My Legacy Prep For #SCGBALT

Todd Stevens is ready to crush the competition this weekend at #SCGBALT! See his excellent data on where the format stands going into this weekend!

There are three more Opens on the 2016 SCG Tour, one each of Legacy, Modern, and Standard, and they are back-to-back-to-back starting in Baltimore with Legacy this weekend.

The last time I played Legacy was at #SCGWOR in July, where I piloted Infect to a Top 8 finish. I’ll most likely be playing Infect again this weekend, as it’s a deck I can put together, and if your options for Legacy deck choices are limited like mine, then one of the most important tournament preparation aspects is to know the current metagame and what you should have in your sideboard. So let’s take a look at what decks have been successful in different Legacy tournaments recently.

I’m going to be going over the data from three separate sources to see what decks in Legacy are currently performing well. First up is the past week of 5-0 decklists from Magic Online, then the top 8 decklists from the four StarCityGames.Com Classics since the release of Conspiracy: Take the Crown, and finally the Top 8 decklists from the two Eternal Weekend events this month.

Magic Online Legacy 5-0 Decks, 10/25-10/31

These broke down as follows:

  • 11 Eldrazi
  • 7 Reanimator
  • 4 Delver
  • 4 Miracles
  • 2 Elves
  • 2 Jund
  • 1 Death and Taxes
  • 1 Storm
  • 1 Shardless Sultai
  • 1 B/G Dark Depths
  • 1 Infect
  • 1 Lands

Eldrazi strategies have been the most successful on Magic Online this past week, which was quite surprising to me. I played Colorless Eldrazi at #SCGPHILLY in February, and I didn’t feel like the deck was quite there. Well, fast-forward half a year and it looks to be the deck of choice on Magic Online. Looking at Rudy Briszka’s take on the archetype, I like how he has incorporated three Simian Spirit Guides into the maindeck to ensure a fast start and to help cast the two Oblivion Sowers, which have replaced Endbringer. Thorn of Amethyst has been moved to the sideboard to make room for the Simian Spirit Guides and for another copy of Umezawa’s Jitte, which pairs nicely with the three copies of Mishra’s Factory when flooding out.

Even a bigger surprise to me than Eldrazi is the resurgence of Reanimator, as multiple pilots have been doing well with similar versions of the deck. Reanimator has traditionally been a U/B deck, using blue for card selection and Force of Will, but it looks like B/R is the new color combination of choice. Kikionimo has two copies each of Insolate Neonate and Collective Brutality from Eldritch Moon, which gives the deck some new discard outlets that replace the previously played Careful Study. Chancellor of the Annex looks a bit out-of-place, but every one of the seven Reanimator decklists has it as a four-of, so I would expect to see the card try to slow you down if you face Reanimator this weekend.

Jund is one of the more underrated decks in Legacy. Sure, it may not have turn 1 interaction when it’s on the draw like blue decks have in Force of Will, but it has the ability to grind out any deck in sight. As an Infect player, I never like to see my opponent start with a Grove of the Burnwillows, as a single Punishing Fire can be incredibly difficult to fight through. Both of the 5-0 Jund lists featured Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and after playing the deck in Modern, I know that it has the power level to translate into Legacy play as well.

Unfortunately, Conspiracy: Take the Crown is not available on Magic Online, and Death and Taxes doesn’t get to use the new toys that they got in the set. Because of this, we see the new addition from Eldritch Moon, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, as a three-of, as well as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar as a two-of. Armageddon is a card that isn’t always in the sideboard of Death and Taxes decks, but it’s one to remember, and Bocci went the extra step to play three copies to go along with the maindeck playset of Flagstones of Trokair.

StarCityGames.Com Legacy Classic Top 8 Decks, September-October 2016

These broke down as follows:

  • 9 Delver
  • 4 Eldrazi
  • 4 Miracles
  • 3 Aluren
  • 2 Maverick
  • 2 Omni-Tell
  • 1 Dredge
  • 1 Mono-Red Sneak Attack
  • 1 Affinity
  • 1 Storm
  • 1 MUD
  • 1 Jeskai Stoneblade
  • 1 Death and Taxes
  • 1 Reanimator

I’ve lumped all of the Delver variants together in each list for simplicity’s sake, but Grixis Delver, or Four-Color Delver if you count the slightest green splash, is the most popular. Deathrite Shaman can do just about everything, and I sure hope it’s never unbanned in Modern. There doesn’t seem to be too much new technology in Delver lists recently, which is understandable due to how mana-efficient each card already is in the deck. Sulfuric Vortex is a nice addition to the sideboard to fight Miracles decks that traditionally have a good matchup against Grixis Delver.

To the chagrin of time-in-round watchers everywhere, it looks like Sensei’s Divining Top is still legal in the format. In unrelated news, Miracles aficionado Joe Lossett is still winning match after match with his trusted Legacy deck. Kozilek’s Return makes an appearance as a colorless instant-speed sweeper that can take out an Inkmoth Nexus or a Mother of Runes. If you’re playing Eldrazi this weekend, watch out for multiple copies of Moat that can be coming in from the sideboard. As an Infect player, I like to look at the number of Back to Basics or Blood Moons that Miracles players have access to, as it’s another reason to bring in enchantment removal.

I don’t have a ton of experience against Aluren; in fact, I’ve never played against the deck at all. It’s done quite well at recent Classics though, so it’s a deck I’ve put on my radar. The seven discard spells are notable, and look to be their way to clear the path for Aluren to resolve. Alexander Barnett went with the traditional “fifteen different sideboard cards” strategy, a classic, and from among them, Minister of Pain and Blood Moon are cards that I will be ready for when playing Infect.

Eternal Weekend Top 8 Decks

Between Europe and North America, we had:

  • 4 Death and Taxes
  • 4 Miracles
  • 3 Delver
  • 2 Reanimator
  • 1 B/G Depths
  • 1 Eldrazi
  • 1 Elves

These are the results from the Top 8s of the two Eternal Weekend tournaments, one from Columbus this past weekend and the other from Paris the weekend before that. The two copies of Reanimator again are worth noting, as it really looks like it’s in a good position in the current metagame.

When I think of European Legacy, I think of Death and Taxes, but surprisingly three of the four Death and Taxes decks to make Top 8 were from Columbus. Unlike on Magic Online, at #SCGBALT you need to be prepared for the Conspiracy: Take the Crown additions to Death and Taxes, specifically Recruiter of the Guard and Sanctum Prelate. Sanctum Prelate allows the deck to have a Chalice of the Void-type effect on a creature, but instead of having to pay mana, you get to just choose the number that you want! Recruiter of the Guard is also perfect for the deck, as it can tutor up any creature except Serra Avenger in the entire build, which is especially nice when you need to find the Containment Priest or Ethersworn Canonist.

First off, congratulations to Oran Kremen for taking down the tournament with B/G Depths. He entered the elimination portion as the eighth seed, but being on the draw each round didn’t stop him. This is a combo deck built solely around creating a Marit Lage token from Dark Depths and then protecting it. You know you’re going deep when you have three copies of Not of this World in your maindeck, but it’s actually just the perfect card to protect Marit Lage.

No matter what your Legacy deck of choice is, these are the decks that have been doing well recently and that you need to be ready for at #SCGBALT.

Comments from Last Week

I’m finishing my article this week by highlighting some comments from my last article, Your Guide To Sun And Moon In Modern. If you would like to be featured in next week’s Comments from Last Week section, then leave a question or comment below and be sure to come back next week to see if you made the cut!

I feel like a single copy of Gemstone Caverns could go a long way to helping win “on the draw” games, especially since you already don’t want to be playing Path to Exile with Blood Moon, and without access to any turn 1 interaction, getting to two or three mana faster seems invaluable.

– Josh Dickerson

Being on the play as opposed to on the draw is usually vital for the linear decks in Modern, but I’m more comfortable being on the draw with Sun and Moon than any other deck because of the sweepers. With that being said, though, I’m not opposed to playing a single Gemstone Caverns. The reason why I didn’t play a Gemstone Cavers at #SCGMKE is that having a colorless land can cost you games at times, which was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. Having a copious amount of basic Plains in the deck is necessary, but that puts a strain on the amount of red sources, which means casting Anger of the Gods on turn 3 can be problematic. I didn’t want to cut a basic Plains or a red source for the Gemstone Caverns at #SCGMKE, but I may be able to get away with one less red source, so I will be testing out Gemstone Caverns in the future.

Have you tried Wall of Omens in this list to help protect the planeswalkers?

– Micah De La Huerta

Wall of Omens has the potential to be a blocker to neutralize an opponent’s creature while replacing itself, but in practice this very rarely happens. As the only creature in the deck, Wall of Omens turns on the opponent’s creature removal and therefore doesn’t do the job that I would want most, which would be blocking. Also, creatures like Tarmogoyf can easily be larger than a Wall of Omens, which makes the blocking aspect a one-time thing that doesn’t solve my Tarmogoyf problem. Finally, dedicating some number of slots in the deck to having Wall of Omens would directly take away from the number of removal spells that I would be able to play, which is not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.