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Thread: [Deck] Death and Taxes

  1. #1
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    [Deck] Death and Taxes

    In development since Time Spiral came out, Death and Taxes has become a peculiar kind of control deck. But since it is mostly creatures doing the controlling (with disruption and tricks), it looks like little more than white weenie to the casual observer. It never establishes actual control over the game either. The idea is to aggressively land creatures while creating a difficult environment for the opponent's deck to thrive in. "Taxes" refers to this kind of disruption. The deck wins by delaying or negating elements of the opponent's strategy while its creatures deliver damage.

    Death and Taxes is not especially fast. The control is not particularly powerful. It does not have a killer combo finish. It does not even have any especially broken cards. What it does have is a strategy that dismantles the engines of other decks and the ability to coax them into playing its game, not their own. Against other decks that hope to win with "fair" creatures in aggro or aggro-control style, D+T has a consistent advantage across the board. Against "unfair" decks D+T is still formidable, using atypical cards and disruption styles that these decks are usually not equipped to handle. Really, only a few decks have a consistent upper hand against D&T. See the matchups section for details.

    Because of it's generic forms of disruption, Death and Taxes should have a fighting chance against just about every other deck in Legacy when piloted properly. Of course there is a catch! To pilot the deck close to its potential you have to know both your deck and your opponent's deck intimately. Learning both your deck plus basically every deck you will face is a daunting task, especially in Legacy, but it is the nature of this deck to demand - and reward you for it. To assist all of you with this I will try to keep the matchup section up-to-date with the help of the other contributors.

    As you can imagine, there are plenty of creatures that have the potential to see play in a deck as broad as this one. There may be references in this primer to cards that are not in the deck that follows. Feel free to experiment with any disruptive creatures you wish, but the decklist here will be pretty close to ideal for competitive Legacy.

    Here's a place to start
    4 Wasteland
    4 Rishadan Port
    4 Karakas
    2 Horizon Canopy
    9 Plains

    4 Mother of Runes
    2 Judge's Familiar
    2 Phyrexian Revoker
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    4 Stoneforge Mystic
    4 Serra Avenger
    4 Flickerwisp
    3 Mangara of Corondor

    4 Swords to Plowshares

    4 Aether Vial
    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Batterskull


    Sideboard
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Sword of Light and Shadow
    1 Judge's Familiar
    2 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Ethersworn Canonist
    2 Oblivion Ring
    3 Rest In Peace
    3 Enlightened Tutor

    Being a mono-colored deck, it lacks the raw power of some of the many-color decks that you will be facing. But Legacy is perennially overloaded with decks trying to eke out every drop from their lands. This results in unstable manabases that can be ransacked. Death and Taxes arguably has the strongest mana denial suite in the format in part because it gets to use more of its lands to deprive those same greedy decks of their mana. This element alone will win plenty of games.

    I have a much better detailed, and better upkept thread on this deck here:
    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=306633
    Last edited by Finn; 11-17-2012 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
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    Re: [Deck]Death and Taxes

    1) Have you tried Pithing Needles, at least in the sideboard? Every time I've played against D&T it crapped its pants at the sight of an Engineered Explosives, let alone a Pernicious Deed.

    2) Is the good Ichorid matchup supposed to apply even to newer Narcobridge builds? I tried Bane of the Living's last list yesterday, and since its fundamental turn is 2-3, I find it hard to believe that Stonecloakers and Grunts are a big threat for the deck. New Ichorid plays a lot more like storm combo, except with dredgers instead of Rituals.
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  3. #3
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    Re: [Deck]Death and Taxes

    Nice primer. Mine as well share my list for the new thread

    Lands(22)
    3 plains
    4 scrubland
    7 fetches
    4 wasteland
    4 karakas

    Creatures(21)
    4 serra avenger
    4 Silver knight
    4 Dark confidant
    3 Mangara
    3 Isamaru
    3 jotun grunt

    Control(10)
    4 Stp
    3 mana tithe
    3 Cataclysm

    Utility(7)
    4 Vial
    3 Jitte

    Sideboard
    4 Chalice
    4 Tormod's crypt
    3 Duress
    3 E plauge
    1 Cataclysm

    The black splash gives this deck some draw, better combo hate, and the best answer to goblins. My list doesnt run samurai yet because its Im still testing it. I also dont run stonecloaker (with jittes, mangara lock, cards from confidant i think its a bad investment for your mana). Also wasteland has been better then port in testing.
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  4. #4
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    Re: [Deck]Death and Taxes

    I think it should be noted that when using Mangara on your opponent's turn, you activate it, your opponent gets priority, then you can bounce it.
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  5. #5
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    Re: [Deck]Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacul Kamadaka View Post
    I think it should be noted that when using Mangara on your opponent's turn, you activate it, your opponent gets priority, then you can bounce it.
    That is a common misconception. After a player has played a spell or an ability, that very same player gets priority back, regardless of whose turn it is. The active player gets priority first only at the beginning of a new step or after an object on the stack has resolved.
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  6. #6

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I am very sure you get priority before things resolve not after!
    You could put a lot of things on the stack but befor the stack resolves he will get priority even with split second...

    EDIT: after reading your post 3 times i realize you are right! But anyways your opponent could shoot your mangare before you bounce him...
    sorry for my bad english
    (tell me if there isnt all right with my signature:) )
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Hey Finn, don't mean to clutter up the thread space but congratulations! I've been out of Magic for several months now, but I remember the early stages of this deck. Lots have changed since then!

  8. #8
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    Re: [Deck]Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by PhaerimmArchlord View Post
    i built another d+t list for mad mankins they where almost the same he had +1 port +1 wastland -1 samuri -1 flaggstones his sb had 3x pithing N and no grunts.
    i ran

    white list with 2x cataclysm 3x samuri 3x port and 3x wastland
    my sb was
    3x abolish
    3x orms chant
    2x tivadar of thorn
    3x powder keg
    4x rebuff the wicked (my block constucted tec) witch was awsome it stoped so many thins it was another counterspell out of left field.with stonecloker my guys never really died.....ever.....i also kept jitte when the disenchant/whatever to remove it. no STPing Avenger in g2 no sink hole. it was good.
    i split with mankins at the dragons lair after we went 3/1/1 each
    then we went to of the wall games at 6
    i won the swiss mankins placed 2nd 4/0(me) mankins only loss was to me.
    by the way the mirror is a bitch. rebuff ftw in g2 to stop his STP on my jitted avenger. another 60 in credit 4 me and 35 for mankins

    Proper capitalization and punctuation are required on these boards. Please use them in the future. - Zilla
    Yes thats D&T taking 1st and 2nd in two tournamens in one day. Sick.

    I honestly think the Ichorid matchup is unfavorable.. Samurai does help but as long as your opponent doesnt mulligan to oblivion or play into your Mana Tithes I think D&T is in danger of losing the early game. Getting Jitte online will almost always end it though..

    Nice to see this deck finally start getting the respect its long deserved.
    Now playing real formats.

  9. #9
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Nihil
    1) Have you tried Pithing Needles, at least in the sideboard? Every time I've played against D&T it crapped its pants at the sight of an Engineered Explosives, let alone a Pernicious Deed.

    2) Is the good Ichorid matchup supposed to apply even to newer Narcobridge builds? I tried Bane of the Living's last list yesterday, and since its fundamental turn is 2-3, I find it hard to believe that Stonecloakers and Grunts are a big threat for the deck. New Ichorid plays a lot more like storm combo, except with dredgers instead of Rituals.
    1. I have not. I don't see any particular reason why you shouldn't if that crap is a problem. Pernicious Deed can kiss my ass, though. It's really good in games when you don't draw enough creatures. Explosives, I have never had a problem with, as it usually only gets about two permanents. Thing is about board sweepers, you rarely have more than a couple of creatures and an artifact out anyway, except against the kinds of decks that don't play those cards. What was the circumstance that made it such a big play?

    2. Yes. Well, sorta. My own experiences have been mostly positive, but I am inclined to think I have been lucky a lot. If you have Samurai or Grunt in play on turn two, you can last long enough to get something like an Avenger w/Jitte or repeated Stonecloaker uses to seal the deal. But even a surprise blocker that dies and removes bridges can be good. That is the sort of things I have done. But there is no backup plan in this matchup. Ichy really plays like combo in that sense. Cataclysm is a short term solution, and Mangara lock has been useless for me. As for PhaerimmArchlord, I think he made a deal with the devil or something, because apparently he always gets the cards he needs every game in a deck with no draw. So I don't really know what to say about his games.

    @Faluzure - thx. Good to see you back.

    @Cthulu - Yes, they can. The good players do. But you still got a 2-for-1 atleast. I can't tell you how many times I have played people who get upset that they shot a Lightning Bolt at Serra Avenger the turn before only to see Mangara off a vial on turn 4.

  10. #10
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by TrialByFire View Post
    D+T. Raping a Masachusetts meta near you.
    Sigged for truth

    Edit: I just saw a interesting card that may be good enough to sideboard


    Vengeful dreams WW
    As a additional cost discard X cards from your hand

    Remove X target attacking creatures from the game.

    This card is good against most aggro decks. I knowthat this deck already has a good matchup against them, but this card does look strong. just throwing it out there.
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  11. #11

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Sheesh, this change of venue took long enough. D+T is the deck to beat in Alabama. Landstill is big, and Ichy too, but this one seems to be the fav for a while now. Can't believe WW is winning.

    About Vengeful Dreams, even with all the potential for duplicate legendary stuff, I still don't tend to have extra stuff in my hand very often. I am iffy on this card. What's wrong with Condemn?
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    @Finn & PhaerimmArchlord: My build of D&T is one of the earlier ones. Back then, I remember specifically that we were trying to figure out what creature was best for the 2CC slot.

    Anyway, I noticed that Hokori, Dust Drinker is totally out of the deck altogether. now. I noticed that Finn did mention him as a "other popular" card. I can attest to the fact that he has won me many games with his soft lock. Of course in match ups where he was useless, I always sideboarded him out. I was wondering what lead to the dismissal of Hokori. I assume it was because of the inclusion of Cataclysm?

  13. #13

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Is there a list with the blue splash?
    I think whene you make a splash keep the splash very light! That means much fetches few tundras and maby one island! Wasteland isnt that problem because we play anyways a Karakas!

    Mana thithe = Daze
    random beater = Meddling Mage
    and for sure Brainstorm!

    I dont know what cards to cut...

    Could someone post a list?
    sorry for my bad english
    (tell me if there isnt all right with my signature:) )
    i came from austria...

  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I just realized that you run explosives in that list. What was your reasoning behind this. It seems like explosives would hurt you alot and sometimes more then your opponent.

    Edit: I also am looking forward to Lorwyn. Does D&T get any new/playable cards from this set.
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    @PhaerimmArchlord: Another question: Since you are already running blue, a few 1cc artifacts and set your Vial to 3, why not Trinket Mage? Most likely it's overkill, but i would hear some opinions about that.

    PS: Please use proper capitalization and punctuation - your posts are a pain in the ass to read in the current state.

  16. #16

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I have been trying out 8.5 Tails. It's pretty handy to have in the True Believer spot for game one, and then in the Mana Tithe spot for games two and three. Has anyone else tried out this strategy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo
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  17. #17
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I tried it, but it was only really good in topdeck mode. At any other times, spending three mana to counter a removal spell tended to be a worse option than just doing something else with the mana; using the ability to dodge/survive combat basically never came up since it was unneeded if I had a Jitte or an Avenger, and if I had neither I wasn't going to win the race or even trade successfully.

    I agree that True Believer is too often a Grizzly Bear to deserve a maindeck slot (at least in any meta where you'd want to play D&T). I believe the best choices in replacement are either 2 maindeck Grunts, which are amazing 85% of the time and terrible the remaining 15%; or Samurai of the Pale Curtain #3-4, which have a very useful ability and always trade with a Mongoose (unlike my old favourite Knight of the Holy Nimbus). Power vs. consistency, essentially.
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    With a new anti-combo bomb revealed, is it worth now to consider a green splash? It would give you Tarmogofy as well, although the deck rather lacks ways to utilize it.

  19. #19
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Tarmogofy as well, although the deck rather lacks ways to utilize it
    When will people understand, that, as everybody is playing this creature, there is no gain in playing suboptimal cards just to pump it up. Just play it in order to make your opponent waste some creature removal or to block your opponent's tarmo. That's stupid, but that's the clever way to play it.

    I believe taht Death and Taxes would be the only deck that would take advantage of this new card, except that it prevents you to play Cataclysm. You know better than me if it's affordable to abandon the cataclysm.

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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Maveric78f View Post
    When will people understand, that, as everybody is playing this creature, there is no gain in playing suboptimal cards just to pump it up. Just play it in order to make your opponent waste some creature removal or to block your opponent's tarmo. That's stupid, but that's the clever way to play it.

    I believe taht Death and Taxes would be the only deck that would take advantage of this new card, except that it prevents you to play Cataclysm. You know better than me if it's affordable to abandon the cataclysm.
    I agree with your first paragraph.


    Edit: Nevermind. Reading comprehension = 0.

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