New Standard decklists with Dominaria, Karn, Scion of Urza in Legacy, some excellent decklists, and nostalgia. What more could you possibly want out of an article?
10: Fighting Angels with Fire
- 4 Bomat Courier
- 3 Ahn-Crop Crasher
- 4 Earthshaker Khenra
- 2 Fanatical Firebrand
- 3 Hazoret the Fervent
- 2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
- 3 Lyra Dawnbringer
Could Mono-Red use some extra staying power? Likely, given how strong the various decks in Standard are now. There's also the Lyra Dawnbringer problem, but thankfully there aren't many problems that can't be solved with red cards.
I fully expect Fight with Fire to have a surge in popularity, especially with a backdoor way to kick it against slower opponents. If they Settle the Wreckage you, that's one way, but even stuff like Chandra, Treasure Map, and Captain Lannery Storm can do a lot of work to get you there.
Having that sort of end game can be huge in Standard and red could use the help. With Glorybringer looking pretty good again, red decks should be looking to go a lot bigger.
9: Weird "Mardu" Deck v1.0 AKA "How to Chainwhirl"
- 4 Scrapheap Scrounger
- 1 Angel of Sanctions
- 4 Goblin Chainwhirler
- 4 Veteran Motorist
- 2 Depala, Pilot Exemplar
- 1 Lyra Dawnbringer
Four Goblin Chainwhirlers and basically every land in the deck casts it? Check. Wisely cutting Toolcraft Exemplar because trying to cast it on Turn 1 would be a nightmare? Check. Fight with Fire to light up Lyras? Check.
Scrapheap Scrounger is a bit difficult to return and you lose out on Unlicensed Disintegration, but that's an acceptable loss. Red and white are strong enough where you don't need to play high variance cards like Toolcraft Exemplar and/or play an overly complicated manabase.
I'm also a big fan of Angel of Sanctions right now. Kudos to Raul Porojan for the innovation.
8: Absolutely Vile
W/B Aggro has been making a strong showing as of late, but this list takes conventional wisdom and chucks it out the window. There are no vehicles and no early aggressive creatures, but the same package of planeswalkers and removal is present, including Yawgmoth's Vile Offering at the top end.
To enable it, EvanW has included Danitha Capashen, Paragon and Aryel, Knight of Windgrace. Aryel has some nice synergies with History of Benalia and Knight of Malice, but it's rather light. Conversely, Danitha has zero synergies altogether, and aside from being a reasonable body isn't accomplishing a whole lot for the deck. Is Yawgmoth's Vile Offering worth that investment? Given the record, I'm guessing so, which also means the legendary sorceries are very underplayed relative to how successful they can be.
7: Mono-Black Gets Tuned!
Some versions of this deck have been playing Field of Ruin in the utility slot, which I don't mind because it will eventually become a Swamp and not hurt your Cabal Strongholds. Memorial of Folly strikes me as awkward, despite there being several cards that you might want to Raise Dead. For each non-Swamp you play, your Cabal Strongholds get set back but a non-trivial amount, so I can't fathom taking that approach.
Regardless, Karn into Liliana is an incredible curve, and I'm making a mental note to explore that more. This deck is incredibly simple, but I love it.
6: Weird "Mardu" Deck v2.0
- 4 Walking Ballista
- 3 Benalish Marshal
- 4 Toolcraft Exemplar
- 2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
- 2 Lyra Dawnbringer
- 3 Pia Nalaar
Yuuka took the opposite approach to Ra_Po and went nearly Mono-White with their Mardu shell, hoping to capitalize on the power of Benalish Marshal.
Using Kari Zev, Skyship Raider as your two-drop of choice might seem strange (outside of the go-wide synergy with Benalish Marshall), but it makes sense when you see the sideboard Urza's Ruinous Blasts. Veteran Motorist and Scrapheap Scrounger are both absent, but similarly to the Yawgmoth's Vile Offerings above, Urza's Ruinous Blast has a very high ceiling. Against many decks, it's a one-sided Plague Wind and then some.
It's worth noting that most of these white-based decks that used to transform into midrange are slowly moving their maindeck in that direction. Lyra Dawnbringer and the like are going to be showing up in more maindecks as a result, so you need to be prepared.
5: That's Just Good Deckbuilding AKA "How Not to Chainwhirl"
- 2 Walking Ballista
- 4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
- 2 Glorybringer
- 4 Goblin Chainwhirler
- 4 Whirler Virtuoso
- 3 The Scarab God
In reality, there are seventeen red sources for Goblin Chainwhirler (not counting the four Aether Hubs), so that's should be plenty. It's just awkward that four of your lands that don't cast it are also the Fetid Pools that you'd prefer to play on turn one.
Overall, Grixis Energy could probably use the help from Goblin Chainwhirler, but realistically this deck is R/B splashing Whirler Virtuoso, which doesn't seem necessary. At that point, what are we doing here?
4: The Finest Piece of Deckbuilding in This Decade
There's nothing quite like playing twelve threats, a bunch of nonsense, and hoping for the best.
I'm surprised there isn't a good way to utilize Lion's Eye Diamond. Can you throw in four copies of Faithless Looting and two Unburial Rites, or would that be nonsense? There's some obvious awkwardness bound to happen when you're mostly planning to play Chalice of the Void on one, but that probably means things are going alright.
Overall, this deck probably has a few different avenues to go down, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves.
3: Speed it Up or Slow it Down?
Sometimes it takes a while for Legacy to move because of how infrequently the tournaments happen. First, Lands rose to prominence and was secretly the best deck despite crushing every tournament. Finally, enough people picked up the deck that everyone else had to adapt. Diabolic Edicts started appearing in every decklist and here we are.
Jody has been on top of Legacy for quite a while and swapping from his beloved Lands to "Turbo" Depths is a great choice for him. Lands quickly became about making a 20/20 as quickly as possible, so why were they messing around with Punishing Fires and other nonsense?
Even Jody's move away from the "turbo" aspect of Dark Depths is heads-up. Slowing things down a bit and including cards like Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant both protect your Avatar token, but also give you a powerful backup plan.
While I'm currently favoring the Man of Steel deck (or whatever they're calling it now), Jody's deck would be my second or third choice.
2: New Ways to Show Your Devotion
- 4 Arbor Elf
- 3 Birds of Paradise
- 4 Burning-Tree Emissary
- 1 Craterhoof Behemoth
- 3 Eternal Witness
- 2 Fauna Shaman
- 2 Kitchen Finks
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 2 Strangleroot Geist
- 2 Wistful Selkie
- 1 Woodland Bellower
I both have no idea if this decklist is remotely playable, not do I know what the next evolution will be, but I'm excited to find out!
For some reason, utilizing Collected Company to enable devotion hasn't been something I've seen many people try. You always needed a payoff for all that Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx mana, so I guess we thought we couldn't play big payoffs, Collected Company, and still have enough small creatures? Well, this deck makes all that skepticism obsolete.
1: Throwback to 2001
- 2 Amrou Scout
- 1 Aven Riftwatcher
- 1 Defiant Falcon
- 2 Mirror Entity
- 1 Ramosian Lieutenant
- 4 Ramosian Sergeant
- 1 Whipcorder
- 2 Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
Nostalgia is a real thing and this deck makes me incredibly happy.
Ramosian Sergeant was the original Deathrite Shaman, in that it was an incredibly powerful, annoying one-drop to play against. "Kill this or lose" shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation for a Magic card to have, but it ends up being obnoxious on a one-drop. This deck even moves Ramosian Sergeant into modern-day playability with Training Grounds!
Rebels provided some of the first busted synergy with Brainstorm, especially since you could put Rebels back into your deck and search for them later, making the whole transaction feel a lot like Squadron Hawk.
Honestly, if the Legacy field is all grindy blue decks, I wouldn't mind sleeving up Ramosian Sergeant. I can't imagine this deck has great matchups across the board though. If all you want is a trip down memory lane, I highly recommend it.