After picking up a set of foil Not of this World (Thanks Ben!) I had to try this deck out. This isn’t a brew per se, as I’m using the list that Top8’d BoM Madrid, but the deck is certainly not played in any frequency and it might be a fun one for people to innovate with!
|Main||4 Vampire Hexmage|
|2 Bayou||3 Not of this World|
|2 Mana Confluence||2 Duress|
|4 Dark Depths||2 Inquisition of Kozilek|
|4 Thespian’s Stage||3 Lotus Petal|
|1 Sejiri Steppe||3 Mox Diamond|
|2 Tropical Island||2 Sylvan Library|
|1 Underground Sea||Side|
|4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth||3 Abrupt Decay|
|3 Verdant Catacombs||3 Surgical Extraction|
|3 Polluted Delta||3 Pithing Needle|
|4 Brainstorm||1 Karakas|
|4 Crop Rotation||1 Krosan Grip|
|4 Thoughtseize||2 Spell Pierce|
|3 Sylvan Scrying||2 Flusterstorm|
The basic plan is to make a 20/20 Indestructible Flying Marit Lage Token as fast as possible. We have two main ways of doing this, using Vampire Hexmage’s sacrifice ability to remove all the counters from a Dark Depths and so trigger the witch, or copy Dark Depths with Thespian’s Stage, sacrifice the Depths because we now have two legendary permanents of the same name, and then trigger the witch on the Stage copy, as it has zero counters.
Everything in this deck is about either speeding up or finding that plan; Crop Rotation, Moxen and Petals, Sylvan Scrying and Sylvan Library, or protecting it; out eight discard spells and Not of This World.
The sideboard has answers to the problematic cards you are likely to face. Pithing Needle for Wasteland and Karakas, Abrupt Decay and Krosan Grip for annoying permanents like Pithing Needle and Ensnaring Bridge, Karakas for opposing Marit Lages and a package of graveyard hate and stack interaction for decks that might be faster than yours.
With only the vaguest understanding of the deck, a hope that I would find a few turn two kills or at least get to use Not of this World and a quick prayer to the mulligan/combo gods I sat down at Darksphere for some Tuesday Night Legacy.
Round 1 vs Tomaso – Red Stompy
Tomaso was looking rather sheepish as we sat down for our game. He had been buying some Scab Clan Berserker’s before the match and I assumed that they were for a cool vintage brew or something in Legacy influenced by the 5c humans list that did well at BoM. I was mistaken. On the first turn I played a fetch and passed the turn. Chrome Mox, exiling Magma Jet, Mountain and a Chalice on one. I used my Crop Rotation to find a Dark Depths and prayed I would somehow draw both Vampire Hexmage and Urborg… I obviously couldn’t/didn’t and next turns Blood Moon ended the game. I stuck around a while to see how he planned on killing me, Koth of the Hammer; I always liked that card.
- +3 Abrupt Decay
- +1 Krosan Grip
- -3 Not of This World
- -1 Crop Rotation
With no basics and only the very sketchiest of chances to kill or counter a Blood Moon I’m not sure that playing is actually a good option. Perhaps just conceding, going and getting a drink and maybe having a nice chat would be better? Or a walk, you could certainly get some exercise in 40ish minutes. Game 2 he played a turn one Magus of the Moon, then Phyrexian Revoker on Mox Diamond. Brilliant.
It also turns out the rules regarding Urborg and Blood Moon have changed, no longer does timestamp matter, everything is now a Mountain because of ‘dependency’ or something. It was rather hard to hear over the EDH players laughing at my predicament…
Round 2 vs Claude – ANT
My nemesis Cladue. Its because he plays Storm and I, Lands, and so I loose. We played twice at the Axion tournament, I lost in the swiss but beat him in the quarterfinals through
him not drawing a business spell for about 10 turns superior play skill. I feel like I have a better chance now I’m playing a combo deck.
Claude won the die roll and it decides our game. On his turn three he goes off despite my rather ineffectual turn one discard. I saw double Brainstorm, double Cabal Ritual and a Dark Ritual. I took the Dark Ritual but would have taken Brainstorm if he only had one. I could make Marit Lage on turn two but unfortunately I didn’t get to my turn three to kill him.
- +2 Spell Pierce
- +3 Surgical Extraction
- +2 Flusterstorm
- – 3 Not of This World
- – 2 Sylvan Library
- – 1 Sejiri Steppe
- – 1 Something else
In game two I mulligan and open a hand of Spell Pierce, Flusterstorm, Fetch, Dark Depths and Urborg. Can he kill me on turn one? Probably not worth taking the risk so I play the fetch and pass. Claude promptly draws and goes off, half apologising but not really meaning it as I comment on his nemesis status and his propensity for turn one kills. However, the worm has turned! (note to self, Worm Harvest rocks) I Spell Pierce his Ad Naseum and then draw a Hexmage and kill him on turn four, with Flusterstorm in hand all the while!
Game three is heart breaking. Pride comes before a fall… My opening hand has Mox, two discard spells, Flusterstorm and three lands, drawing a fourth. By turn 5 I had Thoughtseized and duressed him four times, and Claude’s hand had one card, Lotus Petal, and I had the Stage + Depths combo on board. Ready to win I passed the turn. Cue Claude drawing, playing an Infernal Tutor and passing the turn. Uh oh. He had four mana available so unfortunately didn’t grab Past in Flames and try to go off. I make the witch and he promptly bounces it with Chain of Vapour. A couple of turns later and another useless discard spell drawn, I am ready to make Marit Lage again. Claude draws, two cards in hand, plays Duress, takes my Flusterstorm and then plays Ad Nauseum. Five flips later and at 8 life he storms for waaaay more than is needed and it’s game over.
Round 3 vs Imko – UW Standstill
My luck changes and I win the die roll and Duress my opponent and see FOW, Jace, Plow, Spell Snare and some lands. Seems pretty perfect against my hand of Hexmage, Depths, Urborg and Not of this World… So I take the Force and plan on him either tapping out so I can sneak through my Hexmage or just jamming it into Spell Snare and drawing another. He doesn’t tap out for Jace but luckily I draw another Vampire, and make Marit Lage. Show no fear! Finally with Plow on the stack I finally put to good use a foil Not of this World and take game one.
- No Sideboarding although I’m sure I should have
Game two and Imko plays a turn two Standstill. Looking at my board and hand of lands, including Stage and Depths I realise that I’m going to draw three cards this game. My opponent quickly realises his mistake and breaks the Standstill digging for his answers to the incoming Witch, and I’m up to 38 life. I play a Sylvan Library and take a few Snapcaster hits before I can make a second Marit Lage. This one sticks and it’s game over.
Round 4 vs Dereck – Pox
Dereck is new to Darksphere but obviously a man after my own heart. He is running Pox! In game one he makes a turn one Liliana and we trade a few discard spells back and forth. I try to prioritise taking Sinkhole and then Smallpox over his other cards. I deal with his Liliana by using a Vampire Hexmage to remove its counters and we get to the point when neither of us has many cards in hand but I have Dark Depths and another Hexmage on the board. I can play around him drawing Wasteland by making the Witch now but this leaves me open to Liliana, Innocent Blood and Smallpox. Obviously he draws Smallpox and I loose the hexmage. A few more turns go by and I make Marit Lage with the help of a Crop Rotation and Stage and win game one.
- +3 Pithing Needle
- +3 Abrupt Decay
- +2 Spell Pierce
- -3 Not of This World
- -1 Sejeri Steppe
- -4 Thoughtseize
Game two plays out similarly to the previous one except I land a Pithing Needle on Wasteland early on to make it a lot easier deciding on when to make Marit Lage. I make the Stage Depths combo and unfortunately for Dereck he doesn’t draw enough Sinkholes or Smallpoxes to disrupt me fully before dying to the 20/20.
Going 2-2 seemed ok for a first run of this deck and it might have been so much better if not for Claude…! HexDepths is certainly a powerful deck and dodges a lot of the dedicated combo hate out there. I also played a couple of quick practice games against Death and Taxes in between matches. This is another shocking matchup. I stole a couple of games on the back of a timely Not of This World or my DnT opponent having a hand that didn’t interact with my plan, say a Thalia off basics vs my Hexmage, Urborg and Depths start. However between Wasteland, Karaks, Swords, Flickerwisp, Eldrazi Displacer and the possibility of a flying blocker backed up with Mother of Runes this is not a matchup I want to face at all.
It is nice to be able to just play three lands and make a 20/20 without any spells cast and something I like a lot, Urborg is incredibly strong in this deck. The blue splash was really good in the sideboard games vs storm but I felt like it detracted slightly in game ones. There are other spells that facilitate our game plan much better than Brainstorm, Into the North for example.
Going forward I would try out this list, heavily influenced by -Spooky- on the source.
|Main||1 Snow-covered Forest|
|4 Elvish Spirit Guide||1 Snow-Covered Swamp|
|4 Vampire Hexmage||2 Bayou|
|4 Lotus Petal||4 Dark Depths|
|4 Crop Rotation||4 Thespian’s Stage|
|4 Not of This world||4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth|
|4 Sylvan Scrying||Side|
|4 Thoughtseize||4 Chalice of the Void|
|2 Duress||3 Surgical Extraction|
|2 Inquisition of Kozilek||3 Abrupt Decay|
|3 Pithing Needle||1 Bojuka Bog|
|3 Into the North||1 Karakas|
|4 Verdant Catacombs||1 Krosan Grip|
|1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse||1 Ghost Quarter|
|1 Sejiri Steppe||1 Pithing Needle|
This list looks faster than the one I played with eight accelerants and has access to basics which should help with the inevitable Blood Moons you will face. I have moved the Pithing Needles to the main to try and alleviate some of the problems caused by Wasteland. The mana base is more solid and lacks blue so we have moved to a chalice plan and quick combo vs Storm. I am slightly worried however that the chalices will stop our deck from functioning optimally. Either way a faster and more resistant to hate list looks like the way to go!
I hope you give this deck a try and have some fun with it.