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Touch of the Eternal — Scanning For Oddballs #2

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Welcome to another installment of Touch of the Eternal, your guide to the movers and shakers in the Legacy and Modern finance world. In my article two weeks ago I looked for the oddball cards showing up in some top-level lists, the type of cards that can jump drastically overnight (especially if they are from an older set or a limited print run). Often these are the "tech" cards, used to beat the latest new decks or shore up bad matchups.

So without further ado, here are a few stranger options that finished high in tournaments lately. (All players and decks are taken from the last three weeks of SCG Opens.)

Jund (by Owen Laufersweiler)

Pernicious Deed -- Deed, while being a big part of Nic Fit's plan and seeing play in BUG lists from time to time, hasn't shown up in any Jund lists yet. This is because it affects both sides of the board and Jund typically plays cheap creatures that Deed will kill. However, Liliana of the Veil, already a four-of in Jund, does survive a Deed and some of the damage can be mitigated by holding back threats when you know it's coming. I don't expect Deed to get widely adopted, but it could certainly serve as a flash-in-the-pan catchall for some players. The fact that this card was only printed in Apocalypse (and as a judge foil) keeps it's price high, but its lack of success in the Legacy format makes me want to pass on this one.

Ensnaring Bridge -- This was an old-school catchall to powerful creatures. When you can control your hand size, you can control the attack step. The fact that it blanks [card Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]Emarkul[/card] (and more often than not Griselbrand) makes it an excellent "tech" card when fatties are the name of the game. With 4x Liliana of the Veil, Owen could control the board via her and the Bridge and simply grind his opponents out, as most decks would not bring in dedicated artifact hate against Jund. The fact that Bridge gets hit by Abrupt Decay does weaken it a bit, but it's highly unlikely you'd bring it in against anyone playing B/G (except possibly Nic Fit). The fact that this card has been printed three times will unforunately keep it from sky rocketing, however it has jumped over 200% in the past year.

Zombies (by Charles Smith)

Meekstone -- Meekstone is similar to Ensaring Bridge in that it locks down larger creatures. The beauty of Meekstone is that one can often make it a one-sided effect through deck building choices. It works well with noncreature damage sources (like Goblin Bombardment) and helps Zombies stall the tempo decks that utilize super-efficient threats (Tarmogoyf, Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration, Nimble Mongoose, Knight of the Reliquary).

Maverick (Evan Wagstaff)

Thrun, the Last Troll -- While Thrun isn't completely new to the Legacy scene, he doesn't make that many appearances. Thrun provides an uncounterable threat that is difficult to destroy. He can block Tarmogoyf indefinitely and always beats a Nimble Mongoose in combat (unless RUG players adopt Simic Charm, which some have). The fact that he's a mythic from a middle set means he has room to grow. Maverick has been on the decline with the resurgence of Show and Tell decks, but with BUG Delver holding those decks at bay, Maverick has an opportunity for a resurgence. My guess would be the Punishing Fire version, as it's very good against BUG delver.

Sneak and Show (Josh Ravitz)

Through the Breach -- While not unknown in Modern, Through the Breach is less common in Legacy. Through the Breach has not usually been associated with Legacy due to the fact that it costs 5 and only wins you the game when you have a threat to cheat into play from your hand. It serves as another copy of Sneak Attack, albeit one that can only be used once.

Sneak and Show (Sean Park)

Not of This World -- A clever solution to cards aimed at killing Griselbrand, which happens to cost nothing. If this card weren't an uncommon it could easily be a break-out all star, however as it stands the ceiling on this card is rather low. Foil copies on the other hand certainly possess a lot more room to grow, so scour your bulk foils and pull any of these out for later.

12-Post (Austin Katzin)

Thespian's Stage -- While many immediately brushed this card off as an EDH card, Austin realized that it can serve as yet another post in a pinch. And given the deck generates obscene amounts of colorless mana, using 2 to get even more seems perfectly reasonable. While this card has cooled off greatly from it's initial hype, I do think there's room for it to grow. It will always have casual demand and all it needs is to break out in a good Legacy deck and it will easily become a 7-8 dollar card.

4 thoughts on “Touch of the Eternal — Scanning For Oddballs #2

  1. I love Thespians Stage. People always compared it to Vesuva, but it obviously has some good upsides;

    1. It’s not a dead card in your hand if its your first land drop OR if there isn’t a land on the board you don’t want to copy.

    2. It doesn’t come in tapped.

    3. If its on your side of the board, it actually is pressure in itself, in the sense that your opponent might not want to play certain lands just to restrict you from copying it and using it as your own. Of course Vesuva is more quick and efficient than Thespians, but it’s generally the same thing.

    I hope it goes places in Legacy.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly (I’m a big fan of Thespian’s Stage..and even like the flavor of it). It has a lot of potential in Legacy that many players don’t consider…I might give it a try as a 1 of in Maverick decks as a potential 5th wasteland with other options.

  2. As usual, please be careful when explaining what cards do. None of Simic Charm’s 3 modes do anything in a combat step between a Nimble Mongoose and a Thrun. The Mongoose has *shroud.*

    1. I apologize, I don’t have much experience with RUG delver (though I’m very aware of the Mongoose’s shroud). My friend mentioned he runs a charm or 2 in his sideboard and after discussing it with him, it’s mainly to protect Delvers and win Goyf wars.

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