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Thread: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

  1. #1

    Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    I have been trying to make land tax work in legacy for a bit now, as I think it is the strongest card in legacy that sees zero play. The effect is very powerful (as we can see from the success of loam and sylvan library based decks) if the basics can be efficiently converted in to real cards.

    Parfait was a preexisting deck, but my core premise is that using scroll rack is too slow to convert into real cards. Instead, pox has efficient ways of converting random lands into the opponentís real cards: ravens crime, smallpox, Liliana of the veil, wasteland. Pox also desperately needs a cheap CA engine.

    After a large amount of testing of WB pox pre-MH2, the core engine of crime plus tax felt very strong, but the deck had consistenty issues, poor clock (myth realized or nether spirit were lacklustre) and there were no flexible answers to chalice and uro below 3 cmc (Kaya). Consistency was an issue since there was no tutor that got everything we needed: entomb didnít get land tax and nether spirit is lacklustre, etutor didnít get crime and myth realized was meh. mH2 gives us several tools to answer these problems:

    • The cook/cookbook/troll king combo gives us a threat, ca, removal in one cheap, compact package ala stone forge mystic. The cookbook gives us additional way to discard lands for value. Mox diamond counts as discarding so you can deploy both pieces on t1 with just a mox and asmo{...}
    • Urzaís saga is a very strong threat that also plays well with pox and mox diamond.
    • Prismatic ending is a flexible removal removal spell that allows us to lower our curve without being DOA to chalice on 1 or uro.
    • Since prismatic and troll king want us to splash green anyways, we can run loams as back-up land taxes.
    • Now that we have both halves of the combo (crime plus loam) and a premier threat (troll king) we can run entomb as a smoothing card.


    Draft list:


    4 Wasteland
    4 Urzaís Saga
    2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1 Forest
    4 Plains
    5 Swamp
    1 Horizon Canopy
    1 Riftstone Portal
    4 Silent Clearing

    4 Ravenís Crime
    2 The Underworld Cookbook
    4 Land Tax
    2 Life from the loam
    4 Entomb

    1 Cling to Dust
    1 Feasting Troll King
    1 Cursed Scroll
    1 Nihil Spellbomb

    3 Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar
    3 Prismatic Ending
    4 Smallpox
    4 Mox Diamond


    Comparison to similar archetypes to determine if it has some niche:
    • Compared to lands it avoided a bunch of non basic hate, mass discard should give it a much better combo matchup, and much harder removal should let it handle stuff like KOTR and vial more easily
    • Compared to junk maverick discard instead of Thalia + toolboxes should be advantageous in some control and combo matchups.
    • Compared to pox it has a shakier manabase but the faster clock and more raw ca should be a large upgrade.


    Possible improvements: with 2.5 ish tutor packages perhaps I went too deep and should cut some of the targets for more interaction (-1 loam, -1 cling for 2 hymn?)
    Last edited by Reeplcheep; 06-21-2021 at 10:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Should this be playing 3-4x Liliana of the Veil? I would start there for interaction before Hymn, since it also interacts with the board and has high synergy with your engines.

    Once you splash green, why not also run Sylvan Library to convert life into cards (or Dredges)? Especially because Foods can convert to life.

    Is 1-of Worm Harvest (Entomb/Loam) too slow?

  3. #3

    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Should this be playing 3-4x Liliana of the Veil? I would start there for interaction before Hymn, since it also interacts with the board and has high synergy with your engines.

    Once you splash green, why not also run Sylvan Library to convert life into cards (or Dredges)? Especially because Foods can convert to life.

    Is 1-of Worm Harvest (Entomb/Loam) too slow?
    I tried worm harvest but it was too slow, and I didnít always have both lots of lands in my graveyard and in play. If the engine was land tax all my lands were in my gy not the battlefield and if it was loam they were in play/hand not gy.

    Liliana of the veil was in past versions, probably better than hymn. I was considering cutting her just because having no 3 drops (since prismatic replaced Kaya) is important for enabling land tax

    Iím not sure what to cut for library and still have a reasonable amount of disruption. Additionally I am really skimping on G sources to have enough basics.

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    I think the weak spot is Raven's Crime, the combo with Loam hasn't been very strong in a long time. I think the right thing to do with Mox Diamond acceleration is to curve into pieces that can stabilize much better, like Liliana of the Veil. You can use her to stabilize the battlefield or just combo with Loam/Lands/Asmo. Liliana also allows for mid-game Asmo to be a cinch, because you want to be ticking up Liliana anyways. If you still think Raven's Crime is necessary as an engine piece, I think the right number is 1 to be tutorable with Entomb.

    In the other direction, I think 2 Cookbooks is too few. I don't envision any game where you wouldn't want one, and multiples get even better. Even if all you are doing with your Land Tax advantage is making 2 Food a turn you should be in pretty good shape. Those food tokens feed Urza's Legacy like a champ. I watched Boshnroll do a modern video with Asmo/Cookbook/Troll and he was even tutoring for Cookbooks with Urza's Saga, just because the inevitability was so strong. I'm not sure how useful Cursed Scroll is...I think Asmo using food to pick off creatures is actually a better combo, especially if your land tax ends up stuffing your hand too full to use it accurately. I think something more utilitarian like Pithing Needle might be a little better, but I don't think even that is worth maindeck slots.

    One last thought: I think you might be able to do something pretty clever with Solitary Confinement. Land Tax/Loam should be pretty strong at giving you things to discard so you can keep it on the table. Once you have an overwhelming advantage with Confinement on board, like massive constructs and Troll or even just ultimate-ing Liliana, you can then pretty much ignore Solitary Confinement and even let it get sacrificed. It seems like the kind of card that can buy you several turns. Skipping your draw step isn't really a setback if you have Loam + Silent Clearing. It might be an option for your sideboard, just because it's likely very matchup dependent. Overall I think the combination of Prismatic Ending, Liliana, and Smallpox is enough to control board states, so SC may be just wasted space. It's just an idea, something that could be done but probably is win-more.

    I would have a hard time not playing something like Maze of Ith, just because your mana should be incredibly stable and it can also buy you several turns, especially against Delver starts that have only 1 threat. Everyone is talking about Gut Shot as a potential removal for legacy now because of Ragavan, etc, but I just discovered recently that Marrow Shards is a card. It's a little too conditional I think, but having a 'free' card like that could be good. Me in 2012 would be jamming the shit out of Lingering Souls in a list like this.

    If I were to try this out, I would do this:

    -3 Raven's Crime
    +3 Liliana of the Veil

    -1 Scroll
    -1 Nihil Spellbomb
    +2 Underworld Cookbook
    Brainstorm Realist

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Should this be playing 3-4x Liliana of the Veil? I would start there for interaction before Hymn, since it also interacts with the board and has high synergy with your engines.

    Once you splash green, why not also run Sylvan Library to convert life into cards (or Dredges)? Especially because Foods can convert to life.

    Is 1-of Worm Harvest (Entomb/Loam) too slow?
    Ninja'ed! EDIT: Depending on where you go with it, I think Sylvan Library x1 is at least worth 1 Raven's Crime slot.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Crime plus loam is indeed too slow as your main engine. But crime plus land tax is much much faster, you can discard 2 cards by t2 instead of 1 and 5 by t3 instead of 2-3. Loam is here only as a backup.

    I very much like the solitary confinement idea, but I am not sure how to fit it in.

    Maze of Ith is great in loam decks but seems quite bad with land tax.

    I definitely want 1 more but with both saga and asmo finding it do I really need 4?

    Iím not sure if I want to cut crime, since if I always entomb for it I will not be able to entomb for loam or the troll. Generally I want equal amounts of all 3 pieces so entomb can actually smooth properly.

    - 1 crime -1 cling -1 cursed scroll -1 loam +2 Liliana +1 Cookbook +1 Asmo leaves me with 5 land engines and 5 discard engines. However now my clocks have been upped to 5 too and I have Lilianaís for interaction.

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Ninja'ed! EDIT: Depending on where you go with it, I think Sylvan Library x1 is at least worth 1 Raven's Crime slot.
    Ninja: -1 crime for 1 library instead of 4th asmo?

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Maybe some of the cute utility slots like 1 Loam and 1 Cling can go to the SB, freeing up maindeck space. I'd try to keep Cursed Scroll main since you have no instant speed interaction (vs Dash Monkey, EOT Construct, etc) and it gets better with Liliana.

    Liliana does push you to 3 mana but it kills opponent's first creature and then forces opponent to commit more to answer it, or it runs away with the game, so that could pressure them to play more land. You can also cast it off Silent Clearing/Saga mana and then sacrifice the land. I think you have enough ways to mitigate the downside to support it.

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    Ninja: -1 crime for 1 library instead of 4th asmo?
    Yeah, I would definitely do that first. I think the Library suggestion is easily the best one, it's one of the most powerful things you can do for 2 mana. I think if Loam is the backup and Land Tax is the primary plan, then Loam should be the singleton for Entomb toolboxing. That gives you space for the Library.

    I wouldn't play 4x Asmo, due to legendary status and due to the fact that it's actually not as good as Cookbook. Cookbook does everything you want for this deck, pulls everything together. It's an artifact that makes constructs bigger by a large margin, without any additional mana investment. That is what makes it so good with Troll/Land Tax. You can assemble a troll pretty fast with just Cookbook + Entomb. I'm leaning heavily on the advice of others here, but from what I've heard Cookbook is the real deal. The efficiency and synergy are outstanding. If Raven's Crime is that valuable, maybe a 2/2 split of Crime/Liliana would work. It's actually a good discard for Liliana because you can just retrace it.

    Without playing this, but having some experience with Cursed Scroll, I'm not sure how good it is here. Having it as a win condition seems suspect, there's just too many ways for opponents to grind out with some lucky top decks. That's the issue Pox-style decks have always had. If you're using it as creature removal it just doesn't do enough I don't think, especially as a conditional removal that requires 3 mana to activate. This could be your slot for Solitary Confinement, but that requires so much more work to include. To have consistency you would need a minimum 3x SC, and how would you find it in a pinch? You can't Entomb it, not without adding yet another piece to it. My original thought was that it could act like a pseudo-Ensnaring Bridge that still allowed you to attack with Constructs and Trolls. Another route you can take to kill small creatures is Liliana, the Last Hope. She pings off small stuff like Ragavan, relevant if you can Mox Diamond > t2 Lily Last Hope, and she can create a win condition herself with zombie tokens. You would need a way to protect her, and I'm not sure how to do that.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  10. #10

    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    The thought behind scroll is that mox diamond and cookbook only do stuff when you have a full grip. I wanted a target for when I was low on resources; but perhaps just trying to spellbomb into removal is good enough.

    Cookbook was indeed often very strong in my prior builds, but they were straight WB with flagstones. Without entomb or loam you just wouldnít have enough gas in games you didnít draw land tax.

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    If you want a repeatable removal spell that pseudo-supports your strategy than Darkblast could do some work. It kills lots of early stuff, then Liliana/Smallpox/Prismatic Ending can mop up the rest. There are lots of tricks with Darkblast too, the same as with loam, by using your draw step or sandbagging a Silent Clearing to get x/2's or doubling up to kill 2 x/1's in a turn. If people are hot on Gut Shot for removal, Darkblast seems just as good, if not better, in this deck. If you're looking for a win-condition than I'm not sure if Scroll is good enough, that would take testing.

    Is Cursed Scroll also a mana-sink so you can utilize all your mana every turn? If that's the case then it makes more sense, but it's still just so slow.
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    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    If you want a 1-of target that grinds vs control when you're low on resources and Scroll is suspect, why not just play 1 Retrofitter Foundry?

    Cycling enables Asmor, so does this deck want at least 1 cycling land for Loam?

    Darkblast seems good. You need some instant interaction with Monkey. It kills other relevant stuff too.

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Iím going to start with tl:dr, but Iíve been playing parfait in legacy since tax was unbanned. The deck is strong but very much underplayed. I watched thrabenU play almost my exact list with some very bad play errors and I think that contributes to its small presence; itís not easy to play.

    So with that out of the way I think rack may be a necessary evil, possibly even in mono black. There tends to be a big push for disruption in pox which unfortunately has diminishing returns as the game goes on. So just having the ability to turn ďdead cardsĒ into a resource with rack seems useful. Considering that I think green becomes a good splash even if just for loam. Green will also give us some strong beaters to finish fast which pox generally doesnít do. Tarmogoyf obviously and terrorvore seem like a starting point without much thought into it. Otherwise deaths shadow could be another route that plays well as its pox.

    Not really sure what else to suggest at this time. Iíll have to read the entire thread.
    The Parfait Meta-Game

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    Re: Syphilis (Junk Pox)

    Quote Originally Posted by Weapon X View Post
    Iím going to start with tl:dr, but Iíve been playing parfait in legacy since tax was unbanned. The deck is strong but very much underplayed. I watched thrabenU play almost my exact list with some very bad play errors and I think that contributes to its small presence; itís not easy to play.

    So with that out of the way I think rack may be a necessary evil, possibly even in mono black. There tends to be a big push for disruption in pox which unfortunately has diminishing returns as the game goes on. So just having the ability to turn ďdead cardsĒ into a resource with rack seems useful. Considering that I think green becomes a good splash even if just for loam. Green will also give us some strong beaters to finish fast which pox generally doesnít do. Tarmogoyf obviously and terrorvore seem like a starting point without much thought into it. Otherwise deaths shadow could be another route that plays well as its pox.

    Not really sure what else to suggest at this time. Iíll have to read the entire thread.
    Asmor is a 3/3, Urza's Saga makes big dudes, and Entomb can grab a 'free' Feasting Troll King out of the graveyard. That seems to be enough threats for a grindy deck. The crazy part is that Sylvan Library is actually better than Scroll Rack because it doesn't need Land Tax to be good; just converting food tokens into 3 life can pay for extra cards with Library, and it filters the top 3 for free every turn. I can picture the churn of this deck being pretty impressive.
    Brainstorm Realist

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