Eternal Weekend is this weekend and with the Magic Online token being released for the event, players are going to have access to all of the cards in Legacy. Eternal Weekend is always an exciting event for fans who love Legacy and Vintage, so players far and wide will probably be stepping into the online world, maybe for the first time, in order to battle. I figured this would be a great time to briefly review my opinions of the metagame as a whole and provide a format overview.
The metagame has been stagnant for a while, so most of this won’t be news. However, I have had a few people who haven’t played Legacy in a while reach out to me and ask about the format. With the official Magic Twitter announcing that bans may be looming post-EW, it’s possible that this is all irrelevant in a week or two. However, the free tokens are going to provide players the opportunity to play high-level Legacy without fear of losing value. This is as good of a time as any to do a format check-up. Since this is a brief overview, and not an in-depth analysis, I will post additional reading materials for decks (where applicable) in the descriptions of the decks for those that are looking to play a given deck.
I’ve picked eight decks that I think are the best in the format right now, and I don’t think you’ll go too wrong picking any one of these. Let’s get right into it!
Legacy Izzet Delver by Rich Cali
Legacy Izzet Saga by Rich Cali
This is the top dog of the format. These decks have game against everything and fully take advantage of all the powerful cards printed over the past year. If you’re particularly concerned with a certain matchup, you can easily shift some cards in your sideboard to accommodate it. I’m not actually sure whether Delver or Saga is better, but they are both extremely strong, so I don’t think you’ll really go wrong. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to play the best deck.
Legacy Jeskai Ragavan by Rich Cali
Legacy Jeskai Saga by Rich Cali
I think these decks are a hair worse than Izzet (as I covered in a previous article). That mostly comes down to mana, as most of the cards are the same. It’s still an extremely powerful, consistent deck and adding white certainly gives you access to important answers. I think Jeskai is a bit better than Izzet at responding to anti-Ragavan hate, since these decks have slightly more effective alternate game plans. At the end of it, though, it probably just comes down to preference, so pick the variant you enjoy the most.
Legacy Doomsday by Rich Cali
I’ve been saying that this deck is very close to the best deck in Legacy for a while. It’s extremely fast and consistent, but somehow has the ability to play long games and keep up with decks that have walls of disruption. Non-blue decks are also generally massive underdogs against it (although Endurance has something to say about that). People talk about how Delver is a tough matchup for Doomsday and that holds it back a bit. From the perspective of a Delver player, though, I’m almost always scared to play against Doomsday. It’s probably the level zero combo deck if you feel like you can properly pilot it.
Death and Taxes
Legacy Death and Taxes by Rich Cali
If Izzet is the top of the format, Death and Taxes will be close behind ready to take advantage of that. This deck is very well-positioned against the “Izzet shell”, and Death and Taxes has generally gotten a lot better over the past year or two. I think this is an excellent deck to pick up in the format right now. It is worth noting that certain combo decks, such as Doomsday, continue to be extremely problematic for Death and Taxes, so it’s not all sunshine and roses, unfortunately.
Legacy Lands by Rich Cali
This deck hasn’t had as much press as these other decks lately, but it has been slowly lurking in the background and making Ragavan player’s lives difficult. Lands has become a much more powerful deck over the past year, especially with the printing of Urza’s Saga. While Murktide Regent can cause issues for the deck, the rest of the Delver shell is pretty cold to what Lands is doing. Combo matchups are still tough, but Endurance goes a long way against Doomsday. I’d be happy to play this deck right now and I think the meta at EW might make Lands quite well-positioned.
*(also, this website has a ton of other resources)
Legacy Elves by Rich Cali
A lot like Lands, I don’t think this deck has received as much press as it should lately. Recent versions of this deck are really consistent and powerful, with a ton of capability to play through hate. Like all decks, Murktide Regent makes things a bit tough at times, but, like Lands, the rest of what the Delver/Ragavan decks are doing is not particularly problematic. More so than any other deck, I think Endurance has really been excellent for this deck. Fast combo matchups are much more manageable, especially in conjunction with Thoughtseize, which is really nice for the deck.
Legacy 8-Cast by Minest110
I had a feeling when I first saw this deck a few months ago that it would become a real force in the metagame. It’s extremely consistent, powerful and weirdly effective at sidestepping hate. I have this deck in this category because I think it’s a great deck more generally, rather than answering anything specific that is occurring in the metagame. It has tools to battle against anything and a proactive enough game plan that it can become the “combo” deck when it needs to.
Legacy Four Color Control by Rich Cali
Control isn’t as dominant as it once was, but this is still a powerful, appealing deck. There are so many ways to build this deck, but the Four-Color variant still seems like the most appealing. I think this deck is probably more well-suited for an event like EW than a random weekend Challenge or 1k, since you can metagame more specifically. I do think the Delver matchup has gotten a lot worse since MH2 came out, which is part of the reason this deck isn’t at the very top of the metagame. That being said, I would expect a lot of Ragavan decks at EW, which should give you opportunities to metagame against them quite nicely.
This basically covers my view of the best decks in the format. Legacy of course has plenty of decks that exist just off of this list, many of which I have written deck guides on over the past few months. If none of these decks capture you, I’d recommend looking into those to get a good feel for other options.
In addition, if you’re thinking that I didn’t mention a specific deck that you do think is good, there are two points to highlight: this is all just my take on things, and any deck can succeed in Legacy if its pilot is competent enough. Decks like Sneak and Show, TES, High Tide and many more fit into this category. If you’re an expert at one of these decks, roll with it (also, you might not exactly be the audience for this article).
I won’t be able to play in EW, but I’ll certainly be watching from the sidelines to see how the format develops when every player has access to the whole format.