Why We Love Legacy: Alex Hamilton on Stoneblade

Hello dear readers. We are close to our Legacy CT, and I wanted to take some time to write a few words about one of my oldest friends in legacy: Stoneblade. So let’s get cracking at the fairest of them all.

The deck

Now you might be asking yourself “Alex, what do you mean by fairest of them all?” Thanks for asking, random reader. I am not saying that this is the most attractive deck out there, but it is my favorite, and it will always have a place in my heart.

Other than my obvious love for this deck, it is the “most fair” deck you will play in this format. It gives you the ability to have game in any matchup and never really be hated out. If you want to be able to get out of any situation, then this is the deck for you! (I have used my exclamation point quota for this article.)

What this deck really wants to do is play a threat such as True-Name Nemesis or Stoneforge Mystic/Batterskull, then protect it. All the while, you’re stopping your opponent from doing whatever they came to do.

There are infinite configurations to build these decks. It really just depends on what you want to beat and how you want to go about doing that. Stoneblade is like cake; there is something for everyone no matter their different tastes.

Joe Bernal’s U/W Stoneblade (Angel Food Cake)

 

I would say that Joe has put in more reps with this archetype than anyone out there, and he won the last Legacy CT with it. He chose to move towards Wasteland instead of a third color to make his mana much easier and give him some game against the greedy mana bases of Legacy. One thing that Wasteland gives you is a fighting chance against Lands just making a 20/20 Marit Lage and killing you quickly.

This list is really geared toward beating combo decks, without giving up much against Delver or any of the randomness that exists in the Dark Depths of a Legacy event.

As you can see Joe really doesn’t like Storm. This is the perfect example of how to customize this deck in whatever way you want.

Alex Hamilton’s DeathBlade (Spice Cake)

 

Holy crap did I not build this deck correctly … but hindsight is 20/20 and has it Marits. This deck is an exercise in seeing really how much you can stretch a manabase to fit most of the best cards in Legacy all in one. I tried to fit in Kolaghan’s Command, but sadly it was not meant to be.

This deck is a pseudo-evolution of the deck Reid Duke won GP Louisville with. I noticed this beauty on MTGGoldfish and instantly fell in love. It is a mess to look at but man, does it have some play to it. (I won’t be focusing on this list, I just wanted to put it here to show drastic differences between two decks in the same archetype.)

The Untouchables

Stoneforge Mystic: This lady is why we are all here, so maybe don’t forget to bring her to the dance.

True-Name Nemesis: Turns out without all these one-mana wraths running around, a mini-Progenitus is really good. This guy is your workhorse and the way you get to steal some games.

Batterskull/Jitte: These are really the reason we play this deck.

Brainstorm: Best card in Legacy. Enough said.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: The G.O.A.T. and a way for you to win the game in another way.

Swords to Plowshares: The best removal spell ever printed.

Snapcaster Mage: Tiago really did a number on this card. It is a way for us to have extra copies of any of our sweet one-of spells.

Force of Will: Sometimes you just need to not die.

Counterspell: No, we did not make a mistake. This is the OG. The reason why we call them counterspells.

The flex spots

Can I say everything?

Council’s Judgment: This card does work, and I only put it here because sometimes you will have to mess with the numbers

Sword of Fire and Ice: Some like it, some don’t. It can help you punch past other True-Names and can be useful against combo decks to add to your clock and draw extra cards.

Flusterstorm: If you really don’t want to lose to Storm, then load up on these puppies.

The mana base

6 Basics

Legacy is a Wasteland format. Some decks such as Delver and Death and Taxes have based their game plan around disrupting their opponents’ mana. When you play an insane number of basics, you can thwart this plan. It also makes sure we can cast our spells even if they do find a chance to waste us once or even twice.

4 Wasteland

Since we are only playing 2 colors we can afford to play wasteland and 2-3 extra lands. This is so we can have some game against Lands and be able to punish people and their greedy manabases. Some people call this deck the fun police; Wasteland fits that description adequately and provides a useful tool.

10 Fetchlands

I could not see myself playing less than 9 fetches in any brainstorm deck. The combination is just far too powerful to not maximize. The combination of them is up to you; as long as you have more blue than white, you will be fine.

Karakas?

Some people will play this card instead of a fourth Tundra, and that’s fine. It makes casting Counterspell a little more difficult, but it can give you a few percentage points against Reanimator or Sneak and Show.

Gameplay

The games will be an absolute grind, so be prepared. Some of the games revolve around your equipment, others revolve around True-Name, and some other will just involve protecting the best planeswalker ever printed (JTMS). It is all about assessing what role you are and which line of attack is best against your opponent’s plan. Then execute and play protect the queen.

Sideboarding

Good cards, in bad cards out.

Fair Decks: Against the fair decks, you probably want to board out your Forces. The best rule I have heard for this is you take these out when you don’t need to stop yourself from being killed really fast.

Combo: This is really where we can struggle. Sometimes you will need to board out your Stoneforges and equipment. Containment Priests are a good way to fill the void, as they can provide a small clock and let you hold up counter magic.

Death and Taxes: Board out the slow stuff. I like trimming a Jace and some number of Forces or counterspells in general. Board in Containment Priest and as many Disenchants as you feel comfortable with.

Lands: Surgical Extraction is your friend, or maybe Rest in Peace. Just try and knock them off balance long enough that you can kill them.

Delver: Explosives are your friend and Forces are very mediocre. Flusterstorm is actually pretty good here, as it will counter their pesky K Commands.

Burn: Flusterstorms are fantastic, Containment Priest is actually fine, and Jace is pretty awful. Council’s Judgement is fine and you will have to keep it in if you don’t have any Disenchants so you don’t die to Sulfuric Vortex.

Note: Be aware of your blue count as you are sideboarding, if you are keeping Force of Will in.

Good matchups

Grixis Delver: Sometimes you get Delvered out and sometimes they die to a True Name. They are a lot leaner than you, but you have higher impact cards

Elves: Jitte is really good … (Awkward smile)

Death and Taxes: True Name is really hard for them to kill and if they stumble they die.

Sneak and Show: All those Containment Priests …

Reanimator: See Sneak and Show

Bad matchups

Enchantress: You have a chance with EE, but maybe you just sign the slip and save your energy for another match.

Lands: I am not sure I want to say bad, but difficult.

Storm: We have a lot of dead cards against them

Sneak and Show: … but they have a lot of ways to kill Containment Priest.

Reanimator: See Sneak and Show, and they are super fast.

Wrap up

All in all Stoneblade gives you the ability to have game against anything, and play a super fair deck all at the same time.

Just as a warning to those whom have not picked up this deck before, it is very grindy and very punishing to mistakes. But, if you can get past that, then it’s a great choice for a field where you have no idea what to expect.

Alexander Hamilton is a grinder from Chicago who is well-known for his love of Legacy. However, if there is a competitive event in any format in the Chicagoland area, expect him to be there playing Magic and making terrible puns, and not necessarily in that order.

 

 

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