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Series TBD: Wishclaw Combos (Legacy, Magic Online)


Welcome back to Series TBD, where we get to play interesting decks in some of Magic's oldest and most powerful formats. This week, we're heading to Legacy to play a deck we're calling Wishclaw Combos. Wishclaw Talisman is an undoubtedly powerful card, tutoring any card from in our deck to our hand for just three total mana, although this power comes with the downside that after we activate it, we have to give it to our opponent. Some decks try to work around this downside by using cards like Teferi, Time Raveler or Karn, the Great Creator to prevent the opponent from using Wishclaw Talisman, but there is another way to get around the drawback: winning the game on the turn when we activate Wishclaw Talisman. Sure, our opponent gains control of it, but if they are dead before they untap, then controlling Wishclaw Talisman isn't much of an upside. Our deck actually has two game-winning two-card combos that win the game immediately, making Wishclaw Talisman the perfect way to find a missing combo piece. What happens when you go all-in on assembling various combos with Wishclaw Talisman in Legacy? Let's get to the video and find out!

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Series TBD: Wishclaw Combos

Discussion

  • What an absurd league! In the end, we finished with a 3-2 record, which is probably about what we (and the deck) deserved, but the way we got there was very, very strange. Somehow, due to a strange chain of very fortunate and timely draws from our opponent, we lost a match that we were 99% to win against Elves, but then, later in our league against Sneak and Show, due to an equally strange chain of unlucky draws from our opponent (and extremely lucky top-decks for us), we won a match that we were 99% to lose. Magic is a weird game, and Legacy is a wild format.
  • The deck's plan is actually really straightforward. We have two different two-card combos: Leyline of the Void with Helm of Obedience (which exiles our opponent's entire library when Helm of Obedience is activated for any amount of mana) and Painter's Servant with Grindstone (which mills our opponent's entire library when we activate Grindstone). The deck's goal is to use Wishclaw Talisman and Spoils of the Vault to assemble one of these two combos as quickly as possible and use them to win the game (in theory, we can win on Turn 1, but the fastest we won during our league was Turn 2).
  • Duress and Thoughtseize help to protect our combo from interaction like Force of Will. In a perfect world, we'll start the game with a discard spell on Turn 1 to clear the way for our combo on Turn 2 or 3. Without a discard spell, we are sometimes forced to attempt to combo and hope that our opponent doesn't have a Force of Will, although this plan is much riskier since a huge percentage of Legacy decks play Force of Will to avoid getting janked out by fast combo decks like ours.
  • Dark Ritual and Lion's Eye Diamond give us extra mana to speed up our combo. Lion's Eye Diamond looks weird since it forces us to discard our hand, but it actually works quite well in our deck thanks to our tutors. The trick is to play Lion's Eye Diamond, activate Wishclaw Talisman (or Spoils of the Vault), and then with the tutor spell / trigger on the stack, crack our Lion's Eye Diamond to make some extra mana. We can then let the tutor trigger / spell resolve and use the Lion's Eye Diamond to immediately cast and activate our combo piece to win the game. It's Lion's Eye Diamond and Dark Ritual (combined with lands that make two mana, like Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors) that give us the potential to win on Turn 1. For example, if we start the game with a Leyline of the Void in play, something like Lion's Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, and Spoils of the Vault add up to a Turn 1 win with the Leyline of the Void / Helm of Obedience combo.
  • Speaking of Leyline of the Void, as we saw in our first match, it randomly wrecks Reanimator and Dredge, which are two of the most popular decks in the Legacy format.
  • Meanwhile, Spoils of the Vault is super risky. While it was partly bad luck, we killed ourselves with it three times across our league, which means we almost lost as many games to our own Spoils of the Vault as to our opponents. 
  • We also learned that our deck is basically drawing dead to Leyline of Sanctity, which shuts down both of our combos and makes it impossible for us to win the game. While we did manage to beat it once by ticking a Ratchet Bomb up to four, this took a major stroke of luck (with our opponent missing land drops for about a million turns in a row).
  • In the end, Wishclaw Combos felt like a deck that was fairly competitive. It's really good at putting opponents to the test early in the game, and if our opponent fails, they will lose to one of our combos. Wishclaw Talisman makes the deck very consistent, despite the fact that we have two combos that don't interact with each other to any meaningful extent. It's also worth mentioning that the deck is cheap-ish for Legacy (which means it's $1,800 rather than $4,000), with almost half of the deck's cost being the playset of Lion's Eye Diamond, and only 155 tix on Magic Online, making it a decent budget option in digital form. Basically, Wishclaw Combo is both powerful and consistent, although it does come with a decent amount of risk, with a single Force of Will potentially ruining our day if we don't draw a discard spell, or a single copy of our own Spoils of the Vault potentially killing us on the spot.

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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