The April 2012 Legacy Primer – Summary

So here we are folks. Forty decks down, and yet there’s still another article? We think that forty decks is enough to see how diverse Legacy is. By no means is the list exhaustive, but for the last article in the series, we’ve decided to highlight the ten decks we think will see play at SCG: Phoenix. But first, let’s recap what we’ve covered this past week.

The April 2012 Legacy Primer – Part 1

  • 12-Post
  • Ad Nauseam Tendrils
  • Affinity
  • Bant
  • Belcher
  • Berserk Stompy
  • BUG Control
  • Burn
  • Cephalid Breakfast
  • Combo Elves

The April 2012 Legacy Primer – Part 2

  • Deadguy Ale
  • Dragon Stompy
  • Dreadstill
  • Dredge
  • Enchantress
  • Eva Green
  • Faeries
  • Goblins
  • High Tide
  • Hive Mind

The April 2012 Legacy Primer – Part 3

  • Imperial Painter
  • Lands
  • Maverick
  • Merfolk
  • Mono Blue Control (MUC
  • MUD
  • Nic Fit
  • Painted Stone
  • Pox
  • Reanimator

The April 2012 Legacy Primer – Part 4

  • Shot in the Dark
  • Show and Tell/Sneak Attack
  • Stax
  • Stoneblade
  • Team America
  • Tempo Threshold
  • The Epic Storm
  • UR Delver
  • Zoo

Now…the decks we think will be popular at SCG: Phoenix:

The Triforce of Legacy – Tempo Threshold, Maverick, and Stoneblade

For all of 2012 so far, these have been established as the top tier of Legacy. It’s no surprise that these three are going to be well represented at SCG: Phoenix, just like any other event.

Tempo Threshold

Creatures (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose
Tarmogoyf

Spells (29)
Thought Scour
Daze
Force of Will
Spell Snare
Brainstorm
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Chain Lightning
Ponder

Lands (19)
Volcanic Island
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Wasteland
Sideboard (15)
Scavenging Ooze
Sulfur Elemental
Sulfuric Vortex
Ancient Grudge
Pyroblast
Submerge
Life from the Loam

Things to Know

Tempo Threshold utilizes undercosted spells to disrupt their opponent and drops an undercosted creature to take them out. As such, the early turns for Tempo Threshold are very important, since that is where its disruption spells are most effective. Daze is the most obvious here. The opponent needs to squeeze in as many spells as possible in order to stop Tempo Threshold’s creatures from getting out of hand. Thus, Daze plays perfectly into disrupting your opponent’s spells while still tapping out.

The second card to watch out for is Stifle. Stifle is currently waxing and waning in lists (the list above doesn’t have it), but when it is being played, it can lead to blowouts. Stifling fetchland activations is a Stone Rain for one mana, and stopping Wastelands on Tempo Threshold’s fragile manabase is key as well. Some lists have been substituting Stifle for Spell Pierce – they serve similar, but not identical purposes. Spell Pierce is more effective in protecting Tempo Threshold’s creatures, which can also be key in many matchups.

Lastly, combining these two tempo cards with Wasteland creates a tough strategy for opponents to beat. Playing around Daze forces the opponent to have more mana, but Stifle and Wasteland both stop that from happening. Consequentially, your opponents are forced to play into Daze much more often than they want to – if they even have the mana to cast spells, that is.

Watch Out For

  • The creatures (Delver of Secrets, Tarmogoyf, Nimble Mongoose, and sometimes Snapcaster Mage and Grim Lavamancer): The win condition of Tempo Threshold. These creatures are undercosted beaters, allowing the Tempo Threshold players to play more disruption spells and protect their creatures easier.
  • Daze, Stifle, Wasteland, and Spell Pierce – As mentioned above, these cards buy enough time to grow Tarmogoyf, achieve threshold for Nimble Mongoose, and get in enough swings with Delver of Secrets
  • Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Fire/Ice, and Forked Bolt – These cards allow for maximum flexibility, by generating tempo through killing creatures or game winners by pointing them to the opponent’s face.
  • Force of Will and Spell Snare – The only hard counters of the deck, they are also huge tempo cards. Force of Will is Force of Will, but Spell Snare is also key in stopping the many 2 drops that can stop the RUG game plan, such as opposing Tarmogoyfs, Stoneforge Mystic, Price of Progress, Infernal Tutor, etc
  • The dual lands – Possibly the weakest part in RUG Delver’s game plan is the manabase. The deck demands its three colors fast, and dual lands provide those at the cost of being vulnerable to Wasteland. The deck runs at most one basic land, so attacking the manabase is a crucial part in winning.

Variants

  • There aren’t many divergent strategies in maindeck Tempo Threshold, except for particular card choices. Stifle and Spell Pierce are interchangeable, as are Nimble Mongoose and Snapcaster Mage (though Snapcaster Mage is falling out of favor as a 4-of). All in all, Tempo Threshold tries to run anywhere from 8-14 creatures, 18-19 land, and the rest of the cards are instants and sorceries.
  • The sideboard is where there are differences. Some decks run a Counterbalance/Sensei’s Divining Top package and some builds don’t, instead opting for more Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blasts

Stoneblade

Creatures (11)
Vendilion Clique
Snapcaster Mage
Stoneforge Mystic

Spells (25)
Mana Leak
Brainstorm
Force of Will
Spell Snare
Swords to Plowshares
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Batterskull
Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands (24)
Karakas
Plains
Riptide Laboratory
Island
Mishra’s Factory
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Tundra
Wasteland
Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Meddling Mage
Oblivion Ring
Disenchant
Path to Exile
Spell Pierce
Surgical Extraction
Wrath of God

Things to Know

Stoneblade is a grinding aggro/control deck that utilizes the power of Stoneforge Mystic, her buddies Batterskull and equipment, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Unlike Tempo Threshold, where the whole is much, much, greater than the sum of its parts (Daze doesn’t too much if you can’t take advantage of your opponent’s tempo loss for example), Stoneblade has just powerful cards. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is the best planeswalker ever printed, Stoneforge Mystic has versatility, Swords to Plowshares is the best spot removal, Brainstorm to find it all, and Snapcaster Mage to bring it all back. So when you find yourself in an advantageous situation against Stoneblade, be careful, because it may not last long. Since Brainstorm and Jace the Mind Sculptor reside in the same deck to maximize the amount of cards the deck sees, it isn’t uncommon to run 1-of silver bullets in Stoneblade. Wrath of God, Oblivion Ring, Crucible of Worlds, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and Vedalken Shackles can find their way into the maindeck as a 1-of.

Because Stoneblade attacks from so many different angles, it can be tough to devise a single plan of attack. Going all in on stopping the Stoneforge Mystic strategy (such as using your only Bolt on a Mystic, Force of Willing the Mystic, or Green Sunning for a Pridemage) may cost you if your Stoneblade opponent is really on the Jace plan. The best general strategy against Stoneblade is overloading the Stoneblade player with threats and run them out of cards. From there, you can hopefully overwhelm the Stoneblade player. Incidentally, this is why Maverick is so good versus Stoneblade. From Mother of Runes, Green Sun’s Zenith, Qasali Pridemage, Elspeth, and Knight of the Reliquary, it can be tough for Stoneblade to answer them all and answer with a Jace.

Watch Out For

  • Stoneforge Mystic – Stoneforge Mystic gives the deck the versatility it needs to adapt. It can fetch Batterskull when it needs to be aggro, it can grab Sword of Feast and Famine in the control matchup, or it can grab Umezawa’s Jitte to stop creature swarms. It also provides shuffle effects for Brainstorm and Jace.
  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor – Most people know what Jace does, but keep in mind it can be used to bounce any of Stoneblade’s creatures to rebuy their ETB effects.

Variants

  • The popular variant right now is Esper Stoneblade. It gains Lingering Souls and discard. Lingering Souls beats planeswalkers, and provides a stream of equipment-holders or chump blockers. It also gains Perish out of the sideboard, to ease the Maverick matchup.
  • Adding red to the deck gives it Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast – a great card in the mirror match. It also has the possibility of Grim Lavamancer.
  • Bant Stoneblade is also a possibility. Green gives the deck Knight of the Reliquary, though in Green Sun’s Zenith isn’t seen as often in Bant Stoneblade.

Maverick

Creatures (25)
Knight of the Reliquary
Mother of Runes
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Stoneforge Mystic
Scavenging Ooze
Eternal Witness
Gaddock Teeg
Scryb Ranger
Terravore
Thrun, the Last Troll

Spells (13)
Swords to Plowshares
Green Sun’s Zenith
Sylvan Library
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands (22)
Dryad Arbor
Gaea’s Cradle
Karakas
Misty Rainforest
Plains
Verdant Catacombs
Forest
Horizon Canopy
Savannah
Wasteland
Windswept Heath
Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Tormod’s Crypt
Ethersworn Canonist
Phyrexian Metamorph
Choke
Oblivion Ring
Enlightened Tutor
Path to Exile
Umezawa’s Jitte
Bojuka Bog
Maze of Ith

Things to Know

Much of what Maverick revolves around are “tricks”, so watch out. Even though this deck doesn’t run blue, there are still many things it can do in response to whatever you’re trying to do. The one drops in Maverick are very important. The mana acceleration includes Noble Hierarch, Green Sun’s Zenith where X=0 (for Dryad Arbor), and Birds of Paradise (depending on build). Mother of Runes is also a very, very powerful one drop that can put the game in the Maverick player’s favor if not dealt with.

Watch Out For

  • The land toolbox by Knight of the Reliquary fetching out a Karakas to bounce an Emrakul, Maze of Ith to stop a pesky creature or Sword equipment, Wasteland to mana screw you, or Bojuka Bog from the sideboard to mess with graveyard shenanigans.
  • Green Sun’s Zenith to fetch silver bullets such as Scavenging Ooze, Qasali Pridemage, Scryb Ranger, or Gaddock Teeg. Also provides 4 additional copies of any green creature in case Maverick just needs an overall beater
  • Scryb Ranger to flash in to surprise block with a tapped Knight of the Reliquary, reusing Knight or Mother of Runes, provide protection against Wasteland, or block a Delver of Secrets.
  • Loyal Retainers alongside Fauna Shaman and Elesh Norn to wipe out a board. Loyal Retainers is expensive so while you should keep this in mind, it will be rare.
  • The Enlightened Tutor package out of the sideboard gives Maverick very flexible answers to almost anything in addition to Green Sun’s Zenith and Knight of the Reliquary
  • Slowing Maverick down  by killing its mana dorks helps to gain an advantage over Maverick; Forked Bolt helps a lot in getting rid of its 1 toughness creatures.
  • Cursed Totem is also a great card against Maverick.
Variants
  • Red for Punishing Fire. It can provide a better way to deal with many creatures as well as planeswalkers. However, it can be more susceptible to nonbasic hate as many builds run little to no basics.
  • Blue for Geist of Saint Traft. Equipping a Geist with a Sword can make him very powerful.

The Budget Decks – Burn, Affinity, UR Delver

Since this is Legacy, budget decks will always be a significant percentage of the field. However, just because they are cheap doesn’t mean they don’t pack a punch.

Burn

Creatures (13)
Figure of Destiny
Hellspark Elemental
Keldon Marauders
Goblin Guide

Spells (28)
Fireblast
Lightning Bolt
Price of Progress
Chain Lightning
Flame Rift
Lava Spike
Rift Bolt

Lands (19)
Barbarian Ring
17 Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Faerie Macabre
Pyrostatic Pillar
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Smash to Smithereens

Things to Know

Yes, burn is a deck. After its back-to-back wins a couple of months ago, it hasn’t placed so well lately. However, as Jesse and Alix Hatfield’s Too Much Information indicates, it still takes up a significant percentage of the field. Why? Since it’s a budget deck, even though it may not be THE deck to beat, it remains popular because it’s within the grasp of many players nowadays.

That being said, burn is a pretty linear deck. The deck is blazing fast, so if you stumble once against it, it can cost you the game – 20 life points matter so much more in this matchup than perhaps any other deck except for Storm. Burn has no draw engine, so it is very dependent maximizing the power of the cards it does draw. With this being the case, the strategy to fight burn is obvious – don’t let them maximize the power of their cards. Trading 1-for-1 versus burn, or even making suboptimal blocks just to prevent damage can be the difference between life and death.

Watch Out For

  • Goblin Guide – By turn 2, Goblin Guide has already dealt 4 damage. Combined with fetches, that can make for a pretty quick clock.
  • Price of Progress – Probably the reason why burn is so playable today, it is easily played around, except if you’re RUG or BUG Control. Don’t forget that you can Wasteland your own dual lands (or itself) to mitigate the damage dealt by Price of Progress.
  • Fireblast – Fireblast is the reason why 4 life is as good as 0 versus Burn. A free 4 damage is nothing to scoff at.
  • Sulfuric Vortex – Residing in many sideboards and some main decks, Sulfuric Vortex gives burn the inevitability as well as stopping lifegain cards like Batterskull, Swords to Plowshares, and Umezawa’s Jitte.

Variants

  • With a lot of burn hate coming up, some burn decks have begun to readd fetchlands and dual lands such as Taiga to gain access to anti-hate. However, many burn players are adamant in sticking to one color since fetchlands and dual lands open them up to Stifle and Wasteland. Also, the budget of many Burn players may disallow this as well.

Affinity

Creatures (21)
Stoneforge Mystic
Etched Champion
Frogmite
Memnite
Signal Pest
Vault Skirge

Spells (23)
Dispatch
Thoughtcast
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Cranial Plating
Mox Opal
Springleaf Drum

Lands (16)
Ancient Den
Inkmoth Nexus
Seat of the Synod
Vault of Whispers
Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger's Cage
Ethersworn Canonist
Spell Pierce
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Thoughtseize

Things to Know

Much like burn, Affinity is a deck that doesn’t place high on the standings but is always a common occurrence at StarCityGames events, and we expect nothing different at SCG: Phoenix. Etched Champion + Cranial Plating and Tezzeret are easily the most effective win conditions in the deck, though a Cranial Plating on an Ornithopter can steal quite a bit of games.

Affinity is kinda like what Belcher would be if it was an aggro deck – an all-in strategy that can have a great game one win percentage, but falls apart in game two. Affinity’s explosiveness can punish a weakly kept hand in game one. However, Affinity suffers from what is known as sideboard splash damage. In a metagame full of Stoneforge Mystics, many people will be packing hate such as Ancient Grudge and Krosan Grip. Not surprisingly, these cards also come in versus Affinity. With Umezawa’s Jitte also residing in many maindecks or sideboards, Affinity can have a tough time in game two – but don’t be fooled, you still have to earn your victory!

Watch Out For

  • Cranial Plating – This common from Fifth Dawn can make any creature formidable. +5/+0 or even +10/+0 is common – that’ll end games quick. The instant speed equip can also fool many opponents, so be sure to take that into account when making blocks.
  • Etched Champion – This troublesome guy is brutal with a Cranial Plating or as an infinite blocker. In a format with artifact lands, it is almost impossible not to be metalcraft. If you are playing Umezawa’s Jitte, it is crucial to try to get two counters on Etched Champion before it lands, because otherwise it will be difficult to accumulate counters in order to kill the Champion. Other ways to deal with an Etched Champion include blocking with a Mishra’s Factory, Maze of Ith, Barbarian Ring, and outracing it – its 2/2 body isn’t much, so hope they don’t have a Cranial Plating!

Variants

  • Master of Etherium shows up as a Lord in some builds.
  • Dispatch gives the deck hard removal. Moving into white gives the deck access to Stoneforge Mystic as well.
  • Red offers Galvanic Blast and Fling. Combined with Arcbound Ravager, it can be a pretty quick clock.
  • Green offers Glimpse of Nature, which can be pretty brutal considering many of its creatures are next to no mana.

Since Affinity can produce all colors with Mox Opal, Springleaf Drum, and Glimmervoid, don’t be surprised to see a completely new color in game two that you didn’t see before – those artifact lands can be deceiving.

UR Delver

Creatures (14)
Grim Lavamancer
Snapcaster Mage
Delver of Secrets
Goblin Guide

Spells (28)
Fireblast
Daze
Price of Progress
Spell Snare
Brainstorm
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Chain Lightning

Lands (18)
Wooded Foothills
Arid Mesa
Island
Mountain
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Sideboard (15)
Sulfuric Vortex
Flusterstorm
Pyroblast
Smash to Smithereens
Submerge
Surgical Extraction

Things to Know

Delver of Secrets, Brainstorm, and counterspells add a whole new dimension to burn. Brainstorm adds so much raw power to the deck and makes it topdeck better. At the same time though, adding Force of Will and counterspells may in fact dilute the speed of the deck. The strategy for UR Delver is relatively the same as burn, but just be wary of counterspells.

Watch Out For

  • Counterspells: Daze, Spell Snare, and Force of Will are not universally played in UR Delver, so it is something to look out for game one. You may be playing around something that isn’t there.

Variants

  • As mentioned above, some variations of UR Delver don’t run any counterspells. This version of UR Delver is generally faster since they have more room for burn spells. Rift Bolt and Lava Spike are generally signs that they don’t run any counterspells.

The Combo Decks – Dredge, Show and Tell/Sneak Attack, Ad Nauseam Tendrils

Dredge

Creatures (21)
Flame-Kin Zealot
Golgari Thug
Ichorid
Golgari Grave-Troll
Narcomoeba
Putrid Imp
Stinkweed Imp

Spells (25)
Darkblast
Dread Return
Breakthrough
Cabal Therapy
Careful Study
Faithless Looting
Bridge from Below
Lion’s Eye Diamond

Lands (14)
Undiscovered Paradise
Cephalid Coliseum
City of Brass
Gemstone Mine
Sideboard (15)
Angel of Despair
Ichorid
Leyline of the Void
Ancient Grudge
Darkblast
Firestorm
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Breakthrough

Things to Know

You really need to know how this deck works to stand any sort of chance against it. Read our earlier article Breaking into Legacy – How Dredge Works for more details. Basically, Dredge wants to put a large amount of cards into its graveyard through the Dredge mechanic combined with draw/discard spells (or just the normal draw for the turn). From this, it puts creatures like Ichorid and Narcomoeba into play. Then it seeks to generate Zombie tokens from Bridge from Below through either Ichorid’s natural death at end of turn or sacrificing either Ichorid or Narcomoeba to pay for the flashback cards like Cabal Therapy or Dread Return. It either overwhelms its opponent with Zombie tokens and whittle its opponent’s life total away, or go for a combo kill and recur a Flame-kin Zealot to attack with dozens of angry, hasted zombies.

Watch Out For

  • Bridge from Below is a huge culprit. Generating Zombie tokens give Dredge value at almost every opportunity; Ichorid dies every turn to give one or more Zombie tokens, and Cabal Therapy protects the Dredge player and provides more Zombie tokens as well.
  • Dread Return not only gives Dredge a huge creature for you to deal with, but also tons of Zombie tokens. Some people don’t run silver bullet targets for Dread Return; they just capitalize on the lack of mass removal in Legacy and use Dread Return for its ability to generate large amounts of Zombies.
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond. With the printing of Faithless Looting, Lion’s Eye Diamond makes the deck a lot faster.
  • Just because you have a hate card in your opening hand doesn’t mean you’re going to win. Sure, it gives you an advantage, but an experienced Dredge player can sometimes fight back — so don’t relax. Typically the most effective hate card against Dredge is Leyline of the Void, but sometimes you will have to mulligan into oblivion to find it.
  • Ichorid provides the Dredge pilot a way to generate Zombie tokens without attacking – the end phase. Also, even if you manage to remove all of the Bridge from Belows, the player can always recur Ichorids turn after turn to slowly grind out the win.

Variants

  • It’s been widely accepted that the Lion’s Eye Diamond version of Dredge with Faithless Looting is now the superior version over non-LED. If you see Dredge, expect it to be fast.
  • Some builds run Dakmor Salvage alongside Bloodghast.
  • Other builds run Flayer of the Hatebound. This allows Dredge to win without attacking by Dread Returning a Flayer of the Hatebound, dealing 4 to the opponent. Then it Dread Returns, sacrificing some tokens or other creatures as well as the Flayer, targetting a Golgari Grave-Troll. The Flayer’s Undying ability resolves before Dread Return does, so it comes in and deals 5 to the opponent (9 total). Afterwards, the Golgari Grave-Troll comes into play, dealing somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 damage.

Show and Tell/Sneak Attack

Creatures (7)
Progenitus
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Spells (34)
Misdirection
Spell Pierce
Daze
Intuition
Brainstorm
Force of Will
Preordain
Ponder
Show and Tell
Sneak Attack
Lotus Petal

Lands (19)
Mountain
City of Traitors
Island
Ancient Tomb
Volcanic Island
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger’s Cage
Magus of the Moon
Leyline of Sanctity
Red Elemental Blast
Surgical Extraction
Shattering Spree

Things to Know

Show and Tell/Sneak Attack is a deck that puts extremely powerful and hard-to-deal-with creatures into play for only three mana using Show and Tell. Even though Show and Tell might be a symmetrical effect, there are few cards in the game that can overpower what the Show and Tell player puts into play. This deck can combo off with an Emrakul or Progenitus as early as turn 1. Because it’s not a storm deck, it can get away with casting the three mana pseudo Demonic Tutor, Intuition, one of the most powerful spells in the deck, to fetch a combo piece or protection. In addition, as a predominantly blue deck, Show and Tell can run Force of Will, Daze, Misdirection, and Spell Pierce to protect its combo.

Watch Out For

  • Progenitus has protection from everything. Everything. Every. Thing. The only ways you can get rid of him is through sacrifice or mass destruction events (Diabolic Edict or Wrath of God for example). Karakas will not help against Progenitus. Keep in mind that protection from quality means that it can’t be damaged, enchanted/fortified, blocked, or targeted by the stated quality (just remember DEBT).
  • Emrakul’s ability is different. Emrakul has protection from colored spells; if there is an activated ability or triggered ability from a permanent or a card, Emrakul can be affected by it. Fifteen goblins in play when cycling a Gempalm Incinerator can target Emrakul. A Grim Lavamancer can target him (most likely comboed with a Basilisk Collar will take down Emrakul). Karakas can return Emrakul to the hand. If Show and Tell’d into play or Sneak Attacked into play, the player does not get the extra turn with Emrakul.
  • If a player casts Intuition, it is very likely they have the rest of the combo alongside protection (or they are going to fetch for protection). Stop it at all costs.
  • An Oblivion Ring put into play on a Show and Tell can get rid of an Emrakul. A Clone or Phantasmal Image put into play on a Show and Tell cannot. This is because a Clone-effect enters play AS the copied creature, meaning that the creature must be on the battlefield prior to Clone entering play. Since Clone and Emrakul enter at the same time, a Clone-effect cannot copy whatever comes into play at the same time with it.
  • Emrakul’s “shuffle into library” effect when it hits the graveyard still gives you an opportunity to use a Surgical Extraction on the Emrakul; this is a triggered ability and goes on the stack and resolves normally. Progenitus’ “shuffle into library” effect shuffles him into the library INSTEAD of hitting the graveyard; there is never a point where he is in the graveyard, meaning you can’t respond to it by using a Surgical Extraction on the Progenitus.
  • Just because you get hit by an Emrakul and his annihilator 6 on a Sneak Attack doesn’t mean you lose immediately (if you survive the 15 damage of course). Don’t scoop as soon as you see the Emrakul. Sometimes the Show and Tell/Sneak Attack player has trouble finding the last creature to finish you off.

Variants

There aren’t many variants of Show and Tell/Sneak Attack. Many of them just vary in the number of Progenitus they run (Emrakul is universally a 4 of whereas Progenitus can vary from 2-4). Blightsteel Colossus may also appear from time to time to kill opponents in one fell swoop. Some run Misdirection as additional “copies” of Force of Will.

Ad Nauseam Tendrils

Spells (43)
Ad Nauseam
Chain of Vapor
Brainstorm
Cabal Ritual
Dark Ritual
Grim Tutor
Ill-Gotten Gains
Tendrils of Agony
Thoughtseize
Duress
Infernal Tutor
Ponder
Preordain
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal

Lands (17)
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Swamp
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Island
Polluted Delta
Sideboard (15)
Dark Confidant
Energy Flux
Ad Nauseam
Chain of Vapor
Echoing Truth
Slaughter Pact
Sadistic Sacrament
Thoughtseize

Things To Know

Ad Nauseam Tendrils relies on many different engines in order to generate a storm count of nine (since Tendrils of Agony itself is the tenth copy). These engines are: Ill-Gotten Gains, Past in Flames, and its namesake, Ad Nauseam. Ill-Gotten Gains and Past in Flames generate storm count by allowing the ANT player to reuse spells they have already cast and Ad Nauseam gives the pilot a huge amount of access to their deck.

When playing against ANT, be sure to have a clock and disruption. It isn’t good enough to just have a Mindbreak Trap or Leyline of Sanctity. The lack of a clock means that they have all the time in the world to find the perfect anti-hate, whether it be Thoughtseize or Chain of Vapor. Having a clock on the ANT player forces them to burn their cantrips suboptimally in order to stop the clock or to win the game.

Watch Out For

  • Lion’s Eye Diamond + Infernal Tutor. This small combo allows the pilot to achieve hellbent and fetch any card from their library.
  • ANT can go off as early as turn 1 depending on whether you run blue or not.
  • Ill-Gotten Gains and Past in Flames recur cards from the graveyard, so graveyard hate might not be a bad idea to shut off two engines.
  • The more you damage them, the worse their Ad Nauseam gets.

Variants

  • There can be many variants on ANT depending on your definition of it. Some people consider The Epic Storm (which splashes red or even all five colors) a variation. TES runs Orim’s Chant as a way to fight counterspells without needing to find discard spells. Doomsday Tendrils is also another possible variation of the deck, focusing on using Doomsday to generate a lethal storm count.

Last But Not Least – Bant

Bant

Creatures (17)
Dryad Arbor
Qasali Pridemage
Scavenging Ooze
Stoneforge Mystic
Vendilion Clique
Knight of the Reliquary
Noble Hierarch

Spells (21)
Spell Snare
Brainstorm
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Green Sun’s Zenith
Sylvan Library
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Batterskull
Sword of Fire and Ice

Lands (22)
Forest
Island
Karakas
Maze of Ith
Plains
Savannah
Tundra
Tropical Island
Wasteland
Misty Rainforest
Windswept Heath
Sideboard (15)
Threads of Disloyalty
Life from the Loam
Bojuka Bog
Meddling Mage
Umezawa’s Jitte
Sylvan Library
Path to Exile
Spell Pierce
Qasali Pridemage
Spell Snare
Things To Know

Bant is probably the most ‘generic’ deck there is, as in it doesn’t necessarily do anything unfair or broken. It is simply a deck that runs the best cards of blue (Force of Will, Brainstorm), white (Swords to Plowshares, Stoneforge Mystic),  green (Noble Hierarch, Green Sun’s Zenith), and a mixture of all of those colors (Geist of Saint Traft, Knight of the Reliquary). Though it’s not an ‘unfair’ deck, it can still be powerful.

Watch Out For

  • This deck often looks like Maverick with a bigger emphasis on blue versus Maverick decks that splash blue. The land toolbox from Knight of the Reliquary is still here and so is the Green Sun’s Zenith toolbox, though in a smaller package.
  • Vendilion Clique, though not seen very often these days, sees play here, so watch out when activating a Stoneforge Mystic, AEther Vial, or something similar, as they can Clique out the important equipment or cards from your hand while still providing a very efficient beater.
  • Noble Hierarch allows the Bant player to Daze you without losing tempo.

Variants

  • Natural Order Bant still may be a possibility, either maindeck or out of the sideboard. Gaddock Teeg shuts off Natural Order, Green Sun’s Zenith, Force of Will, Jace, and Submerge out of the sideboard so he might be a good idea if he’s a possibility.

Ready for SCG: Phoenix?

We sure hope you are! To reference again, here are the ten decks we think will be seeing plenty of play at SCG: Phoenix:

  • Tempo Threshold
  • Stoneblade
  • Maverick
  • Burn
  • Affinity
  • UR Delver
  • Dredge
  • Show and Tell/Sneak Attack
  • Ad Nauseam Tendrils
  • Bant

If you have any questions regarding Legacy, feel free to shoot them below. Also, we are certain we have missed decks, so if you think we have missed some, let us know and we can try to cover them next week!

 

Jason and Jeff