Oh boy, this is probably the craziest idea I had for a Magic: the Gathering deck I had in a long while, if not THE craziest deck idea I came up with in my whole, over 15 year long “career” in the game. And the best thing: It could actually work decently well!
So get this: I just invested into four Didgeridoos! And no, I do not intend to start an Australian aboriginal folklore band to finance my gaming habit: I am talking about a totally overlooked card from one of the most unpopular Magic sets in existence, maybe the most unpopular even, Homelands, that could, in my opinion, become more sought after and thus more pricely with the recent release of some new cards to support it or rather that it would support well in the new, greek mythology themed cycle Theros. Well let’s have a look at what I got a playset of for just $12 USD:
That’s right, there is actually a Magic card called Didgeridoo which lets you put any Minotaur, probably one of the most obscure Creature types one could think of, into play quite inexpensively and repeatedly in one turn if you got the necessary mana to support that. I have been aware of that card for a long time, yet it has been with the announcement of the greek mythology themed Theros sets that my deckbuilder’s curiosity was raised.
Now why would I think this to be a great card in a Legacy deck context? There are 3 reasons:
A) It is cheap to play and relatively cheap and easy (3 generic mana) to activate.
B) As a cheap 1 mana artifact it got some great support such as the “tutor” Trinket Mage.
C) Especially in the new Theros and Born of the Gods sets, there are some kickass Minotaur Creatures to use it on such as this one:
This is just one example of the newer, compared to older ones more powerful Minotaur cards that showed up not only in Theros but also in the recent Return to Ravnica cycle.
What sealed the deal for me to tackle such a downright crazy undertaking as to make a “decent” (whatever that means) Minotaur/Didgerdidoo Deck for the Legacy Format was when I realized this would go pretty well with one of my all-time favorite draw cards/engines. Behold:
That’s right, when I realized Didgeridoo (+Minotaurs of choice) would be like a match made in heaven with Standstill, I knew I was on to something. This kinda reminded me of the unproportionally more expensive (money-wise) Aether Vial and its favorable interaction with Standstill, the major differences being you’d have to charge your Vial up over numerous turns to use it on anything as big as my Minotaurs, that you could only put one creature into play per turn and of course the actual price. As mentioned before my playset of Didgeridoos cost me about $12 USD whereas one Aether Vial goes for about $17 USD. Apart from that their benefits are really very similar as both Didgeridoo and Vial are cost 1 artifacts and both let you put Creatures into play directly from hand, so that they cannot be countered (unless your opponent got some Stifles handy) and also, so they won’t “break” your Standstill.
Being a long-year “Landstill” player who loves putting an opponent to the crippling choice of either giving you three cards for next to nothing (mana-wise) or stay inactive and get beaten to death by lowly “manlands”, I fell in love with the deck concept that started to form in my head at once. So here, without much further ado is my proposed first deck draft for what could be called “Minostill”, “Stilltaurus” or even “Bullstill”:
Didgeridoo Deck Draft 1.0:
4 x Trinket Mage 2U
4 x Ragebllood Shaman 1RR
4 x Kragma Warcaller 3BR
4 x Minotaur Aggressor 6R
4 x Boros Battleshaper 5WR
3 x Daze 1U
4 x Force of Will 3UU
4 x Standstill 1U
4 x Didgeridoo 1
3 x Thran Turbine 1
4 x Flooded Strand
4 x Mishra’s Factory
4 x Fairy Conclave
10 x Island
OK so the above is my bare basics deck draft for the Minotaur-Didgeridoo-Standstill Deck, however you would like to call it. I do realize that a single Pithing Needle set to Didgeridoo would probably take the whole deck apart since there is no other way to get the 16 Minotaurs, all non-blue in an otherwise all-blue deck, into play. However I do have countermagic, quite potente one like Force of Will, in place to alleviate that danger to some extent, and, far more susbtantially, the deck can switch to regular “Landstill mode” with a full set of both Mishra’s Factories and Faerie Conclaves. What this secondary strategy lacks though is some mass removal such as Nevinyrral’s Disk and probably all you’d draw would be useless Minotaurs if your Didgeridoos indeed got shut down or pulled out of your deck somehow. So the backup Landstill plan should really be a desperate measure and you should protect your Didgeridoos at all costs. At first I added a few copies of Leonin Squire, which can retrive a 1 cost or less artifact from your Graveyard but I cut that one out since I figured I’d rather draw into a new Didgeridoo or Trinket Mage one if the first got destroyed somehow. Again protecting your lowly Didgeridoos at all cost with Daze and Force of Will would be mandatory. Usually I dislike decks that depend too much on a single card as their win condition, however this one could be the exception as backup Didgeridoos are cheap and easy to get. Plus the potent countermagic calms my nerves in this strategy to some extent.
So here is how you’d play it in the best case scenario:
Turn 1 you’d optimally play Didgeridoo, followed up by a second turn Standstill, which would apply (indirect) pressure to your opponent early on and as soon as turn 3 you could theoretically start dropping Minotaurs for just 3 generic mana, all protected by “free” countermagic of the likes of Daze and Force of Will, all under a neat Standstill, which, when broken by your opponent, will refill your hand to give you more options.
Here’s a bit about the actual Minotaurs: The best turn 3 ‘Taur would probably be Kragma Warcallers as shown above, giving all Minotaurs haste and +2/+0 whilst attacking. The cheapest of your bull-men is not a bad deal either: Rageblood Shaman is a 2/3 Trampler which gives all your Minotaurs Trample and a +1/+1 boost. Boros Battleshaper is an impressive 5/5 with a situationally useful ability: He can force one enemy Creature to block and make one Creature unable to block. I would drop Kragma Warcallers first if I had the choice so the Battleshaper would have haste and get +2 power when attacking. Lastly, your buiggest beater but also the most vulnerable to direct damage would be Minotaur Aggressor, which is a kickass 6/2 hasty firststriker. While all depends on whether or not you got a (functional) Didgeridoo out, these bad guys trump the lowly 2/2 Mishra’s Factory Assembly Workers easily and the higher risk of going the “Didgeridoo/Minotaur route” could be outweighend by the potential benefits.
One card I cannot pass by without notice would be Thran Turbine.
Well you can see how great this one would go with Didgeridoo, effectively reducing its activation cost (once only) by 2 generic mana. Plus it is a cost 1 artifact as well and can thus be searched for by your Trinket Mages.
On a closing note, I wanted to include some things which I simply did not find enough room for, partly because I wanted to make sure to have an ample amount of Minotaurs in the deck so as to be able to “Didgeridoo one out” every single turn. What is missing for me is, as said above some mass removal like Engineered Explosives or even just Nevinyrral’s Disk, as everything that slips through your countermagic is bound to stay facing this deck.
On a closing note I must say that I am pretty happy with what turned out as the result of my long-term sheming to “break” or at least make decent use of this old, unnoticed card from Homelands, Didgeridoo, and I am glad to have gotten a hold of a playset of the latter for just 3 dollars a piece in time before someone else, or rather more people became aware of their power. I am not saying this is the new “holy grail” of Legacy decks but for once it is surely unique and would catch some people off-guard at first. If you consider how successful Landstill strategies can be in Legacy, one might think doing the same thing just with kickass, huge Mintaurs instead of the lowly 2/2 Manlands etc, would be at least a decent strategy. Again the deck features only some countermagic, lacks removal and is pretty much dependent on one card. This is just a “bare bones” deck list and I am pretty sure if you know your metagame the list could be tweaked so as to accomodate that and COULD be in the end pretty (dare I even use that term) competitive in the end.
All in all this is a downright crazy deck, probably the craziest Legacy deck I have ever come up with, and I for one am surely crazy enough to at least give it a shot!