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This Week in Legacy: Legacy Round Table - The "Everybody Gets a Cowboy Hat!" Edition


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 assembling the Round Table yet again for a deep dive into what community and content creators within Legacy think about the format at the moment! In addition, we've got multiple Challenges plus some paper event announcements to talk about!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Legacy Round Table - "Everybody Gets a Cowboy Hat!"

We have assembled yet another Legacy Round Table! These are articles where we get together a bunch of players, community figures, and content creators to give their thoughts on the current Legacy format. We've got ten sweet folks here this time, so let's showcase who we have!

Name Social Media Links
David Inglis

Twitter

Patreon

Francis Cowper Twitter
Gian Marco Pagano Twitter
Phil Gallagher

Twitter

YouTube

The Legacy Gambit Link Tree
Elaine Cao Twitter
Michael Reed Twitter
Michael Mapson

Personal Twitter

Depths Podcast Twitter

Matt Szabo Link Tree
Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Link Tree

Pretty solid group of folks! Let's hear what they have to say.

#1 - What are your current thoughts on the Legacy format? Are you having fun? Is the format healthy?

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David Inglis: The current Legacy format is tricky to assess in terms of "fun". I will be honest and say that since putting Entomb in my deck I have found myself winning an awful lot so that is fun for me personally. I think Entomb is a little good for the format and creates some problems. I am aware as on "older" Legacy player there is an expectation to complain because the format isn't just about Brainstorm etc, I understand that the format has changed from what "classic legacy" feels like. For me I enjoy playing the Reanimator decks, I think they are fun and skill testing over the course of the match, as you can develop interesting sideboard pivots, such as white cards or playing Yorion. I do enjoy playing the format even if I am playing the bad guy, I feel there has been a lot of development with the "new" lists of Saga Storm and 8 Cast ( a natural foil for Reanimator) receiving new tools. The format at the challenge level on MODO does appear to be diverse, it is certainly novel for their not to be outcries of Delver being the best deck, but looking over the Legacy Challenges each week there does appear to be a lot of diversity which is a good thing, one problem is at the higher level which is the Showcase Challenge, that event had a lot of Entomb strategies with 4/8 slots being them in the playoff stages. That being said the winning list was one step ahead and had 4 copies of Ground Seal maindeck to pray on these aspiring Necromancers so maybe that is a feature rather than a bug? I am reminded of something Patrick Chapin once said where he talked about Legacy being healthy when Survival of the Fittest was legal and that was, its a healthy format with Combo, Control and Aggro. This being Necrotic Ooze Survival, UG Survival and GW Survival. It does certainly feel the same with the three flavors of Reanimator, RB, UB and Yorion. Overall I enjoy Legacy and try to play at least one challenge and locals every week.

Francis Cowper: I still regularly play Legacy in paper, and I jump into the occasional league on Magic Online to test a new idea. I haven't played challenges or showcases in some time, as I often choose to play other Magic formats or other games at the moment, despite Legacy having been my format of choice for most of the last decade.

I think the format is highly constricted by Orcish Bowmasters, and it's a prerequisite to registering a deck that it can play into Bowmasters as effectively as possible, which is a feature of the format I now find boring and frustrating.

On a positive note, I've found the overall impact of MKM and OTJ to be very enjoyable with plenty of new cards entering the format at a non dominant power level, and the surveil lands are very satisfying to play with

Gian Marco Pagano: Meh, I think the format is quite lame at the moment.

UB Reanimator was supposed to decrease in playrate once people start packing their graveyard hate, yet at the time of writing it's sitting at 14% of the meta according to Goldfish. Combined with the Delver variants and some Beanstalk decks, we reach a cumulative 30% of very similar shells playing the same core (Cantrips, Force, Wasteland, Daze and Orcish Bowmaster). This reflects a pretty polarized scenario and, despite the fact that we are seeing different decks (on rotation) showing in top8s, it's pretty clear that the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks is huge. I personally never find this sort of situations ideal for my concept of healthy format.

Phil Gallagher: The current Legacy format seems great to me, and I'm really enjoying playing leagues with just about everything. If you are a casual player who wants to brew decks and have some success with them, nothing in the format is so powerful or oppressive that brewing is just off the table. If you're a competitive player, there are advantages in having a good read on the metagame and being up-to-date on new and emerging tech. We've already seen strong challenge results with Lavaspur Boots, Simulacrum Synthesizer, and Pest Control, for example.

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The Legacy Gambit: The format is in a healthy state but demands early interaction. The Entomb/Renimate decks and Goblins demand early specific answers but if you can play those games you are blessed with a healthy and grindy metagame not seen since the Miracles era. Certain cards are overperforming in this metagame but we think they correct each other in interesting ways. The prevalence of reanimate makes notable fair cards Elvish Reclaimer/Agatha's Soul Cauldron/Unlicensed Hearse perform incredibly well. Sticker Goblin's prevalence rewards people for correctly playing removal spells and sequencing.

Complaints about decks that struggle to interact on those early turns are simply not adapting to the reality of 2024 Magic. This isn’t an issue of the health of the format but the way the entire game has shifted in the past 5 years.

Elaine Cao: I feel that Legacy has much more variance than is reasonable for the format. The power of threats has steadily increased over the past few years, and I feel that this has caused the skill floor on almost all major archetypes to decrease since the play pattern of jamming something and riding it is much more likely to work. The increased prevalence of Leyline Binding and friends have done some work to mitigate this, but it doesn't seem to be enough. I miss the more back-and-forth Legacy of yesteryear and I wish it would come back.

Michael Reed: I think the Legacy format at the moment is mostly fun with some staleness with the Grief play patterns at premier level events. I have been playing a lot of Storm lately and can’t remember the last time I had this much success with it, it has been a long while. While there are clearly top tier decks, the power level of many archetypes is competitive in my opinion. The wide variety of decks I get to play against are a lot of fun, and running into the Grief decks three rounds in a row is my only real gripe.

Michael Mapson: Overall, I am having fun. I am very sick of the scam package of Grief and Reanimate. I find that strategy pretty obnoxious but think outside of that the format is in a good place. For the sake of clarity, I'm not even saying Grief is too good for the format, though I wouldn't fault someone for saying it. It's just miserable. But outside of that, things are cool,

Matt Szabo: I don't like a lot of the play patterns generated in the current meta. I try to have fun and truck through with some brews, but turn 1 double Grief or Name Sticker into Muxus really limit the jank allowed.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy: My enjoyment of the format is starting to wane due to Orcish Bowmasters' stranglehold on the format. Decks either play Orcish Bowmasters or largely ignore it. While it slows down the meta and makes Brainstorm decisions interesting, the cost has become that every deck that can play it, does, and the format has become warped around it.

#2 - What changes would you make to the current format (bans/unbans) and why?

David Inglis: I am going to use a Simpsons reference here, there is a scene where Mr.Burns goes for a check up and it is declared that he has "everything" but this is okay because it all balances out in the end. I know there is a lot of cry for bans but I worry if we take away Grief/Bowmaster then Up the Beanstalk becomes a very strong player in the format and that gameplay can be not very fun as mirrors are nightmare fuel. I think I would be happy seeing Reanimate go potentially as one of the problems with that card is that it is just a good "value play" for a very cheap cost. I will talk about Grief and Orcish Bowmasters separately and prepare to be roasted in the comment section appropriately. My attitude to bans is similar to my attitude to DMing for DnD/ Cube design, just because you can do something, should you? Unbans are very tricky and I will use Modern to illustrate my point with the card Punishing Fire, do I think you could unban it on power level? Yes, very easily but it doesn't really improve your format and is miserable to play with mechanically. There is nothing I am desperate to unban currently in the format. Although my friend who lends me duals every week would like me to answer Frantic Search or Yawgmoth's Bargain. One change I would like to see is for the infamous "Name Sticker" Goblin to be changed to be the same on Magic Online/ Paper. I don't really care what they do but I would like it to be the same.

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Francis Cowper: I would ban Orcish Bowmasters in a heartbeat and then let things play out, and I've explained my reasoning in a different answer so I'll move on to the fun part of this; unbans!

I think there are a lot of cards that could be unbanned in Legacy, but below are ones I think are very low risk that I'd love to see these taken off the ban list as soon as possible:

Cards not on the Reserved List:

Cards on the Reserved List:

Since I think WotC would the take RL into account when making these changes, I've split these out, and I would guess the top three are the most likely unban candidates.

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It would be exciting to see Mana Drain unbanned as an incentive to play more traditional control, which is something that has fallen out of the format almost entirely with the continuous increase in the strength and diversity of threats. Holding up UU for Drain is a serious cost when your opponent has so many ways to punish you - Daze, Wasteland, Urza's Saga, the list goes on and on. Counterspell is beyond unplayable, let's play with Mana Drain.

Frantic Search requires at least three lands in play to get going; we live in a format where you can kill in multiple ways turn one through multiple protection spells. High Tide is not a problem deck and I highly doubt it would become one.

Mind Twist is punishable in so many ways, not least that Magic is now defined by playing to the board; Mind Twist is a relic of a previous century

Gian Marco Pagano: Again, personally I'd go for Unbans, a lot of cards are way worse then Mind's Desire and are sitting in the dust for no real reasons.

Frantic SearchEarthcraft and even cards like Survival of the Fittest and Hermit Druid could be easily added to the format without breaking anything in my opinion; I would personally also consider unbanning Zirda, the card has been nerfed after being banned and also cannot be played with the current format staple Urza's Saga.

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Phil Gallagher: No changes. I'm a general believer in "don't mess with a good thing." I see no reason to ban or unban things right now, especially given that Modern Horizons 3 is right around the corner. For those that feel that the format is stale, your shakeup is coming!

The Legacy Gambit: We would advise against any bans at present due to the release of Modern Horizons 3.

As for unbans we have a short list of cards we feel would be an interesting inclusion to the current format:

  • Earthcraft: Unbanning Earthcraft could invigorate combo strategies by providing additional avenues for mana generation and the overall combo potential. Also, let us make a bunch of squirrels, please and thank you <3
  • Hermit Druid: Although the unbanning of Hermit Druid may raise some eyebrows, as it has the potential to make graveyard-based strategies too consistent and powerful in decks such as Oops or Belcher, the current resilience and diversity of graveyard hate in the format could help reduce any overwhelming dominance. Also, it's a 1/1 that has to live through a turn cycle, we will be ok.
  • Survival of the Fittest: This card is a powerful tutor engine, empowering creature-centric decks and adding an interesting dynamic to deck construction and decision-making.

The only issue is both Earthcraft and Survival of the Fittest are on the reserved list, so unbanning them may make card availability a potential barrier to entry.

Elaine Cao: My not very hot take is that I would ban Orcish Bowmasters. The card provides way too much value for how cheap it is and it demands an immediate answer, and it doesn't even let you dig for an answer. It is far too powerful to remain in the format.

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My hotter take is to ban Ancient Tomb because I'm tired of being cheesed by those decks over multiple metagame shifts but that opinion probably doesn't have very many friends lol.

Michael Reed: I would ban Grief. I think it’s overrepresented and the play patterns punish mulligans and get stale quickly. Making correct mulligan decisions and then getting grief reanimated on the draw just isn’t fun. I don’t want to ban Reanimate as it is a staple of the format, and I think Orcish Bowmasters is being complained about as a result of a Grief shell mostly.

Michael Mapson: Given free reign, I would ban Grief for being too obnoxious. I would also immediately unban Lurrus of the Dream-Den. We never got to experience that card under the current companion rule. The rule significantly weakens the card. I think cards like Murktide, Leyline Binding, and Triumph of Saint Katherine also mean that the decision on whether to run Lurrus is not as obvious as it used to be which could lead to interesting deck building splits. Outside of Lurrus, there are a number of cards I would like to experiment with being unbanned to see how things pan out but I'm less adamant about them: Earthcraft, Hermit Druid, Oath of Druids, Mana DrainOath of Druids, Skullclamp. To be clear, I think some of those are too strong but I kind of want to be proven wrong.

Matt Szabo: S Tier ban is Grief. The card generates terrible gameplay, and combined with Daze and Force allows 12 free interaction, which are mostly played in a "combo" deck.

Ban anything from Unfinity. The concept is perfect for casual play (Like all "un" sets), but the physical mechanics of stickers and attractions are just too tilting for me. Not to mentions the ridiculousness of having only some of the cards being Legacy legal."

A Tier ban is Bowmasters, though I would like to see how the meta shaped without Grief. My biggest issue is how omnipresent the card is. The best answer to Bowmasters is another Bowmasters and is in 37% of decks. Personal hate tier would ban Daze. Card get better and better with WOTC's design philosophy, which leads to even more bans.

Unban Earthcraft. Card won't see play anyway.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy: I would remove Orcish Bowmasters from the Legacy format for the reasons discussed below.

Unbans are always risky as the incentive is low to allow a banned card back into the format. I’d likely not unban anything at this time to get a true picture of the metagame without any other outside influence since I’m discussing removing Orcish Bowmasters from the format.

#3 - What do you think specifically about Grief and Orcish Bowmasters in Legacy?

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David Inglis: This is a tricky section. I don't really enjoy Grief despite having registered it for an awfully long time now. I think the card creates non-games and is brutally powerful, while I recognize that Legacy is a high powered format, I think non-games should try and be avoided where possible. I would be quite happy with a Grief ban to come into effect. I think the card stops a lot of development and forces games in a negative play experience direction.

Orcish Bowmasters, is even more complex to discuss. I find the card skill testing and fun to play with, sadly I don't think it really does what it was intended for. It is very easily splashable in the Blue decks to fight itself. Sometimes I wish it only targeted players rather than punish the small creature decks of the format. I do like there are decks that don't really care about it, Depths, Lands, Goblins but these decks aren't a huge part of the metagame. I think the card is likely a bit too powerful but personally I like it and an interesting point is that the most dominant Delver deck is RUG as opposed to Grixis. As mentioned earlier my worry about banning Bowmasters is that it would strengthen Up the Beanstalk and I am unsure if that is the best thing for the format.

Francis Cowper: I think Grief has a worse play pattern in game than Bowmasters, but that Grief would not see as much play without Bowmasters in the format, and there are plenty of lower play rate horrible play pattern cards that have been fine in Legacy (and even ones that should be unbanned like Mind Twist!).

It's very difficult to see Legacy getting to a point where Bowmasters is seeing less play, since the floor on it is so high, it's so easily splashable in any blue deck with no real deckbuilding cost, and is a source of punishment and damage in so many matchups - it even lets you play removal in your main deck that isn't dead Vs creatureless combo and control strategies that are often trying to draw cards. There is no real effective counter tactic to get ahead of Bowmasters outside of playing Bowmasters yourself (and then playing Reanimates as extra Bowmasters), or playing a deck that is structurally advantaged vs Bowmasters (for example Sticker Goblins, or a Storm deck playing Veil of Summer in the main).

Bowmasters doesn't actually reduce blue cantrip play (which would be a fine goal for the card), since it easily answers itself, and the blue decks now all play Bowmasters to both punish card draw and protect their own card draw. We have Blue Bowmaster Aggro (Delver, Death's Shadow), Combo (Scaminator, Echo of Eons Storm, Cephalid Breakfast) and Control (Beanstalk shells). I really wish the card cost BB so it was primarily a mono black card and harder to splash. The blue segment of Legacy has now for the most part become the Dimir segment of Legacy.

I don't mind Bowmasters play patterns in game once your deck is built to manage it, but I think Bowmasters is the card that needs to go because of how it constricts what is playable in the format. There is a long list of cards and strategies that would be exciting to play that are kept out because we're playing in a 40% Bowmasters metagame. The decks that are successful are Bowmasters decks, and decks that are structurally resilient to Bowmasters. I'm sick of looking at my collection or new spoilers and discounting swathes of cards because they leave you open to getting hosed by Bowmasters.

Gian Marco Pagano: I think both cards have their unique problems and I'd rather see a format without them; on the other hand, we've seen in the format lifetime an era where Grief was decently played and didn't recieve any particular hate. I get that now there are new tools for reanimation strategies, but I think it's fine to give it the benefit of doubt. That being said, Orcish Bowmasters looks like a lot more offending to me. The plain metashare speaks for itself, but I see a lot of bigger issue with the card and the misconceptions around it:

1) Being perceived as cantrip regulator:

This theory only applies when the card is not playable in blue decks like other subject in the past demonstrated. When some powerful addition has no real cost for any cantrips+counters decks it always escalates in exploding playrates; ie. cards like Deathrite Shaman and Wrenn and Six would have looked good for other types of shells, yet their opportunity cost was so low that they ended up filling the slots in xerox archetype. In this case, OBM has been integrated in most of blue shells, because of its ability to make opponent cantrip worse compared to our own, which makes it very good alongside the blue core.

2) The card promotes interactive gameplay:

There is some heuristics behind OBM, especially in the current format, and its presence sort of reduces the recent tradition of cantrips for jamming. That being said, most of the mechanical theory behind playing OBM comes down in a situation whether both players play at least OBM, but especially Cantrips. This means, once again, the intricacies of playing the card increase the closer you get to play similar cards, like the aforementioned UB shell, encouraging interaction selectively in mirror-ish gameplay. For any other archetype, there is not much going on in terms of learning to play with/versus Orcish Bowmasters.

3) The card is useless in the wrong matchups:

While it can often makes sense to side out OBM for better, specific cards, I'm pretty sure that the floor of this card is better than a lot of people give it credit for; sure, a 2 mana Raise the Alarm plus Gut Shot isn't the best you can do in this format, but it's nothing close to having a Chalice of the Void versus Goblins or Swords to Plowshares versus Doomsday. Being a threat with flash means that even in the worst case, it can provide a minimum clock or a ping on the board means it's still versatile enough to get value in game 1.

Phil Gallagher: If there is a card that is ban-worthy in Legacy, it is Grief. The Grief/Reanimate "Scam" shell is powerful enough to have found its way into many archetypes across the entire spectrum of combo, control, aggro, and midrange. When paired with Reanimate or a similar effect, it can often immediately create non-games, especially if your opponent has mulliganed. Many of the generic tools that you could use to fight it are also not effective (e.g. a Surgical Extraction or Faerie Macabre can just be taken by the first Grief trigger). I think frustrations with this card are justified. I won't miss this card if it is banned, but I'm not sure I could fully justify banning it with Modern Horizons 3 right around the corner. If it is still omnipresent in another couple of months, I'd be willing to entertain a ban conversation.

Orcish Bowmasters is one of my favorite Legacy cards, and I think it leads to incredibly skill-testing and intricate games. Bowmasters has certainly pushed some things out of the format (e.g. Glimpse of Nature Elves), but it's not like Oko, Thief of Crowns where it is invalidating entire macro-archetypes by itself. In my opinion, Orcish Bowmasters changed Legacy forever, but did not warp Legacy in a negative way. This is a very polarizing card. I think many casual players are tired of this card, while more competitive players view this as a format staple and an essential tool.

The Legacy Gambit: Grief and Orcish Bowmasters have entrenched themselves as integral components of the Legacy format, akin to Dragon's Rage Channeler and Murktide Regent when MH2 was released. Their assimilation into the card pool has revitalised black as a playable colour in Legacy outside pure combo strategies. Notably, were it not for the recent storm resurgence on Magic Online, epitomised by the success of Beseech Storm and TES, Grief and Bowmasters may have faced more scrutiny. Players are demonstrating the ability to adapt and even flourish in the current Legacy format.

Elaine Cao: The specific combination of Grief and Orcish Bowmasters is extremely frustrating to play against and cannot be allowed to continue to exist. Its indicative of a larger pattern, which is that I believe that a powerful strategy shouldn't also have a powerful backup plan, but Legacy hasn't been like that in a while. Scam/Reanimator / Bowmasters is the latest iteration of this and it feels like everything is tuned more than it has been in the past.

I would ban Orcish Bowmasters rather than Grief because I feel that a Grief reanimator shell without Bowmasters would continue to be very strong, but would likely be tempered by not having a powerful second threat that interacts on a very different axis. This would allow the scam deck to continue to exist, but in a way that is not backed up by a powerful midrange plan.

Michael Reed: I like that Bowmasters fit into many different shells and can punish the control style decks. I fear a format without Bowmasters you need additional bans in Up the Beanstalk to keep control from getting out of hand. I think a Grief ban mostly achieves what I’m trying to get rid of which is the stale play patterns of UB scam/rescaminator.

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Michael Mapson: HAHAHA, I already made this clear, but Grief is the worst. I'm pretty okay with Orcish Bowmasters existing but to be fair, I haven't been playing a ton of Blue in Legacy lately.

Matt Szabo: I covered this with the other questions, but I've literally just scooped to turn 1 Grief after facing it the first three matches. The gameplay is uninteresting. Bowmasters seeing play in a Day's Undoing deck reaching levels of eye-rolling that they may get stuck that way.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy: I previously started writing an entire article about this subject, but I’ll summarize here. Grief and Orcish Bowmasters present two separate and distinct play pattern issues, as detailed below, that players can find to be a negative play experience. Additionally, both cards while powerful, aren’t exactly ban worthy based on power level compared to cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns or Underworld Breach.

  • Grief – The biggest problem with Grief is that in conjunction with Reanimate style effects Grief removes much of or all of the opposing player’s agency on a game. This issue is even more prevalent when the Grief/Reanimate player starts on the play. This play pattern leaves players feeling like nothing they did matter or more importantly could have mattered as counterspells are largely ineffective. This combination is even more punishing when a player chooses to mulligan leading to more non-games. Another issue with Grief, unlike cards like Unmask, is that it can benefit from the Evoke trigger. Previous iterations of Reanimator style decks had an interaction choke point of getting a creature in the graveyard. Cards like Grief and Troll of Khazad-dum mitigate this issue essentially giving a player card advantage in the form of an Entomb style effect. These types of Entomb style effects make interacting profitably with these cards difficult if not a losing proposition; it’s one of the same issues Arcum's Astrolabe had.
  • Orcish Bowmasters – Punisher effects are difficult to get right. If they’re too weak, they can become unplayable, if they’re too strong, they can become oppressive and format warping. While Orcish Bowmasters threads that needle a little better than most, it suffers from another problem that has become format warping; ubiquity. Orcish Bowmasters is very easy to splash in nearly any deck given its mana cost. As of this writing, Orcish Bowmasters is the most played creature in Legacy by a wide margin and tied for the 5th most played card overall only behind Force of Will, Brainstorm, Ponder, and Force of Negation. The ubiquity of Orcish Bowmasters has already started to lead to constraints on the format by invalidating a large portion of current, and potentially future, cards as almost every creature card with 1 toughness likely becomes unplayable. Cards that could be exciting like Tinybones, the Pickpocket will never get a chance. Orcish Bowmasters has also pushed out previously fringe playable cards like Faerie Mastermind and once format staples like Baleful Strix. For the record, Faerie Mastermind is an example of a supremely designed punishing card that’s playable and leads to interesting game choices.

One of the current popular decks in the metagame, “Blue Black Rescaminator”, uses both Grief and Orcish Bowmasters. Removing Grief from the format would essentially kill the deck along with the more midrange “Blue Black Scam” versions. Orcish Bowmasters could be replaced by another midrange threat or interaction card. While Grief can lead to non-games and loss of agency, it’s not as omnipresent as Orcish Bowmasters and does require operating within some deckbuilding constraints. The meta is trending into another “blue arms race” which we’ve seen a few times in the past notably with True-Name Nemesis, Wrenn and Six, and then again with Oko, Thief of Crowns. This meta trend inevitably evolves into playing an Orcish Bowmasters deck or something that largely ignores it thereby restricting the meta into those two camps.

One of the benefits of BCDL is that I get to regularly interact with all types of eternal Magic players from Pro Tour competitors, previous Eternal Weekend champions, tournament grinders, and casual Legacy fans who just want to play their “forever deck”. The feedback I’ve heard among more competitive players was initially that “Orcish Bowmasters is great because it makes interesting play choices by punishing Brainstorm and has slowed down the meta”. However, I think we’re reaching a point where the ubiquity of Orcish Bowmasters is starting to sour among that crowd. The feedback I’ve heard from more casual players is that “Orcish Bowmasters is frustrating because it causes them to adapt years’ worth of learned heuristics for a format they play casually once a month or a few times a year” and “I play against this card every round”. An important thing to remember about the Legacy format is that it is largely community driven at this point, so player experience and sentiment matter which is why we and WOTC need to pay attention to play patterns that lead to a negative play experience and how they impact format participation.

#4 - What Outlaws of Thunder Junction cards are you most excited to play with for Legacy?

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David Inglis: I will admit that I am not the biggest brewer when it comes to legacy sadly but some cards that I do like the design of:

  • Geralf, the Fleshwright ( 20 Year Old Dinglis would have gone nuts for this card)
  • Final Showdown (Flexible, powerful cards are great)
  • Caustic Bronco (Seeing this show up in Vintage makes me happy as a big Dark Confidant fan)
  • Pest Control ( This card is great and I have played a lot of it already and think it will be a staple which is a big claim for a gold card)
  • Harvester of Misery (Very underrated for Reanimator decks, killing a bowmaster with the "cycle" is a big game as well)

Francis Cowper: I'm most excited for Satoru, the Infiltrator! Big shout out to Mahfuz Van Gogh aka The Dredge Guy who has been posting Satoru content on YouTube. Getting a new angle on Dredge where you reliably deck yourself with a Dread Return target that is pitchable to Force of Will, and is easily castable is and exciting change.

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I've also tried Satoru in an Esper Vial type shell, and also in a Ninja/Scam hybrid shell. Ornithopter drawing a card feels so good!

Gian Marco Pagano: I've been trying to sell Simulacrum Synthesizer since it was spoiled, but didn't expect to have Frogmite played in Legacy again! I believe there might be a Copy Artifact deck that can abuse it too, MTGO User Guibonella played a very interesting list based on the aforementioned idea; I suppose it could be also incoroporated in a Jewel List, although I'm no expert about the archetype so I will leave any experiment to the more dedicated playerbase. Other interesting additions are Molten Duplication (which is very strong with Welder effects and Defilers) and Geralf, the Fleshwright (could be played in an artifact Echo decks, although at the moment it suffers the presence of Orcish Bowmasters).

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Phil GallagherLavaspur Boots. This was my pick for the best card in the set, and I stand by that evaluation after seeing the card in action. The utility that it adds to Urza's Saga decks is just absurd. It gives opponents far less time to answer the pair of construct tokens from an Urza's Saga and turns every creature for the rest of the game into an immediate problem. The Ward is just icing on the cake!

The Legacy Gambit: Cards we are very excited about:

Cards we like but probably won’t play in the decks we typically play, but go off Queen:

Elaine Cao: There aren't a ton of cards in this set that excite me in the context of Legacy. I might toy with Jace Reawakened a little bit, but I'm doubtful that I'm going to land on that card.

Michael Reed: I love Lavaspur Boots. I think they are what Urza's Saga needed to be a reliable win condition in the artifact based decks that make it fast enough to win games on its own especially against control decks.

Michael Mapson: I am excited to try Freestrider Lookout. I don't think it will make the cut but it's a cool card. I'm also excited to try out Geralf. I have been already having fun with Simulacrum Synthesizer and Lavaspur Boots. I am already sick of Pest Control, a card that has ruined me in multiple games so far.

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Matt Szabo: Caustic Bronco is one I want to mess with more. It's shown up in Modern and Vintage, so the power is there. I doubt Bristly Bill will be good enough but the Timmy in me wants to jam it into Hardened Scales.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy: I like Tinybones, the Pickpocket as a potential conditional card advantage engine that can play defense similar to a role Baleful Strix use to play. However, I think this card is likely unplayable in the current format due largely to Orcish Bowmasters.

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#5 - What is your big ticket wish for Modern Horizons 3?

David Inglis: I am so excited for MH3. I don't really have any big wishes but I am excited for whatever we get. I love Psychic Frog already and I hope there are sweet things you can do with it. I love the Modern Horizon sets as the first few months are always exciting. Magic is fun when things are being broken and people get it wrong.

Francis Cowper: It's hard to say what I'd like to see added to the format, my favourite aspect of Horizons sets is where new engines to build around, or useful tools for older strategies are printed. I wouldn't mind a splashable low cost tactic to punish Bowmasters!

Really, what I want most is to avoid a situation where we get a Wrenn and Six or a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and we have an oppressive and warping card legal in the format for several months.

Gian Marco Pagano: Anything between my super non-biased list:

  • A good 2CMC drop for UG
  • A cheap Wizard that provides Card advantage while impacting the board
  • A no-library win condition better than Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and worse than Thassa's Oracle
  • More 0-1 mana artifact for Saga to try!

Phil Gallagher: I want more "Blazing Rootwalla" power level cards. That is, I want more cards that are powerful enough to brew around and create new archetypes or power up decks that have been power crept out of the format, but I don't want these cards to be so powerful that they fundamentally upend Legacy as we know it.

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The Legacy Gambit: Sarah:

Sahar:

  • Kor Spirit Guide, another free way to cast my spells or get around daze would be great
  • A Rabblemaster but it ventures into the Dungeon with a {2} {R} mana value
  • I will also accept {2} {W} mana value, party mechanic subtype (cleric rogue etc) that ventures into the Dungeon

Elaine Cao: I would like more powerful answers, rather than powerful threats. Ideally, it would be something that is reasonable enough to have text in fair matchup battles but also be extremely strong against decks that currently aren't easily answerable.

Michael Reed: I’m always a sucker for better removal spells for Chalice of the Void and Null Rod that fit into my combo decks. Don’t ask me what that looks like as I don’t think too much about these set releases I just look at the cards as they announce them.

Michael Mapson: A land that interacts with spells on the stack would be really cool, though I am not exactly optimistic about it happening. In terms of being realistic, I don't know that I have an actual answer.

Matt Szabo: Signal Pest, but 0 mana.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip LegacyModern Horizons 3 is already bringing me several wish list items in the form of retro border foil ally fetches and then a nice bonus of Meltdown retro border foil. I also like the decision of using art not appearing on the Onslaught lands to keep some of the collectability of those cards. Overall, I can’t express enough how much I enjoy the retro border cards and their foil treatments.

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Wrapping Up

What an awesome group of people! Thanks so much to all of them for giving their thoughts on Legacy! It's wonderful to get different perspectives on the format.

Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 3 + BCDL 16 Announcement

Our friends over at Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy are kicking things up a notch with yet another BCDL Open! That's right, BCDL Open 3 is coming on August 17th, 2024, and it's introducing a new model for this event. Instead of all of the event being played on one day, the Swiss is being held on Saturday and the Top 8 is held on the next day on Sunday!

This event is also being held at the new location for The Warp Gate instead of at the Brewdog Brewery like previous BCDL events.

In addition to the Open, which has an insane prize pool of first place winning THREE REVISED Volcanic Island, there's also a BCDL 16 64 player regular event that will take place on the Sunday at the same time as the Top 8.

This is some really sweet information overall and we thank our friends over at BCDL for providing it to us. You can find all the big details over here and I'll include both sign-up links below.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/1

The first Challenge event of last week was the 5/1 event. This event had 46 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Dimir Scam was super popular, but it's overall win rate wasn't great despite a Top 8 finish. RUG Delver did very well herre as did UB Reanimator.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Beanstalk Control (Yorion) 1st McWinSauce
Lands 2nd DethFrmAbove
RUG Delver 3rd CMack_
UB Reanimator 4th The_Kingpin
Grixis Delver 5th O_danielakos
UB Reanimator 6th Sven745
RUG Delver 7th MestariMatt
Dimir Scam 8th Lord_Beerus

Quite an interesting Top 8. As noted, UB and RUG did quite well here, but it was Yorion Beans that won.

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I like this list quite a bit. It's playing a bunch of cards I enjoy resolving in current Legacy for sure. Eagles of the North as another land cycler is pretty sweet.

In Second Place we had Lands.

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Have seen Sphere Lands a lot in Leagues lately, and the deck always continues to look quite impressive. It's got a lot of power behind it for sure.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Dimir Scam.

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Straight Dimir Scam without the "Rescaminator" elements is pretty interesting, especially since most of this deck has no real new cards in it, not even any surveil lands.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/3

The next Challenge event to discuss is the Friday event. This event had 49 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Goblins was the most popular deck of this event, and it's win rate was pretty solid. Both Dimir Scam and RUG Delver did very well as did Grixis Delver.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Red Stompy 1st xDingusKhan
Grixis Delver 2nd MestariMatt
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 3rd ecobaronen
Dimir Scam 4th 2plus2isfive
Dimir Scam 5th Lord_Beerus
Soul Cauldron Combo 6th UrzaEnjoyer
RUG Delver 7th wizardpasta
UB Reanimator 8th _Batutinha_

Fairly interesting Top 8. At the end of the event it was Red Stompy that won.

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Interesting list here. Utilizing just the core of Goblins stuff with Battle Cry Goblin and Bombardiers alongside The One Ring and Fable seems quite good.

In Second Place we had Grixis Delver.

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Solid looking stock Grixis list here. I definitely enjoy how much Molten Collapse has become a thing main deck. It's a really powerful card overall.

Also in this Top 8 we had Soul Cauldron Combo.

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This deck is honestly so absurdly cool. I love how interesting it is. Getting to play Entomb in your Goblin Engineer deck is so good.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/4

The next Challenge was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 46 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Both Lands and Goblins were popular, with Goblins looking quite good. RUG Delver looked very good here while Grixis Delver seemed pretty poor.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Red Stompy 1st Mogged
RUG Delver 2nd JPA93
Naya Depths 3rd Dein_Freund_der_Baum
Dimir Scam 4th Oceansoul92
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 5th Apocalypso
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 6th choutin
Beanstalk Control (Non-Yorion) 7th wiky
UB Reanimator 8th Munchlax446

Fairly interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event, Red Stompy won yet again.

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Broadside Bombardiers has certainly proven itself to be a boon to these decks overall. It's so very strong.

In Second Place we had RUG Delver.

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Very stock looking RUG list, even if the RUG is very minimal overall. Cast into the Fire seems like a sweet card here.

Further into this Top 8 we had Naya Depths.

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I always love seeing Mawloc. That card is so cool.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/5

The next Challenge was the early morning Sunday 32 player event. This event had 43 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Dimir Scam was very popular along with a solid win rate. Goblins didn't do too good here, while BR Reanimator looked quite good. UB Reanimator also performed very well here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UB Reanimator 1st yazin2
RUG Delver 2nd M_4
BR Reanimator 3rd snoopy-magic
Dimir Scam 4th Thebigempty92
Grixis Delver 5th Suzukii
Red Stompy 6th Mogged
Oops! All Spells 7th faultedform
Dimir Scam 8th Shoetech

Fairly interesting Top 8 here with a lot of Grief. At the end of the event it was UB Reanimator that won.

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Harvester of Misery seems like a really sweet card. Any reanimation threat that you can discard to an effect seems sweet.

In Second Place we had RUG Delver.

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Uro making a splash here is pretty neat. I also like the usage of Pick Your Poison in the sideboard. That card is really slick.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Oops! All Spells.

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Really interesting list here. The singleton Reanimate is kind of slick. If you have the mana instead of having to actually flashback Dread Return you can just cast Reanimate on your Thassa's Oracle.

Legacy Challenge 64 5/5

The final Challenge of the weekend was the mid afternoon 64 player Sunday event. This event had 79 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here. Because we did not have Match Up data for this event, all we have to go on is Metagame share.

Both Lands and RUG Delver were very popular here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
RUG Delver 1st JPA93
UB Reanimator 2nd easymoneymarksman
RUG Delver 3rd M_4
RUG Delver 4th _INF_
RUG Cascade 5th Zippoux
Red Stompy 6th ecobaronen
Creative Technique 7th Aldreen
Lands 8th Pumdaddy6

Quite a bit of RUG Delver in this Top 8. In fact, it won the event!

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Again the more slimmed down version with only two copies of Questing Druid. This is definitely the most stock RUG Delver at the moment for sure.

In Second Place we had UB Reanimator.

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Fairly stock list of UB Reanimator here. I do like the Engineered Explosives in the sideboard.

Also in this Top 8 we had RUG Cascade.

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It's pretty slick that this deck can exist in Legacy honestly. It seems weird to have a Force of Will deck that isn't automatically a Brainstorm deck, but I dig that it exists.

Around the Web

  • Eternal Durdles had on Tony Scapone! Check it out here.
  • StrassDaddy posted a Trophy vid with Once Upon a Time Jund. Check it out here.
  • Speaking of Tony Scapone, he's also got a new video. Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode. Check it out here.
  • MahfuzVanGogh has a new video on Blue Dredge v4.5. Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Gambit is doing some SYNTHESIZING. Check it out here.

My Videos for the Week!

As part of the Magic Online Creator Program, I'm also branching out more into streaming and videos! I'm trying to get to a regular-ish schedule for videos + streams, but usually Friday nights at 9 PM EST have been good for me. With that said, I've got two videos for this week! One is from a Friday stream on Legacy Jund and the other is a recorded video on the Runehorn Hellkite combo deck. Check both of them out below!

The Spice Corner

Now that Leagues are posted throughout the week, let's find some Spice!

Esper Scam with Satoru is cool.

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ERIS, ROAR OF THE STORM

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Questing Druid in Painter is sweet.

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Orzhov Scam w/ Pest Control!

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Satoru and Ninjas!

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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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