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This Week in Legacy: Player Spotlight Series - The Dark Depths Podcast

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've got yet another Player Spotlight Series! This week we are focusing on the fine folks of The Dark Depths Podcast - Billy Mitchell and Michael Mapson! In addition to that we've got two Challenges to discuss and of course, a Spice Corner.

Player Spotlight Series - The Dark Depths Podcast

We're going to be getting back to doing more of these types of articles in 2023, so be on the lookout for future Player Spotlight Series. The first one of 2023 though, and one that I have been meaning to get to for some time now is a focus on the two hosts of "The Dark Depths Podcast", hosted by Billy Mitchell and Michael Mapson. Both Billy and Michael are awesome people and their work commitment to the podcast has been absolutely incredible, including having some really great guests and solid commentary on both Legacy and Modern.

In true fashion as we like to do with these articles these are totally in the words of our special guests... and of course Billy and Michael do what they do best.

The Dark Depths

[Mapson] Between the two of us, Billy has been playing way longer. We would have met probably during my sophmore year, 2011/12.

[Billy] We didn't interact terribly much at the start. Mapson hadn't yet started his competitive journey. I was just getting back into the grind of PTQs, mostly playing standard.

[Mapson] Eww…Standard. Anyways I was quickly becoming a regular at our LGS. I was mostly playing EDH and the occasional draft but the introduction of modern got me interested in making the jump to competitive events. Thanks, Gavin!

[Billy] Around 2013, I decided to take the plunge into Legacy and sought help from the local players, including Mapson. Between trips to Philadelphia's Redcap's Corner and road trips to play Star City Games Opens, we became fast friends.

[Mapson] The jury is still out on if we're friends.  It's also interesting that you say I helped you get into Legacy because I felt like you helped me learn the format.  If I had to guess we probably started playing right around the same time and helped each other.  I know I bought UR delver in 2013. It was one of the best mistakes of my life.  As an unemployed college student, I really didn't have the $1300(?) I spent on the deck. But also it brought me a lot of joy and would cost way more today.

[Billy] I was one of those players who had an Extended deck and was trying to figure what to do next. The first Modern Pro Tour was in Philadelphia and, while I didn't get to attend, I watched every Constructed round twice. I loved the speed, the power, and the unexplored strategies. I was hooked.

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A few months later, I won a The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and was able to trade it in to buy the entire 75 of Splinter Twin. That was my bread and butter for years and the main reason I picked up UR Delver in Legacy. Even though I had been playing for a long time before that, Modern was and continues to be my best format in terms of win percentage and general enjoyment. The format ebbs and flows the best of any competitive format and I imagine that it will continue to be a fan favorite for years to come.

[Mapson] Before (and after) COVID, we were both interested in doing more in the Magic space. At various points, we've both been interested in working for Wizards of the Coast. Even more so than that though I've been super into the idea of commentating as has Billy (to a lesser extent though). When Carmen Handy left for Wizards of the Coast I decided to shoot my shot and talk to Cedric about my coverage aspirations.  His advice was to get my voice out there and make more of a name / voice for myself in the community. I tried streaming for a bit but a variety of factors made it too difficult to do on a regular basis.  I sometimes consider at least making more YouTube videos but I hate editing. Knowing all of this,  one day Billy told me we were starting a podcast.  If anybody is curious, I still have not actually agreed to this.

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[Billy] I had some other names for the show. Snap Keeps, Delver Power Hour, Titan Weekly? Dark Depths seemed right though. Aside from the alliteration, it was something that Mapson was already associated with and  Marit Lage could become an epic logo for us. Bonus fun fact, we started in 2020 the year of Marit Lage. One of the most difficult things, other than trying to work out a schedule with a very noncommittal Mapson, was finding our voice as a podcast. Our style has changed over the 100+ episodes and has slowly become more reminiscent of our relationship. We argue like siblings, we go on long rants about trivial things, and we both passionately love Magic. Our show can be chaotic but we love the energy we have and hope we continue for a long time.

[Mapson] We definitely didn't go into it with a clear idea of what we wanted to create and I think that shows.  To be honest, I think we could still benefit from a good conversation about this.  Billy and I like different types of content.  He likes more casual stuff than I do. The right answer is likely somewhere in the middle though.  When you focus on the spiky side too much I know things can come across as dry and people lose interest. Conversely I've gotten plenty of feedback that people enjoy how much information and advice they get out of our episodes. One thing, I think we do well is pretty clearly communicate our biases though and where we are getting our information. I think it’s very important that people know who they’re listening to. I like a wide variety of decks but there are two principles that drive a lot of my choices. People often  just think that I like land based strategies a lot but that’s not quite it. I believe cheating on mana is very important and I believe being on an assertive strategy is usually best. You’ll see this very pretty clearly in the decks I’ve put the most work into with Modern and Legacy. My favorite decks being Amulet Titan, Temur Breach, and RUG Scapeshift in modern and Depths variants, Painter, and old Delver variants in Legacy.

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[Billy] I like to think of myself as an Aggro player or someone who enjoys saying the word "trigger" as much as humanly possible within 50 minutes. What I've come to realize is that I enjoy games where I can outplay my opponents. In Legacy, I have played a lot of Delver recently but Death and Taxes will always have a special place in my heart. Modern has been Splinter Twin, Melira Company, and Dredge for the longest time but I have really grown to enjoy Death Shadow strategies and UR Murktide over the past few years. There have been some points where playing the busted deck is just correct but I really enjoy playing out the games where I win because I'm making strong strategic moves and am able to pivot when necessary.

Wrapping Up

Thanks so much to Billy and Michael for telling their story about how they came together to create such an awesome podcast! It's thrilling because if anyone has ever listened to their work, I pretty much read the above in their voices, which was perfect.

Look forward to more of these going forward!

Legacy Challenge 4/22

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 48 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here. There are a few Unknowns on this list because we were around 7 entries off from the full data.

Jeskai Control and Reanimator were quite popular, with the latter having a really good win rate in this event. D&T also did very well, as did UR Delver (but there were only three UR Delver players).

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Reanimator 1st snoopy-magic
Mono Green Cloudpost 2nd TrueFuturism
Death and Taxes 3rd yoshiwata
Dredge 4th RedDelver
UR Delver 5th maver1k
Death and Taxes 6th mephidro
Riddlesmith Combo 7th Killabee
Stoneblade 8th Ozymandias17

Highly interesting Top 8 here overall. At the end of the event though it was Reanimator that won the event.

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Very solid and straightforward list here. Two copies of Griselbrand is pretty interesting, as is the two copies of Atraxa, Grand Unifier. I also like the sideboard options of Dauthi Voidwalker.

In Second Place we've got Mono Green Cloudpost.

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Have not seen a ton of Cloudpost lately so there's definitely some interesting aspects of seeing this deck reappear especially since it showed up and did well in both Challenges this weekend. This is a very clean looking list overall and looks very powerful.

Also in this Top 8 we had some Dredge action.

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LED-less Dredge! No Faithless Looting! Wild stuff happening here for sure. I am digging it. This looks incredibly fun to play.

Down near the bottom of the Top 8 we have Riddlesmith.

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I love how this deck has evolved over time. The copy of Storm Entity in the sideboard is incredibly goofy and fun.

Legacy Challenge 4/23

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 108 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

Cephalid Breakfast was the most played deck of the event, and it's win rate was a little over 51% which is pretty good. Jeskai Control did very well here too, as did D&T and Reanimator. Sneak and Show did insanely well despite not meeting the cutoff here, putting two of its three pilots into the Top 8.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Jeskai Control 1st Ozymandias17
Sneak and Show 2nd JPA93
Mono Green Cloudpost 3rd mono_white
4C Uro Control 4th AnziD
Riddlesmith Combo 5th Killabee
Cephalid Breakfast 6th Mopinbopdak
Jeskai Control 7th LukesMTG
Sneak and Show 8th Delthar

Kind of a crazy Top 8. No Delver decks, but multiple copies of Sneak and Show, Cloudpost, and event Riddlesmith. At the end of the event though, it was Matt Vook who won it all with a sweet Jeskai Control list.

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Faerie Mastermind!!! I was curious how this card was going to play out, and it seems like it's quite strong. I am digging this list for sure. Keeping it old school with Snapcaster Mage and all sorts of great stuff here.

In Second Place we've got Sneak and Show by known SnS afficionado JPA93.

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Incredibly clean-looking deck here. Lot of 4-of clean cards and just very powerful stuff. Can't often go wrong with Show and Tell or Sneak Attack for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had Anuraag Das on 4C Uro Control.

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Staff of the Storyteller is a card that has continually showed up across the format, and it's no surprise to see it here either. I really like the main deck copies of Spell Pierce here. That card seems really strong right now.

Further down this Top 8 we have Cephalid Breakfast.

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Breakfast utilizing Staff is also interesting, and we've got stuff like Saga and even Retrofitter Foundry to enable it. Seems super interesting for sure!

Around the Web

  • The Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode on getting into Legacy! Check it out here.
  • Eternal Durdles has a new episode on "101" content with "Why Brainstorm is So Powerful". Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.


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Jeskai Stoneblade with 4x Faerie Mastermind!

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Mardu Stoneblade?!?!

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UR Tempo variant with four copies of Invasion of Tarkir is sweet, especially when you have Sprite Dragon and Murktide Regent to reveal to the front half.

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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 all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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