I’d like to thank Jeff McAleer – a Northern Virginian with whom I go back many years – for putting in the time and energy to tune the list to this form. After playing the original list, it was clear that it gave too much attention to the power of Mox Opal and not enough attention to the color requirements of the decklist. Jeff’s changes certainly added power and consistency.
With that said, I don’t think that Disciple of Deceit is good enough in a deck this defensive. It is difficult to set up Springleaf Drum and Disciple of Deceit, and both cards are weak on their own. Together they can create a powerful interaction, but it is one that can be disrupted by cards that are ubiquitous, cheap, and mostly instant-speed.
I believe that a better model for the deck moving forward is to include Disciple of Deceit in a deck that wants to discard cards, has a lot of threats that demand removal, and can reasonably attack. This deck has half of one of those three – it occasionally wants to discard a Faithless Looting or a card to be Weldered back into play. Attacking with Disciple of Deceit is by far the easiest way to trigger it, and this deck is poorly set up to do so. A fixation on Springleaf Drum is actually a trap and not a panacea at all.
Moving forward, I would actually want to make a UB Fish-style deck, much in the vein of the BUG deck from my Journey into Nyx preview article. Disciple of Deceit may not be a very good Fauna Shaman or Survival of the Fittest, but it’s just fine at creating marginal edges over time – discarding Cabal Therapy to find Brainstorm, shuffling away some lands, discarding Bloodghast to find Dark Confidant, that sort of thing. As is my unfortunate tendency when creating new decks, I neglected to create a Plan B[eatdown]. In Legacy, assuming you can interact at a few key junctures, the random beatdowns get there a surprising amount of the time. It turns out that doing anything is often good enough. Playing a deck that tries very hard to do one thing but fails miserably when it doesn’t do that one thing is a fool’s errand.
I’m always happy to play the fool, though. I do try to learn lessons, however. The next few Legacy decks will be quite a bit more aggressive. For the next little bit, though, I’ll be diving into the deep, dark waters of Vintage. My promise to you on that front is only that I will never play Mishra’s Workshop and that I will never play Golgari Grave-Troll. I’m in Vintage for the Moxes and Lotuses.