The Legacy Review

By Andrew Plinston                                                    24/6/11

King of Card’s Legacy tournament for four Foil Mental Missteps is fast approaching on Sunday, 26th June (You can find the details here - Editor.This is a rare opportunity as Legacy is criminally underplayed in New Zealand. Hopefully if King of Cards gets enough support for this event then they’ll run more tournaments in the future. Plus, it’s free to enter!!

If Legacy was a game of Paper, Rock, Scissors, Merfolk would be positioned as the Rock. If everyone is playing Rock, make sure you play Paper!

Here are some of the decks I consider to be the best options for Legacy at the moment.

Zoo is great in the Merfolk match-up as well as punishing any deck that stumbles on mana or mulligans. You can put on quick pressure with all of your one drops and finish the game or remove blockers with burn. The reason it is a good choice is that it is deadly efficient and consistent.

Tarmogoyf can be pretty terrifying and many creature based decks still have a hard time getting through him.

Zoo gets a little worse with so many decks playing Mental Misstep but as you have so many efficient creatures, getting a few into play shouldn’t be a problem.  The number of Mental Missteps actually makes the field easier for Zoo, not having to face as many combo decks, the decks biggest weakness.

Below is a pretty solid list, the other options are going to have some number of Stoneforge Mystic and Sword of Body and Mind/Umezawa’s Jitte. Everyone is playing this guy right now and power level wise he may be the second best creature below Dark Confident and above Tarmogoyf.

The other option is to play more burn like Price of Progress and Fireblast fixing the mana to make it work.

Deck: Zoo
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
4 Loam Lion
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Qasali Pridemage
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Lightning Helix
3 Path to Exile
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sylvan Library
4 Arid Mesa
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath
2 Plateau
2 Taiga
1 Savannah
1 Mountain
1 Forest
1 Plains
60 Cards
 Display Deck Statistics

Some sideboard options are:

Gaddock Teeg is the anti-combo card of choice at the moment, it stops Ad Nauseam, Hive Mind and makes dredge work before they can Dread Return.

Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast, Choke are all good options against blue decks. Blasts are all around pretty versatile, Countering Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Hive Mind as well as being removal against Rhox War Monk or Merfolk lords.

Ranger of Eos, Umezawa’s Jitte and Elspeth, Knight-Errant can all be the trump in the mirror or the Bant match-up. These match-ups usually come down to attrition.

Krosan Grip is the kind of catch all card, it was better around the time of counter/top but still has its place.

Null Rod hoses Affinity and also causes trouble for Storm decks or Charbelcher.

                                                                                                          Apparently the stoneblade in all formats...

“Legacy is awesome because it lets you play with all the powerful cards from throughout Magic's history, like Jace and Stoneforge Mystic.”Aaron Forsythe

U/W Stongeforge evolved from the U/W Landstill deck made popular on the SCG Circuit by Gerry Thompson and Drew Levin.

Standstill is one of those cards that is amazing in the right situation but dreadful when you’re behind. I feel like Ancestral Vision is where you want to be at right now, in NZ there may be too many spots where you aren’t able to cast StandstillMental Misstep helps you get into a position where you can cast it on turn two on an otherwise empty board but Mental Misstep also helps you live until turn four to resolve the Ancestral Vision as well.

Stoneforge Mystic has been popping up in a lot of decks recently, which is to be expected, the guy is off the charts insane. Add in a Batterskull and Stoneforge Mystic is an unstoppable force.  Many U/W control decks only play him in the sideboard currently, I think it is justified in New Zealand to play him main deck as you are likely to encounter the decks where he is the “stone blade” 

U/W control is a hard deck to master but if played correctly there are many games which it can’t lose.  Jace, the Mind Sculptor is one of the best cards in all of Magic, it really shows when you play him in Legacy and have free counter spells to protect him.

Here is a list for U/W Stoneblade that I like:

Deck: U/W Stoneblade
Main Sideboard
4 Stoneforge Mystic 2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Vendilion Clique 1 Crucible of Worlds
2 Batterskull 1 Sword of Body and Mind
4 Force of Will 1 Manriki-Gusari
4 Mental Misstep 3 Path to Exile
2 Daze 2 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Spell Snare 3 Meddling Mage
4 Brainstorm 2 Relic of Progenitus
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Ancestral Vision

4 Swords to Plowshares

3 Tundra

1 Volcanic Island

1 Plains

4 Island

4 Flooded Strand

3 Scalding Tarn

1 Arid Mesa

4 Mishra's Factory

3 Wasteland

60 Cards 15 Cards
 Display Deck Statistics

U/W Stoneblade is a solid deck with no real bad match-ups except against Dredge. You could sideboard a bunch of other cards against it but I don’t feel like it is worth it currently. One of the tricks worth mentioning is that Batterskull can return itself and put a 0/0 Germ into the graveyard to remove any Bridge from Below in the Dredge players graveyard.  Wrath of God may be a great card to play in a NZ metagame, NZ’ers usually play more agro style decks than control or combo.

Two similar decks are flying under the radar but are both really good, NO RUG and No Force Bant.

Natural Order can end games quickly by searching up a Progenitus and ending the game in two attacks. It is mostly a tempo deck with counter spells and removal.  The deck has evolved from its Blue/Green Threshold days to play much better creatures and have a “combo” kill with Natural Order.  Green Sun Zenith is what makes the deck really exciting; it is the best creature in your deck at every casting cost.  Green Sun Zenith is also what makes the No Force Bant deck work so well, the creatures it can search up are a little more exciting as you get to add the green/white creatures like Qasali Pridemage, Gaddock Teeg and Knight of Reliquary.  Having no Force of Will seems a little risky but you don’t want to two for one yourself as this deck tends to grind other decks down.  Having no Force of Will’s also allows you to play less Blue cards but still protect your creatures with Mental Misstep and Daze.

Knight of Reliquary can search up wastelands while pumping himself up into a huge monster. Also searching up a Maze of Ith gives you a way to untap your creatures after damage has been dealt giving them “Vigilance” or protecting yourself from attacks you may be unable to block.

The deck that won the Grand Prix in Providence ran a Sword of Feast and Famine, this may be the best card if you expect a lot of Black/Green decks but I wouldn’t expect to face that many. I would like to try either a Batterskull (yet again) or a Sword of Body and Mind in its place.

Both of these decks give Merfolk a rough time as their creatures tend to be better, they have more distribution and solid removal spells.

Here are the lists that made top eight at the recent Legacy Grand Prix.

Deck: No Force Bant
James Rynkiewicz - Winner Sideboard
1 Birds of Paradise 2 Rhox War Monk
3 Knight of the Reliquary 1 Sylvan Safekeeper
3 Noble Hierarch 1 Dispel
2 Qasali Pridemage 2 Krosan Grip
2 Stoneforge Mystic 1 Mental Misstep
1 Tarmogoyf 1 Path to Exile
2 Vendilion Clique 3 Spell Pierce
4 Green Sun's Zenith 1 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Sylvan Library 1 Gaddock Teeg
4 Brainstorm 1 Thrun, the Last Troll
3 Daze 1 Bojuka Bog
3 Mental Misstep

4 Swords to Plowshares

1 Sword of Feast and Famine

1 Umezawa's Jitte

2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1 Forest

1 Maze of Ith

4 Misty Rainforest

2 Savannah

3 Tropical Island

2 Tundra

3 Wasteland

4 Windswept Heath

1 Dryad Arbor

1 Karakas

60 Cards 15 Cards
 Display Deck Statistics

Deck: NO RUG Reid Duke – 3rd
4Noble Hierarch1Relic of Progenitus
4Tarmogoyf2Grim Lavamancer
1Progenitus1Kitchen Finks
3Vendilion Clique1Terastodon
4Brainstorm2Ancient Grudge
4Force of Will2Red Elemental Blast
4Lightning Bolt2Spell Pierce
3Mental Misstep2Umezawa's Jitte
2Chain Lightning

3Green Sun's Zenith

4Natural Order




4Misty Rainforest

1Scalding Tarn


3Tropical Island

3Volcanic Island

4Wooded Foothills

1Dryad Arbor

 Display Deck Statistics

I have left out all of the combo decks; the only combo deck I think is worth playing is Hive Mind, that deck doesn’t have a great match-up against Merfolk so I can’t really recommend playing it. If you think you can dodge or get lucky then it is one of the very top tier decks at the moment.

All of these decks can be a bit pricey. Unlike standard, these cards will generally either hold their prices or go up in value. It is hard to think of card board as an investment but you should be able to sell your legacy cards for what you paid for them in a years time…There are rumours about Over-extended or Modern becoming a real format, that may have an effect on prices but I wouldn’t expect the prices to go down long term.

I hope to next time write about some of the budget decks of the format. 

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