Looking at The Current Lands(cape) of Legacy
Hey, this is Jarvis Yu, Silver Pro, and member of Massdrop East. I’m back to discuss the current Lands(cape) of Legacy just in time for Grand Prix Seattle.
We’ve had about a year (since April 24, 2017) since Sensei’s Divining Top has been banned from the format.
To get a good idea of what’s currently going on, I went to MTGGoldfish and took the top 10 decks* (as of March 28, 2018). The field is fairly diverse, and taking a quick look at each deck is a useful exercise to know what to expect for the Grand Prix.

*The list of ten decks is an estimated metagame breakdown (using the MTGGoldfish algorithm), and NOT my personal top ten decks I would play in a tournament:
#1 Grixis Delver, 14.65% (52 occurrences) #2 Four Color Control, 6.20% (22 occurrences) #3 Death and Taxes, 4.79% (17 occurrences) #4 Miracles, 4.51% (16 occurrences) #5 Lands, 3.66% (13 occurrences) #6 Sultai Delver, 3.66% (13 occurrences) #7 Monored Prison, 3.10% (11 occurrences) #8 Elves, 3.10% (11 occurrences) #9 ANT (Storm), 2.82% (10 occurrences) #10 Sneak and Show, 2.82% (10 occurrences)

#1 Grixis Delver by Griselpuff 2 Flooded Strand 2 Misty Rainforest 2 Polluted Delta 2 Scalding Tarn 1 Tropical Island 3 Underground Sea 2 Volcanic Island 4 Wasteland 4 Gitaxian Probe 4 Brainstorm 4 Ponder 2 Spell Pierce 1 Forked Bolt 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Daze 4 Force of Will 2 Gurmag Angler 2 True-Name Nemesis 3 Young Pyromancer 4 Deathrite Shaman 4 Delver of Secrets Sideboard
2 Surgical Extraction 3 Cabal Therapy 2 Diabolic Edict 2 Marsh Casualities 1 Liliana, the Last Hope 2 Pyroblast 2 Ancient Grudge 1 Pithing Needle
Most of the innovations in the above list have come from Bob Huang who has gone on record having about an 80% win rate with the deck. This is the ‘Honda Civic’ of the format. It’s not flashy, but it strings together lots of wins with brutal efficiency. If you’re a fan of tempo decks, this deck most resembles Modern Grixis Death’s Shadow. It is able to adapt itself for most situations (given the plethora of cantrips) and also improves postboard.

#2 Four Color Control by Scabs (Thomas Enevoldsen) 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 4 Baleful Strix 4 Deathrite Shaman 2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest 3 Snapcaster Mage 3 Hymn to Tourach 4 Preordain 1 Thoughtseize 4 Brainstorm 1 Diabolic Edict 2 Fatal Push 4 Force of Will 3 Kolaghan's Command 2 Lightning Bolt 1 Murderous Cut 1 Badlands 1 Bayou 2 Bloodstained Mire 1 Island 4 Polluted Delta 4 Scalding Tarn 1 Swamp 1 Tropical Island 3 Underground Sea 2 Volcanic Island Sideboard
1 Thoughtseize 2 Blue Elemental Blast 1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 2 Flusterstorm 1 Liliana, the Last Hope 1 Marsh Casualties 1 Painful Truths 2 Pyroblast 1 Red Elemental Blast 2 Surgical Extraction 1 Toxic Deluge
This is essentially the ‘Modern Jund’ of Legacy. All of its cards are extremely powerful, and a fair number of them generate instant two for ones (Hymn to Tourach, Snapcaster Mage, Kolaghan’s Command). Access to cantrips means it doesn’t have the same vulnerability to flooding out that Modern Jund does, however. However, in similar fashion, it does have vulnerabilities to fast hyperlinear strategies (think Chalice of the Void stompy or Sneak and Show or Storm).

#3 Death and Taxes by malimujo 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos 4 Flickerwisp 1 Mirran Crusader 4 Mother of Runes 2 Phyrexian Revoker 2 Recruiter of the Guard 1 Sanctum Prelate 2 Serra Avenger 1 Spirit of the Labyrinth 4 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 4 Swords to Plowshares 4 Aether Vial 1 Batterskull 1 Sword of Fire and Ice 1 Umezawa's Jitte 2 Cavern of Souls 1 Horizon Canopy 3 Karakas 9 Plains 4 Rishadan Port 4 Wasteland Sideboard
1 Containment Priest 2 Council's Judgment 1 Disenchant 1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 2 Ethersworn Canonist 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar 2 Path to Exile 1 Pithing Needle 2 Rest in Peace 2 Surgical Extraction
This deck is well….the most similar to Modern Death and Taxes (since the modern deck actually took its name from this one). It attempts to play enough annoying permanents such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mother of Runes, Rishadan Port and Wasteland to keep its opponents off balance while establishing a clock. Occasionally you’ll see a White splash Red version of this deck that plays Magus of the Moon as another disruptive bear and Dire Fleet Daredevil for additional power in grindfests.

#4 Miracles by AnziD (Anuraag Das) 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 2 Snapcaster Mage 1 Vendilion Clique 1 Council's Judgment 1 Entreat the Angels 4 Ponder 3 Portent 2 Preordain 2 Supreme Verdict 3 Terminus 4 Brainstorm 1 Counterspell 1 Flusterstorm 4 Force of Will 2 Predict 4 Swords to Plowshares 2 Counterbalance 1 Search for Azcanta 2 Arid Mesa 4 Flooded Strand 5 Island 2 Plains 2 Scalding Tarn 2 Tundra 2 Volcanic Island Sideboard
3 Flusterstorm 2 Pyroblast 1 Red Elemental Blast 1 Relic of Progenitus 2 Surgical Extraction 2 Disenchant 2 Back to Basics 1 Council’s Judgment 1 Vendilion Clique
Since Grixis Delver is the most played deck, Miracles (utilizing Terminus and Supreme Verdict) has risen to be a deck to take advantage of the prevalence of creature decks. The specific pilot above is in fact Anuraag Das (who happens to be Bob Huang’s roommate currently). The large amounts of removal and board sweepers mean you get to punish anyone who overextends. The analogous Modern deck to this would be Jeskai or Blue-White Control. Occasionally you’ll see a riff on this deck that Jim Davis championed recently at SCG Opens that sports maindeck Back to Basics, more basic lands, and Monastery Mentors.

#5 Lands 1 Forest 1 Bojuka Bog 2 Ghost Quarter 1 Glacial Chasm 4 Grove of the Burnwillows 1 Horizon Canopy 2 Maze of Ith 2 Rishadan Port 1 Sheltered Thicket 2 Taiga 4 Thespian's Stage 2 Tranquil Thicket 1 Verdant Catacombs 4 Wasteland 1 Windswept Heath 1 Wooded Foothills 1 Karakas 1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale 4 Dark Depths 4 Mox Diamond 4 Exploration 1 Molten Vortex 4 Crop Rotation 3 Punishing Fire 4 Gamble 4 Life from the Loam Sideboard
4 Sphere of Resistance 3 Tireless Tracker 2 Choke 2 Drop of Honey 3 Krosan Grip 1 Ancient Tomb
I recently played this version in both the Team SCG Open last weekend in Cincinnati and the following Legacy Classic. While we didn’t do so well in the Open itself, I did manage a 6-2 in the Classic the next day. Lands is a combo prison deck, which means it has very few analogues in the Modern format. The closest analogy is probably Lantern Control, but realistically Lands is very unique. The worst matchups for this deck are basically any combo deck and decks with Blood Moon.

#6 Sultai Delver by BobButtons 2 Liliana, the Last Hope 4 Deathrite Shaman 4 Delver of Secrets 1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest 4 Tarmogoyf 4 Hymn to Tourach 4 Ponder 1 Abrupt Decay 4 Brainstorm 4 Daze 2 Fatal Push 4 Force of Will 1 Murderous Cut 1 Sylvan Library 2 Bayou 1 Misty Rainforest 4 Polluted Delta 1 Tropical Island 4 Underground Sea 4 Verdant Catacombs 4 Wasteland Sideboard2 Abrupt Decay 2 Dead Weight 2 Diabolic Edict 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Massacre 3 Surgical Extraction 2 Thoughtseize 2 Toxic Deluge
Sultai Delver has always occupied a peculiar spot in the metagame. It’s a mashup of Jund and Grixis Delver, in that it tries to go a bit bigger to support cards like Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Hymn to Tourach, and Liliana the Last Hope. All of these cards are excellent in attrition battles, but also mean the mana curve of Sultai compared to Grixis is a bit higher and therefore tends to be a clunkier deck. If you enjoy Tarmogoyf and Hymn to Tourach, this is the deck for you!

#7 Monored Prison by Zac Turgeon 4 Goblin Rabblemaster 4 Magus of the Moon 4 Simian Spirit Guide 2 Hazoret the Fervent 1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar 4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 4 Chalice of the Void 4 Chrome Mox 4 Ensnaring Bridge 2 Trinisphere 4 Blood Moon 4 Fiery Confluence 11 Mountain 4 Ancient Tomb 4 City of Traitors Sideboard
2 Sorcerous Spyglass 2 Quicksmith Rebel 4 Scab-Clan Berserker 3 Sulfur Elemental 2 Abrade 2 Kozilek's Return
If you really want to punish a greedy manabase, this is the deck for you. With 8 Blood Moon effects in the maindeck, alongside 4 Simian Spirit Guide, 4 Chrome Mox, 4 City of Traitors, and 4 Ancient Tomb, it’s not unrealistic to have a consistent turn one or two Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon a large portion of the games. After that happens, it often doesn’t matter what you actually win with, but this particular list chooses to end games with efficient red creatures like Goblin Rabblemaster alongside one of the best additions for the deck: Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Previously, besides Outpost Siege, there weren’t many great options for a Monored Stompy deck to get ahead on cards, but Chandra does it all for this deck. This deck is closest to White-Red Prison in Modern for those of you who enjoy that deck.

#8 Elves Combo by Robert Graves 2 Birchlore Rangers 2 Craterhoof Behemoth 4 Deathrite Shaman 4 Elvish Visionary 4 Heritage Druid 4 Nettle Sentinel 4 Quirion Ranger 1 Reclamation Sage 4 Wirewood Symbiote 2 Dryad Arbor 3 Forest 2 Bayou 1 Cavern of Souls 4 Windswept Heath 3 Wooded Foothills 4 Gaea's Cradle 4 Glimpse of Nature 4 Green Sun's Zenith 4 Natural Order Sideboard
1 Scavenging Ooze 3 Abrupt Decay 1 Crop Rotation 3 Surgical Extraction 1 Progenitus 3 Cabal Therapy 2 Thoughtseize 1 Karakas
Elves is a deck that first originated at Pro Tour Berlin 2008 when the format was Extended. It has evolved to be a consistent good performer in Legacy since it’s very capable of being a midrange deck as well. Gaea’s Cradle is a truly absurd land when it taps for three or more mana. Natural Order lets you cheat out a Craterhoof Behemoth which is almost always lethal on any reasonable board state. Besides that, Wirewood Symbiote plus Elvish Visionary is one of the best card draw engines that Legacy has to offer. If you enjoy Elves or Devoted Druid Combo in Modern, then Elves should be right up your alley in Legacy.

#9 Storm (Ad Nauseam Tendrils) by Caleb Scherer 2 Island 1 Swamp 1 Bloodstained Mire 3 Misty Rainforest 4 Polluted Delta 2 Underground Sea 1 Volcanic Island 4 Lion's Eye Diamond 4 Lotus Petal 1 Ad Nauseam 4 Brainstorm 4 Cabal Ritual 4 Dark Ritual 1 Rain of Filth 3 Cabal Therapy 1 Dark Petition 3 Duress 1 Empty the Warrens 4 Gitaxian Probe 4 Infernal Tutor 1 Past in Flames 4 Ponder 2 Preordain 1 Tendrils of Agony Sideboard
3 Chrome Mox 1 Ad Nauseam 2 Chain of Vapor 2 Echoing Truth 2 Fatal Push 2 Flusterstorm 2 Hurkyl's Recall 1 Tendrils of Agony
Storm is a completely creatureless deck that seeks to cast an enormous number of spells in one turn culminating in a large Empty the Warrens or Tendrils of Agony. To that end, Past in Flames and Ad Nauseam provide the necessary engines to produce enough spells, while Lion’s Eye Diamond plus Infernal Tutor does a great Black Lotus plus Demonic Tutor impression. If you enjoy Modern Storm, this deck is a blast to play.

#10 Sneak and Show by Kazuki Takamura 4 Griselbrand 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 4 Preordain 4 Show and Tell 4 Ponder 4 Force of Will 4 Brainstorm 2 Spell Pierce 2 Flusterstorm 4 Lotus Petal 4 Sneak Attack 2 Omniscience 4 Scalding Tarn 3 Ancient Tomb 3 Island 2 Volcanic Island 2 Polluted Delta 2 Flooded Strand 2 City of Traitors 1 Mountain Sideboard
2 Defense Grid 2 Grim Lavamancer 2 Blood Moon 2 Through the Breach 1 Abrade 1 Grafdigger's Cage 1 Pyroblast 1 Surgical Extraction 1 Wipe Away 1 Red Elemental Blast 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
This particular list won as part of a team trios at Grand Prix Kyoto this past weekend. The goal of this deck to assemble Sneak Attack plus a large creature or Show and Tell plus a large creature. The Omnisciences serve as a backup plan versus opposing decks that have Karakas or may try to combo kill you as well, since Show and Tell -> Omniscience -> cast Emrakul allows you to take another turn. If you enjoy Grisshoalbrand in Modern, this is relatively similar.

As a result of this quick look, I’d advise anyone playing in this Grand Prix to not take a deck that sports a poor matchup versus Grixis Delver since it had twice as much representation as the next most popular deck. However, barring that, there’s a plethora of options for any style of deck for someone looking to dip their toes in Legacy for the first time at this Grand Prix. I personally will be taking Lands yet again because it is the deck I have the most experience with, and it has a reasonable matchup versus Grixis Delver.
Thanks for reading, and I’d appreciate any questions.

Follow Jarvis · Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/JarvisYu/ · Twitter: @jkyu06

Previous Articles · Meet the Massdrop Teams: http://dro.ps/mtg-team-announce · *2nd* at Pro Tour Ixalan: http://dro.ps/ixalan · Unclaimed Creature Types: http://dro.ps/ari-creatures · Why I Never Drop From Tournaments: http://dro.ps/eric-nevergiveup · The Art of Sideboard Construction - Sultai Energy: http://dro.ps/jon-sideboard · A Commoner's View on Pauper: http://dro.ps/mark-pauper · Blue Moon Beach Control: http://dro.ps/scott-bluemoon · Top 5 Modern Decks: http://dro.ps/pascal-modern · Storm in Vintage Cube: http://dro.ps/ben-storm · An Early Look at Rivals for Standard: http://dro.ps/shaun-rivals · A Standard Approach to Evaluating New Cards: http://dro.ps/rob-newcards · Drafting Rivals of Ixalan: http://dro.ps/tim-ixalan · Team Sealed Secrets: http://dro.ps/eric-secrets · Steal My Standard Ideas: http://dro.ps/tommy-secrets · Vexing Devil. Any Questions?: http://dro.ps/jon-devil · Team Massdrop Rivals of Ixalan Limited Primer: http://dro.ps/ari-primer · Gestation of RG Eldrazi: http://dro.ps/ben-gestation · Top Time Tournament Training Tips: http://dro.ps/tim-tips · What Makes Someone Bogle?: http://dro.ps/tommy-bogle · A Pauper Adventure: http://dro.ps/pascal-pauper · Blue Moon at GP Phoenix: http://dro.ps/rob-bluemoon
thumb_upMarkJacobson and Duncan

Mar 30, 2018
Thanks for this, Jkyu. Very helpful summary.
Mar 30, 2018