Welcome back to BTB’s Legacy Roundup, I’m Curtis Ailes, the ringleader of this circus.
What is Going On in Legacy?
It’s been a month since I wrote about the Legacy meta and it’s a good time to step back and see how things are going since the big line drawn in the sand back in March; the banning of Expressive Iteration and White-Plume Adventurer.
Last I checked, no archetype has emerged as the superior deck. The usual suspects like Reanimator, Elves, and 8 Cast are making their regular appearances in the Top 8. Izzet Delver hasn’t disappeared and there are even White and Boros Initiative decks still running around, albeit nowhere near as dominating as they once were.
The bottom line is no single archetype has risen to the top of the meta; the sure sign of a healthy format. It’s guaranteed that you can show up to your LGS with whatever jank you threw together and have a fighting chance if you know your deck and play it well.
That said, some decks are clearly better than others (maybe I need to start publishing a Legacy Tier list here…). But on any given day, with the right skilled operator, one has a good chance of taking down FNM Legacy or the weekend MTGO Challenge.
As I have done in the past with this column, I will run down some interesting decks from the last month that are appearing on MTGO weekend Challenges.
Key Cards and Combos
Before I get into that, it’s also good to point out which cards are seeing a high level of interest. Beyond the usual suspects, cards like Mystic Forge and Tarmogoyf have a new lease on life with both putting in work in the Top 8 every weekend in decks like Mystic Forge Combo and RUG Delver.
Lands as an archetype has seen much more success in the weekend challenges post-ban. It’s nice to see a deck that requires so much skill and such a compliment of cards, return to the Top 8.
Alongside these gems are cards like Crashing Footfalls and Stiflenought, both either not powerful enough or have seen their time come and go in the format.
Wheelmaster 5000 (Turbo Wheels?)
MTGO user killabee, no stranger to BTB’s Legacy coverage, has upped the game recently. They have popularized the Riddlesmith combo deck in the past and now come to us with new spice, dubbed Wheelmaster 5000 (or Turbo Wheels by some others).
This deck is essentially a Grapeshot combo deck with some new tools such as Runehorn Hellkite and Wheel of Misfortune. Fellow Legacy community columnist Joe Dyer picked up the deck for some league play recently which tells me this deck is attracting some notoriety.
Outside of that, some other cool cards like Echo of Eons and Dream Salvage (!!!) also make appearances in this deck pulling together what amounts to a Motley Crue of cards but when executed properly, leaves the opponent wondering what just happened.
Rumors of Initiative’s demise were greatly exaggerated! On May 14th, MTGO user MKC took down the Legacy Showcase Challenge with a spicy Boros Stompy brew that took advantage of Caves of Chaos Adventurer and Seasoned Dungeoneer in what I can only dub a turbo brew based on the amount of fast mana included in the deck.
There are four copies each of Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors alongside Simian Spirit Guide to power out one of the eight Initiative creatures. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker also makes an appearance in this brew as does Touch the Spirit Realm.
I find the inclusion of Touch the Spirit Realm in the main deck over Swords to Plowshares to be an interesting decision; although StP is in the sideboard. Notably, the channel ability on touch allows you to flicker your creatures for additional ETB value.
This deck is ALL business in its approach to executing the Initiative and may be one of the most stripped-down strategies I have seen to winning with the mechanic. The fact that it took down a Showcase Challenge says a lot about how stout a brew this really is.
When I came back to MtG in 2022 after a 20-year hiatus, my first real deck was Modern Dredge.
MTGO user MahfuzVanGogh, known for their love of Dredge, took down the May 28th Legacy Challenge with Blue Dredge.
This deck capitalizes on the best elements of Legacy Dredge pulling in essential cards such as Bridge from Below and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. MahfuzVanGogh has become the go-to Dredge person, at least in the online arena when it comes to Legacy Dredge. To see them finally take down the Legacy must have been a great moment!
While some pedal in Lion’s Eye Diamond Dredge in the Legacy environment, MahfuzVanGogh has made it a goal to try and accomplish the win without the pricy LED component, often mixing in cards like Otherworldly Gaze and Breakthrough to execute the combo.
As a long-time fan of Dredge, and someone who has taken LED-les Dredge to my LGS, I can attest to how difficult it is to take this brew up against the other usual suspects of Legacy.
Kudos all around!
Cascade is normally a mechanic reserved for the Modern format. But MTGO user ecobaronen managed to secure runner-up in the May 14th Showcase Challenge with Temur Rhinos.
The game plan is the same as the Modern deck of the same name, resolving a spell with Cascade to put Crashing Rhinos onto the battlefield. This deck utilizes four copies each of Simian Spirit Guide and Elvish Spirit Guide in an attempt to execute this on what I can only gather is the first or second turn.
Backed up by four copies each of Force of Will and Force of Negation, it appears that this goal is attainable. There isn’t much else to this deck except two copies of Murktide Regent alongside Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes. I like the confidence exhibited by ecobaronen thinking this could be a successful path to victory!
The diversity of decks seeing play in Legacy right now is astounding. One can show up with many different forms of jank and have a reasonable chance of success if you have the skills to pilot your deck successfully.
Wizards of the Coast will be releasing The Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle Earth this month. We are neck deep in preview season and so far there are a few cards that look to be Legacy playable.
Next time I pen a Legacy column for BTB will highlight a few of the cards that I think will make waves in the format.
Until then, continue brewing your jank and bring it to the table and enjoy the excellent landscape that is the Legacy format!
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