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By: RWHope, RWH
May 12 2013 11:10pm
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Welcome to another update of the ever changing format of Classic Heirloom. The ever-changing format is at it again and new decks are popping up in the top 8. Thanks to new cards being added to the legal list (and Dragon's Maze just on the horizon!) you never know what you'll see. Some previously banned cards have now become legal! Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, Argentum Armor, and Sword of the Meek are all legal to use. Well Teferi isn't since his price went up but if it comes back down its open season.

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir  Argentum Armor  Sword of the Meek

 

New decks are fun! Heres a few highlights.

Valakut is a dark shadow in people's minds and while prime time isn't here and you can't Scapeshift in some lands with Prismatic Omen you can ramp in with a Realmwright

RUG Valakut
A Classic Heirloom Deck by afgusto
Creatures
4 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Realmwright
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Boundless Realms
4 Explore
4 Search for Tomorrow
3 Chandra Nalaar
3 Expedition Map
3 Harrow
2 Khalni Heart Expedition
2 Slagstorm
1 Cultivate
1 Rampant Growth
27 cards
Lands
10 Forest
8 Mountain
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Island
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Raging Ravine
25 cards
 
Realmwright


This list came as a big surprise to me. Seeing Valakut in the title gave me a chill and when I saw Realmwright it all became clear. The deck ramps up into a bunch of mana and plays the Realmwright into Boundless Realms and send a multitude of bolts at your opponent's dome. A lot of great ramp spells are available and Oracle of Mul Daya is a champ at dropping land after extra land. Chandra Nalaar can kill early pressure and distract goblins from the face for a bit. The combo can be broken up semi easily since it all rests on the back of a little 1/1 but waiting for the last possible turn before casting it can help ensure it goes off. It was enough to get into top 8 but both of his losses came from Living End which is a relevant combo in the meta and can just go off much faster. A Valakut deck that can support some counterspells and control like modern Scapeshift may be better suited to beat decks that can just outrun it. 

Another deck you might be aware of is the UR Pyromancer Ascension deck that had a little bit of a showing in standard and has appeared every once and a while in Modern. Ztrman has crafted an American version that splashes white for Condemn and Day of Judgment to try and beat the goblin menace and other prevalent aggro I assume.   

Pyromancer Ascension
A Classic Heirloom Deck by ztrman
Creatures
0 cards

Other Spells
4 Condemn
4 Day of Judgment
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mana Leak
4 Ponder
4 Pyromancer Ascension
4 Think Twice
3 Dissipate
3 Prophetic Bolt
1 Blue Sun's Zenith
1 Twincast
1 Desolate Lighthouse
37 cards
Lands
6 Island
5 Plains
4 Azorius Guildgate
4 Izzet Guildgate
3 Flood Plain
1 Mountain
23 cards

Pyromancer Ascension

 

Combos are fun and Pyromancer Ascension can be very consistent and fast. Being able to deal 6 damage with a single lightning bolt is fairly ferocious. Double Condemn ruins combat for your opponent for 1 white mana. Of course you need the ascension to be online first which isn’t nearly as hard as you would think. Ponder into ponder is an easy way to cantrip into it. It is too bad that Thought Scour is not legal as that would be stellar but luckily you have Mental Note! It functionally serves the same purpose since you are almost never going to want to mill your opponent. I feel that adding white is not necessary and would rather the Day of Judgment and Condemn be more burn spells. The mana becomes much better and the ascension can kill more consistently. Think Twice is kind of a nombo when by flashing it back you exile it from the yard and so they will no longer trigger the ascension and I would rather have Mental Note overall. But ztrman did make it to the top 4 so his list is obviously great the way it is. My imagination was piqued upon seeing this and I plan to brew some ideas for Sunday.

 

Living End is still fairly new to heirloom and had a good showing in the last few weeks, including a 1st place finish last week. I tried my hand at the combo archetype in Modern a bit but it never took off. It is doing much better in Heirloom and people may need to start tuning their sideboards for graveyard hate more these days. 


The combo is just cycling creatures into your graveyard and dig into a Violent Outburst or Demonic Dread. Since nothing in the deck costs less than 3 except Living End the cascade automatically hits it and brings back all the creatures you cycled and wipes the board of everything there before. Living End is extremely well positioned against aggro game one because if Living End is cast before it dies aggro will have a tough time coming back. Though the combo is fairly fragile to counter magic hence the 4 Ricochet Trap and graveyard hate can just stop it in its tracks. But if it comes to it, the big creatures can potentially be cast though that isn't really ideal. But if you can catch your opponent by surprise this deck can get them bad. A standing Tormod's Crypt is possibly game breaking against this bad boy and adding a few graveyard hate cards into the sideboard is becoming mandatory.  

Sword of the Meek + Thopter Foundry

For those of you that don't know the two cards above combo together. While not infinite with a finite amount of mana this combo can still be insane and generally is. The way it works is you sac an artifact (generally the sword) and make a thopter and gain 1 life. The sword comes back and equips to the 1/1. Rinse and repeat. Gaining life and making dudes for a single mana is fairly awesome. People have been taking advantage of it for a while, let's see how it does in the newest iteration of Heirloom.  

 

Looks pretty sweet. 

Lots of artifact mana so it can transition into a Balance control list if necessary. Muddle the Mixture can fetch any of his combo pieces and more. Some wrath to beat the ever present aggro and counters because blue and the deck goes 6-0 to a 1st place finish. I like the combo and even piloted it to a second place finish in a Peasant tournament a while back. Having 4 of each combo piece, especially when you have Muddle the Mixture, seems a bit much but it does give you resilience to artifact hate. I like my combo decks to have a lot of control elements so you can take over the game before going off. An addition of Urza-tron might not hurt as you can get a lot of mana flowing. Something to think about that's all. Graveyard hate seems like a good way to stop this kind of thing so start bringing it back guys, the graveyard is a powerful thing to abuse. Next thing you know Necrotic Ooze will burst onto the scene again.

People are becoming more and more original with these decks and with such a huge card pool available that changes every few months we have barely scratched the surface of possibilities. At this rate the meta will be more diverse than Legacy so let's keep it up! That's another Heirloom Tournament come and gone but don't fret, the next one is just around the corner.