Raddman's picture
By: Raddman, Graig W
Feb 09 2010 3:53am
Login or register to post comments

“To Infinity and Beyond.” That was a well known phrase spoken by none other than the elegant and wise Buzz Lightyear. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a project that seemed to last forever? 

A few weeks ago after reading an article on this very site, I got this brainy idea to start a research project that would soon consume my free time, my work time and more importantly my magic playing time.
I set out on a mission to find successful Legacy decklists in search of some knowledge on what type of cards were truly must haves for a new player or existing player making the jump to the format coming online in December.
Before I jump headfirst into this article, let me first explain some things about myself. I started playing Pants Magic around the time of Arabian Nights; yes I know I am old. I never got into competitive magic, mostly played for fun with friends and occasionally went to conventions. Soon after High School, I sold my paper collection and ventured off into the real world realm only to find myself returning to the game shortly after MTGO arrived. I mostly played casual, doing the random draft for fun. About 2-3 years ago I was approached by someone who was interested in my game play and invited me to join their clan. That clan would later become Magic Eternal and the rest is history.
You see my exposure to competitive magic has only been online. No legacy tournaments or Vintage tournaments under my belt. As a new player on the scene I wanted to find a way to maximize my collection when Legacy came online, hence the project ahead of us. I sought after information about Legacy Decks with the following criteria in mind.
  1. 1.  The deck must be tournament competitive.
  2. 2.  The deck must have placed in the Top 8 of a tournament using a minimum of 30 players within the last 6 months.
  3. 3.  I must investigate every decklist and not be biased based on decks to my liking.
  4. 4.  Try to view more than one type of the same decklist for consistency.
  5. 5.  Use a consistent source(s) of information.

Note: I later used decks that were competitive, but didn’t meet all qualifications. Some I used did well in tournaments under 30 players or were decks I felt might have a future presence.

The other things I wanted to accomplish were this:
  1. 1.  Find out which cards are the most widely used.
  2. 2.  Find out how many different decks these cards are used in.
  3. 3.  Find out which cards I need to buy to maximize the amount of decklists I can use.
  4. 4.  Advance my limited knowledge on the Legacy format.
For me the ultimate honor is to have enough cards in your collection that you can run any type of deck at anytime, even if it is just to help a clanmate test for an upcoming tournament. This was my biggest motivation for the project and was ultimately the main goal of my research; maximize my collection to allow myself to be as versatile as possible.
So………Have I drawn out the suspense long enough?
In no particular order, here are the Decks researched:
The Fear, Pox, Dream Halls, Dark Depths, Green Stax, Elves, 4C Thresh, UGB Thresh, UGR Thresh, UGW Thresh, RDW, Oath(for classic purposes only), Merfolk, Ad Nausem, Aluren, Survival Bant, Belcher, Countersliver, Deadguy Ale, Dreadfish, Dreadstill, EvaGreen, 43 Land, Stax, Team America, AggroLoam, Baseruption, Death and Taxes, Dragon Stompy, Enchantress, Goblins, Faerie Stompy, Imperial Painter, Landstill (4 Color), Landstill UWB, Loam Control, Naya Zoo, Reanimator, Sligh, Solidarity, Survival Rock, Rock, Trinket Painter, White Weenie, Dredge and Two Rogue Decks, Rogue Blue Wizard and Rogue Walker. 
Most of my research was taken from Deckcheck.net. I did use a few clanmates suggestions and an article written by Bazaar of Baghdad.
If you had to pick which Land, Creature and Spell that is most widely used in Legacy, what would you pick?
I think most of you can answer this question with out even blinking an eye.
Wasteland is the most widely used Land, Tarmogoyf is the most widely used creature and Force of Will is the top spell in Legacy.
I plan on breaking up my research into several articles. This week we will focus on Lands and Land Related cards.
In Alphabetical Order:

Card Name # of Decks Using # of Times Cards Used Card Price
Academy Ruins 6 6  $        0.80
Ancient Tomb 6 23  $        1.75
Arid Mesa 1 3  $        4.75
Badlands 1 1  $      14.00
Bayou 11 31  $      14.00
Bloodstained Mire 8 17  $        5.50
Chrome Mox 6 22  $      16.50
City of Traitors 4 14  $      19.00
Flooded Strand 14 50  $        5.50
Lion's Eye Diamond 3 12  $      38.00
Lotus Petal 5 19  $        2.75
Marsh Flats 4 10  $        5.00
Mishra's Factory 7 26  $        1.75
Misty Rainforest 13 35  $        3.75
Mox Diamond 4 16  $      32.00
Mutavault 2 7  $        9.50
Pendlehaven 2 2  $        0.40
Plateau 1 2  $      12.00
Polluted Delta 17 51  $        5.50
Savannah 8 14  $      15.00
Scalding Tarn 9 21  $        5.00
Scrubland 6 12  $      12.00
Taiga 4 7  $      17.50
Tropical Island 17 51  $      18.00
Tundra 10 27  $      23.00
Underground Sea 16 42  $      32.00
Verdant Catacombs 6 17  $        4.75
Volcanic Island 3 6  $      14.00
Volrath's Stronghold 3 3  $        5.50
Wasteland 26 95  $      10.00
Windswept Heath 9 24  $        5.50
Wooded Foothills 6 14  $        5.50

Color coded for your reading pleasure!
As you probably predicted, Wasteland gets the overall nod at 95 card uses in 26 different decklists. If you don’t own any, go buy them NOW!
Also not surprising, is the dominance of Flooded Strand, 50 uses in 14 decks and Polluted Delta, 51 uses in 17 decks. It shouldn’t strike you as odd either that Tropical Island is the most played Dual Land, 51 uses in 17 decks. Misty Rainforest is making a nice impact, running 35 cards in 13 decklists as the number one new fetchie!
Seriously though, Badlands at 1 use in 1 deck, is this even right, there must be a mistype here right? I didn’t include any Red Death lists; they might have helped a little bit.
There are some lands I didn’t include that might be of slight interest. Cycle lands such as tranquil thicket come to mind as well as Flagstones of Trokair. Also, Horizon Canopy can serve importance.
So let's take a look at a decklist utilizing some of these lands.
Wasteland Flooded Strand Polluted Delta Tropical Island
                               UGB Thresh ($821.85)
Lands (20)                             Creatures (10)
3x Flooded Strand                 4x Tarmogoyf
2x Polluted Delta                   4x Nimble Mongoose
2x Misty Rainforest                2x Trygon Predator
4x Tropical Island
3x Underground Sea
4x Wasteland
1x Island
1x Forest
Spells (30)                                  
4x Force of Will
4x Daze
4x Thoughtseize
4x Diabolic Edict
4x Stifle
4x Spell Snare
4x Ponder
1x Putrefy
1x Engineered Explosives
 There is no substitute for a good mana base, well unless your name is Belcher.
How about a decklist not running blue lands.  How about one using these:
Bayou Bloodstained Mire Marsh Flats Verdant Catacombs
EvaGreen ($445.58, not including sinkholes)
Lands (22)                             Creatures (17)
3x Marsh Flats                       4x Tarmogoyf
2x Verdant Catacombs        4x Hypnotic Specter
3x Bloodstained Mire            2x Dark Confidant
4x Wasteland                         4x Nantuko Shade
4x Swamp                              3x Tombstalker
4x Bayou                                 
2x Forest
Spells (21)                                  
4x Dark Ritual
1x Diabolic Edict
2x Snuff Out
1x Duress
4x Hymn to Tourach
4x Sinkhole - Soon the beloved will be online, hopefully!
4x Thoughtseize
1x Umezawa's Jitte
 Good times for you non-blue lovers out there.
Further investigating the research, you can find as mentioned above, that Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand are represented in 31 decks.  Of those decks only 9 run both fetches in the same decklist.  So, I think this is a great starting point to maximizing the collection.
Purchase 4x Polluted Delta, 4x Flooded Strand. Also 4x Wasteland  Total Cost = $84.00
Wasteland is represented in 26 different decklists.  Of those, 14 do not run Polluted Delta or Flooded Strand. 
Another good starting point would be to purchase the 3 Highest Dual Lands.  I think we can get by with only purchasing 3x copies.  So 3x Tundra, 3x Tropical Island, 3x Underground Sea.  Total Cost = $219 + $84 =$303.
With this investment, we will have the necessary mana base to run the following decklists with little added cost to no added cost.
Deck Name Needed Cards Additional Cost
The Fear Academy Ruins, Scrubland, Volrath's Stronghold, Windswept Heath  $                23.80
Pox 4x Bayou, 4x Bloodstained Mire, 4x Mishra's Factory  $                85.00
Dream Halls 3x Ancient Tomb, 3x Lotus Petal, 2x Scalding Tarn  $                23.50
Dark Depths 2x Misty Rainforest, 2x Scalding Tarn  $                17.50
Green Stax 4x Ancient Tomb, 1x Misty Rainforest, 1x Pendelhaven, 1x Windswepth Heath, 1x Wooded Foothills  $                22.15
Elves 2x Misty Rainforest, 1x Pendelhaven, 1x Savannah, 2x Verdant Catacombs, 3x Windswept Heath  $                48.90
4C Thresh None  $                     -  
UGB Thresh 2x Misty Rainforest  $                  7.50
UGR Thresh 4x Scalding Tarn, 3x Volcanic Island  $                62.00
UGW Thresh 4x Misty Rainforest  $                15.00
RDW None  $                     -  
Oath 4x Lotus Petal, 4x Misty Rainforest, 4x Forbidden Orchard (classic deck only)  $                42.00
Merfolk 4x Mutavault  $                38.00
Ad Nausem 4x Chrome Mox, 4x Lion's Eye Diamond, 1x Marsh Flats, 1x Scalding Tarn  $              228.00
Aluren 3x Bayou, 3x Wooded Foothills  $                58.50
Survival Bant 4x Misty Rainforest, 2x Savannah, 4x Windswept Heath  $                67.00
Belcher 1x Bayou, 4x Chrome Mox, 4x Lion's Eye Diamond, 4 Lotus Petal, 1x Taiga  $              260.50
Countersliver 1x Savannah, 2x Windswept Heath  $                26.00
Deadguy Ale 4x Bayou, 2x Bloodstained Mire, 4x Marsh Flats, 4x Scrubland  $                95.00
Dreadfish 4x Misty Rainforest  $                15.00
Dreadstill 4x Mishra's Factory, 4x Scalding Tarn, 2x Volcanic Island  $                55.00
EvaGreen 4x Bayou, 3x Bloodstained Mire, 3x Marsh Flats, 2x Verdant Catacombs  $                97.00
43 Land 1 Academy Ruins, 4x Mishra's Factory, 4x Mox Diamond, 2x Taiga, 1x Volrath's Stronghold, 4x Wooded Foothills  $              198.30
Stax 4x Ancient Tomb, 3x City of Traitors, 2x Mishra's Factory, 4x Mox Diamond, 1x Savannah  $              210.50
Team America 1x Bayou, 1x Bloodstained Mire  $                19.50
Aggro Loam 1x Badlands, 1x Bayou, 3x Mire, 4x Mox Diamond, 2x Taiga, 1x Volrath's Stronghold, 4x Wooded Foothills  $              249.00
Baseruption 3x Mistry Rainforest, 2x Scalding Tarn  $                21.25
Death and Taxes 4x Savannah, 4x Windswept Heath  $                82.00
Dragon Stompy 4x Ancient Tomb, 4x Chrome Mox, 4x City of Traitors  $              149.00
Enchantress 3x Chrome Mox, 2x Savannah  $                79.50
Faerie Stompy 4x Ancient Tomb, 4x Chrome Mox, 4x City of Traitors  $              149.00
Imperial Painter 4x Ancient Tomb, 3x Chrome Mox, 3x City of Traitors, 1x Wooded Foothills  $              119.00
4C Landstill 1x Academy Ruins, 4x Mishra's Factory  $                  7.80
UWB Landstill 1x Academy Ruins, 4x Mishra's Factory, 1x Scrubland  $                19.80
Loam Control 3x Bayou, 1x Bloodstained Mire, 4x Mox Diamond, 2x Scrubland, 4x Verdant Catacombs  $              218.50
Naya Zoo 3x Arid Mesa, 1x Bloodstained Mire, 2x Plateau, 3x Scalding Tarn, 3x Taiga, 4x Wooded Foothills  $              133.25
Reanimator 2x Bayou, 2x Bloodstained Mire, 4x Lotus Petal, 2x Marsh Flats  $                60.00
Sligh None  $                     -  
Solidarity 2x Misty Rainforest, 3x Savannah, 1x Scalding Tarn  $                57.50
Goblins None  $                     -  
Survival Rock 4x Bayou, 2x Savannah, 2x Scrubland, 4x Verdant Catacombs, 4x Windswept Heath  $              151.00
Rock 4x Bayou, 4x Verdant Catacombs, 1x Volrath's Stronghold  $                80.50
Trinket Painter 1x Academy Ruins  $                  0.80
White Weenie 3x Mutavault  $                28.50
Dredge 4x Lion's Eye Diamond  $              152.00
Rogue Wizard 2x Misty Rainforest, 2x Scalding Tarn  $                17.50
Rogue Walker 1x Academy Ruins, 4x Mishra's Factory, 2x Scrubland, 1x Volcanic Island  $                45.80
 Most of the decks require a rather low investment to play.  The obvious exception to this is any deck running Chrome Mox, Mox Diamond or Lion's Eye Diamond.  Chrome Mox is a little inflated due to its recent rise.  I would assume this card will settle somewhere around $10.
Well that should just about wrap up this portion of my research.  Join me next time as I dive head first into the creature realm.  Tarmogoyf is an obvious first choice, but can you name number two!
-Graig W. -
ImpinAintEasy on MTGO


Legacy Staples by Katastrophe at Tue, 02/09/2010 - 04:17
Katastrophe's picture

#2 creature = Dark Confidant?

The color coding thing I could've done without. But still good. I'd really like to see the creature section.

Good stuff I always love to by JustSin at Tue, 02/09/2010 - 09:26
JustSin's picture

Good stuff I always love to see the number break downs like this as far as how important each card is to the overall meta and its nice to have the price here too for easy access only change that could be made I'd agree is the color coding on the first one is a bit confusing

nice article by LOurs at Tue, 02/09/2010 - 11:21
LOurs's picture

When Tempest was released online, wasteland definitly changed the face of eternal formats meta. This card is a *must to have*. period. If a player doesnt own them, legacy wont be the same format or he couldnt play a large variety of decks (very very few decks doent need them) without a significative loss of effiency.

About creatures, Dark confident would be a nice number 2. That said, as merfolk are too divided, i think that pridemage, hierarch or tombstalker could also compete.

Great Article! by Reinhart (not verified) at Tue, 02/09/2010 - 13:23
Reinhart's picture

Love the colorful charts! I'd take the Chrome Mox at 10. Pull the trigger, baby!

I really appreciate the work by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 02/10/2010 - 01:24
Anonymous's picture

I really appreciate the work that you put into this. I'm looking forward to the next two installments.

Stronggg by walkerdog at Wed, 02/10/2010 - 02:50
walkerdog's picture

Please make the colorcoding less... vibrant.

Stronggg by walkerdog at Wed, 02/10/2010 - 02:50
walkerdog's picture

Please make the colorcoding less... vibrant.

I originally thought the by ImpinAintEasy (not verified) at Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:53
ImpinAintEasy's picture

I originally thought the color coding would be funny, using the colors the match the cards. I will fix the coloring for my next article, thanks for the input.

@Anon Thanks, I spent many hours gathering the data from all the decklists

Great work. by Deckwizard (not verified) at Wed, 02/10/2010 - 11:30
Deckwizard's picture

This is exactly what I want to read. I love eternal formats and your well-thought commentary mixed with relevant data was engaging and useful.

Bob by walkerdog at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 00:30
walkerdog's picture

Bob is obviously the number two creature as he's often the number 1 in a given format.

Bob by ImpinAintEasy (not verified) at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 11:01
ImpinAintEasy's picture

Lots of votes for Bob...........anyone care to guess the Top 5?
I'll give you a hint, Bob is in the Top 5!

1. Tarmo
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Guess by walkerdog at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 16:44
walkerdog's picture

Goyf, Bob, Tombstalker, Hierarch, Trinket Mage

You will just have to wait by ImpinAintEasy (not verified) at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 17:02
ImpinAintEasy's picture

You will just have to wait and see. You are right on some, but not on all!

Nice article, aside the by menace (not verified) at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 19:04
menace's picture

Nice article, aside the epileptic seizure i almost got reading the Eva-green list.
Good breakdown of the card used.
Top 5

I didn't make the list, just by ImpinAintEasy (not verified) at Thu, 02/11/2010 - 20:57
ImpinAintEasy's picture

I didn't make the list, just reported on it. I was confused when I first saw it though, the mana base threw me off a little bit. I def see myself running some type of EvaGreen once legacy hits. Also have my eyes on that dark depths list if depths ever dips to a reasonable price.

The background of the list is by menace (not verified) at Sat, 02/13/2010 - 04:00
menace's picture

The background of the list is what i had meant, the colors and not the list per se.