February Heritage Metagame Breakdown
Hello everyone, This is BoboFraggles once again bringing you an article from The Magic Online Society: Your Digital LGS. This time I’m bringing you a metagame analysis of the most recent Heritage League. If you do not know what Heritage is, it is legacy without any supplemental products. In a snapshot, this means cards like TNN, Murktide Regent, Baleful Strix, & Dragons Rage Channeler are not legal!
The Magic Online Society held its first league in February and we were off to a start with 5 total players. This event was very small but like all great things, they start with a small push. One thing became clear after this league started though, combo is king in the early game! The initial metagame can be found at the following link: https://gatherling.com/eventreport.php?event=MOS%20February%20Heritage%20League.
The MOS uses Gatherling.com to save all of our deck lists, eventually there will be enough so that players can search for decks that they want easily! We will also compile all the deck lists in the Heritage Discord server, so visit there for more information on these deck lists. We are going to cover the event, the decks within, and take a guess at what the March metagame will look like.
To start the series, we had 5 players in the event and guess what….we had 4 combo decks. Combo was clearly king to start off our first league. Unfortunately for the person playing a fair deck, it was incredibly weak to combo. So to start this off, let's look at what won the event….Bant Infect!
Bant Infect is a deck that uses the infect mechanic to win the game. Creatures with infect deal poison counters instead of regular damage and since 10 poison counters wins you the game, combinations of cards like Invigorate and Berserk give +10 power to the creature and you win in a single turn. Personally, this is my favorite legacy deck of all time and definitely one of the ones that has the most to gain from no supplemental products. Without the insane removal spells printed in supplemental products such as unholy heat, solitude, and fury, backed behind insane pressure in the form of Dragons Rage Channeler and Murktide Regent, this deck has real potential within the Heritage metagame.
This deck went 3-1 in the round robin phase and eventually won in the finals against Mershift (a really cool deck we will talk about next). In the round robin phase, Infect won against Elves, ANT, and Burn. The only deck this lost to in the round robin phase was Mershift. So with an overall 4-1 record, the deck is very good. With inclusions from newer sets like Ajani, Sleeper Agent, going Bant allows for Swords to Plowshares and Rest In Peace for powerful sideboard options. This deck can only get better with the release of Phyrexia: All Will Be One, so stay tuned for updates to this list! You can find the decklist for Bant Infect here: https://gatherling.com/deck.php?mode=view&id=117840 , and we hope you give it a try in a coming league!
Mono Blue Mershift
Coming in second for the league is a really cool deck known as Mershift. This is classic Mono Blue Merfolk with a powerful combo finish. This deck is great because it basically has 2 gameplans, go aggro with stompy fish or win out of nowhere with a powerful 2 card combo.
The combo revolves around the card Paradigm Shift and Thassa’s Oracle. Paradigm shift making your library incredibly small, combined with Thassa’s Oracle win condition, it's a nice finish. This deck has serious potential and within the piloting hands of Eggy216, it's an extremely powerful deck that you should be taking notice of!
This deck went 3-1 in the round robin phase, only losing to Elves. It was strong enough to make the top 2, where it had a rematch vs Infect and was unable to come out on top. This is not the end for this deck, I expect we will see it regularly in the league. The decklist for Mershift can be found here: https://gatherling.com/deck.php?mode=view&id=118072
ANT, Elves and Burn
The other decks in the league included ANT, which went 2-2 in the round robin phase. I think this was an underperformance of the deck, ANT is an insanely powerful deck and everyone who plays heritage should be on the lookout for it. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of what it loses from supplemental products, so it should be a strong contender moving forward. You can find the ANT list here: https://gatherling.com/deck.php?mode=view&id=117928 Another deck that didn’t show its true capability is Elves. Elves lose a good bit from no supplemental products as Allosaurus Shepherd is from Jumpstart. The deck is still insanely strong and has an early winning potential. I expect to see this deck do alot better in a fairer metagame. You can find the Elves list here: https://gatherling.com/deck.php?mode=view&id=118069
The last deck we will talk about is Burn. Burn got the rough end of the stick in this league. Not having access to Force of Will in a metagame as combo heavy as this one, it's no surprise that it went 1-3 in the round robin phase. I truly believe that Burn can be an extremely powerful deck choice and one bad showing does not mean it shouldn’t be played. In a fairer, delver heavy metagame, I believe burn can rise to the top. It was unlucky this month, but I expect it to be strong in the future as the metagame evolves.
You can find the burn list here:https://gatherling.com/deck.php?mode=view&id=118084
March Metagame Expectation
With February under the belt, we can only expect that March will bring some fairer decks that will hate on combo. Decks that immediately come to mind include Death and Taxes, Delver and UW Control. Although Death and Taxes loses many cards such as Recruiter of the Guard and Sanctum Prelate, it has the potential to be strong with Thalia and mana suppression.
One deck that was clearly absent was Delver. Delver, love it or hate it, acts like a glue for legacy. It holds the format in a balance of not to slow, not too fast, not too combo heavy, not too fair. I think a Delver in the mix whether it be Blue-Red, RUG or BUG has big potential. I hope to see some fairer decks in the future.
This article column will publish at the end of each month, so please stay tuned for March’s Hertiage Metagame Breakdown! As always, thanks for reading! Danny AKA BoBoFraggles