Now that Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic are banned from standard, a lot of players are in a quandary over what to do with their copies of these cards. Some are tempted to sell as they can no longer play Caw-Blade, but rather than a disadvantage, this is an opportunity. You are only a few steps away from entering Legacy.
The core of the Caw-Blade deck is the same as its legacy counterpart, Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic. And you can keep your equipments as well, in fact some legacy builds even run Squadron Hawks so you are even closer than you think.
Let’s start by taking Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s standard list from GP Singapore:
1 Consecrated Sphinx
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
4 Jace, The Mind Sculptor
1 Jace Beleren
1 Divine Offering
2 Into the Roil
4 Mana Leak
3 Spell Pierce
4 Celestial Colonnade
3 Glacial Fortress
2 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tectonic Edge
So, how do we turn this into a Legacy deck?
Firstly, we take four Jace and four Mystic and sleeve them up along with a Batterskull and the Sword of Feast and Famine, Sword of Body and Mind is a suitable alternative as well due to blue and green being so strong in legacy. Sword of Fire and Ice and Umezawa’s Jitte are other equipments you should get hold of. Depending on how you want to build this deck, you’ll need between 2-4 equipments, the more creatures, the more equipment you’ll need.
Now we need a counterspell suite:
Some decks are only running three Force of Will, thanks to Mental Misstep taking some of the slack, this allows them to run a Counterspell or two as well, these lists often have the forth Force in the sideboard in case of combo decks. You do want 7 ‘Turn zero’ counterspells main deck between Mental Misstep and Force of Will and the eighth in the board. This array of counters allows you to halt the early game of an aggro deck or break a combo deck down, whilst also being cheap enough to let you generate board position. Manacosts are generally low in Legacy, so Mental Misstep and Spell Snare always have plenty of targets.
Next up, we need draw spells:
Both of the packages above are fine, Standstill can generate some really unfair board positions where your opponent is halted in fear of letting you draw cards. With Jace on the board, it’s a very powerful card, however there are drawbacks, as sometimes you need three cards and can’t afford to cast this spell since you will be the next to cast a spell. Ancestral Vision has a different drawback, it has a delay on its draws, both are suitable options that support the deck well. Brainstorm is just fantastic at fixing draws and hiding cards on top of your library in the face of discard, as well as shuffling unwanted cards away with fetch lands.
Next up, we add in some removal:
This is enough really, along with counterspells and Jace to bounce creatures, you should be able keep the board under control. You can also use Path To Exile if you want more removal.
Next up, we need more ways of winning the game:
Vendilion Clique is one of the best win conditions for a control deck, able to pick apart a players hand or get rid of a bad card you have yourself, and beat for three in the air, all available with flash. Sower is a great way of taking away opposing win conditions, and holds equipment really well. Another card that often facilitates winning that is used especially in the standstill builds is Crucible of Worlds, which will make more sense when we come to the manabase.
Constructing the manabase, whilst the additions to the deck so far are relatively cheap aside from Force of Will, the manabase is where more of the money needs to be spent.
You want about 23 lands. Obviously Tundra is excellent for colour fixing, along with basics and fetches for shuffling and finding necessary lands. Tundra is a big expense, but worth it for the fixing it provides, you can opt to run less than four in order to get around cards like Magus of the Moon, Back to Basics and opposing Wastelands. Mishra’s Factory is a great win condition that beats well underneath a standstill, Wasteland[/card] is amazing utility to cripple an opponent’s manabase, and both are incredible with Crucible and/or Standstill. Karakas is nice to have if you expect to see things like Iona, Shield of Emeria and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn being cheated into play.
Now, what about a sideboard?
There are lots of tools you may want, other swords and equipment, more removal, graveyard hate, Pithing Needle, Chill, Sower of Temptation, artifact hate and whatever else you feel you need. The sideboard will obviously depend on your local metagame, but a balance of the above resources is always welcome. Spend some time getting to know what decks you’re seeing locally, and construct the sideboard from there.
And there you have it; you have a highly competitive legacy deck! Other options for this deck include running more creature main deck, like Squadron Hawk as a way of drawing cards along with Brainstorm and Jace. With these creature heavy builds, you can go up to four equipments since you’re going to have guys to equip all the time. The more creature heavy builds also play very similarly to the Caw-blade standard deck, so it’s an even smoother transition. Either way, you’re well on the way to being part of the great format that is Legacy.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.