If you’re a Modern player, congratulations on surviving the Eldrazi Winter. It was a time of format homogeneity not seen since the emergency ban of Stoneblade in Standard. You needed to either bring The Best Deck or be prepared to beat The Best Deck in half your rounds if you wanted to compete. If you fell into the former camp, you might be a little bummed to bench your Mimics these days. Or maybe you’re still casting them the fair(ish) way, but hunger for more.
Come play them in Legacy. Including online results, Eldrazi Stompy is currently the #1 aggro deck at 9% of the metagame, rivaled only by Miracles in popularity. It’s a format where you can cast Chalice of the Void on turn one and you don’t have to run basics for Path to Exile and Ghost Quarter. It’s the Chosen Format and I’d like to welcome you to it. I’ll be walking you through my method for porting your Modern list into the cutting edge of Legacy technology.
We have to start somewhere, so I will assume a decklist. The differences between colors of Eldrazi from Modern will not actually affect the end result or how you get there significantly as Legacy Eldrazi Stompy ends up as a colorless list.
UW Eldrazi by Gerry Thompson
I’m using Gerry T’s list from Grand Prix Detroit because I know he has put in the work on both formats’ Eldrazi lists. He made the finals of SCG Philadelphia with the Legacy version and obviously excelled with the Modern list. When we played in that event, he told me he was unhappy with his Mox Diamond list as it stood in Philly and wanted to make multiple changes though, so I won’t be using his Legacy list.
I asked Legacy innovator Paul Lynch for his latest Eldrazi Stompy take. He immediately shipped a decklist and stuck around to discuss some changes and options, so I want to thank Paul for bringing you the latest in Legacy technology this week.
Eldrazi Stompy, by Paul Lynch and Kevin King
Eldrazi Stompy by Paul Lynch and Kevin King
So, how do we get from A to B? I’ll be prioritizing cards rather than laying out a schedule for this deck, as it would be marginally viable to bring your still-sleeved Modern deck to a Legacy local and compete. If the buy-in is reasonable, I recommend playing as soon as you can. Legacy rewards format knowledge more than any other Constructed format and the best way to get it is to experience the matchups. Try to borrow two Tundras if you take that route.
The easy ones – $16
These are the easy pickups. Swapping these cards in on Day One will adapt your deck to the Legacy metagame. Cards like Phyrexian Revoker take care of things like Umezawa’s Jitte and Sensei’s Divining Top that you won’t see in Modern. Pithing Needle can also go in that slot to hit things like Wasteland and Maze of Ith. At this point, it is still probably a good idea to maintain your UW theme, so be careful with what lands you swap out.
The Easy Button – $600
This is a big step, so don’t feel like you need to take it all at once. The purpose of this tier is to get you casting Chalice of the Void on turn one. Keep an eye out for deals on the lands, but the order here is Chalice of the Void > Ancient Tomb > City of Traitors. Chalice on turn two is still devastating against most of the the meta and is most of the reason Stompy works at all in Legacy. Ancient Tomb is your favorite land in this deck. While it hurts to tap for 2, it always taps for 2 for every spell always. City of Traitors is the second best “Sol Land,” so-called because of their similarity to Sol Ring. It’s rarely a turn one play, but against some matchups a Chalice on one is so good it’s worth it.
The Meat -$500
Again listed in order of priority, these are the cards that really fill in the cracks against the Legacy metagame. Wastelands can be bought in HP playsets on the cheap, so keep an eye out for deals. Cavern of Souls is necessary against the more prevalent and better countermagic of Legacy. Being able to strand both an opponent’s Brainstorm and Force of Will in hand is Stompy’s unique advantage.
Leyline of the Void and Thorn of Amethyst both come in against Storm (Ad Nauseam Tendrils aka ANT or The Epic Storm aka TES), one of Eldrazi’s worst matchups. Trinisphere helps in this matchup too. It’s possible to get game one against Storm just by resolving the right Chalice or any Trinisphere. Leyline also helps against another terrible matchup in Lands. Turning off their ability to recur Wasteland is really the only way of beating a good Lands draw.
Umezawa’s Jitte is an important card against aggro. You end up losing a good amount of life to your Ancient Tombs and Dismembers and having the lifegain mode here is a good way to not rely on your Tomb of the Spirit Dragon to save you against Burn. The -1/-1 mode is a way to break open the aggro mirror. Your relative low count of larger creatures can fold to an active Young Pyromancer, so having an answer to dorks is important.
You’ve been playing Modern, so you know how fun Eldrazi can be, but I can’t recommend the Legacy format enough. It’s a pricy entry for any deck, but starting with a deck that is viable from day one is a huge advantage. Even in the UW version, Eldrazi Displacer is insane against things like Marit Lage and Gurmag Angler. Pre-Chalice when you still have your Path to Exile, you’ll be surprised how many decks don’t have any basics to search. The deck only gets better as you slot more and more Stompy staples and improve your bad matchups. For more reading, Brain Marx wrote a great primer on the deck and its position in the meta here.
I have lost with Vintage decks to Modern decks and I have beaten Legacy decks with Sealed decks. It’s not only about the relative card quality, but the meta position and card matchups. Just as Vintage Tinker decks can stumble against 4x Path to Exile and Legacy Aggro Loam can’t deal with an Utter End deck with no one drops, much of the Legacy metagame is soft to the deck so good Modern couldn’t handle it. So, dust off those Mimics, head on down to your local Legacy event, and get ready to love a new format.
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