Over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of June both Axion and Lonon Legacy Monthly held Legacy events. Axion had 37 players while LLM had 38. Below I will give you the run down of all the decks played in each event, the Top 8s for both events and the combined metagame accounting for people who went to both events. Many thanks to Sebastian Amrogowicz for giving me the decklists from Axion and thus the kick needed to analyse the weekend as a whole. Iv’e also put the Top8 lists from the Axion event at the end of the article.

Right, on with the data!

Axion – 24th June 2017

DeckNo. of PlayersDeckNo. of Players
Grixis Delver7Grixis Fish1
Death and Taxes5Hunting Grounds Combo1
BR Reanimator3Infect1
Lands3Miracles1
Turbo Depths2Punishing Dack1
Aggro Loam1Omnitell1
Burn1UB Reanimator1
Cephalid Breakfast1UB Shadow1
Dark Bant1UR Delver1
Dredge14C Control1
Elves1

LLM – 25th June 2017

DeckNo. of PlayersDeckNo. of Players
Death and Taxes5Baubleman1
Lands5BUG Delver1
UR Delver4Cephalid Breakfast1
Grixis Delver3GB Pox1
Aggro Loam2Grixis Thieves1
Elves2Infect1
Sneak and Show2Miracles1
Affinity1Necrotic Ooze Combo1
As Foretold Stompy1StoneBlade1
BG Depths14C Delver1
BR Reanimator1Mono R Sneak1

The Top 8 Decks over the weekend

Death and Taxes – 4
Grixis Delver – 2
Aggro Loam
As Foretold Stompy
BR Reanimator
BUG Delver
Lands
Miracles
Mono Red Sneak
Turbo Depths
UR Delver
4C Control


Combined metagame for London

Ten people went to both events on the weekend. This gives us 65 unique players for the events. These people have therefore had their deck choices weighted at 0.5 rather than 1.0. This gives us a total of 65.0 for the decks played over the weekend. Interestingly of the ten who went to both events four played the same deck on both days, this has been taken into account.

A few caveats. This is only two events, one of which was unsanctioned but still competitive, so take this into account when making deck decisions. There is not yet enough data to make any concrete pronouncements about Londons legacy players. But I’m sure that won’t stop me…

DeckNo. of PlayersDeckNo. of Players
Death and Taxes9GB Pox1
Grixis Delver8.5Grixis Fish1
Lands6.5Grixis Thieves1
UR Delver5Hunting Grounds Combo1
BR Reanimator3.5Miracles1
Turbo Depths3UB Reanimator1
Sneak/Omnitell34C Control1
Elves34C Delver1
Aggro Loam2.5Stoneblade1
Cephalid Breakfast2As Foretold Stompy0.5
Infect2 Baubleman0.5
Affinity1Mono Red Sneak0.5
BUG Delver1Necrotic Ooze combo0.5
Burn1Punishing Dack0.5
Dark Bant1UB Shadow0.5
Dredge1

The top four decks, Death and Taxes, Grixis and UR Delver, and Lands make up 45% of the London Metagame. If you are going to an event here soon then you need to have a plan for those decks. This, however, is largely what one would expect. Death and Taxes has been doing well since the Top ban, contrary to contemporary thought that it would lose out. It is also one of the cheaper decks, like UR Delver, and has a very loyal following. Grixis Delver is currently ‘the best deck’ in many peoples minds so one would expect it to be well represented anywhere you go.

The outlier here is how well Lands is represented. I think in the local scene we are seeing the culmination of people who have been interested in the deck for a while finally finishing off their lists combined with a slight spike of people trying it out at LLM. Lands has always been a powerful deck but it has been a slow burn in popularity over the last year or two, mainly due to it’s high expense and low overlap with other card pools. However, once people have bought into it, I think they are unlikely to sell out. This is for two reasons. Firstly, Lands plays games in a largely unique way. Prison/Control combined with turn two Combo kills is not an experience found in other Legacy decks. It is not just having these dichotomous game plans but the fact that one generally has to stick to one or the other when playing a match that makes it so interesting to play. Secondly, Lands always had an issue with Miracles as it was, because of the flexibility of Miracles and inherent inflexibility of Lands. Now Top has gone Lands no longer has to maindeck cards like Boseiju, Who Shelters All and this new space in the main and board has taken some of the pressure off making hard cuts to shore up the Miracles matchup.

If you are interested in a current list I can recommend this one from Jody Keith.

Lands

Spells (14)
Crop Rotation
Gamble
Life from the Loam
Punishing Fire

Artifacts (4)
Mox Diamond

Enchantments (6)
Exploration
Manabond
Molten Vortex
Lands (36)
Ancient Tomb
Barbarian Ring
Dark Depths
Forest
Ghost Quarter
Glacial Chasm
Grove of the Burnwillows
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Maze of Ith
Misty Rainforest
Sheltered Thicket
Taiga
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Thespian’s Stage
Tranquil Thicket
Wasteland
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Bojuka Bog
Drop of Honey
Krosan Grip
Pithing Needle
Sphere of Resistance
Thorn of Amethyst
Tireless Tracker
Trinisphere

The rest of the field is pretty open with a good spread of combo decks and some really off the wall brews like Hunting Grounds combo. Interestingly the top three combo decks are largely making giant creatures making Karakas and Swords to Plowshares better, which is probably another reason Death and Taxes is doing so well here.

I thought with the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top and toppling of Miracles, Turbo Depths would really take off in popularity. For reference this list made the semis at Axion.

Turbo Depths

Creatures (8)
Vampire Hexmage
Elvish Spirit Guide

Spells (20)
Thoughtseize
Inquisition of Kozilek
Crop Rotation
Sylvan Library
Not of this world
Sylvan Scrying
Into the North

Artifacts (9)
Expedition Map
Pithing Needle
Lotus Petal
Lands (23)
Dark Depths
Thespian Stage
Urborg, tomb of Yawgamoth
Verdant Catacombs
Bayou
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Swamp
Sejiri Steppe
Bajuka Bog
Maze of Ith
Ghost Quarter

Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Thorn of Amethyst
Surgical Extraction
Karakas
Sphere of Resistance
Nephalia Drownyard
Duress

Depths major weakness to Miracles was trying to beat such a reactionary deck that could just play land drops and hide behind a Swords to Plowshares and Counterspell while simultaneously threatening to entirely lock out every spell in the Depths deck with Counterbalance. The contortions from the sideboard were enthralling to watch. First four Sylvan Library and Garruk Relentless, then using your Thespian’s Stage to copy an Island and use Nephalia Drownyard to mill the Miracles deck. The latest sideboard plan involved Walking Ballista recursion and Academy Ruins. With Miracles out of the way and the numbers of Plows significantly lower, Turbo Depths should be in a much better position generally. However the number of Death and Taxes players in the local meta don’t make it a great choice here but perhaps some more SB space can now be devoted to that utterly terrible matchup?

Onto the under represented decks.

I am surprised to not see more Stoneblade, of the Esper, UW or Bant variety in our meta snapshot. This is a deck that used to be a staple of the worldwide meta and was pushed out by Miracles. With that gone surely people would flock to Stoneblade so they could use their Tundras?

The predicted resurgence of Elves after Terminus fell away doesn’t seem to have taken place either. The deck should be reasonably well placed in the London metagame with the ability to grind against both Grixis and Death and Taxes, a fast and solid combo game one and answers post board for the even faster decks. It’s relative unpopularity is due to, in my opinion, how surprisingly hard the deck is to play. It is an unassuming deck of mana dorks and a few hours goldfishing should get the main combo lines down. However, knowing what to value in the grindy matchups where you can’t fast combo people and your Elves are all largely similar is much harder and requires much more experience than most assume.

Surprisingly, we had zero Storm players over the two events. This is a surprise considering how well the deck is positioned right now, but I will get onto that next. Perhaps people are enjoying playing other combo decks right now?


What should I play?

To metagame against this field is quite hard. However, the first deck that springs to mind is Storm. Either the ANT or TES variety. While Grixis Delver isn’t your favourite matchup Storm certainly has the tools to beat it and your matchups against the other top ten decks are largely favourable. TES might be a good choice as it is generally the faster version of Storm. Here is a list that Bryant Cook has been doing well with online. You can read all about the deck over on his website.

TES

Spells (36)
Burning Wish
Infernal Tutor
Brainstorm
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Cabal Therapy
Duress
Empty the Warrens
Ad Nauseam
Rite of Flame
Dark Ritual

Artifacts (11)
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Chrome Mox
Lands (13)
Polluted Delta
Bloodstained Mire
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Badlands
Swamp
Island

Sideboard (15)
Echoing Truth
Defense Grid
Rending Volley
Meltdown
Grapeshot
Empty the Warrens
Past in Flames
Massacre
Tendrils of Agony
Dark Petition
Telemin Performance

 

My second choice is a blast from the past and probably isn’t a good pick if the meta changes and people pick up storm again. However, if things remain largely the same, the reasonably low amount of combo in the combined meta leads me to think that Jund is quite well positioned here.  If you make sure to have a solid sideboard plan for your poorer Lands and BR Reanimator matchup the true card advantage from Jund should run over the other top decks on our list. Punishing Fire and Hymn to Tourach are nightmares for Death and Taxes decks. There are plenty of classic Punishing Jund lists floating around the internet but I thought people might also be interested in this newer version from last weeks Legacy Challenge. While it eschews Punishing Fire it still looks great against our meta. Lacking Punishing Fire means this list can’t pressure planeswalkers as well as usual but the upside is a much more solid manabase. The Grim Flayers over the more classic Dark Confidant give the deck a little more resilience as they can’t be bolted late game but can still provide card selection. Cascading Bloodbraid Elf into Kolaghan’s Command must be a wonderful feeling!

qbturtle15 - Jund

Creatures (15)
Bloodbraid Elf
Deathrite Shaman
Grim Flayer
Tarmogoyf

Spells (22)
Abrupt Decay
Thoughtseize
Hymn to Tourach
Kolaghan’s Command
Lightning Bolt
Liliana of the Veil
Lands (23)
Badlands
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Forest
Swamp
Taiga
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Collective Brutality
Duress
Engineered Plague
Fatal Push
Leyline of the Void
Pyroblast
Sylvan Library

 

I hope this analysis was of some use to you. Please give me any feedback on anything else you would like to see mentioned here etc.

See you next time

Tom Kellock


Below are the Axion Top8 lists. Well done to those who made the Top8. I’m looking forward to making it over to Axion for their next Legacy event, Francois and Liz always put on a great show!

For those of you who need the Top 8 lists of the London Legacy Monthly event, they can be found in the tournament report here.

Axion Top8 Lists

1st – Aston Ramsden – Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes

Creatures (23)
Flickerwisp
Mirran Crusader
Mother of Runes
Recruiter of the Guard
Sanctum Prelate
Palace Jailer
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Spells (4)
Sword to Plowshares

Artifacts (11)
Aether Vial
Batterskull
Phyrexian Revoker
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (22)
Cavern of Souls
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
10 Plains
Rishadan Port
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Containment Priest
Elspeth, Knight Errant
Cataclysm
Leonin Relic-Warden
Sword of Body and Mind
Aven Mindcensor
Council’s Judgement
Ethersworn Canonist
Faerie Macabre
Pithing Needle
Path to exile
Rest in Peace

2nd – Oriol Montala Jorda – Grixis Delver

Grixis Delver

Creatures (13)
Delver of Secrets
Young Pyromancer
Deathrite Shaman
Gurmag Angler
True-Name Nemesis

Spells (28)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Daze
Force of Will
Stifle
Forked Bolt
Spell Pierce
Lands (18)
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Wasteland

Sideboard (14)
Cabal Therapy
Surgical Extraction
Flusterstorm
Umezawa’s Jitte
Red Elemental Blast
Dark Blast
Ancient Grudge
Diabolic Edict
Grafdigger’s Cage

(Missing) (0)

3rd/4th – Damien Salinger – Turbo Depths

Turbo Depths

Lands (23)
Dark Depths
Thespian Stage
Urborg, tomb of Yawgamoth
Verdant Catacombs
Bayou
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Swamp
Sejiri Steppe
Bajuka Bog
Maze of Ith
Ghost Quarter

Creatures (8)
Vampire hex mage
Elvish Spirit Guide

Spells (20)
Thoughtseize
Inquisition of Kozilek
Crop Rotation
Sylvan Library
Not of this world
Sylvan Scrying
Into the North

Artifacts (9)
Expedition Map
Pithing Needle
Lotus Petal
Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Thorn of Amethyst
Surgical Extraction
Karakas
Sphere of Resistance
Nephalia Drownyard
Duress

3rd/4th – Eugenio Martinez – Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes

Creatures (24)
Flickerwisp
Mirran Crusader
Mother of Runes
Recruiter of the Guard
Sanctum Prelate
Serra Avenger
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Spells (4)
Sword to Plowshares

Artifacts (10)
Aether Vial
Batterskull
Phyrexian Revoker
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (22)
Cavern of Souls
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Plains
Rishadan Port
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Sanctum Prelate
Containment Priest
Council’s Judgement
Ethersworn Canonist
Surgical Extraction
Faerie Macabre
Sword of Light and Shadow
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Pithing Needle
Path to exile
Rest in Peace

5th – 8th – Juan Carlos Jara – Grixis Delver

Grixis Delver

Creatures (14)
Delver of Secrets
Young Pyromancer
Deathrite Shaman
Gurmag Angler
Grim Lavamancer

Spells (28)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Daze
Force of Will
Fire//Ice
Dismember
Spell Pierce
Lands (18)
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Volcanic Island
Underground Sea
Tropical Island
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Cabal Therapy
Surgical Extraction
Flusterstorm
Umezawa’s Jitte
Grafdigger’s Cage
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Electrickery
Ancient Grudge

5th – 8th – Slaine Harris – BR Reanimator

BR Reanimator

Creatures (10)
Griselbrand
Chancellor of the Annex
Tidespout Tyrant
Sire of Insanity

Spells (38)
Unmask
Thoughtseize
Entomb
Reanimate
Exhume
Animate dead
Dark Ritual
Faithless looting
Lotus petal
Chrome Mox
Lands (12)
Bloodstained Mire
Marsh flats
Badlands
Scrubland
Swamps

Sideboard (15)
Collective Brutality
Pithing Needle
Wear//Tear
Faerie Macabre
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Inkwell Leviathan
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Blazing Archon
Keranos, God of Storms

5th – 8th – Dominic Sanders – Death & Taxes

Death and Taxes

Creatures (23)
Flickerwisp
Mirran Crusader
Mother of Runes
Recruiter of the Guard
Sanctum Prelate
Serra Avenger
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Spells (4)
Sword to Plowshares

Artifacts (10)
Aether Vial
Batterskull
Phyrexian Revoker
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (23)
Cavern of Souls
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Plains
Rishadan Port
Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
Containment Priest
Council’s Judgement
Ethersworn Canonist
Faerie Macabre
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Leonin Relic-Warder
Manriki-Gusari
Path to exile
Rest in Peace

5th – 8th – George Garner – 4C Control

4C Control

Spells (24)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Counterspell
Force of Will
Fatal Push
Thoughtseize
Toxic Deluge
Lightning Bolt
Abrupt Decay
Kolaghan’s Command

Planeswalkers (2)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Creatures (14)
Snapcaster Mage
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Baleful Strix
Deathrite Shaman
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Lands (20)
Badlands
Island
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Diabolic Edict
Engineered Explosives
Flusterstorm
Grim Lavamancer
Mindbreak trap
Pithing Needle
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Surgical Extraction
Thoughtseize
Vendilion Clique

 

Tom Kellock
Tom has played Magic since Alara block. He became quickly enamoured with Legacy after being strangled by a Pox and 43 Lands deck in 2011 while piloting Affinity. This experience also started a love of Prison strategies in a manner typical of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers. He now only really plays Legacy, with Top8’s in Europe at BoM and here in the UK.
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