How to Succeed at Legacy Invasion Tour Myself - Invasion Games
Greetings Invasion readers! It’s been a while since I last wrote for the next meeting at the Invasion Tour 5 and yet here am I ready for another dose of metagame review, in this case tough going back to Legacy, one of the most intriguing and complex formats in Magic: the Gathering. 

Before we dive into the decks that everyone should be taking into consideration for the event, as the title says, this time around I will be attending to Invasion Games Tour on September 9th-11th for the first time, traveling all the way from Spain to Sweden, so this article is as well a reflexion on what I will be playing at the main event and of course a chance to meet local players in person. That being said, without further ado, let’s jump right into Legacy:

# 1. Invasion Monthly Conquest. Legacy Top 8

The best place to start the decision making for the next event is going back to what happened at the previous one, to the Invasion Tour #2, when Andreas Hofverberg won the tournament piloting Mono-Red Painter. In case you missed, here you have the full top 8:

1st Red Painter by Andreas Hofverberg

2nd Cephalid Breakfast by Marcos José Fernandez

3rd Burn by Daniel Svärd 

4th Maverick by Gustav Bystedt

5th-8th 12-Post by Henrik Persson

5th-8th UR Delver  by Joel Grenehed

5th-8th Red Painter by Mårten Hedin

5th-8th 8 Cast by David Åberg 

With all honesty, this is not the typical metagame we encounter in a Magic Online Challenge, and while it makes perfect sense for players to choose their pet decks, it’s still curious to find only one copy of the most played deck in the format (UR Delver) in the Top 8. 

Aside from that, there’s an easy conclusion after seeing the metagame, Red-based strategies with maindeck Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast are very well positioned to counter those scary Murktide Regents for one miser mana, seeming to be a superb choice if UR Delver is the most played deck in the format.

Indeed, the next lesson from the Top 8 is: be ready to face under-the-radar decks, linear strategies with a straight-forward plan, starting with another Red based shell, Burn path to victory is fast and easy, specially when it doesn’t have to face maindeck life-gain on the other side of the table.   

Moving on, despite being a Yorion, Sky Nomad list, with 80 maindeck cards, Cephalid Breakfast who ended up in second place, is capable of winning the game on turn two if somehow manages to assemble both Nomads-en-Kor and Cephalid Illusionist in play unchecked.

As for the rest of the Top 8, there is a stock version of the UR Delver tempo shell, an obvious choice we will discuss later on, then there’s Mono-Blue or 8-Cast, which has become a Legacy staple at this point. However, its presence in the last months has been on the decline, the main reason being the recent uptake in popularity of Red Stompy. 

Finally, wrapping up the Top 8, two decks using green, 12-Post and GW Maverick, which currently aren’t at the top of the tier list, but still are capable of winning games quite consistently.

# 2. To Delver or Not to Delver?

So, if I have to pick a deck from the Legacy gauntlet, first I will address the elephant in the room. UR Delver, also known as Izzet Murktide just like its Modern counterpart has proven to be the most played deck as well as the most successful one at least in the Magic Online scene, with recent numbers getting up to a 20% of the meta and a win rate against the rest of the field about more than 50%.

Personally, I think it's a matter of time until the banhammer strikes again, even if not long ago Wizards put away Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer to downgrade the deck’s power level and in this case it's quite obvious that Expressive Iteration should follow the same steps as in Pioneer and probably in Modern too. 

Izzet Murktide by JUJUBEAN_2004,Legacy Challenge #12456985, 1st Place, 7-0, Date: 14/08/2022

Maindeck:
1 Brazen Borrower
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Dragon's Rage Channeler
4 Murktide Regent
4 Expressive Iteration
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Pyroblast
2 Mishra's Bauble
1 Flooded Strand
1 Island
3 Misty Rainforest
1 Mystic Sanctuary
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
4 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

Sideboard:
2 Pyroblast
2 Counterbalance
1 End the Festivities
2 Force of Negation
1 Hydroblast
1 Meltdown
2 Price of Progress
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Submerge
2 Surgical Extraction

With that in mind, my first and easiest choice for winning Invasion Tour 5 should be packing up the most recent Legacy Challenge winner; a stock list with a couple no big surprises, a singleton Brazen Borrower just in case something might go wrong and I need a bounce effect and then two copies of maindeck Pyroblast for all the mirror matchups that I should be facing in case I end up packing this shell. 

When looking at the sideboard, I might need to make room for Maddening Hex, a card that is not legal on the Online metagame but surely has some applications in tabletop games, which I already told Invasion players to purchase a while ago here. Indeed, if I wanted to play a more controlling version, there’s another list from the Challenge replacing the Delver of Secrets for Ledger Shredder, the newest format allstar creature from Pioneer up to Vintage, while also adding extra removal in the shape of Unholy Heat.  

However, there is a main drawback if I choose this Delver, not only everyone is going to be very well prepared against it but I have to play it perfectly because with these type of tempo shells, the decision making is key when winning games by such a small margin, therefore testing and practicing the most common matchups is vital. Since I haven’t decided yet, let’s take a peek at other viable choices to face Invasion Tour 5.

# 3. Playing the Fair Game:
Jeskai Control, Stoneblade, Blue Zenith

My second idea is trying to beat the Delver matchup from a different angle, just being the “good guy”, no winning in one turn, no unfair Delve creatures, just trying to play as many turns as I can to finally get my reward. Lately, Jeskai shells have been replacing the Bant and Four Color versions as the de-facto Control deck in Legacy. 

The reasons are multiple, leaving Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath on the bench makes sense when the most played deck in the format has such strong early plays and is able to close games quickly in the air thanks to Murktide; indeed, dropping green out of the mix implies a stronger mana-base, with a total of six basics, becoming more resilient to Wasteland overall. 

 

Jeskai Control by trunks132, Legacy Challenge #12456985, 15th Place, 5-2, Date: 14/08/2022

Maindeck:
3 Narset, Parter of Veils
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
1 The Wandering Emperor
2 Monastery Mentor
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Timeless Dragon
4 Expressive Iteration
4 Ponder
4 Prismatic Ending
4 Brainstorm
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
2 Pyroblast
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Dress Down
4 Flooded Strand
3 Island
1 Mountain
1 Mystic Sanctuary
2 Plains
1 Plateau
2 Prismatic Vista
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island
Sideboard:
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Negation
1 Pyroblast
2 Hydroblast
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Kozilek's Return
1 Meltdown
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Ruination
1 Serenity
1 Stony Silence
2 Surgical Extraction

Personally, I would love to play some new white cards like The Wandering Emperor, one of the most impactful planeswalkers in 2022, thanks to having flash incorporated; Monastery Mentor, as the main finisher by creating an army of Prowess Monks and finally Timeless Dragon from Modern Horizons 2, a card that doesn't see any play in Modern but surprisingly has found a home inside this Jeskai build.  

Indeed, while writing these lines, I am strongly considering the idea of commiting to the Narset, Parter of Veils - Day’s Undoing combo and add Hullbreacher to the mix since at the end of the day, drawing seven new cards while your opponent only draws one is the true health in life.What if I wanted to play the last two decks I just mentioned all combined in one? The result would be something like the this list below: 

Jeskai Stoneblade by Alico, Legacy Challenge #12456985, 5th Place, 6-1, Date: 14/08/2022

Maindeck:

4 Dragon's Rage Channeler
2 Murktide Regent
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 True-Name Nemesis
4 Expressive Iteration
4 Ponder
3 Prismatic Ending
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Kaldra Compleat
1 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Flooded Strand
1 Island
1 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Plateau
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
3 Wasteland

Sideboard:
1 End the Festivities
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Negation
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Hydroblast
1 Izzet Staticaster
3 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Stony Silence
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Wear // Tear

Long story short, True-Name is back! The creature combination seems a bit odd, but it showcases the best on each color. Channeler is a great turn one play that filters your draws and later in the game transforms into the perfect threat to Equip what Stoneforge Mystic tutors up on turn two: either Kaldra Compleat for a quick win or Umezawa’s Jitte to deal with creature matchups. Honestly, I will add extra Equipment for the grindy matchups, especially my Beloved Sword of Fire and Ice which can be back-breaking against Delver. 


The game-ending creatures are both blue, a split between Murktide Regent and True-Name, the Delve dragon needs no presentation at this point but I like this duo because Regent can hit hard on air whereas the Merfolk Rouge isn’t that common these days but that comes an advantages since there aren’t many answers against its protection against opponents.  

Overall, I will choose this Stonblade version rather than Jeskai Control mainly because it can end games quickly due to its tempo plan of cheap spells plus mana denial while playing one of my favorite cards of all times: Stoneforge Mystic. 

My last choice among the fair strategies in the current Legacy metagame is a Yorion deck that’s been putting up good results in the latest Magic Online Challenges; let’s welcome Five Color Zenith: 

5 Color Zenith by Leo Fa, Legacy Challenge #12456985, 6th Place, 6-1, Date: 14/08/2022

Maindeck:
1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Collector Ouphe
2 Endurance
1 Eternal Witness
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Omnath, Locus of Creation
1 Primeval Titan
1 Ramunap Excavator
3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
4 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Life from the Loam
4 Ponder
4 Prismatic Ending
4 Brainstorm
2 Force of Negation
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Abundant Growth
2 Carpet of Flowers
1 Bayou
1 Boseiju, Who Endures
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Field of the Dead
1 Flooded Strand
1 Karakas
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Prismatic Vista
1 Savannah
2 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Taiga
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
3 Wasteland
4 Windswept Heath
Sideboard:
1 Endurance
1 Carpet of Flowers
2 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Vigor
3 Plague Engineer
3 Pyroblast
1 Seeds of Innocence
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Yorion, Sky Nomad

The main motive for sleeving up this pile of cards is the ability of having a toolbox against every matchup imaginable! Since Green Sun's Zenith is our primary tutor for any green creature, it can search for Grist, the Hunger Tide for creature and planeswalker removal, Collector Ouphe against artifact based decks, and so on and so forth.

Name a green creature and it’s here, from Omnath, Locus of Creation, to Ramunap Excavator up to Primeval Titan, everyone is joining the Zenith party, so in case I am willing to face complex and long matchups, this will be my weapon of choice, since it still presents a reasonable fight against fast combo strategies, thanks to the maindeck Force of Wills and Force of Negation, backed up with Flusterstorm and Pyroblast in the side. The main drawback though is, just like Modern Yorion shells, the lack of consistency especially when trying to draw key sideboard cards in an eighty card deck, but you can’t have everything in life… 

# 4. Holding Up for a Combo: Elves, Depths, Riddlesmith. 

Now, let’s consider some other options Legacy has to offer: fast combo decks, with a linear plan, some synergies that allow you to win the game on the spot, so the rounds end up quickly, either if you win or you lose, therefore I can spend extra time watching other games and getting to know Invasion Games readers!

Jokes aside, there are three strong options that are on my radar for the upcoming event, so I will briefly review them: 

Elves! by Julian23, Legacy Challenge #12456985, 3rd Place, 6-1, Date: 14/08/2022

Maindeck:
1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
4 Allosaurus Shepherd
2 Birchlore Rangers
1 Collector Ouphe
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Elvish Reclaimer
4 Elvish Visionary
3 Heritage Druid
1 Progenitus
4 Wirewood Symbiote
4 Glimpse of Nature
4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Natural Order
3 Once Upon a Time
2 Bayou
1 Bojuka Bog
2 Boseiju, Who Endures
2 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
4 Gaea's Cradle
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
Sideboard:
4 Endurance
2 Force of Vigor
1 Karakas
2 Mindbreak Trap
2 Shriekmaw
4 Thoughtseize

Starting with Elves, it’s not the best positioned strategy in a heavy Delver metagame; but based on the latest online data, it presents around a 38.51% winning rate versus The Insectile Aberration shell. That being said, it’s very well positioned both against Jeskai Control and Death and Taxes.

My main drawback when choosing Elves is not seeing some winning lines when Glimpse of Nature is involved, despite being able to deploy an early Behemoth for an alpha strike, it suffers from bad topdecking and you really have to think through which hands you keep mainly against other fast linear combo strategies. Regarding this list from the Legacy Challenge list, I really like the Mindbreak Trap and Shriekmaw in the sideboard.Up next, one of the strongest and yet simplest two-card combinations in the recent Legacy era: the Thespian’s Stage plus Dark Depths duo! Quick review, with both lands into play once the Stage copies Dark Depths, it will become a copy of the iced land with 0 counters, hence putting a 20/20 flying monster into the battlefield, with the upside of making it an instant-speed, avoiding sorcery removal or any interaction on your opponent's turn.

There are tons of possibilities when trying to summon Marit Lage from the ice, from the fastest Black Green shells adding Elvish Spirit Guide to speed up the combo to this more Midrange Selesnya Build, which doesn’t pack the full playset of both lands, however there are multiple ways to tutor them up: Crop Rotation, finds any of them while Elvish Reclaimer and Knight of Reliquary are threats on their own that are also able to dig for any land while being fetchable via Green Sun’s Zenith.

Regarding its current position on the metagame, Joe Dyer from MTGgoldsifh said recently: “Selesnya Depths is one of the decks in the format that can truly boast a strong Delver matchup and also maintain a high level of performance against other decks as well. The deck has plenty of powerful options and a lot of strong removal (especially post board where you gain access to Blast effects as well as Swords to Plowshares). This is a deck to pick if you are expecting a lot of Delver in an event”.

So, if I am expecting Delver, this will be a fine choice, but my main issue is I haven’t played the strategy in a long time, and that can hurt the deck’s performance by a ton. Lastly a quick note about to cards that recently are becoming hot trends on the financial market; starting with Minsc, & Boo, Timeless Heroes, this planeswalker from the latest Commander Legends: Battle at Baldur's Gate has suddenly spiked up in price from €5 average price up to €15 in a couple of weeks.

Honestly, it was hard to imagine this card in Legacy, but it is actually showing up in the Selesnya Depths build as one copy in the mainboard and one in the sideboard. When it comes down into play, it immediately creates a 4/4 hasty trampling hamster. Honestly, the main appeal is the second ability, that allows you to sacrifice Marit Lage and deal 20 damage skipping the combat phase, which can be significant when the game goes long and there are plenty of blockers on the other side of the table.The second card to be mentioned comes from Mercadian Masques: Tower of Magistrate has gotten a ton of attention lately in the Commander community, therefore going up in price. Although it doesn’t see much play in Legacy, it can be key against Equipments such as Kaldra Compleat we mentioned on the Stoneblade shell, since it can un-attach any of them with its ability or just giving protection to artifacts to our threats, and it’s pretty easy to find in a deck full of land tutor effects.  

Selesnya Depths by by けいすけ 沼上, 44 / The 44th Legacy at Home, 8th Place, Date: 13/08/2022

Maindeck:
4 Windswept Heath
3 Thespian's Stage
3 Wasteland
2 Dark Depths
2 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Sejiri Steppe
2 Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
1 Maze of Ith
1 Savannah
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Plains
1 Karakas
1 Taiga
1 Forest
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Endures
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Elvish Reclaimer
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
1 Endurance
1 Outland Liberator
4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Crop Rotation
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Sylvan Library
3 Mox Diamond
1 Life from the Loam
1 Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes
1 Prismatic Ending
Sideboard:
1 Allosaurus Shepherd
1 Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes
1 Tower of the Magistrate
1 Prismatic Ending
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Torpor Orb
2 Choke
2 Pyroblast
2 Force of Vigor
2 Endurance

My last pick from combo strategies is none other than a recent build that emerged thanks to Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty with the printing of Containment Construct: Riddlesmith Combo. 

Basically, what the deck tries to do is assemble both creatures in play and play a bunch of free artifacts. The result will be a ton of looting effects thanks to the blue Human Artificer that will be exiled from the graveyard by the Artifact Construct, so they can be played again. 

Once Lion’s Eye Diamond plus Echo of Eons are added to the mix, we can basically draw the entire deck, and then finish the game via Brain Freeze and Grapeshot. In case you want to know more about the deck, here is a primer from both KillaBee and Nathan Lipetz of MTGMeta.io. where they go super deep into the strategy, card choices and sideboard guide. 

This will be my choice if I want to make a surprise move at my first Invasion Tour attendance; after seeing the deck in action, it’s capable of doing some crazy things, and it even features Urza’s Saga for the giant Construct Tokens as an alternate win condition. 

Honestly, the main downside of choosing Riddlesmith is saying it out loud, but hopefully after reading this article you wouldn’t know what’s going to be my final choice…

Riddlesmith Combo by by Killabee, Legacy Challenge #12450496, 2nd Place, 5-1, Date: 07/08/2022

Maindeck:
1 Karn, the Great Creator
4 Containment Construct
4 Riddlesmith
3 Breakthrough
4 Echo of Eons
4 Gamble
1 Grapeshot
1 Brain Freeze
4 Chrome Mox
3 Defense Grid
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Mishra's Bauble
4 Mox Opal
1 Pithing Needle
4 Urza's Bauble
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Taiga
1 Tropical Island
4 Urza's Saga
Sideboard:
1 Defense Grid
1 Karn, the Great Creator
1 Aether Spellbomb
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Liquimetal Coating
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Mystic Forge
1 Silence
1 Surgical Extraction
3 Thrasta, Tempest's Roar
1 Tormod's Crypt

# 5. Final Thoughts and Trip Preparations     

And that concludes my review of the possible decks to play at Invasion Tour. I will be traveling on September the 7th to Sweden and visiting Invasion on the next day, so please let me know in the comments below what I should bring in my suitcase for the expected weather and possibly make some room for some Dominaria United singles since the set release is also the same weekend. 

Again, I cannot stress how excited I am to finally go to Invasion Games and if you get to this point, thank you so much for reading.  


Hasta la vista, baby. 

Rodrigo Martín a.k.a. Rone.

Invasion gamesLegacy

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