[Editor’s note: This article was written before the Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe bans, but all of the lists are still relevant, so we’ve decided to run it as is. Enjoy!]
In the small town where I live, there’s no Magic store, and the players around here only play Legacy. We have our own Legacy league, but last Thursday we decided to shake things up, and instead of a regular Legacy event I proposed Team Unified Legacy!
The idea caught their attention. We managed to build enough teams, and we were ready to start deck building.
These days, it’s hard to succeed without netdecking, whereas I love Team Unified Constructed because it lets you create and build different decks for different metagames. For example, the World Magic Cup is not only my favorite event because you get to represent your whole country, but also because deck building is challenging.
Especially in formats like Legacy and Standard where there are many key cards in the format, it’s harder to find a configuration of three decks where cards don’t overlap.
Force of Will is the glue that holds Legacy together, and with it making up just 1/3 of the field, we figured that combo would be the best archetype.
It was very hard to build two combo decks (other than Mono-Blue Show and Tell and B/R Reanimator), however, so we had to explore different options. The most commonly overlapping card was Lotus Petal when trying to find explosive combo decks.
We also figured that Mono-Red Prison would be worse since we were expecting more Reanimator, Show and Tell, and mono-colored decks than normal.
I love Death & Taxes, and I wanted to try two new tools: Isolate and Brightling. The deck doesn’t really take too many cards from other strategies, either (Swords to Plowshares and Wasteland are the biggest ones).
This was the list that I ended up playing, which is tuned to beat combo.
Death & Taxes
I went 3-0 in the event, defeating Grixis Delver, Goblins, and B/R Reanimator.
Brightling was great in the first two matchups: Lifelink/vigilance is huge, as is being able to stop Gurmag Angler from attacking with an Aether Vial on three counters. I will definitely try more than one in my next event. Isolate was worse than Path to Exile in the two matchups I boarded it in.
Other than my love for Death & Taxes, people who watch my videos know how much I respect B/R Reanimator and how strong I think the deck is. In a format where only one player is playing Force of Will and only one is playing Surgical Extraction, this deck felt an easy choice.
The problem was convincing one of my teammates to play it since it’s clearly not fun and not interactive, but I managed to convince someone to play for the trophy. Here we go!
In case you want to know more about the deck, I’ll link you to my article about it, which is a very tuned list from trophy leader Eric Landon on Magic Online.
Lastly, we had trouble figuring out what the last deck should be. We had to let 4-Color Leovold go because B/R Reanimator plays both Badlands and Bayou, and Grixis Delver wanted Wasteland very badly. We were also unable to play U/W Miracles because Death & Taxes uses Swords to Plowshares, so it was time to brew something different with our left-over cards!
Initially we wanted to play a Back to Basics blue control deck. Then we started pairing the deck with red as we figured that Blood Moon would be better, and it was. Eldrazi got simply demolished by Moon, so that matchup felt good.
The deck still has problems dealing with creatures with toughness higher than 3 (Thought-Knot Seer and Gurmag Angler) and Swords to Plowshares would have solved that problem easily. True-Name Nemesis was also a real problem if you couldn’t Pyroblast it.
It was still a fine deck. It was well tuned for combo decks, which he happened to play against. We were happy with our choices and happy with the format. What if you were playing Team Unified Legacy? What would your three decks be?