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Insider: Legacy After Sensei’s Divining Top

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The banning of Sensei's Divining Top in Legacy eliminated the dominant Miracles deck from the metagame and completely opened up the field. The change has been in effect for a few weeks now, and there is an ever-growing body of tournament data and decklists from Magic Online and paper events, so a picture of the new metagame is beginning to develop. These results provide some insight into where Legacy now stands, and what the future of major events like Grand Prix Las Vegas will hold. There’s been uncertainty in the Legacy market, but the fog is clearing and the path forward is becoming clear.

Delver

The clear leader after the gutting of Miracles is Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration, which traditionally found all its deck variants disadvantaged in the matchup. Now they lack a natural predator to keep them contained, so they are proliferating through the metagame in a variety of forms, including Grixis, Sultai, a combination of the two in Four-Color, and a more aggressive Blue-Red build. All forms of the deck apply pressure with cheap, threatening creatures like their namesake, all while while disrupting the opponent, which makes them ideal for combating combo decks including Sneak and Show and Storm. So with Miracles gone, Delver decks now bear the brunt of the burden of containing the unfair decks in the metagame.


For potential specs, both the Sultai and Grixis version use Deathrite Shaman, which many say is now the best card in Legacy. Its price is still a bargain after being reprinted in Eternal Masters, but it has been slowly recovering, and increased demand in the metagame will strengthen this trend.

Storm

The banning of Sensei's Divining Top has all but killed Counterbalance, which was the single biggest and most common obstacle facing Storm decks. Cutting it from the metagame unbinds the shackles holding back Storm decks, and it’s vaulted to the second-most popular archetype in the format online.


I have my eyes on Lion's Eye Diamond, a Reserved List card with a price that was stagnant but is now on the rise. Reserved List cards seem to have nowhere to go but up, so this sort of old and iconic card seems like a good buy in general, beyond any format considerations. That said, if Storm suddenly becomes the new deck-to-beat in Legacy, I have to imagine the price will head up sooner rather than later.


Early last year, the price of the then-$13 Infernal Tutor started growing, and by the middle of the year it was nearly doubled in price to $23. After a long period of slow and gradual decline by a few dollars, the price has been slowly moving upwards over the past couple of months. If last year is any indication, then I see the price continuing to grow, and a rise in Storm would accelerate the process.


Lotus Petal is not only a staple of Storm decks, but also of the Sneak and Show decks that rival Storm in popularity and in the metagame. Regardless of what the combo landscape of Legacy looks like, Lotus Petal will always be a part of it. Its price is now just shy of $7, which represents nearly doubling in price since the beginning of last year. Its trajectory doesn’t show any signs of changing, and if anything looks to be accelerating, so I see them being $10 before long.

Sneak and Show

Sneak and Show has been a Legacy stalwart for many years, and it continues to show its raw power by being a major force in the metagame. It also took the spotlight by winning the first major tournament after the banning, the MKM Series event in Frankfurt that drew out over 400 players. This high-profile win is a testament to its strength and is sure to increase its popularity as players turn to it as a reliable and powerful choice in any metagame.



Its namesake cards are the most high-profile cards in the deck, and they look to be strong specs in a world where it sits in the top-tier of the metagame.


Emrakul, the Aeons Torn seems to always be slowly on the rise, and demand from decks like Sneak and Show are a part of reason why.

Elves

Elves have always been susceptible to the potent combination of Counterbalance stopping their cheap spells and Terminus clearing what does get through, but now there’s really nothing stopping them. Elves is sure to see a surge in popularity, and it’s already demonstrated success in the new metagame with finishes like a top eight by Elves specialist Julian Knab in the MKM event.


Gaea's Cradle has huge casual demand and is a four-of staple in Elves, so an increase in the popularity of the deck is going to bring its price up.


The price of Glimpse of Nature has been flat for ages, but the recent banning could be the impetus it needs to start appreciating.

Eldrazi

Eldrazi Aggro decks haven’t been a dominant force in Legacy, but they have definitely made their presence felt. They could see a resurgence in the role of “fun-police” with cards like Chalice of the Void and Thorn of Amethyst to fill the niche of Miracles and keep the format honest should it stray too far off the straight-and-narrow path with decks like Storm.




A key factor to the strength of Eldrazi decks is the manabase, and Ancient Tomb and the Reserved List City of Traitors are integral to that. Further demand from decks like Sneak and Show mean good things for the future of the deck's price.

Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes is another deck capable of playing the role of fun police against unfair decks, but it’s also known for boasting a strong matchup against Delver decks, which makes it a frontrunner for one of the best decks in a new metagame featuring a faceoff between Delver decks and combo decks, and it can avoid the Elf decks that give it nightmares.


Recruiter of the Guard is a very unique card with plenty of casual and other Legacy applications, like in Aluren decks. It became an immediate staple in Death and Taxes, and a rise in its popularity will send the price of this card in relatively low supply upwards.

Stoneblade Variants


With the death of Sensei's Divining Top and Miracles means Terminus is no longer a real part of the metagame. That moves white decks into a new direction, and Stoneforge Mystic is their future. It comes in many forms, from the classic White-Blue Stoneblade to Esper Stoneblade to the most popular, Bant Deathblade, which uses Deathrite Shaman and Noble Hierarch to accelerate out Stoneforge Mystic and other threats, specifically True-Name Nemesis and Leovold, Emissary of Trest.



These cards are very unique, in high demand with low supply, and their prices are heading upwards online as they become more relevant in the metagame. The paper prices are likely to follow.

Reanimator

A dark horse in the metagame is Reanimator. Classic Blue-Black has potential, but showing the most results is a Red-Black version that finished second in the MKM Series event. I’m a fan of Reanimate, which covers all the bases, and is trending upwards.


Where do you see the Legacy metagame headed?

--Adam

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