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Enter the Arena


In recent weeks, people have started to explore Arena Rector decks in Legacy. These decks range from strategies that try to turbo out an Arena Rector or Academy Rector via Mox Diamond and Dark Ritual to those trying to fit these cards into existing midrange decks as a way to suddenly go way over the top of controlling opponents. The problem with these approaches is that they introduce a lot of inconsistency into your strategy. There aren't many decks in Legacy that can dream of casting cards like Overwhelming Splendor and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, much less both in the same deck. This week, lurkingpower has a take on this strategy that reins in some of the bigger dreams of eight-mana haymakers in favor of increasing the consistency of the strategy:

Arena Rector
The idea here is that this deck is a pretty traditional Nic Fit deck. You've got the same Green Sun's Zenith core that lets you set up Veteran Explorer and Cabal Therapy, tons of basics to help you ramp, and lots of powerful, midrange disruptive effects like Pernicious Deed.

The idea behind Nic Fit has always been relatively straightforward. You've got Veteran Explorer and a high basic count to help you cast five- and six-mana haymakers that the rest of the format isn't prepared to deal with. Frequently, these haymakers have been cards like Grave Titan or Consecrated Sphinx. In this deck, they are Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. In this deck, Arena Rector and Veteran Explorer aren't disjointed plans, but rather two means of achieving the same goal. Because your Planeswalkers are all on-color and castable, both Veteran Explorer and Arena Rector help to enable them, and you even have the ability to Eternal Witness your Planeswalkers back if your opponent manages to deal with them.

All-in-all, this is an interesting take on a strategy that's been getting more attention in recent weeks. You lose a lot of raw power by cutting cards like Overwhelming Splendor and Karn Liberated from your deck. That said, drawing those cards was often an effective mulligan because you had no way of reasonably casting them. If you like the idea of casting giant Planeswalkers in Legacy, this seems like a good place to start. It may be that, depending on the matchup or metagame, you need to decide how greedy your haymakers can afford to be.

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