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This Week in Legacy: Legacy Gauntlet Throughout the Ages


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 have a little fun and take a break from some of the insanity after Eternal Weekend, and talk about a fun idea based on a recent announcement for an event upcoming on Magic Online. In addition to that, the only event from this past weekend to talk about is the Legacy Qualifier event from Sunday morning since neither Challenge fired based on the fact that it was also Vintage Eternal Weekend. We've also got a Spice Corner still (until Jinx blows it up, of course)!

Let's get right to it!

A Legacy Banned Gauntlet

Something starting this week on Magic Online is the Modern Banned Gauntlet. It's basically a Phantom event where you choose a preconstructed Modern deck that contains banned cards and see how they fare against other broken decks. I thought it might be interesting honestly to take a trip down memory lane and imagine what kind of decks we would see if we ever did a Legacy variation of this kind of event! It's a nice break from talking about ban discussion for sure!

The major idea around this concept would follow the same rules as the Modern event: a preconstructed deck from the time period it contained the banned cards. No updates are made to the lists in any capacity here.

Let's not waste any time deciding which decks we'd like to see, I already have a choice few on the docket.

Top Miracles

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One of the scourges of the Legacy format for quite a while, as Sensei's Divining Top was banned in April of 2017. Top Miracles was a beast like no other, utilizing its array of powerful countermagic and removal to keep the board clear and then establish a lock with Top and Counterbalance to try to keep the opponent from resolving spells was so good that it established a commanding share of the metagame. Any Banned Gauntlet type event would definitely have to include this powerhouse.

Deathrite Shaman Grixis Delver

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The banning of Top revealed a very interesting threat waiting in the wings as Deathrite Shaman era decks began to take hold in the format. The power level of DRS was quickly ascertained and it took over a year into July 2018 before the card was banned alongside Gitaxian Probe (another card commonly played alongside DRS as well as cards like Young Pyromancer and Cabal Therapy). This deck was Grixis Delver at the height of its power, showcasing the true strength of DRS and the Delver shell.

Legacy Survival

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Survival of the Fittest was banned in December of 2010, largely on the back of the printing of Vengevine. This deck operated on trying to resolve Survival and then utilize the card as a toolbox functionality combined with a beatdown plan that usually put Wonder in the graveyard as well to ensure the threats actually get through for lethal. Since Survival itself is so mana hungry, this shell sits on a more GW Maverick-esque style deck where it deploys threats and then wins out of nowhere with a Survival chain.

Omni-Tell with Dig Through Time

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For the short few months from January of 2015 to September 2015 when Treasure Cruise was banned in Legacy to when Dig Through Time finally got banned, it was clear that one deck made the best use out of DTT as a card and that was Omni-Tell. Resolving Show and Tell into Omniscience usually meant a very consistent way to end the game as the Omni player could simply chain Dig Through Time until they found what they needed to win the game.

A lot of this deck remains the core of Omni-Tell to this day, with the exceptions of the deck adding green in the most recent years.

Treasure Cruise Delver

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One of the actual scourges of formats when it was legal, UR Delver with Treasure Cruise was so incredibly powerful that is functionally killed every other variant of Delver that could have possibly seen play at that time, because staying in two colors was massively better for the extreme benefit provided by Cruise. Cruise enabled this deck to rebuild so fast thanks to the other free spells like Gitaxian Probe and Forces. This is one I would be ultimately curious to see whether it would stand up against other lists of Delver for sure.

Snowko

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A more recent entry to this world, the Snowko decks grew in strength due to the combination of several cards like Arcum's Astrolabe, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. This deck had a lot of strength in being able to be immune to Wasteland decks by virtue of playing tons of basics in conjunction with Astrolabe. It also had catch all answers to permanents via Oko, and a strong long game. One of the more powerful control/midrange shells we've seen in a while (since Top ban, in my opinion) for sure.

Breach

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Another fairly recent entry, Underworld Breach was so quickly identified as an issue that it lasted barely a month before it got banned. Until then, this deck abused it heavily by leaning on the compact nature of the Breach kill in conjunction with cards like Teferi, Time Raveler and Orim's Chant/Silence to keep the opponent from interacting. Furthermore this deck had a massive swing in power because of its ability to adapt to seemingly any matchup it came across, making it a true force to be reckoned with. This is one of the very few times in the history of Legacy that a deck that wasn't Delver was at the top, and it didn't last long (and rightfully so).

Zirda Bomberman

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This one is a bit of a stretch only if the MTGO team could potentially make Companions work like they did during this time period, before Lurrus/Zirda were banned in May 2020. This is absolutely the most powerful Companion deck outside of the Lurrus piles because of its sheer speed and power level. Even with the Companion errata... this might actually be stupidly powerful enough to be competitive and I would likely enjoy seeing it still in such a Gauntlet.

Lurrus Grixis Control

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This is another one that may need to have the old Companion rules to really get the sense of how good this deck was, and there were a billion different Lurrus decks to choose from in this era, so I mainly chose to focus on a sweet Grixis Control pile with Bauble. However, I would also accept one of the Lurrus Mono White Aggro lists that existed at this time with Mox Amber and stuff. Lurrus is definitely a card that had a lot of different archetypes it promoted building with, so there could be any number of Lurrus decks to have in a Gauntlet.

Wrenn and Six RUG Delver

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One of the more egregiously powerful Planeswalkers printed in recent times, Wrenn and Six RUG Delver was a powerful force to be reckoned with. The functionality of being able to rebuy fetchlands while also Wasteland locking an opponent out of a game was extremely powerful, and that wasn't all this card did either. Single handedly being able to kill most X/1's in the format, this card also pushed decks like D&T off the map for the time that it existed until it got banned in November of 2019. This is one banned card that got to exist for a shorter period of time next to the other RUG Delver favorite of Oko, Thief of Crowns.

A Gauntlet of Power

Well there we have it, my picks for what a Legacy Banned Gauntlet could look like on MTGO. Did I miss any decks you think I should have listed? Let me know in the comments. I think something like this would be reasonably fun as a nostalgia event for sure!

Legacy Qualifier 11/28

Instead of one of our normal Challenges this past weekend (and the fact that it was Vintage Eternal Weekend) we had a Vintage Qualifier on Sunday. This event cost QPs to enter and was for an Arena Championship qualification. Thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project we know this event had 96 players.

You can find the Top 16 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

UR Delver had a pretty massive presence in this event, but also had a sub 50% win rate. We'll be discussing a more overall wrap-up of the metagame (unless something changes massively) soon enough, but it is certainly interesting to see what the format is doing right now. Further interesting is the presence of Reanimator just coming out of the woodwork and reminding people that Endurance is probably a card that should be seeing play, but the chokehold of UR Delver strategies means that it has a chance to do well. Blue Zenith based decks much like what we saw out of Eternal Weekend last week also did exceptionally well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Blue Zenith 1st Talisker
UR Delver 2nd Lukas261997
Reanimator 3rd RonColpoCinese
Lands 4th LittleSparrow
Reanimator 5th XxShuicunexX
Elves 6th EronRelentless
Red Prison 7th otakkun
Jeskai Ragavan 8th Ozymandias17

Definitely a wild Top 8 here, with two copies of Reanimator here as well as a more Prison-heavy slanted Mono Red list. At the end of the event however, it was Talisker on the Yorion Zenith deck that took it all down.

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This is the same deck that ran the rounds last weekend at Eternal Weekend, leaning more on the big redundant nature of Yorion decks in general alongside all the removal and cantrips. This is definitely an interesting list and a good place to start with these kinds of things.

The Second Place finalist was on UR Delver.

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Very interesting the swing back up to four copies of Delver here, but even more interesting is the two copies of Dead // Gone in the main deck. Very flexible removal spell for sure. This is just a very clean list with a lot of maximizing on threats and blue suite stuff. Also, we do get to see new card End the Festivities in the sideboard!

Also in the Top 8 as mentioned before is Reanimator, this particular listed posted by our good friend RonColpoCinese.

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Serra's Emissary can be absolutely back-breaking in plenty of matchups (putting it on a creature is rough for a ton of fair decks) and Archon of Cruelty closes games out super quickly. I also enjoy the Show and Tell game plan in the sideboard here. Seems very strong.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a Mono Red Prison sighting.

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It has been a while since we've seen these more Planeswalker heavy prison variants, as most of the decks for this archetype are focused on the blitz creature packages involving Fireflux Squad. In addition, this variant isn't playing Blood Moon, instead relying on Blood Sun as it affords it the ability to also play Grove of the Burnwillows and Punishing Fire which is pretty cool.

Down at the bottom of the Top 16 we have another Yorion Zenith variant, this time with Ephemerate.

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Casting Ephemerate on pretty much everything in this deck feels pretty bonkers, but casting it on Endurance feels even better. Definitely a super fun list.

Around the Web

  • The EPIC Storm site has an article on the Lands Matchup. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Brian Coval posted his run on Eternal Weekend on "Dark Bant". Check it out here.
  • Two Years of Wishclaw Talisman!
  • Did you know that the winner of the Sylvan Library event has a PODCAST?!!?! Check out the most recent Dark Depths Podcast with Co-hosts Billy Mitchell and Michael Mapson right over here.
  • Our good friends over at Everyday Eternal have Nevilshute, Doomsday Player Extraordinaire and Legacy EW Finalist on this week. Check it out here.
  • Bryant Cook also posted his run on the EW Bayou event. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

alli is always working on something sweet in Lands, so this week it's Saga and Sevinne's Reclamation.

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Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Lightning Bolt Thoughtseize.

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This list is wild. It's more Goblin Welder control than anything. Not even playing actual Painter combo. Crazy!

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Okay Opposition Agent and Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire is kind of silly.

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Sorin the Mirthless in Stryfo Pile?!

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MMMM I LOVE Liquimetal Coating DECKS.

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What I'm Working On This Week

I'm working on something fun to be released on my YouTube in the future here by starting to record a recap of my Eternal Weekend event on Legacy Battle of Wits. What makes this fun is that I will be joined by a few other Legacy stalwarts for each match so we can dissect and enjoy the hilarity that is playing 280 cards in the main deck.

So be on the lookout for that hopefully soon!

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! I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit.

Until next time!



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