Howdy folks! It's that time again for another monthly dose of Legacy! This month we're going to be looking at the overall impact of some of the newer sets in Magic such as Modern Horizons, Core 2020, etc. on the Legacy format. We're also going to look at some cool events happening, and generally try to get a good idea of where the format is at the moment!
Delving for Profit
Legacy has been in an interesting place at the moment as things are continually shifting and moving back and forth, but one thing is for certain: Delver is back on top of things. With the powerhouse that is
Wrenn and Six driving the majority of the 4C Delver builds, Delver can easily establish a
Wasteland lock. It does so by backing up W6 with
Stifle as a pseudo-
Wasteland effect, meaning they are able to play effectively 8 of these effects in their decks. Because W6 allows these decks to play whatever off-color efficient spells they want, it isn't also uncommon to see decks playing
Abrupt Decay or even
Gurmag Angler thanks to our new Tree Overlord.
Let's dive right into a recent list.
4C Delver - hoveydw | 6-1 Legacy Challenge
2 Abrupt Decay 1 Badlands 4 Brainstorm 4 Daze 4 Delver of Secrets 1 Fiery Islet 4 Force of Will 2 Gurmag Angler 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 1 Preordain 4 Scalding Tarn 2 Spell Pierce 4 Tarmogoyf 3 Tropical Island 2 True-Name Nemesis 1 Underground Sea 2 Volcanic Island 4 Wasteland 3 Wrenn and Six 1 Blue Elemental Blast 2 Liliana's Triumph 2 Plague Engineer 1 Pyroblast 1 Red Elemental Blast 1 Submerge 2 Surgical Extraction 3 Thoughtseize 2 Winter Orb
This list shows fairly well how powerful the mana fixing provided by W6 really is, with multiple black cards in the sideboard including
Thoughtseize and even new Modern Horizons all-star
Snowing in Legacy
It might not surprise you to hear that W6 has also enabled something of a new spin on building manabases for Legacy Control decks, thanks to another new card. Fresh off its tear in Pauper is
Arcum's Astrolabe, which fixes and draws a card. This has led to Snow Basic heavy control variants showing up, driven by W6 fixing with Astrolabe helping to splash colors as well as helping to cast additional Astrolabes. This allows for some interesting takes on Control.
Snow Control - IAmTheLawr (Lawrence Harmon) | 5-0 Legacy League
2 Abrupt Decay 3 Arcum's Astrolabe 1 Badlands 1 Bayou 4 Brainstorm 3 Fatal Push 4 Force of Will 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Kolaghan's Command 2 Lightning Bolt 1 Liliana's Triumph 2 Lonely Sandbar 2 Narset, Parter of Veils 3 Plague Engineer 2 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 4 Prismatic Vista 2 Scalding Tarn 3 Snapcaster Mage 1 Snow-Covered Forest 3 Snow-Covered Island 1 Snow-Covered Mountain 1 Snow-Covered Swamp 1 Tropical Island 1 Underground Sea 1 Volcanic Island 2 Wasteland 3 Wrenn and Six 1 Blue Elemental Blast 1 Hydroblast 4 Leyline of the Void 1 Liliana's Triumph 1 Pyroblast 1 Red Elemental Blast 2 Return to Nature 2 Tarmogoyf 2 Thoughtseize
What makes this variant so interesting is its resilience to effects such as
Blood Moon, even much more so than variants of Czech Pile control that could often beat those cards on the back of W6. The Snow Variant gains an added layer by simply having a filtering mana rock and a lot of basic lands.
I definitely believe we'll see more from these variants as time goes on. Astrolabe is a powerful card, after all.
Hogaak Arising from the Depths
If you've been paying any attention to Modern as of late, you'd know the talk of the town is
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis as one of the format's most backbreaking new cards from Modern Horizons. However, Hogaak has made something of a splash in Legacy too in the Zombardment variants and amusingly enough in a new variant of
Dark Depths strategy.
Hogaak's Garden - DNSolver | 6-1 Legacy Challenge
2 Bayou 1 Bojuka Bog 4 Cabal Therapy 4 Crop Rotation 4 Dark Depths 1 Dryad Arbor 3 Elvish Reclaimer 1 Forest 4 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis 3 Khalni Garden 3 Mox Diamond 4 Satyr Wayfinder 1 Sejiri Steppe 4 Stitcher's Supplier 1 Swamp 4 Thespian's Stage 4 Thoughtseize 4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 4 Vampire Hexmage 4 Verdant Catacombs 1 Wasteland 1 Abrupt Decay 2 Assassin's Trophy 3 Force of Vigor 1 Karakas 2 Pithing Needle 3 Surgical Extraction 3 Sylvan Safekeeper
Hogaak does some interesting things for this deck. I actually spent a week playing a similar list and found that I really enjoyed just how strong Hogaak really is. The extra creatures needed to support Hogaak help a lot with edict effects and Hogaak itself crushes through Delver matchups very well as most of their creatures can't stand up to a free 8/8 with Trample.
Furthermore, Hogaak overloads cards like
Karakas when the opponent has to use it since it can generally be recast, in addition to being a secondary threat to get through when the opponent has to spend an activation on a Marit Lage.
Awakening the Inferno
Core 2020 doesn't have quite as many super insane Legacy playable cards but one definite stand out in certain shells is
Chandra, Awakened Inferno. This 6 mana Chandra has some severe upside in long grindy control matchups, pushing through uncounterable damage to force control players to have to win the game soon. So of course, it's no surprise that Mono Red Prison is a deck to pick up on this.
Mono-Red Prison - David Wisenberg | 4th Place SCG Legacy Classic Philadelphia
4 Abrade 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Blood Moon 4 Chalice of the Void 4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 4 Chrome Mox 4 City of Traitors 3 Ensnaring Bridge 3 Fiery Confluence 1 Karn, Scion of Urza 4 Karn, the Great Creator 3 Magus of the Moon 11 Mountain 4 Simian Spirit Guide 3 Trinisphere 1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno 1 Ensnaring Bridge 1 Liquimetal Coating 1 Mycosynth Lattice 1 Ratchet Bomb 3 Scab-Clan Berserker 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 2 Sulfur Elemental 1 Tormod's Crypt 1 Trinisphere 1 Walking Ballista
One other neat thing about Awakened Inferno is how good it is against decks that attempt to play the
Energy Field /
Rest in Peace combo, since Field specifically states it prevents damage from sources the controller does not control. This does not prevent the damage from the emblem Chandra creates, because she creates it under that player's control.
Recent Legacy Events and How the Format is Doing
While we haven't had a ton of paper Legacy events outside of the Legacy classic at Philadelphia and the Leaving a Legacy Open, there's been a few Magic Online challenges since last month. From what I can tell Legacy is still somewhat settling in from all the sets that have been just released, and it's still too early to tell how long term the effect of cards like
Wrenn and Six will be on the format overall, given how closely it compares to
Deathrite Shaman in regards to homogenizing the deck's manabases.
The SCG Classic in PA had a lot of Delver in its top tables, which is to be relatively expected by the current metagame results. In addition, the Leaving a Legacy Open was much the same but actually won by Punishing Zoo. It's well worth looking at this decklist, since it has
Wild Nacatl in it!
Punishing Zoo - Meritt Elmasri | 1st Place LaL Open IV
4 Wild Nacatl 4 Noble Hierarch 4 Tarmogoyf 4 Knight of the Reliquary 1 Gaddock Teeg 1 Scavenging Ooze 1 Qasali Pridemage 4 Green Sun's Zenith 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Punishing Fire 2 Sylvan Library 1 Dryad Arbor 4 Windswept Heath 4 Wooded Foothills 2 Savannah 2 Taiga 2 Plateau 2 Wasteland 3 Grove of the Burnwillows 1 Karakas 1 Forest 1 Plains 4 Swords to Plowshares 1 Gaddock Teeg 3 Surgical Extraction 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 2 Knight of Autumn 2 Red Elemental Blast 2 Choke 1 Collector Ouphe 1 Wrenn and Six 1 Garruk Relentless
Pretty cool result for an event with 98 players in it. Congrats to Meritt on his finish!
Regardless of the goings on in the format, I have had a lot of fun as of late, as games have been interesting to play with a lot of counterplay to them. So I'm definitely excited with things at the moment.
If you've been following along on Twitter you might have seen some posts on this by the one and only Callum Smith (aka WhiteFaces). Callum is running an ongoing Legacy bracket event called "Legacy Unchained", an event devoted to having some fun with cards banned in Legacy. The videos for these matches week to week will be posted over on the MinMax Blog website, operated by my good friends Min & Max. It's an intriguing series, despite being just for fun, because it's such a great way to understand which cards on the Ban List are actually stupendously broken or are possibly fine for unbanning. Definitely check this out, looks like it will shape up to be a lot of fun.
The Spice Corner
I got quite a few spicy lists to show off this month, so let's hop right to it!
Our first entry is a hot take on the Snow Mana W6 deck, this time playing all five colors and also
Atraxa, Praetors' Voice!
Snow Control - lucky_dragon | 5-0 Legacy League
2 Abrupt Decay 4 Arcum's Astrolabe 1 Assassin's Trophy 2 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice 1 Bayou 4 Brainstorm 1 Dead of Winter 4 Force of Will 4 Ice-Fang Coatl 2 Kolaghan's Command 2 Misty Rainforest 3 Narset, Parter of Veils 2 Polluted Delta 4 Prismatic Vista 2 Scalding Tarn 2 Snapcaster Mage 1 Snow-Covered Forest 1 Snow-Covered Island 1 Snow-Covered Mountain 1 Snow-Covered Plains 1 Snow-Covered Swamp 2 Swords to Plowshares 1 Taiga 2 Teferi, Time Raveler 2 Thoughtseize 1 Tropical Island 1 Tundra 1 Underground Sea 1 Volcanic Island 4 Wrenn and Six 1 Abrupt Decay 1 Ashiok, Dream Render 1 Assassin's Trophy 1 Flusterstorm 2 Force of Negation 1 Hydroblast 2 Nihil Spellbomb 2 Plague Engineer 2 Pyroblast 2 Surgical Extraction
Up next is a variant of Mono Red Prison, except this one is all in on the Chandra Tribal nature.
Chandra Tribal Prison - djizma | 5-0 Legacy League
3 Abrade 4 Ancient Tomb 4 Blood Moon 3 Blood Sun 4 Chalice of the Void 4 Chandra, Awakened Inferno 1 Chandra, Flamecaller 4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 3 Chrome Mox 4 City of Traitors 1 Crystal Vein 3 Ensnaring Bridge 2 Fiery Confluence 5 Mountain 4 Seething Song 4 Simian Spirit Guide 6 Snow-Covered Mountain 1 Trinisphere 4 Leyline of the Void 1 Ratchet Bomb 2 Scab-Clan Berserker 1 Sorcerous Spyglass 1 Sudden Demise 2 Sulfur Elemental 3 Thought-Knot Seer 1 Trinisphere
Our third entry is NARSET, URZA, and even
Echo of Eons!!!!
Urza and Narset Best Friends Forever - slyguy183 | 5-0 Legacy League
4 Ancient Tomb 3 Cavern of Souls 4 Chalice of the Void 2 Chrome Mox 2 City of Traitors 1 Defense Grid 4 Echo of Eons 1 Engineered Explosives 7 Island 1 Karn, Scion of Urza 4 Karn, the Great Creator 3 Lion's Eye Diamond 4 Lotus Petal 2 Mox Diamond 4 Mox Opal 4 Narset, Parter of Veils 1 Sai, Master Thopterist 4 Seat of the Synod 4 Urza, Lord High Artificer 1 Walking Ballista 2 Defense Grid 2 Ensnaring Bridge 1 Lion's Eye Diamond 1 Liquimetal Coating 1 Mycosynth Lattice 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 1 Sphere of Resistance 3 Tormod's Crypt 1 Walking Ballista 1 Wurmcoil Engine
Our final list is taking cues from Modern Horizons in one of its sub themes in the form of NINJAS!
Yuriko's Shadow - umeck | 5-0 Legacy League
4 Baleful Strix 4 Brainstorm 2 Daze 3 Fatal Push 4 Force of Will 2 Gurmag Angler 3 Ingenious Infiltrator 3 Island 2 Misty Rainforest 1 Murderous Cut 4 Ornithopter 4 Polluted Delta 4 Ponder 4 Prismatic Vista 4 Retrofitter Foundry 2 Spell Pierce 2 Swamp 2 Thoughtseize 2 Underground Sea 1 Verdant Catacombs 3 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow 2 Back to Basics 1 Dread of Night 1 Echoing Truth 1 Engineered Explosives 1 Flusterstorm 1 Force of Negation 1 Grafdigger's Cage 1 Hydroblast 1 Liliana's Triumph 1 Liliana, the Last Hope 1 Pithing Needle 2 Surgical Extraction 1 The Elderspell
That's all the time we have this month folks! It's been an interesting month as Legacy shapes up in the wake of new sets. I'll be paying keen attention to GP Atlanta and the US Eternal Weekend's Legacy Championships as those large events will give a better indicator on Paper Legacy at a much higher scale.
Regardless, I will still be here, plugging along and playing the format! If you'd like to reach out to me, you can do so via Twitter, Twitch, and even Patreon! And as always, I'm generally always around the Cardsphere Discord Server if you just want to say hi and chat!
Until next time, may all your Magic be ETERNAL!