I recently attended the Legacy Grand Prix in New Jersey last Saturday.
The event was really fun, well run and rather huge. Having had two byes, I got a chance to walk around the convention center to catch a glimpse of various matches (One person in our group didn’t have the sleep-in special, so we all just got to the venue at the regular start time. Kind of annoying …) I handed in my decklist on the night before electronically. This is what I decided to play:
4 Punishing Fire
3 Crop Rotation
4 Life from the Loam
1 Primeval Titan
4 Sphere of Resistance
2 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Crop Rotation
1 Pithing Needle
3 Krosan Grip
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Worm Harvest
1 Ray of Revelation
I ended up barely missing Day 2, losing my last round to one of my first Legacy decks: Death & Taxes. In the first game, I won by repeatedly Punishing Fire‘ ing away his back to back to back Phyrexian Revokers (each one calling Mox Diamond, which was my only source of colored mana in play). He eventually conceded before actually losing since that game lasted 30 minutes. In the second game, I Crop Rotation‘ed into the Dark Depths / Thespian’s Stage combo on his attack. I took down an attacking Serra Avenger with the Marit- Lage token, but my opponent then cast Flickerwisp to deal with the token. Despite having stalled the board with the Tabernacle, I was unable to get enough Maze of Ith in play to slow down his onslaught. He later cast Cataclysm (haven’t seen that one in a looooooong time) followed by Rest in Peace to put the game out of my reach.
Game 3 was painfully quick as I had to decide if I wanted to keep my Mox Diamond mana up to Punishing Fire threats or just keep dredging Life from the Loam to dig up some colored lands or my win condition. I was already in a bind by turn 5 and his Phyrexian Revoker pretty much crippled me. It was a matter of a few attack steps before I lost the game and any hope of Day 2’ing that GP.
I really didn’t want to run the same deck on Sunday so I ended up just hanging out in my hotel and following the rest of that GP online. My roomate had borrowed the deck, but I suggested he play the Intuition version of the deck instead. It was less explosive but could better deal with hate cards and just control the board if it needed to. The main changes are:
3 Tropical Island
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawmgoth
1 Academy Ruins
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Zuran Orb
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Tolaria West
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Punishing Fire
2 Thespians’ Stage
3 Tranquil Thicket
He ended up missing Top 8 losing to back to back Storm match-ups. Hopefully the 27 boosters he won will serve us well in testing for this week’s GP Ottawa.
Not as far as Jersey at least
I had adapted the Legacy Lands deck to the Tiny Leader format a few months back. The deck itself caused a few people to no longer like the format as much, so I avoided playing it as much as possible. I instead chose to play Black/White Teysa tokens for the most part. Still, for those of you that are looking for another Tiny Leaders decklist …
I decided to go the manlands route instead of being too much on the ‘cheese’ side and opting for Dark Depths + Thespian’s Stage in this particular deck. Although, feel free to squeeze that in. Your opponents might end up thanking you for ending their suffering early.
The deck plays the exact opposite of most decks, running 31 lands and 19 non-lands. The commander is pretty irrelevant, although you could run Ragnar since he’s the least expensive. You could also try and run Jenar, Asura of War if you have some kind of delusions of winning that way. Angus Mackenzie is just straight up funny. Cast him as an emergency blocker later on or just sneak him in mid to late game if your opponent used up all his removal spells on your lands.
The deck plays pretty much like a watered-down version of the Legacy builds, except that it doesn’t run the Punishing Fire combo nor make Marit Lage tokens (since we run Ensnaring Bridge maindeck). I would attribute most of the wins to Inkmoth Nexus and Vesuva copying Inkmoth Nexus. The white is only in there mostly for more manlands and Enilightened Tutor. If anything, I would maybe switch it over as a a Temur or Sultai deck. The green and blue are obviously irreplaceable. Red would give us Gamble. Punishing Fire, Grove of the Burnwillows and maybe even Seismic Assault (ugh….triple red). Another great thing we would get from red is a really hard to deal with Commander: Animar, Soul of Element. The huge downside is that we won’t be casting many creature spells, if any at all (Satyr Wayfinder, anyone?)
The other route is to go Sultai. Obviously there is no Commander for that, but we can just use a generic 2/2 for BUG colors and not care. Black can give up a big more depth. We an run Abrupt Decay, Nephalia Drownyard, Ashiok,Nightmare Weaver and Gaze of Granite / Pernicious Deed if we deem it necessary. We also gain Bojuka Bog versus some graveyard strategies. Baleful Strix, Deathrite Shaman and Bitterblossom look appealing as well. The main thing we are losing is the manlands. We would gain Creeping Tar Pit but lose Celestial Colonnade and Stirring Wildwood.
Going Black can also give us access to another rather nice land: Volrath’s Stronghold. This way we can run a few more creatures and maybe even Vampire Hexmage as well. That way we gain another way to combo with Dark Depths (and a way to kill the limited number of planeswalkers that exist in the format).
It’s going to be very grindy, that much is sure. You will be slowing them down via mana denial, blowing up permanents, controlling some of their creatures with Vedalkan Shackles and stopping/slowing down combat (Maze of Ith, Ensnaring Bridge). The original version had a Terra Eternal in the main deck, but it was a little counter-intuitive with Wasteland/Ghost Quarter.
The Vedalken Shackles will steal most smaller creatures straight up and it gets a little bonkers with Prismatic Omen. The Omen also bypasses Blood Moon effects if it was cast beforehand. The regular list also does this with a Riftstone Portal in our graveyard (giving us access to at least Green and White Mana). Mox Diamond also helps us out with our Blood Moon problem a bit.That way, if we draw any of our naturalize effects, we can use them. Of course, we have Oblivion Stone in case things go terribly wrong.
One thing that’s kinda cute is the Sensei’s Divining Top in the Sideboard. It allows us to plan our Life from the Loam Dredges ahead of time and prevents us from hitting a card we actually wanted t draw (aka. Krosan Grip). It’s proably good enough to go in the main deck, but I can’t quite figure out what to cut for it. I also like it because it allows us to dredge up Life from the Loam itself at instant speed and costs no mana to activate its ‘draw a card’ ability. There is maybe bonus value to be had if we use it to mill a Ray of Revelation in response to something like a Rest in Peace. We get Life from the Loam in hand off the Dredge 3 and then flashback Ray of Revelation in response to the Rest in Peace triggered ability.
One of the many reasons Counterbalance is banned in this format
Always activating and attacking with manlands can actually get quite rough and not let us free up our mana for much else, which is why Gargoyle Castle is in the list. Urza’s Factory was also considered and may appear in future iterations of the deck.
They also recently unbanned Bazaar of Baghdad. If you’ve got a decent-size budget for this, you might wanna pick one up. I would definitely add it to this deck.
More to come …
I’ll be trying to post more Tiny Leaders decks on here, but until then you can also visit their Facebook group page for more updates and lists.
Tiny Leader Links
Tiny Leaders Deck Construction:
– Deck Restrictions:
• 50 Card decks.
• Singleton (Only 1 of each card except for Basic Lands)
• All cards must be Converted Mana Cost 3 or less.
• Must include a LEGENDARY CREATURE as a General, which IS included in the 50 cards.
• Starting Life Total: 25
• No free Mulligan.
• No ‘Commander Damage’ rule.
• Tiny Leaders is a 2-Player format.
Lands Edge is another Seismic Assault that costs 1RR