There has been a lot of talk about Standard and Modern over the past few weeks but let's not forget about eternal Magic! Much of the hot-topic talk has surrounded the new Standard metagame and whether or not Aetherworks Marvel should have been banned. Modern, for its part, is always big news.
But Legacy may be the most interesting Magic happening at the moment, and we've barely heard a peep about it over the past few weeks. The Pro Tour and Grand Prix circuits obviously give the other formats more coverage, but as far as shake-ups and interesting changes go, Legacy is in a very interesting period in its history.
The banning of Sensei's Divining Top has drastically shaken up the format over the past month—not that most people would actually know, because there haven't been many high-profile events to review. Yet, with summer coming there will be lots of Legacy to be played in high-profile events. It seems like getting ahead of the Legacy train and looking for value could be a very nice play right now.
Legacy has the obvious advantage of never rotating and having Reserved List cards. Let's take a look at some of my picks for Legacy and my thoughts behind them.
Miracles being ousted from the Legacy landscape has opened up a ton of room for creature and midrange decks to do their thing. Miracles has traditionally been extremely efficient at punishing slower, grindier decks because it simply has the ability to grind harder and longer.
Without Top in the format there is now a place for midrange decks, and True-Name Nemesis really takes the cake in these builds. I've noticed from reviewing MTGO league results that there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of TNNs seeing play in Legacy. Regardless of whether people are playing Delver, Sultai Midrange, or Stoneblade it is consistent that most lists feature between 2-4 copies of TNN.
It is possible that once the hive mind catches up to the trend of playing more TNN that the demand will sharply spike and the price could go on the rise. Nemesis is just a great card in the general sense, it's very powerful, and increased play could easily increase its current value.
Another trend that I've stumbled upon in reviewing Legacy results is that Delver has dramatically increased its market share. As far as league results go, Delver is the obvious tier-one strategy almost regardless of what color combination it slots into. UR, Grixis, Sultai, RUG and Esper are all viable options and they all make use of the Delver of Secrets.
Delver doesn't see a ton of Modern play at the moment but that could also change in the future, especially if Wizards eventually clamps down on Death's Shadow.
All things considered, Delver has never been reprinted in a supplementary set which means there is a limited supply available. Obviously Delver is a common, but look at what happened with Ancient Stirrings! Delver is obviously a more iconic card than Stirrings. A treasure trove of extra Delvers could prove to be a nice little nest egg for the future.
If Delver becomes the default "best" strategy in Legacy (as the results suggest might end up happening), there is a good chance we will see upward movement on the card. It makes sense.
I would be shocked if these two staple cards didn't see significant movement by the end of the summer. In fact, I recently moved in and picked up a personal playset of both cards just to make sure I'm not behind the curve!
If the default best deck is likely to be Delver, that means that Death and Taxes could be a very strong Legacy deck. To be fair, Death and Taxes has always been a good deck but it seems that perhaps it becomes even better positioned with Miracles out of the metagame. Miracles was always a bad match-up for Death and Taxes, and as a Miracles player I can vouch for that fact.
Lands is still a rough match up for D&T but the deck is fairly decent against many of the combo decks. I'm seriously considering taking up the Death and Taxes mantle in the coming weeks. The deck is very good.
I really like the Conspiracy: Take the Crown cards as speculative targets because most people don't own these cards. They are fairly uncommon because Conspiracy wasn't widely opened or drafted by most players. In fact, I had to buy them online because none of my local game stores had them in stock! If Death and Taxes becomes more popular it makes sense that a lot of people will be looking for these cards on the net at the same time, which could move the needle on the price tag.
Jitte, what a card...
One thing I've noticed about Legacy is that Jitte is in the 75 of nearly every deck that wins with creatures. It's like a default, "put it in your deck" Legacy card. It is so incredibly efficient at grinding out creature-based wars of attrition. It's great in the Stoneforge Mystic-based Stoneblade and Death and Taxes decks.
It's also a necessary sideboard card against strategies like Elves where recurring removal is a must.
There is also the looming possibility that Jitte could eventually get unbanned in Modern and if that ever happens? Much dollar signs.
Despite the fact that Jitte is better in Legacy than it ever has been, the price is at a long-time low. It feels like a great time to stock up and hold onto Umezawa's Jitte. Jitte sword fights are going to be a big part of Legacy this summer, so don't be late to the party!
Rishadan Port is a four-of in two of the best decks in Legacy, Lands and Death and Taxes. The card is extremely hard to get ahold of and with Miracles off the map, a bunch of people will likely be looking to transition decks in the summertime when eternal MTG traditionally starts to heat up.
Port is a tough card to get ahold of and it isn't going to get any easier until a reprint comes around. Even when Port is potentially reprinted it likely won't hurt the value too much, since it will be a mythic rare and the old card face is so sick!
I could see this card rising a significant percent as we get a clearer picture of the Legacy metagame and Port-based decks are among the best decks. It is also worth noting that I've heard rumblings of tribal aggro Goblin decks making a comeback and these decks take advantage of Port. Also, some builds of Dragon Stompy are known to Port as well.
It's just a great card that slots into a wide range of playable, awesome Legacy decks!
Standstill is a pretty outside-the-box pick to round out the article, but I think the card has a lot of potential. I've played my fair share of Stoneforge Mystic/Standstill decks over the years and there is a chance that kind of deck could be pretty sweet moving forward.
Standstill has only seen one reprint (as a book promo) and is basically dirt cheap for a Legacy/Vintage staple from such an old set. It's also a fairly iconic spell.
Standstill probably can't be much cheaper than it is now which makes it a great spec target. The upside seems pretty high. There is a good chance that I brew up some Legacy Landstill decks in the coming weeks to play in tournaments. It's a powerful enchantment!
Legacy season is approaching. Summer has always been the hotbed for eternal play. Keep your ear to the ground and start thinking about Legacy cards before everybody is looking to pick up staples for their new summer decks. Don't wait until its too late!