One of Legacy’s most interesting and perhaps feared decks is Oops All Spells. Oops provides the terror of a turn one combo deck with the silliness of Laboratory Maniac. Now while both this deck’s success and Lab Man’s comedic value have dropped over the last two years, it is still a very interesting deck to view for Legacy. So here’s Oops All Spells in all of its glory:
This deck is the boogie man that is always rumored about in Legacy (or at least was when I was entering the format). Belcher has always been the biggest consistent-turn 1 boogie man, but at different points in the metagame, Oops gives it a good run for its money. The point of Belcher is to get to 7 mana ideally then cast and activate Goblin Charbelcher. This is theoretically the best start that can happen in a Legacy deck because it is almost always a turn 1 kill. The perpetual annoyance that is Force of Will (along with other counterspells) stops the deck from getting out of control and holding a spot in the metagame.
Belcher must run alternate ways of winning, so it runs things like Empty the Warrens to make the deck smoother in the face of variance. Oops forgoes some of the randomness of Belcher by attempting to create a guaranteed win with Laboratory Maniac. The goal of Oops is to reanimate Underworld Cerberus and then sacrificing it to Cabal Therapy naming a problem card in your opponent’s hand (you should have already stripped Force of Will and other counters, so Abrupt Decay is usually their only out at this point, usually). Underworld Cerberus’s death replacement places every creature in your deck into your hand, which lets you play Laboratory Maniac (exiling three Spirit Guides and using Wild Cantor) and then drawing a card using Street Wraith. Tah dah!
The trouble with Oops All Spells as opposed to most Belcher decks is that it runs fewer win conditions (by 3). This effect is both good and bad for Oops. Oops deck can be more competitive than Belcher given a Meta entirely void of Graveyard hate. That would let Oops come close to winning all of its matches that it does not lose to itself (by drawing too much of its graveyard engine or failing to draw a mill creature). The struggle for Oops over the past 2 years is that the meta has become steadily more graveyard-based. It waxes and wanes, but the consistent trend, since Oops was a real deck, has been an overall increase in graveyard based decks. This means there has been a noticeable reaction to this in the sideboards of most decks. Graveyard hate is a must for most Legacy decks that don’t run a graveyard strategy themselves (and for some that do as well).
Turn 2 and 3 Graveyard hate, however, does not bother Oops all that much because by that time Oops has probably already won or lost to itself. With Oops All Spells, the critical turn is turn 1, the probable turn is turn 2, and turn 5 is the latest the deck has ever gone off for me. The point is that by turn 2 you should have already won. Against some decks you can have the extra 3 turns to just draw and pass, but against much of the Legacy field, by turn 3 you are pretty much out of the game. Oops, therefore, is mostly bothered by Tormod’s Crypt early or a Leyline of the Void on turn 0. The fear from these 2 cards is very real because they leave you with no chance to win the game realistically.
I have included a fairly goofy sideboard to my Oops deck, which I am fairly fond of though. The 3 Seething Songs can be changed for any other Mana producing spell in the right colors. Oops needs a backup plan against the Graveyard hate options that actually hurt it and its best angle is to just change away from the Graveyard. Belcher is still one of the best options and it only costs 4, which is the same cost that Oops is built to get to. The addition of Lion’s Eye Diamond (LED) to make 7 the new 4 is just icing on the cake. The addition of Recross the Paths is to smooth out your game when you’re playing as Belcher because it acts as a tutor (you cast the card and then stack your library putting Belcher and enough Mana on top). This strategy works against slower decks that bring in Leyline of the Void. If you are (justifiably) worried about Eldrazi, then adding in a Meditation to the Seething Songs (and cutting a seething Song of course), so you can stack your deck putting a Meditation on top which will let you draw into 3 LEDs and a Gitaxian Probe and then the Probe draws you into a Charbelcher for a kill.
This Deck struggles currently because it can only do as well as a turn 1 deck can be, which has a theoretical limit of tier 1.5 because of the deck losing to itself more than most, and the metagame always reacting to it. Currently, Belcher is around tier 3 because of the high volume of Control and Tempo decks in Legacy. Oops suffers in terms of results because it is not played as much as Belcher. This is not because it is a worse deck (I’d say it’s just as competitive as Belcher currently), but it is because the deck is considered to be more of a Joke for the same reason that I mentioned earlier. This deck seems too cute to be a good turn 1 deck.
This is an interesting deck that can definitely be competitive in a local Meta, but will struggle in a larger tournament. It is also a fairly cheep budget deck that can let you get into the format if you cut the sideboard to make the deck very affordable. I highly recommend giving it a shot.
Until next time,
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