In a world lead by Deathrites and Delvers, the non-blue mages are fighting back, and they are stronger than ever. If Brainstorm isn’t your thing, what options do you have?
For quite some time this year Legacy was (and some would argue still is) dominated by Grixis Delver and Czech Pile. These hyper efficient tempo/control decks did as much good for the format as bad; they stifled the success of glass-cannon strategies and pushed Legacy into the realms of “fair magic”. As the meta shifted into primarily Deathrite Shaman mirrors, the Magic players who embraced variance had to evolve.
Re-enter Dragon Stompy.
The term “Stompy” refers to an archetype started in the very early days of Magic and describes decks that quite literally stomp your opponent with giant creatures. One of the first Stompy decks was created by Texan players Paul Gallagher and Bill Macey prior to the release of 5th Edition. It’s hard to imagine how much Magic has changed until you consider the decklist below:
Although Green Stompy lists still exist in other formats (thank you, Ghalta), this is a far cry from the Legacy Stompy decks we see today. In 2007, Damon Whitby brought an interesting deck to The Mana Leak Open, taking second place with some very familiar cards:
If you don’t like casting Brainstorm, this is the deck for you. Well… maybe not this one but something similar.
This archetype defies what most Magic players like about playing Magic: instead of gaining incremental advantage during the game through well thought out decisions, you cast a Blood Moon turn one and finish the turn with a nearly empty hand. Accelerating into lock pieces to slow your opponent down a few turns gives you all the card draw you need to cast your Chandra, Koth or, God forbid, an Arc-Slogger.
Oath of the Gatewatch brought a new challenger into the mix in the form of the ultra-aggressive Eldrazi Stompy. Having to play Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors to accelerate into the early lock pieces did not hinder this colourless deck in the slightest. In fact, playing these Sol lands enabled players to drop a Thought-Knot Seer on turn two and a Reality Smasher on turn three. If players didn’t find the early lock piece they still had the option to beat face with 4/4s and 5/5s. This made Eldrazi in Legacy the Stompy deck of choice.
With the help of the Eldrazi, players realised once again that this was a viable strategy in Legacy and the brewers started going wild, getting free wins with decks like Angel Stompy, Steel Stompy, Soldier Stompy and even
Pirate Stompy. These decks lit the path for innovation in a very different way.
When I first saw Fringeworthy’s showing of Soldier Stompy, I was taken aback. The disruptive elements of Death and Taxes with the tribal bonuses of Preeminent Captain and Daru Warchief got me excited. Then, the SIX mana, core set behemoth Captain of the Watch as a curve topper sealed the deal. I played it once on footage but that was not enough to quench my thirst. With Stompy decks back on the rise, it’s time we dust off the old Ancient Tombs and give it another go.
We will be testing out Soldier Stompy on Lazy Sunday Legacy on the 17/06 at 7pm Aus EST. Please tune in and I will see you then!