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This Week in Legacy: Smaller Tournaments Around the World


Welcome to another week in Legacy! Last week we had a look at MKM Milan and Eternal Extravaganza 6, two larger Legacy events within the 2017 calendar. This week we'll have a look at a few smaller tournaments that happened around the world and what the trends showed us.

74th KMC

As always, the KMC events in Japan are of interest. The tournament Top 8 broke down as below:

Tezzerator in second place, oh yeah. Nice. This list differs somewhat from the previous list featured that primarily utilized the Thopter-Sword win condition as the combo element of the deck. Rather, the deck packs main deck Leyline of the Void and a singleton Helm of Obedience, in addition to one-ofs of the the Thopter-Sword combo.

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The sideboard also has some exciting pieces. Kolaghan's Command is certainly on-color and has excellent two-for-one potential that can be deployed as early as turn two thanks to Signets and Mox Diamond. Hateful Enchantments like Blood Moon and a triple of Engineered Plague also make an appearance. Plague I'm pretty impressed with in most Black shells that can support it, particularly one such as Tezzerator that can accelerate it out early. It blanks many swathes of the format, being hell for Elves and even Death & Taxes if set on Human, or even Horror if Revoker is setting up problems. I think one of the greater utilities the card has is to completely turn off any current or future True-Names on the board. If you're relying on Baleful Strix to block, True-Name can be a pain to deal with, and having a clean answer in addition to Toxic Deluge is nice.

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The next interesting list was Blue-Red Delver... With a little twist.

This deck eschews the robust two-color mana base of traditional Blue-Red, and instead splashes Green off some Taigas and Tropical Islands. It also eschews Bedlam Reveler as its graveyard-dependant payoff card. The replacement is essentially a Green super-powered "burn" spell, Become Immense. This actually reminds me of the old Atarka Red Standard deck, where Swiftspear and Become Immense worked side-by-side to go wide and beat down the opponent. Evasive creatures such as Delver and Stormchaser Mage are certainly an improvement though, not to mention that the one-of True-Name Nemesis has immunity from removal prevent being blown out. Become Immense can rot in hand if all threats are dealt with, however, though the sheer speed and aggression of Blue-Red Delver may make it hard for the opponent to answer everything on schedule and more Fireblasts in this list leads the deck to a pseudo-combo finish (sacrificing Mountains fuels Delve!).

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The sideboard also gets some significant improvements. Ancient Grudge is a powerful artifact destruction spell that synergizes with Prowess triggers by being cast twice. Destructive Revelry I would also think of as a pure upgrade to the usual Smash to Smithereens, and can answer problem permanents like Counterbalance (in certain scenarios), Leyline of Sanctity, and burn-hateful Enchantments like Sphere of Law, Circle of Protection: Red, and Warmth. That being said, usually these problems can be covered by the typical Daze and Force of Will.

I'm not sure if the upside of Become Immense and some sideboard improvements is worth a more unstable mana base and no Bedlam Reveler, but there is an appeal to making Blue-Red Delver more "combo-esque," sort of like Infect.

Legacy Preservation Series

Mox Boarding House and Card Kingdom regularly host the Legacy Preservation Series, a bunch of 1K events which happen within each month and promote the Legacy format. In March we had both stores run tournaments, and hence, we have two piles of Top 8s:

Card Kingdom, 18/03/17

Mox Boarding House, 19/03/17

There area few notable changes to a few archetypes within the tournament.

It has been awhile since typical Red-White Painter has seen high-places; the majority of appearances Imperial Recruiter and Painter's Servant have made side-by-side have been Mono-Red thanks to the strength of Chandra,Torch of Defiance and the potent Plan B she gives for many of the Red Ancient Tomb decks. Nonetheless, the utility of Enlightened Tutor is still strong, and the sideboard of this list has a bevy of great silver bullets such as Rest in Peace, Canonist, Sphere of Law (for the awful Burn matchup) amongst others. Also interesting is the presence of Ajani Vengeant within the sideboard. He, along with Chandra, are likely to ruin many controlling opponents and act as a solid post-board plan against Miracles rather than comboing, which can be difficult with Counterbalance. That being said, Nahiri, the Harbinger is a planeswalker to consider that can help assemble the combo, as well as destroy problem permanents. She does not kill creatures as reliably as Ajani or Chandra, however, as they must be tapped, though if they are, she can take out ones like Gurmag Angler, which Chandra cannot achieve.

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This list harkens somewhat to the Blue-Black Reanimator list that I had a look at from the March Legacy Challenge, which was similar to Red-Black but replaced Faithless Looting with Careful Study. However, other than Careful Study this list did include Legacy's most powerful staple Brainstorm unlike the Challenge list, cutting down on utility reanimation targets and instead implementing the Tin Fins kill package of Griselbrand + Children of Korlis + Shallow Grave + Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to kill the opponent on the spot instead. The presence of Unmask and Collective Brutality over Cabal Therapy also shows a convergence of the two deck archetypes. I also like Shallow Grave over Animate Dead in particular, which can at times bite the Reanimator player in the butt if a well-timed Stifle or Abrupt Decay meets it.

This Dragon Stompy list differs greatly from the more stock-standard Fiery Confluence / Sin Prodder / Chandra lists, and instead has a threat suite that looks a little outdated. However, as I've noted previously, Dragon Stompy currently has a contentious issue on what flex slot creatures are usable. Hanweir Garrison, Scab-Clan Berserker and Prophetic Flamespeaker all are viable options for adding essentially additional Rabblemasters, extra combo hate, or extra grind ability. Also note the main deck Sulfur Elementals are a strong metagame choice if a lot of Death & Taxes is expected, as this matchup is pretty horrendous for the Blood Moon deck.

The Zuran Orb in the sideboard is also a spicy one that helps a lot against the middling Burn matchup!

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Fire & Dice

Fire & Dice had a fifty-player 1k as well, with a Top 8 as below:

Interesting appearances were, to start with, the good-ol' Goblins:

As many of us know (sadly), Goblins barely makes appearances within Top 8s these days, so it is nice to see Prince take a spot. His important changes to more "stock" lists are the eschewing of the Green splash for the often-clunky Tuktuk Scrapper (Wizards print a good Shatter Goblin please), leaving his main deck importantly completely Mono-Red, the trimming down to two of previous staple four-of Goblin Piledriver, and the diversification of his "bombs" from the traditional Siege-Gang Commander to others such as Krenko, Mob Boss and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.

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His sideboard is notably a pile of hate to try and help the deck's extremely poor combo matchups. Thalia, Chalice, and Rest in Peace, three fifths of Prince's sideboard, show a dedication to this, but even these may be slow options, especially against the Show and Tells and Reanimates of the world. However, Thalia, Chalice, and RiP do have the ability to be more broadly effective against some fair matchups. Rounding these out are removal options Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, and an additional Stingscourger and Scrapper.

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The Lands list from this tournament is also notable for its deeper splash of Black to an already-RUG core, for access to a singleton Entomb and Dark Confidant in the sideboard.

AZ Eternal Magic City Champs

The last I'll run through is a sixty-player event in Arizona. There weren't many interesting deck lists that differed from the norm within this Top 8, but it nonetheless broke down as below:

This Top 8 is quite representative nonetheless of some recent movers-and-shakers in the Legacy metagame. Importantly, the pure-BUG version of Aluren took away the top spot within this tournament and is looking more and more a contender in Paper Legacy. Storm also proved that it has what it takes to continue into the current metagame and its expected resurgence is now coming to fruition. The Stompy decks interestingly also gravitated to the top of the tournament, preying on the significants amount of combo, and both Eldrazi and Dragon Stompy are looking to be equally valid now, with Dragon Stompy finally moving away from its fringe and "high-variance" roots.

Go Big, Or Go Home

Speaking of Eldrazi, not only did the Top 8er of MKM Milan take "Big Eldrazi" to tournament success, but around the world individuals have been adapting their spaghetti monsters to the BUG metagame by just going bigger. 

In the quaint Legacy scene of the Philippines (I'll be visiting in November fellow Filipinos and would be keen to jam some Legacy!) two Big Eldrazi decks took spots in Top 8 of their twenty five player tournament. This was interestingly the same weekend as MKM Milan, showing a convergence of opinions on how to abuse best Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple.

Both of these lists have slight differences, but nonetheless feature a core suite of Thought-Knot Seer and Chalice for disruption (notably absent is Trinisphere in the main, compared ot the MKM list) and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Wurmcoil Engine as the most prominent top-end threats. The ramp featured in these lists is only Grim Monolith and Thran Dynamo, with Basalt Monolith as tertiary acceleration not featured. To remove threats, Warping Wail and All Is Dust is utilized.

Resley padded out his threat base differently, however. He opted for Elder-Deep Fiend and planeswalkers, going for a more beefy top-end. To accommodate these, some Eye of Ugin were trimmed.

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Nicholus' threat suite I'm a bit more of a fan. I feel like Ulamog is the perfect top-end threat, and having medium cost threats to either disrupt or control to enter the late-game is key. Enter Walking Ballista.

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A card that has been making incredible waves in Food Chain and in Vintage, has a perfect home within these lists. Early in the game, he can kill Delvers and other problematic creatures. Late in the game Ballista is a machine-gun to wipe the board. He can also be tutored for with Eye of Ugin in a pinch! I love Ballista's flexibility and I'm surprised to only see two copies. Voltaic Key, like the MKM list, is also found in this list to assist in making Grim Monolith a reliable source of acceleration.

Looking at a more traditional MUD list, but with a slight Eldrazi twist, is Joe Alexander's list from the recent Mana Leak event in Britain:

Thought-Knot Seer doesn't reveal to Metalworker, but it makes up for this by being one of the most impressive threats in Legacy currently. Interestingly featured in this list is also Cogwork Assembler and a singleton Inventors' Fair.

Conclusion

Thanks again for reading This Week in Legacy! As always, some links!

And from me, I was finally able to piece together my Duals to Protect the Jewels metagame report, which gives some sweet insight into my local metagame for the rest of the world to enjoy!

'Til next time!

Sean Brown

Email: sean_brown156@hotmail.com
Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I'm Playing This Week

With all the talk of bigger Eldrazi and MUD, I've been thinking once more about how to widen the horizons of Thought-Knot Seer shells. I'm personally not a fan of MUD, due to how much it leans on Metalworker to actually function, and would love to find a way to craft a more aggressive list, perhaps featuring Ravager, Ballista, and Hangarback Walker like in Vintage. Perhaps something like this:

I've tried something like this before and came up short - but perhaps Walking Ballista makes this deck have a huge shot in the arm.

The Spice Corner

Some more wild bits of technology from the Philippines.

Oh mama. There's no Chalice in this Blood Moon Stompy deck. We need to make room for Gorilla Shaman and Goblin Welder to mess around with all the opponent's permanents in conjunction with Liquidmetal Coating!


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