Hello and welcome back to Legacy on Tuesdays!
Almost anyone who has ever played the Legacy format is familiar with the ANT, or Ad Nauseam Tendrils deck. It builds up a large storm count using lots of rituals, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor to find the Tendrils of Agony to deal exactly (or very close to) 20 damage to the opponent. It is quite a potent deck, with a long history of tournament success to the point where many would call it the quintessential storm deck.
This week, I’d like to show you a super cheap, janky, budget deck that also hopes to win using the aforementioned cards. This does its thing in a totally different way though – Check it out!
3 Tendrils of Agony
4 Ad Nauseam
4 Dark Ritual
Storm Builders (23)
4 Claws of Gix
4 Everflowing Chalice
4 Shield Sphere
Yes, that’s right – the deck casts Ad Nauseam to draw a massive amount of free artifacts, then casts them all to fire off a large Tendrils of Agony. Super simple in both theory and practice, the deck is a blast! Ad Nauseam Tendrils for a very meager amount, just not the way one would expect! No Cabal Ritual here, no siree. And who needs to drop 60 tickets for a playset of Lion’s Eye Diamond? I certainly don’t if using this deck.
The deck is very easy to pilot. There are absolutely NO fancy interactions or other crazy thingamajigs, just a linear strategy. Here is how to play the deck, in just a few easy steps:
- Keep a hand with lots of lands and Ad Nauseam. Hands with Tendrils of Agony are also okay to keep, but the deck can get a little rocky without its main draw engine.
- Play Swamps. Lots of ’em. Also play any free artifact chump blockers you may have.
- Use Dark Ritual if you have one to cast Ad Nauseam A few turns early.
- If possible, leave a land open to chain Rituals after casting Ad Nauseam to play a Tendrils the same turn as you draw a ton of cards. Otherwise, Spellbook can get you through to the next turn.
- Cast at least nine free artifacts, then kill the opponent with a big Tendrils of Agony.
Congratulations! You just spent less than 10 tickets to win a game with a totally janky storm deck! Can you expect to win a premier tournament with the deck? No. Is it possible to go 3-1 in a daily with the deck? Yes, albeit not extremely likely.
This deck is best used by someone who wants a neat little deck for a pittance that is fun to use in the “Just for Fun” room. It’s also a nice one for testing the waters of the format, since it uses some one of the more powerful win conditions available in a budget shell. For a competitive storm deck, look to ANT or High Tide and a much larger budget.
Like any budget deck, there are usually ways to improve the deck’s quality and consistency by adding money. This deck is no different, except that there aren’t nearly as many ways to change this deck as there could be with others. The strategy is a little bit too narrow to fit in lots of tech.
The number one way to improve the playability of the deck would be to add a playset of Lotus Petal. Sadly, Petals are still a solid 4-5 tix a piece, which is wicked expensive. They fit the bill perfectly, though, as both a free spell and an extra mana for Ad Nauseam a turn early. If these are an available resource, they should probably replace the Claws of Gix. Claws can net a little life in a pinch, but everything else either chump blocks, provides mana, or has some other utility.
Other than that, the main deck is about as solid as it is going to be for this way of creating storms. A sideboard would be helpful, but storm decks cannot afford to dilute the main deck too much. There are only 2 possibilities I can think of for sideboard slots. This would be Duress and Sign in Blood. Duress is pretty standard combo protection to stop that Force of Will from taking out Ad Nauseam. Sign in Blood provides some extra cards at the cost of 2 life, which can be mitigated slightly by using Claws of Gix.
Otherwise, what can be done? Not much. Filler slots! Be a boss and make the other 7 slots all Swamps… White bordered ones. Okay, well I guess Inquisition of Kozilek isn’t bad either. But polluting the components of the main deck too much is historically the biggest problem of storm based decks. If you do not absolutely need something from the board, don’t bring it in.
That’s all for this week! Hope to catch you next time, and hope y’all are enjoying the community league! If you aren’t a part of this epic event, head over to the events page or contact Sam – it’s lots of fun!