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Legacy Power Rankings – May Edition

The Legacy metagame looks healthy and fun right now, with dozens of strategies able to succeed in competitive events.

Welcome to the latest installment of the Legacy Rankings. Here are the resources I use to inform all Power Rankings, leaning more heavily on what applies best to the given format:

  • Magic Online results. This includes Preliminaries, Weekend Challenges, Super Qualifiers, and MOCS Events.
  • MTGMelee results. I typically look at all of the events with at least twenty players.
  • Large tabletop events. When applicable.
  • Untapped.gg stats. These show win rates of various archetypes on the Magic Arena ladder.
  • Previous rankings. Just because a deck didn’t make a top 8 over the weekend, doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a bad deck.
  • Public opinion. I discuss things with my teammates, and take a look at what’s getting a lot of attention on Twitch, Twitter, Youtube, podcasts, and written content.
  • My own instincts and experiences.

 

 

10. Four-Color Control

Uro, Titan of Nature's WrathExpressive IterationPrismatic Ending

Four-Color Control decks can look a little messy on paper, but they’re highly effective when you see them in action. They typically feature lots of white removal spells alongside card advantage engines such as Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Expressive Iteration. They can access devastating sideboard cards ranging from Pyroblast to Carpet of Flowers.

9. Death and Taxes

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenAether VialKarakas

Death and Taxes is a heavily disruptive white creature deck. It has its diehard fans, and can be one of the scariest decks in Legacy in the hands of an expert pilot. The greatest appeal of Death and Taxes is that I believe it to have the best matchup against the #1 deck of anything on this list. 

8. Sneak and Show

Show and TellSneak AttackGriselbrand

Sneak and Show is a tried and true combo deck which has always impressed me. I love the quality of a single spell resolving – either Show and Tell or Sneak Attack – almost always converting directly into a game win. 

7. Red Prison

Blood MoonChalice of the Void (Timeshifted)Goblin Rabblemaster

Mono-Red Prison uses fast mana like Chrome Mox and Ancient Tomb to power out disruptive permanents like Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void. It also plays potent threats like Goblin Rabblemaster and Chandra, Torch of Defiance, which win games very quickly when they go unanswered. 

6. Elves

Glimpse of NatureElvish Mystic (Timeshifted)Gaea's Cradle

Elves is my personal favorite deck in Legacy. It’s a consistent creature-based combo deck with tons of built-in card advantage and staying power. It tends to have an excellent matchup against slower decks and creature strategies, while struggling a little against faster combo decks like Storm, Reanimator and the turbo Marit Lage decks. 

5. 8-Cast

ThoughtcastThought MonitorKappa Cannoneer

The “8 Casts” in this case are Thoughtcast and Thought Monitor. This is a mono-blue artifact deck which, among other powerful things, seeks to turbo out Kappa Cannoneer. This creature is a nightmare for most Legacy decks to deal with if it ever hits the battlefield. All the while, 8-Cast can access the full eight Force of Wills and Force of Negations to protect against fast combo decks or ensure that its own key cards get to stick. 

4. Storm

Infernal TutorDark RitualBirgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty

Storm has been around forever, and the experienced Storm players are very scary to play against. There are a few versions, ranging from Mono-Red Storm using Birgi, God of Storytelling to more classic versions with Infernal Tutor and Dark Ritual. Streamer DemonicTutors won back to back Legacy Challenges with Storm combo (including beating me in the finals of one of them!).

3. Dark Depths Decks

Dark DepthsThespian's StageExploration

I’m casting a wide net here, as Dark Depths decks come in many forms. None of them individually would’ve ranked quite this high, but I think it’s important to emphasize that making a quick Marit Lage is a highly successful strategy in Legacy. 

Lands uses Exploration to power out a variety of extremely powerful lands. It can earn quick wins with Dark Depths plus Thespian’s Stage or it can lock opponents out of the game with Wasteland, Rishadan Port, Glacial Chasm and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. One popular take on the archetype uses Mulch and Winding Way

On the other hand, decks centered around Elvish Reclaimer can assemble Dark Depths plus Thespian’s Stage, or they can play fair games with removal spells and card advantage. Both W/G Reclaimer and B/G Turbodepths have had success recently. 

2. Jeskai Control

HullbreacherNarset, Parter of VeilsDay's Undoing

If you lump all of the controlling Jeskai-colored decks together, it’s clear that this is a top strategy which is a favorite among Legacy’s elite players. Jeskai Mentor is a bread-and-butter way to use many of Legacy’s best cards, while Standstill, Stoneforge Mystic, Miracles and planeswalker-based control decks are other valid approaches. One particularly exciting version of Jeskai seeks to pair Day’s Undoing with some combination of Hullbreacher and 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. 

Regardless of how you build it, you wind up with a rock solid midrange or controlling deck that has answers to just about everything I strongly considered Jeskai for the #1 position.

1. Izzet Delver

Delver of Secrets // Insectile AberrationExpressive IterationDragon's Rage Channeler

Delver is still the top deck, but it’s much closer than it’s been in the past. The metagame seems healthy, with tons of decks having effective plans against Delver. Still, the card quality and the well-roundedness of Delver really can’t be matched. 

The core is Delver of Secrets, 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. 

 

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