Theros Beyond Death Standard Set Review Featuring Ali Aintrazi
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Wrenn and Legacy


When new sets come out Eternal players flock to the spoilers to see if they can upgrade their pet deck or push a previous weaker deck to tier one. In a similar vein to Deathrite Shaman, Wrenn and Six has pushed Legacy players to build decks with three and four colors. Previously we saw Dreadhorde Arcanist decks pick up in force and two color decks really rise to prominence. Wrenn and Six is going to be a player in Legacy for years to come so it's important to look at what makes the card tick and how it can impact the game.

The simplest Wrenn play patterns arise from the abuse of Wasteland in a format filled with few basics. When you're able to take initiative by repeatedly taking out your opponents mana sources it becomes quite easy to win any game. Since most Wrenn strategies are also Delver decks they will be able to make use out of a lower land count to help maintain the Wasteland lock. In a meta filled with fair Blue decks, being able to "draw" extra cards with Wrenn makes Brainstorm more impactful as well.

I can also foresee a world where Wrenn and Six pushes out small creature decks like Death and Taxes in favor of beefier strategies like Maverick or even leaning toward Mono-colored Chalice strategies like Soldiers or Moon Stompy. The way Wrenn has shifted deckbuilding has caused a resurgence of Tarmogoyf as the creature of choice for Wrenn decks. While Lightning Bolt is popular, Goyf reigns supreme.

If you're looking for a Wrenn deck to play, there are quite a few strategies for you to sit in on.

The one that started the mess was the Temur version.

Temur Delver has been out of favor for quite some time but folks still try to sleeve up Stifle and Nimble Mongoose anyways. Playing Wrenn directly works against the Mongoose plan of attacking with 3/3s; but, even so, the play patterns Wrenn helps create don't make sense with Mongoose. Instead I'd rather move toward a controlling style of Delver with plenty of removal and answers. With the inclusion of Wrenn and Six making Izzet Delver the worse choice at the moment and Tarmogoyf the king, it doesn't make sense to try and stumble through some 1/1s.

The most popular variant looks to be the 4 Color variant that won the most recent challenge.

One of the downsides to playing the Temur version of the deck is that it struggles a bit more with beating powerful spells and is weaker against swarm strategies like Elves. The upside is getting access to answers for hard to beat permanents. Lightning Bolt is a fantastic card but doesn't always kill the now ever present Goyf and can struggle with Planeswalkers when the board is clear. Abrupt Decay can help satiate that need and just be a good catch-all answer.

The deck I was looking into that could make great use out of Wrenn and Six was an old favorite of mine in Four-Color Loam. One of the downsides of playing the deck was trying to utilize Life from the Loam while balancing your creatures and spells to try and win the game. Having Wrenn leans your draw steps and lets you play a game where you can invest less mana every turn helping the deck be more efficient. When decks are moving away from basics and toward softer mana bases, being able to power through opposing Wastelands while being able to Wasteland an opponent out makes me interested in this strategy. One of the issues with the deck was being able to leverage Liliana of the Veil effectively, but with the addition of Wrenn and Six to take out smaller creatures (and can pair up with Punishing Fire to take down bigger creatures) means you'll be much more likely to use Veil easier. Being a Chalice deck means you can shut down the low to the ground Delver decks. When they are trying to leverage all these cheap cantrips they are able to keep pace with what the format is trying to do. Take away their tools and it becomes easier to leverage your impactful spells while dealing with what they have left. In the past True-Name Nemesis has also been a tough card to beat, but adding Plague Engineer certainly helps in this endeavor.

If you're looking to beat the new Wrenn and Six menace I'm definitely starting off with old faithful Stoneforge Mystic. While the card has gone in and out of favor (mostly out of favor) Stoneforge generally excels against the Goyf strategies and I do not believe the Wrenn strategies change that at all. While Planeswalkers can be tough to deal with, this one is on a long clock before it gets an Emblem and you can't get Wastelanded out due to the mass amount of basics. In addition, Swords to Plowshares and Council's judgment go a long way toward dealing with big creatures and problematic permanents. With combo decks at pretty much an all time low, Stoneblade stands ready to face down the (generally) Temur menace. The combo decks I have seen are mostly Sneak and Show which I'm guessing is starting to take up prominence to try and just get people dead. With the Delver decks closing in on 20 lands and less interaction, it is easier to jam over and over again. It almost feels like we're going back to Legacy several years ago with Stoneblade v Temur Delver v Sneak and Show.

If you're less interested in sleeving up some mediocre Squires then I'd lean toward the aforementioned Sneak and Show. Your Combo deck isn't soft to Wasteland and post board Blood Moon is one of the most devastating cards for these decks. While Sneak and Show always looks like a medium deck with the way the meta is moving I just want to jam.

Otherwise I'd highly recommend playing Blood Moon and Ensnaring Bridge. All these Wrenn decks are trying hard to play several colors and no basics and I would Chalice and Moon them. Show them how nice their Wrenns look as paper weights as you jam Blood Moon down their throat. The Moon Stompy decks are definitely better positioned when everyone is playing decks without many basics.

Wrenn has made its presence known in Legacy as well as having a small impact on Modern. I'm excited to see what else the card brings and continue to show off the depth of a format like Legacy has to offer.