NLG Dandenong Legacy Masters Metagame Breakdown

Hello everyone welcome to… Another big metagame breakdown! I’ll be running through the monstrous Legacy event that occurred in NLG Dandenong as part of their Eternal Weekend. This will be a preliminary breakdown – expect a more detailed analysis, with matchup win percentages and etc., in the weeks to come. For now a broader picture of the event is what we’ll look at.

What an event indeed. Breaking records for the tournament and likely around Australia, ninety people were slamming dual lands and other Legacy staples, many from Melbourne, but many others trekked out from interstate to take part in the tournament, questing after the glorious first place of the Mox Jet. Legacy has exploded in popularity here in Melbourne, Victoria, and the Legacy event was testament to how far the community across the country has come. I honestly cannot thank enough everyone who came out to play and has been growing the communities, along with the excellent staff and Judges on the day of the event. The tournament was a major success for Australian Legacy.

Not only that, but this event is a nice litmus test for what the format in Australia is likely to look like in the weeks and months ahead thanks to its size and span. There’s a few more events upcoming, such as the Legacy event at the Brisbane Eternal Weekend (September 30th – October 2nd) and the likely Legacy side event to be held at Nationals in Canberra (September 8th – 9th). The data compiled in this piece will certainly be useful for those.

Anyway, on to the data!

Here’s a simplified breakdown of all ninety decks that were in the tournament. The “Others” category encompasses decks that only had two or less players piloting them.

Pie

Delver of Secrets Deathrite Shaman Lightning Bolt

Grixis Delver encompassed the largest proportion of the metagame, with eleven players on the deck; this is somewhat expected considering its strong presence around the world, and the current perception of it being perhaps the best, or at least the most flexible, deck in the format. I’m sure many expected to be able to beat up on random decks in the first few rounds, and then sail through matchups that at least appear positive – the matchup against Sneak & Show on Paper seems to be a cakewalk for the Delver decks, especially Grixis with its multiple angles of attack with discard and counter magic. However, the results show a different story, with many Grixis players falling apart in the early stages.

Tombstalker Gurmag Angler

The deck converted quite poorly, with only three players of the deck pushing into the Top 32. One of these was that of Brennan Garcia, a more stock build (what we like to call “Honda Civic” here in Melbourne), who came in 10th, and indeed the majority of lists fell into this category. The two others in the Top 32 were “Team Australia” derivatives, versions which eschew Pyromancer and lean harder on Delve threats, with a more expansive mana base involving Badlands to accommodate this. The Top 4 list of Steven Stamopoulos utilised Tombstalker as his Delve creature of choice, while 29th-placed Joe Fox opted for Gurmag Angler. Melbourne has nonetheless definitely been a hotbed for alterations and innovations in what many would see as a “stock” deck.

Mother of Runes Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Stoneforge Mystic

The second-most popular deck was Death & Taxes, with eight players. Many naysayed the deck over the past few months in the wake of the Top banning, and many had the deck less expected. Although not reaching the pinnacle of play as in tournaments prior to the Top banning (such as Duals to Protect the Jewels), it still did put up solid numbers and solid results. Two players reached the Top 16 with the deck, with Thien-an Lam at 12th and Duals to Protect the Jewels winner Jack Jiggens in 13th. Both players spiced up typical D&T a little bit – Thien piloted Thomas Enevoldsen’s Legacy Challenge-winning list, featuring Ancient Tombs and Thalia, Heretic Cathar, while Jack Jiggens featured off-colour Humans in his sideboard – Magus of the Moon and Orzhov Pontiff – to fix some problem matchups. Nonetheless, the deck is proving itself still strong and still very popular in Melbourne. Don’t cut those Dread of Nights quite yet, folks!

Show and Tell Sneak Attack

The real star of the tournament was eventual winner, Sneak & Show. The third most-played deck, with seven players, it importantly converted incredibly well, with all of the Sneak & Show players making at least Top 32, two of which made Top 8, and always firing at the top tables. There is something to be said about the brute strength of the deck that definitely allows it to win in the early rounds against random decks very easily, but it’s surprising that the field of Death & Taxes and Delver were not able to bring the deck down a notch. Whether players were unprepared for the deck and blasé in terms of the hate required for it, or whether the sheer force of the deck was too much for many to handle, is up for debate. Nonetheless, hopefully people have gotten the message now – with Sneak & Show winning two years in a row, and two copies almost always making appearances in Top 8 of Legacy Masters, it is time to be packing those Containment Priests and other powerful hate pieces, and play-testing against the deck considerably so you’re not caught with your pants down. In future, if you are at the top tables, you are likely to face it once or twice.

Elvish Visionary Griselbrand

Tied at five players each, Elves and Reanimator both had solid showings. Elves interestingly rears its head in many of the tournaments involving interstaters, with it not having a huge Melbourne presence typically. I think it’s an excellent choice if you’re fighting Death & Taxes and Delver consistently, but one has to fear the spectre of Griselbrand decks waiting to eat you up at the top tables. Speaking of Griselbrand, Reanimator variants were also out in force as the brute force Force of Will-check deck in addition to Sneak & Show. The majority of these were Black-Red variants that have largely taken the roost as Reanimator of choice, while one was Tin Fins. No Force of Will/Daze-touting variant was seen at all.

Reality Smasher Predict

Eldrazi and Miracles followed. It’s interesting to see neo-Miracles seeing a sturdy uptick in its presence around the world, and I’m feeling hopeful about its evolution moving forward and its continuous presence in the upper-tiers of tournaments. Stephen Tang played the deck exceptionally on camera and really showcased its ability to churn through its deck and find the answer required. You can find that once that coverage is published. Eldrazi (as well as its close cousin Eldrazi & Taxes) also had a notable appearance. I’m not certain on its current positioning in the metagame, especially with almost every fair deck now touting True-Name and it being soft to Death & Taxes and Sneak & Show. However, it still has its nut draws that can be very difficult to stop. Interesting tech seen in some lists is the incorporation of Walking Ballista as a piece of solid early-game removal or a big mana sink and burn spell in the late-game.

Tendrils of Agony Food Chain Life from the Loam

ANT, despite its small representation of only three players, showed a solid placing in 2nd-place Michael Webb, as did Food Chain, who put Graham King into Top 8. ANT is always incredibly underrepresented in Melbourne, and perhaps Australian, tournaments, and I’m sure this leads to people a little underprepared for the deck. Like Sneak & Show, its brute force is incredible, but it also requires a fair bit of dedication and finesse to play through opposing disruption, especially post-board. Unlike Sneak & Show, it’s not an easy pickup and play. Food Chain I feel is also a solid choice, thanks to its domination over Delver and its solid matchup against D&T now thanks to Ballista. The inevitability of Misthollow Griffin and Food Chain can grind out many opponents in a combo-midrange way, similar to Elves. Like Elves, it is also perilous to take against Sneak & Show and other combo decks, with Game One very favoured for Emrakul and Griselbrand, but Food Chain post-board at least has Black and Blue disruption to try and fight back. Lands similarly was ready to prey on fair decks, but excellent players like Phil Unwin soon fell prey to the deck’s mediocre Sneak & Show matchup, with little plan post-board other than hoping to slow down the deck with Sphere effects and Karakas, and then making a Marit Lage as fast as possible. Only one Lands lists cracked Top 32.

A more comprehensive breakdown of the entire tournament can be seen below:

Legacy Masters Metagame

There’s a few exciting lists I’d like to highlight before we move on to the Top 16 deck lists. Landstill had a surprising showing, with three players on the deck. These were tri-coloured versions, with two BUG lists and one Jeskai list. The Jeskai list featured some impressive spice – like Keranos, God of Storms! – but failed to reach success.

Keranos, God of Storms


Monty Hill de Monchaux
Jeskai Landstill

Creatures: (5)
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Keranos, God of Storms

Non-Creature Spells: (32)
4 Brainstorm
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 Spell Snare
2 Spell Pierce
3 Counterspell
3 Standstill
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Fact or Fiction
4 Force of Will

Lands: (23)
4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
2 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
4 Island
1 Plains
1 Karakas
2 Wasteland
1 Mishras Factory
1 Academy Ruins

Sideboard: (15)
1 Izzet Staticcaster
1 Pyroclasm
2 Flusterstorm
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Wear / Tear
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Rest in Peace
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Councils Judgement
1 From the Ashes
1 Mountain


Thomas Ribet impressively placed in 19th with old, faithful Goblins, which is certainly impressive, especially with the field full of dangerous combo decks. His list, unlike lists like that of Josiah of GP Vegas fame, did not featuring Warren Instigator, but instead looked to a more classic grindy game plan but fought against combo a bit harder with Chalice main and a Black splash for Earwig Squad.

Earwig Squad


Thomas Ribet
Rb Goblins

Lands: (23)
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Wasteland
1 Ghost Quarter
3 Rishadan Port
4 Cavern of Souls
6 Mountain
1 Badlands

Creatures: (25)
4 Goblin Lackey
4 Goblin Matron
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Goblin Warchief
3 Goblin Chieftain
2 Stingscourger
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Non-Creature Spells: (12)
3 Chalice of the Void
4 Aether Vial
4 Pyrokinesis
1 Tarfire

Sideboard: (15)
2 Dismember
2 Price of Progress
2 Surgical Extraction
3 Mindbreak Trap
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Tuktuk Scrapper
1 Earwig Squad

Next, here are the Top 16 lists. You can find the Top 8ers at MTGTop8 here.


9th
Tim Evers
UR Delver Control

Lands: (18)
5 Island
2 Mountain
2 Volcanic Island
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
1 Wooded Foothills

Creatures: (14)
4 Delver of Secrets
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 True-Name Nemesis
2 Vendillion Clique

Non-Creature Spells: (28)
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Burst Lightning
1 Fire // Ice
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
1 Into the Roil
4 Force of Will
2 Flusterstorm
3 Spell Snare
2 Price of Progress
1 Counterspell

Sideboard: (15)
2 Pyroblast
1 Burst Lightning
2 Invasive Surgery
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Sudden Demise
1 Pithing Needle
2 Smash to Smithereens
1 Into the Roil
2 Blood Moon


10th
Brennan Garcia
Grixis Delver

Lands: (18)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
2 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

Creatures: (14)
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Deathrite Shaman
3 Young Pyromancer
1 True-Name Nemesis
2 Gurmag Angler

Non-Creature Spells: (28)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Cabal Therapy
1 Spell Pierce
1 Dismember

Sideboard: (15)
1 Pithing Needle
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Dread of Night
1 Flusterstorm
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Pyroblast
1 Electrickery
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Cabal Therapy
1 Forked Bolt


11th
Jared Allsop
Sneak & Show

Lands: (19)
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
2 Flooded Strand
3 Island
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
3 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island

Creatures: (8)
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

Non-Creature Spells: (33)
4 Brainstorm
3 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Omniscience
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Show and Tell
3 Sneak Attack
4 Lotus Petal

Sideboard: (15)
2 Blood Moon
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 By Force
1 Defense Grid
2 Grim Lavamancer
2 Kozilek’s Return
1 Pyroblast
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Through the Breach


12th
Thien-an Lam
Death & Taxes

Lands: (23)
3 Ancient Tomb
3 Karakas
9 Plains
3 Rishadan Port
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
4 Wasteland

Creatures: (26)
2 Containment Priest
4 Flickerwisp
4 Mother of Runes
1 Palace Jailer
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
1 Vryn Wingmare
2 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Eldrazi Displacer

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Aether Vial
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice


13th
Jack Jiggens
Death & Taxes

Creatures: (26)
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Mother of Runes
4 Flickerwisp
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Serra Avenger
2 Mirran Crusader
2 Sanctum Prelate
2 Recruiter of the Guard

Non-Creature Spells: (11)
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Swords to Plowshares

Lands: (23)
9 Plains
3 Karakas
1 Horizon Canopy
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
4 Rishadan Port

Sideboard: (15)
2 Rest in Peace
2 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Containment Priest
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Magus of the Moon
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Council’s Judgment
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Pithing Needle
2 Path to Exile


14th
Matt Carson
Black-Red Reanimator

Lands: (13)
2 Badlands
1 Bayou
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta
2 Swamp

Creatures: (10)
4 Chancellor of the Annex
4 Griselbrand
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Tidespout Tyrant

Non-Creature Spells: (37)
3 Collective Brutality
4 Dark Ritual
4 Entomb
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
4 Reanimate
3 Thoughtseize
2 Unmask
4 Animate Dead
1 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal

Sideboard: (15)
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Archetype of Endurance
1 Collective Brutality
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Grave Titan
2 Pithing Needle
3 Reverent Silence
3 Surgical Extraction


15th
Saher Khalil
Infect

Lands: (19)
1 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Pendelhaven
3 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Wasteland
4 Windswept Heath

Creatures: (12)
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Glisterner Elf
4 Blighted Agent

Non-Creature Spells: (29)
2 Berserk
2 Blossoming Defense
4 Brainstorm
1 Crop Rotation
1 Gitaxian Probe
3 Ponder
2 Spell Pierce
1 Stifle
1 Vines of Vastwood
3 Daze
4 Invigorate
3 Force of Will
2 Become Immense

Sideboard: (15)
1 Spellskite
1 Priests of Norn
1 Viridian Corrupter
1 Crop Rotation
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Pithing Needle
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Absolute Law
2 Rest in Peace
2 Krosan Grip
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Karakas


16th
Christopher Turner
Eldrazi & Taxes

Lands: (25)
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Caves of Koilos
1 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
2 Karakas
3 Plains
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3 Wasteland

Creatures: (25)
2 Containment Priest
3 Eldrazi Displacer
3 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Reality Smasher
2 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Vryn Wingmare

Non-Creature Spells: (10)
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Mox Diamond
1 Path to Exile
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Sideboard: (15)
1 Crucible of Worlds
3 Leyline of the Void
2 Oblivion Sower
2 Path to Exile
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
3 Walking Ballista
2 Warping Wail


Anyway, that’s all for me, as mentioned, expect a Part 2 of this sometime in the future once I’m able to get a more comprehensive breakdown of the data!

By Sean Brown

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