So, dear reader, it is Magic: the Gathering once again!!
My humble apologies to all readers of this here blog who are not interested in M:tG but I just have to post this article right away cause I just received the cards in the mail which I needed to complete what is maybe the craziest Legacy Format deck you have ever seen and DEFINITELY the craziest Legacy deck I have ever built. So I really have to share this on here right now.
Let me give you a bit of a backstory before we dive into the deck and what it is all about – only so much though: I named this totally whacky but maybe quite awesome deck “Taurostill” (maybe I should rather give the deck the much more hilarious name “Stilleridoo”?) – you will find out about the choice of name soon enough.
So all began when I heard they would be releasing a Greek-mythology themed block and my encyclopedic M:tG card brain instantly brought a totally underused/underrated and highly obscure card from what was probably the worst set in Magic history, Homelands, to mind as I was pretty damn sure an Greek mythology block would produce at least some good Minotaurs among other things. In wise forethought I secured me a playset of the following card prior to the release of the first set in the Theros block, which did cost me about 4 dollars or so then – nowadays the card is at average of $5 a copy, so my early investment was well worth it. So take a look at this card you have probably never seen before:
Yeah that’s right. An artifact that puts Minotaurs into play for just 3 colorless Mana – and they can’t be countered if put into play that way unless you Stifle Didgeridoo‘s abilitiy, which is just a temporary solution though! Pretty cool, but due to the lack of any Minotaurs worth building a deck with this card never really got any attention. I think this is about to change, as can be seen by the considerable increase in price recently.
So I put my bet on Didgeridoo and patiently awaited the release of awesome Minotaurs in the Theros block. Now that the third and final Theros Set, Journey into Nyx, is released, I have my awesome Minotaurs, as expected, that make Didgeridoo a great card to play in a deck including those bull-men. Have a look at these three I am running in the deck which I am going to present to you shortly:
Of these three, Kragma Warcaller is the best one for my purposes, followed by Rageblood Shaman with Felhide Petrifier being still awesome but, for me, the least important of the three.
Teh very instant after I had that “stroke of genius”, if I may say so, of getting a hold of a playset of Didgeridoos in advance of the Theros sets releases, I had yet another rather brilliant (???) idea!
I am a long term player of “Landstill” and own a not even semi-powered Vintage Deck (the only “Power” I have is the single Mox Sapphire, but the 4 Mana Drain and 4 Force of Will are not that bad either!!) of this quite popular deck type. For those who are not at all familiar with the Landstill deck archtype, it is all about control and runs blue as the main color with different versions adding red, white, black or even green and wins with “manlands”, lands that turn into Creatures during your turn, in combination with the card that is namesake for this deck type and which is the very card of which I thought to run with my Didgeridoos and Minotaurs.
This card is highly annoying in a Landstill deck since the first player to play a spell (and all cards are spells when cast, except for lands) “breaks” the Standstill and will give you 3 additional cards, which is pretty amazing for a 1U card and puts the opponent in an awkward situation, either waiting and not playing anything or breaking the Standstill right away (which is usually the better option) and giving you 3 cards. So that is why the deck is called Landstill – you play Standstill and play only lands that turn into attacking creatures and lands that do other nasty stuff, not breaking Standstill cause they are not considered spells when played.
So what does this all have to do with Didgeridoos and Minotaurs??
Well the more M:tG savvy individuals among my readers will already have figured my crazy-as-shit and hellishly mischievous plan already: The deck is called Taurostill because what I am trying to do is play Didgeridoo asap, following it up with a Standstill and then putting into play those kickass Minotaurs shown above with Didgeridoos abiliy, which will not break the Standstill and which will prevent my opponent from countering said Minotaurs, unless they got Stifle handy, which would only slow me down a bit, as I could pay 3 mana again to have another try at putting a ‘Taur into play via Didgeridoo! Thinking about regular Landstill, I figured if winning with 2/2 Mishra’s Factories works out nearly every time, bringing beasts like Kragma Warcaller or Rageblood Shaman that even boost each other stats-wise as well as with kickass abilities into play under a Standstill and without even touching it, this crazy-as-shit deck idea of mine could actually work out exceedingly well.
I found one card, which I added to the deck in a playset of 4, extremely useful for what I am trying to do in my surely pretty unique Taurostill deck:
Basically, what Thran Turbine does for me is give me a “cannot-be-countered” Minotaur for just 1 colorless mana, as I would of course be investing the 2 mana generated in each of my upkeeps in Didgeridoo’s activated ability. That is pretty f’ing awesome if you ask me. I also added 4 copies of Lotus Petal to speed the deck up even further (Lotus Petal is a 0 cost artifact that you can sacrifice to get 1 mana of any color) so something like this could happen pretty easily:
First turn: Play a land and play Lotus Petal. Tap land to play Didgeridoo, sack Petal to play Thran Turbine.
Second turn: Play a land and cast Standstill for 1U. If you happen to have another Lotus Petal, you could even put your first Minotaur into play under the Standstill on turn 2. If not, the Minotaur Madness will start on turn 3, which is awesome as well and much faster than what a regular Landstill could do! A turn 2 or 3 Kragma Warcaller attacking for 4 damage right away is nothing to sneeze at in my opinion!
What is cool about Didgeridoo and Thran Turbine is that they are both 1 cost Artifacts, which make them ideal targets for Trinket Mage! I would have loved to run a proper Trinket Mage Toolbox but alas there were not enough card slots left for that. He can however ensure that you get your Didgeridoo more consistently, even if a bit later since Trinket Mage cost 3 Mana.
Ready to protect your key card Didgeridoo are no less than 8 “free to cast” counterspells: I am running 4 copies of the “king of counters”, Force of Will, as well as 4 Daze, which should protect your key card(s) rather well in the early stages of the game. I also decided to run 4 Stifle, as they are just awesome to effectively negate any Fetchlands, which are overly popular in Legacy and commonly used in pretty much all multi-color decks, which turns them into 1 blue mana land destruction that even taxes the opponent 1 life. But there is another reason for the inclusion of Stifle (which you can use to “pitch” Force of Will if you have no better use for it) as every good deck needs…
Having a deck that relies solely on one card is highly risky. One Pithing Needle set to Didgeridoo would ruin EVERYTHING for me, and the same goes for mischievous stuff like Meddling Mage or cards like Surgical Extraction or Extirpate which would remove all copies of Didgeridoo from the game if at least one had landed in the graveyaard at some point. So I built the deck with not one, but rather two backup plans / winning strategies. First off however I have to note that 8 “free” Counterspells (the Dazes and Forces of Will mentioned before ) should be enough to nullify any opponent devilry that would shut down or remove Didgeridoo from the game etc. Still however, I would not want to solely rely on the Didgeridoo strategy so I thought of a Plan B and even a Plan C. They are as follows.
Plan B makes good use of the Stifles and 2 Trinket Mages I am running, since I also included a single copy of this behemoth from the sulphurous pits of hell…errr… Phyrexia:
Many will be familiar with this combo, and many will say I should skip the Minotaurs and Didgeridoos and just do a dedicated “Stiflenought” deck, but where would be the fun and the aspect of novelty in that?? Anyways for those not familiar with the quite explosive and dirt-cheap (only mana-wise mind you!) Phyrexian Dreadnought + Stifle combo, you just play Dreadnought and use Stifle on it, countering its triggered “comes into play” ability, which will give you a 12/12 Trampler for just 1U (2 mana). With Lotus Petal or similar stuff you could pull this off turn 1, and even in this deck, if you have a REALLY lucky draw, you could pull off a first turn Phyrexian Dreadnought, although it is highly unlikely since only one ‘Nought is included in the deck. But this is supposed to be a backup plan after all so I do not rely on this unlikely event to happen. However with the aid of Trinket Mage you can surely pull off the 12/12 Trampler for 2 mana trick occasionally, if needed. I just like having the option available in case someone really manages to shut down your Didgeridoos and thus your main strategy.
Plan C is rather lame and aims at winning slowly just like in regular Landstill, by repeatedly attacking with your relatively weak “manlands” (lands that turn into creatures that is). I am running a full set of Mishra’s Factories, which become 2/2s for 1 mana until end of turn…
…and 2 Faerie Conclave, which become 2/1 Flyers for 1U until end of turn. So in the very, very unlikely event that despite of your “countless counters” an opponent manages to shut down the Minotaur strategy AND manages to get rid off your Dreadnought (which, admittedly is not too hard to do – just think about the equally popular as powerful Path to Exile for just 1 white mana), you STILL have your loyal manlands to go for a somewhat slower win. But again, if I can achieve a very high win ratio with a deck winning with said manlands only, I would say it is highly likely that my Taurostill would win one way or another, with not one but two backup plans and a kickass, totally unheard of main strategy, which, again, is quite well protected with free countermagic of highest qualtiy.
Well I must say I am really excited about this Legacy Format deck “invention” of mine, as it is in fact all mine, since I did not see the combos and overall strategy somewhere on the web or anywhere else and it is my very own idea, which was conceived the very instant when I first read the announcement about the Greek mythology themed Theros sets, so I am not only excited but also a bit proud of my intellectual “achievement”. However I am not suffering from illustions of grandheur and realize that there are at least a few people out of the ten thousands who play M:tG who have had the same or a similar idea as I had. Still this is a deck that is not only crazy as (bull-) shit and innovative, but could also have some decent, real potential. Again, keep in mind that regular Landstill wins me game after game just bashing the opponent with 2 power manlands under Standstill. If that works out fine then putting down second or third turn hasty Kragma Warcallers attacking for 4 that cannot be countered should – in theory – totally rock!
But enough of praising myself and my craftsmanship in deckbuilding. All I wanted to say is that I think Taurostill has potential and I cannot wait to get this tested within my own four walls so to say and if it works out as intended, and I hope it does, I will eventually take it to the next Legacy tournament in the Magic Shop in Linz and catch everyone by surprise with a deck nobody would have ever expected and see what will come off it!
And to close my post and end the excessive self-adulation, here is the decklist of my current Taurostill build (it is mono-blue if you don’t count the actual Minotaurs, of which I play 9, which is hopefully enough to have some handy when needed):
Taurostill 1.0 (Legacy Format – Experimental):
1 x Phyrexian Dreadnought 1
2 x Trinket Mage 2U
2 x Felhide Petrifier 2B
3 x Rageblood Shaman 1RR
4 x Kragma Warcaller 3RB
4 x Stifle U
4 x Daze U
4 x Force of Will 3UU
4 x Standstill 1U
4 x Lotus Petal 0
4 x Didgeridoo 1
4 x Thran Turbine 1
4 x Mishra’s Factory
2 x Faerie Conclave
14 x Island
Well, dear readers, dear friends, this i my craziest Legacy Format deck ever, maybe the craziest I have built so far in any format!
I am still not 100% satisfied with it so I called it “Experimental” above as I am not sure if I will draw enough Minotaurs (the ‘Taur-Count being 9 currently) in the beginning to be able to put enough of them into play early on. However if I can manage to play one early on and follow up with Standstill, the opponent will be forced to break the latter, which will draw me backup Minotaurs hopefully. Also, more Trinket Mages and a Trinket Mage Toolbox would be neat but you can’t have everything in just one deck of 60 cards. I wouldn’t know what to take out in favor or more Trinket Mages and some cost 1 or less artifacts like Pithing Needle and Tormod’s Crypt or Relic of Progenitus etc. However, I have my plan B and plan C strategies now, so I should be on the safe side I guess. One thing that may be worth considering would be running my Volcanic Islands and Underground Seas (the original blue-red and blue-black Dual Lands) so I would be able to “hardcast” my Minotaurs in case Didgeridoo got taken out somehow. The reason why I did it all blue/all islands is that I wanted the deck to be less vulnerable against nonbasic land hate. Well testing will show if adding the duals and complementary Fetchlands (Again I own all those anyways) would be a good or a bad idea.
So thank you for letting me share my crazy deck idea/experiment with you. I hope you found it of some interest and wish you all