Legacy is a strange and wonderful format. Unlike Standard where it is generally easy to glance at a decklist and realize how all the pieces work, Legacy often presents decklists that are a bit less than obvious. Today we are going to take a look at one of these strange decklists.
Do you enjoy the idea of playing Lands as a deck, but at the same time enjoy killing people with Storm? Well then do I have the perfect deck for you. I present Land Nauseum:
Land Nauseam ? Legacy | Jeff Hoogland
- Sorceries (1)
- 1 Grapeshot
- Artifacts (25)
- 1 Engineered Explosives
- 1 Zuran Orb
- 3 Mox Diamond
- 4 Chalice of the Void
- 4 Lotus Petal
- 4 Mishra's Bauble
- 4 Mox Opal
- 4 Urza's Bauble
- Lands (29)
- 1 Island
- 1 Bojuka Bog
- 1 Karakas
- 1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
- 1 Wasteland
- 2 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
- 2 Dark Depths
- 2 Maze of Ith
- 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
- 4 Ancient Tomb
- 4 Thespian's Stage
- 4 Tolaria West
- 4 Underground Sea
There are a few things going on in this decklist, so let’s break them all down. First we have something most good Legacy decks carry; a card that enables free wins:
One of the things that I find really awesome about this combo deck is it gets to play a hate card most other combo decks cannot play: Chalice of the Void. You see, unlike most Legacy decks, we do not have a critical mass of one-mana spells. This means, thanks to our acceleration, we can play a Chalice of the Void with X=1 on the first turn to lock many opponents out.
Making a 20/20 can happen as early as the second turn thanks to all of our fast mana. Games where we do not combo quickly also can affect how our opponents are forced to play simply by the threat of the combo happening. For instance they feel obligated to leave mana up for something like Swords to Plowshares or are unable to Wasteland our Ancient Tomb because they want to save it for our combo lands.
While we do not play a full four copies of Dark Depths, we play four copies of Tolaria West which can help us find whichever piece we are currently missing in our land combo. In addition to finding combo pieces, Tolaria West can also find Chalice of the Void in addition to a variety of other zero casting cost tools:
Engineered Explosives is a “fix target problem” card in this deck. Because we can produce all five colors of mana, there are very few permanents that see play in Legacy it cannot take off the table. Bojuka Bog lets us clear out opposing graveyards, providing an excellent tool against decks like Dredge and Lands. Boseiju, Who Shelters All helps ensure that our powerful game ending spells resolve in a format that is riddled with cards like Flusterstorm and Force of Will.
Karakas, Maze of Ith, and Tabernacle help us keep various board states in check depending on what our opponent is looking to do. Karakas helps deal with big scaries like Griselbrand. Maze of Ith essentially turns a land drop into a removal spell. Tabernacle makes any deck that is going wide fairly sad. Then there is kind of an odd inclusion of Zuran Orb. Zuran Orb helps us collect back lost life from attacks as well as Boseiju and Ancient Tomb activations so we can execute our other combo the deck contains:
Those of you who have read my content before likely know that I am a sucker for a good toolbox card and Cunning Wish provides exactly this. Cunning Wish does everything from answering problem permanents with Abrupt Decay and Echoing Truth, to finding the utility land we need with Crop Rotation. Past this, it also provides additional virtual copies of our namesake combo card — Ad Nauseam.
Unlike the Legacy Storm decks which draw a large number of cards with Ad Nauseam and hope to kill their opponents, Land Nauseam generally gets to draw all of our cards to kill our opponent outright. You read that right. Most of the time we can simply draw our entire deck with Ad Nauseam thanks to our low converted mana costs. In fact, if you look at the spells we’re playing, our main deck has only 19 total converted mana cost — meaning if we have drawn only a single Cunning Wish to fetch our sideboard Ad Nauseam, we only need 17 life to draw every card in our deck.
Once we have drawn our entire deck we play out all of our copies of Urza's Bauble, Mishra's Bauble, Lotus Petal, Mox Diamond, and Mox Opal to generate a large storm count to finally play out a lethal Grapeshot. Should our opponent have more health than we can Grapeshot for, or if we do not have enough life to draw our entire deck we can also Cunning Wish for a copy of Lightning Storm to deal a good deal of damage as well.
The sideboard with this deck is a bit strange because, in addition to the Cunning Wish package, we have to be careful about what cards we are boarding in to keep the total converted mana cost of our deck low. In general there are only three cards in our sideboard that actually get boarded in:
Matchups and Playing the Deck
The most important thing to be doing in any given game when playing Land Nauseum is identifying what your best and fastest route to victory is. Draws that contain Chalice of the Void can often afford to be a bit slower since Chalice buys a lot of time against most decks, but if we do not have our lock piece our goal is generally to combo as quickly as possible.
Against decks that are more interactive I have found we often end up setting up a “distraction kill”. What I mean by this is we spend time playing the game in one manner that implies we are trying to end the game with say the Stage-Depths combo that our opponent expands resources trying to stop this angle of attack, which leaves them exposed to one of our other kills.
One thing you must do when playing this deck is keep track of is how much total converted mana cost is left in your deck at all times and across how many cards it is spread across. For instance let’s say you are playing a Game 1 and you Cunning Wish for an Ad Nauseam. You then play Ad Nauseam while at 14 starting life.
We have a total of 16 converted mana cost left in our deck spread across three more wishes, one Ad Nauseam, and one Grapeshot. This means we can safely draw cards until we have revealed four of our five remaining cards with a converted mana cost. Once we have safely drawn as many cards as possible we need to scan what we have found for the following information:
- How much fast mana did we draw?
- If we drew Grapeshot, how much storm count can we generate?
- If we have at least 6 mana, how much damage can we deal with Lightning Storm?
If you have not gotten enough cards to successfully kill your opponent with the safe bet, you will need to push your luck until you have found enough fast mana, storm count, or lands to push lethal.
Sideboarding with this deck is fairly minimal, not only because part of our reserves is a Cunning Wish package, but also because we cannot add much converted mana cost to our deck. When you do sideboard in other cards with a casting cost, be sure to note that to yourself when counting for how far you can push your luck when resolving Ad Nauseam.
Legacy has a lot of different decks so it is impossible to list specific board plans for all of them, but in general I board as follows against generic archetypes:
Graveyard Based Combo (Storm / Reanimator)
If you enjoy playing a deck that can win the game in a lot of different ways, then Land Nauseum is likely a great deck for you. This deck attacks in so many different ways it is great at keeping opponents who do not know what to expect off balance. Not only have I found this deck to be a blast to play, but it has been pretty competitive as well. In addition to making Top 32 of the MTGO Legacy Challenge with it this past weekend, I am 10 and 5 with it across three leagues.
If you want to see some of this Land Nauseum deck in action, check out this archive from one of my Twitch streams here. Have a comment, question, or suggestion for the deck? Let me know in a comment below!