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This Week in Legacy: Time Can't Change Me

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 talking about the big announcement on the changes to be made to the Companion mechanic and what those changes mean for the mechanic in Legacy. We also have at least one event to talk about, including the Lotus Box Legacy 1.5K event. Unfortunately, there was no scheduled Super Qualifier for Legacy last week, and the Saturday Challenge did not fire (which is the very early morning Challenge). As always we have our Spice Corner.

Without further ado let's dive right into the big news of the week.

Companion, Changed

This week we got a major change to the Companion Mechanic rules as part of the 6/1 Banned & Restricted update, which will take effect on June 4th. The Companion Mechanic now functions as such:

Once per game, any time you could cast a sorcery (during your main phase when the stack is empty), you can pay 3 generic mana to put your companion from your sideboard into your hand. This is a special action, not an activated ability.

This is a pretty major change to the Companion Rules overall, and this of course will have a lot of rippling effects across every format that was utilizing these cards. In Legacy primarily, the biggest loser of this rules change is Gyruda.

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Being based on a Lion's Eye Diamond shell, having to pay an additional three mana on top of things makes this deck incredibly slower and it loses out hard on its faster hands. LED draws with this are incredibly awkward having to spend nine mana all at once to be able to cast it. This change essentially decimates Gyruda and as such it will fall back into obscurity or die out completely unless it is able to evolve into something that can go a little longer. I have to admit that I personally am a little saddened by this change, because the deck was a lot of fun to work on. It is possible that the deck could evolve and maybe become something interesting, but the shell as it exists today is functionally dead.

As far as the other companions are concerned, the other conclusion we have to make is about Yorion.

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Yorion decks were mainly Snowko/Snow Control decks outside of some niche things, and I think that we will see more players gravitate back to 60 card Snowko decks over playing Yorion. While Yorion decks were already a little slower, and while splitting the cost of Yorion across turns might sound fine, opening up to interaction on a hand level doesn't seem great, and having to spend 8 mana in a turn to blink also doesn't seem great either. This will be interesting to see but I suspect we will see less Yorion in the future. Now, I do think Yorion will be relegated to cool and fun niche decks (such as the Yorion Curses deck I mention later in the article) where it represents what the intent of this rule change was by Wizards, which was to make Companions something fun and challenging and more opt-in.

Outside of these two companions being the most played ones at this point, the other consideration is that any other fringe deck that wanted to play a Companion such as Jegantha, Kaheera, Lutri, or even Keruga are likely not going to want to play those cards. I could theoretically still see Jegantha maybe in a Lands strategy, but that's stretching it just a tad.

Of course, the real concern is whether or not these two could ever get unbanned based on this change.

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Despite this rules change, I have a doubt that either of these cards come off the banned list for a while, and even then they will not come off at the same time. While it's wholly possible that both of these cards are functionally unplayable under the rules change, I don't see them making a change to move to unban these cards for fear of the possibility of them being too broken yet again. I would be surprised if these ever come off the banned list for sure.

What Happens Next?

One of the biggest things is what we should look at next. We are already seeing the ripple effect of what is to come in the Challenges, such as RUG Delver and 60 card Snowko taking root, in addition to decks like Hogaak and Omni-Tell. Essentially this is a big return to the pre-Ikoria format and post-Underworld Breach format. While we may still see some Companions here or there, I expect they will be quite obscure decks and not Tier 1-Tier 2 decks. Whether this is a good thing or not, is another thing to discuss. People were already mostly unhappy with Arcum's Astrolabe and are still pretty not thrilled with the card in general, but this will give us a moment to see if the Snow decks are really overpowering the format and how things might shape up in response.

Regardless of what happens, I will continue to be keeping a close eye on the format and how it shapes up.

Community Legacy Update

Again there isn't much to report here outside of what we've reported already, so please continue to support the community and your webcam groups. Stores are opening back up in some places in the US, but tournaments are still not. I'm looking hopefully forward to hearing some news on the status of the 40K in September by MissouriMTG.

Lotus Box Legacy 1.5K Event

We had a reasonably large sized event this weekend in the form of the Lotus Box 1.5K that was ran by Team Lotus Box as part of their Season 1 Magic Online tournaments which feeds into their Lotus Box Invitational event. This was a 1.5k prize pool event, and entry was free to all subscribers of Lotus Box's Twitch channel or patrons of Lotus Petal tier on their Patreon. Lotus Box ran this event via MTGMelee, where you can find the full tournament details here.

Thanks to this being an open decklist event, I was able to work out some data analysis on all ~200ish lists that appeared in the event. I did not sit and count the 2019-2020 cards for this event because frankly, that would be insane, but we are going to look at the metagame breakdown as well as the Top 8 and any other lists that looked fun from the event. In addition, the Top 16 of this event has been submitted to MTGGoldfish and will be available as part of metagame data soon if not already by the time this article publishes.

Let's take a look at the overall metagame breakdown.

There was a chunk of Unknown decklists out of the 209 entries, which has been alluded to being no-shows in the event potentially. As we can see however, Yorion Snow and RUG Delver made up a massive amount of popular decks in the event, but right behind those decks was none other than Turbo Gyruda. It's wild to consider this, but Gyruda did convert quite well as we will see with the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Turbo Gyruda 1st Nicholas Price
Turbo Gyruda 2nd Jeff White
Death and Taxes 3rd-4th Collin Rountree
RUG Delver 3rd-4th Topher Stitson
Yorion Stryfo Pile 5th-8th Jiho
Hogaak 5th-8th Jack Potter
U/R Delver 5th-8th Russell Lee
Humans 5th-8th Josiah Vallie

This was most certainly a wild Top 8 with some wild amount of diversity in both Companion and non-Companion decks alike. At the end of it all however, after NINE ROUNDS of Legacy was none other than.... the Gyruda Mirror Match.

Taking it down however, was Nicholas Price on the deck in three games.

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I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Nicholas a bit after the win about the deck and the fact that this was the first Legacy event that he had ever played in.

First of all, introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! My name is Nicholas Price. I’m a writer and researcher from the Philippines. I started playing Magic in 2010 and have since worked hard to be able to call myself a competitive player. I have 2 MC/RPT appearances, and nowadays I occasionally spike tournaments on Magic Online and Magic Arena. Magic is pretty much the only game I play.

You chose to play Turbo Gyruda for this event, what drove you to the deck for this event?

I had never actually played a Legacy tournament before this one, because I never had access to paper decks and because I primarily play Limited and Pioneer online. I found myself needing one more decent finish to secure a spot in the Team Lotus Box Series Season 1 Invitational, and the last Open of the season was Legacy, so I had to jump in.

While I don’t play the format, Andrea Mengucci’s Legacy videos are some of my favorite MTG content, period. One of his latest videos featured the Turbo Gyruda deck Bob Huang piloted to a big win, and I was immediately drawn to the deck. 

It had everything a Legacy newbie like me could want in a deck: a clear, simple gameplan, solid backup plans, a ton of free win potential, and a card from the latest Standard-legal set! 

I figured the deck would give me opportunities to outplay opponents, but also forgive some of the mistakes I was bound to make.

Walk us through some of the matches during your event. Any cool highlights or fun things that happened during the day?

My favorite thing was realizing just how many games were decided by Thought-Knot Seer instead of a Turbo Gyruda. Opponents were (justifiably) bringing in Gyruda hate cards like Mindbreak Trap and Grafdigger’s Cage, but that just left them weak to a never ending stream of 4/4 discard spells.

My only loss in the Swiss portion was to a 5C Humans player who absolutely slaughtered me with hate cards. I think I actually removed my TKS in postboard games. The cool part was that I got the chance to learn from this mistake when I was paired against the same player in the Quarterfinals. Turns out, TKS is just a great card for most matchups. It won me games against Humans, DnT, and Mono Red Eldrazi/Prison.

Of course, I also enjoyed the mirror match in the finals. The first person to cast Gyruda was virtually guaranteed to win, because the opponent’s deck has as many clones as you do!

Are there any changes you'd consider making to the deck at all, provided that it survives the changes on 6/1?

If the deck survives whatever changes Wizards of the Coast will make to Companions, I would very much like to fit the full playset of TKS in the main. The Companion mechanic will almost certainly get nerfed, so if the deck is going to fight on, it will have to be more resilient to interaction like Cage and Chalice for zero.

What are your thoughts on Legacy right now?

As someone who is very much an outsider, but a very interested one, I really enjoyed this snapshot of the Legacy format between the Lurrus ban and whatever happens to Companion this week. 

My biggest issue with Legacy in general is that the hate cards are too strong and take the fun and interaction out of games. But the impression I got from this tournament is that most decks have strong enough backup plans that facing down one or two pieces of hate won’t necessarily end the game on the spot.

My hope is that Wizards of the Coast nerfs Companions enough that they aren’t an auto-include anymore, but still leaves them strong enough to give archetypes different angles of attack. It might be cool if Turbo Gyruda became a Prison deck with a combo finish, instead of a Belcher-style deck that can also grind the opponent out with TKS and Chalice.

Please feel free to drop some social media links down below and let people know where to find you!

Follow me @INickStradMTG on Twitter if you’re interested in posts about the current Draft set, Pioneer, and why Arena will never be as good a program as Magic Online.

If at all possible, I’d also like to shoutout the crew at MTG Archive Philippines. I wouldn’t be nearly as confident picking up a new deck on such short notice without that community’s feedback.

Thanks for joining us this week to talk about this deck! Never forget that you are awesome!

Thanks so much for inviting me to share my thoughts :)


Big congrats to Nicholas on his win here. On the other half of the table in Second Place was Jeff White (otherwise known on Magic Online as pokemoki) who also piloted Turbo Gyruda.

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I am loving the singleton Leyline of Anticipation here, for sure.

In the 3rd-4th spots we have both Death and Taxes (by Collin Rountree) and RUG Delver (by Topher Stitson).

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This is pretty straightforward and clean and that's what I like about it.

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Topher's list has some smart decisions here, including Stifle but also Klothys, God of Destiny in the sideboard. Topher is an incredibly smart Delver wizard, so this is just a smart list all around.

Moving on to the bottom of the Top 8, let's start by looking at the Yorion Stryfo Pile deck, piloted by Jiho (who goes by Lynnchalice on Magic Online).

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This deck is cool. Dack Fayden and Punishing Fire are simple Stryfo pile staples, but kicking that up a notch into 80 cards with Yorion seems really cool.

Next up we have Hogaak by Jack Potter.

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This is a pretty stock BUG list, but it's great to see it doing well. Hogaak is a ton of fun for sure, and a really neat deck.

Next we have U/R Delver by Russell Lee.

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Very straightforward list here, and main deck Pyroblast is a great nod to decks like Gyruda.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have Humans by Josiah Vallie.

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This is a sweet list, and seems really powerful. It's also great to see cards like General Kudro of Drannith seeing play in this deck. It's a very powerful effect for Humans to have access to.

Outside of the Top 8 there were some really interesting decks that popped up. One that caught my attention was Justin Fuller-Thomson (also known as reeplcheep on Magic Online) with Yorion Curses.

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This deck is pretty sweet, and I love everything about it.

Another that caught my eye was a Gruul Blood Sun prison deck featuring Keruga, the Macrosage as its Companion.

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It's cool to see the adoption of cards like Bonecrusher Giant in the mix of a deck like this, giving the deck access to removal spells while still fulfilling the restrictions.

Let's also take a look at the Companions in this event!

Yorion was the big hitter of this event, but there were overwhelmingly more non Companion decks than there were Companion decks for sure. That being said, with the change just made this week this will no longer matter, so the events this weekend were the final sendoff for the Companions overall.

Legacy Challenge 5/31

We did have a a Legacy Challenge that did fire this past weekend, so let's take a look at the Top 32 Metagame breakdown.

This breakdown seems kind of nutty, but we have to also remember that many of the big name MTGO grinders were playing in the Lotus Box event that took place at the same time. So we have to consider that quite a bit in these results. That being said, RUG Delver did populate a ton of decks, but only converted one deck into the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Reanimator 1st Wonderpreaux
RUG Delver 2nd BensterMeg
Worldgorger Combo 3rd Fire10798
ANT 4th AspiringSpike
LED Dredge 5th BananOlaf
Reanimator 6th NaisirC
TES 7th Bryant_Cook
Yorion Snow 8th DJSeb

What a sheerly wild Top 8 this is. So much combo! The only fair decks out of these are Delver and Snow, and it's crazy but interesting and fun.

At the top of the pack we have Reanimator!

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For those wondering because you see a Children of Korlis, no this is not Tin Fins. This plan has taken root as of late as an additional way to win the game outside of normal reanimator wins. Tin Fins continues to be a Shallow Grave deck which is something this deck is not running.

In Second Place we have RUG Delver.

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This is a nice clean Delver list for sure. No Klothys, but I think it was unneeded for this event.

In Third Place we have WORLDGORGER COMBO.

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This deck is too cool, considering it can operate as a 4C control deck that can just deploy its combo as needed. Super cool deck indeed.

In Fourth Place we have ANT.

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While I don't expect we'll see this again like this given the change to Companion, it is wild to see Kaheera in this list as just a free 3/2.

In Fifth Place we have LED Dredge.

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There are two Ox in this deck, which is wild, considering I only ever see one main deck.

In Sixth Place we have another Reanimator deck.

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Not much to say here, pretty similar list to the first place one.

In Seventh Place we have TES, featuring Bryant Cook!

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It's great to see such continued tuning and dedication to a deck like Bryant gives to his chosen archetype. Strong finish for sure!

Rounding out the Top 8 is Yorion Snow.

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Because of the fact that I have to reset my charts yet again (only a week!) I won't be doing any 2019-2020 cards for this event or any Companions, nor will we be doing Companion Watch. We'll be doing that next week when we see what things look like under the new rulings for Companions.

Around the Web

  • Green Sun's Zenith posted a new Maverick Monthly! Go check it out here!
  • There's a new Legacy podcast hanging out, called "In Response". Go check out their Twitter here!
  • Keruga Godzilla Stompy. Nuff said.
  • Congrats to GoblinLackey1 for posting back to back 5-0s with Goblins! Check out his videos here.

The Spice Corner

There is a Tasigur, the Golden Fang in this Lutri deck, that is all.

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Even without Lurrus, Of One Mind seeing some play. Sick!

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Titanic Dryad, but bigger and with more Klothys.

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What I'm Playing This Week

I'm getting in on the Song of Creation gig this week and playing around with that deck, which seems like a ton of fun so far. I've also been posting screenshots to Twitter of something... Piratey... so I'll also be sharing that here as well.

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Pour one out for old Yorion and his Pirate friends, me hearties!

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for the continued support of the column and join me next week as we continue our journey into Legacy!

As always you can reach me on 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, keep cycling Sharks!

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