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This Week in Legacy: Magic Online Legacy Challenge and MKM Frankfurt

This week's Magic Online Legacy Challenge had a finals mirror match between two 4-color Delver decks. However, we are going take a look at the amazing amount of spice that came in 3rd through 8th place.

In the Top 8, alongside those two finalists playing 4-Color Delver were Mono-Red Storm, Painter, BANT, Hogaak Depths, (not-your-average) Death & Taxes and Grixis Control. On the surface, this already sounds like a pretty diverse and interesting Top 8, but as we take a look at some of these lists there are some real shockers. In particular, the Death & Taxes, BANT, and Storm decks are incredibly unique and cool to see make to the top tables of a 100-person tournament.

This list has most of the typical Death & Taxes core in Aether Vial, Swords to Plowshares, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben etc. It also has some extremely noteworthy differences with Giver of Runes over the historical staple Mother of Runes, as well as four copies of the new white force Force of Virtue and the never-ending menace Squadron Hawk.



Force of Virtue [MH1]Squadron Hawk [M11]

This is what we call a COMBO. The Squadron Hawks allow you to stay ahead on card advantage even when alternate casting Force of Virtue. The Force of Virtue turns those hawks into serious threats. I imagine that this "combo" is an attempt to adapt Death & Taxes to the Wrenn and Six and Plague Engineer meta that Legacy has fallen into. I will be curious to see if this is the next direction for Death & Taxes or just your local Death & Taxes hero, xJCloud, toying with the competition. 



Giver of Runes [MH1]Mother of Runes [EMA]

Another extremely interesting choice is Giver of Runes over Mother of Runes. After playing against this card a number of times I have started to put quite a bit of thought into it. With nothing but theory, I have come to the conclusion that Giver of Runes might actually be better than Mother of Runes so it is unsurprising to see xJCloud playing it. The upsides of Giver of Runes are;

These upsides are no joke. 

On the other hand, the downsides of Giver of Runes are not so bad;

  • It cannot protect itself from removal.
  • It cannot block and give itself protection to stay alive.

The reason I say these are not so bad is because Mother of Runes also cannot protect itself from removal the turn it comes into play, which is the most likely turn that someone would be able to deal with Giver of Runes. Once a problematic creature is in play, the fact that Giver of Runes cannot protect itself is no longer a problem because the opponent will need two removal spells before dealing with the problematic creature. If they did not have removal for Giver of Runes early on, then there is little difference between the two removal spells that are needed against Giver of Runes + problematic creature, and the three removal spells needed for Mother of Runes + problematic creature. Don't forget that the most common ways of dealing with Mother of Runes + a problematic creature are 1-damage sweepers or -1/-1 effects, both of which are less effective against Giver of Runes.




Mono Red Storm is a deck that has been around for awhile but has not put up many meaningful results. That being said, it is MartinMedMitten's second time with a third-place Legacy Challenge finish playing Ruby Storm. I call it Mono Red despite the addition of Brainstorm since the deck is often just one color. The way the deck works is by using Ruby Medallion to "storm off" with red rituals which can make an enormous amount of mana when paired up with Bonus Round. The deck also uses Reforge the Soul to find its way into one of the many ways of actually closing out the game: Empty the Warrens or Burning Wish for Grapeshot, Fiery Confluence or Banefire. This deck (well... mostly Bonus Round) is responsible for some of the most absurd Magic Online screenshots I have ever seen with something like 400 copies of Fiery Confluence on the stack.



The last deck I want to look at from this weeks challenge is a pet-favorite archetype of mine, BANT. This strategy was one of my favorites that ended up mostly dying with the ban of Deathrite Shaman. The basic strategy of the deck was to use one of 8 mana-dorks to turbo out a True-Name Nemesis and equip it with something you find with Stoneforge Mystic. Deathrite Shaman and Noble Heirarch are mana-dorks that can also help you win the game; it turns out that Birds of Paradise isn't very good at closing out games so the deck more or less has fallen into unplayable territory. However, this week ReneRandrup was able to find his way into the Top 8 with only 4 mana-dorks in Noble Heirarch.



Familiar's Ruse [LRW]Renegade Rallier [AER]Neoform [WAR]

The rest of ReneRandrups game plan is the typical BANT with the inclusion of some spicy one-ofs. Familiar's Ruse is a Counterspell that requires you to return a creature to your hand. This synergizes nicely with Snapcaster Mage, Stoneforge Mystic and Renegade Rallier. The other sweet one-of is Neoform which can turn your Noble Hierarch into Snapcaster Mage or Stoneforge Mystic and your Snapcaster Mage or Stoneforge Mystic into one of those game closing True-Name Nemesis.


MKM Frankfurt 

Another exciting Legacy tournament took place this week in Frankfurt Germany. The Magic Card Market, or MKM, regularly has medium size tournaments in Europe. This week they had a nice turn out of 282 players for Legacy in Frankfurt Germany. The Top 8 is entirely less exciting than the Magic Online Challenge but still interesting, nonetheless. With five stompy-style chalice decks and only three brainstorm decks taking up the entire Top 8, it really goes to show where the power lies in Legacy right now. At the end of the day, the only two Delver decks are what made it to the finals.


The winning deck-list is yet again 4-color Delver. This tells me that despite my feelings that Delver of Secrets along with a bunch of powerful two-mana spells/creatures is clunky for a tempo deck, it may be the best thing you can do in Legacy right now.

Editor's Note: Note that after this article was published, the winner was DQ'd for cheating. After the DQ, the 2nd place winner, Sven Stolz, with UR Delver is now the winner.

What I'm Playing This Week

Take your typical 4-Color Pile deck, cut the boring, clunky Arcum's Astrolabe and add infinite fun with Day's Undoing and a hard lock that involves Cephalid Coliseum.




Eric Landon, or “ewlandon,” is a long-time Magic and Legacy enthusiast. He is a full-time Magic streamer and Mythic Championship hopeful (hopeful to qualify someday). 

You can find his schedule on or catch him live on Twitch at

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