Tuesday, January 31, 2023

This Week in Legacy: The Rise of Breakfast

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Howdy folks! It’s time yet again for another edition of This Week in Legacy! I’m your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we’re going to be talking about one of the decks that has risen out of the Initiative/Delver slugfest and that’s Cephalid Breakfast! While this deck has been around for a long time in the format, it’s definitely in a solid position right now in the format. In other news we’ve got info on a SCG event from over the weekend, some Challenge data and some paper event info.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Eat Some Breakfast!

Legacy lately has been rather… interesting one can say with the advent of a format dominated by UR Delver/White Stompy (Initiative) decks. In response to that however, plenty of different decks have risen to the forefront of playability due to the fact that their matchups versus these top two decks is generally pretty strong.

One of those decks is Cephalid Breakfast. The very basis of this deck functions on the following two cards:

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This combo deck has its roots in old Extended, where it was heavily popularized by World Champ Javier Dominguez who was one of the creators of the deck. The idea is that you use the ability of Nomads en-Kor to redirect damage as an activation that targets the Illusionist, which will trigger the Illusionist’s ability that self-mills three cards. In the current era of this combo, the win condition of the deck is Thassa’s Oracle (in the old Extended days it was Sutured Ghoul with Dragon Breath that won the game).

Breakfast is a thoroughly unique deck mainly because while it is a combo/control variant, its other half of the deck sits within a fair Stoneblade shell that is actually pretty powerful, especially when you consider the fact that one of the other ways to force through the combo here is with an actual piece of equipment.

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Shuko has a weird ruling to it that you can activate the equip ability targeting the same creature that Shuko is attached to it, and because you can activate this for zero, you can do it as much as you want which will trigger the Illusionist’s ability.

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Breakfast as a deck has evolved quite a bit over time, but it’s been handed many cards that make it a powerful strategy that one doesn’t fully consider. What makes this deck great right now is that it has a fairly reasonable enough Delver matchup (it’s not always great, but it can win) and that the Initiative matchup is very good. Because the combo itself is hard to actually interrupt (as any sort of instant speed removal with Nomads in play is bust because you can just keep activating Nomads in response) and largely ignores what the opponent is often doing (you don’t really care about much things when you are just hitting a Dread Return on an Oracle with an empty library) so it is able to just move at its own pace.

Even then, if the opponent has a way of dealing with the combo at all, the Breakfast deck can easily switch gears and move into a fair Tempo / Stoneblade strategy and win with powerful cards like Kaldra Compleat.

This is definitely a deck to keep an eye on right now unless something changes in the Legacy format, as it’s a deck that can do very well amidst the swath of Initiative and Delver decks out there, while having a reasonably strong game versus other decks that may be unprepared for it to do its thing.

Paper Event News – Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy 11

We’ve got a bit of paper event news with another upcoming Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy even on 3/4/2023 at The Warp Gate in Westerville, Ohio. You can find the tweet about it here. This event is already sold out though, so that’s super cool. I should be at this event so that will be fun.

SCGCon New Jersey Legacy 10K 1/14

This past weekend was SCGCon in New Jersey and they had a Legacy 10K held there. This event had 169 players in it, which is stellar for sure.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

UR Delver and White Stompy were both pretty neck and neck here with both decks taking up nearly 40-45% of the overall metagame. Both of these decks had strong win rates of 54-55% and looked very good in this event. Cephalid Breakfast also did quite well (as we discussed earlier in this article about this deck).

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing Player Name
UR Delver 1st Dave Kaplan
UR Delver 2nd Jeffrey Carr
Painter 3rd Jordan McCutcheon
Grixis Delver 4th Matthew Long
8Cast 5th Colin Lugo
Black Stompy 6th Michael LeVine
Reanimator 7th Gberlinrut
Cephalid Breakfast 8th Devin Reilly

White Stompy did not convert into the Top 8 at all, but if you look at the Top 16 it definitely dominated in that area, which is why it has such a solid win rate in this event. At the end of the event it was a mirror match between UR Delver that made the finals, with 90sMTG / Gamestoria regular Dave Kaplan taking home the grand prize!

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This is a very lean and solid list, very much geared towards the current metagame. Note the lack of main deck Pyroblast here in respecting the fact that Initiative is a deck that exists, and by all accounts, Dave played against a lot of Initiative throughout the day. The Fury in the sideboard as well as the Unchained Berserker seem really good there in being able to clear away Initiative creatures and steal back the Initiative.

As noted, the Second Place finalist was also on UR Delver.

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Very similar in construction to Dave’s list here, with one MD Pyroblast. The tech for the Initiative matchup we see here is Blood Knight out of the sideboard and we can also see Pyrokinesis over a potential Fury likely due to the fact that it’s an Instant. Seems interesting for sure.

Legacy Challenge 1/14

The first Challenge of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event. This event had 60 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the datasheet here.

White Stompy was very popular here and its win rate was quite solid. UR Delver was next up but didn’t have as much of a great win rate.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
8Cast 1st Slasher21
4C Uro Control 2nd aManatease
Cephalid Breakfast 3rd CoolUser
Death’s Shadow 4th Oceansoul92
Reanimator 5th DavidvanDerRaven
Doomsday 6th Enrichetta
Sneak and Show 7th ht991122
Esper Vial 8th Carroz

Definitely an interesting Top 8 with some solid variety here among the decks. At the end of the event it was 8Cast that won.

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This list looks quite strong for sure. I like the two copies of Subtlety in the sideboard here, as hedging against the Initiative matchup with a counterspell of sorts that gets through Thalia is pretty groovy. Gingerbrute here is also a sweet way to tech taking the Initiative away.

In Second Place we have 4C Uro Control.

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Very much a solid stock-looking list akin to lists we’ve seen from folks like trunks132 and Ozymandias17. Hitting the right notes here is stuff like Dress Down/Terminus but also Life from the Loam. Very solid list for sure.

Also in this Top 8 we had some Shadow action.

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Interesting list for sure! Grief md is pretty cool and while some of these lists often hinge on having Delver as another one mana threat, this one just focuses on disruption and strong cards. Four main deck Snuff Out is also really powerful.

Legacy Showcase Challenge 1/15

This past weekend was a Showcase Challenge event, which is a premier path play option in which the Top 8 gets invited to the Showcase Qualifier event at the end of the season. Because Showcase Challenges cost QPs to enter, this is a very competitive event. This particular event had 191 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Legacy Data Collection Project.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the incomplete data sheet here. Technical issues with this event prevented us from collecting the full data so we don’t have fancy graphs. If you think you can help us out, let us know!

What we do know from the data we have (which is a good portion of the event) is that White Stompy and Delver both made up nearly 50% of the event, which is pretty insane, and both decks had really strong win rates.

Let’s take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Delver 1st JUJUBEAN__2004
Cephalid Breakfast 2nd CoolUser
White Stompy 3rd Promidnightz
UR Delver 4th Diem4x
UR Delver 5th qbturtler15
The EPIC Storm 6th Bryant_Cook
UR Delver 7th 7991ociR
UR Delver 8th Boland

Holy moly that is a lot of Delver in this Top 8. 4 copies of UR Delver and one copy of Grixis Delver which is mainly playing Snuff Out. Just wild to see. We do have some outliers, but at the end of the event Grixis Delver was the winner.

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As noted, the black splash here is exceptionally light and it’s mainly to enable Snuff Out as a premium zero mana removal spell, most likely against decks like White Stompy. Seems quite strong here.

In Second Place we’ve got Cephalid Breakfast.

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We talked about this one quite a bit in this article and it showing up in several events this weekend is no joke. It’s definitely a powerful deck with a strong combo finish that is hard to interact with.

Speaking of combo decks, the father of The EPIC Storm himself Bryant Cook made an appearance in this event with his signature deck and some interesting new changes.

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Gone is the green splash and Veil of Summer and instead we’ve got cards like Orim’s Chant and Silence back on the menu. Seems pretty cool for sure.

Around the Web

  • Eternal Durdles talks about building a Legacy deck in this economy. Check it out here.
  • TonyScapone has a new videon on Turbo ANT! Check it out here.
  • The Eternal Glory Podcast has a new episode on the Initiative deck. Check it out here.
  • 4C Yorion with Lotus Petal! Check it out here.
  • 90sMTG has some Initiative matchups in paper Legacy! Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week’s 5-0 deck lists over here.

This one is not from this past week’s decklists, but holy cow this is awesome.

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Deadguy Ale with stuff like Phyrexian Fleshgorger?!

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Yorion 4C with LOTUS PETALS.

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Wrapping Up

That’s all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Legacy!

As always you can reach me at all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition I’m always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGLegacy Discord Server.

Until next time!

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