Play Golgari Depths in Legacy


The Pro community doesn’t show Legacy enough love. We get so swamped with Pro Tours and Standard and testing that often, pro player’s takes on the format are relegated to one or two events a year. Which is why I’m here to show you my favourite deck.

Legacy is just a great format. Sure its had its ups and downs, what with the shifts that have been caused by Sensei’s Diving Top and Deathrite Shaman bannings. But, the fact remains that your deckbuilding and mastery of the format gives you a huge edge, and that makes for a fun format as far as I’m concerned.

Assassin’s Trophy is a card that got a lot of buzz upon being released, but I actually think it has far less homes in Legacy than people think. Turbo Depths has been around for a few years and put up some strong finishes. I believe it’s been a sleeper pick in the format for a while now. I myself won a 200+ player tournament with it called Eternal Extravaganza 7. It’s my favourite deck the format has to offer.

And with the addition of Trophy, the deck has gotten even better.

The downside to playing a bunch of Assassin’s Trophys is obviously that it can be countered as opposed to its predecessor Abrupt Decay, but that’s a cost I’m willing to pay for its added utility. The upside is substantial due to its ability to answer problem cards like: Karakas,Maze of Ith, Wasteland and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

One of this decks greatest weaknesses is its vulnerability to commonly played hate cards, Wasteland in particular. Throughout its life span, you’ve had to stomach that cost in exchange for its overwhelming power level. You have to play maindeck Pithing Needle for crying out loud.

But with the addition of Trophy, that dynamic has at least changed slightly.

Here’s my list:

A quick summary of what the deck does:

The goal is to get Dark Depths in play, then use Vampire Hexmage to remove the counters and create the big 20/20 Indestructible Marit Lage token. Alternatively you can use Thespian’s Stage to copy the Depths, sacrificing the original Dark Depths to the legend rule, leaving a copy of Dark Depth’s on the table with no counters.

Cards like Sylvan Scrying and Crop Rotation are here to help you assemble these combos and Duress and Thoughtseize can make sure that the path is clear. The Pithing Needles are effective at shutting down Wasteland early, but also act as answers to Karakas, Jace, Sneak AttackAether Vial and a bevy of other cards in the format.

The idea here is to go fast. At least pre-board. You want to use your cards in a way that allows you to put Marit Lage into play as fast as possible, and you should almost always be using your interaction towards that gameplan.

The composition of the sideboard is something where I differ from most on with this deck. The Maze of Ith slot has been surprisingly helpful in grindy post-board games, especially against Delver decks. Karakas is important for bouncing opposing 20/20’s, but has a lot of nice utility against Reanimator, Death & Taxes, and Show & Tell decks. Dryad Arbor is hilariously narrow in that it’s only meant to answer Diabolic Edict or Liliana of the Veil, but given that’s how a lot of decks are looking to interact with you, I truly believe its worth a slot.

With this all in mind, I like the full set of Hymn to Tourach a lot. In post-board games you don’t always want to combo as fast as possible, and the card helps your grind when you need to.

This deck is extremely difficult to play. You will want to get your reps in because a single misstep can decide the game for you. You’ll want to be diligent about information, both tracking it and giving it away. When you’re choosing to go all in on a combo like this, you’re going to want to be aware of what kind of answers your opponent may have. Take a look at the format, figure out what decks play Karakas, who has Wasteland and who doesn’t and what you need to be playing around at all times.

You need to be selecting the right card with discard spells in order to maximize your windows. Sideboard in and out correctly (lucky for you guys I’ve included my sideboard guide below) and then even if you get all this down, do NOT forget to bluff frequently and often. Crop Rotation is the Force of Will in this deck. If people think you have it when you don’t, you can gain a lot of incremental advantage that may be pivotal.

Here are some sideboarding tips:


+2 Surgical Extraction
+4 Hymn to Torach
-1 Crop Rotation
-2 Lotus Petal
-2 Duress
-1 Assassin’s Trophy

(If you see Accumulated Knowledge, consider Bojuka Bog)

Grixis Control
+1 Dryad Arbor
+2 Hymn to Torach
-3 Pithing Needle (Cause Kolaghan’s Command)

Delver Decks
+1 Maze of Ith
+1 Dryad Arbor (Unless not playing against black)
-1 Thoughtseize
-1 Snow-Covered Swamp

+3 Surgical Extraction
+2 Bojuka Bog
-4 duress
-1 Thoughtseize

Death and Taxes
+3 Dread of Night
+1 Karakas
+1 Maze of Ith
-4 Duress
-1 Lotus Petal

+4 Hymn to Torach
+3 Surgical Extraction
+2 Bojuka Bog
-4 Assassin’s Trophy
-3 Pithing Needle
-1 Sylvan Safekeeper
-1 Seijiri Steppe

Sneak and Show
+4 Hymn to Torach
+3 Surgical Extraction
+1 Karakas
-3 Sylvan Safekeeper
-2 Assassin’s Trophy
-2 Elvish Spirit Guide
-1 Seijiri Steppe

Black-Red Reanimator
+2 Bojuka Bog
+3 Surgical Extraction
+1 Karakas
+1 Maze of Ith
-3 Sylvan Safekeeper
-2 Sylvan Scrying
-1 Into the North
-1 Snow-Covered Swamp

This is how your matchups tend to go:

  • Miracles is a 60/40 favourite
  • Storm is a 30/70 dog
  • Sneak and Show is a 50/50 push
  • Death and Taxes is 75/25 favourite
  • Delver is 80/20 Favorite
  • Grixis Control is 60/40 favourite
  • Lands is 60/40 favourite
  • Black-Red Reanimator is a 30/70 do.

The data shows we are weak to faster combo decks, but on the whole strong against the field.

The deck has a lot of play to it, it’s not easy to just pick up and win with. Get some reps in before you go to a big event with this deck for sure, but it’s a lot of fun if you like a good puzzle. You cast a discard spell early and from there it’s a matter of figuring your way out of the maze. Crop Rotation is an excellent response to answers, it’s not typically used early or to find combo-pieces although it certainly can do that as well.

Here are some cards that I considered and dismissed that some people run in their lists:

Expedition Map: Traditional lists do not play the extra two fetch lands I run, which means they need this colorless source to ensure they are able to cast their spells. If you’ve played a lot of Legacy, you know you do not want to be spending three mana without the aid of Force of Will to do something mediocre like this.

Sylvan Library: It’s great after you’ve gained twenty life from a Swords to Plowshares but honestly just too slow for this version of the deck. Miracles players are already boarding in disenchants and have access to Council’s Judgement and I find you do not want to combo unless you know it’s a sure thing.

Not of This World: Has moments where it looks great, but it’s just not versatile enough, you would rather use a Duress to be proactive. Sylvan Safekeeper is also just leagues better than this card.

That’s all for now but as always thanks for tuning in. I always welcome questions and reply as frequently as I can. Let me know if there’s anything I missed!