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Against the Odds: Legacy Minotaurs


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 300 of Against the Odds. Last week we had another Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Against the Odds poll, and it was Vorpal Sword for Standard 2022 that came out on top, but then something truly Against the Odds happened - Minotaurs, lead by my namesake Sethron, Hurloon General somehow managed to 5-0 a Legacy league - which I think has to be a sign from the Magic gods that we're supposed to play Legacy Minotaurs this week. If you were expecting Vorpal Sword, don't worry, it's still coming for next week's episode and it's going to be sweet, but today we're heading to legacy to blow into a Didgeridoo, summoning Minotaurs, and maybe even win a game or two! Is Sethron, Hurloon General really Legacy playable? Is there really a Magic card called Didgeridoo? What are the odds of winning with Minotaurs in Legacy? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

Against the Odds: Legacy Minotaurs

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The Deck

As you probably know, Against the Odds is almost exclusively decks that I build, but today is the rare exception. We're playing Twin_MTG's Legacy Minotaur list (with one slight change, dropping Great Furnace for more Mountains since Great Furnace has zero synergy in the deck and gets blown up by artifact hate). 

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Oddly, the most important card in Legacy Minotaurs isn't a Minotaur, it's Didgeridoo. The one-mana artifact allows us to put a Minotaur into play from our hand for just three mana, which is a massive discount considering that most of our Minotaurs are five- or six-mana. This allows us to potentially have something like Sethron, Hurloon General or Moraug, Fury of Akoum on the battlefield as early as turn two with the help of some fast mana. Even better, since Didgeridoo is a weird old card, it doesn't even have to tap to put a Minotaur into play, so we can use it to dump several Minotaurs into play on the cheap in the same turn. 

Didgeridoo is so important to our deck that we're playing the full four copies of Urza's Saga to find it. While we can also grab Cursed Scroll for removal or Shadowspear to gain some life, we're using Urza's Saga to snag Didgeridoo close to 100% of the time if we don't already have on on the battlefield. The plan works surprisingly well. If we play an Urza's Saga on turn one, by the time we sacrifice it on turn three to tutor up Didgeridoo, we'll have exactly enough mana to use Didgeridoo to cheat a Minotaur into play immediately!

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We have a total of five Minotaurs in our deck, with all except for one being four-ofs. The best and most important is my namesake Sethron, Hurloon General. The five-drop makes a 2/3 Minotaur token when it or another non-token Minotaur comes into play along with adding a 4/4 body to the battlefield. This allows us to quickly flood the board with Minotaurs as we either cast our other Minotaurs or cheat them into play with Didgeridoo. Once we have a big Minotaur board, we can use Sethron's second ability to pump our team and give our Minotaurs menace to get in a huge, lethal attack.

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Backing up Sethron we have some of the biggest, baddest, Minotaurs in Magic. Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion gives us a way to filter away our dead cards to search for more Minotaurs when it hits our opponent while also making some extra mana which helps us activate Didgeridoo multiple times in the same turn. Commander all-star Neheb, the Eternal is hard to block thanks to afflict and offers another way to make a bunch of mana in one turn to dump our hand. Finally, Moraug, Fury of Akoum is our biggest Minotaur as a 6/6. If we can build up a big board of Minotaurs with Sethron, Hurloon General before it hits the battlefield, it often allows us to win the game in one turn with multiple attacks.

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Last and very likely least, we have Akoum Warrior, which isn't an exciting Minotaur as a 4/5 for six, but as an MDFC we're counting it as a land, so it's sort of a free roll (although coming into play tapped as a land is occasionally annoying). Plus, Legacy decks are mostly built to answer efficient, cheap threats. Popular removal like Lightning Bolt and Fatal Push is really bad against our deck, missing pretty much all of our Minotaurs, which oddly makes the tribe good at janking out a lot of the fair decks in the format. While Akoum Warrior isn't a good card in an absolute sense, it's actually solid in our deck since we want as many big Minotaurs as possible to support Didgeridoo and Sethron, Hurloon General.

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The other important aspect of Legacy Minotaurs is fast mana. With our best draws, we'll play a Didgeridoo on turn one and have three mana on turn two to sneak our first Minotaur into play. Chrome Mox, Simian Spirit Guide, and Ancient Tomb all help us achieve this goal. While they aren't as exciting off the top of our deck later in the game, we can always rummage them away with Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

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Cursed Scroll and Shadowspear give us backup Urza's Saga tutor targets in case we already have a Didgeridoo. Cursed Scroll takes advantage of the fact that we can normally empty our hand pretty quickly. If we can get down to just one card in hand it turns into a repeatable three-mana Shock (since we know we'll always be revealing the one card we have in hand), making it a good way to snipe down small creatures like Delver of Secrets and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, while also offering a bit of reach to close out the game by going face. Meanwhile Shadowspear offers a ton of lifegain if we can get it equipped to something like Moraug, Fury of Akoum or Neheb, the Eternal, and trample helps us close out the game with our Minotaur attacks even through blockers.

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The last non-land card in our main deck is honorary Minotaur Goblin Rabblemaster. While Goblin Rabblemaster isn't especially synergistic with our primary Minotaur plan, it does work really well with our fast mana. A Goblin Rabblemaster coming down on turn one or two is an extremely fast clock that can sometimes go the distance by itself. The other upside of Goblin Rabblemaster is that it's often seen as a must-kill threat. If we can get it down before we start playing our big Minotaurs, there's a good chance our opponent will spend their Swords to Plowshares or whatever removal they have on the Goblin, making it more likely that our more powerful and important Minotaurs stick on the battlefield.

As for Chalice of the Void, it's really good in the Legacy meta at the moment, especially when it can come down on turn one thanks to cards like Chrome Mox and Ancient Tomb. Izzet decks built around Delver of Secrets and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer are super popular at the moment, and a huge percentage of the cards in those decks cost one mana. It's also one of our best cards against unfair combo decks like Storm and Doomsday, but that's partly because we lack other good options to fight fast combo as a mono-red deck. 

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One last note on the deck: the original had four copies of Great Furnace, but after getting blown out by Null Rod while testing the deck, I searched high and low through the decklist and couldn't figure out a reason to play the artifact land, so I ended up removing it for more Mountains. My guess is that Great Furnace was a deck-building punt with the idea being to tutor it up with Urza's Saga, but thanks to the way Urza's Saga is worded, it only searches for cards that cost exactly 0 or 1 generic mana. If I'm missing something and there's another reason to be playing Great Furnace, make sure to let me know in the comments, but I think it's mostly a strictly worse Mountain in Legacy Minotaurs.

The Matchups

The matchups for Legacy Minotaurs are pretty straightforward; the deck felt great against fair decks but much less great against unfair combo decks. Against fair aggro, midrange, and tempo decks, our creatures are bigger than our opponents' creatures and are resilient to a lot of popular removal. It's pretty easy to flood the board with Sethron tokens and eventually overwhelm them. On the other hand, against unfair combo decks, things are rough. As a mono-red deck we don't have Force of Will or great sideboard options. Our best bet is to try to mulligan aggressively for Didgeridoo, cheat a big Minotaur into play on turn two, and hopefully beat our opponent down before they can combo off. Even so, unless our opponent has a bad draw they are likely to be able to combo off before we can attack for lethal.

The Odds

All in all we went 3-4 with Legacy Minotaurs, which isn't a 5-0, but is also not a horrible record for a really funny, janky tribe in a format as powerful as Legacy. As we talked about before, the deck felt great against fair decks, but really struggled against combo decks where we just weren't fast enough. The good news is that we got to see the true power of the Minotaurs in some of our matches. Against the Vengevine Madness deck our opponent managed to play through their entire deck, play a ton of Vengevines, Hollow Ones, and Rootwallas, and simply couldn't break through our massive wall of Minotaurs. We were able to win with Sethron, Hurloon General menacing up our team for lethal and even got a turn two Moraug, Fury of Akoum jank-'em-out win against Delver! Most importantly, we only had one spell countered by our own Chalice of the Void!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No Against the Odds poll this week. Next week we'll be playing Vorpal Sword in Standard 2022 since it won last week's poll and would have been featured in today's episode if it wasn't for the Legacy Minotaur miracle!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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