Back in January, when I went to the SCG Open in Baltimore, I played against a deck that it’s creator dubbed “BUG Deedstill” (as in Pernicious Deed and Standstill). It basically added a Landstill element to the existing BUG Control shell, as well as going in a sort of Super Friendsy direction with the Deeds to back up Jace, Lily, and… ASHIOK! (I believe that he also ran Vraska in his version, but I don’t think she provides enough impact for a five-drop in this deck.) But with all that durdliness, and all those Planeswalkers, I knew I had to try my hand at it in the near future. Fast forward three weeks later, and I had put together my early version of BUG Deedstill. Fast forward another week, and here’s where I’m at, so far:

BUG Deedstill

Planeswalkers (7)
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Liliana of the Veil

Spells (28)
Crucible of Worlds
Pernicious Deed
Abrupt Decay
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Innocent Blood
Life from the Loam
Raven’s Crime

Land (25)
Academy Ruins
Barren Moor
Creeping Tar Pit
Lonely Sandbar
Mishra’s Factory
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Tranquil Thicket
Underground Sea
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Engineered Explosives
Ensnaring Bridge
Force of Will
Golgari Charm
Maelstrom Pulse
Nihil Spellbomb
Surgical Extraction
Zuran Orb

Yes, that’s 25 lands, but one of them is a Tabernacle, so it doesn’t count (unless we have an Urborg in play). I’m hoping this is the sweet spot for mana—I still need to test a bit more at these numbers—but in my early testing, I’ve found mana to be the most glaring issue with the deck. The deck has A LOT of things going on—there’s the Loam engine, a number of neat Intuition packages, a Landstill core, SEVEN Planeswalkers—but in order for me to have my cake and eat it, too, with regards to the high number of colorless-producing lands in a three-color deck, I would have to cut some spells. There was originally a higher amount of countermagic and discard effects, but I chose to skimp a bit in those departments to get to an acceptable land count. I was also running a full set of Wastelands, in an earlier iteration of the deck, but I had to shave down to a trio for the sake of less atrocious mana. I’ve only tested in a single daily with this updated list; the mana feels better, but it’s a small sample size. 

One interesting (or… well.. obvious) thing that I found was that it is waaaay harder to stream with this deck than with something like Miracles. When I started doing the stream, with Miracles, I had already had a significant amount of experience with the archetype, both, in paper, and online. My brain recognizes many of the scenarios that play out in matches from past experience, allowing me to not have to think as hard to deduce certain board states. Having internalized the nuances of many of the matchups makes it easier to talk through my decisions while I play. Even when I play something like UWR Delver, I’ve played Delver decks before, and I’ve played Stoneblade decks before, so picking it up was relatively simple since my brain has some memory of board states involving those cards. This BUG Control thing, though, is a whole different animal, and trying to navigate the complex decision trees it throws at you, while also engaging an audience, and getting it all done before my clock hits 0:00 is a challenge!


I’m not familiar with using Life from the Loam, or dredging, even! I’m not used to all these cool Intuition packages I can assemble for value with cards like Loam, Crucible, Academy Ruins, Raven’s Crime, and any utility land or artifact. One of my favorite tricks I learned with Intuition is searching up Life from the Loam, Academy Ruins, and any artifact. I’d like to test out some more silver bullet artifacts that I can incorporate into that package.

While the wins don’t come consistently with this deck (yet!), the way that it wins is an absolute joy. I’ve won games where I grounded my opponent into oblivion, repeatedly Wasting them, either through Loam or Crucible, while using Jace’s plus to keep them from drawing any spells they can cast, and Lily’s plus to take away the card that was stranded in their hand. That sounds like pretty much the most evil way possible to win!

Here are my thoughts on a few of the other cards.

Pernicious DeedThis sweeper is kind enough to spare Planeswalkers, while dealing with all other non-land permanents. The perfect many-for-one answer in a Superfriends deck.

Standstill: We are a durdly control deck. We like when nothing is happening. Now, they have to go along with our game plan or give us an avalanche of card advantage. Just don’t play this when they have a threat on the table. Also, this gets extra fun with manlands and Crucible!

Innocent Blood: This card was one of the biggest draws to playing this deck. One-mana removal spells are so important to any fair deck in Legacy. White and red have the two best, but Innocent Blood is pretty decent if we’re not playing any creatures (spoiler: we’re not). Now that we have True-Name Nemesis running around, this one-mana answer becomes more attractive. Between Blood and Deed, we get to not give a damn about Progenifish, which sometimes feels pretty awesome.

Ashiok: It would feel wrong if I didn’t say anything about this guy. I’ve stolen two True-Names in the same game. That’s my biggest Ashiok achievement. Sorry, no Griselbrand or Emrakul, yet. I will admit that the Nightmare Weaver is rather close to the chopping block, but I’m going to continue to give this card a chance.

I will be continue working on this list and streaming the 11pm Legacy dailies on my twitch channel. My Legacy streams may be a bit sparse over the next week, though, as I’ll be practicing some Modern (I have no idea what I’m doing!) for GP Richmond.

And What’s Happening in Paper?

I took the latest Joe Lossett Tezz list to Monday Night Legacy, this past week, and boy, was I impressed. For reference, here’s the list:

Lossett-style Tezz

Planeswalkers (9)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Tezzeret the Seeker

Creatures (4)
Baleful Strix

Spells (47)
Chalice of the Void
Nihil Spellbomb
Dimir Signet
Ensnaring Bridge
Sword of the Meek
Talisman of Dominance
Thopter Foundry
Staff of Nin
Force of Will
Transmute Artifact
Academy Ruins
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Darkslick Shores
Darkwater Catacombs
Polluted Delta
Seat of the Synod
Underground Sea
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Sideboard (15)
Sword of the Meek
Faerie Macabre
Grafdigger’s Cage
Helm of Obedience
Lodestone Golem
Pithing Needle
The Abyss
Toxic Deluge

This deck taught me that the following things are powerful:

  • Turn one Chalice for one.
  • Turn two Planeswalkers
  • Sword-Thopter combo
  • Ensnaring Bridge, in the current meta (Ensnaring Cambridge writer, Shawn Massak, should approve!)
  • Being able to Transmute your mana rocks into silver bullets or win conditions; also, the consistency with which Transmute assembles Thopter-Sword for the kill
  • Also, remember how I was excited about seven ‘walkers in my BUG deck? This one has NINE!

That’s quite a few powerful things for one deck! I ended up going 3-1, to beat UWR Delver (shut down a pair of True-Names with Bridge), Omnitell (Chalice shines here; Trinisphere is good against Omni), Esper Stoneblade (he didn’t have many outs for Thopter-Sword). The loss came to Dark Maverick, which felt like a rough matchup. It didn’t help that I screwed up and was only playing 20 lands. Yeah, when I was buying a bunch of cards that I was missing for the deck, I forgot to buy Darkwater Catacombs and Seat of the Synod. I had a pile of “substitutes” (they were all actually fine cards to be playing in Tezz) that I brought with me just in case I couldn’t scrape everything together. I unknowingly replaced two missing lands with spells. But in spite of that, the deck still performed well!

I’m planning to play this deck for for two more weeks at the store, before switching it up. Next up in the queue, for paper Magic, in my continued effort to expand my range, is either Reanimator, Tin Fins, the new Omni-Gifts list that Drew Levin is talking about (Warning: Paywall ahead), or perhaps my BUG list will be ready for an IRL test-drive. Because shit, I need an excuse to use my Tabernacle.

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