Decks to Beat February: Legacy


Though slow to change, Legacy is still a shifting format. The metagame is different every week in order to beat the decks from the week or month before. All of the decks in last month’s article ( are still in my top decks to beat, but they all have weaknesses that have begun to be exploited. Look at Sneak and Show which hasn’t done well recently. Why is that?

Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes 7th Place SCG Baltimore by Travis Cowley
Creatures (26)
4 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Aven Mindcensor
4 Flickerwisp
1 Mirran Crusader
4 Mother of Runes
3 Serra Avenger
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Spells (11)
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (23)
10 Plains
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Horizon Canopy
4 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
3 Karakas
1 Cursed Totem
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Manriki-Gusari
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Oblivion Ring
1 Rest in Peace
2 Celestial Flare
2 Enlightened Tutor

You might be asking yourself, isn’t this an older deck? Why would it be stopping Sneak and Show now and not at first?

Legacy adapts to itself rotating decks around making them better or worse depending on where the format is at. Death and Taxes took the place of G/W Maverick, which fell out of favor when Punishing Jund became a big competitor in the format.

And why did Jund start popping up?

BUG Delver

BUG Delver 8th Place SCG Baltimore
Creatures (14)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Tombstalker
Planeswalkers (2)
2 Liliana of the Veil
Lands (20)
2 Bayou
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
Spells (24)
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Ponder
1 Sylvan Library
3 Disfigure
2 Golgari Charm
2 Krosan Grip
3 Spell Pierce
1 Submerge
2 Vendilion Clique
1 Liliana of the Veil

In the fall of 2012 Wizards of the Coast released the set Return to Ravnica and with it came Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay. These two cards quickly became format staples. This brought BUG Delver and BUG Control decks to the top of the format for a few weeks. BUG delver had Abrupt Decay which gave it the advantage in the Delver mirror. This was sweet and many people were excited.

However, those cards didn’t just fit into those decks. Jund suddenly became the best deck in modern and was so good that Bloodbraid Elf ended up getting banned in the format. People took notice and decided to use this strategy to take down the Delver decks that were ruling the legacy format by adding Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows.

We are seeing something similar happening now with True-Name Nemesis decks. As these decks become more prevalent you need answers for True-Name. This has made a resurgence of BUG Delver decks. With natural answers in the deck like Liliana of the Veil, it seems like a good idea. These decks also get Abrupt Decay for the equipment that the True-Name Nemesis decks are running.

Now you could play Jund to try and combat all of the BUG Delver decks that are popping up, or you could try to next-level the metagame.

Shardless BUG

Shardless BUG 10th Place SCG Las Vegas by Wiley Jephson
Creatures (15)
2 Baleful Strix
4 Shardless Agent
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Vendilion Clique
Planeswalkers (4)
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Liliana of the Veil
Spells (19)
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
3 Force of Will
4 Ancestral Vision
2 Hymn to Tourach
2 Thoughtseize
Lands (22)
1 Swamp
2 Bayou
2 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
2 Tropical Island
4 Underground Sea
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wasteland
2 Pernicious Deed
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Force of Will
2 Golgari Charm
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Swan Song
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Hymn to Tourach
2 Thoughtseize

This deck is doing all the things that Jund is doing and is a little bit better in the pseudo-mirror. You play a game of attrition that you are almost destined to win. With cards like Ancestral Visions and Jace, the Mind Sculptor, your draw power will push you over the edge against Jund.

This deck has a game plan against most of the field. With a wide net of answers and threats you will never find yourself in a matchup that is “unwinnable”.
Another interesting thing that has been happening in legacy is the appearance of an old idea in a new shell.


Jund Depths

Jund Depths 1st Place SCG Indianapolis Kennen Haas
Creatures (2)
Lands (30)
1 Nether Spirit
1 Badlands
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob 2 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
Planeswalkers (4)
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Maze of Ith
Spells (24) 1 Taiga
4 Mox Diamond 3 Thespian’s Stage
2 Crop Rotation 4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Entomb 4 Wasteland
1 Punishing Fire 2 Wooded Foothills
4 Faithless Looting 1 Karakas
4 Life from the Loam 1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Raven’s Crime 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Smallpox 2 Dark Depths
3 Pithing Needle
1 Sphere of Resistance
1 Phyrexian Ingester
1 Exploration
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Coffin Purge
1 Crop Rotation
1 Punishing Fire
1 Ray of Revelation
2 Innocent Blood
1 Maze of Ith
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Ever wanted to play a combo deck in a midrange control shell? Well, here is your chance!  This deck has a combo game plan of making a giant 20/20 indestructible creature with Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths while keeping a very Jund-like attrition backup plan.

This deck will Entomb the lands and then get them back with Life from the Loam. This is an interesting interaction that a lot of players will have never seen before and that you should be aware of if this deck keeps doing well.  If forced to go to the late game, Entomb allows you to search for Punishing Fire as well, and get it back with Grove of the Burnwillows.

Legacy doesn’t change too much over a month, and the changes it has made are subtle. If I was building a gauntlet for legacy today, I would have all of these decks in it. With so many decks in legacy having more extensive card knowledge as well as a knowledge of the interactions in the format will really help you to succeed in the format.

Well everyone, that is it for me this week. See you all next week for the first glimpse of new standard with Born of the Gods cards!

Spencer Howland
Twitter: @Spencer13H