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This Week in Legacy: Midnight's Howl


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and I'm fresh back off vacation with a dive into Innistrad: Midnight Hunt for Legacy! In addition to that, we've got some catching up on some events from Magic Online, as well as the largest Legacy paper event since events started coming back in The Legacy Pit Open!

Worth noting that the Challenge from this past Saturday did not fire at all, but a good number of players were out at the Open who also play on MTGO, so that's more than likely the reason why it didn't fire.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As of this article, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt has already come to Magic Online and is ready to be played with. As we revisit the plane of Innistrad, let's first talk about some of the mechanics of this set and how they may interact with Legacy.

Mechanics

The first big new mechanic of the set is Day/Night. Day/Night is a new way of dealing with transforming DFC cards. Normally Day/Night is not tracked until a card changes that, either by rules text on the card that interact with that or by the keyword Daybound. When a permanent with Daybound enters the battlefield, you begin tracking Day/Night. If a player casts no spells during their own turn, it will become Night on the next turn. At this point, when it is Night, any permanents entering the battlefield that has a Nightbound side will enter on that side instead of on their Daybound side. In addition, the game will check to see if a player casts at least two spells during their own turn, at which point it will become Day on the following turn and all Nightbound permanents will transform to their Daybound side.

There isn't a ton of these that really impact Legacy, but there are a few that possibly could so it is interesting to consider. In addition to Day/Night we have the Decayed mechanic which doesn't really interact at all with Legacy and of course Flashback which does have some applications.

Now let's take a look at some cards.

Brutal Cathar

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Our resident Banisher Priest effect is interesting only because it's repeatable if you can continue to flip this card back and forth, but that is a lot of work so I'm pretty inclined to believe that this won't see play for that reason. This doesn't compete with Skyclave Apparition, essentially. There is a firm possibility it could see play in Soldier Stompy as a fringe playable though.

Cathar Commando

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A Flash Qasali Pridemage-like effect in mono white and in a relevant creature type of Soldier is very interesting. I don't know that this sees much play outside of those fringe decks, but I like the effect and it seems good for a mono white shell. It is able to be hit by Recruiter of the Guard so that alone might make it considerable.

Curse of Silence

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is very interesting to me because of the mana cost at one White. Effects that name a card have been okay-ish in the past, and taxing a specific spell is somewhat fine. I would be more inclined to believe this would see play if we hadn't gotten cards like Paladin Class and Deafening Silence however.

Consider

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is probably one of the most playable cards in the set, and primarily it is playable in the shell Doomsday, where it has a lot of strengths in being able to create piles in which you can surveil cards into the yard in situations where you could win but not fully empty the library. Big thanks to Doishy on the Discords for pointing out this card to me and the power level of it. This is one to expect to see going forward.

The card does a great job of handling some of the deck's niche corner cases and that alone makes it really considerable.

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is interesting from the standpoint that it's basically a Past in Flames that makes it so spells can't be countered and also gives everything flashback. While it does turn on some amount of removal, I could see it in the sideboards of decks like ANT or even High Tide where your opponent has boarded out removal spells because they're \useless. High Tide being able to make all its spells uncounterable and flashback everything? Seems pretty strong with its cards like High Tide itself and also things like Turnabout.

Champion of the Perished

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I am mentioning this one because I think it would be pretty sweet to get a legitimate Zombies tribal deck that utilizes Aether Vial out of this set, and that alone makes me giddy. This is basically Champion of the Parish and Humans is already an aggressive tribe. Having this effect for Zombies is definitely strong, and I hope to see something out of this card soon because I think the power level is right there.

Curse of Leeches

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I know Reeplcheep has been trying this card to some great success in Curse Stompy, and that's exactly where I think something like this would go. Being able to drain your opponent every turn while late game turning into a 4/4 beater is really interesting, and if you really need it to flip back you can cast two spells and flip it. Seems pretty fun and an interesting card.

Infernal Grasp

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While this is probably the best two mana creature removal spell ever printed, the bar on these kinds of cards in Legacy is pretty high and thus I don't see this seeing play in Legacy, especially in the current climate where Black based removal and interaction is so hard to play in fair decks.

Curse of Shaken Faith

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Yet another piece of Storm or spell-slinging hate for either Burn or Blood Moon based Stompy decks. This card is nice because it solely punishes one player. I don't know how good this really is, but if Storm ever migrates back as one of the big decks of the format this is a solid option for Red based decks.

Smoldering Egg

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Is this good? I am not really sure. It only gains counters from mana spent on spells, so it doesn't work so well with Force of Will or Daze, but turning into a 4/4 flier with upside is pretty interesting. Thing in the Ice has been playable before, so it is possible this might be as well.

Wrenn and Seven

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I really like this card. I am not sure what deck could really use it but it has a lot of powerful functionality that I really dig. The Mulch effect is incredibly strong as is the zero ability. Five mana for this card is pretty steep, but maybe Lands based decks might like this as a fringe option.

Bladestitched Skaab

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Champion of the Perished and UB Zombie Tribal. That's it. That's the card.

Faithful Mending

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I think this card is really intriguing because it's sort of like Faithless Looting but it goes in different strategies. I see this more in a deck wanting to abuse the card Replenish where you are able to pitch cards like Standstill, Cast Out, and Lay Claim, as well as Shark Typhoon. It's also blue so it pitches to Force as a floor. Could be interesting to play around with.

Slogurk, the Overslime

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I think this card is way better than it looks, and it's a sheer engine card if you can get it rolling. At bare minimum, if your opponent removes it, you are going to get a Life from the Loam effect. At it's ceiling, you're abusing this as both a beatdown card and an engine for additional copies of Loam. This plus Karakas seems incredibly silly and strong, and while it is the same mana cost as Uro, it goes in different strategies than Uro does and I like that it exists. I hope to see something of this card soon.

Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card has a ton of text on it, but it does a lot of different things for a four mana walker. I might like to see this in a control shell for when games go long and you can afford to ultimate it and play full on tap-out control with the untap trigger as well as the additional card draw. Teferi continues to show how powerful he really can be, and this version does seem pretty strong.

Delver of Secrets

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I think perhaps this card might be playable in Daze decks, but it's certainly no Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer! /s

Community Event Updates

Just a few things to note of what is going on in the overall community.

The first big thing is the fact that the 100K in Missouri in October has been officially canceled due to spiking cases of the Delta Variant in the area. MissouriMTG posted several places, and even indicated that he himself contracted Covid rather recently. We are hoping that Jeremy feels better soon and his decision was a difficult but ultimately correct one.

The second is that we had a 4Seasons event in Italy again with 186 players in it. You can find the Top 16 decks for this event over here and the datasheet generated by our good friend RonColpoCinese over here.

Finally, we've got some quarterly events starting up in Southern UK again, with some full proxy events as well! You can check out all the info about these here.

The Legacy Pit Open 9/18

This past weekend boasted a solid return to paper Legacy in a safe manner. The crew of the Legacy Pit put on a big event, the biggest we have seen yet at a total of 349 players playing in the event (351 registered, two dropped before start of event). Held at The Clarion Inn Event Center in Frederick, MD, this event was a return to form for Legacy players itching to get out and sling some paper cards.

Of course, things were held as safely as possible, with masks and all that jazz required. Not only was this a solidly large paper event, but it was sanctioned and it was also streamed live to Twitch! You can find more info about this over on Twitter.

Before we dive into the data here, I want to give a shoutout to the crew of the Pit, notably Ryan Freeburger who spent some tireless time with me and a few others from the crew getting this data entered into our sheets from MTG Melee (which the Pit used for all their tournament software and decklists). I couldn't have gotten this done without their help and their willingness to work with content creators like myself to be able to have full data to talk about their events. Truly a pleasure at every step.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet for this event here. Be sure to check out the decklists. There's some real gems in the lower echelons of the event.

As we have talked about before on this column. For major competitive events, we have definitely seen a very solid convergence of both the idea of paper Legacy and Legacy on Magic Online as far as metagames is concerned. This event is no difference, as it looks quite a bit like a bigger Showcase Challenge event. UR Delver staggered in popularity over the event at a whopping 54 copies, with D&T trailing behind at 29 and Bant at 28. Of these decks, UR had a solid overall performance, and to no surprise Jeskai Ragavan having a better performance overall despite only having 14 copies in the event. There was a pretty wide spread of decks overall in this event as paper events tend to draw in, and quite frankly the event just looked like a real blast.

Let's take a look at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Jeskai Ragavan 1st Gary Wong
Aluren 2nd David Tardif
UR Delver 3rd Ian Bosley
Lands 4th Jacob Romanski
Affinity 5th Neil Crocker
UR Delver 6th Alex Vu
Bant Control 7th Josh Warsaw
UR Delver 8th Robert Shaw

As expected for the most part there were a lot of Daze shells in the Top 8 here, but there was a lot of fun decks too like Lands, Affinity, and even Aluren. At the end of the event however after 9 grueling rounds and 3 rounds of Top 8, it was Gary Wong on Jeskai Ragavan who emerged victorious.

(yes, the belt was part of the top prize)

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The most interesting thing here is the aspect of only two copies of Daze in the main deck. I don't quite know how to grok this one just yet but I'm inclined to believe a lot of this boils down to player skill and what they chose to hedge for more than that Daze might not be insane for the deck. It's definitely a powerful list though, and Gary trudged through all of it to get here. Congrats to him on winning the currently largest paper event of the year!

In Second Place of the event we had Aluren!

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A 4C build with the Living Wish setup is super sweet to see. Wish gives the deck some solid toolbox functionality. Little surprised at no Grist, the Hunger Tide here, but it's not required. Yorion is a solid and interesting way to take the Wish variant as well, giving the deck more main deck removal spells with Prismatic Ending.

Also in the Top 8 we've got Lands.

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The biggest thing here is the cutting 100% of Field of the Dead for only the Depths plan and Urza's Saga as another game winning plan. Given how strong Saga is with Thespian's Stage and cards that the deck is already playing, this is solid.

Further down the Top 8 we had Affinity!

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This list is super sweet. Etched Champion?! Zabaz?!?! It is just so cool and looks like a ton of fun.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a Bant Control showing.

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I am loving the copy of Court of Grace in the sideboard here because of how well it works with cards like Ice-Fang Coatl and Endurance being able to protect the Monarchy. Main deck Dress Down is going to be a very real thing going forward I can tell.

All in all, this looked like an incredible event. Please go check out the full set of lists, and thank you again to everyone in the Legacy Pit for putting on a safe and fun event! Looking heavily forward to the next one.

Legacy Challenge 9/11

Since we missed a week of articles due to my vacation, I did want to briefly touch base on the two Challenge events for the week we missed. No decklists, just the raw data of them. The first Saturday event had 64 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Lot of continued UR Delver presence throughout this weekend, but UR Delver itself didn't do fantastic in this event. Jeskai Ragavan continues to be one of the best decks in the format with one of the best win rates, and I don't think this deck shows any signs of stopping. While it can have its off weekends the deck is very powerful and has a heavy conversion rate to upper tiers, such as in the Top 8 below.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Doomsday 1st sawatrix
Jeskai Ragavan 2nd ZYURYO
Jeskai Ragavan 3rd OceanSoul92
Mono Green Cloudpost 4th into_play
Jeskai Ragavan 5th Bohnz
Sneak and Show 6th snoopy-magic
Grixis Delver 7th Ozymandias17
UR Delver 8th SpiRitc

As noted, this event converted half of the pilots on Jeskai Ragavan into the Top 8, which is really solid. Two of those players ended up in the Top 3, with one in the finals. Pretty powerful conversion rate for only six players on the deck.

Legacy Challenge 9/12

The second Challenge event we missed was the Sunday event on 9/12 and that event had 81 players in it according to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Again UR Delver exceptionally populous, with D&T and Lands trailing right behind. Lands had a pretty poor performance considering its representation, and again Jeskai Ragavan had a solid above 50% win rate. Both Doomsday and D&T had a middle of the road win rate overall, and pure Jeskai Control (Jeskai Miracles variants) had a sub 25% win rate.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Delver 1st Bullwinkkle6705
Blue Zenith 2nd kauffj
Elves 3rd fluffy21
UR Breach 4th MoMo321
Jeskai Ragavan 5th s063
Jeskai Ragavan 6th Ark4n
The EPIC Storm 7th Bryant Cook
High Tide 8th Iwouldliketorespond

This looked like an interesting Top 8 mainly because of the presence of things like Zenith, UR Through the Breach, The EPIC Storm, and High Tide.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 9/19

We had a Showcase Challenge event this past weekend, which had a pretty solid turnout of 159 players thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project. Showcase events offer a bit more competitive slants due to the fact that the Top 8 of the event qualifies for the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season which is a path to Pro Tour level events off Magic Online.

You can find all of the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Tempo was staggeringly overwhelming in this event, at 66 copies overall. Most of that was UR Delver, but it was again none other than Jeskai Ragavan with the most overall positive win rate amonst the tempo shells. In fact, it was so staggering that the Top 8 was a LOT of cards we've seen before. I'm still pretty sold on Jeskai Ragavan just being the best overall shell in the format right now. The flexibility of its answers combined with its threats just make it really strong.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jeskai Ragavan 1st Julian23
UR Delver 2nd Diem4x
Reanimator 3rd easymoneymarksman
UR Delver 4th Bullwinkkle6705
Jeskai Ragavan 5th MaxMagicer
UR Delver 6th TristanJWL
Grixis Delver 7th Beenew
Elves 8th reiderrabbit

Definitely a Ragavan infested Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was our good friend Julian Knab crushing the field on the Jeskai Ragavan deck.

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This deck is just so incredibly flexible and strong. The answers it has outside of its countermagic were increased greatly thanks to the additional printing of Prismatic Ending.

In Second Place we've got UR Delver, the other big popular deck of the format.

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Again we see a shave on Delvers down to two copies for cards like Mishra's Bauble to turn on Dragon's Rage Channeler easier. Seeing Gut Shot in sideboards though is telling me just how much people are beginning to really attempt to answer and respect Ragavan.

Down in Third Place we've got Reanimator.

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This version is going back to adopting some of the Tin Fins technology by playing Children of Korlis and Tendrils of Agony as a way to win on the spot. It isn't true Tin Fins though, because you need Shallow Grave for that. The sideboard plan of board into Show and Tell is pretty amusing though.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got the legendary Reid Duke on Elves.

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Solid straightforward list leaning on the power of Nettle Sentinel and friends. Always solid to see Grist, the Hunger Tide as that card is exceptionally strong in the Elves lists.

Outside of the Top 8 was mostly a ton of Delver but one deck caught my eye and that's Kanican on Bomberman.

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Kaervek, the Spiteful is really amusing as an even mana value way of clearing creatures that you can play with Gyruda as the Companion, since you can't use cards like Plague Engineer. Kanican has been playing Bomberman for forever so it's cool to continue to see them have success with the deck.

Around the Web

  • $500 GRUDGE MATCH TIME!
  • Phil Gallagher puts Dwarf Bugs through its paces. Check it out here.
  • Eternal Durdles gazes upon Midnight Hunt. Check it out here.
  • Everyday Eternal has a new episode! Check it out here.
  • Speaking of new episodes, we also have one from IN RESPONSE. Check that out here.
  • Eternal Glory breaks open the mailbag once again. Check that out here!
  • Anuraag Das on winning a Legacy Challenge event. Check that out here.
  • Min from MinMax talks a bit about Jeskai Ragavan. Check that out here.

The Spice Corner

I keep forgetting to post this sweet sweet list by Phillip Klein. Sorry Phillip! I got it up eventually!

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Teferi is slowing things down for everyone!

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This particular deck is SPICY SPICY SPICY. I may honestly have to play this at some point.

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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 Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit.

Until next time!



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