Thousand Years of Six Mana Unplayable Enchantments

By: Adam Bialkowski

It is no secret I am addicted to playing unplayable cards in my standard decks, so for this article I will be going over some decks I have made with some unplayable six mana enchantments that are fun and sometimes good.

Starting off with my favorite deck I have made this season which is Thousand Year Yeet.

Spells:35
4 Opt
3 Shock
1 Electrodominance
3 Expansion // Explosion
4 Growth Spiral
2 Lightning Strike
4 Radical Idea
3 Chemister’s Insight
4 Pirate’s Pillage
3 Wilderness Reclamation
4 Thousand-Year Storm
Lands:25
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hinterland Harbor
3 Island
3 Rootbound Crag
4 Steam Vents
3 Stomping Ground
4 Sulfur Falls
Sideboard:15
1 Lava Coil

1 Negate
4 Deeproot Champion
2 Spell Pierce

2 Hydroid Krasis
4 Fiery Cannonade

This deck takes full advantage over the unplayable Thousand Year Storm and how broken it can be with Wilderness Reclamation. Being able to give all your spells storm sounds busted but tapping out for such an effect will usually end poorly, with Wilderness Reclamation you can just kill your opponent the turn you play Thousand Year Storm. The deck has cheap removal in the form of Shocks. Lightning Strikes, and Electrodominance. The deck gives you various options on how you want to set up turns depending on the current board state. For example, with four mana up you could have the option of Pirate’s Pillage to filter and get you closer to the combo or you could hold up Lightning Strike and Expansion/Explosion to copy the Lightning Strike. When you do get to combo off the feeling is amazing, so many cool interactions with cards that you never thought off, like casting Growth Spiral and getting five copies of it and putting five lands into play to cast the other spells you have in hand. Games Two and Three and where this ridiculous sideboard comes into play. Against a lot of match ups I usually board out the combo and put in every creature, especially Deeproot Champion. Deeproot Champion is the all star of games two and three. Most opponents will board out creature removal against combo decks and Deeproot Champion takes full advantage of that by being a two mana creature that grows into a monster by turn five. Combine this with the other good creatures in the board and the deck turns into temur drakes with the drakes part. This deck on Arena is a living nightmare but incredibly fun, I would recommend if you like janky combos to try this deck out and add whatever spells you think are fun casting six times in a row.  

 

The second deck highlights Fall of Thran and how crazy the card can be with sacrifice effects and exile effects.

Creatures:9
4 Incubation Druid
2 World Shaper
3 Vona, Butcher of Magan
Spells:25
2 Arguel’s Blood Fast
4 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Cast Down
1 Crucible of Worlds
4 Mortify
4 Phyrexian Scriptures
3 Vraska, Golgari Queen
1 Ethereal Absolution
3 Fall of the Thran
1 Vraska, Relic Seeker
Lands:26
2 Field of Ruin
1 Forest
2 Godless Shrine
3 Isolated Chapel
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
4 Sunpetal Grove
1 Swamp
4 Temple Garden
4 Woodland Cemetery

Fall of Thran is probably the hardest six mana enchantment to incorporate into a deck and still have it be playable. This deck takes advantage of Assassin’s Trophy giving your opponent a land then destroying all lands everyone has. With cards like Phyrexian Scriptures, Crucible of Worlds, and Worldshaper you can usually reap the advantage that Fall of Thran takes away from both players which is the ability to play the game. The ideal start of the deck is going turn two Incubation Druid, turn three playing Phyrexian Scriptures putting a counter on Incubation Druid allowing it to tap for three mana, then turn four play Fall of Thran blowing up all lands after you have just blown up all creatures with Scriptures except Incubation Druid. This leaves your opponent with an empty board. Turn five achieve maximum value by drawing your card then stacking saga triggers to where Scriptures will exile your opponent’s graveyard before there are allowed to return any lands into play off of Fall of Thran. If this plan doesn’t work out you can play the midrange game with a lineup of good removal, creatures, and planeswalkers. Fall of Thran is the cherry on top of this Abzan midrange list. The cool part of the deck is if you are ahead on the board and have a Vraska, Golgari Queen you can play Fall of Thran then sacrifice it to her ability and try to win from there. If you like a more grindy play style I would recommend this deck to you.

The third deck is a bit more simple but it falls under ramping and getting absurd value off of casting your spells.

Creatures:24
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Incubation Druid
4 Gruul Spellbreaker
4 Rekindling Phoenix
4 Regisaur Alpha
4 End-Raze Forerunners
Spells:12
1 Banefire
3 Lightning Strike
4 Circuitous Route
4 Sunbird’s Invocation
Lands:24
9 Forest
7 Mountain
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground

The classic Sunbirds Invocation. I chose not to do the Star of Extinction combo list as I found out it was too inconsistent for it to be playable. This list uses great green and red creatures to out value your opponent and win from there. It has a decent early game and a very strong late game with every spell making a huge impact on the board. Being able to use all your mana for sunbirds or forerunners makes it a fun deck to just jam in whatever big dumb thing you want, then go find more big dumb things when the sunbirds triggers. The deck plays itself, but still incredibly fun. I would recommend this deck to anyone whose thinking style falls under BIG STUFF KILLS.

 

The last deck on the menu is a black white Death Shadow deck but Death Shadow is actually a six mana enchantment.

Creatures:16
4 Adanto Vanguard
3 Paladin of Atonement
3 Seraph of the Scales
4 Angel of Grace
2 Vona, Butcher of Magan
Spells:18
3 Font of Agonies
3 Arguel’s Blood Fast
4 Mortify
4 Ixalan’s Binding
4 Axis of Mortality
Lands:26
1 Field of Ruin
4 Godless Shrine
4 Isolated Chapel
10 Plains
7 Swamp
Axis of Mortality is the substitute for Death Shadow for this deck. With multiple effects that allow you to pay life you can get to a pretty low life total then just switch life with the opponent and try to kill them from there. Font of Agonies also sees and appearance in this deck as the best piece of removal a deck with Adanto Vanguard can receive. Angel of Grace also sees an appearance as a oops I didn’t die this turn and now you are at one (insert evil laugh here.) IF you enjoy playing the game on the edge of your seat this is certainly the deck for you.

 

There are some six mana enchmants I didn’t go over due to them being not strong enough are in Lich’s Masteries case actually unplayable because people are playing Discovery/Dispersal in their main decks. Hopefully these decks can highlight how fun it is to play giant enchantments and how they can also be playable in a semi competitive deck. I encourage people to try out cards that are thought as unplayable, because your never opponent may never know what they are about to play against at a fmn, an Open, a Grand Prix, or a nationals.

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RNA Standard – State of the Union Address

By: Myles Miller

Good news, friends: you don’t have to be into politics to care about this particular address. It’s been 3 weeks since the release of Ravnica Allegiance and I’m here to give you an update on the State of the Union. By which I mean we’re going to take a look at the current shape of the Standard format! There have been quite a few major events over the last few weekends, and my goal here is to break down some of the decks that are currently performing well at the top tables throughout the Magic world. We’ve got some existing decks with sweet new upgrades, and a few entirely new decks.

 

What’s Old is New Again

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? When a new set is added to Standard, sometimes all you need to do to stay competitive is make slight changes to the deck you were already playing. Cut a few cards here, throw in some new spice there, and you’re good to go. Let’s take a look at a few decks that were doing very well in Guilds of Ravnica Standard, and see how they’ve adapted to the new format.

Sultai Midrange, by Anthony Devarti. SCG Open, Indianapolis, 1st place

2x Carnage Tyrant

3x Hydroid Krasis

4x Jadelight Ranger

4x Llanowar Elves

4x Merfolk Branchwalker

2x Midnight Reaper

2x Ravenous Chupacabra

1x Seeker’s Squire

4x Wildgrowth Walker

3x Vivien Reid

2x Cast Down

3x Find//Finality

2x Vraska’s Contempt

4x Breeding Pool

1x Drowned Catacomb

4x Forest

1x Island

2x Memorial to Folly

4x Overgrown Tomb

2x Swamp

2x Watery Grave

4x Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard

1x Crushing Canopy

3x Cry of the Carnarium

1x Disdainful Stroke

4x Duress

2x Negate

1x Tendershoot Dryad

2x The Eldest Reborn

1x Vraska’s Contempt

Golgari Midrange was arguably the best deck in Guilds of Ravnica Standard. With an efficient curve, the ability to buy back creatures from the graveyard, and a whole lot of Exploring to keep draws consistent, this deck was hard to beat. But even the best can get better. This archetype has added a third color for one huge benefit: Hydroid Krasis. As it turns out, cutting Vraska, Relic Seeker from the top of the curve in order to play Hydroid Krasis has been a very effective change. Even if your Krasis gets countered, you still get to draw cards and gain life. The ability to reuse this effect by getting the Hydroid Krasis back with Memorial to Folly or the first half of Find//Finality can really swing a game in your favor. Having access to blue mana has the added benefit of enabling the use of counterspells in the sideboard just to make certain matchups, like control, more flexible.

Izzet Drakes, by Brad Carpenter. SCG Open, Indianapolis. 8th place.

4x Crackling Drake

4x Enigma Drake

4x Pteramander

1x Beacon Bolt

4x Chart a Course

4x Discovery//Dispersal

3x Dive Down

4x Lava Coil

4x Opt

4x Shock

3x Spell Pierce

1x Blood Crypt

8x Island

4x Mountain

4x Steam Vents

4x Sulfur Falls

Sideboard

2x Disdainful Stroke

2x Entrancing Melody

2x Fiery Cannonade

2x Niv-Mizzet, Parun

2x Ral, Izzet Viceroy

2x Shivan Fire

1x Star of Extinction

2x Treasure Map

The Little 1/1 That Could: Pteramander has been added to the existing Izzet Drakes shell to increase the number of threats from 8 drakes to 12 total hard-hitting fliers. He doesn’t pack quite as much power as the drakes can, but a 5/5 with flying is certainly a beating. Cutting Goblin Electromancer from this deck means it loses some of the flashy, powerful turns this deck was capable of producing by casting a bunch of spells in one turn, but instead trades that potential for consistency and a greater number of serious threats.

Azorius Aggro, by Max Magnuson. SCG Open, Indianapolis. 4th place.

4x Benalish Marshal

4x Dauntless Bodyguard

4x Deputy of Detention

1x Healer’s Hawk

4x Hunted Witness

4x Snubhorn Sentry

4x Tithe Taker

4x Venerated Loxodon

1x Conclave Tribunal

4x History of Benalia

4x Legion’s Landing

1x Unbreakable Formation

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Hallowed Fountain

13x Plains

Sideboard

3x Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

3x Baffling End

1x Island

3x Negate

2x Spell Pierce

3x Tocatli Honor Guard

Monowhite Aggro was another popular deck before the release of Ravnica Allegiance. Over time, this deck added red mana in order to play cards like Experimental Frenzy or even Heroic Reinforcements to close out games. But now, we’ve seen this archetype take a slightly different direction by splashing blue instead of red. Having blue as the second color allows for the deck to include a powerful new tool: Deputy of Detention isn’t the most aggressive creature in the deck, but it’ll remove any pesky permanent that’s in the way of the aggressive strategy of an otherwise monowhite deck.

 

New Kids on the Block

Ravnica Allegiance adds 5 new guilds, including the completion of the shockland cycle that was started in Guilds of Ravnica. With all these new cards entering the format, it’s unsurprising that we should see some entirely new decks become competitive. Let’s take a look at some of Standard’s newest spice.

Esper Control, by Jonathan Hobbs. SCG Open, Dallas. 2nd place.

4x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

4x Absorb

1x Cast Down

2x Chemister’s Insight

2x Cry of the Carnarium

3x Kaya’s Wrath

2x Moment of Craving

3x Mortify

2x Negate

2x Precognitive Perception

2x Search for Azcanta

3x Thought Erasure

3x Vraska’s Contempt

1x Warrant//Warden

4x Drowned Catacomb

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Godless Shrine

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Isolated Chapel

1x Plains

1x Swamp

4x Watery Grave

Sideboard

4x Basilica Bell-Haunt

3x Duress

2x Hostage Taker

1x Kaya’s Wrath

1x The Eldest Reborn

4x Thief of Sanity

I can’t adequately express how much I’d been waiting for this day. Esper Control is my favorite flavor of control, and now with the addition of Godless Shrine and Hallowed Fountain, it’s time for this deck to really shine. Jeskai is old news. Deafening Clarion is out. Niv-Mizzet, who’s that? Armed with new cards like Kaya’s Wrath and Absorb, and format-defining powerhouses like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Search for Azcanta, and Vraska’s Contempt, it’s no real surprise that control players have chosen to go with Black as a third color instead of Red.

Esper Midrange, by Wyatt Darby. SCG Open, Indianapolis. 7th place.

4x Basilica Bell-Haunt

4x Deputy of Detention

4x Hero of Precinct One

2x Hostage Taker

2x Lyra Dawnbringer

3x Seraph of the Scales

3x Thief of Sanity

2x Dovin, Grand Arbiter

4x Discovery//Dispersal

4x Mortify

4x Thought Erasure

4x Drowned Catacomb

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Godless Shrine

3x Hallowed Fountain

4x Isolated Chapel

1x Swamp

4x Watery Grave

Sideboard

1x Cast Down

2x Consecrate//Consume

1x Disdainful Stroke

2x Duress

2x Karn, Scion of Urza

1x Moment of Craving

3x Negate

1x The Eldest Reborn

2x Vraska’s Contempt

We just talked about Esper Control, but here’s a different take on that 3-color combination. Wyatt Darby created this powerful brew that takes advantage of Hero of Precinct One’s ability while playing powerful standalone cards like Thief of Sanity and Seraph of the Scales to overwhelm opponents with card advantage. With 23 dual lands in the deck, it’s relatively easy to play so many multicolored spells and really take advantage of everything the white/blue/black color combination has to offer.

Nexus of Gates. By Drake Sasser. SCG Open Dallas. 12th place.

4x Hydroid Krasis

4x Circuitous Route

4x Expansion//Explosion

4x Gates Ablaze

4x Growth Spiral

4x Guild Summit

4x Nexus of Fate

2x Spell Pierce

4x Wilderness Reclamation

1x Forest

1x Island

3x Azorius Guildgate

1x Boros Guildgate

1x Breeding Pool

4x Gruul Guildgate

4x Izzet Guildgate

4x Plaza of Harmony

3x Selesnya Guildgate

4x Simic Guildgate

Sideboard

3x Archway Angel

4x Gatebreaker Ram

2x Lava Coil

4x Negate

2x Niv-Mizzet, Parun

If you told me a month ago that a Guildgate deck would be viable in Standard, I wouldn’t have believed you. This deck essentially functions as a ramp-style strategy that hurls big spells at opponents one after the other. Guild Summit is a very powerful card-draw engine that lets the deck keep its foot on the gas all game long. Speaking from personal experience, there are few things more backbreaking in a long, grindy game of magic than your opponent playing Guild Summit very late in the game, and tapping 5+ additional guildgates to refill their hand. Combine this with an efficient board wipe in Gates Ablaze with win conditions like Expansion//Explosion and Hydroid Krasis, and you’ve got a unique and potentially very powerful deck.

 

End Step

These are only a few of the decks putting up winning results at tournaments. At this point in the format, almost any deck can be competitive. Have you made changes of your own to an existing Standard deck with new RNA cards? Or perhaps put together your own brew from scratch? Let us know in the comments, or bring it out to this week’s Friday Night Magic at Battlegrounds! See you there!

Pass Turn.

Beginner’s Do’s and Don’ts of Sideboarding

By: Drew Kobus

Hey guys! Drew again, and I’m so excited to be back with you all talking about quite possibly the most important topic in competitive (and even casual) Magic: The Gathering play, sideboarding! This topic comes up a lot, and whether you’re a seasoned pro, an FNM warrior, or just dipping your toe in the water with a little ladder grinding on Arena, there’s a lot to consider when building your sideboard. The thing that makes sideboarding an important point of discussion currently is the recent introduction of the “Traditional Ranked” ladder on Arena. While in preseason, Arena’s ranked que was only single game matches with no sideboarding, but most events are structured for “Best of Three” matches with sideboarding after each game. Sideboarding is something that I know can be a bit daunting for newer players used to only jamming single games with their friends or on Arena, so I’m going to try and give you a few tips and tricks for effective sideboard building. Now, sideboarding can get very in depth with a lot of exceptions to different rules, so I won’t be able to cover all the minutia of this concept, but I’m going to do my best to present you with a beginner’s introduction to get you started. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Alright, so you’re planning for FNM, you’ve been really enjoying smashing into people online with some UB Pirates (first off, props to you, the deck is great, a personal favorite of mine) and your main deck looks like this:

4 Curious Obsession

1 Dimir Guildgate

4 Dire Fleet Poisoner

2 Dive Down

4 Drowned Catacomb

3 Fathom Fleet Captain

2 Hostage Taker

8 Island

4 Kitesail Freebooter

4 Lookout’s Dispersal

2 Opt

4 Siren Stormtamer

6 Swamp

4 Thief of Sanity

4 Thought Erasure

4 Watery Grave

You know your deck’s game plan and you know how it plays, but you’ve noticed you’re having a little trouble against the more aggressive decks like Mono Red and White, so what do you do? This is where sideboarding gets a little tricky. The first thing I’ve seen many people do when building their sideboard is say something like “Oh, I probably need something like eight sideboard slots to beat the red matchup, it’s really bad” this is the wrong way to approach sideboarding, one of the big “don’ts” I mentioned earlier. So what’s a better way to figure out how many spots to dedicate to beating the red decks post-board? The first step is usually to look through your main deck after playing the matchup a couple times and decide which cards aren’t great and that you would rather not have in your deck against them. In this case, the cards that you likely want to remove from your deck entirely are four Thought Erasure and three Fathom Fleet Captain. The Erasures are a little slow and don’t impact the board and the captains get picked off by Fanatical Firebrand and Goblin ChainWhirler too easily. The two copies of Opt are also easy cuts because they act as filler cards anyway and are always the first cards boarded out of this deck. This gives us nine potential slots to dedicate to the mono red matchup, but that only leaves six slots for the rest of the field which is not ideal, so what do we do? A good thing to consider is finding versatile cards that can be answers to multiple archetypes as opposed to just one. You can dedicate your nine slots to being four Moment of Craving, four Sovereign’s Bite and a Fountain of Renewal, and you’ll likely beat Mono Red more often than not, but those cards are extremely narrow. These are the cards I would play in my sideboard and bring in against the Mono Red deck:

 

3 Cast Down

3 Fungal Infection

2 Hostage Taker

1 Spell Pierce

 

Now, why are these the cards I chose for these slots? The three copies of Cast Down are cheap interactive spells that let me deal with most of their threats while still being a card that can be useful in other matchups like Sultai Midrange and the Hadana’s Climb decks. Fungal Infection is the only card that is somewhat narrow here, but three narrow cards is much better than nine. This card gives us a cheap and efficient way of dealing with some of their early threats while also deploying our own which can be a big advantage, and this card is also reasonable against decks like Mono White and Mono Blue, so it makes the cut. Hostage Taker is a card that is not in the board specifically with this matchup in mind, but it is still passable here and better than other cards we could have in our deck. The one Spell Pierce is in the sideboard to fight efficiently against control decks, but is better than a Thought Erasure in this matchup as it can counter burn spells of copies of Light Up The Stage, to slow down our opponent, so it makes the cut.

The next point I want to make is that you should have a plan for every matchup. Your main deck will never be perfectly suited for any given matchup, not even your good ones. A good example is this deck’s matchup vs control. This matchup is typically very good, you have disruptive creatures, card advantage and counterspells and other disruption to protect your threats from their interaction. This does not mean you shouldn’t have a plan for this matchup. There are several cards in your deck that you really don’t want to see against the control deck, namely Hostage Taker, and Dire Fleet Poisoner leaves a bit to be desired, so it’s generally a good idea to remove them from your deck.  My sideboard choices for this matchup are as follows:

Out-

3 Dire Fleet Poisoner

2 Opt

2 Hostage Taker

In-

2 Negate

2 Deadeye Tracker

1 Disdainful Stroke

1 Spell Pierce

1 PlageCrafter

Why these cards? That’s easy, Negate, Disdainful Stroke, and Spell Pierce are all reasonably good cards that are good vs control decks like Jeskai and Esper and combo decks like Bant Nexus, while also being viable in other places like Spell Pierce coming in against Mono Red. The two Deadeye Trackers are a concession to another point I want to make, sideboarding should never dilute your primary game plan or synergies too much. Tracker is a cheap creature with the creature type Pirate and a relevant activated ability that allows for incidental graveyard hate and mitigating flood in the mid to late game. Tracker also allows us to keep our creature and Pirate density high to enable our synergies and make sure we don’t run out of creatures to attack with. The Plaguecrafter is mostly just for this matchup, being able to take down resolved planeswalkers as well as Niv-Mizzets and Chromiums is very powerful and warrants a single narrow card in the board.

Those are the two big points I wanted to touch on, sideboarding is a scary process if you don’t know how to approach it properly, but hopefully I have provided you with a couple of good tools to help you build the best sideboard you can whether you’re prepping for a SCG Open or FNM, the right sideboard can make all the difference between a 0-3 drop and winning the event. Of course, as I mentioned above, sideboarding can get much more in depth as you learn more and improve, but I hope these basic tools are enough to at least get you started. Remember to always evaluate the cards you have access too and chose the ones with the most versatility and impact for the matchups where you need help, and do your best to shy away from overboarding, just because a card seems ok for a matchup, doesn’t mean it has to come in, remember that sideboarding is a 1-for-1 process and anything you bring in needs something to come out in its place. Until next time! I hope you found this information helpful, and I can’t wait to see you all battling with your perfectly crafted sideboards! Keeps slinging your favorite spells and having fun, and hit me up on social media if you have any questions! Twitter @TheMagikalDrew, Facebook Drew J Kobus, and in person at Battlegrounds!

Starting Your Legacy

By: Daniel D’Amato

Legacy is one of the most interactive and diverse formats in the game of Magic. It combines some of the most powerful cards and strategies together to create a unique play experience for each person. One of the main issues with this format though is barrier of entry and lack of players. I hope to elaborate more on these issues in this article and help any player start playing the format I love.

Duals.

The original Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, and Revised sets brought us the original dual lands of the game. For the newer players, a dual land is a nonbasic land that has two types associated with it which makes it easier to cast different colored spells in the decks they are played in. Currently, an example of dual lands we have are in standard represented by the shock lands. What makes the dual lands of legacy so powerful though is the fact that they don’t have a drawback upon entry to the battlefield. No life must be paid, and they enter untapped allowing the user no consequence of playing it immediately. This reason, along with the dual lands being on the reserved list, a much different conversation not for this article, has caused these lands to be very expensive and the ultimate format barrier.

Image.jpgImage (1).jpg

 

With the rise in prices of dual lands the format has become unattainable to some due to decks costing thousands of dollars. There are some budget decks and budget versions of decks, but they will never be able to perform the same as the real thing. This price barrier has made most tournaments in your local area, most likely, a proxied tournament. What’s nice about proxy tournaments is that paper is the only barrier of entry you need to be able to play any deck in the format Also, prizes that are won in that tournament could be saved up so that you can purchase the deck you have found to enjoy. These tournaments are great ways to meet people that actively play legacy and gain connections so that if a competitive rel tournament came up, they may let you borrow some cards so that you can play the completed deck. In my experience, legacy players are always the first to help other players out, especially when it is trying to get someone new in the format. Which leads me into how the lack of players is an uphill battle in this format.

Rallying off the last topic of barrier of entry, it is a contributor to lack of players in the legacy format when modern and standard are much more accessible. In my experiences though, especially in the Richmond, VA Magic scene, the proxy legacy tournaments are getting larger turnouts compared to the other formats because anyone can play. With the same point being made about how proxy tournaments are allowing players to save up and get cards for their legacy decks, the community is growing more rapidly. Just the other week a local store in the are had 20 plus players for the legacy FNM which is incredible. Growing the community is always an important aspect to consider making any format viable, and I am hoping that through these proxy tournaments, more people can gain access to the format and the format can gain more support in professional play. So, you have a legacy deck, now what? Learning the format is important to having success and I hope to talk about some key interactions for new legacy players. The first one being, how to properly cast Brainstorm.

Brainstorm is a fixed version of one of the pieces of Power 9, Ancestral Recall. The drawback of Brainstorm is that you must put two cards back on top of your library, only netting one card while Ancestral Recall is just a hard draw three.

image28229image28329

Even though Brainstorm doesn’t just draw three, it can be treated as an Ancestral Recall when used properly. The most common application of Brainstorm is the interaction with itself and fetchlands. Fetchlands allow you to put the cards that you put back with Brainstorm to be shuffled away so that, hopefully, they will not be drawn again. My legacy deck, ANT utilizes Brainstorm greatly for this aspect since it can turn excess lands in my hand into spells. It is important to think ahead about how to use Brainstorm because if you do not have a way to shuffle your library and aren’t satisfied with the cards you left on top, the next two turns your draws will be unwanted.

15602_200wdownload.jpg

Becoming Brainstorm locked can cause numerous losses in games and can cost matches. I have lost numerous times to putting bad cards back on top of my library in the hopes that I drew a fetchland or Ponder to shuffle away what I didn’t want. Preordain also works because it allows you to scry cards to the bottom essentially acting a shuffle effect so that you may see new cards. Whatever deck you may end up playing, it is important to remember interactions and how certain cards work when paired with other cards, this alone can put you in a different league of players in the format of legacy. Another important aspect that happens in Legacy more often compared to other formats is retaining priority.

Retaining priority can be a huge factor in how a deck operates and it comes in legacy all the time. I hope to go over two well know interactions where retaining priority is key with the first being the card Phantasmagorian in the Manaless Dredge deck.

Image (4).jpg

This card has an activated ability that allows you to discard three cards and return it to your hand from your graveyard. Dredge likes this card because it gets all their dredge creatures in the bin but with how this card is templated, it will return to your hand once the ability is activated. But if there if the player has enough cards to activate the ability again, that is where retaining priority can be relevant. Retaining priority means responding to your action with another action and the opponent can’t interact with that action until priority is passed. By discarding three cards to return this creature to your hand, you can activate and discard the three cards, then retain priority and do it again so that it would essentially return to your hand twice, but it isn’t in the yard for a second time. Let us look at another well-known interaction where priority is relevant. Infernal Tutor and Lion’s Eye Diamond.

Image (5).jpg5129_200w.jpg

Infernal tutor has the keyword Hellbent which refers to no cards being in a player’s hand. Infernal tutor acts as a Demonic Tutor when the user doesn’t have any cards in hand but otherwise requires the user to reveal a card from their hand and retrieve that card from their deck. Lion’s Eye Diamond on the other hand requires the user to discard their hand but adds three mana of any color to their hand essentially acting as a fixed Black Lotus. When these two cards come together, Infernal Tutor can be cast retaining priority and sacrificing LED to receive three mana and discard your hand, thus allowing you to search for any card from your deck because you no longer have cards in hand to reveal. This is extremely relevant because how storm typically wins is with this two-card combo because they can retain priority and search for either Past in Flames or Tendrils of Agony to win the game, otherwise it can be used as a resource to help go off on a following turn, or just be a dead card.

Legacy is an incredible format with an incredible player base and I hope to help grow the player base as much as I can. If there is a topic you would love to hear about or discuss, please reach out to me on any social media platform! Until then, thanks for joining me and I hope you start your legacy soon, storm count 4.