Posted in Feature on August 7, 2012

By Conley Woods

There have been few things in this world as imperfect as Magic deck naming. If we were to make the distinction, it is certainly an art, and nowhere close to a science. Over the years, decks have been named after cereal brands, fast food chains, imaginary places, puns involving birds, and professional wrestlers. Still, other common methods exist that are more reasonable, such as naming a deck after its colors or a signature card within it. Usually in the latter case, the card plays a big role and is a four-of stand out, such as Enduring Ideal, Dragonstorm, or Splinter Twin. That is why today's deck is a little strange, because it too is named after its central card, but in this case, it's a one-of.

Ad Nauseam

Ad Nauseam is among the more powerful things you can be doing in Legacy, and Timo Schünemann demonstrated that at Grand Prix Ghent, as he piloted the combo deck to a first-place trophy. Ad Nauseam takes center stage in the list as the primary draw engine that subsequently draws a large portion of your deck due to as many things that cost zero, one, and two mana as possible. Herein lies the problem, though, as Ad Nauseam itself costs five mana. How can you build around a card when it has anti-synergy with itself? The answer is to only run a single copy of the win condition. By configuring the deck this way, all of the cheaper tutors and draw spells find Ad Nauseam and then do not pose the risk of 5 damage during your win.

You might be wondering what that win condition is, though, as just drawing a bunch of cards does not win the game by itself. Due to the large amount of free spells and mana created by rituals, the deck ends up playing a ton of spells on the turn it casts Ad Nauseam. This lends itself perfectly to the storm mechanic, as scary as it is, and popular combo finisher Tendrils of Agony. Should plan A go bad, the deck has access to Burning Wish, which opens up a player's sideboard in the middle of the game, inviting a choice of win conditions there, such as Empty the Warrens. The deck has plenty of foils in the metagame, of course, but with high consistency and high speed, Ad Nauseam is one of the defining decks of Legacy.

Timo Schünemann's Ad Nauseam Tendrils

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