A few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating that I doubted that Khans of Tarkir would have much impact on the Legacy format whatsoever. This, thanks to a mere two cards, has been proven slightly wrong. If Standard and Modern get Jeskai Ascendancy as their new power card, then Legacy gets Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. Sure, both of those are being played in Standard and Modern, but Dig and the Bruise Cruise are getting a lot of attention in the Legacy scene as well.
Overall, I could not care less about Jeskai Ascendancy. It is not going to have any effect on the Eternal scene at all. I care more about the two blue delve cards, because they have much more raw, applicable, and immediate power than the Ascendancy does. I would also like to discuss how I plan to use these bad boys, but first, the cards themselves:
Dig Through Time – This card is a bit like Impulse on steroids. It is very different from Treasure Cruise in that it is more of a cantrip and hand fixer than a gas spell. Sneak & Show has used this card some, as the graveyard can fill up with cards like fetchlands, Lotus Petals, and counterspells, so that it often only costs two or three mana. As of writing this, Dig is selling for $7.58 a piece on MTGOtraders.com. That is not cheap for a powerful cantrip, but the card is definitely useful for finding answers, win conditions, or more gas.
Treasure Cruise – The text box on this should read: “Threshold – Ancestral Recall.” Wow. This effect is ridiculously powerful. Decks like ANT have begun to use this card, and cast it twice for only in the same turn. Delver decks, Canadian Threshold, and others have also started to play this card too, just to combat the raw card advantage that the other decks are getting from it as well. The Legacy graveyard fills up faster than ‘yards in almost every other format, with a possible exception for Vintage. Fetchlands, Wasteland, Force of Will, Life from the Loam, and friends will be filling graveyards at an exceptional pace. Fortunately, Scavenging Ooze and Deathrite Shaman slow things down a bit, so expect a resurgence of these two to help combat the menace in an effective way in the main deck.
Fortunately, I doubt these will see play in too many Dark Confidant builds. They both have CMC 8 regardless of Delve, so ol’ Bob will not be coinciding well with these. But I don’t care about that too much; I am far more interested in seeing how I might be able to fit these into my favorite Legacy archetype – High Tide.
Oh yes, after that four-article marathon, here we are again at that deck! But these cards both fit into the niche parts of the High Tide deck: They either cantrip or provide draw power. Both are mana-efficient in a deck that usually fills the graveyard quickly, too. The one chosen is based on deck type, and whether or not the tight nucleus of cards that makes up the deck is worth thinning for something new.
One obvious example would be that Treasure Cruise is outright unplayable in Solidarity. The deck is 100% instant speed, so no-no on the sorcery. Dig Through Time, however, is instant speed, and as mentioned earlier it does a great impression of a suped-up Impulse, a card that is normally run in Solidarity. A disadvantage is that Delving hurts Snapcaster Mage, which is a popular edition to recent Solidarity lists. I might try running two Dig instead of an Impulse and an Opt. Both of the lesser cantrips are still necessary in numbers, as they set up the hand nicely without a stocked graveyard while contributing to Delve themselves.
The card in which I am more interested for my purposes as a Spring Tide player is Treasure Cruise. The old bruise cruise has the potential to be a draw spell that is far more efficient than Meditate or Ideas Unbound, and it is much better as a set-up card than either. It is also a common, and sits at the lovely price of only $0.15 on MTGOtraders.com. I am not running Snappy Griller, so I do not fear exiling my entire graveyard to go cruising. It isn’t so good in the early turns, and it is awful when multiple start to pile up, as the graveyard can’t always be restocked at lightning pace after one cruise, and I do not want to spend too much mana casting the things. I want to test them as 2-ofs and 3-ofs, just to see what happens. It may improve the overall consistency of the deck as an effective turn-4 draw spell that sets up for a perfect turn-5 kill, or it may save that extra 1 mana that an Ideas Unbound would not to continue to combo off in a tight spot.
All of this is purely hypothetical, but I may be picking up some Treasure Cruises and gathering some empirical data sometime in the near future. Oh, and Pauper players, did I mention that Cruise is legal in your format? I have seen none of it yet, and would love to see if Pauper’s Ancestral Recall sees widespread play. Possibly in Trinket? I’m not sure. Leave a comment if you have any ideas!
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next week.