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Dredging Up the Past

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With Deathrite Shaman being banned, Legacy has undergone a monumental shift. Fast, interactive decks featuring Delver of Secrets, Stoneforge Mystic, and Death's Shadow are all over the place. The decks that are on the rise are the ones that punish those strategies - in particular: Blood Moon, Back to Basics, and Chalice of the Void. So what's the next step if you're looking to gain an advantage? What if you don't have to cast spells at all?


Phantasmagorian
This is a deck that defies all of the norms of conventional Magic. You never want to be on the play. Your only way to get things rolling is to draw to eight cards and discard a card to hand size. Your goal is to discard either a dredger or a Phantasmagorian. Phantasmagorian is particularly powerful because it lets you pitch most of your hand all at once by holding priority and activating it multiple times.

Once you've started discarding, you just want to chain dredgers and slowly build up your graveyard over a turn or two. Street Wraith can help accelerate the process, but besides that, it really is a relatively slow combo deck. After a turn or two of dredging, you'll start having creatures come back from the graveyard. Nether Shadow and Narcomoeba are potentially free, and can trigger Prized Amalgam. Ichorid requires you to exile Black creatures, but you'll have an abundance of those after a turn or two anyway. These creatures let you start getting your engine rolling. You can just beat down if your meager creatures seem good enough, but you can also use Cabal Therapy to get your Bridge from Belows going, or even just try to Dread Return your opponent to death.

Dread Return is a really interesting card in this deck because it can do a number of different things. You can rebuy something simple like a Golgari Grave-Troll to just have an enormous body. You can dread return a Chancellor of the Annex for disruption. You can Dread Return Whirlpool Rider to get Bridge from Below out of your hand and dredge the rest of your library. If you have enough resources, you can Dread Return a Flayer of the Hatebound and follow it up with another Dread Return for Golgari Grave-Troll to end the game.

If your opponents are relying too heavily on disruption and interaction to win games, then maybe it's time to sidestep all of that and do something completely at odds with the rest of the format. Your Game 1s are can be very good with this deck, assuming you don't start too slowly. The real risk is in sideboard games where you can just lose very straightforward graveyard hate cards, since you have very few ways to fight through any kind of interaction given that you have no mana to cast spells of your own.