4-Color Deathblade hj_kaiser on MtGO

Creatures (18)
4 Deathrite Shaman
2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells (22)
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands (20)
4 Flooded Strand
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scrubland
3 Tropical Island
2 Tundra
2 Underground Sea
3 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
2 Flusterstorm
2 Invasive Surgery
3 Meddling Mage
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Vendilion Clique
3 Winter Orb
2 Zealous Persecution

Summary

Deathblade has had its relative ups and downs since the printing of Deathrite Shaman in Return to Ravnica, with it sometimes being the best deck, and sometimes being nearly missing altogether. The current state of the format sees Deathblade closer to the latter than the former, but a shift in the format could very well see it rise to the top again.

The primary strategy of this deck is the quintessential Legacy blue midrange strategy. It plays efficient, hard-to-answer creatures, such as Stoneforge Mystic and True-Name Nemesis, Brainstorm, Force of Will, and efficient removal spells. Older versions of this deck were Esper splashing green for Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay, but this version is much more base Bant that splashes black.

The black splash both of those cards as well as Leovold, Emissary of Trest, which has been a breakout card in Legacy in recent weeks and months. The 3 mana legendary creature has made quite a splash, as its ability to grind value against almost every deck in the format has seen it become a valued member of Sultai Midrange, 4-Color Control, and Food Chain. Not letting the opponent draw more than one card per turn limits the power of some of the best cards in the format, such as Brainstorm and Ponder, and the second ability guarantees that at worst, Leovold will replace itself in grindy midrange mirrors.

It also severely limits the advantage that the opponent can gain from Wasteland, Rishadan Port, and Thoughtseize, and lets you draw a significant number of cards in the Burn matchup. As the format shifts heavily towards Leovold-based decks, the weakness of the 3-colored Elf Advisor against combo decks will be lessened, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the copies of Leovold be increased across the format in the coming months.

The sideboard of these decks have always widely varied based on the makeup of the format, and this one is no different. Invasive Surgery (which is seeing more and more play in Legacy), Meddling Mage, and Surgical Extraction are all specifically included for combo, and Flusterstorm and Vendilion Clique are good options in certain combo matchups as well. Winter Orb is an interesting inclusion in this deck, and I strongly believe that the inclusion of Noble Hierarch alongside Deathrite Shaman in this deck facilitates this powerful sideboard option against other midrange decks.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Noble Hierarch

-1 True-Name Nemesis

+1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest

+1 Swords to Plowshares

Sideboard

-1 Vendilion Clique

+1 Disfigure

This is day 99 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 98 here, where we featured a truly exciting Modern deck that’s looking to put Eggs back on the map.

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