Legacy’s unsung heroes

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Boasting the second-largest card pool in the format – only Vintage is bigger and we’re talking a couple dozen more unique cards in a card pool of over 14 000 cards – Legacy is immensely deep and vast as a format. Of course, only a few hundred of these 14 000 cards are even remotely playable, it’s a strict fact that most Magic cards are simply bad cards and in a format as inherently broken and powerful in Legacy, only the top dogs get to eat.

There’s no wonder that there are plenty of hidden gems in a format of this size, even with the relative high power level. This post is dedicated to Legacy’s unsung heroes. It’s not a top 5 list, because I was unsure about how to quantify something as subtle as being undervalued or underplayed.

relicofprogenitus.hqRelic of Progenitus: Reanimator and Dredge seems to still hold some presence in the format, despite it generally being more hostile to graveyard decks with the inclusion of Dig Through Time and especially Treasure Cruise. Deathrite Shaman holds a lot of value in matches where both players play these powerful delve spells, since it can slow down the opponent and let you cast your delve spell first. Relic of Progenitus has the same up-side, but also comes with the added bonus of hosing the opponent’s Deathrite Shaman – since they can’t steal things from your graveyard as long as your Relic of Progenitus is untapped. Blowing it up seems less than ideal if playing with delve spells, but could timed with your own delve spells, and it’s a nice out if the opponent hits 6-7 cards first. Timing is key, since blowing it up in response to a delve spell will do nothing at all. As a bonus, Relic of Progenitus fits well into a Trinket Mage package in slower artifact-based control builds.

spellsnare.hqSpell Snare: For a single blue mana, Spell Snare trades one-for-one with important threats or key spells in most every deck-to-beat in the format. Stoneforge Mystic, who is especially potent against grindy decks, since it’s quite slow and Young Pyromancer has together somewhat invalidated Tarmogoyf as the best two-drop in the format, and incidentally, all three are countered by Spell Snare by not Spell Pierce. No blue decks play Dark Confidant anymore due to Treasure Cruise, but there are decks that still play Snapcaster Mage. Further, Counterbalance is hardly the most important spell to counter against Miracles, but it can be extremely frustrating to play against and might shut down large parts of any deck’s game plan.

Against Elves it mostly only counters Elvish Visionary and Green Sun’s Zenith for one, but both are quite important spells, depending on your deck. Lastly, against Sneak and Show the card is mostly dead, but that’s just a single match-up. It’s too bad Delve doesn’t actually lower the mana-cost of a spell, since that would mean Spell Snare could counter a Dig Through Time played for UU or a Treasure Cruise for 1U. That said, the card solves a lot of problems in today’s metagame, and should at least be considered for a slot or two in most tempo- or control builds.

pyroclasm.hqPyroclasm: Two damage to all creatures for 1R is amazingly potent in today’s metagame, where Stoneforge Mystic, Delver of Secrets, Deathrite Shaman  and Young Pyromancer are the supreme creatures of the format, and with Elves still a force to be reckoned with, having access to Pyroclasm is hardly a bad thing. Golgari Charm, Engineered Explosives, Rough // Tumble etc. all have similar effects, but none are as elegant, as effective, and as easy to cast as the good old Pyroclasm. Lam Phan played a whole three of them in his sideboard at Grand Prix: New Jersey, and he clearly knows what he is doing. Play it, live it, love it.

These are my three favourites among a whole slew of playable but underplayed cards in Legacy. What are your favourites? Tell me in the comments section below!

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1 Comment

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  December 17, 2014

    Well, I haven’t played legacy in years. But back when I was tapping cards and taking names Countertop was a very nasty deck. As an aggro player I normally do not have that much problem with blue control decks, but Counter Balance along with Sensei’s divining top allowed for a recurring amount of card control that was simply to difficult to deal with. So my unsung hero is an unassuming goblin shaman, his name is Vexing Shusher, who helped me score wins versus that deck (after sideboarding of course). Also, his flavor text is awesome.

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