So Many Insane Plays – Why Survival Should Not Be Banned in Legacy, But Will Be Anyway

Survival of the Fittest is putting up unseemly – even gaudy – performance statistics. By any reasonable accounting, it’s dominating the Legacy format, if measured primarily by performance on the StarCityGames (SCG) Legacy Open series. I won’t rehash that data. Admittedly, there is some question about the scope of the data – whether its exclusive reliance on American tournament performance is truly representative of global metagame dominance. More than a few European players point to the European championships as counter-evidence (Editor’s Note: as well as the LCL series and every other large European tournament that is not SCG). But with that caveat, there is more than enough statistical evidence of Survival dominance.

In the Lab – Brainstorming Legacy Affinity

In the Lab - Brainstorming Legacy Affinity

Since the printing of Mirrodin and Darksteel enterprising mages have been brainstorming the best ways to break the Affinity mechanic. Effects that multiply anything (see: Berserk, Fork, the Storm mechanic) have traditionally been very powerful, and the DCI has treaded very carefully with those effects. The Affinity strategy proved sound enough to thoroughly dominate Standard and get all of the good cards banned in Extended, but hasn’t had the kind of strength or staying power in Legacy to keep it in Tier 1 or Tier 2 status.

The recent printings of more powerful and useful artifacts in Shards of Alara, M11, and Scars of Mirrodin have given the Affinity archetype even more toys, and with the remaining portion of the new Mirrodin block on the horizon there are potentially even more goodies that can be added to the pool of playable options. So let’s jump in and take a long hard look at most of the relevant cards to Affinity and Legacy as it stands in 20104Q, in our latest In the Lab article. (check it out after the jump!)

Could Masters Edition 4 Change the Banned & Restricted Lists?

Last week, Patrick Chapin wrote on Twitter:

Library of Alexandria is not being placed on Online Classic Restricted List (when other ME4 cards are). Is this a hint as to next B/R list?

That rumor was spread world wide and actually a lot of people started to think about how Library of Alexandria would impact Legacy and Vintage online. People on seem mixed about the possibility of LOA entering the Legacy format. Patrick Chapin’s rumor was actually true, as today we’ve seen the official changes to the MTGO Banned and Restricted lists, and Library is unrestricted in MTGO Classic. When it comes to changes to the B/R lists we always hope they come for good, so we’ll see if these little online hints then in turn have any bearing on the the paper formats. So far these are the new changes to the online lists:

Classic MTGO: Fastbond, Mana Vault, Time Vault, Trinisphere and Wheel of Fortune are Restricted.

Legacy MTGO: Fastbond, Library of Alexandria, Mana Vault, Mishra’s Workshop, Time Vault and Wheel of Fortune are Banned.

(The ME4 release also affects other MTGO formats like 100 Card Singleton, Tribal, Prismatic, etc.)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Magic Online, you should know that the Masters Editions are sets that reprint old staples for the online formats Classic (Vintage) and Legacy.  You can find the full spoiler of the cards to be released with ME4 right after the break:

In the Lab – Legacy Transformers

In the history of Magic: The Gathering, milling your opponent has been always a fun (but not always great) way to win the games. WotC keeps printing cards that throw cards from top of the deck to the graveyard, but generally all those cards suck. Even though we know how bad of a strategy milling is we keep trying it.

The following In the Lab article talks about my latest (monster) creation: Transformers. You can keep reading about it after the break.

StarCityGames Boston Legacy $5K – Top 16 Decklists

The Boston SCG Open Series Legacy  $5K tournament has come to an end with James Rynkiewicz taking home the winner tittle (and $2000). Survival of the Fittest wins for the second time in a row in yet another outstanding performance. The combination of the green enchantment with Vengevine seems to be dominating the boards and a good prove of that are those 7 out 16 decks of SCG Boston Top16 that were playing 4 Survival of the Fittest + 4 Vengevine.

It seems to us that the new Legacy trend to combat Vengevine Survival is actually playing it. Someone once said:

If you can’t beat them, join them.

That sentence is, somehow, full of win. Sad but true. The current Legacy situation deserves a full article, as there are lot of key factors that can define why Legacy is plagued with Vengevines. We’d love to know more about the following poll we are presenting:

Do you consider Legacy a healthy format?

View Results

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Right after the break you can find the Top 16 decks of the StarCityGames Boston Legacy $5K.

Star City Games – Boston LIVE Broadcast!

The last stop of 2010 Star City Games Open Series circuit is taking place this weekend in Boston and here we are again with the LIVE Broadcast of the Legacy main event. Last week Survival of the Fittest did an outstanding performance placing 5 out of 8 decks in the Top8, but, will the green enchantment repeat such a performance? Or will people be more prepared to combat it?

Hope you guys enjoy the coverage, which should start around 17:00 CET (Central European Time). After the break, the chat and the information we gather about the event:

LCL Badalona (October 2010) – Top8 Legacy decklists & Videos

Here we are once again with the videos and decklists of the Catalan Legacy League (LCL) that took place this October in Badalona with yet another incredible participation of 100 players. This is the second time in a row that the LCL gets 100+ players. If you ever go to Barcelona and want to play some Legacy, you should definitely check in at the LCL.

The LCL videos are brought, as usual by Enric, and the top8 decklists were provided by Roger Riera. To both of them, thank you for such an amazing work. This is how the top8 matches went:


  • Iván de Castro (UW Training Rebels) – Iván Carrillo (U Merfolks)
  • Victor Martínez (Countertop Progenitus) – Lluis Restoy (UGB Survi-Parras-Ooze)
  • Francisco González (Survi-Welder) – Mario Fortes (GW Survi-Parras)
  • Oscar Mesegué (Goblins) – Alberto Manchado (Countertop Bant)


  • Iván Carrillo (U Merfolks) – Alberto Manchado (Countertop Bant)
  • Victor Martínez (Countertop Progenitus) – Francisco González (Survi-Welder)


  • Victor Martínez (Countertop Progenitus) – Alberto Manchado (Countertop Bant)

The videos and the Top8 decklists, right after the break:

2011 Star City Games Open Series Information and Calendar

2011 Open Series

Here at Eternal Central we are huge fans of the great work Star City Games is putting together. We are bringing you the live coverages of their events thanks to and we’ll continue to do that next year. (Remember that next stop of 2010 SCG Open series is this weekend in Boston). Their tournaments define (somehow) what’s trendy in Legacy and what’s not. It inspires us to write about Legacy and we hope it inspires you guys to play better.

Anyways, we just wanted to share with you guys the official announcement of the 2011 Open Series. Get ready for some serious Draft/Standard/Legacy action coming up next year. Right after the break all the information that SCG has provided:

Instant Analysis – SCG Charlotte $5K Legacy

Instant Analysis Charlotte

As the leaves turn warm shades of yellow, orange, and red, and the temperature cools this early fall, the Legacy scene continues to burn brightly. The StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K tournament was held this weekend, and 147 competitors with decks in hands traveled to Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) to compete for $5,000 in prizes and to earn more SCG Open Series points towards the huge tournament later this year.

Relative SCG circuit newcomer Nicholas Spagnolo fought through 8 rounds of Swiss and then an action packed Top 8 to win the title of SCG Charlotte champion. He did it by piloting an innovative UG Vengevine Survival deck, tricked-out with 4 Trinket Mage and a small package of utility cards that the Mage could fetch. While we are seeing Survival decks continue to mutate and blossom, what else did we learn from this tournament that we can apply in the next couple of months? Find out after the jump!

StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K – Top 16 Decklists

StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K Top 8

The StarCityGames Charlotte Legacy $5K event has come and gone this weekend, and Nicholas Spagnolo is your SCG Charlotte champion! 147 players came out to compete in the Legacy portion, and in a field packed with Survival of the Fittest another 5 players made Top 8 with the enchantment, and 7 out of the Top 16 were Survival-based decks. These included UG Survival, WG Survival, and Necrotic Ooze Survival. Check out the entire Top 16 decklists after the jump!

Star City Games – Charlotte LIVE Broadcast!

The next stop of the Star City Games Open Series circuit is taking place this weekend in Charlotte, NC, and here you’ll find the LIVE broadcasts of both Standard and Legacy SCG $5K events. Will Survival of the Fittest dominate the Legacy event like at the last SCG $5K stop? Stay tuned to see what happens!

As bonus coverage, we can add that today in the LCL (Catalan Legacy League, Barcelona – 100 players), 3 Survival decks made Top 8. Despite another impressive showing for Survival of the Fittest, the 2 players that made it into the Finals were piloting CounterTop Bant (one with Natural Order and one without).

Right after the break you can follow the chat and read more facts about the Legacy Event (as soon as the information is being released).