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This Week in Legacy: Some Changes, Some Tournaments

Welcome to another This Week in Legacy! This week we’ll run through a few new changes to Magic and how they might impact Legacy. We’ll also touch on the recent Banned & Restricted Announcement, a few new spoilers from Ixalan, some decks from across the globe and our usual look into the decks featured in this week’s Legacy challenge!

Some Changes, And No Changes

Starting with Ixalan the planeswalker uniqueness rule will be changing. Now planeswalkers are simply becoming Legendary permanents – and hence you can have the same walker types (but different names) on the table. What walkers does this primarily benefit?

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Liliana of the Veil has been a staple of Legacy ever since her inception into the format, but Liliana, the Last Hope has also been gaining continuous traction as one of the best value Black planeswalkers available, grinding out the opposition in a somewhat different way to Liliana of the Veil. I would not be surprised to see 4c Loam, 4c Control and other Black-based control decks adopt a more diversified suite of Lilianas, as there is now a chance that multiples are on the table.

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Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy has always played second fiddle not only to Snapcaster Mage but also Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Decks like Grixis Control have often tried to include Vryn’s Prodigy, as he is very synergistic with the deck’s lean cantrip-laden gameplan (making the graveyard always stocked for him) and discard makes getting him killed less of an issue. However, tension between himself, Snapcaster. and potentially big Jace has led to him often being benched. With the tension with Jace, the Mind Sculptor now gone, however, maybe Vryn’s Prodigy should be reconsidered for some slots.

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There are also three Chandra’s that I think are very playable. Chandra, Torch of Defiance has now established herself as perhaps the best Red planeswalker ever printed, becoming a staple of the Dragon Stompy archetype. However, Chandra Pyromaster was also a solid consideration sometime before, and can now be played alongside her Kaladesh counterpart to create a very grindy suite of card advantage and creature-killing. Chandra, Flamecaller, although steep in terms of mana cost, is a very heft finisher that is particularly strong with ritual effects – that can be found in both Chandra, Torch of Defiance or even in Blood Moon shells touting Seething Song. The wrath effect she provides is particularly unique.

Something like this is a way to take Dragon Stompy… Into Chandra Stompy, I guess?

The Banned & Restricted announcement also went by with zero changes to Legacy. This is honestly to be expected with the current Legacy metagame, although saturated with 4c Control and Grixis Delver Online, still somewhat in flux after the Top banning and a lot of decks being reasonably viable. If the metagame continues this way I’d be hopeful to see an unbanning in the future to shake things up. Goblin Recruiter beckons, as does Earthcraft and Mind Twist, who will likely have little impact on the format overall. Making the B&R list as small as possible should be the goal we’re aiming for in the future, and perhaps the current metagame is the best time to be looking to do so.

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A Look at the New Ixalan Spoilers

A pile of spoilers popped up a few months ago thanks to a leak, but now we have official WotC spoilers coming out. Rejoice! Let’s have a look at some of the cards that may be Legacy-relevant.

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This is… Kind of a weird card. I do like Jace’s plus ability (though it doesn't’t provide actual card advantage) but of course a creature-heavy shell is required – and only Merfolk and Bant-based decks really come to mind. The minus ability is quite lackluster, especially due to it forcing Jace down to a single loyalty and the ultimate is… Well… Nothing we’ve ever really seen before. It doesn't’t look that game-breaking though.

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A nice addition to the suite of idiots that Dragon Stompy gets, especially since it does draw a card. Chandra, Torch of Defiance makes for tough competition, however.

In decks like Slivers that are in need to as many rainbow lands as possible, this is a good option. A mana base of Cavern of Souls, Unclaimed Territory and Sliver Hive means that Ancient Ziggurat not able to cast Aether Vial or activate Mutavault is no longer an issue.

Tournaments Around the World

There are a few interesting events that went by over the past week and a bit that I’ve still yet to highlight. The first one we’ll look at hails from Brazil: the 24º Alpha Legacy event. Ninety-six players made an appearance and you can find the Top 16 here.

This list cracked the Top 16 and takes a much more “The Rock” approach to making Marit Lage. Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant are excellent secondary gameplans and this list is more than able to grind out the opponent with so much removal. Interesting main deck consideration are the Surgical Extractions, I imagine being best in conjunction with Thoughtseize to snag dangerous removal like Swords to Plowshares and exile those forever. Life from the Loam is also a piece of technology that has appeared in more traditional Turbo Depths lists to grind out the opponent and repetitively make 20/20s – here Loam-lock with Wasteland is also an option.

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Mutavault is also a neat one to Crop Rotation for when Marit Lage is facing an Edict effect; Mishra’s Factory would do much the same, but does turn on possibly dead artifact removal!

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A somewhat stock list… Until one realizes the double splash for Ruric Thar, the Unbowed and Leovold, Emissary of Trest! That Taiga is also pulling a lot of work with surprise Blood Moon out of the sideboard. I guess there’s plenty of ways to slam a Moon on turn two thanks to the deck being full of mana dorks. Though turning off Gaea’s Cradle is a bit suspect…

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Next we look to a $1 k from Top Games in New Jersey… And an exciting Tezzerator list:

A surprising amount of non-artifacts make this list, Thalia, Heretic Cathar being the most prominent and showing how well she fits in any Ancient Tomb shell touting White mana. Also included is Zealous Persecution – an excellent mini-wrath that is excellent in fair matchups, while also offering a way to turn an army of Thopter-Sworded fliers into a lethal attack.

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Looking next to the ChannelFireball 2k, the most interesting list is David Jacques' Elves utilising a sideboard Driver // Despair.

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I dismissed this card very quickly when it appeared in the Challenge a few weeks ago, but it is turning out to test quite well for a variety of people, being a pseudo “fifth Glimpse” and also having relevance against combo (or even control decks!) thanks to the second ability shredding apart the opponent’s hand. Little Green men beatdown has never seemed so worrying.

At Germany’s Win a Dual 24 of forty-two players, Mathias Schubert showed that there’s even more reconfiguration that Grixis Control can undertake.

As mentioned early in this article, Grixis Control loves Vryn’s Prodigy, but also appreciates a pseudo-Treasure Cruise in Bedlam Reveler. Anglers have been trimmed and Snapcasters not included to ensure the Demon can be firing on all cylinders. I don’t like the inclusion of Counterspell in this list, however, as countermagic interacts quite poorly with Reveler’s triggered ability. More targeted discard would be good instead, I feel.

Last of our paper tournaments comes a Maverick list from The Trollywood event held on August 27 with forty-eight players.

Embedded in this list is the ‘combo’ of Ramunap Excavator and Azusa, Lost but Seeking.

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With Azusa in play, Excavator can Wasteland (or Ghost Quarter) the opponent into absolute oblivion, with three zero-mana Stone Rains per turn. Seems like quite the lock, albeit somewhat excessive, since surely Excavator + Wasteland is more than enough? Nonetheless, it’s nice to see the newly-printed Naga getting some love and experimentation around him.

08/28/17 Legacy Challenge

Lastly, the Challenge!

Deck Player Placing
Dragon Stompy Sammy13 1
4c Control Kikurek 2
Grixis Delver ReneRandrup 3
Turbo Depths WynRider 4
4c Loam Butakov 5
Miracles TJG 6
Grixis Delver jackas 7
Miracles helvetti 8

Sammy13 this time won with his sweeper-heavy Dragon Stompy list, with spicy Knollspine Invocation in the sideboard to oppress creatures. TJG incorporated Fact or Fiction as an instant-speed refuel spell in neo-Miracles.

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Seth did a run down of Twin Stoneblade on Goldfish, so I’d recommend a watch-through of that. Here it is again, Top 8'ing a Challenge! I am still, however, not impressed by this deck compared to typical Stoneblade, with all the lean and powerful plays (such as True-Name Nemesis) replaced by a combo a little too clunky for Legacy. The mana also looks a little ambitious – Red is the ‘splash’ color in most Blade lists, but here, due to Splinter Twin’s 2RR cost the mana base has become more fragile, including a Plateau.

Another bizarre Blade list, this time running Chrome Mox to power out turn one Stoneforge Mystic and really put pressure down the opponent’s throat.

Grixis Miracles?! With Vial Smasher the Fierce?! I guess using Thunderous Wrath to smash the opponent apart for eleven isn’t half bad. Temporal Mastery may also be a card that needs further investigation with Portent now a part of the Legacy landscape to viably trigger it in addition to Brainstorm and Ponder. A shell a little more aggressive like this may be just the place to take advantage of Time Walks.

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That wraps us up for This Week in Legacy! But enjoy some more content!

  • Video content! General Games in Melbourne, Australia just had their Legacy Win-a-Dual, and you can see the stream of that here. That’s me at 4:32 on RUG Delver! Pleasant Kenobi also plays Dragon Stompy
  • Some great articles: Maxtortion lays down his development and tuning of his Esper Delver list, complete with sideboard guides. Find that on The Salt Mine site. Rich Cali looks at Pyromancer-less Grixis Delver lists inspired by SorboOne here.
  • Mengucci plays Maverick, Twin Blade and Jund.

‘Til next time!

Sean Brown

Reddit: ChemicalBurns156
Twitter: @Sean_Brown156

What I’m Playing This Week

Talking with a friend, I wished Traverse the Ulvenwald was good. Especially in Infect – Zenith is always lackluster because it cannot get Agent. Traverse is like a split card of Zenith and Crop Rotation anyway! But how do we reach Delirium…

Baubles. Turbo Xeroxing the deck makes the mana a bit funky, however, and maybe Traverse isn’t even worth it. Or it could be an exciting new way to take the archetype. I expect the former, but I may throw this list together and give it a try at some stage in the future!

The Spice Corner

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