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)
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:
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:
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)
If you already have the Thoughtseizes:
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.
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.