The StarCityGames.com Legacy $5000 in Boston is this weekend, so this week, we’re going to look at the hottest decks right now with an eye toward what will do well in the upcoming event! It promises to be a stellar event, as the metagame is very healthy right now and we’ve had several large events in the past few weeks to pull results and information from. With $5000 in the prize pool, this event is like a mini-Grand Prix, helping player ratings for the rest of the summer events and maybe even bankrolling trips to them too!
One thing to keep in mind is that this will likely be the last chance to play Legacy under the current rules system for many people. Feedback about the changes ranges from INBD to TISNF! Practically, it means that decks like Ad Nauseam will get a bit worse because they cannot float Lion’s Eye Diamond mana into the draw step (to play an Ad Nauseam that was Mystically Tutored for). Similarly, combat tricks get a little less tricky when Siege-Gang Commander can’t fling goblins after they deal damage in combat. Boston will be the last hurrah for the old rules-Legacy. Further, the Legacy Banned list update will come out on the 20th, meaning you’ll have only a few days to get used to the new changes (if there are any). Presuming that there will be no significant changes, all the decks in this article will be good choices.
In selecting decks to present for this article, I thought a lot about the East Coast metagame, which is predominantly Blue. Ergo, it’s a good idea to pack something that can deal damage to Threshold decks and hang with the rest of the field. Hot off the heels of a win in the 474-person Bazaar of Moxen 3 event in Europe recently, my best pick for the Boston tournament is Dragon Stompy:
The biggest reason to play the deck at this point is the positively huge quantities of Blood Moon effects. This matters because Blood Moon punishes the decks packing dual lands and fetches, which I predict will be out in force in Boston. Sticking one of the Blood Moons and being able to protect it and exploit it means that the opponent will be unlikely to fire off a Hymn to Tourach, drop a Tarmogoyf or Tombstalker or even drop Engineered Explosives. Similarly, Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere do a good job at shutting off many strategies and removing tactically harmful cards like Snuff Out and Swords to Plowshares. It is critically important to mulligan effectively; try to get one of the lockout cards in your opening hand. As the deck has no real draw engine, you’ll want the initial hand to be good on its own.
Further, there are a few minor details to be aware of. A Blood Moon will cut short your mana but keep your Tomb-lands on the board and producing pain-free mana. A Taurean Mauler is every creature type, which becomes relevant when the Merfolk opponent foolishly drops a Lord of Atlantis, allowing you to swing in unimpeded. Finally, Simian Spirit Guides can also be creatures! It sounds silly to even mention, but I have had several testing games won by the Grey Ogre beating in. As the list above has Umezawa’s Jitte in it, casting SSGs and giving them the stick can help get around opposing creatures that have made their way onto the board.
If you’re going to play Dragon Stompy (and you should!) then your sideboard should have enough cards that you can bring in to replace Moon effects when the opponent is near-impervious to them. The sideboard above is a good one and the Powder Kegs give it a nice catch-all sideboard card to bring in. The deck typically has trouble with random decks, but shines in more standardized metagames. As Boston will likely have a lot of recognizable decks, many of them blue, prepared Dragon Stompy players will do very well.
If you’re inclined to play something blue yourself and want a break from the typical decks, check out this Faerie Fish list by Yves Gillet that also did very well at BOM 3:
Spellstutter Sprite is a tremendous beating, especially when supported by Spell Snare and Ninja of the Deep Hours to make the card go further. I like the Crucible of Worlds, having run a single copy in many of my Fish decks in the past as a way to get more out of Mishra’s Factory and Wasteland. I have a hard time accepting that two Fire/Ice is correct; I would trim them for something like Umezawa’s Jitte, Waterfront Bouncer or Dominating Licid (!). I like the general idea, though, because you can generally drop out a single threat and ride it. Every card you draw makes you more likely to win when the game goes long, so you don’t have to rush guys out. The manlands do a good job of putting pressure through things like Counterbalance, making this deck a good choice for Boston as well.
I like this list because it has maindecked Orim’s Chants, giving you a better lategame and letting you hang with Blue decks. The Dark Confidants on the sideboard also enable a powerful long game. In Vintage, many combo decks will sideboard in Bobby to make sure that their stream of cards keeps coming against decks that are likely to stop them once or twice. The strategy works here as well, especially because players are likely to sideboard out their creature removal and might be caught unprepared when your second-turn play is actually the 2/1 machine. I’m pretty cautious about playing a combo deck in an area that historically rocks a lot of Force of Wills, but this is one of the best-built Ad Nauseam decks for fighting Islands.
Whatever you end up playing, you must be prepared for a lot of Merfolk. The deck has popped up a lot recently, especially at the Binghampton Legacy event last month in upstate New York, where some people pegged it as at least a quarter of the field. It’s a phenomenal deck to play and quite easy to build, especially for people dipping into Legacy from other formats. Because of its strength and popularity right now, it would be wise to run some dedicated slots on the sideboard to fight the fishy men. Umezawa’s Jitte and Pyroblast are fine options, and Jaya Ballard, Task Mage has got to be a huge beating on that deck if you want to run bizarre cards (there’s also Spinal Villain, if you want to be more bizarre). It’s interesting that the typical cards used to fight tribal decks in Legacy- Pyroclasm and Engineered Plague– are significantly less powerful, thanks to the eight Lords that Merfolk packs. If you’re interested in running the deck yourself or want to test against it, I suggest this list:
I’m a little biased towards this list, as it runs a single Minamo, School at Water’s Edge, like I suggested in my Merfolk breakdown several weeks ago. The deck’s pilot told me that he used it several times to good effect, giving his Wake Thrashers even more punch. Minamo will likely be unnecessary after mana burn goes away, which will make Wake Thrasher even better (as you can tap out at the end of the opponent’s turn to beef them up on your turn). The Reins of Power on the sideboard are good against other creature decks and for managing Progenitus. If I were running Merfolk, I would experiment with Mirrorweave there, as I’ve had a lot of success with the card in the deck and it’s a complete surprise off of the sideboard.
Finally, you can take a swing at a Lorescale Coatl deck. Christian Sanktjohanser took the list I wrote about three weeks ago, changed it up a little bit and ran it to a 3rd-place finish at a 31-person event in Germany recently. Take a look at this:
Christian swaps out some Thwarts for harder counters; I love Thwart, but I can understand running Counterspells as well. Though one performance in one modest-sized event indicates fairly little, I brought this deck up because I’ve had several emails and forum posts asking for an update. I’d be happy running this deck and sideboard in an event, though I might drop a Spell Snare for another Thwart. Typically, you’ll drop a growing creature and just use countermagic to protect it, and the hard counters are really good for that. You’ll also note a swap of two Looters for two Thought Couriers, to protect against Maelstrom Pulse and Meddling Mage, among others.
I would likely cut the Threads of Disloyalty from the sideboard, as I haven’t found that I really need anything against U/G/x decks. I have found Legacy’s Allure to be a good sideboard option (okay, it references my article too), but it also pushes the number of cards in the deck that require dice to keep track of counters to a critical level. I’d give it the nod over Threads because it’s a lot cheaper to get on the board and makes people play weirdly, attempting to bait you to blow the Allure on a less-good creature of theirs. Anything that makes the opponent slow down their deck’s speed works in our favor. Christian also makes the best of his Winter Orbs against aggro decks with Propaganda, slowing their offense to a glacial crawl where a Dryad or Coatl will win the day. I’m inclined to run Meddling Mage on the sideboard for control decks. I found that Landstill could often out-removal the deck, burning Wrath of God and Swords to Plowshares and hard counters to keep threats from making contact. Meddling Mage allows you to cut the opponent off of Swords to Plowshares and other removal, as well as being a legitimate threat on its own.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the event myself due to a family reunion in Iowa, so I hope that those who go will take good notes and email me with their experiences so I can share them! SCG is also good about bringing cards with them to the event, so you can email them beforehand to make sure they have something that you need so you don’t have to risk looking for cards on-site. You can also email them to see if they have foreign cards you’re looking for. SCG has a lot of foreign goodies listed on the site already, but they also have random things that they’re happy to get to you as well (like four Japanese Disrupt!). There’s Elder Dragon Highlander and many other side events taking place as well, so it’ll be sure to be a weekend of fun!
Until next week…
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