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This Week in Legacy: The Top 10 Legacy Cards of 2023

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 Top 10 cards of 2023 that hit Legacy! In addition to that we've got some looks at some possible changes for Magic Online, and we're going to try to look at the Challenge data from this weekend but unfortunately due to some of those changes on Daybreak's side we only have the information on the Saturday Challenge event.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Top 10 Legacy Cards of 2023

2023 was a tumultuous year for Legacy overall. We began this year in the throes of a metagame that badly needed an adjustment, one that was received in the form of the bannings of Expressive Iteration and White Plume Adventurer. So much has happened in the format since then that it's hard to believe that was only in March. There were a lot of cards since then, and a lot of those cards impacted Legacy in some fashion.

So without further ado, let's talk about the Top 10 Cards for Legacy for 2023!

Honorable Mention - "Name Sticker" Goblin

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a weird one because while it's certainly had an impact on the format, it's because it's a custom Magic Online implementation more than anything. The actual card in paper has seen some play in paper Legacy events, but I don't believe not quite to the level that the "Name Sticker" variant on MTGO has become a part of the Goblins shell. This is an honorable because it has directly impacted a primary archetype in the format but hasn't seen much play beyond that archetype.

10. Mind's Desire

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While this card was not printed in 2023, it was unbanned in August of 2023, giving the Legacy format a chance to see how good a spell that was banned before Legacy became what Legacy would be. As it turned out, Mind's Desire was preempted a bunch by the printing of another spell on this list, and ended up functionally doing a lot of nothing. It did however, very briefly resurrect High Tide as an archetype, which is super cool.

9. Beseech the Mirror

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It's wild to consider that a card that definitely helped boost combo decks in the format could be so low on this list and any other year I would agree this would have been one of the best cards of the year, but 2023 was UNIQUE for sure in regards to strong Magic cards. Still, Beseech did quite a bit for both ANT and The EPIC Storm, as well as the Mono Black Stompy/Helm decks. It's a cool card design that sees play in multiple strategies, and that alone is neat.

8. Questing Druid

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card certainly shot up there from a card I personally wasn't sure was playable to being present in one of the best tempo decks in the format. The fact that the Adventure half of this card is an Instant is a big deal, and the growing aspect of the creature combined with the excess card advantage from the Adventure makes it a pretty potent card.

7. Atraxa, Grand Unifier

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A card that actually unseated Griselbrand?! It's very interesting to believe that such a thing could have happened, but it definitely did. Atraxa's effect on Magic in general has shown how powerful an effect that functionally can be boiled down to "mega Dig Through Time" on a 7/7 flying deathtouch vigilant lifelinker can be. It's ultimately hilarious that even a card that took the old horse off his throne is also near the bottom of this list. Trust me when I say we're in for a wilder ride.

6. LTR Land Cyclers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Okay, this is sort of cheating on my part, but it made sense to group these. Cards like Lorien Revealed and Troll of Khazad-dum were exceptionally impactful cards in 2023, fundamentally changing certain decks to incorporate them. From Troll appearing quite heavily as a threat / fetch land in Shadow and Dimir Scam to Lorien Revealed being an absurdly powerful cycler that also pitches to Force, these cards fundamentally changed so much of what they touched this year.

5. Forth Eorlingas!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

From the Lord of the Rings Commander product, we have a card that was single-handedly responsible for shoring up Boros Initiative decks as well as making Jeskai Control a very real and potent threat in the format. Forth Eorlingas! is one of the most versatile of these effects of all time, even being referred to as better than Entreat the Angels due to just how flexibly it can be used. The scalability of this card combined with the introduction of the Monarch to a game with its trigger is incredibly powerful.

4. Broadside Bombardiers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a more recent addition from Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander. This in general has pushed Red Stompy and Goblins decks back to the forefront of everyone's thoughts, having proven that it's very good in both decks. Being able to turn any creature or artifact into at bare minimum a Shock is strong enough, but the fact that it scales with the mana value is insane. Ever throw a Muxus, Goblin Grandee for lethal? Yeah, this card is that good.

3. Up the Beanstalk

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Now we get to the cream of the crop for 2023, and right off the bat we're hitting right at a card that has been responsible for a lot in its short time. This card won Eternal Weekend North America Legacy Champs, and has certainly shown how good it is at allowing control shells to build around it. It's even made cards like Leyline Binding a powerhouse, rising from meme status to real card.

2. The One Ring

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It's no real surprise that this is one of the top cards of 2023. Having absolutely dominated every format it has appeared in, the Ring is not only good in artifact-centric combo decks like the Mystic Forge deck, but also very good in numerous other decks like 4C Control and 8Cast. It's even appeared in decks like Mono Green Cloudpost!

This is a card that no matter what happens in Legacy, it will always be good and it will always have a home. It's just that powerful.

1. Orcish Bowmasters

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh yes, we come to the top card of 2023, and it really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Bowmasters revolutionized so much of Legacy's landscape, redefining heuristics about how you cast cantrips and especially how to Brainstorm effectively. It's a threat and a prison piece at the same time, and is currently the most played creature in the format due to just how much it slots into many many many many many decks, from Grixis Delver to Mono Black Scam.

There's a lot to think about with this card, but it's clear that right now Bowmasters has proven itself to be an incredibly powerful but seemingly fair addition to the format at large.

Changes to Decklists and Daybreak - MTGO

So some of you may have noticed over this past weekend some of the insanity for Daybreak Games and the fact that the Challenge decklists were starting to publish all decklists as opposed to just the Top 32. By the time of this writing, the website for MTGO is still in something of a maintenance mode for decklists because this planned change actually broke the site a bit. This was definitely an intentional change to start doing this, but it had some unintentional effects on Leagues and some bugs.

Once we know something about how the changes are going to work longer term we will be able to fully report on it, but the current going assumption is that Daybreak is going to work to make the changes a permanent thing and allow for Challenges and events such as that to publish all the decklists as opposed to just the Top 16/32. This would be a huge boon for Data Collection Projects as it cuts down on a huge amount of the work.

Legacy Challenge 12/16

The first Challenge event of the weekend is the only one we have actual information on from this weekend due to the issues with Daybreak's new code breaking their website temporarily. This was the Saturday morning event and it had 66 players in it thanks to the new updates by Daybreak incidentally and the work of the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the incomplete data sheet here. Primarily for this event we're just missing round-by-round data as it hasn't been filled in yet.

Let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Goblins 1st Geodude_Jared
Beanstalk Control 2nd Boumbo76
Sneak and Show 3rd sakuragi21722749
Red Stompy 4th yPrincipe
Mono Green Cloudpost 5th SebastianStueckl
Reanimator 6th kanister
Red Stompy 7th _Shatun_
Nic Fit 8th Koike

Wildly interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was Goblins that won!

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This deck has continued to look quite strong since the introduction of both Broadside Bombardiers and "Name Sticker" Goblin as we've indicated earlier the article. Goblins has always had a strong positioning in formats where Control decks are really good, because the resilience of the deck allows it to kill quickly and Cavern of Souls is a hard pain to decks relying on countermagic.

In Second Place we had Beanstalk Control.

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As noted, Beanstalk certainly did a real number on the Legacy format overall, but it's interesting that there are so many different kinds of Beanstalk builds playing a few core cards. I also quite enjoy that this has made Pernicious Deed a very playable card in 2023.

Further down the Top 8 we had Mono Green Cloudpost.

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I am really digging the presence of The One Ring in these Cloudpost piles. It gives the deck some further resilience and card draw, which is really strong for a deck like this to have.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Nic Fit.

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The Jund "Sacrifice" variant of the Nic Fit strategy has definitely been one of the more visible variants, as Koike seems to be one of the more prolific pilots on the variant. It's pretty cool too. Skyfisher Spider is a sweet card, and once again, Pernicious Deed looking quite good in the sideboard here.

Around the Web

  • A vlog from Eternal Weekend! Check it out here.
  • Bazaar of Boxes tries out one of the Top 8 Eternal Weekend lists. Check it out here.
  • Eternal Durdles has an interview with one of the EW Top 8 competitors. Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast covers the big successes of both Brian Coval and Bryant Cook at EW. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

The League results were pretty messed up thanks to the update over the weekend, so let's try to find some other spice!

Another cool Nic Fit list!

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Killabee continues to be awesome with Inti, Seneschal of the Sun.

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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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