I unreservedly recommend this deck for the Legacy portion of the New Jersey Invitational. I like all of the numbers. To explain:
18 lands, with the fetchlands being Polluted Deltas and Wooded Foothills: You’re playing Stifle. The fetchlands that telegraph Stifle are Misty Rainforest
and Scalding Tarn. If you have a choice, don’t play those. If you still don’t understand why, read The Art of War.
12 threats: If you cut a threat, you will lose games to not having enough cards that kill them. I don’t consider any threats beyond these three creatures
to be powerful enough to maindeck. As you can see, I do think that other creatures are good enough to play — just not in your starting sixty.
8 cantrips: If you cut cantrips, the rest of this article isn’t going to do you much good. Seriously, these are the best cards in the deck by a wide
margin. For reference, they are the only two Vintage-restricted cards in the deck.
4 Stifle: The mana-denial aspect of the deck has been downplayed in recent months, and I think it’s about time to bring it back. Stifle gives your soft
countermagic more relevance in long games, it interacts favorably with a lot of effects in the format (Cascade, Suspend, Miracle, Living Weapon, and
planeswalker abilities, to name five), and it allows you to steal games just by Stone Raining your opponent a few times.
4 Daze: The best counter in the deck, so play four of them.
3 Force of Will: Still really good, but casting two in a game isn’t great. Drawing two at the same time is fine because you can pitch one to the other, but
opening with one and drawing a second after casting the first is pretty low on my to-do list. Besides, if you only have three, you’ll be the right amount
of conservative in deciding when to cast this.
2 Spell Pierce: If you forced me to make a change to this list, it would be to add a third Spell Pierce and cut a non-cantrip, non-land, non-creature,
non-counterspell. My issue with too many Spell Pierces is that you can get glutted on them and lose to a deck that just plays on the board. Your sideboard
is already very well-equipped to handle spell-based decks, so I’m fine skimping on maindeck stack interaction (to the extent that this list does).
1 Spell Snare: I’m happy with ten counters and four Stifles, but your mileage may vary. Having a hard counter is great — Spell Snare used to be a four-of
in old tempo Thresh decks. The rising popularity of Stoneforge Mystic and Counterbalance is why I’m interested in playing one of these, and I could imagine
a world in which I wanted a second.
6 Bolts: I’ve always liked exactly six R deal-threes. Forked Bolt never appealed to me outside of metagames where I was consistently casting it as
Electrolyze. That isn’t really the case anymore, as the only matchups where you can hope to get value out of Forked Bolt are Elves and Death and Taxes. If
Forked Bolt is a mini-Searing Blaze, I hate it. If my opponent casts a Jace and zeroes it against my Forked Bolt (as opposed to Chain Lightning), I’m
looking for the nearest cliff.
2 Gitaxian Probe: You will be tempted to cut these for “real spells.” Don’t do it. Being able to sculpt a gameplan around information is very good. You
can’t play more because playing more than sixty cards is loose and cutting any of the existing “real spells” doesn’t interest me. I definitely want two
Gitaxian Probes though. Probe is a scalpel — don’t just throw it aside in favor of a blunt object like Spell Pierce.
The sideboard is very metagame-dependent, but this is a good generic board. You have:
2 Submerge: One of the cards I’m least confident in, to be honest with you. It’s great against the mirror and against big dumb Green decks, but I don’t
know how much of either to expect in New Jersey. Evaluate these slots carefully come Friday.
2 Grafdigger’s Cage: Dredge put two pilots into the Top 8 of the Washington, DC Legacy Open. Don’t leave your graveyard hate at home — people will play
2 Krosan Grip: If my matches against Miracles haven’t sold you on these by now, I wish you the best of luck with your Ancient Grudges or what-have-you. I
think Krosan Grip is phenomenal, and I would absolutely not split them with Grudges.
Sylvan Library: Basically a green Ancestral Recall against Miracles, other do-nothing control decks, and combo decks. If your life total isn’t being
attacked, get this in and pay twelve to draw three.
Sulfur Elemental: Get f*****, Thalia. Seriously, that card is bad news for us.
Grim Lavamancer: A grindier Rough // Tumble that does a ton of work against Deathrite Shaman + Stoneforge Mystic decks where you don’t want to hold onto a
Rough // Tumble all game and try to set up a meager two-for-one. Also quite good against Elves, Death and Taxes, and so on.
Flusterstorm: More cards against combo decks. This is preferable to Spell Pierce because you specifically want this in fights over their spell — if their
plan is to counter your counter, you want a counter that can’t be countered with a single counter. Thus, Flusterstorm.
Vendilion Clique: More than anything else, this is an instant-speed Duress against combo decks. It’s also great against Miracles (the deck and the
mechanic), but holding this until someone has committed several Rituals or a Show and Tell is just great. Attacking for three is gravy.
As always, if you have any questions, hit me up. Good luck!