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This Week in Legacy: March Statistics, European Eternal Weekend and 75th KMC


Welcome to another This Week in Legacy! There's plenty of information to cover in this week's article. First, we'll have a look at the metagame statistics from March and how the variety of Legacy decks have been trending. Second, we'll have a look at the major tournament that went on during the first weekend of April, European Eternal Weekend. There's also some Japanese spice to look out for from the 75th KMC event as well!

March Statistics

As always, some charts. Online, the decks that 5-0ed:

Online Miracles has widened the gap between itself and the second-played deck by quite a margin. The majority of Miracles lists Online have transitioned into the Predict-touting lists, similar to what was run by Bob Huang and Anuraag Das at Eternal Extravaganza. The second most-played deck was, somewhat surprisingly, Grixis Delver. Although in the previous few months a shift towards BUG Delver had been occurring, primarily due to Leovold and Fatal PushLightning Bolt and Young Pyromancer have continued to prove their worth, and Stifle has become much more popular in Grixis too, likely to help prey on BUG decks that can go a little bit bigger, but have much more fragile mana bases. For example, the list of jacetmsst has been packing the full four:

That's not to say BUG Delver is declining incredibly in popularity; it is still nestled next to Grixis Delver as the third most-played deck, and is only beaten by a small margin.

Storm has truly made its presence felt once more as predicted in prior months, outpacing Sneak & Show Online (note that "Show and Tell" encompasses both Sneak & Show and OmniTell, which have largely coalesced into OmniAttack) as the combo deck of choice. Eldrazi has now settled itself into a solid, but not overly popular, deck in Legacy, and this is good news for those wishing to cast Tendrils of Agony. The dark days of Eldrazi's debut are sure to be long gone, with what seems like only a dedicated few continuing with the deck, and hence Storm's incredibly difficult matchup is more easy to dodge within a given League.

The other deck that has continued to put up very interesting results is 4c Control. Although many lists have fallen into the mold of the lists from Eternal Extravaganza, primarily Blue-Black splashing both Decay and Kolaghan's Command, the sheer amount of colors in these decks gives it the ability to have a lot of diverse choices, with the question often being "How hard do you want to stretch your mana base?" Although I have seen some even move deeper into Green for cards like Tarmogoyf, I think the biggest selling point for the ropier mana base is, of course, Leovold.

More interesting developments in the less-represented decks are the scarce popularity of True-Name BUG (and the resurgence of Bant DeathBlade that True-Name BUG was largely inspired by), an appearance by Jeskai Delver, and something no one expects — the Spanish Inquisition feat. Slithermuse!

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Next, let's look on to Paper metagame and decks that Top 8'ed there:

The Paper metagame again reflects something very different to Online. Miracles still sits at top, though Death & Taxes follows it as second most-played deck as has been common in previous months. Show and Tell variants remained much more popular in Paper compared to other combo decks, though interestingly Infect was fourth most played in Paper, compared to its absence Online. Infect as a deck often flies under the radar because it never consistently puts up huge results, at least Online, but it's certainly a powerful choice overall thanks to its speed, it's Delver-esque game plan against faster combo, and its typically strong Miracles matchup. Fast combos before CounterTop can setup and man-lands typically lead to a good time. I'd definitely be happy to pick up the deck once more.

BUG Delver outpaced Grixis within Paper interestingly and tied with Storm and Eldrazi in terms of presence. Other notables were a stronger-than-usual presence of Goblins, MUD, Pox, BUG Opposition, Deadguy Ale, and Zombardment!

European Eternal Weekend

This recent weekend, European Eternal Weekend went down, consisting of 448 people battling it out, with an exciting-ish Top 8. Find the lists here.

The first and second-placing lists emulated what occurred at Eternal Extravaganza 6: a Predict Miracles mirror in the final. Interestingly though, Thomas Mechin did decide that Monastery Mentor was worthy of some slots, at least post-board. Both list trimmed down to three Counterbalance, and notably included a reaonable number of Counterspell, Anders going up to a very aggressive three.

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But most notable about this Top 8 was the huge amount of Elves! Three Elves players made it into the Top 8, showing that no amount of Termini can stop the power and synergy of the little Green men, especially with Elves well set up to grind against the best. Julian Knab has continued his success, rebounding after his miss on Top 8 at MKM Milan, and I look forward to the tournament report that's hopefully coming from him. For now though, we can look at his list and how it compares to the other Elvish contemporaries at European Eternal Weekend.

The big card in his list is Nissa, Vital Force, and Julian has experimented with a range of choices for Nissa's slot, be it Abrupt Decay, Jitte, or Leovold. Other than Nissa, however, the list is very straightforward, maxing out on all the major Elves other than Heritage Druid and making room for a two-pack of Might Morphin' Birchlore Rangers, which is often a luxury that is trimmed. Also of note is the two-of Cavern of Souls to fight CounterTop and Chalice. Scavenging Ooze has notably been relegated to the sideboard in this list.

Jan Lenger had a largely similar list, only swapping the main deck Nissa for a Jitte, while Quentin Verges-Dussaux packed his list with Leovold and Nissa in the main and also kept the now somewhat antequated technology of Progenitus in the sideboard as a trump against non-Blue decks when a Natural Order with only a small board is what you want.

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Another triumph for non-Blue players everywhere was the appearance of 4c Loam and Burn within the Top 8:

This list is pretty straightforwad 4c Loam stuff. Recent adaptations seen here are Chandra, Torch of Defiance as planeswalker bomb in the sideboard to pad out the more typical Garruk Relentless. More surprising is Centaur Vinecrasher, who finally appears in 4c Loam where he is most at home, acting as a recursive Knight of the Reliquary, minus the utility of tutoring lands. Absent here are other utility creatures that have been seeing play, like Renegade Rallier, along with main deck Maelstrom Pulse.

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This Burn list notable because of what is absent, Monastery Swiftspear. Swiftspear is often seen as a trade-off; it makes more of Burn's damage spells prone to removal, but against combo, where removal is less of an issue, Swiftspear significantly speeds up Burn's clock, sometimes letting it kill a turn earlier. Jerome opted to sacrifice his combo matchups game one to increase his strength against both Miracles and Delver. The three-pack of Sulfuric Vortex shows a strong desire to present multiple cards that Miracles, even when it has CounterTop down, can struggle to beat, especially now that Mentor is largely absent and cannot allow Miracles to turn the corner and race Vortex. Lavamancer and Searing Blaze being prominently featured in the main show a desire to beat up on decks such as Delver variants and Death & Taxes.

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Jerome's sideboard is pretty straightforward, with Smash to Smithereens, extra Searing effects, and Exquisite Firecraft pretty standard options. Although he packs little hate for Show and Tell other than Ensnaring Bridge, the Reanimator variants he has well-covered with Leyline of the Void, which is only recently becoming more common in Burn sideboards over Relic, Crypt or Cage, due to Black-Red Reanimator being so difficult.

Lastly, Bant DeathBlade has come again:

Although the deck largely evolved into True-Name BUG after Reid took it to the top of GP Louisville (and indeed, this looks like one of Reid's lists he tested prior to the GP), there is still merit to Stoneforge Mystic. An interesting card in the sideboard is Invasive Surgery that I've continued to have mixed feelings about. 

75th KMC

Lastly, let's jump over to Japan for the most recent KMC event. Certainly smaller than European Eternal Weekend, but KMC 75 featured a few very interesting lists within the Top 8. Find a fuller breakdown here.

The second-placing deck continues Bomberman's evolution:

Part Stompy deck, part combo deck, part random idiot beatdown, this is a list I can get behind. Featuring amazing combos like Gitaxian Probe and Chalice of the Void, Cavern and Sol Lands to power out the all-Human threat suite, Auriok Salvagers plus Lion's Eye Diamond and Monastery Mentor plus a variety of trinkets, this list has a lot more complexity than initially seems. The trinkets I'm sure have an interesting role. Once a Salvager is in play, even if infinite mana isn't assembled, they can be simply recurred and replayed to trigger Mentor or cycle through ones deck to create card advantage, though I'm not sure why Lodestone Bauble was chosen over Mishra's Bauble. The win conditions of the deck, as we saw last time we profiled Bomberman, now incorporate the tutorable Walking Ballista, who can also be recurred himself via Salvagers. This is not only a Salvagers combo deck, but this deck also leans on the strength of Salvager's ability to create value that I'm sure is hard to overcome for many opponents.

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For the other exciting deck, we can look to The Spice Corner.

Conclusion

And that's all we have for This Week in Legacy. I've been receiving a lot of kind words from many readers, especially those who have had their lists featured, and I always love to hear about further perspectives on lists and archetypes.

As always, some links!

Next week, expect some looks at new cards from Amonkhet and how they may fit into Legacy.

'Til next time,

Sean Brown

Email: sean_brown156@hotmail.com
Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I'm Playing This Week

I'm finally going to get to jam some Legacy this Saturday after a hell of other things to do. I'm not sure what to jam, but after seeing Infect's recent success I'm a bit excited to pick up those Invigorates again:

The Spice Corner

Pox from Japan is crazy amazing, with a variety of cards you probably have never seen, or at least never seen played in quite some time.

Nev's Disk. Phyrexian Totem. Spawning PoolBeseech the Queen, and Obliterator. And of course, Smallpox.


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