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This Week In Legacy: Om Nom Nom!

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 a card that flew under my radar in my Zendikar Rising set review, a card that has been the bane of the early post-rotation Standard format. If you wondered if there was another format you could play Omnath in, well Legacy appears to be it! In addition to that we have some Challenge data to look at, a look at the newest builds of Oops! All Spells, and as always our Spice Corner.

I got a lot of great comments and responses to the Round Table article last week. Rest assured we'll do another one of these events right at the next set release. If you're a Legacy content creator (or community figure) who would like to be a part of these events, please feel free to reach out. If there's anyone you'd specifically like to see engage in one of those kinds of events, please also feel free to reach out and let me know!

Without further ado, let's dive right in to this week's article!

Omnath 4: Rise of the Landfall

Zendikar Rising had many different interesting cards, but one that flew a bit under my radar (there's always one) was the card Omnath, Locus of Creation. While this card has certainly torn up Standard in the very first week of the post-rotation world, it is interesting to note just how powerful this card is in a format such as Legacy.

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Omnath and formats with fetch lands are a genuine match made in heaven for the effects that Omnath provides. A single fetch land played on a turn will trigger Omnath's Landfall ability twice, gaining the controller of Omnath 4 life and adding RGWU to their mana pool. One of the big important things about the mana added is that this mana is perfect for following up with casting another well played Legacy midrange card in Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath.

Since the release of this set, a few lists have been showing up such as the list below utilizing Omnath in a 4C variant that is also using another card from Zendikar Rising in Felidar Retreat.

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There is a lot of power in this kind of list. Green Sun's Zenith being able to act as both a tutor for Omnath as well as a mana sink for Omnath is exceptionally powerful. While Omnath does have the down side of being Legendary and being susceptible to cards like Karakas, typically you're going to be able to get two Landfall triggers off the card when you need it to do so, and getting a third if Omnath sticks suddenly becomes exceptionally good. You can also in return use your own Karakas to protect your Omnath from things like Oko or removal (or bounce your Uro for repeated insane value).

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Felidar Retreat is another card that slightly flew under the radar but it definitely seems like an exceptionally powerful card in a deck that wants to repeatedly put lands into play. Being able to go wide and tall at the same time, this card synergizes really well with Omnath, since the mana generated from Omnath's second Landfall trigger can just cast Felidar Retreat.

It is also worth noting that this is sort of a "Snow" build that uses Snow-Covered basics for the purposes of information hiding, by attempting to trick opponents into thinking it is a normal Snowko variant deck, but this deck does not utilize the most typical Snowko variant card in Arcum's Astrolabe, instead forgoing this card for more creature-based fixing like Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch, of which Green Sun's Zenith gets both of these cards. In fact, GSZ gets every creature in the deck's main deck construction, with only the sideboard Meddling Mage as a card that it can't get.

This is an incredibly cool deck and one that I hope to see more out there, as it seems really unique and interesting.

The New Face of Oops!

Zendikar Rising also brought us the Modal DFC cards, providing us with a cycle of Mythic ones with a spell on the front face and a land that can enter untapped if the controller pays 3 life. As expected, a lot of the big hubbub over these cards has been over decks that don't want to have Lands in their deck due to how their combo functions. One of the decks that these lands have certainly had an impact on is Oops! All Spells.

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The way that this deck functions is by trying to cast one of the two following creatures in Balustrade Spy and Undercity Informer (and subsequently activating Informer, sacrificing itself).

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Due to the fact that the deck has no actual Lands in its main deck, you will end up milling your entire library, which will then trigger some number or all of your Narcomoeba to the battlefield. From that point, it is a pretty simple task to Dread Return a Thassa's Oracle which will then win the game due to the fact that there are no card left in the library.

The biggest consistency challenge that this kind of deck has always had has been an upfront lack of access to consistent black mana. So of course, the card Agadeem's Awakening does a lot for this consistency increase, by providing the deck with four untapped sources of black mana that are also uncounterable (since they're played as a land). As the deck plays a lot of cards like Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and the payoffs it wants to cast are also both black, this consistency increase is incredibly powerful.

Furthermore, much of the ability of Oops to deal with hate effects gets better with the consistency increase of lands as well. Instead of having to waffle into a potential Surgical Extraction blowout, the deck can now play a black mana source land and cast Cabal Therapy to clear the way. Instead of having to possibly roll over to Leyline of the Void or Grafdigger's Cage/Rest in Peace, the deck can play a green untapped source of mana with Turntimber Symbiosis and cast cards like Nature's Claim directly, which also helps to increase count of green cards for cards like Force of Vigor.

In addition, in more recent lists, you can also play cards like Chancellor of the Annex on the play in a matchup, impacting the opponent's ability to cast countermagic like Force of Will/Force of Negation and also cards like Surgical Extraction. Also, some newer builds are playing cards like Leyline of Lifeforce (an old Gyruda staple) to make it hard to counter cards like Informer/Spy on the draw, as well as making it hard to counter cards like Wild Cantor. In fact, post board this deck with a Leyline can present all mana sources that are uncounterable by the opponent in the form of Wild Cantor + Spirit Guides to cast a Spy.

This is a deck to keep an eye on going forward, as the consistency increases in these kinds of decks are always very interesting. Not to mention that this deck is also incredibly cheap for a Legacy deck in paper (in the $600 range in paper is solid, and 300-400ish tix on Magic Online even more so), so this might even make for a good first Legacy deck to learn the format on and understand the interactions of combo vs. control and the like. Definitely keep this deck in mind, because despite still being somewhat of a glass cannon, I have a feeling that it is much like Gyruda in that it is better than it seems.

Legacy Challenge 9/26

Our first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday Challenge event, so let's dive right into the Top 32!

One of the big things about this event is that it just seems like either nobody decided to play Snowko based decks at all, or that they just didn't perform well enough to crack into the Top 32. In fact, this effect was so pronounced that there were zero copies of the card Arcum's Astrolabe in the entirety of the Top 32. On the top end it was Hogaak that was all over, followed by Maverick and U/R Delver. And for format bogeyman RUG Delver, there were only two pilots in the Top 32, but one of those pilots converted well to the Top 8.

Now let's look at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
BUG Shadow 1st TrueHero
Elves 2nd KanonenFutter
U/R Delver 3rd Excel0679
Hogaak 4th Just_Roll
Hogaak 5th Domes
Maverick 6th SaitoSan
RUG Delver 7th Oscar_Franco
Mono Red Prison 8th Basuta

This is a real interesting Top 8, with nary a Snow based deck to be seen. Pretty crazy really. At the end of the event it was a sweet BUG Death's Shadow list that took it all down!

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This deck is really super sweet. I really dig the Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse in the main deck, especially with how that card interacts with Street Wraith. Really solid and interesting list overall.

In Second Place we have Elves!

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This is more of the Elvish Reclaimer variant of the deck, as opposed to the more Nettle Sentinel variant that has popped up in the wake of Allosaurus Shepherd's existence. I suspect the difference between these two lists is mainly play style really and how each pilot approaches the deck.

In Third Place we have U/R Delver!

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This is a pretty solid and clean list. I have been able to play around a bit with Ethereal Forager and can definitely see how decent that card is, so it's cool to see it in these kinds of shells.

In Fourth and Fifth Place we have two different variants of Hogaak!

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Both the Jund and BUG variants of Hogaak saw representation here, and they're both really clean and powerful lists. Hogaak is a solid archetype to play if you're looking to beat up on Delver, as it does a really good job of doing so.

In Sixth Place we have Maverick!

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Skyclave Apparition is a sweet new card to show up in these shells and it really is very easy to see why. The card is exceptionally strong and answers quite a few cards for very little investment, and it essentially a permanent exile effect over a typical Fiend Hunter effect. Really cool to see it in Maverick.

In Seventh Place we have RUG Delver!

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It's obvious to note that there is a Run Afoul in the sideboard here, as a one mana answer to Dark Depths strategies, as RUG can often struggle against those kinds of decks. Also showing up is old tech Submerge 

Rounding out the Top 8 we have Mono Red Prison!

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Anje's Ravager is a cool card to see in these lists as a card draw engine. I'm not really sure how I feel about that over a card like Seasoned Pyromancer though which develops the board state a bit. Bonecrusher Giant in the sideboard is also really interesting, considering that's typically a main deck card.

Outside of the Top 8 we saw some more decks with new cards such as Fissure Wizard in the Goblins shell.

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It seems incredibly powerful to me to Vial in Fissure Wizard, pitch Muxus, Goblin Grandee and then Reanimate it. Really absurd.

Also showing up in Roiling Vortex in Burn!

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Risk Factor too! This list is spicy! And I don't just mean because of all the Burn spells!

Now let's take a look a the 2019-2020 cards in this event. As always we're looking for cards that have 8 copies or more, with exceptions made for Companions and Modal DFC Lands.

Card Name Number of Copies
Force of Vigor 23
Dreadhorde Arcanist 22
Once Upon a Time 21
Force of Negation 20
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 20
Plague Engineer 19
Prismatic Vista 13
Oko, Thief of Crowns 12
Veil of Summer 10
Ice-Fang Coatl 8
Karn, the Great Creator 8
Agadeem's Awakening 4
Sea Gate Restoration 4
Jwari Disruption 2
Gyruda, Doom of Depths 1

As noted before, there were ZERO copies of Arcum's Astrolabe in the Top 32 of this event, which is incredibly wild to see. Even more wild was only 12 copies of Oko, which would alas not last for long into the weekend.

Legacy Challenge 9/27

Our second Challenge of the weekend was the normal during the day Sunday Challenge event, so let's take a look at the Top 32.

As different as day and night between the two Challenge events, there were Snow decks and RUG Delver again more in the Top 32 metagame, but only Snowko cracked into the Top 8 of this event. There was also a good bit of Maverick, which also did very well this weekend, and has been consistently doing well.

Now let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Maverick 1st Ballestin93
Lands 2nd MechinT
Snowko 3rd Bryant_Cook
Infect 4th Fenruscloud
Yorion Stryfo Pile 5th Stryfo
Doomsday 6th SwwampySwamp
Snowko 7th Wurst_
Maverick 8th Brenden2000

An obvious thing to note about this Top 8 is that there are no decks with the card Delver of Secrets in it. While this is only one event, it is always interesting to see when Delver doesn't crack into the Top 8 of an event. At the end of it all it was Maverick that took it all down.

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This list is quite in line with the similar lists that Achilles27 has been having success with. This seems like a pretty solid list targeting some of the good strategies in the format like Snow and Delver, and it is definitely a really powerful list.

In Second Place we have Lands.

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Valakut Exploration is an exceptionally cool and powerful card, and it's great to see Lands putting it to great use. Grasping Dunes is also a really interesting inclusion in the Lands portion of the deck, being able to be used in conjunction with Life from the Loam.

In Third Place, in a continuing string of solid performance is Bryant Cook who took a stab at playing Snowko this week!

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This is the typical BUG splashing white variants we've come to know. I do like how we have Celestial Purge here as a clean answer to cards like Klothys, God of Destiny. It's quite interesting to watch Bryant step out of his wheelhouse however!

In Fourth Place we have Infect afficionado Fenruscloud on their deck of choice.

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Fenrus is on record saying that they really liked Uro in this deck and likely would continue playing it more in the future. Seems like the bane of Standard continue to find new homes every day!

In Fifth Place we have Stryfo himself on his namesake deck.

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I always really enjoy looking at Stryfo's lists. They're always full of such interesting cards in general. I'm now awaiting the Omnath addition, obviously.

In Sixth Place we have Doomsday.

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Doomsday continues to be a really interesting list in regards to just how much the deck has become simplified thanks to the presence of Thassa's Oracle. While there are still some corner cases that makes Doomsday an incredibly rich playing experience, Oracle definitely has simplified the kill condition quite a bit.

Since both Seventh and Eighth place both had Snowko and Maverick respectively, let's dive into the rest of the Top 32 and see if we can find any gems, such as this Death and Taxes list with both Skyclave Apparition and Legion Angel?!

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I suppose Legion Angel is a good rate on creature stats to abilities that also replaces itself, so there is that.

Now let's take a look at the 2019-2020 cards in this event.

Card Name Number of Copies
Oko, Thief of Crowns 30
Veil of Summer 23
Dreadhorde Arcanist 22
Force of Vigor 21
Once Upon a Time 21
Plague Engineer 20
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 20
Force of Negation 19
Arcum's Astrolabe 18
Ice-Fang Coatl 15
Prismatic Vista 9
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 8
Karn, the Great Creator 8
Sea Gate Restoration 1
Yorion, Sky Nomad 1

Snow based things were back, but even the numbers on Astrolabe weren't excessively high here. Oko was definitely higher than the other Challenge over the weekend. As we'll see in our Ban Watch, things are still incredibly contentious.

Ban Watch 9/28

Having data from two more events over the weekend means we can update our chart again on the Legacy cards people want to hear us talk about in regards to Banned and Restricted updates. The B&R this past week was just for Standard, but there was mention of looking at other formats in the future and that focusing on Standard was more important for this B&R. Take that info for what it is obviously, as it doesn't necessarily mean we'll get a Legacy B&R any time soon. I did add data labels to the data this week so that the actual numbers come through. This might be hard to grok though, I don't really know. If anyone has any suggestions (I use Google Sheets primarily) then feel free to reach out.

As we can see, Astrolabe took a huge nose dive in Top 32 appearances between last weekend and the PAX event to a literal 0 copies on one event in the weekend and then back up to 18 copies for the second event. This does create a wild pronounceable effect in the graph for sure. A lot of these cards took some real nose dives and then ended back up in the middle of the road again, so it definitely seems like there is an average to find eventually out of all of this. This might be useful to figure out once we have more data going forward.

Regardless, the most consistent card does appear to be Dreadhorde Arcanist so far. This continues to be interesting data to have, and I have a similar chart built for typical Legacy staple cards that I will share at some point in the future as well.

Around the Web

  • Phil Gallagher posted a great video on the use of Luminarch Aspirant in D&T. Check that out here.
  • 90sMTG had our good friends Jerry Mee and Patrick Euglow from Leaving a Legacy on the series, check out one of their videos here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast posted a great episode on Zendikar Rising. Check that out here.
  • Anuraag Das posted Part 2 of his video on Goblins, featuring GoblinLackey1. Check that out here.
  • The Legacy Pit had Infect afficionado Tom "The Boss" Ross on the Pit as a Remote player. Check out the VOD over on Twitch and eventually their YouTube.
  • Reddit user Walkedairplane wrote a sick primer on a hybrid Doomsday/Tin Fins variant. Check that out here.

The Spice Corner

Mono Blue Delver featuring new card Bubble Snare. Very interesting!

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Urza/Karn shell without the nonsense of Echo of Eons but instead with Thopter Foundry combo!

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Our good friend Marcus Ewaldh on his signature list, High Tide!

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Yasharn, Implacable Earth! IN TITAN STOMPY!

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What I'm Playing This Week

I still have Karn Echo on rental, but I'm taking a bit of time to familiarize myself with Oops!

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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 on 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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