The 20 Best Decks in Legacy: #10-6

Welcome back to the second part of the Top 20 Decks of Legacy series! In case you missed 20-11, be sure to take a look at what you’ve missed.

Here’s the quick summary:

20. Nic Fit
19. Merfolk
18. Burn
17. Infect
16. Dredge
15. Maverick
14. U/R Delver
13. Reanimator
12. Dragon Stompy
11. Sultai

My Ranking System

Power Level – A combination of how quickly, easily, and effectively a deck can win a game of Magic. Slow decks can be powerful. Miracles for example, is capable of running an opponent out of gas with extreme efficiency, even if it won’t technically end the game for several more turns.

Consistency – How often does the deck draw hands that can execute a winning strategy? How high is the variance between a large sample size of games?

Resilience/Exploitability/Flexibility – Does the deck crumble to sideboard cards? Does the deck have a backup plan or transformational sideboard? It’s not just sideboard cards—a deck that struggles against major pillars of the format (fast combo or counterspells) will have scores that reflect these inflexibilities.

I’m going to give each deck a score of between 1 and 10 for each of the three categories and add them up. The higher the score, the higher the rank.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in Legacy there are a lot of hybrids of archetypes. Name a combination of colors that involve blue and there is some flavor of aggro-control. In the spirit of inclusion, I’m going to group some of these decks together rather than have fifteen different Deathrite Shaman + Brainstorm decks on the list.

Two cards that define many builds of functionally similar decks.

There are no doubt other factors at play but these are the big three for me. The dream deck is one that can quickly and consistently put itself into victory formation without being too vulnerable to cards and strategies people are likely to play. So, basically a deck that would typically be considered “broken.”


Remember, any deck on this list is capable of beating any other deck on any given day and the margin separating the 20th ranked deck from the first is fairly small.

At the end of the day, decks don’t win tournaments—players do. Always keep that in mind when selecting your weapon of choice. The actual “best deck” is always that one that you can pilot with the highest degree of efficiency.

#10. Eldrazi Aggro (19/30 Points)

4% of the winner’s metagame

Power: 8
Consistency: 5
Resiliency: 6

Eldrazi Aggro is one of those unique metagame decks that combines a unique blend of raw powerful threats backed up by a disruptive soft-lock prison shell.

The deck can beat you in a couple of ways. It can simply run you over with giant monsters that outclass the average Delver deck, or it can use disruptive elements like Chalice of the Void to severely compromise the opponent’s ability to execute a winning strategy.

The newest emergent pillar of Legacy.

Eldrazi Aggro

Igot Janzen, 2nd place at Kemptener Legacy Open

It is unclear whether Eldrazi Aggro or Dragon Stompy will ultimately emerge as the dominant Chalice of the Void deck of choice. I’ve played around with both decks a fair amount and the reason I gave Eldrazi a few more points was its quality of threats. The fact that the entire deck is meant to utilize colorless mana synergies leads to fewer non-functioning or awkward draws.

While both decks are great answers to the Delver-heavy metagame, I would ultimately choose Eldrazi over Stompy.

#9. Show and Tell (19/30 Points)

4% of the winner’s metagame

Power: 9
Consistency: 4
Resiliency: 6

Show and Tell decks are among the most powerful “free win” decks in Legacy. It doesn’t take much to resolve a Show and Tell, which typically is enough to win a game of Legacy.

There are two frontrunner versions of Show and Tell: OmniTell and Sneak and Show.

Omnitell is a mono-blue combo deck that is all-in on resolving a Show and Tell for an Emrakul or an Omniscience, while Sneak and Show adds Sneak Attack to the ways it can get Emrakul or Griselbrand into play.


Marcus Ekstrom, 1st place at Alara Games

Typically, the game will end if OmniTell can get an Omniscience into play with any sort of action left in hand.

Sneak and Show

Justin Porchas, 1st place at Legacy Staples

Sneak and Show has continued to put up strong numbers despite the fact that it doesn’t have great metagame positioning with all of the Delver decks being so popular. I also prefer Show and Tell decks to Reanimator since graveyard hate is prevalent in the format.

#8. Stoneblade (20/30 Points)

5% of the winner’s metagame

Power: 5
Consistency: 7
Resiliency: 8

Stoneblade refers to blue aggro decks that use Stoneforge Mystic as their premier threat. Stoneforge can tutor up powerful conditional equipment such as Sword of Fire and Ice or Umezawa’s Jitte to enhance your creatures’ stats, or a powerful threat in Batterskull.

Stoneforge is a powerful enough card that it finds its way into lots of different decks, but the two primary blue-based versions are Esper and straight U/W.

Esper Deathblade

Rafael Dasilva, 1st place at 33 Alpha Legacy

Worth splashing for.

U/W Stoneblade

Emil Kirshbaum,  5th place at JK Series Flight to Vegas

Again, personal bias for Stoneblade may be at play here, as I’ve been playing a lot of U/W Blade lately. I love Back to Basics and the way that it punishes most of the other decks on the list. The deck has been impressing me lately, even in a metagame where other decks appear to be running away with the show, which kind of helps prove my overarching point: All of these decks are good choices and the difference between them isn’t that large.

#7. Storm (20/30 Points)

5% of the winner’s metagame

Power: 9
Consistency: 6
Resiliency: 4

Storm is another deck I’ve been playing a lot lately. It’s fast. Real fast.

The deck creates a ton of metagame mismatches, since any deck that isn’t interacting on Storm’s axis will likely die a quick and easy death.

With that being said, Storm also suffers from being vulnerable to hate cards like Chalice of the Void or Thalia, which means that it’s a gamble between beating your opponent’s cards and losing to them.


CONTROL4DAZE, 1st place in an MTGO Challenge

The results from GP Seattle seem to suggest that Deathrite Shaman decks are public enemy #1 in terms of results and metagame percentage. If that is true, (and it is), it means that there could be an opening for other powerful strategies (combo decks) to have success as the bullseye shifts toward killing cheap creatures.

Plus, the deck is basically a who’s who of ridiculous Magic cards, i.e., all of the cantrips and fast mana.

#6. Death and Taxes (20/30 Points)

5% of the winner’s metagame

Power: 7
Consistency: 7
Resiliency: 6

Death and Taxes is a white, creature-based prison/aggro deck. It does a lot of things well: It can disrupt, attack, and grind value.

Despite not playing blue, Death and Taxes has enough naturally disruptive elements to sport solid combo matchups, which is a rarity in Legacy. Taxing effects, like Thalia, make it hard for noncreature-based decks to execute their strategy in a timely fashion.

Death and Taxes

BAHRA, 3rd place in an MTGO Legacy Challenge

Death and Taxes is one of my favorite decks to play because it can effectively navigate many axes of the game and has a high threat density. It’s also a deck that requires proficiency to play well. In the hands of Craig Wescoe, Death and Taxes likely has a composite score of 32.


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