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This Week in Legacy: July Statistics

Hello and welcome to another This Week in Legacy! This week we’ll run through the statistics from July, highlight some interesting lists from across the months as well as run through the recent Legacy Challenge and the spoiled cards from Commander 2017!

July Statistics

Let’s have a look at the Online breakdown to start with. Of course, a few caveats before we begin:

  • This breakdown only covers 5-0ing decks displayed on the mothership from Leagues – Legacy Challenges have been omitted.
  • Remember the new way 5-0s are represented on the mothership – this isn’t a perfect representation of League metagames whatsoever.
  • A few decks have been grouped together for simplicity:
    • BUG/4c Control encompasses all Czech Pile decks – be they pure BUG, 4c or Leovold-less and primarily Grixis.
    • Grixis Control encompasses Pyromancer-based control decks.
    • Reanimator encompasses RB, UB and Depths versions.
    • UWx Stoneblade incorporates pure UW, Esper, Jeskai and Deathblade variants (that’s quite a bit).
    • Eldrazi encompasses both “small” and “big” Eldrazi versions.
    • Show and Tell encompasses Sneak & Show, Omni-Tell and everything in-between.
    • Dredge encompasses both Manaless and LED versions.

Grixis Delver still sits as most popular in this skewed representation of the metagame, but Czech Pile variants have risen incredibly over the course of the month, now the second-most represented deck. Storm saw a significant uptick, followed by Reanimator. Reanimator Depths variants in particular was gravitated to by many Griselbrand players. Death & Taxes interestingly showed a higher-than-usual number, though I feel the “ten cards different” rule of 5-0ing lists reported made this more exaggerated than usual.

Standout decks in this month’s Online lists were the four Deadguy Ale lists, along with new adaptations in Merfolk and Zoo?!

Fjaulnir brought this to a 5-0 on the 21st of July, and this is a list we once harkened to when Jeff Hoogland was tinkering with it. Deadguy Ale is just Black-White good stuff, but there’s a lot to love here: Liliana, Lingering Souls and Stoneforge Mystic are all excellent in the board stall that many fair decks find themselves in, and Collective Brutality has a lot of utility with excess Chrome Mox, lands, or Lingering Souls. Speaking of Chrome Mox, I’m sure this is used to really ramp up the pressure in certain scenarios: be it by either turn one Bob or Stoneforge against fair decks, forcing them to scramble for removal, or turn one Hymn to Tourach to shred apart combo.

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The Green in the list for Deathrite also gets a little more utility. Mirri's Guile is the one-of filtration option of choice in this list (that would’ve likely been a Top prior to its banning) and Gaddock Teeg is an excellent versatile hoser against combo and certain control decks.

Merfolk has also been getting a little bit of a makeover in recent months, adopting a few Stompy-esque elements. Chalice of the Void was once optional in Merfolk, but is now looking like a staple, and Smuggler's Copter has been getting a huge amount of traction in many lists as a filtration option available to this deck filled with dorks. I imagine Cursecatcher gets a lot more utility when it can Crew a flying, looting 3/3.

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A piece of technology not seen in this list is Gemstone Caverns adopted by Merfolk regular “ehhh”. On the draw, lucksacking a turn one Chalice seems pretty neat!

Mormagil brought a strange Blue-White Flash Stoneblade deck to a 5-0, and I like the adaptation of a core of Stoneforge, Snapcaster and Spell Queller. The four drop cards, however, I’m less enamoured with. Restoration Angel and Palace Jailer are cute and all… But is this a better payoff than just slamming Jace, the Mind Sculptor? I’m not so sure.

The Mongoose boys are at it again… This time taking Zoo, of all decks, to a 5-0. Almost all attempts at Wild Nacatling in Legacy have ended up as strange Naya Maverick-ish decks, primarily due to the power of Green Sun’s Zenith, Swords to Plowshares and the necessity of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to stop combo, making them far away from the pure aggro of Modern equivalents. A card I really like in this list is Huntmaster of the Fells, a powerhouse in fair matchups that certainly goes a little unappreciated in Legacy due to his uncommon color combination and steep mana cost.

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Note the inclusion of Ramunap Excavator as a Zenithable bullet; Fiery Justice is also a powerhouse in any deck that finds itself in the uncommon Naya colours!

The last Online list that looked pretty interesting was this Omni-Tell list by 1point. Burning Wish makes its appearance over the somewhat more common Cunning Wish and Pieces of the Puzzle is once again used as a dig spell. Tragic Lesson is an interesting two-of in this list that to me is a little perplexing… It’s basically a Divination, at instant speed… With a somewhat steep downside? I guess it combines nicely with Brainstorm and City of Traitors? Strange.

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Next, Paper events monthly data:

Paper saw a huge resurgence of Stoneblade decks to the second-most popular deck, though again, be aware that this lumps every variant together. Interestingly Show and Tell variants made a big upswing as the combo deck of choice compared to its lacklustre presence Online comparatively. Eldrazi also saw somewhat of an uptick, particularly “Big” Thran Dynamo-touting variants. Marked underperformers in Paper were 4c Control and Grixis Control, though I expect this due to a slight lag in Paper and Online metagames. I would not be surprised next month to see a rampant adaptation of Pile and Grixis Pyromancer variants after their continuous proving of their place in the metagame.

Speaking of piles, here’s a spicy one centred on Enlightened Tutor, control elements and a host of imprisoning enchantments.

With typical Miracles gone, there is room for an Enlightened Tutor control shell to actually be viable, and this looks on the right track. Although it looks somewhat soft to combo, a lot of the tutorable enchantments (even main deck) are actually game-breaking – especially Rest in Peace which is incredible against many fair and unfair decks alike.

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Matthew Harden took a similar shell but maxed out on tutors to assemble the lock of Rest in Peace + Helm of Obedience/Energy Field as fast as possible. And then, post-board, this list can sideboard into typical Miracles?! Complete with some Monastery Mentors too. Nice.

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Another exciting deck that got a little more traction last month was Zombardment, in the handsof Stefano Riccio of Milan. The biggest boon this deck got in recent times was Cryptbreaker, which play many roles very effectively for the deck – a discard outlet for Bloodghast, a Zombie for Gravecrawler and a powerful grind engine with Bridge from Below. There’s a lot of moving parts in this list, but to me it all spells some very powerful synergy.

Lastly, an oddball Affinity list. Bob I can understand in a deck so flush with zero-mana spells, and Daretti, Igenious Iconoclast looks surprisingly effective in a shell such as this to blow up any frustrating blockers while cracking open a Hangarback Walker, or creating more food for Ravager with his plus ability.

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08/07/17 Legacy Challenge

Next, on to the recent Challenge!

Deck Player Placing
4c Control WinRyder 1
Grixis Delver ReneRandrup 2
Grixis Delver Mou 3
BUG Delver malimujo 4
Grixis Delver lunchbox2112 5
4c Control ballestin93 6
Mentor Miracles AnziD 7
Grixis Delver Griselpuff 8

Grixis Delver continues to dominate the Challenges, taking up half the slots and all of these being Cabal Therapy versions. 4c Control has also been on a pretty impressive streak through the Challenges too. Nicely, Anuraag Das shook things up by Top 8ing with Johannes’ Mentor Miracles list from Prague! Coming in 19th was Nicklas Lallo with his Thing in the Ice and Erayo-powered brew, however, which was certainly the most interesting deck in the Challenge:

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Flusterstorm gets a huge amount of utility in this list as not only a powerful counterspell, but any excess copies Stormed can be fed to grow Nivmagus Elemental. Gitaxian Probe and Gut Shot flip Thing in the Ice or Erayo incredibly effectively, but late game these can always be flipped by Punishing Fires recurred. Although I’m not super excited about Nivmagus (which can be killed very easily after a bunch of cards have been dumped into it), the core of the deck looks like the most honed Thing in the Ice shell so far. I particularly like that Erayo is a lock piece creature that sticks around even when Thing has been flipped.

Although boromirofborg didn’t place incredibly with Belcher, he did show off an additional business spell the deck can abuse:

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Hazoret’s Undying Fury is a perfect one-of that should ideally lead to a kill in some way.

Commander 2017

Lastly, let’s have a look at some of the promising Commander 2017 spoilers!

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Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist looks pretty exciting, and perhaps could find her way into Maverick or similar Green Sun’s Zenith + Karakas decks to really mess up combat. That being said, Thalia, Heretic Cathar has been impressive in many of these shells at pushing through the ground while also disrupting mana, but perhaps Mirri’s tutorable nature gives her somewhat of an edge. Maybe she could team up with her other Cat friends in Wild Nacatl to help out Zoo too?

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Hammer of Nazahn is interesting because it makes Stoneforges, or any creatures lying around next to her, immediately indestructible – it makes Stoneforge’s tap ability almost like a combat trick! Indestructible isn’t super significant in Legacy when Plow exists however, and the Hammer’s upfront of four is incredibly steep. I’m not super high on this one, despite how cool the possibilities are.

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Herald’s Horn could be an impressive card in Goblins… If Goblins didn’t already have Warchief and Ringleader to reduce costs and draw cards, while still being creatures that can attack and kill the opponent. I’m not particularly excited about this card once you realise you’re playing a three-mana do-nothing that is a little too slow to payoff.

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Alms Collector is a neat card along the lines of Notion Thief and Spirit of the Labyrinth. Thief has an incredibly high ceiling for its steep four mana, while Alms Collector’s payoff in comparison… Is a little lackluster. I’m not expecting much from this guy.

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Stalking Leonin is actually pretty cool; it’s like a delayed Fiend Hunter effect, which means it can battle effectively with its 3/3 body until it can muck up combat. The logical place for it, however, is in the market for creatures with toughness two or less. A shame, since Stalking Leonin synergises nicely with Mom to ensure the Leonin need not bite a bullet before it can get its exile on.


That wraps up This Week in Legacy! Join me next week for more coverage, but for now you can catch some more great pieces on Legacy:

  • /u/nosley put together an amazing piece on his analysis of the Magic Online metagame as well as some insight into the recent Card Kingdom event! Find that here.
  • Kylma goes through some more Legacy basics in video form: this time, A + B combos.
  • Rich Cali talks Neo-Miracles, Phil Gallagher is back in the action with his thoughts on D&T, Sword of Light and Shadow and more matchup primers on Thraben University, along with the solution to his “What’s the Play?”. Jonathan Alexander talks through his Lands experience at MKM Prague on The Weekly Wars.
  • James Hsu begins his transcribing of his Humans of Magic into text form! Start reading his preview here.

‘Til next time, as always!

Sean Brown

Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

Speaking of Jonathan Alexander, I just got a few surprise cards from the man, signed in gold pen, after he sold a few FBBs to one of my Melbournian friends. A German Counterspell and three German Barbarian Rings I need to now jam.

And so, it’s back to the old Goose for me:

RUG in Denial was a fun little foray into Tarmogoyf, but man did I miss Nimble Mongoose. And so we’re back to fighting the good fight with the little fella. Features of this include seven removal to kill Deathrite on sight, a split of Abrade and Grudge that myself and Steven Stamopoulos have been trying in our Red-based Delver decks, and sideboard Spell Snare. I hate having a counterspell dead against Sneak & Show main, but sideboard Snare is actually a pretty impressive skeleton key that covers a bunch of matchups – Storm, 4c Control, D&T – that no other counterspell really does.

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The Spice Corner

This comes from Melbourne’s recent General Games event – we call it “ The Gene Machine” after its creator Gene Holland. It’s Nic Fit, it’s Knight Tribal, it’s a Zur’s Weirding + Bloodchief Ascension lockout deck. It’s the Gene Machine.


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