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By: jay85, Jay Nelson
Aug 19 2015 11:00am
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 Legacy is the format where if you enjoy islands then you will probably have a good time. On the other hand, if you despise blue decks then you may find that Legacy is not your cup of tea. Or is it? Nonblue decks share a very similar strategy with one another. Death and Taxes, MUD, Maverick, etc. They're all fighting on the same axis, and that axis is to punish blue decks. Whether it's with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Aether Vial; or Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void, these kinds of decks are all looking to beat the color blue.

 Today's deck is no exception. Sylvan Plug is one of my favorite decks in Legacy and it goes all-in on beating blue more than any other deck I've seen.

 There's an old adage: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

 Well, this may be true. If you believe blue is the best color in Legacy then maybe you should be playing with islands. But hold on, you don't have to join them quite yet, because there is a way to beat them and I find it way more satisfying. May I present to you, Sylvan Plug.  

 

 So I discovered this deck after playing against Romariovidal in a daily. I thought his deck was cool and I wanted to try it out for myself. After doing a little bit of research I found out that its creator is none other than Lejay, a pretty prominent member of the online community. 

 Okey-dokey, moving on...

 As you can see from the deck list, Sylvan Plug has one mission: to make blue players cry.

 

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Trinisphere Chalice of the Void Choke

 Choke may be the only card meant specifically for blue as it only affects islands and nothing else, but both Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void hurt blue decks more so than the other colors. Trinisphere punishes players who play with low land counts and cheap spells. When your opponent is relying on casting pretty much everything in their deck with only two lands, Trinisphere really dampens their spirits. This artifact is universal so it affects you, as well, but we're running 24 lands, Deathrite Shaman, and not many spells that cost less than three anyway.

 Another thing worth pointing out with Trinisphere is that opponents won't be able to cast Force of Will by paying for its alternative cost. They exile a blue card and will have to pay three mana to cast FoW. The same goes for OmniTell. Even with Omniscience out they will still have to pay three mana for each spell they try to cast for free off the enchantment. Something worth remembering when battling against that combo deck.

 Always try and stick Chalice of the Void with one charge counter on it. Shutting down opponents' Brainstorm, Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolts, and Ponders is the first step in succeeding with Sylvan Plug. Though, do be aware that against nonblue decks Chalice on one is nowhere near as effective.  

 

Sylvan Library Green Sun's Zenith Knight of the Reliquary

 Sylvan Library is great card draw and it really helps late in the game when everyone is running low on spells. Keeping your hand full with extra cards is a sure fire way of winning. Green Sun's Zenith can tutor for any creature in the deck, including Dryad Arbor. It's sorcery speed so that sucks, but Green Sun's Zenith even works around Chalice of the Void if you want to search up your Deathrite Shaman.

 Knight of the Reliquary is not only a win con but it can also tutor up lands that can shut down opposing decks. Tapping the Knight for a Karakas against Reanimator or OmniTell is beautiful. Also we have Tower of the Magistrate to search up post sideboard against Batterskull type decks.

 

Abrupt Decay Rolling Spoil 

 Our removal of choice. Abrupt Decay has a ton of targets in Legacy, and the best part? Yep, can't be countered. Rolling Spoil on the other hand is pretty interesting. We can destroy our opponent's land if that will put us in the lead, or you can destroy one of your own lands if you have Titania, Protector of Argoth out on the battlefield in order to make a 5/3 token. Probably the sweetest part about Rolling Spoil though is that by paying for it with black mana it will give all creatures -1/-1. This spell is mainboard hate against some truly problematic creatures like Young Pyromancer, Baleful Strix, and True-Name Nemesis.

 

Deathrite Shaman  photo Reclamation Sage_zpsdaxm1eex.png Dryad Arbor

 You'll usually be searching up one of these creatures with Green Sun's Zenith. We're only running one Deathrite Shaman mainly because he is not vital to our gameplan, but he can still ramp us, gain us life, and is a potential win con if our opponent is able to gum up the board and we are unable to make profitable attacks. He is definitely worth the spot in Sylvan Plug.

 Reclamation Sage is nice when up against MUD since he can destroy just about any permanent they cast. The Elf also proves useful in destroying some pretty nasty fringe cards like Helm of Obedience, Grindstone, and Omniscience.

 One of the best turn ones you can do with this deck is casting Green Sun's Zenith for zero and grabbing Dryad Arbor, thus giving you three mana on turn two. But the Dryad can also be fetched for at instant speed with either Verdant Catacombs or Windswept Heath in response to Liliana of the Veil's -2 ability, thus saving your bigger, badder threats like Knight of the Reliquary or Obstinate Baloth.

 

Courser of Kruphix Obstinate Baloth Titania, Protector of Argoth

 Out of all the cards in Sylvan Plug, Courser of Kruphix is probably the one that can be replaced if you have a pet card you'd rather be playing with. But he does have some synergy in this deck. Not only can he gain you life when up against aggressive decks like Burn but with Sylvan Library you can stack your cards so that you keep the one you really want or need and put a land on top, thus effectively snagging you two cards without paying the four life off the Library.

 Obstinate Baloth is another card good against Burn and aggro. He's also nice to have when up against discard decks running Hymn to Tourach and Liliana of the Veil.

 She may only be a one-of in here, but Titania, Protector of Argoth is sick! With lands like Wasteland and fetchlands, you can create a small army of 5/3 Elementals with little effort. Mox Diamond not only ramps us but pitching that land will not be in vain once you get Titania on board. Titania, Protector of Argoth is really what sealed the deal for me when I was deciding on what deck to build next.

 

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Leyline of the Void Scavenging Ooze

 Pretty much our answers to any graveyard shenanigans. I'll also bring in Scavenging Ooze sometimes against creature-laden decks just as an added threat.

 

Engineered Plague Massacre Toxic Deluge

 Engineered Plague wrecks Young Pyromancer and Delver of Secrets, or just about anything with a toughness of one (I'm looking at you True-Name Nemesis).

 Massacre is mainly for Stoneforge Mystic and the entire Death and Taxes archetype.

 I'm really enjoying Toxic Deluge and I can see why it's so darn spendy. Most of our creatures will be bigger than our opponents. There will always be exceptions to this, but I believe it is safe to say that no matter how much life you pay, your creatures will be surviving the scourge that you sweep across the battlefield with Toxic Deluge. I like to think of this spell as a fail-safe. Use it as a switch you can pull when your back's against the wall, unless of course you just need to sweep the board of x/1's.

 

Tower of the Magistrate Gaddock Teeg Qasali Pridemage

 Tower of the Magistrate is a land you can search for with Knight of the Reliquary and it's mainly in here for decks like Jeskai Stoneblade. Unless it's True-Name Nemesis, no matter what creature they try to attach (Umazawa's Jitte) to, you'll be able to effectively "unattach" it before damage is dealt. I also like to use the Tower on Batterskull's Germ token. Against MUD you can give any of your creatures protection from artifacts and blank one of their attackers.

 Gaddock Teeg is even more anti-blue tech to bring in. He shuts down Force of Will, Dig through Time, and Terminus, but just be careful 'cause he will also shut down your Green Sun's Zenith.

 Qasali Pridemage is added artifact hate. I've also brought him in before just for his exalted ability.

 

Giant Solifuge Stingerfling Spider

 I'm going to be completely honest with you, I had no idea when to bring in Giant Solifuge. I didn't think it was in the sideboard just as an extra big body because, frankly, there are way better creatures to have than this. So after some research I discovered that Giant Solifuge was for Jace, the Mind Sculptor. You tutor for it with Green Sun's Zenith. It has haste and shroud and trample! I have to say, I'm impressed with how Lejay built this deck. It's like he's thought of everything!

 Stingerfling Spider is for Delver of Secrets, Griselbrand, and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Yes, Emrakul. Have you ever destroyed Emrakul with a Stingerfling Spider? Well, I haven't...yet. I'm not sure what kind of dance I'm going to do when my opponent's Show and Tell resolves and I put into play this Spider, but it'll probably be a dance similar to what Elaine from Seinfeld did.

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This is from the episode where Elaine destroys an Emrakul with Stingerfling Spider.

 

Spike Weaver Kalonian Hydra

 Spike Weaver is used like a recurring Fog. Team this up with Kalonian Hydra and you'll never run out of counters to remove from the Spike. I love this little combo so much that I try to squeeze it into every single matchup.

 

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 So unfortunately this will be the last time I'll be showcasing a deck in Legacy with four videos from a daily since we now only get three rounds, but whatever. I really, truly enjoyed playing Sylvan Plug. It is ridiculously strong and a blast to play.

 One of my biggest blunders that I saw in the replays was not waiting to see what my opponent revealed off of Delver of Secrets before destroying them with Abrupt Decay. The only reason why I did it on my turn was so I could F6 on their turn, which is wrong. But other than that I think I piloted the deck fairly well. It always puts a smirk on my face when my opponent casts Thoughtseize, sees I have Obstinate Baloth in hand, and then later in the game pluses Liliana of the Veil. This is why it is extremely important to remember what's in your opponent's hand. You can watch Frank Lepore write them in his chat box, you can hear in Reid Duke's videos him write the cards on a piece of paper, Travis Woo takes a screen shot of their hand, and Luis Scott Vargas simply uses his massive brain to memorize the cards. It doesn't matter which way you want to do it, but please remember what's in their hand. Don't let laziness or forgetfulness cost you a game, my friends.

 Anyways, if you're looking to get into Legacy and haven't decided on a deck, I vote for Sylvan Plug as a good starting point. It's not a difficult deck to pilot. The learning curve is medium, with just some minor lines you need to learn. I'd say after a match or two you'll be playing this deck like a champ. In fact, after I built this deck I jumped right into the daily, and I went 3-1 to boot! No practice rounds, no nothing. Deck's fun, it's easy, and it's strong. So come on, join me in Legacy and start beating up on all those blue wizards!

5 Comments

In game 1 round 2 you could by Dawwy at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 15:17
Dawwy's picture
4

In game 1 round 2 you could always have left the knight in your hand, so you can cast him. Then you take hit from marit lage (one) and you can search for karakas with the knight. Obviously it wouldn't be very easy to win this, but your opponent seemed mana screwed so maybe 6 life would be enough to win that.

You're right. I probably did by jay85 at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 19:56
jay85's picture

You're right. I probably did concede a little too early there. After I read your comment I went back and studied the video and it probably would've been fairly easy for me to win that game if I had done as you suggested, because my opponent was mana screwed. Thank you for the critique.

Nice work, as always. I have by Joe Fiorini at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 19:35
Joe Fiorini's picture
5

Nice work, as always. I have to say that I share the same lack of enthusiasm for the 3-round Daily Event. I've played in none so far. Each time one happens at night when I'm free, I get upset with how much I don't like the very idea of this new system and I just go to bed instead.

The closest I got was signing up for one and dropping before it started. In fact, I kept flip-flopping on whether or not I should join it, and I kept joining and dropping until finally the last time I dropped MTGO crashed and ate my entry fee. I had to write a reimbursement request for sixty play points. Fun times...

If these events don't change, and the system stays the same, the chances are high that I'll stop playing altogether. I'd rather find one of my Vintage friends and arrange a play-testing session in free play than bother spending money or funny money on such an event.

All I want is four rounds at by jay85 at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 20:27
jay85's picture

All I want is four rounds at six tickets. Getting a prize for going 1-2 is funny to me. I do not feel like I deserve those 20pps for playing mediocre Magic. And going 2-1 just to break even...really? When I invest my time into this game and try my best, I want something more than my entry fee back. That's not a reward to me. I'm not a child, and most people who play Magic, especially Legacy and Vintage, are also not children. If they want to treat Standard as kid friendly, then fine. But Legacy and Vintage should be considered high stakes Poker, because in the Magic world they are the high stakes formats. The prize payout should reflect that.
But I also think standing here holding my breath until Wizards fixes this won't help, either. Keep playing online and keep voicing your opinions because I highly doubt Wizards will listen to people who are non-players, which is what you'll be if you stop. I think with how many people are entering these events recently is proof that there will always be someone to replace you if you quit.

I seem to think that all the by Joe Fiorini at Wed, 08/19/2015 - 21:18
Joe Fiorini's picture

I seem to think that all the new players are just buying the newly cheap Eternal Staples and playing in our eternal Dailies because both the player and the event are cheap. You have to admit, a system that pays you to lose, even if it is really just nothing, would encourage new players.

I hope this doesn't last, but I'm not going to be surprised when it doesn't.