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This Week in Legacy: Player Spotlight Series - The Knight of the Reliquary

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 a Player Spotlight Series on the one and only Matthew Vook! We've also got a touch base on a card we missed out of the Lord of the Rings set, and we've got a MESS of events to speak about including MTGO events as well as events from SCGCon Baltimore and Oklahoma Land Run!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Player Spotlight Series: Matthew Vook

I really love doing Player Spotlights, because I quite enjoy getting to hear all about players and friends that I look up to and appreciate their impacts on the format overall. This week's series is no exception, as we hear from Matthew Vook. Matthew has been around the format for a long time now, and he has been a strong source of Legacy knowledge and analysis of the ins and outs of the format for both new and old players alike.

As we like to do here, let's hear from Matt in his own words.


Hello readers! My name is Matthew Vook. My MTGO username is Ozymandias17. I started playing Magic at a Boy Scout Summer camp in middle school and started playing competitively in 2015 while enrolled at the University of Maryland College Park. I initially started playing Modern and slowly acquired the cards for Legacy 4 Color Loam. I played primarily at MTGFirst (now Level Up Games) in Glen Burnie, Maryland for monthly events starting in Fall 2016. I finished 2nd at SCG DC in Fall 2017 and won SCG Baltimore in Fall 2018, playing 4C Loam both times. In January 2020 I won the MTGO Legacy Format Championship with Loam to qualify for the Magic Online Championship Series. I played 4C Loam almost exclusively until the COVID pandemic when in person play shut down and I was in grad school. During the past few years I have branched out to playing various blue midrange and control decks including Jeskai Control, 4C Control, and Delver variants. For several months I wrote a monthly Legacy Tier List article to help other players keep up with the changes in the format. I stopped writing those articles after I finished grad school and started working a full time job.

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Improving in Legacy

Playing weekly or monthly in-person events can be great for building mechanical skills as a player. Remembering triggers and improving dexterity to physically manipulate cards is important in a format that requires so many small decisions. This is an important starting point for building the higher-level skills needed to succeed.

I personally had a huge improvement when I started playing MTGO in addition to paper events. It’s the best way to get practice with a large volume of matches, and you get to play against the best players in the world. There is no other substitute for developing format knowledge and improving sequencing than to just play more games. I would just add the caveat to think critically about each match and to take a step back if your learning starts to plateau. Watching more experienced players stream or getting coaching can be another way to level up. I learned a lot about playing 4C Loam from watching MatsOle stream.

I would also try to refrain from attributing match outcomes to luck or ‘variance’ and instead look for learning opportunities. I think most matches are decided by one player making more errors than the other and the more proficient player capitalizing on those errors. I would focus on the things you can control because variance affects both players and on a long enough timeline player skill will show through. If something unexpected happens try to see if there is a pattern or explanation for the result. Variance can also be somewhat controlled in deck selection and deck construction. Certain decks mulligan more than others. Some decks have more middle power level players rather than high ceilings and low floors. You can play more or less lands to shift the percentages on keepable hands. You have a lot of flexibility in the matchups you choose to prioritize in deck construction. You have a lot more control over the outcome of a match than you may realize.

State of Legacy

Right now the Legacy meta is the most diverse it has been in recent memory. There is a large variety of decks to choose from without a clear best deck. For anyone who took a break because of UR Delver and Initiative Stompy now is a great time to jump back into the format. Most stores allow proxies for weekly events and the online rental services (ManaTraders and Cardhoarder) make the format much more accessible.

If you want to reach out with questions I am active on Twitter and in several archetype Discords. Thanks for reading!

Missed Cards in Lord of the Rings

My set review for the Lord of the Rings set did miss at least one card that I think is interesting to speak about. That card is Forth Eorlingas!

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Definitely a weird looking card on the surface, but the fact that this card can enable the Monarch on Turn 2 after deploying a threat on Turn 1 in the Boros Stompy decks is pretty strong, not to mention the fact that this card scales with the game itself and can be pitched to both Fury and Solitude. Makes for a really powerful effect for these Boros Stompy / Initiative decks for sure.

Event Announcement - Jordan Aisaka Memorial Event

As most of the Legacy community knows, we lost the amazing Jordan Aisaka last year. Card Kingdom, Gamers Engaged, and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation are coming together to honor Jordan's impact on the game with a Memorial Tournament to be held on July 15th. You can find all of the details here. The event is a proxy Legacy event (where proxies can make up to 50% of the decklist) and is a $40 entry, $25 of which goes directly to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

This event will be streamed as well on Twitch over on Card Kingdom's Twitch channel.

This is a great event. I know that even not knowing Jordan personally, I definitely miss having his positive attitude around the format. Be sure to support and if you feel like it donate directly to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation in Jordan's honor here.

SCGCon Baltimore Legacy 10K 6/17

This past weekend was SCGCon Baltimore, which was the site of not one but two big Legacy events. The first event of the weekend was a full on Legacy 10K event. This event brought out 265 players, which is just absolutely great to see.

One really important thing about these events this weekend is the fact that the Lord of the Rings set was legal for all of these events due in part to it being Prerelease Weekend and legality allowing cards to be legal during that time. So... we definitely saw a lot of Orcish Bowmasters this weekend.

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

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Cephalid Breakfast 1st Brian Coval
Food Chain Goblins 2nd WowyMcDoug
Black Saga Storm 3rd-4th Tony Scapone
Boros Stompy 3rd-4th Quinn Tonole
Red Painter 5th-8th Kenton Najdzien
Maverick 5th-8th Harry Hackett
Infect 5th-8th AnthonyC1
Lands 5th-8th Ian Bosley

Pretty wild Top 8 here, honestly. Some Combo, but also some Prison and Fair decks too. At the end though, absolutely crushing his competition on Cephalid Breakfast was our good friend Brian Coval.

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This list looks quite strong all around. These Saga builds of Breakfast with Staff seem to be handling pretty well. I think it's pretty obligatory to say "Ban Shuko" at this point (for clarity sake, this is a joke). Also, it's pretty cool to behold Brian's paper list.

Very pretty and clean looking indeed.

In Second Place here we had Food Chain Goblins.

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Straightforward and to the point here. This deck has a strong combo game plan but has a really valid Goblins game plan as well. Seems quite good overall.

Also in this Top 8 we had the one and only Tony Scapone on Black Saga Storm.

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This deck is quite frankly so cool. It does some really wildly unique stuff and has a strong combo Plan A but Saga gives it that oomph of a Plan B. I also love Surge Node out of the sideboard here in order to add charge counters to Chalices.

Further into the Top 8 here we had a really sweet Maverick list.

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Saga Maverick?! Yeah, this is super cool. I love to see it.

SCGCon Baltimore Legacy 5K 6/18

The second event held at SCGCon Baltimore this past weekend was the Legacy 5K on Sunday the 18th. This event brought out 106 players overall, which is stupendous!

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

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Red Stompy 1st Stephen Dupal
Grixis Delver 2nd Jacob Saracino
The EPIC Storm 3rd-4th Bryant Cook
Lands 3rd-4th Kurt Spiess
Cephalid Breakfast 5th-8th Paul Lynch
White Stompy 5th-8th Robert Beatty
Red Painter 5th-8th Eric Hadam
Grixis Delver 5th-8th Anthony LaVerde

Crazy looking Top 8 for sure. Some Delver, some Combo, some Ancient Tomb decks. At the end of it all, it was Stephen Dupal on Red Stompy that won.

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Pretty solidly Red Stompy for sure here. Definitely what we've come to expect out of this archetype. Some cool sideboard cards here like The Stone Brain and of course a singleton Emrakul for the Painter matchup.

In Second Place (we think, if I'm wrong on this let me know because Melee didn't quite have the right ordering for Top 8) is Grixis Delver.

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As noted earlier we saw a lot of Orcish Bowmasters this past weekend and this deck was certainly one of those early decks we saw adopting the card. It definitely seems to be incredibly powerful in this shell for sure. Is this what gets Grixis Delver back on the map? I think time will tell, but it's definitely a great reason to be in those colors.

Also in this Top 8, we had Lands.

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This "Four Sphere" style Lands is definitely strong, mainly because it's really targeting the combo decks of the format primarily in addition to decks that have a hard time winning through multiple Sphere effects while Lands gets to kind of just do its thing. It's a strong way to approach the metagame with this deck right now for sure.

Further down this Top 8 we had Rakdos Painter.

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Chaos Defiler is such a sick card. It definitely has shown its power in these paper Painter lists.

Oklahoma Land Run Legacy 6/17

This past weekend was also the Oklahoma Land Run events at Game HQ in Oklahoma. The Legacy event for this particular weekend brought out 73 players! It seemed to be a true weekend for paper Legacy for sure.

You can find all the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Red Painter 1st Kilian Cooley
Orzhov Stompy 2nd Robert Hayes
RUG Delver 3rd-4th Tom Nelson
Cephalid Breakfast 3rd-4th Luke Tooker
Boros Stompy 5th-8th Brandon Watson
UR Delver 5th-8th Jonathan Nguyen
Mono Green Cloudpost 5th-8th Peter Coloyan
Red Stompy 5th-8th Jared Pettyjohn

Quite a bit of Ancient Tomb here alongside some Delver and Cloudpost. At the end of the event it was Painter that won.

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Been a while since I've seen Shortcake Painter for sure. Nice to see that this variant still has the chops.

In Second Place we had Orzhov Stompy.

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Orcish Bowmasters again rearing their ugly heads! This list is SWEET. Seems like a really strong way to approach the Initiative color pairings for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had RUG Delver.

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I have to wonder for sure how RUG will fare once we get LOTR on MTGO this week. Going to be an interesting shift for this deck I feel.

In the bottom half of the Top 8 we had Mono Green Cloudpost.

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Definitely a super clean list here. I think this is a powerful deck and possibly underplayed at the moment.

Legacy Challenge 6/17

The first Legacy Challenge event on MTGO of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 66 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 datasheet here.

Interesting enough that "Other Tempo" was actually the same numbers as UR Delver and had better win rate. We'll see what that is about in a second. Reanimator did quite well here, so did Sneak and Show.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Death's Shadow 1st Matti
Reanimator 2nd snoopy-magic
RUG Cascade 3rd ecobaronen
Cephalid Breakfast 4th L4ss0n
BUG Scam 5th Promidnightz
Sneak and Show 6th yPrincipe
BUG Scam 7th RemiFortier
RUG Cascade 8th duke12

Oh this is certainly a Top 8 here. Seems pretty cool for sure. At the end of the event it was Shadow that won!

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I do have some expectations that this deck may get better as well with Orcish Bowmasters in the format. Definitely feels like a powerful place for that card. This list looks quite strong for sure, so I feel it would definitely make it stronger.

In Second Place we had Reanimator.

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I really like this variant. I played a bit of this version prior to All Access ending and it seemed quite good, especially in post board games with cards like Dauthi Voidwalker.

Further down the Top 8 we had BUG SCAM.

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Not going to lie, I don't much care for the Scam nickname but it definitely has stuck. This is a very BUG heavy version with stuff like Witherbloom Command and etc. Using Reanimate as an offensive spell for Grief is pretty wild though.

Legacy Challenge 6/18

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event. This event had 87 players in it thanks to what data the Legacy Data Collection Project was able to get.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the incomplete datasheet here. Due to technical issues full data for this event was not collected.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Death's Shadow 1st helvetti
Sneak and Show 2nd JPA93
Red Painter 3rd oskiyaa
RUG Cascade 4th WilcoP
Reanimator 5th davy2892
8Cast 6th ItsSwiftyTime
RUG Cascade 7th yPrincipe
Jeskai Control 8th ziofrancone

Very interesting Top 8 here. Seeing more of that RUG Cascade deck pop up over the weekend, which is pretty cool. Again it was Death's Shadow that won!

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Very similar construction to the other winner of the weekend here. If it isn't broke, don't fix it!

In Second Place we had Sneak and Show master JPA93.

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Incredibly clean deck construction here. I low how Atraxa really does look so good in these decks. Having played enough of that card thus far, it's a really strong card.

Further down this Top 8 we had RUG Cascade.

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I think it's pretty amusing that this deck exists in this format for sure. It seems quite good though and I like it, it's just always great to see formats inform other formats on play styles and deck construction.

Around the Web

  • The Legacy Gambit is continuing a great series on Learning Legacy. Be sure to check out their Twitter over here.
  • Douges has a great video on Orcish Bowmasters in regards to Maverick. Check it out here.
  • Phil Gallagher is blinking things with Aminatou. Check it out here.
  • Legacy is Back in Black according to Everyday Eternal. Check it out here.
  • Check out The Eternal Kitchen over on Twitch!

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here. In addition, this Spice Corner will be pulling from some of the really spicy paper lists we saw at SCGCon this past weekend!

Grixis Scam is kind of fun.

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Rakdos Shadow! Scourge of the Skyclaves!

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This Colorless Post list featuring The One Ring from the SCGCon 5K is pretty sweet.

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I have not seen Scroll Rack in decks for a while, so this list from the SCGCon 5K definitely piqued my interest.

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Lutri Tainted Pact Y'all.

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What I'm Playing This Week

Provided that I can either rent or borrow some Orcish Bowmasters... this deck is certainly calling my name.

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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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