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Well Versed


The combination of cheap creatures and efficient disruption is a tried and true Legacy staple. For many years now, Delver of Secrets has been the flagship creature of that strategy, but that style of deck existed before that. At that point, players were playing with Nimble Mongoose, Werebear, and Tarmogoyf. Tarmogoyf has sort of receded in recent years, largely due to Deathrite Shaman providing more utility and a means of controlling the size of Tarmogoyf. That said, the card is still a premier threat, especially when you build your deck around it.

There are two keys to playing with Tarmogoyf in contemporary Legacy. You need to be able to get it bigger than Gurmag Angler, and you need to be able to protect it from Fatal Push and Swords to Plowshares.

As far as beating Gurmag Angler goes, DanDeluxe1 does a great job of making sure that you can quickly get Creatures, Artifacts, and sometimes Enchantments into the graveyard, giving you the ability to consistently make Tarmogoyf a 5/6 or 6/7 early on in the game. With regards to protection, Thoughtseize and Hymn to Tourach are proactive means of trying to make sure your Tarmogoyfs can go the distance, but the real engine is Traverse the Ulvenwald. Traverse means that you'll consistently have access to a backup Tarmogoyf, which is sometimes just as good as protecting the one that's already in play.

Additionally, Traverse the Ulvenwald gives you access to a small toolbox of interesting effects. Ramunap Excavator is a tutorable Crucible of Worlds that can team up with Wasteland to lock opponents out. You can even just tutor for a non-basic like Wasteland, Field of Ruin, Karakas, or even Bojuka Bog depending on the matchup.

As far as backup plans go, Hooting Mandrills is acceptable, given that you're dumping so many cards in your graveyard so quickly. It's somewhat surprising that Mandrills is the choice over Gurmag Angler, but it's possible that the trample is more valuable than raw size since you have very little in the way of reach.

This deck is a new take on a strategy that is a staple of competitive Legacy. If you want to play a Delver of Secrets strategy but without any Blue cards for opposing Pyroblasts and other Blue hate cards, this seems like an interesting place to start.

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