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This Week in Legacy: The Bolas and Ugin Comedy Hour!

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 looking at a pretty sweet deck that has shown up lately in the hands of a Control afficionado! In addition to that we've got some Challenge data including the Showcase Challenge from over the weekend. Also we've got a Spice Corner!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Ultimating Nicol Bolas for Fun and Profit

I absolutely love really spicy decks in Legacy, but even more when those decks tend to feature some of my favorite cards. For example: Cabal Therapy, as is evidenced below:

That being said, when I saw some newer builds of the Arena Rector Miracles deck by well-known Control pilot ItIsUnfair on Magic Online, I knew I had to give the deck a whirl. I've played a similar build of this deck in the past based on one of ItIsUnfair's lists, and it's just absolutely one of the coolest decks I've ever played. Let's take a look at the list.

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The game plan here is pretty simple. Get an Arena Rector into play and then sacrifice it for either Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. Winning from this point can be relatively easy since your opponent is generally not going to have a solid answer to either of these cards. Getting to this point however does require some setup, primarily needing to be able to resolve Arena Rector and be able to sacrifice it through one of the deck's various sacrifice outlets (which are basically just Therapy, Innocent Blood, and Phyrexian Tower) or have it die in combat and not get exiled. Because of this very focused game plan, the deck needs a lot of outlets to churn through its deck, namely the cards like the Cantrip Cartel (Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain), but also cards like Baleful Strix and Teferi, Time Raveler.

Teferi ends up being one of this deck's best cards in general, as it allows for so many scenarios where you can easily go for the combo and get there because the opponent is incapable of interacting with you due to Teferi's static effect. Being able to also bounce problematic permanents is also very powerful, especially when one of the cards that really shuts this deck down is Leyline of the Void. Because Arena Rector is worded as such that you have to exile it from the graveyard when it dies, if you can't exile it because it never hit the graveyard, you just never get its effect. The same is true here if the opponent were to cast Surgical Extraction on the Rector in response to the trigger, so one can see why Teferi is so helpful here.

I went the extra mile here and recorded a video with this deck, because it was so much fun to play around with. As most have noticed, I have been doing a bit more with my YouTube channel as of late, so if you have the time please take a moment to subscribe over there and check out the videos I've been putting out over there. They've certainly been a lot of fun to do. This video was no exception, because not only did I manage to do the thing a couple times, but I also had a few games during the league where I got to put into play Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker (one of them hard cast) and also ultimate the card that game. This felt absolutely insane and was so much fun to do!

This deck was certainly a ton of fun and I learned a lot from even this league on the deck (and big shoutout to ItIsUnfair for not only creating this deck but also for helping me with feedback on gameplay stuff after this video was released). If you're looking for something incredibly fun to try out that is also pretty middle of the road on Magic Online at around 600-ish tickets, check this deck out. It's probably one of the spiciest piles I've played in a long while and it really ticked a ton of boxes for me in regards to what I love out of fair Cabal Therapy decks.

Legacy Challenge 3/5

We had two events this weekend, the first of which was the Saturday morning Legacy Challenge which had 69 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

The biggest thing to note here is that UR Delver was again by and far the most popular deck but it didn't have a fantastic win rate in this event despite putting one pilot into the finals of the event. Jeskai Control (namely the Hullbreacher deck) had a really strong outing, as did Elves. Most of the decks that did very well here were actually below the cutoff here because they only had one to two pilots total.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Sneak and Show 1st ht991122
UR Delver 2nd Diem4x
Naya Aggro 3rd Byvci
8Cast 4th aurose121
Red Prison 5th Krazylawlko
Lands 6th aslidsiksoraksi
Doomsday 7th Sawatarix
ANT 8th DemonicTutors

Like I mentioned before, there were a few decks that popped up below the cutoff and some of them just absolutely demolished in this event and especially in this Top 8. At the top of the heap this event was none other than Sneak and Show.

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It is definitely interesting to see this deck swing itself back around after being pretty non-existent in the overall metagame for a while now. I suspect people are rediscovering the deck a little and realizing it still is very good when it hits the right matchups. This particular list is pretty solid and a textbook example of what could be considered stock for Sneak.

In Second Place we have UR Delver.

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Strong list here, the primary flex spots still being the Pyroblast + Baubles and Brazen Borrower. Diem4x is a solid Delver player with multiple Top 8s on the deck so it's no surprise to see them do well here.

Also in the tip top of this Top 8 we have a spicy Naya Aggro/Zoo list.

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Wild Nacatl y'all. The spice must flow!

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had a showing by ANT.

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This variation of ANT with two copies of Burning Wish in the main has been seeing a good amount of play by this particular player and it seems to be paying off for them. Malevolent Hermit out of the sideboard is a really solid card that turns a lot of matchups sideways which is super fun.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 3/6

We also had a Showcase Challenge this past weekend. These events are large premier feeder events where the Top 8 of the event gets to move on to the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season. Thus these events do cost Qualification Points (QPs) to enter (40 QPs specifically). This particular event had 183 players in it, thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

UR Delver being the most popular deck in an event as of late is pretty much going to be expected, as a lot of people still view it as the current best deck. It definitely had the win rate to match that claim here, with a 57.63% non-mirror Win Rate. Lands however, had an insane event here, putting two of its 10 pilots into the Top 8. Jeskai Control had a solid representation as did D&T, but both had a less than stellar win rate.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
8Cast 1st 2jjm
Lands 2nd Promidnightz
UR Delver 3rd i_b_True
Lands 4th Clockwork Dean
Esper Vial 5th HeyNongMan
UR Delver 6th hipeople351
UR Delver 7th JUJUBEAN__2004
Hogaak 8th Heibing

Outside of the fact that this Top 8 has quite a bit of Delver in it, the rest of this Top 8 is pretty wild given that it's mostly Lands, a miser Hogaak, and of course the winner on none other than 8Cast.

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New cards Kappa Cannoneer and Otawara, Soaring City continue to make a real splash in this shell. Cannoneer is still just as impressive as ever and very powerful, but the inclusion of Otawara should not be overlooked. The card is really solid and shores up a lot of small scenarios that would put the deck in very rough spots, but also allows for a solid amount of utility.

In Second Place we've got Promidnightz (Matt Brown) again on a roll in these events on Lands. Matt continues to push the envelope of competitive finishes with two Challenge wins in the past month and now a finals appearance in the Showcase.

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Matt's list is really powerful. I especially enjoy the copy of Tower of the Magistrate in the deck. Getting your Marit Lage through Thopters and stuff is pretty sweet. Also Thran Foundry is some superb tech against Doomsday and other graveyard decks that can be found off Urza's Saga. Solid stuff!

We had another Lands deck in the Top 8, but this one is definitely different enough to talk about!

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Manabond! This deck is known primarily as 8Mulch due to the fact that it plays both Mulch and Winding Way and uses Manabond as a path to utilizing those effects in a rather very effective manner. Having your opponent cast Turn 1 Manabond in this deck can be brutal, and it's mostly because this deck doesn't even play Depths combo, it instead is playing Field of the Dead as a path to overwhelming the opponent, which Manabond enables very well.

Further down the Top 8 here we had a showing by Esper Vial.

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One of the more unique things here is the minor splash into red for some sideboard cards, one of which is Hidetsugu Consumes All, which has been seeing a lot of hubbub over its power level in the Legacy format and how good it is against many of the decks playing 0-1 drops (8Cast, Saga decks with Constructs, etc.). Seems like a super fun deck for sure.

Around the Web

  • 1MrLee has some WALL AGGRO. Check it out here.
  • Bryant Cook is pushing the limits with EIGHT HIGH TIDES (Bubbling Muck). Check it out here.
  • Our friends over at IN RESPONSE have a new cast out with Callum Smith on Painter. Check that out here.
  • Speaking of new casts, the Everyday Eternal cast has a new episode out with some really solid Lands players as guests. Check it out here.
  • Peter van der Ham makes the LAST STAND.
  • It's a "Battle of the Maxes" over at MinMaxBlog.
  • Eternal Durdles has an episode on Six Budget Legacy decks! Check it out here.
  • Pendrell Vale has a great article on 8Mulch. Check that out here.
  • Our good friend Phil Gallagher posted a 6 year retrospective, and is going to be trying the full-time content grind this summer. Check out the retrospective here and good luck Phil! Keep up the amazing work and keep being awesome!

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

Our first list this week is a Pox list. The Abyss somewhere in the 75?! Check!

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Mono White Painter is pretty sweet, and this list has got new card Lion Sash rocking it!

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Tainted Pact.

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Finally we've got a sweet take on Song of Creation Storm Combo. This is super sweet.

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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 MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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