I had a good time playing Magic this Sunday. One of the local shops, Comictown, runs weekly Legacy tournaments and I like to go play. I put together a new spin on a green/black aggro deck.
Ended up 3-1 on the day, felt pretty good about the deck. Here’s my very unpolished list:
4x Dark Confidant
2x Deathrite Shaman
2x Vampire Nighthawk
3x Abrupt Decay
4x Cabal Therapy
4x Hymn to Tourach
1x Tragic Slip
1x Go for the Throat
1x Slaughter Pact
3x Life from the Loam
2x Umezawa’s Jitte
1x Sword of Feast and Famine
4x Overgrown Tomb
4x Verdant Catacombs
1x Marsh Flats
3x Mishra’s Factory
1x Haunted Fengraf
1x Cabal Pit
1x Barren Moor
2x Undiscovered Paradise
Abrupt Decay: The card was an all-star all day, axing huge Knight of the Reliquaries and Aether Vials. I traded for two more, so I played three in the deck, and I feel like that’s probably the right amount.
Dark Confidant: Still the card-advantage engine of choice, one of these on the table let me get ahead of an opponent if left unchecked. My highish land count (22) and low average costing cost (around 2) left me rarely unhappy with his flips. He even beats.
Bitterblossom: I understand why this card is banned in Modern. It single-handedly won me games, and just isn’t fair.
Deathrite Shaman: I wish I had four of these guys. I was able to shrink opponent’s Knights, put my life totals out of reach, and (theoretically) end a game. The real deal.
Bloodghast: Incredible and relentless. A recurring threat that few decks can deal with. And feeds Therapy.
Vampire Nighthawk: Did not think this guy was as good as he was, but put a game away by himself, doing six damage and gaining me life while other beaters came online. Wins races against fair decks. I play 2, that’s probably the right amount.
The Loam Engine: Wastelanded an opponent out of the game in two matches, both key games that I might not have otherwise won. Also provides repeated removal with Cabal Pit, very helpful.
Hymn to Tourach: Should be Liliana of the Veil. Never really happy to resolve this card, it is not nearly as good as Cabal Therapy in my deck.
Equipment: Not as good as I’d hoped. The couple times I got them out they died either to point removal (opponents love Abrupt Decay on these) or the creature died out from under the equipment, costing me time. Would rather have a threat or removal.
Tarmogoyf: Is it okay to be disappointed about this guy? Even when he’s a 5/6, he doesn’t gain me life, draw me cards, lose the opponent life, accellerate, or evade other creatures. I will still probably play three at least, but I wish one was a Scavenging Ooze.
Round 1 vs. Goblins
Lost a tough first game where he had a good T1 Lackey and many other dudes behind it. My life totals at the end were 2 for me, 18 for him. I remember it being close, but he was ahead all game.
Second game I was on the play and first turn Cabal Therapy, second turn Bitterblossom sealed his fate. I was able to get way ahead by flashing back Therapy and stripping his hand of business cards (getting Ringleader and Chieftan), and then I was up on creatures.
The last game was pretty funny to watch even if I got steamrolled. He played a T1 Lackey, T2 Matron and Instigator. T3 he had two ringleaders and something else. I scooped on my T3. 🙂
This is the guy who went on to 3-0-1 and 1st place. He’s also a very cool guy and we had a great match, so I didn’t feel bad at all losing.
Round 2 vs. The Gate
I had his deck figured out when he T1 Thoughseized me, T2 Sinkholed me. But then I played Life from the Loam and he was like :(. He was playing the standard Smallpox, Innocent Blood, Liliana game, and when I was able to Cabal Pit and exile his Nether Shadow with my Deathrite Shaman, that locked it up. This game was also won with Bitterblossom, making his Poxes pretty bad.
Game two he sideboarded heavily, and those cards put me in a bind. I played a T2 Bitterblossom but he played T3 Engineered Plague on Faerie, and I was like D: . I started the Bloodghast beats along with Mishra’s Factory, but then he played Pithing Needle on Factory, and I was again like D:. I got him to 5 with three Bloodghasts on the table when he played Ensnaring Bridge and 1 card in hand. He had only had three non-basics (Maze of Ith, Urborg, and Wasteland) out, so I had to go on the Wasteland plan to try to strand cards in his hand. I did Loam and Waste over the next three turns to wipe his board, but he top-decked two basics to keep himself at one card. The next turn he must have drawn a >=3 mana card because he scooped. I was at 7 life, all from Bitterblossom activations!
Round 3 vs. Dark Maverick
Game 1 I went first and in the dark (like I always do) named Show and Tell off Cabal Therapy. He showed me a hand of five lands, Knight of the Reliquary, and Thoughtseize. Next turn I got his Knight off a flashback with Bloodghast even though he got my Abrupt Decay, and all of a sudden he had no business spells. I made a play mistake here because I dumped a Bloodghast in the yard and had a situation where I knew he had Bojuka Bog in his hand and I could have got the Ghast back, but I forgot and he exiled my graveyard. In the end, it didn’t matter because I hit him with Bloodghasts and found more Decay for his second Knight and Tragic Slip for his Bob, and that was the game.
Closer in game two. He only had one land to start but found more quickly, plus Mox Diamond. He got a Scavenging Ooze up to 6 plus a Knight and hit me with the Ooze once until I had two Goyfs, a Shaman, and a Bob on my side, and Ooze stayed back to block. I tried to get in with Bloodghast carrying Sword of Feast and Famine but he Decayed the sword and blocked my dude. I played another Bob and Goyf and shipped the turn. He passed back and I flipped Abrupt Decay for his Ooze, and I hit with five extremely expensive creatures for the game.
Round 4 vs. BUG Delver
Started out poorly with T1 Delver, T2 Nimble Mongoose. I had removal but not quite enough. I double-blocked his Mongoose with two Bobs and killed his flipped Delver, but he had another Delver online quickly and hit me for the win. He was at 14 life at the end, not too close.
Second game was pretty crazy, but I don’t have all the details. I know he had an unflipped Delver that he missed a trigger on, and I had an active Bob so I was up on cards, but we kept hitting each other because no one wanted to block. We were eventually each at 2 life, but I had a big Goyf on the board and he was down on cards. He thinks he lost due to missing the Delver flip, and I believe him. It was close.
Third game he kept a stupid hand because he wasn’t really in the game. He kept a four-hander with three wastelands. I know because I hit him with Cabal Therapy and named Mongoose and hit in the dark. As a result, he never played another creature, I just played basics or got back the lands he wasted with Loam, and got way ahead while he was shut down.
I really enjoy playing this deck. There are a lot of choices that you make, lots of great interactions. It has the same appeal as RUG, with some of the same inevitability (Bloodghast, Bitterblossom, and Deathrite Shaman instead of burn), and discard instead of counters. I like the removal much better in this deck as well. Abrupt Decay is just amazing.
If I would play it again, these are the changes I would make:
-4 Hymn to Tourach
-2 Umezawa’s Jitte
-1 Sword of Feast and Famine
+3 Liliana of the Veil
+2 Deathrite Shaman
+2 Inquisition of Kozilek
Liliana is a better trump than equipment, and I need more things to do on T1. Love Therapy, but need something else to go along with it. Hymn is not doing it.
I’d also like to get a couple Bayou! The pain from the Tombs can make a game pretty close. I know in at least one game I would have had another turn to try to draw into some removal that might have turned things around. Sometimes I have an opportunity to fetch tapped, but those early turns I really need a dual that doesn’t hurt me. Gonna have to see if I can offload anything for a couple!