Legacy on Mondays: EPIC Combo

Welcome Back!

So as you all know, I am a huge fan of combo decks in this format. I spent a month writing about [c]High Tide[/c] for goodness’ sake! But this week I want to share a combo deck that is even crazier in some circumstances. I mean, [c]Omniscience[/c] is a helluva card. Before M13 though, we had a blue enchantment that was equally broken: [c]Dream Halls[/c]. For half the mana, both players get a way of going bananas and casting everything just by discarding a card with a common color. The best part of this deck is that it uses that weird, never-player rare from Conflux: [c]Conflux[/c]. Casting [c]Conflux[/c] with any card in the deck in hand allows us to pull of some incredibly broken things. Check out the list:

[d title=”Dream Halls”]
Creatures
1 Bogardan Hellkite
4 Progenitus
Artifacts
3 Lotus Petal
Enchantments
4 Dream Halls
Instants/Sorceries
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Conflux
3 Cruel Ultimatum
4 Ponder
4 Show and Tell
4 Thoughtseize
4 Lim-Dûl’s Vault
Lands
5 Island
3 Ancient Tomb
4 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Underground Sea
Sideboard
2 Pithing Needle
3 Propaganda
2 Meditate
1 Hydroblast
1 Rushing River
2 Spell Pierce
4 Duress
[/d]

The Setup

Like most combo decks, this one packs a plethora of spells to set up the combo turn. The classics like [c]Brainstorm[/c] and [c]Ponder[/c] are of course present, but there is one card here that is strangely good but awkwardly worded: [c]Lim-Dul’s Vault[/c]. The vault is amazing; for just a few life points it lets you set up amazing draws for a few turns.

Another part of the setup that I believe most people ignore is the pre-protection. Having 4 [c]Thoughtseize[/c] main deck allows us to remove some of the opponent’s permission before trying to get a [c]Dream Halls[/c] down. We then have [c]Force of Will[/c] to fight through whatever else they may have. Overall, the potential to have a safe combo is very high in this deck. As you will see in the next section, [c]Conflux[/c] also enables a very safe combo while trying to go off, as it can find [c]Force of Will[/c] while you attempt to kill them.

The Combo

Step 1: Get [c]Dream Halls[/c] in play. This can be achieved by hard-casting it with [c]Lotus Petal[/c] and [c]Ancient Tomb[/c], or by using [c]Show and Tell[/c]. [c]Show and Tell[/c] can also be used to just drop [c]Progenitus[/c] into play, which is brutal. He can also be cast using [c]Dream Halls[/c] if a combo is not available. This can just put away most fair decks.

Step 2: Cast [c]Conflux[/c] using the Halls. Search for [c]Bogardan Hellkite[/c], a [c]Cruel Ultimatum[/c], another [c]Conflux[/c], [c]Force of Will[/c], and [c]Progenitus[/c].

Step 3: Discard the Hellkite to cast an Ultimatum, returning Hellkite to your hand.

Step 4: Cast the other [c]Conflux[/c], searching up the same things except keeping the Force in hand and the Hellkite.

Step 5: Repeat using all three [c]Cruel Ultimatum[/c] to get the opponent to 5, then for the kill just cast the Hellkite with [c]Dream Halls[/c] for the final 5 damage.

Step 6: GG.

It is really an amazing deck. The fact that you are casting so many spells to win is rather irrelevant; the deck can find a [c]Force of Will[/c] every time you [c]Conflux[/c]. The [c]Progenitus[/c] backup plan is also very effective, especially against fair decks. Fortunately, [c]Dream Halls[/c] is also a state-based effect (I am pretty sure that’s what it is called? Judges, please confirm!), which means that [c]Pithing Needle[/c] and [c]Phyrexian Revoker[/c] are completely ineffective combo hate.

The sideboard also gives the deck some resiliency and backup against other strategies. It is fairly self-explanatory, except for [c]Raging River[/c] and [c]Meditate[/c]. The River is for matchups when lots of permanent removal, i.e. [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c] and friends, will be there to try and slow you down. Normally the land sac doesn’t matter too much, especially for the benefits of being able to hit two things instead of one. [c]Meditate[/c] is for the control matchups when drawing cards is worth skipping a turn. It also goes along quite nicely with [c]Lim-Dul’s Vault[/c] to get powerful combo hands.

Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you like the deck, and maybe you will play it instead of Sneak & Show for more fun and cool wins at your next event. Thanks for reading!

/Peyton

Polymorph – The Budget Legacy Player’s Sneaky Show

DECK TECH VIDEO HERE:

Introduction

Hi there, Peyton here. I am back after a fairly lengthy hiatus with a deck Dan was excited about a few months ago. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my content, I love Legacy and EDH. I feature many budget decks, and produce videos on these as well. I am not incredible at modern, but I enjoy playing it and have made several videos on modern as well.

Polymorph is a legacy deck that runs in a similar way to Sneaky Show, hoping to easily cheat in fatties for very little mana. [c]Polymorph[/c] works in a similar way to SS decks, except the key cards tend to be a great deal cheaper. [c]Show and Tell[/c] is $67.50 US on MTGOtraders as of January 2, while the card Polymorph only runs $0.05 US! That’s a massive difference.

Otherwise, the key principles of the two decks are exactly the same. Slap a giant 15/15 killer on the board as fast as humanly possible. Turn 3 or 4 [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] is easily doable, although keep in mind an Emrakul at any time in a fairly budget deck is a great thing! Plus, ‘Morphing doesn’t net your opponent anything from their hand, whereas Show and Tell can give your opponent something to fight back with. Keep in mind they still need something totally unfeasible, along the lines of a [c]Tower of Calamities[/c] + [c]Ghostfire[/c] to smite your beast!

Basically, if you want to let out your inner Timmy on almost any deck that doesn’t run Force of Will (And some that do), for a reasonable amount, this deck is for you!

MTGOtraders Price (January 2, 2014): $112.39 US

General Strategies

Obviously, the goal of the deck is to win! End of story.

[c]Polymorph[/c] is the star. It easily tutors Emrakul by destroying a “pseudo-creature”- one that can be targeted by Polymorph while on the battlefield, but isn’t actually a creature card while in the library. This means Polymorph will ONLY hit an Emrakul, even if one is in your hand. The deck packs cantrips and a few safeguards to make sure that Emrakul will hit.

Key Cards

Digging

[c]Ponder[/c] is the best draw fixer in the deck. For 1 mana, it digs through three cards with the option to shuffle if nothing is helpful. It is worth using a playset to get board presence ASAP. [c]Preordain[/c] is another effective cantrip. It doesn’t dig as deep as Ponder, but definitely has value to set up the kill. [c]Brainstorm[/c] is a classic cantrip that sees play in many Legacy decks. It’s a great card, worth 4 copies, but it cannot remove unnecessary cards, so it is ranked #3 among our diggers.

Ramping

[c]Chrome Mox[/c] is a must-have. It often acts like a free land, removing any superfluous junk and turning it into usable mana. This version of the deck only runs 3 copies, for budget reasons. [c]Lotus Petal[/c] is another great 0-cost artifact. It isn’t reusable like Chrome Mox, but neither does it exile a card from one’s hand. Ergo it is easily a 4-of to propel the strategy a turn early.

Making the Deck Work

Obviously, a playset of Polymorph is needed to make this deck function. Fortunately Polymorph has his little buddy, [c]Proteus Staff[/c], to help him find giant Eldrazi. Proteus Staff is a 3-of that can be activated at instant speed; its effect isn’t the same as Polymorph‘s, but it can be useful for pulling out Emrakul in response to a threat, or to help Emrakul dodge a badly-timed Oblivion Ring or Journey to Nowhere.

Business ‘Creatures’

These guys are killed off to Polymorph to bring out our main man (Thing?). [c]Flayer Husk[/c] is the 1-drop living weapon from Mirrodin Besieged that proves its worth as a 1/1 drone. [c]Wind Zendikon[/c] will turn any island into a 2/2 flyer for a mere U. It always returns the land, which is useful because there are only 11 Islands main-decked. The final pseudo-creature is [c]Mishra’s Factory[/c], the land that animates into a 2/2 for 1 colorless mana. Any man-land that costs 1 to animate is fine, but Mishra’s Factory is far cheaper than [c]Mutavault[/c]. If you own a playset of Mutavault, it is absolutely usable, but by all means, do NOT spend money if you don’t have to.

Other Stuff

Two copies of [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] are the beaters this deck employs. A playset of [c]Spell Pierce[/c] is the main-deck answer to simple threats like [c]AEther Vial[/c] and [c]Force of Will[/c] that threaten the combo or are a nuisance in general. The Sideboard packs plenty of extra protection and countermagic.

Land

[c]Ancient Tomb[/c] act as more ramp, but the card is very expensive at the moment. Therefore this list only runs 2 copies. Eleven Islands provide ample blue mana to run the deck. The playset of Mishra’s Factory has been mentioned earlier. Finally, 3 [c]Ghost Quarter[/c] acts as a poor man’s Wasteland, although they can be replaced by Islands if desired. Some Legacy decks run no basics whatsoever, which can make Ghost Quarter the equivalent of a Wasteland. Although the number of decks that run none is limited, there are some that run only 2 or 3, which means Ghost Quarter decently limits the opponent’s mana base by taking out a dual.

Decklist:

This is my decklist. Earlier I produced a video of Polymorph vs. Ad Nauseam Tendrils. This list is different than the one I used in that video; I have honestly no idea where I found that list.

[d title=”Polymorph by Peyton (Legacy)”]
Creatures
2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Spells
4 Brainstorm
3 Chrome mox
4 Flayer Husk
4 Lotus Petal
4 Polymorph
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
3 Proteus Staff
4 Spell Pierce
4 Wind Zendikon

Lands
2 Ancient Tomb
11 Island
4 Mishra’s Factory
3 Ghost Quarter

Sideboard
4 Daze
1 Proteus Staff
2 Island
3 Sleight of Hand
2 Woodfall Primus
3 Mana Leak [/d]

Sideboard Choices

As always, I am an advocate of changing one’s sideboard based on the current metagame and location of the user. This sideboard, however, is a decent all-around sideboard that can be used in a variety of situations. If draw fixing and assembling the combo are a problem, [c]Sleight of Hand[/c] can be added. There is an extra Proteus Staff in the sideboard in case firing off a Polymorph or Staff is difficult. Two extra Islands can be substituted for Ancient Tombs and Ghost Quarters if Wasteland becomes an issue, or if you find yourself frequently color-screwed (although this shouldn’t happen!).

The extra protection in the sideboard comes from [c]Mana Leak[/c] and [c]Daze[/c]. These two can be invaluable against control-heavy decks, especially Daze. Keep in mind that Daze is also quite expensive, especially for a sideboard card. See the “Removing Money” section.

Last, but not least is [c]Woodfall Primus[/c]. This huge treefolk is the only other fatty in the 75. As an 6/6 with trample, he can do some damage against many decks, but his main application comes from his ability to snipe obnoxious permanents. [c]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/c] giving you grief? Gone! [c]Smokestack[/c] hurting your chances for success? Bye-bye! If it isn’t a creature, Primus can kill it. His Persist also is a neat interaction with Polymorph. You can kill Primus to Polymorph to bring out an Emrakul, or another Primus, and he persists back in to kill another permanent. Keep in mind that there is an element of luck when switching in Primus. It is impossible to know whether or not a Polymorph is going to hit an Emrakul or a Primus when both are present without using a draw-fixer just before ‘Morph. It is still a solid, budget choice for removing permanents, even with the small unreliability.

Removing Money

This deck is VERY cheap to begin with, but the cost of the 75 can be slashed a little more. Chrome Moxes can be removed in favor of more lands or draw fixers. Ancient Tombs have spiked recently, and could be replaced by Islands and/or another Ghost Quarter. If you have 3 extra islands and really don’t want to drop $0.45 US for 3 Ghost Quarters on MTGOtraders, they can be replaced as well. Brainstorm isn’t very expensive, but you can save a few bucks by replacing it with Index, or something similar.

For the Sideboard, Daze is very expensive, although it has dropped quite a bit. Daze can be replaced by Mana Leak, Counterspell and any other budget blue protection you might have. I went ahead and priced a 75-card cheap edition of this deck that did most of the major changes above, and it came out to $30.69 US. Wow! Using the $5.10 Emrakul promos in both places means maximum money saved. The budgetized version is not as effective, but it could be a fun little deck to play your friends with.

However, even after creating a $30 version, I went further. I removed more money, and switched a few cards, and came up with a Polymorph concept that costs a mere $20. As ridiculous as that may seem, $20 Polymorph is a viable legacy option! Here is a link to a youtube video in which I play $20 Polymorph for the first time, and absolutely smite elves 2-0 in less than 15 minutes!

[d title=”$20 Polymorph List (Legacy)”]
Creatures
2 Progenitus

Other Spells
4 Index
3 Spell Snare
4 Flayer Husk
4 Lotus Petal
4 Polymorph
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
3 Proteus Staff
4 Spell Pierce
4 Wind Zendikon

Land
16 Island
4 Mishra’s Factory

Sideboard
1 Proteus Staff
4 Sleight of Hand
2 Woodfall Primus
4 Mana Leak
1 Spell Snare
3 Counterspell [/d]

Another viable deck option that is still in testing is Green-Blue Polymorph. It runs in a similar fashion to normal Polymorph, but the splash of green adds flavor and options. [c]Awakening Zone[/c] became a good choice for spawning extra tokens, and also can provide a little extra mana or chump blockers when necessary.

I originally had a playset main-deck, but I cut it down to three for the sake of the mana curve. [c]Moment’s Peace[/c] also became a viable option for stopping damage from aggro decks, and came in handy against a zoo match I played. Obviously, the neat interaction of [c]Khalni Garden[/c] and [c]Crop Rotation[/c] to get a plant token was included, at Drinkard’s suggestion. Other than that, there are no major changes, except to the land base and sideboard.

Here is the Deck List:

[d title=”Green-Blue Polymorph (Legacy)”]
Creatures
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Progenitus

Other Spells
4 Crop Rotation
4 Flayer Husk
3 Awakening Zone
4 Polymorph
3 Proteus Staff
4 Spell Pierce
2 Moment’s Peace
4 Lotus Petal
3 Chrome Mox
4 Ponder

Land
3 Breeding Pool
4 Khalni Garden
4 Mishra’s Factory
3 Breeding Pool
5 Forest
7 Island

Sideboard
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Terastodon
4 Mana Leak
1 Proteus Staff
4 Daze
2 Moment’s Peace
2 Preordain [/d]

I am currently 2-3 with the deck, so it is a work in progress. Its worst loss was to Pox, so I’m working on ways to help avoid discard (possibly something like [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c], but that’s not a budget card) and the like. Thank you Drinkard, this has been a fun little deck to play :)

Adding Money

To make the deck more efficient, you can add all kinds of expensive goodies. Force of Will, maindecking Daze permanently, and popping in a Show and Tell to deal with the Emrakul stuck in your hand would all be great ways to increase the potential of this deck. Also, Woodfall Primus in the Sideboard can be replaced with [c]Terastodon[/c] for more destruction.

Adding Terastodon adds a trivial amount of money; it costs around $0.30 US instead of $0.12 US. The other downside is those Elephant tokens, but those tend not to matter too much in most cases. Thanks to Mean_Duck for this suggestion! If lots of non-creatures are a problem, Terastodon is far better than Primus. Sadly, you do lose that nice interaction of Polymorph + Persist.

I priced the full version of this deck out on January 2, and it came out to: $112.39 US.

This is an impressive number, given that this deck slaps out Emrakul with ease as feasibly early as turn 3. Turns 1 and 2 are possible, but ridiculously unlikely. Even a turn 4 drop is impressive. If you try it, and have successes, please let me know! Be sure to check out the deck tech video that is linked in the beginning of the article, featuring the $112 version as well as the $20 version, and the Blue-Green rendition that Drinkard suggested.

BONUS DECK!!!

As a thank-you for reading this far, I have included one of my favorite EDH decks below. Enjoy!

[d title=”Ashling EDH”]
General
1 Ashling the Pilgrim

Land
99 Mountain [/d]

Thank you for reading!