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Much Abrew: UB Ninjas (Legacy, Magic Online)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a bit of a surprise: for the second time in three weeks, our Legacy option came in first place! As such, we're heading to one of Magic's most powerful formats today to see if we can win some games with UB Ninjas, a deck built around a new Commander 2018 card—Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow—and also featuring a sweet Battlebond rare in Spellseeker. The deck is basically a tricky UB tempo deck looking to generate oodles of card advantage with the combo of Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, Ninja of the Deep Hours, and creatures we can ninjutsu back to our hand for value like Baleful Strix, Snapcaster Mage, and Spellseeker. Is it time for Ninjas to shine in Legacy? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: UB Ninjas (Legacy)


  • First off, discounting UB Ninjas entirely, Legacy is a super-sweet format, and we should probably play it more often. Every time we play a Legacy deck, I have a ton of fun—it's like Modern, except people actually can interact with the broken combos, and there are some incredibly intricate, long games (like our absurd battle with Deadguy Ale where we played through literally our entire deck before we could pick up the win). 
  • As for UB Ninjas, the deck was great. We finished our Legacy league 4-1, only losing to the crazy Stax deck that managed to lock us out of the game with a Choke, which we probably would have known to play around if we played Legacy more often. We managed to both beat unfair combo decks and also outgrind fair decks thanks to our card-advantage engines. 
  • This being said, the deck is sort of difficult to write about. Rather than looking to assemble a specific combo or synergy, it's mostly just oozing value, with a ton of card advantage and good enters-the-battlefield effects, combined with cheap removal and counters to stay alive against the unfair decks of the format.
  • One of the things that surprised me about the deck is that Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Ninja of the Deep Hours were more late-game threats than repeatable value engines throughout the games. In most of our games, we didn't start drawing cards with our Ninjas until the late game, but even that was enough. Legacy games tend to develop into top-deck wars, since most decks don't have much true card advantage (instead relying on card filtering and cantrips), and having Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Ninja of the Deep Hours is a great way to push ahead once both players end up in top-deck mode after burning through their resources. 
  • While having a bunch of one-ofs might seem weird, Legacy is a lot different than other formats, in that Brainstorm and tutors like Spellseeker mean that we can often find the single card that we need, even if it's a one-of. Spellseeker specifically offers some unique possibilities, with cards like Diabolic Edict not being great in most matchups but a real lifesaver in certain situations. Having access to the weird spell toolbox is a nice upside of the deck.
  • All in all, UB Ninjas felt really solid, and I had a blast playing the deck. Legacy is a super-fun format, and UB Ninjas felt like it has the tools to compete with both the unfair combo decks of the format and the more grindy midrange and control decks of Legacy. The only downside is the cost, but it's worth mentioning that trading Underground Sea for Watery Grave and Scalding Tarn for Flooded Strand will cut nearly $2,000 from the cost of the deck, putting it down under $1,500. Even with the slight downgrade to the mana, the deck should function just fine, so if you're looking for a cheaper way to get into Legacy, keep the shock land option in mind.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to next weeks deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos. 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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