Aluren by Cameron_H on MtGO

Creatures (22)
4 Baleful Strix
1 Cavern Harpy
4 Deathrite Shaman
2 Dream Stalker
1 Eternal Witness
4 Imperial Recruiter
1 Parasitic Strix
1 Reclamation Sage
4 Shardless Agent

Non-Creature Spells (18)
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Cabal Therapy
2 Thoughtseize
4 Aluren
1 Sylvan Library

Lands (20)
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Forest
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
1 Taiga
2 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
3 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
1 Bone Shredder
2 Force of Will
1 Golgari Charm
1 Minister of Pain
1 Null Rod
2 Pithing Needle
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Toxic Deluge
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Vendilion Clique

Summary

One of the charming things about Legacy is the variety of whacky combo decks that are more or less viable options in the format. Aluren certainly falls into that category of whacky, out-there combo decks. One of the big advantages to these decks is that frequently your opponent will not know how the combo works, and an opponent who does not know how to combat you is a recipe for success. As the name of the deck suggests, the it is a combo deck that uses the power of the card Aluren to create an infinite life drain loop with Cavern Harpy and Parasitic Strix. The deck wins if it has an Aluren in play and an Imperial Recruiter in hand. Here’s how:

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First, cast Imperial Recruiter, find another Recruiter, rinse and repeat until you find your last copy, that last copy finds Dream Stalker, which bounces a Recruiter, which then is replayed to find the other Dream Stalker (there are 2 in the deck for insurance purposes) which bounces a Recruiter. Recruiter now finds Cavern Harpy which bounces a Dream Stalker, which bounces Imperial Recruiter, which is then replayed to find Parasitic Strix.

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Then pay 1 life to return Cavern Harpy to your hand. Replay Cavern Harpy, and with the trigger on the stack, play Parasitic Strix. Let Strix drain for 2, then be bounced by Cavern Harpy‘s trigger. Then pay 1 life to return Cavern Harpy, rinse and repeat this process for infinite drain and infinite life gain. It’s funny and charming that the reason this whole combo works is that Cavern Harpy‘s trigger comes from a time before the language of targeted abilities made you choose a target when the trigger went on the stack, so it doesn’t choose what to bounce until resolution, meaning that what ends up being bounced can be in your hand when the trigger goes on the stack and cast with flash trough Aluren.

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The rest of the deck outside of the combo exists to protect the combo and add resilience, but also to play a normal, “fair” game of Magic. Shardless Agent, as well as cards in the sideboard, facilitate this fair strategy. This list that Cameron_H piloted on MtGO on January 17, also features Imperial Recruiter targets Eternal Witness and Reclamation Sage, along with discard spells, to protect the combo. When comboing off, it’s fine to play Cavern Harpy, use the trigger to bounce a Dream Stalker, which bounces an Imperial Recruiter to find either of those 3 mana creatures to deal with any pesky cards like Leyline of Sanctity (Reclamation Sage) or neutralize the effects of a Thoughtseize that may have taken your Parasitic Strix (Eternal Witness). Cabal Therapy, in particular, is excellent in this deck, as when you combo off you’ll have 4 spare copies of Recruiter that love to be sacrificed to Therapy’s flashback. The sideboard of this deck is a mish-mash of cards that allow you to be more or less dedicated the combo after sideboarding.

This deck was assumed to be dead for a long time, but Jeff Hoogland (notorious for hating Legacy and only playing nonconventional decks) played Aluren at the SCG Players’ Championship. Since then, there’s been some talk as to the viability of this deck in the current Legacy format, and it may be ripe for a comeback.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Abrupt Decay

+1 Vendilion Clique

Sideboard

-1 Vendilion Clique

+1 Force of Will

This is day 18 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our attention. You can read day 17 here, where we covered a 4 color Modern deck that aims to take advantage of an underrepresented tribe.

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