grixis Delver all did very well. D&T also showed up here and rode the middle line of win rates, and both Lands/Mystic Forge didn't do so hot.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Creative Technique 1st Beekeeper
Red 8 Blast Aggro 2nd CrusherBotBG
Grixis Delver 3rd _INF_
8Cast 4th ItsSwiftyTime
Red Painter 5th kanican
Death's Shadow 6th AlexanderRosdahl
Death's Shadow 7th Luca5937
Lands 8th Promidnightz

Very interesting Top 8 here, and as indicated earlier this happened to be the breakout weekend for Creative Technique, as that deck won this Challenge!

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There's a really silly sideboard plan to this deck where you board in Throes of Chaos and Tibalt's Trickery and can use those to loop into your Cascade spells, which you can do on Turn 2 if you have something like Turn 1 red source Sol land and Turn 2 Tomb/City of Traitors. This deck is going to really get the MTGO hive mind treatment now so I'm excited to see where the lists go from here but this looked good.

In Second Place we had a really unique spin on the Mono Red Aggro decks.

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Dubbed "8 Blast" by its pilot, this deck has a lot of aggressive power behind it, but it is the combination of having Bolt, Galvanic Blast, and Shrapnel Blast that really pushes the damage factor high. Very cool deck for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had 8Cast.

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Sideboard copies of Bowmasters here does make some sense. It combats the mirror well and it beats up on the decks that are playing Bowmasters by being able to kill their copies, which unlocks the 8Casts deck to draw more cards.

At the bottom half of the Top 8 we had Red Painter.

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It's sort of wild here seeing the red land cycler and a couple Reanimate but it's a great Plan B/C that can easily win you a quick game. We don't yet have Chaos Defiler on MTGO so we have to make do, and these Land cyclers are all really strong.

Legacy Challenge 8/6

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 100 players in it thanks to the data we were able to collect via the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the incomplete data sheet here. Due to technical difficulties, there was no good data collection for this event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Death's Shadow 1st SureThing
Lands 2nd adamwasmo
Death's Shadow 3rd HJ_Kaiser
Grixis Delver 4th tbrantl99
Grixis Delver 5th ReformedPaolo
4C Uro Control 6th Danzant
Deadguy Ale 7th perez
GW Depths 8th Sprouts

Lot of Tempo strategies, but it's nice to see that it's all not just Delver, and in fact Shadow is very much its own thing now that it has a bunch more support cards. It also ended up winning the event!

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Shadow having the whole Grief Scam style option to it, as well as being able to land cycle and Reanimate a Troll of Khazad-dum is incredibly silly. Some of the best lines I've seen out of this deck involve reanimating a Troll to give Shadows +6/+6 and that's great.

In Second Place we had Lands.

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The Sphere lands seems like it may be even better poised to take advantage of all the people trying decks like Creative Technique and Mind's Desire since it's main decking four Sphere of Resistance and can easily pack more combo hate in the sideboard.

Further down the Top 8 we had 4C Uro Lord of the Rings Control.

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Delighted Halfling seems a lot better when you're not only casting Uro/Teferi, but also The One Ring. Definitely a strong list, as we saw something similar to this Top 4 the BCDL Open II event a few weeks ago.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Deadguy Ale 2023 Edition or whatever it is we're calling the Orzhov Vial deck (Orzhov Vial sounds fairly boring to me). This one at least has Stoneforge Mystic in it.

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The "Bowmasters/Samwise" deck has been a very interesting thing to follow in its trajectory. This plays a lot more like a D&T-esque deck for sure, but isn't quite D&T. It's certainly a sweet looking deck. The Samwise Karakas/Wasteland loops can be pretty debilitating for sure.

Around the Web

  • Eternal Durdles has a video on The One Ring in Legacy. Check it out here.
  • GreensSunsZenith has an excellent article on silver bullets with a focus on Artifact/Enchantment hate. Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Gambit has a sweet video on learning Painter. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Chain of Smog with Bowmasters? Seems sweet.

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This Omni-Tell list is gas. Palantir of Orthanc is really cool.

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BUG Lord of the Rings is a very interesting thing.

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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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