Sultai Basics by bryanftw on MtGO

Creatures (15)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Tarmogoyf
3 True-Name Nemesis
1 Vendilion Clique

Non-Creature Spells (27)
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
1 Repeal
3 Spell Pierce
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Back to Basics

Lands (18)
2 Forest
3 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
2 Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard (15)
1 Vendilion Clique
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Flusterstorm
1 Invasive Surgery
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
3 Surgical Extraction
1 Sylvan Library
1 Toxic Deluge


Since the banning of Sensei’s Diving Top, Legacy has undergone some changes that make it more midrange heavy, and certainly more greedy in manabases. Some decks have been looking to attack the opponent’s lands as a route to victory. Most use Blood Moon, but the deck we’re featuring today uses a blue enchantment instead and puts it in a more traditional Legacy midrange deck.

Primarily, this deck is a classic blue midrange deck, but it gains an edge over its opponents through Back to Basics. The powerful 3 mana enchantment has the power to completely shut off the opponent from playing their game. Metagame shifts towards greedy 3-Color and 4-Color decks have made Back to Basics‘ stock rise drastically over the last several months. This deck plays quite a bit of non-basics itself, so to ensure that this deck isn’t hit too hard by its own hate card, Noble Hierarch and Deathrite Shaman provide multi-colored mana sources on board.

Since this deck has the upper hand in mana, it doesn’t need to really fight on the board as much, and would much rather play creatures that will end the game on their own while the opponent struggles to cast spells. Tarmogoyf and True-Name Nemesis are the easiest ways of doing this, with the former frequently putting the opponent on a very fast clock from turn 2, and the latter being nearly unanswerable from most opponents, ending the game quickly. Vendilion Clique is another nice option in this deck, as it has evasion and can provide a valuable discard-like effect when it enters the battlefield.

Much of the rest of the deck is aimed at finding Back to Basics and making sure the opponent’s board stays contained until the aforementioned enchantment can come down. Ponder and Brainstorm are the draw spells, while Daze, Force of Will, and Spell Pierce offer counter spells, the latter of which being a good indication that this deck is more keen on playing a combo-style game, rather than the fair blue game that much of the deck might indicate. Repeal and Umezawa’s Jitte are more concerned with getting troublesome permanents off the board, with Repeal offering flexibility and a card when you cast it, and Jitte having the power to completely end the game if the opponent cannot answer it.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

+1 Tarmogoyf


-1 Sorcerous Spyglass

+1 Toxic Deluge

This is day 336 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 335 here, where we featured an Affinity deck that takes the normal archetype and turns the aggression up to 11!

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