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This Week in Legacy: Lost in the Caves


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 reviewing the main set of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan and what cards from that set could be Legacy playable! In addition to that we've got two Challenges to discuss.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Delving Deep into the Caverns

Another Standard set is arriving soon, giving us a chance to delve deep into the Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Before we look at the possible cards that could be good out of this set, let's talk about some mechanics. This set has at least one returning mechanic in Explore and a bunch of new mechanics.

The first big new mechanic to talk about is Discover. Discover is sort of like a fixed version of Cascade where you Discover a number of cards listed next to the keyword (Discover 3, etc.) and you exile cards until you hit a nonland card with that mana value or less from the top of your library. You then get to cast the spell if the mana value is the number or less (so yes, they definitely thought about Valki/Tibalt here). If you don't cast the spell, unlike cascade, the card just goes into your hand.

A second new mechanic is the use of Descend and Descended. Descend is usually followed by the numbers 4 or 8 (or in the case of variable Descend it's labeled as fathomless descent) and those cards care about the number of permanent cards in your graveyard. Descend 4 for example cares that you have four permanent cards in your graveyard. Descended on the other hand cares about whether a permanent card went to the graveyard from anywhere during the turn. Almost sort of like a weird Revolt style mechanic.

There's also some double faced cards with Craft that turn into other things.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's see if there's any cards worth hanging our hat on.

Brass's Tunnel-Grinder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This reminds me a bit of Phyrexian Dragon Engine out of Painter in that it's a weldable target. I don't know that this is better than Dragon Engine honestly, as yes it does sometimes draw you more cards possibly but at the same time Dragon Engine attacks and that's ultra relevant a lot of the time considering you can also copy Dragon Engine with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. And before someone asks... no this is not better than Fable. Fable does a million other things that make it so very, very good.

Chimil, the Inner Sun

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Huh well.... Okay I guess? At the end of the day this card feels super win more as the best way to get it into play is welding it in. Six mana is a lot and if you have six mana winning the game seems much better. Considering the predominant Welder deck of the format is Painter, that deck doesn't have much issues with preventing stuff from being countered with all the efficient Pyroblast effects it plays.

Dusk Rose Reliquary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is somewhat interesting. We've seen Portable Hole show up in the format before, and this is a Portable Hole with Ward 2 essentially for the most part. Yes it can only hit artifacts or creatures, but that kind of protection is interesting.

Echoing Deeps

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Honestly I think this card is exceptionally playable, but I don't think it's a four-of in any deck. Maybe at best this is a one to two of in Lands based strategies or something like Cloudpost decks. Being able to copy a land out of ANY graveyard is really good even if this ETB's tapped (worth noting Vesuva also enters tapped). The dream here is Wasteland on an opponent's Urza's Saga and then jamming this into play as a copy of Urza's Saga. That seems quite good. Even just getting value out of your own lands seems very good out of the graveyard. I would be surprised if this didn't see play in some capacity.

Enterprising Scallywag

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I don't know how good this card is honestly. I have a feeling it's on the lower end of playability as you have to descend to get that value which at that point there's something to be said for already having the ability to combo off and maybe win at that point. This thing needs to make at least two-three treasures at best to be good and that's a long time to go. This certainly isn't very good in Goblins I don't think because that deck can't likely consistently descend.

I'm torn because it's a cool effect but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't make the cut anywhere.

Ghalta, Stamepede Tyrant

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ok then. Big dino does dino things. I guess if anything this can also put other Reanimation targets in your hand into play but I don't think it's actually that insane.

Guardian of the Great Door

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Poor Serra Avenger. We hardly knew ye. Is this good? I don't know. It's like Avenger in that it's an efficient flier that can be Vialed in over actually casting it, and that's pretty cool. Unlike Avenger this thing actually eats Dragon's Rage Channeler and Delver of Secrets flipped so that is a possible thing.

Molten Collapse

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Speaking of Power creeping cards out of existence... good bye Dreadbore! This card seems very good, and it is not out of the realm of possibility to descend to cast it either and get both effects. Really what this does is it lets Grixis based decks like The EPIC Storm deal with cards like Deafening Silence and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben at the same time in addition to being attached to a card type that can be picked up with Burning Wish.

Even in generic Grixis decks this has some utility. Would not be surprised at seeing this in a few decks.

Stalactite Stalker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I struggle with Descending in Legacy because Fetch lands do exist, and this is basically a 1 mana 2/2 right off the bat if you fetch then cast this. It gets bigger slightly as you do this, but I don't know what consistency you can keep this up to make it good. At least it's secondary effect is useful if you need to kill something.

Tishana's Tidebinder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A Merfolk that stifles something? Seems good. I actually really like this card because it Stifles Planeswalkers and turns them off. Merfolk isn't exactly Tier 1 right now but adding more options to that kind of deck is always nice.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Wait, Fblthp?! What are you doing here? This is Ixalan! No don't go down that hoooooooooooolllleeee.....

Legacy Challenge 10/28

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. Despite not having full data we do know there was 55 players in this event thanks to the efforts of 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 issues there was no data for this event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Uro Control 1st CoolUser
Paradoxical Outcome 2nd buildorburn
Stiflenought 3rd ajdadd420
GW Depths 4th Martin_Dominguez
RUG Delver 5th Gabri091
Reanimator 6th Magic_Dads71522
4C Uro Control 7th RikRin
Dimir Scam 8th modo_baggins

Certainly an interesting Top 8 here for sure. Lot of diversity in it. At the end of the event it was 4C Uro Control that won.

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Up the Beanstalk has certainly continued to be a solid presence in the Legacy format. This unassuming Uncommon plays so well with much of the format overall.

In Second Place we had Paradoxical Outcome? Wait, this isn't Vintage! But wait, it was actually PO all along!

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This deck is sick. Building off the concepts presented by Mystic Forge decks but utilizing PO as an engine with cards like Grim Monolith and such is pretty cool. Based on what I know of this and the pilot's postings on Twitter, this is a Tony Scapone deck and it definitely looks super fun.

Also in this Top 8 we had Stiflenought.

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Oh oh Kroxa in the Stiflenought deck is cute especially with Dress Down and Slip Out the Back. Even better with Slip Out the Back because it makes Kroxa a 7/7 and you get the trigger.

Further down the Top 8 we had GW Depths.

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Solid list here. Lot of this makes good sense overall given the current nature of the format. Gaddock Teeg being a card again is pretty cool.

Legacy Challenge 10/29

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 91 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.

4C Uro Control decks were the most popular and they also had a solid win rate. Dimir Scam did very well as did Boros and Black Stompy decks. Doomsday also performed well here, while Lands, Painter, and Cloudpost all did below or at average.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Uro Control 1st Ozymandias17
Doomsday 2nd wonderPreaux
Grixis Delver 3rd piao
4C Uro Control 4th RikRin
Doomsday 5th sawatarix
Black Stompy 6th Pugface
RUG Delver 7th Gn42
Reanimator 8th Magic_Dads71522

Pretty cool Top 8 here and some very recognizable faces (Kai Sawatari for example in 5th). At the end of the event it was a split finals with the recorded winner being Matthew Vook on 4C Uro Control.

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I really like this list. It seems very powerful. Leyline Binding is really proving its worth in the current format, but it helps that it's an O-Ring that triggers Beanstalk.

The recorded Second Place finalist was on Doomsday.

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Solid looking list here. Hasn't been too much of this deck floating around for a hot minute so it's nice to see it.

Further down the Top 8 we had Black Stompy.

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Interesting to see one of these lists without copies of Beseech the Mirror. There are so many options for these decks though and they're all good. This is a deck I'd continue keeping an eye on because it just stands to keep getting better over time.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had RUG Delver.

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Questing Druid certainly has been rather interesting to grok in these Delver shells. I'm not 100% sold on it still, but the results are undeniable and it does look interesting.

Around the Web

  • 90sMTG has Sticker Goblins vs Abdel Adrian Reanimator. Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Gambit hit 400 subs! Celebrate here!
  • Bryant Cook has a new version of The EPIC Storm! Check it out here.
  • Everyday Eternal claims there's a deck we don't want you to see! Is that true? Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

FOOD CHAIN!

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Beanstalk Post is WILD.

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This Grixis Soul Cauldron deck is super sweet.

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Taking a cue from Modern is 4C Uro Beans.

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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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