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By: Lord Erman, Nafiz Erman
Dec 19 2011 12:23am
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Let's Play Some Legacy
by Nafiz Erman

Hello everybody and welcome to the special edition of Rogue Play. Since weeks I'm showing you some nice rogue decks for Standard. I love doing those articles and you'll read one other tomorrow as well. So there are no changes for the usual From Casual Room to FNM stuff. But as you may also know, there is a vicious(!) Spike nesting in me and I just have to feed him as well. And that's also the reason why I'm here today with a truly Spike-y article.

So forget all those nice and casual stuff I'm bringing you. Just forget them at least for one day. Because today we're going to dive into Legacy which is a format I truly love, and we'll have some fun.

Shall we start?



Of course if we're talking about Legacy, we should start from the beginning. And the beginning is the arrival of Mental Misstep. Until that moment the format was without doubt the healthiest format of all Magic. Please remember dear readers that before New Phyrexia has arrived, people were slaughtering each other with Jaces and Stoneforges in Standard. So yes, it's pretty safe to say that Legacy was the healthiest of all formats.

Mental Misstep
This card was a mistake.

But then Mental Misstep has arrived. And in my opinion that card degenerated the format to death. As I said, that's my personal opinion. You may agree or you may not. But one thing was for certain; the format changed. Completely.

If you're familiar with the format, then you know that one mana spells are one of the most important parts of it. From creatures to removal spells, from counterspells to card drawing spells, that one mana slot is almost always the most crowded part of all Legacy decks. And Mental Misstep simply attacked that part of all decks. So all of a sudden we started seeing Mental Misstep at the hands of everyone playing every kind of different decks.

But even the damage that card was doing to the format didn't change the number of players enjoying it. Legacy was constantly firing its events with no less than twenty five players. Always!

A few months ago Wizards saw the damage that card was doing to the format and banned it. That was 110% the right action. But whatever happened, happened after that. Because all of a sudden Legacy events started not firing.

All of a sudden Legacy, once the most healthiest format of all Magic, started having attention problems.

At first most of the people including me, didn't think about this problem that much. After all, that was the time when Innistrad was the newest thing and everybody was playing ISD drafts or ISD Block Constructed or sealed. We believed that after the hype cooled down, everything was going to be back to its normal state. But no. That also didn't happen.

So where were those people? Where were those hardcore Legacy players who were filling each event and firing them nonstop? Did all of them quit playing? I don't think so. And you know what the worst part was? People started selling their Legacy staples. That I know very well. People saw that the format was dying (and they simply didn't care why) and started "leaving the boat before it was going to sink".

So really, what just happened?



I think that not only one thing has happened. I think that a chain of events led to Legacy to where it is today. And here's what I think has happened:

1- The banning of Mental Misstep: The card was a complete mistake but sadly people got used to it in time. And when it was banned, they stepped back and started waiting to see what was going to happen.

2- People loved Innistrad: I know that this is true. Innistrad Limited is very fun and people who started playing with the release events are still playing ISD Limited.

3- Standard has not been this diverse in a long time: Every day we see a new Standard deck winning something. It seems that Wizards finally managed to fix their most precious format. So those temporary players who were "just getting started", returned to Standard and changed their minds about delving deeper into Legacy. After all, playing Wolf Run Ramp against decks with nothing but Mana Leak was much easier than playing some Zoo variant against a thick rock-solid wall of Force of Wills and Dazes and whatnot.

4- The hype of Modern stole some of the player base: That is also one thing I'm sure of. Before Pro Tour Philadelphia where the format was going to be Modern, people had no idea what the format was going to look like. And hey; Modern was a Pro Tour format! So people who get lost within all that hype sold their Underground Seas for Watery Graves. And when they saw how degenerated the format was (hence the bannings that quickly followed the Pro Tour), there was simply no returning back. They stayed with their Watery Graves and Cryptic Commands and started staring at those Underground Seas and Force of Wills they used to play not too long ago.

5- And Classic was the real winner: Those who didn't sell their Underground Seas for Watery Graves all of a sudden started waiting in empty queues. They knew that Watery Grave wasn't the "real thing" but they weren't tapping their Underground Seas anymore either! So they started slowly investing in Classic and made "the jump". Hence all the recent actions in Classic. And when those people decided to "give into the dark side", all those activities such as the Classic League, Penguin TV and Yawgmoth's Soap Opera made things a lot easier.

And that's what I believe has happened. But no matter what really happened, one thing is for sure: Legacy is "resting". But I think that it's time that this mighty giant awakens and starts being as popular as it was before. Because the format is incredibly diverse. Because it's free of its bane called Mental Misstep now, and it's once again as healthy as it was.

So yes. Let's Play Some Legacy!



The moment I heard that Legacy was going to be the format of TNMO, I immediately checked the starting times of the tournaments. I saw that one was perfect for me and hoped that it would fire. We waited a bit longer than usual and the event fired barely with sixteen players, but hey! It did fire!

But before I get to the tournament report part, I would like to show you what I decided to play. I actually decided to play this baby:

RUG Tempo
As netdecked by Nafiz Erman
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Snapcaster Mage
11 cards

Other Spells
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Stifle
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Spell Snare
2 Dismember
1 Fire/Ice
31 cards
4 Tropical Island
4 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Scalding Tarn
18 cards



I admit: I blatantly stole the list from the internet! Yes, you can throw rocks at me now. But I had no other choice! I only had one single night to prepare and I was looking for a list that was suitable to my play style (which is obviously either Control or Aggro/Control (or sometimes Control/Combo; but this is only sometimes)). And this list looked nice to me. I was of course in no position to argue the cards and the numbers, so I went to the Tournament Practice Room and played a bunch of games.

Sadly my whole test drive lasted for five matches. It was already late at night and I just had to log off. And when I logged in once again, the tournament was about to start. So I just jumped in without proper testing but I was trusting myself and my instincts. I piloted lists like this before and I was no stranger to the format, so I thought I would do well.

At the end I finished the tournament at fifth place out of sixteen players, and ended up with a nice booster of Innistad and an alternate art Savage Lands. And my only loss was 1-2 after three very close games to the actual winner of the tournament.

But before I start showing you the tournament videos, I want to mention something. I watched the videos after I recorded them. I realized I made some mistakes here and there. Some also during sideboarding. But please, please, pretty please, before tearing me apart keep in mind that I only played five (as in "5") matches before this tournament. So I really didn't know what I was doing. As I said above, I just played based on my instincts.

Of course feel free to show me my mistakes but also please keep that in mind. Thank you!


Against Esper StoneBlade

This is a fantastic match which I lost 1-2 at the end. But still it was good. I'm sure I made some mistakes but I enjoyed the game nevertheless.

I know I made one very obvious mistake at the beginning of game three and prevented my own Delver of Secrets from flipping by sending the wrong cards to the top of my library with Brainstorm. Ah well, shame on me. The only thing that makes me feel better now is that the player that won against me managed to win the whole tournament as well.


Against RDW

Red decks are always problematic. Watch me now battle one and see how I pull off a nice win at the end. The ending of game two is spectacular by the way, so don't miss it!

I hope you liked it.


Against Recycling/Cycling/Fluctuator/Something?

So that's the spirit! This is actually what I want to do sometimes as well. I mean bringing a less powerful deck to the tournaments and see what happens. I will win this round 2-0 as you will see in a moment, but that doesn't mean that I won't appreciate what my opponent was doing. And hey; we were both 1-1 before that game and that means that his deck has the potential to win matches in tournaments.

I watched the replays and saw how brutal his deck was when given the chance. In round one he even won one game on turn three. TURN THREE! He got his Fluctuator out and basically cycled all his deck ("all" as in until the very last card). Then he played Lotus Petal, sac'ed it for Dark Ritual and played a Haunting Misery for X is equal to... thirty two!

So anyway, I can say that it was a bit an easy win for me but a win is a win, right?



There was going to be a second event after this one in four hours and I decided to play in that one as well. It felt incredibly good to return back to Legacy and I was wanting more!

Sadly I couldn't play in it due to some other things I had to do at home. I had two decks ready for that event and I was still undecided which one to play. It doesn't matter now because I couldn't play in that event but I still want to show you the decks I prepared netdecked. Here's the first one:


This was another list I liked a lot and wanted to try in a tournament. One of the reasons why I chose this deck was actually Thrun, the Last Troll. I think that that creature has great potential and it is a perfect weapon in a format full with all kinds of counterspells. Its mana cost is okay and with a first turn Noble Hierarch you can get him out as early as turn three. And the fact that it cannot be countered and not even targeted is... well, it's just "wow". I think Thrun, the Last Troll will be my next best buddy in Legacy in a very short time.

Also I liked this deck because it has two of my favorite creatures in it; Terravore and Scavenging Ooze. I simply love those two and with Green Sun's Zenith, it's not a problem to get them out when they're needed. And all that counterspells back-up of this deck is just fantastic.

I also very much like the sideboard. Those two Enlightened Tutors made me say "Huh?" at first but then I quickly realized that they were this deck's most important sideboard cards. Enlightened Tutor is how you get Ethersworn Canonist out against Storm. It's how you get Tormod's Crypt out in time against Dredge. It's how you get Null Rod or Oblivion Ring out when they're needed. It's simply a perfect choice!

Okay, that was the first deck I had in mind. Now I'll show you the second one:


Four Snapcaster Mages with Riptide Laboratory? Wow, just wow. And how about Unearth to resurrect that fallen Tarmogoyf? Crazy stuff! So this is a deck that I would really love to play, and that's the reason why I had it ready and saved in my archive. I didn't test it a bit but that wasn't necessary; I played similar decks in the past so I was sure that I was able to play it at least okay if not well.

As I said I didn't have a chance to play in that second event (and I think I would have played the Bant deck, had I played in it) but at least all this TNMO action got me back to my beloved format once again. Speaking of which...



I think it was very wise of Wizards to make Legacy a TNMO format. We fired one event and I saw that the second one did also fire with sixteen players. And that means only one thing; players who love Legacy are still there. Apparently they needed to be "pushed" by Wizards, and I hope that these TNMO events will be the start of a bright new future for the format.

As I said over and over in the article, Let's Play Legacy!


From Casual Room to FNM, Part V

Alright now that I fed the beast in me, I can return to my normal schedule. Tomorrow I'll be once again back but with the newest installment of the usual article series that get some very good reactions from players. I received both here and also online some very nice and encouraging comments about this series and that's the reason why I continue writing them. I hope you'll like what I'm going to show you tomorrow as well. 

Thanks for reading. 

See you online
Nafiz Erman, aka Lord Erman


Good stuff as usual! by 2of1 at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 04:03
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Good stuff as usual!

The preview frame for your by Westane at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 09:54
Westane's picture

The preview frame for your first video shows your hand of 3x FOrce of Will and 2x Snapcaster Mage... THAT is why I play magic!

I believe that everyone of by pryite199 at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 10:45
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I believe that every one of the TNMO's fired last week. Which makes me wonder why we can barely fire the Daily Events. But on a different note we did indeed fire one Daily Event this week.

First of all, I am so happy by Raddman at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 11:48
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First of all, I am so happy to see some Legacy content.......So thank you for writing some!

I want to comment on your matches, first things first, you may have made mention of these things in your audio, but I was listening at work so I wasn't able to hear everything you were saying.

Match 1 vs. Stoneblade - Game 1- You Stifle his 5 land trigger which turns out to be huge in this match. You could of saved the stifle to protect your Tropical Island when he wastelands it.......or you could of cast snappy there and used stifle again from gy (although it would of been dazed probably). Instead you double bolt jace and run face first into Daze. Had you held back Stifle on his 5th land drop, you stifle his wasteland, bolt his jace once and then save the bolt next turn. You have got assume he is running daze. Also, don't be afraid to be the beatdown, without an early Delver in this matchup and seeing 3 snappys, you might of wanted to run out a turn 3 Snappy with snare backup to commence the beats.

Sideboard - you didn't bring in any grips, seems bad to me (although I prefer grudge anyways) and I would be siding out stifles tbh, just play tighter. Stoneblade lists tend to run enough lands to get around stifle and with your removal package, snares and grips you shouldn't worry about stoneforge which is the only thing stifling would be worthy imo. Stifling jace just seems meh as well.

Game 2 - You fetch right away on turn one putting yourself in harms way for Wasteland, I'd hold back the fetch as he more than likely is siding out stifles vs. you. Not to mention if you rip brainstorm, you now have a way to shuffle back that 2nd snappy that you really don't want at the moment.

I'm still watching the rest of the videos and will post on them later. I'm no pro, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I do have extensive experience piloting thresh type builds as they are simply my favorite deck type of all times. I took NO RUG to Top 16 at Gencon this year and this new and improved RUG deck is even better.

Edit: Just finished watching Game 3 - Tough beats on the double Jace there, but Batterskull really sealed the deal, which is why I'm an advocate for Grudge. Your creatures are always bigger than theirs and your removal takes care of all their dudes, the only thing you are really worried about is Jace and batterskull.

I will watch the rest of the videos and keep editing as necessary, hope my comments help.

Round 2 vs. RDW

Game 1 - Nice Tarmo Delver beats, pretty flawless play for the most part, maybe you run out Wasteland instead of your 3rd volcanic in case he has double price of progress.

Game 2 - Don't dismiss Grip here for Sulfuric Vortex. I'm pulling stifles, putting in prolly 1-2 grips and maybe surgical which can be more useful than stifle.

RDW is a pretty rough matchup for RUG, so well done.

Hey man thanks a ton for by Lord Erman at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 11:56
Lord Erman's picture

Hey man thanks a ton for taking time and commenting. It has been some time sime I played competitive Legacy and as I said in the article I was basically playing based on my insticts rather than experience. That TNMO event helped me "polish" my Legacy skills (considering I have some to begin with).

One question: Why do you think Ancient Grudge is better than Krosan Grip? I mean, you're totally right, I should have brought them against Stoneforge in R1. Maybe they would have helped me kill that Batterskull. But Ancient Grudge cannot truly kill it because they will just bounce it back to their hand and play again. Krosan Grip therefore is a better choice.

So why do you prefer Grudge over Grip? That I want to know. Also I took out the Pyroclasms from the sideboard after the event and replaced them with Submerge. Do you think that was the right decision or should I bring back my Pyroclasms?

Thanks again Raddman and everybody for the comments.


Grudge is a 2 for vs. their by Raddman at Mon, 12/19/2011 - 12:20
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Grudge is a 2 for vs. their other equipment and if they go for batterskull and you have removal, you have just set them back even further. You bolt their turn 2 stoneforge and force them to find 5 lands or another stoneforge to play it out. If counterbalance starts becoming more of a menance, then grip should replace grudge imo.

Also, I prefer Grim Lavamancer in the sideboard over pyroclasm. Unless elves are running around (which is possible in a casual FNM) or Goblins start becoming a problem, then Grim is your guy. Don't worry about the interaction with Snappy or Tarmo, trust me, it works out just fine.

Hit me up in game if you ever want to test.



Another small thing I saw was in Round 3. You have delver on board, you brainstorm putting back bolt and Fire/Ice. You reveal fire/ice, then proceed to play tarn into another delver, meaning you are flipping your 2nd delver blind. You probably should of played Tropical there, laying Delver and then for sure you would flip bolt next turn. You attacked for 3 there, putting him to 17, next turn you attack for 6, he goes to 11, you bolt at his eot, 8, then win with Delver and Fire/Ice. Just my 2 cents on that matchup.

I can't really comment on the sideboard as I'm not all that familiar with his deck.....seems like you knew what you were doing there!

Thanks again for the Vids

Better play early on by eskimo227 at Tue, 12/20/2011 - 09:54
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This was something I caught early in your first video, which could have left you in an even better position:

Match 1 vs. Stoneblade - Game 1 - Opponent plays second Stoneforge with Wasteland untapped. When you start to Snapcaster for Spell Snare, he wastes your Tropical Island. Rather than let it resolve, you could have protected your land by returning it back to your hand and countered his play with Daze now that he is tapped out, two birds, one stone. Then you could have flashed back Brainstorm with Snapcaster. The final result would have been: an additional card in hand and extra library manipulation thanks to Brainstorm, guaranteed third land drop, and Spell Snare left in the yard waiting for Snapcaster.

Glad to see Legacy still has by JustSin at Tue, 12/20/2011 - 12:15
JustSin's picture

Glad to see Legacy still has some life... coming back its always interesting playing catch up on the new cards you've missed and I have to say I lol'd at the printing of Mental Misstep