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This Week in Legacy: The Rise of the Orcs

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 into the first weekend with Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth being on Magic Online and the effect the set is already having on the format. That's right, it's all about Orcish Bowmasters! In addition to that we've got a paper event to talk about in the NRG Series event from over the weekend as well as some Challenge data.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Orcing It Up - Lord of the Rings on MTGO

The new Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is now available on Magic Online, and already this set is shaping up to have an interesting impact on Legacy as a format. Primarily a lot of the major hype for this set has been focused into a scant few cards, the major player of which is of course Orcish Bowmasters.

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As we kind of expected, this card is definitely very powerful. It has a strong effect, is aggressively costed for Legacy power level, and is a punisher against draw effects. One of the most interesting things about this card that we saw from the SCG Con event last weekend that carried over into the MTGO release of this set is the advent of Grixis Delver coming back into the limelight.

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Bowmasters finding a home in Delver is not actually all that surprising. It's a punishing card in the mirror and versus other decks wanting to play cantrips, making for a powerful and aggressive card that is both simultaneously good against and good in this kind of shell. Having Delver move into a third color is usually a reasonable thing for the deck as it often presents additional ways to cut the deck off the ancillary color (as well as being even more susceptible to Blood Moon). Whether this holds true for Delver going forward as it gains a really powerful threat/punisher effect will be interesting to see.

We've also seen Bowmasters show up in various other strategies since its release, such as various "Scam" based decks (For those at home, "Scam" in Legacy is primarily centered on Grief and Reanimate).

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However, the Bowmasters aren't the only card making waves. We also saw quite a bit from a card we talked about last week in Forth Eorlingas!

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The power of this card in these Boros Stompy type shells is not to be disputed. Extra copies act as a RW source of mana for Chrome Mox and even just casting one for X=2 is a really solid rate that just scales from there. The fact that it gives the Monarch if you can punch through is also quite powerful. Definitely interesting to see how this card will affect these shells.

Finally, we have to talk about The One Ring.

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This is an incredibly super sick way to approach this card. Utilizing Paradox Engine and Mystic Forge alongside Keys and Monolith mana is really what makes this deck hum. Not surprised to see someone build around this card for sure, but this build definitely is pushing the envelope of it.

This set is certainly very interesting for Legacy and I suspect we'll be feeling some of its effects for a while until things are really figured out.

Event Update - Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 2

Just to provide an update on this event, the Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy Open 2 is happening on 7/29 in Canal Winchester, OH at the Brewdog Hotel and Brewery! There are still spots available for this event, which not only has some really sick prizes but also lunch!

You can check out Rob Wilson's recent post on the event here.

NRG Series $5,000 Trial - Chicagoland (Legacy) 6/25

This past weekend was another NRG Series weekend event with this one having a 5K Trial for Legacy on Sunday the 25th. This event had a solid 209 players come out in attendance! NRG events always look so cool that I wish I could get out to one but they are definitely a bit of a drive (and my vacation for the rest of the year is pretty much out). This one was streamed to Twitch which you can find here.

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

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Cradle Control 1st Wynne Thom
Death's Shadow 2nd Dustin Heidecker
Death and Taxes Top 8 John Ryan Hamilton
Reanimator Top 8 Raja Sulaiman
Black Stompy Top 8 Cris Smith
Cephalid Breakfast Top 8 Chris Deeter
8Cast Top 8 Catra Aldrich
Death and Taxes Top 8 Conor Mares

Definitely a really interesting Top 8 here. Quite a bit of variety in all reality here. At the end of the event though it was Wynne Thom who won it all on Cradle Control.

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This deck seems like a really natural fit for new cards like Orcish Bowmasters. It has truly been a real adventure seeing where this deck started out of the Elves shell and ending up where it is today though. Just an absolutely stellar and fun looking deck.

In Second Place we had Death's Shadow.

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Straight four copies of Bowmasters is pretty crazy, but the best way to test a card like this is to put in the full four and it appears to have worked quite well for this deck. Really solid looking for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had our good friend John Ryan Hamilton (xJCloud) on Death and Taxes.

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Boros DnT with Comet, Stellar Pup! Sign me up! Looks like a super sweet list here. I love the one-of Canoptek Scarab Swarm here as well as Vial-able graveyard hate that generates bodies.

Also showing up here was Cephalid Breakfast.

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Interesting take on the deck, having both Saga and Stoneforge Mystic. Usually it's one or the other. I do like the backup plan of having Kaldra Compleat though. Seems very strong for sure.

Legacy Challenge 6/24

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 55 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.

Red Stompy was the predominant deck of the event, and it had a very strong win rate. Death's Shadow followed suit here and it also had a really good win rate. 4C Uro decks did quite poorly as did Doomsday and Black Stompy. Jeskai also did poorly. The standout here was Grixis Delver delivering a very strong performance (not much surprise here).

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Delver 1st Maraxus_of_NL
8Cast 2nd ItsSwiftyTime
Riddlesmith Combo 3rd Killabee
4C Non Uro Control 4th Ark4n
Death's Shadow 5th sfz
Red Painter 6th kanican
Reanimator 7th snoopy-magic
Reanimator 8th Turn1GlistenerElf

Lot going on here in this Top 8 for sure. Pretty sweet spread of decks. At the end of the event however it was our good friend Peter van der Ham that ended in first place due to a split between the two finalists.

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This list ia kind of sick. Tossing out Ponder in favor of Preordain for the value gained off Council's Deliberation is pretty sweet here, and the Bowmasters adding on top of this is pretty strong. I also really dig the Dack Fayden in the sideboard here. Dacking someone with active Bowmasters seems pretty hilarious.

You can find a recap of Peter's event down below here.

In Second Place we had 8Cast.

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Instead of what we typically see in these lists with Sai, this list is more on a very aggressive strategy, wanting to draw a bunch of cards plus use Patchwork Automaton as a low-end Kappa Cannoneer-esque threat. Seems like a strong list for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had Riddlesmith Combo with Killabee at the helm.

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Dropping a Bowmasters and then pressing on an Echo of Eons seems absolutely nutty here. I am digging it for sure.

Further into this Top 8 we had a 4C Non Uro deck, primarily in WUBR colors.

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Orcish Bowmasters and Staff of the Storyteller is such a silly synergy. I love it.

Legacy Challenge 6/25

The second Challenge of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 98 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.

Reanimator was the most popular deck here, but it's win rate was quite poor overall. Grixis Delver skyrocketed up into 10 decks and it had a very strong win rate. Doomsday did poorly despite having a Top 8 finish. Red Stompy also did very well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Red Painter 1st ganesh_69
Grixis Delver 2nd Aigis
Artifact Aggro 3rd susurrus_mtg
Jeskai Delver 4th Snusnumrick
Doomsday 5th wonderPreaux
Jeskai Control 6th Dingo34
8Cast 7th Andreas_Muller
Death's Shadow 8th medvedev

Very interesting Top 8 here for sure. At the end of the event though it was Painter that took it all down.

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Painter continues to prove just how strong of a deck it is overall in this format. This is still a deck to keep on your radar for sure.

In Second Place we had Grixis Delver.

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This list looks very clean and solid. I will note that the pilot was on record as to saying that Call of the Ring wasn't quite as good as they thought, and that it should be a second copy of Night's Whisper. Seems like a strong list for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had susurrus_mtg with a sweet artifact aggro deck.

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This reminds me a lot of typical Vintage Workshops decks for sure. Big vibes off that type of deck. Karn is certainly a beast.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Death's Shadow.

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No Orcs here, but I do think this a deck that gets vastly improved by the Orcs existence (as we saw in the NRG event). Time will tell but it looks like a strong card for this type of deck.

Around the Web

  • Sam Dams (Fenruscloud) has a great video on the Manatraders event with Infect. Check it out here.
  • Eternal Durdles has Tony Scapone with Black Saga Storm. Check it out here.
  • Can Manaless Dredge Keep up with the 2023 Legacy Meta? Check out the video here.

The Spice Corner

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

This Esper Oracle combo deck is pretty cool.

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Delighted Halfling is making some appearances in Yorion Zenith. Seems neat.

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Dream Halls Omni-Tell!

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Boros Stompy getting some fun new tools in Boromir, Warden of the Tower.

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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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