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Beneath the Waves


Dark Depths is quietly one of the most influential cards in Legacy as it stands. While Brainstorm and Wasteland are certainly more iconic, the combination of Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage applies a unique kind of pressure on the format. The ability to have an uncounterable lethal threat at instant speed is not something to be taken lightly, particularly when you can combo as early as turn three with just lands. This combo has given new angles of attacks to decks like Lands and Standstill variants, and is a compact win condition for decks playing Intuition and Life from the Loam. Of course, you can also take a completely different tact and just build your deck around comboing as quickly as possible like DNSolver:

This deck answers a lot of questions that the Dark Depths deck has struggled with in the past, namely the vulnerability to Swords to Plowshares and being a little too slow to keep up with the likes of Tendrils of Agony and Show and Tell. The fastest combo this deck is capable of typically involves turn one Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, turn two Dark Depths plus Vampire Hexmage. Then you can remove all the counters from Dark Depths and threaten lethal immediately. There’s not a ton that you can do to increase the consistency of that draw outside of playing Crop Rotation as additional copies of key lands.

However, the addition of Elvish Spirit Guide, Lotus Petal, and Sylvan Scrying to the deck gives you more ways to piece together a consistent combo on turn two or three, especially with Thespian's Stage as a more mana-intensive backup to Vampire Hexmage. This increased speed and consistency gives you a real ability to race other combo decks, which is absolutely critical in Legacy.

A huge strength of this deck is that Marit Lage is resilient to pretty good chunk of the removal played in Legacy. Even Swords to Plowshares isn’t the end of the world, since twenty life will typically give you enough time to find the combo again. Karakas is the real bane of this deck’s existence, and additional ways to trump Karakas and Swords to Plowshares goes a long way towards making this deck more reasonable. DNSolver does this by including three copies of Not of this World to protect Marit Lage is you’re going all in early on, but also Sejiri Steppe and Ghost Quarter as Crop Rotation targets to protect yourself from Swords to Plowshares and Karakas respectively.

All of this leaves Wasteland as the singular card that can really mess up the combo. Once you’ve targeted your Dark Depths with Vampire Hexmage or Thespian's Stage, your opponent can pull the trigger on their Wasteland and leave you down a substantial amount of resources. Consequently, proactive Pithing Needles on Wasteland go a long way towards forcing through your combo. DNSolver has even gone so far as to play Ghost Quarter over Wasteland so you can aggressively use Pithing Needles and still have the ability to beat Karakas.

All told, this is a deck with a fast combo that’s difficult to interact with, and DNSolver has gone a step further by including a number of efficient ways to trump the best available interaction. If you just want to put Marit Lage into play, this may just be the best shell to do it in.

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