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Much Abrew: Saproling-a-Monium (Legacy)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. After missing last week's episode for Pro Tour coverage, we're back! During our last batch of Instant Deck Techs, we had a virtual tie for first between Samut Humans for Standard and Saproling-a-Monium for Legacy. In the end, it was the Legacy combo deck that pushed ahead for the win, which means today we are heading to one of Magic's most powerful format to try to win the game with one of the jankiest reanimator decks I've ever seen! 

Short history lesson: apparently, the combo of Saproling Burst and Pandemonium was a real deck in Standard back in the day because after I posted the deck tech, a ton of people commented that they use to play with it. Of course, Standard from 15 years ago was a much different format than Legacy is today. Is it really possible that the synergy can port over? We're about to find out! Let's get to the videos, and then we'll have some short thoughts on the deck. 

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Saproling-a-Monium (Instant Deck Tech)

Saproling-a-Monium vs. BUG Delver (Match 1)

Saproling-a-Monium vs. Four-Color Control (Match 2)

Saproling-a-Monium vs. RUG Delver (Match 3)

Saproling-a-Monium vs. Jeskai Control (Match 4)

Saproling-a-Monium vs. RB Reanimator (Match 5)

Saproling-a-Monium (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • First off, that was pretty rough. We finished 0-5 in our matches, which is about as bad as it gets, but at least we managed to steal a couple of games to show off how the combo works. 
  • The good news is that the combo is game ending. If we can get a Pandemonium and Saproling Burst on the battlefield at the same time, we win the game on the spot in a way that's super hard for the opponent to interact with. 
  • Beyond the combo itself, the deck has a ton of problems. Most importantly, it has very little redundancy. Maybe the best example of this was our last match against RB Reanimator, which has 12 redundant reanimation targets and 12 redundant reanimation spells. Our deck, on the other hand, is basically playing a three-card reanimation combo—we need at least one copy of Pandemonium, at least one Saproling Burst, and at least one Replenish, and we don't really have backup copies of any of those cards. This means that, even though we are overloaded with cantrips, it isn't all that easy to actually assemble the combo. 
  • Once we get the combo assembled, we have the same problem as all-in combo decks in Modern: things suddenly fall apart if our opponent has a Force of Will, Flusterstorm, or Daze, and all of our hard work to get the combo together goes to nothing. 
  • Third, we are super slow for the Legacy format. The RB Reanimation deck was getting Griselbrand on Turn 1. We are extremely lucky if we can reanimate our combo on Turn 3 or 4. 
  • As for individual cards, Intuition is actually pretty awkward because it doesn't get our entire combo in the graveyard. No matter what we search for, we almost always end up with one of our two reanimation targets in hand, which means we need one of our four Careful Study (our only way to discard from hand) to be able to get the Replenish reanimation win. 
  • It's also a little bit weird that we can't cast Pandemonium or Saproling Burst from hand. The mana is so good in Legacy that it seems wrong to not play an extra dual land or two to fetch out to cast our combo pieces when the situation calls for it. 
  • Finally, while the transformational sideboard plan seemed cool on paper, it wasn't actually all that effective. We basically turn into a bad Stoneblade deck, and even with the upside of our opponent bringing in some useless sideboard cards, we still weren't good enough to get many wins. Oddly, we still get wrecked by Surgical Extraction as well thanks to all of our Careful Study, Thought Scours, and Mental Notes, which stock the graveyard with Stoneforge Mystics, True-Name Nemesises, and Batterskulls for our opponent to exile, and since we only have a limited number of finishers, getting one exiled is devastating. 
  • The other issue with the sideboard is the opportunity cost. There were some matchups where, instead of sideboarding out the combo, we wanted to bring in cards like Flusterstorm or Pyroblast to try to force our combo through disruption. Since so many sideboard slots are devoted to the transformation plan, we simply don't have many ways to improve our main deck. We either transform or essentially just run it back. 
  • So, should you play Saproling-a-Monium? The answer is generally no—it's very much a bad Against the Odds-style deck fighting through an extremely hostile format, since most people have Force of Will in the main deck and many have graveyard hate in the sideboard. While I can't imagine anyone winning much with this deck—and I don't even think that the problems with the deck are fixable, since there simply isn't a good way to make it more redundant, faster, or better against Force of Will—the one exception is if you want to play it for fun. Despite all of its issues, it is one of the most unique reanimation decks you can play in Legacy, so there are certainly cool points to be won for taking it to a tournament—you'll turn a lot of heads and get a lot of comments (as you lose). 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Techs! 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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