Brewing with M15 - Legacy Storm

Life’s Legacy Storm, to be exact.

Someone on the Source wanted to try it out in a RUG Delver like shell using Kiln Fiend, so that gave me ideas. It is pretty competitively costed for Legacy, so that got me thinking - Kiln Fiend + Life’s Legacy can actually draw a TON of cards…and what do you do with a ton of extra cards? Storm em out.

Creatures - 11
  • 4 Delver of Secrets
  • 3 Nivmagus Elemental
  • 4 Kiln Fiend
Spells - 35
  • 4 Brainstorm
  • 4 Ponder
  • 4 Gitaxian Probe
  • 4 Daze
  • 2 Force of Will
  • 3 Life’s Legacy
  • 4 Manamorphose
  • 4 Rite of Flame
  • 4 Lotus Petal
  • 2 Grapeshot
Lands - 14
  • 4 Flooded Strand
  • 4 Scalding Tarn
  • 4 Volcanic Island
  • 2 Tropical Island

This list is really rough. I like the idea of having a deck that attacks on two different plans - a Delver like strategy and then a Storm strategy, but I’m not sure if that’s correct. It also probably needs more ritual effects. Nivmagus Elemental acts as another KIln Fiend effect, but it’s also possible that Wee Dragonauts could be in that spot instead (the 3 CMC is pretty prohibitive though).

Pact of Negation could also replace Force of Will as a way to get a free spell in.

It would be interesting to see where this kind of deck goes - Life’s Legacy certainly has some sort of potential in Legacy since it’s a pretty cheap card to cast and draws a ton of cards (if set up right).

Brewing with M15 - Meathooks

Slivers are back! Kinda. There aren’t really any new exciting Slivers for Legacy but a rainbow land for Slivers certainly adds more potential for a rainbow land version of Slivers. In fact, it may be possible to not run any dual lands or fetchlands, which would lower the cost of the deck a lot! Here is a possible decklist:

Creatures - 37

  • 4 Galerider Sliver
  • 4 Striking Sliver
  • 4 Muscle Sliver
  • 4 Predatory Sliver
  • 4 Sinew Sliver
  • 4 Crystalline Sliver
  • 4 Heart Sliver
  • 4 Hibernation Sliver
  • 3 Syphon Sliver
  • 2 Phantasmal Image

Spells - 4

  • 4 AEther Vial

Lands - 19

  • 4 Sliver Hive
  • 4 Cavern of Souls
  • 3 Mana Confluence
  • 4 Ancient Ziggurat
  • 4 Mutavault

The deck seems pretty self-explanatory. Unfortunately the manabase restricts a lot of the deckbuilding, so it’s going to be super vulnerable to combo decks and even like Batterskull (though Striking Sliver/Hibernation Sliver/Galerider Sliver can allow you to punch through it). It could certainly support Dismember, maybe even maindeck, but I wanted room for Phantasmal Image.

The sideboard would likely consist of a ton of anti-combo like Thalias, Mindbreak Traps, and maybe even Thorn of Amethyst.

Unfortunately, other than Sliver Hive & Act on Impulse, I don’t really see much for Legacy in M15. What do you think?


AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

July Event

Date: July 27th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Pop Culture Paradise, 715 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Revised Bayou + OVERSIZED PLAYMAT
2nd Place: 1 Flooded Strand
As usual, more prizes based on attendance. One lucky player who did not make the Top 8 at the end of the Swiss rounds will receive a box of M15!

Decklists will be required.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries

Link to Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/647502048677852/

Budget Brewing in Legacy with M15

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Act on Impulse

This card caused quite a hullabaloo when it was first spoiled. The red Ancestral Recall? Quite possibly, they said.

Well, we’re about 20 years past the point when this card could have been absolutely bonkers, so now we’re left with a three mana version of what might have been. Clearly the card begs to be put into a storm shell, but the power level really isn’t there in Legacy, where ANT and TES jam four copies of Brainstorm. Well, it’s worth trying…

Monored Storm

Creatures - 2

  • 2 Goblin Bushwhacker

Spells - 44

  • 4 Lotus Petal
  • 4 Rite of Flame
  • 4 Desperate Ritual
  • 4 Seething Song
  • 4 Gitaxian Probe
  • 4 Faithless Looting
  • 2 Past in Flames
  • 4 Act on Impulse
  • 4 Reforge the Soul
  • 2 Grapeshot
  • 4 Silence
  • 4 Empty the Warrens

Lands - 14

  • 4 Sandstone Needle
  • 4 Battlefield Forge
  • 3 Gemstone Mine/City of Brass/Mana Confluence
  • 3 Mountain

Certainly this deck is underpowered. But for less than $100, it kind of will be. Act on Impulse gives this deck another “chain”, so to speak - where you can keep looping draw spell after draw spell to try and generate a lethal storm for either Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens + Goblin Bushwhacker. Splashing for the Silence is kind of a necessary evil since you can’t really fight Force of Will efficiently otherwise - discard would be fine, but when you have Reforge the Soul, blanking all of their counterspells for one W is probably better.

For other similar ideas, I would recommend checking out the Sac Land Tendrils lists which are also pretty budget (but much more vulnerable to Wasteland).


If you are thinking of attending my AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series: July Event (or any of the other ones), and are interested in any of the lists I post, shoot me a message! We can tune it together.

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

July Event

Date: July 27th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Pop Culture Paradise, 715 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Revised Bayou + OVERSIZED PLAYMAT
2nd Place: 1 Flooded Strand
As usual, more prizes based on attendance. One lucky player who did not make the Top 8 at the end of the Swiss rounds will receive a box of M15!

Decklists will be required.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries

Link to Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/647502048677852/

The Rewards of running a Legacy Series

One reason why I love running a Legacy Series in Arizona is seeing all of the different decks that people bring out. It’s one thing to see the top results of a SCG Legacy Open, another thing to play in a local Legacy event, and a completely different thing to watch the entire field duke it out once a month (or in August’s case, twice a month!)

The inspiration for the Thoughtseize Reprint Series article I wrote a couple weeks ago was a budget 8Rack deck I saw in our April Event, for example.

This past event I saw a friend of mine play a deck that I had always read about on Salvation but had never really seen in action: FaerieNinjaStill. Despite the terrible name (I would just prefer to call the deck Ninjas or something), it looked awesome in execution. He started up 2-0 before dropping a couple of matches and heading home, but watching the deck in action was golden. Luckily, since I run the tournament and collect decklists (for precisely this reason!), I hope he won’t mind me posting his list here:

Creatures

  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Signal Pest
  • 3 Zephyr Sprite
  • 4 Spellstutter Sprite
  • 4 Cloud of Faeries
  • 4 Mistblade Shinobi
  • 4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
  • 1 Higure, the Still Wind

Spells

  • 4 Standstill
  • 3 Spell Pierce
  • 2 Familiar’s Ruse
  • 2 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands

  • 13 Island
  • 4 Faerie Conclave
  • 4 Wasteland

Sideboard

  • 2 Divert
  • 2 Mindbreak Trap
  • 1 Higure, the Still Wind
  • 2 Dismember
  • 2 Vapor Snag
  • 2 Rapid Hybridization
  • 1 Tormod’s Crypt
  • 1 Relic of Progenitus
  • 2 Pithing Needle

If you haven’t seen this deck before, it basically is a ton of synergy packed into zero to two mana creatures. You play cheap fliers, and you use the flyers to attack unopposed to sneak in your Ninjas. the cheap part of the fliers comes in handy when you can cast them again and continue sneaking more NInjas into play. You also play nice creatures with ETB effects like Spellstutter Sprite to keep rebuying that ability. Signal Pest powers up your 1/Xs into a somewhat formidable army.

Standstill ties the whole concept together since you can sneak Ninjas in under the Standstill.

Per the usual, I couldn’t help but notice that the deck was a pretty nice budget option minus the Wastelands - it basically is a pauper deck! Anyway here is a sample list that falls under $70:

Creatures

  • 4 Signal Pest
  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Judge’s Familiar
  • 4 Cloud of Faeries
  • 4 Spellstutter Sprite
  • 4 Mistblade Shinobi
  • 4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
  • 2 Sky Hussar

Spells

  • 4 Standstill
  • 4 Daze
  • 2 Spell Pierce
  • 2 Vapor Snag

Lands

  • 4 Faerie Conclave
  • 14 Island

I think there are a LOT of directions you can take the deck. Here are a couple explanations of the card choices as well as potential ones that I couldn’t find room for:

  • Judge’s Familiar over Zephyr Sprite: A flying Cursecatcher, the one thing that it lacks is not being a faerie. Without testing the deck I have no idea how much Zephyr Sprite helps, so I think the Familiar has a greater utility.
  • Daze: The deck seems like it taps out a lot during the main phase or combat, so having a free counterspell seems good here.
  • Sky Hussar: Directly taken from Greg Hatch’s crazy Mono Blue Martyr deck, this seems like an insane way to generate value under a Standstill, as well as generating an advantage when you can’t attack.

Potential choices:

  • AEther Vial: Slots are tight, but some number of Vial seem good with Standstill and also getting around the mainphase/combat phase mana usage.
  • Cloudfin Raptor: This seems sweet. T1 Raptor & Ornithopter (trigger Evolve). T2 swing, Ninjustsu Ninja of the Deep Hours in, returning Ornithopter, trigger Raptor, deal 4 and draw a card. But the fact that it doesn’t really grow larger than a 2/3 hurts.
  • Mizzium Skin: Dodges targeted removal and hate cards like Golgari Charm. Seems nice as a sideboard option.
  • Scion of Oona: If you want to stay heavy on the Faerie theme, I like this idea.
  • Force of Will and Wasteland: Would be nice inclusions, but I’m looking at a budget list :)
  • Null Rod in the sideboard: Turns out Umezawa’s Jitte is REALLY good against this deck. So is Sword of Fire and Ice. Turning them all off and also Top and opposing Vials is nice too.

Anyway, I’m excited for our event at the end of July yet again. Why does it have to be so far away?

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

July Event

Date: July 27th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Pop Culture Paradise, 715 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Revised Bayou + OVERSIZED PLAYMAT
2nd Place: 1 Flooded Strand
As usual, more prizes based on attendance. One lucky player who did not make the Top 8 at the end of the Swiss rounds will receive a box of M15!

Decklists will be required.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries

Modern PTQ Deck

Played Rb Burn

Creatures -12

  • 4 Goblin Guide
  • 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
  • 4 Grim Lavamancer

Spells - 29

  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 4 Lava Spike
  • 4 Rift Bolt
  • 4 Bump in the Night
  • 4 Searing Blaze
  • 4 Skullcrack
  • 3 Flames of the Blood Hand
  • 2 Shard Volley

Lands -19

  • 4 Scalding Tarn
  • 4 Arid Mesa
  • 4 Blackcleave Cliffs
  • 3 Blood Crypt
  • 1 Stomping Ground
  • 4 Mountain

Sideboard

  • 3 Thoughtseize
  • 3 Torpor Orb
  • 2 Molten Rain
  • 2 Destructive Revelry
  • 2 Anger of the Gods
  • 2 Dragon’s Claw
  • 1 Rakdos Charm

I haven’t played Modern since GP San Diego, so I decided to play Burn instead of UWR Kiki (the Shaun McLaren GP Minneapolis T8 list). I thought I wouldn’t know the format enough, but every match I saw, every match I played, I realized I was much more familiar with the format. So playing a deck like Burn was probably a mistake.

  • Round 1 - Infect - 2-1
  • Round 2 - Infect - 2-0
  • Round 3 - Rw Burn - 0-2
  • Round 4 - UWR Control - 1-2
  • Round 5 - Merfolk - 2-0
  • Round 6 - Zoo - 2-0
  • Round 7 - Scapeshift - 0-2
  • Round 8 - UW Control - 1-2

Eidolons were good, probably played too many Lavamancers, but oh well. Probably not playing this deck again. I like the look of the GB Midrange decks though. Might pick that up for States.

Dread and Taxes or Dreadbears

The newest hatebear (or hatebird as LSV affectionately called it in his preview article) is sure to pack a punch in Modern, where Pod and Twin are top tier decks. In Legacy though, we have to deal with the likes of Delver of Secrets, True-Name Nemesis, and Deathrite Shaman, none of which are stopped by the Gryff. It still stops a decent amount of Legacy cards, such as Stoneforge Mystic, Vendilion Clique, Craterhoof Behemoth, Imperial Recruiter, and

Do we have a deck here? We now have eight Stifle-the-battlefield-effect cards.

Dread and Taxes or Dreadbears (I can’t choose the name!)

Creatures - 21

  • 4 Mother of Runes
  • 4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
  • 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
  • 1 Phyrexian Revoker
  • 4 Hushwing Gryff
  • 2 Aven Mindcensor
  • 1 Ethersworn Canonist
  • 1 Spirit of the Labyrinth

Spells - 17

  • 4 AEther Vial
  • 4 Torpor Orb
  • 4 Swords to Plowshares
  • 2 God’s Willing
  • 3 Enlightened Tutor

Lands - 22

  • 10 Plains
  • 1 Cavern of Souls
  • 3 Karakas
  • 4 Rishadan Port
  • 4 Wasteland

Tiny MD Enlightened Tutor package, but can still fetch either side of the combo too.

Keep in mind that if you play a Dreadnought and Vial another one in, you can sac the Vial’d one in to keep the first. Neat eh?

Know what else is neat?

"Cavern of Souls, naming ‘Dreadnought.’"

Reprint Series - Pernicious Deed

Legacy staples are being reprinted nearly every year. What if you have never played Legacy but get a couple of these cards? What do you do? In the Reprint Series, I’ll be exploring possible budget decks built around these reprints. These lists may or may not be tuned. Proxy these up and see if these lists are within your budget!

Previous Reprint Series posts:

The part of a long list of permanent based sweepers (beginning with Nevinyrral’s Disk), many of them have found a place in Legacy. More recently, Engineered Explosives has been seen comboing with Academy Ruins to lock out an opponent, but people sometimes forget the power of Pernicious Deed, especially in BUG decks back in the day. With Conspiracy bringing back Deed to a new crowd, it could be a new day for this old enchantment.

Abrupt Decay may have taken the forefront as the prime BG removal spell these days, but I wouldn’t discount Pernicious Deed. Its ability to kill massive amounts of creatures but not planeswalkers is a huge boon for control decks, or decks that just go bigger than the X listed in Pernicious Deed.

Pernicious Deed is an awesome card, but there’s just one problem if we’re trying to find a budget deck to build around it: Two. Colors. Our first two cards in this series were easy because they could easily fit into a mono colored deck and thus dodging the real expensive part of Legacy - the manabase.

Surely, we could build multicolor decks in Legacy that do not utilize the ABU dual lands and fetchlands, but the problem with that strategy is that you’re building a worse manabase for (other than money) no reason. This means you are going to lose a lot of percentage points because your deck isn’t as optimally built.

Instead, if there is a possible way to build the deck that embraces that strategy, it will give you a reason for that deck to be somewhat optimal. Burn plays only basics to maximize the effectiveness of Price of Progress, for example. Even though Burn has to limit itself to solely monored cards, it turns its weakness into a strategy by punishing opponents for their optimal manabases.

Enter Nic Fit.

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Yes, if you haven’t heard of the deck, the name is weird. The name comes from a forum poster who intended to title the name of the thread describing this interaction “Nice Fit” but made a typo.

The little combo is sweet, since it disrupts your opponent while ramping you up - the flashback cost of Cabal Therapy is not really a drawback at this point! Let’s use this mana to make our Pernicious Deeds big…and our creatures even bigger!

Let’s take a look at a theoretical budget list…clocking in at around $300.

Creatures - 19

  • 4 Veteran Explorer
  • 1 Birds of Paradise
  • 2 Wall of Blossoms
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 2 Eternal Witness
  • 1 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Shriekmaw
  • 1 Grave Titan
  • 2 Thragtusk
  • 1 Wickerbough Elder
  • 1 Thrun, the Last Troll
  • 1 Deranged Hermit

Spells - 19

  • 4 Cabal Therapy
  • 4 Pernicious Deed
  • 4 Green Sun’s Zenith
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Maelstrom Pulse
  • 1 Recurring Nightmare
  • 2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

Lands - 22

  • 4 Overgrown Tomb
  • 4 Woodland Cemetery
  • 4 Llanowar Wastes
  • 5 Forest
  • 3 Swamp
  • 1 Treetop Village
  • 1 Dryad Arbor

As far as budget options go, it’s not the cheapest, but the neat thing about Nic Fit is that you aren’t just adding basic lands because you can’t afford dual lands…you actually need basics to maximize Veteran Explorer’s ability. This strategy at least has somewhat of an edge over the optimal mana base, since it can ramp faster than a fetchland/dual land configuration, allowing you to play super powerful creatures and Deed everything away.

You still have to hit two colors consistently (because your deck demands a T1 Cabal Therapy into a T2 Veteran Explorer or Green Sun’s Zenith for Veteran Explorer), which is why I’ve included 12 suboptimal dual lands. These can be upgraded into fetchlands and Bayous later. 

Nic Fit decks have also added Birthing Pod as an additional way to tutor and get even more value - I did not include it in this shell since that would have made it much more expensive, but if you have some Birthing Pods from playing Melira Pod or Kiki Pod in Modern, it certainly is a nice option to have.

Adding Money

As mentioned above, there are a lot of different directions you can take it, but fetchlands would likely be the first thing to add.

Each non-BG color can be added to add an additional dimension to the deck. I’ve left it at its most basic core, but Nic Fit is very flexible with its colors.

Red adds Punishing Fire, Kessig Wolf Run, Burning Wish, and the Scapeshift kill, white adds Sun Titan (ever Sun Titan a Pernicious Deed? I have versus Affinity, it was amazing), Academy Rector, Sigarda, among others, and Blue enables Brainstorm, Force of Will, and Baleful Strix.

The real question with Nic Fit is: what crazy things do you want to do?

SCG: Las Vegas Decklists and Matchup Reports

Cashed both events for the first time. 28th in Standard (after a 7-0 start) and 63rd in Legacy (bleh, but I’ll take it).

Standard - Jund Monsters

Creatures

  • 4 Elvish Mystic
  • 4 Sylvan Caryatid
  • 2 Scavenging Ooze
  • 4 Courser of Kruphix
  • 4 Polukranos, World Eater
  • 4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
  • 4 Stormbreath Dragon

Spells

  • 4 Domri Rade
  • 2 Xenagos, the Reveler
  • 1 Chandra, Pyromaster
  • 2 Mizzium Mortars
  • 2 Dreadbore

Lands

  • 4 Stomping Ground
  • 4 Temple of Abandon
  • 1 Temple of Malice
  • 4 Forest
  • 2 Mountain
  • 3 Overgrown Tomb
  • 2 Blood Crypt
  • 1 Mana Confluence
  • 2 Mutavault

Sideboard

  • 3 Mistcutter Hydra
  • 3 Magma Spray
  • 1 Unravel the AEther
  • 2 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
  • 2 Dreadbore
  • 2 Mizzium Mortars
  • 1 Golgari Charm
  • 1 Rakdos’ Return

Maindeck hasn’t changed all that much since States. A Mana Confluence became a Temple of Malice, and the sideboard was modified slightly, with Bow of Nylea becoming a Magma Spray, and the 2nd Unravel the AEther becoming a Rakdos’ Return.

  • Round 1 - Monoblue Devotion (Ricky Sidher) - 2-0
  • Round 2 - RG Aggro - 2-0
  • Round 3 - Bg Devotion - 2-1
  • Round 4 - GW Aggro - 2-1
  • Round 5 - Esper Control - 2-0
  • Round 6 - Junk Midrange - 2-0
  • Round 7 - Bg Devotion - 2-1
  • Round 8 - UW Control (on camera feature match) - 0-2
  • Round 9 - Jund Monsters - 1-2
  • Round 10 - Bg Devotion - 0-2 (I conceded to him)

Round 10 was interesting. I was in 10th place going into this round, as the top X-2. My opponent was the lowest of the X-1s. If the top 4 matches (so the people in places 1-8) drew, then I would be locked out of Top 8 despite a win. If one of the X-1 matches played it out and one of the X-1s lost AND I won, I would probably make Top 8, assuming the tiebreakers held (I was the highest of the X-2s).

It was a bit of a mindgame. the bottom of the X-1s should NOT have drawn given the scenario that my opponent wins. But from what it looked like from our table, it appeared that they ALL drew. So given this information, I scooped my opponent into Top 8. I’ve played him before and he was a cool guy…while surely I don’t know him too well, I figure if I was in his spot, I would want my opponent to scoop.

Turns out that one of the X-0-1s (paired down to an X-1) elected to play it out for seeding but we could not see that from the camera table. If the X-1 player loses, then I would have been in the running for Top 8, but that didn’t happen. Not sure how I would feel if that happened.

Anyway, turns out that the 8th place person that drew in the final round ended up 9th place, so I guess I screwed that guy out of Top 8. Or maybe he screwed himself out of Top 8 by not playing it out?

Anyway, since States, that brings my win record (of actual matches played, not included IDs or concessions for the sake of prizing like in Round 10) to 29-6. Not a bad win % I guess.

Legacy - DeathBlade

Creatures - 14

  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 4 Stoneforge Mystic
  • 3 True-Name Nemesis
  • 2 Snapcaster Mage
  • 1 Vendilion Clique

Spells - 22

  • 4 Brainstorm
  • 4 Swords to Plowshares
  • 3 Thoughtseize
  • 3 Force of Will
  • 1 Ponder
  • 1 Umezawa’s Jitte
  • 1 Batterskull
  • 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
  • 2 Liliana of the Veil
  • 1 Council’s Judgment
  • 1 Spell Pierce

Lands - 23

  • 4 Flooded Strand
  • 4 Polluted Delta
  • 1 Marsh Flats
  • 3 Underground Sea
  • 2 Tundra
  • 1 Scrubland
  • 1 Tropical Island
  • 1 Island
  • 1 Plains
  • 1 Swamp
  • 2 Wasteland
  • 1 Karakas
  • 1 Creeping Tar Pit

Sideboard

  • 2 Surgical Extraction
  • 2 Spell Pierce
  • 2 Zealous Persecution
  • 2 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Vendilion Clique
  • 1 Force of Will
  • 1 Supreme Verdict
  • 1 Disenchant
  • 1 Engineered Explosives
  • 1 Pithing Needle
  • 1 Thoughtseize

Didn’t do a lot of testing, but the deck seemed powerful and when I saw some people locally jam basics into the list, it seemed not dead to Blood Moon. Turns out basics are an awful idea when you want to cast Deathrite into Stoneforge into True-Name or Jace. Probably need some out to Blood Moon but I don’t think basics are the answer. I don’t know how those people play basics in this deck.

Round 1 - Scapeshift - 0-2
Round 2 - Pox - 2-0
Round 3 - Storm - 2-1
Round 4 - UWR Delver - 2-1
Round 5 - Elves - 1-2
Round 6 - RUG Delver - 1-2
Round 7 - Merfolk - 2-1
Round 8 - Sneak Show - 0-2
Round 9 - Sneak Show - 2-0

Anyway I learned that after I lose a round, I start to get apathetic about keeping bad hands and just not thinking about plays. Somehow have it in my mind that X-2 is a terrible record, when in fact it can still make Top 16 or even Top 8. Even X-3 isn’t all that bad, especially in a small tournament like this where it can make Top 32.

Might add on a little bit more here, but gotta go to work.

Reprint Series - Thoughtseize

Legacy staples are being reprinted nearly every year. What if you have never played Legacy but get a couple of these cards? What do you do? In the Reprint Series, I’ll be exploring possible budget decks built around these reprints. These lists may or may not be tuned. Proxy these up and see if these lists are within your budget!

Previous Reprint Series posts:

A Penny for your Thoughts(eize)

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People can argue all they want whether or not Thoughtseize is too strong for Standard, but one thing is for certain: it’s a hell of a lot more accessible now. I personally managed to pick up an extra set purely by cracking packs. There’s no doubt that those who play Standard much more frequently than me also managed to get their hands on a set or two either. Besides, playing one of the top decks in the format (MonoBlack Devotion) forces you to get a set of Thoughtseizes anyway.

So the question you came here for: Where can you throw Thoughtseize into Legacy for cheap?

I would suggest the old standby - Pox, but Wastelands and Liliana of the Veil aren’t cheap anymore. Is there potentially another angle we can take the whole mono-black Thoughtseize strategy? With the following card, it’s possible:

image

It’s a 25 cent version of Liliana’s +1!

Since Bottomless Pit and Thoughtseize both discard, let’s see if we can reinforce that discard strategy:

image

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Yes, we’re building 8Rack.

The bastard stepchild of the forever-banned-ago Black Vise, The Rack has always been a fringe favorite of mine, so I’m actually kinda happy to see if we can develop 8Rack in Legacy. The problem with Pox I’ve found is always the lack of a clock and its inability to deal with a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, so The Rack provides answers to both of those!

Let’s take a look at a possible decklist:

Spells - 38

  • 4 Thoughtseize
  • 3 Raven’s Crime
  • 4 Hymn to Tourach
  • 4 Bottomless Pit
  • 4 The Rack
  • 4 Shrieking Affliction
  • 3 Cursed Scroll
  • 4 Innocent Blood
  • 3 Geth’s Verdict
  • 3 Go for the Throat
  • 1 Pithing Needle
  • 1 Phyrexian Arena

Lands - 22

  • 18 Swamp
  • 4 Mishra’s Factory

TCGPlayer Price (as of 6/13/14)
Mid: $137.01
Low: $88.52

If you already have the Thoughtseizes:
Mid: $69.78
Low: $36.56

Not too shabby as far as price goes, eh?

A couple of card highlights:

Raven’s Crime: Thoughtseizes 5-7. Opponents will probably get wind that sandbagging extra lands or cards are a good way to get around the Rack effects, so Raven’s Crime turns our topdecked Swamps into discard spells to fight that strategy, instead of just flooding out and allowing them to get back into the game.

Cursed Scoll: Yet another clock, but also removal. This synergizes with Bottomless Pit, letting us shrink our hand sizes in order to maximize our effectiveness of Cursed Scroll.

Geth’s Verdict: Yes, its a little tougher to cast than Diabolic Edict (if you have an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, I would recommend playing it to make sure your Mishra’s Factories can tap to cast the double black spells), but the extra 1 damage is super relevant when it’s easy for your opponent to predict their gameplan based on the amount of damage they will take via the Rack or Shrieking Affliction. Sometimes the extra 1 damage is the difference between a turn or two turns.

Phyrexian Arena: I really like this card in this deck, since it’s a good way to get ahead of your opponent when everyone is grinding it out, so there could probably be more. Note that you can stack your Arena first then put the Bottomless Pit effect on top of that to make sure you keep the card drawn off the Arena.

Pithing Needle: This is just a hedge. Sometimes a troublesome permanent can spell the end since most of your deck are discard spells, so being able to fight cards like Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Sneak Attack permanently is a good thing, especially in game one.

As far as sideboard strategies go, I have a couple of ideas.

Tombstalker or Pack Rat: Your opponent SHOULD be boarding out all of their spot removal, so having beaters to board into is a nice alternate win condition if you don’t think the Racks will get there once they’re prepared for it.

Night of Soul’s Betrayal: Some may ask, why this over Drown in Sorrow? Discard always feels bad when they rip the answer out after you Thoughtseize them, so having cards that invalidate them ahead of time can make your discard even more effective. Drown in Sorrow is basically the same as discard spells. The more creatures they rip after the Drown, the more you have to draw answers. Night of Soul’s Betrayal takes care of all of the little ones, giving you more time to draw the removal spells for the bigger problems.

Adding Money:
Ensnaring Bridge: A very strong card in this type of deck, but the recent $20 price tag can make it outside of someone’s budget.
Liliana of the Veil: Admittedly, she probably is a lot better than Bottomless Pit.

Don’t forget this month’s AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series event is at Crusaders’ Retreat. View the full details on our Facebook event here!

VIew the full AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series schedule and details here.

Reprint Series - Stifle

Legacy staples are being reprinted nearly every year. What if you have never played Legacy but get a couple of these cards? What do you do? In the Reprint Series, I’ll be exploring possible budget decks built around these reprints. These lists may or may not be tuned. Proxy these up and see if these lists are within your budget!

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Ah, Stifle. The bane of fetchlands everywhere. This was reprinted in Conspiracy - are there any good targets in that set? I have no idea, but I do know that people looking to pick up a set of Stifles are sure happy now! What to do if you happen to get a couple of these and want to get into Legacy?

RUG Delver, the premier Stifle deck, is probably out of your price range. Stifle and Wasteland work very well together, but Wasteland itself is likely out of your price range too. So is Stifle actually good on a budget if you can’t afford the shell that makes it good?

The answer is yes. How do we make Stifle good if we can’t have Wasteland?

Here ya go:

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A two mana 12/12? Sign me up!

This two mana combo used to be prevalent in Legacy, but combos like Snapcaster Mage + Swords to Plowshares or Delver of Secrets + spells have made this old combo a little ancient. 

Still, doesn’t mean we can’t bring it out of retirement. We are on a budget after all. Okay, technically Dreadnoughts fall around the $10-15 range, but a set is still less than the price of a single Wasteland, and if you eventually want to get Wastelands, you can always sell these bad boys back for ‘em.

So here is a rough monoblue Dreadstill deck:

Link to TCGPlayer

It looks like the price belows are counting the Scourge version of Stifle. The Conspiracy ones are approximately half the price ($30 vs $14), which would shave off $60 of the below prices).

  • Mid (as of 6/12/14): $299
  • Low (as of 6/12/14): $142
Creatures - 12
  • 4 Delver of Secrets
  • 4 Trinket Mage
  • 4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
Spells - 27
  • 4 Brainstorm
  • 4 Gitaxian Probe
  • 4 Stifle
  • 4 Daze
  • 3 Spell Pierce
  • 4 Standstill
  • 1 Counterspell
  • 1 Misdirection
  • 1 Pithing Needle
  • 1 Sensei’s Divining Top
Lands - 21
  • 17 Island
  • 4 Mishra’s Factory

Delver into Standstill also seems not fair. Trinket Mage fetches Dreadnoughts, Needles, or Top, and Standstill rebuys card advantage while allowing you to beat face with Mishra’s Factories. The Misdirection (also in Conspiracy!) is sweet in the face of Abrupt Decay on your Dreadnought.

Gitaxian Probe is also awesome. Don’t know if you should go for the t2 Stifle + Dreadnought? Or hold Stifle for that one land hand? Now you know!

Adding Money:

Fetchlands and Force of Wills are basically the must acquires for this list. Fetchlands make your Brainstorms, Tops, and Delvers a little better, and obviously Force of Will can protect your Phyrexian Dreadnought.

Let me know what you all think!

Also, as of this post, the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series is coming to Crusaders’ Retreat! 12:00pm start, $15 entry, first place receives a Tundra and second place gets a Flooded Strand!

View the June Event Details Here

View the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series Details Here