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This Week in Legacy: The Crashing Footfalls

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 taking a look at newer decks to the Legacy format that have been making waves. One such of those is the RUG Cascade (aka Rhinos) deck. In addition to that we've got another brief update on the Legacy Data Collection Project and of course our Challenges for the weekend.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Crashing into Legacy

One thing I always find interesting about Magic formats in general is an old adage that a friend of mine once imparted upon me, and that's the fact that "formats speak to other formats" and I think this is definitely very true. It's very easy to take inspiration from another format to see if that idea works in a different context.

In terms of Legacy, we've seen this before with decks like Hammer Time finding a place within the format. This week though we're going to be talking about RHINOS.

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Rhinos (aka RUG Cascade) has been around the Legacy format for a bit now, but it continues to receive some better cards here or there, with the biggest improvement to the deck coming this year in the form of Lorien Revealed. This deck is a strong deck in the Modern format, so what happens in Legacy when you take that formula and speed it up a bit?

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Well, for starters you get cards like Elvish Spirit Guide and Simian Spirit Guide which are just functionally free mana sources that your Cascade effects can't cascade into, and both of them fulfill half the color requirements for Shardless Agent and all of the color requirements for Violent Outburst. This means as early as Turn 1 (or even Turn 0 on your opponent's turn) you could cast something like Violent Outburst and get two 4/4s. This is immensely stronger than the Modern variant for sure.

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The downside here is of course... being a blue Force of Will deck that can't play cards like Ponder or Brainstorm. This is quite huge as the deck can't shape its draws like other control decks do, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have options. Lorien Revealed lets the deck shuffle and fetch lands from the deck while also being a blue card to pitch for Force of Will. Fire // Ice lets the deck affect the board or have a bit of reach while also being a blue card to pitch to Force.

This lets the deck function and have some angles of attack while not being a traditional blue Brainstorm deck in a format where Brainstorm sees a ton of play. If anything this is great that a deck like this exists and has a strong position in the format. It has a ton of cool options to win the game with outside of making 4/4s too, with cards like Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes and Brazen Borrower clearing a path while also being a flying attacker.

In post board, this deck also gains a bunch of neat sideboard options including Endurance and Brotherhood's End, but the most interesting one is Inevitable Betrayal. Versus decks that hinge on big creatures like Sneak and Show and Reanimator, this card can be lights out for the opponent by nabbing their best creature (usually Atraxa, Grand Unifier) and beating them up with their beastie, while also getting all of the benefits of an ETB trigger.

This is certainly a deck that's continued to do well, and it's had a lot of recent success including winning the Super Qualifier at the end of this past month. This is something to keep on your radar when playing Legacy these days, and also a really interesting deck to try if you are feeling like something that does something very aggressive but is also very controlling.

An Update on the Legacy Data Collection Project

This is just a minor update mostly to detail some of the work that's going on behind the scenes of the Legacy Data Collection Project since the beginning of the year. The 2023 data was historically archived primarily here, as with last year it made more sense to start fresh for this year and use that to implement more granular changes to the data classifications since we have all the data now from Daybreak Games. This has allowed me to implement a few key things, primarily the biggest thing is the inclusion of Legacy Prelim data into the aggregate sheet. You can find the current 2024 aggregate sheet here.

Thanks to a few key improvements in the overall process (primarily the usage of tools created and provided by Badaro for the scraping and parsing of data from MTGO's website), getting the Prelim data is much easier and easier to include with the information provided by Daybreak.

Another key improvement I'm making on the backend is using the tools aforementioned by Badaro to create rule sets that work with our data classifications to make it easier to parse through events! This helps reduce the time to complete an event's data.

It's an absolutely exciting time to be looking at Legacy Data!

Legacy Challenge 1/6

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 64 players in it thanks to both the Legacy Data Collection Project and Daybreak Games.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the incomplete datasheet here. While we had all the decks from the event, we didn't get any of the screenshots needed so there's no Match-Up Input data to go off of. We do have metagame representation data at least.

Pretty even spread here across all the top decks of the event for Beanstalk, Scam, and Reanimator. Reasonable spread down to the cutoff as well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Blue Painter 1st DNSolver
Mono Green Cloudpost 2nd TrueFuturism
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 3rd McWinSauce
Lands 4th DeathWrongShaman420
Grixis Delver 5th Kazuga
Dimir Scam 6th davy2892
Dimir Scam 7th mononofu
Red Stompy 8th _Shatun_

A fair amount of Tempo here, but at the end of the event it was Blue Painter that won.

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Haven't seen the blue version of this deck in a bit, it doesn't show up that much. It was super popular for a bit there and then fell back off, but Emry, Lurker of the Loch is certainly a fine impression of cards like Welder, etc.

In Second Place we had Mono Green Cloudpost.

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Echoing Deeps! Kind of sick to see this card here in this deck as it makes some sense. It's like a Vesuva that can copy a Wasteland'ed Post land, which is super sweet.

Also in this Top 8 we had Goblins.

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Goblins having predominantly shifted from a Vial prison/control hybrid to an aggressive Chalice deck is quite interesting really. Broadside Bombardiers and "Name Sticker" Goblin have a huge impact on this.

Further down the Top 8 we had Lands.

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Non Sphere lands is pretty interesting. It's always fun to see the return of old but goody cards like Punishing Fire.

Legacy Challenge 1/7

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event. This event had 111 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project and provided by Daybreak Games.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

Goblins was the most popular deck of the event, which is not so wild given how good the deck is right now amidst all the Bean soup decks. It had a solid win rate overall, as did Beanstalk. Grixis Delver did slightly less than 50% despite a top finish. Boros Stompy didn't do well at all here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Red Stompy 1st Applepies96
Beanstalk Control (Non-Yorion) 2nd astrozombee
Beanstalk Control (Non-Yorion) 3rd trunks132
Grixis Delver 4th Kazuga
Beseech Storm 5th jstancikiii
Goblins (Turbo Muxus) 6th wordy333
Dimir Scam 7th Dafne17
Dimir Delver 8th JakeTMS

A healthy mix of Tempo, Prison, Control, and even Combo here. At the end of the event, it was Red Stompy that won.

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Broadside Bombardiers also really impacted this deck a bunch as well. Being able to turn your creatures into reach finishers is pretty solid, especially if you're tossing a Fury at your opponent's face.

In Second Place we had Beanstalk Control.

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The predominant BUG variants of the Beanstalk decks are certainly intriguing. It's neat to see a deck that's utilizing Murktide Regent that isn't full-on Delver or Scam.

Also in this Top 8 we had Beseech Storm.

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The Saga versions of this deck are quite strong, given that your backup plan of "make Constructs" can win games that an opponent might not be ready for. Makes for a really solid angle of attack for sure.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Dimir Delver.

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A little bit of Scam and a bit of Delver going on here. Kind of fun seeing Tsabo's Web in the sideboard here. Haven't seen that card in a hot minute for sure.

Around the Web

  • 1MrLee has a video on why you should consider Mono Green Cloudpost! Check it out here.
  • Brews of Paradise has a new episode. Check it out here.
  • The Legacy Gambit is making 20/20s. Check it out here.
  • Bazaar of Boxes continues to have a lot of quality content. Check out this video here.

The Spice Corner

Now that Leagues are posted throughout the week, let's find some Spice!


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Phoenix Storm? Sounds like a video game!

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Stalactite Stalker has been showing up quite a bit, which we'll be talking about next week, but for now have a sweet Rakdos Scam deck.

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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 all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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