Too Much Information – StarCityGames.com Legacy Open – Denver and Minneapolis

Tuesday, September 14th – The numbers don€™t lie – and after Denver and Minneapolis, there’s a new top dog in Legacy. Plus, three Under the Radar decks that made money in Denver and Minneapolis!

There are lots of charts to dissect today — and I’ve dug up some diamonds in the rough in today’s Under the Radar feature.

The impact of Grand Prix: Columbus is evident across the Legacy metagame, but nowhere more so than in the emergence of Survival of the Fittest decks as the dominant archetype in the format. Although it has yet to take home a trophy, Survival was the most consistent deck over the two events, posting posted 60% win percentages in both events.

The Aluren decks that made some noise at the Grand prix have not shown up in any reasonable quantity, but both decks were in contention for money at the end of the day, finishing in the 40s. We also had some fun surprises, with Ken Adams piloting Imperial Painter to the trophy in Minneapolis as well as Blue Land, Aggro Loam, Burn, and Ad Nauseam making top 8 finishes. (The full spreadsheet
can be found here




One of the most striking things about this field is the complete disappearance of Reanimator — and with good reason. Reanimator posted a dismal 30.00% win percentage in Denver, and was absent from Minneapolis. I would not consider it a viable deck choice until it gets a boost from somewhere.

The most profound impact that this has on the metagame is that the Reanimator’s disappearance is a major blow to Merfolk, who feasted on Reanimator. Now, Merfolk are struggling just below 50%.

The stars from the bottom of the list this time are some old favorites: Ad Nauseam in Denver, Bant in Minneapolis, and Blue Land overall.

Merfolk — 12.88% of the Field — Won 47.54% of Matches

(Black Board) — 6.44% of the Field — Won 43.81% of Matches

Standard Build:

Constantine Vigderman, 1st
Place — Denver

Black Board Build:

Michael Poszgay, 9th
Place — Minneapolis


Despite its win in Denver, I have to say that Merfolk is a deck that’s on the decline. It certainly has the power level to play with the big boys, and will remain a deck that plays a part in the metagame, but it no longer has the positive matchups (especially as noted, Reanimator) to stay at the top of the field as it once did.

In fact, Merfolk is an underdog to just about every top archetype,

for old style Counter-Top builds. I expect Merfolk will eventually cycle back into relevance — but right now, the format just is not being kind.

Counter-Top — 11.19% of the Field — Won 49.39% of Matches

(4 Color) — 4.41% of the Field — Won 61.73% of Matches

4 Color Build:

Alex Smith, 14th
Place — Denver


Counter-Top is a very tough archetype to classify, since almost all of the decks have a sub-archetype. The most prevalent of these subtypes is 4-Color, which shores up some of the deck’s weaknesses against aggro with Firespout.

The best build of this style of decks may be found in U/W, which put its only two players into the top 8 in Denver. With NO Bant apparently taking a major nosedive (who thought that a 10/10 with protection from everything wouldn’t be that good?), it will be interesting to see the evolution of this archetype as we go forward.

Goblins — 8.84% of the Field — Won 53.21% of Matches
(+B) — 4.07% of the Field — Won 46.72% of Matches

Standard Build:

Hans Feng, 4th
Place — Denver

(+B) Build:

Jonathan Watry, 4th
Place — Minneapolis


The disappearance of Reanimator and other single-creature strategies (NO Bant performed terribly) hurt the Goblins decks that splashed for Warren Weirding at the expense of offensive power.

One interesting strategy that was very successful in Denver: a green sideboarding strategy that could add Krosan Grip out of the side to combat opposing Aether Vials, Survivals, and Sensei’s Divining Tops. With Survival decks becoming major players (and with remember, Survival is a weak matchup for Goblins), this seems like a better strategy than holding onto tech from before the rotation.

Survival — 8.84% of the Field — Won 64.33% of Matches
(U/G Madness) — 6.46% of the Field — Won 64.79% of Matches


Standard Build:

Dan Bogucki, 33rd
Place — Minneapolis

U/G Madness Build:

Blake Patraw, 3rd
Place — Minneapolis


Long live the king! (Now win something, darn it.)

Positive matchups against literally
every other major archetype

over these two events is, simply put, insane. These are the type of numbers that can get a card banned. Now all the deck has to do is win a large event, and it will put a big exclamation point after the target that’s already on its back.

Although it made up less than 9% of the field, it more than doubled that share and made up more than 18% of the top 16 decks… So if you plan to win at a Legacy event, you had better be prepared to deal with Survival decks.

Under the Radar

Since I was late getting out this volume of TMI, I wanted to provide a bit of a treat in some extra decks that you may not have seen. All of the following decks made money at the last two events:


Luke managed to post a 3-1 record against Survival — and his other loss was to Legacy Open Champion Ken Adams. That’s a pretty good record for a deck that’s usually considered support for the Counter-Top combo. Keeping the full complement of Force of Wills and Dazes,

adding four copies of the underrated Spellstutter Sprite, gives the deck a lot of control aspects to back up its ability to power out aggressive creatures.


The thing that I like most about this deck is the fact that the sideboard is an Enlightened Tutor toolbox. You side in four Tutors and the pieces that will help, and then essentially have five copies of your silver bullet. With Merfolk poorly situated in the format, and Zoo not doing much, an aggro deck with better answers could make some noise.


That’s right — Allies! I love the synergy between Ondu Cleric and Dark Confidant — with both on the board, any ally that you reveal will get you life back as soon as you play it. With so many ways to give protection, it is easy to slip past your opponent’s defenses to get in those last points of damage. With five top 16 (2-3) and three top 8 (1-2) players as opponents and a 3-0 record against Survival, this deck is worth more than a passing glance.

I hope that this article was worth the wait. I’m really looking forward to our return to the East Coast in Baltimore next weekend. Let’s kick off the last leg of the 2010 Open Series with a bang! See you there!