Min's Legacy Picks for SCG Syracuse and GP Atlanta
It's been quite some time since my last article, as I've been experimenting with the "Vlog" format, but I'm back in text! Legacy's been progressing through a series of phases the past few weeks, but the metagame is starting to center around the existence of one of the powerful cards we've highlighted on MinMax: Wrenn and Six.
There are multitude of ways to attack Wrenn and Six, but the Legacy metagame has seen a few decks rise to the top. The top 5 decks that I believe to be the best choices if your goal is to win your next Legacy event are:
- GB Depths
- BR Reanimator
- RUG Delver
While I'm going to go into analyzing each deck and list in detail, you'll also notice one thing is notably missing from the above list: Miracles!
Why Miracles Isn’t In My Top 5
There's been a trend upward in the power level of Legacy decks since the release of Modern Horizons and War of the Spark, and it revolves around the existence of powerful walkers and general early mana plays. With both Dreadhorde Arcanist and Wrenn and Six, the entire format has sped up considerably.
Miracles, at its core, is a deck that revolves around using Terminus, and the card advantage it creates. Often, Terminus is 2/3/4 for 1, and it creates a moment in a game where the Miracles deck can land a haymaker and take over the game. Most other decks in Legacy didn't really have a form of built-in card advantage before these new sets, and Miracles was very well positioned in those moments. However, with the aforementioned 2-mana cards, Miracles now has to deal with built-in card advantage in a plethora of decks that were already in the market for such effects.
If Terminus is less effective at generating card advantage and keeping ahead of the opponent, then the hoops you go into setting the card up suddenly become a lot less worthwhile. Thus, I believe that without a drastic transformation, Miracles does not have the legs to keep up with built-in forms of card advantage that these other decks are playing. Miracles might need a form of drastic transformation, perhaps shifting into a UW control of some sort, but that is a piece for a different time.
GB Depths is uniquely positioned right now as being a deck that has very few bad matchups, as well as getting a unique and powerful card:
Creature — Elf Warrior
Elvish Reclaimer gets +2/+2 as long as there are three or more land cards in your graveyard.
2, Tap, Sacrifice a land: Search your library for a land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.
GB Depths side steps past a lot of what the Wrenn and Six shells are doing, be it Delver or Control, and has a uniquely fast combo kill, disruption in the form of discard, and powerful resiliency.
Due to the existence of Wrenn and Six and Plague Engineer, many of Depths's bad matchups, such as 4c Loam, Lands, and Death and Taxes, are not massive forces in the current metagame. Decks that feature Swords to Plowshares are generally quite few and far between right now, and this version of Depths can very easily play around edict effects.
Bob Huang won the SCG Richmond Legacy Classic with the following build of GB Depths, and I believe that it's an excellent place to start when tuning on this deck.
Bob Huang's GB Depths, 1st Place, SCG Richmond Legacy Classic
There are several variations off Depths strategies, such as Rodrigo Togores's GW Depths, Tom Hepp's BUG Depths, or Hogaak Depths, but I believe that GB Depths is tried, tested, and as the most intuitive gameplan of the bunch, while also having a solidified matchup spread.
BR Reanimator is the deck that likely abuses Griselbrand the most in Legacy, with the ability to generate a turn 1 or 2 Griselbrand with alarming resiliency. Always a deck that one should respect, it's uniquely well-positioned because most decks are designed to interact on the current "critical turn" of Legacy, turn 2. However, BR Reanimator's critical turn is usually turn 1. Their turn 1, mind you. Half the time, that's your turn 0. Unlike other turn 1 combo decks, however, BR Reanimator is not a glass cannon and doesn't fold to anything short of a wall of interaction.
While the deck has always been powerful, with the introduction of the London Mulligan, the success rate of the deck has increased drastically, and personalities such as Eric Landon have continued to demolish with the deck:
Eric Landon's BR Reanimator, GP Vegas MCQ Top 8
Something else to note is that with the slowdown of the format overall, and the prevalance of midrange/delver mirrors, lots of decks are forced to skimp on generic graveyard hate, which makes this deck extremely primed to catch many people off guard.
Now when I speak of RUG Delver, I do not speak of the Stifle, Nimble Mongoose of Legacy's past. Instead, folks such as Lawrence Harmon, Adam Yurchick, and our own Max Gilmore have been working on a shell similar to 4c Delver, but with better mana requirements:
Max Gilmore's RUG Delver
As you can see, this deck is a far cry from "Canadian Threshold" and is lot closer to a more tap-out, Jund style of deck. Taking the popular name of "No Bad Cards RUG," this deck is well equipped to go toe to toe with all of Legacy. While Delver decks traditionally have weaknesses as well, NBC RUG has quite a bit of game against anything, so long as it can cast its spells.
NBC RUG leverages the Wasteland lock elements of Wrenn and Six extremely well, while also having a fast, resilient slew off threats against most of the format. Max wrote about the deck here, and I suggest you take a look at his piece to learn more about this deck.
This is probably my favorite deck on this list, which should come as no surprise as it is the only fair blue deck among these decks, and likely the deck that I will personally be working on going forward.
Another deck that we've written a lot about here on MinMax, Bomberman has been getting a lot of exposure in SCG Tour events, and it has some immensely powerful angles to it. It also got a brand new card with the last few sets:
You may look at the top card of your library any time.
You may cast the top card of your library if it's an artifact card or a colorless nonland card.
Tap, Pay 1 life: Exile the top card of your library.
Mystic Forge acts as a card advantage engine, quite similar to to Experimental Frenzy, but is massively powerful in an artifact heavy strategy, and Bomberman is a deck chock full of cheap, powerful artifacts.
The list below won GP Vegas's MCQ, among a field of incredible legacy players and decks, and the strategy can go toe to toe with the best of them. Its multile potent angles of attack make it as difficult to play against as it is to play.
Noah Pardes's Bomberman, 1st Place, GP Vegas Legacy MCQ
Bomberman, as a chalice deck with a combo finish, is well poised to stand against the other top decks in Legacy today, especially as most other opposing Karn, the Great Creator decks are being pushed out of the metagame by Wrenn and Six and Wasteland recursion (MonoRed Stompy nonwithstanding!)
Ad Nauseam Tendrils
Ad Nauseam Tendrils is always hovering around the top tables in the hands of several masters, and it's well equipped in dealing with an overly fair metagame, just like the rest of these decks. ANT has also gotten a brand new card that raises up the power level of the deck quite a bit:
Veil of Summer
Draw a card if an opponent has cast a blue or black spell this turn. Spells you control can't be countered this turn. You and permanents you control gain hexproof from blue and from black until end of turn.
While not necessarily the most evidently powerful effect, Veil of Summer allows ANT an angle of attack against discard-based strategies and serves as card advantage against those types of decks. Cards such as Flusterstorm, Hymn to Tourach, and even Dovin's Veto get sidestepped by Veil of Summer, making it a powerful part ANT's arsenal. The following is the latest list advocated by Cyrus Corman-Gill:
Cyrus Corman-Gill's Ad Nauseam Tendrils
Now, the above aren't the end-all, be-all of decks that are competitive in today's metagame. I'd say archetypes like:
- UW Stoneblade
- MonoRed Stompy
- UR Delver
- Sneak and Show/Omnitell
- 4c Snow Control
Are all powerful contenders, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and each have the tools to be highly competitive in the hands of competent players in order to win Legacy events.
However, above all, this list of decks is not an exhaustive list of decks that can win events. If an entire event was comprised of only these lists, a less-evidently powerful deck such as Death and Taxes could probably come in and sweep an event. This is Legacy, after all, a format full of powerful effects, format specialists, and turn 2 20/20's.
Legacy is extremely open right now, and we seem to see a new deck rise to the top each and every week. We've not seen this format shift this quickly in many years, and a lot of us Legacy stalwarts have quite a bit of difficulty keeping up. However, it allows for quick adaptation for people that are good at doing so, and generally sees a cycle of new and old decks rise and fall each week. We're still waiting to see if the metagame ever does settle down, but it's currently a great time to play Legacy.
I'm personally quite excited in stepping out of my comfort zone and playing various other decks such as Stoneblade, ANT, and Delver, and perhaps even attempting to adapt Miracles to whatever next week's metagame could be. The format is wide open!
Thanks for reading!