Your Legacy Crash Course For SCG Washington DC

East Coast Legacy fans, rejoice! It’s a Legacy Open in Washington DC this weekend. But what if you’re not familiar with the format? Maybe it’s been a while? Tom “The Boss” Ross will refresh everything you need to capitalize at the nation’s capital!

It’s been a while since the SCG Tour has hosted a Legacy Open and I, for one, am excited it’s the format of this weekend’s event in Washington DC.

There haven’t been any breakthrough emergent decks pop onto the scene since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top on April 24th, 2017. There was a short stint of players adapting with Miracles with Predict and Portent, but it seems that without the consistent instant-speed Terminus the archetype ultimately was an underpowered shadow.

Eternal Weekend bought out over 700 players from across the globe and provided some good insight on what the metagame at #SCGDC might look like.




Four-Color Leovold



Grixis Delver



Sneak and Show






Death and Taxes





















Mono-Red Moon






Turbo Depths









U/R Delver






Food Chain



Sultai Delver



Sultai Control





































Let’s start with the deck that took down the tournament.

And its close Delver cousins:

Delver will always be a hugely popular deck due to its combination of quick clock, deck manipulation, and cheap interaction. It backs up its namesake Delver of Secrets with countermagic in Daze and Force of Will, ensuring that it’s never dead in the water to any matchup. After that, it comes down to preference for Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. The Delver versions with black play Deathrite Shaman as well to ramp, drain life, gain life, and interact with opposing graveyards.

While Sultai Delver wasn’t the most popular Delver variant, it did take home the trophy. Why?

It was the one Delver deck that could go toe-to-toe with Colorless Eldrazi.

Much like Eldrazi Tron in Modern, the Legacy Eldrazi deck aims to power out undercosted creatures. Chalice of the Void can easily come down on Turn 1, significantly crippling the majority of decks in Legacy. Colorless Eldrazi will have the color(less) of mana it needs to operate, which dodges one of the universal fail rates associated with Magic.

Sorcerous Spyglass from Ixalan has replaced Pithing Needle as their interaction with various troublesome permanents, including Wasteland, Deathrite Shaman, and planeswalkers. Sorcerous Spyglass dodges Chalice of the Void on one and can have an immediate impact on the battlefield, even if you intend on naming a different permanent.

For example, since Sorcerous Spyglass can stop the activated abilities of lands, the opponent needs to crack their fetchlands before Sorcerous Spyglass resolves. Opponents playing Brainstorm will often want to cast it to hide information as well. These are all nice added benefits when you have a good idea what problem permanent you want to name anyway. Of course, when the opponent is playing multiple cards you’re interested in answering, then you get to see their hand before deciding on the call.

A pile of cards piloted by Czech pro Ondrej Strasky, Four-Color Leovold plays the same good cards as the Delver decks but has more of a long-term plan against the field.

Instead of playing Daze, which sets you back a land drop, Four-Color Leovold plays more expensive cards like Leovold, Emissary of Trest; Kolaghan’s Command; and Jace, the Mind Sculptor to beat the opposition with some of the strongest cards Legacy has to offer. Snapcaster Mage along with Kolaghan’s Command can create a card advantage loop to bury the opponent in value. In a format where people are routinely one-for-twoing themselves with Force of Will, a little card advantage goes a long way.

The new planewalker rule lets a transformed Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and a Jace, the Mind Sculptor work together in unison. Baby Jace has long been pushed out of Legacy due to its universally better-regarded four-mana version of itself. Again, the addition of the two-mana creature form of Jace works wonderfully with Kolaghan’s Command.

Key Decks Not to Top 8 Eternal Weekend

Lands is great at “munching Delvers,” as Jody Keith puts it.

Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows do work against small creatures while providing some inevitability against the grinder matchups. The main plan, however, is to make a 20/20 flying indestructible creature ASAP and make them have the answer. Even if they do, Life from the Loam is looming to make another.

Lands is a toolbox deck at heart with Gamble and the ability to dredge with Life from the Loam to find the key lands it needs. It has a surprising amount of interaction with access to The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Maze of Ith, Bojuka Bog, and Karakas. It can draw extra cards or generate extra dredge with cycling lands like Tranquil Thicket or Sheltered Thicket.

I felt like Lands was the best deck in Legacy three months ago. While it didn’t have an outstanding performance during Eternal Weekend, it will certainly still be a force to be reckoned with this weekend.

If you can count on anything, it’s Death and Taxes remaining a contender in the Legacy metagame.

Death and Taxes aims to constrict the opponent’s mana with Wasteland, Rishadan Port, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to the point that they aren’t used to operating. Aether Vial puts tricky creatures onto the battlefield at instant speed, creating a clever beatdown gameplan of creatures that also tend to interact with the opponent. Stoneforge Mystic grabs the most efficient Equipment for the game at hand. Flickerwisp targets any permanent and can do anything from resetting your Prelate to retriggering your Stoneforge Mystic or killing a Marit Lage token.

Swords to Plowshares is still the best removal spell in Magic and one of the biggest draws to white, forgoing other Legacy staples like Brainstorm, Force of Will, and Deathrite Shaman to play a mono-color strategy that can support all of the colorless lands.

Death and Taxes is great at punishing decks like Delver or Storm that are heavy on cantrip cards like Ponder and Brainstorm when Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is on the battlefield. Sanctum Prelate can shut off entire sections of someone’s deck. The lock pieces need to be in just long enough for the entourage of creatures to attack and close the deal.

Storm can win as early as the first turn, making it one of the scariest decks in Legacy. Many a victim has been claimed by keeping a hand without a Force of Will. Even more have had that Force plucked from their hand and died anyway.

Storm is a creatureless deck that wins by casting a critical mass of spells on one turn and then finishing the opponent off with Tendrils of Agony. It uses cantrips like Ponder and Preordain to find its combo pieces while using discard spells like Duress and Cabal Therapy to make sure the coast in clear. If necessary, it can find Ad Nauseam or Past in Flames with Infernal Tutor to generate enough gas to continue.

Because Storm is a creatureless deck, it dodges common removal like Fatal Push or Swords to Plowshares. You also don’t have to worry about combat and instead focus all of your mental energy developing your plan of survival and card sequencing.

JPA93 has played various Show and Tell decks on Magic Online the past several months, dabbling in Eureka and with and without Omniscience. They recently won the Legacy Modern Challenge with the above build which looks to be the build to beat (or play) at #SCGDC.

The goal here is as blunt as it comes in Legacy: cast a Show and Tell as early as possible with acceleration like Lotus Petal and Ancient Tomb and plop down a huge fatty like Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Backed up by a Force of Will, you have a formula that will end games nearly on the spot.

Sneak Attack provides some redundancy to your creature-cheating plan as well as a win condition that doesn’t put a permanent onto the battlefield for your opponent. Omniscience is a great card to land off a Show and Tell against people that are trying to beat you with a Karakas or nifty creature like Ashen Rider. Omniscience lets you actually cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, granting you the extra turn along the way.

Sneak and Show is great in a Legacy metagame full of decks that play to the battlefield, like Lands or Death and Taxes.

B/R Reanimator is in a similar vein to Sneak and Show as a deck that aims to get a huge creature down early and hope it’s good enough (it usually is). Instead of countermagic, the plan is to make the opponent discard their interactive spell with Thoughtseize or Unmask. Notably, both cards can be pointed at yourself to get a creature into your graveyard.

The prevalence of Deathrite Shaman is annoying for Reanimator, but that doesn’t really matter if they don’t draw it or are going second. After sideboarding, the Reanimator deck brings alternative plans to skirt graveyard interaction.

Stronghold Gambit isn’t so risky when you’re faced against a creatureless deck like Storm or Lands. Sneak Attack makes a Rest in Peace look pretty foolish. Reanimator is highly capable of dominating Game 1s and quickly switching gears afterwards.

There hasn’t been a ton of Reanimator lately, which is likely why JPA93 was able to win the Legacy Challenge with Sneak and Show. Since the mirror and Reanimator have similar gameplans of large creatures, those Show and Tells can bite you back. It’s a funny dynamic where either can be the best deck, yet can cannibalize each other if too many copies are played.

Storm isn’t the only deck in Legacy that wants to count to ten.

Infect aims to put the opponent to ten poison counters with its infect creatures. Invigorate supercharges the deck from its Modern version to enable Turn 2 wins much more often. Letting the opponent gain three life isn’t much a liability when you’re trying to win with poison.

Infect is a combination of aggro, control, and combo rolled into one. There’s enough countermagic in Force of Will, Daze, and Spell Pierce to force through your combo or to stop whatever degenerate thing your opponent is doing.

Maybe Zachary Koch won the Legacy Classic because all the good Lands players were still in the Open. Or maybe Infect is just a great deck. It plays similarly to a Delver deck while having a combo kill. Infect heavily benefits an experienced pilot, which Zachary is, but the same can be said with any Legacy deck, especially ones playing Brainstorm.

With all of the Delver decks at the top tables, it’s hard to justify playing Infect, as the matchup is historically a tad unfavored. With that said, it’s unlikely that I’d play anything else right now.

Legacy is a format where people can show up with anything. You want to bring something you’re comfortable with that has a proactive plan and reasonable answers to a wide-open field.