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The Vines of Wrath


How awesome is Vengevine? Powerful enough to inspire a multitude of graveyard strategies in Modern and Standard, and perhaps the single card which got Survival of the Fittest banned in Legacy. Vengevine is quite a Magic card. That said, it’s been a good while since we’ve seen Vengevine show up in Legacy. This may be due to the rise of Deathrite Shaman as a ubiquitous, main deck form of graveyard hate; it may be because the format is just too fast. Gheizen64 is looking to prove that Vengevine still has what it takes to keep up in the current Legacy format. Let’s take a look:

There are a lot of little things I like about this deck. The core engine is the ability to use Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Intuition, and Thirst for Knowledge to stock your graveyard with Vengevines. Then you can use the likes of Cloud of Faeries and Trinket Mage to allow you to rebuy your Vengevines and either play offense or defense as necessary. An ideal curve might start with a turn one Chalice of the Void for one off of Ancient Tomb. Then you can Intuition for Vengevines on turn two, and follow up with Trinket Mage for Memnite or Cloud of Faeries into the copy of Vengevine in your hand to trigger the two Vengevines in your graveyard.

I’m a huge fan of Trinket Mage in this style of deck. It slots right into the core strategy, since you can get Memnite or Hangarback Walker to trigger Vengevines. It also gives some minute amount of fixing and acceleration via Mox Diamond and Tree of Tales. It also gives you just a little bit of utility by tutoring up copies of Engineered Explosives, Tormod's Crypt, or Pithing Needle. On top of all of that, it’s still a Blue card for Force of Will in a deck that might not always need a Trinket Mage.

In my mind, the most exciting interaction in this deck is the combination of Gaea's Cradle and Cloud of Faeries. This is the kind of interaction that allows a deck to get awfully degenerate very quickly. This is especially true in this deck, given that you can suddenly dump a bunch of Vengevines into play and generate a ton of mana off of a Gaea's Cradle. In this deck, the only real mana sink that you have available is Hangarback Walker, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options depending on how you choose to build the deck.

This is not a deck that’s going to make huge waves in Legacy. Swords to Plowshares and Deathrite Shaman are huge issues and Terminus is not the easiest card to recover from. In a similar vein, Vengevines don’t necessarily stand up well against Reality Smashers backed by equipment like Umezawa's Jitte. Perhaps this deck could use something like Shardless Agent to help make it even easier to trigger Vengevine and also provide a way of giving yourself extra looks at something like Umezawa's Jitte to break creature mirrors. That aside, this is a really exciting concept I can’t wait to see more of. It’s probably too much to wish for Vengevine to make a substantive comeback in Legacy, but I can certainly hope.

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