I love innovation. When someone puts together a strategy I haven’t seen before, I’m always impressed by the possibilities we have in this game. When someone 5-0’s a League with one, we should all take notice.
The combination of Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage is a staple of Legacy, and a great foundation for any deck. Once you get these two lands on the battlefield with 2 additional mana, the Stage can copy the Dark Depths. Due to the legendary rule, you’ll have to choose one to keep, and you keep the Stage that copied the Depths and let the original go. Since Stage has zero counters on it, the Dark Depths triggers and you’ll get a 20/20 indestructible flying Marit Lage token.
That isn’t the only way to trigger your Dark Depths. Besides investing millions of mana into the activated ability to remove counters, you also have Vampire Hexmage to remove all the counters in one fell swoop.
Playing Dark Depths, Stage, and two other lands can be a little slow. As can playing a pair of Swamps to cast a Hexmage. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth lets you cast a turn-2 Hexmage with a Dark Depths in play by turning your otherwise non-mana-producing land into a Swamp. You also have a boatload of fast mana in this deck to accelerate out a Hexmage or to trigger your Stage. This gives you a bunch of ways to make a 20/20 on turn 2, as well as ways to go off on turn 1. Mox Diamond, Mox Opal (with other artifacts), and Lotus Petal are all 0-mana ways to accelerate your mana. Turn-1 Depths, two accelerators, and a Hexmage can allow you to go off before your opponent can even put their first land into play!
Getting these lands together on the battlefield is a great way to win, but you actually need to draw them to do it. Having a way to tutor up key lands and spells will make your job much easier. Tolaria West can be transmuted to find either half of your combo, a bunch of mana sources, and plenty of other value cards you have at your disposal.
Among the cards Tolaria West can find is Chalice of the Void. With a bunch of fast mana already in the deck among 4 Petals, 4 Mox Diamond, and 4 Ancient Tombs, you have tons of ways to cast a Chalice for 1 on turn 1 to shut down a number of decks in the Legacy format.
You can also search for card advantage thanks to Ancestral Vision having a CMC of 0. Vision is a bit slow, but it can get you really far ahead in a grindy game.
You also have plenty of silver bullets to transmute for. Engineered Explosives can sweep the board of tokens or cheap threats. Slaughter Pact is an instant-speed removal spell, while Pact of Negation can protect you when you want to go off. Zuran Orb can gain additional life should you be under too much pressure. You also have Maze of Ith to shut down an attacker, Karakas to beat legends and Reanimator, and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale to tax creature strategies without hurting your own deck. There’s even a pair of Walking Ballistas to search for that can kill off some small creatures or a planeswalker, though they don’t seem super impressive in this deck to me.
The final piece of the puzzle comes in the full playset of Cunning Wish. This gives you access to big haymakers in game 1 such as Surgical Extraction, Mindbreak Trap, Flusterstorm, and another Slaughter Pact. The real highlight of Cunning Wish, however, is that you can go find Ad Nauseam. Assuming you’ve now cast a Cunning Wish (and have drawn 0 other cards in your deck with any CMC), you can draw your entire deck and only take 15 damage! If you’ve drawn any copies of Hexmage or other Wishes, that number drops dramatically. From there, you can cast all of your Mox Diamonds, all of your Lotus Petals, and cast and use each Mox Opal before casting another copy. This is plenty of mana to cast another Cunning Wish, get Lightning Storm from the sideboard, and win the game! Now that’s just filthy.
I love what this deck is doing, and while I have no idea how much further it can go with some additional tuning, I’m excited to see the possibilities!