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This Week in Legacy: United We Stand

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 Dominaria United for Legacy! This is an exciting set with some very interesting cards! In addition to that we've got two Challenges from this weekend. as well as a paper event in Bazaar of Boxes 4!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Dominaria United: One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall

Spoiler season is upon us once more and this time we're going back to where it all began with Dominaria United! The Phyrexians are on the Plane and it's up to all of Dominaria to fight back. We've got some sweet sweet cards to talk about from this set, but first, let's discuss some mechanics stuff.

First of all, since this is Dominaria, of course we have the return of Kicker as a mechanic. There are a few new kinks to Kicker here, but nothing too insane. Another returning Mechanic is Sagas, but this time we've got a new mechanic on Sagas called "Read Ahead" which lets you choose which Chapter of a Saga to start on as it enters the battlefield. This one is actually pretty relevant for Legacy, as we will see.

Another new mechanic is Enlist, which basically is a combat mechanic that lets you tap creatures to increase a creature's power when attacking. Not super relevant for Legacy.

We also got a bunch of Commander cards as well, but not so many for Legacy itself. I'm going to break each set up into it's own section to keep things straight.

Dominaria United

Anointed Peacekeeper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The effect of this card is interesting enough, kind of like a Curse of Silence type effect, but the fact that this is a 3/3 is what hurts it the most (not being able to be tutored by Recruiter of the Guard). The minor upside of getting to see the opponent's hand is not enough to warrant an effect that can't be tutored for easily in more fair decks like DnT, especially when effects like Meddling Mage and Elite Spellbinder exist.

However, there is a possibility of seeing a card like this in a more "Stompy"-esque shell where the tutor aspect doesn't matter because the mana acceleration provided by Sol lands helps power this out. That is a good possible inclusion for this card, and I could see someone trying that aspect of it.

Leyline Binding

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This could actually be relevant in Enchantress decks, given that it's incredibly easy to hit full Domain in Legacy decks with duals and triomes available. The instant speed nature of this is very strong and if you're making this cost 1-2 on the regular it's definitely worth it.

It's fringe for sure, but it's a definite card for these archetypes.

Serra Paragon

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card does a lot of cool things, but again the fact that it can't Recruitered is really what's hurting it. That being said, this hits a lot of the same aspects as Anointed Peacekeeper does in that muscling it into play with Sol lands in a Stompy shell can be reasonable if you can abuse the effect well enough. Most Stompy shells aren't easily abusing this, but the fact that it lets you play through Wasteland or get an extra use out of your Wasteland or stuff like Baubles could be interesting enough.

The effect is powerful, so who knows.

Temporary Lockdown

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The effect of this card is pretty unique. It's sort of like a mono white Hidetsugu Consumes All from its front side. Of course, the effect is only temporary, but against things like tokens and 8Cast generally not having a ton of answers to an effect like this can be pretty good.

Will be interesting to see where this shows up.

Aether Channeler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Three mana value creatures have a real sweet spot in Legacy and that's due to the existence of Aluren. This does some cool stuff with the Aluren loops with Cavern Harpy, being able to either draw cards or create a massive board state of creatures. I like this a lot for a fringe deck like Aluren is, so it's great to see more toys and tools for those kinds of decks.

Furthermore, this can also possibly see play in Esper Vial or in a Displacer Kitten combo deck where its effect can be abused at instant speed with either Vials or casting instants to trigger Kitten. It's a pretty cool idea and since it can be tutored with Recruiter of the Guard that is a huge upside to this card in a fair deck. It does a lot of things so it's possible we see it there as well.

Founding the Third Path

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is quite possibly the best card in the entire set for Legacy purposes and it isn't even close. The power level of this card is quite strong as it synergizes well with cards like Dragon's Rage Channeler, Ledger Shredder, Murktide Regent, and even Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. The flexibility of this card is absolutely very strong due to the Read Ahead ability. I see this card definitely being used in conjunction with Expressive Iteration based decks as casting an Iteration off the first Chapter here is incredibly strong (double-triggering DRC or triggering a Ledger Shredder at the same time doubly so), with the second Chapter being able to fuel a Murktide or Uro.

The third Chapter is important to note because I've seen some confusion on this, but you have to actually pay the mana for the spell being cast, so you can't choose to cast cards like Ancestral Vision or the like, it has to be a spell with a mana cost and you have to be able to pay it. This chapter ALSO triggers Ledger Shredder if the Saga is cast on Chapter 3, and also semi-pumps Murktides because it exiles the spell first.

Furthermore, there's a number of value-based shenanigans to be had with this card and Displacer Kitten where it can just simply allow you to cast a good number of mana value 1 or 2 spells from your hand in a single turn. Note that the way this works is not very intuitive at first, since blinking the Saga with a spell will cause the Saga to blink again before each spell actually resolves, so you can't easily go infinite with it, but the amount of value that comes out of this exchange is pretty good.

A lot of the Delverless UR builds or RUG builds are now often playing Predict or Snapcaster Mage, and I think there's a very good reason to want this card in those kinds of lists, due to the fact that it has synergy with pretty much every card they play. See an example below (note that this is nowhere a final decklist, but a good estimation).

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Rona's Vortex

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

One mana Planeswalker bounce is pretty intriguing actually at instant speed. The fact that this gets rid of any Planeswalker or creature is pretty powerful, and the upside of possibly kickering it to put the permanent on the bottom of the library is reasonable as well. I could definitely see this in UB decks like Doomsday where getting rid of something like Teferi or Narset for a turn is necessary.

Vodalian Hexcatcher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We've got a cycle of tribal lords in this set, and the first of these we're going to look at is a Merfolk lord. I have to chuckle slightly about this one, because I had jokingly said in the 90sMTG Discord before this card was spoiled that the Merfolk lord would turn all your Merfolk into Cursecatcher... and well it kind of does that. It's a little better than Cursecatcher, and it has Flash.

While Merfolk is not a huge competitive choice in the metagame right now, it's nice to always see cards for any strategy and I think this is a good one for them.

Braids, Arisen Nightmare

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Braids on the surface seems kind of okay enough for Pox-esque type strategies, but the fact that it gives the opponent a choice is pretty meh. Still, the upside of them choosing to not sacrifice is getting to draw a card and them losing two life, so it might be reasonable enough for those kinds of decks.

Cut Down

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I like this spell a lot as a different removal option. It gets rid of flipped Delvers, Hullbreacher, and generally cards like Monastery Mentor where cards like Fatal Push tend to struggle. It's not a catch-all and you're never catching a flipped DRC or a Murktide with this, but having different forms of black removal seems pretty good.

The Raven Man

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This seems like a card tailor made to go along with Liliana of the Veil where you are basically creating your own Bitterblossom without the life loss. The fact that it can also make opponents discard is interesting enough. This may not be fully playable in competitive decks, but it does seem pretty fun.

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Sheoldred's latest offering is interesting because it's actually pretty strong at four mana value for a 4/5 with deathtouch and a lot of upside. That being said, four mana is also a lot in Legacy and this is probably not Reanimator playable unless you're specifically teching for certain decks that draw lots of cards.

Rundvelt Hordemaster

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The second Lord in the Lord cycle is the Goblin one and folks let me tell you that this is one of the other cards in this set that is extremely Legacy playable and likely to become a staple in Goblins. Outside of the fact that this is a two mana non Legendary Lord is the fact that its second ability synergizes with so many cards in Goblins. From Skirk Prospector to Sling-Gang Lieutenant and even working off the Echo trigger for Mogg War Marshal, this card offers a ton of value simply because it gives you the ability to cast the card until the end of your next turn. This is exceptionally strong and I definitely believe this will see a big measure of play.

There might even be a combo-esque Goblins version with this card simply because you can use Conspicuous Snoop to see what cards you're exiling off the top. Very neat!

Smast to Dust

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

There's been some hubbub over this, and obviously, there is some interesting things about End the Festivities or Blazing Volley stapled to a Shatter. I suspect the mode of killing a creature with defender would never get used in Legacy at all, which to me makes me wonder about the viability here over something like Abrade. I would be surprised to see this show up over End the Festivities specifically personally.

Squee, Dubious Monarch

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Squee is back and this incarnation is actually really strong. I suspect there will be some addition of this card into the Red Stompy decks as an additional Rabblemaster/Warboss effect. The big thing about this card is that it's a 2/2 with haste and it makes a creature on attack instead of at beginning of combat like Rabblemaster does. The other fun synergy is that this card works pretty well with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker as it is capable of turning cards discarded off that card's Chapter 2 effect into casting it from the graveyard if you need to. You could even ditch an extra Squee to the Chapter 2 trigger and cast it later on as a surprise threat.

That kind of versatility is very interesting and I wouldn't be surprised to see this get played.

Leaf-Crowned Visionary

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The Elf lord, while looking pretty interesting for younger formats, unfortunately misses the mark for Legacy playability. I know that's weird to say about a card that has Glimpse of Nature stapled to it, but Elves even in its more combo-focused versions is an exceptionally mana-technical deck and quite often many of the combo kills you take are pushing your usage of mana right on the line of mathing out from point A to point B and many times you are using all of that available mana. For those instances where you do have more mana, this is just a win more and you were winning that game anyways.

Being a lord doesn't do a ton for the deck unless you're playing this in multiples, since it too dies to Plague Engineer if there's only one of these in play, and the more Combo-heavy decks don't need a Lord because Allosaurus Shepherd is such a powerful card, and the more midrange-esque builds that are playing Elvish Reclaimer and even now Fiend Artisan don't need the Lord effect much either.

The card itself is cool, but I don't think it meets the bar for Legacy Elves at all.

Tear Asunder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is pretty neat actually given that it's a two mana Naturalize that exiles instead of destroys, that upconverts to a full exile at four mana. I don't know exactly where this could see play, but it's a unique effect and those are always interesting.

Meria, Scholar of Antiquity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

It's incredibly weird to see an RG artifact focused card, and the uniqueness of this is what makes me interested in it. Both effects are really strong as the first effect makes this card a functional RG Urza, Lord High Artificer, and the fact that it works really well with cards like Lion's Eye Diamond that you don't have to tap to get their mana is really good.

The other effect here of pseudo-drawing is pretty neat too. I don't know if this has a home, but it's super fun to see.

Karn's Sylex

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I've heard a ton of hot takes about this card and to be honest... I think this card is this set's Void Mirror. I don't think this is any good at all and will likely not see any play outside of people initially trying to test it and finding out that it kind of stinks. Yes, this shuts down Forces and fetchlands. That makes this card exactly good on the play on Turn 1 for this effect if you want it. There are a number of other prison pieces that punish blue control decks specifically, from Trinisphere to Chalice of the Void and even Blood Moon. The big downside to this card is that it's Legendary, and stuff like Trinisphere and friends is not, which allows prison players to deploy multiple lock pieces to keep the opponent from pulling themselves out from underneath them.

Second, yes, this card is a Pernicious Deed when you want it. If you want it. The problem here is that many of the decks that would want this effect (read: Ancient Tomb decks) often all play a bunch of different prison lock pieces and sometimes you really don't want to blow those up. The problem in those cases is that this card enters the battlefield tapped and you more than often want to be able to deploy one of those effects and be able to use it immediately, much like how Engineered Explosives is often used. In fact, I would likely want EE over this card more often than not simply because EE offers a lot more flexibility.

Third, yes, this can be wished for by Karn. That might be its only possible saving grace, but if you're wishing for it with Karn you're likely wanting it for the EE effect and not for the prison half because once the game is at a specific spot the prison half because functionally useless.

Let's not also address the fact that the narrow aspects of this card are definitely geared more in on Blue control decks of the format, and that there are a good variety of other decks in the format that simply don't care about this card that might care about something like Trinisphere, Chalice, or Moon.

Plaza of Heroes

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This would not be very notable except for the fact that this is functionally a rainbow land specifically for Legendary spells, which plays well with color-fixing for Legendary aggro decks with cards like Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful and the like. Having this kind of color fixing is pretty good for that kind of deck trying to push it's Legendary friends into play.

Dominaria United Commander

Emperor Mihail II

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A Merfolk based Future Sight effect is kind of cool, and I suspect that is the use case for this kind of card over the token generator, but the token generator could serve to work very well with the new Merfolk lord as well to generate bodies to sacrifice for countering spells. Merfolk again getting some toys and that is fine enough.

The Ever-Changing 'Dane

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card screams Phyrexian Dreadnought to me. Kind of cool.

Verrak, Warped Sengir

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card has a really wild ability, and I don't think it's playable but it does do some cool shenanigans.

Primeval Spawn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Wow this is the best card ever, Wizards totally designed this card to be so broken! /s

The Insect Token

This is the best token ever created. I will be taking no questions on this matter.

Bazaar of Boxes 4

This past weekend was a medium sized paper event hosted by our good friends over at Bazaar of Boxes. That's right, Bazaar of Boxes 4 took place this past Saturday in the Netherlands with a player cap of 50. In the end the event had 47 players show up, and looked like a super fun event. The event itself was streamed to Twitch and you can find the Twitch VOD here. Big thanks to Michel de Jong of Bazaar of Boxes for reaching out and providing us with a bunch of information on the event!

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

UR Delver had some numbers here, but the win rate of the deck was pretty medium at best. Death's Shadow decks did quite well as did GW Depths.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
Death's Shadow 1st Bart Van Etten
GW Depths 2nd Maarten van Tol
GW Depths 3rd 1234finnemans
Reanimator 4th Teun Berg
UR Delver 5th Roy Mijnheer
Oops! All Spells 6th André Cabaça
Death's Shadow 7th David Lambregs
UR Delver 8th Max Vervoort

It is worth noting that the Top 8 of this event included a four-way split between the Top 4 so none of the Top 4 matches into the finals of the event ever happened. The Top 8 listed above is how they were listed on MTGMelee. There was definitely some solid stuff in the Top 8 here though, with 2/3 of the GW Depths players making it into the Top 8 (and both in the Top 4) as well as 2/3 of the Death's Shadow players making it into the Top 8.

Congrats to everyone who did well at this event! The metagame looked pretty fun for sure!

Legacy Challenge 8/27

This past weekend's first Challenge event was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 54 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.

This event had barely any UR Delver in it at all. There is something to be said about the fact that there was a Team event at NRG in Chicago this past weekend which was Modern/Pioneer/Legacy so it is very possible a good number of spikes on UR could have been there, but quite frankly who knows at this point. There was only two UR Delver players and three Jeskai Delver players overall. It's worth noting that the Jeskai Delver numbers are dragged way down here because while one of the players made it into the Top 8 of this event and ended 4-3 the other two players on it went 0-3 and 0-5 respectively.

GW Depths also did reasonably well, and below the cutoff Riddlesmith Combo did quite well.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Painter 1st CloutgoatRanger
Omni-Tell 2nd akguy152
Jeskai Control 3rd jankyb
Bomberman 4th kanican
Aluren 5th Sicken38
GW Depths 6th Dein_Fruend_der_Baum
Riddlesmith Combo 7th Killabee
Jeskai Delver 8th NooxTom

Definitely a wild Top 8 here with several underseen archetypes. At the end of the event though with the cleanest of clean 9-0 sweep ever (100% winrate!) was our good friend Callum Smith (@callumsmithmtg) on Mono Red Painter! It was also Callum's birthday very recently so this is sick to see him have such an awesome performance.

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This list is sick! It seems well geared for the current metagame, stacked with plenty of powerful removal options and the power of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is becoming ever more apparent in this format. This card has slowly gained steam over time this year and it's continuing to show how good it really is. Again, congrats to Callum on such an incredible finish!

The Second Place finalist was on Omni-Tell.

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Omni as a deck has mostly disappeared from the format at large, so it's nice to see some people out there still working with the deck. There aren't many changes to a deck like this, just good old fashioned combo magic going on here with a backup fair plan.

Also in this Top 8 we had kanican on Bomberman.

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Currency Converter seems super interesting in a deck like this, especially when you consider how well it synergizes with other cards in the deck which are notably... Fable of the Mirror-Breaker! Turning the dead cards into Treasures or 2/2s seems really good. I initially wasn't as high on Converter, but the more I've seen it played the more I like it.

Further down the Top 8 we had Aluren!

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It's pretty cool to see Aluren around still. It's a super interesting combo that does some pretty cool stuff. In the case of this list, the major kill with Aluren is Acererak the Archlich with a Living Wish package to make things even more interesting. Very cool list overall!

Legacy Challenge 8/28

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid afternoon Sunday event. This event had 92 player in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project. Unfortunately due to an extreme technical issue with MTGO the sole data collector was booted off the client at the end of the event so the data set for this event is currently incomplete and we don't have graphs for this event.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the incomplete data sheet here. Since the data sheet is incomplete, let's go right to the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Yorion Zenith 1st LeoFa
UR Delver 2nd Ozymandias17
GW Depths 3rd DNSolver
8Cast 4th Antarctica
Painter 5th LuisMJ
Colorless Cloudpost 6th Funnyman31399
GW Depths 7th brog
Stoneblade 8th BalenciagaNBoba

Definitely an interesting spread of a Top 8 here. Lot of powerful names here for sure. At the end of the event it was Yorion Zenith that won.

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This deck continues to be performing very strongly. It has a lot of toolbox functionality to it and has a lot of powerful things it can do. It is super cool seeing Omnath, Locus of Creation getting to see some play in this format for sure.

The Second Place finalist was Matthew Vook on UR "Delverless".

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This is a solid list. Main deck Counterbalance is pretty strong here, especially in mirror matches. The split of Unholy Heat and Lightning Bolt is strong too.

Further down the Top 8 is Colorless Cloudpost.

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This is a very old school list with a lot of Eldrazi and Planeswalkers to lean on, namely Karn, the Great Creator as a strong way to end games.

At the bottom of the Top 8 is Stoneblade.

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This is a very Rob Wilson-esque list utilizing Delver with Stoneforge Mystic as another threat in the deck. This is a much more tempo-heavy variant as opposed to a more midrange variant thanks to the Dazes and Expressive Iterations in the deck.

Around the Web

  • Our friends at the Eternal Glory Podcast are talking about Old Decks, New Tech this week. Check it out here.
  • MC Hamster in the house!
  • Bryant Cook and Alex McKinley are cutting PONDER! THE SCANDAL!
  • BoshNRoll has some Four-Color Zenith with SLOGURK. Check it out here.
  • 90sMTG keeping up the paper Legacy with some Grixis Control Mirrors. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

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

Turbo Sneak Attack taking advantage of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and that's super cool.

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Our good friend Min Hoq is doing some sweet Jeskai stuff.

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Mono White Stax is super fun looking.

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This Blue Stompy list is wild. Dream Strix!!! WITH ACTUAL LESSONS IN THE SIDEBOARD I CAN'T EVEN.

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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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