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This Week in Legacy: Nom Nom Nom Food!

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to be talking about the recent resurgence in Food Chain combo in Legacy. In addition to that, we've got two events to talk about from this past weekend, and I am happy to say that decklists are back! The issue with them got fixed so we can go back to our regularly scheduled decklist shenanigans that is the SPICE CORNER!

Also, we found out last week that All Access Tokens are BACK for Magic Online! That's right, starting on March 31st here, you will be able to purchase an All Access Token for the next two weeks for $25. This accompanies a whole two weeks of Super Qualifier events just like the last time. So if you've ever thought about wanting to try Legacy (or Vintage), the All Access Token is a great way to do so.

There's also a mild amount of Strixhaven spoilers floating around, but we won't be doing our official set review until all of the set is revealed.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Food, Glorious Food!

The Legacy metagame continues to shake itself out as players figure out what is good and what is not, and one deck that has seen a fair amount of resurgence in Legacy is a deck that has existed for a fairly long time, and saw a bit of time in the spotlight during the Snow era in Food Chain.

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For those that don't know how the deck Food Chain works, the deck utilizes the card to generate an obscene amount of mana in order to cast a game-ending creature win condition, which these days is typically the card Walking Ballista or Hydroid Krasis. The deck is capable of this because of a few different cards, the primary one being the card Misthollow Griffin, but also cards like Eternal Scourge and Squee, the Immortal. All of these cards are creatures that can be cast from the Exile zone, meaning Food Chain nets a mana every time the card is cast and then exiled to Food Chain. These decks often play a built-in tutor in the card Manipulate Fate which lets them put these creatures into the Exile zone to be ready to go.

At its heart, this deck is sort of a Splinter Twin deck, it boasts a combo that is difficult to interact with if you don't have a way of interacting directly with the enchantment itself, but it also sits on a control shell capable of playing cards to protect its combo as well.

The biggest issue this deck has on Magic Online however is all of the clicking required to play such a deck. This is a deck that is exceptionally click intensive and that is a big factor in its representation as a deck for sure, but more and more people are playing this deck and finding success with it. In fact, we have seen two distinct variants come out of this deck as of late, one being Bant and the other being RUG colored.

Let's take a look at the Bant variants.

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The biggest draw for splashing white into this deck is the presence of premium removal in the form of Swords to Plowshares, but also the presence of cards like Teferi, Time Raveler to help protect the combo turns. Ranger-Captain of Eos is also a highly powerful card here that can be used at the end of the chain to locate a Walking Ballista to win the game with.

White also presents sideboard cards like Containment Priest or Peacekeeper as hate bear effects vs various decks. One thing I would like to see tried out in these lists however is copies of new cards like Ranar the Ever-Watchful because I am mostly curious how that card would play out.

Now let's take a look at the RUG variants.

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RUG presents some interesting things in the form of both Squee, the Immortal (which replaces Eternal Scourge here) as well as Imperial Recruiter to help find either a Ballista or a Krasis for the win. We also get Lightning Bolt as both removal and direct damage, and sideboard red cards like Pyroblast and even Magus of the Moon. There are a plethora of interesting things you can do in the RUG shell, so I'd be really curious to see how this particular shell evolves.

It certainly is great to see a deck like Food Chain excel despite just how click intensive it is on Magic Online. This also tells me that this is a pretty solid deck in paper Legacy as well (where you don't have the worries of "clicking" through the combo), so it's super exciting to have this deck around again.

Legacy Challenge 3/27

We had two Challenge events this past weekend and we were able to collect data on both of them, thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection project. The first Challenge was the early morning Saturday event which had 78 players overall.

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

Let's dive right into the breakdown!

There was a lot of popularity up at the top end of both Delver strategies and Bant Control strategies, but as we can see those decks did not do well at all in this event despite being super popular. Both decks had an approximate below 50% win rate in this event and it was instead Delver strategies like Grixis Delver and UR Delver that performed better overall. However, the rest of the overall metagame was pretty solidly open and a lot of people played interesting decks as well.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Aluren 1st otaba
Food Chain 2nd musasabi
Death and Taxes 3rd jmanner
Grixis Delver 4th Kazuga
Cephalid Breakfast 5th maian
UR Delver 6th MM_17
Elves 7th AlphaBlade
Maverick 8th Kazurban

What a Top 8! Wildly interesting decks here that we typically don't see that much and that is super cool to see. I'm so glad we have decklists again because I would have been super sad to see this event without them!

At the end of the event it was otaba who took it all down on none other than Yorion Aluren!

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Oath of Nissa is pretty wild but the effect is a lot better when you consider the inclusion of Yorion in this deck being able to value blink it and a bunch of stuff in this deck. The subtext of casting Planeswalker spells is moot because the only Planeswalker is Teferi, but it's really the Ponder-like effect the card has. It's also great to see how this deck has evolved to utilizing the card Ukkima, Stalking Shadow as the win condition with Cavern Harpy as the life drain is great and it isn't dependent on having to have a black permanent in play like Parasitic Strix is.

The Second Place finalist in this event was Food Chain! We talked about this deck as the focus today so it's cool to see it hit a Top 8 and not just that, the Finals!

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As we noted earlier, Squee is exceptionally good with Food Chain in general, taking the place in this list of Eternal Scourge. There's a sideboard Toski, Bearer of Secrets here and I am excited about that!

Also in the Top 8, we had a showing by none other than Cephalid Breakfast!

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Breakfast is a sweet sweet sweet deck. For those that don't really understand this deck, the point of the combo is to repeatedly activate Nomads en-Kor with Cephalid Illusionist in play to continually target the Illusionist, triggering its ability to cause you to mill three cards. Then you can use Dread Return or hard cast a Thassa's Oracle from hand to win the game once you have no library. This deck doubles as a Stoneforge Mystic deck however as part of its backup plan but also as another combo tutor because it can fetch the card Shuko which equips for zero and can continually be equipped to the Illusionist to trigger the effect as well.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a showing by Maverick.

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One cool thing that stood out here is the presence of Kaya, Ghost Assassin in the sideboard. Super cool card and very interesting effect for Maverick. This list is certainly nice and clean.

Outside of the Top 8 a list that really stood out to me was kanican on BUG Urza.

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This list is sweet. Yorion, Urza, Tireless Tracker?!! (That makes Mox Sapphires for Urza) What a really super cool list and a lot of great synergy, not to mention the backup plan of having Field of the Dead to work with all the Landfall and Life from the Loam shenanigans too.

Legacy Challenge 3/28

Our second Challenge event of the weekend had 105 players in it which is really pretty good overall.

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

Let's take a look at how the metagame shook out!

Counter to the event the day before, RUG Delver had a ton of pilots on it in this event, and had a solidly strong win rate (approximately 57%). Other Delver variants such as Grixis and UR Delver also performed pretty well too, so I do believe it just merely ends up being personal preference as to what flavor of the deck to be on, and we've seen enough understanding that the deck is beatable which is great to see.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bant Control 1st trunks132
UW Miracles 2nd ecobaronen
Death and Taxes 3rd yoshiwata
Mono Red Prison 4th basuta
4C Control 5th TrueHero
Colorless Cloudpost 6th Twibs
RUG Delver 7th HJ_Kaiser
Grixis Delver 8th Kazuga

This is a pretty solid Top 8, with a number of different decks, but primarily no combo decks on that axis. A lot of fair and prison based strategies, and at the end of the event it was a split between Bant Control and UW Miracles. Let's take a look at the first list.

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This is a pretty standard Bant Miracles/Control variant these days. I really like the Shark Typhoon in these lists. If you can late-game cast the card it probably just wins the game all on its own.

The other finalist list is UW Miracles.

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This is pretty similar to a list I've seen floating around before that was played by our good friend Marcus Ewaldh, utilizing the card Mishra's Bauble with the card Predict as a draw engine, as well as finishers like Entreat the Angels. This is basically if you went back to post Sensei's Divining Top era and plucked a Miracles list from that era for the most part.

Also in the Top 8 we have typical Death's Shadow master TrueHero on a very different deck in 4C Omnath.

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This deck is super sweet. I love how interconnected all the cards are and the singleton Nexus of Fate is really solid. I also really enjoy the sideboard plan of Ipnu Rivulet + Life from the Loam. Seems quite silly.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a sweet take on Hogaak in a more Turbo style of the deck.

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Having additional Putrid Imp style discard outlets is pretty cool, from both Lotleth Troll and Noose Constrictor. Being able to pitch Vengevine's and then pitch Basking Rootwalla to trigger is really super cool, and in the Troll's case, it becomes a bigger threat over time by doing this. What a super cool take on the old Gaak plan.

Around the Web

  • The one and only GoblinLackey1 over on 90sMTG! Check it out here.
  • 4C Loam vs Enchantress over on The Legacy Pit! Check that out here.
  • Rich Cali with a sweet guide on Legacy Imperial Painter over on CFB. Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast is back with a new episode, check it out here.
  • I was on this past weeks episode of Eternal Durdles! Come hear us discuss what the most powerful green one drop is (hint: It's Veteran Explorer) over here.

The Spice Corner


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Scourge of the Skyclaves Burn. Seems hilariously fun.

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Neoform + Sea Gate Stormcaller.

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What SOMEONE ELSE Is Playing This Week

I am switching things up a bit here this week. Instead of talking about what I'm playing this week (because what I've been playing every week hasn't really changed), I put a call out on Twitter asking what "you" were playing this week! I will still occasionally update you all with what I've been playing when I change and if there are any major changes to the decklist, but I thought this would be fun to put some eyes on different decklists!

Our very first entry comes from nickbmtg on Twitter. It is their take on Turbo Phoenix.

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This deck is certainly super sweet! Thanks for sharing it with us, nickbmtg!

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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