Legacy on Mondays: A New Way to Punish

Welcome Back!

Sorry about the lack of an article last week. My girlfriend broke up with me, then work got crazy, and life decided to pour buckets on my parade. Rather than start the “Ho bashing,” as Bava calls it, I am writing this article to introduce some new Legacy bashings! I just recently brewed this deck around the new bannings and unbannings in Legacy. In case you have been living under a rock, look here for the announcement. I have yet to test this deck at all, and I wanted to see what the community would think, as well as explain my reasoning for this brew.

Dan, this one goes out to you. It’s time to bring back the Gruul Aggro deck!

[d title=”Green Red Smash (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Goblin Guide
4 Boggart Ram-Gang
1 Vithian Renegades
2 Spellbreaker Behemoth
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Eternal Witness
Instants & Sorceries
4 Punishing Fire
2 Simoon
2 Forked Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Hidetsugu’s Second Rite
Enchantments
3 Rancor
Lands
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Taiga
3 Copperline Gorge
2 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
Sideboard
2 Simoon
2 Scavenging Ooze
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Savannah
4 Vexing Shusher
3 Harmonize
[/d]

[c]Treasure Cruise[/c] is gone. [c]Worldgorger Dragon[/c] is back. The solution? Play a deck that will be good pre-board against the surge of RUG and BUG Delver decks that are soon to follow, and a deck that can hose Reanimator post-board. The goal of this deck is to do just that.

The start was with the [c]Punishing Fire[/c] engine. It is a very powerful one, and is quite effective at dispatching many of Delver’s early plays, such as [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] and flipped [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]. The combo can also be pointed at the opponent’s face, and gives very precise control over their life total. This warrants the inclusion of a copy of [c]Hidetsugu’s Second Rite[/c], which can end a game very quickly. Most opponents will not see this coming!

Other than the Punishing-Grove engine, the deck wants to come out of the gates fast. [c]Goblin Guide[/c] will pressure the opponent’s life total early, and be a target for quick removal which will protect our later threats. [c]Skyshroud Elite[/c] is another powerful 1-drop that will be a 2/3 very often. I prefer this to [c]Kird Ape[/c] because it is more likely to be a 2/3 on turn 1 (at least in my opinion), and it also puts a small bit of psychological pressure on the opponent. The more they have to think about, the more likely it is that they will make a play mistake.

For the midgame, there are a bunch of powerful creatures that will dominate and plays made by Delver decks at this stage. [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] is one helluva card. Almost anything into which she can cascade is beneficial to us. Burn can clear creatures, and other creatures will help to pressure the opponent even more and generate board presence. Other hasters such as [c]Boggart Ram-Gang[/c] and [c]Goblin Guide[/c] are especially potent, as they provide instantaneous action to supplement the Elf.

Normally, I would not run [c]Green Sun’s Zenith[/c] and [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] together in the same deck. Cascade + X Spell = a big no-no. But this deck needs a way to beat combo, and [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c] in the sideboard is one of if not the best options to do that. GSZ also offers a few nice utility dudes to gain value, or it can just find a [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] to get you back in the game.

[c]Spellbreaker Behemoth[/c] is a creature that needs its own explanation. This is a card that never sees Legacy play, and that is because Gruul Aggro decks are unpopular. But it is so, so good in the [c]Force of Will[/c] format. A 5/5 for 4 that is uncounterable is amazing as a finisher. Against decks without counterspells, it will make most creatures that they play seem tiny. Another card that deserves its own explanation is [c]Simoon[/c]. I predict that Death and Taxes will also see a rise, and [c]Simoon[/c] is a [c]Plague Wind[/c] against that deck. They run a ridiculous number of X/1’s; usually [c]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/c] and [c]Serra Avenger[/c] are the only relevant cards that [c]Simoon[/c] does not kill. I have gone with four between the main deck and sideboard. This may be excessive, especially the main deck copies, but [c]Simoon[/c] is useful against a such a wide variety of other decks as well that I feel it deserves the spot.

Well, that’s all for this week. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

Thanks for reading!