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Legacy Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions (2/19 & 2/19)

Card: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | Art: Magali Villenueve

While the rest of the Magic world had their eyes on Philadelphia, there were some dedicated grinders playing MTGO this weekend. I’m Curtis Ailes back with my weekly coverage of the weekend’s Legacy MTGO challenges!

Is Phyrexia: All Will Be One Still a Factor?

Last weekend there were a number of decks slinging cards from the newest set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Atraxa made a splash in pretty much every format out there. As a result, prices for the Phyrexian angel skyrocketed both online and in the paper market. I’m kicking myself for passing up a deal on a paper copy last Tuesday at $9. In the same store, it is now $25! This week, however, it was missing from the Top 8 of each weekend Challenge.

Mercurial Spelldancer maintained its presence in the top decks of the weekend as did Minor Misstep, both showing up in Izzet Delver decks.

Speaking of Delver, there were six Delver decks that placed in the Top 8 this weekend. While the stock Delver list seems to be going through some changes, the core gameplan is still in place. Whether you are running Mercurial Spelldancer or Delver of Secrets, Murktide is still the king of the deck and the rest of the strategy supports that.

MTGO Weekend Legacy Challenge Results

Legacy MTGO Saturday Challenge 32 Results

  1. Death and Taxes - yoshiwata

  2. Mono-Blue Painter – DNSolver

  3. Grixis Tempo – Oceansoul92

  4. Reanimator – Duke12

  5. Izzet Delver - _INF_

  6. Grixis Tempo – wiky

  7. White Stompy – yPrincipe

  8. Mono-Blue Paradigm Shift - Utsunomiya

Full list is here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

Legacy MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. Mono-Blue Painter – DNSolver

  2. 5c Uro Control - AppleSK1nG_

  3. Orzhov Initiative – Elbegast

  4. Grixis Tempo – WingedHussar

  5. Sneak and Show – JPA93

  6. Izzet Delver – JakeTMS

  7. Cephalid Breakfast - Dein_Freund_der_Baum

  8. Izzet Delver – gravy98

Full list is here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

Saturday Challenge Results

For the second week in a row, DNSolver made it to the final of the Challenge with Mono-Blue Painter. This weekend, however, they fell just short of the trophy, losing to yoshiwata with Death and Taxes!

Third place went to a Grixis Delver brew, while fourth went to a non-Atraxa Reanimator deck. Fifth place was a fairly stock Izzet Delver deck. Sixth place was taken by another Grixis Delver deck.

In seventh place was a fairly stock White Stompy deck and in eighth place was a Mono-Blue Paradigm Shift combo.

Paradigm Shift is a deck I had to look up because honestly, it doesn’t normally register on the Legacy radar.

Sunday Challenge Results

DNSolver returned on Sunday and took down the Challenge, securing the trophy. The runner-up was AppleSK1nG_ with 5C Uro Control. They placed first in the Swiss portion underscoring how powerful this deck can be. It needs to be said that, the Mono-Blue Painter deck being peddled by DNSolver has been a beast over the past few weeks.

Top Decks

Once again, DNSolver and their Mono-Blue Painter deck are at the forefront of the conversation. The interesting thing is that this deck isn’t even widely played around the meta. As far as I know, this is the only deck of its kind and they are absolutely killing it!

Also really nice to see Death and Taxes as well as Sneak and Show back in the Top 8.

Paradigm Shift Combo

While this deck, piloted by UTSUNOMIYA, did not take down the Challenge, the fact that this odd combo made it into the Top 8 speaks to the nature of the meta right now.

If you have never heard of this deck, Paradigm Shift is a combo deck that aims to resolve Paradigm Shift or Thought Lash to exile your library, followed by resolving Thassa’s Oracle. The rest is self-explanatory.

Aided by partners in crime such as Impulse and Shelldock Isle, this deck aims to find the pieces in more of a mid-range fashion using control and prison elements to stay alive long enough to resolve the combo. I can’t believe I am talking about Shelldock Isle at the top of the Challenge results. Also, get a chuckle seeing Malevolent Hermit in the mix as it represents a great speed-bump for any opponent.

In the Swiss portion of the Challenge, UTSUNOMIYA placed fifth going 5-1 which says a lot about the skill it takes to master this gameplan round after round.

Death and Taxes (w/Yorion)

I wish there was more to write about this deck, but it’s pretty much stock Yorion Death and Taxes. With the exception of Remorseful Cleric, which I don’t see often, the rest of this deck represents a recent stock list.

Kudos to yoshiwata for taking down the challenge! They finished in eight in the Swiss portion of the format but managed to take the trophy home taking down two Delver decks and Mono-Blue Painter along the way. That is really impressive when you think about the level of competition along the way.

Delver is a great matchup for D&T, but it must have been challenging to figure out how to tackle the Mono-Blue Painter deck that has been running over the weekend Challenges the past few weeks.

Mono-Blue Painter

DNSolver used the same deck in both challenges this weekend. The core of this deck is based on 8-cast but pivots to include the Painter combo pieces.

This deck has so many tools that work together from Spire of Industry to Metallic Rebuke.

On top of that Urza’s Saga is there to provide persistent pressure via Construct tokens and the ability to go find Grindstone. With this deck, the opponent is on a very quick clock to come up with answers to the many tools it has to assemble the combo.

Grixis Tempo (Delver)

This deck is called “Grixis Tempo” but in reality is Izzet Murktide with a splash of black for Snuff Out. This new spin-off of the more mainstream Delver deck has gained some traction and continues to put up results every week.

I wonder how many people are running this archetype in paper. This deck really came into focus in recent weeks as a way to stand up to White Stompy. As it turns out, Snuff Out is a really good card and plays well against other archetypes.

Non-League Superstar – 4c Depths

As I will explain further down, there seems to be a bit of homogeneity in the format. In that interest, I looked a bit afield over the last week and found this interesting 4C Depths brew that went 4-0 in the 2/13/23 Preliminary.

This deck looks slightly like a Maverick deck while retaining the Depths game plan. The splash of red for Minsc & Boo is something we are seeing less at the top of the format as of late. I like what this deck is doing, though. In the vein of the Mono-Blue Painter deck, this deck is trying to assemble a couple of different paths to victory.

Also digging Steely Resolve out of the sideboard. If there is something every Maverick player can agree to, getting your Knight of the Reliquary bolted sucks. Similarly, having your Marit Lage Petty Theft’ed or Swords to Plowshare’d equally deflate the gameplan. I’m curious how well Steely Resolve helped out.

Final Thoughts

It bares stating there is a somewhat homogenous slant to Legacy at the moment if you are looking only at Challenge results. I feel like I am writing about the same decks week after week. If you dig into league play though, there is a much wider diversity of decks being played. Obviously, they are not at the top of the heap, or they would be showing up in the Challenge results.

However, it is worth noting that since Initiative showed up, there has been a bit of evolution at the top. The top deck isn’t just Delver. There was some conversation over on the Elves Discord this week and some over there welcomed the upheaval that Initiative has brought to the game.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a diversity of decks from Blue-Painter, to Riddlesmith, to Artisan Elves, to Grixis Delver, to Reanimator. One curious omission lately has been Selesnya Depths. As I wrote above, it looks like Depths has been popping up in some league and preliminary play but considering the strong run this deck had in 2022, it has been curiously missing for a few months in the weekend challenges.

While Legacy isn’t approaching the diversity of deck building on display in Modern, it is nice to see the amount of turnover in the past few months.


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