Saturday 23rd May 2015,
Comic Booked

SCG Legacy Open Portland Top 8

Comic Booked Guest Writer 09/10/2012 Games and Gaming


Here are the Top 8 Decks from this weekends
SCG Legacy Open in Portland:



  1. Death and Taxes
  2. U/W Control
  3. W/B/R Stoneblade
  4. RUG Delver
  5. Omni-Tell
  6. Merfolk
  7. Storm
  8. Goblins

All normal here except wait… is that Death and Taxes in 1st place? Those of you who are newer to the Legacy scene are probably a little baffled by the Death and Taxes deck list. The last time D&T placed in a Legacy tournament was back in May in Rhode Island (8th Place) and yet here it is again on the other side of the country beating out RUG Delver and U/W Control to win an SCG Open. (Credit to Ben Nash for piloting his way through the field for a win!) I’m going to discuss a little bit of what makes this deck work below so that you can be prepared when you find yourself across the table from a Karakas with an Aether Vial on 3. Don’t expect a lot of newer players to be putting this one together since Karakas is currently carrying a 90$ price tag on Starcity Games, but the older players are sure to be dusting off their old white staples in the weeks to come.

First lets start by looking at one of the most famous combinations of this deck: Mangara of Corondor and Karakas.


Mangara of Corondor‘s ability is straight forward when you look at it, tap and remove it and another permanent from the game. What becomes degenerate very quickly however is when you activate Mangara of Corondor‘s ability with Karakas untapped in play and in response return the Mangara of Corondor to your hand. The ability still resolves, which means you get to exile any permanent your opponent controls and you can do it again and again and again. This combination gets especially ridiculous when you have an Aether Vial in play with 3 counters on it.

You might be thinking this is an easy problem to solve with Wastelands. True, but D&T runs a total of four Karakas to ensure that this engine comes online at some point. Even if the deck loses Karakas, the deck can flash in a Flickerwisp from an Aether Vial to create the same effect. The deck runs its own Wastelands as well and Rishadan Port to attack your mana base. Karakas also isn’t limited to just this creature, the deck also runs Thalia, Guardian of Thrabens in more modern list to shut down combo decks.

The deck runs Jotun Grunt main board and Serra Avenger. These two cards are very aggressive white creatures, and the Jotun Grunt even provides some tech against graveyard based strategies. Other things to expect seeing hit the table are Mother of Runes, and Legacy all-star Stoneforge Mystic. Once Serra Avenger or a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben has an Umezawa’s Jitte equipped the deck starts to move very quickly on your life total.


Other things to watch out for when playing against this deck:

  • Jotun Grunt can not partially activate you can either pay all of its cost or none don’t let an opponent fool you.
  • Be careful about his cumulative upkeep, it may look like he is about to be sacrificed and then a single Flickerwisp can reset him to zero counters.
  • Flickerwisp is a real threat especially when Aether Vial is on the table. It can be used as temporary removal, or permanent with tokens, and can even bounce your lands in your upkeep.

Some really cool sideboard tech from Ben Nash can be seen with the equipment Leonin Bola. This Stoneforge Mystic tutorable equipment can be used to lock down an opposing Emrakul, the Aeons Torn before it can attack. This gives you enough time to find an Oblivion Ring or your Mangara of Corondor to exile the tentacle beast away.

This was just a quick look at this deck. In another article I’ll get really in depth about deck lists, card choices for specific metas and discuss sideboard options.

Come by later this week for the start of Neal Kleinman and my own articles covering Legacy and Vintage. Good luck this week and hopefully you learned something about this mono white list before you see it in action!

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  1. Tyler P 09/10/2012 at 9:28 am

    This was a great write up and brought be back to the wonders of Flickerwisp. That card is a house! It was really great to watch Ben Nash take down the U/W Control player, he obviously had a lot of experience with the deck. The sideboard is also particularly spicy and well thought out:

    1 Leonin Bola

    1 Manriki-Gusari

    2 Tormod's Crypt

    3 Ethersworn Canonist

    1 Fiend Hunter

    2 Jotun Grunt

    2 Oblivion Ring

    2 Gut Shot

    1 Umezawa's Jitte

    • Kevin Grigsby 09/10/2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Tyler! Flickerwisp deffinetly hasn't gotten enough love this past year for how great it is. Ben did a superb job piloting the deck through the field, I hope to see some more of this deck in the coming months.

  2. Jayson Kemper 09/10/2012 at 2:54 pm

    I have always enjoyed this deck and the neat stack tricks it can pull off. Glad to see it finally win a tournament.

    Excellent write-up for your first article. I definitely couldn't have done better. 😀

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