Legacy en los Martes, No. 2: Nasty Hobbitses!

Welcome Back!

Hello again, fellow MtG lovers! Welcome to Legacy on Tuesdays, edition 2! This week, as you probably saw in the title, we’ll be looking at a Hobbit-themed tribal deck! But… why is the featured image a [c]Hunted Ghoul[/c]? Isn’t it supposed to be Hobbit Tribal? Well, look at this creepy bugger:

Hunted Ghoul MTG art by Ryan Pancoast

Eep. Gross! Doesn’t he look a bit like Sméagol/Gollum to you? Well he does to me… and the closest tribe to the hobbits in Magic has to be the KITHKINS! The short, block-headed, thoughtweft-fueled white weenies are coming to town! Rather than do a deck breakdown, however, let’s start with a look at a list:

[d title=”Nasty Hobbitses! Kithkin White Weenie”]
Creatures
2 Goldmeadow Harrier
4 Figure of Destiny
4 Goldmeadow Stalwart
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
4 Wizened Cenn
4 Cloudgoat Ranger
Spells
4 Honor of the Pure
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Spectral Procession
Planeswalkers
2 Ajani Goldmane
Lands
20 Plains
4 Rustic Clachan
[/d]

Alright, seems pretty good! I didn’t make this 60 myself but… four copies of maindeck [c]Cloudgoat Ranger[/c] in Legacy looks sweet to me! A few things seem to be a little off about the list. Apparently, it did well in some sort of Star City Open Tournament, but despite finding the list a few months ago, I have been unable to dig up any further information. Please, if you know the origins of this main deck, leave a comment. I would love to know!

Goodstuffs

Kithkins as a strategy has a few powerful and a smidgen of cute perks that separates it from the standard White Weenie deck. One of the big differences between various other Weenie variations and this deck is the choice of 1-drops. Death and Taxes-type builds choose cards like [c]Mother of Runes[/c] and [c]AEther Vial[/c] as powerful utility cards, while the Kithkins deck loves [c]Goldmeadow Stalwart[/c] and [c]Figure of Destiny[/c]. These two are more aggressive choices, as the Stalwart is a non-legendary Isamaru, and the Figure can potentially win the game in one swing with mana in the later turns. [c]Goldmeadow Harrier[/c] may seem strange, but the card is amazing at stopping and slowing down [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c], [c]Griselbrand[/c], and even [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] him(her?)self!

Goldmeadow Harrier Greater Than Emrakul

The deck also features a combination theme of Weenies and Tribal. The four [c]Spectral Procession[/c] are great with [c]Honor of the Pure[/c], but not so much so with [c]Wizened Cenn[/c]. That being said, Procession gives the deck a way to close out games with Fliers, which can be very relevant against decks like Goblins that like to swarm with lots of land-bound dudes. The two [c]Ajani Goldmane[/c] are also reminiscent of older white weenie decks that used his -1 ability to pump up the team and grant temporary vigilance. The original Ajani is not the most efficient of planeswalkers (*stares directly at [c]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/c]*), but certainly served his time as a 2- and 3-of mainstay in the Kithkin decks of past standard.

The Holes

There are quite a few. Just from a cursory glance it’s fairly obvious that those [c]Ajani Goldmane[/c]s are not new tech. In fact, I do not believe he is worth a spot in a fast, competitive Legacy metagame. If the ‘walker costs 4, it had better be game breaking… cards like [c]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/c] can win the game easily if left unchecked, and Ajani just doesn’t do it.

Also, why are there 24 lands in the deck? It’s not Stax, it’s not control heavy, it’s a white weenie deck! The theory behind the high land count is probably the fact that [c]Rustic Clachan[/c] can be discarded to give a counter, and is therefore not the most reliable mana source. I would much rather be playing [c]Mutavault[/c] in a tribal deck. Also, the deck is topping out the curve fairly high at 4 and 5-cmc spells with Ajani and [c]Cloudgoat Ranger[/c]. While I love the Ranger, it is also just too slow to compete in what is arguably the second fastest format in the game.

Another serious lack seems to be [c]AEther Vial[/c]. Vial is a staple of both various tribal and white weenie decks, and it was a surprise to me that four copies were not included in this list. Vial adds consistency and speed, while avoiding the dreaded [c]Force of Will[/c] that seems to be everywhere. Also, equipment seems to be lacking here. A simple [c]Stoneforge Mystic[/c] package would place well here, or even just 3 copies of [c]Umezawa’s Jitte[/c].

The deck also noticeably lacks a way to interact with combo. While using four maindeck [c]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/c] is definitely excessive, the Kithkin tribe has its own combo hoser: [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c]! Teeg hates on decks using [c]Green Sun’s Zenith[/c], [c]Force of Will[/c], [c]Tendrils of Agony[/c], [c]Sneak Attack[/c], [c]Entreat the Angels[/c], and a plethora of other cards not mentioned here. He is green as well as white, which would necessitate a small splash for maindeck Teegs, but that is easily circumvented by playing cards like [c]AEther Vial[/c] in addition to using an additional color.

Fixing it Up

The first thing I would automatically include would be [c]AEther Vial[/c]; the card is just too powerful to ignore in this strategy. Vial also allows us to cheat in [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c] to supplement a color splash; I would love to use Teeg as a 3-of in the main deck against combo and control strategies. For consistency, I would not use any more green cards, since we do not want to pollute the mana base too much or deviate from the primary weenie strategy.

Running with the 3 Jitte plan seems optimal for the deck, as it opts for a speedy entry into combat without SFM polluting speed. An equipment package could possibly be powerful, but cards like [c]Batterskull[/c] are just overkill when the turn 1 [c]Goldmeadow Stalwart[/c] is attacking for 3 turn 2 feat. [c]Wizened Cenn[/c], followed up with Vial + [c]Knight of Meadowgrain[/c], turn 4 play + Equip Jitte just seems… OP to me. It’s also a perfectly acceptable start to the deck, given that all of these cards are either 3 or 4-ofs in the final list.

The land base also needs overhaul. I’m going to abandon [c]Rustic Clachan[/c], even though it is technically the Kithkin Tribal land. It just does not do all that much, ever. Two mana for 1 +1/+1 counter is really bad. It’s also a plains that dies to [c]Wasteland[/c] if played from the hand, and there are far better options out there. I’ve also shaved 2 lands and included a few utilities along with the color splash to provide for more consistent draws with [c]AEther Vial[/c].

A few other minor tweaks later, and this is the list that I have:

[d title=”Hobbits 2.0″]
Creatures
4 Goldmeadow Stalwart
1 Thoughtweft Trio
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
3 Gaddock Teeg
4 Figure of Destiny
4 Wizened Cenn
Spells
3 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Honor of the Pure
4 AEther Vial
3 Spectral Procession
Lands
4 Windswept Heath
2 Mutavault
4 Savannah
2 Karakas
10 Plains
Sideboard
4 Rest in Peace
3 Pithing Needle
3 Kataki, War’s Wage
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Ray of Revelation
[/d]

Boom. I took the liberty of adding a simple sample standard sideboard as well. Manaless Dredge is running rampant on MTGO in tournament practice right now (at least it seems to be), and 4 R.I.P. will basically create an auto-scoop situation. Unless they play and combo kill turn 2. Kataki answers decks like Affinty and Tezzeret, which are either too controlling or too fast for the deck to cope. Ray kills [c]Moat[/c] and [c]Humility[/c], among other obnoxious enchantments.

There is another bonus perk to the deck: It is Tribal Wars legal! Remove the sideboard, and there are exactly 20 Kithkins ready to do battle against the other tribes of the multiverse.

Second Breakfast, Elevensies, and Afternoon Tea will all be missed by the opponent when the Hobbits smack them into the ground! I hope you enjoyed reading, and hope to see you all next week here for more crazy Legacy content!

/Peyton