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Series TBD: UW Superfriends (Legacy, Magic Online)


As you might already know, I've really been enjoying Legacy and Vintage lately. While I don't have that much time to make a new series, if I manage to sneak in a league every now and then, I figure I may as well record and post it for all of you to enjoy as well! While much has been made about the impacts of War of the Spark in Modern and Standard, the planeswalker-heavy set is having a huge impact on older formats as well. Today's deck might be the most War of the Spark-y of War of the Spark Legacy decks, featuring four planeswalkers from the set! The idea is pretty simple: we play fast mana, play planeswalkers, and trust that we'll parlay those planeswalkers into some wins. Can War of the Spark planeswalkers compete in a format as powerful as Legacy? Let's get to the video and find out

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Series TBD: UW Superfriends

 

Discussion

  • Record-wise, our league was rough as we finished 1-4. That said, I think the deck is at least a little bit better than our record suggests. One of our losses was a semi–time out in a really strange match against Delver where both players did nothing for a ton of turns out of fear of the Karn, the Great Creator lock coming down if we drew more mana, and our match against Infect was super close. While we did get outclassed by Goblins, it felt like we were close to being 3-2 rather than 1-4.
  • That said, one of the biggest themes of the league was struggling with mana issues. While Ancient Tomb can be extremely powerful by allowing us to jump the curve with our planeswalkers, we had some games where it kept us from casting our double-colored spells and others where the game went long and the two life we spent to tap it ended up mostly killing us. Chrome Mox is similar. It occasionally leads to extremely explosive starts, but other times, it ends up being almost uncastable, making it another land that doesn't always help us cast our spells. The reward for this risk is that sometimes we get to play something like Jace, the Mind Sculptor in Turn 1, but with the amount of counters and defense in our deck, it might be that a slow-but-steady mana base would have found more success.
  • As far as our planeswalkers, the two biggest winners were Narset, Parter of Veils and Dovin, Hand of Control, both of which have static abilities that line up incredibly well with the Legacy format. Cards like Brainstorm and Ponder are the foundation of a huge percentage of Legacy decks, and Narset, Parter of Veils makes them look silly. Meanwhile, Dovin, Hand of Control gives us a one-sided Thalia, Guardian of Thraben that doesn't die to creature removal. Combine them together, and our deck is really, really good at taxing many Legacy opponents who are looking to chain cheap cantrips into their action spells. 
  • Teferi, Time Raveler is fine although a bit more matchup dependent. The main upside is that if we have a Teferi on the battlefield, we can resolve our more impactful planeswalkers without fear of getting them countered, but in non-counter matchups, Teferi, Time Raveler is pretty underwhelming. 
  • Meanwhile, Karn, the Great Creator (tutoring up Mycosynth Lattice) and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are our primary finishers. We do need to kill our opponent somehow, and either four-mana planeswalker can get the job done if we can stabilize the board with our other planeswalkers and spells. That said, I do think that the Karn, the Great Creator sideboard package could be a bit more developed. Something like Engineered Explosives would have been a lifesaver against Goblins. While Ensnaring Bridge is powerful, UW Superfriends is pretty bad at getting empty-handed since most of our planeswalkers end up drawing us cards and our mana is often tight.
  • Otherwise, Palace Jailer is pretty cute with Narset, Parter of Veils. The risk of playing Palace Jailer in a deck without mana creatures if that if our opponent can steal the crown, they get to draw an extra card every turn instead of us. But with Narset on the battlefield to fizzle extra card draw, there isn't nearly as much downside in running out a Palace Jailer and hoping for the best.
  • All in all, UW Superfriends was a neat deck and had some really powerful cards, but mana issues (and perhaps not mulliganing aggressively enough for nut draws) left us with a rather poor record. Should you play UW Superfriends? I think the answer is not yet. I wouldn't be surprised to find a legitimate planeswalker taxes deck with Narset, Parter of Veils and Dovin, Hand of Control in Legacy, but the current build is still a bit rough around the edges. With time and tuning, I expect UW Superfriends to work, but I'm not sure we are at that point yet. 

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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