Legacy on Mondays: BUG Beatdown

Welcome Back!

Last week I promised to bring you something more competitive. And while I was unable to complete my article about uncommon answers to common threats, I would like to share this with you.

It is a list that takes a pre-designed deck idea and throws in another angle. This is my take on a more aggressive Shardless BUG (NOT Sultai; Ana is the old school way) deck that presents powerful, relevant threats with a regularity that cannot be quashed by spot removal, while maintaining a disruptive and card-advantaged feel to keep the ball rolling into the late game.

[d title=”Shardless BUG Aggro by Peyton”]
4 Baleful Strix
4 True-Name Nemesis
4 Shardless Agent
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Deathrite Shaman
2 Scavenging Ooze
4 Ancestral Vision
4 Abrupt Decay
3 Force of Will
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Creeping Tar Pit
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Polluted Delta
3 Hymn to Tourach
2 Wasteland
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
2 Bayou
3 Underground Sea
1 Liliana of the Veil
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Vendilion Clique
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Sower of Temptation
2 Thoughtseize
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Engineered Plague
1 Gilded Drake
2 Mana Maze
1 Force of Will

With a mean twenty-one creatures, this deck is packing five more than the average Shardless BUG list. All of the creatures either boast some form of attached card advantage effect, such as the namesake [c]Shardless Agent[/c] and [c]Baleful Strix[/c], or have a helpful ability, such as [c]Scavenging Ooze[/c] and the amazing [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c]. These guys provide a lot of utility and help us get through the early game with solid force.

Then there are the haymakers. While not crushingly massive, [c]Tarmogoyf[/c] and [c]True-Name Nemesis[/c] can do a serious amount of damage in short order. Goyf is just… Goyf, and True-Name is, as we all know, evasive and hard to kill. I like that this list also has an innate way of defending True-Name. Edict effects like [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c]’s -2 ability are a fairly common way of defeating this powerful Merfolk, but the sheer fact that one-third of this deck is made of creatures makes sacrifice effects much weaker.

This deck also has a great mix of cards into which [c]Shardless Agent[/c] can cascade. For creatures, Scooze, DRS, [c]Tarmogoyf[/c], and [c]Baleful Strix[/c] are all great to get for free of off an Agent. But the real strength of the Agent is when he hits some of our non-creature spells. The whopping four copies of [c]Abrupt Decay[/c] will remove a vast majority of threats and hindrances whether cascaded into or hard cast. I like plenty of this to keep the ground free for our attackers, while preventing Counter-Top like shenanigans from the opponent. It is the best CMC 2 removal spell that this deck can run.

[c]Hymn to Tourach[/c] is equally disruptive. Unless the opponent has no cards in hand, cascading into a Hymn is always relevant. And, of course, there is the free [c]Ancestral Recall[/c] that happens when you hit [c]Ancestral Vision[/c]. Pfft, [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] can eat my socks when I have Visions at my disposal.

The other obvious point of discussion would be my choice of planeswalkers. I have only three, and they are both amazing. [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c] really shines in a creature-heavy meta, where her edict becomes much better, and the discard is not irrelevant if the opponent cannot play their costlier creatures. If a deck like Maverick were to start total domination, I would trade in 1 Jace for another Liliana.

Ahh Jace… El Escultor Mental. He is the top of the curve of the deck, at four mana (unless you count the three [c]Force of Will[/c]), and is well worth it. Every Legacy player knows the power of [c]Jace, The Mind Sculptor[/c], and he is the most controlling card in the deck. The endless [c]Brainstorm[/c]s mean that we can sift through cards easily with lots of fetches, bouncing obnoxious creatures or tokens (Marit Lage) is solid, and if you ever ultimate that is usually the game.

The sideboard is just a bunch of options against the unfair decks in the format. Our “fair deck” game is pretty good. Playing solid creatures with relevant spells and disruption usually is, but decks like Sneak and Show or Dredge are not easy wins. Tweak your board to fit your meta, but I like to hedge against just about everything.

You may notice a weird card near the end of the list… [c]Mana Maze[/c] is definitely a rare sight. That being said, it is absolutely my favorite card to use against Elves, and black storm combo deck, and [c]High Tide[/c]. They will have a tough time fighting through this card, and unless they have an answer, this will be good game. At the very least it is a decent stall against Elves, which may find an [c]Abrupt Decay[/c], but against ANT, [c]Doomsday[/c], and [c]High Tide[/c], once the opponent is done reading they will usually concede and bring in answers for it.

That’s all for this week, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading, and would love to see some comments about what you think. Thanks and hope to see you next week!

Maybe I will bring out my prototype 4-color Cascaggro deck that’s waiting in the wings… :)