There was a long period of time in the Legacy metagame when Sneak and Show was public enemy #1. The best players in the world all seemed to gravitate toward this powerful strategy, but you don’t see it nearly as often these days. Decks like Death and Taxes helped to slow it down, while powerful combo decks with their own interaction helped to diversify the metagame. Still, this is one of the most powerful decks ever seen.
As the name implies, Sneak Attack and Show and Tell are the ways to get started. Both cards allow you to cheat a huge threat into play at a cheap mana requirement. The drawback of Show and Tel, that it allows your opponent to put their own threat into play, is rarely effective against the best creatures Magic has ever seen. Sneak Attack’s sacrifice drawback also doesn’t matter much when one hit is all you need to get the job done.
With Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as your huge monsters, a single attack may not technically win the game, but it has effectively ended the game. With a Sneak Attack already on the battlefield, Emrakul wipes your opponent’s board and leave them in shambles while you have tons of time to find another threat (if you haven’t already, plus the Emrakul shuffles back in). A Griselbrand allows you to completely refill your hand to make sure you have interaction ready to go and another monster for next turn, assuming you don’t find the mana-plus-monster combo to get Emrakul into play this turn as well!
Acceleration is critical to this strategy to make sure you can cast your Show or Sneak as early as possible. Lotus Petal speeds up your clock considerably. You also get all the value from Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors since your key spells require a big investment of colorless mana.
Playing a blue combo deck that only requires 2 different pieces is a nice place to be in Legacy. You get access to 4 copies of both Brainstorm and Ponder and as many Preordains and Sensei’s Divining Tops as you see fit to include. With so much card filtering, finding everything you need early on is a cinch.
And yet, with all of that already included, you are still playing a deck that doesn’t even require 20 lands, so you have plenty of room for interaction. Force of Will, Spell Pierce, Daze, Misdirection, and Flusterstorm are powerful counterspells that you can add to your deck and that will never require you to spend more than 1 actual blue mana to resolve them!
Sneak and Show is one of the best decks Legacy has ever seen, so even though it isn’t played as often these days, don’t sleep on this giant. With a powerful combo, tons of card draw, and enough counters to force through the combo, it’s no wonder Sneak and Show has put up some of the best numbers Legacy has ever seen.