Legacy - Current environment

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139742205 wrote:
If by pillars" you mean decks, then it's U/W Miracles, RUG Delver, Goblins and Show and Tell (barely), with BUG variants coming on fast due to Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay being absolutely insane.

If you mean cards, Force of Will, Counterbalance, Nimble Mongoose (cause that's the real threat in Delver), Cavern of Souls, Show and Tell, Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay.



I took this quote from another thread.  From the sticky at the top of the forum on Legacy, things have changed a bit; not too much, but enough that I think a conversation is warranted on it.  (I would add that Brainstorm, and perhaps Sensei's Divining Top are still a pillars of Legacy, even though they aren't mentioned above, and that Decay isn't quite there yet.)

So what makes individual cards 'pillars'?  Ubiquity in deck construction?  Miracles has shifted things in Legacy a lot lately, which the Brainstorm pillar is pilloried.  I saw that last SCG open where Daniel Signorini was using Deathrites and Abrupt Decay in a BUG deck to great efficiency; only losing because his opponent had the good sense to hide a Supreme Verdict with a Brainstorm (in to a Hymn to Tourach) and then top-decked the win like a champ.  I'm not sure is SCG is the field defining the meta for the format, but I think they have good coverage of tournaments.

It seems, which each brew that has come up here, in this forum, it's quite hard to shake the establishment because of how focused it has become.  Not unreasonable, but frustrating for someone trying to break into the format with something off kilter.

Thoughts?  

Cheers,

Malph
I would SCG's metagame is defining of the larger metagame.  It's the most consistent source for data.

When I constructed my (short) list, I was basically thinking of cards you have to be prepared to beat.  While Brainstorm, Swords to Plowshares and such are very common, you typically don't have to be able to actively beat those cards.  I feel the same about Top because the scary part of the deck is the Counterbalance and miracles.  That said, Top is still very good outside the Counterbalance interaction, I just don't feel it's other uses are strong enough to be counted as being a pillar of the format.

Abrupt Decay is probably a little bit of a premature inclusion, but the card is very good and starting to gain some steam.  I think we're heading towards having BUG Control being a major player very soon.  I've been playing the U/W Miracles with the RIP/Helm combo and I find the BUG Control match up to be extremely difficult because of Abrupt Decay.

Cavern of Souls is also a bit of a debatable inclusion.  I just felt that Goblins needed an inclusion because of it's surge in popularity and success in last few months.  The only card that I felt really makes Goblins viable these days is Cavern, as Aether Vial obviously wasn't cutting it before.

Deathrite Shaman might get some debate as well, but the card is flat out insane.  I really think that if you're playing green or black and NOT playing Shaman and 1 Bayou, you're 100% wrong.  There are some exclusions, like RUG Delver or Elves (though Shaman is an Elf...), but they're rare.

EDIT:  I could see adding Knight of the Reliquary and Stoneforge Mystic to that list.  I left Knight off because Maverick is slowly disappearing with the rising popularity of Miracles.  I think it could re-emerge soon as a Junk deck with Abrupt Decays and Shamans.  I left Mystic off because I think Miracles is showing that it's more powerful than any StoneBlade variant, especially with the RIP/Helm combo finish enabling them to have psuedo-nut draws.
if we're using "pillars" in the same sense that it's used in Vintage, then they have to be cards that are   defining in a certain style of deck, but not really present in others. that precludes things like force of will and brainstorm, which are used in almost every blue deck. (The original 5 vintage pillars were Mana Drain, Null Rod, Dark Ritual, Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar of Baghdad.)

Legacy is much more diverse than Vintage, so it's difficult to make a list that includes everything, but this covers most of the major decks

AEther Vial
Chalice of the Void
Daze (instead of Delver, because Daze is more generically used in blue-based tempo decks)
Green Sun's Zenith
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Lion's Eye Diamond
Show and Tell
192884403 wrote:
firstrike
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
This definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.
I was referring to the painting The Treachery of Images.
I know.
heres the thing, pillars are just about power, and they arent just about how much they saturate the environment/a given deck type.  pillars are about what is the core of a certain type of deck which is a stable, staple deck type.

aether vial doesnt really qualify, in my mind, because the only deck that it enables is goblins.  goblins are a powerhouse, but they still are without vial.  if anything, lackey is the pillar.

chalice of the void is also a powerhouse, but it doesnt really enable a certain type of deck.  it is general hate, and is neither a necessity, nor does it make a certain deck type possible.

daze is more generically used, but i still dont think it works here.  force of will is clearly better, and used as often as daze.  of course, it is seen in much more diverse decktypes than daze, so it doesnt really qualify either.

green sun's zenith is, again, a powerhouse, but its used for so many different things.

jtms is amazing, but i cant really think of a specific deck or deck type that he enables.

lions eye diamond is probably the most stapley card listed, and i agree with it.

show and tell is the flavor of the month, in a lot of important ways: namely, a replacement for oath of druids.  its a great card, but since it is a replacement for a banned card, im hesitant to call it a pillar.



also keep in mind i play vintage and i dont know what im talking about almost always.

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lion's eye diamond
force of will
mishra's factory
tarmogoyf???
tendrils???

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eh, its  a useless debate.  the fact that it even is a debate means that there arent really pillars in legacy.  its much more changeable than vintage, even if certain archetypes are eternal.

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well then you might as well say debating anything ever is pointless because it's debatable and not by definition a definite which would by definition make it not a debate to begin with.  

there was argument of drain vs fow in the pillars for vintage. 

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Drain powers decks in vintage, FoW distrupts things, for which it is tones more useful in doing so.

The reason I wanted to get this conversation going was to discuss the ideas of breaking molds and to learn about deck construction.  What to look for, possible testing partners and brainstorming.  My first foray into the format lent me inspiration for FC with Misthollow.  The deck CAN work, but I'm not skilled enough to know what it would work with, the nuances, really.

That's the reason I liked the hunting grounds deck so much, because it's interesting and CAN work, it just needs the right lovin'.
heres the thing, pillars are just about power, and they arent just about how much they saturate the environment/a given deck type.  pillars are about what is the core of a certain type of deck which is a stable, staple deck type.

aether vial doesnt really qualify, in my mind, because the only deck that it enables is goblins.  goblins are a powerhouse, but they still are without vial.  if anything, lackey is the pillar.

chalice of the void is also a powerhouse, but it doesnt really enable a certain type of deck.  it is general hate, and is neither a necessity, nor does it make a certain deck type possible.

daze is more generically used, but i still dont think it works here.  force of will is clearly better, and used as often as daze.  of course, it is seen in much more diverse decktypes than daze, so it doesnt really qualify either.

green sun's zenith is, again, a powerhouse, but its used for so many different things.

jtms is amazing, but i cant really think of a specific deck or deck type that he enables.

lions eye diamond is probably the most stapley card listed, and i agree with it.

show and tell is the flavor of the month, in a lot of important ways: namely, a replacement for oath of druids.  its a great card, but since it is a replacement for a banned card, im hesitant to call it a pillar.



also keep in mind i play vintage and i dont know what im talking about almost always.



i agree that pillars are about core cards in certain archetypes, which s what I was going for with the list

aether vial is also played in merfolk and death & taxes (and some others), and it's very much a core card in those decks. vial has been a staple of goblins since the beginning of the format, and it's what really enables a lot of the stupid stuff it can do, probably more so than lackey.

chalice of the void is pretty fringe, but it's very much a core disruption spell in the decks that play it. 

daze i kinda agree with you

green sun's zenith, again, is really the core of Maverick, Nic Fit, etc. it provides an enormous boost to consistency and allows the use of lots of silver bullets. I don't agree that it's used for lots of different things, since I can only think of those two decks, which are fairly similar to begin with.

jace, the mind sculptor was meant to be the control pillar, since those are the only decks that can really play him, but he works so well there

show and tell isn't really flavour of the month, it's been popular since Rise of the Eldrazi. i also don't see where the comparison to oath comes from
192884403 wrote:
firstrike
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
This definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.
I was referring to the painting The Treachery of Images.
I know.
"Pillars" are always about cards that are auto-inclusions for me, like Force of Will, in more than one or two deck types.
So Daze has to be there too, and Spell Pierce shouldn't be too far behind.....

Swords to Plowshares and Lightning Bolt are both great cards, and reside in many many decks.  
Pillar material.   
I would think that Thoughtseize would be considered fringe for Pillar purpose, but it's such a widely played card in so many deck types that it has me thinking.....  
i see what youre saying about those shrimp; and upon further reflection i think youre right.  except show and tell.  show and tell is oath of druids light; the deck is built around having a big guy in your hand and casting that.  that isnt a pillar, to me; its flavor of the month because thats just what people have decided to use.  even in vintage, it oath isnt a pillar, and thats because what oath really is is a control deck, or a combo deck, with limited space devoted to the "pillar" of the deck.  while obviously it wouldnt work without it, it doesnt really enable an archetype.

zenith and vial youre def right about thought.

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IMO, there are a couple things that are stuck to Legacy at this point in time:

Top:
>Enables the premier control decks 95% of the time.
Delver:
>U/x/x Delver has been the greatest flavor for a while since its inception. [Dear haters, we all know the best flavoured ice-cream is strawberry, not chocolate.]
GSZ:
>Sheer flexibility allows for toolbox-esque decks that don't lose consistency [eg: Maverick]
Vial:
>All hail the true tribal lord.
Chalice:
>Despite what people think, you always actually think of the phantom menace of Stax popping up and destroying your ego.
LED:
>Name a combo deck not based around an LED interaction. Elves/Cheerios are the first that come to mind...but still, LED is the combo enabler.
S&T:
>Superhappyfunemrakultime.

Things possibly to consider:
Stoneforge:
>These stones bear all matter of Swords and Germ tokens to throw onto some Spirit tokens.
Photobucket
when kamigawa came out i was like yayyy top

now im like booo

im really tired

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D-Top and Fetches.... the bane of expeditious magic play. Also pillars.

Name a deck NOT using fetches! 

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"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

So, gladly, I get to say, that Legacy is very broad a format.  Lots of room to invent?  Is there a possibility of adding to, perhaps, a cluttered environment?

How has the format changed?    
Unless the new cards printed a enable completely new strategies, there actually isn't much room to "invent" in Legacy.  Even "new" decks are typically just an evolution of an older deck that fell by the wayside but got new tools.  For example, RUG Delver is Canadian Threshold, just with a new threat.  BUG Delver is just Team America,  U/W RIP/Helm is just a more consistent Leyline/Helm deck.  Miracles is just an update to CounterTop.

The chances of actually being able to successfully brew an entirely new deck that adds to the metagame is basically zero.  You're either not doing anything new because the interaction or style has been done before or the new creation simply isn't powerful enough to stick around.

That doesn't mean brewing is dead in Legacy.  Brewing just tends to take the form of tweaking decks or updating older ideas.

Name a deck NOT using fetches! 




Goblins.
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.

Name a deck NOT using fetches! 




Goblins.


this is wrong. 

Name a deck NOT using fetches! 




Goblins.


this is wrong. 



Sorry, yes, I'll qualify this. Non-Thalia Goblin decks that are well-built, do not run fetches. Thalia Goblins and poorly built normal Goblins do run fetches.
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.

Name a deck NOT using fetches! 




Goblins.


this is wrong. 



Sorry, yes, I'll qualify this. Non-Thalia Goblin decks that are well-built, do not run fetches. Thalia Goblins and poorly built normal Goblins do run fetches.


Lots of green or black splashes in goblin lists. 
Lol, that sort of response looks terrible from an observer's point of view.  Semanticize away, though.
So, gladly, I get to say, that Legacy is very broad a format.  Lots of room to invent?  Is there a possibility of adding to, perhaps, a cluttered environment?

How has the format changed?    



At this point, its no longer the place to invent, the format is pretty mapped out in every direction. However, evolution is the nature of the game now. Each deck is in a constant arms race, new sets give new things for their already densely packed decks.

Fundamentally though, the format hasn't changed at all. Its still what you think it is. 
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Until another mechanic that shakes things up like dredge.  Curious.

Lots of green or black splashes in goblin lists. 



I saw three of the recent Top 8 Goblins decks each running a singleton Tin-Street Hooligan and a single Taiga to back it up. And one of them also ran 2 K-grips in the side. I saw no black splashes. That is not a large splash, nor a necessary splash, nor an overwhelmingly popular splash. So, please define what you mean by "lots".
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.

Lots of green or black splashes in goblin lists. 



I saw three of the recent Top 8 Goblins decks each running a singleton Tin-Street Hooligan and a single Taiga to back it up. And one of them also ran 2 K-grips in the side. I saw no black splashes. That is not a large splash, nor a necessary splash, nor an overwhelmingly popular splash. So, please define what you mean by "lots".


Splash.

Splash.  
Name a deck NOT using fetches! 


the greatest deck in the universe
192884403 wrote:
firstrike
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
This definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.
I was referring to the painting The Treachery of Images.
I know.
Name a deck NOT using fetches! 


the greatest deck in the universe



That's right, Cheeri0s doesn't use fetches!! =D
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
D&T was going to by my next project to build.  Even though I say I hate that stuff, it's just a mean, oppressive deck.
I would love to buy some Karakas eventually and play DnT. It's such a cool deck. 

Legacy isn't about pillars in the same sense as vintage. As previously mentioned "new decks" don't really happen so much.
Given this conclusion, maybe a somewhat comprehensive list of decks/archetypes that are/were/could become viable in the
format could be compiled here. (I assume we're talking about tier 1&2 exclusively)

Reanimator
RUG Tempo
BUG Control
Miracles
Maverick
Little Green Men
Merfolk
Combo Elves
Death and Taxes
Zoo
Burn
Stax
Pox
Stoneblade 
Dredge
RIP/Field/Helm
MUD/Kuldotha decks
Show and Tell

Obviously some fall in and out of favor, Graveborn made a crazy Reanimator swarm. Vexing Devil increased attention in Burn. I really want MUC to be viable again. 
Graveborn didn't make a reanimator swarm, Griselbrand did.
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Reanimator got really popular when Graveborn came out. That's when the primer on this site was made, before Grizz's printing. Griselbrand did, however, replace Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur as the head honcho. 
Graveborn was the start of the rise of Reanimator, at least in small, local metagames.  It didn't push the deck back to Tier 1 (briefly) or Tier 1.5/2 though.  Griselbrand did that.

Death and Taxes, Pox, Zoo and Stax are not Tier 2.  They're very much Tier 3.  Death and Taxes isn't Tier 2 because of the need to play 4x Karakas, which is hard enough to find to play a single copy.  Pox isn't Tier 1 because it just isn't very popular at all.  Zoo is basically unplayable.  Stax is pretty much non-existant in the vast majority of metagames.

I'm also close to calling Merfolk Tier 3 as well because while it did surge in popularity several months ago, it's died off a lot since then.

I'm not sure what deck you're calling "Little Green Men", which probably means it shouldn't be considered Tier 2.  I've heard Elves called that before, so I'm assuming it's just an alternative build of that, in which case it doesn't deserve it's own title.

I would classify the tiers as such:

Tier 1:
RUG Delver
U/W Miracles (both RIP/Helm and classic versions)
BUG Control (recent addition)

Tier 1.5:
Goblins (close to Tier 1)
StoneBlade (both U/W and Esper)
Show and Tell
BUG Delver

Tier 2:
Maverick (falling fast)
Burn
Dredge
Reanimator
Elves
MUD
Dead Guy Ale
Jund (put 2 copies into this weekend's Top 16 at SCG Las Vegas, but might be premature to put it here)

There are probably several other decks that fit into Tier 2, but those are the main ones.  Team America probably falls somewhere in Tier 1/Tier 1.5, but I felt it was covered between BUG Control and BUG Delver.  It's pretty hard to establish where the line is with those 3 decks.

The Source keeps a pretty good handle on the top Legacy decks in the Decks to Beat section.  I'd only disagree with the inclusion of ANT, which I think that forum has a bit of a bias towards.

MTGSalvation also keeps a pretty complete list in their "Established" section.  I contend that it includes a lot of Tier 2.5/3 decks (like Cephalid Breakfast, Lands, Painter/Stone, NO RUG and such).  I'd say that I wouldn't be shocked to have to play against any of those decks at a good sized tournament.  If you knew the key interactions of every deck in that section, you'd have a very firm grasp of the full Legacy metagame.
Thanks for that list, Mad.  I honestly thought SNT would be higher...  What about High Tide decks?
Show and Tell is as high as it is because it (probably) the most popular combo deck.  However, it is not higher because it rarely puts up good results.  This past weekend's Top 8 for it (and a Hive Mind version) has been the highest finish I've seen it have for a very long time.  It's actually pretty frustrating for me to see the deck as often as I do because the deck isn't good (too easy to disrupt, needs too many pieces to win, etc.) and it doesn't put up any results.  Yet I'll have to play against it at least once every tournament.  I get that it might be the only deck these people own, but at that point, you own the major costs of any U/R based deck in the format...

I don't consider High Tide to be popular enough to be a Tier 2 deck.  The deck is very powerful and has seen a recent surge in success.  However, to be sucessful, the deck needs to have Candelabra of Tawnos, which at $300ish each and very hard to find, makes it unlikely to become popular despite it's power level.  Not only that, but it requires a significant amount of practice to even attempt to play the deck, which also makes it very unlikely to be that popular.  I think High Tide is much like Lands in this regard.  I think Lands is probably Tier 1 based on power level because it's simply amazing against most decks that will be at any given tournamant.  However, it is extremely expensive and contains many cards that are next to impossible to find.
Tabernacle, Moat, etc?
I'm not sure what deck you're calling "Little Green Men", which probably means it shouldn't be considered Tier 2.  I've heard Elves called that before, so I'm assuming it's just an alternative build of that, in which case it doesn't deserve it's own title.


little green men is another name for goblins
192884403 wrote:
firstrike
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
This definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.
I was referring to the painting The Treachery of Images.
I know.
Cheeri0s best deck 2012

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
Cheeri0s best deck 2012


I don't think you need the "2012" qualifier there.
Cheeri0s best deck 2012


I don't think you need the "2012" qualifier there.



Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
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