Legacy: The Importance of Control Decks

Miracles has always been a pivotal deck in Legacy since its creation back in 2008. The deck has held a very prominent position throughout its history, enjoying a meta share of over 10% for most of the time it’s been played. Due to its high success rate, many players have called for one of the deck’s most important cards, Sensei’s Divining Top, to be banned from the format. However, would a ban such as this really be beneficial for Legacy as a whole?

While yes, banning Miracles would rid the format of an incredibly powerful deck that arguably suppresses other strategies, it would by no means make the format a more balanced place. Control decks in any meta game are a vital part to the continued health of Legacy – and any format, for that matter. They stop hyper aggressive combo decks and abusive shenanigans from occurring. Without a truly playable control deck, a format will fall into the likes of combo and aggro, every match becoming who could make the faster deck. While there are other control decks in Legacy, Miracles has specifically become the deck that stops the format from tipping over the edge into insanity. While in some cases the deck is perhaps a bit too powerful and does slightly inhibit diversity,  the benefits of having such a control strategy should not be swept aside entirely.

Elves, Storm, and almost all aggro decks (except Goblins) are among the decks that Miracles helps to keep at bay. While the outright banning of the strategy would not entirely destroy Legacy, possibly even providing some format diversity, a new – and quite possibly far more oppressive – top deck would just take its place. Without the creation of Miracles, the Legacy format would be on a similar path as Modern. A lack of powerful control decks just leads formats down the path to hyper aggression, where every game becomes a dice roll. Without Miracles, it’s quite possible that no new deck would take its place in keeping insanely oppressive decks at bay – especially Elves.

Miracles is an Elves predator. No other control deck in the format can deal with the creature combo deck as powerfully as Miracles. Whenever there is a meta game where Miracles is not played heavily, Elves always seems to do incredibly well, almost taking over the tournament. Death and Taxes gets absolutely destroyed by it, and BUG control definitely struggles by. So, if anything, Miracles prevents Elves from becoming an incredibly oppressive deck that pushes out various other decks and therefore lowers diversity.

There are definitely decks that can beat Miracles; Eldrazi aggro, for example, is a pivotal deck in keeping Miracles at bay, proving to be an incredibly good match. Death and Taxes also has quite a good chance against it as well (Miracles can almost never deal with a resolved Aether Vial). So while Miracles does have some incredibly good match-ups and a lack of horrible ones, there are definitely decks that can very easily stand a chance against it.

With control decks being so important in a meta game, it seems an unwise choice to haphazardly ban Miracles from Legacy. The formats’ premier control deck not only stops even more oppressive strategies from becoming too powerful, but can very easily be beaten by various decks that are also heavily played. Miracles’ placement in the Legacy meta game has almost become an integral part to the continued health of the format, and without it, it is very possible that Legacy would quickly become overrun by fast aggro and combo decks, which no other deck can efficiently deal with.

I hope this article was helpful to you in some way! Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or concerns in the section below.

And, as always, happy gaming!




Sylvan Studies Team
- A swords a day keeps the goyfs away.

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