Deck Tech: Stompy with Matt Rhoden
Matt Rhoden examines his hand after some brutal mulligans with Stompy.
This deck is a blast from the past, with a bit of the modern age mixed in. Stompy, a Legacy strategy of days gone by, even an Extended strategy from that format’s earliest incarnation, has always had a few proponents in the Magic world. It’s been mostly absent from the Open Series, but Matt Rhoden began the day with some fast wins from incredibly quick games.
Stompy was one of the first Legacy decks I ever played with, and I remember being stunned at some of the things it could do. Bounty of the Hunt and Rogue Elephant? What a team! In the years since then, the creatures—and the spells—have gotten even better. Skarrgan Pit-Skulk is a massive beater in conjunction with your efficient pump spells, while Glistener Elf sort of doubles any pump spell’s efficacy. While the Elf might not help you finish a wounded opponent, the busted starts made possible by Invigorate are well worth the inclusion.
Invigorate is a major player, but the biggest gains are more contemporary. Might of Old Krosa offers a stern boost, and Mutagenic Growth is half an Invigorate costed at the reverse of the original. My favorite addition, however, is the Standard superstar Gitaxian Probe. One of the most dangerous things about the Stompy deck can be that you lose too many cards, too much tempo, to your opponent having the wrong spell, at the wrong time. Probe changes everything, and it does it for pretty much no cost! The upside to Stompy has always been that when the opponent “didn’t have it,” they wound up instantly dead—Matt’s build grants you some certainty in that regard.
I’m digging the sideboard as well. Stompy is such a threat-dense and land-light deck that many actual sideboarded cards would be wasted space—you don’t have time to cast them, as slowing down your game could give the opponent an unbeatable advantage. Enter Leylines! Both Void and Sanctity are well-positioned in Legacy at the moment, providing massive edges against Dredge and Burn, respectively.
If it’s tempo you want, those Rushwood Legates are also a nice touch. Of course, Tel-Jilad Justice isn’t the most effective piece of artifact destruction… but scry is deceptively powerful in this deck. Magma Jet’s strength in Burn is thanks to its ability to simulate card advantage, and Justice is no different in this build. I could see the potential for Dismember in this deck, but at the moment there isn’t a large enough need to make the reactive removal spell worthwhile.
If you’d like to try and get the opponent on turn 3 over and over, then this has got to be the deck for you. Like Burn, it’s also a great budget option in the Legacy format!