cabal therapy art

Welcome Back,

So for this week I’ve decided to take a break from building an EDH deck, and instead decided to talk about my recent forays into the Legacy format. I have had some experience in the format a while ago when I was playing Manaless Dredge, but not much since then.

At that time, I was just trying to dip the toe and see if the format was for me, or if I should stick to Modern. What I experienced during those few months was some of the best Magic I have ever played. The amount of variance that was on display was unreal. Every match I played, I saw something new. One match I was playing against Burn, the next match was against Miracles, then Sneak and Show, then Lands, and so on and so forth. It was astounding to see how many ways one could go about building a Legacy deck.

Another thing I noticed is that each deck really complimented each pilot. I could tell that each deck I played against was a labor of love. Every player put so much of themselves into their deck, and it showed.  It reminded me so much of the amount of love I put into my EDH deck Melek, Izzet Paragon.

To me, this was what Magic is about. People playing what they want to, instead of netdecking and metagaming. They aren’t playing these decks because they are objectively good in the meta, they are playing them because they love them. That’s why I fell in love with this format. I then put away Manaless Dredge and started my search for my Legacy deck. Manaless Dredge was loads of fun, but in the end it wasn’t the deck for me.

I will show you guys what I was working with for a few months.

Manaless Dredge (Legacy)

Creatures (40)
Balustrade Spy
Flayer of the Hatebound
Golgari Grave-Troll
Golgari Thug
Ichorid
Narcomoeba
Nether Shadow
Phantasmagorian
Shambling Shell
Stinkweed Imp
Street Wraith

Instants (4)
Contagion
Sickening Shoal

Sorceries (12)
Cabal Therapy
Dread Return
Gitaxian Probe

Enchantments (4)
Bridge from Below
Sideboard (15)
Ashen Rider
Faerie Macabre
Mindbreak Trap
Serra Avatar
Sickening Shoal
Surgical Extraction

Now that I had a taste of what Legacy is, I wanted more. Now all I needed to do was to find my deck. There is a deck in this format for everybody, it’s just a matter of finding it. Whether it’s your own brew, or an established archetype, there is something here for you.

After months of searching, I boiled it down to three different decks, Worldgorger Dragon Combo, Miracles, or Nic Fit. Each deck, a vastly different playstyle. Each deck, a different part of the reasons why I love Magic as much as I do. I ended up taking the Dragon Combo deck out of the equation, because I decided to keep combo religated to Modern instead, where I’m currently building Restore Balance.

It took me a while to pick between Miracles and Nic Fit. I loved Miracles so much because of how skill intensive it is. It’s one of the hardest decks in the format to pilot. There are so many different decision trees that its mind boggling. I love decks like this because it really makes me think and helps me become a better player. In the end, I ended up choosing Nic Fit, primarily for just one reason. My love of a certain card.

thragtusk art wide

I love Thragtusk. It’s one of my all time favorite cards. I have never had anything go wrong whenever this beast of a card resolves. Every time it resolves, you get value. Every single time. If they Swords to Plowshares, you still have a 3/3 left over. Council’s Judgement can’t even take away that. Even if they go so far as to Terminus it, you still have a 3/3 left over. There are certain decks, like Burn, that just can’t beat this card. It’s an monster of a threat and will generate two-for-ones every time you cast it.

It’s no wonder why Thragtusk was the undisputed king of Standard at the time. With this, combined with my favorite planeswalker, Garruk, Apex Predator, we have the recipe for a deck that is straight out of my own heart. Here is my list of BG Nic Fit.

Nic Fit (Legacy)

Lands (20)
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Forest
Swamp
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath

Creatures (19)
Courser of Kruphix
Deathrite Shaman
Grave Titan
Primeval Titan
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Thragtusk
Thrun, the Last Troll
Veteran Explorer

Instants (4)
Abrupt Decay

Sorceries (12)
Cabal Therapy
Hymn to Tourach
Innocent Blood

Enchantments (2)
Pernicious Deed

Planeswalkers (3)
Garruk, Apex Predator
Liliana of the Veil
Sideboard (15)
Batterskull
Dismember
Garruk Wildspeaker
Guttural Response
Leyline of the Void
Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Mindbreak Trap
Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath
Pernicious Deed
Pithing Needle

This is the list I’m currently building. It’s going to take me awhile to finish, though I have the core of it already. I own a seventy-five, just have some place holders for some of the more expensive cards until I can afford them.

I was surprised at how well this deck did in testing. There were many a game where I started out with a Veteran Explorer, then cast and flashed back Cabal Therapy, then followed that up with a Hymn to Tourach . After that devastating turn two play, it was difficult for my opponent to cobble together much of anything. These type of openings followed up by some huge threat has been back-breaking against almost everybody.

Garruk, Apex Predator has been a blast to play in Legacy. He doesn’t show up all the time, but when he does, he makes his presence known immediatly. Most of the time, he shows up and kills the biggest threat they have. Then he just starts pumping out 3/3 deathtouchers that will take over the game if left unchecked. He protects himself, gains you life, and will win the game if he goes unchecked, which he usually does. By the time you get to a spot where you can cast him, your opponent is usually out of resources. He’s been amazing every time I cast him. I have yet to live the dream of killing a Jace, the Mindsculptor with him, but I’m sure I will soon enough.

One thing I did find though is that there are a few decks that just are flat out bad matchups. Infect so far has been the absolute worst matchup of them all. With their lightning fast clock, our game plan is usually just too slow to matter. Most games just involved me playing a turn one Veteran Explore and then dying. To help this, I’ve included Melira, Sylvok Outcast in the Sideboard to help make this match as easy as possible (still not easy).

Overall, I’m excited about finally having a Legacy deck that I get to call my own. It may not be the best deck in the format, but it’s my deck. I pour my heart into each deck I build, and this is no different. If you’re looking for a deck that allows you to play some of your favorite cards in Magic that you normally think wouldn’t make it into this format, look no further. This deck is for the Little Timmys out there that love casting big creatures and having a good time. I sure love it when I get to play Thragtusk along side Garruk, Apex Predator in a format mostly about one and two drops.

Thank you for checking out my article this week. Next week, I will be returning to EDH and bring you another brew to take a look at. Hopefully some time in the future I will make another article and update you on how Nic Fit has been treating me. If you have any comments or anything you want me to discuss in a future article, let me know in the comments. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

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