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shardless BUG 2.



 
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aqualad33
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: shardless BUG 2. Reply with quote

So this has became my deck of choice for legacy. It is very flexible and good at answering whatever many challenges that your opponent may present. Also the deck is overflowing with value, 2 and 3 for ones galore. Here's the new list!

The cards

// Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

// Lands
2 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
2 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
3 [ON] Polluted Delta
2 [ALA] Island (3)
3 [A] Underground Sea
1 [TSP] Academy Ruins
2 [TE] Wasteland
1 [A] Bayou
1 [LRW] Swamp (3)
1 [8E] Forest (1)
2 [A] Tropical Island

// Creatures
3 [RTR] Deathrite Shaman
3 [PC2] Shardless Agent
4 [PC2] Baleful Strix
3 [RAV] Dark Confidant

// Spells
3 [RTR] Abrupt Decay
4 [BD] Brainstorm
3 [WWK] Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 [FD] Engineered Explosives
3 [CHK] Sensei's Divining Top
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [CS] Counterbalance
1 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse
1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow
1 [RAV] Life from the Loam
3 [LRW] Thoughtseize

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [SHM] Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 [SOM] Nihil Spellbomb
SB: 3 [7E] Engineered Plague
SB: 1 [MBS] Sword of Feast and Famine
SB: 1 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
SB: 1 [ISD] Liliana of the Veil
SB: 2 [ISD] Snapcaster Mage
SB: 3 [JU] Cabal Therapy


[b]Lands


2 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
2 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
3 [ON] Polluted Delta


Managing your fetch lands is incredibly important in this deck more so then most. 1) because of brainstorm/jace 2) because of counterbalance and sensei's divining top and 3) because of life from the loam and 4) because of deathrite shaman. Fetches play an especially crucial role to the deck. Proper use of fetches though is just as vast a topic as proper use of brainstorm. So I'm not going to discuss it here perhaps one day I will write an article about it though.

1 [A] Bayou
2 [A] Tropical Island
3 [A] Underground Sea


Dual lands are very important to making sure a 3 color deck runs smoothly in legacy and their interaction with fetch lands are what allow 3 color decks to have stable mana. These have became legacy staples since the beginning.

2 [ALA] Island (3)
1 [LRW] Swamp (3)
1 [8E] Forest (1)


Basics on the other hand have been a lot less common among 3 color decks. On the one hand they make your mana base less reliable which is a problem for aggressive decks like delver who want the right color mana right now every turn. This deck does not have that issue as it is not as color hungry as delver is. On the other hand by playing basics you protect yourself from mana denial strategies that involve blood moon, back to basics, and wasteland. As a side note, you have enough basics to cast everything in your deck.

1 [TSP] Academy Ruins
2 [TE] Wasteland


With the 4 basics I do not want to play more then 3 colorless lands. The academy ruins is a very powerful land in this deck. It brings back your artifact creatures and lets you loop engineered explosives. Also lets you bring back any lost equipment or destroyed tops. Another application this land has is its ability to stack your deck for counterbalance.

Creatures

3 [RTR] Deathrite Shaman: Birds or paradise/grim lavamancer/life gain source/grave hate, Deathrite shaman is a jack of all trades and all his trades very important! he ramps you from 1 to 3 which is what a lot of your spells cost or from 2 to 4 to cast jace early. He can very quickly finish an opponent with his draining abillity even after your opponent has dropped a few blockers in the way. With confidant and thoughtseize in the deck the life gain part is quite relavent. With all that incrimental life loss against an aggro deck the life gain can mean the difference between life and death. Lastly the graveyard hate part shuts down snapcaster mages and reanimator decks if they aren't fast enough. Its can also shrink tarmogoyfs and knight of the reliqueries, also breaks up wasteland locks (which can be critical).

3 [PC2] Shardless Agent: he is an auto 2 for 1 and saves you mana. Also if he cascades into another of your 2 for 1's (ahem, strix) you get a 3 for one and at 3 mana, that's one incredible deal. Also you have quite a few ways to set up your cascades for max value.
4 [PC2] Baleful Strix: This is another auto 2 for 1 as he replaces himself and will either trade with a creature or a removal spell, and by far my favorite creature ever printed. He is just absurd! Flying and deathtouch make him an insane blocker. Also remember that one of your game plans is to win with a group of small guys which means that the incremental damage he can accrue in the red zone does make a huge difference.

3 [RAV] Dark Confidant: This is one of those "kill this now" type of creatures. If your opponent does not deal with this when you cast it you will flood your opponent in card advantage. Bob is also at his best in this deck with all the library manipulation. Also as a creature he helps aid the beatdown effort.

// Spells
3 [RTR] Abrupt Decay: One of the most flexible removal spells in the format. Its also quite powerful since it is very difficult for a permanant that costs more then 3 to be playable in legacy. I desided to go with a 3/1 split between this and pulse as I want a general out for things that decay can not hit.

1 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse: As described above, most things that decay cannot hit this will.

4 [BD] Brainstorm: This is another defining spell in legacy. Its true power is when it's combined with shuffle effects, in particular fetch lands. This lets you trade in 2 cards that may not be useful at the time (like a thoughtseize after your opponent has emptied his or her hand). Of course proper brainstorming is a vast and important topic and way beyond the scope of the this article. I've heard AJ Sacher has a lot of insight on this topic though for those interested.

3 [WWK] Jace, the Mind Sculptor: The most powerful planeswalker ever printed. His first abillity is usually used on a clear board in order to lock your opponent out of the game till jace hits his ultimate. Less often however its used to keep jace alive, or if your opponent is playing a combo deck, keep your opponent from drawing combo pieces. His 0 abillity is definitely the most powerful. Brainstorm is one of the most powerful spells in magic and you get to do that every turn for free without the cost of a card. As always all shuffle effects make this absurdly powerful. His minus abillity has many applications as well including combining with your discard and counter spells to act as removal and can buy you time against a big threat, or undo a show and tell. As for his last abillity, it might as well read "you win the game" which is a pretty good effect.

3 [CHK] Sensei's Divining Top: There are many cards that benefit from stacking the top cards of your deck in particular bob and counterbalance. On its own it helps you go through your deck and find the cards you need and benefits greatly from having fetch lands.
3 [LRW] Thoughtseize: For the longest time these were therapies, but honestly game 1 turn 1 it is very bad. Most people who play bug play hymn in this spot but honestly the combo decks in this format are soooo fast you really want to be able to interact with them on turn 1. Hymn is just too slow against things like tin fins, belcher, oopse all spells, and storm. Also after board you are bringing therapy back in so the information you gain from seeing your opponents hand is very valuable. Also the reason I chose this particular discard spell over the ones that do not cost life is that one of your biggest enemies is sneak and show and most of their important cards cost 4 or more, and are of varying card types and you don't want to use appetite for brains because its dead in most other matchups.
4 [AL] Force of Will: This is insurance against getting blown out turn one, and having a means of protection against spells that can swing the game out of your favor. These come out a lot against fair decks since 2 for 1ing yourself is not something you want to be doing (although with all the CA you have its not too bad).

3 [CS] Counterbalance: Originally got the idea from the deck tech of the rug cascade deck who had them in the board. I figured that counter top would make for an excelent way to both protect myself from combo decks, and completely shut down many combo decks in the format. In addition to this I would be playing top and a lot of my cards already benefit greatly from top. Turns out this was an incredible addition. It's like having a 1 sided challice of the void set to whatever you want. It can end a game by it's self.

1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow: One of the least loved swords but it fits perfectly here. First most removal is black and white and some of the best creatures blockers are black and white (germs and lingering souls). Also the life gain is important when your racing, and the abillity to rebuy shardless agents and baleful strixes is insanely powerful.

1 [RAV] Life from the Loam: Wasteland strategies are very good against you, for that reason loam is very powerful. In addition you are able to perform a wasteland lock as well. Lastly dredge is very useful for resetting top much life a fetch land does, combined with brainstorm you can permanently get rid of redundant cards like extra thoughtseizes.

1 [FD] Engineered Explosives: it's a good general purpose removal spells that combo's with your academy ruins when your up against aggro decks. You can hit mana costs 1-3 with ease, and all the way up to 5 with the help of deathrite. This does get boarded out a lot against decks less reliant on permanents.

Sideboard

SB: 3 [SHM] Faerie Macabre: against tin fins, reanimator, and dredge I need a turn 0 uncounterable source of grave hate Fortunitely this is once such creature. Also if the game goes long for some reason you can rebuy them with sword of light and shadow to lock up a game.

SB: 1 [SOM] Nihil Spellbomb: A little slower then macabre, but it is a way to mass wipe out an opposing grave, since we also abuse our grave we do not want to use relic. Also you have the black mana to take advantage of the card draw part of the spell bomb.

SB: 3 [7E] Engineered Plague: Tribal decks are the most powerful aggro decks and this does a real number on them. Against non tribal ones like maveric, you already have a good game against them. Your just worried about getting blown out by unblockable 5/5 merfolk, getting comboed by elves, or drowned in card advantage from goblins.

SB: 1 [MBS] Sword of Feast and Famine: against combo decks your sword of light and shadows is not very good. Feast and famine however is incredible. It's also good against decks with big green creatures.

SB: 1 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte: Another card for the creature matchup. Jitte is probably the most important card in creature matchups. It does everything you need against creature decks.

SB: 1 [ISD] Liliana of the Veil: Bing in vs. combo decks, and slower control decks. It's hard for them to deal with and can drain their resourses though its a little slow to get online.

SB: 2 [ISD] Snapcaster Mage: Bring in against non creature decks to increase the amount of value you generate, allowing you to use your graveyard as a resource giving yourself more options then your opponent.

SB: 3 [JU] Cabal Therapy: The only reason these aren't main deck is because they are horrible G1 turn 1. After that they will often come in because you know more about your opponent and they are well absurdly powerful. You get to rip your opponents hand to pieces, and you really dont mind lossing a creature to do it.


Well that's all for the deck discussion, I'll go over matchups soon. If you have a particular matchup that you want me to go over please leave it as a comment. Also if you have any question pertaining to the list itself feel free to leave them.
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aqualad33
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a note I swapped the md explosives with jitti, Miracles, belcher, and dredge have become less popular and creature decks are becoming more so. The favored combo decks are those that cheat a fatty into play and jitti at least provides a strong clock against them while dominating any creature matchups. As promised here are some matchup. Also I replaced the snapcaster mages for damnations. Gaining redundant card advantage against control decks is just unnecessary whereas being able to sweep the board against goblins, elves, merfolk, junk, maverick is much more useful.

UW Miracles: your strongly favored here. Basically you both play counter top combo, but your deck has abrupt decays which gives you a MAJOR edge. They will more often then not give you time to set up in which will let you establish your card advantage engines and countertop soft lock at which point you will be leaving them with nothing to do while you overrun them with 1 and 2 power guys. The one worry you should realistically have is them resolving a big entreat so try to have a force ready for that. Also I just went up against a version with elspeth which kinda hurt a little, but baleful strix stops her for 2 turns and you can keep smacking her for some damage till shes dead, or just shut her down with jitti.
SB: +1 Engineered Explosives +1 sword of feast and famine -1 sword of light and shadows -1 baleful strix.

SoFaF is the better sword against control decks, yes your not protecting yourself against STP anymore but they use wraths as their removal anyways. Engineered explosives is a counter to their main win condition entreat the angels especially when you have academy ruins.


Delver: Delver wins by resolving one or 2 big threats and hopes to protect them all the way to the end. If they stumble at all, you will win without much difficulty. You have A TON of removal and card advantage. Jitti is brutal for them, as is baleful strix, abrupt decay, and counterbalance. Delver does have the abillity to beat you by out tempoing you and going all the way with a beater but if they run out of gas at any point the game usually turns around VERY quickly.
SB: +1 Engineered Explosives, +1 Liliana, +1 Sword of Feast and Famine, +3 Cabal Therapy, -4 force of will, -1 sword of light and shadow, -1 Maelstrom Pulse, -1 Jace

Engineered Explosives is a hoser against their creatures just remember delvers are 1 cmc aborations are 0. Liliana will always edict away something good and she will also either take a bolt away, maze of ith an attacker or be able to edict again. Sword of light and shadows doesnt have any relevant protections here whereas FaF does, also the discard + mana boost is extremely effective against delver. Force of will is bad against delver since you are 2 for 1ing yourself to do it and most of what you are countering are things that you could be using removal on instead and delver does not pack any must counter spells. Basically your control element shifts from counter magic to discard (but you still pack countertop). If you can strip their hand and remove their one or 2 threats it will be hard to lose.

Sneak and show: This has been my nemesis till recently. This is the one combo deck where counter top is not the blow out it usually is. Most of their spells are at 3+ cmc, also they have a 2 card combo and can resolve a sneak attack and be safe from removal most of the time. The main strategy is to prioritize thoughtseize over everything, then try to get counter top online and float one of your 3 drops in the top 3 (and if you get a 3 and a jace you win) and beat down quickly.

SB: -3 abrupt decay -1 Sword of Light and shadow -1 umezawa's jitti + 3 cabal therapy +1 liliana +1 sword of FaF

Decay is dead, Sword of LaS only gives +2+2 and nothing else, jitti is alright, but not good enough. Therapy is sooo powerful g2 its rediculous, liliana is very good against them as she can attack their hand and take out the show and tell part of their combo. Faf sword lets you attack their hand as well and doubles your mana.

Esper Stoneblade: One of my favorite MU's you are very highly favored here. Sword of LaS is incredibly powerful in this MU as is the counter top combo. Stoneforge mystic isn't that much of a worry since batterskull gets trumped by sword of FaF and everything else can be destroyed with decay. Also one of my favorite dirty tricks is to thoughtseize/therapy the equipment that they get with stoneforge before they can actually activate mystic.

SB: -4 FoW+3 cabal Therapy +1 Liliana.
Your already set up pretty well against stoneblade, you just take out the FoW which are mostly there to hedge against broken turn 1,2 decks for therapy and liliana. The strategy remains the same for post boarded games.

Goblins: This is a difficult matchup. Counter top is not very effective against them since they have MANY 3's 4's and 5's G1, just play the best you can, get counter top online and try to eak out as much value from it as you can. Get a jitti on the table, and hope to slow them down enough to take over the game.

SB: -4 FoW, -1 sword of LaS, -1 Thoughtseize, +3 Engineered Plague, +2 Damnation.

Now you have some blow out cards. Resolving 2 Engineered Plagues is just game over, but 1 plague by its self is also very powerful since a lot of their creatures only have 1 toughness, and it neuters krenko and siege gang. Plague will also buy you enough time to get to your damnations. One thing to note is that plague is very hard for most goblin players to get rid of, There are some goblin players that are splashing white for thalia, but disenchant is only a 1 or 2 of in those sideboards and they don't have ways to dig to it so its not much of a worry.
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