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Much Abrew: Chain of Smog Nic Fit (Legacy)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're exploring Legacy! Almost as soon as the magecraft mechanic was spoiled, people found that it could go infinite with Chain of Smog. Much has been made about the combo in Commander, but Legacy might be the best home for the synergy! While the main plan is to stick a Professor Onyx or Witherbloom Apprentice and then Chain of Smog ourselves enough times to drain our opponent out of the game, we have some sweet Legacy tricks to make it happen. We're basically a Nic Fit shell looking to sacrifice Veteran Explorer to ramp into our payoffs, and we even have Arena Rector to sacrifice and tutor our Professor Onyx! How good is the Chain of Smog combo in Legacy? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Chain of Smog Nic Fit

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  • Record-wise, we finished 3-2 with Smog Fit, and I was pretty happy with the record considering that it's been a while since we've played any Legacy. More importantly, almost all of our matches were super interactive, interesting, and close. Legacy is a pretty awesome format.
  • The core of the deck is a Nic Fit shell. We're trying to get a Veteran Explorer into play early in the game, either naturally or with Green Sun's Zenith, and then sacrifice it to Cabal Therapy, Phyrexian Tower, or Diabolic Intent to double ramp. At first glance, this might not sound all that exciting because our opponent will also get to tutor up two basic lands, but some Legacy decks don't play many basics, which helps us break the symmetry of Veteran Explorer. And even if our opponent does have basics to find, our deck likely can take advantage of the extra mana more effectively than our opponent's can.
  • One we get our mana situation sorted out, step two is to get Professor Onyx on the battlefield, either by casting it or by playing Arena Rector and sacrificing it to tutor up a planeswalker. We can also find Ugin, the Spirit Dragon (if we need to wrath the board) or Vraska, Golgari Queen (offering removal and another sacrifice outlet) if we aren't in a position to win the game with Professor Onyx and Chain of Smog
  • The combo itself is pretty straightforward: we get Professor Onyx or our one Witherbloom Apprentice (which we can find with Green Sun's Zenith on the battlefield and cast Chain of Smog targeting ourselves to trigger magecraft and drain our opponent. We can keep copying Chain of Smog an infinite number of times, which eventually will drain our opponent out of the game!
  • The biggest risk of the combo is that our opponent can disrupt it with a counterspell or removal on Witherbloom Apprentice or Professor Onyx. If our opponent is smart, they can even wait until we Mind Twist away our own hand before fizzling the combo, making it really difficult for us to get back into the game. The good news is that thanks to Cabal Therapy and Thoughtseize, we have a bunch of discard spells to make sure the coast is clear before we try to combo. While there are exceptions (like if we are about to lose the game and don't really have any other choice), in general, I wouldn't recommend just firing off the combo into open mana against most decks. Try to be patient and get a look at the opponent's hand first, to minimize the possibility of getting blown out.
  • Diabolic Intent was surprisingly effective in the deck since if we have an Arena Rector, we can use it to find the full combo. We sacrifice Arena Rector to tutor up Professor Onyx, use Diabolic Intent to find Chain of Smog, and (hopefully) process to win the game on the spot. 
  • Maybe the biggest downside of the deck is that we don't have blue mana, which means we don't have access to Brainstorm and the other cheap cantrips that fuel the Legacy format. Sylvan Library is our stand-in and one of the cards we want the most in a lot of matchups, giving us a source of card advantage if we have extra life and the ability to dig through our deck for combo pieces. 
  • Cavern of Souls might look weird in a non-tribal deck with only 11 creatures, but it's super important for beating Force of Will decks. Our two most important creatures—Veteran Explorer and Arena Rector—both are Humans, and making sure we can resolve them is essential.
  • All in all, Chain of Smog Nic Fit felt solid. The deck was fun to play; does cool, unique things; and actually managed to pick up quite a few wins. It's also worth mentioning that the deck isn't all that expensive on Magic Online, at just over 400 tix, which is roughly the cost of many Modern decks. So if you're looking to try something different, give Chain of Smog Nic Fit in Legacy a try!


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

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