Modern Legacy: The Legacy of M12

Woo-hoo! A new set, new cards! Oh wait. A core set? Ah well, do not worry! There’s still some really interesting cards in the set. By my count, there are four cards that have great potential to be played, and This article will talk about each, along with highlighting what decks they might go into.

The first card we will talk about is Sundial of the Infinite. This is the kind of card that when aggressively costed, ends up being the cornerstone of a combo deck. It is more likely that the combo deck that is looking to abuse this card will not be a creature-based combo deck, because Torpor Orb exists, and is better at what it does than the Sundial. If not creature based decks, then what is left? Let’s look at alternate applications of the ability. What cards force you to lose the game and can be negated by this card? Final Fortune and Last Chance. Time Walks for 2 red mana and 1 colorless seem good to me. Another class of cards with similar drawbacks are the Pacts. Out of all the pacts, the three most playable in this deck would be the red, blue, and black pacts. A rough outline of this deck probably would look like this:

Playing with Fire
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
4 Brainstorm
4 Pact of Negation
4 Stifle
4 Sundial of the Infinite
4 Pact of the Titan
3 Slaughter Pact
4 Phyrexian Dreadnaught
2 Final Fortune
2 Last Chance 
21 Lands

How would the above deck work? In this deck, Sundial of the Infinite and Stifle act in exactly the same roles. What can be affected by these two cards?

  1. Phyrexian Dreadnaught’s triggered ability. (Which everyone, their uncle, and their grandmother knows about.)
  2. Final Fortune/Last Chance’s “At the beginning of that turn’s end step, you lose the game.” trigger can be Stifled, or Dialed. (A note- if you play these cards, you HAVE to end the turn with the trigger on the stack, or you will lose the game.)
  3. Pact triggers. You have to Stifle them one at a time, but with the Sundial, you could end the turn with all pacts’ triggers on the stack. Yes this means Time Walking yourself. This means you have to make sure it is worth it to do it on that turn.

The next card we will discuss is Grand Abolisher. This is unfortunately a card that looks much better than it actually is. Aggressive decks do not have much use out of the ability. What truly needs the card’s power is a specific subset of decks. That subset is combo decks. Out of all combo decks I can only name one deck that would benefit from Grand Abolisher. BUT that deck is a doozy. What deck? Take a look below:

Cephalid Breakfast
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Strand
4 Underground Sea
4 Tundra
4 Nomads en-Kor
1 Shaman en-Kor
4 Cephalid Illusionist
3 Narcomoeba
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Lord of Extinction
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
4 Brainstorm
2 Ponder
4 Lim-Dûl’s Vault
3 Cabal Therapy
3 Aether Vial
1 Dread Return
2 Crippling Fatigue
3 Echoing Truth
3 Serenity
3 Pithing Needle 
4 Grand Abolisher

This deck can be really brutal with the Grand Abolisher. What it can do is to use AEther Vial to put in the Grand Abolisher during the upkeep. Once the Abolisher is in play, nothing can be done by the opponent to stop the combo. Most commonly played graveyard hate will not even work too- Tormod’s Crypt is stopped cold by the Abolisher. For a sideboard card, this is everything that Cephalid Breakfast needs and more.

The next card is Stormblood Berserker. I am very sure that all over, Zoo players and Sligh players are looking at this card and drooling. Let me run down the relative merits of this card: It is almost always a 3/3 for 2 mana. The size is respectable, but what the true beauty of this card is that once you have it swinging, blocking for your oppoent becomes truly hard. It is either an unblockable 3 damage, or an Prized Unicorn, allowing the rest of your forces to swing through, unhindered. This  translates to massive damage for the average Zoo deck. The card cut for the Berserker would probably be Steppe Lynx, but since I do not play Zoo, I can’t be 100% certain on that. The decklist might look like the one below:

4 Stormblood Berserker
4 Goblin Guide
4 Tarmogoyf 
4 Kird Ape
4 Wild Nacatl
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Chain Lightning
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Price of Progress
3 Fireblast
1 Sylvan Library
1 Path to Exile
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Arid Mesa
3 Mountain
3 Taiga
3 Plateau

The last card I am going to talk about is a card I was dubious at first about, but upon thought, I realized was very good. That card is Phantasmal Image. What commonly used targeted spells or abilities that is not removal is used in legacy? Think about it. Maze of Ith? Removal. What else? Yup. That’s it. Now what can we do with a 2 mana Clone? What about merfolk?

11 Island
Mishra’s Factory
AEther Vial
Silvergill Adept
Merrow Reejerey
Lord of Atlantis
Coralhelm Commander
3 Phantasmal Image
Force of Will
Mental Misstep
2 Dismember

I feel that the best thing for the Images to replace is 2x Merfolk Sovereign and 1x Island. The Sovereigns go out due to lack of synergy with the Image. The Island is because with the Sovereigns out, the mana curve of the deck has dropped slightly. Why is the Image a good fit in this deck? I believe that it fits because it is a 2 mana Clone, which means you could basically copy one of your own lords, making it a pesudo-lord. Even without any creatures, you can play it and have it match whatever the opponent’s best creature is. It can be a blue Tarmogoyf, a blue Tombstalker, or even a blue Emrakul. That last one happens more often than you would think. There are a fair number of decks that tries to cheat large legendary creatures in play. The Image becomes quite a nice solution to that.

Until next week,


Posted on July 14, 2011, in Articles, Modern Legacy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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