Magic is an ever-evolving game; between bannings, unbannings, and new sets, even Legacy continues to evolve. Changes to the metagame happen constantly in all formats, but in Legacy more often these changes are the revamping of something old rather than something new themselves. For Legacy (and to a lesser extent Modern) we must look to what came before to make what comes next.
Legacy is still in its period of readjustment after Sensei’s Divining Top got axed. We’ve seen the format move back to what it looked like just before Miracles rose to total domination. Elves, Delver, Show and Tell, Death & Taxes, and other Stoneblade decks have come back to the fore. Combo decks have also come back, but they had never completely left in the same ways that these other decks had.
We have gained one “new” deck: Monastery Mentor in a Blue-White shell. To call it a new deck whatsoever is misleading. This deck has traded out CounterTop for Monastery Mentor and more draw spells. It gets to run some of the best cards in Legacy: Brainstorm, Force of Will, Swords to Plowshares, and Terminus. This truly isn’t brand new; Legacy players have been trying to make Monastery Mentor be super broken since we got it.
Decks have changed because Miracles is no longer a threat, but old decks that never truly had to contend with Miracles just need to become “better.” Enter the prime candidate for a deck update: Four Horsemen.
If you don’t already know, Four Horsemen is a meme deck that attempts to get Blasting Station onto the field and then continually place 3 Narcomoeba onto the field to kill their opponent. The major problem with this deck is that it’s not legal to play. In the process of getting Blasting Station onto the field, Four Horsemen needs to have Sharuum the Hegemon, Blasting Station, and Dread Return in their graveyard. That’s not too hard, but, if they hit the 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn before that, they have to try again.
The deck isn’t legal because, if the player cycles through their deck and hits Sharuum, Blasting Station, 15 other cards, and Emrakul without hitting Dread Return, they are technically slow playing because you are not advancing your own game plan. If you could say definitively how many loops you need to hit Sharuum, Blasting Station, and Dread Return, you could demonstrate the loop. However, it’s technically possible for that iteration of your deck to never occur.
Four Horsemen is a joke deck because it could never surmount the fact that it lost to being played. The deck’s engine, however, can be repurposed for newer win conditions that don’t include Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in the deck. The deck’s engine was Mesmeric Orb and Basalt Monolith; these cards in tandem let you mill yourself for as much as you want. We come across some very good combos from this, but we want them to not require too many cards.
My version looks like this:
New Horsemen by Sam Chapin
Non-Creature Spells (38)
3 Lotus Petal
2 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Enlightened Tutor
1 Bitter Ordeal
1 Dread Return
4 Force of Will
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith
1 Bridge from Below
This deck is not by any means figured out. I favor this combo from testing, but Sidisi, Brood Tyrant with Flame-Kin Zealot and a second Dread Return also works with the Progenitus, and Angel of Glory’s Rise with Laboratory Maniac and Azami, Lady of Scrolls also can work without the Progenitus.
The deck could also be played with heavier black instead of white. The copies of Enlightened Tutor and Daze could become copies of Thoughtseize and Lim-Dûl’s Vault. This deck is a 2 card combo deck, but, unfortunately, there aren’t that many effective ways to search for artifacts that are cheap. That’s why I favor a white list slightly.
For this version and the one with Sidisi in it, this deck generates infinite Gravestorm. This is an ability unique to Bitter Ordeal; it counts how many permanents have entered your graveyard this turn. Progenitus is our permanent for this because we can send it to the graveyard infinitely so long as our combo is still on board. For Sidisi, the infinite Gravestorm is replaced by infinite Zombies that then kill the opponent.
My (and everyone’s) favorite tier 3 Legacy deck also got an enhancement added recently. People have noticed that Prized Amalgam can change up Manaless Dredge to be a pretty good aggro strategy. Because Nether Shadow, Narcomoeba, and Ichorid enter the field from the graveyard pretty much every turn, Prized Amalgam just lets the deck play a longer game. It also gives the deck much more reach with Flayer of the Hatebound as the win condition.
A decklist I like currently still runs Balustrade Spy because it’s just more powerful than other mill options that the deck has. Whirlpool Drake allows the deck to play Dakmor Salvage in the mainboard or sideboard, which is very powerful, but I’m not fully convinced that the consistency loss is totally worth it. The deck could just as easily reanimate Griselbrand for a similar effect.
Manaless Dredge by Sam Chapin
4 Golgari Thug
3 Nether Shadow
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Prized Amalgam
2 Shambling Shell
3 Balustrade Spy
4 Street Wraith
4 Golgari Grave-Troll
1 Flayer of the Hatebound
3 Chancellor of the Annex
As you can see, the deck sacrifices 1 Chancellor of the Annex, 1 Nether Shadow, 1 Shambling Shell, and 1 Balustrade Spy to have access to Prized Amalgam. If you want to opt for the Whirlpool Drake, I would not play more than 2 because it still is not the most consistent engine (its draws are equal to cards in your hand). Griselbrand is a strong option if you want totally cut the Spies. Once again I think that cutting the Spies is a mistake, but it is more resilient to a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, which is a better metagame decision with Death & Taxes on the rise and more popular than it was in years past.
The Ashen Rider in the sideboard is for fear of Leyline of Sanctity and Deathrite Shaman. Reanimating Ashen Rider first makes them target it or have their Deathrite Shaman exiled. They can respond by hitting your Flayer of the Hatebound, but reanimating a Golgari Grave-Troll and a Golgari Thug (which you sacrifice to put any card top of your deck) lets you kill them by attacking the following turn.
Another 2 decks that have gained new cards, but I haven’t finally gotten there with are Dragon and Doomsday, but both of those decks are much worse than these two in their current states. Feel free to try to work with them. I firmly believe that Goblin Dark-Dwellers for Doomsday and Magus of the Will for Dragon completely redefine their games. Let me know if you figure it out, I need my wacky combo fix!
Thanks for reading!
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