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Thread: Legacy Spirits

  1. #1
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    Legacy Spirits

    Can Legacy Spirits be viable today ?

    Spirit decks already have some excellent building blocks and just recently got another very good card in Skyclave Apparition.
    SA is great by itself already but being a Spirit it can also get all the +1/+1 boosts and Flash & Hexproof abilities on top in a Spirit deck.

    Crucial to playing Spirits imho is Spirit of the Labyrinth. This is the card that sets Spirit tribal apart from other tribals, combined with mass Hexproof and mass Flash.
    Since card draw is such an integral part of Legacy, found in nearly every deck, she can outright wreck a number of decks while slowing others down to a crawl.
    Legacy staples which get impacted by SotL include among others, Ponder, Baleful Strix, Arcum's Astrolabe etc.

    With SotL out we can still get around her with Brainstorm ( the opponent as well obviously ) and Mikokoro, center of the Sea. Using Mikokoro at the end of opponent's turn gives you a card while negating the opponent one.

    With SotL slowing down card draw ( smaller hand sizes ) and with all your Spirits potentially having flash, I think this deck may no longer have a need for Aether Vial.
    With Aether Vial out, there are no artifacts left in the deck.
    This means Null Rod can be added to our sideboard.

    Another useful addition may be Subterranean Tremors.
    It does require a red splash but the mana base is large enough to carry that imo and it does cover some weaknesses.
    Spirits feels to me like it's a finesse deck and it may get overwhelmed by stronger creatures initially.
    Being able to have a one sided boardwipe and potentially take out all artifacts at the same time combined with the SotL's slow recovery ability may mean your opponent wil be unable to recover from this setback.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    My current version :
    https://deckstats.net/decks/51702/1813366-spirits

  2. #2
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    Spirit decks already have some excellent building blocks and just recently got another very good card in Skyclave Apparition.
    SA is great by itself already but being a Spirit it can also get all the +1/+1 boosts and Flash & Hexproof abilities on top in a Spirit deck.
    SA is a great reason to play Spirits and should possibly be a 4-of, as it's one of the few spirit effects that can proactively respond to the board state (instead of just countering spells, countering removal via hexproof, or preventing draws). It can shut down nonsense when you're behind, which is something the other effects lack. Just a great card on its own, and even better next to Spirit lords and hexproof effects.

    Crucial to playing Spirits imho is Spirit of the Labyrinth. This is the card that sets Spirit tribal apart from other tribals, combined with mass Hexproof and mass Flash.
    Spirit of the Labyrinth was never that strong in D&T. It's still a good spirit, but I would not force so many copies in the main when you could be running versatile flyers like Selfless Spirit (much better body when you don't need either effect). Selfless Spirit protecting Captain, Queller and SA from removal is pretty big. Also SotL is a nonbo with the best card in your deck, Brainstorm.

    With SotL out we can still get around her with Brainstorm ( the opponent as well obviously )
    How? Even on the opponent's EOT you will only draw 1 card and then put back 2 cards from hand.

    4 Brainstorm + 3 SotL seems bad, and if you have to pick one there's no question which is the better card...

    Edit: I stand corrected. Other Legacy spirit decks are running SotL over Brainstorm. But never both.
    https://mtgdecks.net/Legacy/spirits

    Another useful addition may be Subterranean Tremors.
    It does require a red splash but the mana base is large enough to carry that imo and it does cover some weaknesses.
    Does a 1-3cc curve tribal aggro deck want to run an XR sweeper? The X=4 mode seems unlikely to kick in, especially the X=8 mode. If you just want to wipe up ground weenies, you could splash something like SB Firespout or Rough // Tumble. Firespout is much better until you hit 5 mana. Are you maindecking this and splashing another color only for what it can do at 5+ mana?


    Some other spirits:


    Edit: Here's a lower-to-the-ground version


    //Spirits: 28
    4 Mausoleum Wanderer
    3 Spectral Sailor
    4 Supreme Phantom
    4 Rattlechains
    3 Selfless Spirit
    4 Drogskol Captain
    4 Skyclave Apparition
    2 Spell Queller

    //Spells: 12
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Swords to Plowshares

    //Lands: 20
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Prismatic Vista
    3 Tundra
    2 Snow-Covered Island
    2 Snow-Covered Plains
    1 Moorland Haunt

    //Sideboard: 15
    3 Remorseful Cleric
    1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
    1 Spell Queller
    1 Kataki, War's Wage
    1 Null Rod
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Spell Pierce
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Deafening Silence


    Might still be better with Aether Vial
    Last edited by FTW; 12-03-2020 at 06:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    @FTW , always nice to get some response to a thread.

    You're correct of course on Brainstorm. Not a good fit.

    I know Subterranean Tremors is a stretch but I didn't put it in to use at 5+CC.
    It's also useful at CC2+. The ability to wipe out all artifacts at 5 mana is just an added possibility that makes me prefer it over Firespout. The 8+ ability obviously was never a consideration.

    I agree Skyclave Apparition may be a 4-of in a Spirit deck although the opponent may not always have a worthy target out.
    So, I'm going to use 3MD + 1SB for now.

    Spectral Sailor deserves a spot, though not more than 1 I think, since he only reaches his full potential when you reach 5 mana ( flash + immediate draw )

    Unsettled Mariner was cut because his ability becomes mostly useless when Hexproof kicks in and because he doesn't have evasion.

    Phantasmal Image was cut because he doesn't gain Flash and because I'd rather put in another copy of the card he would be supposed to copy.
    I understand he gives you flexability and can occasionally copy an opposing beater but overall I feel like this deck doesn't really need him.

    Shacklegeist is a nice addition. 1MD + 1SB

    Why only 2 Spell Quellers in your version ?
    Personally I think this is a 4-of, especially since the deck operates off Flash.
    You can sit on your mana and keep all options open all the time, including countering + putting a Spirit in play at the same time.

    Overall, thanks for the suggestions.
    Deck currently looking like this.
    https://deckstats.net/decks/51702/1813366-spirits

  4. #4
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    I know Subterranean Tremors is a stretch but I didn't put it in to use at 5+CC.
    It's also useful at CC2+. The ability to wipe out all artifacts at 5 mana is just an added possibility that makes me prefer it over Firespout. The 8+ ability obviously was never a consideration.
    If it's a pet card of yours it's worth testing. Below 5cc it's Earthquake, which has never been mana-efficient enough to be playable in most formats, rarely even making it into Standard (when it was in print). At the 2-4cc range, something like Rough // Tumble usually gets the job done. I saw that in some Spirit SBs. Paying an extra mana to deal the same amount of damage is a big tempo suck, and you usually want this effect against fast decks with mana denial.

    Spectral Sailor deserves a spot, though not more than 1 I think, since he only reaches his full potential when you reach 5 mana ( flash + immediate draw )
    I ran more just for curve reasons. More 1-mana plays to optimize mana utility, especially with Flash. It's better than any other 1cc Spirit (Topplegeist is probably the next best). A 1-mana flash body does all sorts of things like:
    -surprise pump Mausoleum Wanderer to counter a spell or win combat
    -chump block a 20/20 or other nonsense
    -make a cheap 2/2 with any lord effect to trade with Delver or beatdown

    The body is not spectacular, but it's amazing for tempo (use 1 mana you otherwise wouldn't use at EOT). It can't be ignored either, because if they just let you keep it then you eventually start drawing free cards. I think it's worth considering IF you want more 1ccs for curve reasons, because it outclasses the other options, but not if you're playing towards a slower reactive deck.

    Why only 2 Spell Quellers in your version ?
    Personally I think this is a 4-of, especially since the deck operates off Flash.
    You can sit on your mana and keep all options open all the time, including countering + putting a Spirit in play at the same time.
    Curve reasons. I was pushing a faster tempo build with more 1 drops, more flyers, and fewer lands. There was only so much room at the 3cc spot. Captain is an obvious 4-of. With 4 SA that doesn't leave much room, but going to 3 SA frees up space.

    I'm also skeptical of Spell Queller's value in Legacy. No question it's amazing in slower formats. But Legacy has a lot of big stuff happening in the first 3 turns, and T3 OTD is pretty slow to be able to interact with the stack, while there are a lot of ways to kill it at 1-2 mana. If it just trades with a Bolt/StP/Push/Decay/Daze/REB you're way behind on tempo. You had to pass with mana open, you spent more mana than them, and they immediately get their spell back on the stack.

    Queller looks best in slow grindy matches like Snowko where you can afford to just play draw-go. It also gets through Veil of Summer/Allosaurus Shepherd and counters Abrupt Decay on Captain (with Captain then protecting Queller). But I wouldn't want to see 2 copies in my hand vs any fast deck. Maybe 3-3 split with SA, and 1 of each in the SB?

    I might be wrong about this. It just seems too slow and mana-hungry sometimes, especially without Vial or when you don't have mass-Flash.

    Anyway, good luck with the deck! Looking forward to seeing results.

  5. #5

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    If you stare long enough at Permeating Mass, you start wondering if it has a home in a deck where (a) everything else flies, (b) you have spirit lords and your opponent doesn't, and (c) your current one-drops are bad (yes, they're bad; good would be DRS or Goblin Lackey or Mother of Runes).

    And then you snap out of it.

    Still, I feel like you have little action at 1cc when you play this tribe and don't play Vial.

  6. #6
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    It would be so much better if the lords gave First Strike. Then opponent basically can't attack into your Mass or else you neuter his board into vanilla 1/3s. Without some way to help your mass survive or force combat though, it seems bad.

    I love Geist of Saint Traf but I think he only has a home in SpiritBlade (see above link for decks with Spirits and Stoneblade package). A ground 2/2 is really bad without equipment in a deck already full of flyers.

    I think 4 Remorseful Cleric is overkill. The decks you want it against will often go off before you hit 2 mana. BR Reanimator, Hogaak, Dredge and others can play under 2cc hate just fine. So you want some graveyard interaction slots to be faster (Surgical, Faerie Macabre, Crypt, Cage) and only some to be 2cc.

    The fact that we're even considering Spectral Sailor to have something to do with 1 mana means this deck probably does need Vial. If you want to play SotL main you could just swap Brainstorm for Vial. Vial also makes it easier to go down to 20 lands and still support Spell Queller.



    //Spirits: 28
    4 Mausoleum Wanderer
    1 Spectral Sailor
    4 Supreme Phantom
    4 Rattlechains
    3 Spirit of the Labyrinth
    2 Selfless Spirit
    4 Drogskol Captain
    3 Skyclave Apparition
    3 Spell Queller

    //Spells: 12
    4 Force of Will
    4 Aether Vial
    4 Swords to Plowshares

    //Lands: 20
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Flooded Strand
    2 Prismatic Vista
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Arid Mesa
    3 Tundra
    2 Snow-Covered Island
    2 Snow-Covered Plains
    1 Moorland Haunt

    //Rough SB: 15
    2 Remorseful Cleric
    2 Shacklegeist
    1 Skyclave Apparition
    1 Spell Queller
    1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
    1 Kataki, War's Wage
    1 Brazen Borrower
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Flusterstorm
    2 Deafening Silence
    2 Surgical Extraction


    Null Rod is obviously a nonbo with Vial.

  7. #7
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Had a few practice games yesterday ( with Vial in ) and didn't like Spirit of the Labyrinth at all.
    Without any card draw you're staring at a (nearly) empty hand rather fast and this in turn renders either your vial pretty useless ( certainly with Rattlechains in play ) or gives you nothing to do with your mana.

    Made a good imression : Mausoleum Wanderer. Great early disruption. Holding off Hymn to Tourach on T2 is nice.

    I do like the idea of Eidolon of the great Revel in combination with Aether Vial.
    Going up to 3 charge counters may be a chore though if you don't get a vial early. Oko is also a potential problem.

    Still WIP.

  8. #8

    Re: Legacy Spirits



    This is what i'm playing, first league finished 3-2 but i've made some mistakes, the core od cc3 drops is really strong. Can't afford a FoN for the sideboard sadly
    I've now cut a lord, a rattlechains and a wanderer to try 3 Mother, to grant protection in the crucial moments of the early game, before the lock&protection given by Captain and Queller.

  9. #9

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Another innistrad set means we should reevaluate spirits. They picked up malevolent Hermit as a disruption, and grind/graveyard hate with Dennik, Pious Apprentice. Further back in kaldheim they got a Savannah lions in Usher of the Fallen and pseudo removal in Shacklegeist

    More interesting in my opinion is Chaplain of Alms as a pseudo mom. Itís hard to remove and both sides block ragavn/delver like a champ. Also Patricianís Geist as another lord. This would let us cut the filler spirits and/or off tribe cards. Basically the idea is merfolk 2.0; your interaction is so much better at the cost of your manabase.


    Broken Legacy Cards 12
    4 Aether Vial
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will

    Disruptive Spirits 19
    3 Chaplain of Alms
    4 Mausoleum Wanderer
    4 Spirit of the Labrynth
    4 Skyclave Apparition
    4 Spell Queller

    Lords 10
    4 Supreme Phantom
    4 Drogskol Captain
    2 Patricians Geist

    Lands 19
    4 Wasteland
    1 Plains
    1 Island
    4 Tundra
    1 Scalding Tarn
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Cavern of Souls


    The deck seems pretty strong on paper; you lack removal but lords plus evasion should let you race. You also have lots of disruption for combo and removal spells. Your daze is a bit iffy to turn on t1 but all your other taxes should make it stay relevant later in the game.

  10. #10
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Chaplain seems bad. Disturb cost Infinity. By then opponent can pay the tax so it isn't a Mom.
    Edit: Just play Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
    Edit2: Unsettled Mariner already gave this deck Ward 1 for less mana

    I'm not sold on the Disturb cards in general. The front faces are not Spirits, so they do not interact with lords, Wanderer, Shacklegeist, etc. You have to find a way to get them in the graveyard (nonwhite removal + no grave hate), then spend a lot of mana to play the transformed side. At least Hermit has a relevant front side, can put itself in the graveyard, and only costs 3 to recast. Chaplain is a Tundra Wolves opponent will avoid sending to GY...

    If you're running 8-10 lords, keeping Moorland Haunt seems good. Free 2/2 flyers in the late game.

    -3 Chaplain
    +2 Selfless Spirit/Rattlechains (similar role?)
    +1 Moorland Haunt (20th land helps 3 drops too)

    Daze with 10 "Islands" seems suspect, especially off Turn 1 Cavern starts. Delver has 14 "Islands". I think there isn't room for 4 Cavern, 4 Wasteland and 4 Daze. Something has to give.

    Could this deck just play Judge's Familiar instead of Daze? Proactive turn 1 play. Otherwise just playing Mom seems good too.
    Prismatic Ending is also available as removal.

  11. #11

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    I mostly was looking at merfolk for inspiration as they seemed the closest from a deck theory POV.

    Patrician does make the cost cheaper but I see your point about it not being a true spirit. It was mostly for curve reasons. It seemed crazy good vialed in t2 vs a ragavan.

    Some merfolk players experimented with Kumenaís speaker. Maybe the on tribe Savannah lions with slight upside is good enough just to make sure I always have a 1 drop. It also sort of fills the 2 drop role too. Chaplain looks good but I am not sure I want a 2 drop that costs additional mana when I am already clogged on 3 drops.

    Mostly I just think daze is crazy busted. Most blue decks will ending or force vial on t1 or t0 and it seems extremely powerful there. Most merfolk lists I found were playing daze with only 12 islands (4 mutavault 4 waste, sometimes grove). To match that I would have to cut plains and a spell for 2 islands.

    Prismatic ending is great but seems greedy with cavern of souls.

    How about -3 chaplain -1 Plains +2 Usher of the Fallen +2 Blue fetch

  12. #12
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Yeah, even with Patrician's cost reduction, that's a combo with a 2-of and you need to send Chaplain to the graveyard somehow (opponent won't spend 2 mana Bolting it). Tundra Wolves-ambush on Ragavan is funny... but I don't think it's worth overreacting to Ragavan with a card that's weak in other matchups when you could just run StP/Prismatic in the 75.

    Daze is busted with fast proactive plays. It's amazing in UR Ragavan/Delver and Doomsday. It's proven weak in some other decks with business focused at 3+ mana, when the opponent can just play out lands to play around Daze (you'll still get some free wins from bad players walking into Daze, but they aren't forced to). Daze is also awkward when you play Turn 1 Cavern. Merfolk doesn't. They play turn 1 Island. You need the pressure and manabase to really abuse Daze.

    Your changes upping the Island count and replacing Chaplain (defensive) with a proactive 1-drop could help that. Usher of the Fallen does have a 1-man army Ragavan-like effect pressuring opponent to walk into Daze. Could be good. Going to 0 Plains seems risky though. Probably need to cut a colorless land.

  13. #13

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Notes from the first league:

    I went 3-2, deck felt decent. I was running 4 usher of the fallen, 20 lands, 0 patrician.

    Jamming t1 vial and then dazing the Fow felt awesome.

    Supreme Phantom walls ragavan nicely.

    The usher was quite good. The boast ability was suprisingly relevant and the added pressure demanded answers early.

    I need 2 more lands for sure, even with vial. Maybe even a hallowed fountain to have 6 fetchables like UR delver. The curve was too high.

    Both my loses were 100% to apparition not answering murktide. I probably have to run a few Shacklegeist

    Next list to test:


    Broken Legacy Cards 12
    4 Aether Vial
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will

    Disruptive Spirits 16
    4 Mausoleum Wanderer
    4 Spirit of the Labrynth
    4 Skyclave Apparition
    2 Spell Queller
    2 Shacklegeist

    Clock 10
    4 Supreme Phantom
    4 Drogskol Captain
    2 Usher of the Fallen

    Lands 22
    4 Wasteland
    1 Island
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Moorland Haunt
    4 Tundra
    3 Polluted Delta
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Cavern of Souls


    It has a very nice curve of 8 0 drops, 10 1 drops, 10 2 drops, 10 3 drops to get full value out of vial without becoming durdly.

  14. #14
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Great starting result!

    If Usher was good, do you want to go as low as 2?

    How was Spell Queller? Is it awkward that it has the same CMC restriction as Skyclave? Maybe 8 copies of that effect is losing too hard to the same cards. Cutting to 6 makes sense.

    With 7 fetches + 6 blue fetchables that's approaching Delver-level of blue consistency. Should be good for Daze.

    Is there room for a basic Plains somewhere? 0 Plains seems risky if you run into things like Moons or B2B.

    What did you run in the SB? Some StPs in the SB seem good in case you need to cheaply remove a big threat like Murktide. It also helps with fast EOT Marit Lages (before you can get Vial @ 3 for Skyclave).

  15. #15

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Since you're playing spirits i would've expected to see a Geist of Saint Traft + Karakas package to provide some late game inevitability (aka win more).

  16. #16

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    My sb was

    4 swords to plowshares
    3 Kataki, Wars Wage
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Remorseful Spirit
    2 Strict Proctor
    2 Moorland Haunt


    Spell queller was often too slow with daze/wasteland and no mana dorks.

    Itís possible I just want to put 4 of them in the sideboard for when shacklegeist/apparition are bad. RIP might be better than remorseful spirit if I am worried about channeler.

    With ending in the format my creatures arenít dying that often. Maybe I cut the haunts entirely and then I have the full 14 islands or at least a basic plains. The deck is more white intensive than I thought. At that point the mana is basically UR delver but you have cavern and vial instead of cantripping for lands.

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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Maybe Queller in the SB is better then.

    Replacing MD Moorland Haunt with 1 Plains seems good for more stable mana. You could run 1 Haunt in the SB for grindy matchups with non-exiling removal or when you need more lands.

    I like Rest in Peace over the Spirit. It's even relevant in matches like Bant (Uro) and UR Delver (DRC + Murktide, and they have a hard time dealing with white enchantments). Remorseful's 1-time effect is much worse in those fair matchups.

  18. #18

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    I like your input. The following seems pretty tight:

    Kaldheim spirits (ended up not using any innistrad cards lol)

    Broken legacy cards 12
    4 Aether Vial
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will

    Clock 12
    4 Usher of the Fallen
    4 Supreme Phantom
    4 Drogskol Captain

    Disruption 14
    4 Mausoleum Wanderer
    4 Spirit of the Labrynth
    2 Shacklegeist
    4 Skyclave Apparition

    2c delver manabase 18
    4 Wasteland
    4 Tundra
    1 Island
    1 Plains
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Flooded Strand

    Extra lands because we have no cantrips: 4
    4 Cavern of Souls

    SB
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    4 Spell Queller
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Rest In Peace
    1 Moorland Haunt
    2 Kataki, Warís Wage


    What I like about the list is that almost every card is one of the best in other legacy decks. Vial, Apparition and Skyclave are 4 ofs in yorion D&T. Wasteland/Daze/Force are the bests cards in delver (except brainstorm/ponder). And then cavern of souls, wanderer, and the lords are comparable to Lord of Atlantis/muscle sliver/Champion of the parish.The only ďbad cardsĒ are the usher and Shacklegeist, but they are still better than Striking Sliver and Merfolk Trickster

  19. #19
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    Re: Legacy Spirits

    This build looks more solid.

    Usher looks "bad", but it actually seems strong in a Daze + Vial deck. You can spend all your mana on boast and still play creatures or counter their spells.

  20. #20

    Re: Legacy Spirits

    Yah the only thing is that murktide is still a massive problem. Do you think adding more geists is a good idea?

    Do you think I will still have enough spirit density if I go -1 Apparition, -2 Geist, -1 Drogskol Captain for 4 plow?

    That leaves 8+8+6 = 22 spirits

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