11,000 Cards Part 2 by Mark Aylett

11,000 Cards Part 2 by Mark Aylett

So 5 decks down and I could list 50 more, however I am going to give you 5 more decks that you have a good chance of seeing if you are going to a legacy tournament. (I hear there is one on the 19th at Manaleak).

Hopefully out of these 2 articles I have written, you will have learned enough about the popular legacy decks to not feel worried about facing them in a tournament, instead you will know what you are up against and what you might need to do in order to beat them.

Lets get on with the deck lists:

Merfolk (mono-blue)

4 Aether Vial
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Coralhelm Commander
4 Cursecatcher
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Lord of Atlantis
2 Merfolk Sovereign
4 Merrow Reejerey
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Standstill
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner

12 Island
3 Mutavault
4 Wasteland

The best tempo deck in the format, play an Aether Vial, cast all your men for free and counter anything scary from the opponent. This deck has been beating up combo decks for the last 3 years, using Aether Vial to make a fast clock and cheap counterspells to slow them down. It also has threats in the form of its lands, with Mutavault getting boosts from all your merfolk lords and Wasteland stopping them from casting their spells. One of the best parts of this deck is the way it can still get creatures into play with a Standstill on the board, by using Aether Vial you are never casting the creatures, meaning your opponent has to break the Standstill to try and stop you.

The downside to this deck is that all your creatures are rubbish, if you can keep the numbers down then all you will have facing you are a bunch of 2/2’s which in the world of Tarmogoyf‘s and Vengevine‘s just doesn’t cut it. Most other creature based decks are able to beat up the Merfolk faster than they can beat you up. Also if the deck doesn’t have an early Aether Vial then casting all the creatures in your hand will probably mean that you don’t get enough pressure on the board to worry your opponent.

Zoo (R/G/W)

4 Figure of Destiny
2 Gaddock Teeg
3 Lightning Helix
4 Qasali Pridemage
2 Sylvan Library
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Wild Nacatl
3 Chain Lightning
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Kird Ape
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile
2 Arid Mesa
1 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Plateau
2 Savannah
3 Taiga
3 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Zoo is generally considered a bad deck as all it does it play cheap creatures and cheap burn, however that is exactly why it is and has been good for a long time. If you keep a hand that is risky Zoo will make you regret it, by turn 4 you can quite easily be dead which means you really have to be prepared to fight it.  This deck plays all the best burn spells in the game and can quite easily kill you from 12 life without any creatures on the table, meaning that even if you feel safe you may already be dead, they are just deciding which order to use the burn spells. The deck even gets a better Swords to Plowshares for it in Path to Exile, meaning that it can deal with almost any creature. Zoo also has one of the most flexible sideboards in the game, and can adapt to beat almost any deck.

There are a number of problems for this deck however, number one being its mana. If you can hit a few key lands with Wasteland (hint go for the red), then you will be able to shut off most of the zoo deck, as they usually play far fewer lands than most other decks.  The deck also finds it hard to interact with most combo decks, as they don’t usually care about how much life they have, just as long as they are above 0 to kill you. Finally if you can get a quick Emrakul the Aeons Torn or Progenitus into play zoo has no answer and so will very often scoop.

CounterTop (U/W/g/r)

1 Pithing Needle
4 Sensei’s Divining Top
3 Tarmogoyf
1 Trinket Mage
4 Counterbalance
4 Brainstorm
3 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
2 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Firespout

1 Seat of the Synod
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Plains
4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
1 Karakas

Do you enjoy making people cry out in rage and boredom, if so this THE deck for you. The main idea with the deck is to get out a Counterbalance with a Sensei’s Divining Top, and stop the opponent from ever casting another spell. Every time they try and cast something, you can use the Sensei’s Divining Top to try and find the right casing cost card to reveal to Counterbalance. This deck is a huge nightmare for combo decks as most rely on playing a large number of cheap casting cost spells to make their deck work, however this deck can counter any 1 mana spell just by using the Sensei’s Divining Top to put itself on top of your deck with Counterbalance in play. The deck also gets to use some of the most powerful removal spells in the format and the best creature in the format in Tarmogoyf. Once this deck gets a Jace, the Mind Sculptor in play there is almost no way you are going to lose, using Counterbalance to protect him means the game will be over in 6 turns.

The biggest problem with this deck is Krosan Grip, which is in every green player’s sideboard. Using it means that the Counterbalance has very little chance of staying in play, and without it the deck has to fight other decks the fair way, with normal counterspells and removal. The deck also doesn’t tend to kill people very fast, a Tarmogoyf can be blocked for a long time, and can be attacked past if you have enough creatures on the board. The last challenge for this deck is Aether Vial, as even Counterbalance cannot stop the creatures from coming into play, meaning that a third of your deck becomes useless.

Enchantress (G/W/r)

2 Chrome Mox
4 Argothian Enchantress
4 Elephant Grass
4 Enchantress’s Presence
4 Wild Growth
1 City of Solitude
3 Mirri’s Guile
3 Sterling Grove
4 Utopia Sprawl
1 Moat
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Replenish
1 Sacred Mesa
1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
3 Solitary Confinement

6 Forest
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Karakas
2 Plains
2 Savannah
2 Serra’s Sanctum
1 Taiga
4 Windswept Heath

One of the stranger decks to be around as is nearly all enchantments, with Argothian Enchantress as your only creature. This deck builds up a steady stream of card advantage using the Argothian Enchantress and the Enchantress’s Presence, mana with Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl then finally casts Sacred Mesa or Sigil of the Empty Throne to win with. To stop creatures from killing you, you have Elephant Grass and the mighty expensive Moat. However the best card in the deck has to be Solitary Confinement, with this in play you are immune to most ways of dying and all it costs is a card a turn, which when you are drawing multiple cards in a turn just for casting spells seems very good.

One of the major weaknesses this deck has are the fast combo decks, as game 1 you have a lot of useless cards against them, and only Solitary Confinement will stop them from killing you. If you can keep the Argothian Enchantress and Enchantress’s Presence off the board then they are just a slow deck, that has no card advantage, typically cards like Engineered Explosives and Pernicious Deed will be able to slow the deck down as they clear multiple cards. The last and I’ve found most interesting way to kill them is with Emrakul the Aeons Torn because Solitary Confinement doesn’t stop creatures from attacking and so the annihilator will still happen.

And finally…

Affinity (U/B)

4 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Mox Opal
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Cranial Plating
4 Frogmite
4 Etched Champion
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Thoughtcast
4 Myr Enforcer

4 Seat of the Synod
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Great Furnace
4 Ancient Den

Probably the most simple deck I have listed so far, however simple doesn’t mean bad. This deck got a huge boost when Scars of Mirroden was released with the additions of Memnite, Mox Opal, Galvanic Blast and Etched Champion. Both Memnite and Mox Opal allow the deck to have even more ridicules turn 1’s, sometimes playing every card in your hand. Galvanic Blast is your better Lightning Bolt as it is almost always 4 damage, and Etched Champion is a threat that is very hard to kill and almost impossible to block. There is only one non-artifact permanent in the deck, but he is worth it, after being banned in most other formats Disciple of the Vault helps kill your opponent even when attacking becomes very hard and combined with Arcbound Ravager will make 20 life 0 very quickly. The real big weapon for this deck is Cranial Plating which even on a lowly Ornithopter will kill you in 2-3 hits, and on a Etched Champion will leave the opponent asking how they can possibly win.

The biggest problem with is this deck is how easy it is to hate on out of the sideboard, with cards like War’s Wage and Krosan Grip helping to slow down and stop the attackers. Then there are the games where all you can draw are very small creatures, very quickly they will look very silly when your opponent starts playing their own giant men. The last problem for this deck is Wasteland, every single land can be destroyed and that can be devastating for a deck that is only running 16 land.

There you have it over these 2 articles I have tried to show as many of the top decks you may see in your next tournament, I know this isn’t a complete guild to everything (I missed fairy’s, aggro rock, 43 Land and Goblin Charbelcher to name just 4) but I hope you have learnt a little bit more about legacy.

If you would like to see a more detailed look into other legacy decks let me know in the comments, next I hope to be doing an article on the different plays there are in Legacy that you may not see in standard/extended.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing,

Mark Aylett

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