Howdy folks and welcome to another monthly dose of Legacy content for you to whet your proverbial whistle on. I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this month we're going to be gabbing a bit about where Legacy is at in 2019, Modern Horizons, and I'll also discuss a Legacy deck that is super sweet (Mono-White Bomberman).
So sit back, crack open an ice cold Tab, and let's get going!
Legacy in 2019
It's safe to say that Legacy at the moment is a fairly intriguing format, given the amount of shakeups that have been introduced by War of the Spark. For better or for worse, this set had the most impact on the format since quite possibly New Phyrexia and Innistrad, as it introduced quite a few new powerful cards into the Legacy card pool. The two biggest that people have hit upon are
Narset, Parter of Veils and
Karn, the Great Creator, both of which have taken Legacy by storm.
So let's take a look at some of the decks that are important to know about in the 2019 Legacy.
Death and Taxes
Ever the popular deck, DnT continues to remain the most cost effective option for players wishing to play a deck that generally contains zero Reserved List cards. DnT continually evolves and grows as new options are tried and tested. One powerful inclusion into this deck is the addition of the card
Walking Ballista, which helps the deck sink mana late game and can be very powerful against a number of decks.
Death and Taxes - Theo_Jung 5-0 Legacy League
4 Aether Vial 1 Batterskull 4 Flickerwisp 3 Karakas 1 Mishra's Factory 4 Mother of Runes 1 Palace Jailer 3 Phyrexian Revoker 7 Plains 2 Recruiter of the Guard 4 Rishadan Port 1 Sanctum Prelate 1 Serra Avenger 5 Snow-Covered Plains 4 Stoneforge Mystic 1 Sword of Fire and Ice 4 Swords to Plowshares 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 1 Umezawa's Jitte 1 Walking Ballista 4 Wasteland 2 Cataclysm 1 Containment Priest 2 Council's Judgment 2 Ethersworn Canonist 1 Leonin Relic-Warder 1 Palace Jailer 2 Path to Exile 1 Pithing Needle 1 Rest in Peace 2 Surgical Extraction
Miracles continues to be another pretty good Legacy mainstay for a slightly cheaper build (since "budget" variations of this deck can be built solely U/W with
Back to Basics being played). War of the Spark gave this deck not only Narset, but also the card
Teferi, Time Raveler to play around with as well.
Miracles - Greg Mitchell 2nd Place Card Kingdom Legacy 1K
4 Accumulated Knowledge 1 Arid Mesa 4 Brainstorm 1 Council's Judgment 2 Counterspell 4 Flooded Strand 4 Force of Will 5 Island 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Misty Rainforest 2 Monastery Mentor 2 Narset, Parter of Veils 2 Plains 1 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 2 Preordain 2 Scalding Tarn 3 Snapcaster Mage 2 Spell Pierce 4 Swords to Plowshares 1 Teferi, Time Raveler 3 Terminus 2 Tundra 2 Volcanic Island 2 Back to Basics 1 Celestial Purge 1 Circle of Protection: Red 2 Containment Priest 1 Council's Judgment 1 Counterbalance 1 Disenchant 2 Flusterstorm 2 Pyroblast 2 Surgical Extraction
A deck that was decried as mostly unplayable for a long time, U/W Stoneblade surged back to the forefront of the format proving that
Stoneforge Mystic is still a very strong card and that Blade is an excessively viable strategy in Legacy. It was good enough that Daniel Goetschel (otherwise known as Gul_Dukat on Magic Online) took the deck to an impressive undefeated finish at MagicFest Niagara Falls, winning the event.
U/W Stoneblade - Daniel Goetschel 1st Place MF Niagara Falls
1 Arid Mesa 1 Batterskull 4 Brainstorm 2 Council's Judgment 2 Counterspell 4 Flooded Strand 4 Force of Will 6 Island 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Misty Rainforest 2 Plains 1 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 2 Scalding Tarn 3 Snapcaster Mage 2 Spell Pierce 1 Spell Snare 4 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Swords to Plowshares 4 True-Name Nemesis 2 Tundra 1 Umezawa's Jitte 1 Vendilion Clique 1 Windswept Heath 1 Celestial Purge 2 Containment Priest 1 Disenchant 1 Engineered Explosives 3 Flusterstorm 2 Palace Jailer 2 Supreme Verdict 3 Tormod's Crypt
Sneak and Show
One of the format's more linear combo archetypes, Sneak and Show continues to remain a powerful option in Legacy, since paying three mana for a
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is still very, very good. Sneak and Show has a lot of options for play, and even received a powerful upgrade this past year in the form of
Arcane Artisan in the sideboard.
Sneak and Show - Jerry Mee 8th Place MF Niagara Falls
3 Ancient Tomb 4 Brainstorm 2 City of Traitors 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 2 Flusterstorm 4 Force of Will 4 Griselbrand 2 Island 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 4 Lotus Petal 2 Misty Rainforest 1 Mountain 2 Omniscience 2 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 3 Preordain 4 Scalding Tarn 4 Show and Tell 4 Sneak Attack 2 Spell Pierce 3 Volcanic Island 2 Arcane Artisan 2 Blood Moon 2 Defense Grid 1 Echoing Truth 2 Goblin Cratermaker 3 Grafdigger's Cage 2 Grim Lavamancer 1 Vendilion Clique
Ad Nauseam Tendrils (Storm)
One of the format's other big combo decks, ANT is a deck that has some of the most dedicated of players and still remains a pretty powerful strategy. Although cards like Narset and Teferi can be a little back-breaking, Storm players continue to do fairly well. One such prolific Storm player is Cyrus Corman-Gill (CyrusCG on Magic Online) who is not only a great player, but a great person as well.
ANT - CyrusCG 5-0 Legacy League
1 Ad Nauseam 1 Bayou 1 Bloodstained Mire 4 Brainstorm 4 Cabal Ritual 1 Dark Petition 4 Dark Ritual 4 Duress 4 Infernal Tutor 2 Island 4 Lion's Eye Diamond 4 Lotus Petal 3 Misty Rainforest 2 Past in Flames 4 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 4 Preordain 1 Swamp 1 Tendrils of Agony 4 Thoughtseize 2 Underground Sea 1 Volcanic Island 3 Abrupt Decay 1 Chain of Vapor 4 Echoing Truth 1 Empty the Warrens 2 Flusterstorm 1 Hurkyl's Recall 1 Massacre 1 Tendrils of Agony 1 Xantid Swarm
War of the Spark brought decks that play the cards
Cloudpost some real goodies in the form of
Karn, the Great Creator and
Ugin, the Ineffable. Combined with
Voltaic Key, and
Walking Ballista, the power of Post decks has shifted much in the favor of Planeswalkers as the payoff as opposed to big creatures. This variant was popularized by Magic Online user susurrus_mtg, otherwise known as Michael Coyle (a player responsible for the origins of the Grixis Whir deck in Modern).
Planeswalker Post - susurrus_mtg 5-2 Legacy Challenge
4 Ancient Tomb 4 Blast Zone 4 Chalice of the Void 1 City of Traitors 4 Cloudpost 2 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Glimmerpost 4 Grim Monolith 2 Karakas 4 Karn, Scion of Urza 4 Karn, the Great Creator 4 Thespian's Stage 4 Thran Dynamo 2 Trinisphere 3 Ugin, the Ineffable 2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 3 Vesuva 2 Voltaic Key 3 Walking Ballista 2 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Leyline of the Void 1 Mycosynth Lattice 1 Ratchet Bomb 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 1 Tormod's Crypt 1 Trinisphere 1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 1 Walking Ballista 1 Warping Wail
The Best of the Rest
As always with Legacy these days, things continue remain somewhat in flux. There are a fair many other viable strategies in the format still, from Turbo Depths to decks like Black/Red Reanimator and Lands. Even the deck High Tide has somewhat reappeared thanks to cards like
Mission Briefing and
Narset, Parter of Veils.
Legacy continues to be a varied format full of interesting interaction and high level play, and there are so many other decks that we can highlight and talk about that we would run out of months before we could talk about all of them. The format is also fairly cheap on Magic Online, so it's a good time to buy in (or rent through a service like Cardhoarder) to try it out.
Beyond the Legacy Horizon
Modern Horizons preview season is over by the time this article is published, so let's take a look at a few of the cards that tickle our fancy for Legacy purposes.
The first two allied swords are fairly interesting. I personally like
Sword of Truth and Justice better for Legacy than the red/black sword. Proliferate is a really strong mechanic when you are pumping a
True-Name Nemesis or putting counters on an
Umezawa's Jitte. This sword also gives protection from white-based removal as well as things like
Jace, the Mind Sculptor bounce, which can be pretty powerful and relevant.
Wrenn and Six
Wrenn and Six is very powerful in decks that play
Mox Diamond and especially good with
Life from the Loam. Being able to give retrace to things is powerful enough, but also being able to recur cards like
Wasteland can be excellent. This plays like a
Crucible of Worlds that is harder to interact with overall.
Now you don't have to choose between
Disenchant, since this card is both and ultimately better in the long run. I expect this to see play in decks that already play
ZOMBIE NINJA! This card is hype because
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow is already a card that sees a modicum of play in a U/B Ninjas based deck and that is very powerful.
Ranger-Captain of Eos
Ranger-Captain of Eos a lot for a 3-mana card. It finds
Mother of Runes and locks out Storm from being able to kill you for a turn. Vial for this in response to cards like
Past in Flames and enjoy the look on your opponent's face.
Oh boy, this card is amusing. So amusing that I had to make a Tweet about it this week thanks to a conversation had by Warlockami in my Discord server. This with
Chandra, Torch of Defiance,
Cloudstone Curio and any other Planeswalker goes infinite, and I can already imagine an
Ancient Tomb shell that does this. Sweet card, all around.
This is pure gold in Painter since it directly tutors the artifact to the graveyard, and also gets around
Chalice of the Void set to 1.
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Flavor aside, Urza is a wild card and I'm not even totally sure how to evaluate it, but I feel like it will see play somewhere and somehow. Whether it's competitive or not, people are going to be running it out.
Goblins continues to get some pretty good cards.
Munitions Expert deals with planeswalkers and creatures via direct damage while leaving a body behind, unlike
Gempalm Incinerator does which only deals damage to creatures. The fact that this also has Flash is great upside.
Force of Vigor
Manaless Dredge now has an actual way of beating a Turn Zero
Leyline of the Void now. Will this shift the lists so that it sees play? I'm not sure but I like the idea of this card and what it represents.
This card is great, and I think it will be very good for decks that want to play a lot of basics such as High Tide or Burn (which especially gains a lot from this). I expect this to see a lot of play in those decks.
Force of Negation
One of the bigger names of the set, while this is not
Force of Will this card is strong. I expect this to actually somewhat slot in over
Disrupting Shoal in Manaless Dredge because it counters most of the hate cards it wants to avoid without having to have another card of the right CMC in hand to do so. Outside of this deck, I'm not sure. It can't protect combo (except maybe the High Tide variant of Solidarity which plays solely on its opponent's turn) but it is good versus combo. It's certainly interesting to say the least.
A recent up and comer in Legacy, Mono-White Bomberman got a significant power boost from War of the Spark. If you've been around the Legacy world for a hot minute, you've heard about this deck by now. The name Bomberman comes from the combination of using
Auriok Salvagers and
Lion's Eye Diamond to create infinite mana to cast an infinitely large
Walking Ballista and win the game. This deck sits on the traditional shell of
Ancient Tomb and
Chalice of the Void in order to do its thing.
It does quite a bit else besides that, thanks to recent upgrades.
Karn, the Great Creator provides a way of dealing with opposing Chalice decks (killing a Chalice with his +1 ability) and just flat out win the game (via
Mycosynth Lattice lock), while
Monastery Mentor is easily castable Turn 1 to quickly take over games. In addition, all of the Bauble effects in this deck combine with
Karn, Scion of Urza to churn through cards quickly and find game-winning pieces.
Karn Bomberman - Julian23 5-0 Legacy League
4 Ancient Den 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Auriok Salvagers 4 Cavern of Souls 4 Chalice of the Void 4 City of Traitors 2 Karakas 4 Karn, Scion of Urza 3 Karn, the Great Creator 3 Lion's Eye Diamond 4 Lotus Petal 4 Mishra's Bauble 4 Monastery Mentor 4 Mox Opal 1 Plains 4 Urza's Bauble 3 Walking Ballista 2 Cast Out 3 Containment Priest 1 Ensnaring Bridge 1 Lion's Eye Diamond 1 Mycosynth Lattice 3 Swords to Plowshares 3 Tormod's Crypt 1 Walking Ballista
One of the really powerful cards coming out of the sideboard is
Cast Out, a
Banishing Light effect castable at instant speed, or cycled to find another answer.
This is a deck that I definitely recommend picking up and trying if you have access to the manabase/shell. It has a lot of utility and multiple angles of attack thanks to Karn, Mentor, and the Salvagers combo.
That's all the time we have this month folks! I'm going to keep poking at Legacy decks in the coming months, talking about some of the more off the cuff and interesting builds seen in the world of Magic Online as we keep an eye on the continued shakeups of sets like War of the Spark and Modern Horizons. It's an interesting year to be invested in Legacy, and it's certainly an enjoyable format right now.
You can catch me on Twitter or on Twitch (where I try to stream Vintage content) if you want to chat or follow along with what I do.
Until next time, may all your Magic be ETERNAL!