Video: Astral Slide in Legacy

It’s been a long time since Slide was in the spotlight. Drew Levin researches its current viability in this series of Legacy videos! Can it make a surprise resurgence at #SCGINVI?

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

I don’t know if there’s a way to redeem this deck.

Is it interesting? Yeah, casting a Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded on turn 1 definitely counts as interesting.

Is it challenging? Sure, you have tons of decisions every turn that impact the game in different ways.

Is it good? No, this deck is basically a worse version of G/R Lands.

There is certainly a core of powerful cards here — Life from the Loam, cycling lands, Grove of the Burnwillows and Punishing Fire, Mox Diamond, even
Eternal Witness — but the support cards are odd ducks like Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded instead of heavy-hitters like Exploration. You know that your deck’s
core needs reconsideration when you can play a planeswalker on turn 2, activate it ten times, and lose easily.

The manabase needs a complete overhaul. Despite Wasteland and Life from the Loam being among the most powerful long-game interactions in Legacy, I don’t
think that they go well together here. This deck wants to have a large manabase, and having only four fetchable lands doesn’t advance the ball on that

Mox Diamond is obviously incredible, although the deck suffers from not having anything remotely powerful to do with the fast mana it provides.

Other Mox Diamond decks involve casting a Lightning Greaves on turn 1 and a Metalworker into Kuldotha Forgemaster into Blightsteel Colossus on turn 2. This
deck’s most powerful Mox Diamond sequence involves casting Life from the Loam and prolonging the game despite having no serious end-game trump. As it turns
out, Legacy is a tough format in which to create inevitability. Relying on the graveyard for that inevitability has never been worse than it is today, what
with Deathrite Shaman and Rest in Peace running around.

Another frustrating element that you may encounter when building this deck is how many decisions you have to make that feel mostly meaningless. This is a
side effect of having a poorly-built manabase — the deck wants to be able to play or cycle its Secluded Steppes and so on, but it also tends to run out of
cycling lands after doing that. Making those decisions — as well as deciding whether or not to hold onto a cycling land for use with Astral Slide — is a
marginal call that taxes the mind but doesn’t impact the game nearly as much as, say, whether or not to shuffle a Ponder.

I’m definitely not done with Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded after this, but I am ready to call it quits with Astral Slide. I still believe that there’s a red
graveyard-adjacent prison-style deck that wants Tibalt, but I can’t imagine a Legacy format in which Astral Slide is good enough to warrant serious play.
Sorry, folks — they can’t all be winners.