Behind the Tag - Deck Stories Part 2
- Christopher Brunner
Have you ever asked yourself why a deck with three Urza lands is called Tron? Why is a Mono Blue Combo Deck named after a card that has never been a part of it? Read more about the stories of four decks in the second part of Behind the Tag.
Welcome to Part 2 of Behind the Tag. As a dedicated Legacy player, I've faced many decks while playing tournaments over a couple of years. Every time I play versus an interesting deck the first time, I ask my opponent about its name. If the name sounds individual and more spectacular than "B/G Midrange" or "U/R Delver," I want them to tell me about the name-choice.
Once again, I searched for Azcanta decks whose names needed a story and it’s amazing how many rumors and tales are told about the origin of different deck tags.
Mono G Tron has been a staple in Modern for years. The main goal is ramping to seven mana on turn three by putting Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Mine and Urza’s Power Plant into play and then using that mana to cast big spells like Wurmcoil Engine or Karn Liberated.
Mono G Tron, Christopher Brunner
|5Forest||2Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger||4Chromatic Sphere|
|1Ghost Quarter||3Walking Ballista||4Chromatic Star|
|1Sanctum of Ugin||3Wurmcoil Engine||4Expedition Map|
|4Urza's Mine||4Oblivion Stone|
|4Urza's Power Plant||3Relic of Progenitus|
|4Urza's Tower||4Karn Liberated|
|2Ugin, the Spirit Dragon|
The name "Tron" has its origins in the anime television series "Voltron." In the series from 1984, the Voltron force protects the planet Arus from the evil King Zarkon. To fight their enemies, the five pilots combine their robot lions to form a big, powerful robot named Voltron.
This principle is similar to the Urza lands, who are weak by themselves, but become a powerhouse once they are combined on the battlefield.
Solidarity (aka Reset High Tide) is a mono blue combo deck with the unique ability to only win on the opponents turn. The combination of High Tide and Reset and/or Turnabout enables the player to generate absurdly large mana totals, which are then used to cast multiple draw spells and finish off with a high storm count and Brain Freeze (or an abnormally large Blue Sun's Zenith).
Solidarity, Simon Ritzka, 8th Side Event Grand Prix Paris 2008
|3Flooded Strand||2Brain Freeze|
|3Polluted Delta||2Cryptic Command|
|2Flash of Insight|
|4Force of Will|
The Name "Solidarity" was given to the deck by its creator David Gearhart. One day, Gearhart watched a Limited game, which was won due to a well-timed Solidarity. This play was very funny due to how awful the card Solidarity is, even in Limited. As a result, he decided to name his deck after this completely unrelated card.
TES is a combo deck, that uses the storm mechanic by casting as many Spells in one turn as possible to end the game with Tendrils of Agony or Empty the Warrens. The deck is a variant of ANT but originally splashed white for Orim’s Chant, green for Xantid Swarm and played Burning Wish in the main deck.
The EPIC Storm, Bryant Cook, 2011
|13Lands||14Other Permanents||33Instants and Sorceries|
|1Bloodstained Mire||2Xantid Swarm||4Burning Wish|
|2City of Brass||4Chrome Mox||3Duress|
|4Gemstone Mine||4Lion's Eye Diamond||1Empty the Warrens|
|1Polluted Delta||4Lotus Petal||4Infernal Tutor|
|2Underground Sea||4Rite of Flame|
|1Volcanic Island||1Tendrils of Agony|
While ANT is an acronym of the keycards Ad Nauseam and Tendrils of Agony, TES stands for "The EPIC Storm." While some people explain the "EPIC" by the fact that some of TES's combo turns happen to be rather epic, the inventor Bryant Cook had something else in mind. He designed the deck with assistance from the E.P.I.C syndicate, a group of combo players in 2006 and developed it over years from a niche deck to a powerhouse in Legacy 2011.
Everyone who plays Legacy for a while will face this deck type sooner or later. Nic Fit is more of a strategy than a clear decklist, like decks with Delver of Secrets / Insectile Aberration are called "Delver Deck." Nic Fit decks are always black-green, and after that, any assortment of colors can be added to the list. The deck focuses on the strong synergy of Veteran Explorer and Cabal Therapy to create advantage due to disruption and free basic lands.
Here's just one example, but feel free to look up Nyx Fit, or the more recent Arena Rector lists to get a sense of how varied these decks are.
Scapewish, Arianrhod, 2011
|4Forest||1Eternal Witness||4Burning Wish|
|3Badlands||3Huntmaster of the Fells / Ravager of the Fells||4Cabal Therapy|
|3Bayou||1Primeval Titan||4Green Sun's Zenith|
|1Phyrexian Tower||2Thragtusk||3Pernicious Deed|
|2Stomping Ground||4Veteran Explorer||3Sensei's Divining Top|
|2Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle|
The origin of Nic Fit is one of the most discussed deck names and due to the high numbers of stories of how it came about. Because of this, I want to include some of the common myths in addition to the true stories.
One story describes Nic Fit as an abbreviation of nicotine fit, meaning the sacrifice of Veteran Explorer to Cabal Therapy is reminiscent of a long-awaited nicotine fit. Also, if you were a smoker, you might need a fix while playing this deck in tournaments, because Nic Fit often likes long and grindy games.
Another rumor is that Nic Fit’s inventor wanted to write about the deck’s good synergy in a forum but made a typo and forgot the e while he described what a nice fit the deck was.
Compared to these backstories, the true origin of the name is a bit ordinary. While the inventor Tao thought about a name for his new deck, he listened to a Sonic Youth song with the name "Nic Fit" which led him to his final decision.
Thank you for reading. If you are interested in another "Behind the Tag" article and have a deck name you really want to know its origin, feel free to write down in the comments.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.