These articles are my favorite to write -- full of nothing but speculation on what cards could/should/would see play in different formats. Legacy is a format whose vast card pool is matched only by that of Vintage. This provides many problems with Legacy, as there are not as many people trying to break the format as there are in Vintage, Extended, and Standard. This article will give a small insight into the could/should/would cards of Dissension for Legacy.
Should cards are a step higher on the ladder than could cards. Many of them will get tested right away, and many of them will be looked at, while others will just float away into "couldness" forever. Cards that excelled under this list are Fire // Ice, Withered Wretch and Auriok Salvagers.
- Nightcreep: Homebrew gets more answers for High Tide decks in this card. Play it during the upkeep when Reset is a dead card, or when Salgame is going off, and you have a way to stop combo. A great sideboard card in Legacy, with two or three copies showing up in black sideboards.
-Indrik Stomphowler: This replaces Viridian Zealot and Viridian Shaman in Survival decks. The big 4/4 body makes it better than both of them, and it targets both enchantments and artifacts.
- Loaming Shaman: Survival decks, here you go once again. I think this is much better in Extended, with the importance of the graveyard there. Still, this card can be very useful in Survival decks, as you get back discarded cards, or you can make the opponent's graveyard go away if it's important to their deck.
- Utopia Sprawl: I really can’t see any one deck that could abuse this card. Well, maybe an Enchantress deck could use this, as it’s a one-drop enchantment and pays for itself right away. It’s like a free card in Enchantress decks.
- Demonfire: With the amount of counterspells in Legacy, and that fact that burn decks rarely have a ton of cards in their hand, this card will do for a great finisher around turns five to eight. Talk about a rebirth of Flower Power: a deck that uses Cadaverous Bloom and Squandered Resources to generate a ton of mana and then would go for the kill with Kaervek’s Torch. It now has a better finisher in Demonfire.
- Mistral Charger: It’s a 2/1 flyer for . Solid. You’ll see a decklist with this card shortly.
- Grand Arbiter Augustin IV: A 2/3 for 4 mana is something that is not all that great. This is the kind of card that a deck needs to be built around. Friends of mine have ideas on how to break it, but I don’t think that it will ever get off the ground.
- Pride of the Clouds: A better fit for the Extended and Standard metagames, it will still probably see its far amount of play in Legacy. The Forecast ability is good, but not great. Yet, in a deck with about 16 to 20 flying creatures, this little 1/1 for can be a 5/5 beatstick by turn 4.
- Simic Sky Swallower: Building a Natural Order deck around this guy is an idea I like. I would brown my pants at the sight of a turn 3 6/6 beatstick I couldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. There are ways around the big guy, like mass removal and bounce spells, as well as a bigger meaner creature: Akroma, Angel of Wrath. This is good enough to build a deck around; the question is, how good will that deck be, and can it win?
I believe most of the Should cards will see some play at one time or another. Some of them, like Grand Arbiter Augustin, I would say are up on that wall with Spell Snare.
Would cards are ones that, at first sight, you know you want them and you know you want to play them. Most competitive decks have around 25-40 would cards in them. I found two cards that right away were screaming at me as though they were being attacked by a bear.
- Infernal Tutor: Combine this with LED, and that’s all I have to say. Both Salvage Game and Iggy-Pop would abuse this card to the fullest and bring out all that it has. A future banning, maybe?
- Voidslime: Madness and Threshold decks have a great maindeck Counterspell and Stifle in one. It’s a little pricey at times for , but it’s so good. I would expect to see this over Pithing Needles in Threshold decks. This also makes U/G Madness much stronger in Legacy.
The Could cards are cards that you test against your friends or when you're goldfishing, to see where they stand up to the metagame. Much like dipping your feet into the water before going in headfirst, these cards spark ideas and create the most speculation in many decks. At first glance, cards like Werebear, Lion’s Eye Diamond and Lightning Rift were cards that belong in this section.
- Bronze Bombshell: Those of you that are on the Legacy forums probably saw my attempts at breaking this with Donate and Endless whispers as part of a combo. It works by having Endless Whispers and Bronze Bombshell on the table, and ether having a Donate, Massacre, Innocent Blood or Cabal Therapy in hand, making the bombshell a slap in the face for 7. FUN!
- Brain Pry: I like this card because it can help ether get important cards out of your opponent's hand, or give you an extra draw if it is needed. It is the budget card for people who don’t want to pay an unthinkable $6 for one Cabal Therapy. It may not be seen at too many major events, but the fact that it’s $1 for a playset makes budget players like me fall in love with it.
- Drekavac: The talk about Sui-black being a deck that can compete in Legacy may get a little louder. Don’t go buying 4x Juzam Djinn just because talk about the deck may be picking up in volume, though. It’s a strong card with a drawback that's not all that bad. It’s a big step up from Hidden Horror, which got to see some play back in the day.
- Psychic Possession: It can be broken, but at what cost? Deck ideas are already starting to boil in the Legacy and Extended forums. The main idea of the deck is to gain insane card advantage playing this card along with these two: Skyscribing and Vision Skeins. One major problem: it also gives your opponent card advantage. Only time will tell.
- Spell Snare: This is a border card. Sitting on top of the wall between Could and Should, Spell Snare is trying to pick a side to land on. Many heavily played decks in Legacy have a high 2-cc mana curve: Homebrew, Salvage Game Combo, and Threshold. It could be used, maindeck or sideboard, over Daze in the right matchups. Past that, I really don’t see much use for the card.
- Azorius Herald: It's strong in weenie decks, and goes great with Umezawa’s Jitte and Sword of Fire and Ice. U/W Tempo decks are getting a lot of thoughts aimed their way, and just off the top of my head, I would play the deck something like this:
|U/W TempoMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Flooded Strand
4 Windswept Heath
4 Cloud Pirates
4 Flying Men
4 Mistral Charger
4 Pride of the Clouds
4 Azorius Herald
2 Exalted Angel
4 Chrome Mox
4 Memory Lapse
3 Sword of Fire and Ice
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
4 Pithing Needle
2 Exalted Angel
3 Spell Snare
3 Orim’s Chant
- Azorius First-Wing: It’s a good option for Extended play, but there are just better creatures in Legacy than this guy. But, anytime there is a 2/2 flyer for 2, you can’t help but to give it a whirl.
- Lyzolda, the Blood Witch: There has not been a great Black/Red deck in any format since the days of Tom van De Logt taking Machine Head to his World Championship win during the days of Invasion. Lyzolda is one of many Black/Red cards that you will see on this list. Maybe these cards will be enough for someone to try and make what is my favorite color combination in Magic into a powerhouse once again.
- Pain Magnification: Burn players are always looking for cards that could help in the control matchup. Not too many look into other colors to find help with what is a bad matchup, but they might now. Add fetchlands and 4x Badlands and your burn deck just got a little more difficult to control.
- Rakdos Augermage: Like the Blood Witch, it suffers for lack of a Black/Red deck in Legacy. The card itself being a 3/2 first striker for is not all that bad. It doesn’t die to Piledriver and kills Nimble Mongoose on sight; on top of that, it has a good ability.
- Swift Silence: At 5 mana, it will be a little too late to help combat most combo decks in Legacy. Seeing that High tide, Salgame and Iggy-Pop love to go off around turns 3 to 4, Swift silence is just not swift enough to try. It may be used as a casual card for card shop decks.
- Windreaver: No one in their right mind would use this guy over Superman himself. Maybe as another beatstick to go along side Superman, like a Robin type character (if Superman had a sidekick). It’s good, but not broken, and is much easier to kill then the man in blue himself. Budget players should buy this card. Non-budget players already have a set of Morphlings.
- Wrecking Ball: If B/R can catch on, so can this card. It’s not that often that a card like this is printed, especially at the common level. The cost is a little high, but it’s an instant and that helps it out a lot.
Hybrid and Split:
- Avatar of Discord: In a Sui-black deck, this could work. Casting a Dark Ritual into a 5/3 flyer would scare a lot of people. But the cost of most of your hand is little much to ask. It may also be used in some Madness decks as a fast discard outlet. This card will probably stay out of Legacy, but some people will be tempted to try this, and they should. On paper, it looks great.
- Hide // Seek: Seek maybe used in Homebrew decks as a SB card to remove important combo cards from decks. Most High Tide decks run either one or two copies of their win condition,Brain Freeze. Removing that could be big in the matchup. Outside of that, the uses for this card are blank.
- Odds // Ends: Odds is very strong for an Isochron Scepter deck. Counter it or copy it. The bad news is that Scepter is not all that great of a deck in legacy. This is due to the fact that it’s a little slow, and the amount of hate for something like that is much greater in Legacy than in Extended. I could also see testing this in U/G/R threshold decks. The only question there is, what do you cut?
- The Shock lands: Great for budget players, but if you want to win at major events, you go with the old school duals.
- Ghost Quarter: A questionable card that many people would sideboard in for matchups that are high in duals and nonbasic lands. Decks like Dirt and Threshold use a small amount of basic lands, and in that case, this card can turn into a budget Wasteland.
Before you race to judge me and my card choices, Could cards are ones that rarely see play in competitive Legacy. These are cards that, for the most part are for casual Legacy. Legacy players that love the budget decks, and thus love many of these cards because they are cheap and can be good, if the deck made the right way. You would never go to a Pro Tour playing with Ghost Quarter and Blood Crypt and except to win. Would you?
Now that the review is over, I fully expect to see Infernal Tutor and Lion’s Eye Diamond together all over the place. After all, I bought a set of Tutors to go along side by side with my Diamonds when I first saw the spoiler.
Until the next time I write, have a wonderful day.