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This Week in Legacy: More Conspiracy and a Look at Japan

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of This Week in Legacy! This week we’ll wrap up the discussion of other potential Legacy cards from Conspiracy: Take the Crown and what shells we might find them in. We'll look at some very, very interesting deck lists to come out of Japan’s recent tournaments. And we’ll also spotlight the deck I’m currently very keen on tinkering with, as well as our usual spice of the week!

But for now, let’s delve deeper into the Conspiracy

Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Leovold is certainly outshone by the white cards I previewed in last week’s article in terms of his applications in the Legacy format, but he certainly has a lot of relevant text. Opponents not being able to draw more than one card per turn has proven to be somewhat successful, as seen by Spirit of the Labyrinth against Brainstorm and Ponder. His second ability is also quite reasonable. Although the text about permanents being targeted will generally only trigger once (since Leovold will be a bit of a removal magnet since he dies to all the common removal), it’s notable that targeted discard and disruption such as Wasteland also triggers Leovold’s effect.

Now let’s look towards Leovold’s mana cost – BGU. There’s a few benefits to this. Firstly, Leovold is essentially a hate-creature that is Green Sun's Zenithable. Although the only BUG-based Green Sun's Zenith shell is Nic Fit currently, Bant DeathBlade decks, with some tweaking, could also accommodate this card with a Zenith package. Leovold is also blue meaning that the age-old argument of him pitching to Force of Will is relevant. However, three mana is competing for quite a slot in Legacy. Cards like True-Name Nemesis and Shardless Agent are the benchmark, and one must wonder if Leovold can hold up to these powerhouses.

In my mind, he most certainly can. During the Dig Through Time-era BUG Control decks sprung up that eschewed Shardless Agent (who wants to go through all those hoops when you can just Dig!). Leovold is a three drop that, like Agent, generates some form of card advantage and is very powerful when accelerated off Deathrite Shaman on turn two. Perhaps BUG Control can now deviate from Shardless BUG and into a more tempo-oriented version thanks to Leovold.

And so, here’s my brew!

Notably, this list is a bit sleeker than Shardless BUG and is more like a “bigger” BUG Delver but without the dorky Delvers which can sometimes be so difficult to flip. The four Wastelands might be a bit ambitious in this list since Leovold himself needs BGU to be cast.

Another place Leovold might be able to find himself is in Elves, as he does have that relevant creature type! Although Elves for a long time has remained at its core Black Green, splashes haven’t been unheard of. The current Chaos Elves lists incorporate a white splash for Teeg and Thalia. Blue was once seen a long time ago too for a different Elf from Trest, along with disruption such as Swan Song, but has largely fallen out of favor. Leovold might be able to reignite this pairing, since he works excellently with Wirewood Symbiote to force opponents into very difficult situations about what creature should eat removal.

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Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast

Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast has some very interesting synergies with artifacts of the format, and is, more importantly, a three-mana planeswalker, which makes him very playable in the Legacy format. I think the most interesting synergy he has is with Sword of the Meek

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With Sword, Daretti can tick up and tick down continuously, eating creatures one after the other. Of course, once we’re including Sword of the Meek, it’s obvious that Thopter Foundry will be something we want to include as well. A Grixis shell, with a bunch of artifacts… Sounds like Grixis Tezzerator got a shot in the arm!

Credit goes to /u/KingKha from /r/MTGLegacy for this splendid Grixis Tezzerator list!

There’s a lot of awesome synergies going on here. Dack Fayden stealing artifacts and then Daretti blowing them up, Daretti being able to transform used up acceleration pieces in Mox Diamonds and Dimir Signets, and the aforementioned Sword combination.

Grixis Painter was once an archetype also investigated by many players and could similarly profit from Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast somewhere in the seventy-five. Mox Opals can get thrown around or Daretti’s ultimate can revive a bunch of Painters so that the kill is easily done. Not to mention Daretti himself makes tokens that can be Goblin Welder fuel!

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And Other Stuff…

There’s a few other more niche cards that we can gloss over from Conspiracy: Take the Crown.

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Kaya, Ghost Assasin looks like a really awesome planeswalker for White Black decks in fair matchups, as she grinds very well. Simply ticking her down twice looks very powerful and is sure to swing the game in the Esper Stoneblade or Esper DeathBlade player’s favor. Even the Bant DeathBlade lists can get some mileage out of her too. That being said, these decks have been spoiled for excellent planeswalkers after Gideon, Ally of Zendikar proved his strength in Legacy, so it might be too crowded for Kaya to find a place.

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Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is a Goblin… But it is certainly not the hero Goblins is looking for. Although his Goad ability could be nice to stop Goyfs from blocking, it might be a bit hard for the team to push through. Furthermore, the second ability, as cute as it may be to steal a Brainstorm, is certainly not what Goblins is in the market for currently. The deck already draws a bunch of cards, and it does so without needing to connect with the opponent. Instead, Wizards, please just print some combo-hating or efficient Shatter Goblin so that the deck can be brought back into relevance. Please?

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Throne of the High City looks very cool potentially in Lands. The deck, with Maze of Ith, Punishing Fire and Glacial Chasm, is great at preventing damage and can probably stay the Monarch for a while. And when it’s Monarch… It can start to Dredge like crazy, grinding the opponent into dust.

A Lot of Brewing in Japan!

I adore looking at the lists from the KMC events in Japan. These events are reasonably substantial in size and their Top 8s feature an excellent variety of strange and wacky, but competitive decks. This week I’d like to highlight a bit of the technology they’ve been using and perhaps let it reach a wider audience. This snapshot is especially pertinent since it contains the first results post-Conspiracy: Take the Crown!

Niwa Hotaka has continually gone on a tear in these events with his RUG Thing in the Ice deck. Thing in the Ice has been a card that has found varied success within Legacy, shining at one of the Bazaar of Moxen, but quickly fading out. Instead of combining Thing with BUG cards, Niwa Hotaka has supplied Thing with a very natural combination—the Punishing Grove combo. This combo gives the deck a recursive way to trigger Thing in the Ice and make transformation inevitable. Running out of fuel for Thing is no longer an issue. I also like the rest of the threats in the deck. Dack Fayden, in combination with Punishing Fire, actually generates card advantage, and True-Name is very strong at walling Goyfs, until Thing can trigger and dominate them easily. Niwa has also been very disciplined and has only used the green off Grove for the flashback of Ancient Grudge, giving him room for Islands in the main that work nicely with his From the Ashes in the sideboard.

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There’s a few things I do worry about with this deck though. I’m not sure how great the Eldrazi matchup is, as Bolts line up pretty poorly. BUG decks can grind this deck out and Punishing Grove lines up poorly against Tarmogoyf (though I’m sure the Explosives in the sideboard help). Miracles is what he lost to in the finals, and this matchup seems hard. Although True-Name does work, Thing looks like a pretty poor threat since it’s very slow to get going and has minimal impact unless a Monk army is opposing it.

IsThisACatInTheCat looked towards using Thing in a Grixis Control shell recently too, 5-0'ing on Magic Online with it.

Having access to hard removal if desired, along with the Probe and Therapy combo, as well as Painful Truths to gas up and remove those counters, certainly looks like another way to make Thing effective in Legacy. Hopefully the card can reach some prominence in the format as its shell gets solved.

The next list features Delver of Secrets, Young Pyromancer, Monastery Mentor, and Bedlam Reveler!

This deck is a very cool, much more streamlined take on Jeskai Delver—basically UR Delver splashing for additional Pyromancers in the form of Monastery Mentor. Bedlam Reveler makes an appearance here too, which can be quickly cast thanks to Probe and the bevvy of other cantrips. The only flaws I see with this list is how reactive its gameplan is (with Stifle) but how proactive its threats dictate the deck to be. Also, Grim Lavamancer and Reveler in the same deck is a non-bo I cannot get behind. The very cool technology here though is Cavern of Souls as the fourth colourless land in the deck. Uncounterable Delvers, Pyromancers, and Mentors sounds sweet! The sideboard also gets access to some great cards. Meddling Mage is exceptional in this shell, especially since Gitaxian Probe is in the deck to “combo” with it and Wear // Tear is another great option the Jeskai combination offers.

Bedlam Reveler also found its way into… Miracles?!

A sideboard Reveler to gas back up is actually very cool technology. You can see it in action in this video below, getting a bunch of Prowess triggers off Tops and coming in for a huge amount of damage.

This list has a much more controlling main deck, but importantly has a sideboard Sanctum Prelate, showing off how the new Conspiracy: Take the Crown card doesn’t just fit into Death & Taxes, but also into other white decks! I think it’s great as a card in Miracles to defend the CounterTop lock from Abrupt Decay.

Is this a Eldrazi list… Or a MUD list?

This list looks awesome and incredibly tuned. From the looks of it, it seems to want to go “bigger” than other Eldrazi decks, avoiding middling cards like Mimic and Reshaper, and instead looking at powering out Endbringer. The deck also avoids Eye of Ugin, preferring more consistent rather than explosive options. The deck also features MUD classics such as Lodestone Golem as an additional disruptive threat with Thought-Knot Seer, along with Wurmcoil Engine to further go over the top. I like the choice of Karn Liberated here too. Ugin, although MUD’s premier walker, is looking more and more ineffective in Legacy with Eldrazi rearing its head, and hence Karn might be a better way to go.

For those thinking MUD is subpar compared to the aggressive Eldrazi deck, think otherwise, as there seems to be space for a more high-end colorless deck in the format. Keep the cogs of your machines turning, MUD players, but maybe just ally yourself with the tentacle monsters instead of shunning them, similar to what many Shops decks in Vintage have done.

And the last Japanese list we’ll cover… In the Spice Corner.


Well, that’s all we have for this week! The past two weeks have involved a lot of card analysis considering that we have a new, very Legacy-relevant set out, and hopefully these have been insightful reads. Next week we’ll try and breakdown some more tried-and-true decks, continuing our introduction to decks of the format.

Feedback would be appreciated!

‘Til then,

Sean Brown
Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

And catch me on The Salt Mine: An Australian Legacy Podcast, for more banter about Legacy!

What I’m Playing This Week

Last week I mentioned my tinkering with a White Stompy list that seemed to have a lot of potential. Turns out, it did, with a friend of mine taking it to a great finish in a small local tournament. I’ve been refining my list over the past week and have come to this:

Sanctum Prelate has been cut for… Blade Splicer?! Turns out Prelate was incredibly difficult to cast and I haven’t really found a mana base that can yet accommodate her. Splicer is also really impressive in fair matchups, where she combos with Displacer to quickly create an army of Golems. Not to mention that she makes Lodestone into a huge first striking threat!

There’s a few options if you want to pick up the deck:

  • Lodestone is replaceable by Reality Smasher, especially if you feel fair decks will be more of an issue (especially ones with Bolt). If you opt for this, Blade Splicer loses a lot of lustre and fitting other threats such as more Displacers or main deck Stoneforge might be a good idea.
  • Lotus Petal and Mox Diamond are somewhat even in terms of pros and cons, at least in my opinion. Petal is a livelier top deck. Diamond does have extreme power when curving turn one Thalia into turn two Heretic Cathar or Seer, which certain combinations of hands with Petals cannot do.
  • Stoneforge Mystic has found her way into the sideboard as additional Jittes in creature-based matchups and also as the big lifegaining threat of Batterskull. She’s pretty poor in the main when you want to curve out with your disruptive haters, but in fair matchups where card advantage and grinding is key, Stoneforge does a good job out of the side.
  • Spatial Contortion found the nod over Swords to Plowshares. I think Contortion is better at checking flipped Delvers and still works with your Chalices.
  • Winter Orb is a house against Miracles and is also really crippling with Heretic Cathar.
  • Mindbreak Trap has found the nod over Thorn of Amethyst or Canonist, as turn zero combo can beat this deck, and having Wail and Trap as countermagic, but also permanent-based hate, typically leads to a strong Storm matchup.

Anyway, if anyone has some ideas about the deck, especially on how to incorporate Prelate and cast her consistently, shoot me a message or comment! The deck is certainly a work in progress but is very, very powerful!

The Spice Corner

Again, from a KMC event in Japan we have a really spicy deck… MonoBlack Reanimator. Featuring Smallpox?!

Similar to Black Red Reanimator but without Faithless Looting (which really brings the deck together), this deck aims to disrupt the opponent’s hand, make them sacrifice creatures, and get a huge monster into play. Collective Brutality seems like the card that bridges the deck together, along with Smallpox, as these cards both clear the board and disrupt the opponent’s hand, all while binning a fatty for some reanimation later. The deck can also sidestep hate and sideboard into the Leyline-Helm combo?! Definitely an interesting take on getting huge monsters into play.

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