Three Underrated Cards in Legacy
- Robert Swiecki
Are you tired of sleeving your Deathrite Shamans every week or annoyed by your opponents’ Show & Tell decks? Do you want to surprise your local meta and brew a new pile with some powerful cards or insert them into an established deck? Legacy has much more to offer than one mana planeswalkers and Brainstorms.
Even though players of Legacy are allowed to use a wide field of cards, only a small percentage manages to pass the strict quality check and become a Legacy staple. However, there is always room for innovation and change. I would like to talk about three quite underrated cards that could and maybe also should see more Legacy play.
Too Many to Choose From
There are simply too many good cards to choose from. From unique cards like Gemstone Caverns to established and somehow forgotten beaters, such as Phyrexian Dreadnought, a card that dominated an entire era of Legacy and eventually got pushed to the meta’s margins by the Golgari horde. In this article, I have decided to cover three cards that, in my opinion, have already proven themselves in the Legacy realm to some extent and stand on the brink of success.
The Modern Combo Card
Banned in Modern two years ago, Splinter Twin is a card with great potential in Legacy. Its infinite combo consisting of enchanting either Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite is easy to set up and shares similarities to combo cards that demand creatures like Sneak Attack, Aluren, and Food Chain. Even though a Splinter Twin deck managed to Top 8 the Eternal Weekend in 2015, it is a rather uncommon card and certainly not on the radar of most Legacy players.
First, the combo’s color combinations suit the Legacy gameplay. Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite are not really powerful spells on their own but definitely not worse than a stranded Griselbrand in hand, a Parasitic Strix without Aluren, or a Misthollow Griffin not in the exile zone. Most lists available online use Splinter Twin as the finishing combo for their control strategy in blue-red, however, there is a possibility to run a stompy-based deck with Chalice of the Void, Magus of the Moon, and counter spells, such as Negate, Izzet Charm, and the regular Counterspell alongside Force of Will. Currently around 3,00 Euros, Splinter Twin is a cheap and powerful combo card that could play a more important role at some point in the metagame.
The Hard Counter
Stubborn Denial, the counter of choice in Modern’s Death’s Shadow decks, is overlooked in Legacy too often. Its Ferocious ability can be easily activated with the help of Gurmag Angler, Hooting Mandrills, Tombstalker, and Tasigur, the Golden Fang to name a popular few. With a big creature in play, Stubborn Denial becomes a one mana hard counter to both potent removal or powerful combos. It hits spells that Spell Pierce and Flusterstorm cannot target. While it can sometimes be a worse Force Spike, it might still be useful in tempo strategies.
A playset is cheaper than the card's 1,00 Euro cost and opens up a new possibility to brew decks focusing on the Delve mechanic or simply to port Modern’s Death’s Shadow deck to Legacy — an inexpensive and highly interactive tempo deck.
The Overlooked Monster
Everyone who knows me can tell that creatures are my least favorite type in Magic: the Gathering, but once in a while, Wizards prints a card that catches my attention: Amonkhet’s Cryptic Serpent is an interesting card that is played by some UR Delver decks as a one-off. Basically, it is a 6/5 for two blue mana because it is extremely easy to cast quite a lot of instants and sorceries in the first couple of turns. I already tried to play it in an RUG tempo build and it was surprisingly good at fighting other creature decks. Great additions could be cards like Bedlam Reveler, which has yet to find a home in Legacy as well.
It can be killed by Pyroblast or simply blocked by Baleful Strix but is immune to Abrupt Decay and Fatal Push — and it works well with Stubborn Denial. Thus, the stats speak for itself and I would not be surprised to see the underwater monster surface and find its well-deserved place in Legacy. Four copies cost less than 1,00 Euro and the Serpent looks great in foil. Most importantly, when worse comes to worst, it pitches to Force.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.