3 Formats, 9 Decks—What I Like for Grand Prix Santa Clara: Legacy

I’m by no means an active Legacy player. That said, since the announcement of the Team Pro Tour, I’ve put some effort into learning deck lists and asking experienced Legacy players about the format. Below are the decks that would be my top contenders if I was going to play Legacy in the event.

3) Sneak and Show

PALEMONGOOSE, 6th place at Legacy Challenge

This is probably the first deck I’d push off my list, but it’s also the deck I’m most comfortable with. I’ve thoroughly tested this deck for a GP I decided not to attend, and it’s my style of deck. Attacking with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is one of my favorite things to do in Magic, and this deck makes it easy.

Not being entirely familiar with Legacy, I want to do something proactive so I don’t have to guess at cards I may have to interact with. I remember in my head I described this deck as the “Splinter Twin” of Legacy as I felt mildly unfavored against Delver variants but good against other decks in the metagame. With Delver being the most popular deck, it may feel weird to play a deck that doesn’t have a great matchup against it, but when the metagame is as wide open as Legacy, I think Sneak and Show is still a great call.

This list comes from a recent Legacy Challenge on Magic Online. Omniscience makes the Show and Tells a bit better, allowing you to cast Emrkaul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand to find an Emrakul and then attack before the opponent gets to do anything with what they put into play. While I liked having Gitaxian Probe in my deck lists as “training wheels,” I prefer a more streamlined approach. I also really like having Blood Moon to lock opponents out, and this is in my opinion the best Blood Moon deck in Legacy. This is a solid choice and a good choice for players who aren’t comfortable in Legacy quite yet but want to play a Brainstorm deck.

2) Lands

Jarvis Yu, 3rd place at SCG Open Team Constructed

I’ll be honest here. I’m biased against decks without Brainstorm and Force of Will, but Alexander Hayne, who played the deck for the first time, had nothing but good things to say about Lands. I asked Jarvis Yu, well known for his Lands prowess, why it’s a good choice right now in the Legacy metagame. He told me that it was well positioned against midrange blue decks, like Delver, and can win against the combo decks, its worst matchups, by just turbo’ing a Marit Lage token into play.

As someone who played Grixis Delver in my last Legacy event, albeit it was for the first time, I played against Lands twice and the matchup felt difficult. I’ve heard a lot of “Grixis Delver is the best deck, Deathrite Shaman needs to be banned” chatter, so having that as a good matchup under your belt is a good place to start. Jarvis recommended this Lands list from a recent Team Constructed tournament, and if I’m going to trust anyone for a Lands deck list, it’s Jarvis.

1) 4c Control (Czech Pile)

Noah Walker, 1st place at SCG Team Constructed Open

It may come as a surprise that I don’t have Grixis Delver on my list at all, but 4c Control (or Czech Pile, if you prefer) is a similar deck that goes over the top of Delver. It replaces Delver’s cheap, efficient threats with grindier win conditions like Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. In doing so, you sacrifice Wasteland and a fast clock, which is better against combo decks, but you have much better fair matchups, like for instance, Delver decks. The deck still plays enough disruption to interact well with combo decks and I expect to play against a lot of Deathrite Shamans in the event, so for that reason I like the prospects of playing the “bigger” midrange deck with 4c Control. This is a list Noah Walker used in his first place finish at a SCG Team Constructed Open. I know Oliver and Noah frequently talk to Czech players Petr Sochurek and Ondrej Strasky, who have done a ton of work on this deck in the past. This is a good starting point for the deck, and what I’d test first if I’m tasked with Legacy.

So I’m not sure who will be playing what format quite yet on my team but these are the decks I’m liking leading up to GP Santa Clara right now. It’s possible that I end up playing boring Standard while Jono plays Modern and Steve plays Legacy, but that’s a conversation for another day. What I do know is that these are the decks I’ve formulated as my own top contenders if I end up playing each of these formats.

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