The Top 3 Decks in Legacy

GP Seattle is right around the corner, and you can’t show up unprepared.

Legacy is a format where netdecking is very efficient because there isn’t too much room for metagaming, people play what they own, and there are so many decks that it’s impossible to read the metagame like you can in Standard.

But when a huge change happens, such as the banning of Dig Through Time, it’s useful to look at the tournaments immediately following the B&R announcement to tune your deck.

My analysis involves all tournaments of 100+ players since October 3 and their Top 8s.

Legacy is not a very popular format, hence there have only been 5 events with 100+ players in attendance.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that the metagame will reflect this data, but it will give us a glimpse of a lesser known metagame such as post-ban Legacy.

I will use Bob Huang’s categorization, which divides Legacy into 3 archetypes:

  • Aggro: A deck that uses its creatures to win the game, rather than taking control of the board state.
  • Control: A deck that doesn’t really care about attacking until the point at which it has to close the game.
  • Combo: A deck that uses a combination of certain cards to win the game immediately.

chart

The top performing decks were:

  1. Miracle (15%) – One win
  2. ANT (15%) – Two win
  3. Shardless Sultai (10%) – One win
  4. Loam (7.5%)
  5. Show and Tell (7.5%)
  6. Goblin (7.5%)
  7. Infect (7.5%) – One win
  8. Deathblade (5%)
  9. Temur Delver (5%)

Now let’s take a look at the top 3 performing decks:

Miracles

Ovino Winner Angelo Cadei – Out of 335 Players

As you may know, Legacy is a format where you can play the same deck over and over again and specialize it. Miracles is the best deck to do that, since it’s very difficult to pilot and it’s great when you do. Angelo Cadei is a great Miracles player—every time I played in a Legacy tournament and he’s in attendance, he reaches Top 8. I would always refer to his deck list before anyone else’s.

Here you see a mixture of Mentor Miracles and regular Miracles—there are only 2 copies of Monastery Mentor, and 1 copy of Entreat the Angels along with 3 copies of Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Dazes are gone, and the plan is not full-on Monastery Mentor as it was before (GP Lille 1st place), so we slow things down again, grind out the game, and eventually emerge victorious.

Miracles has a great matchup against Ant, which is the other tier 1 deck of the format, but has a bad matchup against Shardless Sultai, which is very popular nowadays. There aren’t many ways to defend yourself from Shardless Sultai—their card advantage is overpowering, and Ancestral Vision and Shardless Agent are difficult to attack. Terminus and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are the ways to win, but it’s a tough road to climb.

Storm

 MKM Series Prague Winner Dominik Raitzing – 210 players

It’s finally time for Storm to shine again now that Dig Through Time is held at bay. This deck has a very high chance of winning on turn 1 or 2 if uncontested, and there are many decks that can’t really stop it such as Lands, Loam, Goblins, and Shardless Sultai.

Post-sideboard, players will have cards to hate you out, like Thalia, Chalice of the Void, and Hymn to Tourach—but between Chain of Vapor, Abrupt Decay, Dark Petition, and discard spells, you’ll will still be able to dodge hate cards.

It is a very difficult deck to play, you need to practice, and have to understand how to get out of difficult situations. Dominik chose to play Dark Petition over Ad Nauseam, and I’m not sure if I like it—Ad Nauseam is the perfect target for Infernal Tutor after a couple of Rituals/Lion’s Eye Diamond, while Dark Petition is just an additional Tutor that can only win you the game via Past in Flames.

Shardless Sultai

SCG Open St. Louis 5th place, Devin Koepke – 484 players

Devin’s list is very close to the one I posted in my article before the ban list. He replaced Dig Through Time with the third Baleful Strix, while I prefer adding the second Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I saw some deck lists running Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, which I dislike. I understand the “new card fever” and I don’t blame you for trying it out, but it’s a card that is simply not good enough for Legacy. A card that doesn’t do anything when it comes into play and does not want to block doesn’t belong to Legacy. Additionally, there aren’t even nice targets to flash back other than Hymn to Tourach and Abrupt Decay. When I cast Shardless Agent I always want to hit something impactful, not a situational 0/2.

Devin chose to keep Meddling Mages in the sideboard, while I think you’d rather have more Hymn to Tourachs and Thoughtseizes to fight combo decks. Meddling Mage is great against Show and Tell, but that deck is no longer the combo deck, it’s now just one of many. Meddling Mage isn’t good against Storm, because even if you name Infernal Tutor, they can find other ways to win very easily, such as Grim Tutor, Dark Petition, Past in Flames, or just tick up the storm count to 9 and cast a Tendrils of Agony. It’s not that good against Infect either, since the aggro deck has multiple Infect creatures and multiple pump spells. So I think you’d rather have a sideboard with just Sultai cards.

Delver decks felt off the radar for these first events, but I’m sure we will see them in GP Seattle and you should prepare for them with Disfigure and Red Elemental Blast.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend GP Seattle, but I’ll follow it as much as I can on http://www.twitch.tv/channelfireball.

Good luck to all of you who attend!

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