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This Week in Legacy: The Innovations of the Italian Legacy Community

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 doing a community introspection thanks to some assistance from a group known as Blue Dojo on the Italian Legacy Community! In addition to that we have two events from this past weekend to cover and of course, our Spice Corner.

Before we jump into things, I do want to point out that the MissouriMTG 40K event that was scheduled to take place on July 31 has now been postponed yet again back to March 19, 2022. This is certainly a hard decision to make, but Jeremy is making it for all the right reasons due to legality of being able to hold the event in Illinois and their current phases of reopening. Kudos to Jeremy for continually being as transparent as possible about every little thing about this event, including the fact that even in March the door prize will still be an Unlimited Black Lotus. Of course, we also do still have the 100K scheduled for October by MissouriMTG as well. Keep an eye on updates on all of these events on Jeremy's Twitter.

Now without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Blue Dojo - Italian Legacy Community Focus

I love the Legacy community in all its forms, and getting to talk to and understand different regional communities is really awesome. This week is a look at the community of Blue Dojo, a group that is centralized to the Legacy Community in Italy. I had a chance to work through this with their founder and owner, Marco Male (aka Samu_27 on MTGO) to talk about the origins of Blue Dojo but also about the stunning innovation that the Italian Legacy Community brings to the overall table.

So in Marco's own words, let's hear about the early inception of Blue Dojo and about some of the things that make Blue Dojo amazing.

Marco Male - Blue Dojo Owner and Founder

The Early History of Blue Dojo

To understand the reasons that led me to create Blue Dojo I think it is necessary to take a step back and understand what the Italian Eternal scene was and is today. I consider myself a longtime player, I attended the very first Legacy events and since then I have never stopped following the format, a long journey that has lasted for 15+ years. In the early 2000s the Eternal scene was very sparkling and gave many opportunities to confront the best players of the moment, the first big events were born and with them the first Italian portal entirely dedicated to eternal, Tipo1. Through Magic I met some of the friends I grew up with and shared my whole adolescence with. I have memories of 400+ player events where the winner took home 40 duals, things that if you think about it today will leave you speechless. It seemed that it could only get better but then all of a sudden, around 2013/14 something broke this spell. It seemed that no one was interested in participating in major events anymore and that the will of the national community was to spread into micro groups that could operate independently at the local level. For those who, like me, had lived through the golden age of Legacy, it seemed like a nightmare but, as we grow up, priorities change and we focus on something else. University, work, and family quickly take the place of cards and the debate on the quality of eternal experience in Italy has been relegated to discussion by sports bars. This is a general picture of how things have evolved but to clarify all the points that have moved my decisions in the last two years I feel I need to zoom in on my local reality. I live in a small town 45 minutes drive from Milan.

A city where being "nerd" has never had great success and the meeting points for those who have passions like magic are not many, nevertheless I can say with certainty that there has always been a community and what a community. A group of 20 guys who have always seen Magic as a way to compare and grow, with the desire to compete at the highest levels. From 2011 to 2014 the results were many, there was no lack of Top 8 GPs and Pro Tours but without the support of a shop, without the possibility of having events nearby, as I said before growing up, Magic was slowly set aside and it seemed that the situation was irrecoverable. But I've always had a theory: Magic is much more than a game, it's mindset. It's one of those things that gets inside you and won't leave you anymore and so it was.

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In 2018, after a few years of playing only occasionally on Friday evenings, the desire to relive the memories of all the years of the golden age began to creep into me, and slowly I began to think that if I had been able to convey all those sensations that I got to experience firsthand other guys like me probably someone would have followed me. I didn't want my local reality to die because no one wanted to sponsor the game and so I started doing it myself.

For a year I dedicated my free time to explain to the guys who attended our meeting point what the basics of the game were and above all how to approach Legacy, the enthusiasm was rekindling and I felt that there was the possibility of evolving. In the first months of 2019 it seemed natural to build an identity, give a name to that group of people who believed in my work and make sure that our small group took a face and a flag, as it had always been in the past. I think this is a desire that goes beyond Magic, an ancestral human need, feeling part of something makes us more confident and enterprising and in a certain sense amplifies our emotions, it's like cheering for your favorite team, right ?! We all win and lose together, even if we are not the ones on the pitch. If I have to be honest many of these points were not yet clear in me and the only thing that really interested me was to keep alive the interest in my passion in my city but then as we all know the pandemic arrived.

I don't think there is really need for explanations, I have always worked with Magic and in the first months everything seemed to fall apart, events canceled, uncertainty about the future and a healthy concern for our health and that of those around us. As I said before I have always considered Magic something that went beyond the game, I learned to measure myself and life one mana at a time and in bad times it has always been a relief valve, and so it was also this time but I felt that I could do something more. I just thought that surely many would share my feelings and probably also appreciate the possibility of sharing them and so I started to create the structure of Blue Dojo.

From a simple Facebook page we arrived on Twitch, demonstrating that it was possible to have eternal content in our language, we opened discord and created that container that had been missing for years and of which not only I felt the need. Over the months the pandemic has helped us a lot to grow and gain visibility but I also hope that all this has been of help to someone, has kept us company and made us think about other things in difficult moments. Now we are an average large group for our national panorama (let's not forget that we are talking about a niche), we grow every day and we have succeeded in something that in my opinion had never been done before, giving importance to the Italian Eternal in the world. With this I do not mean to be the best and to have succeeded because others have made a mistake, I simply believe that I am the one who insisted the most and that I have had the good fortune / misfortune to experience this moment in history.

Being a very young and fully organic group we are constantly changing and we are trying to lay the foundations all together for a solid and sustainable community in the future. We tried and invented events, contents and formats, we enjoyed experimenting with online in a way that we had always seen before as passive users of a service that didn't seem right for us and now we are once again in the running for the organization of the first. Post covid paper event to be held on July 4th 2021 in Tuscany, you are all invited!

The Inclusive Nature of Blue Dojo

We strongly believe in the strength of the group and we know that we are playing the best game in the world. We are not driven by the desire to increase our numbers or views but simply by the genuine desire to share our greatest passion and for this reason Blue Dojo will never exclude anyone. As many of you know, Legacy is a very particular format, few "official" events and a lot of work by individuals like us, an incredibly high entry cost in the format and a really important game complexity. These factors don't work in our favor but we have a secret weapon, passion. When the sacred fire of passion burns inside you and you manage to share it on to your neighbor, nothing can stop you. Suddenly the purchase of duals seems feasible and the rules are not so complicated. For this reason we are committed to providing content throughout the day, from 10.30 to 00.00 with moments of direct confrontation and for those who want it also game lessons, all for free. For us this means to include, we don't need too many words to describe our thoughts towards people who are not yet part of the group, we need gestures, small but concrete ones that demonstrate and do not deceive.

The Cost of Legacy

As we said before, Magic is an expensive game and Legacy is especially so. This represents a problem for us and we would like to try to solve it. While understanding how important the monetization process of the product is by a company like Wizards of the Coast and respecting their point of view, we believe that the reserved list is slowly eroding the format. Over time, prices increase and the initial investment has reached record levels during this pandemic, for this reason and in the full spirit of inclusion that drives our every decision we have decided to create the first big event that allows the use of proxies. Similarly to Vintage, the format in which this practice is spreading and integrating with the way of experiencing the game, we want to allow everyone to experience that weekend of having with us, from dinner to the side event, without ever making anyone feel at fault, especially if this implies his financial resources.

We would like to say that Blue Dojo does not support "fakes". The interest that the community is moving towards proxies is only for demonstration purposes and for safeguarding the format.We love real cards.

The Innovative Nature

I believe this is one of our strongest points. Although we are a small group, we are very cohesive and there is no lack of excellence, the continuous sharing of opinions and ideas often allows us to explore paths that have not yet been traveled and to achieve results in a shorter time than others. We are trying to undermine the mentality that an idea or intuition must be jealously guarded because it can produce a strategic / tactical advantage and facilitate victory. While this concept may be partly true we believe that having the ability to capitalize on the mistakes and time spent by others facilitates everyone's growth process, many builds are still unexplored because the whole process relies on only one individual. it doesn't happen inside Blue Dojo.

The Level

The Eternal formats have always had a large following in Italy but the opportunities to measure ourselves outside national borders have never been too many, once again the pandemic has played a fundamental role for us, giving us the time and the possibility to measure ourselves with the world and I must say that within the community we have many players who have dominated the events or the ladder this year. This is a great pride for us, discovering that those who have always been reference players for us could also be for the entire Eternal World community has given us awareness and a push to give more and more.

The Future of Blue Dojo

We don't have too much pressure, we are trying to live one challenge at a time and enjoy the path as much as possible. Every little milestone was lived with incredulity and amazement. We have been amazed every day by the support we have received from everyone and I really believe that we will not stop there. Many other complex challenges await us, one above all the conversion from digital to real. As explained in the incipit we were born within the pandemic so many of the community members have learned to live Blue Dojo in an altered daily condition and have forged relationships or bonds with people who until now have only been nick names and pixels. For us this is absolutely not enough and we have always experienced it as a transitory situation but it is not easy to understand how everything can evolve now that the light seems to be seen at the end of the tunnel. We are sure that our presence within the Mtgo circuit will decrease but we hope it is in favor of physical events because it is there that the stories and situations that will be told in the future are created.

It will be a summer full of challenges but we are very confident. Among the many projects in addition to the events there is also that of transforming this into an activity that can allow those who have given a lot in this period to be able to live off their passion. We do not want to spoil too much now because one of our watchwords is not to create false hopes but if you follow our social channels we hope to be able to amaze you every day.

The People Behind Blue Dojo

While we believe this is a collective success there are certainly people who have contributed most to making this possible. These are the people who have shared the problems and concerns that have knocked on our door during these two years and it seems fair to list the names:

- Marco Male founder of Blue Dojo, he believed from the beginning that this was a cause worth fighting for, even when the numbers weren't on his side. 
The mind behind the project.

- Jax that many of you will know as one of the greatest players and innovators in the world of Combo Legay, besides being a level player he turned out to be a friend and a fundamental support, without him nothing would have been possible.

- ZioFrancone who participated in the very early stages of the creation of discord and was a great bridge for the union of the communities of southern Italy, a very complicated issue in our country.

- L’Analitico who has immediately embraced the philosophy of the community and has supported and conceived many of the projects that today we can boast of having carried out, we are sure that he still has a lot to give.

- TrueHero who first approached as curious but immediately showed desire and dedication, thanks to his perseverance and we were able to expand our fan base day by day.

In addition to these there are many other names that could be mentioned but this would require a separate article. However, we would like to underline that any success is experienced as a group and every player is irreplaceable for us. We are growing in a healthy and spontaneous way, like a large group of friends, which may not be seen very often but is heard every day and shared.

Blue Dojo Facebook

Blue Dojo Twitter

Blue Dojo Discord

Blue Dojo Instagram

Wrap Up

Thanks again to Marco Male and all of the folks at Blue Dojo for sharing their passion and innovation with us this week. Your work is definitely being noticed!

Legacy Challenge 5/15

We had two Challenges this past weekend, the first of which was the early morning Saturday event, which thanks to the data collection efforts of the Legacy Data Collection Project we know had 82 players overall in it.

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

UR Delver eclipsed the typical RUG dominance this week, with Tempo overall really pushing the overall narrative. However, as we'll see as we progress through the weekend this narrative begins to shift a little, and even the Top 8 is an interesting look.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
ANT 1st Azerate218
BUG Control 2nd Paxxu
Death and Taxes 3rd shiromuni
Painter 4th Draccon136
BUG Control 5th Paradise_lost
Entombsday 6th jjkbb2005
UR Delver 7th poporon3n
RUG Uro Midrange 8th killersuv

What a thrilling and interesting-looking Top 8 here really. There's a lot going on here, but the coolest thing is seeing ANT rise to the top to take down the event in the hands of Azerate218!

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This is a solid list for sure. I like the Peer into the Abyss in the sideboard for matches where the pressure matters more for Ad Nauseam lines (games where the opponent is pressuring your life total which in turn makes casting Ad Nauseam much more difficult whereas Peer is always good). I'm a big fan of ANT, so it's great to see this deck do well.

In Second Place we have BUG Control.

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The biggest thing here is two copies main deck of Witherbloom Command, which is just an exceptionally flexible card all around. Being able to kill a permanent is great but you can also use the first mode in conjunction with Brainstorm to mill dead cards that you might not want to fuel an Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. It can even mill an Uro for you to set that up. I've always said before to never underestimate modal spells especially Commands, because there's almost always a use case for aggressively costed ones.

Also in the Top 8 we have Painter!

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This list is SWEET. It has a backdoor Auriok Salvagers Bomberman style combo in it as well as the Painter combo, which is super cool. Jegantha, the Wellspring is a super free card to have a creature to attack with in empty board states in a deck like this that is already meeting its requirements. Coveted Jewel is also a fun card to weld in as card draw and mana acceleration.

Further down the Top 8 we have Entombsday.

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This is a Tin Fins variant that focuses on the typical Tin Fins gameplay of using Shallow Grave on Emrakul or Griselbrand, but then sideboards directly into a Doomsday deck post board in order to attempt to dodge graveyard hate. Solid plan and a really interesting deck overall.

Near the bottom we had a UR Delver deck and I think it's definitely worth talking about.

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It seems as though Expressive Iteration is now a staple stock four of in this deck. I admit, I was low on this card because I didn't really see a place where it would be played because of how constraining it is on mana, but Delver utilizing it as a way to refuel in a game is very powerful and being able to set up some of the cards with Brainstorm is really very strong. This is certainly looking like one of the true sleeper hits of Strixhaven and one of the most powerful upgrades to the base UR Delver shell since the banning of Dreadhorde Arcanist.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a showing by Merfolk!

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This is definitely very interesting to have witnessed just how much of an impact a card like Thassa's Oracle has had on Merfolk overall as an archetype, turning it from a tempo control deck into a control/combo type deck that has an aggressive plan but also a full-on combo finish.

Legacy Challenge 5/16

The other Challenge this weekend was the mid-afternoon Sunday event, which had 86 players in it.

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

Another event with a lot of Delver at the top end, this time split across UR/RUG/Grixis. Of these, RUG had the best performance indication in this event. However, it was the Control decks that really stole the show here as we will see in the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bant Control 1st trunks132
RUG Delver 2nd Baku_91
GW Depths 3rd maxbv
BUG Control 4th ScavengingBooze
Turbo Hogaak 5th Bedell
Maverick 6th achillies27
4C Control 7th PanHanGo
BUG Control 8th wazzaman

Bant, BUG, and even 4C Control performed pretty well in this Top 8, and at the end of the event, it was none other than a Bant Control list that won, thanks to a card we talked about in last week's article in Abundant Harvest.

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As mentioned last week. Harvest is an exceptionally powerful card. A one-mana card that always finds a land drop is insanely powerful on its own, but the fact that it can dig through to a nonland is also very good. It's also really good in conjunction with other cantrips. Imagine setting up two cards you don't want with Brainstorm that are both lands and you need a nonland card. Casting Harvest is very nearly like using a fetchland in this scenario. I would not be surprised to continue to see more control decks with more Abundant Harvest in the future.

The Second Place finalist is RUG Delver.

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I still am not quite sure how to feel about Hexdrinker as a card in these lists, but it does seem to work. My major issue with it is that it often promotes gameplay where you are leaving some amount of interaction on the table, which has always seemed subpar in how Delver typically operates if they don't have free interaction like one of the pieces of countermagic in hand. However, I do recognize that in many late game scenarios casting a Hexdrinker and immediately getting it to a 4/4 is very strong in an empty board state.

Also in the Top 8 we had a showing by a Turbo styled version of Hogaak.

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The big hitter here is Lotleth Troll, which is both an enabler (with cards like Vengevine and Basking Rootwalla) but also a sheer threat with the counters it gets and how quickly it grows out of hand. This is a really fun and interesting deck for sure.

Another hit for Abundant Harvest in the Top 8, this time as a four of in 4C Control.

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Splashing black here is interesting, but the fixing that Harvest can apply to the deck is very strong, and I'm just not real surprised to see a more greedy manabase deck like this. RUG based decks are already a leg up with Uro and things like Bolt, adding in Decay and Kolaghan's Command is really strong as well.

Outside of the Top 8 we had a great showing by a Hollow Vine deck!

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This deck is super sweet. Asylum Visitor?! Anje's Ravager?!?!?! Yeah this deck has some really sick cards in it. Note very especially the four copies of Run Afoul in the sideboard here. Marit Lage decks in general can be problematic to this kind of deck, so having an answer that only hits flying creatures is really powerful.

Around the Web

The Spice Corner

Splinter Twin Stompy!

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Eldrazi with a side of Chandra and Birgi, God of Storytelling!

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This is a sick list focusing more on Sedgemoor Witch, which I think is actually longer term going to be the more powerful of the big Magecraft cards.

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Tainted Pact... Oh oh oh Tainted Pact. Sometimes I feel I'd like to... win the game... oh oh oh.

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What I'm Playing This Week

Since I don't have an event to prepare for really (since the 40K got moved and all) I'm taking a break from Karn Echo for a while and playing whatever hits my fancy until Modern Horizons 2 drops. Might give this a whirl this week.

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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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