Lots of Laughter with Legacy Leylines
One of the most important factors with any format and any strategy is enjoyability. If you don't like the deck you're playing, then what's the point? You need to have fun— and there's nothing quite so much fun as dumping your hand onto the table on turn zero!
Today's deck isn't strictly a turn-zero deck. You still need to take a turn in order to win the game, but it has all the tools required to make that turn a winning one. In fact, not only does the deck have the tools, but the new London Mulligan gives it that little bit extra oomph. Time to lay down some Leylines! But first …
A Brief History of Turn Zero
Once upon a time—a very brief time—there was a Protean Hulk. It housed in a Gemstone Cavern which had Shifting Walls. It looked very Flash indeed. On one side of the cave there lived some Simian Street Guides and on the other there were some Disciple of the Vaults. Across the road there were Street Wraiths. They all lived happily ever after … until the deck was banned.
The idea of this now totally illegal deck was to put Gemstone Cavern into play before your opponent started, then exile a Spirit Guide to cast Flash, putting Hulk onto the battlefield. Unable to pay the cost of Protean Hulk, it dies and you fetch four Disciples and four Walls, along with some Phyrexian Marauders, and put them into play. The 0/0 artifact creatures all die, triggering the Disciples oh so many times. Ta da—flawless victory!
The Next Chapter of Turn Zero
The next chapter of our fairy tale isn't quite so explosive, but it does like doing things before the start of the game too. It's also a deck that hasn't really undergone much in the way of change in a long time.
|4Serra's Sanctum||4Opalescence||4Crop Rotation|
|2City of Brass||3Suppression Field||4Enlightened Tutor|
|1Tree of Tales||4Leyline of Anticipation||2Idyllic Tutor|
|4Mana Confluence||4Leyline of Lifeforce||4Serum Powder|
|4Leyline of Punishment||1Helm of Obedience|
|4Leyline of Sanctity|
|4Leyline of Vitality|
|3Leyline of the Meek|
|4Leyline of the Void|
|2Banishing Light||1Oblivion Ring||1Runed Halo|
|4Chancellor of the Annex||2Replenish||1Stony Silence|
|1Curse of Exhaustion||1Rest in Peace||1Suppression Field|
This is a deck I've been in love with since around 2016 when I saw a Swedish streamer all hyped over this ludicrous Legacy build. They in turn had picked it up having trawled through some old deck tech videos, finding Chris Wolfmeyer at SCG Kansas City in 2014. He finished a respectable 90th that weekend, putting in some memorable matches including a turn two attack for 16 damage versus Steven Wu. As Chris said that weekend, "I'm here to win quick, or I'm gonna lose quick…"
As someone who isn't ever really a Legacy player, I loved the idea of having a deck that effectively won, or lost, in short order. I have no qualms whatsoever of playing a full GP going to time each and every round (assuming I'm winning or progressing). I tend to play some white-blue variant and am comfortable with eking out 1-0s if required (disclaimer: I'm probably returning to the Swamps for Eldraine Standard). But for more complex formats I really don't want to be forced to sit through half an hour of draw go or some convoluted pile going off. Win big, or go home!
In this case, you're looking to start with a grip full of Leylines, and Serum Powder is how we get there. The new London Mulligan contributes heavily, as you can intersperse mulligans and Powder redraws in whatever order you so wish. Ideally we're putting four enchantments into play for free, with Leyline of Sanctity and Leyline of the Void chief amongst them. Serra's Sanctum gets us the mana we need to cast further spells. Opalescence gives us a bunch of 4/4 enchantment creatures while we have tools to fetch Suppression Field and Helm of Obedience if needed. Activating Helm with the black Leyline on the battlefield is a win then and there. The sideboard gives us Chancellor of the Annex, which effectively protects us from Force of Will and other free spells while we're trying to get that early win. The rest is an enchantment toolbox designed to give us the time we need to assemble a win.
The deck above didn't changed at all since 2014. That's no mean feat given the wealth of spells that have found their way into the format since then. However, Core Set 2020 did give us two new Leylines to consider. Leyline of Abundance and Leyline of Combustion. The green addition is far too slow and has zero text in the context of this deck. The red one, on the other hand, has no small amount of utility in certain matchups. Thoughtseize? Take 2. Lightning Bolt? Take 2. Nature's Claim? Take 2 … The inclusion of the new Leyline allows us to gain incremental advantage in matches where we're not racing into a dominant board position.
Most importantly, we can incorporate this new enchantment without losing anything from our starting 60. Obviously we can't lose the Leylines of Sanctity, the Void, Anticipation (we might need to cast things end of turn), Punishment (in case Legacy sees some Soul Sisters build), the Meek (we need a castable Leyline for later turns), and Vitality (4/5 enchantments are better than 4/4 enchantments). That leaves us with Leyline of Lifeforce. We don't run creature spells in the main, and Chancellor isn't really meant to be cast. So this is a clean switch: four Leyline of Lifeforce out, four Leyline of Combustion in.
So there you have it. As fun a deck as you can possible get in Legacy, Manaless Dredge aside. Give it a whirl, let me know—for example via Twitter—how you go!
Until next time!
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