Legacy Pox

Posted in Daily Deck on December 10, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Today on Daily Decks, we'll be looking at one of the more hateful strategies you can play in Legacy. This deck is built around the card Smallpox and looks to lock your opponent out of the game by stripping cards out of their hand and destroying their lands so that they can't do anything. The reason why I chose this deck is because it reminded me of Magic back in the early days. Pox (not Smallpox, but actual Pox) was a card that people built around for older formats like Extended and Type 1.5 (now referred to as Legacy). Turn one Dark Ritual into Pox was a very common play and often crippled your opponent.

Chalice of the Void is a very strong Legacy card right now. It has been slowly gaining popularity in the format because it's so good against one-mana spells such as Brainstorm, Ponder, and Sensei's Divining Top. As long as those cards are around, Chalice will continue to be powerful.

This deck can lock out the opponent in many other ways besides Chalice. Wasteland plus Crucible of Worlds will ensure your opponent never has lands to cast their spells. Even if they have a few basics in play, Nether Void will make it very difficult to resolve spells. Night of Souls' Betrayal and Ensnaring Bridge lock out any creature strategy.

Another card I'd like to call out is Chains of Mephistopheles. This is a card that has given many people nightmares because no one understands it. To be fair, this is probably the most complicated card in Magic after Humility, and the words written on the card are hard to decipher. The card is actually a hoser for any deck that is playing one-mana cantrip effects like Brainstorm. If a player casts a Brainstorm, they have to discard a card before each card drawn. If that player has no cards in hand, they will have to mill the top card of their library and won't get to draw any cards. Talk about confusing! Let's just say that if you have Brainstorm in your deck, Chains of Mephistopheles is bad news for you.

So how does this deck win? If your opponent doesn't concede out of frustration, you can win in one of two ways—and both of them are slow, painful deaths. You can attack for 2 every turn with either Mishra's Factory or Nether Spirit. If that doesn't work, Cursed Scroll can inflict 2 damage a turn. You'll rarely have cards in hand due to Smallpox and Liliana of the Veil, so this plan usually works quite well.

Jason Deiss's Pox

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