Welcome to You Choose the Brew!
This article series will be an unashamed rip off of possibly the greatest series of Legacy articles that have ever appeared. Written by Legacy and Vintage aficionado Carsten Kotter over on SCG a few years ago these articles gave the readers the vote on what direction to take when deck-building. I would recommend reading those originals to anyone who wasn’t playing at the time, missed them then, or wants to re-read some absolutely top notch content.
The format is pretty self explanatory. In this first article we will provide you with three pairings of cards and a few ideas of what we could do with them in Legacy. They might be overlooked gems, staples in other formats or unique ways to attack the current meta. Your job is to vote on which set of cards we start brewing with. Then, in the following weeks, Peter White (a far better brewer than me) and I will test the deck ideas and hopefully move towards building a competitive deck with your input at every step. It should be noted that brewing a new deck that is actually good is extremely hard so don’t expect this to break the format! However, the steps we go through in testing and initial ideas will be of use to everyone who dreams of taking down the next big event with their own creation!
Bring in the contenders!
Our first option is a strong one, offering you one of the cards that terrorised the recent Standard format. Combine this with a card always on the periphery of play-ability and hopefully we will have a deck that busts the format open!
Goblin Welder and Smuggler’s Copter have some obvious synergies to start with. The Goblin is a 1/1 and can crew up our Vehicle. The Copter is an artifact and can therefore be welded back into play if dealt with by a pesky removal spell. The fact that the Copter also loots is relevant. Goblin Welder can be used to get back artifacts that we have discarded to Smuggler’s Copter triggers! One of the newest Planeswalkers, Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast might also be a nice addition. His +1 ability works very nicely with Smuggler’s Copter, providing us with the 1/1s we need to crew it. His -1 is also not too much of a problem, even if we don’t have worthless things to sac as we always have Welder to return cards! A deck that involves these three cards as integral parts will probably be using the graveyard for value. The cards themselves don’t actually win the game unless we do something spicey with Daretti, but provide lots of value and filtering so we will need to decide on how we win and how these three help that happen. We will also need a plan against the rest of the field. Welder and Copter is reasonably slow and probably not part of a tempo or aggressive strategy. Our deck might therefore combo out early and use this to grind out opponents who deal with our early plays or perhaps we use fast mana or lock pieces to make sure we get to the stage where our better card selection will take over.
Perhaps these three cards go in some decks that already exist. Painter decks already play Goblin Welder, maybe a set of Smuggler’s Copters would help vs the tempo beat down strats of Delver while letting us skim through our deck faster to find the Grindstone combo? We could also use them in a Reanimate package or something along those lines as we have the possibility that we are playing black with Daretti.
We could go bigger and really focus in on Welder’s ability by augmenting it with Daretti, Scrap Savant. This might lead us to a red based MUD deck, or possibly a more prison style with Welder and Daretti recurring one of magics most unique and under explored cards, Tangle Wire.
The final option involves playing blue and going into the Grixis colours. This is probably the most sensible option and artifact based synergies often tend that way. I would prefer not to go over old ground of other decks but I suspect we will offer you a Baleful Strix deck option if you choose this set of cards.
Our second set of options come from Magic’s most powerful tribe. Humans. They have always been the bridesmaid never the bride, filing in gaps in other decks. It certainly feels like R & D have a poster on their wall, ‘If in Doubt, Make it a Human!’
Four new cards in particular have not yet been fully explored and the Human tribe is vast.
This may well look like the start of a Death and Taxes deck. Our suggestions however will go in different directions to that. Pairing a playset of Sanctum Prelate with one of Meddling Mage will lock out most decks in the format. Perhaps this is the deck that finally abuses Collected Company to its fullest? We could also build an Aggro deck with Champion of the Parish and Thalia’s Lieutenant.
Perhaps the most exciting would be something along the lines of 5C Humans from Vintage. We would use the rainbow lands like City of Brass and Mana Confluence and some acceleration like Chrome Mox to accelerate out our plays. Using Scab-Clan Berserker, Mayor of Avabruck, Reflector Mage, Mantis Rider, Dark Confidant, Grand Abolisher and more!
These Human tribal decks would take advantage of Cavern of Souls and possibly other great payoff cards like Aether Vial and Collected Company. The interaction between the first two, Abrupt Decay and Nether Void has always been something I would like to explore, perhaps only out of the board… but still…
The final set of options is based around a card that hasn’t been printed yet but I have very high hopes for. The kind of hopes and pressure a Tiger Mom would put on a small child. The kind of hopes that will probably be crushed and result in me lashing out at all around me. Enter, Ramunap Excavator! We think that this card could spawn its own deck when combined with another new card.
There are three main lines to go down with the new walking Crucible of Worlds and there is obviously some overlap between them. We can focus on making either Smokestack or The Gitrog Monster great or a Winding Constrictor deck that really abuses the counters and is possibly based on the Modern decks that use Hardened Scales. Let’s focus on the last option first.
This could well just be a port of Hardened Constrictor from modern but with some serious upgrades. Getting double counters on Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker is great! We also get to play with both the Artifact Lands in Leagcy and use Gaea’s Cradle and Glimpse of Nature which may well push the deck into play-ability. Hell, we could even try Beastmaster Ascension, this is a brew after all!
The other options are both probably better and only slightly less off the wall. Winding Constrictor combos very nicely with three cards. Smokestack, Tangle Wire and Tireless Tracker. Putting extra counters on any of these permanents would be really interesting. If we were to focus on Smokestack we would want to play it out early, probably on turn two so it would actually have an effect before our opponents get out under us. This would be a deck that focused on fast mana with possibly some Golgari Signets thrown in. Ramping into Smokestack and then backing that up with a small Green Sun’s Zenith package. We would fetch up Dryad Arbor for ramp and a single Constrictor, Ramunap, Tracker and other classic targets giving us the flexibility we need to either close the game with land recursion or answer problematic plays. Hangarback Walker has some great synergy with the snake and Smokestack.
The other option is a grindy deck along similar lines to Sylvan Plug, using Sylvan Library for card advantage and packing many more creatures and fewer artifact lock pieces. This deck probably tops out at The Gitrog Monster as a finisher. We should try not to make the deck too much like Aggro Loam but there might be some nice tech to borrow from this deck’s spiritual ancestors.
So choice is up to you, which set of cards should we pick and go forward with?
You have a week to vote and then we will spend a week building first drafts of decks with the core cards you have chosen and present them back to you. After that you get to vote again on what line in the deck-building we should take!
Which set of cards should we move forward with?
- Goblin Welder - Smuggler's Copter - Daretti (56%, 162 Votes)
- Ramunap Excavator - Winding Constrictor - GSZ (31%, 89 Votes)
- Human Tribal (13%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 288