As I stated in my previous article, I like to do silly things sometimes. One of those silly things I like to do is brew a Legacy deck that does things and plays cards that nobody expects to see.
Wait there Pathrazer, we need that path. We’re descending down it.
This, ladies and gents, is the Descendants’ Path combo deck.
Now, this is not your normal Legacy deck. It can certainly catch people with their pants down, and the unexpected interactions it produces catch people unawares, but I’m not going to pretend its well positioned in the metagame. Its not. There are a myriad of ways in which to disrupt it. Its vulnerable to creature removal, Abrupt Decay, discard, counters, incidental milling, and yet, in some ways it can be incredibly resilient.
So lets take a look at the list and break it down:
2x Arid Mesa
1x Bloodstained Mire
1x Verdant Catacombs
2x Windbrisk Heights
1x Windswept Heath
1x Wooded Foothills
Dissecting the Deck
The engine of the deck. Without this card your deck literally cannot function. This is your green Show and Tell
These are at the end of the path. Emrakul is what we want to be hitting most of the time as this most often our best chance of winning. The best thing about the legendary Eldrazi is that they are actually cast off Descendants’ Path so you do get the extra turn off Emrakul and Ulamog does get to blow something up.
Pathrazer is in there as a nod to Karakas, a difficult to block, annihilating 9/9 still ends games pretty quickly.
Here are the mini-drazi. Nest Invader lays down 2 bodies, helping removal to hurt less. Spawning Breath can be cast with the Descendants’ Path trigger on the stack and also gives removal for Delver of Secrets, Dark Confidant, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and other pesky 1 toughness critters.
It can also go to the dome to get them down to tht critical 15-life barrier, or even to your own face to just make sure you get that 0/1 token on the battlefield. Mutavault does as Mutavault does, being an eldrazi when needed, tapping for mana, and sometimes even being an elf.
These enable the combo in so many ways. The Enlightened Tutor finds a Descendants’ Path if required, or a Sensei’s Divining Top to help find an eldrazi once you’ve got a Path out or the one-of Oblivion Ring to deal with something troublesome. Awakening zone is a possibility, but isn’t something I’ve had great results with. Its certainly one that could warrant inclusion.
The creature tutors are really what make the deck tick though. They find your combo pieces for various points, if you need a Nest Invader to be an eldrazi, an Emrakul to be a, well, an Emrakul, or even a Deathrite Shaman to help us out of a sticky spot manawise, or even for that useful bit of graveyard hate.
Congregation at Dawn is such a good card in almost any sitation. I mean it, I cannot stress enough how good this card is. There are so many 3 card piles you can create to get yourself out of the trickiest of situations.
It can’t find a Path, but it can give you stacks of other value. For example, the most common pile I create is Emrakul, Nest Invader, Ulamog. This allows you to get out of a lot of tricky situations, by Time Walking, then Vindicateing whatever is causing you grief.
The fact that the abilities trigger on casting help get around a Humility, especially when you condider the tag team of Ulamog blowing it up followed by the Emrakul cast the previous turn swinging in for the win.
The Pathrazer of Ulamog can go in piles against Karakas decks as extra insurance against it. Ulamog tends to be the best option here but he is vulnerable to the sandbagged one kept back in hand for this precise eventuality, or even Crop Rotation decks which are becoming more of a thing with the Dark Depths/Thespian’s Stage combo being pretty good.
Ulamog/Nest Invader/Pathrazer is usually the pile to build here, though if there’s no Karakas in play then going with an Emrakul on top can work too.
Oblivion Ring is very much a game 1 catch-all card. You can find it with Enlightened Tutor to deal with any nasty little problem permanents that come your way. The Top is a useful little filter to stop you from drawing your win conditions, speed up a topdeck tutor and be generlly useful as Top is.
The Thoughtseizes provide a little additional disruption and can also be used, in a pinch, to discard an Eldrazi titan to shuffle it back in to your deck. The Thoughtseizes and Oblivion Ring can be taken out quite easily after game 1 to bring in more specific sideboards cards, these are really the “flex slots” of the deck.
And so on to the manabase. Well, this is a bit of a train wreck. Most angles and colour combinations are covered, with an aim to be able to hit GGW as soon as possible we wanting to be fetching out our basic forest and green dual lands as a priority.
It also does quite a bit of work to help combo off with the Mutavaults providing both additional Eldrazi for the Descendants’ Path route, but also an attacker for Windbrisk Heights, which can also make use of the topdeck creature tutors to find your Eldrazi of choice.
As far as the sideboard goes you’ll be best to tailor it to your local metagame as usual. A toolbox sideboard can be utilised here as we have both creature and enchantment and artifact tutors available. Leyline of Sanctitys can come in against some of the faster, less interactive decks such as Storm and Burn.
Rest in Peace can also come in against ANT as it shuts off the Past in Flames side of the deck. It also helps shut down threshold decks and Snapcaster decks as well as helping to completely shut down Dredge.
Defense Grid can come in against decks with counterspells to resolve a Descendants’ Path and make sure your triggers, tutors and win conditions all resolve. Personally I like Elephant Grass against tribal decks like Elves! and goblins and wrecks Dredge as well as they can’t pay the tax to attack.
Tempo decks are the most difficult match up. Threat density is the big thing on both sides of the table. Pyroclasm is a good sweeper effect, as is Toxic Deluge. A mix of both is good as with all sideboard cards, as slightly different cards in similar roles can have different applications in different match ups.
So there we have it. Another silly deck from the silly mind of me. I’m back off to my nice soft-walled room to wear my jacket that makes me hug myself. Good luck at your next Legacy event!