LEGACY, WITH A TWIST

Posted in GRAND PRIX NEW JERSEY 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 15, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Since the release of Khans of Tarkir, Legacy has been taken over by powerful Delve cards like Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time. As these cards have been establishing footing atop the metagame, players have adopted new and old strategies with exciting twists in an effort to overcome these powerful draw engines. Let's take a moment to discuss some of the big changes we're seeing in established archetypes.

Maverick, a traditionally base Green/White creature deck with a lot of interaction, has been a popular choice for players looking to punish their Blue/Red Delver opponents. Knight of the Reliquary is usually big enough to overcome any burn spells from the Blue/Red decks. Punishing Fire kills the format's most important threats repeatedly thanks to its interaction with Grove of the Burnwillows. One of the most exciting innovations we've seen in some the Maverick lists this weekend is the inclusion of Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage. Using Knight of the Reliquary, the pilot can search for Thespian's Stage on the opponent's endstep, and search for Dark Depths the following turn for an instant-speed 20/20 Merit Lage token. This interaction becomes especially powerful when one considers that Mother of Runes is present to protect all stages of the combo. Additionally, Scryb Ranger can be used to activate Knight of the Reliquary twice on the same turn, surprising the opponent with a unforeseeable Merit Lage!

Miracles has been widely considered one of the most powerful strategies in Legacy for the better part of the last year. Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top combine to severely limit the range of spells most opponent's can resolve in a format where the majority of cards cost one or two mana. One of the biggest innovations we've seen in the Miracles deck is the inclusion of the Helm of Obedience/Rest in Peace combo. With many of the tempo strategies playing less countermagic than normal, including a powerful combo in the deck gives it a way to ensure victory before the longevity of the decks with a lot of burn and Treasure Cruise close the game through attrition.

With so much Blue/Red Delver, many of the decks have begun cutting countermagic in favor of inexpensive removal. As a result, we've begun seeing a lot of combo strategies have quite a bit of success. Show and Tell decks seem to be the true combo strategy of choice, but there are plenty of Elves, Storm, and other combo strategies showing up in force this weekend to take advantage of a field that's relatively soft to them.

Sneak and Show variants of Show and Tell are adopting Overmaster as a powerful new tool to force through their combo. Overmaster is very strong for a number of reasons in the current Legacy format. There's a lot less discard in the new Legacy metagame because of how poorly those types of cards matchup against Treasure Cruise. Overmaster fights countermagic better than any other card, and, with no discard in the format, that's of extremely high priority for a pure combo deck. Additionally, Overmaster cannot be countered by Pyroblast, which has become a maindeck inclusion for many of the Blue/Red and Jeskai colored strategies.

With well over 3600 players in the room today, there's plenty of room for innovation. Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix New Jersey for all the exciting new technology.

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