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This Week in Legacy: SCG Atlanta

We’re back! With more This Week in Legacy. This week we’ll be looking at the SCG Atlanta Team Event, along with its Legacy Classic.

SCG Team Open Atlanta

Firstly, let’s look at the Day 2 metagame breakdown of Atlanta. Remember these team events tend to be incredible skewed due to the nature of the tournament. Many people will gravitate to the “best deck,” especially if the Legacy pilot is not so enfranchised in the format. And so we see a Day 2 breakdown like this…

Almost 30% Grixis Delver is nothing to scoff at, but do remember this does come from a small sample size of only twenty-eight decks. Perhaps more notable is the strong presence of Death & Taxes and Turbo Depths, along with zero copies of Czech Pile.

Let’s look at the winning team’s Death & Taxes list then:

Jonathan Job’s list is very much up the alley of Eetai Ben-Sassoon, featuring the main deck Dire Fleet Daredevils and of course the big payoff for being in Red, Magus of the Moon, that he’s been well-known for. The Vryn Wingmare and triple Path to Exile to overwhelm decks like Grixis Delver with removal are further indicative of his list. I think White-Red Death & Taxes truly is the way moving forward for the deck, as cards like Magus give powerful lock-out ability against tough matchups like Czech Pile and Lands. I’m also a big fan of Pia and Kiran Nalaar as an endgame grind engine, certainly better than the other recent four-drop of choice, Palace Jailer that is incredibly prone to True-Name Nemesis and Baleful Strix rampant in the metagame. I’m not convinced on Dire Fleet Daredevil but I know some have been achieving reasonable success with the card and it’s proven itself at least somewhat valid.

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Moving to some of the Stompy decks,  let’s look at two of these featuring a new card from Dominaria

These two list have incorporated the newly minted Karn, Scion of Urza!

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Dragon Stompy looks like a strong place for the new planeswalker, with Chrome Mox, Chalice and Trinisphere lying around to pump up his tokens and the grind ability being well appreciated as well. I do concern myself with adding so many colourless cards to the deck though – it can lead to some awkward opening hands with Chrome Mox, Kozilek's Return also creating this same awkwardness.

Karn in Eldrazi similarly looks powerful, though his aggressive mode may be a little lackluster with only Chalice sitting on the table compared to Dragon Stompy. I suppose he is the most cheap, efficient grind option available for Eldrazi though, other than cards like Coercive Portal, perhaps.

More on Karn in Stompy decks later…

Sean O’Brien (of Tusk Talk #freenedleeds) fame also came to the battle with an innovative version of Dragon Stompy or really… Human Stompy!? I like here in particular Hanweir Garrison as a pseudo-Rabblemaster, along with Prophetic Flamespeaker + Umezawa's Jitte as a weapon of mass card advantage. This looks like a great way to take Dragon Stompy in a more aggressive direction than its Ensnaring Bridge and Chandra-touting cousin. I do think Chandra still has a place even in this shell though, since it is the best Red four-drop in this style of deck.

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Also main deck Abrade makes a great statement, carving the way for Flamespeaker or Garrison, as well as stopping Deathrite from disrupting Blood Moon’s effect or Delver tempoing the deck out.

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Jody Keith, rather than being on his typical Lands, looks to this exciting Rock-style version of Turbo Depths. I’m actually quite a fan here, especially of including Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant. Being able to go turn one Sylvan Safekeeper into turn two Dark Confidant is also incredibly exciting, really stretching opposing removal and eventually grinding the opponent to death with cards and an inevitable 20/20. More grind exists in the sideboard, with Tarmogoyf and Bitterblossom providing alternative game plans. I like the multi-dimensional plan of this list a lot, rather than the single-minded (but incredibly quick) typical Turbo Depths lists.

It’s great to see Aluren still getting traction, especially the midrange-combo pure BUG version, and this version looks incredibly lean and grindy with Fatal Push over Abrupt Decay and a package of discard in the form of Hymn to Tourach. It’s looking more like classic Shardless BUG, actually, without the Visions and Goyfs, but instead a combo kill.

Lastly, I’d like to highlight a Jeskai Rest in Peace/Helm of Obedience/Energy Field deck again finding success and a relatively stock Death & Taxes list… But with Dominaria’s Shalai, Voice of Plenty!?

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SCG Classic Atlanta

Moving to the Classic…

This big boy has been seen in the aforementioned RiP/Helm lists, but not so much in a typical Miracles list. Until now… Hella expensive, but similar to Search for Azcanta and Jace, the Mind Sculptor in that it creates continuous card advantage if it sticks (which it should, being indestructible and all), I present Keranos, God of Storms.

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Keranos may be a little ambitious (though I’m sure ruins decks like Czech Pile) and falls into the “cool things that get Pyroblasted post-board” category, but the rest of the list looks incredibly lean, running the full twelve cantrips, two Predicts, a single Search and two flexible answers in Engineered Explosives and Council's Judgment. Also, main deck Vendilion Clique is becoming more and more of a trend, especially as a hindrance against Grixis Delver. I’m not the biggest fan of the card, but it seems to be doing work.

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Probably the biggest surprise of this Classic was three Maverick decks making appearances in the Top 16. Each of them also varied quite a bit. The first was an old classic:

P-P-P-Punishing Maverick! I imagine this is incredibly positioned against both Grixis Delver and Czech Pile, destroying all of their potential threats in a heartbeat and really getting the grind on. Of course the deck has an atrocious combo matchup, but if you can dodge that all day (and maybe lucksack some turn two Gaddock Teeg on the play a few times) you should be in good shape. The sideboard Crop Rotation and hate bears also do some good work. There are a few main deck inclusions I find a bit suspect though – Voice of Resurgence, for example, I wonder how valid is as a one-of.

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And then we have this Stoneforge-less version, adding an addition color for everyone’s favorite Elf Advisor. We’ve seen this in the past as a reaction to the Kolaghan’s Command environment we’re in, but it can lack closing power. The third Maverick list is very similar to the Top 8'ing list of Miranda Keith.

I think the main thing to note is that Maverick lives. Crippled by a terrible Miracles matchup for so long, even with Miracles still one of the Top 5 decks of the format and Terminus still Maverick’s bane, the midrangey format has made one of the best midrange decks of Legacy’s history relevant again.

Speaking of relevant again… Here’s Merfolk! It has been awhile since we’ve seen the fish friends, especially in a Paper event, and there is not much to note other than the continued adoption of Smuggler's Copter and Chalice of the Void. Sadly, no new Merfolk from Ixalan or Dominaria are making an appearance in Legacy.

The last deck I’d like to note is this Nic Fit list! Truly a toolbox list, with the only common theme being Veteran Explorer/Cabal Therapy and Rhinos. Even the mana is all over the place, with a fourth color splashed into the Junk colors for the sake of Samut, Voice of Dissent and a sideboard Ruric Thar. I have no idea how Samut is worth an additional splash, but such is the danger of cool things, I suppose. Other exciting one-ofs are Sylvan Safekeeper (he’s not just for Depths and Maverick!) and Managorger Hydra. I love me some pseudo-Quirion Dryad, so I’m on board.

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That wraps us up! I’ve been meaning to do a bit of a “state of the metagame” type of article moving forward, so perhaps expect that for next week, especially with a few new Dominaria cards trickling into the format. Until then, enjoy some content from around the net:

  • The Salt Mine (hey, that’s me!) are back in gear, with a new episode talking post-Seattle, Storm and D&T. Find that here.
  • Mengucci has some Turbo Depths videos at CFB.
  • Friends in Canberra CBRMTG have been at it again, publishing a bunch of videos that you can find here from the GP Sydney side events!
  • Eternal Durdles pick some cards from Dominaria.
  • Phil gets a bit introspective at Thraben University, musing on D&T variants and where the format is going. Find that here.

Lastly, here’s a neat diagram from /u/CryptomancerRB on how to buy into Legacy!

‘Til next time.

Sean Brown

Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

Dominaria is out, and it’s time to tinker with our new friend. I posted this a few weeks ago, but I suppose I’ll post it again. Because I’m excited to try this:

There is somewhat of a lack in this list, despite how clean the mana now is and how full-powered the Mox Opals are. No longer is a toolbox that Recruiter provides us available (unless we add some Recruiter of the Guard shenanigans which… Is an option). No longer available is the disruption and grind of Bob and Freebooter. How strong this list is hinges on how strong Karn, Scion of Urza is. And I’m excited to find out. And bash in with giant steel tokens pumped up by Baubles alongside an army of Monks. Yeah. That sounds cool.

The Spice Corner

Um. I don’t really know what to say.

Training Grounds. Rebels. All the fun in the world, I imagine. Because of Training Grounds this list also just scrapes in with enough Blue cards for Force of Will! I’m sure the best feeling with this deck must be Bainstorming and then using Lin Sivvi for a shuffle effect. Damn.

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