Deck Tech: BUG with Caleb Durward
Caleb's BUG list is something new!
Caleb’s known to be good for a brew—he loves trying new things in Legacy and has an insatiable interest in tinkering for the format. Following Nick Spagnolo’s run with BUG in Baltimore, Caleb set his sights on his own version of the color combination, and wound up with a very novel deck.
Part Countertop, part tempo deck, and part control, Caleb’s deck can adapt to shifting roles quickly. The primary offensive crew is Scavenging Ooze and Thrun, the Last Troll. While the four-drop might seem strange to rely on so heavily in the main, Caleb thinks he’s one of the best parts of the deck. “Thrun does most of the dirty work,” Caleb said. “Scavenging Ooze is mostly utility, but does a bit some of the time. There are so many answers to Ooze, like Maze… Thrun always gets there—always. He’s just really good against the field.”
Green Sun’s Zenith was an obvious complement, along with Birds of Paradise and Dryad Arbor. Backing these two dudes, Caleb found room for Sower of Temptation. “I cut Grave Titan for him; I just wanted one more guy,” he said. “I was getting to five mana consistently and I wanted another creature that was an answer to Show and Tell decks plus an answer to Maverick, and with Countertop I can protect him.”
Caleb’s running a number of bullets among his other spells; some new, some old. He’s been sticking Skeletal Scrying into his Legacy decks for some time now, and continues to wonder why others don’t do the same. “It’s just really strong; I have enough fetches for it so it’s almost always a draw X. It’s a one-time Necropotence, although sometimes it’s just a Night’s Whisper,” he explained. “An earlier version of this deck had a playset of Accumulated Knowledge, but that got kind of clunky. I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on more in this format, because it’s so powerful—it used to be a one-of in a lot of Vintage decks!”
Another card draw spell is Predict. “I started with two Predicts and went down to one to make room for the third Top in the maindeck and that was really good,” he admitted. “Sometimes, Predict puts creatures in the graveyard for Scavenging Ooze when you really need them, which I value, and you can always Snapcaster it back for parity.”
Echoing Truth adds another catch-all dimension to the deck, leaving Caleb always drawing live. “It’s got a lot of value, bouncing multiple Knight of the Reliquaries for example.” In fact, Caleb had just finished using it to remove three Lodestone Golems from his path! “Bounce is obviously good with Sword of Feast and Famine but I didn’t want another Jace,” he added. “It’s also great with Countertop, since you can put the card back in their hand and prevent it from coming back down.” One primary reason Caleb preferred Truth to Jace has been its applications against Lingering Souls.
The Souls can be a problem, especially in timed play. “That’s one reason there’s a Jitte in my deck—so I can actually fight through a pile of Lingering Souls,” Caleb said, noting he found the matches frequently going close to time. The fact that his deck has so many threes for Counterbalance is also very useful, but Caleb didn’t consciously aim it that way—he described the costs as “a happy coincidence” after building the deck. “I was playing the deck, and it was a random pile of cards… I was just spinning Top, hitting Sword of Feast and Famine, and thinking, ‘This feels great.’ As the deck became more refined, I paid a little more attention.” One of the nicest interactions has been having a midgame threat that he can float for Counterbalance as a one in Green Sun’s Zenith.
Finally, Caleb made it sixty cards with Darkblast in the maindeck. “It was the last card I added and I just wanted something that was good against Maverick, and a way of beating it in game 1,” he said. “It also synergizes really well with the Diabolic Edicts; you kill their little guys and Edict their large ones.”
Those definitely aren’t all of Caleb’s bullets—his holster has plenty more. Give this BUG brew a try, and season to taste!