Beginners Guide – Legacy on a Budget: Mono Colour Madness, by Gareth Hirst

Beginners Guide – Legacy on a Budget, Mono Colour Madness by Gareth Hirst

Beginners Guide – Legacy on a Budget: Mono Colour Madness

Well it’s time for me to chip in my two pennies worth again and after my combo-base shenanigans in last article it’s time to look at the other end of the Magic spectrum…

Mono colour Decks… usually as unsubtle as a house brick but a cheap and effective entry point to the strange new world of an undiscovered format. In the Legacy format there are several options for the new player in this area and in this article I will cover 3 Deck lists for Red, Black and Blue decks.


Mono-Red Burn

First Up, Mono red Burn!

This is a pretty simple deck and does exactly what it says on the tin, Burn your face off. Fast and furious this deck clocks your opponent rapidly using spells which punch above their weight for the mana costs involved. So here’s the list…

4x Lightning bolt
4x Chain lightning
4x Lava spike
4x Goblin guide
4x Hellspark elemental
4x Spark elemental
4x Fireblast
4x Shard volley
4x Rift bolt
4x Price of Progress
4x Magma jet


4x Tormod’s Crypt
3x Pyrostatic pillar
3x Sulfuric Vortex
4x Red elemental blast
1x landslide

16x mountains

Simple, yet effective this deck has an extremely low mana curve, with most of the spells being 1 or 2 mana or having an alternative play cost for at least 2-3 damage which makes this extremely aggressive. Interestingly the main deck only consists of 1 rare in Goblin Guide which makes this an excellent budget deck for beginners and is still competitive in the environment and will have your opponent reeling with cries of “No! not the face!”


Mono-Black Discard

Next up Mono Black Discard.

This deck has many variations with some very expensive cards but it is possible to run the decks without Bob (Dark Confidant) and Thoughtseize by applying a little savvy. The aim of the deck is simple, crush your opponents hand with discard spells and beat him silly with a fattie before he can recover. Here’s the list

4x Inquistion of kozilek
4x Smallpox
4x Hymm to Tourach
4x Duress
4x Stupor
4x Dark Ritual
4x Nantuko Shade
4x Nyxathid
4x Hypnotic specter
4x Dismember

20x Swamp

Although not as cheap as the Mono red burn this deck can obliterate your opponents hand in 3 turns with the right draw then follows with a Nyxathid or Shade for the beat down. Simple yet effective this deck is particularly effective against combo decks as the discard either targets specific cards or forces your opponent to discard cards without being able to choose what has been discarded. Gatekeeper of Malakir can also be used in the deck in a particularly creature based enviroment and to give a bit more punch to the deck.


Mono-Blue Combo

And finally, Mono Blue.

This is the Spring Tide combo deck. This deck is resonably cheap but does take practice to master as it is a Storm combo deck which aims to win using 2 cards, Brain Freeze and Blue Sun’s Zenith. The deck utilises High Tide to enable your Islands to produce additional mana, then untaps it’s lands using Cloud of Fairies, Snap and Turnabout thus generating massive amounts of mana, draw cards and play more spells. The number of spells that are played will affect how effective the Brain Freeze is as it is a Storm card. This means the spell copies itself for every other spell played before it so 20 spells gives you 20 copies. Brain Freeze puts the top 3 cards of your opponents library into his graveyard with storm so by playing 19 spells before the Brain Freeze you
will mill 20 x 3 cards or in layman’s terms your opponents deck goes straight to the bin. He or she then can not draw a card on their next turn and so loses the game. Here’s the deck list..

4x Brain Freeze
4x Brainstorm
4x High Tide
4x Snap
4x Meditate
2x Turnabout
4x Ideas Unbound
4x Merchant Scroll
4x Impulse
3x Preordain
4x Cloud of Faeries
1x Blue Sun zenith
1x Flash of insight

16 x island

I will break the list down into it’s relevant parts, firstly the mana engine. When the deck has 3 or more lands in play, High Tide is the key card. This allows the Islands to produce addtional mana effectively allowing to have 4 spare mana in your mana pool at this point. This is where the untap engine comes into play. Cloud of Fairies, Snap and Turnabout all allow you to untap you land so you would tap all of your land and float the mana before playing these cards, allowing you to untap land and generate additional mana.

Secondly the draw engine, Impulse, Preordain, Ideas Unbound, Brainstorm and Meditate allow you to draw more cards to untap your land whilst adding to your Storm count, as each spell played counts toward this. Also most of these cards allow you to stack your deck so you can get rid of cards that you can not use such as land.

The third part of the deck are tutors for specific cards and these are Merchant Scroll and Flash of Insight as these cards allow you to dig through your library to find any given card you need, such as more card drawing or untap effects.

The final part of the deck is the win conditions, Brain Freeze and Blue Sun’s Zenith. After drawing most of your deck by playing 16 or 17 spells; this is where Brain Freeze is used to mill your opponents deck, there should only have 50 cards or so in their deck by turn 3. The Blue Sun Zenith is then used to force your opponent to draw cards they don’t have and so they lose.

All of these decks are relatively cheap by Legacy standards and although they are not optimum deck lists they are a good entry point which you can then work from by adding better cards to. The Mono Black can be improved on by the addition of Thoughtseize and Dark Confidant and the Spring Tide by adding Wish">Cunning Wish and using a wish target side board to find you combo pieces. So there we have it 3 decks: agressive, control and combo which won’t break the bank.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing about your own budget Legacy decks,



Beginners Guide - Legacy on a Budget: Mono Colour Madness, by Gaz Hirst
Well it's time for me to chip in my two pennies worth again and after my combo-base shenanigans in last article it's time to look at the other end of the Magic spectrum...

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