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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Aug 30 2013 8:17am
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So with rotation closing in, I felt like it would be useless to write a new standard deck. But what are my options? I'm not really in the drafting mood because M14 doesn't interest me so much, I still feel it's pretty boring. Return to Ravnica block drafting is a bit complicated and both RTR and GTC are starting to feel stale to me since I drafted those two so much. What about modern? Well there are definitely some things I'm interested in but I'm saving that for a bit later. So instead I felt like I should dive into some legacy! Especially since there's a deck that I've always wanted to try out.

Why Legacy?

There has always been a type of allure that legacy has; it allows you to play with an enormous card pool with almost every card that was ever printed. Of course it's not vintage, there certainly are bans on cards but the difference here is that there is still an active audience for legacy. And the audience is quite competitive as seen on such things like a Star City Games open tournament each weekend. And like most I have been both interested and intimidated at the idea of an unrestricted card selection to build a deck from. But the intimidation isn't the only inhibiting factor for people like me, there is also the entry price and the size of our wallet. Which brings me to our next question...

Why is Legacy so Expensive?

Shardless Agent Volcanic Island

As always, competition drives prices up so you'll see things like a 10 dollar uncommon in the form of Shardless Agent and Baleful Strix. But another factor comes in and that would be the age of some of these cards. As many of you this is the 20th year of magic, so in this format there are cards floating around that are two decades old so it's no wonder the price entry of legacy is so damn high. The biggest offenders are the dual lands which sometimes spill over 200 dollars each in the real world. Luckily we have MTGO but the dual lands here aren't that much cheaper. A Volcanic Island is close to 30 tickets on average. So how can we get into a format when a playset of lands, the most important piece of a deck, ends up costing more than our entire standard deck. Simple, we play with no lands!

No Lands? No problem!

 Golgari Grave-Troll Bridge from Below

That's right you heard me, we're building a no land deck. How you may ask, well it's going to be manaless dredge! Unfortunately it's not going to be a super pimped out version with things like Griselbrand and Ichorid but that doesn't mean it's not just as powerful. And I'm actually quite surprised at how much cheaper the deck is on MTGO than in paper. I built the rough draft of this deck for about 12 tickets while in paper I'm pretty sure the price tag on this deck is about 120 dollars. I assume both iterations took a large discount since Modern Masters reprinted Bridge from Below effectively making this deck much cheaper. And I'm sure with time I'll add in some money cards but for a budget version I'm pretty happy with what we've got so far. 

This deck has some high profile to it so if you already know it you should be familiar with the list. I know the biggest exclusion here is Ichorid and that is solely based on budget. Instead of him I added Greater Mossdog for added dredging. Thinking about adding either Darksteel Colossus or Blightsteel Colossus in that open slot because of it's resilience to a loss due to a forced draw when we have already milled ourselves out. But less on that let's talk about how this deck actually work.

Dread Return

The deck works through the cleanup step. Using this deck you will prefer to be on the draw so that you will start the game with 8 cards and being able to discard one of them due to the maximum hand size rule. And because many people would rather be on the play you should almost always get what you want. So what card do we discard? Well it will usually be a dredger as they are basically the lands in this deck (almost half of the deck) but if you are lucky enough to start with a Phantasmagorian then that is your go to guy. Phantasmagorian allows you to empty out your hand, and effectively getting more dredgers into the yard. Once you start dredging and dumping things into the yard you will look for one of three cards: Bridge from Below, Dread Return and Cabal Therapy. All three of which should be an active play because you run cards like Nether Shadow and Narcomoeba that will enter the battlefield thanks to your strategy. And then the combo happens you will Dread Return your Balustrade Spy targeting yourself of course to put every card into the graveyard and then you can reanimate again, this time getting a Flame-Kin Zealot into play and then swing for game thanks to having a lot of Zombies from Bridge from Below.

 Meta?

Deathrite Shaman

Meta? I have no idea what to be prepared for when going into MTGO legacy. And quite frankly I didn't really view going competitive with this deck, instead of it as a casual deck that I've always wanted to play. I know for certain though that you can easily win with something like this, since it's made a name for itself in many legacy events and even a SCG event not too long ago. Unfortunately I'm treating this deck the same why I'm treating my first modern deck, as a way to learn the format and the meta. But there are some things that I do know. I know that Noxious Revival and Dryad Arbor are both sideboard cards. The land is to be used as a way to pay for Daze as well as a blocker and fuel for Dread Return. Noxious Revival, I'm not as certain about but I know it's used. Some interactions I remember is putting a Narcomoeba back on top to bring it out the following turn or counter a Deathrite Shaman activation. Other than those tiny tidbits I really don't know anything about legacy or how to be prepared for actual matches. But it doesn't really matter because I'm sure some of you will go into the legacy realm just like me, without any clue of what is going on. And it's a little bit of an adventure to discover the meta game. 

Anyways that's all I have for this article. Be sure to check out everything else that I wrote here and I'll see you guys next time.

MTGO: kelvinmai
twitter: @kelvinmai