Magic Origins, and the New Mulligan Rules, in Legacy

Magic Origins is nearly upon us, and while we wait for the full set to come out I’d like to take a look at a few of the cards that could be Legacy playable.

Lands: Molten Vortex and Animist’s Awakening

Lands has been a big part of Legacy for some time. It’s a nightmare for Delver decks with a great late-game through unbeatable recursions such as Punishing Fire + Grove of the Burnwillows and Life from the Loam.

Magic Origins bring two cards that could see play in this archetype:

1) Molten Vortex

Seismic Assault’s little brother might be playable—it is a bit mana-intensive, but is at least castable. It’s great to recycle all the excess lands once you get the Life from the Loam engine going, and it’s a great way to deal with Deathrite Shaman.

This is also a win-condition that does not lose to Swords to Plowshares or Venser, Shaper Savant, which are annoying cards from Miracles.

2) Animist’s Awakening

I’m not sure about this—it’s probably just a cool card to read and a bad card to play with—but it seems good against decks without counterspells where you can tap out on your turn in the late game.

ANT: Dark Petition and Day’s Undoing

ANT stands for Ad Nauseam Tendrils—a Storm deck that uses Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual and Lion’s Eye Diamond to produce mana, tutors up Ad Nauseam or Past in Flames with Infernal Tutor, and then wins the game with Tendrils of Agony. It looks like a very simple plan, but it is arguably the most difficult combo deck in Legacy.

The key is to find Ad Nauseam or Past in Flames, and the only tutors available for this deck are Infernal Tutor and Grim Tutor. While the first is an automatic 4-of, some deck lists play a singleton copy of Grim Tutor, and Magic Origins offers a replacement in the form Dark Petition.

1) Dark Petition

Swamp, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark Petition, sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond in response add 6 black mana. Go get Ad Nauseam and there you go: your turn 1 kill is served!

Obviously it wasn’t very hard to notice that this card will be an auto-include in ANT. The challenge will be to determine how many copies of this you want to run maindeck.

It is worse post-board when people board in Rest in Peace or Nihil Spellbomb, but maindeck it wouldn’t be difficult to trigger Spell Mastery. I’m actually more concerned about reaching 5 mana. Though, once you get there with the help of a Lion’s Eye Diamond, the job is done.

2) Day’s Undoing

Timetwister was a key card for Storm in Vintage, but this card is very far from that.

You can’t just float your mana or sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond in response as you would have if Timetwister were legal.

This card is very difficult to work with and I don’t think it belongs in this deck.

Vryn Wingmare

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is an archetype staple: Death & Taxes wouldn’t be that good without her.

Now you can argue that this is not Thalia, and that’s certainly true, but having more Sphere of Resistance effects is great in a deck with Aether Vial, Wasteland, and Rishadan Port.

Flying means a lot, many times with this deck the board will stall in the face of a True-Name Nemesis or Tarmogoyf, and you need Serra Avenger or Flickerwisp to get through.

I think Vryn Wingmare will see play in Death & Taxes, and I don’t think I’m really going out on a limb to say so.

Hallowed Moonlight

This is a great addition for Modern, but in Legacy its slot is already taken by Containment Priest. He provides a clock, which is what you need against combo decks. If you are afraid of playing Containment Priest + Aether Vial in the same deck, then this is for you.

Infinite Obliteration

Sneak and Show only has 4 Griselbrand and 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. If you manage to exile these 2 creatures you get to win the game! Hurray!

Side note: OmniTell is way better than Sneak and Show nowadays, and it doesn’t necessarily win with creatures. Christmasland aside, I don’t think this card is playable.

Harbinger of the Tides

Merfolk is a real deck in Legacy, and this is a good tempo card against creature decks. Merfolk wants to out-tempo opponents, and sometimes you can find yourself in a race against Tarmogoyf or Delver of Secrets, so this card will be great there.

I’m confident this card will be played in Merfolk’s sideboard.

Avaricious Dragon

Dragon Stompy is always on the lookout for some new Dragons that might get along with Rakdos Pit Dragon. This is also synergic with Gathan Raiders, which is another staple of the deck.

For the unfamiliar, you can sum it up with: “Play Blood Moon on turn 1 or go home.”

Shaman of the Pack

Great addition in Modern, in Legacy you already have a good win condition: Natural Order into Craterhoof Behemoth. This card is nice with Wirewood Symbiote, where you get to play it multiple times thanks to Gaea’s Cradle and Birchlore Rangers that provide you the mana you need. Also it could be tutored with Green Sun’s Zenith which is something I would keep in mind. It can easily deserve a slot in this deck.

The New Mulligan Rule in Eternal Formats

When I first saw the new mulligan rule I was enthusiastic. I loved it, thinking of the games in Limited where card advantage is so important. But then I thought about Constructed, and more importantly, about Legacy and Vintage.

Consider a player that mulligans to 6 on the play and keeps his hand of Delver of Secrets and Stifle. Scrying might be better than having an extra card! You get to see if Delver of Secrets will flip or not, and whether to leave mana untapped to cast Stifle on their fetchland.

Combo decks are always kept in check by their tendency to mulligan into their combo pieces and by the heavy presence of Force of Will in the format.

Think about Goblin Charbelcher, All-Spells, and Tin Fins. Those decks are very capable of winning on turn 1 with protection. I like to call them “The Cancer of Legacy” and I will be against any rule that gives them any kind of advantage.

In Vintage there’s a deck that takes mulligans only based on the presence of a single card: Bazaar of Baghdad. This rule clearly helps them.

Overall this rule seems great for Standard or Limited, but in my opinion it will be a liability in formats like Legacy and Vintage.


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