Too Much Information – StarCityGames.com Legacy Open: Baltimore

Tuesday, October 12th – What has changed in the Legacy metagame? Does Survival continue to dominate? Which staple isn’t doing so hot? Prepare for the StarCityGames.com Legacy Open in Nashville with these stats!

Legacy is looking a bit more like Standard as the best decks start to separate themselves. With three decks comprising more than ten percent of the field, the post-banning Legacy metagame is taking shape. There are definitely decks that deserve a larger share — New Horizons, Ad Nauseam, Land — as well as decks whose popularity is unfounded in the current format — NO Bant, Dredge. The main story is that most of the major decks
(Sorry, Counter-Top) are putting up numbers to support their popularity. (If you’d like to download the complete data,
click this link!



  • The best deck that is running low numbers is New Horizons but a 3-5 record against top dog, Survival, makes me hesitant to recommend it.
  • Former best Counter-Top variant, Thopters, had a very rough event and a 1-3 record against Survival doesn’t bode well going forward.
  • B/W Weenie put up some surprising numbers while White Weenie was the chump of the day. What a difference disruption makes!
  • That was a very homogenous Top 16, but the decks that didn’t fit are the most interesting. Daniel Signorini’s Team America, Sam Black’s Land, and Nick Walter’s Counter-Top Painted Stone decks broke up the wall of Merfolk (5), Survival (5), and Ad Nauseam (2).
  • It was another disappointing day for Charbelcher decks. The former king of combo seems to be lagging behind the pack.
  • Ad Nauseam has been surprisingly resilient since the banning of Mystical Tutor. It’s hard to say that it wasn’t hurt by the format change, but it has actually ticked up in win percentage in events since July 1.

Merfolk — 14.59% of the Field — Won 55.53% of Matches

Mono Blue:
Thomas Walck, 6th

Black Board:
Paul Lynch, 1st

We knew that Merfolk could feast on Counter-Top decks, but what was new in Baltimore was that they were able to hold their own in the Survival matchup. Goblins and Zoo continue to be a problem (disaster?), but if the field stays static with Counter-Top comprising a large chunk and Goblins and Zoo remaining second tier players, Merfolk can continue to be the premier aggro deck in Legacy.

Counter-Top — 11.59% of the Field — Won 48.50% of Matches

4 Color Control:
David Gearhart, 43rd

Slade Brenneman, 75th

NO Bant:
Rion Marmulstein, 64th

Painted Stone:
Nick Walters, 14th

Wow, was this a bad event for one of the premier card combos in Legacy. A sub 50% win percentage is just the beginning as the headline is that Counter-Top decks got rolled over by Merfolk (again) and Survival. Unless Counter-Top decks can find a way to pull the two most important matchups in the format closer to even, expect these decks to start to decline sharply in popularity. Painted Stone variants were the most successful on the day but are very vulnerable to even a single Eldrazi or Progenitus.

Survival — 10.73% of the Field — Won 62.35% of Matches

U/G Survival:
Blake Patraw, 2nd

Nathaniel Chafe, 5th

Mono Green:
Alix Hatfield, 15th

It wasn’t a fluke; this is the third event in a row that Survival of the Fittest has dominated. The only sub .500 matchup on the day was Zoo, probably because Zoo players are figuring out where to aim their burn spells, and Merfolk pulling even is likely to be due to players figuring out the matchup. What this shows is that Survival can still be a major force, and the best deck at the event, when the format starts gunning for it. The most interesting development was the new version of the deck brought by Alix and Jesse Hatfield. Their mono-green build adds Elvish Spirit Guide to accelerate and Arrogant Wurm for additional beat down while completely eliminating color issues. The Hatfields have posted some very strong results in the StarCityGames.com Open Series, and when they have a new take on a deck, it’s usually ahead of the curve.

Goblins — 7.73% of the Field — Won 50.89% of Matches

Brian Braun-Duin, 25th

Goblins, especially the version that splashes black, has quietly been putting up some very good numbers. The (+B) version had the best average finish on the day despite having a best finish of 25th. That takes excellent consistency and more than half of those decks finished in the Top 60. The best thing that Goblins has going for it is its supremacy over Merfolk and Zoo. An argument can be made that Goblins is currently the dominant aggro deck in the format due to its matchups with the other contenders. The Survival matchup is a concern, as I see Survival builds continuing to gain popularity, and Goblin players will need to address that weakness before they will be able to thrive at the top tables.

Under the Radar

Saturday’s StarCityGames.com Standard Open champion, Ali Aintrazi, brought a deck that has had limited success in the StarCityGames.com Open Series. Helm of the Void decks have shown up from time to time and have posted some very good results. Because Leyline of the Void exiles all of the cards that you mill, Helm of Obedience never meets its “X cards are put in the graveyard” requirement and therefore mills the opponent’s entire deck. Leyline also gets around Gaea’s Blessing and Eldrazi by exiling them as they’re milled, but Progenitus is still an issue, as the opponent can choose to shuffle it into the deck rather than exile it,* creating an infinite loop and forcing a draw. It would be interesting to see what would happen if this deck started showing up in larger numbers.

[Correction: After review, this ruling is incorrect as the opponent will be forced to choose to apply the Leyline of the Void replacement effect because it is an “action called for by objects involved in the loop.”]

Losing 0-2 to staples Merfolk and Ad Nauseam are not encouraging, but a 3-0 record against Survival is very impressive and definitely worth thinking about as Survival continues to dominate Legacy.

We’re gearing up for the last few weekends of the StarCityGames.com Open Series in
Nashville, TN,

Charlotte, NC,

Boston, MA.

The Inaugural
StarCityGames.com Invitational
happens in Richmond on December 3rd through 5th and don’t forget that we’ll also be kicking off the 2011 StarCityGames.com Open Series with an Open Weekend running alongside.

It’s going to be a great, and busy, end of the year, and I look forward to bringing you all the info you need to make it a successful end to 2010!


* If two or more replacement and/or prevention effects are attempting to modify the way an event affects an object or player, the affected object’s controller (or its owner if it has no controller) or the affected player chooses one to apply – Interaction of Replacement and/or Prevention Effects —
Comprehensive Rules, 616