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This Week in Legacy: No Breach, No Problem!


Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another This Week in Legacy! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to be talking about the effects of the Underworld Breach ban in Legacy, and where the Metagame is starting to trend based on the first week's League data and also the Challenge from over the weekend. We're also going to continue our Level Up lesson this week, this time on some fun usage of the card Stifle. In addition, our deck focus this week is on the deck Maverick, and we of course have our Spice Corner.

One thing I'd like to note before we jump into the thick of things. It is important to note that the 20K in St. Louis (held by Jeremy Aaronson) has been cancelled over concerns of COVID-19. I know this was a big deal of an event, and I'd like to thank Jeremy for his dedication to the community in doing the right thing.

To all my readers out there, this is a trying time for all of us. Thank you to all of you for being awesome people and supporting websites and content like MTGGoldfish provides. You're all amazing!

Without further ado, let's dive right into this week's material.

A Week Without a Breach

So we're a week into the new metagame without Underworld Breach, and of course the big question is going to be, what's actually happening? Well, turns out quite a bit. We don't have a lot of great data, as the League data can be problematic, but we have enough data between those and the Challenge to point out some of the trends.

The Rise of Uro

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It should be no surprise to anyone that Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is a card that's generating a lot of buzz in the format right now. Many of the shells already playing Oko have begun to adopt this card en masse, given that it is a powerful threat that lines up really strongly against shells like Delver decks. I would not be surprised to see this trend continue really. Uro is an exceptionally powerful card and will continue to be so in the format as long as these shells are around.

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Decks like BUG Zenith Oko have been adopting the card since its printing, but the card has been showing up in non midrange shells as well, such as in BUG Control. In addition, Loam builds running blue have fully adopted the card. The only holdout thus far appears to be the 4C Miracles decks, but I suspect before too long they too will end up adopting the card. It's just simply too powerful to not play even as a one-of.

Of course, the presence of Uro also means many of the Oko shells are creeping out of the woodwork yet again after their brief push during the month and a half of Breach. The combination of both Uro + Oko is exceptionally strong, and I suspect we'll continue to see these shows do well. Will these shells dominate the format or will they be merely good is the real question. This is something that we're going to have to let the format adjust to for sure. Currently, cards like Oko and Veil both sit at 27% and 26% of decks respectively. It's hard to tell whether this amount of format penetration is truly healthy or not.

Conversely, Arcum's Astrolabe is currently at a low 12% of decks, but this might definitely change as time moves on.

Renewed Interest in Doomsday

As I also sort of expected with Breach gone, there is a renewed interest in the deck Doomsday as has been all over my Twitter feed of people that are actively playing Legacy on Magic Online. Many are trying to pick up the deck and learn it, and conversely has led to some amusing tweets of people failing and learning with the deck as well.

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Suffice to say, it's pretty cool to see the deck get some time in the limelight as it has always been one of the more complicated decks to play in the format. The big power boost to this deck is again, the addition of Thassa's Oracle.

Delver is Still Delver

This should sort of surprise nobody, but Delver is just still Delver. Primarily set between U/R Delver and Grixis Delver, with U/R Delver being slightly more preferred, however RUG Delver is also doing fairly well as well thanks to being able to play Oko as well. It's not very shocking really that Delver still is able to do Delver things and be just fine, as I alluded to last week. Delver pilots are pretty set on the archetype, so I have no doubt we'll continue to see people playing the deck.

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Whether the deck is great again or not does remain to be seen and I assume will be interesting to follow over the next few weeks. In general, the card that is most problematic for these shells is Uro, and that card is going to see a lot more play than even this week.

Chalice Decks Outside of Loam and Eldrazi Aggro Falling Off Again

This is to be somewhat expected really. Many of the Chalice decks that popped up during the month and a half that Breach was legal as an over correction were due to fall off with its banning. The major Chalice builds that continue to be in a decent spot however are the Loam decks (since they're Chalice + Midrange threat decks with their own copies of things like Oko and Uro) and the Eldrazi Aggro decks, which are very good at being able to develop a fast and solid board state and also got a great boost in consistency thanks to Once Upon a Time's presence in the format.

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Going forward, I do expect we will likely see less decks like Mono Red Prison and Eldrazi Post, however Prison earns a special exception because it is one of the decks that can easily cast Karn, the Great Creator, and I don't expect that to go away. Also that deck tends to have some really diehard fans, so I expect we'll see some people continue to play it.

The Wild Wild West Continues

Outside of some of these major things going on, Legacy does indeed remain a Wild Wild West as is generally the case post-ban. Even a short ban like Breach was, everyone is scrambling to discover something good and broken or just settling in to play what they've always enjoyed playing. There is a measure of interest in this particular instance because of the nature of other good cards that were printed in Theros: Beyond Death that are impacting the Metagame. It wasn't just Underworld Breach that was good, there were several good cards, and now people are attempting to figure out how to capitalize on that momentum.

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So, of course, I must say this is a time to definitely just go nuts and try new things, as there is definitely tons of great combinations of things to try. That is one of the big draws of the format right now for me.

As always we will continue to keep up a discussion on the ongoing Metagame and how things are progressing.

Level Up Lesson - Cool Stifle Tricks

While the playability of Stifle waxes and wanes a lot in the format, there are still some pretty cool things you can with the card outside of the typical Stifle your fetch-land activation. So, let's get creative with Stifle, shall we?

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Being able to counter a triggered ability or an activated ability for a single blue mana has always been relatively interesting, and the most common use of this card has been within Delver shells, utilizing it as a "Gotcha" moment of mana denial. However, there are some neat things you can do with this card. For example, Batterskull has a triggered ability associated with it, i.e. the Living Weapon trigger that creates the Germ token. If you Stifle the trigger, the Germ doesn't get created and they have a Batterskull attached to nothing. This can give you a turn to figure out a way to answer the card for good while also finding a way to mop up the Stoneforge Mystic that probably put it into play. Furthermore, using this card on the SFM trigger can be good, but sometimes they may have a good equipment already in hand, and spending this on the trigger could be awkward, but may prove very good.

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Speaking of Stifle and Equipment, Umezawa's Jitte has a triggered ability that goes off when the creature deals combat damage. While you might think countering the equip ability seems right, sometimes it's better to allow them to equip it and instead counter the combat damage trigger. They won't get any counters on their Jitte, giving you time to answer it.

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On the flip side, you can even Stifle a trigger from a card such as Animate Dead. Animate Dead has a trigger that can be responded to, the trigger that actually puts the creature onto the battlefield. By countering this trigger, the Animate Dead will not change to a different kind of Aura, and the creature won't be returned to the battlefield. Instead they will be left with an Animate Dead in play that has the text "Enchant creature card in a graveyard" and nothing else.

Another fun and interesting use of this card is vs the card Chrome Mox. Stifle can serve a purpose as a form of mana denial vs this card, because the card has a triggered ability for the ability Imprint that has to be resolved first. If you Stifle this ability, the Chrome Mox will simply be a dead mana rock with no ability to tap for mana. This can be occasionally powerful if the player was banking on that mana for future play either that turn or during the game.

Finally, let's talk about a situation you don't want to use Stifle on. We've talked before on here about the interactions of Dark Depths + Thespian's Stage, and when to use Wasteland in that scenario, but what about Stifle? Well, if your immediate thought is that countering the trigger that creates the 20/20 stops the trigger from happening, well, you'd be wrong. Dark Depths has what is known as a "state trigger", meaning that it is looking specifically for a Dark Depths in play that has zero ice counters on it. The game prevents the ability from triggering again while a trigger is on the stack, but if you counter the ability, then the game will again see that there is a Dark Depths with zero ice counters on it, and then immediately trigger again. So don't make the mistake and cast Stifle here, instead if you absolutely have to use it against this combo, use it to counter the Thespian's Stage activated ability to copy the land instead.

Also speaking of Stifle, this weekend brought us the best Stifle screenshot ever by our good friend Thomas Hepp. It's well worth checking out.

Community Legacy Update

A lot of local events and bigger events are frankly canceled at the moment, so there's not much to say. Bolt the Bird continues to be a great resource, so once things start popping up again please submit your events!

Furthermore, an event popped up recently promoted by Marshall Arthurs on Facebook for a 40K event in August. You can view the event details here.

As always if there's an event that you believe I should be covering, please feel free to reach out to me!

Deck Focus - Copy, Maverick

Maverick is a deck that has been around the Legacy scene since around 2011 with the printing of Green Sun's Zenith. The deck is essentially a midrange toolbox style deck, utilizing disruptive cards and powerful threats to win the game. Often described as a "souped up version of Death and Taxes", Maverick similarly boasts a very devoted community of followers, to the point that a website "GreenSunsZenith.com" exists as a resource for those wishing to learn more about the deck and get into playing it. The website also has a great section on the history of the deck, which I won't go into here, but you can peruse at your leisure over here.

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While Maverick has seen many changes over the years from its initial versions, the core of the deck has often remained the same. Utilizing the power of cards like Green Sun's Zenith with cheap powerful threats, mana ramp, and disruptive creatures. This deck is primarily a deck where you will see Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Knight of the Reliquary chilling together in the same shell. Furthermore, the deck gains a lot of strength leveraged by cards like Mother of Runes and of course, Noble Hierarch.

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Most recently, these types of decks received a powerful update in the form of Once Upon a Time. This spell has been a massive boon for developing the consistency of these creature-based Green Sun's Zenith decks. In addition, newer cards like Knight of Autumn and Questing Beast as well as Hexdrinker.

Maverick plays much like a Death and Taxes shell, being able to deploy disruptive elements and then follow up with a massive beater of a card. Most notable of these is Knight of the Reliquary. Knight offers inevitability and sheer power, with the ability to hunt down silver bullet lands as needed as well, playing further into the deck's toolbox nature.

Maverick is also a predominantly Green/White deck, however there are definitely splashes of colors that play into the deck as well at different points in time. Splashing black for Abzan colors (aka Dark Maverick as it has been called) can give the deck access to removal like Abrupt Decay and creatures like Dark Confidant. Splashing into red gives the deck access to the Grove of the Burnwillows + Punishing Fire engine (aka Punishing Maverick), and finally splashing into blue gives the deck access to Planeswalkers such as Oko, Thief of Crowns.

This deck is great because it offers a ton of flexibility and customization and is also generally in the middle of the road as far as paper prices are concerned. The biggest individual contribution of this is Gaea's Cradle, as many of the other creatures in the rest of the deck continue to see reprints from time to time. This is a powerful and fun deck still right now in the format, and there are also a ton of great resources for the deck to learn to play it.

Legacy Challenge 3/15

We had yet another Legacy Challenge this past weekend and it was a spicy meatball! Let's dive right into the Top 8!

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Eldrazi Aggro 1st Patxi
4C Control 2nd Svaca
Esper Vial 3rd Jtl005
RUG Delver 4th MzFroste
Dryad Titan 5th PromidNightz
Hypergenesis 6th PetyrBaelish
Aggro-Loam 7th HYMYKUOPPAORAVA
Elves 8th UsaWolf

Seriously, what a Top 8. This owes back to what I was saying early about the Wild, Wild West. It's on full display here in this event, and it goes even down into the rest of the Top 32. Pretty cool stuff to see here.

At the end of this event however, it was none other than Eldrazi Aggro (Stompy) piloted by Patxi who won the event!

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This list is super clean and looks like a lot of fun. Congrats to Patxi on their finish!

In Second Place, making Wasteland cringe everywhere is Svaca on 4C "Czech Pile" Control.

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As we can see, this list is on up to three Uro, which really shows how powerful this card really is in Legacy. It's definitely very strong and not going away any time soon.

In Third Place, we've got our good friend Jtl005 on their usual brand of deck, the Esper Vial list that they have been working on for quite some time now.

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This deck is absolutely intriguing and looks quite fun. At some point, I'll have to get Jtl005 on this column to talk about the deck and the choices that went into it.

In Fourth Place we have good old fashioned RUG Delver, with MzFroste at the helm.

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This is pretty much what we've come to see out of this deck lately. Less and less cards like Tarmogoyf and more cards like Dreadhorde Arcanist and Hooting Mandrills.

In Fifth Place we have some real fun spice. This list was originally posted to Twitter by our good friend Callum (WhiteFaces) in some capacity, but the basic prinicple is the same.

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This list is super cool and I look forward to trying it out myself sometime soon. Dryad of the Ilysian Grove is an insanely cool card, and it's neat to see this kind of deck pop up. It is worth noting too that PromidNightz was the sole 8-0 in the Swiss rounds before Top 8. Insane run!

In Sixth Place we have the most ultra real spice I've ever seen in one of these challenges. It's Hypergenesis! This list also got some attention from this great screenshot from the event this weekend.

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What a wild and cool list this is. So great to see something like this do well!

In Seventh Place we have a showing by Aggro-Loam!

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Again, it's not very surprising to see both Oko and Uro here. Loam seems to have evolved into this version well and is poised to be very good going forward in the format.

Finally, rounding out the Top 8 is none other than Elves!

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Elves as well has also adopted the usage of Once Upon a Time, which is looking more and more like a really powerful card for these strategies in this format. I don't feel like the card will be as problematic as it was in Modern thankfully, and will likely settle in as one of the best cards for these types of decks.

Now as we like to do, let's take a look at the 2020 cards appearing in this event's Top 32. Currently this only includes cards from Theros: Beyond Death.

Card Name Number of Copies
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 11
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove 4
Cling to Dust 2
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos 2

As expected, the talk of the Theros town is Uro. All in all however, this was an interesting event and it will be interesting to see how the metagame shapes up going forward into the weeks to come.

Around the Web

  • Speaking of Maverick, GreenSunsZenith posted a great Monthly Wrapup article. You can check that out here.
  • The Canadian Threshold's newest episode on the format was posted this week, so give it a listen here!
  • The folks of the Doomsday Wiki wrote a sweet article about the new 2020 version of Doomsday, which you can check out here!

The Spice Corner

This Urza/Emry deck is pretty cool. Typically when you see these shells they're very combo heavy, but this one is just flat aggro with a sideboard control plan.

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For a card we haven't seen in awhile, Arclight Phoenix!

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Our good friend MatsOle here showing off the power of Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast!

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What I'm Playing This Week

Since my own local events are canceled, I'm playing this sweet-spicy pile that was given to me by WhiteFaces (Callum) and Stryfo (Chase). Kavu Predator!

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Please join us next week as we continue our journey into the format of Legacy.

As always, you can reach me on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! I'm still going to be doing a giveaway of a sweet wooden deckbox, and will be working with the winner to ship out as possible within these insane and trying times.

Again, I'd like to thank you folks for continuing to support the content, and I surely hope you all are staying safe during these times.

Until next time!


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