Legacy Deck Tech – A Beginners Guide to Combo by Gareth Hirst

Legacy Deck Tech – A Beginners Guide to Combo by Gareth Hirst


Can’t stop the ‘Tog… Cephalid Breakfast

When most people consider the Legacy format, the first thing that usually springs to mind is that it is not really suited to the less experienced player due to the complex interactions and generally expense to be competitive. In this article, I will introduce a series of competitive decks which utilise cards from the standard format whilst explaining how they work. The first of these decks is Cephalid Breakfast. This a fast combo deck looking to go off and win turns 2-4.

How does this deck achieve this? let’s look at the deck…

The Combo.

4x Cephalid Illusionist

4x Shuko

4x Narcomeba

2x Dread Return


3x Stoneforge Mystic

3x Veldaken Aethermage

4x Lim Dul’s Vault

Win conditions.

1x Sun Titan

3x Psychatog

1x Anger

1x Wonder


3x Careful Study


3x Duress

2x Silence

1x Meddling Mage


4x Scalding Tarn

1x Plains

2x Swamp

2x Island

2x Mountains

3x Arid Mesa

1x Watery Grave

1x Steam Vents

1x Godless Shrine

4x Lotus Petal

The aim of this deck is to have the equipment (Shuko), the Cephalid Illusionist and at least 1 Mountain in play.

So how does it work?

The ability of the Illusionist is that when it becomes the target of a spell or ability, you put the top 3 cards of your library into  your graveyard. The Shuko has an equip cost of zero mana and so allows you to target the Illusionist  with the equip ability as many times as you would like, thus milling your most of your deck.

“What? mill your own deck? what madness is this?” I hear you cry, but bear with me…

This is where the other parts of the deck come into their own. By milling your own deck, the Narcomeba‘s ability puts them directly into play instead of your graveyard, giving you a total of 5 guys.

So far, so good.

With the rest of the cards of the deck in the bin, this is where the Dread Return plays it’s part in our story. This card has 2 type of casting costs, one of 2BB and the other is it’s flashback cost of: Sacrifice 3 creatures. So we sacrifice 3 creatures to Dread Return and put the Sun Titan in to play. By doing this, the enters-the-battlefield ability of the Sun Titan triggers allowing us to return a Psychatog on to the battlefield as well, as it has a mana cost of 3.

Now on to the winning part… ATTACK!

Having Anger in the graveyard gives all creatures haste as long as you control a Mountain, and Wonder gives your creatures flying if you control an Island, so swing away with your  and the mighty Psychatog. Then pump the Psychatog by removing 2 cards from your graveyard to give it +1/+1 until the end of the turn. As you have a graveyard of 40+ cards the Psychatog can swing for 20 damage, winning the game in one hit.

The Rest of the deck.

The rest of the deck is designed to find the relevant combo pieces. Let’s look at them individually…

Stoneforge Mystic – This finds the Shuko and it’s ability allows you to sneak it in under counterspells.

Lim Dul’s Vault –  This allows you to look at the top 5 cards of your library and rearrange their order. Don’t like what you see? for a measly 1 life you can ship all 5 to the bottom of your deck and look at the next 5and do this as many times until you see what you are after.

Veldaken Aethermage – It’s Wizard Cycling ability let’s you find a wizard from your deck and put in hand for 3 mana thus allowing you to find the Illusionist or the Meddling Mage depending on your needs.

Careful Study – Draw 2 cards, Discard 2 cards. This lets you pitch the Sun Titan/Anger/Wonder and replace them with new cards
Duress/Silence/Meddling Mage. These are here to stop people wrecking your combo by removing the opportunity to play removal/counterspells.

So there it is, The mighty ‘Tog at his finest.

I recently made the top 8 at Manaleak’s Legacy Tournament with this deck so feel free to experiment with the list, granted there are better cards (Dual Lands, Thoughtseize etc) but his is my build so feel free to comment.


Next Up — When Fatties Attack!

Well it’s time for part 2, and in this thrilling installment, I will focus on Hypergenesis combo. This is a another Legacy combo deck, potentially winning on turn 2. It uses Hypergenesis and Show and Tell to cheat fatties into play to pave the way for a massive and generally lethal combat phase.

Although this deck has been around for a while, the release of New Phyrexia has drastically improved it’s options. Let’s look at the deck…

3x Hypergenesis

3x Show and Tell

4x Chancellor of the Tangle

4x Chancellor of the Annex

1x Jin-Gitaxsis, Core Augur

3x Terastodon

4x Elvish Spirit Guide

4x Simian Spirit Guide

4x Serum Powder

4x Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

3x Mulldrifter

1x Urbarask, the Hidden

4x Violent Outburst

2x Blightsteel Collosus

4x Scalding Tarn

2x Island

5x Forest

5x Mountain

What is hypergenesis?

Hypergenesis is a Time Spiral card which utilised the Suspend mechanic. You pay a cost, Suspend the card for a designated period of turns and then it resolves. In the case of Hypergenesis this card allows each player, starting with the active player to put a land, creature, enchantment or artifact on to the battlefield, stopping when both players choose not to carry on with this process. Hypergenesis has no actual mana cost to play it directly, as this card was intended only to played using it’s Suspend cost, making a player wait for three turns before resolution.

So how does it it win in less than this?

Hypergenesis has a converted mana cost of 0 and this little fact is what makes this deck work. The aim of the deck is to use Violent Outburst on turn 1 by generating 3 mana from the Chancellor of the Tangle and Spirit Guides. The Cascade mechanic then triggers revealing cards from the top of your library until a card of a lower mana cost than Violent Outburst has been revealed and allows you to PLAY THAT CARD WITHOUT PAYING IT’S MANA COST.

In this case the only card that the Cascade hits is Hypergenesis which can then be played directly.

Result -> Turn 1, Emrakul and friends hit the table and your opponent is in big trouble. At this point I would like to point something important out, Hypergenesis allows you to put permanents onto the battlefield, NOT cast them so it doesn’t give you an extra turn if you drop Emrakul. Sad Face.

The creature choices for the deck are very important due to the following reasons:

Let’s look at the creatures in turn and why I chose them.

Emrakul – This is the BIG kahuna, the annihilator 6 is brutal. Emrakul destroys all of your opponents board position as soon as it attacks.

Chancellor of the Tangle – A mana ramping fattie, this increases the ability of the deck to go off turn 1 and is also a beatstick to boot.

Chancellor of the Annex – This is the protection for the deck, revealing this turn one effectively Force Spike‘s your opponents counter or disruption, giving you a better chance when combo’ing off.

Terastodon – This again is about board position as it destroys non-creature permanants when in enters the battlefield and is the out to Oblivion Ring. Of course it can also be use to nuke your own stuff (land) for more guys.

Mulldrifter – Evoke this guy for cards without interfering with your Cascades. This allows the deck to take a slightly slower hand at times.

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur – This is used to reload the deck when you can’t go off quickly, whilst punishing your opponent’s hand.

Urabrask, The Hidden – This allows the turn 1 whilst tapping any blocker your opponent puts in from the Hypergenesis.

Show and Tell – This gives you an alternative way to put your fatties onto the battlefield and play around cards like Chalice of the Void set on 0 (which means you can not play Hypergenesis).

Serum Powder – Allows you to aggressively mulligan your hand and draw the same amount of cards until a playable hand is reached.

In short though, the creature package can be as varied as you like; any fattie will do although some are better than others. For a bit of fun just use any of the super fatties hanging around in your trades folder… Darksteel Collosus anyone?

So there it is, now its time to break out your overcosted bomb rares and go mad!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the read and please feel free to post any comments you’d like.


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