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This Week in Legacy: The Swarm

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 the impact that the new Planeswalker, Grist, the Hunger Tide has had on various green based shells in Legacy! The Swarm hungers! In addition to that, we've got two Challenges, some news about upcoming PAPER MAGIC events, as well as a Spice Corner (and maybe we have a Hulk, I'm not sure since Sylvie bombed the Sacred Timeline).

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Hungry Swarm

While a lot of the focus on Modern Horizons 2 has been on cards like Ragavan and on Urza's Saga, there's still plenty of other layers to be looking at in this set's impact on the format, and one of the cooler more interesting impacts is the card Grist, the Hunger Tide.

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This card has subtlely worked its way into various Green Sun's Zenith based decks within the format, and the power level of this card is absolutely exceptional. The most powerful aspect of this card is the fact that it is a Planeswalker that can be found via Green Sun's Zenith and other creature based avenues, but also when casting it cannot be hit by things like Force of Negation. It generates creature advantage which can often be great in decks playing Gaea's Cradle, but it also acts as removal. If you can ultimate it; it is closing the door on your opponent. It provides a really powerful grindy option to these decks playing it, and I'm pretty thrilled because my own experiences with the card have shown that it is incredibly strong.

So what decks are playing this? Well, for starters, it's a powerful include in Maverick.

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This deck has several means of locating Grist either via GSZ or Once Upon a Time, so Grist only ever needs to be in the deck as a one-of as the deck has a virtual four of thanks to the tutoring effects. This is great for Maverick, as it provides yet another grindy threat to the deck in long games that can be easily tutored into play. This particular variant is also playing Cradle, so the synergy of just making additional creatures for more mana is pretty powerful.

Another deck that has found a place for the Swarm is Elves!

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Outside of the obvious synergy with Cradle, this card does quite a bit to shore up some of Elves' big weak spots, namely large flying threats like Murktide Regent and also Planeswalkers like Narset (because of Glimpse of Nature). Being able to simply throw a creature into one of these threats is pretty powerful, and since a lot of decks try to deal with Elves via methods that wipe the board, Grist can be a powerful grindy tool that also can win the game off the back of having your board wiped by simply ultimating at some point in the game. Having an option for the long game is really strong, and I would not be surprised to continue to see this card see play in this shell going forward.

Another super fun deck we can play Grist in is Aluren!

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Being able to cast Grist with Aluren's ability is honestly just about the coolest thing ever. While this particular deck is not playing Green Sun's Zenith, it is playing Recruiter of the Guard which can be used to tutor up a Grist if need be as well. Merely having the angle of a Planeswalker that can come down and eat a creature/walker or generate a free creature is very powerful here. It's fun and unique that you can put a Grist into play and make an Insect, and then put a second Grist into play to sac that Insect to kill a creature or Planeswalker.

Finally, this card can also just see play in good old-fashioned BUG Zenith.

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With all the other threats this deck packs, it's pretty easy to protect Grist while generating value off of it. This is a deck where you can easily make an Insect and then use that Insect for destroying something on the next turn thanks to being able to protect it with stuff like Brazen Borrower and Baleful Strix.

Out of all the Modern Horizons 2 cards, Grist is probably one of my favorite cards of the entire set, so I'm really thrilled to see how this card is impacting these other strategies in the format. There's a lot to unpack with MH2, and it's awesome that we're still figuring out how these cards fit into existing decks.

Is there a deck running Grist that I may have missed? Hit me up in the comments with your thoughts and also what you think about this awesome Planeswalker.

Paper Magic Event Update

I've actually got a few paper Magic events to talk about! As things begin to return to some semblance of normalcy we are starting to have events come out of the woodwork! The biggest of these that we know about is the 4 Seasons event in Italy over this past weekend with 170 players in it. We'll be doing a full write-up on that event next week's article once we get all the relevant info on it, but wow! This is probably the first big Legacy event since pre-COVID. Really cool to see.

Another event upcoming is a a "Win a Moat" event at Dreamers Vault Games in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. This event will be taking place on July 31st, and is fully sanctioned Legacy. Entry is $50. First place prize is a Moat with other prizes to be announced. You can find out more by contacting the store directly via their website.

Also upcoming is the return of the Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy series to Comic Town in Columbus, OH, courtesy of the one and only Rob Wilson! This event takes place on July 10th and is $50 entry. This is a full proxy Legacy event, and First Place is for a Tropical Island and Second Place is for a Badlands, with further prizes to be announced for the rest of the Top 8 later on. You can find out all the information on this event here. I'll be at this event, so if you are coming out be sure to say hi!

Legacy Challenge 6/26

We had two Challenge events this past weekend, the first of which was the early morning Saturday event. We had a slight snafu with data for this event with some people being unavailable so we were able to get everything shy of five players total out of 66 players.

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

Plenty of Midrange/Control strategies to go around in this event, with a fair amount of Bant Control, but the real breakout deck of the past few weeks has been the deck that Ark4n won last weekend's Saturday event with in the Ragavan Saga Still deck. This deck did exceedingly well in this event, as we'll see by looking at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Ragavan Saga Still 1st VictorHugo2001
Ragavan Saga Still 2nd Andreas_Mueller
Bant Control 3rd hayatatsu
Lands 4th dull04
GW Depths 5th Ozymandias17
Esper Vial 6th shijimi
Red Prison 7th uga
Omni-Tell 8th taki

Definitely an interesting Top 8. No Delver here, but that's majorly because Delver was pretty eclipsed by the power of both the Standstill deck and Bant Control. At the end of the event it was a Ragavan Mirror Match in the Ragavan Saga Still variants.

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This deck is extremely powerful, and I believe it is probably one of the most powerful decks in the current Legacy format. It has so much play to it and is definitely really strong. Having access to a lot of removal and a heavy clock in Murktide Regent is exceptional. I wouldn't be surprised to see more of this deck in the future.

Further down the Top 8 we've got GW Depths by our good friend Matthew Vook.

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Prismatic Ending is definitely cementing itself as one of the best pieces of removal in a long time. It deals with so many different things and operates on a really flexibile basis. Slotting into the GW Depths list is no surprise here.

Also in the Top 8 we have Esper Vial.

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Solitude and Grief are both here to ruin some days, as this deck also runs Squadron Hawk to synergize with Solitude. Seems ultra gross with Soulherder blinking stuff like Grief for sure alongside having four Ephemerate to do it as well.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we've got a pretty unique take on Omni-Tell.

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Dress Down is certainly a card I wondered if people would figure out a way to break during spoiler season, and well now here we are. Utilizing it with Phyrexian Dreadnought is good enough, but doing it within the Omni-Tell shell? Neat!

Outside of the Top 8 we see Draccon136 with yet another Jegantha Painter list.

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Super interesting list here with having both the Painter combo but also Salvagers/Bomberman combo as well. Sideboard Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is amusing for those matches where you just need that acceleration Turn 1.

Speaking of Dress Down, it made yet another appearance further down the Top 32 in a Grixis shell.

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Utilizing Dress Down with Kroxa to get a two mana 6/6 is just as gross as utilizing it with Dreadnought for a one mana 12/12. Definitely looks like a deck to keep an eye on for sure.

Legacy Challenge 6/27

The Second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event, which had 88 players total in it!

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

There was quite a bit of Permanent based combo decks in this event, much higher over Tempo and other decks than we typically see. A lot of this was in decks like Depths, Elves, and Mystic Forge based decks. Depths carried a lot of this weight between traditional GB / Rainbow Depths variants to GW Depths. UR Delver roared back with a vengeance though and was definitely popular while having a solid win rate in this event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UR Delver 1st Gul_Dukat
Red Prison 2nd mcguirecj
Grixis Delverless Delver 3rd SenpaiBlank
Mystic Forge Combo 4th Flow_true
Bant Control 5th Kihara_Works
Hogaak 6th yamakiller
UR Delver 7th slow_brz
Depths Combo 8th SuperCow12653

Fairly interesting Top 8 here, plenty of Delver and some combo decks as well as some Prison and Graveyard. At the end of the event it was a split finals between Gul_Dukat and mcguirecj. Let's take a look at Gul_Dukat's list first!

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Pretty solid UR Delver list here. Unholy Heat looks pretty strong when you can enable Delirium for it. Also, Court of Cunning in the sideboard for the really grindy games. Super neat list for sure.

The other Finalist was on Red Prison!

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Oh hey, Fury seems like a really sweet card for this deck. It definitely plays the mana advantage to hard cast this if it has to do so, but can be evoked too if need be. Seems like a really solid inclusion for sure.

Also in the Top 8 we've got a "Grixis Delverless Delver" list.

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Just leaning on Dragon's Rage Channeler as your Delver creature is really interesting for sure. No typical Thoughtseize in the main like most Grixis "Delver" lists tend to have, instead it has them in the sideboard. Definitely a really cool list for sure.

Also here we've got a Legacy version of Dice Factory.

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This deck uses Surge Node and other things like Coretapper to move charge counters around, specifically to cards like Astral Cornucopia in order to generate a ton of mana. Having pretty much most of your major pieces such as Opals, Keys, and the like be fetchable with Urza's Saga is also really strong.

Speaking of Saga, outside of the Top 8 we've got another solid evolution of the Blue Karn decks with Chalice where we now have cards like Thought Monitor!

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Pretty interesting list overall here. This deck is just not even relying on any of the synergy of Echo of Eons and instead just going for the fact that Karn and Urza's Saga are powerful cards, making this a new shell in its own right.

Further down the Top 32 we've got Bryant Cook on The EPIC Storm, with some new Ooze goodness.

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Aeve, Progenitor Ooze is a neat card for sure. I'm really thrilled to see it see some amount of play.

Near the bottom of the Top 32 we've got... Caw Blade?!

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Okay yeah just Caw Blade. At least it feels a lot like just what Standard Caw Blade was like during that era of Magic. This is our good friend Marcus Ewaldh, so kudos to Marcus for making us feel things about Squadron Hawks.

Around the Web

  • Speaking of the Swarm, GreenSunsZenith posted a great article on MH2 over here.
  • User /u/silv4n4s posted a great video on Mono Red Phoenix. Check it out over here.
  • Affiniloam!
  • 1mrlee has a great video on MONO BLACK CURSES! Check it out here.
  • Madness is Madness!
  • Eternal Durdles is sweating a Hot Bugbear Summer! Check out their last episode here.
  • Bryant Cook and Max Carini throw together some Doomsday action. Check it out here.
  • Maverick vs Grixis Control via The Legacy Pit! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner


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Pox with Sedgemoor Witch is super fun. What a great way of generating creatures to sac to your own effects.

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Jeskai Stoneblade with a mess of new cards. That funky monkey strikes yet again!

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Death's Shadow with Grief is a super neat idea.

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This Esper list has Kaya, Ghost Assassin in it. Oh and I guess there's Tourach.

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Ever wanted to Amulet Titan in Legacy? Well, now you can!

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What I'm Playing This Week

Hopped back onto the Elves train this week. Really trying to learn the deck well.

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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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