Legacy to many is a new format, but the few veteran players look upon these people and ask, "Where the heck have you been?" Legacy is one of the oldest formats; just not too many people played it. Well, that all soon changed.
With last year's great showings at the Legacy World Championship, Wizards gave Legacy two Grand Prix this year. The first Grand Prix took place in the town of brotherly love: Philadelphia, PA. Goblins came out strong as many people thought it would have, but that GP many decks had coming out parties with Threshold, Rifter, Homebrew, and Salvager game all making the top 8. In total the top 8 for Philly ended like this: 2 Goblins, Homebrew, Rifter, Salgame and 3 Threshold. Goblins took the top spot. The Legacy game had a meta for really the first time. Goblins and Threshold were tier 1. Homebrew, Rifter, and Salgame were tier 1.5 while Survival, Stax, High Tide and Enchantress were tier 2. Legacy was growing and more people started to play the format. In total, 495 people attended the first Legacy Grand Prix. The biggest surprise to come out of Philly was Homebrew, which Chris Pikula piloted to second place.
|Homebrew – Chris Pikula - 2nd place PhillyMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Tainted Field
4 Dark Confidant
4 Hypnotic Specter
3 Nantuko Shade
|4 Dark Ritual|
4 Hymn to Tourach
2 Gerrard's Verdict
2 Cursed Scroll
2 Engineered Plague
2 Swords to Plowshares
4 Withered Wretch
3 Pithing Needle
2 Phyrexian Negator
Months later, another GP took place in a little town in France called Lille. The field at Lille was so large that it had to be split into two pods. The green bracket had 488 players and the Blue one had 438; 926 players had made the pilgrimage to the French city. Like Philly before it, Lille was a big hit. The top 8 was filled with 3 Threshold decks, Rifter, Rec-Survival, Salgame, R/W Goblins, and Landstill.
The meta shifted a little after this event. In the minds of the people Threshold had become the top deck over Goblins. Goblins and Threshold were still tier 1. Rifter and Salgame were 1.5 and Homebrew, High Tide, Rec-sur, and Landstill were 2. Lille showed which decks are truly great and which ones are not so. Helmut Summersberger's Threshold deck took first place and help make Threshold into a top deck.
|Threshold – Helmut Summersberger - Lille 1stMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
3 Volcanic Island|
4 Tropical Island
4 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
4 Meddling Mage
4 Nimble Mongoose
|2 Fire // Ice|
3 Lightning Bolt
2 Pithing Needle
4 Serum Vision
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Note
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Red Elemental Blast
Star City Games conducted another big Legacy event this year in Richmond, VA. The field was only 67 decks strong, but the players were some of the best in the world. This event changed the meta once again as Goblins took two top 8 spots along with Rifter, Loam control, Enchantress, High Tide, Homebrew and WW. High Tide, a deck not named Goblins or Threshold, took first.
|High Tide - SCG 1stMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
4 Polluted Delta|
2 Flooded Strand
4 High Tide
4 Force of Will
2 Brain Freeze
3 Cunning Wish
2 Flash of Insight
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Echoing Truth
Threshold did not top 8 for the first time making Goblins and Rifter the only decks to top 8 in all three major Legacy events this year. SCG also showed that old dogs can learn some new tricks, with surprising performances by both WW(Angel Stompy) and High Tide. Almost equally surprising was that there was no sign of Stax.
Eugene Levins's Goblin deck took 2nd at SCG and once again Goblins became the top deck in the format.
So in total, the Legacy year looks like this.
High Tide: 1
Loam control: 1
The list of top decks looks something like this:
#1 Goblins: This is the top deck because it continues to be great despite just about every deck running 4 to 10 pieces of removal to combat the match-up. Goblins is the defending world champion and will likely be the top deck till Worlds comes around. Goblins is only one of two decks to finish in all three top 8s and it has a good match-up versus the slower aggro-control Threshold deck.
#2 Threshold: The number two deck despite having more top 8 then goblins this year; Threshold at times has shown that it can't handle Goblins in a head-to-head match-up. Not having a top 8 at SCG really does hurt the deck. Besides a not so great match-up versus goblins, it does well against most of the field.
#3 Rifter: A control deck with no Blue. Rifter, along with Goblins, is the only other deck to top 8 in all three events. This control deck is built to deal with aggro decks like Goblins, WW and Threshold. It has problems with combo and has not finished higher then 3rd in any event this year.
#4 Salgame: The top combo deck in Legacy, Salgame relies on using Auriok Salvagers to “infinitely” recur a Lion's Eye Diamond, then activating and recurring Pyrite Spellbomb until the opponent is dead. It has really only two bad match-ups: Threshold and High Tide. Threshold can control it and High Tide will combo out before Salgame can. It really doesn't fear Goblins if it is not running Pithing Needle in the sideboard. The same is said for just about every deck. Paul Serignese took his Salgame deck to 5th at Philly.
#5 Homebrew: A rouge deck at first turned into a contender with its 2nd place finish at Philly and top 8 at SCG. Much like the old Rock decks of Extended, Homebrew really doesn't have one bad match-up. It takes a great player who knows Legacy in and out to bring to best out of the deck.
#6 High Tide: The 2nd best combo in Legacy has that great "I'll win now" combo. Sideboard cards like Pithing Needle on the fetch lands and REB just kill this deck. It's not played as much as Salgame mainly because Resets are about $125 for a playset and they are important to the deck.
#7 Rec-Sur: A old deck that is still hanging around. It has had some good showings but takes a lot of playtesting and knowhow to make the deck good. It has overall bad match-ups against the top 3 decks and is only so-so with most of the format.
#8 Loam Control: Like Homebrew, this is a rogue deck turning into a contender. Much like CAL decks of Extended, Life from the Loam is the key to the deck. It showed up on the SCG top 8 list and is slowly be played by more and more people. It has good match-ups versus many decks and, much like Homebrew, the player is a big part.
#9 Enchantress: Like Rec-sur it's an old deck that still has some gas in the tank. At Philly it did OK and SCG it had a top 8. It has a good match-up with slower aggro decks like Threshold and Rec-sur but faster decks like Goblins and WW give it problems.
#10 WW: A dead deck till it made top 8 at SCG, WW has great match-ups against slower aggro decks like Rec-Sur and Ichorid and a decent match-up with Goblins and Threshold. Combo and Rifter consider this match a bye.
And as always, decks that might pop up on any given Sunday:
Legacy is more then breaking down the meta for major tournaments. Even though these tournaments are the focal point of the format, the metagame in any local area can be very different. The local meta is where budget decks take aim. Decks like Sligh, burn and 9-land Green do great in these kinds of events.
The first deck people think of is burn. It's cheap and with the right build and player can even go deep into a GP.
Mini-Goblins is a great deck for those players looking to make a goblin deck. It is very fast and easy to make as most of it can be found in the common box.
Mono-Black Control is a fan favorite. People love to blow up stuff and make other people discard.
9-land Green is a deck every Magic player should have. The entire deck costs the price of a dual, and it's so much fun to play.
Since Worlds last year, Legacy has become a growing format and will continue to grow on as more and more people continue to play. So, when the next major Legacy event or Friday Night Magic comes around, show your support and pick up a Legacy deck and go.