This shell is well known in the Legacy community. It aims to punish the top-tier decks. You can abuse the fact that the format is rife with one-mana spells, for example, through proper deck building of your own. In this case, it's playing Chalice of the Void to counter all those cheap spells. The deck runs eight copies of so-called sol lands that produce two mana, which allows the deck to play the Chalice on one as soon as turn one. If done on the play, it will dictate the pace and direction of the whole game. It already asks the opponent if they have Force of Will. Chrome Mox and Simian Spirit Guide are additional ways to ramp up to two or even three mana on turn one.
Chalice is not the only way to lock opponents out. Blood Moon turns all the expensive Reserved List dual lands into Mountains, which is massively annoying for all the three- to four-color decks populating the format. It also punishes certain land-based strategies like Turbo Depths or Lands. If your draw includes both a sol land and either a Mox or a Spirit Guide, you can cast Blood Moon on turn one. As far as other three-mana-but-castable-on-turn-one prison pieces are concerned, there is also Trinisphere that essentially turns off all the cheap interaction. It even impacts two-drops and free spells.
The deck doesn't invest too much into the process of actually winning, once the opponent is imprisoned, but the new set provided us with some upgrades in this department. In addition to the already common Fury and Goblin Rabblemaster, we now see the legendary Squee, Dubious Monarch. It's essentially the fifth and six copy of Rabblemaster with the advantage that it can be recast. A bigger threat is Shivan Devastator, which acts as a mana sink. This deck sometimes produces huge amounts of mana between it's normal and sol lands and additional ramp. This is a way to turn a surplus into a game-ending threat seemingly out of nowhere.
So, in total, five copies of new cards made their way into just one Legacy main deck! And the deck immediately finished fifth in a Legacy Challenge! Seems like Dominaria United is an exciting and influential set across the board.
|Monored Prison by Samus_SSP, 5th at Legacy Challenge, September 3|
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