Returning Legacy decks
- Dr. Hans Joachim Höh
Legacy will probably remain in an experimental phase for some time.
With two Standard GPs this weekend, we may either see some interesting developments, or Standard might fall into yet another depressive phase with one or two dominant decks for a while. So maybe you want to look at another format for your entertainment (and profit) instead?
The Legacy format was basically reborn one week before the MKMS event in Frankfurt, and will probably remain in an experimental phase for some time. I already wrote about the decks which I considered to be well-positioned in the vacuum left behind by the Miracles banning, and I still believe that analysis to hold true. I would like to add something to it though. I said that fast combo decks were going to thrive now, but I only talked about the decks that were already having success with Miracles in the format. Typically decks like Storm and Elves used 4 Abrupt Decay to have a shot of coming back into the game once the Counterbalance lock was established. Other combo decks like Belcher and Reanimator evolved to try to win before the lock could be in place. Sneak & Show and Food Chain on the other hand tried to circumvent the lock by winning with 3- and 4-drops instead.
Once upon a time there were even more combo decks successful in Legacy, but without access to B/G for Abrupt Decay or a reasonable chance to win on turn1 those decks “miraculously” vanished.
Maybe those decks can thrive in the new environment? If they can, it makes sense to identify them early and pick up the pieces before everybody else tries to do the same.
Let's look at some examples:
Getting High on Islands
High Tide is one of the coolest forgotten combo decks, not only because it is a mono blue deck, but also because it is named after a Fallen Empires card. The combination of wanting multiple Islands in play first, but also relying on lots of 1-drop spells to combo made this a horrible deck against Miracles. Now Miracles is not a problem anymore and your plan of casting the complete playset trifecta of Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain over and over again can simulate the former Divining Top feeling for both players – awesome!
With Pieces of the Puzzle there was even at least one new card printed for the archetype in the meantime.
Here are some of the financially interesting cards in that archetype from various price categories:
The last time I suggested this card excellent copies were selling for 240 €. Now they are 360 € and might soon be climbing further.
Grinding it out
Another combo deck which could return to the format in larger numbers is Painter. Grindstone and Painter's Servant are a lethal colorless combination, which usually gets build around in red due to Painter's synergy with Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast. Secondary colors are usually white or blue, but the archetype is less set in stone than many other decks. Goblin Welder and Grim Monolith work well to get the required mana and to fight back against artifact removal. This deck is yet another deck using Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors. Between Eldrazi and various combo decks using these lands, they become more and more important for your Legacy pool. Mono red versions had Blood Moon to lock opponent's out of their respective plans, but I can see the deck evolving in various directions.
Owning these cards could pay out soon as both archetypes have started showing up on Magic Online already recently.
As Legacy events are getting more scarce all the time in the United States, we don't get to see results from that many large tournaments anymore. I am already looking forward to seeing more Legacy action at MKMS Prague in July, but we might also be able to extract some data from the team event SCG is holding this weekend. The results will be skewed due to team results being created from three players playing matches in three different formats. Maybe we can learn something about the metagame and deck preferences anyway?
Which formerly suppressed decks do you plan to put back together again for the new Legacy format?