Tight Budget Legacy by Brad Pearce

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I have met some of my closest friends playing Magic.  As we all have different types of friends, each of my magic playing buddies have a different take on the game, and enjoy different types of format. My recent article about the Legacy tournament I attended prompted a few of my friends to comment on the expense of Legacy, and although I maintain a position that it is really no more expensive than any other format after playing it for a while– in fact its actually most cost effective to maintain than Standard –I did take notice and decided to try and convince them that you don’t need to have a lot of money to play Legacy– and have fun too!

This got me thinking about Legacy and buying cards… The turn off for many players, is that you have to buy cards in one big lump, and that can be pricey.  So I set myself a target to build an intro Legacy deck, that could offer a good days gaming, keep up against people playing against super competitive decks, and all for less than £40. I want something that would be resilient and fun to play– yes that is a brutal price limit, but I figured two 20 notes over a two week building and playing period was fair.

Firstly I wanted to make sure that the base of the deck can be expanded on-to as much as possible in the future, to make the deck even more competitive as and when the pilot chooses to invest more money in it.  So I decided that limiting my colours to Black, Blue and Green meant that I could tap into cheaper bombs, but move my list around considerably, and use cards from it in the future. Lets say its an investment choice.

Green and Blue sparked the idea of a mechanic called “Madness”, a popular archetype before Survival of the Fittest was removed from the playable pool. Madness allows very fast threats to be played onto the board, and put pressure onto combo players as well as forceing decks like Zoo and Merfolk to accelerate to stage 2 to overpower you.  Madness uses early threats like Wild Mongrel and Aquamoeba to discard cards like Basking Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm allowing you to “cheat” them into play quickly and under-costed.  The Arrogant Wurm can be replaced by Vengevine, when the player gets more cash to make stage 1 threatening and stage 2 lethal.  As it stands, early game, or stage 1, the Madness tricks are cute, but won’t win you games.

As we get into midgame or stage 2, we really want to pressure our opponent with threats, and manipulate our graveyard to our advantage.  Cards like with one of our discard cards is cute against combo, and with cards like Brainstorm giving us back the cards we are burning with Madness means we can stay in the game until Stage 3, the realm of combo, and finishers from aggro.

Madness is more than capable of getting into Stage 3 nearly every game, but it is destined to die every game without a beef train to finish things off.  I decided that as we have discard and graveyard manipulation, a cheap and tasty combo could be used to waste our opponent.

Triskelion can remove it’s counters to ping things, this is cute but it’s hardly a bomb.  Phyrexian Devourer can get counters on it easy by milling your deck, so how do we sticky tape them together? Necrotic Ooze!  With this beast in play they pretty much die at instant speed, as you remove all the counters bar one on the ooze each time, after you remove cards from the top of your library (magazine) to ping them to death.  We can get Devourer and Triskelion into the grave easily, by discarding them to Wild Mongrel and Aquamoeba or we could use cards like Buried Alive, Dread Return and Exhume to bring the Ooze back from the grave while filling up the yard with combo pieces.  Exhume also avoids Mental Misstep.  Because we are playing some horrid creatures that can easily be brought back and are really powerful, Fauna Shaman will be really useful to go and get the cards we want and acts as an engine for the combo, much like Survival of the Fittest.

With both blue, black and green main board, I could play some cheap but powerful disruption using Duress or go for gold with Cabal Therapy.

The biggest problem facing new Legacy players is their mana base.  I have set myself a brutal budget, and therefore, I have had to build around my mana base, all basic land.  This is why all my dry playable spells, only require one mana of their colour.  This should not lead to problems down the road, in most cases, and playing land that enter tapped is a horrific idea in legacy, unless your combo dictates it.  I know this deck is not going to win any Grand Prix any time soon, but it is resilient, and if played correctly could make many veterans have a serious headache, as the picks make many of the mana hate, and progression denial cards floating around Legacy dead.

Here is my final list, I took prices from Manaleak.com as I get more cards for my green and gold monies.

The Deck.

3 Wild Mongrel

2 Buried Alive

2 Exhume

1 Necrotic Ooze

1 Triskelion

1 Phyrexian Devourer

2 Fauna Shaman

3 Aquamoeba

3 Arrogant Wurm

3 Duress

3 Circular Logic

4 Brainstorm

1 Dread Return

2 Putrid Imp

2 Daze

4 Mental Note

9 Island

6 Swamp

8 Forest



The whole deck can be bought for under £40 if you have none of the cards, most players thinking about Legacy will have at least some, squashing that price down more.  I think this is very theme deck, but It is defiantly fun to play.  Let me know what you think, and post lists of your budget Legacy.

Do you think you can come up with a better Legacy deck for around £40?



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