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This Week in Legacy: SCG Dallas

Welcome to another This Week in Legacy! This week I’ll be running primarily through the StarCityGames event in Dallas, along with a few interesting decks that have popped up in the recent Challenges and Dailies on Magic Online.

SCG Open Dallas

Dallas was yet again a team event, skewing the metagame somewhat with a lot of “safe” decks chosen. Breakdown of the Top 32 decks are given in a neat little graphic below, and the Top 8 can be found here.

Although Grixis Delver still was most popular in the Top 32, it's interesting that Death & Taxes had a huge resurgence at this event! It’s certainly an accessible deck for those picking up something in the nick of time, but I think what speaks more is the strength of the Red splash in the current metagame. Let’s have a look at Mickey Humpries list:

Mickey’s list aims to play a little longer game than typical Death & Taxes, with a somewhat glutted three-drop slot, especially with multiple Recruiters. The mana denial plan of Rishadan Port is de-emphasised somewhat to make room for a full set of Cavern of Souls, which I’m quite a fan of, along with Plateaus and a Scrubland for the sideboard Orzhov Pontiff. Of course, Port is less required when you’re slamming this bad boy.

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Magus of the Moon has always been the primary reason to splash Red in Death & Taxes, and there is no better time than now. With the midrange slog of Pile and Grixis Delver going on and on, and decks like Lands coming up to slam the fair decks, locking out mana bases at instant-speed can be incredible. Especially against Pile, who can get quite far ahead once they are Kolaghan's Commanding equipment and creatures to pieces. No more of that once their mana is locked down!

I’ll also highlight Derrick Malenda’s Death & Taxes list, which is exactly the space that Eetai Ben-Sassoon (iatee) has been innovating in. Dire Fleet Daredevil is an efficient bit of card advantage when fighting against other decks, instant and sorcery-flush Blue decks in particular, despite tension with Thalia when you want to steal that Brainstorm or Ponder. Also note it’s pretty impressive off an Aether Vial activation too, making stealing a counterspell a realistic proposition. It’s also notable that the exile clause happens whether the spell is cast or not – so even stealing a Snapcaster trigger or stealing Past in Flames or other flashback spells, just to disrupt the opponent, is a power the Daredevil has.

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Also note Pia and Kiran Nalaar is the bomb of choice in this list that Red gets access to.It looks hard to cast, but with Vial, Cavern and a Red source it’s quite feasible. A Vial on four + Karakas with Mom and Pop is an inevitability engine which massacres any fair deck.

Speaking of Moons, the second-placing Mono-Red Sneak Attack list incorporated some new technology from Rivals of Ixalan.

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Rather than Magus of the Moon in the main deck, this deck has replaced it with Blood Sun. Hosing fetchlands (and other utility lands) is very powerful and can lock out the opponent if deployed early. Cantripping is also significant, as it’s not completely dead as a draw in the late-game; at least it can be cycled through. However, it certainly isn’t as great as the Moon itself – Moon hoses both fetchlands and non-basics while Blood Sun only really hoses half of that. Nonetheless, I think it’s quite a viable option.

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A deck I’m really liking right now with all these Moons flying around is BUG Delver. Abrupt Decay has been consistently underrated for quite some time now, and a hole in the metagame has been capitalised on for too long. Sylvan Library, Blood Moon, and other enchantments have sat around unchecked too often. It’s time to blow those up and truck in with Goyfs again. Decks like this I also feel really cripple decks like the above Mono-Red Sneak Attack and other Stompy shells. A well timed Hymn can dismantle all the acceleration and payoff cards required and Decay and counterspells can clean up and other dangerous permanents. And then Goyfs can smash on through, ignoring Chalice.

This is a very interesting spin on Maverick. We’ve been seeing Stoneforge reduced more and more, sensible in a metagame of Kolaghan’s Command. And here we see it – Stoneforge-less Maverick, instead finding room for essentially twelve turn one mana dorks and Mr. Emissary of Trest himself. I get a bit worried about this list having a little too much fluff with the Hierarchs, but there certainly is some powerful turn two plays it can make – Knight, Leovold, Excavator, Tracker. Interestingly this list kept the mana base nice and lean with only Canopy as a utility land. With Tropical Island and Tundra in the deck I’m sure some concession must be made somewhere.

In 26th place was a very odd Burn list. Some choice were quite typical, others… Less-so. Without Swiftspear in the deck this list can actually take a much more controlling role when required and finish the opponent with a higher density of “big” spells – be they Vortex or Exquisite Firecraft or the largest Burn haymaker possible: Fiery Confluence.

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I’m not sure if I can get behind this in the main deck (especially with this list only running nineteen lands), since game one you want to just be racing as fast as possible, but post-board Confluence has certainly proven its flexibility and unparalleled reach.

In 29th we have – Nic Fit! This list is actually less spicy than previous ones we’ve seen in recent memory (Nyx Fit, I’m looking at you…) but does the whole “Therapy+Explorer+Zenith Toolbox” thing very well. I especially like the incorporation of Probe to maximize the disruptive capabilities of Cabal Therapy, which gives this list a little more game against combo. Then post-board there is a monsoon of combo hatred, with Fluster, Forces, and three Surgical Extraction all making for a pretty impressive game plan.

SCG Dallas Classic

Looking to the Classic, the Top 16 can be found here. Sadly, I guess this is where the few Miracles players ended up, none having particular success in the main event. Though I think a lot of this comes from many being speculative about the new deck’s power and not seeing it as an entirely “safe” choice. Portent, Counterbalance with no Top and Search for Azcanta all look a little janky to a grinder looking from the outside.

Although there’s a few interesting choices to highlight (Elspeth, Knight-Errant in the main of D&T, Walking Ballista finding its way into Dragon Stompy) the deck I’d like to highlight is Dylan Donegan’s lean Grixis Angler Delver:

This list looks so clean and plays Stifle and Abrade, two cards I’ve been very happy with in RUG Delver too. I like the powerful Black grind cards this list has access too as well – Liliana, the Last Hope synergizes with Delve, but is just in general a monstrous beating for any fair deck – especially when deployed on turn two off Deathrite acceleration. Gross.

Magic Online

Lastly, there’s a deck I’d like to highlight that had recent success on Magic Online… Wizards?!

You can read all about SPGrinch’s experiences with the deck in this reddit post and damn, this looks like a lot of fun. Especially with sweepers not so big in Legacy with Terminus no longer king, the deck can happily deploy dorky Wizard after Wizard and lock up the opponent with the almighty Patron Wizard soft countering everything.

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Other great Wizards found here are pseudo-cantrip Wizard, Sage of Epityr, grindy Wizard Mr. Bob himself, tutoring Wizard Veldaken Aethermage and Tempest Caller as final nail in the corner to bust through difficult board states. I nonetheless hugely encourage people to pick up this janky-looking deck and see how far it can go. There’s probably a few tweaks to be made, but the core looks very promising. I’m actually sure there’s many Tribal decks in Legacy which need a little more investigating. I’m sure you’ve inspired many, SPGrinch, keep up the brewing!

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So ends another This Week in Legacy. As always here’s some more Legacy content from around the net:

‘Til next time.

Sean Brown

Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

What I’d like to look at a little closer this week is my friend Steven Stamopoulos’ 4c Delver list. Back to old school Dan Signorini Tarmogoyfs, Abrupt Decays and Stifle oh my! I do think Decay is in an excellent play as aforementioned and Tarmgoyf is also a little better than first glance. Although Fatal Push exists, having an incredibly fast and easy to deploy fatso does a lot when people are trying to “grow” into their threats like Angler and co. Not to mention this deck gets to play Angler too itself.

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The greed is certainly real with this deck, but with Stifle to defend against opposing Wasteland and Decay to clean up Moons I’m sure it’s not actually that bad.

The Spice Corner

The Spice Corner this week is an old favorite – Bomberman Stompy! Angelbaka made an incredible post on reddit about the deck detailing a lot of different card choices, and also highlighted a few new updates the deck has got – Spire of Industry, Kitesail Freebooter and Collective Brutality. His main deck list is looking quite strong; I especially like the inclusion of Tasigur, the Golden Fang.

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I think AngelBaka makes some good notes on the sideboard in that you don’t want to make yourself entirely prone to Hurkyl's Recall from Storm and so having some diverse sideboard options is a good idea. Perhaps something like this:

3 Leyline of the Void
3 Kitesail Freebooter
2 Containment Priest
2 Seal of Cleansing
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Engineered Explosives

I love the inclusion of Freebooter as a way to disrupt or carve out removal so Mentor can go wild – it really assists in the fair beatdown idiot plan.

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