We were back in Cardiff on Friday, for another Legacy FNM, following on from the hugely successful quarterly.
17 players turned up and what a field it was. Paper mtg tends to have the issue of changing sometimes expensive decks, which is why every local meta tends to be very different to online, where people can swap decks far more easily and the only constraint happens when there is an artificial online shortage of a particular card from the renters. Whilst the online meta seems to revolve around UR monkeys, we are very lucky in to have a lot of players who have shells that can build several Legacy decks, and so we can get a more interesting metagame each month packed with variety than most, and none of the homogenisation that we see online.
This month we have combo central. Of our 17 players a whopping 8.5 were combo decks, as defined by MTG top 8. The 0.5 was me, as I played an unclassified leyline/helm brew, that falls somewhere in between control and combo. Only ONE straight control deck turned up- Jeskai Miracles. Three months ago it was Delver/Monkey and bant control central, and this time just one delver turned up.
The 12 pointer tonight was sneak and show, one of my loan decks borrowed at the last minute. Nothing fancy, just what you would expect.

Dragon stompy was next on 9, alongside Storm- TES, Elves with, of course, Grist, Titan post, and Maverick striking a lone blow for fair decks. Infect finished the positive records with 7 (I was the draw, grimly finishing game 3 on 9 poison in round 2).
The remaining archetypes were, in no particular order
UWr miracles
Yorion D n T
regular D N T
Grixis DRC doomsday
ANT storm
Izzet delver
Eldrazi aggro
Dragon stompy
medium BG depths
The absence of both blue and non blue control is interesting. As someone who always favoured non blue controlling deck, I do think these are dark days if you want to lock people out of games. The quality of removal has gone up, the quality of threats exponentially so. Over a period of years, the constant design has been towards "interaction", which is code for stronger and stronger threats, and increasingly flexible answers. Planeswalkers have gotten better, creatures better, win cons better, but the rest of the game- artifacts, enchantments etc. has not. This leaves prison pieces in the dust, unless they also have a clock i.e. are creatures, and as I wrote recently on reddit, I used to resolve a chalice and whilst it was not gg, it meant I could get further permanents down whilst the cantrip cartel became the no-trip cartel for a few turns. Not anymore, thanks to Prismatic Ending. Chalice seems better nowadays on zero for the LED decks than it does for 1 against the cartel. Decks like "red prison" now swing and win in a couple of turns after landing a lock piece. Merfolk now seems to look more like Fish n Taxes daily. Lands looks quite likely to beat you up with enormous constructs rather than Port you to distraction. Threats [creatures] better, answers more flexible, prison pieces the same as ever means that it is inevitable that old fashioned control will decrease in efficiency as it has done for most of Modern's life. The only thing keeping it going in Legacy is the Brainstorm shell, thank goodness.
Combo meanwhile naturally gets better, thanks to a deepening pool. All it takes is one Thassa's Oracle and a whole deck can rise to the top as it has with Doomsday, and may do with Aluren and the venture into the dungeon critter with the unpronouncable name. If you are looking to control a match you need to answer 20/20s @ EOT from depths, Thassa's Oracle in Doomsday, and multiple spells a turn from decks such as Elves, Tin Fins, Bomberman, and Storm etc., as well as the old A + B favourites of Grindstone/painter, Leyline Helm (recently seen this past week in both an old style Stax list and mono B in the 5-0s), not to mention Reanimator. It is a bigger list and it will get bigger.