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This Week in Legacy: Sticking the Landing

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're going to be diving a little bit into the deck Legacy Lands and how it has been affected by the printings in Modern Horizons 2, most especially Urza's Saga and some of the cool tricks you can do with it in Lands. We've also got two Challenges worth of data to dive into, and of course our Spice Corner.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Landing With Style

Modern Horizons 2 has certainly had some impact on the format overall, but a greater impact on many of the format's long term defining decks and strategies. One of those strategies is Legacy Lands! This deck received some solid power out of the set, the biggest of which was the printing of Urza's Saga. You can even find a great review of this card on the Pendrell Vale website over here, written by aslidsiksoraksi.

So let's talk about what MH2 is doing to this deck, shall we?

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The two biggest things this deck got out of Modern Horizons 2 was indeed two different land based cards.

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Let's address Yavimaya first because it's the land that required the least amount of changes to the overall list. This land gives the Lands strategy a really strong way of handling cards that are lands that either only produce colorless mana or don't produce mana at all. Sometimes you are stuck with lands in play that don't help in this fashion, and Yavimaya addresses that by giving them the ability to tap for Green mana. This makes Yavimaya a pretty easy include into the deck.

Urza's Saga however is definitely interesting because it does present some changes to the overall list to accomodate playing the card. Having some effects like Expedition Map in the deck is good value on the tutor part of the card, but it's really the construct ability that makes Saga really strong in the deck. This lends itself to some really powerful interaction, primarily the interaction between this card and Thespian's Stage.

The way that this interaction works is pretty amusing. When you copy an Urza's Saga with Stage, you get a blank Urza's Saga that currently has no Lore counters on it. It won't get those counters until you normally would get them (at the beginning of your precombat main phase). Now one thing you can do is you can make the Stage copy a copy of a different land in response to the final Chapter trigger. What happens here is that you end up with a land that has all of the granted abilities from Urza's Saga's Chapter abilities, but it will no longer be a Saga and won't be sacrificed to the Saga rules. This is one way that you can get a copy of a land with the Saga abilities of making a construct to be able to make one of these construct tokens every turn. You will also still get an artifact off the tutor effect because that is not dependent on the Saga being sacrificed in order to function.

This is also a way that you can save a Saga and still use the abilities under a Blood Moon provided that the Blood Moon is coming down after Stage is already a copy, by making the Stage a copy of a Basic land. Blood Moon is the biggest downside to Saga however, because a Moon in play with Saga means that the Saga will need to be sacrificed because it will have no Chapter abilities and its final Chapter number is zero. If Moon comes down first you can't do much with this, but if your opponent attempts to play a Moon later in the game and you already have the engine running you can make it into a Basic land and still keep making constructs.

The article on Pendrell Vale I linked talks about a lot of further ideas concerning Urza's Saga, the biggest of which is whether or not it replaces Field of the Dead. I agree with the author that I don't think it does because Field has a very different use case to me, but they both help put a lot of pressure on various strategies. Field has a great long game strategy, while Saga's constructs can get really big and can close games out quickly, so they both do something a little different.

Definitely check out the article I linked via Pendrell Vale and all the articles there in regards to Lands based content. The deck is really interesting and is in a pretty solid place with the new additions from Modern Horizons 2.

Legacy Challenge 6/19

We had two Challenge events this weekend, the first of which was the early morning Saturday event. Thanks to the efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project we know this event had 64 players in it. This is again, the minimum amount so hopefully this is not an issue going forward.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet for this event here.

Last weekend we saw Delver take a bit of a dive as Bant Control sought to overthrow the Insect Overlords via a combination of deckbuilding and new cards like Endurance. This week we found that Bant Control was taking a dive to all of the combo decks suddenly popping up, notably Doomsday. This explains a little bit why this event is so wonky in regards to the results from the Bant Control players.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Stiflenought 1st Ark4n
Doomsday 2nd VictorHugo2001
Doomsday 3rd sawatrix
Bomberman 4th kanican
Red Prison 5th medvedev
GW Depths 6th zhinonono
Sneak and Show 7th MoMo321
UR Delver 8th rastaf

Pretty interesting Top 8 here. Plenty of combo decks and some other interesting spice. The winner of this event was none other than Ark4n, who won with a list that can really only be described as "Modern Horizons 2 cards, and some other stuff."

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There's a lot going on here, from the tempo-esque threats like Ragavan and protection like Daze to the end game of Urza's Saga and Murktide Regent as well as Phyrexian Dreadnought + Stifle. There's so many angles here it is definitely hard to keep up with all of them. Is the future of the "Delver-esque" shell have zero Delver? I don't know but this list is sure a lot like how it would look.

The Second Place finalist is Doomsday.

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Personal Tutor is pretty cool as a tutor for Doomsday. The big interesting thing here is the presence of Nausea in the sideboard. There are a lot of hatebear cards that fight against DD and having an effect like this is pretty solid. The fact that this deck can board into 4 Daze and 7 Forces though is pretty absurd.

Into the Top 4 we've got Bomberman!

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White/Black Bomberman is an interesting way to assemble this, even playing removal spells like Go for the Throat. Really super fun take on this archetype. Kanican has been playing the archetype for a long time so I'm not surprised that they're doing well with it.

Also in the Top 8 we've got Red Prison.

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This deck didn't get much in the way of love out of Modern Horizons 2, but the age old strategy of jamming Blood Moon and threats is pretty solid still. Blood Moon is especially good versus the Urza's Saga decks since it pretty much just nukes the land entirely (thanks to the Saga rules). Torpor Orb in the sideboard here handles a number of things, the biggest is Thassa's Oracle.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got a very neat Sneak and Show list.

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Usually you just see Emrakul and Griselbrand, but this version is also playing Worldspine Wurm and Through the Breach as well as the typical Show and Tell and Sneak Attack shenanigans.

Outside of the Top 8 we've got a sick Painter list.

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Jegantha! This deck also has a backdoor Bomberman combo integrated into it with Auriok Salvagers and Pyrite Spellbomb in place of what would have been Walking Ballista (but can't be due to Jegantha's restrictions). Two copies of Ragavan in the sideboard here is supremely interesting.

Further down the Top 32 we've got a turbo Chain of Smog combo deck.

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These decks have often dipped off the radar for a while, but they're still definitely around. This version subs in MH2 cards like Grief and Grist, the Hunger Tide to add in some additional functionality to the deck. Undying Evil and Malakir Rebirth are both good ways of protecting your combo from damage based of destruction based removal.

Down near the bottom of the Top 32, we've got a wild UR Vial deck.

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Some sweet stuff here including utilizing Kiki-Jiki with Pestermite for a combo finish. Really wildly out there list for sure.

Legacy Challenge 6/20

The other Challenge of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event, which had 93 players in it.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet for this event here.

Bant Control had a pretty hard uptick again in this event, reclaiming some power after the previous day's pretty abysmal performance. It definitely seemed to have adjusted again and pulled itself back into a positive position, while UR Delver had a sub 50% win rate. I still believe we may be in a position where this kind of warping in deckbuilding is long term not good for the format, but we could also see a true push and pull metagame as well. It will be interesting to keep seeing how these events go.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bant Control 1st Kihara_Works
Affinity 2nd alexwest
Ruby Storm 3rd mattn
Maverick 4th fishduggery
UR Delver 5th StormGuyisme
Bant Control 6th Dazai
Sneak and Show 7th JPA93
Hogaak 8th bparis15

Pretty well rounded Top 8 here. Some combo, some control, some fair and unfair both. At the end of the event it was Bant Control that took it all down.

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Playing Portent over Abundant Harvest is an interesting decision. Both cards have varying strengths and weaknesses so I can see the case to be made for Portent enabling cards like Terminus a little better. Definitely a solid list overall.

In Second Place we've got a sick Affinity list.

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Urza in this kind of list is pretty sick. Making more Constructs always seems pretty solid to me. This list certainly looks like a ton of fun.

Also in the Top 4 we've got Ruby Storm!

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Birgi was definitely one of the most impactful printings for this deck that turned it more from a cute meme into a serious storm contender. The card is just very powerful and enables a lot of really broken things within the deck.

Our good friend fishduggery threw together a Maverick list and got Top 4 with it!

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Seriously though, between the printings of Prismatic Ending and Endurance as well as Grist, the Hunger Tide this deck definitely got some neat little options from Modern Horizons 2. Solid list and a solid run!

Outside of the Top 8 we've got a little Madness brewing!

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This deck is just super cool. All it seemed to have taken for this deck to really take off was a second Rootwalla effect. Very powerful deck indeed.

Further down the Top 32 we've got a sick sick sick Niv-Mizzet Reborn list.

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The new tech for this deck in Modern has been General Ferrous Rokiric and that tech is on full display here. The General gets great value out of all the multicolor spells this deck plays. It's such a really super cool list for sure.

Around the Web

  • 90sMTG has some Pox action going on vs UR Delver. Check it out here!
  • There's a new episode of The Eternal Glory Podcast out! This is spicy! Check it out here.
  • John Ryan Hamilton posted a great article on D&T in the new world on MinMaxBlog. Check it out here.
  • Rodrigo Togores has a great video on GW Depths in Legacy! Check that out over here.
  • Don't Blink!
  • A great primer on the Mystic Forge Combo deck was posted over here. Go check it out!
  • Twitchy Fit!

The Spice Corner

We don't often see some Pox action, so when we do we gotta post it!

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When in doubt, Jund em out!

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Yorion Standstill with a bunch of new cards.

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Did someone say HAMMER TIME?!

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Liquimetal Coating + Karn/Dack = Friendship!

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What I'm Playing This Week

Playing with some Food, Clues, and Treasures this week with Academy Manufactor.

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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 Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the /r/MTGLegacy Discord Server and subreddit.

Until next time!

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