Dana Kinsella brings us a hyper-aggressive U/W Legacy Infect deck that proves itself as a quick win covered in fun.
So I think the reason most of us actually read these article isn’t because we’re interested in any author’s particular life.
The real reason is, of course, because we want the latest “tech”.
I don’t know that the list I am about to share with you is necessarily the latest “tech”, but it certainly is a bit different and has definitely done well enough for me to bring it to the table for discussion.
But first, I’m going to share a bit about my particular life and how Magic was introduced to me.
In the Beginning
In the beginning there was…LOST
The year was 2005. I was a Jr. in College, lying on the couch I had passed out any number of times, watching television’s premiere of LOST, Season 2.
OH! and I had mono…
I had been on that couch watching Scrubs, The West Wing, Smallville, and, of course, LOST for the better part of a month. No class for this guy. But, unfortunately, that also meant no drinking, playing or going out with the boys.
Or the girls, for that matter.
It was with this background my roommate Matt Quinn said to me, “You wanna learn to play Magic?”
Since I’m not sure what kind of language I can actually use in this articles, we’ll just say my response started with an F, sounded like Duck and ended with a resounding “NO!”
Thank the lord Matt is a no BS kinda guy and told me I was learning so that he didn’t have to watch LOST anymore. *
This little lesson turned into a 4-5 hour a day “casual” habit between the four roommates of the house. Of course we all thought we were the “bee’s knees”, but my first adventure into “competitive Magic” (FNM) left me with a solid 0-4 in matches 0-8 in games, feeling like I had just woke up next to Kurt from Glee! after a LONG night of drinking.
Fast forward to the present. Unfortunately I still find myself occasionally feeling like the morning after with Kurt, but that’s another story entirely.
I have spent the last few years honing this crazy skill, travelling the country, making some awesome friends—sometimes winning, sometimes losing, but, above all, having a great time.
But why should anyone want to listen to me?
The sarcastic/likely answer is that you probably shouldn’t. But I have had some alright successes on my path.
I made Top 4 of Star City’s Open Minneapolis, helped design the U/G Scapeshift deck that took GP Atlanta by storm, and I traditionally start every major tournament and PTQ I enter at X-0 only to finish 9th-16th, or, in the case of Star City Opens, 33rd.
So, now you’re probably still asking yourself “Why do I care how you started Magic and your past?”
Truth is: I don’t know. But for now I’m going to blame the whole thing on Ray Charles…
U/G Infect. In Legacy.
A totally different Magic…
Back when they spoiled Glistener Elf, I thought
well there it is…1 mana 1/1 infector….can it be done?
Pogs, for those of you who don’t know, were these stupid little round pieces of cardboard, originally from milk cartons, with pictures on them. These became EXTREMELY popular when I was in elementary school. And then kinda disappeared.
I had some Crazy 8 Balls, Yin-Yangs, a few of Jordan and Pippen and then, low and behold…
My new roommate Jessen had been calling Poison Aids** for as long as it had been a mechanic, so I took this Pog as a sign.***
Legacy Infect Had to be Done!
Seriously. This deck is FAST.
However, unlike some of the turn 1-2 combo decks in Legacy, this one isn’t as much of a “glass canon”.
In fact, this deck loves to sit down and see a Tendrils player on the other side of the table.
Now, as we all know, Legacy is huge, so I can’t say that every matchup is peachy keen. However, I can say that this deck at least brings game against most of the tier one decks and is too fast for most of them.
The one card you don’t want to see the other guy lead with is Wild Nacatl. Game one vs. Zoo is pretty atrocious. After board, however, things look much rosier.
The main idea with this deck is to land a turn one infector.
This can be an Elf or an Inkmoth. Elf is superior here, as Inkmoth is a little trickier to win on turn two with, although it’s possible.
If a turn one infector isn’t possible, a turn two Blighted Agent is always nice, but nearly any old infector will do. Once you have an infector stuck on board, the game becomes one where you’re simply making sure that dude stays there.
Nearly the rest of the deck is designed with that specific goal in mind. Notice that all of our “dudes” are 1/1s, as this makes them cheap and fast. But it also allows them to die to—quite literally—ANYTHING…
Imagine talking to Doom Blade guy about this deck.
The truth is that, while any removal will kill any of our dudes, we know the main culprits:
Our deck is made up of three convenient parts:
- and Counters
We also play Brainstorm for good measure, seeing that it’s the best card in the format.
So how do we save our dudes from Lightning Bolt?
Well, almost all of our pumps would work, although we’d rather have those hit the other guy’s dome. But that beautiful new card Mental Misstep seems right for the job. And with the game on the line, a little card disadvantage via Force of Will has never killed anyone (above one life).
Except the opponent when our dude survives. 😉
When I first started playing this deck I used my counters like I would in a control deck.
Enter my Blighted Agent dying to some stupid removal spell a turn or two later.
With this deck we care little for the spells our opponents play unless our death is on the stack or the spell is pointed at one of our dudes.
Point is: SAVE YOUR COUNTERS.
Save them for a turn when you can make little old 1/1 Elf into 10/10 trample Elf with Force/Misstep backup.
Often that turn is 2 or 3.
Some points of Interest about this deck:
- Invigorate is SOOOO awesome here. We care not what our opponents life is at, so this is just a free +4/+4.
- One land hands can be okay. Most of the spells in this deck are free or close to free, so if your opener has a dude or two, a pump or two, and a counter or two with a Tropical Island, it could just be all you need. Just hope they don’t have the opening Wasteland.
- Ichorclaw Myr + Rancor= 🙂
While Legacy is an ever evolving format and there are any number of viable decks at any given time, let us look at the most recent SCG Open in Seattle for a semi-accurate expected metagame.
As much as I hate to admit it, this deck is becoming more real every tournament lately. There were three copies in the Top 8 and four in the Top 16 this past weekend. However, the best way to beat Hive Mind is with situational counters (targeting the Hive Mind), and we have those. Daze is good here and Nix is pure GOLD. Other than that, our goal is to try and be faster than them. And we can be.
This matchup is pretty solid to begin with. These are the only changes I would maybe ever make, and only if I feel they are running a particularly heavy counter suite.
We’re normally quite a bit faster than NO RUG, as they either win through some heavy beats or slapping down a crazy 10/10 Protection from Everything kinda guy really early…. The extra Dazes can help us counter the Natural Order if they’re still alive by turn three or four.
Like I said earlier, these are our hardest matchups. Force is just card disadvantage against these decks and is WAY too expensive to get the right outcome. These decks have too much redundancy to care too much if one of their spells gets Forced. Misdirection and Divert, however, really shine in these matchups. When they attempt to Lightning Bolt our dude, it gets turned back around on THEIR dude… or at least at their dome. Though we really don’t care about that. Just so long as it doesn’t kill our infector.
U/W Stoneblade; U/W Control/Standstill; Team America:
While the cards that come in are the same as they are versus Zoo (or any of those types of decks), the reasons are very different. Now we are not turning their own lightning bolt against them, but rather trying to steal their Visions. We side like this versus any Hymn deck as well for the same reason. We need our cards and they can easily answer a lot of our spells as one-for-ones, so we need to prevent them from getting ahead if the game goes long.
The matchup isn’t bad, even without the graveyard hate, as they don’t interact with you and you really don’t care to interact with them. Use Mental Misstep to counter their first turn Dredge enabler. You’ll come to realize decks that don’t interact with you don’t do very well. Once you add some graveyard hate to deal with a possible NUTSO first Dredge or two, you’ve sealed the deal and are likely pretty solid.
Until Next Time…
While I don’t know if this deck has what it takes for a huge tournament, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.
If nothing else, it is really fun.
Which, in the end, is what this game is supposed to be about.
So go ahead give it a try. You may be as surprised as the guy who is poisoned across from you.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave any advice or ideas on this deck (or even for future articles of interest!) in the comments.
Dana Kinsella, E.S.Q.
*Other than that series finale, I still hold fast to the fact that Lost was a great series.
** Jessen keeps trying to convince me to bring informational pamphlets with me so I can educate the people I beat with this deck. I’m not quite there yet, though.
***Also, AIDS is very real and not something to take light-heartedly outside of funny jokes.