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Much Abrew: Mono-Black Curses (Legacy)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading once again to one of my favorite formats: Legacy! Part of what makes Legacy so awesome is that ideas that would never work in any other format can work in Legacy. Take today's deck, for example: Mono-Black Curses! Where else but Legacy can Curse of Misfortunes be your primary finisher? Nowhere! Apart from locking our opponent out of the game with curses, we can also win with the combo of Leyline of the Void and Helm of Obedience, or just annoy our opponent into oblivion with cards like Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere. Can Curses work 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: Legacy Mono-Black Curses

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  • What a wild league! After losing our first match because our opponent stumbled into two copies of Force of Vigor to break out of a double–Chalice of the Void lock and then answer our Leyline of the Void / Helm of Obedience combo, we ran off four wins in a row to finish with a 4-1. Little did we know at the time, but the second Force of Vigor would be the only thing keeping us from a perfect 5-0 finish! 
  • In match five, we needed to not only defeat our Maverick opponent but also Magic Online as well. After winning game one, game two bugged out, causing the game to loop and then eventually restart—except that after the game restarted, we couldn't actually do anything except draw our card for the turn and then discard to hand size. Eventually, I scooped, and the Magic gods rewarded us with a great draw in game three to finish off the match with a win. After tweeting about the bug, a few people said it's a known issue that involves Sylvan Library and that if you reset your stops on Magic Online, you can go back to playing a normal game (rather than drawing and discarding to hand size). While Wizards hopefully will fix it, in the meantime, if you happen to run into it, at least you'll know what to do.

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  • Once we stick Curse of Misfortunes, we have three other curses we can tutor up. In general, we want to tutor up Overwhelming Splendor first, to turn all of our opponent's creatures into 1/1s and shut down their abilities. Then, on the next turn, we grab Curse of Death's Hold, which gives all of our opponent's creatures –1/–1. Combined with Overwhelming Splendor, this hard-locks creatures out of the game. Finally, we get Cruel Reality, which should hit our opponent for five each turn since they won't have any creatures to sacrifice, winning us the game over the course of a few turns with direct damage. 

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  • If the curse plan doesn't work, we have two other ways of closing out the game. One is Leyline of the Void with Helm of Obedience. Helm is a really weird card. The way it is worded, when you activate it, you mill the opponent until "X cards are put into the graveyard." Since Leyline of the Void creates a replacement effect that puts cards into exile rather than the graveyard, no cards ever go into our opponent's graveyard, so even activating Helm of Obedience with X = 1 will exile our opponent's entire library, causing them to lose when they draw for their next turn to milling out. The other option is to use Karn, the Great Creator to snag Mycosynth Lattice from our sideboard in order to hard-lock our opponent out of the game. As long as we aren't too far behind on board, this should buy us infinite time to either win by turning Mycosynth Lattice into a creature with Karn, the Great Creator's +1 and beating down or by finding our curses.

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  • The other interesting aspect of the deck is the sideboard. Our main deck has zero creatures, so most opponents take out their creature removal. This allows us to bring in cards like Plague Reaver and Opposition Agent (both of which potentially can win the game by themselves) and have them stick on the battlefield. Being able to play Opposition Agent on Turn 1 off of Dark Ritual can be especially devastating if we can do it in response to our opponent cracking a fetch land. 

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  • Oh yeah, the other card I wanted to mention was Hagra Mauling, which might look strange in the deck but is surprisingly synergistic. Apart from giving us an overcosted removal spell, Hagra Mauling is a land that we can exile to Chrome Mox, which is important because our deck has a lot of artifacts and Chrome Mox requires us to exile a non-artifact for it to make mana. Hagra Mauling is a sneaky way that we can both up our land count and our "colored spell" count for Chrome Mox, and it was even fine in some matchups as a removal spell!
  • All in all, Legacy Mono-Black Curses was a blast! The deck was competitive, unique, and fun! If you're looking for something different to try in Legacy on Magic Online, like locking our opponents out of the game and weird Against the Odds–style finishers, give Curses a shot!


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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