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Priemer’s Primers: Going Postal for Cloudpost

Written by Tyler Priemer on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Legacy

Priemer’s Primers: Going Postal for Cloudpost

Tyler Priemer

Tyler has been playing TCGs for nearly 20 years. A long brewer with a knack for Legacy, there's nothing he loves more than making crazy decks a reality

Last year I posted a piece about Titan Post, a deck designed to abuse Cloudpost and ramp out legendary Eldrazi. It was one of those decks that dedicated players would rave about, but few would ever get the chance due to the steep price tag of some of the pieces. With Candelabra of Tawnos at about $400 and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale sitting at around $800, it’s not exactly a deck for people just getting into Legacy. However, at Grand Prix Toronto I was fortunate enough to not only find these cards at a decent price, but I had the trade fodder with me to pick them up on the spot as well. It was primarily a vanity pick up, as I was in the middle of building Lands, so the Tabernacle was a no brainer, but as I looked at some of the deals going on, I realized I could built Titan Post which was actually far more my playstyle than Lands. In the past month, I’ve settled on this evolution from the list I covered last year, and it’s my belief that this is one of the more optimized builds of the deck.

Essentially, the biggest reason to play this deck right now is that over the past year Legacy has evolved in such a way that makes Titan Post a serious threat to the top decks. Over the past year we’ve witnessed the effect Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time had on the format (re: broke it in half) with the rise of Blue-based combo decks and even more aggressive Delver decks. Wasteland only sees a little play in RUG/BUG Delver and Death & Taxes, and even then the number of copies has been dwindling as the number of coloured sources these decks need goes up. As well, Sneak and Show has all but fallen off the map due to the consistency OmniTell brings to the table. Finally, the biggest adjustment that happened to Legacy is that faster combo decks have fallen out of favour in the wake of more Miracles seeing tournament play. All this combined to create the perfect conditions for Titan Post to be a powerhouse. What these changes mean is that there is fewer land destruction to worry about, fewer Emrakul decks to worry about, and Titan Post’s natural prey, Miracles, is a top tier deck right now.

However, while the format itself has shifted in such a way that the deck is so well positioned, 2015 also gave Titan Post an extremely powerful and versatile threat that almost no decks in Legacy have a means of combating: Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Ugin is equal parts Pernicious Deed, Lightning Bolt, and Eureka in a format that doesn’t particularly handle any of those all that well. As hard countermagic becomes more relegated to just Force of Will as tempo cards like Daze and Spell Pierce become more popular, resolving Ugin is far easier than it would be if it were printed last year. The only coloured permanent in the entire deck is Primeval Titan, so our deck is tailor made to take advantage of Ugin’s -X ability, which can handle everything from Jace, the Mind Sculptor to Tarmogoyf to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. From the way Legacy has changed over the past year, only two cards see play that can actually interact with a resolved Ugin: Pithing Needle and Maelstrom Pulse. Pithing Needle is strictly a sideboard card for every deck that isn’t Cloudpost-centric, and even then we have both Krosan Grip and Repeal to shut that down, and as far as Maelstrom Pulse is concerned, you’re looking at a 1-of at most in decks like Jund and Shardless BUG, so the odds of them finding it in time to not be utterly devastated by Ugin are fairly low.

Compared to the Titan Post lists of yesteryear, this version has two other fairly important inclusions. For starters, the inclusion of Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre gives the deck an additional piece of removal to go along with Ugin, as well as simply being an extra threat. Having a nearly uncounterable Vindicate is excellent for dealing with planeswalkers that are about to pop an ultimate, which is handy for when something like Jace, the Mind Sculptor has stacked the opponent’s hand full of counterspells. The second change is that I’ve dropped Glacial Chasm in favour of The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in the maindeck. With Young Pyromancer seeing play in Delver and Grixis control decks, and even Monastery Mentor in UWR control decks, having a way to simultaneously control their board and tie up what little mana they have is huge. The card is particularly powerful against Death & Taxes, a deck that uses mana denial and cheap creatures to pressure their opponents. Since most of their mana denial is in the form of Rishadan Port, making them have to choose between keeping their creatures and slowing down our mana can buy us enough turns to ramp out something they can’t deal with like Ugin or Emrakul. These days Glacial Chasm just doesn’t do enough, as even the dreaded Burn deck can be mitigated through Glimmerpost and postboard countermagic. The format has slowed down enough to the point where even Moment’s Peace is no longer necessary, which speaks volumes about how little Glacial Chasm is needed.

The sideboard has been in flux since I first put the deck together at Grand Prix Toronto, but this current configuration has excelled against a wide enough field that I wouldn’t change anything else in it. Force of Will is something last year’s list didn’t run, but it has done wonders backing up Swan Song for handling faster combo matchups like Reanimator and Dredge. And speaking of graveyard decks, I’ve found that running Surgical Extraction has been fantastic for keeping opposing nut draws from these decks under control. A lot of the time Reanimator and Dredge can go off on the first turn before you even have the option to cast Crop Rotation for Bojuka Bog. This gives you plenty of free means to handle their critical turns and shut them down so you can get your own game plan underway. I’ve also come to the conclusion that Karn Liberated isn’t worth the slots any more, as Ugin does far more for interacting with the board than Karn does. Back in the day when the contents of the opponent’s hand were more threatening than their field, Karn would absolutely be the right choice, but currently that’s not the case. Since Ugin can hit multiple threats with one activation, Karn is simply not suited for this combat-centric Legacy format.

A pair of Wurmcoil Engines are perfect for brickwalling the various aggressive decks like Delver and Jund. The resiliency of Wurmcoil as a threat makes any attempt to kill it that isn’t Swords to Plowshares an automatic 2 for 1, and the life gain can undo turns of effort on the opponent’s end, easily swinging the match in your favour in a matter of an attack or two. The final, and biggest change to the sideboard is my inclusion of Omen Machine. While obviously a pet card for me, this card, when used in conjunction with Sensei’s Divining Top, can hardcast Eldrazi for free while simultaneously shutting off Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Brainstorm. Primarily for slower Blue decks like Miracles, any time the opponent reveals a counterspell off the top of their deck, you effectively get a Time Walk for free since they have no new resources to fight you, which makes Omen Machine one of the more fun cards I’ve run in the deck.

While these changes have bolstered a variety of the deck’s formerly bad matchups, it does still lose occasionally to Storm and OmniTell if I’m not prepared for it. There is only so much you can do against Storm with countermagic, and their eight discard spells can quickly tear through your defenses. In metas heavy on the Storm, I tend to advocate running some Leyline of Sanctity, as they can buy you plenty of time to get going while they dig for their Chain of Vapors. OmniTell is a different beast entirely, as you really only have a few windows to really interact with them. Unlike Sneak and Show where you can use the opponent’s Show and Tells against them, OmniTell uses Show and Tell to end the game on the spot, so just putting down your own Eldrazi isn’t always enough. The easiest ways to handle OmniTell from my experience is to start a counter war on their Show and Tell to eat through their hand, then use Krosan Grip after they cheat Omniscience into play. Unless they also have an Emrakul in hand, they tend to immediately Cunning Wish for Eladamri’s Call to find one. This is your opportunity to play Krosan Grip on Omniscience to keep them from casting more spells for free. This should typically give you enough time to resolve your own threats, since they not only have to find another copy of Omniscience, they also have to get a second Show and Tell to actually do anything.

I don’t say this often, but since building Titan Post, I’ve had the most fun playing Legacy since I built Dredge. That’s not a statement I make lightly, and I’m happy to say that my recent success with Titan Post locally and at larger events has cemented in my mind that this deck is one of the best ways to tackle the current Legacy metagame. Having so much play against the various Delver and Miracles decks in the format and its resiliency against some of its worst hate cards is enough for me to recommend Titan Post to anyone looking to take on the current Legacy metagame.

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