The SCG Tour moves along this week to Worcester, MA for the lone Legacy
Open in Season One. Though each season only has a single Legacy Open, the
format has increased in exposure with the inclusion and uptick of Team
Constructed events. This will be the first Legacy main event since October
when the SCG Tour stop in Washington DC followed Eternal Weekend in
The Legacy format has stabilized since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top
in the spring of 2017, neutering the dominant Miracles control deck. Grixis
Delver now holds the title of best deck, though it often gave Miracles a
run for its money before, and the infusion of Leovold, Emissary of Trest
gave birth to Four-Color Control – the next best blue-based Deathrite
Shaman deck. While the loss of Sensei’s Divining Top removed the lock
element of control in conjunction with Counterbalance, Miracles has had
quite the revitalization thanks to a new cornerstone from Ixalan.
Search for Azcanta gives Miracles a true control feel as opposed to the
prison-style lock from before, allowing the deck to grind out any other
midrange or control deck given enough time. Turns out Terminus backed by S
words to Plowshares, Snapcaster Mage, every cantrip known to man (including
Portent), and Jace, the Mind Sculptor is a powerful enough shell to hang
around and beat the format mainstays.
While Brainstorm-fueled control and tempo decks rule the format, non-blue
decks still have a place in Legacy and make up a large chunk of the
strongest decks. Lands and Turbo Depths compete for the title of best
non-blue deck, both relying on the power of the pairing of Dark Depths and
Thespian Stage – albeit in completely different archetypes. Lands is a
prison deck that packs a potential quick combo kill when running your
opponent out of lands and creatures isn’t a viable option. Turbo Depths is
a pure combo deck that looks to create Marit Lage as quickly as possible
along with multiple pieces of hand disruption and Pithing Needle to shut
down opposing Wastelands. Other non-blue staples in the format include
Death and Taxes (now often splashing red for Magus of the Moon, Pia and
Kiran Nalaar, and Dire Fleet Daredevil), Punishing Abzan, Elves, Colorless
Eldrazi, and B/R Reanimator.
Rounding out the metagame are the combo decks utilizing blue: Storm and
Sneak and Show. Storm splinters off into TES and Ad Nauseam variants while
Sneak and Show has undergone almost no changes in the past couple of years.
Both decks want to kill you fast, with Storm looking to assemble a lethal
Tendrils of Agony or massive Empty the Warrens, and Sneak and Show trying
to put Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on the battlefield in the
first few turns of the game. From here, the metagame consists of countless
midrange and tempo decks revolving around Stoneforge Mystic or Delver of
Secrets, and rogue decks. Burn, Infect, Belcher, Food Chain, Aluren,
Mono-Red Sneak Attack, Dredge, Metalworker, and many other niche decks will
show up, so you can never count out facing a brew.
Players to Watch
There’s a case for Bob Huang being the best Grixis Delver player in the
game. The best deck in the best player’s hands leads to a player you have
to watch. In the past five years or so, few players have had the finishes
of Huang in Legacy and almost all of them with Delver of some shape or
size. For recent results, check out the time period of October 21 to
November 19 where Huang piloted Grixis Delver to three Top-8 finishes,
ranging from Top 4 at Eternal Weekend’s Legacy Championship, Top 4 at
#SCGDC’s Legacy Open, and Top 8 at #SCGBALT’s Team Open. Other notables for
Huang include winning the Legacy Championship at Eternal Weekend in 2015
and putting Treasure Cruise and Monastery Swiftspear on the map in his New
Jersey Legacy Open winning U/R Delver deck the week of the release of Khans of Tarkir in 2014.
Kevin King has been doing a whole bunch of winning lately, benefiting
greatly by the rising popularity in Team Opens allowing more Legacy to be
played on the SCG Tour. The longtime Lands player saw success before Team
Opens, including a runner-up finish in the Worcester Legacy Open in 2016
and a Top-4 finish at the Legacy Championship in 2015, but has found his
sweet spot over the past year. Of the six Team Opens since their start in
2017, King has reached the finals of half of them – pairing with completely
different squads in each – including a win in Dallas earlier this year with
Julian John and Jonathan Rosum.
Noah Walker is the only player on the SCG Tour with two wins in Legacy
Opens in the two-day Open era and is one of just three players with three
wins since the change. On top of his individual wins in Worcester in 2015
and Philadelphia in 2016 (both with Grixis Delver), Walker won the Team
Open in Baltimore at the end of 2017 alongside Dylan Donegan and Oliver
Tiu. Though Walker swapped to Four-Color Control in Baltimore, he was back
on Grixis Delver for the Team Open Top 8 in Philadelphia this year with
Donegan and Zan Syed. When it comes to Brainstorm-on-Brainstorm matches,
Walker is not a player you want to be paired against.
I’m not going to lie to you: Worcester is my least favorite food stop on
the SCG Tour. In terms of food close to the venue, the options are quite
limited. Outside of Mezcal and Uno Pizzeria, the two closest options to the
event, you’re going to be at least 10 minutes away from food. The other hit
Worcester takes is that the DCU Center doesn’t allow outside food or drink
of any kind – so be prepared to sneak in your coffee if you’ve got some.
This is basically the saving grace for food at #SCGWOR. I’m a big fan of
Mexican food and restaurants across the street from the venue I’m working
at all weekend. Not only is Mezcal close, but it’s delicious as well.
Firstly, check out the guacamole. I tend to go for the sampler to try out a
variety of flavors, but don’t mind locking in the tropical mix either. The
quesadillas and tacos are great, but if you make it in for lunch,
definitely take advantage of the unlimited taco, burrito, and salad bar.
These next two options are new to me, but look like solid choices and add a
bit of variety if you’re willing to venture away from event site. According
to their website, Volturno “is recognized by the Association Pizzaiuoli
Napoletani to make pizza according to the strict guidelines set forth by
Italy,” which apparently is a thing and interests me greatly. The menu is
pretty vast with plenty of classic Italian options, but I’m zoning in on
the Capocolla pizza.
Next up on my list of places to try is Shawarma Palace, a Mediterranean
restaurant with “healthy and delicious Middle Eastern delicacies.” I’m
Mono-Chicken Shawarma Aggro when it comes to Mediterranean food, so I’m
looking forward to trying that, but am open to new dishes as well. And
there is no better way to top off some Shawarma than Baklava.
As usual, live coverage of #SCGWOR starts at 10:30 a.m. ET on
Twitch.tv/SCGTour with Round 1. I’ll be joined this weekend with Cedric
Phillips and Patrick Sullivan calling all the action. Day 2 begins at 10
a.m. on Sunday, starting with Round 10 of the Swiss.