Arcane Laboratory: Reanimating Legacy

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Legacy

Turn one Polluted Delta, crack for Underground Sea, Entomb, Lotus Petal, crack for black, and Reanimate Griselbrand. That’s a hell of a turn one. Welcome to Legacy, the format where you get to do absurdly powerful things or play fair and punish greedy opponents with disruption.

For my first foray into Legacy on stream I wanted to pick a fun, entertaining deck for my viewers to watch in action. I instantly knew this meant playing either Lion’s Eye Diamond or Griselbrand. However, LEDs were coming out as the next MOCS promo so mine were unavailable as they were dumped before the inevitable price dip. That left good ol’ Draw 7 Demon bringing me to choose between Sneak and Show or Reanimator.

Easy choice. Sneak and Show, while insanely powerful, is extremely boring to watch being played over and over. You only need to watch someone Show and Tell an Emrakul once to get it.

The deck is pretty straight forwards for game 1. You just want to reanimate a Griselbrand and start drawing 7 cards or Entombing a 1-of creature that will hose your opponent when you reanimate it, like Elesh Norn versus Death and Taxes. It is sideboarding for games 2 and 3 that is rough. You really need to know what your sideboard cards are supposed to answer and more importantly, which cards to take out for them.

Grave Titan comes in against decks with Liliana of the Veil and Karakas. He protects himself from edicts with his zombies and Karakas can’t target him. He’s also an enormous clock which is great if your opponent wants to try and race. You typically board out Iona for it.

Pithing Needle is our answer to activated graveyard hate like Deathrite Shaman, Tormod’s Crypt, and Relic of Progenitus. Usually in those match-ups Daze is less effective.

Flusterstorm you bring in against Storm (obviously) and Delver/StoneBlade decks. Against the decks with a fair amount of blue permission spells a Flusterstorm can let you win a smaller counter war over a reanimation spell or Show and Tell. It is easy to replace an Entomb with Flusterstorm because of your move away from the graveyard plan to Show and Tell.

Show and Tell is a great way to combat decks that either play a bunch of little dudes that are non-threatening or are likely to have a lot of graveyard hate. I almost always board out two reanimation spells for these. Exhume against blue decks and Reanimate against Wx creature decks.

Duress and Thoughtseize come in where being pro-active is better than permission. You beat combo by stripping key pieces out of their hand while you set up a reanimate. Against combo all 4 come in for Dazes and a Show and Tell. I also like to bring in 2 Duress against StoneBlade decks because you can hit Jace, counterspells, and equipment with it.

Massacre is your way to punish Wx decks like Death and Taxes after sideboarding. They like to play lots of little white guys that can actually present a reasonable clock if unimpeded. Making them start at square one with a free Massacre is exactly what you want to be doing, giving yourself time to set up. Force of Will is typically terrible against these decks in my opinion as Aether Vial or Cavern of Souls lets them get past it anyway.

City of Traitors is a land that you need to board in alongside your Show and Tells because they let you mise the glorious turn 1 Show and Tell into Griselbrand. They’re also a great way to pay for Spell Pierce and Daze. Sometimes they’ll even allow you to hardcast a fatty if you keep the second in your hand until you have the mana to go for it.


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We didn’t do terrible, but we definitely could’ve done a lot better. There is a lot of maindeck graveyard hate on MTGO due to the prevalence of Deathrite Shaman. The cost of online Force of Wills price a lot of players out of the blue decks you would normally expect to be a significant portion of the metagame. Instead you see much more Maverick style decks with 4 Deathrite Shaman in the main. It also doesn’t help when you click your Underground Sea for black mana instead of blue and don’t undo it. Whoops!

Thanks to everyone who came out and watched the stream. This Tuesday I’ll be bringing a spicy brew to the table that a friend and I have been working on. Let’s just say I’ll be taking kids to the prison yard. Until then, keep battling!

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