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  1. #1
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    My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    I. Licilisk

    Main:
    Mana // Speed:
    18 Forest
    4 Llanowar Elves
    4 Quirion Ranger

    Beatdown // Board control:
    4 Viridian Longbow
    4 Thornweald Archer
    4 Tempting Licid
    4 Thicket Basilisk

    Additional beatdown // Back-up:
    4 Durkwood Baloth
    4 Penumbra Spider
    4 Deadwood Treefolk

    Disruption:
    3 Heap Doll
    2 Thorn of Amethyst

    Card quality management:
    1 Darksteel Pendant

    Sideboard:
    2 Wheel of Sun and Moon
    3 Nurturing Licid
    3 Essence Warden
    1 Heap Doll
    4 Seal of Primordium
    2 Thorn of Amethyst

    Speed 4/5, Gameplan performance 4/5, Flexibility 3/5, Late gameplan 5/5, Anticombo protection 2/5


    II. Gorgon_Sligh


    Main:
    Mana // Speed:
    17 Mountain
    2 Molten Slagheap
    4 Simian Spirit Guide

    Cc1 Creatures (12):
    4 Keldon Halberdier
    4 Brass Gnat
    4 Martyr of Ashes

    Cc2 Creatures (7):
    4 Blood Knight
    3 Skirk Marauder

    Cc3 Creatures (5):
    1 Akroma, Angel of Fury
    4 Orcish Artillery

    Utility // Burn etc:
    4 Lightning Bolt
    1 Flaring Pain
    4 Fury Charm
    3 Gorgon Flail
    1 Darksteel Pendant

    Sideboard:
    1 Puppet Strings
    4 Thran Foundry
    2 Manabarbs
    1 Flaring Pain
    1 Gorgon Flail
    1 Dizzying Gaze
    1 Skirk Marauder
    4 Red Elemental Blast

    Speed 4/5, Gameplan performance 5/5, Flexibility 2/5, Late gameplan 3/5, Anticombo protection 1/5


    III. Divine_Scale


    Main:
    Mana:
    20 Plains
    4 Guardian Idol

    The Core Engine:
    4 Restore Balance
    4 Ivory Giant
    4 Jhoira's Timebug
    3 Spawning Pit
    2 Arcane Spyglass

    Additional board control:
    4 Whipcorder
    4 Icy Manipulator
    3 Oblivion Ring

    Disruption:
    4 Beckon Apparition
    2 Mana Tithe
    2 Sphere of Resistance

    Sideboard:
    2 Wheel of Sun and Moon
    1 Oblivion Ring
    2 Sphere of Resistance
    1 Pearled Unicorn
    3 Disenchant
    2 Mana Tithe
    4 Children of Korlis

    Speed 2/5, Gameplan performance 3/5, Flexibility 5/5, Late gameplan 4/5, Anticombo protection 3/5


    IV. Suiblack

    Main:
    Mana:
    18 Swamp
    2 Molten Slagheap

    Beatdown:
    4 Darksteel Axe
    4 Grimclaw Bats
    4 Yotian Soldier

    Board control:
    4 Snuff Out
    4 Skinthinner

    Discard:
    4 Duress
    4 Augur of Skulls

    Other disruption:
    4 Faerie Macabre
    4 Thoughtpicker Witch

    Reinforcement:
    4 Grim Harvest

    Sideboard:
    4 Transmogrifying Licid
    4 Leonin Bola
    4 Death Cultist
    3 Crypt Rats

    Speed 3/5, Gameplan performance 2/5, Flexibility 2/5, Late gameplan 4/5, Anticombo protection 3/5

  2. #2
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    Re: My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    Might be better to write a small explanation on how each deck works, makes it easier to understand and comment about it.
    Burn

    Pox

    Affinity

    Aggro Elves

    BW Control

  3. #3
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    Re: My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiago_B. View Post
    Might be better to write a small explanation on how each deck works, makes it easier to understand and comment about it.
    OK

    All these decks are sort of aggro-control type.

    Red one and green one are almost twins. They both use direct damage from deathtouch creatures to control board and both suspend beaters as middle/late game decisive factor. They are also able to finish opponents via direct damage.

    Green deck is more sophisticated: able to recover from creature destruction with treefolks and play around almost any blockers with lure-licids. Licid + Basilisk is an old and primitive, but efficient way to deal with most opponent's creatures including protection (one point though: changeling ability protects, because the Basilisk's text says "non-wall"). Mass killings of manaelves and rangers (Pyroclasm) slow it terribly - this is the weakest point.

    Red deck is more resilient vs mana-denial and early mass killings, but cannot recover in late game. It is more or less old-style Geeba-Sligh upgraded for new creature's power-creep with deathtouch and maintains ability to interact in late game nevertheless. Equipped deathtouching first-strikers and Fury Charms (i.e. defacto Shatters) can face popular Stoneforge Mystic strategies based on Batterskull. Protection can be answered by Flaring Pain or boosted colorless morphs (trample + deathtouch) and flyers. Martyr answers weenies, tokens (EtW, Bridge), elves, goblins or whatever, and has decent synergy with own suspends and flyers. From my experience in Forge, Vault Skirges over Brass Gnats is not an improvement here.

    Black deck is probably the weakest one vs aggro, but contains best answers vs combo and also decent late-game strategy reusing graveyard vs control. Most of the time it wins with flyers. Thoughtpicker Witch is the key card vs top-deck tutors, Brainstorms and Doomsday, and to reuse Skinthinners. Skinthinner looks sub-optimal, but it is the best way to deal with Iona-based color lock.

    White deck is the hardest one to play correctly. Its strategy relies on resolved Restore Balance + sacrifice to Spawning Pit and tapping opponent's threats. Good timing with Timebugs is crucial, especially if opponents plays counterspells. This deck loses horribly to classic monored Legacy Goblins and sometimes struggles to survive without its key cards.

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    Re: My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    Thank you for sharing your decks.

    While I understand the concept of "budget" and "casual", there are plenty of dirt cheap yet better cards that you could use in your decks to fill the same strategies. In particular, the mana curves look quite high for low land counts. Some of your decks run resistors (e.g. Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst) but also have their own high casting cost cards or activation costs. Doesn't that create mana difficulties? Or maybe it doesn't relative to the other decks, but I bet changing the curves and land counts would help your lists run more smoothly.

    Example:
    You're running the old Thicket Basilisk + Tempting Licid combo to kill all of opponent's blockers. But there are so many cheaper deathtouch creatures these days. For example Wren's Run Vanquisher is pretty cheap for you considering you run some Elves, would be even more reliable with more Elves in the deck. Or you could run Ambush Viper, which doubles as a combat trick. True, Thicket can kill any number of creatures (unlike a 2-power deathtouch creature that can only kill 2), but it's still very expensive for a 2/4. The Thicket combo also doesn't deal with creatures that are already tapped (from attacking or activated abilities). It also really raises your curve to have Basilisk as a 4-of along with other expensive creatures like Deadwood Treefolk and Penumbra Spider. Yes, you have mana acceleration, but 8 mana elves+18 lands still doesn't make it easy to cast them early. These days Green can blow up a lot of creatures using deathtouch and Ulvenwald Tracker or other cheap fight effects like Pit Fight. You can give arbitrary creatures deathtouch with Nightshade Peddler, including any regenerator (River Boa) or indestructible creature (Phantom Centaur, Predator Ooze) or fatty so you can repeatedly make it fight things and live. Meanwhile, these cards are easier on your curve. Also, suspending Durkwood Baloth is pretty bad when you can just spend 3 mana for Leatherback Baloth. Green power creep means waiting several turns for a green fatty is not necessary.

    For Sui-Black, I'm confused how Yotian Solider (a defensive card) and Grimclaw Bats (a slow mana sink) count as "beatdown". Why not just run 4 Dark Ritual and churn out aggressive threats like Vampire Lacerator, Carnophage, Skittering Skirge, Dauthi Slayer, Dauthi Horror, Rakdos Cackler, Diregraf Ghoul, Ashenmoor Gouger, Vampire Nighthawk or anything else like that? You can still back that up with a similar discard plan and creature removal via Snuff Out and Shriekmaw. Or if you want a more disruptive angle, you can run Chittering Rats to wreck the opponent's draws for the rest of the game.

    Is Flaring Pain better than Skullcrack?

  5. #5
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    Re: My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    Indeed there is a lot of room for alternatives.

    In particular, the mana curves look quite high for low land counts. Some of your decks run resistors (e.g. Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst) but also have their own high casting cost cards or activation costs. Doesn't that create mana difficulties? Or maybe it doesn't relative to the other decks, but I bet changing the curves and land counts would help your lists run more smoothly.
    Green deck runs manaelves as accelerators and contains almost no non-creature cards, so Thorn of Amethyst affects opponent more. Early mass killings pose huge problem as I have already mentioned. Originally I tried only 16 lands and it was unacceptable. 18 is right count IMO.

    White deck runs Guardian Idols and no really mana-expensive cards or abilities. Sphere can prevent own unwanted suspended Balance, if opponent eliminates Pits and Timebugs from operation. 4 Spheres were too much and created unpleasant situations sometimes, 4 Mana Tithes made the deck too reactive and were almost useless in late game. 2/2 split is right compromise here.

    Red and black decks run a few storage lands each. Red deck contains 1 mana-expensive card (red Akroma), but it doesn't matter that much as she is usually played facedown and turned up much later or never. She is here more or less as a surprise and joke for Show and Tell. Red deck has rarely problems with mana.

    OTOH, black deck has huge problems with mana quite often. Grimclaw Bats and Skinthinner have really mana-intesive abilities to compete with more efficient modern creatures and as consequence Grim Harvest is either usually lost or its graveyard ability forces me to keep wasting 3 free mana each turn. Bats were intended to become main kill machines utilizing all abundant black mana (with no fetchland thinning), but paying life can be painful in open damage race vs aggro, so I usually end up playing in defense. I have some ideas how to fix it, but I would have to buy/trade cards a bit first as these decks are intended to be built from real paper cards.

    You're running the old Thicket Basilisk + Tempting Licid combo to kill all of opponent's blockers. But there are so many cheaper deathtouch creatures these days. (...)
    Deathtouch doesn't work vs first strike and vs protection (and damage prevention in general). True-Name Nemesis, Progenitus and Sphinx of the Steel Wind are too popular to be ignored. Viable alternatives for Thicket are: Tangle Asp and Sylvan Basilisk. Compared with Thicket, both have their pros and cons. True, Tangle Asp is much easier to cast and destroys changelings/walls, but it is too prone to red burn and is too small to survive as blocker - trades 1:1 here. Sylvan is excellent in attack - kills before combat damage, but doesn't trigger on defense. Moreover, I have some doubts about Sylvan Basilisk's rulings: text says destroy blocking creature, not all blocking creatures. Thicket has best synergy with Quirion Ranger's ability from these three, but IMO Tangle Asp would be worthy to try.

    The Thicket combo also doesn't deal with creatures that are already tapped (from attacking or activated abilities).
    Creatures tapped from attacking may become untapped by Ranger and smaller creatures with activated abilities are usually killed by damage from the Longbow equipment.

    Also, suspending Durkwood Baloth is pretty bad when you can just spend 3 mana for Leatherback Baloth. Green power creep means waiting several turns for a green fatty is not necessary.
    That is the question! Suspend is easy to pay and puts additional psychological pressure on opponent.

    For Sui-Black, I'm confused how Yotian Solider (a defensive card) and Grimclaw Bats (a slow mana sink) count as "beatdown". Why not just run 4 Dark Ritual and churn out aggressive threats like Vampire Lacerator, Carnophage, Skittering Skirge, Dauthi Slayer, Dauthi Horror, Rakdos Cackler, Diregraf Ghoul, Ashenmoor Gouger, Vampire Nighthawk or anything else like that? You can still back that up with a similar discard plan and creature removal via Snuff Out and Shriekmaw. Or if you want a more disruptive angle, you can run Chittering Rats to wreck the opponent's draws for the rest of the game.
    I agree that the black deck needs complete revision, because it performs really bad just now. But surprisingly, Yotian Soldier is decent creature here and replaced Black Knights, because he acts both as blocker and attacker at the same time and survives Pyroclasm or Cursed Scroll.

    Is Flaring Pain better than Skullcrack?
    Yes, I think so (because of discard/counterspells).

  6. #6
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    Re: My semicasual/semicompetitive budget Legacy decks

    Shriekmaw seems like a straight up upgrade for your morph. Cheaper removal if you need removal earlier; better beater once you have the mana.

    If you run more efficient black creatures (e.g. all 1-3 cc other than Shriekmaw), then Unearth is a much better reanimation spell than spending 5 mana on Grim Harvests. The recursion isn't worth the slowness. There's also Phyrexian Reclamation if you want repeatable effects. Harvest has awful synergy with your deck since you want to tap out for the bats and equipment, but you need to keep 3 mana open at all times for Grim Harvest to avoid it getting exiled. If you had more efficient beaters, you wouldn't need to waste mana on the bats too. The Dauthi cycle is pretty decent for cheap unblockable budget black attackers. Equipment on a Dauthi ends on the game quickly, with your mana open to cast spells and interact with the opponent.

    Yotian Solider works on defense, but a sui-black deck doesn't need to be defensive with creatures. You have access to more efficient, more aggressive creatures than many other decks. Black can play better defense by destroying creatures than by blocking. Creatures that can't be destroyed by spells (e.g. protection from black, protection from everything) often can't be stopped by blocking anyway. Yotian Solider also doesn't block flyers (Delver, Clique, Spirit tokens, Flickerwisp, etc.). If you run better removal and more aggressive creatures, I think you'll find you no longer need the 1/4 to block. Not like it really stops Batterskull or Tarmogoyf anyway.

    If you're playing against slow casual decks it may not be a big deal, but otherwise I think you're underestimating how slow 5cc creatures and 3-mana equip costs are when you have few lands. 18 lands + 8 fragile Elves is not enough to speed that up consistently (unless the decks you're facing lack removal or are also slow and/or you're not properly randomizing your deck). I would look at recent Standard midrange manabases from the last few years. Many of those decks (e.g. RG Monsters) run mana elves but will also run closer to 24-26 lands to help them consistently play their many powerful 5-drops. There's nothing wrong with 5-drops and 6-drops, especially in a casual environment, but many other constructed formats have proven they're much easier to consistently cast with at least 24 lands. Legacy Elves run around 18 lands, but they also have Gaea's Cradle, more mana Elves, and a significantly lower overall mana curve. Perhaps something to keep in mind.

    You can also just lower your curve by running tutors (e.g. Worldly Tutor, Mwonvuli Beast Tracker) instead of having 4-ofs all your fatties. That way you still have as easy access to them but your overall mana curve isn't clogged up with so many expensive cards.

    Sylvan Basilisk triggers for each creature that blocks it, so each individual trigger will destroy a different blocking creature (without targetting it). In case you were wondering about the rules. But Walls and Changelings are rarely played so it doesn't have much of an edge. Although you can theoretically kill TNN and Progenitus, you're not playing any haste enablers. Therefore, opponent will have an entire turn between you casting a Basilisk and you being able to attack with it. That means opponent can just attack with their TNN/Progenitus to avoid getting them killed. Meanwhile, you spent 5 mana on a 2-power creature and more mana on a Licid, so chances are they are just plain outracing you. I seriously doubt the Basilisk plan is actually helping you win games against TNN in practice. Those decks also run a number of counterspells and removal spells to disrupt your "combo" for much less mana than you invest in it. So they have multiple lines of play to get around it. With all that said, I doubt the Basilisk combo is helping you win games against those protection cards. Maybe it helps you win games against casual decks with "protection from green" and lots of "first strike" creatures, so there is potential merit there over just running more deathtouch. But 4 copies is probably too many.

    In a green deck, Suspending a 5/5 is powerful and potentially scary if done on turn 1. Every later turn of the game, it becomes the worst topdeck ever. What might be a psychological advantage against easy-to-intimidate mediocre plays is more often an information disadvantage against a better opponent. For those turns it is suspended, you are playing with -1 card in hand and they know exactly what is coming and when so they can time their plays and plan out their next turns appropriately. Personal choice I guess. There's merit to running the suspenders in your other colors, but green just has so many cheap fatties already...

    With a high enough creature count, your green deck could benefit from card draw like Lead the Stampede. Refuelling after mass-removal is good. You probably don't need card draw yet since your curve is so high that you're playing at most 1 card a turn, but if you lower the curve and play threats faster you might find card drawing offsets any drawback of playing your hand faster. Something to consider.

    Red has so many cheap burn effects that the morph guy just seems awful. Has psychological edge with the 1-of Akroma, but at that point you might as well just run 4 Zoetic Cavern in your land slot instead of wasting creatures/removal on a really awful card. Flametongue Kavu, Ghitu Slinger, Ember Hauler and so many others are better creature+burn combos.

    Vault Skirge is also miles better than Brass Gnat. 2 damage is nothing compared to having to spend mana every turn to untap the Gnat. Especially nothing when Lifelink can gain the life back.

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