Winners and Losers after Week 1 in Post-Ban Legacy

Bob Huang did a great job in his post-ban article predicting how the metagame would look. Let’s see how he did after the first tournament with the new ban list: the Legacy Challenge on Magic Online.


1. Show & Tell

The tournament was dominated by Show & Tell, with two copies in the finals.

Edgar Magalhaes is a Grand Prix winner, who knows what usually happens when a new metagame comes into being. People are excited to play Goblins and Maverick, and end up losing to good old Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

Edgar’s list very straightforward and can be described as a classic JPA93 list (GP finalist with Sneak & Show and MTGO grinder), whereas the winner of the event, Pokerswizard, had a slightly different take.

Sneak & Show

Pokerswirzards, 1st Place at Legacy Challenge 07/08/2018

(Disclaimer: In the official website for deck lists, this list only has 58 cards, and is listed with one Island and seventeen lands. I made the assumption that the two missing cards were two Islands.)

Simian Spirit Guide and Daze aren’t cards we’re used to seeing in Show & Tell. This player wants to go as fast as possible, without becoming a glass-cannon like B/R Reanimator.

Sneak & Show used to have a good matchup against Miracles and struggled against Delver of Secrets. Now with Delver of Secrets on the outs and Miracles rising, this deck has a bright future.

2. Death & Taxes

The second winner is Death & Taxes, with two copies in the Top 8 and three more in the Top 32.

While Brightling is now legal on Magic Online, it’s very rare and super expensive. It wasn’t around when the tournament was held.

I personally talked to the semifinalist Devon O’Donnel and he explained that he wanted to try it but couldn’t. I’m sure that we’ll see more Brightlings in upcoming tournaments.

Death & Taxes

D00mwake, 3rd Place at Legacy Challenge 07/08/2018

This list is very similiar to what I’d run. Devon is trying Remorseful Cleric and I’m really excited to try it too. It’s an evasive threat that can also be an annoying hate bear.

This Spirit isn’t only bothersome versus heavy graveyard synergies but also against the many decks that rely on them marginally, like Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, Nimble Mongoose, Punishing Fire, Life from the Loam. Against those cards, you have time to tutor up your Cleric with Recruiter of the Guard and end up getting your value.

In order to make space for two copies of Brightling, I’d cut Mirran Crusader and Sanctum Prelate, though I’m a fan of the latter and I’m not sold on cutting it entirely from the main deck.

In the sideboard, the presence of Manriki-Gusari illustrates how big a threat Stoneforge Mystic is in the current metagame. You have to be ready for it.

3. Spicy Brews

How could I talk about the winners of this past weekend without mentioning the sick R/W Painter deck that managed to go undefeated, 7-0, in Swiss, but then ended up losing to good ol’ Sneak & Show in the quarterfinals?

R/W Painter

Utley26, 5th Place at Legacy Challenge 07/08/2018

Since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top, this deck, which was already tier 2 or less, became less and less played. I almost forgot about the Painter’s Servant + Grindstone combo.

But Utley26 is bringing it back with a whopping four copies of  Smuggler’s Copter to filter your draws.

Four Ethersworn Canonist is unusual, and this deck is well equipped to beat the blue decks with its six main deck Pyroblast effects.

Incidentally, Ensnaring Bridge is also huge against Sneak & Show. They can’t beat the Bridge in the main deck (unless they play Omniscience + Cunning Wish) and they have very few ways of dealing with it post-sideboard.

This deck is cool. We don’t see Enlightened Tutor often in Legacy, but I’m always happy when it pops up.

Along with this spicy brew I have to also mention Zombie Bombardment, because it’s the deck Sam Black used to Top 8 at GP Atlanta in 2012 and now, after six years it’s back in 10th place at this Legacy Challenge!

Zombie Bombardment

ScavengingBooze, 10th Place at Legacy Challenge 07/08/2018

So many synergies going on with the newest toy: Stitcher’s Supplier. The aim of the deck is to get as much value as possible from your little creatures. This deck is definitely cool and fun.



In Bob Huang’s article, he predicted that tier 1 will be Miracles and Reanimator—those two didn’t perform well at all in this event.

Miracles is a hard deck to play, and I’m sure that we’ll see masters of the game play it going forward, but it is definitely a loser after last week’s Legacy Challenge, with only two copies in the Top 32.

Dazai, 14th Place at Legacy Challenge 07/08/2018

B/R Reanimator

Everyone was afraid of this deck. I even raised my Surgical Extraction count up to four! People obviously spent their time this past week trying different decks because I used to face it at least once in every League and I have now failed to play against it for four Leagues in a row. And while it used to dominate Legacy Challenges, with at least two copies in each Top 8, it was nowhere in the Top 32 of this Legacy Challenge.

It’s only week 1 so it’s too early to jump to conclusions, but the fact that B/R Reanimator was the deck with the biggest target on its head made the deck underperform and made other combo decks overperform.

Legacy is a totally new format, and I am excited to see how it’ll develop.


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