Sometimes I feel like the diversity of Legacy is overblown by the Magic community. Sure, there are theoretically 50 to 100 different archetypes to choose from without counting variants of those archetypes separately, but ultimately the vast majority of those decks are not competitive in the face of Miracles, Eldrazi, Storm, Delver, and the like.
But then I see a deck like this. My first reaction to seeing it was to look at the rest of the decks in the Top 8 to ensure that the field was competitive. Well, the other seven decks are all successful, competitive archetypes, and yet this brew managed to best them all. One victory does not a Tier 1 deck make, but it certainly points to some potential, especially when you start looking at just how powerful False Cure and Kavu Predator are in this deck.
Skyshroud Cutter, Invigorate, and Reverent Silence represent free spells that can take anywhere from three to six life from your opponent. Since they are free, you can set up early turns with False Cure where you deal ten-plus damage with a good draw. Cutter and Invigorate can also further an aggressive game plan, which the rest of the deck is built toward due to the high damage output capability of its engine.
If that is not powerful enough for you, consider how this those lifegain spells work if you have Kavu Predator on the battlefield. False Cure is not a replacement effect; it is a trigger upon your opponent gaining life, so Kavu Predator will also trigger when you cast any of your free spells. This turns Invigorate into a free Might of Oaks where three-seventh of it stays around in the form of +1/+1 counters. Predator also lets your free spells do work even when you do not have False Cure, so you will not often be stuck with dead cards in your hand when your draw isn’t near perfect.
While False Cure is so obscure it sort of steals the show, Kavu Predator appears to me to be the most important card in the deck. Green Sun’s Zenith serves as potential extra copies that can also find Sylvan Safekeeper to protect a large Predator from most removal. The rest of the deck is a typical shell for an Abzan Midrange list, with cards like Deathrite Shaman for acceleration and reach, Dark Confidant to help dig for the engine components, and Swords to Plowshares as a catch-all removal spell that plays perfectly with False Cure and Predator.
My first thought for revisions was to play a singleton Tainted Remedy over the Sensei’s Divining Top to push the deck’s synergies, but Remedy is not nearly the card False Cure is. Since Remedy is a replacement effect, it completely shuts down your Kavu Predators and False Cures and also does nothing in multiples were you inclined to add more than one.
The sideboard is a collection of solid midrange answers and hatebears for when you need to interact more with your opponent and focus on assembling your engine less, which is appropriate. I would like to see some more discard spells, likely in the form of Duress, since the deck seems weak to fast combo. The Disenchant effects, Nature’s Claim and Krosan Grip, seem like natural cuts, given that you already have Revenant Silence and Abrupt Decay.
In a time where the Eldrazi seem to be dominating every format they touch, it is refreshing to see someone step up with a unique deck and conquer them. This deck is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak world, a beacon of humanity’s capacity for ingenuity in the face of total destruction.
It’s also pretty freaking sweet to make a big trampling monster and turn it sideways while doming your opponent for ten. Legacy is pretty great sometimes.