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  1. #1
    seba1983 Guest

    Default Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    death and taxes ? that is a black deck right ? after all its got death in its name. wrong. so what is death and taxes ?


    D&T used to be white weeny. small, fast and agressive white creature. some of that origian has remained. most of it has fallen to the wayside in favour of control cards. during the time of the timespiral block something important happend to legacy. Tarmogyf happend. once the power of the goyf became apparent it changed legacy for ever. suddenly all you needed was a single goyf and you were able to play agressively, whist the rest of your cards could be used for protection / disruption. where goblins had be king of the hill befor goyf it was now agro-control decks with goyf. befor goyf white weeny was good because it had so many protection from red guys that goblins had a hard time to deal with. since goyf had driven most straight agor decks into hiding at that time white weeny too was chased off.

    survival of the fit. and white weeny adabpted, evolved. from under some rock it reamerged as the strangest white weeny deck you have ever seen. instead of fleeing befor the huge increase of control being played it embraced it. it started playing card weeny would never have considerd befor. a prime example is Mangara of Condor. 3 mana for a 1/1 with a wierd ability ? not realy aggressive. yet it is the heart and soul of the early D&T. whilst he seems very straight forward there is more to him than meats the eye. take a look at the card and see where the ":" is in his textbox. yes thats right removeing mangara is part of the effect not the cost. that means if you, lets say, bounce him befor the effect resolves but after it has been put on the stack he will remove something and then can be played again. over and over again. that's where karakas comes in. that wonderful land can do just that. bounce mangara back to your hand so you can remove any permantent once each turn. once that idea had stuck and integraded into white weeny D&T was born. the first lists were still very crude. a lot of old baggae from the original white weeny were still being draged along. so lets take a look at one of these first D&T lists.


    4 x savana lions
    2 x izamaro hound of conda
    4 x silver knight
    4 x mangara of condor
    4 x mother of rumes
    4 x hand of honor
    2 x soltari priest


    3 x swords to plowshare


    2 x umezawa's jitte
    3 x sword of fire and ice
    3 x mask of memory
    4 x aether vial


    3 x karakas
    1 x kor-haven
    17 x plains

    now this list is still almost white weeny. mangara proved very powerful however so the deck was moved more towards supporting him. stonecloaker was added as an alternative way to bounce the mangara. serra avanger had no synergie with mangara but moved into white weeny at the time and thus also made its way into D&T. after a short period both swords to plowshare and karakas were uped to 4. after stonecloaker more of the weenys were exchaned for slightly less agressive but more disruptive option. glowrider was tried but soon move to the sideboard.

    with coldsnap a new weeny was added to the list. one that could hamper both grow and any other graveyard strategy at the same time. jötun grunt. after some testing rishadan port or wasteland made the list to add to the mana denial plan you could play with mangara. horobi dust drinker was played for some time. he later left again since he proved too slow and too fragiel.

    to replace him came cataclism. you keep karakas + mangar + aether vial (with 3 counters) and they will never get beyond 1 land again. that worked realy well. soon after flagstone of tolkair was added since it played very well with cataclysm.

    the next great innovation came with flickerwhisp. this card does not look amazing at first sight but toaday is cosidered one of the best cards of the deck.also oblivion ring was added as another very good removal. at this point D&T had all the tools they use today.

    Modern Decklist:

    i will give you an incompleat list here since the utility creatures can be played arround with depending on the meta you play in:


    3 x mangara
    2 x izamaru
    3 x flickerwhisp
    3 x stone cloaker
    4 x serra avanger


    3 x cataclysm


    4 x swords to plowshare


    3 x oblivion ring


    4 x aether vial
    3 x jitte


    4 x karakas
    4 x flagstone
    4 x rishadan port
    11 x plains

    that leaves us with 5 slots depending on the meta you play in. usualy you will play one utiliy cxreature you dont need as much as a 2 of and a more needed one as a 3 of. good candidates are jötun grunt (usualy 2), silver knight, samurai of the pale curtain, eathersworn cannonist, glow rider or even kitchen finks.

    the list above can be modified too. there have been version with cataclysm only in the sideboard or non at all. port can be replaced or joined by wasteland etc.

    How to play the deck:

    You don't play as agressive as white weeny. but you can. it depends on your opponents. instead of giveing you a step by step guide of how to play (since that varies from matchup to matchup) i will instead show you some of the amazing plays D&T can do:

    turn 1 izamoro
    turn 2 karakas

    will block that goyf all day long

    turn 1 aether vial
    turn 3 vial -> serra avanger

    yes that works becaus you don't play the avanger add in a turn 2 jitte and your ready to put lots of pressure on your opponent

    mangar + karakas / stonecloker

    that how the deck came to be. repeatable exile target permanent.

    mangara + vial + karakas + flagstone + cataclysm -

    i have 2 lands you have non.

    ok here the fun tricks start:

    vial (3 counters) + flickerwisp

    that allowes you to do amzing things. you can do mangara action, you can remove 2 things with 1 oblivion ring, you can play arround removal or just clear a path for attack. it kills phyrexian draednaught.


    yeah he can bounce himself for instant speed repeatable graveyard removal. i once lost a game because i forgott that ^^.

    here some general tips:

    you want that vial on 3 counters.

    aganst agressive decks you play control, against control decks you play aggresive.

    try to keep karakas untaped if possible. it can bounce itself. if you dont need to use it don't. that way you can dodge wasteland.

    don't overextend if you dont have to. only put on the board what you need. if you play agressive you want those avangers, izamaro and some additional power 3 flyers. if you play control remeber that you have a board sweeper. don't loose more cards to it than neccacery.

    one last note. the magic 2010 rules did hurt the deck quite a bit. the deck works a lot with the stack and the departure of it was a bigger blow to this deck than to any other. does this make the deck bad ? far from it. its not as powerful as it used to be but can still beat any other deck in the format. what has not changed is that the preformance of the deck is a prety direct mirror of the skill of the player playing it.

    ok now lets go through the cards and explain why you play them.

    Card choices:

    mangara - the reason the deck came to be. exile every turn jsut so good

    izamaro - fast efficiant and a legend. plays well on both the offence and defence when paired with karakas.

    stonecloaker- removes graveyard cards, works with mangara, hits for 3 in the air and can save creatures from removal ... nice

    flikerwhisp - so many good things he can do. most flexable card in the deck IMHO

    serra avanger - we need some sort of clock to put pressure on the opponent. flyes, attacks and blocks at the same time and has power/toughness > her mana cost.

    cataclysm - good board sweeper that sets up the mangara lock

    swords to plowshare - super good spot removal

    oblivion ring - can take care of stuff swords can not hit. also you can use it to remove 2 tings with one card in conjunction with vial and flickerwhisp

    aether vial - besides from freeing up mana and makeing your creatures uncounterable it gives them flash too. that turn flickerwhisp into the powrhouse he is in this deck

    jitte - improved the clock al lot, kills off utility creatures or gains life in a tight spot.

    karakas - ähh mangara ... izamaro also and it can bounce itself. sometimes people forget that and waste a wasteland trying to destroy an untaped karakas.

    flagstone - plays so well with cataclysm

    port / wasteland - the deck can be quite harsh on its opponents mana. either of these press that point to a viable strategy.

    plains - not going to explain these. ohh well i might as well. basic are broken in a format where everythin revolves arround non basic lands. wasteland, magus of the moon, back to basics, bloodmoon. all these cards are played because the are very powerful when everyone plays non-basics. since the deck plays so many basics we can usual ignor these cards and get on with winning. some other deck will just scoop to a magus of the moon.

    Alternative card choices

    ok there are 5 slots left what do i put in there ?

    jötun grunt - 2 mana 4/4 wow. you need to feed him though. that drawback can be turned into a gamewinning advantage against decks that relie on thier graveyard. ichorid, grow, loam etc. all of these must get rid of the grunt very very quickly or loose.

    silver knight - used to be in every list. then again goblins used to be in every top 8. if goblins are played a lot he's gold otherwise he's not.

    eather sworn canonist - one of the more difficult to deal with combo hoser. if tendrils and belcher are common he's amazing.

    glow rider - helps against combo. not as well as canonist but he also helps against control better than the canonist.

    true beliver - can be played arround in combo, but so can the other two (although canonis is the most difficult one to play arround). beliver also helps against burn eating up one of thier spells befor they can target you again. sometimes he's also good if a lot of discard gets played.

    samurai of the pale curtain - wins against ichorid or any deck that want to do the narcomöba - dread returns trick. also helps against most other recursion engiens like crucable, academy runins or wolrath stronghold. does have some anti-synergie with cataclysm and jötun grunt though.

    kitchen finks - if burn, goyf-sligh or other decks with lost of burn spells are played he's realy good. here is a qucik example how much life he can gain & preserve with a little support from a flickerwhisp:

    turn 2 opp. plays goyf (goyf is lets say 4/5)
    turn 3 finks gain 2
    turn 3 opp attacks with goyf finks block, persis. gain another 2 prevent 4
    turn 4 whisp remove finks. finks return gain 2 life (the return without the -1/-1 counter)
    turn 4 opp attacks with goyf finks block, persis. gain another 2 prevent 4
    turn 5 opp attacks with goyf finks block prevent 4

    so with 1 finks and 1 flickerwhisp you gained 8 lives and stoped 12 damage from hitting you. that effectivly double your live total.

    still finks only realy shine in matchups where you face a lot of burn.

    aven mind sensore - hes good since he stops fetchlands, tutors etc. but hes a little to slow in legacy to make a big diffrence. he's much better in vintage. in legacy many decks can fetch turn 1 and 2 and not have to fetch again after that.

    path to exile - whilst this card seems good in this deck i strongly advise you not to play it. it has too much anti-synergie with your mana denial plan. you could perhaps build a version without cataclysm and port but i feel the deck is better with them (though some might disagree). play path at your own risk ^^.

    other / more equip - whist i dont think you have the deckspace for more and jitte wins out over all others if you want to try arround sword of fire and ice and mask of memory are both playable.

    leyline of singularity - if everything is legendary i can bounce it all with karakas. yes that idea had popped up. some people tested a lot with that idea but found it did not work out well. exactly why ? i don't know but i trust thier testing on that. if you feel like trying arround with it go ahead, have fun

    color splashes - there have been some atempts to splash black for stuff like dark confidant, vindicate and spectral lynx. i like the mono-white version better. also it has had more success and is a lot cheaper money wise too .

    there also have been some versions with greem splash lately. gaddok teeg fits the deck well and goyf is the uber beater. quasari pridemage is also a powerful card that sees play in the green spalshed version. my oppinion on the green spash ? same as the black splash.

    all in all i dont think the deck needs a color splash. green does not offer anything mono-white can't do on its own and whilst the card draw from black is good the deck does not need it to proform well.

    Side board:

    this realy dpends on your meta. all of the utility creature choices from above can also take sideboard slots. you can also add 4th copies of some cards you run 3 of main to the board. here are some other good choices:

    disenchant, aura of silance, seal of cleansing - artifact / enchantment hate.

    pithing needle - mostly against pernicious deed and engeniered explosives but has other uses too.

    orim's chant, abayance - if you want even more combo hate

    runed halo - versitile tool you can use for many problematic situation. a can play, not a must play.

    Burrenton Forge-Tender - good against all kind of red stuff

    circle of protection red - if burn, goblins, tarmosligh etc. are big than it might be worth it.

    Final words:

    at first glance D&T looks liek white weeny build by someone who has no clue. under that harmless looking shell hides a very powerful deck however. D&T has no realy bad matchups. ts flexable even befor bording. it can be tweaked to suit any metagame and preform well when done so.it can play the aggressor (avanger + jitte for 7 flying power) or the hardcore control (i.e. mangara lock) and jsut about anything in between. just liek white weeny adabted to the new situation, the deck it has become can adabt to almost any game situation. the deck is beautiful in the way is plays with the stack. ohh and in case your still wondering how vial (3 counters) + o-ring + whisp removes 2 things here goes:

    vial with 3 counters in play, whisp in hand.

    play o-ring

    let the remove trigger go onto the stack but not yet resolve

    use vial to brng in whisp

    target o-ring

    remove o-ring. the o-ring leaves play trigger is put on the stack.

    when everything resloves now the o-ring triggers try to retun something first. since there is nothing removed yet nothing happens. only then is something remove (and will stay that way). at end of turn the o-ring returns and eats something else.

    hope you enjoyed the read. this is what a cheap, powerful and challangeing legacy deck can look like. legacy is not a straight forward format like standard. in all the challange it presents however also lies great satisfaction when you succed. i hope this will help getting some of you interested in what is considerd by many magics most versitile, fun and healthy competative format.

  2. #2
    Kappu1's Avatar
    Kappu1 is offline Scarce
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    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    After reading this I see how complex it gets when you start using cards with eachother to make something important happen.

    Thanks for the write up this really makes me want to get into the more complex side of magic because it seems like it could be more fun.

    Can't seem to find this card though Izamaro.

    I found it Isamaro just a spelling deal!
    Last edited by Kappu1; 12-18-2009 at 07:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Kappu1's Avatar
    Kappu1 is offline Scarce
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    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    Okay after reading this entire post and looking up all the cards I can say this is probably the deck I will play in Legacy for a few reasons-

    It's been tested and works and it seems like it can get around in the format and win consistently if played well. (Will be a learning curve for me)

    I like White even though I play Boros in standard.

    I can spend the money and the deck will be good for a long time.

    The deck for the most part isn't to expensive and I don't mind buying dual lands and fetches because the can be bought and sold or used else where so they never lose value really.

    Lastly this gives me the opportunity to Bash and Control and that is important to me because I like both.

    Thanks for the write up Seba I always enjoy reading your post that are in depth.

  4. #4
    seba1983 Guest

    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    yeah i have a slight dislexia so spelling tends to be an issue ^^

    also we might get a decktag soo so we can link a whole deck at once (not confirmed yet though). that will realy help when yu want to post a deck or just a list of cards.

    now i just have to make up my mind what deck to do a primer for next ^^. i dontfeel like doing one of the top decks but rather the clever decks that can still hold thier ground in legacy ... perhaps i go with truffle shuffle. any deck that uses Gigaped and Grave-Shell Scarab as win-con is just hilarious ... ohh and it kicks a** whilst people are still trying to make fun of your insects ^^.

  5. #5
    Kappu1's Avatar
    Kappu1 is offline Scarce
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    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    Deck Tag would be awesome!

  6. #6
    seba1983 Guest

    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    i know some other forums have them so i worte jared if we could get them too and he liked the idea and said he'd pass it on. guess we'll have to wait and see. would definatly improve primiers such as these, since i guess many people need to look up quite a few cards in these decks.

  7. #7
    Kappu1's Avatar
    Kappu1 is offline Scarce
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    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    I have to look them up because I don't know what the text reads and it helps me better understand the stuff your talking about.

    Part of being new to magic

  8. #8
    seba1983 Guest

    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    yeah if you knew all the stuff already why would you bother to read such a primer so im happy when we get a deck tag.

  9. #9
    Kappu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    Okay Seba for the five slots left what is most effiecent if I have never played the Legacy Meta around here?

    Best well rounded cards just to start I guess for the 5 slots?

    I figure Jotun Grunt and then ????

  10. #10
    seba1983 Guest

    Default Re: Primer - Legacy, Tier 2 - [Death&Taxes]

    i used to play the samurai. thinking about it now if i were to dust off the deck i'd go with 2 grunts and 3 canonists.

    you can use stonecloaker or flickerwisp if you need to play more than 1 spell. also you can use a vial with 2 counters to do some cool tricks when they already played a spell that turn ^^. instant speed is fun



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