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Queen of the Dead

Across all formats, Mono-Black anything is almost automatically a fan-favorite. We’ve seen tribal aggro decks like Vampires and Zombies, midrange decks like 8-Rack or Smallpox variants, and even control featuring Mutilate and Chainer's Edict. Black has access to a strange amalgamation of acceleration, painful card draw, lifegain, and infinite removal backed up by powerful haymakers. This kind of recipe is consistent and powerful enough that Pox variants are a fringe strategy in Legacy, but is there an approach to this style of deck that isn’t reliant on Dark Ritual into Liliana of the Veil?


Lake of the Dead
You know a deck is serious business when it includes Griselbrand and few ways to cheat it into play. This is a haymaker deck and nothing else. Your goal is to lead on discard spells like Thoughtseize and Hymn to Tourach to prevent your opponent from doing anything especially unfair. Against creature strategies, you have Fatal Push and Toxic Deluge, as well as Drain Life at the top of your curve.

The rest of your deck is a giant pile of cards that your opponents are going to struggle to deal with. Fundamentally, you’re looking to use Lake of the Dead to power out enormous threats. Due to the prevalence of Wasteland in the format, you have to be careful with how you time your Lake of the Deads. You want to make sure that you can play Lake and use it to cast a big threat like a Grave Titan on the same turn.

Once you have a Lake of the Dead in play, all you’re trying to do is cast giant threats every turn until your opponent dies. Grave Titan and Wurmcoil Engine are probably the best threats, though Liliana, Death's Majesty does a great job of giving you staying power while helping you dig into giant threats to reanimate. You even have a miser’s copy of Cabal Coffers to help live the dream of hardcasting Griselbrand in games that go on too long.

If we’re talking about more consistent plans, you’ve got the ability to steal games with discard backed by Pack Rat, which is a classic strategy that has seen play in every format from Standard to Vintage. All in all, this seems like an exciting new take on Black for Legacy. The deck is certainly powerful, but enormously high variance. If your discard is good, then you’ll have plenty of time to set up your haymakers. If you cast an early Grave Titan and it doesn’t get answered immediately, you’re in great shape. Conversely, if your discard misses and your one threat gets answered, you’re going to struggle to gain traction.


Masters 25 is now available for Preorder!