Legacy has seen a lot of action since our last installment: two Grand Prix have come and gone and the SCG Open Series has marched on as always. This time we'll be looking at Detroit Seattle and St. Louis
Detroit Legacy Open
RUG Delver has been the most popular deck for some time and it's not surprising to see that trend continue. It performed particularly well in Detroit winning over 60% of matches.
Several decks have vied for second place but Maverick has been the most consistent over the last few months. It was the second-most popular deck in Detroit making up over ten percent of the field. We've come to expect Maverick not only to show up in large numbers but to back that up with match wins. It certainly did although it was several points short of matching RUG.
We frequently see Stoneblade close to the top as well. This time its win percentage was slightly better than even.
Dredge was just one match short of winning half of its matches which it hasn't done since March.
U/W Control (also known as U/W Miracles) has been an important deck in European Legacy for months but has until recently been an uncommon sight on the SCG Open Series. This is the first time U/W Control has made up more than five percent of an SCG Open field (though it came close in Worcester). It won slightly more than half of its matches.
Last time we saw Sneak and Show and Reanimator surge in popularity each taking second place in one event. In Detroit both were unpopular. They did quite well in contrast with poor performances in the previous events in Indianapolis.
Seattle Legacy Open
RUG and Maverick were on top again this time separated by only one player. RUG only broke even this time. Maverick did much better than RUG though slightly worse than it did in Detroit.
Stoneblade was in third once again. This time its record was slightly below even.
Reanimator was more popular in Seattle than it was in Detroit and continued to do well.
Sneak and Show and U/W Control were tied in popularity. Both did well with Sneak and Show doing particularly well: better than any other deck that was even close to as popular.
Meanwhile the second Legacy Grand Prix of the year took place in Atlanta. The Day 2 breakdown shows that RUG Delver dominated the other decks in terms of popularity with Maverick coming in a good distance behind it. The most unusual thing about the Grand Prix when compared to the SCG Opens was the number of Reanimator players on Day 2.
St. Louis Legacy Open
Stoneblade was the most popular deck in St. Louis for the first time in several months. It did extremely well.
Just days after the release of M13 and Master of the Pearl Trident and two weeks after winning the Seattle Legacy Open Merfolk made a triumphant return to prevalence in St. Louis. It tied RUG Delver for second-most popular deck and beat all the other popular decks in terms of win percentage.
RUG and Maverick did a little better than even but neither did nearly as well as Stoneblade and Merfolk.
Reanimator was just above five percent of the field again. This time it did terribly—it won less than 40% of matches. That's about fifteen points worse than the previous two events.
Dredge the other graveyard-based deck did almost as poorly. In this case it's much less surprising.
Elves and Goblins tied Dredge in popularity which is rare. Both did very well.
RUG Delver – 9.39% of field won 55.29% of matches
On average RUG did well over these three events. It struggled against Merfolk was even against Maverick and beat everything else in the list. Its best records were against Dredge U/W Control and Sneak and Show. The biggest deviation from history was the Merfolk matchup in which RUG was previously ahead.
Maverick – 8.09% of field won 54.80% of matches
- 2 Aven Mindcensor
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 4 Mother of Runes
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 2 Qasali Pridemage
- 2 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Scryb Ranger
- 2 Stoneforge Mystic
- 1 Gaddock Teeg
- 3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 1 Dryad Arbor
Maverick put up three solid performances without a negative record against any of the top decks in these tournaments. U/W Control is the only deck in the list that boasts a good Maverick matchup overall. After U/W Control and RUG Stoneblade comes closest to beating Maverick but doesn't quite get there.
Stoneblade – 8.09% of field won 53.78% of matches
Stoneblade ties Maverick in terms of average popularity and nearly wins as many matches. It has very close matchups against the top two RUG Delver and Maverick. It beat Dredge and Sneak and Show which it traditionally loses to and it lost to Merfolk which it has traditionally beaten. Reanimator looks like a positive matchup while U/W Control looks like Stoneblade's worst matchup of this list.
Reanimator – 5.18% of field won 48.80% of matches
Reanimator's only good matchups here are Dredge and possibly Sneak and Show. It has trouble with the three most popular decks (RUG Maverick and Stoneblade) and even more trouble with Merfolk and U/W Control which look like they're on the rise.
Dredge – 4.85% of field won 44.57% of matches
Dredge performed worse than Reanimator losing to all the other top decks except U/W Control and Merfolk. Historically it's been slightly ahead against Stoneblade as well though slightly behind against Merfolk.
U/W Control – 4.37% of field won 52.38% of matches
At this point we've accumulated enough data about U/W Control to look at some of its matchups. It seems to have problems against RUG Delver might be slightly behind against Dredge and has yet to win a match against Merfolk at an SCG Legacy Open. On the other hand it seems to do well against the rest of these decks beating Maverick Stoneblade Reanimator and Sneak and Show by substantial margins. Overall the deck won a little over half of its matches.
Merfolk – 4.21% of field won 59.67% of matches
- 4 Coralhelm Commander
- 4 Cursecatcher
- 4 Lord of Atlantis
- 4 Master of the Pearl Trident
- 4 Merrow Reejerey
- 3 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Silvergill Adept
It's been a long time since Merfolk showed up in this segment but its popularity in St. Louis justifies taking a look at its matchups as well. It does well against Reanimator Dredge and U/W Control it's about even against Dredge and it loses to Maverick.
The interesting matchups here are RUG and Stoneblade both of which were bad for Merfolk in previous tournaments but which Merfolk managed to beat this time. Has Master of the Pearl Trident helped to reverse these matchups? If we look at St. Louis alone (the first SCG Legacy Open in which Master was legal) Merfolk was 5-2 (71.43%) against Stoneblade but only 6-6 (50%) against RUG Delver. Although Merfolk actually did better against RUG in Detroit and Seattle both records from St. Louis are better than the historical averages. We'll need to see more data before we can conclusively determine how much Master has changed Merfolk's matchups. For the moment we do have enough data to say that Merfolk looks pretty good—it was the highest performing out of the top decks.
Sneak and Show – 4.21% of field won 52.43% of matches
Sneak and Show managed to win a majority of its matches despite faring poorly against every deck in this list other than Dredge. Historically it also tends to beat Stoneblade but that didn't happen this time. All the other matchups are slightly negative like RUG Delver and Maverick to extremely negative like Merfolk.
Over the past several months RUG Delver Maverick and Stoneblade have been the most consistently popular decks in Legacy. All of them continue to perform well. Both their performances in these events and their matchups against each other have been extremely close. We can expect to see all three of them at the SCG Legacy Open in Washington DC and all of them are reasonable choices.
Reanimator and Sneak and Show have made a few notable appearances but neither has been able to maintain a large share of the metagame. Sneak and Show tends to perform better but it had an especially bad day in St. Louis.
The most exciting current developments are the slow rise of U/W Control in the United States and the sudden rise of Merfolk. It will take a few more tournaments before we can definitively say that either deck is here to stay. Neither made Top 8 in Las Vegas for example. On the other hand Grand Prix Ghent featured two U/W Control decks in the Top 8. Legacy Grand Prix are rare but many decks throughout the format's history have owed their popularity to GP success. While the Day 2 breakdown from that event shows RUG Delver at the top once again followed by Maverick and Stoneblade the next two decks are indeed U/W Miracles and Merfolk. Based on the SCG Legacy Open results Merfolk in particular looks like a great choice while U/W Control's success has been more modest.
Overall Legacy remains healthy. The same decks are still doing well for now but new and old challengers promise to keep things interesting. In addition to these developments at the SCG Legacy Opens two Grand Prix in a single month gives players a lot of results to consider. We'll see you in DC as the metagame continues to evolve.