The Eternalist - The Road Ahead

Joseph Dyer II • November 28, 2019

Howdy folks! It's time for a little more Legacy content to whet your proverbial whistle from the Eternalist! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this month we're getting serious. We're going to talk about the format and where it's going in a world without SCG's 'regular' events, but also going to be talking a little bit about me.

You see, my friends, this is actually my last article with Cardsphere. I am officially going to be moving on after two years of writing for these fine folk, and stepping up my content game a little bit as I take over the "This Week in Legacy" article series over on MTGGoldfish, where I have already been handling the Vintage 101 series (and no, Vintage 101 isn't going anywhere, I'm just handling both columns).

I cannot say for certain when my first article of this series will begin (likely after the first of the year in order to have a clean starting point), but I do want to say I definitely appreciate the work and assistance I have received from Cardsphere in giving me chances to get out there and write about one of my favorite formats. In short, y'all are awesome.

Now then, let's get to the crux of our final article.

SCG Killed Legacy, Now What?

So as we noted last month, StarCityGames has decided to not have any Legacy Opens or Legacy Classics on the SCG Tour next year. This has led to the obvious statements that "Legacy is dead" that you hear many say about our beloved format.

So let's be realistic about this for a moment. SCG killing Legacy is probably a very good thing from a business sense perspective since Legacy has not been profitable for them for some time now, but also good for us as players since it allows for other entities to step into the ring and provide quality Legacy events. Groups such as Leaving a Legacy (with their LaL Opens), The Legacy Pit, and Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy are doing their best to promote great Legacy events that will keep things interesting. Furthermore, the hearsay is that MissouriMTG is coming briefly out of retirement to run a $15,000 tournament this next year in St. Louis. Insane! This is the kind of response that the Legacy community can be having in reaction to this announcement, putting more into the community than expecting something out of it.

It is worth noting however, that SCG isn't completely killing the format, as they will still host events at their SCG Con events as well as continue to offer Legacy Challenge side events if people show up to play. That is the key word there. The wrong way as a community to approach this is to try to claim a boycott on SCG. If nobody shows up to these events, SCG will remove them entirely and all it will reinforce is that it was ultimately a good decision for SCG to cut the format from the Tour in the first place. If you would like to see these large events become popular and do well as a form of SCG "Eternal Weekend" type events, then the response is not to boycott SCG, but to attend. This will mean that SCG will continue to pursue those kinds of special events in the future.

Furthermore, if your local stores support the format, do your best to get out and support them as well! Stores might see this announcement as a deathknell for the format and their events running it, but if they continue to receive attendance and people in the store purchasing things, then they will be less inclined to stop them.

Also, one other thing that can be done to support Legacy as a format is to simply find avenues to pursue and play the format within the community. Have game nights with friends, play on Magic Online, host your own events with a store if need be. There are numerous ways to approach this topic. In short, put more into the community.

The Health of the Format

Talking about supporting Legacy brings us to the next step of our journey: the health of the format. As we all have seen in the past year, 2019 has brought numerous changes to Legacy, many of which have not been exactly a net positive. Wrenn and Six alone had started to homogenize the format's Delver strategies to the point of utter ridiculousness and of course Oko, Thief of Crowns simply adds to that pressure.

However, not all was lost. On November 18th, 2019 Wizards finally banned Wrenn and Six in Legacy. Hopefully this means that the format can ease up a little and things can finally start developing a little better. We can only observe and hope for the best for the format, but this is a positive step in the right direction!

The Impact of Printings

Between printings in War of the Spark, Modern Horizons, Core Set 2020, and now Throne of Eldraine we have to really ask when will it stop, but the problem is I doubt that it ever will at this point. When it comes to these older formats such as Legacy, having printings come along that shake up the format is probably going to happen a lot more frequently than before. Before this year, you could expect roughly a few cards to maybe see fringe play, maybe once a year or once every two years something to come along that shakes the format up a little, but now? I would expect to need to stay on top of following Standard set releases every spoiler season just in case something appears. The reality is that Wizards is going to push cards for Standard that likely will end up seeing play in eternal formats because they simply aren't testing for formats like Vintage/Legacy.

This seems silly, but I feel like next year will be either about the same in terms of printings that impact that this format, or it will go down to like two-three big printings a year that make a big impact. I would not be reasonably surprised to see if Wizards decided to do another Modern Horizons set that introduces more cards as they attempt to make Modern more into a bit of a Legacy-lite type format. Cards from that could serve to continue shaking Legacy up quite a bit, not to mention the fact that we have multiple Standard sets releasing next year as well and Commander product.

The Last of the Spice Months

I couldn't leave you guys without coming up with one final set of Spice Month lists.

Our first on the list is a little Cartesian with Gilded Goose, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Snow Basics.

Snow Goose - Cartesian | 5-0 Legacy League

Speaking of Snow... did anyone expect Ice-Fang Coatl and Fae of Wishes in High Tide?

U/G Snow Tide - H1mar1ma | 5-0 Legacy League

Once Upon a Time... Hogaak and Dark Depths got married. The end.

B/G Gaak Depths - Terano | 5-0 Legacy League

Mono-Red Eldrazi?! Bonecrusher Giant?! Yep.

Mono-Red Eldrazi - Hakumei1234 | 5-0 Legacy League

The Beginning of the End

And thus ends my final article for Cardsphere. As always, if you'd like to keep up with my future content you can reach me on Twitter and you can support my work on Patreon. It has certainly been a pleasure being apart of this group for the time that I have, but as all things in this world, we must keep moving forward, must keep striving for greater and grander things.

So... for the very last time... MAY ALL YOUR MAGIC BE ETERNAL!