Winners of the Banhammer Raffle

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Previously on Goyf Wars: The menace that had plagued the format all fall was finally gone – with Treasure Cruise removed from the environment, the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Who will be restored to former glory, and who will be left behind in the junk binders?

With the regards to the ban of Treasure Cruise, I want to look at what decks and cards will be most affected by the change. The “winners” in this case are cards that will become more important, or will be played more frequently in the near future, and the “losers” are the opposite; cards that will be played less frequently.

The Winners:nimblemongoose.hq
Nimble Mongoose: Welcome back to the format, old friend. Canadian Threshold can again play its oldest threat without fear of public shaming, with Treasure Cruise gone. During its time in the format, Treasure Cruise pushed Nimble Mongoose away from RUG Delver, and stand-in as threat 9-12 was generally Young Pyromancer. Though I never actually sleeved up RUG Delver with Young Pyromancer for a tournament, I feel the child soldier is a bad fit for the deck. Canadian Threshold is a deck full of reactive spells, but Young Pyromancer revels in proactive spells, like cantrips. Young Pyromancer whispers to you to cast just another main phase Brainstorm, while Canadian Threshold begs you to hold them until you really need them. This lack of proper dynamics makes me welcome Nimble Mongoose back into the 60, finally.

Hymn to Tourach: Hymn to Tourach is arguably one of the game’s best, most mana-efficient, discard spells. Everyone who has spent some time in Legacy knows the sinking feeling when the opponent taps two black mana and starts to look for a die. However, even if the discard is random, when the opponent can easily reload with Ancestral Recall – especially when decks play four of them, alongside four Brainstorms and four Ponders – discarding things from your opponent’s hand is rarely an effective strategy. Oh, how I long to start off a game with turn one Deathrite Shaman into turn two Hymn to Tourach and Wasteland.


The queen of fanservice is back!

Liliana of the Veil: Presuming UR Delver and Young Pyromancer will lose power in the format, Liliana of the Veil will be a stronger card in the future. With her +1 restored to power, since generating card advantage now is harder than to just cast a sorcery speed Ancestral Recall, and her -2 much better since it’s likely to hit stuff other than 1/1 Elemental tokens, Liliana is back in power. Clearly, one of the winners of this change.

Dig Through Time: Some petty fools will probably just try and replace their Treasure Cruises with Dig Through Times, and although the latter is an exceptionally powerful card, it doesn’t beat Treasure Cruise in redundancy or sheer power. Decks like UR Delver will not want to cast this UU instant, because aggro decks like that want to chain spells together in an explosive turn 3-4 and win, meaning that doubling the price of the Delve card will be quite devastating. Still, decks like Stoneblade, Show and Tell, and maybe some sort of slower control build now that the format’s premiere Aggro deck is a bit neutered, will all be fine places for a couple of copies of Dig Through Time. It’s the older, more studious, more cultured cousin that will be in charge for the foreseeable future.

Elves!: Not a single elf card specifically, but more like the deck in general. Elves was a good deck even during Treasure Cruise’s reign, but an influx in 2/1 mage prodigies along with 1/1 tokens meant that more people were playing small sweepers like Pyroclasm or Golgari Charm were more attractive, and incidentally, they all created splash damage on the deck full of 1/1’s and 2/2’s. With these sweepers less attractive as sideboard cards, Elves are sure to benefit – though I’m not seeing a huge surge in the deck’s power or popularity.

worldgorgerdragon.hqWorldgorger Dragon: Clearly, a card that will most definitely see more play with Treasure Cruise banned is a card that happened to be unbanned at the same time. It’s unlikely that it will prove more effective than other reanimation targets (specifically Griselbrand, the bench mark of this category of creatures), but let’s not forget that Worldgorger Dragon with Animate Dead and Nephalia Drownyard is a turn 2 kill, something Griselbrand won’t do in the same situation. If one adds Oona, Queen of the Fae it’s a kill even if the opponent is packing Eldrazis who would otherwise protect the opponent from the mill death. The combo is easily disrupted by Stifle, Abrupt Decay and everything else that regular Reanimator loses to, but it’s funny as hell when executed and will surely see some fringe play.


The Losers:
Young Pyromancer / Monastery Swiftspear: The two prime beaters of UR Delver, who ironically didn’t make it into the deck name, both benefited greatly from Treasure Cruise, since both really like it when the pilot plays some cantrips, reloads and then plays some more cantrips to chain a bunch of triggers together and either deal a huge amount of damage in one turn, or create an overwhelming board state for the opponent. These two are still able to somewhat do this, and I don’t think UR Delver is completely uncompetitive because of the ban, but these two creatures will carry somewhat of a lesser impact in the future.

Thoughtseize: This one is minor, but decks that used to play Hymn to Tourach before Treasure Cruise in some metas decided to play Thoughtseize instead, and some of these decks might go back to the bigger brother of discard spells now. Thoughtseize is still a brilliant card in many metagames, especially those with some non-redundant combo decks in them, but it’s unlikely to see more play with Treasure Cruise gone.

chainsofmephistopheles.hqChains of Mephistopheles: I don’t suspect there will be much change in the usage statistics of Chains of Mephistopheles, it’s a horrifyingly expensive card to get a hold of, and it only have uses in fringe decks, but when Treasure Cruise was legal in the format, Chains of Mephistopheles had more utility and was even included in the maindeck of some decks. It still has usage in the format, but again, it’s fringe and very expensive, and thus will not be seen more.

Pyroblast: A card that will see sharp decline in usage, I predict, is Pyroblast. Pyroblast was a perfectly acceptable maindeck card during the Treasure Cruise terror, but will likely just be relegated to be a very good sideboard card in the near future.

Golgari Charm: Cheap sweepers, especially those that come in instant speed, are valuable in metagames with a bunch of X/1’s, and Golgari Charm has two other useful modes. It’s a great sideboard card in decks that can run it, and will likely stay great, but perhaps not as great as it has been against UR Delver, the format’s best-performing deck for quite some time. Golgari Charm is respectful as a 1-2 of in sideboards, but that’s about it in the future. Clearly another “loser” in this case.


And that’s it for my list. What do you think will be the best-performers in the coming Legacy format? Leave a comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  January 23, 2015

    Epic intro to the article, bro! Also nice to see the return of a longer post.
    I’ll actually be a bit sorry to see Treasure Cruise go, it was a very cool card and certainly shook things up a bit (though it’s a bit strange that wizards didn’t feel it would be just a wee bit over powered to bring Ancestral Recall back). Still, it’s probably for the best.



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