Welcome to What We’d Play! With SCG Syracuse this weekend, many are
unsure what they’d play in such a high-profile tournament. That’s where
we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it.
Hopefully this last-minute advice aids in your decision making! Be sure
to vote for who you agree with in the poll at the end!
Shaheen Soorani – Temur Delver
I love Legacy. I’ve always considered it to be the most skill intensive
format, even during some rough patches that called for bannings. I strung
together a campaign of victories over two years with just a Batterskull and
an Umezawa’s Jitte in my hand, but times have changed. Now, when I look to
the Legacy experts for inspiration, there is no Kor Artifcer to be found.
Wrenn and Six is the real deal in Legacy. Wasteland coming back every turn
isn’t a fair series by any stretch, which is compounded by an aggressive
battlefield presence. I see many of the Legacy gurus out there moving
toward a more control style shell, but I don’t think that’s the best course
of action. There’s little better than keeping your opponent’s resources
low, having cheap disruption, and a threat going to town. Once players
shift over to basic lands, control will be at the top of the hill.
For now, I’ll sling a few Delver of Secrets this weekend.
Tom Ross – Infect
Infect does well when there isn’t a ton of Delver decks going around.
Various Golgari Depths decks are popping up as well as Sneak and Show.
Lands is falling out of favor too. The more time in between Legacy events,
the better Infect tends to be since players tend to play more fringe decks
that they want to because they so frequently get a chance.
I like the versatility of Green Sun’s Zenith with a Viridian Corrupter
maindeck. I think Infect can afford to spread out the edge points a little
to have game against the artifact decks in Game 1. Often if the Dryad Arbor
and Viridian Corrupter are unnecessary, they get sideboarded out.
The only sideboard card that I want as a two-of is Force of Vigor in
response to heavy artifact decks that play Karn, the Great Creator as well
as Mono-Red Prison with Chalice of the Void and Blood Moon. I like the
second copy of Wasteland in the sideboard as well for decks dependent on
lands like Dark Depths or Maze of Ith.
I think Legacy is far from the solved “Four-Color Goodstuff” that it was a
year ago. I expect players to want to be proactive, which falls into
Infect’s plan on countering their relevant piece and responding with its
own combo of Invigorate plus Berserk.
Todd Anderson – Temur Delver
I’ve been a huge fan of Delver of Secrets for so long that it’s difficult
to accept when a new iteration comes along and just becomes the best
version. Legacy doesn’t get a spotlight too often, but this weekend’s
Legacy Open will undoubtedly showcase just how strong Wrenn and Six is in a
wide range of fair decks. It’s the new Deathrite Shaman, and it’s versatile
enough and powerful enough to carry a ton of different archetypes.
Dreadhorde Arcanist is a great pickup for the strategy, giving us another
powerful creature to play alongside Tarmogoyf that doesn’t cost as much as
True-Name Nemesis. It also just closes the door on opponent’s that don’t
deal with it immediately. Legacy is full of powerful one-mana spells, and
Dreadhorde Arcanist allows you to cast them turn after turn. Even
re-casting something as innocuous as Ponder is incredibly powerful when
you’re low on overall resources.
Crop Rotation is a newer addition that I first saw in the hands of Autumn
Burchett, and one that I adore. Giving Wrenn and Six a bit more versatility
is huge, but you also have a wide variety of tutor targets to help in a
number of scary situations. Even just grabbing a Wasteland and locking your
opponent out is pretty solid, since you’re usually much better equipped to
function on a small amount of mana. But when you get a Bojuka Bog at
instant speed or Karakas to bounce a Griselbrand, that’s really where Crop
Rotation carries its weight.
Temur Delver is back, and it has a lot of new tools at its disposal. I’m
not sure if it should be three or four colors but having Tarmogoyf to dodge
Lightning Bolt is certainly great. Maybe it’s time to go back to Submerge
to help in the mirror?
Emma Handy – Burn
The fairer the format gets, the better Burn is.
The best way to punish that? Having a deck that’s redundant enough to make
disruption weak and force the opponent to answer literally everything. This
list is very similar to one that did very well in an event earlier this
year, and the format has mostly gotten better for the deck in the time
Burn is soft to unfair decks in general, but with Narset and Temur Delver
running around, unfair decks are at an all-time low. Punish people
Ryan Overturf – Four-Color Phoenix
I’m not usually known for posting decks that are as narrowly focused as
this, but ever since we covered David Raczka
playing Land Grant in his Arclight Phoenix deck in Syracuse back in March,
I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the strategy. It’s rare that I see a new
deck and am floored that what was happening was even possible, but this
deck managed to amaze me instantly.
The goal is to cast any spell instant or sorcery, then Dark Ritual and
Buried Alive to get three Phoenixes back. Land Grant and Lotus Petal are
the two fastest options to get you going. From there, discard spells
protect your combo, and cantrips help you set up. Raczka had a secondary
win condition in Thing in the Ice, but both it and Bitterblossom have
underperformed in my experience, and I’ve landed on just maindecking some
Assassin’s Trophies so that I can fight through Chalice of the Void and
have the means to combo through anything. This deck is surprisingly robust
at fighting through interaction with this disruption package.
Legacy is a really tough format to break into, and this deck has
considerably fewer matches behind it than anything else in the format, but
it has been powerful in my experience and a ton of fun to play. You have
something for everybody in terms of making sure that your combo can
function, and the turns when you go off are just a blast.
Autumn Burchett – Temur Delver
I’m very biased towards playing whatever the best Delver deck is in Legacy,
provided it seems well positioned. I’d already been impressed with Temur
Delver in post-Modern Horizons Legacy but winning a local team
tournament with the archetype this last weekend convinced me that it would
be hard for me to register anything else whilst Wrenn and Six is legal.
I think Wrenn and Six is less powerful and less format warping than
Deathrite Shaman if only because it costs twice as much mana. In Delver
decks, though, it fulfils an incredibly similar role, making your fragile
mana-base more resilient in the face of opposing mana denial whilst giving
you the kind of powerful late-game that tempo decks rarely get access to.
Just like Deathrite Shaman, Wrenn and Six lets your tempo deck morph into a
midrange deck when you want it to. Grixis Delver was always the best
Deathrite Shaman deck, and in the same way Temur Delver will always be the
best Wrenn and Six deck; in slower decks Wrenn contributes to their core
game-plan, but in Delver decks Wrenn redefines what your deck is actually
People are still trying to figure out the ideal way to build Temur Delver.
Personally I have been very impressed by the Crop Rotation package in the
sideboard which allows you to tutor up silver bullets against decks like
Lands, Golgari Depths and Rakdos Reanimator, meanwhile being able to use
Crop Rotation to more consistently set up a Wasteland-lock with Wrenn and
Six against decks relying on Eye of Ugin or Cloudpost is very appealing
too. Hexdrinker is the additional flex-slot threat that has impressed me
the most so far simply because it helps keep your curve low and forces your
opponent to play into your cheap countermagic, though Dreadhorde Arcanist
is appealing too if you’d rather go that way. Meanwhile the additions of
Force of Negation and Veil of Summer really help cement all your various
It really does feel like Temur Delver can beat anything it wants to now.
Ross Merriam – Golgari Depths
I’ve struggled with Legacy since the ban of Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian
Probe put a huge hurt on the two decks I’ve had success with over the last
five years (ANT and Elves). There isn’t a lot of incentive to delve deep
into the format given how rarely I play the format, so I’m going to take my
cues from two of the best Legacy players I know: Tannon Grace and Bob
Tannon has been unimpressed with the recent iterations of Delver that
incorporate Wrenn and Six, which is where I’d naturally look first, and Bob
has been playing Golgari Depths to much success, winning the most recent
Legacy Classic with the above list. The deck has a powerful combo that can
be executed consistently by Turn 3 or 4, good disruption with the discard
spells and Abrupt Decay, and just enough threats to win with mediocre
beatdowns if the opponent goes too hard to shut down Dark Depths.
I love me some mediocre beatdowns. Even more so when they come from a Crop
Rotation on a stick. I don’t see another deck in Legacy that matches
Golgari Depths in its combination of speed, power, and versatility, so it’s
my pick for Syracuse.
Ari Lax – Mystic Forge Combo
This is the “you got chocolate on my peanut butter” of Legacy nonsense. It
is everything horribly broken and wrong in the format, all shuffled into
one wild pile. It’s also a susurrus_mtg jam, the player behind a lot of the
Whir Prison deck that was good in Modern the first half of this year.
The baseline is that you are a generic Ancient Tomb deck. You have Chalice
of the Void, some other turbo colorless threats, but your fast mana is Mox
Opal and Grim Monolith and not Chrome Mox and Simian Spirit Guide.
Then you resolve Mystic Forge and the fun starts. You just spam a bunch of
cards off the top of your deck, which is super easy since so many broken
zero-mana artifacts that make mana exist. Lion’s Eye Diamond casting spells
off the top of your deck is super fun and normal Magic, and the classic
Voltaic Key plus Grim Monolith setup pays huge dividends here.
Some games end when you cast Karn, the Great Creator and resolve Mycosynth
Lattice, but that’s not the fun one. Sometimes you cast Paradox Engine.
Then every spell you cast untaps your Grim Monoliths, untaps your Mystic
Forge to filter away a land on top, untaps your Voltaic Keys which can
untap either of those depending on if you need to filter away more lands or
already have spell. Then eventually you cast your deck, make a ton of mana,
cast Karn, and find Walking Ballista.
If that’s not exactly what you signed up for in a Legacy event, what are
you doing with your life?