Death Valley! I’ve never played a snap of professional football in my life but like all boys I believed that I was awesome at any sport that I would ever try and that I could be better than Jerry Rice and John Elway in their respective sport. Of course not wanting to overshadow two of sports greatest icons I instead decided to play intercity basketball and Magic the Gathering as a kid, not exactly the big leagues. So what does Death Valley have to do with any of this? Well growing up playing Basketball I wanted to “Be Like Mike”, and as such I wanted to go to play college basketball at North Carolina, that’s right, even in my imagination I paid my dues to move up the ranks.
So when I thought of playing football, I had to choose a college football program to attend before ever making it to the NFL. And thus we arrive at Death Valley. For those of you who don’t know, Death Valley is the name of the home stadium for the LSU Tigers and it is situated deep in the heart of Louisiana in The Bayou. Even to this day, my professional football dreams long gone, Death Valley will always be the greatest name ever given to a place to play. So what does this have to do with Legacy or even Magic in general? You may have missed it a couple lines back but Death Valley is situated in the Bayou and as such, from the onset, that made it my preferred dual land, even if I don’t generally play Black/Green, so without further ado, I present to you…
Now I’m not referencing the standard dual lands with the drawback written in one nice line of text, I’m talking about your grand daddy’s dual lands that make all lands feel inferior simply by being in their presence. They are:
– [Card]Tropical Island[/Card]
– [Card]Underground Sea[/Card]
– [Card]Volcanic Island[/Card]
This is as good as lands get and they can be played as a four of in any deck in Legacy! Another thing that makes playing Legacy a great thing! So what are these mythical dual lands and why are they good? Allow me to explain. In Magic, you need mana and originally someone created basic lands that each produce one mana of a single color found on the color pie. It was a good start but someone else came along (turns out this person was the same someone who created basic lands, a fellow known as Dr. Richard Garfield, who should be thanked for creating such a great game) and postulated that if you had a land producing one colored mana then it would be even better to have a land producing mana of two different colors.
This guy was a genius! Thus dual lands were born, lands that were essentially the result of having taken two different basic lands and printing them on the same card, imagine [Card]Fire/Ice[/Card] but with basic lands so they took [Card]Swamp[/Card] and [Card]Forest[/Card] and arrived at [Card]Bayou[/Card]. SEXY! So why are they so good? Simply, if mana of one color is good than mana of another color must be better and as an added bonus, dual lands count as having basic land types, so any effect that can search for a basic land type can also find dual lands, such as fetch lands! And what better deck to present with dual lands that one that reeks heavily of being associated with Death Valley, Team America or if you prefer…
America, F*ck Yeah!
If you’ve never seen the movie or heard the song, go search YouTube, go on I’ll wait. You’re back good, on to the deck list.
[Deck Title=Team America By Samuel Swisher]
[Lands]1 Bayou 4 Misty Rainforest 4 Polluted Delta 2 Tropical Island 4 Underground Sea 3 Verdant Catacombs 4 Wasteland[/Lands]
[Creatures]4 Tarmogoyf 4 Tombstalker[/Creatures]
[Spells]4 Brainstorm 3 Daze 4 Force of Will 2 Go For The Throat 4 Hymn To Tourach 4 Mental Misstep 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 3 Ponder 2 Snuff Out 2 Spell Pierce[/Spells]
[Sideboard]1 Ghastly Demise 2 Krosan Grip 3 Pernicious Deed 3 Phyrexian Revoker 2 Relic of Progenitus 2 Smother 2 Submerge[/Sideboard][/Deck]
[Deck Title=BUG Control By Gerry Thompson]
[Lands]2 Bayou 4 Misty Rainforest 4 Polluted Delta 2 Tropical Island 4 Underground Sea 2 Verdant Catacombs 4 Wasteland[/Lands]
[Creatures]4 Dark Confidant 4 Tarmogoyf 2 Terravore[/Creatures]
[Spells]4 Brainstorm 3 Daze 4 Force of Will 4 Go For The Throat 4 Hymn To Tourach 1 Inquisition of Kozilek 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 2 Ponder 2 Spell Snare 2 Thoughtseize[/Spells]
[Sideboard]3 Ghastly Demise 2 Krosan Grip 1 Life From The Loam 2 Llawan, Cephalid Empress 2 Maelstrom Pulse 2 Spell Pierce 3 Submerge[/Sideboard][/Deck]
Brief history of the deck, originally it was built as a land destruction deck playing cards like [Card]Sinkhole[/Card]. During this time the movie Team America: World Police came out and in the movie everything is blown up, so the two were linked together. Obviously when you think America you think Red, White & Blue deck, but then again Gerard Fabiano’s Team Italia deck plays black so when it comes to deck naming, if it sounds cool, that’s more important than accuracy, see Durdling Around for further reference.
Note that, Team America is different from the BUG control as seen above, they play similar cards but they interact differently. At its core Team America is a tempo deck, it plays cards like Tombstalker, Daze and Stifle to get ahead and crush their opponents. The BUG decks however are about card advantage. They play cards like Dark Confidant and Jace to generate card advantage by seeing more cards, allowing them to riffle through their deck quicker to get where they need to be. Lately the trend has been that these two decks are approaching each other in the cards that are played and there is a lot of crossover
So what makes Team America such a good deck? Answers; the deck’s goal is to answer your opponent’s spells and threats, strip their hand of cards and then lay the beats with their own creatures. The Team America list is post-New Phyrexia where as Gerry T’s list pre-New Phyrexia so with the release of New Phyrexia, you want to be playing 4 copies of [Card]Mental Misstep[/Card] and probably [Card]Dismember[/Card] although it’s more of a board slot. My suggestion is removing the Inquisition, 2 Thoughtseize and 1 Force of Will as Mental Misstep makes the discard spells worse and playing less Force of Wills seems to be the way the format is shifting. A last note, some would suggest removing [Card]Spell Snare[/Card] but with the increased play of Stoneforge Mystic, the format is seeing a slight shift to the two drop spot so I would recommend keeping them in.
Similar to Zoo last week, Team America is a three color deck which relies on dual and fetch lands to achieve its mana base down. A difference from Zoo is that generally the deck does not play basic lands as it is more mana dependent on specific colors so having basic lands in play can prove a liability by cutting you off from two of your three colors, creating a greater possibility of having dead cards in your hand. If you’re piloting a Team America deck that only plays duals, it will be dependant on having access to different colored mana, so fetch lands play an even more important role as they should only be cracked when absolutely necessary to protect them from Wasteland. Further remember to fetch according to the spells in your hand and not the spells in your deck as you’ll put yourself at a disadvantage when you fetch for a [Card]Tropical Island[/Card] turn one only to not be able to play a [Card]Hymn To Tourach[/Card] turn two or fetch for two [Card]Underground Sea[/Card]s to be able to play the Hymn you are hoping to top deck and then not have the green mana to cast [Card]Tarmogoyf[/Card]. In some decks you can get away with it but playing Team America requires you to be constantly vigilant of the lands you have in play to not cut yourself off or get cut off from a particular color.
As important as it is to ensure you are not susceptible to Wasteland, be on the lookout for opponents who do not proceed with your level of caution as 4 [Card]Wasteland[/Card] are played to keep with its land destruction roots. The deck is searching for tempo in any form it can and Wasteland provides one of those avenues by cutting your opponents off from the mana they will need to beat you. This being Legacy there are more options for mana fixing than in standard where three color decks do not generally play [Card]Tectonic Edge[/Card], however be weary of Wasteland none the less as in many cases you will be employing it as a spell which essentially reads as destroy target non basic land for free. So when it comes to starting hands and choosing when to mulligan or not my best advice is this: Place any Wasteland in your hand face down and look at the other cards in your hand, if you would keep a hand with those five or six cards then do not mulligan however if that is not the case then mulligan as you don’t want to try and get there in Legacy when your opponent can also be playing Wasteland. As a note in general, with the printing of Mental Misstep hands that are one land [Card]Brainstorm[/Card] or one land [Card]Ponder[/Card] is not a wise keep as people are keeping these hands only to get land screwed for the next few turns while their opponent is basically playing solitaire.
Budget Options: Similar to Merfolk, [Card]Ghost Quarter[/Card] can replace [Card]Wasteland[/Card], Ravnica shock lands can replace dual lands and Zendikar fetch lands can replace Onslaught fetch lands. Now I have a challenge which applies to everyone but is also a budget option. Try building the deck using only
basic lands instead of dual lands, the rest of the lands can stay the same. It may not prove easy but not only can you gain a familiarity by playing the regular deck but also modified versions to learn the ins and outs and develop a familiarity with the correct plays you should make with the deck and the correct plays your opponents will make playing the deck, as knowing what you’ll face when playing against it, is just as valuable as knowing how to play it. By using basic lands you are essentially twisting your arm and forcing yourself to fetch the correct land based on the ideal plays from your hand. Now it will not make you an immediate Pro Tour player but it is a good mental exercise for learning how to play lands correctly.
Unlike Merfolk and Zoo previously, Team America is not an aggro deck that relies on waves of creatures to get the job done. Generally the creatures aim to hit the table and give your opponent the choice of dealing with the situation or losing.
The smallest of these creatures is [Card]Dark Confidant[/Card] or known by his nickname of Bob. The reason for this is that back in the day there was a tournament known as the Magic Invitational where the top 16 players of the year were invited and they played in a variety of crazy and fun formats. The point of this tournament was to win, like all Magic tournaments, but if you won instead of cash you got to design a card that would be printed in a Magic set with your likeness and thus card immortality. In 2004 Bob Maher, Jr. won and he designed Dark Confidant or something similar that R&D tweaked and thus the character in the card bears his likeness hence why it’s known as Bob. 5-Point Question Time: What is the only invitational card to be an uncommon?
Sorry for the diversion.
Now why is Dark Confidant so highly regarded, well look no further than its flavor text, as it perfectly captures the deck’s goal. Greatness, at any cost. Each turn “Bob” provides you with an extra card at the cost of life equal to that card’s converted mana cost. If you’re not careful the life total you lose can be quite heavy but between [Card]Brainstorm[/Card], [Card]Ponder[/Card] & Jace, you can stagger your draws so as to minimize your life loss if not reduce it thanks to lands. Even with the life loss you get an extra card per turn which for a deck trying to crush your opponent with counters, discard and [Card]Terror[/Card] type cards to gain card advantage an extra card each turn can be even more devastating.
How do you follow up a card as powerful as [Card]Dark Confidant[/Card], you may ask, the answer is simply, with a [Card]Tarmogoyf[/Card]. Tarmogoyf relies on card types in the graveyard and surround by optimal support cards can be a monster. Unlike Zoo which may experience problems in getting a wide variety of card types into its graveyard, Team America does not and should you need it you have [Card]Hymn To Tourach[/Card] which hits random cards, increasing the chances of making Tarmogoyf bigger. You can target yourself with Hymn to get an extra card type or two.
And speaking of big, Gerry’s list rounds out on creatures with [Card]Terravore[/Card], which between fetch lands, Wastelands and whatever you’re opponent is doing he can get big, like 16/16 big. All my opponent had to say was nice life!!
The last and an original member of Team America is [Card]Tombstalker[/Card] or the card that gets around the FTK or [Card]Flametongue Kavu[/Card] menace. Tombstalker is a vanilla 5/5 flyer for eight mana but has this ability called Delve which is Future Sighted mechanic. 100-Point Question: What set features the Delve mechanic? Answer must include a PDF version of the God Book as proof, to get points!
Delve allows you to remove a card from your graveyard instead of paying one colorless mana for the spell as many times as you like, which means you can remove six cards from your graveyard and pay two black mana instead of paying Tombstalker’s eight mana casting cost and vanilla 5/5 flyers for two black mana are actually quite good. This coupled with the amount of cards your binning makes Tombstalker viable in Team America. Delve does hinder cards like Terravore and Tarmogoyf but flyers are not present in many Legacy decks so he acts as a finisher, making Tombstalker awesome, just don’t cast it with a Jace on the board.
The last creature seeing moderate play in Team America is Vendilion Clique, which provides you with valuable information as to your opponent’s hand and can get rid of a card that may pose problems or a dead card in your hand. The danger with playing the Clique is that generally people misplay with it, either by casting it at the wrong time or choosing the wrong card, as well you cannot choose a land card either which happens constantly.
So how should you play Clique? Generally there are two options on how to successfully use it. End of your opponent’s draw step to see what their hand contains and to get rid of a problematic card although word of caution, it is often times better to let them keep their hand, as the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. A second mode is the end of your opponent’s turn which can be split into two choices: either you target your opponent in order to get the all’s clear for your own turn or to target yourself to rid of a dead card providing you with more gas on your next turn. There are other ways of using it but try focusing on those before attempting anything crazy and remember it is legendary so only play one at a time, turns out having two in play actually kills your opponent slower.
Budget Options: Both Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf will be beyond the range of budget player’s, well, budget. There is nothing that can replace Dark Confidant’s ability while being a creature but both [Card]Sylvan Library[/Card] and [Card]Phyrexian Arena[/Card] can be suitable options that won’t break anyone’s budget though avoid decreasing the creature count for spells.
As for Tarmogoyf, Terravore can be an acceptable replacement however I am leery to be playing double green in a deck that plays no other green cards. Threshold can be easily achieved so [Card]Werebear[/Card] is an option but there is something better than exists surely, give me a sec while I rummage through my cards… and my suggestion is [Card]Zuo Ci, the Mocking Sage[/Card].
Kidding actually I will recommend trying [Card]Quirion Dryad[/Card] and here is why. If you look through the deck list the only main deck green spells being played are Tarmogoyf and Terravore, which means most of your spells will be blue and black and each time you play one, the dryad gets bigger. In the early stages Tarmogoyf will get to be a 3/4, which means all you need to do is play some counterspells or discard or card draw and bam the Dryad is bigger than the Goyf, moreover they are both susceptible to the exact same removal, though late game top decking Goyf is better. Also if you read my Zoo article last week, [Card]Quirion Dryad[/Card] would be a good fit in that as well.
I’ve decided I’m going to create sub groups for the spell section, otherwise it’ll be long, slight draw back is there is no budget options section per se, though there is a mention or two, so to those expecting one, my apologies.
Brainstorm: So important it gets its own section, to share with Ponder and Preordain. All three cards perform similar functions though you shouldn’t be playing Preordain. Ponder allows you to look three cards in the future and put your future in any order you like or shuffle your deck away if you don’t like what you see. The better option though is [Card]Brainstorm[/Card], a card so good Jace even uses it!
Like Ponder it allows you to look three cards in the future but the bonus is those cards actually go into your hand and you can then chose the cards you either want the least or want to protect from an opponent’s discard ability for the perfect top deck the next turn. Coupled with a fetch land you can shuffle away the cards you don’t want. And that is only an excerpt to the encyclopedia explaining why Brainstorm is good. Please note that unless you are protecting your hand from your opponent, casting Brainstorm at the end of your turn is something you should not do and for further reference check out AJ Sacher’s article dedicated solely to Brainstorm, it’s quite good.
Counter Magic: [Card]Force of Will[/Card] and [Card]Daze[/Card] are back from the Merfolk deck so to avoid repetition I won’t go into an in depth analysis though there is a trend to play less than four Force of Wills in the main deck and maybe move some to the sideboard or cut them altogether.
I’m on the side of the debate that is in favor of reducing the Forces as I frequently find myself sideboarding them out in most matchups and while I agree with Adam Barnello, when he said on Crazy Talk, that you would prefer having them to not game 1, there are often times when I find myself handcuffed by not being able to play the blue card in my hand in order to ensure Force of Will is not a dead card and I then find myself behind as my opponent is playing spells that are not worth two cards for his one.
Ultimately it comes down to what you’re comfortable playing but I would limit your deck to three Force of Wills in Team America as there are multiple occasions when you’re drawing Goyfs and Bobs and Force is just a dead card.
On the other hand, a card that is never dead is [Card]Mental Misstep[/Card] as you should always have two life, unless you’re dead which it doesn’t really matter what’s in your hand at that point. Gerry’s deck is pre-NPH but I guarantee you that you want four of this card in your hand as Team America is a tempo deck and generally can compete as of turn 1 but in the past it had only Force of Will to rely on to compete on turn 0, not anymore. If you can stop the turn 1 play regardless of what it is, you set yourself up in good shape. It may not seem obvious but you should be looking to counter a Brainstorm effect on your opponent’s first turn.
The Missteps older brother is [Card]Spell Snare[/Card] which may not have the free casting cost upside but with a shift away from two drops in Legacy, Spell Snare is rising in value. Further it counters that pesky [Card]Standstill[/Card] which many people have a problem with and don’t know how to play correctly so instead of agonizing over the correct line of play with a Standstill in play, stop it altogether.
A card from Team America’s past is [Card]Stifle[/Card], which has begun to see decreasing amounts of play across the board but without having a distinct reason to pinpoint. I’ve always been a fan of Stifle as casting one is often quite deflating to your opponent and with the emergence of Stoneforge Mystic, as well as fetch lands still being around, running one or two copies in a deck is never a bad idea.
As mentioned, the popular opinion is with the printing of Mental Misstep keeping a one land brainstorm hand is a bad idea, well Stifle is the card that makes keeping a one fetch land hand a really bad idea, as stifling your opponent’s fetch land when it’s their only source of mana has the same effect as “Wastelanding” their only land; it’s devastating.
Discard: I’m going to state it, you may not agree but I’m okay with that. [Card]Hymn To Tourach[/Card] is one of the most powerful cards in Legacy. For two black mana, target player discard two cards at random in their hand, that’s right two, making this the exact definition of a two for one spell. Where as cards like Duress or Despise hit specific card types, Hymn has no such qualms, instead it forces the player to play a game of chance, setting aside skill and deck construction, in search of the answer to “How good is your hand if you take away two random cards?” The Hymn can hit two lands, two gas cards or something in between if left unanswered or even if your opponent uses a [Card]Force of Will[/Card] on it to protect the cards in their hand, that’s still two for one value and playing a counter war over this card is one of the most advantageous things in Magic as if you win it, your opponent’s hand will usually be devastated.
To go along with Hymn To Tourach is the one mana discard spells such as [Card]Thoughtseize[/Card], [Card]Inquisition of Kozilek[/Card], [Card]Despise[/Card], [Card]Duress[/Card]. With the printing of [Card]Mental Misstep[/Card], these cards get slightly worse however can still be quite useful. The two I would recommend are Thoughtseize as it can pick off any card but also Inquisition, as usually the early game is when Team America is most vulnerable, as it can generally manage threats in the late game better.
Creature Killing Devices: Some people might say removal but with the introduction of the keyword “Die” in Magic 2012, killing device seems more appropriate as a term. The common removal spells are [Card]Doom Blade[/Card] and [Card]Go For The Throat[/Card], which for two mana are direct kill conditions, the difference being one targets artifacts and one targets black creatures so choose wisely, though the best bet is Go For The Throat, unless you’re surrounded by Affinity.
In the direct category is also [Card]Ghastly Demise[/Card] which requires cards in the graveyard to be effective but given fetch lands and counter magic, the requirement should be meet rapidly enough.
New to the scene though generally used as a sideboard strategy, though main deck consider is certainly justified, is [Card]Dismember[/Card]. The main question to ask if you’re running this card is “How high a cost are you willing to pay for Greatness?” The life cost can certainly take its toll but in the few games I’ve played with it, the card is awesome, even the people I was playing against were talking with their friends saying “Guys that card is the nuts we need to play them”
Enchantments: [Card]Sylvan Library[/Card] is the original Jace, allowing you to look at the top three cards of your library and then draw one of those cards while giving you the option to put the other two back in any order or paying four life for an extra card, which allows deck manipulation but also against decks that do not win by dealing damage allows for “free” draws. Many versions have been playing this as a one of for the potential upside it represents.
[Card]Phyrexian Arena[/Card] is a risker card to consider as along with the double black mana, it does not allow to “stem the bleeding” unlike library manipulation and Bob. While generating card advantage it also puts you on a quicker clock to kill your opponent, so try the Sylvan Library instead.
The last enchantment to discuss is [Card]Pernicious Deed[/Card]. If you do not know of the story behind this card you should check out Mark Rosewater’s column on explaining the card on the mother ship, as the card just oozes awesome. So what does it do, well for X you get to obliterate every creature, artifact and enchantment that costs X or less allowing you to essentially wipe the board and start fresh. Generally it’s a sideboard card as it isn’t great against every deck and it does not deal with Jace and or most big creatures but no one would fault you for playing it in the main board.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor: This isn’t standard and I don’t want to get into a standard debate so I’ll keep this short: you want this in your deck. Millions of people have written about this card and its effect in standard and why its good, well as it turns out, all of those reasons is why it is good in Legacy, and as I’ve mentioned you can use the Brainstorm effect in conjunction with Dark Confidant to layer your draws so as to minimize the lose of life, if you’re really greedy and have two spare lands you can have two Bobs in play because even though Bob is Legend… wait for it… Dary (Shout out to Davies) he is not Legendary meaning you can pseudo Ancestral Recall each turn making it Greatness, at no cost which is Legendaryness even NPH can get behind. (NPH = Neil Patrick Harris)
– [Card]Crucible of Worlds[/Card]: Recurring Wasteland and Fetch Lands seems good. Crucible is effective at dealing with slower decks by forcing them to play basics or have an immediate use for any non-basic put into play. (U/W and BUG Lanstill, Team America, RUG & Bant, depending on the build)
– [Card]Diabolic Edict[/Card]: Effective at hitting the big creatures with some form of evasion such as Emrakul, Ulamog, [Card]Progenitus[/Card] and [Card]Inkwell Leviathan[/Card] and it’s at instant speed which makes it especially good against Sneak Attack. (Ex. Sneak Show, Hive Mind, Doomsday & Reanimator)
– [Card]Engineered Plague[/Card]: You’ll want this in three matchups: Elves, Goblins & Merfolk. Some people sideboard it in for weird reasons against decks to get rid of stuff like [Card]Disciple of the Vault[/Card] but, as Eugene Ho would say, that’s a misplay. While this is not a hard lock against those decks, if you have the ability to deal with those early threats this can wreak havoc on your opponents game plan. (Elves, Goblins & Merfolk)
– [Card]Ghastly Demise[/Card]: Filling up your graveyard with cards is easy, making this a removal spell for
one which is effective against creature decks, especially those with a fast clock, just play around Tormod’s Crypt effects. (Zoo, Merfolk, Affinity, Bant)
– [Card]Krosan Grip[/Card]: Artifact and Enchantment hate for the particular bother some matchups and with increase Stoneforge play it’s a nice tool to answer the threat. (Ex. Countertop, Stoneforge.dec & Affinity)
– [Card]Life From The Loam[/Card]: Confession, I’ve never been a fan of this card out of the board for Team America. Now it does help pump Tarmogoyf and Terravore by proxy but its main purpose is to return lands to your hand to ensure you hit your land drops or to allow constant Wasteland recursion but I’ve always felt Crucible of Worlds was the better choice in this situation, as no one side boards in Krosan Grip against Team America. (Team America, Standstill and Junk)
– [Card]Llawan, Cephalid Empress[/Card]: Merfolk. It’s possible there are other decks that play blue creatures but you always want this against Merfolk as the only option available to deal with this is out of the board Submerge so be on the lookout, otherwise “Vialing” in a Merfolk per turn is something we can handle. Pro Tip: Using Llawan on [Card]Blighted Agent[/Card] is always funny.
– [Card]Maelstrom Pulse[/Card]: If you read KYT’s article last week, and if you didn’t go read it after finishing this, he mentions a conversation where the topic came up that Team America has no answer to [Card]Elspeth, Knight-Errant[/Card], well boys this is that answer. The obvious drawback is the non land part of the card but it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. Sometimes you’ll hit more than one permanent but otherwise Vindicate has always been good and this is as close as you’ll get. (U/W Landstill, Team America, Metalworker)
– [Card]Relic of Progenitus[/Card]: Graveyard Hate. The problem with this card is it removes both graveyards which can be back breaking for your [Card]Tarmogoyf[/Card]s and [Card]Terravore[/Card]s. If you need variety to get around [Card]Pithing Needle[/Card] but otherwise I recommend running the Crypt or Spellbomb. (Dredge, Reanimator and Team America)
– [Card]Submerge[/Card]: The best trick with this is to play it in response to your opponent cracking a fetch land as it shuffles their creature away. It may not seem ideal but a free spell is a free spell. (Team America, Junk and Elves)
– [Card]Thrun, The Last Troll[/Card]: Standstill. I’m sure it’s good against other decks but you want this guy to combat Standstill. Now the BUG version can have answers in the form of Innocent Blood and Diabolic Edict but the U/W version scoops to this guy as [Card]Wrath of God[/Card] is the only answer available and its note that common to see. (U/W and BUG Standstill, not Merfolk Standstill though)
– [Card]Tormods Crypt[/Card]: Single target graveyard hate, if you want the cantrip effect, no one will fault you for using [Card]Nihil Spellbomb[/Card] but both these cards remove your opponent’s graveyard while protecting yours to make your Goyfs, Terravores effective. (Dredge, Reanimate and Team America)
– [Card]Treetop Village[/Card]: I tried this out from the board for Tuesday night Legacy the week after U/W Standstill became popular again and it’s not amazing but it was effective in one game after Standstill landed. Its okay to net deck but try random things out every now and then, you may be surprised, which reminds me: #MoreFrank!
I’ve read your comments and received feedback on what I’ve been writing and next week I’ll be transitioning to writing articles as opposed to primers. I will come back to this format to go over certain deck types every now and then, if you have suggestions please let me know, but if I continue it will become repetitive and people will become disinterested which is something I want to avoid and I think my primer formula needs a decent amount of work.
So why play Team America. Many people discuss deck choices in regards to how powerful a deck is or how consistent a deck is and my argument is Team America is parts of both. In the world of unfair decks and cheating cards into play, Team America eschews all of that to instead be a deck that fairly casts spells that do unfair things. It packs what are arguably five of the best cards available in Legacy: Brainstorm, Force, Hymn, Jace & Tarmogoyf. And it is the model of consistency and the top of the pile in terms of tempo decks, significantly outclassing most decks in the late game. The major problem with the deck for people looking to get into the format is the cost associated with it and the unfortunate part is unlike other decks there is no real way to successfully navigate around this. The deck itself is quite complicated to play correctly as its one of the most thought inducing decks currently around in Legacy. And though you may die to Bob if you misplay, generally your cards out class your opponent’s cards so even if you misplay and make a big mistake, there should always be an answer to be found within your remaining library. A final note, to answer the question [Card]Avalanche Riders[/Card] is the only uncommon invitational card.
Before letting you go, I do want to give major props to Justin Richardson. This past weekend, Justin took down the Ottawa PTQ and is headed to Philadelphia in September to represent Mana Deprived & the Montreal magic playing community so join me in wishing him the best of luck.
Let me know what you think about the deck and the article in the comments, I’ll read every one and until next time: Have Fun Playing Magic!