Hello Legacy fans. I’ve decided to start writing about Legacy in an effort to produce more content for this amazing format. This week I want to feature an interesting deck called Tin Fins. The name of the deck is a Sealab 2021 Reference. (I don’t get it, but whatever.) Completely uninformative deck names are just a part of what makes Eternal formats what they are. Terrible deck names aside, Tin Fins is a blisteringly fast reanimation based combo deck that aims to get Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play with haste as early as turn 1. I’ll break down each section of cards in the deck in depth and explain what role each piece of this deck plays.
The combo will start with “Entomb”. Entomb is used to dump Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand into the graveyard. You will usually go for Griselbrand so that you can execute the combo in full. Going for Emrakul immediately is appropriate when desperate measures are called for. If you don’t have enough life to start drawing cards with Griselbrand you should attempt to reset the board with Emrakul.
You can kick start the combo with mana acceleration via Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, or Dark Ritual. This acceleration is what makes this deck so fast. Extra mana will also be important later in the combo when you are reanimating your Emrakul.
After you have resolved your Entomb you will cast Reanimate, Shallow Grave or Goryo’s Vengeance to get back your Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. “Hold on!” You’re about to say to yourself, “you can’t get Emrakul back? Right?” Well you can. While Emrakul’s trigger is on the stack you can use your Goryo’s Vengeance or Shallow Grave to get it back. Emrakul’s trigger will then resolve and your graveyard will be shuffled into your library.
Once you have Griselbrand in play you will proceed to start drawing tons of cards. You should be able to draw 14 cards with Griselbrand as soon as he’s in play. Now that you have all these cards the fun begins. You can probably get Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play using the same route you used to get Griselbrand into play with a little help from Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox and Dark Ritual. Okay let’s be real here, that won’t happen all the time. You might not draw enough mana or the pieces to get Emrakul into play. However, you can draw the powerful Children of Korlis. Children of Korlis gains back all the life that you just paid to Griselbrand thereby letting you draw more cards with Griselbrand. This will more likely enable you to reanimate Emrakul and attacking for 22.
Tendrils of Agony Route
Tin Fins doesn’t operate solely from reanimating Griselbrand or Emrakul. You can also go off using Tendrils of Agony. The Tendrils route is similar to the reanimation route. You will first reanimate Griselbrand, then draw lots of cards with him. From there you should be able to chain lots of spells into your Tendrils of Agony, simple as that. This is the backup plan. The Tendrils route is present for problematic cards like Ensnaring Bridge, Maze of Ith, or Karakas, which will stop your lethal attack and to have a way to win post combat.
Tin Fins doesn’t run any counterspells. Instead it runs discard spells. Cabal Therapy, Thoughtseize, and Gitaxian Probe are all here to make sure that the path is clear to go for the combo. You want to us your discard to take cards like Force of Will, Spell Pierce, opposing Thoughtseizes, Cabal Therapys, or cards that progress your opponent’s game plan.
The cantrips in this deck are essential as they allow us to locate our combo. Tin Fins can’t go long, but it needs to set up. Having a mass of cantrips allows us to find the pieces to our combo quickly. However, we can’t run more cantrips than we are already running. Adding too many cantrips will dilute the density of powerful cards in this deck and thus turn some cards into mana intensive air.
The Game Plan
Early Game (Turn 1-3): During these turns you want to be stripping your opponent’s hand of relevant spells like Force of Will or Spell Pierce and/or finding your combo if you don’t have it yet with Brainstorm + fetch land, Ponder, or Sensei’s Divining Top. You can also just combo with Dark Ritual into Entomb then cast either Shallow Grave or Goryo’s Vengeance.
Mid Game (Turns 4-5): By this point you should be able to combo through counter magic, or your opponent’s hand should be useless. If not you are not in good shape.
Late Game (Turns 6+): If you get to this point you should be able to combo with no issue, otherwise you have either probably lost this game or pushed it to a stalemate.
Tips and Tricks
A use for redundant “Entomb”s is to thin your deck. You can just dump cards that are completely undesirable to draw like land. Another use is to send Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to the bin so you can shuffle after using Brainstorm early.
Children of Korlis is a hilarious silver bullet against ANT pre-board. Casting it puts them in an awkward spot. They will have to actually cast 2 Tendrils of Agony to fight past the Children or get an obscenely high storm count.
You can cast your instant speed reanimation spells on your opponent’s end step and save mana during your next turn! Both your instant speed reanimation spells exile the reanimated creature at the beginning of the next end step, making it so that when you reanimate that creature it is exiled during your end step.
Remember, when you are going off you can reanimate Children of Korlis to keep drawing cards.
Brainstorm should be cast completely differently from how you would expect to cast it. You would expect to set up a great Brainstorm and try to eek out value from it when playing Miracles, Delver, or Shardless BUG. You would normally try to make Brainstorm as close to Ancestral Recall as possible. Instead, when you are playing fast combo decks like ANT, TES, or Tin Fins, you need to aggressively cast Brainstorm. Your goal is to see as many cards as possible in an effort to find your pieces or more disruption. Generally when casting Brainstorm you want to have a fetch land ready to go so that you can ensure that you completely get rid of excess lands, discard spells, or cantrips.
Casting “Cabal Therapy”
Cabal Therapy can open up the way for many x-for-1s. You want to cast Cabal Therapy. You don’t want this card stuck in your hand doing nothing. Casting Cabal Therapy without information takes some skill though. You will have to rely on the messages that your opponent sends you based on reaction time, body language, etc. Against better players you won’t be able to read them as well, however you can always make inferences based on their play patterns; what they are playing and what they have played. Good names in the blind are Force of Will, Chalice of the Void, Spell Pierce, Deathrite Shaman, and post board Surgical Extraction or Rest in Peace.
Playing against Hate
Beating hate requires some timing, extra spells, and extra mana. Relic of Progenitus, Deathrite Shaman, and Tormod’s Crypt will force you to have either; 2 Goryo’s Vengeance/Shallow Grave, a Shallow Grave and an Entomb or have 2 targets in your graveyard with Shallow Grave in hand (note: This only beats Deathrite Shaman).
Having 2 reanimation spells will create this situation;
- You cast your reanimation spell.
- Your opponent responds by attempting to remove the target from your graveyard.
- You cast your second reanimation spell to get the creature back before it is removed
Having Shallow Grave and Entomb will create this situation;
- You cast Shallow Grave.
- Your opponent attempts to remove the target from your graveyard and successfully does so.
- With Shallow Grave still on the stack you cast Entomb to put a target into your graveyard for Shallow Grave to get when it resolves.
Having 2 Targets in your graveyard when your opponent has a Deathrite Shaman will create this situation;
- You cast Shallow Grave.
- Your opponent attempts to remove 1 creature from your graveyard and successfully does so.
- When Shallow Grave resolves it will reanimate the top creature in your graveyard.
Playing against graveyard hate such as Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace can’t be done in the mainboard unless you have a natural storm kill. You will have to refer to the sideboard for alternative enablers like Show and Tell or alternative win-cons like Monastery Mentor.
Beating draw hate like Spirit of the Labyrinth and Chains of Mephistopheles is pretty easy! All you have to do is reanimate “Emrakul, the Aeons Torn” and cripple/kill them with that. You can also use the 1 of Reanimate to get Griselbrand into play.
Beating spell hate like Ethersworn Canonist and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is also quite easy! You can Entomb a Griselbrand on your opponent’s end step and cast your reanimation spell on your turn. You can then attack with your Griselbrand and refill your hand to try to combo again next turn.
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You can find me at most large Legacy events in Toronto or at Legacy FNM at Face to Face Games Toronto. I am always open to talking about Legacy Magic.