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This Week in Legacy: Traversing the Horizon


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 beginning our set review of Modern Horizons 3! There's a LOT to take in for this set, and we're definitely breaking this up into two parts to make sure we get it all. We've also got a paper event in Bazaar of Boxes Series 11, and a BUNCH of Challenges including a Showcase Challenge.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

The Horizon is Here

Modern Horizons 3 is coming soon, and this set is already shaping up to have a very definite impact on Legacy, but in very interesting ways that will prove to be kind of cool. There's so much to cover with this set and we're definitely not going to get to all of the cards I'd like to talk about today, as this will definitely be split into two articles. The amount of mechanics in this set is staggeringly high, and I think we're just finding out that these sets are functionally Time Spiral / Future Sight-esque sets that allow Wizards to play in spaces that are more difficult than Standard sets. This set also includes a Commander set, which is kind of nuts.

One of the big themes of this set is Eldrazi, and I'm probably going to split all of the Eldrazi related cards to next week's article as well as the Commander cards and cover a lot of the non-Eldrazi stuff this week. As noted, there are a bunch of cards to talk about, so I'm going to cover the heavy hitters first instead of going in alphabetical like I usually do.

Necrodominance

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This one has been so extremely contentious in many circles. Some folks are calling it unplayable in an Orcish Bowmasters world, while some are theorycrafting with Borne Upon a Wind with it to win at instant speed and not worry about Bowmasters triggers.

I have been rather torn on this one. As someone who has played with Necropotence quite a bit in formats like Vintage, I've definitely run the gamut of either "win the game" or "draw the wrong cards and die" with that card. I can see a lot of similar things happening with Necrodominance honestly. I do think this card will end up seeing a lot of play initially. What I'm not 100% sure of is what happens afterward. As noted, this card is either so incredibly bad that it fades into Legacy obscurity (much like what happened with Mind's Desire) or it's so good that it overpowers the entire format and gets banned. I don't think there's much of a middle ground there, and, realistically, it could go either way.

I am currently more leaning on the side of the card fading out into obscurity at this point in time, and it's mostly because I do feel the Borne Upon a Wind game plan is too "cute" for my tastes as goofy as it sounds. With Bowmasters as present as it is in the format, drawing vs putting into hand is a lot worse, and having to pay the life all at once in the end step is rough. That being said, I'm remaining open to seeing where this card ends up. It could be another Breach situation, we just don't really know.

Nadu, Winged Wisdom

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This a card that I'm actively looking forward to playing around with. The way that this card is worded is that it gives this triggered ability to creatures and the ability triggers twice each turn. So this means every creature you have in play has this ability. Is there a good cheap way to target creatures for free? Oh, right Nomads en-Kor and Shuko exist. This is certainly a Breakfast value engine card, where you're just able to either ramp (putting lands into play UNTAPPED) or draw a bunch of cards quickly to the point where you have all the answers when you just want to combo off. With Nomads en-Kor you can even target on your opponent's turns and put cards into your hand or in play.

The other upside of this is that it's a 3/4 body with flying, so it can profitably block DRC+Delver, and its ability puts the card into your hand and doesn't draw it, so Bowmasters need not apply. I like this card a ton and I'm super thrilled for when this set comes out to try it.

Wight of the Reliquary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

One of the big other themes of this set is nostalgia callbacks. This is one of course calling back to Knight of the Reliquary, but instead of sacrificing lands you're sacrificing creatures. This is kind of like a Fiend Artisan effect in that it gets bigger based on the creatures in the graveyard, but it can find your Gaea's Cradle and friends. This seems really strong in decks like Cradle Control where you are already sacrificing creatures for effect, but getting your Cradle into play seems like a strong thing to do. This is certainly another card I'm looking forward to seeing where it places itself because it's costed really aggressively at two mana and seems quite strong.

Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tamiyo is certainly intriguing, given that flipping her into a Planeswalker can happen very quickly. A Brainstorm alone flips her to the Planeswalker side (or for example casting double Ponder the turn after you play her), where you can then utilize her to diminish opponent's creatures and rebuy instants or sorceries. The emblem is neat as well. Whether this is any good or not remains to be seen because of Bowmasters, but a one mana Planeswalker that can be flipped so trivially is interesting. I'll be curious to see where this goes.

Harbinger of the Seas

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This one is weird, because most of the time you don't want your opponents to have Islands with Blood Moon-like effects, but in a sense this is a Merfolk also seems interesting to give some life back to that deck a bit. Since most Merfolk are functioning on Islandwalk as a thing, being able to shut off your Lands opponent while making your creatures unblockable seems like a strong effect to have, especially since that deck is also often an Aether Vial deck where you can flash it in off Vial in response to things. This is a cool effect that Merfolk sorely needed to combat some of its worse matchups.

Now imagine if Merfolk got a Null Rod effect on a fish...

The Creation of Avacyn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is really unique as it can be cast off Dark Ritual. It's sort of a delayed Reanimation effect for something like Atraxa (where you were going to pay life for it anyways) over two turns, but the fun fact of this card is that it can get any card and doesn't necessarily need to be a creature, making it sort of flexible.

The problem is of course, it's an enchantment, and there's a lot more hate for enchantments in the past than there has been before, so who knows if it will see play but it's a cool effect regardless.

Wrath of the Skies

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is intriguing in that it's effect can be paid for WW with X=0 and you can nab anything with mana value 0. This includes things like Mox Opal, Urza's Saga, Constructs, etc. Having an effect like this in Mono White and giving a functional Meltdown effect is sweet, but then being able to scale it if you want is also pretty neat.

Vexing Bauble

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is actually just wildly interesting. It's symmetrical, so it shuts off both players in their ability to cast free spells, but it's locatable off Urza's Saga which is a big thing. It can also be cashed in for a card if you really need it to. It's a weird effect and I'm curious to see if this is any good or if it goes the way of cards like Damping Sphere or Void Mirror.

White Orchid Phantom

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is certainly a neat card. Being able to blow up a nonbasic on a 2/2 flier with first strike is pretty cool. Even if they get a land out of it, it's pretty strong of an effect, especially when putting it in off something like Aether Vial. I like this card and I hope to maybe see it in some of these Vial-centric lists.

Nethergoyf

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is another one that's been rather contentious. Some people are calling this card really insane, some are totally off of it. I personally think this card is really reasonable and not insanely cracked, but just a strong card overall. I don't think it's difficult to make this good, as generating a bunch of different card types quickly is pretty easy to do as we've seen with DRC and Delirium. The fact that this comes down on Turn 1 and is sometimes a 3/4 or better on Turn 3 is great at enabling a clock. The biggest issue with it is that it only counts your graveyard, so one shot graveyard hate effects knock it out hard.

Still, I like this card. It's really cool.

Shifting Woodland

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Speaking of Delirium, this card requires it! This is certainly a strong effect and yet another way to make a copy of Dark Depths. I've heard rumblings of people wanting to make copies of Omniscience and stuff, but I do think Lands is best prepared to take advantage of this card for sure. Being able to Crop Rotation in another way to copy Dark Depths is really strong, and achieving Delirium isn't too difficult for Lands (what with all the artifacts and other things they are playing) with things like Life from the Loam enabling self-mill. It's a sweet card for sure and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Urza's Cave

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is another one that's sort of interesting. It can nab any land at instant speed for three mana, sort of like a Crop Rotation that is on a land. Where that fits, I'm unsure, but it seems like it could be good in Cloudpost based decks. It's also an Urza's land, which might make more Urza's Workshop decks capable of existing.

Psychic Frog

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I think this card is kind of sweet. An old throwback to Psychatog, this card does some neat things for sure. Being able to grow in size is cool for sure. I'm not sure where this currently fits, but it's fun.

Mono Colored MDFCs

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Honestly, this entire cycle is kind of wildly scary but the three shown here are definitely some of the better ones. MDFCs with Lands on the back in general are already very powerful, but before this set the only ones that came into play untapped (for a cost) were stuff like Agadeem's Awakening, Sea Gate Restoration, and Emeria's Call. Having that functionality of bolting yourself to get a land into play untapped with a spell on the front being shifted to an uncommon cycle of cards is insanely powerful.

Of these, Sink into Stupor sticks out the most, because having a bounce spell attached to a playable Land is kind of gross, and seems quite good for Oops! All Spells decks. Boggart Trawler as a castable graveyard hate spell is great, and Witch Enchanter being a very much huge upgrade to Emeria's Call by attaching a relevant creature type onto it alongside a playable effect is really good.

Oh and there's not just five of these, but TEN. Insane.

Rest assured, these cards in this cycle will show up in Legacy somewhere. They're very good.

The "Flare" Cycle

$ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00   $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The "free" spell cycle of the set is the Flare cycle and honestly for the most part, these are all generally underwhelming compared to the ones we got in the first two Horizons sets (the Force cycle and the Evoke Elementals). These all require a nontoken creature of their respective color to sacrifice and that alone very much limits the playability of these cards quite a bit. The only one that this does not present an active downside to is Flare of Cultivation due to the presence of cards like Veteran Explorer and Dryad Arbor in the format.

I will note that Flare of Denial seems good on the surface, but actively sacrificing something like a Delver of Secrets is way worse than it sounds. You also cannot flash this back with Snapcaster Mage (a card which actively sees very little current Legacy play) by sacrificing the Snapcaster, you do have to pay 1UU.

I'm curious if these go anywhere, but I'm actually pretty doubtful. Even as much as I like Nic Fit, I don't know that Flare of Cultivation makes it better, despite the fact that I will definitely be trying it out myself.

Bazaar of Boxes Series 11

This past weekend was yet another Bazaar of Boxes event, Series 11 held at In de Boomtak in the Netherlands! Thanks so much again to Michel de Jong for supplying us all sorts of great information about these events. It is unfortunate that I do not have a data sheet for this event because of issues with scraping MTGMelee. As always you can find out more about these events at the Bazaar of Boxes website. This event had 78 players showing up to battle it out in another event, once again as a European Legacy Masters Qualifier event. This event also featured a Brewers Cup prize that was awarded to the best Brewer of the event (with the winner being Raoul Selten on this spicy little number).

This event was live streamed of course, and the Twitch VOD can be found here, with a YouTube version to come soon as it is edited.

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

Let's take a brief look at the Top 8 of the event.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Boros Initiative 1st Paulo Joustra
Doomsday 2nd Joost den Bieman
RUG Cascade 3rd Tom van Haaren
The EPIC Storm 4th Rob Verheyen
Red Stompy 5th Storm Rombout
UB Reanimator 6th Daan van den Hoogen
Abzan Depths 7th Thijs Witteman
Yorion Zenith 8th Thomas Krak

Definitely a neat Top 8. The winner of the event and recipient of the qualification for the Dutch ELM team was Paulo Joustra on Boros Initiative!

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Sick looking list, very clean! Congrats to Paulo on the win!

Legacy Challenge 32 5/22

The first Challenge of the week was the Wednesday event. This event had 54 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here. There was no Round data for this event so we only have metagame share to go off of.

Red Stompy was the most popular deck of this event, followed by Stoneblade and UB Reanimator.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UB Reanimator 1st vdboule
Dimir Scam 2nd r0cknati0n
Beanstalk Control (Yorion) 3rd McWinSauce
UB Reanimator 4th AFX
Beanstalk Control (Yorion) 5th Parrotlet
Esper Stoneblade 6th Graciasportanto
Orzhov Stoneblade 7th amarion1995
Red Stompy 8th momo391

Quite interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was UB Reanimator that won.

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This deck has been highly contentious for sure. One super amusing sideboard card here is Lord of Change as I can only guess an alternative reanimation target. Having a flying 6/6 with Ward 3 is practically hexproof a lot of the time so that's kind of fun.

In Second Place we had Dimir Scam.

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This is the the BUG variant here, with gaining access to cards like Uro and Witherbloom Command. I also love seeing the Pernicious Deed in the sideboard here.

Also in this Top 8 we had Yorion Esper Stoneblade.

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This deck is super duper sweet. New cards like Pest Control and Assimilation Aegis showing up in force. Just an absolutely sweet Stoneblade list.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/24

The second Challenge was the Friday event. This event had 42 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

UB Reanimator was super popular here and it's win rate was quite good. Beanstalk didn't look good at all here, while RUG Delver looked good.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dimir Scam 1st Ozymandias17
UB Reanimator 2nd AFX
UB Reanimator 3rd _Batutinha_
UR Storm 4th ScreenwriterNY
UB Reanimator 5th fingers1991
BR Reanimator 6th Magic_Dads71522
Soul Cauldron Combo 7th UrzaEnjoyer
Mono Black Reaniamator 8th Roodslay

Tons of Reanimator here in this Top 8 for sure. At the end of the event it was Dimir Scam that won, though.

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Some interesting inclusions here, especially in the removal suite. Go for the Throat and Ultimate Price are interesting for sure.

In Second Place we had UB Reanimator.

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Fairly stock looking list, however there's a cute splash into white for the sideboard with a few copies of Pest Control. Seems like a strong game plan versus a good number of decks.

Also in this Top 8 we had a really sweet looking Storm list.

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Elemental Eruption is a super sick card. It's sort of like Empty the Warrens but if you cast Empty for 12 and they all had flying. Oh and Prowess. It's super cool and this list is so fun looking.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/25

The third Challenge was the Saturday morning event. This event had 42 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

RUG Delver was the most popular deck here, but it's win rate was pretty poor. Red Stompy and BR Reanimator looked great here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
The EPIC Gamble 1st Killabee
Grixis Delver 2nd piao
Red Stompy 3rd Locutus79
Doomsday 4th Azerate218
Golgari Depths 5th DarkDepthsAniki
BR Reanimator 6th snoopy-magic
Stiflenought 7th Ark4n
Red Stompy 8th r-nishi

Fairly interesting Top 8 actually. At the end of the event it was a very clever take on The EPIC Gamble by Killabee that won.

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This is a bit of a melding of EPIC Gamble and other decks that Killabee has played in the past, namely the Runehorn Hellkite deck that I posted a video with a few weeks ago. This deck has some really sick play to it for sure. I definitely saw a wild screenshot of using Noxious Revival as an offensive spell versus Doomsday.

In Second Place we had Grixis Delver.

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Fairly stock Grixis Delver lives! This is a reasonable looking list for sure. Price of Progress out of the sideboard seems quite good right now.

Also in this Top 8 we had Doomsday.

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Emrakul out of the sb is a very clever nod to a lot of stuff like Painter as well as coming in alongside Shelldock Isle to abuse that interaction. Long Goodbye is a very strong card and seems quite good here as well.

Legacy Challenge 32 5/26

The fourth Challenge was the early morning Sunday event. This event had 38 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

Both Red Stompy and UB Reanimator were popular, but Red Stompy's win rate was quite bad overall. UB Reanimator looked very good here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UB Reanimator 1st Venom1
UB Reanimator 2nd medvedev
Dimir Scam 3rd Lord_Beerus
Mono Black Reanimator 4th Roodslay
UB Reanimator 5th AFX
Cradle Control 6th Sommertroll
Beseech Storm 7th yPrincipe
UB Reanimator 8th _Batutinha_

So much Scam packages in this Top 8. In fact the finals was UB vs UB.

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Both fairly similar looking lists here, just minor differences overall, mostly in the manabase with the Second Place list playing Undercity Sewers. I definitely love the Surveil lands in these decks.

Also in this Top 8 we had Cradle Control.

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Echoing Deeps as a way to copy Cradle is really sweet. The sideboard is also clever here with cards like Magus and Soulless Jailer.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 5/26

This past weekend was also a Showcase Challenge weekend! These events feed into the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season and cost QPs to enter. There was 187 players in this event thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

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

UB Reanimator was quite popular here, and its win rate was very good. RUG Delver also looked good here as did Selesnya Depths. Red Stompy had some strong finishes but it's overall win rate was dragged down a bit.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
UB Reanimator 1st karatedom
RUG Delver 2nd wiky
Cephalid Breakfast 3rd L4rss0n
Doomsday 4th wonderPreaux
Red Stompy 5th xJCloud
Red Stompy 6th Maxtortion
Grixis Delver 7th JakeTMS
Beseech Storm 8th Eureka22422

Honestly this is a reasonably diverse Top 8 overall. At the end of the event it was UB Reanimator that did win.

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The big thing here is the complete lack of Orcish Bowmasters out of the main deck. I almost missed it myself looking at the list, but instead we've got main deck Dauthi Voidwalker instead which can be quite brutal if an opponent is unable to beat that card game 1. We've also got some sweet sideboard options like The Filigree Sylex and Sauron's Ransom.

In Second Place we had RUG Delver.

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Stock looking list for the most part here, instead on three copies of Questing Druid as opposed to normally two.

Also in this Top 8 we had Cephalid Breakfast.

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Strong looking list here. I do expect this deck to get even more interesting post Modern Horizons 3 as we talked about above, but it's just a good solid deck right now I feel.

My Videos This Week

I've got some more going on this week for Legacy with a stream from over the weekend. We played a little Legacy DINOSAUR STOMPY as given to me by good friend Jasmine of the MTGLegacy Discord server.

Around the Web

  • Bryant Cook is approaching the SECOND SUN in Legacy. Check it out here.
  • StrassDaddy has a video on Control w/o Blue. Check it out here.
  • JamesKisau has a video featuring Caustic Bronco in Grixis Control. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

Now that Leagues are posted throughout the week, let's find some Spice!

Putting the Dragon Back in Dragon Stompy!

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This sick Mardu Control list by StrassDaddy featured in his video!

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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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