Daily Digest: Ears And Hooves

Ross Merriam has always liked trampling people to death by utilizing a bunch of woodland folk to bring forth a giant…thing. But what’s truly is scary is that someone else may have found an even better way to do it! #SCGORL Legacy Classic: You’ve been warned.

No joke, I think I’ve had dreams about casting a Green Sun’s Zenith for eight with Force of Will backup.

They were pleasant dreams. Hoofing people is the best. I especially like when your opponent starts doing the math with their last dash at optimism that the Craterhoof Behemoth may not be lethal.

It’s always lethal.

Eric Rill turned my dreams into reality with a sweet U/G Aggro deck that looks like an Elves deck that is more towards the aggressive end of the aggro-combo spectrum but doesn’t lose much in the way of a clock and gets to play some interactive spells in the maindeck.

Like Elves, you have your stable of mana creatures in Green Sun’s Zenith for Dryad Arbor and Deathrite Shaman, this time supplementing them with the powerful Noble Hierarch rather than Heritage Druid and Birchlore Rangers. It’s important to start the game on one of these plays so you can enable a turn two Intuition. That Intuition will find three copies of Vengevine, preparing to send an onslaught of 4/3 Elemental creatures to terrorize your opponent.

Back when I first played Elves in Legacy, before Craterhoof Behemoth existed, my sideboard included four Vengevine alongside four copies of Buried Alive against decks that had a lot of sweepers and removal after sideboarding. This actually led to me trying a list with blue for Intuition and Vengevine in the maindeck, since Intuition could also find Glimpse of Nature or Gaea’s Cradle, so I am no stranger to this plan and it is surprisingly potent. A turn 2 Intuition can easily lead to a turn 4 kill, and outside of Terminus, there isn’t much that is going to stop the horde of Vengevines.

Elves has Wirewood Symbiote and Elvish Visionary to refill on creatures in case your Vengevines are killed, but this deck opts for more powerful, explosive ways to enable more double-creature turns. Cloud of Faeries is especially good if you are trying to cast a Vengevine from your hand, since it effectively costs zero mana, which makes it a great follow-up to a turn 2 Intuition. You also have Shardless Agent, which will most likely function as two creatures in one, unless it’s hitting Brainstorm or Green Sun’s Zenith, two of the best cards in Legacy. Notably, both of these enabler creatures are blue cards to help out Force of Will, which might otherwise be uncastable in this deck.

Despite all the sweet things the creatures are doing in this deck, the real draw is Gaea’s Cradle. Your Eldrazi opponents may have lands that tap for two mana, and at best Eye of Ugin generates four or six, but Gaea’s Cradle taps for two to four mana regularly and sometimes just taps for eight. It is not a reasonable Magic card. The only reason it’s unbanned is because it’s so tough to play all the sweet blue cards in Legacy while still enabling it but that is no more. That is the definition of having your cake and eating it too. Just try not to go get too excited.

I eventually conceded that the blue cards in Legacy are simply too good not to play with when given the chance and had to put down my beloved Elves, but if you’re telling me I can do both, then I may have to get the pointy-eared band back together.