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Legacy Power Rankings – January 2022

Hello, Reid here, and welcome to the Legacy Power Rankings. I played a ton of Legacy during the month of December, so I’m tagging in for Andrea Mengucci, who normally writes the Legacy Rankings.

 

 

Honorable Mention

Legacy has a ton of viable archetypes, and the lines can really blur between them at times. So an honorable mention goes out to all decks using the Dark Depths plus Thespian’s Stage combo. 

Dark DepthsThespian's Stage

These can range from G/B Turbo Depths to Selesnya and Junk (Abzan) Knight of the Reliquary decks to more classic versions of Lands. None of these decks individually put up enough results to make the Rankings, but if you combine all of them together, it’s clear that making a 20/20 flying, indestructible is a solid strategy in Legacy (duh, I guess?).

These decks even have solid matchups against some of the top decks in the format, including the #1 deck to beat. 

10. Cloudpost

CloudpostGlimmerpostVesuva

Green Cloudpost decks have existed for awhile, but they’ve really come out of the woodwork in the last three weeks or so. They use Cloudpost, Glimmerpost and Vesuva to generate unfair amounts of mana while buffering their life total with big chunks at a time. Green supports with cards like Once Upon a Time which help find Cloudpost, or whatever land is ideal for the situation. 

Payoffs and win conditions include Primeval Titan, Green Sun’s Zenith and Eldrazi Titans.

9. Day’s Undoing

HullbreacherLeovold, Emissary of TrestDay's Undoing

These decks can take a variety of forms, but the idea is to pair Day’s Undoing with some combination of Hullbreacher, Leovold, Emissary of Trest or Narset, Parter of Veils. If you can do so, you’ll get a fresh windfall of seven cards while the opponent gets utterly cleaned out. 

The reason these decks are so effective is that preventing opponents from drawing cards is simply a great effect in Legacy, even as a standalone. So you wind up with rock solid midrange decks that simply have the combo built into them.

8. Hollowvine

I had a ton of fun working on the Hollowvine deck. It uses Lion’s Eye Diamond, Putrid Imp, Faithless Looting and Burning Inquiry to discard huge chunks of cards, enabling Vengevine, Hollow One and tons of madness creatures. A major cherry on top of this strategy is Anger, which can give all of your creatures haste and speed up an already-fast clock.

The strength of this deck is that it’s extremely explosive while also being difficult to attack. For example, the opponent will have to bring in graveyard hate to combat your Vengevines, but graveyard hate is pretty ineffective against the rest of the deck. Similarly, there’s no one card the opponent can Force of Will to guarantee shutting you down. 

On the other hand, the weakness is that you don’t have much disruption of your own, meaning that you can have trouble winning races against faster combo decks.

7. Death and Taxes

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenFlickerwisp (Timeshifted)Swords to Plowshares

Death and Taxes is a heavily disruptive white creature deck. It has its die-hard fans, and can be one of the scariest decks in Legacy in the hands of an expert pilot. It’s also one of the best options for combating the #1 deck to beat.

6. Doomsday

Dark RitualDoomsdayThassa's Oracle

Doomsday has supplanted Storm Combo as the spell-based combo deck of choice. It’s appealing in its directness; you have a Dark Ritual and a Doomsday, and you can win the game.

You’ll exile all but five of your cards, then chain cantrips until you deplete your library and win the game with Thassa’s Oracle.

5. Elves

Elves is my favorite deck in Legacy, and it’s at a relative high point thanks to Allosaurus Shepherd. Shepherd makes it so that your blue opponents can’t counter key combo pieces like Glimpse of Nature and Natural Order. It also lets you play through Chalice of the Void, which was a nightmare card for Elves in the old days. 

4. Bant Uro

Uro, Titan of Nature's WrathSwords to PlowsharesJace, the Mind Sculptor

Bant Uro is the closest thing to a control deck among Legacy’s top strategies. It gears up for the long game using disruption, removal, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and sometimes Life from the Loam. It can tap into red for Pyroblast and Expressive Iteration and/or tap into black for cards like Pernicious Deed and Leovold, Emissary of Trest.

3. Four-Color Green Sun’s Zenith

Green Sun's ZenithYorion, Sky NomadBrainstorm

Four-Color Zenith is the other way to make use of the extremely powerful Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. This 80-card monstrosity features every color other than red, and can use Green Sun’s Zenith to fetch a helpful creature at any spot on the mana curve.

The high ranking for this deck comes in large part due to the work of Magic Online player McWinSauce who plays this deck all the time, typically to great success.

2. Reanimator

EntombReanimateGriselbrand

The top two decks are massively more popular than everything else right now. If you want to play Legacy, I recommend you gear heavily for beating Reanimator. I was main-decking four Leyline of the Void by the end of my December foray into the Legacy Leagues.

Reanimator has the best turn ones in the format, with Griselbrand or an equivalent creature hitting the battlefield nearly half the time (very rough estimation). It gained a massive level-up from Modern Horizon 2‘s Archon of Cruelty, which is virtually impossible to beat, and as a non-legend, crucially gets around Karakas.

Kanister won the Showcase Qualifier with Reanimator in December, which was a high stakes event that forms part of the Magic Online Championship Series. 

1. Izzet Delver

Despite Reanimator making a good run for the title, Izzet Delver remains the deck to beat in Legacy. The core is Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Dragon’s Rage Channeler, Murktide Regent, Lightning Bolt, Daze, Force of Will, Wasteland and the best card selection in Legacy. In some games, it almost doesn’t matter what cards you draw since the Delver player will neutralize everything by countering it, killing it or making it uncastable while Wastelanding you into oblivion. 

Many Legacy players are calling for a ban of either Ragavan or Daze. Personally, I don’t think a ban is necessary for metagame balance reasons. However, having the opponent win the die roll and start with Volcanic Island, Ragavan and Daze feels utterly insurmountable, and is not something I particularly want to be a regular experience for the rest of my life. 

 

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